Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Messi’

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(“It’s goodbye from me and it’s goodbye from him”)

It seemed as though the World Cup exploded into life. The tournament, which is destined to be remembered as “the-dodgy-Russian-one-before-the dodgy-Qatar-one”, had thrown up some decent games during the group stage but the real excitement could only really be felt once the knock-out stage arrived.

The first two matches had the potential to be enthralling or boring because they featured South American teams against European teams. Argentina versus France, given their showings in the previous stage of the competition, was a meeting we hoped would provide entertainment rather than expected it to.

In the end it was a cracking game which had virtually everything. (more…)

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As the group stage nears it’s end some of the old-fashioned tactics have come into play as usual.

France and Denmark played out a stale and boring 0-0 draw as it meant that both teams qualified for the last 16.

Their play was roundly booed for much of the game as FIFA and the spectators were seen to be, as usual, miles apart in what they see as the not-so-subtle difference between getting the job done and entertaining the crowd.

The two teams were allowed to defraud the attendant masses of their money by putting on an insipid display of nothingness at which fans who had travelled thousands of miles to watch were entitled to vent their frustration. (more…)

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(Pedro Aquino on realising that Peru’s World Cup is almost over and, as yet, they have neither a goal nor a point)

Australia and Denmark played out an entertaining 1-1 draw whereby an excellent Christian Eriksen strike was cancelled out by yet another penalty, awarded by the referee via VAR and scored by Mile Jedinak.

The draw was, in the end, a fair outcome as Denmark were the better team in the first half whereas Australia were superior in the second.

The point moves Denmark to four in total and means they will probably only need a draw from their game against France to qualify. The point for Australia keeps alive their faint hopes of progression but means that they will have to beat Peru to have any chance whatsoever. (more…)

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Well that wasn’t too bad a game. France weren’t very good which should really have given Australia a chance to collect three points. The problem was that The Socceroos, whilst being full of huff and puff for around 70 minutes, also weren’t very good.

First goal went to budding documentary-maker Antoine Griezmann courtesy of VAR, which helped to decide that a foul had been committed in the penalty area and he scored with ease from the spot.

The Aussies then equalised with another penalty confirmed by the VAR team which seemed determined to make up for not being involved even once in the opening game. (more…)

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Wouldn’t you just know it? Cristiano Ronaldo, at the ripe old age of 33 has suddenly announced himself on the World Cup stage.

Many “experts” are predicting that this will be the Portuguese’s last appearance in this tournament as he will be 37 by the time the next one comes around.

We don’t agree with the experts. Now, there’s a surprise! Our guess is that Ronaldo also doesn’t agree with them assuming that he listens to them at all!

The shape he is in and his single-mindedness in wanting to be the best means that another four years will have little or no effect on him. He may slow down slightly although, on the evidence of some of the counter-attacking runs he made against Spain, this is unlikely to happen. (more…)

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Manchester City have been confirmed as Premier League champions with five games still to play. After just a few games of this season it was pretty obvious that they were the favourites to win it and it really shouldn’t come as a major shock to anybody that they have.

What has been disappointing is the gulf in class between them and the rest. Only Liverpool have tried to challenge them on an entertainment level and Jürgen Klopp seems to have the edge over Guardiola when their two teams meet.

The expected challenge from Chelsea never materialised, Mauricio Pochettino is not yet at the same level and Stubborn Old Man is just past it. (more…)

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Mohamed Salah is not Lionel Messi. He is not as good as Lionel Messi and probably won’t come close to achieving what Messi has achieved over the course of his career.

He is, however, similar in the way he runs, the close control he has when in tight situations and his ability to finish when some, usually including the opposition goalkeeper, may think the chance has gone.

The big question for Liverpool fans is; can your club keep hold of him?

With reports of interest from Real Madrid, to name but one, it isn’t money which will entice Salah away from Merseyside, it is ambition. Is Liverpool’s ambition in sync with the Egyptian’s? (more…)

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As is often the case when a team comes up against Lionel Messi, he wins. On Wednesday night it was a case of Lionel Messi, (with a little help from Ousmane Dembele who, in turn, received a little help from Lionel Messi), 3 Chelsea 0.

The scoreline was a little harsh on Conte’s team as they played quite well, just as they had at Stamford Bridge in the first leg. The problem is that, at this level, if chances are not taken by one side then they usually are by the other and, when Messi gets chances, he usually gets goals. (more…)

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Due to a shortage of actual, interesting transfers, Sky Sports News are treating the transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG as though it was important to anybody not from one of the three locations directly affected. It isn’t, but we will now devote almost an entire article to that very subject.

Yes, there is a knock-on effect with the fee that PSG are paying for someone generally  regarded as being only the THIRD best player in the world because it will certainly drive up the fees for average players. But that alone does not make this particular transfer any more interesting to the average fan.

The average fan does not really care about how much a player is bought or sold for, he/she just cares about whether or not they can play football. (more…)

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In order not to be accused of sinking quite so low as some of our competitors the rumours we present to you in this article are actually all true but are most certainly offered tongue-in-cheek and should be taken with a pinch of salt, if those two things are possible simultaneously.

We have decided to expand on a theme started a while ago now and perpetuated by Sky Sports News when they have nothing better to report, which is 95% of the time.

It was their “Breaking News” banner which informed us that a particular player was “not for sale” and was “going nowhere” that inspired this article, on the basis that 95% of players around the world will not move during this transfer window. We just hope Sky don’t figure out the space they could fill by reporting every one of them! (more…)