Monday, February 28, 2011

Footballer Focus: Carles Puyol

I’ve always been fascinated about who football players are outside the pitch.  Finding out beyond their career and playing stats... what are the little known facts about them? 

The first post for Footballer Focus will be Barcelona’s Captain, Carles Puyol.

the 32-year-old Spanish defender

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where Are They Now: Galacticos

When Florentino Perez started his first term as Real Madrid's President in 2000, he created a new policy of signing a galactico (superstar), or the best player in the world at the end of every season, no matter how much money it would take.  This policy began the period in Real Madrid’s history known as the Galacticos Era.

Zidane still has hair! ...but why is his shorts so… short?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shirtless: Cesc Fabregas

I guess if Barca would lose in the 2nd leg of their match against Arsenal, I won’t feel too bad as long as I can stare at The Gunners’ captain all day long…

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Champions League Round of 16 Game Recap

0 – 0
Marseille vs Manchester United

Marseille and Man U were not as lucky in breaking their deadlock, the match ending with both sides neither scoring a goal.  And… there wasn’t even a single card (yellow or red) awarded in this game...  Guess the players behaved themselves… With both sides missing most of their key players to injury, could be a factor on the nil-nil score…

This is an advantage to Marseille as they prevented Man U from scoring an away goal.

Champions League: Round of 16 Game Recap

0 – 1
Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich

There was no one team that dominated the match as both sides were pretty strong.  Each had numerous chances and near misses, it was quite nerve-wracking.  Just when I thought it was going to end on a deadlock, Gomez scored a precious away goal during the last minute of the game.  Credit also goes to Robben as it was his long shot attempt that Julio Cesar failed to hold which made way for the only score in the game.

I would have wanted more explosive counter-attacks and more fluid one-touch passes from Bayern, especially on the offense side.  I was expecting the same kind of play the Germany team had during the last World Cup.  I dunno if the opponent was just that good (they are the Champions League title holders), or that there’s no Ozil to be the playmaker or it’s just a way different team with Robben and Ribbery on the frontlines.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Champions League Replay Skeds

Kobenhavn vs Chelsea
on Feb 23 @ Balls Channel
on Feb 26 @ Balls Channel

Lyon vs Real Madrid
on Feb 23 @ Balls Channel
on Feb 26 @ Balls Channel

Champions League: last game for the Round of 16 1st Leg

Inter Milan vs Bayern Munich
on Feb 24 @ Balls Channel

Champions League: Round of 16 last games of the 1st Leg

Marseille vs Manchester United
on Feb 24 @ Balls Channel

Champions League: Round of 16 Game Recap

1 – 1
Lyon v Real Madrid

Since CR7 was not able to score a goal, we’ll just have to wait for the 2nd leg to see if it’s true that his teammates do not celebrate his goals with him.  Gomis’ equalizer in the last minutes of the game maintained Lyon’s record of never losing a match to Real.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Champions League: Round of 16 Game Recap

0 – 2
Kobenhavn v Chelsea

Anelka was one fire, scoring the two away goals for Chelsea.  Suffering a loss to Everton in the FA Cup last weekend, this would definitely be a much needed boost to them.  I love what Carlo Ancelotti said in a press con (rumors are that his ass is on the line if Chelsea loses against Kobenhavn)

“Maybe it could be the best season that we can ever have a memory of. Maybe it could be the worst. I don’t know.  But wait, wait. Chelsea has not died. It’s still alive.”

I do feel bad for Kobenhavn as I have a soft spot for the underdogs.  This is the lions first time to reach the knock out stage of the Champions League.

Champions League Round of 16 continues

Kobenhavn v Chelsea
5:30AM on Feb 23 @ Balls Channel

Nobody likes Cristiano Ronaldo (duh!)

According to The Spoiler, he has only three teammates who like him.  No surprise there.  There have been rumors and rumblings that Sergio Ramos is looking to transfer to Premier League because of a tiff with CR7.  And then there was this issue with Casillas' GFAlthough I’d say he has at least four or maybe five friends in the team, they forgot to count Ozil and Kaka.  CR7 may be a good player but is an ass.  Apparently, they hate his guts so much that when he scores a goal and does his goal celebration thingy, to quote The Spoiler, “NO-ONE ELSE IS CELEBRATING WITH HIM

So I did a little digging and here are some photos I found of his goal celebrations... most of what I found are of him celebrating alone...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Champions League Round of 16 continues

Lyon v Real Madrid
3:30AM on Feb 23 @ Balls Channel

The last time they faced each in the Champions League was in last year’s Round of 16 stage.  And Lyon ended up moving on to the next sage.  I wonder how things will turn out this time with the Spanish giants under the helm of Jose Mourinho.  Kaka is back from an injury but Gonzalo Higuain is not as lucky.  The French side will also be without their striker Lisandro due to a hamstring injury during training.  But don’t worry ladies, we can still ogle Yoan Gourcuff, he is just quite all right... quite all right indeed!

Gourcuff, I can just stare at your eyes all day... *sigh*

Even when stretching, he looks like he's posing for an ad...

The Merengues (I know, I’m using my new “expertise” on team nicknames) are seen as the favorites in this match.  They were one of my favorite teams, especially during the pre-galacticos era with Raul, Roberto Carlos, Hierro and a young Casillas.  But now, I don’t know...  I love, love Casillas and Ozil… not really a fan of Kaka... but I hate C. Ronaldo… if he weren’t on this team, I’d root for Real.

Kaka looking... creepy

For match previews, opinions and predictions, check out these links:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gattuso Headbutt

Here's the video of Gennaro Gattuso loosing it with Tottenham Assistant Coach, Joe Jordan.

Although earlier in the game, Gattuso was already pissed at the assistant coach as he pushed him by his neck.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daddy Duty: Marco Materazzi

Football players may seem larger than life with thousands of adoring fans, million dollar (euro?) contracts and flashy lifestyles.  But to these little ones, they’re just good ‘ole goofy dad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trivia Time: Club Nicknames

Gunners, Rossoneri, La Blaugrana??? Wha???  If you’re new in following the Champions League or European Football in general, you’ve probably heard of these words before.  Other than their official club title, teams also have other names their fans (or critics) call them by.  Some names are pretty easy to figure out which team it’s referreing to (jersey colors) while some are a bit harder to guess.  So here’s a guide to the major football club nicknames in Europe:

AC Milan
  • Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks/Red Blacks): obviously, because of their jersey color
  • Il Diavolo (The Devil): because the club’s logo used to be an image of a red devil with a Golden Star for Sport Excellence located next to it.

Tottenham Hotspur
  • Spurs: This one is also obvious, spurs because it’s a shortcut of hotspur :P
  • Cockerels: because their logo is a fighting cockerel on a ball
  • Lilywhites: because of their jersey colors
  • Yids or Yiddos: this usually refers to the fans of the team, generally used by the rival Arsenal fans, it’s more derogatory in nature because of the large Jewish population (their language is Yiddish) in the Haringey/Stamford Hill area.

  • Los Ches: Xe or Che is a widely used interjection that expresses protest, surprise or exasperation, which is one of the symbols of the Valencian identity, hence they are called the Xe Team or Los Ches.
  • Els Taronja (The Orange): from their jersey color when the play away games
  • Valencianistas: is pretty much self-explanatory
  • Los Pulos
  • Xotos

FC Schalke 04
  • Die Knappen (The Miners): because during its early years, many of its players and supporters are from the coal mine workers of Gelsenkirchen.
  • Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues): because of the color of their jerseys

Arsenal: The Gunners or Gooners
What are stored in an arsenal? Yup, you got it—guns.  Therefore, The Gunners

FC Barcelona (the team name is sometimes shortened to Barca)
  • La Blaugrana (The Blue Scarlets): because of jersey colors, the fans are called Blaugranes
  • Los Culés or Culers (The bottoms): this is usually used to call the fans of Barca.  Culs means arse or a** in english, and the spectators/fans in the 1st stadium (Camp de la Indústria) sat with their culs over the stand

AS Roma:
  • Giallorossi (The Yellow and Reds/Yellow-Reds): these are the colors of their old jersey
  • I Lupi (The Wolves): from the wolves found in their logo/badge (female wolf with the two infant brothers)
  • La Maggica (The Magic One):

Shakhtar Donetsk
  • Gornyaki (The Miners):  When the club was formed, it was originally called Stakhanovets which means they are part of the Stakhanovite movement derived from Aleksei Stakhanov, a coal-miner in the Donets basin.
  • Kroty (The Moles):

Olympique Lyonnaise: they are sometimes simply called Lyon
  • Les Gones (The Boys or The Kids): can’t find anything about this, only that Gones is the regional dialect word for kids
  • OL: initials of the club’s name

Real Madrid:
  • Los Galácticos (The Galactics or superstars or from the “galaxy of the stars): this actually used to call the expensive and world-famous players the club signed.  This term was used during time of Florentino Pérez, then club president, who implemented this policy of signing or purchasing at least one galáctico or superstar player in the summer of every year (which started with Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham).  Galactico can be used to refer to the transfer policy or the player bought under this policy.  The idea was to form a team of superstars to make them an unbeatable club (however, it kinda backfired as the galactics grew massive egos and stopped training.  Now most of the original galactics have left, so I dunno if you can still call them this. Barca seems to fit this description now)
  • Los Merengues (The Meringues): their jersey resembled the spanish food/dessert meringue
  • Los Blancos (The Whites) because of their jersey color

  • Byens Hold (The City's Team): is this a literal description?
  • Løverne (The Lions): as a lion is in their logo

  • The Pensioners: This was because of the war veterans, well-known pensioners, living in a nearby hospital
  • The Blues: because of their jersey color

Inter Milan:
  • Nerazzurri (The Black and Blues): jersey colors
  • La Beneamata (The Cherished One or well loved):
  • Il Biscione (The Big Grass Snake) or Il Serpente (The Serpent): the snake is an important symbol of Milan (seen in the coat of arms of the House of Sforza, ruler of Italy)
  • Baüscia (Boasters in Lombard language):

FC Bayern Munich:
  • Der FCB (The FCB): dunno if this has something to do with partnership of Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the pitch, which was called FC Breitnigge (FCB), who led the team to Bundesliga titles in 1980 and 1981
  • Die Roten (The Reds): because of their jersey colors
  • FC Hollywood (Hollywood Football Club): there was a time in the 90s when Bayern's players were frequent tabloid fodders, always appearing in the gossip pages instead of the sports pages, so they earned the nickname FC Hollywood

Olympique Marseille: L'OM, meaning The OM
Is this based on the club’s initials? Hhhmmmm…

Manchester United: Red Devils
Apparently, they chose devils because they liked it, so they incorporated a devil into the club badge and... their jersey color is red.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day Two of the Champions League’s Round of 16

2 — 1
Arsenal v Barcelona

My Barca lost to Arsenal L  Unfortunately the Gunner’s two goals in the last part of 2nd half ensured their victory.  Pique is suspended for the 2nd Leg, I hope Puyol has recovered by then.  It was a great game to watch.  At least Barca had one away goal.

Ashravin, scoring the final goal, cinching Arsenal’s win
Here are the match statistics:


Goals scored
Shots Off Target
On Target
26' 38''
Possession (time)
40' 15''
Possession (%)
Fouls committed
Yellow cards
Red cards

Goals By:
            David Villa (Barcelona)
            Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)
            Andrey Ashavin (Arsenal)

Yellow Cards:
            Alex Song (Arsenal)
            Samir Nasrie (Arsenal)
            Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)
            Andres Inesta (Barcelona)
            Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Read more here:

Wenger savours Arsenal's 'special night'
Barcelona rocked by stunning Arsenal comeback
Arshavin sinks Barcelona with Emirates winner
Barcelona's Xavi Disappointed With Champions League Loss To Arsenal

Speedy Shakhtar delight Lucescu
2 — 3
Roma vs Shakhtar

I have no reactions to this game as I had no expecations as who would win, sorry not a fan of either Roma or Shakhtar.  But if you’re interested, here are the details.

match stats:


Shakhtar Donetsk
Goals scored
Shots on target
Shots off target
31' 29''
Possession (time)
28' 44''
Possession (%)
Fouls committed
Yellow cards
Red cards

Goals By:
            Simone Perrotta (Roma)
            Jadson (Shakhtar)
            Douglas Costa (Shakhtar)
            Luis Adriano (Shakhtar)
            Jeremy Menez (Roma)

Yellow Cards:
            Dmytro Chygrynskiy (Shakhtar)
            Luis Adriano (Shakhtar)
            Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar)
            Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar)

Read more here:

Shakhtar Donetsk Captain Darijo Srna Hails Fantastic Result Against Roma
Player Ratings: Roma 2-3 Shakhtar Donetsk
Shakhtar Donetsk Coach Mircea Lucescu: We Took Advantage Of Roma's Mistakes
Shakhtar surge too much for Roma