Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Sir Alex Ferguson is still at it on the Cristiano Ronaldo- Real Madrid case. Today he gave an interview to The Times in which he was simply out of order and if he had some decency left in him he should be apologising for his remarks.

Here is the quote I am talking about:

“What made it really obscene was that Madrid, as General Franco’s club, had a history of being able to get whoever and whatever they wanted, before democracy came to Spain”

Now, I did already made my case against Sir Alex’s comment before here. But I would like to add a couple of more points to that earlier post.

If Ferguson would have linked a German team with Nazism the comment would have probably been quite a controversial one and Sir Alex would have been asked to apologise. Why does he think it is ok to do so with Real Madrid and Franco?

I am a left-wing Real Madrid supporter. Members of my family fought and died defending the Republic during the Civil War and later opposed Francoism by participating in underground political movements where they risk their lives and those of their family. Sir Alex’s comment is offensive to thousands of Real Madrid supporters who did not support a regime that caused, and in some cases still does, pain and suffering to thousand of Spaniards.

He should be more careful when he goes on rants of this kind, as football is just a game, the Francoist regime was not. And it hurts when ignorant people like Sir Alex use it to simply please their own ego.


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The shame of football

Tonight the last Barcelona derby played in the Olympic stadium of Montjuic, home of RCD Espanyol for the past four seasons, has brought shame to more than one FC Barcelona player, among them some well known former Arsenal superstar with a love for arrogance.

I don’t want to bore you with the details of one of the craziest football matches I’ve seen in a while, and I bet you I’ve probably seen more  than you have, but the attitude of some of Barcelona’s players have been less than gracious. As Barcelona won a controversial match, to say the least, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique decided to celebrate the goals cheering to the same Barcelona hooligans who ten minutes earlier had thrown a number of flares down the terraces into the Espanyol crowd.

Sometimes the limelights don’t allow us to see through the responsiblity of some players in the aggrandisement of hooliganism in football stadiums. Henry, Messi and Pique tonight were an embarrasment to the entire football nation and should be punished by the Spanish Football Federation, the UEFA and the FIFA. In Spain we have a term for great football teams, we term them ‘club señores’. The FC Barcelona tonight has shown why it is not one of those.

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The search engine’s Spanish domain shows its support with its logo today including Fernando Torres, the author of the winning goal in yesterday’s final.

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Thank you

Spain are European champions… I know it might seem silly to make it too dramatic, it’s just football, but… after 44 years since Franco, a vicious dictator, for Spaniards across the world it turns a page of our history. Our first democratic football title. It’s a great success. Our team has shown great determination, brilliance, projected its people’s strength… Spain in 30 years has worked itself, step by step, to a developed country, an EU country, a NATO country, a respected country. For all of us abroad, though we can’t celebrate with our fellow countrymen, we are happy, proud and just wished we could shout beyond rooftops, we are proud of our football national team and certainly proud of a country that has proven endurance beyond belief. Thank you to our national team, although we are away from home…WE ARE PROUD TO BE SPANISH! and thank you from the depth of our hearts to all those Britons that have share our enthusiasm, our illusion and our passion to see Spain all the way through.

P.S.: Antonio Puerta, we remember you… RIP.

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The perfect day

So as Spain yesterday made it to a Eurocup final for the first time in 24 years, that wasn’t the only good day for Spaniards. Spanish workers also woke up this morning to their summer bonuses and the 200 euro rebate promised by Zapatero to alleviate the economic slow-down. Pretty good day in Spain today I say.

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Nationalism and football

In the UK is well known the friendly rivalry between Scottish and English football fans. In the last World Cup the Trinity and Tobago T-shirt was the most sold in Scotland showing the Scots preference for the Caribbean team over their fellow Britons. In Spain a similar case happens with some nationalists in Catalonia and the Basque Country (in the graph named Euskadi). Both Spanish regions have asked for a national team of their own but never been awarded one. Yesterday, Inigo Urkullu, the Basque Nationalist Party leader told the media he will be supporting Russia over Spain in today’s match.

So over at La Moqueta Verde they have done an experiment. They have linked a poll on how proud of being Spanish people from different regions felt and the audience levels from the past Italy-Spain match according to regions as well. And they found a strong positive correlation between both variables. Is football the ultimate determinant of nationalist allegiance in Europe?

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Back from Kent, great weekend, I’ll definitely be blogging about it tomorrow, but meanwhile Spain has broken the quarter-finals spell and booked themselves a place in the semifinals. It was a heart-stopping experience because of our history with Italy (88 years since we’ve beaten them in an official match). But we certainly deserved this win, we were better throughout most of the game. Special mention must go to Casillas. He was spot on throughout the entire match, couple of match-saving saves and then… the penalties when he was inmense! We shall make you proud England..Great weekend I say!

P.S.: Guess Grauniad readers got it awfully wrong this time…should’ve gone for their second choice 😉

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