Â Alleke, a 3-year-old Dutch girl, who lives with her parents in Madrid is an avid Barcelona fan. When the Spanish national team celebrated its World Cup victory in Madrid, Alleke kept shouting, trying to get the attention of her favorite player, midfielder Xavi.
She cried when Xavi didnâ€™t leave the bus to greet her, so TV3, the Catalan TV station, brought the two into their studio, and Xavi gave her a signed Barcelona shirt with her name on the back. Classy guy.
Andres Iniesta reminds me of a sweet white bear, a Panda. In a commercial running now in Spain, Iniesta becomes best friends with a bear, and he doesnâ€™t forget to ridicule Ronaldo one more time.
I am giving this introduction only to present how difficult it is to root against Barcelona. Its player are role models off the pitch, and sweet killers on it.
Â Last night, Barcelona gave another performance, this time in a hate-filled stadium in the derby against Espanyol who won its last seven home games.
26 goals in five games, ten consecutive wins. In a league of two teams (Barca and Real), Barcelona proved again that it plays in a league of its own.
Â Jose Mourinho once said
When he complained about his lack of strikers that â€œyou hunt with dogs, you can also hunt with cats, but much less. Alfredo Relano, an editor for the As newspaper, followed the theme and published a great column about animals and football.
Relanoâ€™s bottom line was comparing Barcelona to a group of beesâ€”small, biting and relentless for the opponents, but produce Godly honey for its lovers.
Barcelona of this year is magnificent. There is no way to defend against it. Pedro is becoming a royal bee. Opponents should not think about tactics before playing Barca, they should wear protective clothes.
Elsewhere in Spain, Brazilian striker Nilmar keeps scoring spectacular goals. Look at this amazing idea and execution in Villarreal 3:1 win over Mallorca. Â
The weather conditions led to many cancellations of games all over Europe this weekend. The winter stoppage couldnâ€™t come sooner as we were witnessing many games played in heavy snow or storm conditions. Sometime it was romantic, sometimes it was pathetic. Sometimes it combined both.
The question is what the average fan can do instead of following his heroes. One way to pass the time is to watch stupid commercials starring these same heroes. For example, this one with Frenando Torres, advertising his friendâ€™s barbershop. Â
The real football addicts can travel to Turkey, where no conditions will lead to a game cancellation. Look at this game, played a week ago, between the reigning champion Bursaspor and Kasimpasa in these terrible conditionsl?
3) Most animals prefer the summer. Some, like the snails, like to sleep in the summer and wake up when the rain comes. The shortened weekend in England showed us that Black Cats also like sub zero weather.
Sunderland switched places with Bolton and climbed to sixth place in the Premier League table after defeating the latter 1:0. Sunderland is led by three identical cats, Danny Wellbeck (the scorer), Asamoah Gyan and DARREN BENT who eat every ball left over around the goal line.
Gyan Was awarded as African player of the year by BBC (though CAF elected Samuel Eto’o ). I believe it was, among others, a choice of compassion, a reward for the 120th minute of the World Cup quarterfinal between JEANâ€™S Ghana side and Uruguay, that eliminated Ghana from becoming the first African national team to appear in a World Cupâ€™s semifinals.
Speaking about animals, Raul always reminded me a fox: not every athletic, not very strong and a physique that leave you unimpressed, but it is so clever. Knows where to be and what to, unbearable simplicity.
Raul, who started the season awkwardly in Schalke, scored his second hat trick this season in his team 3:0 defeat of Koln, and he accumulated nine goals in his first half season in Germany.
It took a brilliant heel pass in the 87th minute fromÂ Martin Fenin for Fanis gekas to score his league leading 14th goal, and give Eintracht Frankfurt a win over Borussia Dortmund, the leader at the winter break.Â
Eintracht resemble a greek team. Many consider its fans to be the best in the league, it has three greek players on the roster (and many played there in the past), its style is not exciting, but it knows how to ruin a good party. The win over Dortmund was similar to the style Greece employed when it won the 2004 European Cup.
There is an old psychological-philosophical argument about what is more important: how you start a date or how you finish it. Lame beginning can lead to damages that no one can repair. Bad ending is a closed door.
So what is the case with Dortmund, a team that lost its first and last game but won in 14 of the 15 matches in between? Maybe that if you are really good, you can overcome bad beginning and bad ending. Dortmund opened a big gap from its hunters at the winter break point, and after it was eliminated from its European matches, it can concentrate solely on the league..Â
Still in Germany: Srdjan Lakic, the Croatian striker for Kaiserslautern, scored the fastest goal of the year, only 23.6 second into the game. Well, he was doing it against Werder Bremen pathetic defense.
There is an actual race in Italy, where Socialist Rome of the South managed to beat the capitalists from Milan in the north. The scorer was Marco Borriello, whom Milan transferred after acquiring Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Another nice story from Italy is the story of Luis Jimenez who scored the winning goal for Cesena against Cagliari.
The Chilean didnâ€™t find his place with Inter, transferred to Westham, then to TRENANA from the Italian third league. This year he was borrowed to a team in Serie A and he starts to gt his form back.
7) one way to keep warm is to watch devoted fans doing their shtick. We start with the hot blooded supporters of Panathinaikos after their team lost to minnows Olympiakos Volou
embedded by Embedded Video
But the most impressive fans are the supporters of Lech Poznan who performed beautifully during the Europa League, including a set of idiotic springs with their back to the pitch. They reached a new high in the â€œLech Cupâ€, a tournament of under-12 kids where Poznan was playing against Tottenham.
Another team with great supporters is Trabzonspor who pace the Turkish league table. Look at 50,000 of its fans who traveled more than 1,000 kilometers for an away game.
Speaking of Trabzonspor, it won 3:0 last week over Karabukspor with the first goal coming at the 83rd minute. I have a rule saying that two headers in the penalty box almost always lead to a goal. Apparently, it also works the other way:
Speaking about own goals, look at Wael Gomaa, a defender for Egyptâ€™s national team, scoring for Qatar.
Strange story from the Ecuadorian league where authorities and fans were astounded to find that LDU de Quitoâ€™s Gonzalo Chila is not who think he was.
Â So who is Chila? He is actually Angel Cheme. Seven years ago Cheme was in a training camp for an under-20 team of a small clun in Ecuador. Cheme was accepted, but he had one minor problem: he was already 23. So Cheme adopted the identity of Chila who failed to reach the team and since became an evangelist priest.
The righteous priest decided to blackmail Cheme as the latter was making a name for himself in the Ecuadorian football scene, and as the story was leaked out, Cheme was suspended for two years.