Vamonos… Andiamo… The Treble? in Berlin!!

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We didn’t get “El Clasico” final in the UEFA Champions League, but we got two Classic teams in the final; Juventus – Barcelona. La Vecchia Signora, Juventus FC is back in a Champions League (CL) final after 12 years, hoping to win their third CL title, for many a difficult task taking into consideration that they are about to face probably the best team at this moment, FC Barcelona.

Barcelona,a team that went from creating doubts at the beginning of  the season to now create magic, consider by almost everyone the favorites to lift their fifth Champions League title. What is not in doubt, is that they have the most lethal trident at this moments, Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, the “MSN”. The team is in an incredible form  despite the fact that is the end of the season and when most teams are feeling the toughness of all competitions. Barcelona already won two important titles, La Liga and La Copa Del Rey, a boost of confident and definitely an additional motivation to  win the CL and the desire and difficult “Treble”. – (Treble is used in association football to refer to a team winning three trophies in a single season.- via Wikipedia)

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What were the odd that both finalist would be in position to win the Treble?… Juventus also won their local league; Seria A, as well as Coppa Italia which means that they also have the additional motivation to chase the Treble.

Although we can mark some specific differences between both teams, for many, Italian Football (Calcio) has lost a bit of competitiveness which means Juventus reaching the CL final is a slightly bigger accomplishment, despite dominating their league for the past few years they haven’t been able to reach this same stage in previous years, and many Italian teams have struggle in CL waters. Although we can not measure them by those results because we would have to ask what happened with the English Premiere League?, for many maybe the best European league and the most entertaining, but again non Premiere League team reached the semifinals, so everything is up for debate.

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What is not for debate is Barcelona’s great form, not only physically but mentally, La Liga was a tough fight during some months and at the end Real Madrid couldn’t keep the pace in the competition, but despite the tiredness that almost all teams face toward the end of the season, they seem to be in better form than the rest, and it doesn’t hurt to have the best version of Messi, the one that can create magic in the field wowing everyone that watch him make the impossible, possible.

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Yes two tales but one goal, wining La Orejona, it’s all set up for June 6th, when the best attack will face the classic and most expert defense. The italian defense style is known as a padlock. The question is, if Barcelona will be able to open that padlock, on the other hand it is a 90 minutes match and in football sometimes everything and anything can happen, which  makes it more exciting!!

Let’s hope for an entertaining and fun final, with a  bit of emotion and drama why not!

Who do you think will win the Champions League, Barcelona or Juventus,?… Let me know in the comments or on twitter @MonikJHerrera.

Most probably I’ll be kind of live tweeting on Saturday, twitter is fun during games, if you are on it feel free to say hi!

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On another note; It is incredible and a bit nostalgic that this match is going to be the last one in a European League for this two Football Legends, Xavi Hernandez and Andrea Pirlo. A win for New York though, apparently Pirlo has already signed with the NYCFC and Xavi is heading to Qatar after the final.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the match and may your favorite team win!

Pictures, 1, 2,3 and 4th from UEFA.com and last one from Marca.com

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Keep the ball rolling!!

Hello all!!

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Well the ball started to roll and we are already talking about the surprises! It’s serious business now, it’s early but even the first game can determinate the end of a season if you don’t believe me ask Real Madrid, their last season opening night was awful, and their first games didn’t got any better at the end they were out of the Championship run way before everyone expected, so this is serious business!!

The first game it’s kind of difficult for some clubs, it’s like breaking the awkwardness in a meeting or like going to a blind date, you really don’t know what will happen, if the other person  will like you and you don’t want to recover from a bad date you want to move forward after a nice first date… I am so into this dating analogies lol… Don’t know why??? **Worried** My unconscious might be sending me a message!! :/

Anyways this weekend was interesting, La Liga officially  kicked off their season and the two most famous and most possible contenders for the title played on Sunday with different results and evaluations, but one surprise in common, their benches gave to the media more to talk than some actions on the pitch!

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Let’s Start with Real Madrid, everyone was speculating if their legendary Captain Iker Casillas was going to be back to the starting lineup,  at first  everyone reports were that he was going to start and everyone thought that it was going to be Business as usual, but Carlo Ancelotti had a different plant and surprise everyone by leaving him on the bench, is still uncertain if is going to be like this and Diego Lopez will be the starting goalkeeper or if it is just some games situation, Lopez started training with the team from the beginning of the preseason, Iker joined their teammates almost 10 days later after playing the Confederation Cup with Spain, also last week he played with Spain against Ecuador, so someone can say he might have been tired or Ancelotti might have consider that the one more prepare was Diego Lopez, he didn’t clear that up, after being ask like three times by the media at the press conference after the game.

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Iker has been consider one of the symbols of Real Madrid, it has been his only club, and he kind of represent the dream of every little Spanish kid or any kid. He made it to the first team and became a star for his club and later for his country, but many agreed that he hasn’t had any competition lately, no one who could really challenge his position and sometimes that can lead to over-confidence not in his skills but on knowing that he was going to play all the time, all that change last season when Mourinho send benched him, we can made a whole new post about the rumors of why he did that, in my opinion was unfair, and out-of-place, but he was the coach and he could do it. What is true is that with the arrival of Diego Lopez to Real Madrid and his excellent performance  by the end of the last season, he definitely can challenge Iker to be at his best if he want to be the starter again, now they both have to compete for a spot in the starting eleven and they have to be at their best in every training and in every game… what is not clear yet is what Ancelotti will do… at some point he has to choose one of them to be the starter!

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In regards of the game, for Los Blancos it was a bittersweet opening day, the first half was tough, Real Betis played with no fear and they got themselves an early goal surprising everyone, Real Madrid struggle a lot in defense, Betis was even closer to increase the result but Real Madrid was lucky at some times, Benzema tied the game before half time. Again those 15 minutes can make a lot of difference, the second half was a different story, Los Blancos were more aggressive and moving better the ball, Marcelo played really good most of the time and at the last-minute he send a great pass to Isco who scored the wining goal,  the final result was 2-1 for Real Madrid, but many things to fix and reorganize for Ancelotti and Co.

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Barcelona on the other side had a dance party with poor Levante U.D, (Club), which I think had Stage fright or performance anxiety, because they were completely lost there, no options, no ways to react to the pouring of goals they were getting, the final result was 7-0, yes I feel bad for them but they play a bad game, not the best way to start, but at least they will have all season to recover hehe….  It took Barcelona less than three minutes to open the score board, and with a great Cesc Fabregas they were a demolition machine, they made beautiful passes and play great football, it was a real opening show, what a way to start the competition for their new coach Tata Martino.

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The surprise was Neymar who started the game in the bench,  it is a surprise consider he is the most expensive investment the club made for this season, and I guess everyone was expecting to see the dynamic duo Naymar/Messi playing together, apparently he wasn’t in the starting lineup due to his latest health problem, although he was ok to play with Brazil before this game, I guess he is still in the adaptation process, he didn’t look happy with the decision we can assume base on his face expression (apparently I and some of the media can interpreter face expressions now lol ). When he  finally made his official debuted in La Liga in the 64th min, he looked so eager to show all his skills, we didn’t have the chance to see the dynamic duo for too long, Tata Martino decided to rest Messi just minutes after Neymar debuted…

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But overall was an interesting Opening day!! I enjoyed it, I guess all Real Madrid fans suffered more than they would have expected it, in some ways was a reminiscent of how the season ended, early goal conceded, a come back and a last-minute goal to get the three points, I hope it will get better for the well-being of their fans lol…  For Barcelona fans was all joy and great expectations!

Some other notes!

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  • Isco had a great debut with Real Madrid, scoring the wining goal that put him as the savior of the team and the day! The stadium was chanting his name, a good sign!

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  • Cesc Fabregas made it clear that he wants to stay in Camp Barca, he played great and was one of the best in his team.

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  • Sergio Ramos is no longer a platinum Blonde!!…. I don’t know what happened there, either he was having too much fun as a blonde and decided to get back to business or the blondes don’t have that much fan after all…. lol

 I didn’t watch the rest of the games, but I don’t see any major surprises. It’s just the first game so we’ll see!

Let’s move to the EPL

I feel like I don’t need to say much about this, if you live in the USA I think the coverage of NBC was extensive and well done, I was happy to be able to see the game live on my phone lol!!

But we did have some surprises too…

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Arsenal opening game was not the best they lost 0-3 vs Aston Villa and the feeling they left to the fans was not promising, so they have to work to do specially in their defense and they face another problem as many pointed out, Arsène Wenger hasn’t been able to strengthen the team with good additions, I think their fans are wondering if they will buy someone in this window market! This was kind of the big surprise of the weekend.

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Manchester United had a very special game, the first one after the Sir Alex Ferguson era, which was a very successful, he is truly a legend in the football world, so some were a bit nervous and uncertain about the future, all that have put some pressure on the team, and if you add the Wayne Rooney situation, that create a lot of expectations, but base on what we saw yesterday well I think so far is all under control, Robin van Persie is sensational, he is again a contender to end the season at the top in the goal department, the team needs some improvement but a victory 4-1 over Swansea City, can be called a good start.

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Another game to watch was Chelsea vs  Hull City which marked the return of Jose Mourinho to the EPL, he received a lot of love from the fans and his team beat Hull 2-0 , it seems that everything went according to the plan!

So many news about the transfer market, but also about the reactions to this first games!!

**Eye Candy alert**

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I really enjoy the games, but I have to say it, I think Zidane looks so good in that black suit!! C’mon that is pure handsomeness and he is not that young anymore, see boys we don’t need much just a nice suit or a nice tan lol… he is definitely like a good wine let’s just leave it there… lol!! Oook, he is  cute though…

Thanks for reading, I hope you did enjoy opening day, it was a weekend full of emotions, reunion ns andsurprises!! Let me know what you think, what surprised you the most and what team are you supporting this season!!

Take care! This just started and we couldn’t be happier!! hahaha

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Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Real Madrid official Facebook, BarcelonaFC.com, telegraph.co.uk, Mirror.co.uk, and Google.com

It’s showtime!! Bring it on…

Hola!

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How is everything going?  I just came back from a boat party, very popular around here in New York during summer, I finally can  say I beat my boat dizziness, now I can own one lol… The view of the city in those boats is just breath taking! And guess what was my view this evening too?… Yes a Football pitch, I am so ready for the European football season!! Bring it on!

Today is showtime for some of the big names and  big clubs, well two of the best leagues around the globe kick off their season today!  And I can only say  it was about time and Thank You!! It means lots of Football!!

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With the exception of  the German Bundesliga and the French League that already started,  La Liga (Spain) and as you probably now by now because of NBC promos, the  English Premier League (EPL) start today, some games on Saturday and the rest on Sunday!  Il Calcio will kick off their season next Saturday the 24th if I am correct, it’s late so I’ll double check tomorrow ;).

No more friendlies at least between the clubs, now this is serious business and the run for the championships it’s about to begin!

Although that friendly final game between Real Madrid and Chelsea in Miami two weeks ago was not as friendly as everyone thought… The whites gave some kind of message to the world, they looked united and not that happy to see their ex coach José Mourinho, they made it clear, they said they didn’t but we all saw the game and unless they saw imaginary fans in Chelsea bench, those goals had a card with Mou name on it. Marcelo and then Cristiano Ronaldo celebrations were directed to Mou, as everyone agreed, they can denied it but we are not crazy lol…

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Real Madrid ended up wining the final and therefore the Championship, an irrelevant competition but it was a nice way to see what their capacity might be and also that final was totally worth it!

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NBC is in full promoting mode, well you know is not the most popular game and probably it won’t be, but they are putting a lot of resources in my opinion to give enough coverage for the growing Football audience,  it’s good, now that they have the NBC Sport on cable they can cover more and I guess as fans we will be happy, in this case the more the better!!

If you haven’t seen this video, you should, it’s funny!

Although they had to replace Gareth Bale billboard that was in Times Square, of course he is or was, we still don’t know… but since he hasn’t sign anything I guess he is still one of the symbols of the EPL, but everyone expect him to sign with Real Madrid sooner than later, I guess was better to replace him hehe… I understand let me tell you this transfer drama- Mexican novela, it’s getting old now, c’mon signed him already, the poor guy it’s doing everything in his side to get transfer, not training (due to a kind of mysterious injury…), expressing his wishes to be transfer, I mean is like everyone will say come on let the guy goooo!!  But  well €100 million are in the middle of this novela :0.

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But since that story is not over yet, let’s move on, the Leagues start today, but the market is still open, news of clubs wanting players are coming up and down, so until the  market closes this is how it will be, but if we have games, I won’t mind…  I feel bad for some players is kind of weird to start a season and somehow suddenly feel uncertain of your future. But I think they are use to that by now.

The German Bundesliga started early last week, we finally saw the official so commented debut of Pep Guardiola with Bayern Munich, and well it was the first game he didn’t dazzles us  but it’s still too early to evaluate, his team defeats ‘Gladbach though, so if you are a Bayern Munich fan don’t freak out yet, just wait and let’s see if he will work some magic there as he did with Barcelona!

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This is so excited, new season, new faces, also familiar ones, everyone start with zero points, this is like back to school with new clothes, new books, new and old friends, but funnier and cooler than that!!

And some are pretty handsome faces like Isco! ( Eye candy alert!!)

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Thanks for reading as always, I didn’t post anything about the International friendlies among some Countries, because some were not that good, a bit boring and because it just a fun way to practice, nothing major happened…

That’s it, I am ready, I probably will miss today’s games, I will watch highlights and read the newspapers lol, but you know once in a while I need to take care of  my other life,  the one that has to interact with other human beings! So I might check out this kind of food fair in Brooklyn, which won’t help “my getting back to shape” mode, but it could be a delicious fun, and the other option is to check the san castle competition in Coney Island, I’m not really convince yet, it’s a weekend which mean that it will be packed with people, then if I go and it’s just like something I could have build myself, and I have zero skills for that, then I will be disappointed…. anyways this so out of topic, but I let you know my final decision hehe!!

But for sure I’ll watch Real Madrid debut in La Liiga!!

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Take care and enjoy our back to Football time!!  Any comment or suggestion, please be my guess, I would love to read them!

Besitos!

Pictures of NY are mine ©, Real Madrid official Facebook page, Sports Yahoo and Google, the video is from NBC Sports from YouTube NBCSportsNetwork.