A new Blogging Year!!

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Happy New Year!! … in the middle of March, never too late!!

I was part of the Santa crew and then I took some months of, Santa is not an easy boss…ha! I was a very hard-working reindeer, ok I was not a reindeer but it would have been fun though.

Life is really a journey, like a movie with different plots and when you live in another country sometimes the plots often get very interesting and more surprising that what you would have expected and usually the they take more time to resolve as well. What remain constant is the love for sports, and my passion for football soccer, which makes everything’s more normal than what it is sometimes.

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Yes adapting to new places and culture takes time, accomplish things  also takes time and well when you live abroad you get a lot of plot twist, but it is all good,  like my fellow Italian will say; piano piano si arriva a lontano… or in English could be; slow but steady!

So here I am starting a new blogging year, so much to catch up, Champions League is good, Chelsea was eliminated by PSG in one of the first surprises at this stage, Real Madrid was close to say good-bye too but was saved by Cristiano Ronaldo and probably the clock, all very dramatic.

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Formula One is about to start a new season, it is almost race time!! This season is going to be interesting to see how all the changes and drivers move will impact the competition. Fernando Alonso got injured after a crash, he will miss the first race but he will be back in the following races, which I think after the accident he probably is happy about missing just one race, things could have been a lot worst.

Major League Soccer started their new season and New York City is going to be full of soccer with two teams in the competition, NYCFC and NY Red Bulls, this should be fun. And I am looking forward to see Raul playing for COSMOS too, he is a legend, some of the records players like Cristiano and Messi are breaking right now were or are his.

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NYCFC is a new team, David Villa and Mix Diskeruds are some of their stars, they are waiting on Frank Lampard’s arrival around mid season, all playing together for the first time and making Club history, although historic and all playing at Yankee Stadium is going to be a bit tricky, we will see.  NY Red Bulls without Tim Cahill, Thierry Henry  and with a new coach that got everyone by surprise, entered this season with lots of changes, it would be interesting to see how they will adapt, and I do like their stadium is very comfy.

If you have been following me on twitter you know that I  have been very much involved and have followed all things sports related, some more than others but I’ve been present there, but now it is all about sports blogging again!!

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Thanks for reading and stopping by all this time, let me know what do you think about what is going on with Real Madrid and if you are ready for a new F1 season?… If you live in NY, what team will you be supporting?? … let it go in the comment areas or let me know on twitter: @MonikjHerrera.

Have a great weekend!

I feel that after this long absent I should leave you with some funny pictures…

Pictures thanks to memesdeportes.com. and google.com

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Expectations, Curiosities, Handshakes, Dj’s and Blankets… It’s all about Football!

Hello !

The weekend is here, I was waiting for it so bad!…  It’s going to be a busy weekend, most European leagues are back after the International break, so the local battles are back too, lots of games and points to fight or defend and for some records to break. It should be interesting and hopefully fun!

Before submerge into the deep waters of the European league – ohh the ocean, with this cold weather I really miss you- but that’s not the point, back to submerge into the deep waters of every league lets look at some curious, funny and sometimes weird images and moments that this International break left us;

The Messi- Ronaldo show…

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Let’s start with the highly anticipated friendly between Argentina and Portugal  at Old Trafford, which for everyone it was a Messi vs Crisstiano Ronaldo match, everyone expected them to play at their best, to challenge each other and to try to prove who is the best of the World… They only played one half and for many they weren’t  that impressive, it was one of those “expectations were higher than reality” kind of moment.

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Anyhow what was interesting and funny was to see the incredible attention to every detail, move  or interaction both player had before, during and after the match :0, pictures, photos or analysis of how they look at each others, how strong was the handshake, who smile more, and many more things of that nature, it was just crazy but so enjoyable!!

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And this story is to be continued…. 😉

The name game, Casillas or Casilla??

I know this is silly but it’s funny too, if for some reason during the match between Spain and Germany you missed the moment when Iker Casillas was substituted by Kiko Casilla you probably would have thought at some point, wait, what happened?, did the commentators are missing the “s” in Iker’s last name, but then you would have look at the TV and at Spain’s goalkeeper and think he doesn’t look like Casillas at all, unless you are familiar with La Liga which most of you probably are, but for the ones that are not, know that there is an Iker Casillas and a Kiko Casilla (no “s” at the end) and both are goalkeepers. Haa!! It can be confusing at times… Or maybe just anecdotic!

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The weird note…

Goes to Xabi Alonso and his comments about Neuer being the best goalkeeper by far that he has ever played with,  emphasis in the “by far”, and how he deserves the Ballon d’or because he won the World Cup with Germany and the whole he is the best goalkeeper, comments that have created a big fuss because he just left Real Madrid and the comments are considered for some a direct attack o lack of support for Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo, of course you can support your new teammate but for many these comments are a little bit out of time or place, but hey he is free to express his opinion I guess, but oh boy he really stir the waters up!

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The sad news;

There are many player that get injure during the International break when playing with their national team, so we wish them all a speedy recovery, specially to Luka Modric, he will be out around three-months according to the latest report. Get well soon Luka!

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The introduction;

Let me introduce you to the Euro 2016 “Mascot”

Let’s conclude in our side of the pond;

Hard to understand if Mexico players  were getting ready to play or to have a pajama party! haha… They were trying to stay warm in this cold weathers! I like that they are kind of coordinated, and so into plaid! Fashion alert!!

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The USA probably needed some blankets after their lost 1-4 vs Ireland, and most probably in need of a serious pajama party after picking the ball up from their goal fourth times! 😦 Ouch!

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Let’s closed it with a famous DJ!! David Guetta wearing the Colombia national team jersey, a gift from James with an Instagram messages included!

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I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away…

I bet you started to sing… I did! 🙂

By the way if you are planning to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the Formula 1 season and the battle for the championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enjoy and I’ll probably be tweeting  during the race, I’ve been following F1 for some years now, but this season I’ve been so involved, that I am nervous  to know who will be the champion :O and I love it!!

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Thank you for reading and stopping by, feel free to leave any comment. What do you think about the whole Xabi Alonso comments situation? or Who is the best Messi or CR7? Ha… Also we can talk on twitter, you can fin me @MonikJHerrera

Have a great weekend!!

Besitos !

Pictures thanks to As.com, Marca.com. Deportestelemundo.com, Univisiondeportes.com, goal.com and BBCSport.com

Buckle Up… It’s The World Cup Final!!

Hello hello!!

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Yes the final is here!! Finally and sadly too we are ready for the last match of this World Cup, I don’t know what I am going to do with my life after this is over…. Ok I do know I will go back to my normal life which ever that is oiii….

Germany vs Argentina!!

Europe vs America kind of thing ;),  they have met two times before in previous finals, 86′ Argentina won, and 90′ Germany won, so this would be their third final and in a couple of hours we will find out which team will win this time!

Before getting into this final, can we please acknowledge the debacle of Brazil…

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Aside from ruin my dream final chances; Brazil vs Argentina, and ruin my predictions, I know who cares!!… I did ;(…  Anyhow, aside from that Oh Em Gee! Were you serious! that match was history in the making I mean I will tell my kids that Brazil was humiliated in their own backyard… say what? Yes that actually happened and I felt so shocked and sooo sad for all Brazilians, there is no excuse they are Brazil for crying out loud, they don’t or should not lose a match 1-7 … but the truth is that they did and it was one of saddest moments, forget about surprising, it was beyond that, if you think I am exaggerating or being dramatic (usually I am) this time Brazil gave us all the drama. Twitter went crazy, Facebook went crazy too, everyone was in total disbelief but at the end the only thing that matters is that we all hope that Brazil will renew, rebuilt or re-organized their football for the good of football and because that country deserve a better Seleção. They breath and live this sport to the maximum, so let’s hope after the storm or in this case the hurricane, things will change and they will be back to be the Brazil we all know and have admired for many years.

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Let’s move on because we have a bigger drama…. (now I am exaggerating… or maybe not) Is a final so it’s all drama, nerves, and emotions!!

Germany!

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The favorites, after the 7-1 vs Brazil, they kind of have that invincible  tag on them, but  a huge part of that was Brazil responsibility or lack of playing something, so let’s not all jump in the invincible tag yet, because yes they have been the more consistent, complete team in all their lines, defense, an incredible midfield and a great attacking, they are A Team and that is their strength, they not only have one or two great players they have like five great ones and the others are not far from that level, they have done a very solid tournaments, with just a few complications, Ghana wasn’t easy for them they only were able to tied 2-2, then vs USA they won but the white, red and blue had a couple of chances to complicate them, and later well Algeria gave them more than one problem so yes, they are not invincible but let’s put it this way they have looked very close to be too good to be true… They have put the good football and have the well deserved favorite title for this final.

Argentina!!

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Your have to play the match before to get the trophy, and for that I wouldn’t rule out Argentina… not so fast people… it seems that everyone is ready to give Germany the trophy and the World Cup without even playing the final, I said they are favorites but that’s one thing , being the Champions that a whole 90 minutes or more kind of other thing. Argentina which have grown during this tournament and as much as every one like to say that it’s Messi and 10 more, well it was at the beginning and he even saved and made them advance but what the good about Argentina is that in each match they have had a player that have stepped up, first was Di Maria who was the only one kind of supporting Messi, then Higuain made his appearance with that goal, and we have seen Lavezzi and Enzo Perez stepping up in the latest games, and Mascherano who is the soul of this team, so if you consider that, there is the chance that during the final all  of  them will step up at the same time.

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Yes one can argue that they haven’t done what we call a beautiful type of game, and they have played more on the defense side, and probably haven’t been as consistent as Germany but they have grown in this tournament, they have the players to do a good final, and it’s one match and anything can happen, so who knows, maybe Messi will become the World Cup legend everyone is expecting him to be,  and maybe they can give Germany a good fight and why not wining the World Cup… oiii those are big word!!

And they might have a secret player in their line up ;O

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It’s going to be a tough match or at least that is what everyone is expecting, we can have a trilling match or a boring one who knows, last World Cup final wasn’t as good as everyone expected so if is better than that one, I would be pleased hehehe…  Let’s pray hehe

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My prediction; ahhhh it’s tough, but I will jump…. I  will say Argentina!!!!

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(Disclaimer; This might be a bias prediction, I just want the Cup to stay in America, and well I kind of don’t like how everyone have already given Germany the Championship before playing haaa, so for that I would like to see Argentina proving them wrong hehe… I know is pure emotion! )

Hey it’s the World Cup, it’s all about passion and emotions! 🙂

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments area  who do you think will win the World Cup?  Which team will add another star to their jersey?

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Have fun, enjoy this last match and again, may the best one or the one that score more goals win!!

I leave you with this cool video from vine.

And of course a couple of funny pictures, one of the perks of this social media World Cup haha.

Besitos!

P.S; I’m usually live twitting during the match, so if you want to follow and join the conversation feel free to do it. @MonikJherrera

 Pictures; I found them on twitter, @Foxsoccer, @Brazuca, @FIFA  @J_Klinsmann and other users… now with twitter is hard to know who create or own the pcitures, if you own any of this please let me know I will credit you or take if down if you want to hehe…

Getting Emotional!… World Cup Quarterfinals :0

Hello there!!

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How is your World Cup going?… Mine is a bit too emotional

We are in quarterfinals!! Yeyyy, mix emotions, first this is the stage when things gets  better and more nerve-racking than the round of 16, but also the feeling that this will be over soon starts to grow… Nooooo.

We had two days without World Cup, and I couldn’t remember what I used to watch before started, and you got that emptiness feeling… I know I am so dramatic but it’s all good, every four years I can be as dramatic as I want to, it’s the fricking World Cup! 😉

So yes, my prediction skills are not that accurate haha I kind of suck at it, but hey some teams were a complete surprise!

Thanks you Spain, Italy and Portugal for ruin my predictions, but I was happy that the USA messed up with what I have thought, yeah I didn’t see them coming alive of that group but good that they did, it didn’t last that long though but it was fun for sure!!

And of course I am more than happy that Costa Rica was beyond all predictions, they redefine the phrase “Anything can happen” and I couldn’t be more happy for them! Central America love

Yes I didn’t learn the lesson, it’s so much fun to make predictions, think about possibilities and get them right or realizing that you were completely wrong!

Since the Internet is open and free I will give you my Quarterfinals predictions!!

Today’s matches:

The European clasico, I think France have looked more steady, some good matches, a bit of struggle vs Nigeria in RD of 16 but nothing major, on the other hand, I think Germany is always a favorite, but as usual they started great and then it was more like going downhill, but they are Germany, last match vs Algeria oh boy they suffered much more than expected and were close to say good-bye, but after that if they don’t come up with full determination and game they are going to make me look bad haha. Only because I think they cannot play worst than their last match I will give them the lead in this Europe head to head!

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Later today it’s a South America Samba vs Cumbia, let’s see who will have the last dance.  We all saw the incredible pressure on the Brazilian team, they were so close to be out of this World Cup vs Chile, those penalties were a manicure in the making, I felt bad for them and their tears, the tension and pressure of being the host team and five time World Champions is kind of too much, but it is what it is I guess. They haven’t shown much game, but to be honest the Jogo Bonito was gone long time ago, I’ve been listened to the same complain since like two or something World Cups ago, I do agree that this team aside from Neymar don’t have anyone else that can step up, like other Brazilian teams had in the past. Anyhow I still believe that now it’s a matter of just get the result that’s why I give them the win. But I wouldn’t be surprise if Colombia knock them out :0, they have played the best football, very entertaining, happy and proposing in attack, I really like how they have played so far, I guess they have nothing to lose and all to win so, they might.  I will be happy to see them dance again, by far best celebration!!

As you can see my heart is a bit divided, I don’t know, it will be heartbreaking to see Brazil with all that have happened previous to the tournament and the whole country expecting them to advance, and not making it to the final, that would be hard to watch. But you have Colombia and they WC journey have been a fun and full of hope and football… Even though I picked Brazil, I will leave this to the Football gods hehe

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Tomorrow we will have the second part of the Quarterfinals!

Argentina have been Messi and that’s it. They wouldn’t be in this stage if it wasn’t for him, they have a very good team but they have not shown what they can do, their last match was also bordering the drama, until Di Maria who I think aside from Messi is the one that has tried at least to do something in this tournament, the rest very intermittent. But they should advance, Belgium is not easy if you don’t agree ask Tim Howard and his 16  saves, they tried vs the USA and they couldn’t open the score as many times as they tried, but definitely there is a lot of potential and young and talented players, so this should be an interesting match.

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Last match is The Netherlands vs Costa Rica, this is kind of David vs Goliath, The super Orange team, playing not their usual style but a more fast and result oriented one, taking advantage of the speed and talent of their best men on the pitch, Robben, Van Persie and Sneijder. Although is fair to say that Robben can add professional actor to his talents and resume, my God, it’s like if he is really trying to win the fricking Oscar or something, I won’t even talk much, I think he takes away the beauty if this sport with those actions when he doesn’t need them, he is very good and one of the best player we have seen. The team suffered a lot with Mexico, but in theory they should go through.

I would be sooooo soooo happy if Costa Rica can pull this one off, come on Ticos, Pura Vida! I have faith that they would be the surprise of this World Cup, I mean they are not matter what happen in this match, they are by far one of the best stories in this World Cup, and one of the most inspiring, but it would be so nice to see them advancing to SEMIFINALS! Big deal people, big deal :0 !!!

I know I messed up the Quaterfinal thing in the chart below it should read Quarterfinals,  I blame my emotional connection to this match hahaha

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That’s how things are set up in this quarterfinals, I am nervous I won’t lie, I have many picks in this quarters that my heart is all over the place… I think the only easy one for my heart is Argentina- Belgium, sorry Belgium but this are things of the heart 🙂

Thank you for reading! I hope you have made your picks and good luck!! Let the nail biting begins hahaha

If you want to share your predictions or picks feel free to do it, we can compare or discuss opinions, or things of the heart ;)… Enjoy this matches and moments because we are getting close to the final oiii.

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Besitos!

Pictures, I made them in Photoshop (not a master piece but hey they do the job!), I use the icons from http://flagspictures.org, gif from Google I don’t know who own it.

 

Let’s play… World Cup Predictions!!

Hello, what’s up?

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I am watching you Brazil!! It’s Prediction time 😉

I did this last World Cup and had a mix result, so let’s try this again, I don’t have the skills of Paul the octopus, all my respect for him and may he rest in peace, he was the star of last World Cup predictions, he did it right!

So here we go, I Know most of the groups have already played their first matches, so we  can say that I have recent  information, but I will be honest with you, the latest result have nothing to do with these predictions, even with the surprises that we have witnessed I am sticking to my original pick,  I will go with my original instincts. I’m scare because some of them are in trouble right now but well I will take the risk… Living the risky life!! 😉 hehe

Same as last World Cup, are based on what I know about the teams, what I expect or consider they are capable to do. So let do this…

Let’s Start

My Predictions in blue!! This time I doing it in detail, I’m  picking two countries, the one I think will qualify at the top and the one in second place.  By the way these are not the Countries I am  supporting, these are the ones I predict will get out of their groups.

Group A Prediction Group B prediction Group C pred Group D pred Group E pred Group F pred Group G pred Group H pred

Well there you have it, let’s see how well I will do this time,  last World Cup my results were a 50/50 kind of thing,  thank God that I don’t do this as a living…  Once the group stage is over, then it’s head to head predictions yeyyy!!

Thanks for reading, feel free to share your picks if you have, or what country you are supporting if is not your own.

Maybe later I’ll share the ones I am rooting for… Those ones I pick them with the heart! ♥ aw

Besitos.

Pictures from google and FIFA.com (these one I cropped them  and edited on Photoshop, I like to play with Photoshop some times… As you can see is not my forte ;0

Hand full… of emotions at the World Cup.

Hola!!

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Sunday football!!!

The fourth day of actions at the World Cup has ended, so far it has been an incredible tournament, full of great football stunning moments and surprises. Overall great first days, and this is just  the beginning,

Group E and F made their debut this past Sunday, first it was Switzerland vs Ecuador, then France vs Honduras and we ended the day with  the marquee match of the day; Argentina vs Bosnia-Heregovina. And that led us to one of the big questions; Is Messi ready to be the star of this World Cup?

We would find out in the next four weeks! But before talking about Sunday’s games, it’s time to review some of the events of past days…

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“Oh My God”, this is the expression that I’ve been using describe the past days. We already covered the Opening ceremony and first day of actions with Brazil wining their game, referee controversy included… So let’s move on.

This is how Day two went down:

If I try to find words that would describe  what happen on day two of the World Cup, these are very appropriate to what we witness: Incredible, Unbelievable and Surprising.

Good Vibes

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Mexico left good vibes in their first match, a lot of people expected them to struggle more base on the awful qualifying process they had, remember they made it to play-off only thanks to that U.S goal, and barely made it to Brazil’s plane. Miguel Herrera Mexico’s head coach has done a great job, the team not only  looked good on the pitch but they also score and won their game, even when the referees had a different plan for them. Two disallowed goals for the Mexican team, both were legal and should have counted in the final score.  Well the good thing for Mexico was that they didn’t let those bad calls impact their game and concentration, into the second half Oribe Peralta scored the 1-0 for them and somehow fix the embarrassment that were the referees decisions.  Final result. Mexico 1-0 Cameroon and the 3 points. They closed Group A actions.

This is how this Group looks after first Matches.

Group A 1st match

The Debacle;

Spain v Netherlands: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Later that day it was time for the defending champions to take the pitch in the debut of Group B,  and Ohh. My. God!!!!  You wouldn’t believe what was happening unless you were watching it, it was like being in a parallel world.  Spain vs The Netherlands, a rematch of 2010 World Cup final, Holland a chance of revenge from their  2010 final defeat.  People say revenge is better served on a cold plate, well that’s how the whole Spanish team and country felt after the final whistle, Frozen, and not we couldn’t Let it Go… 😉

Spain started well, playing like Spain, they were controlling the midfield, the pace and possession, they were awarded with a penalty kick after Costa felt inside the box, a bit controversial nonetheless but anyhow Xabi Alonso scored to put La Roja up 1-0 and at that moment it was business as usual and nobody even imagined what was coming; the Debacle… It all started with Robin Van Persie’s flying header, a play that has earned him a new nickname “The Flying Dutch” 😉 hehe… It was an incredible goal, and so far the best in the tournament, and on top of that it was a game changer for The Netherlands.  We went into half time thinking oh boy Van Persie and Van Gaal needed to practice the high-five, or avoid it at all…

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Fail High-Five hehe

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The teams came back to the pitch to start the second half and then the most surprising thing happened; The Spanish Meltdown, it was hard to watch, first Robben scored a nice goal and left the Spanish defense in confusion, and apparently they couldn’t get out of that stage, what a revenge from Robben, we all remember he missed two good chances in last World Cup final, and one of those misses could have given them the championship, a hard feeling to overcome, but I guess four years kind of give you the time to not only overcome those moments but to come back and crush your  rivals.

The third  goal was the beginning of Iker Casillas’ nightmare and worst performance in his career, the goal came from a fault that Stefan Vrij finish with a header,  he missed  it on the air, ok we can argue he was fault by Van Persie which I think he was, but anyway Vrij scored, then the fourth was an awful mistake, those that you never thought Casillas was capable of doing, but he is human…

I meant he made a hugh error in the Champions League final , we all saw it, it was bad but it was kind of bad decision to go on the air, but the fourth goal in this match, he just gave the ball to Van Persie, completely out of focus and bizarre, like one of those football bloopers we have seeing before from other less experience goalkeepers, I felt so bad, I am softy and he has been an incredible goalkeeper, for many years he was the best and his resume is more than impressive, so seeing him in that .situation was so  sad and incredible weird. Robben made the fifth goal to kill the Spanish team, Worst lost of a current Champion in World Cup history.

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 Spain have been in this situation before, they lost their first game on 2010 World Cup, but this time was different, not only they lost the match but they lost it  by five goals and the way they play that second half it just impossible to explain, they couldn’t respond when they were down and couldn’t find an answer or a way to come back, awful defense, Ramos and Pique were completely lost, and the whole team was slow and without that hunger to fight until the last-minute.

All the media in Spain are still trying to find out the answer to the million dollar question, what happened?

Some of those answers go from this is the end of an era, it’s time to renew the team and make some big changes, some players already hit their national team clock, or they have won everything that they might not have the same desire to keep wining, to the less football relate answers like it was the climate, training in a cold weather and playing in hot conditions, among other not relate answers.

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The truth is that they play bad football (soccer) in that second half,  lack concentration, tiredness, less hunger or whatever you want to called it, it was a humiliating lost for them and it would be interesting to see if they can comeback from this defeat, I certainly would like to see it, for the good of their legacy, you can’t end an era in such an awful way.

On the other hand, The Netherlands got their revenge even if they said they didn’t want that, you can see it, they really wanted to change the image they left in that final (I called them ninjas in my 2010 World Cup final post) and well…. Mission accomplished, they left a good impression, very organized, great strategy from Van Gaal and great performance from their team powerful players, Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder and company.

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As expected, not so much;

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Last match of day two, was Chile vs Australia, the result was according to what people expected but it wasn’t an easy win for Chile,  the Socceroos as the Australia national team are known, gave them a good fight, Tim Cahill who plays for the NY Red Bulls scores the goal that equalized the match before Chile took the advantage, not before struggling with some plays from the Australian team. Final score Chile 3-1 Australia, wasn’t as easy as the result might reflect. This match closed the actions of group B.

This is how Group B looks after first match.

Group B 1st match

Overall it was a day full of emotions, believe me I was exhausted at the end and still in disbelief of what had happened to Spain but happy for an incredible tournament,  this is why we love the World Cup, crazy and surprising things can happen at any time, dreams are accomplish and sadly some are crush. To think that these are only the first matches is very promising and we all hope that the level of the competition will only  increase…

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What do you think about Spain, what can the do to fix this, Del Bosque should bench Iker or what changes he needs to do, if you have any idea let me know in the comments, or on twitter @MonikJHerrera  I like to tweet a lot haha. ;0 my secret weakness…

Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this World Cup as much as I am haha, I am loving it so far, a lot of quality, lots of goals, emotional games, celebration and colorful stadiums… we can not ask for more, or maybe 😉

I leave you with some of the curious, funny or weird pictures of the day two of the World Cup!

See you soon!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Marca.com, FIFA.com, and random pictures on Twitter and Tumblr.com

World Cup… Basic kit!

Hello hello!!

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We are full World Cup mode ON…  For most of us Football soccer lovers, our lives revolve around the tournament, the talks, parties, BBQs, activities, jobs, our entire schedule is base on who is playing and at what time… Crazy I know but the good news is that it only happens every four years!! 😉

To be able to put our normal life on hold for a months we need to know the basic World Cup kit, in order to organized and schedule our life for the next month.

First the Groups.

After the play-off, we find out the latest teams that made it to Brazil, then we had the final draw ceremony, which increased our anxiety because it happened months before the opening ceremony, but it allowed us to prepare for kick-off time.

In between the draw ceremony and  the kick-off match we had the road to Brazil, those were the friendly matches that the national teams played to get ready for the tournament, toned up matches, I had the chance to go to three games!! Wohoo I will share my experience later, it will be like my throwback thursday or something like that.

Anyway the point is that we need to know the groups and  how the 32 countries were distributed meaning who plays who!!

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Once we had the groups we identified the group of death just because if your  national team is part of that group you start to pray or prepare for any outcome, after all it’s called the group of death because it’s the hardest one…. But one thing we know is that in a World Cup anything and everything can happen!!

Groups notes:

  • The group of death of 2014 is “Group G”…  Germany, Ghana, Portugal and USA. The  USA was eliminated last world cup by Ghana, who has advanced to the next stage or out of the group stage the last two World Cups, Portugal has Ronaldo as their star and a some important players Pepe, Coentrao and Nani, and Germany well even if you don’t follow football soccer you know that they usually are very good, base on history they are consider a super power team on the football world, another story is to see how good they will be in this tournament. Now we understand why all the media picked this group as the group of death.
  • I think even if the others groups are not supposed to be as hard as group G, some are more complicated than others.
  • Group A; Brazil wont have it easy we saw that Croatia wasn’t easy and let’s see if Mexico or Cameroon can complicate them, as well Spain in group B has Chile a tough one for them and well The Netherlands and you probably already know what happened, Group D is also a bit complicated, three out of the four have been World Cup Champions before, Uruguay, England and Italy.
  • The rests of the groups are less complicated in most people opinions.

The Bracket

Once we know the ups and downs of the groups… We need a bracket, I am not used to fill in a bracket in advance like predictions for each match, I don’t do that, I use it more to follow-up results and to see who will face who in the next Stage, but if you want to fill them in, if you haven’t done that yet you still have time, we still have a lot of matches ahead.

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Matches Schedule

Then we need to know the schedule, so we can decided which matches to watch, or as in my case to plan the non football relate activities I need to do ;). The one below is FIFA’s schedule that I really like, because I have the groups and their abbreviations to use when I’m tweeting and also I can see which teams play every day. But it’s in Brazil time zone, so for example here in New York we have one hour less than Brazil, so for me is still easy, but you just can look at your TV programing to find out about the hours.

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Where to watch it.

I usually watch the games at home, I’m more comfortable and also I have wi-fi all the time haha… But for some matches I do like to go out and watch it with other soccer fans, so bars and viewing parties are perfect. I like to keep it simple, I wont spend all day in a bar but if you want to… 😉 hehe

Most probably a bars near you will have the tournament on theirs TVs but if not usually magazines or newspapers will give you ideas. In New York there a couple of list even with maps so you can decided depending where you live.

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Other option is to search soccer supporters website to find out where they will meet and you can join them, just be careful and be safe if you don’t know them. Some MLS teams are having public viewing parties for certain matches in the U.S so check their websites too.

 Online/ Application Options

So if you don’t have access to a TV to watch the matches, nowday most probably the network that has the WC rights have an online streaming, or an application to download and follow all the action. In the U.S, Univision has free online streaming and applications for your phone, ESPN also has an application although I don’t remember if you need to subscribe or something, I’ll double-check and update. For other places check the networks online pages, they will have all information.

Twitter – I really  like twitter coverage of the World Cup, you find a lot of information with hashtags, follow journalist or people who are in Brazil, and also have fun with the falshtags, when you use a hashtag with the official FIFA country abbreviation a flag of the country will appear next to the letters, which is really cool, also they have other cool options like teams logos, or teams profile type of pictures. If you are using a computer results in real-time will appear on the side… see why I am kind of obsess with twitter specially during the world cup!

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Google – They have some cool things, like statistics and schedule of matches, also quick search and other things like that. I love the World Cup Google doddles, they are so cute!!

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I think these are the basics things to know what’s happening during the World Cup, probably you already knew this but just in case you just joined the soccer fever this is a good start.

Later we can look other things that make the whole World Cup experience more fun, like national teams Jerseys, Fashion, how to party and other type of essentials for the tournament.  At the end it’s all about having fun, enjoy and experience all about it. The serious things and the silly and funny things too.

Thanks for reading, let me know if this is kind of helpful, or if you  have other ideas or basic information that we need to know to have more fun while enjoying the World Cup, feel free to leave a comment.

In honor to the host Country lest dance a little bit to celebrate all goals!!

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 Have a great day!!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to Google.com. fifa.com, 8by8mag.com, NYTimes.com, Twitter.

 

Spaghetti and meatballs, it’s called soccer!! lol ;)

Hola!

I know I know, I have  been terrible,  too many things happening so fast, this WC schedule it’s crazy!!  Yeah yeah excuses and excuses lol…. But no worries I am working on some posts about La Liga and what some UEFA Champions League games left us with, it was interesting! Which means more Football… Ook soccer lol

But meanwhile, let’s enjoy that TGIF and laugh a bit!

I love this video, I think we see this every weekend and during midweek with some players!!

 

Don’t forget  me…  😉

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Friday!!

Besitos!

Video from YouTube  user Daniel Munguia

Summer nights, transfers, dramas and Pre-season fun!

What’s up? Hello hello!!

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Ahh what a nice summer night… I feel like summer is about to be over and I still haven’t gone to the beach… breaking my record, and that’s not a good one!

Anyhow, at least I am checking up what is happening! Things are moving fast this days!

Let’s talk about Football!!!

Well since things in our side of the globe are actually slowing down, national teams will be back until September for more World Cup Qualifications, let’s catch up with the clubs in the other side of the world, which ironically most of them are jumping to this side of the pond!!

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Real Madrid started their pre-season or Summer Tour a couple of weeks ago, they played Bournemout, then they had a real test with O. Lyon and ohh boy, that was not pretty forget their previous result 6-0, this time it was a more competitive team, O.Lyon was already ahead of the whites in their pre-season preparation, so it was a tough game for Real Madrid, they were never comfortable, Ancelotti tried to stablished his strategies, but it seems that the team hasn’t been able to read them or understand them just yet!

They were able to tied the game in the second half after being down 2-0, the final result was 2-2, and a lot of notes for Ancelotti and his coaching team if they want to be as ready as possible.

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The next game was vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), I missed that game so I can’t say much about it, I know it was Ancelotti’s old team so it was interesting for sure, the result was a 1-0 a win for Real Madrid, base on what the media reported it was somehow a more leveled match, the Whites showed some talent, made some great passes and showed some  ball movement, but PSG also gave them good things to work on… but since I didn’t watch it, I can’t give you my thoughts so let’s move on…

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That was the last game they played in Europe before starting their American Tour, the International players, the ones that got extra vacations due to their participation in the Confederation Cup joined the team. Los Blancos started their traditional pre-season tour in the U.S for the four consecutive year, they chose UCLA training facilities as their house for the next couple of weeks, now Ancelotti has all his players together to start their full training…

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Well he is waiting for one more… and we are all waiting to know how much money he will cost…. Some transfers are real dramas, the Gareth Bale case it’s a clear example… dramaaaa….  it has gotten to a kind of ridiculous point, according to reports, Tottenham president didn’t want to let him go, even with the player decision and desire to leave the club, so he increased his  price. Latest news were that Real Madrid was willing to pay €85 millions (:0:0:0)  like seriously that is a lot of euros!! A lot of money, but Tottenham president later said that if Real Madrid want him, they will  have to pay €140 million of Euros…. that is absolutely beyond words, they are in negotiations but the numbers are just crazy, 80, 85 or 100 millions that would be the most expensive player since like ever… I mean like holy mother!!!

 Gareth Bale Tottenham Hotspur

I know he is good, he can play several positions and marketing wise he is consider one of the best and most famous players in the world, he was named last season the best player of the English Premier League (EPL), so his sponsors increased as well, he has not reach Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi o Neymar marketing levels, but he is getting there, so the Club will have that to build up and recover for that incredible holy cheese investment they will do, because even with the presidents of each club still in negotiations, he will end up signing for the White House!  I just think that for that incredible amount of money he has to become a true legend in this game lol…. just saying, to justified that craziness!! Any how that drama is still going on…. we were missing that summer transfer soap opera, as always, they never fail to entertain…

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Real’s first game in American soil was vs LA Galaxi, and the final result was a 3-1 victory, Isco is making some difference in his firsts games with Real Madrid, all players need to do their best, getting a starting spot is going to be a competitive thing among them. I think that will be good for the team, they have to reach a good level, not there yet even with this wins there is still a lot of work for Ancelotti, Zidane and Co.!

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Below you can see what cities they would play in their USA tour, so if you are there… ohh lucky you!! lol You can go and check what the heck is all the buzz about them!

TOUR 2013 MATCHES
      21/07 AFC Bournemouth 0-6 Real Madrid (Bournemouth,Endgland)
      24/07 Olympique de Lyon-Real Madrid (Lyon, France)
      27/07 Real Madrid-PSG (Goteborg, Sweden)
      01/08 Real Madrid-Los Ángeles Galaxy (Phoenix, USA)
      03/08 Real Madrid-Juventus or Everton (Los Ángeles, USA)
06-07/08 Real Madrid-(opponent to be confirmed) (Miami, USA)
      10/08 Real Madrid-Inter Milán (Saint Louis, USA)

 Schedule Source: realmadrid.com

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As it was already a done deal, Pipita is now in Naples with his new team Napoli, that was a very good deal for the Real Madrid, and  I think base on the welcoming el Pipa got when he arrived there, he would be fine, that was an airport full of fans and the stadium showed him a lot of love in his presentation!

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I have to bring Sexy David Beckham to the conversation hahaha…. I mean he is a symbol in this game, he might not be the best player in the world, he was great in his position and he definitely gave to this sport a new definition there was a before him and after in Football history, at least in my humble opinion, so for that he deserves a mentioned today! He went to visit his former teammates at UCLA and took pictures with old friends and with new ones. He is retired but is always good to see him!

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OK one more gossip mention :/… I know I am in so papo mode… Congrats to the future father to be, Iker and his journalist reporter Sara Carbonero, are expecting their first baby, for sure it will be cute… so that’s it papo (paparazzi) mode off. I am not even going to comment on Messi’s famous scandalous pictures… I’m being a good girl haha

What is going on in Camp Barça?

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Well they have been a bit quiet lately, they played their pre-season games vs Bayern Munich,  it was a bit to forget, not their best performance, they look a bit lost, without any direction or style, but it was just a friendly and their new coach was not with them at that time. But now Tata Martino has taken full control of the Team!

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Their second game was Neymar debut with Barcelona, and let’s put it like this, he got the chance to wear the jersey, that was pretty much the only news we got after the game, it might be early, he even said it he needs time to adapt to the team and get use to play with his new teammates, so let’s see him in next games. Tata Martino has started to work with the team so we might see a different result… Yesterday Neymar and Messi played together for the first time in the team presentation, and I guess they wanted to make it count, 8-0 vs Santos (Brazil)…

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Everything looks so promising!

What is not that promising on another note is how the crisis is affecting some clubs, specially in Spain, I talked about how good their league is, but with the recession and their economic crisis, some clubs are struggling and some are not even able to pay to their staff or players, it’s difficult, some clubs won’t have the money to reinforce their teams, and some other are selling their best players most of them to other leagues like the Premiere, Italy or France, in other to have some incomes from those sales and be able to respond to their employees, something that will definitely impact the league but at the end the saddest part is the people who is affected by this, you know what made this possible is the humans that work hard in all levels of a club…

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But I think we have to keep our hopes high, things have to get better sooner or later, at least we can hope, meanwhile we still can enjoy this beautiful game and some of its best performers!!

 Interesting notes!!

I guess blonde is the new trend!!… Do they really have more fun?? I  might consider going blonde lol…  Ramos showed up with his new hair style. What do you think, can he pull it off?

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Cristiano Ronaldo was invited to throw the first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game… I think he will stick to Football.

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 Thanks for reading!! I hope you are having  nice summer nights!!… And feel free to share your thoughts, what will you do with €85 million that’s like $100 something million of dollars… ahh what I would not do with that… lol!!

Besitos

Pictures thanks to Real Madrid official Facebook page, FCBarcelona.com and Gareth from Google images…

Surprises!! Who will stand up in the Windy City??

Hello!!

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If there is some kind of football or sport hangover, I might have woken up today a bit tipsy from all yesterday actions!

Some good surprises but let’s face it for others today was one of those horrible next morning hangovers, the ones you get after a sick party, like head spinning… and I don’t drink, I just know this facts because my friends have told me…. I swear!! Pinky swear!!

Today we’ll stay in our side of the pond!

The Gold Cup semifinals!! What a run… it was emotional,  we know CONCACAF it’s not the best confederation and for sure it’s not even close to be, but for better or worst depending on what country you live in, it involves our nations so it makes it closer to our dear hearts!

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First on the lineup was USA – Honduras, interesting game, I thought that Honduras was going to be more difficult for the stars and stripes, but the USA made it look like it was so easy, they scored early in the first half (Eddie Johnson) and from then it was another story, they played with velocity getting to Honduras’ side of the Pitch fast and complicating their defense in every approach… I don’t know what happened with Honduras I thought they would have had more resources to give a little bit more of a balance fight or at least to make it look like it was a bit harder for the US… They were able to discount in the second half, but in less than a minute,  the Red, White and Blue was up in the score board again thanks to Landon Donovan who is at his best!

If you are an Honduras fan, believe me I feel you :(…  Painful to see you team losing so close to the final… but well there will  be more chances!! They had an amazing run in the tournament, all recognitions to “La H” getting to Semis, big congrats!!

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And for the USA if it wasn’t clear enough, yesterday they made a very convincing statement, as today they are the strongest and best team in the tournament and probably in the region, again as of now…. I know Mexico has been or has held that title for a while but I think right now they should work out things if they want it back.  The USA is now in a win streak, I know in a Final it can go both ways, but they look strong to win this, and don’t forget that ahead of this tournament the next big thing is the World Cup Qualifications and this just make them stronger, Klinsmann has a vast pool of players now to face the final stage of the hexagonal!

Although I think he has to learn to control his emotions a little bit, he might not be in the final, because the referee sent him out yesterday, he got ejected from the game, there were some mix reports, even the CONCACAF itself wasn’t sure if he will be allowed to be in the Final or not… I’ll update it before Sunday. He apologized later “It was a reaction out of frustration,” he said. “It was not meant against the referee, against anybody. It was just frustration. I apologize for that.”… I mean his team was wining, basically he was in control of the game, and it was just a matter of time to be over and he protested a foul on one of his players… I get it if you are loosing and if you are like in desperate mode, but at that time, I think was a bad judgment and bad timing, even if you think the referee made a mistake, he put himself in that position, don’t risk it if you have already one and  half of the other foot in the Final… just saying…

Final result was USA 3-1 Honduras.

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Next on the board, was Mexico- Panama this was the big surprise and what probably made more than one feel today like they just had their worst hangover… Everybody and probably even CONCACAf too wanted Mexico in the Final, it would have been a dream final, when Mexico moved to semifinals, and we saw an improvement in their game, which hasn’t been the best for a while, and the conversation will go on after last night, but well everyone thought we were getting ready for a dreamy scenario a final USA- Mexico,  they have been for a while probably the two stronger teams in the region, but then Panama said wait a second, this is not over until is over, and they just got themselves first row tickets to the Windy City, Chicago.

Panama scored early too, after an awful mistake from Mexico’s defense, Panama was fast and even though they didn’t get many chances, they were very effective, Mexico struggled once again, they were able to tie the game but couldn’t take the lead at any point and I think they never found themselves in that position, so despite the fact that most of the fans in that Arena were supporting Mexico, they just had to say good-bye to the tournament, and for sure there will be a lot of talking about the team, but mostly about their Coach, Jose Manuel de la Torre “El Chepo de la Torre”, his place in the team was already in question even before the tournament started and now, well we have to wait to see if this would have an impact in his continuity.

Final result Panama 2-1 Mexico.

Next… Chicago!! So I don’t want to brag about it, but well I’ll do it anyway haaaa….  I got it right!!!!! lol… Yes please a round of applauses or let’s shake it with some dance moves!!

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I said it,  USA – Panama to the final, and that’s what we will have on Sunday, in Chicago, I just hope it will be an interesting and very entertaining full of emotions final!! That is what every football fan always wants! 😉

Anyway I tell you my prediction later on… I just want to have some suspense… buuuu… Seriously, I will let you know what I think and I will jump in the pool, with a score prediction!! Ahhhh…..

Thanks for reading, you are definitely very kind and very patience!! Thank you, thank you and thank you, if you too want to jump in the pool, hey just tell me in the comments who you think will win the Gold Cup and what the score will be… my sincere apologizes if you get it right I don’t have an award but you will have the unbelievable reward of telling everyone; haaaaa I just got it right or haaaaa I knew it!!! lol

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Thank you, take care everyone!!

PS. When I started to write the post It was still Thursday!!… is 19 min of Friday now at least here in NYC haha… but I messed up the time in the post, don’t know how :/

Pictures thanks to We it, CONCACAF. CBS sports and Goodgle.com (images)

Besitos!