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

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

Saturday’s Flashback Soccer!… Congrats to the LA Galaxy! MLS Champions!

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Congratulations to the LA Galaxy for their fifth MLS Cup title!!

December is not only the last month of the year but also the month of the Major League Soccer final. This year the LA Galaxy won a very emotional title after Robbie Keane scored the game-wining goal, their fifth in their history, becoming the first and only team to accomplished that impressive milestone, #FirtstoFive was the trending hashtag among their fans. The victory was their third title in four years a very difficult and special achievement, only done before by D.C United, therefore Congratulations for an incredible and fun season for the team and the fans!!

Emotional was indeed taking into consideration that Landon Donovan announced his retirement long ago and all his fans were counting down the days until his last game, and he couldn’t ask for a better send off, wining his seventh and last championship,  retiring as the top player in USA soccer history, he is by far the best player this nation has produced for many reasons, including, accomplishments, character and relevance that he has brought to the sport called soccer,  even some controversial moments will remain as part of his legacy!

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A legacy that is mostly positive and has earned him the title and prestige of being called the best US soccer player, a true legend of the sport in this country, and a favorite for all LA Galaxy fans, and the club where he played most of his career.

The LA Galaxy made it to the final by defeating a good Seattle Sounder team to win the western conference, as one of the most accomplished teams in MLS, with ninth MLS Cup finals, a league record, the expectations for the LA Galaxy are always high, whether fans outside Los Angeles like it or not.

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On the other side NE Revolution had a tough semifinal against the NY red bulls and  Thierry Henry one of the most accomplish player in MLS history who later announced his retirement from all US soccer, his last game in US soil was intense and entertaining, at the end NE Revolution won the Easter conference title and left the NY Red Bulls and Thierry Henry with a feeling that they gave it all during a second leg match that was  intense and with good quality.

The semifinal might have been tough but they won it, a contrast with their MLS Cup final, the fifth time they reached the final and once again for the fifth time they couldn’t win, that must have been hurtful and difficult to digest, but the good news for them is that football doesn’t give you too much time to grief or feel sorry about, as soon as you finish one season the work for the next one starts.

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Next season is just a few months away and it would be interesting. A new season without Landon Donovan nor Thierry Henry and with two new teams,  Orlando City Soccer Club and New York City FC, both have added to their brand new rosters some well-known and accomplished, a bit older but still elite players like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaka, they might not be in their prime time anymore, but they might still have some class to show and contribute to the league, only time will tell.

Compelling times for MLS and I am happy to get more involved with this upcoming new season!  The good news for all New Yorkers, now, instead of one they get two teams and maybe a rivalry?… what is for sure is that they get more football. The Red Bulls Arena is a nice and beautiful stadium and now  you can add to your NYC football places the Yankee Stadium, that’s a lot of history that now will include a bit of football or let’s say soccer in their legacy!

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Thanks for reading and stopping by, let me know what do you think, who will be the next Donovan? Or no one can replace him as a symbol of U.S soccer? What about the new signed players like Villa, Lampard, etc are they too old to play in MLS,  it will help or make it worst??

Ok enough questions… Just let me know your though if you want you can do it in the comments or to my twitter @MonikJHerrera

Pictures from; mine, LATimes.com, revolutionsoccer.net, socceryanks.com. NYCFC facebook page.