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

El clasico final in Berlin?… to be or not to be?…

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How are the chances of having “El Clasico” in the biggest scenario of football clubs, the UEFA Champions league?

We are about to find out, this week we will know which teams will meet in Berlin for the final. The last time I posted about El Clasico, it was the one Barcelona and Real Madrid played in La Liga, it finished with a victory from Barcelona. Although a mix feelings from Real Madrid’s fans, for some the team played with heart, for others a lost is a lost.

The Champions League sometimes can be predictable and sometimes it can surprise us, at this stage the four teams playing the semifinals are European football powerhouses, all have won the title before, some are more favorites than others but any of the four could reach the final.

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For the past few CL seasons the idea of a Real Madrid- Barcelona final had been in the air, both teams reached semifinals in the last few season teasing all fans with a possible El Clasico final, but it did not happen, either both were eliminated, or only one of them advanced to the final like what happened with Real Madrid last season.

As soon as both were placed in different sides and facing different rivals this season some fans and the media started to dream with a final between these two arch rivals, let’s be honest that has a possibility of being one of those great and historic finals, but one thing is to dream about it and another one is the reality of both clubs.

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So far Barcelona has half of the ticket to Berlin and most probably is about to get the other half in the next two hours, if Bayern can not pull out a comeback. RealMadrid has a complicated second leg on Wednesday after their 1-2 result in Italy vs Juventus. It’s interesting how many people thought that Real Madrid probably had better chances because Juventus were considered among the four semifinalist the one with fewer options, but at the end football can change from one game to another.

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Just look at how things have shifted for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, the first one started the season with many doubts and in the middle of a weird relationship between Luis Enrique and Messi, but apparently all that is water under the bridge now, and they are having an incredible end of the season, the players form and their game have set them a part from the rest, they are probably the favorite, the MSN (Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar) are having the best end of the season. That is what could be called, good timing.

Barcelona- Bayern Munich in the papers was probably the match that everyone expected to be very  close and difficult, and it was for most part of the game during the first leg, but in three minutes Messi changed it all, now Bayern needs maybe not a miracle but close to that.

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On the contrary Real Madrid went from the best team at the beginning of the season to be in the edge of a non title season. Iker Casillas is getting some heat from some fans, as well as the BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano) not much love for them, specially for Bale and a little bit for Ronaldo, and since Benzema is injured, he is kind of on the safe. At this point, it all depends of what happens this Wednesday, it seems that they have said goodbye to La Liga after Saturday’s result, and now their only option is the Champions League, but Juventus is a tough rival, specially now that they have the result on their favor, they can defend pretty well that’s the Italian style.

Real Madrid seems to be under trouble waters, facing critics after the latest results, their timing couldn’t be worst, important players injured and others criticized by their fans.

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Ancelotti needs to come up with a lineup that would cover the injury problems and the players need to have a good game, one of those magical Champions League nights at the Bernabeu, otherwise the dream of the eleventh (Undecima) will banish pretty fast and tougher times will come. Real Madrid is a club where fans expect victory all the time, that is the way it is. They either make it happen in the Champions League or they are heading to a very long and uncomfortable summer.

What is for sure is that we will be watching, many are praying to the Football gods to have that dream “El Clasico” final but for now let’s enjoy the excitement, nerves and nail biting that are Champions League Semifinals!!

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Thank you for reading and let me know if you would like to see a Real Madrid – Barcelona final, or would you prefer other option?

Feel free to leave a comment here or on my twitter; @MonikJHerrera.

Pictures thanks to UEFA.com, noticiasaudio.com, ibetimes.com, bleachreport.net, sport.net, Real Madrid official Facebook. 

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

From the dream to the Reality of LA DECIMA!

   Hello hello!

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The day has arrived!! Wohoooo…. Yes you know what I am talking about, The World Cup,  just the freaking best tournament of the whole world!!

As you can see or read I am more than happy, thrill, excited… I can go on with all the emotions that every human being that love this sport is feeling at this moments. It’s a matter of hours and then Brazil will kick off!

But before getting into the most amazing tournament, I feel I have to close some open topics in this blog. First I am the worst blogger in the world (probably… I still love myself hehe) I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a long time, I didn’t realize how long I haven’t written in my blogs until a couple of weeks ago, times flies people, specially when you are facing some challenges and some re-organization in your life… hand up that’s me.

I have so many ideas and new projects but before come up with those I went thru  sickness back to health and  personal stuff that needed my attention and also distracted me for blogging… I felt the need to let you  know why this long absent.

Anyway back to what is important in this world; “Futbol” “Fpotball” ” Soccer”

Let’s start!

Pictures speak louder than words… or something like that haha

The picture below was posted on Iker Casillas’s official Facebook  on April 30, 2013, it represented the sentiment of that day, Real Madrid was left out of the biggest scenario at a Club level, they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League in Semifinals for the fourth consecutive season.

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The tears from Iker Casillas and Ramos from that day were of sadness and disappointment.  But then just a season later on May 24th 2014 ohh boy how things changed, in the pictures below the tears were of relief at first and then total happiness!!

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Totally understandable after  the most crazy if not the craziest game in terms of emotions… The nerves were at the highest level,  Atletico de Madrid were wining the match  up until the 90 minute, even the players on the bench or at the stands were getting ready to celebrate, then  the referee added five more minute of stoppage time, which for a lot of people was too much,  for others was appropriated, but controversy aside, back into the game at the 2:50-3:00 minute mark the miracle for Real Madrid happened in the name or more to say in the head of Sergio Ramos, with an incredible header goal that brought Real Madrid back to life and allowed the game to go on extra time…

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Half of the stadium went crazy, it was insane for Real Madrid fans who thought that La Decima was slipping away, but Ramos brought back  the most amazing feeling for a football (soccer) fan, insanely special happiness, they were alive again and they had 30 minutes to change the course of the match…

In the other side for Atletico was the worst that could happened to them, they were almost lifting the Cup and suddenly after all the effort it was now back to starting point, but  with tired bodies and legs and they just simple couldn’t keep it up…  The fans were in disbelief and the sadness, tears were starting to show up in some faces. The dream of accomplish an epic deed, two titles La Liga and The Champions League was now far way, from heaven to hell in one minute, once again the Champions League just couldn’t happen for them.

Real Madrid were obsess with La Decime even if they were trying to diminish the feeling everyone knew that being that close made it all more real and the obsession was at the highest, all Real Madrid fans had been dreaming for the past 12 years, yeap that’s the time between their last Champion League title. Most young people below let’s say 15 or 16 years had never celebrated a Champions League and for them it was  more like an urban story until that minute when Di Maria the best of the Match, hurtled into  Atletico’s penalty area and shoot but Thibaut Courtois palmed it to the back post where Gareth Bale was waiting to seal the deal with another almost impossible header to make. An at that moment the craziness in one side were over the top, La Decima was there in their hands it was going to be just about minutes to make it official.

Remember the summer transfer drama with Gareth Bale, Real Madrid paid millions, the most expensive player and this is how he made it all about football.

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Base on how tired Atletico’s players were and what this goal meant for them we all knew it was over… Atletico just couldn’t hold it, the effort was huge during the 90 minutes and they just couldn’t answer at all, it was sad to see that side of a final the other team.

But for all Madridistas, all Real Madrid fans this was the dream, the obsession becoming a reality. Marcelo with a very emotional goal for him made it 3-1 and then Cristiano who after wining the Ballon D’Or had an incredible season, but with some difficulties at the end of the season due to an injury that kept him away from the pitch for a few games, but he wasn’t going to miss this game, he play and forced a penalty that he also converted in the fourth for Real Madrid, La Decima was a reality, minutes later the final whistle sounded and then tears of happiness and completely excitement was the emotions for the new Champions!

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And yes ladies he had to take his jersey off.. why not it was the Champions League final, what the heck… and I can guess some of you were more than happy, I have to give it to Ronaldo 😉 haha

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Finally after a long 12 years LA DECIMA was a reality. Watching Casillas lifting the cup was very interesting, after all the suffering and doubts he had at the beginning of the season,  as you probably remember he was the center of the other drama, he was benched by Mourinho in the previous season and it was a whole soup opera drama at it best, but this last season with Carlo Ancelotti everyone thought he was  going to be back to be the number one goalkeeper and then we learned that he was going to play only Copa Del Rey and the Champions League… Real Madrid lift both Cups and he still has that angel, that Santo level, it wasn’t his game during the final, he made an awful mistake that gave the first and only goal to Atletico, and later he made all Madridistas suffer with another close call type of mistake. But after all they wouldn’t have made it to the final if it wasn’t for his saves in that incredible road to Lisbon that they had.

Congrats to Real Madrid for wining the UEFA Champions League for the 10th time, La DECIMA!!

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Then it was time to offer the Cup to the goddess La Cibeles

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More on the celebration later. (Upcoming post)

Congrats to Atletico it was an amazing run for them, lots of effort and over all a great season, La Liga Champions, and Champions League finalist.

I leave you with this video, I think it kind of recap the feeling and atmosphere of the looker room! During Ancelotti press conference some members of the team led by Ramos and Marcelo interrupt Ancelotti to chant kiss their Coach, the Mister!

 

Thanks for ready I know it’s kind of out of time, but I like this recaps, and I relive the whole thing while doing it. hehe

Let me know your thought on Real Madrid’s 10th Champions League Title!! Fee free to leave a comment 🙂

 

Besitos!

 

Pictures from Iker Casillas Facebook official page, and Real Madrid’s Facebook. Video from Skype on Youtube.

 

 

 

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

The road to Lisbon starts today!! UCL

Hello!!

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The Champions league is about to start!! First Match for some teams is today, and for the rest is tomorrow!!

So excited!

Today this is what we will be looking;

Group A

Man. United (Flag) Man. United
Leverkusen (Flag) Leverkusen
And

 Real Sociedad (Flag) Real Sociedad

Shakhtar Donetsk (Flag)Shakhtar Donetsk

Group B

Galatasaray (Flag) Galatasaray
Real Madrid (Flag) Real Madrid
And
København (Flag) København
Juventus (Flag) Juventus

Group C

Benfica (Flag) Benfica
Anderlecht (Flag) Anderlecht
And
Olympiacos (Flag) Olympiacos
PSG (Flag) PSG

Group D

Bayern (Flag) Bayern
CSKA Moskva (Flag) CSKA Moskva
And
Plzeň (Flag) Plzeň
Man. City (Flag) Man. City
Let the fun begging and let the ball start rolling!! Lisbon is the goal!!
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Thanks for reading, and later my thought on first matches!!… Working in CONCACAF WC post also… so I’ll be back soon, but now I am watching Real Madrid  vs Galatasaray, which team are you supporting or watching?
Besitos!
P.S UEFA.com blocked the video buuuu…. so I took it down, you can only see it in their pages… whatever ;/
Thanks to KIckTV for the picture,  the mirror.co.uk, the teams schedule of today is from UEFA.com!

Now it’s all set, ready and go for the UCL!!

Hello!!

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I’ve been kind of melting in this last summer heat weather… I know I will regret saying this later but I really need some fall and more chill weather, I’ll complaint  about it later when I am freezing lol

Anyways a lot to talk but as of now, let’s talk about the UEFA Champions League, because hello now we know the groups and it’s all set to go on September 17th and 18th… Those are the days, so mark them in your calendars, first game for everyone! The group stage look like a  lot of fun or not depending on what group your team is…

It all started with all the name of the teams in the little balls, which were taken from a bowl and we all were waiting to see who will face who in this first stage…

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And after all that ball picking and wondering we finally have the group stage ready! and it looks like this:

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There was a lot of debate about which group will be the hardest one, I am still thinking about it, a lot of people say that Arsenal in group F is the difficult one, but I am not sure…

I think Real Madrid group B is not as easy as some might think, base on previous seasons, last year eliminating Galatasary was not easy and it gave them a lot of trouble, and they have Juventus in the same group an Italian club that they haven’t been able to win comfortable in a while, so in my opinion it’s a difficult group.

I also think that Barcelonas’ group H it’s a difficult one Milan is a competitive club and has a champions league history, Ajax might not be at the same level as it was some years ago but still can complicate them too, and you have Celtic, in my opinion when almost all teams in your group might not be as good as you are but they have complicated you or can complicate you it means that anything can happen, so for that reason this two groups are difficult.

It’s not like Chelsea for example in group E in theory the teams in their group are not at the same level as they are or you don’t think they can not complicated them that much, you will expect Chelsea to move forward without much problem, that’s a kind of easy group to say something….

I think the normal group is when you have two teams that you know or expect them to advance to the next stage, that is not easy but a kind of normal competitiveness to have in first stage of a competition, when you have three teams or all in your group with possibilities in theory to advance then you might have a problem or what we call a hard or difficult group! In World Cup lingo that’s the “group of death”….

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What is for sure is that until the ball starts rolling we won’t know… and until it will stop rolling we won’t know either and everything and anything can happen, that’s why this is so excited!! La Orejona or the trophy with the big ears is waiting for the same or a new champion!!

I can wait! 🙂

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In the same event Franck Ribéry was awared with the 2012/13 UEFA Best Player in Europe, a big honor and big accomplishment for the French player currently in Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, so Congrats to him!!

So for now I leave you with the UEFA Champions League official theme song!! (Just to get us into the mood, not that we need it but is excited to listen to it!)

Thanks for reading, feel free to share what team you are supporting and how you feel about their group!

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to the uefa.com and video from YouTube user gorgul90

And The Champions League is back!!

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Hello all!

Today is the UEFA Champions league groups draw… Meaning they will do a kind of lottery thing to see who will play who in the first stage which is the group stage…

That is how it looks, they will take one from each bowl and create the groups, this is exited and only means one thing!!

The Champions League (UCL) is back!! … Well kind of almost!!

Thanks for reading, we will see how it will looks later today!

That board is from Marca.com