Vamonos… Andiamo… The Treble? in Berlin!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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World Cup tales!… Surprises, dancing and goals!!

Hola!

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Day 8 of the World Cup is over.  Can we please agree that it feels like is going too fast??… It might be the schedule, its perfect don’t get me wrong, I don’t have to wake up early morning to watch games like last World Cup, but  it feels the day  just flies away,  maybe watching this type of quality football makes the day go even faster.

This is a great World Cup so far, these teams are playing at a high level, the style of game from most team is about proposing, creating and attacking which leave us with lots of goals and very exciting matches! I remember last World Cup I even said that the group stage was usually a bit boring and that things get better in the knock out stages, but not the case of this WC, it has been so different, a great tournament so far, emotional games, surprises all over the places and a very entertaining tournament.

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Many things had happens, some still sensitive to talk about, yes I am looking at you Spain…. Can you believe it? I felt so bad for them, the first team to say good-bye to the World Cup, the defending Champions left the throne for someone else to take the reign. I Still can’t believe it but well let’s talk about it later when emotions are under control hehe… Hey they have been or were the best of the World for the past years, they re-defined the way football is play now and are the most successful national team of our generation, football soccer fans around the world,  we are totally allowed to feel the pain too.

I felt we went from day 2 to day 8 in a blink,  so I won’t do a day by day recap, review or look back whatever you want to call it, too many days and too few non football hours hehehe

First round of matches is over for all teams, so let’s recap or look back to some of the best shocking or more memorable moments… oiii

We covered day 2 and Spain debacle, yes it got worst by now let’s move on, we got a few more surprises during  first round of matches, here are some;

Colombia

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It is true that group C is not as difficult as other groups might be, but as we have seeing in this World Cup anything can happen…

Congrats to Colombia, after 16 years  they are back in a World Cup with a team full of young players most of them playing at an international level and so far so good! Not only their first result beating Greece,  but also what they did today, it’s incredible, the way they are playing is very inspiring and very good, still some things to fix, but overall a great  and very promising performance something to look forward. What I love the most is the happiness they provide to the tournament, the dancing, best celebration in this World Cup by far!!

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Keep dancing Colombia!!

The other teams in group C, also have played their first and second round matches too, Ivory Coast is one team with Didier Drogba and another one without him, the bad news for them is that he cannot play  all 90 minutes, he’s been getting in on second half, and even though he injects some energy to the team  sometimes it’s not enough, Yaya Toure is another star in this team but hasn’t shine the way a lot of people expected. I still think they can get out of the group stage, let’s see…

Uruguay

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Big surprise on day three, when they were defeated by Costa Rica, the Central America team which in theory is less competitive, and they were the great surprise of that day, wining and playing good football, they not only took the three-point from Uruguay but also they made them look bad, slow and without ideas. Who would have thought Costa Rica would be at the Top of the table after their first game, I think no one, with all the respect their deserve, but Uruguay even though is not the same team that it was four years ago when they  finish in fourth place in 2010 World Cup, are still a good team and with quality players, yes Luis Suarez didn’t play first match but they had Cavani and Forlan and other good players. Costa Rica from CONCACAF which for many have not the same quality, well guess what it might be true but they played with no fear and went for it.

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The good news for Uruguay, Luis Suarez is back and he showed it today in their second match vs England, he scored two goals and left the England team with very slim chances to advance to the next stage, an England team that was very promising in their first game vs Italy, yes they lost because Italy has a legend that controls Italy’s destiny Pirlo, he is just amazing at 35 years old, he is like a wine the older the better he gets, but the feelings left from the England team were very positive, today they couldn’t stop Uruguay and heir star Luis Suarez, the only good note for England was Wayne Rooney scoring his first goal in a World Cup. Let’s see if they can pull out a miracle, mates let’s start to pray? maybe that could help ;/

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Italy still have to play their second match vs Costa Rica, we have yet to see if Los Ticos can hold on and at least get a tie, Gigi Buffon didn’t play the first match due to an ankle injury, but maybe he’ll be back for this one… It should be an interesting match, I still think Italy is the strongest in this group and one of the stronger in this tournament, playing not the usual catenaccio but a surprising kind of offensive good football. Very entertaining.

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And this is how group D is unfolding… Let’s move on to more surprises.

France

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France in group E, Benzema was a goal machine he officially had two in his tally, but it could have been three if the goal line technology wouldn’t have shown us that the second goal was a rebound from the keeper. Good for Benzema he didn’t score as much as he would have wanted toward the end of Real Madrid’s season and some were starting to question him. Best way to answer is always with goals!

Portugal

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Germany vs Portugal in group G, oh my God, if we were surprise by the 5-1 that Spain got, this match was another surprise, less shocking but still surprising, Portugal actually started well, Critiano Ronaldo had two good chances in the first minutes, but then Germany started to level things out, and then the worst happened to Portugal, Pepe was sent-off with a red card, and left not only a bad image if this is possible I mean is Pepe, his reputation precedes him… We can argue that Muller felt very easy, that he didn’t headbutt him that hard, and that it should have been a yellow card, but it’s a World Cup and some referees won’t let these type of action go away so easy, my two cents, he should have known better, he is an elite type of player, so a red is a red, and he left his team in an awful condition, Portugal lost all the control, couldn’t find a way, Cristiano who many say is not at his best, looked desperate and couldn’t find options either and they had their worst lost in the history of the World Cup

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Germany , on the other hand so far is one if not the best overall team in the tournament, they looked good as a team, collectively, the style of play was also good and they have Muller in great condition, scored the first hat-trick of the World Cup. And to think that some people didn’t consider then  as contenders, well so far they have proved them wrong. It’s early but they looked good. Something to say though  is that they have won their last four opening game scoring 4+ goals, and still they haven’t won the title in the last three World Cups.

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 USA USA USA

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Last but no least team USA beat their nemesis, the team that sent them home the last two World Cups, Ghana. The U.S scored the fastest goal so far, Dempsey in less than 30 seconds, it was either at the 30 or 29 second mark, some mix information hehe. But that was fast, they suffered more than expected tho but at the 86th minute John Brooks scored the 2-1 for the red, white and blue, and they finally were able to defeat Ghana in a World Cup and on top of that they got the three precious points specially in a tough group like this one, the group of death… Well they are very alive, and in a country where soccer is not as big as it is in other places it was impressive to see the support and all the craziness that went after Brooks’ goal,  it was great, there are so many videos on vine, instagram and twitter that you think; Is it real that they don’t care much about football? It didn’t  look that way on the videos and many pictures. Anyhow things are changing and there are a lot of football soccer supporters, which is great because that match  was emotionally amazing!!

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Other first round of matches notes;

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  • Argentina is not in a difficult group but, they looked nervous and  they didn’t have an easy win, the expectation of this match were so high everyone wanted to see Messi in the mythical Maracana, and I think at the end the expectations were higher than what we saw on the pitch. Messi is under a lot of pressure, but he scored his first goal in this World Cup and his second in all World Cups, and everyone breathe again… hehe
  • Belgium is supposed to be the revelation of this tournament, they suffered more than expected too but at the end  they still can give the surprise, lot’s of well-known players even the substitutes can make the difference.
  • Russia’s head coach Fabio Capello  has the best salary, they say 22 millions ;0… oiiiii so they better get out of the group stage, just saying!
  • Iran vs Nigeria was the only boring game so far, I mean some other matches maybe had some boring lapses but this one was painfully boring, sorry for both teams, hopefully they will do better in the next match.

Some injuries news;

  • Coentrao  from Portugal will miss the rest of the World Cup due to an injury.
  • Altidore got injure in the USA vs Ghana match and he’ll miss next match, and it’s not sure when if he will be back.
  • Dempsey broke his nose in the same USA match but he is expected to play with or without a mask.

I know I am probably missing so many more things and important moments, but this is already the longest post in this blog hahah so I don’t want to make it more impossible to read.

If you make it  here give your self a round of applauses!! You are amazing 😉 … I will try to make the next recap shorter, but in my defense so many good things and surprises are happening that it’s hard to make things shorter, or maybe it’s just me, I can let things goo…. Well it is what it is, I have to take some “to the point” classes.

Thanks for reading, I really appreciated and if you want to leave a comment, if you agree or disagree with something or just want to say something feel free to do it in the comment area.

This World Cup not only is giving us good surprises but also, good laugh, I leave you with some of the funniest one…

Besitos!

Pictures thanks to  first worldsoccertalk.com, rest to FIFA.com, ESPN.com… Funny pictures random from twitter and ESPN.com