Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wesley Sneijder: Winner of the Goal.com 50 2009-10

One of the blogs I enjoy reading and truly follow on anything football is Goal.com. They have a very concise reporting on everything that is going in the football world, from the best games to the not so-so, from the players to the teams and the transfers, and even the coaches and managers and the new teamwear of the different teams. You get the real update and best news and football aficionados know that they can rely on Goal.com. Thanks to Gianluigi Longinotti-Buitoni who founded and started it in 2004 and turned it into largest football new media community on the planet. It has 22 editions available in 15 languages. Goal.com’s aim “is to unite the world through its mutual passion for football”. The beauty of it is that there is a local touch thru the editors who are able to present football thru the eyes of a person who lives locally. Thus the report is distinct, able to deliver the content considering the cultural, ethnical, political, economic, religious, and social distinctiveness in each region.
One of the things fans all over the world wait for and vote for is the Goal.com countdown which assesses the performances of the different players over the last 12 months. This countdown has now become the definitive guide to the best performers in football as judged by editors and fans. In 2008, Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo was chosen while Lionel Messi won in 2009.
This year, the much-coveted spot goes to Wesley Sneijder. A vindication from what happened with Real Madrid in 2009? Certainly because he definitely showed them what they lost when he continued with his impeccable performance in earning goals for Internazionale or Inter Milan. With his assistance, Inter won the 2010 Champions League Final against Bayern Munich last May 22, 2010. And he showed better performance in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Certainly, the editors chose Wesley Sneijder for his outstanding performance overall for the year 2009-2010.

Congratulations to Wesley Sneijder
Winner of the Goal.com 50 2009-10

Lionel Messi
Runner-Up of the Goal.com 50 2009-10
& Winner of the Goal.com 50 Fans' Vote

Here is the list of the Goal.com 50 2009-10

1. Wesley Sneijder 26. Julio César
- Inter Milan - Inter Milan
- Midfielder - Goalkeeper
2. Lionel Messi 27. Puyol
- Barcelona - Barcelona
- Striker - Defender
3. Xavi 28. Carlos Tevez
- Barcelona - Man City
- Midfielder - Striker
4. Arjen Robben 29. Walter Adrian Samuel
- Bayern Munich - Inter Milan
- Striker - Defender
5. Diego Alberto Milito 30. Eto'o
- Inter Milan - Inter Milan
- Striker - Striker
6. Diego Forlán Corazo 31. Daniel Alves
- Atletico Madrid - Barcelona
- Striker - Defender
7. Andrés Iniesta Luján 32. Ivica Olic
- Barcelona - Bayern Munich
- Midfielder - Striker
8. David Villa 33. Mark van Bommel
- Barcelona - Bayern Munich
- Striker - Midfielder
9. Cristiano Ronaldo 34. Esteban Matias Cambiasso
- Real Madrid - Inter Milan
- Midfielder - Midfielder
10. Bastian Schweinsteiger 35. Xabi Alonso
- Bayern Munich - Real Madrid
- Midfielder - Midfielder
11.Didier Drogba 36. Pedro
- Chelsea - Barcelona
- Striker - Striker
12. Lucio 37. Florent Malouda
- Inter Milan - Chelsea
- Defender - Midfielder
13. Wayne Rooney 38. Keisuke Honda
- Man Utd. - CSKA
- Striker - Midfielder
39. Luis Fabiano
- Inter Milan - Sevilla
- Defender - Striker
15. Thomas Müller 40. Ronaldinho
- Bayern Munich - Milan
- Striker - Striker
16. Gerard Piqué 41. Edin Dzeko
- Barcelona - VfL Wolfsburg
- Defender - Striker
17. Frank Lampard 42. Jesús Navas González
- Chelsea - Sevilla
- Midfielder - Midfielder
18. Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín 43. Antonio Di Natale
- Real Madrid - Udinese
- Striker - Striker
19. Javier Adelmar Zanetti 44. Ángel Fabián Di María
- Inter Milan - Real Madrid
- Defender - Striker
20. Luis Suárez 45. Antonio Cassano
- Ajax - Sampdoria
- Striker - Striker
21. Iker Casillas 46. Dirk Kuyt
- Real Madrid - Liverpool
- Goalkeeper - Striker
22. Mesut Özil 47. Hugo Lloris
- Real Madrid - O. Lyon
- Midfielder - Goalkeeper
23. Cesc Fàbregas 48. Ji-Sung Park
- Arsenal - Man Utd.
- Midfielder - Midfielder
24. Sergio Ramos 49. Fabrizio Miccoli
- Real Madrid - Palermo
- Defender - Striker
25. Philipp Lahm 50. Mirko Vučinić
- Bayern Munich - Roma
- Defender - Striker

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My List Of The Ugliest Sports Uniforms Ever

A friend of mine sent me a link, he thought it was funny and he knew that anything about sports is something I love to blog about…this one took the words out of my mouth. I mean who would in her right mind wear such an atrocious knows that anything about sports is something I love to blog about. jersey. Here’s what I am talking about…see for yourself and let me know that I am wrong in my observation. Atrocious, dreadful, appalling, hideous…what other adjectives do you want me to say? I wonder what was on the mind of Guazzini when he approved this new shirt - one of the official game jerseys- of Paris pro rugby club, Stade Français.

On the other hand, team owner Guazzini has been in pursuit to find younger, affluent new enthusiasts and have also courted the large gay-community in Paris. Indeed he has even made major changes such as embracing pink as an official team color, have orchids as one of its symbols, and marketing a team calendar with all the players in the nude as models. I would have to say that he was actually effective in gaining more fans, not only gays but also women and heterosexual backers too. But this latest jersey, dubbed “the Crowd”, worth $102 is indubitably the worst marketing strategy he has made.

But Guazzini is not alone in making this maistake. There are so many out there that could be the ugliest sports uniforms ever in the history of mankind. Well, some may disagree with my choices, I can only say we all have our own opinions, and these uniforms, IMHO, are the most appalling uniforms ever worn by a professional sports team. It honestly makes me wonder how the players really felt when they were wearing it. So here it is, my list of the ugliest sports uniforms ever:

Houston Astros, 1975 – 1993

The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team located in Houston, Texas. In the 1975 season, they introduced the new-look uniforms for Astros with multi-shade stripes of orange, red and yellow in front and back with a large dark bluestar over the stripes. The same stripes run down the pant legs. Although the critics criticized it, the public though loved it and it and versions of it even started to appear at the high school and little leagye leve. I can understand how the colors look very bright, enough to be appreciated by kids, but I have to disagree because I really don’t like it, most especially not on a baseball team. And the team certainly did not win championships during the years they were wearing this team wear.

Pittsburgh Pirates, 1976 – 1986
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a major league baseball (MLB) team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Aside from the color, the cap with stripes make quite a look that’s not suited for a baseball team but more for the circus or a band or drum corps. It’s no wonder that the Pirates had a hard time winning any game while wearing this sports uniform; they were even regarded as the worst baseball team during the mid ‘80s.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976-1995

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (often shortened to Bucs) are a professional American Football team based in Tampa, Florida. Tangerine on a team doesn’t do much for fan support or respect. Unfortunately, it didn’t do well on their journey to the championships because since they wore that sports uniform in 1976 they started losing big, losing their first 26 games and suffered 14 consecutive losing seasons. It was only in 1996 when the new owner Malcolm Glazer jettisoned the new uniforms to oblivion and hired a new coach when they started picking up again.

John Daly

John Daly is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour who had bouts with his weight as well as other misdemeanors. He had a lap-band surgery in 2009 which limits the amount of food intake and so he said he is down to less than 200lbs since the surgery. Also at that time when he was with the European Tour he started wearing the Loudmouth Golf Apparel which he now officially endorses. I think maybe he liked the so loud colors and designs. Whew!

Vancouver Canucks, 1978 – 1984

The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, British Columbia. What I consider a very bad taste of team wear consisted of a huge yellow, red-orange, and black striped V coming down from the shoulders. The V suggested “victory” according to designers though it never gave the team that. What it actually gave was several criticisms for being one of the most unpopular in NHL history. Just like other teams with hideous sports uniforms, the Canucks was a mediocre player having only one significant playoff which was in the post-season of 1982.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Chicago, Illinois. White Sox have always been noted for uniform innovations that have really been the best such as putting players’ last names on the back of the jerseys. But when they came out in 1976 for a doubleheader against Kansas City Royals wearing a new team uniform, it was something unmatched. The new uniforms featured collars and were designed to be worn out, not tucked in, and worse they were wearing shorts. Not only were they critiqued for that but it really is not practical to wear shorts at play because it is not conducive to sliding, which is a way of life for baseball. After a lot of teasing from the rest of the league, the Sox changed their team wear.

Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. When the Broncos first appeared for a game, their original uniforms were criticized by the public. Imagine wearing white and mustard yellow jerseys with vertically striped socks on brown pants with satin sheen and a brown helmet. Two years later the Broncos got rid of their ugly uniform and in celebration they held a public bonfire to burn the striped socks. In 2009, they wore this set of throwback uniforms again in honor of their 50th anniversary season as one of the eight original American Football League team.

The trend that I realized while writing about these ugly uniforms is that unwittingly how horrendous their uniforms look affected how the team played. Yes, how great one play is determined by how hard they trained for it. But, we all know that when we feel good and look good we also perform better. And maybe that is how these players felt when they were wearing these revolting uniforms.

What do you think? Share me your point of view by leaving a comment. Thanks and have fun reading one of my lighter blogs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Football 101: FC Real Madrid

FC Real Madrid

Full name Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
Nickname(s) Los Blancos (The Whites)
Los Merengues (The Merengues)
Founded 6 March 1902
Ground Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
(Capacity: 80,354)
Honorary President Alfredo di Stéfano
President Florentino Pérez
Head Coach José Mourinho
League La Liga
2009–10 La Liga, 2nd

FC Real Madrid Teamwear

Real Madrid


1 Iker Casillas Goalkeeper 10 Lassana Diarra Midfielder
13 Adán Goalkeeper 11 Granero Midfielder
25 Dudek Goalkeeper 14 Xabi Alonso Midfielder
- Nacho Defender 16 Canales Midfielder
2 Ricardo Carvalho Defender 21 Pedro León Midfielder
3 Pepe Defender 23 Rafael Van der Vaart Midfielder
4 Sergio Ramos Defender 24 Sami Khedira Midfielder
12 Marcelo Defender 26 Mesut Özil Midfielder
17 Arbeloa Defender - Morata Striker
18 Raúl Albiol Tortajada Defender - Juanfran Striker
19 Garay Defender 9 Karim Benzema Striker
33 David Mateos Defender 20 Gonzalo Gerardo Higuaín Striker
5 Fernando Gago Midfielder 22 Ángel Fabián Di María Striker
6 Mahamadou Diarra Midfielder 31 Raúl Ruiz Striker
7 Cristiano Ronaldo Midfielder - José Mourinho Manager/Coach
8 Kaká Midfielder

SOURCE: Goal.com

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good News and Bad News for Schalke 04

Real Murcia left-back Sergio Escudero joins the Royal Blues on a four year contract. He started his career at Betis Valladolid but was signed up by Real Murcia in the summer of 2008. He is one of the most sought after or most targeted by European clubs to sign-up being one of the upcoming Spain under-21 international.

As he wears the number three shirt for the Royal Blues team wear, he looks forward to playing in the Bundesliga and to playing the first match in front of adoring fans. He saw how great fan support is for Schalke. He wants to be in the first team and will be training hard for that. When asked why he chose Schalke over other clubs interested in signing him up, this is what he had to say:

Sergio Escudero in his new team wear

“The chance to win things and the way the club is run. The very first time I spoke to Felix Magath I got the feeling he was desperate to sign me. That impressed me greatly and gave me a good feeling right from the outset.”
On the other hand, Brazilian right-back Rafinha has transferred from Schalke to Serie A club Genoa after 5 years playing with the Royal Blues.

And for the really bad news:

Even after seeing the much improved playing of Schalke, it was not enough to win over Bayern Munich in the relaunched DFL Super Cup on Saturday. Although they got into a good start, Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose scored in the final 15 minutes. And though Magath really wanted the win and theSuper Cup trophy he could only say:

“But it was Bayern who got the goals. Ultimately they deserved to win on account of their first-half performance."
I feel really about Schalke losing to Bayern but I still love Schalke. Needless to say, congrats to Bayern and may the best team wins, next time. I may also do a write up about Thomas Müller next time....he is going good.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Football 101: FC Schalke 04

FC Schalke 04

Full name Fußball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 e. V.
Nickname(s) Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues)
Die Knappen (The Miners)
Founded 4 May 1904
Ground Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen
(Capacity: 61,673)
President Josef Schnusenberg
Manager Felix Magath
2009–10 Bundesliga, 2nd

FC Schalke 04 Team Wear

FC Schalke 04 2010-2011 Current Squad

No. Position Player
Manuel Neuer
Sergio Escudero
Benedikt Höwedes
Tim Hoogland
Hao Junmin
Ivan Rakitić
Alexander Baumjohann
Peer Kluge
Lukas Schmitz
Kyriakos Papadopoulos
Jefferson Farfán
Mario Gavranović
Vasileios Pliatsikas
Christoph Metzelder
Atsuto Uchida
Jermaine Jones
Christian Pander
Erik Jendrišek
Christoph Moritz
Bogdan Müller
Levan Kenia
David Loheider
Joël Matip
Mathias Schober
Besart Ibraimi
Lars Unnerstall
Marvin Pourie
Marvin Pachan
Predrag Stevanović

GK - Goalkeeper
DF - Defender
FW - Forward
MF - Midfielder

FC Schalke 04 Squad
1 Manuel Neuer Goalkeeper 11 Alexander Baumjohann Midfielder
33 Matthias Schober Goalkeeper 12 Peer Kluge Midfielder
36 Lars Unnerstall Goalkeeper 13 Lukas Schmitz Midfielder
2 Hans Sarpei Defender 18 Jurado Midfielder
2 Heiko Westermann Defender 19 Mario Gavranovic Midfielder
3 Sergio Escudero Defender 20 Vassilis Pliatsikas Midfielder
4 Benedikt Höwedes Defender 23 Jermaine Jones Midfielder
5 Nicolas Plestan Defender 27 Ciprian Deac Midfielder
6 Tim Hoogland Defender 28 Christoph Moritz Midfielder
14 Kyriakos Papadopoulos Defender 30 Lewan Kenia Midfielder
21 Christoph Metzelder Defender 7 Raúl Striker
22 Atsuto Uchida Defender 9 Edu Striker
24 Christian Pander Defender 17 Jefferson Agustin Farfán Striker
32 Joel Matip Defender 25 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Striker
8 Hao Junmin Midfielder 26 Erik Jendrisek Striker
10 Ivan Rakitic Midfielder - Felix Magath Manager/Coach

Source: Goal.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Raul Says Adios to Real Madrid

Raul bids goodbye to Real Madrid after 16 incredible years, 323 goals and 550 league games or 744 official games. He has spent most of his football career playing for Real Madrid until 25th of July 2010 when he decided to sign a two-year contract with German Bundesliga club Schalke 04. After 16 years, he will change his team wear from whites to royal blue. He is a legend and a tough act to follow because he really was the soul of Real Madrid. His exit marks the end of an era, the Raul Madrid era.
His records in numbers say it all:
  • 16 years - and 15 full seasons - with Real Madrid's senior side
  • 17 years and four months... The youngest ever player to debut for Real Madrid's first team
  • 228 League goals...third highest all-time goalscorer in La Liga
  • 323 Competitive goals...Real Madrid's all-time top scorer
  • 66 Champions League goals... all-time top scorer in the competition. He's also the first player to hit the 50-goal mark 68 goals in all UEFA club competition... joint all-time top scorer
  • 550 appearances in La Liga... a Real Madrid record and the second highest in the league's history
  • 132 Champions League appearances... second highest in the competition's history
  • 16 major titles including three times UEFA Champions League title plus six times the Spanish championship
  • Finishing his career as Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer

UEFA Champions League
1997/1998, 1999/2000, 2001/2002

Spanish championship
1994/1995, 1996/1997, 2000/2001, 2002/2003, 2006/2007, 2007/2008

Club World Cup
1998, 2002

European Super Cup

Spanish Super Cup
1997, 2001, 2003, 2008

He is a legend and a tough act to follow. Yes, there will be newer players, even better players as there is now. But what Raul is can’t simply be replaced by a good player. As Cyrus C Malek of Goal.com wrote:
Every team have their talisman - the player who symbolizes the principles and values of his club, the man who embodies his club’s spirit, the leader who wears the captain’s armband and heads his team not just by way of words, but also by example.

For Real Madrid, that man is Raul Gonzalez Blanco.

Here are some of what his former teammates had to say about Raul:

Iker Casillas
: "Raul is a symbol of Real Madrid. A great captain is defined by ups and downs, knowing how to always make the best of any situation. Raul is an example of professionalism and he helped me grow as a player and person. The incredible histories of clubs are written by great footballers, and Raul is one of them."

Cristiano Ronaldo: "Playing by Raul's side has been an honour. I always dreamed of doing so as a kid. It was an honour to share the same dressing room and I wish him all the best."

Xabi Alonso: "Raul represents the values of Real Madrid. He is a symbol and a part of this club's history. It isn't easy to play for Real Madrid for 15 years, but he did because is a magnificent player."

Kaka: "Raul is an amazing player and an important member of this club. Raul will forever be a part of Madridismo and his departure is a sad day for fans and team-mates."

Pepe: "The 16 years that he played here speak volumes about his talent. He holds a special place in my heart because he always followed my progress when I was injured. He got off from the bench and accompanied me to the dressing room, which was an incredible gesture that I will never forget. He is a huge piece of Real Madrid's history."
Schalke on the other hand is honored with his presence because as the Scalke boss said “Raul is one of the world's best players. The fans have something to look forward to. Raul is one of that rare breed of footballers who put their own interests behind those of the team. And you don’t get that very often these days.

And so we wish him luck on his new journey with Schalke 04. He will wear a new color, Royal Blues, and a new
team uniform but still with his traditional number 7, he is still El Siete.