Posts Tagged ‘Cannavaro’

To Golden Goal or not to Golden Goal?

FIFA can’t seem to be able to make up their mind about the golden goal rule. It was a rule that was introduced at Euro ’96 which meant that that team who scored the 1st goal in extra-time of a knockout game would automatically win the match and advance to the next round. A crude way of losing which Italy found out the hard way in the Euro 2000 final:

By 2004, the golden goal rule was completely scrapped. The reason being that it ‘promoted’ defensive football as both teams would stay safe and avoid being scored on before the penalty shoot-out after 120 minutes.

And now, after 6 years and a sup-bar World Cup in South Africa (during the group stages anyway); Sepp Blatter is considering re-introducing the golden goal rule.

Blatter wants more goals. That is evident. But his view is misrepresented and his plans are untenable. His concern seems to be directed at critics from non-football fans who deem the sport boring. Although the World Cup in South Africa started off quite sluggish, it was transformed dramatically into a tournament of incitement and turmoil.

Aside from being a World Cup which saw a new champion, the tournament will be remembered for its controversy, drama, and bad officiating rather than its aridity. It’s an area of concern which Blatter should focus more on instead of of tinkering with the unbroken rules of the game. We need goal-line technology. It’s time to stop living in Di Stefano’s era and time to start bringing ourselves in line with modern thinking:  Hence taking advantage of technology that is there to be used. It’s much more important to have a fair outcome, than an exciting outcome.

Whether we like it or not, there is absolutely nothing wrong with defensive football. It’s a style of play and a strategy that suits certain teams more than others. The World can’t expect every team to play like Spain, Argentina, and Brazil (my apologies if your country wasn’t on this list). Every team plays to its strengths.  Some are strong in attack, and some are strong at the back. What’s evident is that the game is always changing and tacticians are becoming more masterful at what they do. As much as some people enjoy ‘Tiki-Taka’ Spanish football more than Catenaccio football; I must admit that I always enjoyed the way Nesta and Cannavaro made defending look like an art for Italy.

I’m not particularly against the golden goal rule. However, if Blatter wants to promote attacking football over defensive football, bringing back this rule will not entice teams to come out of their defensive shell just because they have to score first before the penalty shootout.

Milito: Quite in form these days.

 

 Diego Milito with two moments of brilliance to steal the show and lead Inter Milan to their first Champions League trophy since 1965. 

Let’s be honest. Nothing against these two European giants, but these were not the two best teams in Club World football. Regardless, Inter Milan deserved it. And yes; you can take that as a contradictory statement if you like. 

It was one of the most unnatractive finals a neutral eye has witnessed in years. Bayern’s only threat came from Arjen Robben (who by the way, would be one of the best players of his generation if he didn’t have health issues), and one man isn’t enough to get past the best defence in the World. Maybe Inter’s style was not the prettiest to watch, but we have to give credit to them for several reasons. 

Mourinho has made Inter Milan the most organized team in World football. There is no doubt about it. I truly can not remember the last time I was able to see such alignment, unity, and defensive perfection in a team. In my opinion, this is the best defence the World has seen since Italy’s Euro 2000 team which had Cannavaro, Nesta, and Maldini. But the bewildering thing about this team, is that Mourinho didn’t have 3 World Cup legends in their prime at his disposal. Having said that, he took World Class players and made them more. He made them champions. He took Wesley Sneijder, who couldn’t even control a damn football at Real Madrid, look like a World Class organizer who created a beautiful transition from midfield to attack. And just to be sure, if anything ever got past the back line, Julio Cesar (probably the best goalkeeper on Earth right now), would miraculously save anything that might have gotten through. 

Javier Zanetti: Legend

 

  It was hard to see the majestic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu flooded with red, black, and blue yesterday. But if there’s one man I can allow to lift a trophy in that Temple, it’s Javier Zanetti. He is a true legend of the game. One of the best right backs of all time, and a class act both on and off the pitch. He deserved it. It’s an absolute shame that Diego Maradona is crazy enough not to not take Zanetti, Cambiasso, and Samuel (and then take Heinze). Ridiculous really. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he dropped Milito after his brilliant performance last night. 

A shame for Inter and it’s fans though that they will not be the same team next year. The architect: Mourinho, will be a Real Madrid coach next season (more on that in a sec), and he will probably take Maicon with him and Sergio Ramos will be moved to a CB. But Congrats to Internazionale.. Enjoy the moment! 

Regarding Mourinho.. He doesn’t hold back in press conferences does he? What a guy. Check out 9:45: 

The biggest rivalry in all of sports history is here for the second and final time this season. This is easily the biggest Clasico in years. There is so much at stake and so much pressure on both teams. This Saturday is going to be a war, and will decide the championship. Barcelona is playing its best football in years, but make no mistake; Real Madrid is in top form and will have almost their whole team available unlike the first Clasico in Camp Nou which ended 2-0 to the Catalan side.

Squad lists:

REAL MADRID C.F.

GK:Iker Casillas, Jerzy Dudek
DF:Sergio Ramos, Miguel Torres, Fabio Cannavaro, Christoph Metzelder, Gabriel Heinze, Marcelo
MF:Arjen Robben, Dani Parejo, Fernando Gago, Lassana Diarra, Javi Garcia, Rafael Van der Vaart, Julien Faubert, Royston Drenthe
FW:Raul, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Gonzalo Higuain

Not Called:

Injured:Ruud, Mahamadou, Guti, Sneijder, De la Red
Technical decision:Salgado, Saviola, Codina
Suspended: Pepe

F.C. BARCELONA

Valdes, Jorquera, Henry, Xavi, Piqué, Iniesta, Puyol, Cáceres, Sylvinho, Bojan, Eto’o, Messi, Hleb, Alves, Abidal, Keita, Gudjohnsen, Touré and Sergio Busquets.

Not Called:

Injured: Marquez, Milito

Technical Decisions: Pinto, Pedro, Victor Sanchez.

Pepe will not be there to to keep Messi and co. in check.

 Probable line-ups:

REAL MADRID C.F. (4-4-2)

_____________Casillas

S. Ramos_Cannavaro_Metzelder_Heinze

___________Gago___Lass

Robben___________________Marcelo

________Higuain_____Raul

F.C BARCELONA (4-3-3)

________Valdes

Alves_Puyol_Pique_Abidal

__Xavi___Yaya__Keita

__Messi__Etoo_Iniesta

The Cules will want revenge from last year’s pasillo

 Madrid will be hoping that the draw against Chelsea midweek will have somewhat slowed Barca down. If we are to win this game, we have to make sure we don’t let Barca settle down into their passing game (easier said then done). I’m sure this Madrid team with the Bernabeu behind them is capable of stopping this record breaking Barcelona team. Oh how sweet it would be to beat Barca now and go on to win the league.. How sweet indeed.

Video preview:
VAMUNOS MUCHACHOS!! HALA MADRID!
VAMUNOS MUCHACHOS!! HALA MADRID!

 

 

 

 

Pipita - FTW!
Pipita – FTW!

 You can’t say enough about Gonzalo Higuain. His passion and determination has won the hearts of Madridista’s all around the World. Once again, in the midst of a horrible Real Madrid performance today, he took the team into his own hands and scored two goals (one of them in injury time to win the game).

It’s very strange being a Real Madrid fan; week in and week out I experience an emotional rollercoaster. This is easily an era of one of the worst Real Madrid teams I have ever seen. Yet, we are still back to back champions and sit second behind a record breaking Barcelona team. Despite how bad Real Madrid have been, they’ve been winning non stop. Today’s game summed up the season pretty well: Bad performance, heroics from Casillas, individual brilliance, game won. I must say, this was easily the most exciting game of the season that Real Madrid has played in. The game was pretty much lost when Albin put Getafe 2-1 up (horrible defending) with 6 minutes to go. Guti’s brilliant free-kick in the 86th minute tied the game, but the celebrations were short lived when Pepe was given a straight red card for fouling a player in the box and kicking him while he was down. However, Casillas saved the penalty (awful panenka attempt from Casquero) which brought a massive roar around the Bernabeu. Higuain’s second goal in injury time was the icing on the cake to bury Getafe (and pr0bably alot of Barca hearts).

This pic pretty much sums up the game; Pepe running out of the locker room after being red carded to celebrate, Casillas running from his net to celebrate and Cannavaro off the bench. You can see how much this game meant to them:

Some more pics from the game:

Match Highlights (You won’t want to miss it):

 

 

 

VAMUNOS MUCHACHOS!!!