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  #26  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:37 AM
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Magikod Magikod is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

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Originally Posted by hollodero View Post
I most certainly forgot about this thread... again. And millions of Bengals fans were certainly wondering, where is this awesome guy with his outstanding knowledge, where are all the soccer informations I'm so desperately longing for?

Well, your longing shall last no longer!

Champions League - as you are well aware, the undispuded supreme discipline in soccer - has almost finished its group stage, getting ready for the real excitement (which, of course, only starts next year). One gameday is still left, but most of the survivors are already fixed.

That said, a recap of the things that happened in the groups.

Group A included the former surprise CL winner FC Porto (Portugal), the newly-high-sponsored club from Paris, Paris St. Germain, Dinamo Kiev from Ukraine and Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), so it was a rather dinamic group, as you can see. But the dinamos of course were the underdogs, and as almost always they in fact didn't stand a chance against Porto or the rich Paris St. Germain (a club like that is sometimes referred to as "gotten sheikhed", and that catches the spirit). Money wins games.
Most remarkable player is Swedish player Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Paris - and no, it's not always just about Messi and Ronaldo. A remarkable, big, but still very flexible player, arrogant, with a boastful attitude, but genius most certainly slumbers inside him. In his career's autum, he decided to go to a rich second-string club, arguably being worth his money.
--- If you never ever clicked a link of mine before, click this one nevertheless. One of the most amazing goals ever (scored recently for Sweden in a friendly vs. England).

-- Nothing too special in this group, Porto and Paris St. Germain qualified in a commanding way, just battling for the win in the group on the last day.

Group B included Arsenal London, Schalke 04 from Gelsenkirchen in Germany (arguably one of the ugliest cities in Europe, so I'm told - don't dare to look for myself), sponsored by russian Gazprom (no comment necessary), and moreover Olympiacos Piräus from Greeece and surprise-winner of the French championship last year, Montpellier. Who knows soccer the slightest knows that surprise-winners hardly ever stand a chance, since they have to sell their best players to richer clubs - and this group was no exception. Arsenal qualified, and so did Schalke.

In Group C Italian club AC Milan (unlikeable to the bone, since it belongs to the certainly unclean media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister - well, what's the money good for - Silvio Berlusconi) met Zenit St. Petersburg from Russia, CL rookie Malaga CF from Spain and RSC Anderlecht from Belgium. It's a group where a surprise is to report, as Zenit St. Petersburg underperformed badly, while surprise team Malaga qualified in the most impressive manner, even though their budget is a lot smaller (that goes as a surprise. And "small" means about 100 Million Euros). - Spiked with some aging former semi-stars, they even beat AC Milan and qualified along the loveable Italian club. As in the groups before, it wasn't even close.

Now Group D was by far the toughest on paper, as all four clubs were national champions, and not in the small leagues either. Borussia Dortmund from Germany met English sheikhed champion Manchester City, Dutch champion Ajax Amsterdam (who have a very successful history in the CL, but the big money is missing) and, last not least, Real Madrid, home of Christiano Ronaldo and some other big names.
Well, someone had to disappoint, and like last year it was Manchester City, while Dortmund, unlike last year, showed a great performance and qualified for the next round, along with Real Madrid.
This group provided some great games, like the already mentioned 3-2 in the opener between Real and ManCity. Ronaldo, who else, scored the deciding goal minutes before the end. Also impressive Dortmund's win over Real, where the mandatory Ronaldo goal couldn't avoid the 1-2 loss over Germany's champion, who has hardly a real superstar (maybe Mario Götze, a name that will be well-known in the future, although it's a disgustiong one), but a strong collective and playing a fast, distinctive, nice to watch game.

Group E featured FC Chelsea, last year's CL winner, and Juventus Turin from Italy, Shakhtar Donezk from Ukraine (a club full of Brazil players which is not to be underestimated) and designated scapegoat FC Nordsjaelland from Denmark, a club nobody knew and which will soon be completely forgotten again. Now the Danish club met the expectations, but Chelsea obviously has used up all its luck in last year's CL win (which, honestly, really was just that, a big, big heap of luck) and most surprisingly probably won't qualify for the next round. Juventus meets already qualified Donezk at the last gameday, and a draw would push both clubs into the next stage, while Chelsea could defeat Nordsjaelland 128 - 0 then, it wouldn't help them anymore.

Now Group F, and back to boredom. Bayern München, Germany's most successful (and most disliked, and not only disliked by nobodys, but also by me) club, meets FC Valencia from Spain, OSC Lille from France and BATE Borisov from Belarus, yes really, Belarus. Although in the end all went as planned - Munich and Valencia qualifying - there was a big surprise in this group, when Borisov defeated Munich 3-1 (which is almost as if the senior citizen squad from Paris, Texas beats the New England Patriots).

Group G included FC Barcelona, home of Lionel Messi and the club that set the tone in recent years, having developed a new style which mainly consists of getting the ball and just never giving it away again. Short, quick passes, helpless defenders chasing it in midfield, nice to watch at first, but getting annoying now - and not always efficient. They also have the smallest players of all professional clubs in Europe (the biggest ones, btw., are in a small club from a small province in my small country), but so they are closer to the ball, and gravitay isn't so much an enemy... impressive, I give them that. They lost one game in the group stage, 1-2 to Celtic Glasgow, although they had the ball a whopping 84% of the time (which is CL record)... in the second half, inofficially it were 97%, while Celtic had the ball for exactly 57 seconds (of 45 minutes) -- enough to outscore them anyways.
Barcelona qualified nevertheless in the group that also included already-mentioned Celtic Glasgow, Benfica Lisbon and Spartak Moscow (who also almost won against Barcelona, before two Messi goals brought Barca the late win). Through the surprising win, Celtic still has the chance to qualify, battling Benfica for second place -and Benfica still has to play Barcelona, while Celtic (a powerful team featuring no particular soccer skills whatsoever) has the much easier task against Spartak.

Finally, Group H featured Manchester United, the club with the legends on the field and the legend an the coaches' bench, that met Sporting Braga from Portugal, CFR Cluj from Romania and one of the many Istanbul clubs, Galatasaray. Whoever thought that was just a piece of cake for Manchester, thought exactly right - surprisingly competitive Cluj will battle Galatasaray for the second qualifying spot, while Braga is out. That group is so boring nevertheless, I have nothing further to say about it.

- So that's my update, but only from now on is it getting really interesting - since there are knockout-duels (always 2 games, home and away) after the last round, starting next year.
I'll keep you updated - and by "you" I mean the 0-1 people really reading that stuff.

---
Some statistical data at the end:

Topscorers with 5 goals so far are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (who else, right), but also a certain "Alan" from Sporting Braga and a even more certain "Burak Yilmaz" from Galatasaray. (Remarkable followers are Huntelaar (Schalke) and Lewandowski (Dortmund) with 4 goals, and Benzema (Real), Javier Hernandez (ManU), van Persie (ManU) with 3 goals so far, all amongst others).
The most assists has Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 5. (Ronaldo has zero.)
The highest win has Bayern munich, 6-1 vs. Lille.
The most remarkable goal (well, matter of opinion) was scored yesterday by Milan defender Mexes vs. Anderlecht. See for yourself.

How long did it take you to type this out? haha
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  #27  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:44 AM
hollodero hollodero is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

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How long did it take you to type this out? haha
About one hour.
I regarded it as some kind of training. (Learning the foreign language by doing.)
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  #28  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:33 PM
hollodero hollodero is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

Right now Chelsea is fighting for ther last chance to move on. Juventus vs. Donezk may not end in a draw though. Right now these two don't hurt each other, though. Might end in a 0-0. Soccer can be ugly.
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  #29  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:32 PM
DiMilioZ DiMilioZ is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

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Originally Posted by hollodero View Post
Right now Chelsea is fighting for ther last chance to move on. Juventus vs. Donezk may not end in a draw though. Right now these two don't hurt each other, though. Might end in a 0-0. Soccer can be ugly.
Well, at least Juventus won to make it seem fair in the end.

But yes, lots of ugly results and corruption in soccer. Personally I hate the idea of a draw. Three points should be handed out each match. 3 if you win after 90. 1 each if you draw, but then have a penalty shootout to make it 2 to one of the teams.

I've grown up with soccer (I'm from Europe), and I have it as my profession as of now (coaching). When I was younger, I loved it and lived for it. The idea of the sport is good, however, the position it has economically in Europe is a catastrophy.

I've completely changed my main interest from soccer, to football.

I have a prediction on how soccer in Europe will look 10 years from now:

The Champions League will be Europe's "NFL form" for soccer. 32 teams, but only with regular teams. No qualifications. Same teams each year. The richest clubs.

The rest? Farmer and minor leagues, like they have in the NHL.

Money in soccer is becoming a problem and is ruining a good sport. The best teams are the teams with the most money and richest owners. Once a player for a smaller team is good enough, he's bought by one of the big clubs, no matter what league he plays in.

In England, Spain and in some ways Italy, you have an elite of four or maybe even two teams. In England, I don't see teams like Fulham, Wigan, West Bromwich or Norwich break in at the top four. Realistically, the same teams each year (Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City etc) are the only teams who actually can battle for a league title.

Even worse in Spain, with Barcelona and Real Madrid. I just don't see how that's healthy for the sport in the long run. It's sad really.
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  #30  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:23 PM
hollodero hollodero is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

Oh, my big fat soccer thread! Lying in the forum's abyss. What a shame.

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Originally Posted by DiMilioZ View Post

But yes, lots of ugly results and corruption in soccer. Personally I hate the idea of a draw. Three points should be handed out each match. 3 if you win after 90. 1 each if you draw, but then have a penalty shootout to make it 2 to one of the teams.
Or overtime with less and less players... love the idea, though. And you're right, I always considered it inacceptable that some games are worth three points and others just two - especially at the big tournaments. Draw after 90 Minutes? A point to each team and overtime and/or penalty shootout.
Will never happen, though. Traditionalists on the march.

As for all you said about the money... 100% agreement. It's perverted. (Now people thought Bayern Munich was the big exception, doesn't seem so nowadays. Financial Fairplay is discussed, but how should it work? Spanish clubs don't pay taxes and are virtually subsidized. Other clubs have Sheikhs or Russian oligarchs who want to avoid paying taxes by spending huge amounts in their soccer clubs. They absorb the best players and therefore destroy the samller club's chances to work for a sustainable future. How will there ever be equal opportunities, I have no idea.
Perverted.
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  #31  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:28 PM
hollodero hollodero is offline
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Default Re: My big fat soccer thread.

--- tonight, my friends, is the semifinal first leg game between Bayern Munich and Barcelona - the two clubs that probably form the absolute top right now. Might get interesting! Your chance to see Messi (if he isn't hurt, it's hoped that he plays).

20.45 my time,.so I guess it's 14.45 Cincinnati time.

Tomorrow: Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid, same time.

Edit wasn't really worth it... Bayern just superior...
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Last edited by hollodero; 04-23-2013 at 05:48 PM.
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