Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona’

Messi: Subway, McDonalds and Pret are fast food’s best

Posted by eddiev18 on March 16, 2012

Messi: Take heed and ye shall see the light

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi today named his top three fast food restaurants as Subway, McDonalds and UK sandwich chain Prêt A Manger.

The announcement was Messi’s second revelation in as many days, increasing speculation that he has begun pandering to a worryingly large proportion of the United Kingdom who, in the absence of any discernible English talent, now see him as some sort of God-like prophet.

Ben Dwayne, from Rotherham, reasoned: “This man is clearly not of this world. He is a miracle, I tell you, and a time will come when he will pass judgment on us all.  We must prepare for this moment and take heed of his words today.

“We are a simple people. All we want is guidance – answers to the important questions life poses.

“Who is the best player in our humble league? Where should I have my lunch? What is the best iphone app? Shit like that.

“Lionel will guide us though the shadowy pitfalls and into the light.”

Widespread hysteria following Messi’s comments has led to the Argentine declaring that he will reveal a new ‘top three’ every day for the foreseeable future.

Future words of guidance will range from the top three tracks to play when stuck in a traffic jam to a trio of ways to kill a crocodile with your bare hands.

A spokesman for Cristiano Ronaldo reacted: “He’s doing what now?! Oh, for christ’s sake, so now he’s supposed to be some sort of all-knowing deity is he?

“It’s ridiculous, especially given that he still hasn’t proved he can do it on a cold January evening in Stoke.

“Oh, and he’s shit at headers too.”

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Sky Sports News: Look, it’s a saga because we tell you it is, ok?

Posted by eddiev18 on July 19, 2011

The Grant Nostril Saga: Will he or won't he?

Sky Sports News today announced that the word ‘saga’ means whatever the hell they want it to mean, and if football fans didn’t like it they could simply switch to another channel.

The 24-hour sports channel – once described as ‘like having the Sun shouted at you by two robots dressed as bankers’ – was responding to criticism that their continued exaggeration of mundane sports stories via the irresponsible mis-use of supporting vocabulary,  has been ruining the lives of stupid people who now think that absolutely everything is an outrageously exciting ‘saga’.

Proving the point, George Franks – who has been watching Sky Sports News avidly since the season ended on the 22nd May – was asked what had actually happened in the 58 days he has spent glued to his sofa.

“Oh, it’s all been kicking off hasn’t it?! There was the time that a man with moustache spent a day outside White Hart Lane to catch a glimpse of Luka Modric walking through a door. What a moment in the saga that was, eh?!

“What else? Oh yeah, there was the time that the bloke with the big chin brought up a picture of Wesley Sneijder on his flashy touch screen and revealed that the saga involving him joining United could be nearing a conclusion. Sky sources revealed.

“It turns out they made the whole thing up, but it kept me up all night eating Pop-Tarts waiting for the ‘Breaking News’ that was always promised every half hour after the ad breaks.

“It’s true though, I do find it hard not to turn everything into a saga these days. I can’t make breakfast without an internal commentary breaking the news that my slice of Warburton’s Seeded Batch ‘has made a dramatic move to join Toast FC on a short term contract’.

“My girlfirend has left me of course. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have broken the news on Twitter that ‘the blowjob deal had finally been agreed’.”

A Sky spokesman was unashamed of the channel’s tactics: “Sky Sports News is one of our flagship stations, and it is absolutely ghastly isn’t it?

“However, it’s a fantastic money spinner. We have learnt that if you persistently drip-feed thick people with “BREAKING NEWS” exclusives every 15 minutes, then they will happily accept spending 90% of their time watching goals from League Two and boring press conferences with Rotherham’s new assistant manager.

“They will certainly not change the channel, and frankly we don’t really care if the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t deem Cesc Fabregas buying a pint of milk as ‘another chapter in the ongoing saga’.  We say it is, so it is. That’s the end of it.

“Although being a saga it obviously isn’t…”

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EXCLUSIVE: Champions League Final was actually just an online game of Fifa 11

Posted by eddiev18 on May 31, 2011

Messi: Controlled by Japanese teenager

Football fans all over the United Kingdom today woke up to the news that Saturday night’s Champions League Final was actually just a live game of Fifa 11 between a Japanese teenager and a 69 year old alcoholic pensioner.

Milllions of viewers tuned in to watch what they thought was a masterclass from Pep Guardiola’s men, only to realise later that they had actually just witnessed 14 year old Yoshio Takanawa wiping the floor of Maureen Turner from Aberdeen on Xbox Live.

United fan Kevin Wilmott was one of the few viewers who spotted the mix-up: “We all know how good Barcelona are, but that was just too fucking easy. In the second half I remember saying to my mate that it was like watching some Japanese whizz-kid play my granny at FIFA. It turns out I was pretty much bang on.

“What gave it away though, was a manouvre from Messi on 65 minutes that can only be achieved via the combo ‘b + ^ + L + select’. Human beings simply cannot phisically do that, and then follow it by beating four defenders – it was clearly a game of FIFA.”

Mrs Turner wasn’t too bothered by the defeat, and admits that she’s not much of a gamer: “My grandson Charlie was playing on his computer thingy, and I asked him if I could have a go. I chose Manchester United because David Beckham plays for them, doesn’t he? He’s a charming fellow.

“Anyway, I didn’t do very well. You see, I’d already had a few whiskeys and kept pressing pass when I meant to press shoot. Actually, now I remember it, we only scored our goal when I went for a refill and gave the controller back to Charlie.”

An ITV spokesman admitted that someone must have plugged in the wrong live output feed but – whilst they were sorry – the actual final (which Barcelona scraped 1-0) was nowhere near as exciting.

“Look, whether it’s the patronising tones of Jim Beglin, the employment of Andy Townsend, or simply the way we cut to an advert just before your team scores an important goal, ITV is renown for screwing up your enjoyment of important football matches.

“You’re just going to have to get used to it, ok?

“Plus, our mistake on Saturday resulted in millions of people witnessing the sort performance that a team of humans could only dream of relpicating. Yoshio was magnificent.

“Ok, I accept that dismantling a team controlled by a 69 year old Scottish drunk was never going to be much of a challenge, but you simply have to applaud the skill with which it was done.”

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Mourinho: Real Madrid must sponsor Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Posted by eddiev18 on April 29, 2011

There is absolutely, positively, no way that I would even think about diving for a penalty ref...

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho today told the club’s board that the only way to compete with rivals Barcelona is to replace their current shirt sponsor with a picture of a cute kitten or puppy.

In the aftermath of Wednesday’s defeat, Mourinho suggested that the number of refereeing decisions that go in Barcelona’s favour is almost certainly connected to the Catalan club’s unique sponsorship deal with UNICEF, and certainly not just another one of his conspiracy theories.

“I accept that officiating a football match in which all 22 players consistently cheat and angrily disagree with pretty much every decision you make must be a very difficult job. All I’m saying is that, faced with so much dishonesty, who are you going to believe? The player sporting the logo of an evil gambling company, or the player whose shirt basically says ‘every time we fail, a child dies’?

“I have to credit Barcelona for discovering such an innovative method of gamesmanship but, now that we know it works, it’s time for us to get involved.”

If the board sanction Mourinho’s plan, then the famous Real Madrid shirt would carry a weekly photo of the cutest animals that Battersea has to offer, along with the caption ‘Don’t let me go hungry’ in the native language of the match referee.

“Yeah, that’s the key”, chortled Mourinho. “We’d arrange everything to make sure that our donation is sent to Battersea only when we win, which gives the referee a serious moral dilemma when deciding major incidents. This may well help us close the gap.”

Madrid fan Luis Sanchez welcomes the move: “Fuck it, why not give it a try? Look, we all know that Real Madrid will never in a million years have the level of patience and unity that Barcelona have shown to enable them to develop such a brilliant team. That’s just not how we roll. Our thing is spending shitloads of money on marquee signings and, you know, just sort of hoping it works out. This is why I am pleased to see our manager focussing on things that he can change, like guilt-tripping the ref.”

When asked whether he truly believes the accusations he has made concerning Barcelona, or whether they are simply a result of his inability to graciously accept defeat, Mourinho was adamant – donning a pair of dark sunglasses and saying: “Look, I’m trying to free your mind. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

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Eddie’s Greats – Hristo Stoichkov

Posted by eddiev18 on February 22, 2009

“Some write that I’m a genius, others say that I’m disrespectful towards their country. Just like they were towards mine. If you remember in 1993 I squatted to tie my shoe during the French national anthem. I don’t care what they write about me.” Hristo Stoichkov

Having recently written a piece about what a horrible little wanker Craig Bellamy is, it was only natural to follow with a homage to Hristo Stoichkov. The above quote is just an example but, seriously, this guy could start an argument with his own reflection and, throughout his career, could frequently be seen having a go at the referee, his opponents, or his manager.

However, aggression can be a very good attribute and, in Stoichkov’s case, is what drove him to become one of the best players in the world. I’ve always thought that it was such a shame he never played in English football, as his style was a perfect match to that of the English game. He fought for everything, chased back when he lost the ball, and a high tempo bought the best out of him.

‘So, the same style as Craig Bellamy then?’, I hear you say. Yes, but unlike Bellamy, Hristo Stoichkov was world class. Great as a support striker, the Bulgarian played at his best as an attacking left-winger, mainly because his crosses had an uncanny ability to find their targets in the penalty area. With the sort of pace a greyhound would be proud of, he never had a problem beating his man either, and when he wasn’t setting goals up, he was scoring them. His career record reads 220 goals in 455 games, including 83 goals in 175 games in one of the best Barcelona teams ever to have graced the Camp Nou.

Dubbed the ‘Dream Team’, Johan Cruyff’s side were unstoppable as they won La Liga four years in a row, and the Champions League in 1992. Stoichkov was the fans favourite, and remains a legend in their eyes today, having won everything he possibly could have with the club, and frequently stating his hatred for Real Madrid.

Standing at a modest 5ft 10in, the Bulgarian looked in no way a powerhouse, but that didn’t stop him producing explosive left-footed pot-shots from distance, which would have Popeye wondering what his diet consisted of. This ability also extended to sublime free-kicks, which most goalkeepers would simply have to watch as they sailed into the top corner.

The best way to remember Stoichkov is to think back to the phenomenal World Cup he had at USA ’94. That tournament was a showreel of his brilliance. The world couldn’t believe its eyes as the Bulgarian led his country to the semi-finals against all the odds, and scored some absolute beauties along the way, to clinch the golden boot. This culminated in him being crowned European footballer of the year, and earning global admiration.

Fine, his career did tail off slightly after leaving Barca, and he was last seen breaking a kid’s leg in the MLS, but who cares? Stoichkov is a true modern great, and that kid now has a story for his grandkids. Anyway, is Dimitar Berbatov the best Bulgarian player in history?

Not in my book…

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A Face I’d Like To Smack – Andrei Arshavin

Posted by eddiev18 on February 14, 2009

In terms of players I’d like to hit, Andrei Arshavin is right up there.

To start with, he has the sort of arrogant swagger which is a pre-requisite of any player who wants to play for Arsenal (that, as well as being technically gifted, I must concede). However, he also made a bit of a tit of himself over the last 6 months by punting himself around to virtually all of Europe’s top clubs, even though most of them never really wanted him.

Annoyingly using that horrificly false and cliched phrase, he first claimed that Barcelona was his ‘dream’ (until it was clear the feeling wasn’t mutual), and then proceeded to ‘dream’ about Chelsea, Tottenham and, finally, Arsenal. Andrei, just keep your mouth shut in future, until you’re actually holding the shirt.

However, even if you ignore the above, he still needs a twatting. Just look at his face:

Smackability Rating: 4

If there’s a player out there whose face incites you into a homicidal rage, and who I’ve not already mentioned, email their name to me at eddiesfootballblog@hotmail.co.uk. I will do the naming and shaming for you!

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Eddie’s Greats – Rivaldo

Posted by eddiev18 on June 28, 2008

Rivaldo BrazilIn his heyday, playing for Barcelona, there wasn’t a player in the world as good as Rivaldo. If that is disputed, it shouldn’t be.

Despite carving out a very successful career for himself, in which he won the World Cup, two Spanish La Liga titles, the Copa Del Rey, along with the 1999 European and Fifa World player of the year awars, the early days of his career were not so easy. Coming from an empoverished Brazilian family, his thin, bow-legged appearance initially put coaches of his native country off – many of them claimed he was too weak.

Appearances often flatter to decieve though, and a talent so natural as his was eventually impossible to ignore. At 21 years of age, after 3 years of flirting with the lower divisions, Rivaldo eventually got his big chance in the Brazilian top flight, signing for Corinthians. It got better though as, after one successful season and 17 goals, Palmeiras snapped him up. It was here, and with Brazil in the 1996 Olympics, where the rest of the world started to take notice.

A move to Deportivo, and then to Barcelona a year later, and he was in his prime, playing at one of the best clubs in the world. He excelled.

A left footed forward, Rivaldo played his best stuff operating in the hole behind the strikers. He had exceptional technique that allowed him time to pick out team-mates with pin-point passes, and gave him space to unleash left-footed piledrivers from outside the penalty box. Giving himself this extra space by means of his technique was vital to his success, as he was often man-marked which would have usually disabled players with lesser levels of skill.

The left footed pile-drivers, many of them superb free-kicks, were one of Rivaldo’s trademarks. The remarkable thing about many of these strikes was that, on first viewing, a spectator could easily think that he had just hit the ball as hard as he possibly could and hoped for the best. However, replays often showed that, despite the venom of the shot, Rivaldo had actually found the corner by expertly sidefooting the ball exactly where he knew the keeper could not save it.

The other Rivaldo trademark was the bicycle kick. I honestly believe I’ve never seen anyone execute this skill better than him. On numerous occasions in his career he would have his back to goal at an impossible angle, or from a ridiculous distance from goal, only to launch himself into the air like a gangly daddy-long-legs., and expertly volley the ball into the back of the net.

For me, although not a trophy winning moment, the best showcase of the great Brazilian’s skills was a game he played for Barcelona in the 2000-01 season. Needing to win the game to qualify for the following season’s UEFA Champions League, Barcelona found themselves at 2-2, running out of ideas, and in need of something special. They got it from Rivaldo in stunning fashion. With his back to goal, 25 yards out, he produced an unstoppable bicycle kick that flew past Valencia’s goalkeeper, and into the onion bag. Rivaldo scored all three of Barcelona’s goals, each one of them a beauty. In my mind it is the greatest hat-trick of all time.

I could go on, but i’ll just let you watch the clip, and you can decide for yourself if he’s worthy of the ‘Great’ tag. I don’t think you’ll disagree.

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