Eddie's Football Blog

A bizarre look at the world of football, since 2008

Posts Tagged ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’

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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Ultimate Elevens – Mark Tinklin’s XI

Posted by eddiev18 on March 21, 2009

Here’s Mark Tinklin’s Ultimate XI. Let him know what you think of it!

‘You’ve got red on you’ was my first reaction to seeing Mark’s Ultimate Eleven and, as a Manchester United fan, it’s no surprise to see the core of his team consisting of a vast array of Red Devils, both past and present. With a hard-working midfield, and a solid defence, it is very difficult to see this lot conceding many goals, and when you’ve got the ability of Kaka and Rooney up front, they’d be sure to score a fair few too. My only comment would be that, with no real aerial threat in attack, Beckham’s greatest strength (his crossing) may not be capitalised on as much as it could be. I feel I may well be nitpicking though, as it’s a fantastic team.

Mark explains his selections below. Make sure you tell him what you think of his team by commenting below and, if you feel you have a better Ultimate Eleven up your sleeve, send it to me at eddiesfootballblog@hotmail.co.uk. I will put as many of them up on the site as possible. Before you do though, please read the criteria here.


marktinklinsultimateeleven

Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel – Peter Schmeichel – The best keeper there has ever been. Made some ridiculous reaction saves and dominated his penalty area. He had a unique style and the way he spread himself owed much to his handball heritage. Strikers must have been terrified at the sight of the giant Dane charging down on them. A hero that defied logic with his agility and even scored the odd goal.

Right Back: Micah Richards – When he burst onto the scene a couple of years ago I thought he’d be the best full-back there is, but after declaring he wants to be centre-back he’s struggled to make the same impact this season. At his best he is a mix of power, energy, pace and talent and if he can rediscover his best form then he will be England’s first choice right-back for years to come.

Centre Half: Pepe – I didn’t really know much about the Real Madrid centre-back before the Euros but was very impressed with what I saw. Another who, like Ferdinand, is comfortable on the ball making him the natural successor to Jorge Andrade in the Portugal team.

Centre Half: Rio Ferdinand – Another world great. I can’t thing of a better defender in the world than Rio at the moment. Seems to get places faster with less effort than anyone else because his positioning is so good. He’s very confident too and often doesn’t mark very tight because he knows that whatever the attacker does, he’ll be there to make the tackle.

Left Back: Dennis Irwin – Gets in the team ahead of Patrice Evra which is praise in its self. Very reliable and a fantastic striker of the ball. I saw him play in a Masters match at Craven Cottage (great pies) and waited all game for him to have a shot at goal or a freekick. Eventually he took a penalty in a shoot-out at the end of the game and didn’t disappoint, smashing the ball into the top corner with consummate ease and class.

Right Wing: David Beckham – Underrated by the British public because of all his off field activities Beckham was my favourite player as a kid. Hardworking but with great technique he has shown his quality by starring at Real Madrid and AC Milan. He came second in the European Player of the Year stakes when Manchester United won the treble and scored some great goals, including a screamer against Derby County. Becks did the best thing on a football pitch I have ever seen when he curled a pass down the touchline against Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Centre Midfield: Patrick Vieira – For my obligatory defensive midfielder I have gone for the frighteningly good Patrick Vieria. Much, much better than that Makalele character could ever be. He could do it all and would boss the midfield for Arsenal. Strong in the tackle, but also very good running with the ball the Gunners still haven’t been able to replace him since he left. Saying that when I saw him play he was marked out of the game by Phil Neville.

Centre Midfield: Paul Scholes – Almost every player who plays with Paul Scholes rates him as the best. Technically superb, intelligent and capable of scoring wonderful goals – see Barcelona last year and that volley against Bradford. In one Charity Shield game a couple of years back he turned Gilberto Silva with such speed and agility that the Brazilian fell over. Then he did it again. Scholes sees passes that other players don’t and is good enough to make them.

Left Wing: Cristiano Ronaldo – The best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo is the ultimate example of the modern footballer. Tall, powerful, and strong but blessed with amazing ability. His step overs are well known but he has improved as a player immeasurably since learning that he can use his pace to simply run past people. Scored a supreme number of goals last season and can only get better.

Attacking Midfield: Kaka – While his Brazilian team-mates enjoy showing off their skills and tricks Kaka is simply better than almost everyone else. He scored the greatest goal I’ve been fortunate to watch in the flesh when, in a friendly against Argentina at the Emirates, he took the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and ran the length of the pitch to score. Made the right decision in turning down Manchester City but should stop giving God all the credit for his success.

Striker: Wayne Rooney – I first became aware of Rooney when he scored a sensational goal for the Everton youth team in the FA Youth Cup. He hit the wall from a freekick 40 yards out and promptly volleyed home the rebound. Wazza scored what is probably my favourite ever goal when he smashed in a flying volley against Newcastle.

Let Mark know what you think of his team, by commenting below. If you can think of your own ‘Ultimate XI’, send it to me at eddiesfootballblog@hotmail.co.uk. I will put as many of them up on the site as possible. Before you do though, please read the criteria here.

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Rumourville – Don’t Believe The Hype

Posted by eddiev18 on January 17, 2009

‘City Could Be Ready To Swoop For Ronaldo’ (Summer transfer window headline)

Ronaldo To City? No Chance.

Ronaldo To City? No Chance.

Oh really?! Could they? Well, I could be preparing a swoop for Angelina Jolie, couldn’t I?! The difference is that if I told my mates that I was eyeing a date with Little Miss Pouty Lips, they would laugh their heads off, and not take me seriously in the slightest. Why therefore, is a story about the best player in the world – who has just won the Premier League and Champions League with City’s deadliest rivals – taken seriously by so many people?

Putting to one side the money that City now have, United would never let Ronaldo go there, and yet there were a fair few people who believed it was going to happen. My question is this, how do we as fans, in the absence of any concrete evidence, become so convinced that certain deals are so nailed-on?

Well, to start with, there are a lot of idiots out there. However, I don’t want to do football supporters such great disservice, because the real reason we believe such rumours is obvious. The truth is that fans care so much about their clubs, have such faith in them, and such hope for the future that, when a positive or exciting rumour surfaces about their team, they are halfway to believing it already. No matter how unrealistic or how little evidence the story has to support it, fans only need it reinforced a few times to get them believing it. This makes us sitting ducks for the media, and they absolutely milk it.

The newspapers can be categorised pretty easily. Firstly, you have the ‘Shit Spouting Red-Tops’ (as I like to call them) – aka The Sun, The Mirror, The Star etc. – which, on a daily basis, serve up a bunch of sensationalist, speculative nonsense, designed solely to make conversations ‘down the pub’ sound more enlightened (at the same time as slowly killing your brain).

Then you have the Daily Mail, which is for fascist tossers – people who are so afraid of the ‘state of our country’ that they refuse to step outside, in the fear that the air might give them cancer, or cellulite, or bring back Princess Diana as an immigrant. God I hate the Daily Mail.

The Sun. Kills. Brains. Fact.

The Sun. Kills. Brains. Fact.

Then you have actual newspapers, where actual journalists take time and effort to write a well thought out article, offering a considered opinion on a subject of interest. This makes for something far more thought provoking than a story as inconclusive, and lacking in any supporting evidence, as the article which would have followed the headline at the top of this page (which presumably was written by a team of monkeys, simply throwing their own shit at a piece of paper).

Anyway, with the rise of the internet, and the subsequent increase in people discarding their newspapers to get their daily fill of news online, there is no longer a small monopoly of titles producing the stories for the masses. Now, alongside the newspapers, you have hundreds of other websites available at the click of a mouse, all putting out the same stuff.

The trouble is that most of them are even worse than the ‘Shit Spouting Red Tops’. They quite literally just make stuff up to get people to their website, even if they have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support their stories. Even worse, they all appear to just copy each other’s bullshit, in some sort of ham-fisted attempt to make it all look credible (the logic assumedly being that if more than one website is running with it, then surely there must be some truth in it).

Anyway, the lack of a loyal readership (due to the shockingly poor quality of their content) and the reliance that these sites have on ‘page impressions’ for ‘ad revenue’ (blah, blah, drone), means that they have to use a gimmick to draw people back into their sites (one that the newspapers have been using effectively for years) – the ‘attention-grabbing headline’.

Here’s an example of this (which I just made up):


Headline – ‘Samba Star On Brink Of Spurs Move’

Rumours suggest that Milan forward, and Brazilian superstar, Ronaldinho could be on the brink of a move to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, for a fee believed to be in the region of £15 million.

Sources close to the Catalan club didn’t tell us anything. Well, why the fuck would they, we’re Fans FC – we’ve only gone and ripped this off another shitty website, who got their story off a cabbie who picked up former Milan player Luther Blisset from the airport the other day. Why do you care though? Ronaldinho’s off to Spurs! Go on, go dance in the street you gullible pillock.


Something like that. We’ve all seen it countless times; you just have to go to your club’s page on NewsNow on any day of either transfer window. It’s a veritable goldmine of garbage.

Anyway, despite my protestations to the contrary, I don’t think that the likes of Fans FC and The Sun are the worst offenders, when it comes to getting people to believe the bullshit. They are merely the initiators, they rarely force the issue and anyway, most people are able to read between the lines, and smell the horse-shit from a mile away! No, for me, the ones most to blame are the people who take the rumour, and attempt to cement it in other people’s minds as fact, by masquerading as some sort of transfer guru, or ‘man in the know’.

I don’t know why, but every office, pub, and internet forum seems to have one of these guys, whose mundane existence appears to inspire him to behave in this way. Constantly regurgitating transfer rumours (which he’s probably read that morning in the Daily Star, whilst tossing himself off in a public toilet) as fact, he delivers them with an air of mystery, which intends to give off the impression that the club chairman has just called him to announce the deal, days before notifying the press. We’ve all encountered someone who does this regularly. 99.9% of the time though, the truth is that they know fuck all.

Lee Dixon. Please Fuck Off.

Lee Dixon. Please Fuck Off.

The same goes for the worst offenders of all – football pundits. I fucking hate football pundits. They reckon that, just because they’ve played in the Premier League before, we all want to hear what their tiny little brains have to say about the game. Well, we don’t, so fuck off you shiny suited, matching shirt and tied, wanker.

Like the office transfer guru, you often hear someone like Lee Dixon taking a rumour and, due to his inability to think of anything intelligent to say in his tiny 30 second slot, he decides to say something like ‘Of course we all know that Tottenham are very interested in Ronaldinho… watch this space’.

Outrageous. They say it as if they’ve just got off the phone to his bloody agent, and what makes them worse than the office punk is that they have an audience of millions, yet they can’t stop themselves. As a result, thousands of people suddenly become converted to something that was, merely hours ago, just a rumour. Well, why would Lee Dixon make something up live on TV, in front of millions of people, I hear you say? Why? Because he’s a self righteous twat, who loves the sound of his voice so much, he became a fucking football pundit.

So, this January, or any transfer window for that matter, my advice to you is to enjoy it, but don’t get suckered in by rumourville. Consider that Man City were linked to 40-odd players before the window even opened! If you take it too seriously it can consume you (evidence of this is a Tottenham forum with close to 300 pages of posts on the rumour that Andrei Arshavin may still be coming to Spurs – Guys, just go outside and talk to a woman or something. Please. For the sake of humanity!).

Oh, and one final piece of advice – if you see a football pundit about to open his mouth on TV, just change the channel. Or throw something at his face. Just don’t listen to the shiny suited toss-pot.

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That Boy Got Skills – Falcao

Posted by eddiev18 on December 21, 2008

Much like going to a McDonalds in Paris, it’s the little differences that make the game of futsal unique, and a lot harder than the 5-a-side football we all know and love (certainly in the UK anyway). The main difference is the ball, which is much heavier than a standard football, making it significantly more difficult to run past players, or blast the ball from distance. The aim therefore is to use quick incisive passing, and close control to overcome your opponents.

The Portuguese and Spanish-speaking nations adore futsal and, considering many of Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Spain’s young kids play it on a regular basis, it is easy to see why the likes of Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Robinho are a class apart. If Sir Trevor Brooking wants a good way of forcing English youngsters to develop similar technique, in an enjoyable and competitive environment, this game is the answer… if he can get them away from their Playstations that is.

Anyway, on to Falcao. Ok, I’ll admit it right now, I’d never heard of this guy before last week. ‘You heard of this dude Falcao?’ asked a colleague at work. I hadn’t, so I was summoned to view a clip on YouTube of this 31 year old Brazilian who’s never pulled up any trees in the 11-a-side game, but is dubbed ‘the best futsal player in the world’.

Flying scissor kicks, mazy dribbles, and pieces of skill almost as mind-boggling as the appeal of Hollyoaks, if you looked up ‘box of tricks’ in the English dictionary, Falcao’s picture would be plasted right next to the description (ok, maybe not, but it should be).

I’m not going to go on and on, just watch the clip below. Look out for the cheeky finish on 0:30 secs, the shoulder control on 0:50, and the outrageous flick he uses to round the goalkeeper and score (1 minute into the video).

Falcao, king of futsal, we salute you.

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Calm Down, It’s Only Speculation… Or Is It?!?

Posted by eddiev18 on June 14, 2008

Going or not going? That is the question.

Putting aside the British weather, people getting excited about Tim Henman, and putting ice in cider just because some company has told them they should, for me, one of the most amusing things about the summer is the transfer window and all that it brings.

Back in 2002, the big cheeses from FIFA decided to change the rules, allowing clubs to buy and sell players solely in two designated ‘windows’ (1-31st January, and from the end of season until 31st August). This meant that the normally busy summer suddenly became the most important time of the year for clubs looking to improve.

In England, both chairmen and managers alike keep their cards extremely close to their chests, not wishing to alert rival clubs to the players that they have been scouting, in a bid to swoop in there first and get a better deal.

However, this all results in the British tabloid journalists, working with little to no information at all, going into overdrive. Striving to fill column inches, they link every player to every club in need of a player. This sometimes verges on the ridiculous (Samuel Etoo and Ronaldinho to Spurs, are mere drops in the ocean of rubbish that has already been put together this summer).

In Spain and Italy it is completely different. Over there what you tend to see is a club’s president creating the speculation himself, by outlining the (usually five or six) players he wants to sign. The club then uses the papers almost as a medium to unsettle their targets.

Extraordinary tactics yes, but also clever, as it taps into something that has been very clear in modern football over the last 10 years… the players now have the power, not the clubs. If a player wants to leave, it is virtually impossible to stop him.

A classic example of this is the Cristiano Ronaldo situation. ‘The Hairdryer’, aka Manchester Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson, has blasted Real Madrid wind-up merchant, and club president, Ramon Calderon for using sports daily ‘Marca’ to unsettle Ronaldo.

Whilst swapping being barked at by an angry red nosed Scot, for lounging in the sunshine, and a house with his beautiful Spanish girlfriend, must have something to do with Ronaldo’s recent revelation that he wants to go to Real, Calderon’s use of the media has certainly helped Madrid’s cause.

Whether the speculation has just been thought up by a journalist, or is the dream of a club president, it can’t be denied that people will start to believe it is going to happen if they keep hearing it. I find it hilarious how the chairman and managers, the very people who pride themselves on keeping their cards close to their chests when it comes to transfers, react to speculation and start to soil themselves in the fear of losing their best player.

The Ronaldo situation seems to have increased the sensitivity of the top clubs to speculation, and in the last week alone we have seen both Milan and Liverpool issuing ‘hands off’ warnings to any clubs interested in Torres and Kaka.

From the first speculation appearing in a newspaper, to the player finally signing on the dotted line at midnight on the 31st August, there really is nothing more amusing than two top clubs publically wrestling over the transfer of a player. It’s a superb distraction from the season, and Ronaldo will surely not be the last one this summer.

My advice is to sit back and enjoy!

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