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Posted in Les Bleus, Reports

Les Bleus in 2016

I haven’t been updating My Heart Beats Football as I should, but it doesn’t mean that I am not following the beautiful game.

Every Les Bleus game this year was a joy to watch even their last game of 2016 against Côte d’Ivoire last evening, despite it being scoreless at the full-time whistle. Les Bleus have matured and flourished under Didier Deschamps and I enjoy watching them grow. Many critics and skeptics alike thought that without the likes of Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena, the team would’ve been a failure. To tell the honest truth, I was not scared over losing them. We had the likes of Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann to cover us. We made it to the Euro 2016 final and although we didn’t win, we got back up again.

Payet finally emerged and took centerstage. N’Golo had the world smacking their lips at his skills and Pogba shone on the world stage. Adil Rami came back. Areola is finally being noticed. As for the wonderful Hugo Lloris, well, as a captain, he did everything right and as a goalie, he has excelled where past French goalies hadn’t. I am proud of the entire team.

STATS 2016

^ Les Bleus played 17 games, won 13, and had only one defeat which was to Portugal in the final of the Euro 2016.

^ Dimitri Payet racked up the assists with 7

^ Our top scorers are Griezmann and Giroud with 8 goals a’ piece.

This is progress and I am proud to say that we’re going forward. I cannot complain about our campaign this year. Thank you for a beautiful 2016, Les Bleus and here’s to 2017. 

Featured
Posted in France Football (Other), Goals/Saves I Like, Man of the Weekend

Man of the Weekend: Jean-François Bédénik

Image result for Jean-François Bédénik

When TA Rennes met Vannes OC in the Championnat de France Amateur 2 (CFA 2) last evening, I bet they weren’t expecting Jean-François Bédénik to be a literal wall especially during a crucial penalty save. Vannes won the match 3-0, but I still can’t over the goalie’s Man of the Match performance. 

THE SAVES:

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Posted in Announcements/Official Stuff, Reports

One more season won’t hurt

I planned on closing My Heart Beats Football after Euro 2016, but I’ve been requested to continue it, so I guess it’ll be open for one season more.  Also, I’ve been asked by sever…:

I had planned on closing My Heart Beats Football after Euro 2016, but I’ve been requested to continue it, so I guess it’ll be open for one season more. 

Also, I’ve been asked by several people if I can do another football fan fic with the Les Bleus coach and his identical twin. However, they want to see him at none other than FC Barcelona. I’m thinking about it given that Marcus is a patriotic son of a gun who cares nothing for the Liga. We’ll see how/if that takes off when the new season of football begins.

Bring on the new season!

Posted in Announcements/Official Stuff

Griezmann is Superman

Image result for The LEGO Batman Movie

I am over the moon excited for the upcoming LEGO Batman movie and now Antoine Griezmann as the voice of Superman (my favorite superhero) made me a bit more excited. However, Griezmann would only feature in the French edition of the film. That’s too bad, but it’s a great opportunity for him.

The announcement via his Facebook page:

Posted in Arsenal, PL

Man of the week: Olivier Giroud!

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League

On Sunday, Olivier Giroud scored a stinging scorpion kick against Crystal Palace earning him an early contender for goal of the season.

And it was wickedly delicious! 

Last evening, the Frenchman help Arsenal come back from 3-1 against Bournemouth by being involved in all 3 goals (2 assists), the equalizer he ended up scoring (3-3). Continue to do you, boy!

AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal - Premier League

Posted in Beautiful Moments In The Beautiful Game, FC Barcelona

Moment of the week: Murtaza meeting Messi

Football isn’t only about kicking a ball around the pitch for 90 plus minutes to win the game. It’s also about the professional conduct of the players and the little gestures that they show their fans. 

Yesterday, six-year-old Murtaza met his hero for the first time and it took social media by storm. It started when a series of tweets showed the little boy playing football in a plastic bag Argentina #10 jersey. This story touched millions of hearts even Leo who wanted to get in touch with the child.

Leo eventually sent Murtaza his national team and club jerseys respectively and they finally met yesterday in Doha where Barcelona was present for a friendly against Al Ahli. Barcelona won 5-3, but the result didn’t matter. At least not for me where little Murtaza was concerned. 

Posted in Beautiful Moments In The Beautiful Game, FC Barcelona

Beautiful Moment: Murtaza Ahmadi finally meets Messi

Remember Murtaza Ahmadi? No? Allow me to jog your memory:

murtaza-ahmadi-finally-got-a-messi-jersey/

The little dear heart finally got to meet Leo in Doha today. Barcelona is in Doha for a friendly match today against Al Ahli.

Al Ahli faces FC Barcelona

Moments like these are what I live for in the beautiful game!

It’s going to be a moment he’ll always remember!

Posted in FC Barcelona, Goals/Saves I Like, La Liga, Man of the Weekend

Man of the Weekend: Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona won 3-0 against Osasuna over the weekend with the opener from Luis and a brace by Messi. However, the talk around town was Lionel Messi’s second goal and if you missed it, have no fear! Relive the beautiful goal below:

Leo doesn’t care how many defenders you throw at him, he’ll dribble pass them with the intention to score. And that final feint before the finish! Brilliant! The way he faked out the defender and the goalie before finding net! I can’t stop watching this goal. This is the Leo I love to see. 

Posted in Champions League, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Champions League last 16 draw: Arsenal draws Bayern Munich for the 100th time

It’s getting rather ridiculous now when it comes to Bayern Munich v Arsenal and Barcelona v PSG.

I have been following the CL closely this season and when it boils down to the last 16, given that Bayern Munich didn’t win their group, I just knew they were going to get stuck with Arsenal. I also knew that FC Barcelona was going to play against Paris Saint-Germain.

It’s so predictable, it’s boring now.

Boring that we’ve seen Bayern-Arsenal matches at least 8 times over the last five years. Boring that Real Madrid always seems to get the easiest opponents available. Boring that Barcelona can’t quit PSG. And had Arsenal finished second? They would’ve gotten Barcelona. Another boring fixed rigging. 

Last 16 Matches:

Manchester City v Monaco

First leg: February 21 – Manchester

Second leg: March 15 – Monaco

Real Madrid v Napoli

First leg: February 15- Madrid

Second leg: March 7 – Naples

Benfica v Borussia Dortmund

First leg: February 14 – Lisbon

Second leg: March 8 – Dortmund

Bayern Munich v Arsenal

First leg: February 15 – Munich

Second leg: March 7 – London 

Porto v Juventus

First leg: February 22 – Porto

Second leg: March 14 – Turin

Bayern Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

First leg: February 21 – Leverkusen 

Second leg: March 15 – Madrid 

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona

First leg: February 14 – Paris

Second leg: March 8 – Barcelona 

Sevilla v Leicester City

First leg: February 22 – Seville

Second leg: March 14 – Leicester 

Posted in Announcements/Official Stuff, Miscellaneous, Soca Warriors

Changes for TT’s men and women football teams

TRINIDAD AND Tobago national men’s and women’s football teams had new senior head coaches appointed at a press conference held by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association in Port of Spain on Wednesday.

Belgium’s Tom Saintfiet, who replaced the recently fired Stephen Hart, was handed a two-year contract to lead the men national team while Carolina Morace of Italy took charge of the women’s team.

With T&T currently engaged in the CONCACAF final round World Cup qualifying tournament and yet to pick up a point after two matches, Saintfiet’s tenure as head coach may hinge on the team’s performance in their next two outings against Panama on March 24 and Mexico on March 28.

TTFA president David John Williams said: “If he doesn’t get the results we need in those two matches then he could find himself out of a job since we can kiss our World Cup bid goodbye if we don’t get those results.”

Image result for tom saintfiet

Saintfiet, 43, played football for Belgian outfit FC Boom from 1983 to 1997 before going into management at 24, making him the youngest manager in Belgian football. He has a number of coaching stints under his belt, having worked in Germany, Finland, Jordan, Qatar, Belgium and the Netherlands in addition to serving as head coach of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Namibia, and more recently Togo and Bangladesh.

He said his immediate focus is to take T&T to the World Cup and its a job he will not try to do alone.

Morace comes with a decorated career, both as a former player and a coach.

The 52-year-old Italian is a former national striker who also represented a number of clubs in the women’s Serie A. She was the top scorer in their domestic competition in the 1984–85 season, before going on to hold that distinction for 11 consecutive seasons (1987–88 to 1997–98).

After calling time on her playing career she took up a management portfolio at Lazio before going on to manage the Italian women’s national team from 2000 to 2005, and the Canadian national women’s team from 2009 to 2011.

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During her stint in charge of the Italian women’s team she took them to two European Championships, while Canada’s women team won the 2010 CONCACAF title as well as the Cyprus Cup in 2011 and 2011, and the 2010 Four Nations Tournament with her at the helm. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame, a distinction she picked up in 2014.

Morace holds a UEFA PRO License and is best known for being the first woman to coach a professional men’s football team when she took the reins of Viterbese, an Italian Serie C1 outfit in 1999.

She was awarded a two-and-a-half-year contract, which runs until 2019, by the TTFA and in addition to her role as senior women’s coach she will oversee educational development in the women’s football programme.

SOURCE: Trinidad Express