Posted in My Footy Stuff/Banter

Argentina do not deserve to qualify for World Cup if they’re only going to keep depending on Messi

Argentina is WORTHLESS without their talisman Messi and it’s a shame.

Image result for lionel messi argentina

Argentina is a rubbish team. There, I said it. The team (and coach for that matter) is Messi dependent whether they want to believe it or not. Without Messi they are mediocre. Heck! Even with Messi, they are mediocre! Messi cannot always carry the team. They should be willing to step up and deliver with or without Leo.

Well, Leo is banned for 4 World Cup qualifiers which had included the ill-fated match against Bolivia recently. Argentina lost 2-0 and fell to fifth place and they’re in danger of missing the World Cup. According to FIFA, Leo had displayed “offensive behavior” towards the assistant, which Leo vehemently denied saying that his insult was aimed at the air. This happened during the Chile game in which Leo scored the only goal. I don’t care if the insult was aimed at the air, Leo had no right knowing that every eye was on him, cameras included. I can understand his frustration then, but footballers have to remember that they’re exemplary figures on/off the pitch. Leave that stuff for the locker room.

Image result for Lionel Messi

But Leo’s ban can be a good thing for Argentina as unfair as it is. This means the team has to work harder and show Leo that they can manage without him. They need to show that they can qualify for the World Cup as Leo wait to lead them. This team cannot go into the World Cup expecting to ride on Leo’s back. He has led Argentina to 3 finals and he is under pressure to deliver. The team needs to ease up some of that burden.

Along the way, the coach needs to go. He is not fit to manage Argentina. And if they cannot fix the problems within the team, then Argentina can kiss WC 2018 good bye. 

Image result for lionel messi argentina

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Posted in My Footy Stuff/Banter

Lionel Messi’s blonde ambition is nothing more than ‘rebellion’

Image: Some Twitter a/c

Is Lionel Messi ruining his clean image? (What clean image?)

Leo’s girlfriend/partner/wife/whatever revealed his new look via Instagram and Twitter went mad. 

It’s like Messi is trying to make himself more interesting by getting all these horrible tats, the bold fashion statements, the haircuts, and now the shocking blonde hair!

But, I got news for you: People change when they’re being misled by the wrong associates/friends. People also change when they get older. People change when they become fathers and decide that they’ve missed out on their childhood and tries to compensate for it. People change when they climb out of their protective shells (Ask Edinson Cavani ’bout them whores). People change when they had enough of mean insults. People change when they’re tired of the ‘oh, he’s so boring’ comments.

People change and Leo is no different.

Maybe them Brazilian boys were bad influences *coughs* Neymar & Alves! *cough cough* but Lionel Messi is man enough to know what he wants. He is man enough to make HIS VERY OWN decisions when in the company of bad influence. Leo is in a place right now where he is rebelling. Yes, dear Leo is rebelling. As a child who was hopelessly shy, devoting his heart to football, he never really had the time to grow up, make bad decisions and learn from stupid mistakes… until Ronaldinho and co. However, Leo always lived in a bubble and had someone to protect him at all cost and when Pep Guardiola came to Barcelona, he got rid of the bad company around Leo.

But Leo is not THAT little boy anymore.

Yes, Mr. Messi is all grown up now (total hottie & all!), but the fact does not remain that Neymar has been rubbing off bad influences on him. He has found in Neymar something that he has never quite found in other teammates: a childish bond as silly as that may sound. Neymar is one of those friends that your parents warn you to stay away from. It took him only 3 years to rub off on Leo, who is still emerging from that cocoon he has been inhabiting for years.

Still, the fact remains that Messi is a grown man. That bubble has popped long ago. Long before Neymar started to stroke the fires and started to teach Messi bad things. Tats, haircuts, fashion, and blonde ambition aside, this does not change the fact that Lionel Messi is the best player in the universe (regardless of a somewhat mid-teen crisis). He better not pull a Cavani on Anto though!

Posted in My Footy Stuff/Banter

So you just going to quit like that, Messi?

Argentina v Chile: Championship - Copa America Centenario

It’s tough, it’s not the time for analysis. In the dressing room I thought that this is the end for me with the national team, it’s not for me. That’s the way I feel right now, it’s a huge sadness once again and I missed the penalty that was so important. I tried so hard to be champion with Argentina. But it didn’t happen. I couldn’t do it.”

Messi

I am currently covering Euro 2016, but I had an eye on the Copa America. I was not going to feature another topic on the blog, but waking up to the terrible news of Leo’s retirement this morning prompted me to write this post.

Lionel Messi has had it with Argentina. He had it with the boos, the pain, the misery, the failing at finals, and the heartbreaks that always follow. He’s also had it with trying to live up to Diego Maradona’s height. I can understand this. I can understand what it means for the confidence of a man to be shaken. When you have given your all, your best, and you get the same result over and over again at the end and you feel useless. I can understand what it means to be frustrated with having a great tournament and not winning the final, but one must NEVER GIVE UP.

Look at Edinson Cavani. He screwed up mightily when the team needed him on the big stage, but he chose to stick it out with Uruguay. There were moments when he felt like crying, but he held it in and offered the world one of his brilliant smiles. Social media was not kind to him when Uruguay crashed out of the Copa America tournament, but Cavani didn’t quit in the heat of the moment.

Javier Mascherano is also set to retire after losing five finals. Aguero will most likely follow. But it’s not too late, Messi (and company). Just give the World Cup one more shot. You’re stronger and better than this. Quitting shouldn’t be a word in your dictionary. Maybe you’re inconsolable right now and maybe this was spoken in the heat of the heartbreaking moment, but football is your passion and you value Argentina above everything else. Give it one more chance, Leo, then you can retire knowing that you’ve given everything. 

Don’t walk away like this even if Higuain is a bottler in finals, even if Argentina doesn’t deserve you. You’ve had many rotten eggs, but don’t let this latest rotten egg put you off from wearing your shirt with pride and honor.

But like I said, I do understand. Leo is accepting that Argentina glory is beyond him and it’s time to make way for new players. He made a harsh decision and we have to accept it in the end. He is broken-hearted and he needs some time to heal.

Waiting for an official statement from Leo though.

Argentina v Chile: Championship - Copa America Centenario

Posted in Euro 2016 France, Les Bleus, My Footy Stuff/Banter

Should we rest Payet on Sunday?

Many fans feel that Didier Deschamps should rest Payet on Sunday when France meets Switzerland in their last group match now that France has qualified for the next round. 

But Payet is in his element and I bet he is looking forward to playing on Sunday. Deschamps don’t need to start him. He can come off the bench in the second half because we’ll definitely need/rely upon him for the round of 16. It doesn’t matter if we’ve already qualified for the next round, we’ll be playing for all 9 points.

Dimitri Payet, is simply, the most exciting player at the Euro to watch. I am super proud of him because when most fans were doubting him, I stood by him. I am happy that he is enjoying this tournament. 

Allez Payet!

Posted in Euro 2016 France, My Footy Stuff/Banter

It’s okay, Ronaldo, you won’t understand

On Tuesday, underdogs Iceland held Portugal to a 1-1 draw and Cristiano Ronaldo felt cheated. After the match, the Portuguese accused Iceland of not trying to win the game.

“We tried hard to win the game, Iceland didn’t try anything. They scored a goal, they created two chances in the ninety minutes and otherwise they got every player behind the ball. They put the bus in the net so it’s difficult when one team don’t try but Portugal try and play football and try to win the game.”

No one is saying that Portugal didn’t try their best to win the game, but the draw is the biggest thing to happen right now for Iceland. Ronaldo won’t understand how much this means for the smallest nation at the Euro given that this is his 4th. When Birkir Bjarnason scored the equalizing goal breaking Portugal’s hearts in the process, Ronaldo complained,

“I thought they’d won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable.”

Like I said, Ronaldo, you won’t understand the joy the smallest nation on earth felt when Birkir scored that goal. And if that wasn’t enough, Ronaldo went on about the way Iceland defended:

“When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend this, in my opinion, shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.”

While it’s true Iceland mostly played on the counter-attack, Ronaldo shouldn’t be moaning about this. He should be used to this by now. Portugal should focus on their next match and try winning that one. 

Posted in Euro 2016 France, My Footy Stuff/Banter, Reports

Euro 2016 off to a slow start

We’re spoiled. I too can admit this without stuttering. I am spoiled. Not all the time, but I am spoiled.

When Euro 2016 kicked off on Friday, I was expecting goals galore by day 2 given the matches: England v Russia and Wales v Slovakia. I was also expecting lots of goals from teams like Germany, Spain, and Italy. France’s very own Olivier Giroud opened the Euro tournament with a wicked header. Since that, we’ve had the first yellow and red card bookings and free kicks galore! 

I am bad at making predictions and I stay away from doing so, but these are the 8 teams I choose to progress to the next round: France and Switzerland (Group A) although I am still spilt over this. I kind of want/expect Romania to go through with France; Wales and Russia (Group B) although England might likely join Wales; Germany and Poland (Group C); Spain and Croatia (Group D); Italy and Belgium (Group E); Iceland and Portugal (Group F) although I hope that Hungary can surprise everyone by going through. 

Bring on the second round!

Total goals in the opening round: 22

France fans react during the EURO 2016 soccer match in Marseille

Posted in Euro 2016 France, My Footy Stuff/Banter

Iceland can spring a surprise

Group F is considered a pretty easy group for Portugal given that their opponents are Austria, Hungary, and Iceland. Iceland is getting written off by most fanatics. They’re not expected to go through, but I refuse to count them out.

The Icelanders started off slow during the qualification round, but I think they’re ready to give everything to show why they deserve their place in the tournament. They’re the smallest nation to ever qualify for a major international final tournament and I am certain the security must overwhelm them, given that back home in Iceland, families almost never lock their doors. In other words, they’re accustomed to freedom.

This is a country on my ‘Must Visit’ list. 

Iceland, as underdogs, I want you to go out there and show the world what you’re made of.

Iceland will kick-off their first game of the tournament on Tuesday against the powerhouse Portugal. 

Posted in Euro 2016 France, Les Bleus, Live Threads

Live banter: France v Romania

FT: The hosts grabs all 3 points all thanks to Giroud and Payet. 2-1 and although I am delighted, I’m kind of disappointed too. Payet is the Man of the Match. There is no doubt about this.

3 minutes are added, but I think Payet had already won the match for France.

91′ An emotional Payet makes way for Sissoko

89′ GOAL! UNPLAYABLE PAYET! His left-footed strike from the edge of the box puts France in the lead and in the driving seat! 2-1

81′ Popa off. Torje on (ROM). Still 1-1 at the Stade de France.Players on both sides look tired despite the fresh feet introduced.

78′ Yellow Popa (ROM)

76′ Pogba off. Martial on. (FRA)

72′ Stanciu off. Chipciu on (ROM)

68′ Yellow for Giroud

66′ Griezmann off. Kingsley on. (FRA)

65′ GOAL! Patrice Evra gives a penalty away. Stancu steps up and buried it for Romania to pull them back in the game. 1-1. 

61′ Andone off. Alibec on. (ROM)

57′ GOAL! Payet cuts onto his left foot and curls a teasing cross into the box. Giroud gets to the ball ahead of the goalkeeper and head that baby into the back of an empty net for the beautiful opener. 1-0 baby! And the first goal of Euro 2016.

56′ POGBA! 

47′ Chance Romania! In the end it goes wide and Lloris is not pleased with his defenders. Actually, it was Rami who was caught taking a little nap.

2nd half back underway at the Stade de France. Let’s go team! Let’s go!

France's Olivier Giroud in action with Romania's Vlad Chiriches

France's Olivier Giroud in action with Romania's Vlad Chiriches

HT: 0-0. I was not expecting this match to be easy for the French despite many people saying that it was going to be super easy. If France can break open and then break down Romania’s defense, they’ll get the desired result. Here’s hoping the 2nd half will be better for the French. ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!

46′ Giroud’s header can’t quite find the back of the net. That’s two god chances for Olivier thus far.

2 minutes added 

43′ FK France. Weakly delivered by Payet. 0-0

36′ Griezmann again at the near post! Les Bleus is so unlucky not to be ahead by 2-1 right now.

31′ Yellow Chiriches (ROM)

25′ Payet swings in the corner, but it was easy for the Romanian goalie to latch onto. Still 0-0 in this exciting opener.

14′ Another good chance for France, but Griezmann is unlucky to have better control of the ball. 

10′ Set piece for France. Payet delivers a great ball in, but Giroud’s header goes just wide. Allez Giroud!

4′ The first shot of the game comes from Romania, but Hugo Lloris produces a wonderful save to deny them an early 1-0 lead. I think the French looks a little shaky at the back. 

France v Romania - EURO 2016 - Group A

KICK-OFF! WE’RE UNDERWAY AT THE STADE DE FRANCE!

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Votre force, notre passion!

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STARTING XI: 

FRANCE:  Lloris – Sagna, Rami, Koscielny, Evra – Kanté, Pogba, Matuidi – Griezmann, Payet, Giroud.

ROMANIA:  Tătăruşanu – Săpunaru, Grigore, Chiricheş, Raţ – Hoban, Pintilii – Stanciu, Popa, Stancu – Andone

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The team is here!

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Mon cœur en bleu!!

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Welcome to Euro 2016 opener between France and Romania. I’ll be lying if I say that I am not a little nervous to watch my team today, but I am also excited. We have 3 games to get it right, but I rather we get it right from the first game, so we need to go out there and win. I’m going for a 2-1 victory in favor of Les Bleus.