Monday, 4 June 2012

The Rebirth of Fernando Torres?

Fernando Torres, a flop, a disappointment, a complete and utter waste of money, a traitor, a failure. All these words and phrases have been used to describe Fernando Torres since his £50 million transfer from Liverpool to their rivals, Chelsea, in the winter transfer window of 2010. This transfer made him the most expensive in the history of the Premier League and the most expensive Spanish player ever. Since then, Torres is the player that gets booed by his own supporters, overlooked by his own club, criticised by pundits and critics all around the world. He is the striker that did not manage to score a goal in a huge 903 minutes. This Fernando is a far cry from the player we saw in the 2008 European Cup final, the player that Liverpool paid £20 million for in 2007, the player that the fans chanted the name of over and over again. ‘Torres, Torres, Torres!’ He is a ghost of his former self, the player that everyone loved and respected, the player that scored a huge 33 goals in one season and the player the player that was once in the final 3 of the nominees for the FIFA Player of the Year award.

We can talk on hours on end about what had changed, why Fernando Torres’ form dropped so dramatically. Was it his injury? Was it just that his new team have not given him enough time and space to shine? Was it something that had affected Fernando personally? Or was it something bigger than everything, fate? What had caused Fernando’s confidence to disappear so much that he feels so much pressure in front of the goal? These questions lay unanswered. We can guess and speculate all we like but the past is the past and we cannot change it however much we would like to. However, the biggest question of them all is based very much on the future: What will it take for Fernando to start scoring again? I believe that the answer to this question lies in Fernando himself.

In the last few games of this season, we have seen flickers of his old self. His spectacular goal in the Champions League semi-finals against the great FC Barcelona where his acceleration and finishing was absolutely tremendous. The smile on his face after the hat-trick against QPR showed signs of change. However, this was overshadowed by the fact that he was not picked for the final of the Champions League in which Torres himself described as ‘a huge disappointment when I saw the line-up, perhaps the biggest disappointment in my life’ and again when interim manager did not pick Fernando Torres to take a spot kick in the penalty shoot out. However, in the international friendly matches from these last few weeks, Torres played spectacularly, proving to his ever believing and faithful national team manager, Del Bosque that he was right to pick him as part of the 23-man squad for Spain when many others argued that Roberto Soldado, the Valencia striker had had a better season than Torres and deserved to be in the squad.

Despite all this, the most important thing is for Fernando to perform on the big stage, in Ukraine and Poland. Fernando has everything to prove to his critics and his haters wrong. He has everything to get back: the respect from all football fans and pundits, the belief from next season’s yet to be announced Chelsea manger and prove that he is not there just to warm up the bench and he has to show everyone that he is back and better than before. Why am I so sure that he will be able to perform in the Euros? The honest answer is that I am not. But I have hope. I remember the Fernando that scored the winning goal in the same competition 4 years ago and every time I see him play, I remember that moment, not all the moments where he has failed. So, I hope. Because when everything else disappears, hope is all you have left. And so I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite football fan fictions: ‘Form is temporary, Class is pernament’.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Messi. The Greatest Ever?

I remember writing this article last year after the 2010/11 season ended, the season where we won the Champions League and La Liga. My English teacher had told my class to write an discursive essay on a topic of our choice so, I wrote an article arguing that Lionel Messi was the best ever. Here it is.

Magic Messi – Great or ‘The Greatest’?

May 28th 2011, one-hundred-thousand excited and anxious faces are cheering for their team. They sit in the famous Wembley Stadium, watching this little man in a blue and red shirt dance gracefully past a series of men in white shirts as though they were non-existent. He finds space; takes a shot at goal. The ball slams to the back of the net; 2-1 FC Barcelona. Cheers erupt from the stands, bitter men in white and red shirts look defeated and confused by this phenomenon: the man with five letters on the back of his shirt spelling ‘Messi’. A hugely controversial question immediately lands on every football blog, newspaper and football’s fan mind: ‘Is Lionel Messi the best player to have ever set foot on a football pitch?’

Lionel Messi plays for the La Liga and Champions League winners, FC Barcelona and national team, Argentina. He is undoubtedly the best player of his generation: he skips past defenders gracefully, he manages to gain instant control of the ball, he finds space in the smallest places, he has incredible pace; he can accelerate at dangerous speeds, he dribbles the ball as though it was stuck to his foot… He is a player with breathtaking skill, scoring an astonishing 53 goals this season in 55 appearances. He is now rumoured to be worth up to 250M. At the young age of 23, is already the rightful owner of two consecutive FIFA Player of the Year and FIFA Ballon d’Or titles. He has won an enormous 15 club honours during his career for Barcelona, starting from 2004 to present day. He has gained support of both the public - a massive 66.16% of votes for FIFA Ballon d’or 2010 were cast in support of him - and the appreciation of football’s biggest names. Arsène Wenger, the respected Arsenal manager, once spoke of him as ‘unstoppable’ and ‘the best player in the world by some distance’. Hristo Stoichkov, the honourable Bulgarian footballer, said ‘you need a machine gun to stop him [Messi]’. These statistics, facts and quotes clearly speak for themselves.

Pele and Maradona are considered by many to be the greatest footballer to have embraced planet Earth. To even start to consider Leo as the ‘best of all time’, we have to draw comparisons between him, Pele and Maradona.  

Maradona was a gifted dribbler on the pitch and he won two Serie A titles for Napoli, the only two Serie A titles Napoli has won. He won Argentina’s 1986 World Cup title almost single-handedly (no pun intended) scoring ‘The Goal of the Century’ in Argentina’s quarter final 2-1 victory against England. During that memorable match, Maradona also scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal that he is often scrutinised for. He refused to admit to scoring the goal with his hand despite replays clearly showing that he had done so leading to bad press on his behalf. His golden years were short as his football went rapidly downhill due to a cocaine addiction. In 1991, at the age of 31, he was tested positive for drug abuse and was given a 15 month suspension from football.

‘King Pele’ was a Brazilian legend. To date, he is the only player to win a massive 3 World Cups (all won with style) for his country. He is considered by many as the ‘Player of the 20th Century’. His best skill, out of many, was his ability to strike the ball into the back of the net accurately, hence his gigantic one thousand two hundred and eighty-one goals during his career. Despite offers from Manchester United and many other European clubs, he never played outside of South America. How would he cope with the competitiveness and tiredness that comes with playing for the big European clubs? That, we will never know.

Critics say Messi will never be ‘the greatest’ if he does not win a World Cup like Maradona and Pele. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Messi failed to live up to his expectations, failing to score a single goal, disappointing millions of Argentines and fans of the glorious game of football. Despite this, Messi is only 23 years of age; he has plenty more opportunities to win the World Cup and also bless the game of football with his skill and ability.

However, some people argue that it is impossible to compare Messi to the other great footballers of the past because of how the game has progressed through the years; It is different generation and nowadays, the style of football played is very different to 30 years ago. Football is a much less dangerous game now, compared to the more aggressive style of football played back then. There are new rules and the football strips and boots are more advanced and air resistant making players faster and more agile. 

Considering all the sides of this argument, I have come to a conclusion. Lionel Messi is the best of his generation and considered to be on the same level as the other football greats. At the age of 23, injury forbid, the Argentine has plenty more years to improve his already exceptional game even more and claim his deserved title above all the others and rewrite history. By the end of Lionel Messi’s career, he will be considered as ‘The Greatest Ever’. Unquestionably.  


One year on, the argument still remains but now, the argument for Messi has only got stronger. This season, he has rewritten goalscoring records, scoring 73 goals in one season surpassing Muller's 68. This season, Messi has been even better than the seasons before. This season, I am even more certain that by the end of his career, or maybe already, Messi is/ will be the best footballer to have ever set foot on a football pitch.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Why I HATE Madridistas

Okay, I was reading this article from It was a vote on Player of the Season (La Liga). After, I decided to look at the commets on the bottom of the page. BIGGEST mistake of my life... It just left me frustrated and hating Madridistas even more than before... I'm not even going onto the Ronaldo-Messi argument because that was settled after 3 CONSECUTIVE Fifa Ballon d'ors. So, here are some of the comments that I saw. 

1. Messi does't score against big teams. 
  • 'ronaldo doesn't score as much goal as messi but he did when he was needed. sure, messi can score 4 or 5 but its against useless teams.''
  • ''Ronaldo has been much more consistent. He scored in like every match. Thats y Madrid won. And like people were saying last year, Messi scored "useless" goals when la liga was over.''
And this is obviously why Messi is THE player who has scored the most goals past Iker Casillas. This is more of an offence towards Real to be honest. You're all basically saying that Madrid is a 'small' team because Messi scored against them... Stupid People... And the fact that Messi scored against teams once they had already pratically lost the league just shows his dedication.

2. Ronaldo should win because Barcelona haven't won anything
  • 'barca won nothing this year. So it should be c ronaldo.'
  • Let's see, CR7 won the league with Real Madrid, Messi nothing.
Well, this is embarrassing for whoever wrote this, you obviously just don't know much about football. Barcelona have won 3 trophies this year already: 2 UEFA Super Cups and 1 Club World Cup. They also have a big chance of winning the Copa Del Ray... Yes, this is nothing... O.o

3. His team-mates make Messi a good player
  • Messi is the best player because his team-mates made him the best BUT cristiano ronaldo is the best because he made his team-mates the best.
Its called a TEAM sport. AND basically, you are just saying that the rest of the Real players are crap... Nothing else to say...

4.AND HERE'S MY FAVOURITE: Messi scores inside the penalty area. 
  • '68 of Messi's 72 goals this season were scored inside of the penalty box .'

Seriously, is this a joke or something... I mean have you ever watched Barcelona play a football game? It's their philosophy... Pass, Pass, Pass, inside the box, tap in. It's called tactics... Please only speak when you know what you are speaking about. It'd be better for the world... 

OKAY, rant over... BUT seriously, Madridistas, please stop talking crap. CHEERS.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


This is a collage I made of the finest footballers (in my opinion) around. It's for my friend's birthday because she claims that rugby players are better looking. WTF?!
So, enjoy!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Gracies Pep!

After last night's emotional game against Espanyol, I thought that it was  about time I finally let Pep go and accepting that this he is the one that knows best about what is good for the team. So, here goes my goodbye letter to Pep.

Gracies Pep, for being the best manager Barca has ever had, for the titles, for the happiness that came with every single one.
Gracies Pep, for being a mentor to the team, for teaching them new things, for having faith in every single one of them, for making them better people and better footballers, for making them a happier team.
Gracies Pep, for showing football how to play the game properly, for the attractive way the team play, the attacking, for sharing you philosophy with every single one of us.
Gracies Pep, for being a teacher to the whole wide world, for teaching us how to win and lose gracefully, for showing us class.
Gracies Pep, for being the best Barca fan ever, for all your effort, for giving our team everything including your whole heart and soul.
Gracies Pep, for everything. 
I'll miss you like hell but I hope you be happy for the rest of your life. God knows you deserve it.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Barca... disappointed :(

Okay, I hate to be even typing these words but I am gonna have my first and hopefully last rant at FC Barcelona, not at Real Madrid, surprisingly (even though I could).
This has been annoying me for a while now so i think that I should just let it out and maybe, it will not be as annoying.

When Real Madrid lost the Champions league semis last year to Barca, Mou made the imfamous POR QUE speech (yes that one) about how the referees favoured Barcelona over Real Madrid and then the players went on to say that the match was unfair and again, that Busquets should have got sent off... blah de blah de blah. Afterwards, the Barcelona players went on to criticise (rightfully) the Real's players' sportsmanship and complained that they felt it was unnecessary and that Real Madrid should stop acting like children.
NOW, a year later, Barcelona find themselves 10 points behind Real and now Pique has started complaining that the referees and helping Real. To be honest, this is probably true as Real Madrid have been awarded the most penalties and teams playing against them have recieved none, even though there was an obvious foul in the penalty area.
WHY... do you have to be so hypocritical and stoop down to Real and Mou's level?! Please Barca, there is absolutely no need for this and to be down at Real's level is DEFINITELY NOT A GOOD THING.

In the EPL last year, the largest club, Manchester United receive £60M worth of TV profits and the smallest club, Blackpool received £45M worth of TV money. This is because the TV profits in the EPL are split so teams don't go bankrupt as easily.
In La Liga, largest teams - Real and Barca - receive £120M worth of TV profits and smaller teams, eg Getafe, recieve around £15M of TV money. Why is the difference so large? Because the TV profits are not split. Some of the clubs in La Liga are soon going into administration (or will be sooner or later) and yet both the big clubs are unwilling to hold talks about sharing the TV profits like most the EPL, so Barcelona and Real Madrid will soon be in a league with no other teams because all the other ones will be bankrupt. Also, the Champions League is going to become really bad because as Barcelona and Real receive more money, then they will be able to buy better players and create better youth systems so no one will be able to compete with them. Also, as they will be able to make better youth systems, the young Spanish players will because better trained and have more skill so in the national competitions, Spain will win all of them. So, they NEED TO START SPLITTING THE TV MONEY!

Okay, I've now managed to get all this out of my system. Despite all of this stuff, I still LOVE BARCELONA and I will love them till I die. So, please, Barcelona redeem yourself and prove yourself to everyone. VISCA EL BARCA forever!