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sábado, 30 de mayo de 2009

FC BARCELOAN, ¿THE FIRST TRANSFER? (article in English and Español)

After a spectacular season, finished with the great Champions League´s win in Rome last Wednesday, FC Barcelona works to satisfy the Pep Guardiola´s requests, since the winner coach wants a more competitive team-if it is possible- to confront with guarantees next hard and long season-remember that FC Barcelona´s players will play many games, since they will play the Liga, King´s Cup, Champions League and besides they will have a long journey to Japan to play the teams´s World Cup and besides next summer 2010, the players will play the World Cup in South Africa-.
It seems that the first reinforcement for Pep Guardiola will be a forward and specifically the Atlético Madrid Uruguayan striker Diego Forlán, whose magnificent season-possibly he will finish the season as the top scorer of the European football-has attracted the interest from many European clubs, including FC Barcelona as the spanish newspaper Marca or As announced some weeks ago. Saqueneutral can announce that the arrival of the “Charrúa” striker to FC Barcelona seems imminent, because we know that Diego Forlan has already reached an agreement with FC Barcelona and in fact he has already chosen a house to live in Sant Cugat del Vallès, a town very near Barcelona, so it seems that we will have the confirmation of this transfer in the coming days if the negotiations between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid conclude with an agreement- remember that Diego Forlan has a buyout clause of 36 million euros-.
We will see if this transfer is confirmed and of course if it will have consequence to other players as Samuel Eto'o –it seems that his transfer to another team is close-or/and Thierry Henry. Cheers,
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FC BARCELONA,¿PRIMER FICHAJE? (Article in English and Español)

Después de culminar una temporada espectacular con la victoria en la final de Champions en Roma el pasado miercoles,el FC Barcelona ya trabaja para satisfacer las peticiones de Pep Guardiola, que quiere una plantilla más competitiva-si es posible- para afrontar la próxima temporada que será dura y larga pues a la liga, copa y champions, habrá que añadirle el viaje y partidos del Mundial de Clubs y el Mundial de la FIFA de Sudáfrica.
El primer refuerzo que parece que tendrá Pep Guardiola será un delantero y concretamente el delantero uruguayo del Atlético de Madrid Diego Forlán, cuya magnífica temporada-posiblemente termine el año como Bota de oro europeo-ha despertado el interés de muchos clubs europeos y entre ellos el FC Barcelona como anunció el diario Marca o el As hace unas semanas.
Pues bien, la llegada del charrúa al FC Barcelona parece inminente, pues como ha podido saber Saqueneutral, Diego Forlán ya ha llegado a un acuerdo con el FC Barcelona y de hecho ya tiene elegida una casa para residir en Sant Cugat del Vallès, población muy cercana a Barcelona, con lo que parece en los próximos días se anunciará su fichaje si las negociaciones entre el FC Barcelona y el Atlético de Madrid llegan a buen termino-recordemos que Diego Forlán tiene una cláusula de 36 millones de euros-.
Estaremos atentos a si se confirma esta llegada y de confirmarse, ver qué ocurre con Samuel Eto´o-parece que tiene los días contados- o/y Thierry Henry.
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sábado, 23 de mayo de 2009

THE DECISIVE DAYS (article in English and Español)

The European leagues are arriving to the end and of course it is time to see many games with high tension, since many teams will define their imminent future in the next 1 or 2 games.
On one hand, after the Manchester United´s championship, the fans of the English Premier League will pay special attention to the situation of an historic and powerful team, Newcastle United, which is a clear example of mismanagement during the last seasons and specially during this season, which has started with the dismissal of the coach the team, Kevin Keegan, who discussed with the directors of the team after the arrival of the Spanish striker Xisco, since KK understood that Xisco was not the necessary player for the club, since the team of St Jame´s Park had many strikers and it needed midfielders to be a competitive team. Of course, Keegan was right and the results of the team during the season have been very poor and besides showing a very bad image: it has been a broken team, without ideas, without playmakers, showing a very predictable play, which is very easy to defend and with horrible results- 7 wins in 37 games(2 in the last 19 games played)-, arriving to the last day with many problems to remain in the Premier League, since it must win its complicated game at Villa Park and besides it needs a Hull City´s defeat-it will plays at home against Manchester Untied, which will have its head in Rome-or a Sunderland´s defeat-it will play at home against Chelsea which will play with calmness-. So, the magpies´s fans needs to see a big miracle to see their team playing next season in Premier League…this is football, ¿who could think up 9 months ago that this team-players like Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Fabricio Coloccini, Damien Duff, Gérémi, Mark Viduka and Nicky Butt- would be in this situation? ... the final result, this Sunday at 17.00 CET.

On the other hand, there will be also very interesting games in the Spanish league, because if we exclude the 3 top teams in the standing, almost all other teams will play very important games to decide their future, as for example the decisive match to play next Champions League between Villarreal CF and Valencia CF(Valencia will play without Manuel Fernandes and David Silva and Villarreal without Santi Cazorla),or the key game to remain in Primera division between Getafe and Numancia-if Numancia can win this game, it will have the same point as Getafe in the standing and besides it can advance Osasuna in the standing, since the Jose Antonio Camacho´s team has a complicated game at Camp Nou stadium against FC Barcelona-. Anyway, it will be a day with high emotions in the Spanish league, as in the German league, whose teams will play this Saturday at 15.30 CET the last game of the season to decide which team will be the champion of the Bundesliga, being VfL Wolfsburg the team with more number to be, because it arrives in the top position of the standing(66 points) and it will play at home, where is an excellent team, since it has won 15 games and it has drawn only one game during this season, so it has many chances to win today the Bundesliga, since its rival, Werder Bremen does not arrive in its best moment after its Uefa Cup Final´s defeat last Wednesday in Istambul-I can not understand why Diego has some critics, since it is very clear that he is a key player and without his play, Werder Bremen is simply a normal team, without the necessary imagination of a top player, since Mesut Özil is a young player and he must learn many things to be a good Diego´s replacement-. If the Wolfsburg excellent trio-the brilliant Zvjezdan Misimovic(19 assists this season in the Bundesliga –he sounds as Bayern Munich´s future player-), Grafite (26 goals) and Edin Dzeko (25 goals-he is in the agendas of the European top teams-)- does not have its best day and these players can not overcame the pressure and Wolfsburg can not win the game, the fans must pay attention to the other Bundesliga´s game between Bayern Munich(second in the standing with 64 points) and Stuttgart (third in the standing with 64 points), since the winner of this game can be the Champion.

Furthermore, possibly we will have emotion until the last day in the Turkish Süper Lig, since 3 teams arrive to the last 2 days with many chances to be the Champion-Besiktas is the leader with 65 points, followed by Sivasspor with 63 points and Trabzonspor with 62 points-, so anything is possible, because Besiktas has a complicated derby this Sunday at 19.00 CET against Galatasaray, which wants that its top rival does not win the Lig. Probably Besiktas is the team with a more attractive play of Turkish Lig and it is a more consistent team since the arrival of Fabian Ernst (Besiktas have lost only 1 game with the German player in the field) and Yusuf Simsek last January, but now it is the time to show that its players can play well under pressure and against a top team-although Galatasaray is not in its best moment-, since until this moment Besiktas has not win any game played against the top Turkish team-it drew the 2 games played against Sivasspor, Trabzonspor, and Bursaspor and it lost the 2 games against Fenerbahçe and the match played against Galatasaray in the Ali Sami Yen stadium-.So we'll see if Besiktas, which will play without Matías Delgado and Mert Nobre, can beat the judge of Süper Lig, Galatasaray-the Ali Sami Yen´s team will play next week against Sivasspor-, at the Inönü stadium(obviously about Luís Aragonés, it is better not talk because his performance is very poor, both in results as play showed, having a listless team, being normal that Fenerbahçe is far from the leader in the standing-it is 5th in the standing with a gap of 10 points to the leader, which is not the paradigm of authority-).
Finally, we should also indicate that there are attractive and critical games in Italy-a crucial Chievo Verona-Bologna on Sunday at 15.00 CET- and in France- decisive games as Sochaux-Nantes or Olympique Lyon-Caen, on Saturday at 21.00 CET-.
Good luck.
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viernes, 22 de mayo de 2009

ALTA TENSIÓN (article in English and Español)

Últimas jornadas en las principales ligas europeas, o lo que es lo mismo, jornadas de alta tensión, pues muchos equipos se juegan su futuro más inminente en 1 o 2 partidos decisivos.
Por un lado, en Inglaterra, después de que el Manchester United cumpliera con los pronósticos, proclamándose la pasada jornada campeón de la Premier League, toda la atención debe recaer en la zona de descenso, pues es más que probable que un histórico y poderoso como el Newcastle United descienda de categoría. Está claro que el Newcastle es un claro ejemplo de que lo que mal empieza, mal acaba, pues recordemos que el equipo de St James´ Park tuvo un comienzo convulso tras la dimisión del entrenador, Kevin Keegan que se fue tras el fichaje del delantero español Xisco, pues entendía que no era lo que el equipo necesitaba, ya que el Newcastle era un equipo muy descompensado, con demasiados delanteros, pero con poca creación y evidentemente el tiempo le ha dado la razón, pues durante este año hemos visto a un Newcastle roto, sin ideas, sin creación en medio campo, con un juego muy previsible y primitivo, muy fácil de defender y ahí están los resultados 7 victorias en 37 partidos-2 en los últimos 19 partidos-, llegando a la última jornada con el agua al cuello, pues tiene que ganar en un campo difícil como es Villa Park y luego esperar un tropiezo del Hull City-jugará en casa ante un Manchester Untied que tendrá la cabeza en Roma- o del Sunderland que recibe a un Chelsea que poco se juega. En fin, las urracas lo tienen muy difícil y salvo milagro veremos como desciende un equipo con jugadores como Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Fabricio Coloccini, Damien Duff, Gérémi, Mark Viduka o Nicky Butt…el desenlace, este domingo a las 17.00 c.e.t.

Por otro lado, también está la cosa muy interesante en la Liga española, pues si excluimos a los 3 primeros clasificados, prácticamente el resto de equipos se lo juegan todo en los 2 próximos partidos, siendo decisivos los partidos entre el Villarreal CF y el Valencia CF-el que pierda se despedirá de poder jugar la próxima temporada en la Champions League(el Valencia jugará sin Manuel Fernandes y sin David Silva y el Villarreal sin Santi Cazorla) y entre el Numancia y el Getafe-partido clave para ambos equipos, pues como el Numancia gane(aunque hay que decir que de momento sólo ha sido capaz de ganar 1 partido como visitante-en el campo del Espanyol-), empatará a puntos con el Getafe y con muchas posibilidades de adelantar al Osasuna que tiene un difícil compromiso en el Camp Nou ante el FC Barcelona-. En fin, jornada de altas emociones en la liga española, como sin duda ocurrirá en la liga alemana, cuyos equipos disputarán este sábado a las 15.30 cet la última jornada, en la que se decidirá el campeón, teniendo todos los números para serlo el Vfl Wolfsburg, que llega como líder en solitario(66 puntos) y sólo tendrá que hacer lo que ha hecho durante toda la temporada, ganar en casa( de 16 partidos disputados, ha ganado 15 y ha empatado 1) su partido ante un tocado Werder Bremen-para algunos Diego no es un jugador decisivo, pero el pasado miércoles quedó claro que el Werder Bremen lo necesita, porque sin él, pocas ideas hay en el campo y de momento Mesut Özil aun tiende mucho que aprender- . En caso que la gran tripleta que forman el genial Zvjezdan Misimovic-19 asistencias durante esta temporada en la Bundesliga(suena como futurible del Bayern Munich)-, Grafite(26 goles) y Edin Dzeko(25 goles-suena para todos los grandes del fútbol europeo) no tenga el día o le pueda la presión y el Wolfsburg pierda el partido, habrá que estar muy atentos al partido entre el segundo clasificado (Bayern Munich) y el tercero (Stuttgart), que están empatados a puntos (64 puntos) y que esperan un tropiezo del Wolfsburg para poder ser el campeón.

Además, reseñar que en la Süper Lig turca es posible que tengamos emoción hasta la última jornada, pues quedan 2 jornadas y el líder es el Besiktas con 65 puntos, seguido por el Sivasspor con 63 puntos y tercero es el Trabzonspor con 62 puntos, con lo que cualquier cosa es posible, pues el Besiktas tiene un derby complicado este domingo a las 19.00 cet ante el Galatasaray que evidentemente pondrá las cosas muy difíciles para intentar evitar que pueda ganar la liga uno de su máximos rivales-el Besiktas es posiblemente el equipo turco que mejor fútbol práctica y está realizando una muy buena 2ª vuelta tras las llegadas de Fabian Ernst(con el alemán en el campo, el Besiktas sólo ha perdido 1 partido) y Yusuf Simsek, pero habrá que ver cómo responden los jugadores ante la presión y ante un rival duro y potente-aunque no está en su mejor momento- como el Galatasaray. Veremos si de una vez el Besiktas puede ganar en Liga a un equipo potente, pues por el momento no ha ganado a ninguno de los 6 primeros clasificados, ya que ha empatado los 2 partidos que ha jugado contra el Trabzonspor, Sivasspor y Bursaspor y ha perdido los 2 partido disputados contra el Fenerbahçe y el partido jugado contra Galatasaray en el Ali Sami Yen, con lo que veremos si el Besiktas, que jugará sin Matías Delgado y sin Mert Nobre, podrá vencer en el estadio del Inönü al Galatasaray que va a ser el juez de liga turca, pues la última jornada se enfrentará al Sivasspor(evidentemente de Luís Aragonés mejor no hablamos, porque su rendimiento está siendo muy bajo, tanto en resultados como en nivel mostrado, con un juego apático y muy lento….en fin, jugando así es normal que esté en 5ª posición a 10 puntos de un líder que como vemos tampoco es que sea el paradigma de autoridad).
Finalmente, indicar que también habrá que prestar atención a la zona del descenso en el Calcio con el decisivo Chievo Verona-Bologna, el domingo 15.00 cet y en Le Championat francés con los partidos Sochaux-Nantes y Olympique Lyon-Caen, el sábado a las 21.00 cet.
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viernes, 8 de mayo de 2009

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: A FRAGILE MEMORY (article in English and Español)

People have a fragile memory in many cases and one example is the FC Chelsea´s coach, Mr Guus Hiddink, who criticized the labour of the FC Chelsea-FC Barcelona´s referee, talking about a possible conspiracy and that the referee´s labour was the worst labour that he has ever seen, which it sounds like a joke and bad excuses.
It sounds like a joke because, Mr Hiddink, if I remember correctly, you were the national coach of the Korean national team during the World Cup 02,¿do you remember the bad referee´s labour suffered by Italy and Spain when these teams played against Korea? ¿was it a FIFA´s conspiracy to see the host team playing the semi-finals?Perhaps, now he talks about a possible UEFA´s conspiracy because he knows how this business is.... By the way, Mr Hiddink, please, remember what you said about the strange decisions of the referee of the game Korea-Spain in the WC 02, Mr Gamal Ghandour, ¿do you remember that you said that the teams must think about the own mistakes and do not look for absurd excuses like the labour of the referee? ¿why do not you do now? I think because it is difficult to explain to the fans that your team was not able to have the ball´s possession and to score a second goal during the last 30 minutes of the games, when FC Barcelona played with 10 men after the Abidal´s red car. So, as it is difficult to say that your team committed mistakes during these minutes, I think it is easy to look for another culprit, the referee, who took wrong decisions according your opinion-if we read the rule 12 of the FIFA´s Laws of the game, we can find that “a direct free kick(or penalty) is also awarded to the opposing team if a player handles the ball DELIBERATELY, ¿do you think that the Samuel Eto´o and Piqué´s actions were deliberately?...-
So, Mr Hiddink, less excuses and more coherency and self-criticism and learn that your teams can not play in this way when your teams play against teams with players like Messi, Eto´o, Xavi or Iniesta, because the normal situation is that these players can score a goal in any moment, like last Wednesday when Andrés Iniesta scored the decisive goal in the last minute of the game.Finally, we want to congratulate Manchester United and FC Barcelona for theirs successful season and for their qualify to the Champions League´s final, in which we will see the 2 best teams of the year and of course both deserve to be in Rome next May 27.

jueves, 7 de mayo de 2009

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: UNA MEMORIA FRÁGIL (article in English and Español)

Qué frágil es la memoria, no Sr Hiddink?, que precisamente sea usted el que se queja de una actuación arbitral tras un partido y que hable de una posible conspiración y que es el peor arbitraje que ha visto en su vida, suena a coña y evidentemente a excusa de mal pagador.
Suena a coña, porque, Sr Hiddink, si no recuerdo mal usted era el seleccionador nacional de Korea en el mundial del 02, ¿se acuerda del lamentable arbitraje que sufrió Italia en los octavos de final y España en cuartos de final?¿había una conspiración de la FIFA para que el país organizador llegase a las semifinales? Posiblemente ahora habla de una posible conspiración porque sabe cómo funciona este negocio….por cierto, Sr Hiddink, refresque un poco la memoria y acuérdese de lo que dijo sobre el Korea-España del mundial 02 y sobre la actuación del árbitro Gamal al Ghandour, pues dijo algo así como que los equipos que pierden lo que tienen que hacer es Autocrítica y ver lo que han hecho mal durante el partido y no culpar de la derrota a un tercero.¿por qué no lo hace? ¿por qué trata de excusarse y justificar que su equipo no haya sido capaz de cerrar el partido, buscando la posesión del balón y un segundo gol, ante un rival que ha jugado la última media hora de juego con 10 jugadores? Supongo que es difícil explicarlo y lo fácil es cargar contra el árbitro por no pitar un mano de Eto´o o no sé qué falta-Por cierto, si nos atenemos a la normativa, la regla 12 de las Reglas de juego de la FIFA establece que para que sea falta se requiere que se toque el balón deliberadamente con las manos, ¿ realmente se puede decir por ejemplo que Eto´o e incluso Piqué cortaron la jugada con la mano de forma deliberada?.....-
En fin, Sr Hiddink, menos excusas y más coherencia y autocrítica y aprenda a que no se puede jugar con fuego en este tipo de partidos, porque si tienes delante jugadores como Messi, Xavi, Eto´o o Iniesta, lo normal es que al final te marquen algún gol, como ocurrió ayer con el golazo de Don Andrés en el último minuto.
Finalmente, desde que Saqueneutral queremos felicitar al Manchester United y al FC Barcelona por conseguir la clasificación para la final de la Champions League, sin duda son los 2 mejores equipos del año y ambos merecen estar en Roma el próximo 27 de mayo.
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viernes, 1 de mayo de 2009

EUROLEAGUE: THE FINAL FOUR IS HERE (article in English and Español)

This weekend, we will have spectacle and emotion in Berlin because the Euroleague Final Four will take place there since this Friday until next Sunday with the presence of the best 4 European basketball´s team, the current European Champion, CSKA Moscow, the powerful Regal FC Barcelona-it fulfilled our prediction and it defeat Tau Vitoria in the 4th final- and the 2 Greek giant, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.

CSKA and Regal FC Barcelona will play the first semi-final on Friday at 18.00 cet where we will see a game with and a lot of equality and intensity between 2 teams which defend very well and have a very good collective play with a balanced roster, both with good players in the paint and outside the paint. Normally, CSKA plays with long possessions, slow play´s rhythm and with important defensive concentration during all the game-it is very difficult to see a CSKA´s rival scoring more than 65 points-. So if Regal FC Barcelona wants to have any chances to beat CSKA, it needs a fast game with a lot of point, since normally CSKA has many problems to win these kind of game during this season, since in fact CSKA has lost all the Euroleague´s games when its rivals scored more than 70 points and therefore if the Xavi Pascual´s men want to stop the play of Trajan Langdon (10, 3 points per game, with 55% 2FG and 43 % in 3FG ), Erazem Lorbek (the elegant forward is scoring 12.6 points per game with a 59.9% 2FGP and 47.1 3FG and 5,4 rebounds), Matjaz Smodis – the fine forward has a 41.7% 3FG),Ramunas Siskaukas and company, they must play with fast style and a lot of defensive concentration, having an important defensive role players like Gianluca Basile-good defender and he is the best to score the impossible shots-, Roger Grimau, Lubos Barton and Victor Sada, who have to be the great complement to the shooters of the team Jaka Lakovic and Juan Carlos Navarro (14.8 points per game with 49.5% 2FG and 92, 6 in free throws), whose performance will be decisive for the result of the game, although of course we can not forget the important and powerful FC Barcelona´s play in the paint, where we can find players like Fran Vázquez-finally we are seeing an excellent level in this player, who said no to Orlando Magic some years ago-, the intimidator Daniel Santiago, the phenomenal and polyvalent Turkish player Ersan Ilyasova-he is a perfect player: points, rebounds, blocks...-and the elegant David Andersen-he always appears in the important moments of the game-, who will have a complicated battle in the paint against big men-Lorbek, Smodis, Terence Morris, Viktor Khryapa (everyone plays well both inside and outside the paint and therefore there are many difficulties to defend these players) – of the italian Ettore Messina, who is possibly the best European coach-he has won 4times the European Championship-. We'll see who will have more fortune and it gets a place in the Sunday´s final to play against an Athens´s team, which play the other semifinal on Friday at 21:00 cet.

The other semi-final between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos is also very open, since both teams have an impressive roster and besides every team knows perfectly the other team. However if we have to chose a favourite, we think that Panathinaikos has more chances to win this semifinal, because:
1-The coach of Panathinaikos, Zeljko Obradovic is a winner and besides he is a specialist in this kind of competitions, since he has won 6 times this trophy(1 with Partizan Belgrade in 1992-the unforgettable last 3 points shot in the last second of the game scored by Sasha Djordjevic-, one with Joventut Badalona in 1994, 1 with Real Madrid in 1995 and 3 with Panathinaikos in 2000, 2002 and 2007 ... amazing).Instead, the coach of Olympiacos, Panagiotis Giannakis, still has to demonstrate as coach what is his performance in this kind of competition.
2-Olympiacos has not convinced us during the season in general and in the 4th final against Real Madrid in particular, because It did not show all the potential that it can show a team with players like Theo Papaloukas, Josh Childress -after his herniated disc, he is not playing with his best level-,Jennero Pargo-no news of his abilities-, Halperin- he is an excellent shooter-, Nikola Vujcic-excellent player ... pure spectacle-, Lyn Greer-he is the key player of the team, since when the team needs 3 points, he has the responsibility to shot-, Ioannis Bourousis-he is playing very well during this season, being a very dominant center-. If we say that this team did not convince is because for example during the last 4th finals against Real Madrid, it was not able to attack a Real Madrid´s no individual defensive system and in fact during this defensive´s style, Real Madrid scored 26 points and Olympiacos only 1 point. So, we will see what will happen if the Panathinaikos´s coach, Obradovic, opts to use a non individual defensive´s system.
3-If you look at the results during this season when these 2 teams have played one against the other, it seems that Panathinaikos knows very well the way to stop Olympiacos, since Panathanikos won 2 games and Olympiacos (last March 1 Olympiacos won 77-75, on November, 23 Panathinaikos won 86-69 and in the Greek Cup final on February 22, Panathinaikos won 80-70).
4-The Panathinaikos´s defensive level, with players like Nikos Hatzivrettas or Dimitros Diamantidis –Dimitros is the best defensive player in Europe-, who will complicated the labour of players like Greer or Halterin, which can be decisive, since if these 2 Olympiacos´s players “are not in the game”, the Giannakis´s team will have many problems to be in the Final.
We'll see what will happen.
Other Euroleague´s articles:
EUROLEAGUE: THE QUARTERFINALS (article in English and Español)
THE EUROLEAGUE IS HERE (This article is available in English and Español)
NBA: THE CHILDRESS´S SURPRISE (This article is available in English and Español)
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