Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thirty Times The Greatest

Nets To Good For Chapu’s Bulls

Chicago Bulls aspiration to start the season with a win didn’t materialized as they lost to the New Jersey Nets away 112-103. Andres NOCIONI suffered some early foul trouble and subsequently did not see much action until the fourth quarter.

He only manage 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists & a block shot

Carlitos Raps A Winning Start in Toronto

Carlos DELFINO had more time play on his debut for the Toronto Raptors than he had during his Piston’s days. Though in terms of points he was the least contributor, but he compensates that with hard work performance on the court.

He posted 7 points, a game high rebound (6, together with Anthony PARKER), 2 assists & 2 steals, as the Raptors defeats the Philadelphia 76ers 106-97.

Obi Wan Ginobili Hits 30

At one point, this could have been the “Argentina vs. Spain” of the NBA. Well the Memphis Grizzlies had Pau GASOL and Juan Carlos NAVARRO on their roster. But only this time it wasn’t to be their day as Spurs won 104-101

Manu GINOBILI was to blame for everything, so to speak. He was devastating at all four corner as he capped off a spectacular night with a game high 30 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 block shot.

OBERTO had a pretty quite game but then in a game as close as this, you can’t ignore his contribution of 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists & 1 steal.

Football News Round Up

Atletico Madrid fought hard to beat post Juande RAMOS Seville 4-3, to make six wins from their last seven matches. Their in-form striker Sergio “Kun” AGUERO was on target again in the 17th minute and so was the ever-elegant Maxi RODRIGUEZ with a pile driver shot in the 90th minute.

Diego MILITO, the scorer of 23 goals last season, capped off another fine performance by scoring the winning penalty n their 1-0 over Almeria.

Despite resting some of their key players, Inter Milan defended their place at the top of Serie A with 4-1 win over Genoa. A well deserves victory for the ahead of the all-important clash with Juventus in the coming weekend. Estaban CAMBIASSO was on target in the 50th minute and Julio CRUZ finished off the night in the 88th minute.

CRUZ has often been in the fringe of the national team and has always been in the shadows of his illustrious teammates like CRESPO, MILITO and TEVEZ. Since we need some one who is tall and good in the air to lead us up front, I do believe that COCO should consider him for future Argentina’s assignment. But I’ll leave that to you guys to debate on whether should he be given a recall or not?

Another scorer of the night was Christian LEDESMA, who scored a stunning free kick for Lazio in the Roman derby. The final score, Roma won 3-2.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NBA News - Mixed Fortunes For Tall Albiceleste

Spurs Starts With A Win

There was a new championship banner on display in the arena and the players were given their championship ring for their achievement last season. To start off, San Antonio SPURS finished off the game from where they left off last season. They defeated the Portland TRAIL BLAZERS 106-97.
Manu GINOBILI had pretty good game despite only posting 16 points from the bench, as he was responsible for 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 5 steals & 1 block shot.

Fabricio OBERTO who was starter, posted 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal & 1 block shot.

No points for SCOLA’s Debut

The Houston ROCKETS tip off their season with 95-93 over a Los Angeles LAKERS who have plenty of uncertainty about the future of their star player.

Never mind about that, as this was also going to be Luis SCOLA competitive debut in the NBA.
By his own standard, this wasn’t the kind of performance anyone would have expected from him but he is still new and needs time to adjust.
SCOLA had no points but in a mere 9 minutes he did achieve 3 rebounds.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tip Off Time For Six Aces

It wasn’t too long ago that Mundo Albiceleste (or back then we were known as Vamos Argentina) chronicle the journey of Manu GINOBILI and Fabricio OBERTO to NBA glory with San Antonio SPURS.

Now that journey will start all over again as the new NBA season will tip off at the end of the month. There will be a record of SIX Tall Albiceleste players that will take to the court for their respective franchise, with one of them particularly being my most favourite.

Now lets take a look on each and every one of them and what can we expect (or should I say prediction) for the coming season.
Manu GINOBILI & Fabricio OBERTO of San Antonio Spurs

MANU is already touted as a legend in San Antonio and who can argue that with 3-championship ring already to his credit. He is probably one player that every coach would die to have on the bench. The argument will go on why he is not starter but to me it is pointless because starter or bench, MANU plays with great heart and spirit and is the real deal why Spurs were so magnificent last season.

At the tender age of 32, Fab OBERTO is living the time of his life. Not only did he realize his dream of winning an NBA title, but also his name will be remembered as one of the starters of that championship winning team. It is likely that Gregg POPOVITCH would stick to his winning formula by employing him as the starting center.

Overall Spurs do looks good enough to do it all over again though there will tough fights along the way to prevent that from happening. If that happens, fear no one cause SuperMANU will be there to save the day.

Andres NOCIONI of Chicago Bulls

The summer was kind enough to Chapu as he penned a new 5-year deal with the Bulls, despite suffering an injury plague season. But he did post a career high performance and much of those progresses were put on hold because of his injury. He also played a big part in Bulls shocking 4-0 series win over the defending champion Miami HEAT in the first round play-offs

Now that he has fully recovered and fresh for the new season, Chapu is ready to rumble all over again. And the much-improved Bulls do look good enough to capture a place in the play off. But the main question will remain, is it possible for this generation of Bulls to recapture back the glory days of JORDAN/PIPPEN.

Carlos DELFINO of Toronto RAPTORS

For three years in Detroit, DELFINO wasn’t given enough opportunity to prove himself. This is silly considering that Carlitos is player with tremendous talent especially throughout his time in Europe and don’t forget he is an Olympian medal winner. Despite of all his trouble time with the Pistons, DELFINO was instrumental in helping the Tall Albiceleste to qualify for Beijing 2008 during the summer with some superb display in the FIBA Americas.

Perhaps a wind of change is needed and came Toronto knocking on his door. I feel this could be a good move and with an environment that suits him well. The Raptors are well known for its successful internationals roster (BARGIANI, GARBAJOSA, CALDERON etc.) and DELFINO could be the next big hit there.

Walter HERRMANN of Charlotte Bobcats

When the Bobcats failed to make it to the play off last season, what was the biggest thing they could have learned from there? They should have trusted “El Guerero” in the first place. It was such an amazing moment to see the way Walter played during the end of last season. Subsequently he was voted as the Rookie of the Month in March.

Now that the Bobcats have retained him, it will be interesting to see just how much of time play is he going to receive. However there have been plenty of calls within the Charlotte camp from both fans and critics that HERRMANN should start or at least given more prominent play. If that happens, then it will be a long summer for Walter and the Cats

Luis SCOLA of Houston Rockets

I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long time and finally he has arrived. This was one of the biggest news during the season break and why not?
After all, SCOLA is probably the biggest player in the world outside in the NBA.

SCOLA is expected to form the Rockets own version of BIG THREE, along side Tracy McGRADY and YAO Ming. He could just be that missing puzzle that the Rockets were looking for all the way. Many experts believe his game will compliment both of them and so do I.

SCOLA will be the one that most observers may keen to keep an eye on due to his status as one of the best in Europe over the last few years. A fact that has been strengthened even further after his MVP display at the recent FIBA Americas.

Over the past few seasons, the Rockets have had troubles of going beyond the first round of the play offs. Perhaps they lacked the inspiration and energy that is needed to win games at that sought of stage. In SCOLA, they have someone who has plenty of knowledge and experience on playing in the big stage.

Overall, the Tall Albiceleste will have their work cut out for two reasons. Of course is creating a fabulous impression to their American employee, which is important but there is that other big challenge waits form them after the seasons end. And where exactly am I referring to, Beijing 2008 that is.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Action All Around Europe

English Premiership

Unfortunate for Javier’s Liverpool, as the Mighty Reds were held by the Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at Anfield Road.

Spanish Primera Liga

Kun AGUERO was unable to continue his fine form from Europe but still with Maxi RODRIGUEZ and Leo FRANCO in the starting line up, Atletico manage to secure 1-0 win over Levante.

SAVIOLA, Gonzalo HIGUAIN and Fernando GAGO were starters in Real Madrid 3-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna. Fabricio COLOCCINI was on the opposite end.

Surprise!!! Surprise!!! Neither did Pablo AIMAR or Andres D’ALESSANDRO were in the starting line up for Real Zaragoza against Villareal. Roberto AYALA played for full 90 minutes so did Diego MILITO, whom I believe scored his first goal for Zaragoza in a long, long time.

Despite having sensational week in the UEFA Cup, Getafe woes in the league keeps going on as they suffered a 2-0 loss to Racing Santander. Both PATO Abbondanzieri and Daniel DIAZ. Ezequiel GARAY and Aldo DUSCHER were Racing’s starters.

Barcelona keeps pressing Real at the top of the league with Lionel MESSI in the score sheet as they beat Almeria 2-0. Gabriel MILITO was in defense.

Italian Serie A

Not much significant performance from any Albiceleste players, but Inter could not capitalize on the misfortunate of their rivals (Juventus, AC Milan) as they were held to 0-0 draw with Palermo. Esteban CAMBIASSO, Javier ZANETTI and Walter SAMUEL were starters.

Germany’s Bundesliga

I might be right on this (anyone out there is free to correct me on this) but Jose Ernesto SOSA made his starting debut for Bayern Munich in their goalless draw against Borrussia Dortmund. Martin DEMICHELIS was also starter.

Carlitos On The Double

In a week that saw Kun AGUERRO and Fernando CAVENAGHI performing with excellent perfection in the UEFA Cup (plus some other highlights from Champions League), time now to look forward on what was taking place during the weekend.

English Premiership

Perhaps the best performance from an Albiceleste. Carlos TEVEZ was outstanding for Manchester United scoring twice in the 2nd half in their 4-1 win over Middlesborough. There were several moment that CARLITOS looks like scoring and had he mot missed some of those chances, a hat trick was beckoning.

Later tonight, Javier MASCHERANO could probably see himself in action for Liverpool (depending on whether Rafael BENITEZ squad tinkering) against Arsenal.

Italian Serie A

I know Seba is going to be very happy to hear this. Napoli produce one of the shocks of the weekend when they beat non other than Juventus 3-1. Being a former Torino player, Ezequiel LEVAZZI was up for the fight against their illustrious opponent.
LEVAZZI was a handful for the Juve defense which saw him contributing to the 2nd penalty. On the opposite side, Sergio ALMIRON was in the starting line up.

Spanish Primera Liga

Ariel IBAGAZA's Mallorca drew 2-2 with Espanyol. Both Pablo ZABALETA and Clemente RODRIGUEZ were in the starting for 11 for the Catalan's side which saw the latter being sent off.

Plenty of action tonight, with Barca duo Lionel MESSI and Gabriel MILITO trying to shake from their mid week disappointment against Rangers. The Real Madrid contingent (HIGUAIN, SAVIOLA & HEINZE) will be hoping to continue their fine run. Or what about KUN and MAXI picking up from where the left of in Europe. Not to forget those at Real ZARAGOZA.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Tribute To Ficha

No matter how I much love my national football team, when I look at them it seems that something is just missing from the team. Don’t get me wrong here, we have brilliant individuals and gifted players, but when it comes to Argentina those two elements are common things.

So I’ve decided to take a look at our previous World Cup wining teams, and that’s when I figured out that in 1978 we had Daniel PASARELLA who was hard and tough and in 1986 we have Diego MARADONA, an undisputed and inspiring genius.

The key word that we’re looking here is leadership and this is something I dare to say that none of our current batch of players has. That is why whenever I see this guy leading his team into the field; his expression, words and that look on his face says it all. I start to get very excited, goose bump and I dare to admit even at some point, tears roll down from my eyes.

Ficha, our hero, muchos gracias for the 12 glorious years that you have given for both rugby and Argentina. Though your time to leave the Pumas has come, the name and the legend of Agustin PICHOT will always remain. From Buenos Aires to London to Bristol to Paris, your legacy will live on in Argentina folklore forever.

Throughout the recent Rugby World Cup, I always look forward to your post match interviews. But the one that caught my attention the most was after our victory over France in the 3rd/4th match placing. You said “thank you to everyone in the WORLD for supporting Argentina”. Something tells me you’ve been reading plenty of Mundo Albiceleste lately.

Vamos Ficha!!! Larga Vida Gus Pichot!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Five Pumas made the BBC's Best XV or the RWC

They were ignored for most of the Rugby World Cup. But after claiming a place in the podium for their first time in history, five members of Los Pumas made it to the BBC's Best XV of the Rugby World Cup France 2007.

Find out who they were at:

A MAXImizing Day For DAVID In Madrid

Football News
Spanish Primera Liga
Great win for Atlético Madrid after crushing Real Zaragoza 4-0. Though no goal for KUN, MAXI was outstanding as he got a brace and Lionel FRANCO kept a clean sheet. Despite having Roberto AYALA, Pablo AIMAR, Diego MILITO (all starters) and D'ALESSANDRO (2nd half substitute), things don't look good these days at Zaragoza.

Juan Pablo CAFFA (starter) and Mariono PAVONE (2nd half substitute) were in action for Real Betis in their 1-1 draw against Racing Santander. Racing had Ezequiel GARAY and Aldo DUSHCER in their starting line up.

Real Mallorca had Ariel IBAGAZA (starter) and Oscar TREJO (nd half substitute) in their 2-0 win over Recreativo Huelva.

Getafe season is back on track with a 2-0 win Murcia, with Pato ABBONDANZIERI, Daniel DIAZ & Lucas LICHT all starters.

Tennis – Madrid Masters

Perhaps the story of the weekend, the return of David NALBANDIAN at his very best. After suffering erratic year of 2007, NALBANDIAN return to form ends on a high note after defeating World No.1Roger FEDERER 1-6, 6-3 & 6-3.

Not to forget, on his way to the final he also defeated World No.2 Rafael NADAL and No.3 Novak DJOKOVIC. This was his first title since winning the Estoril Open in May 2006.

"It's a great way to finish the season and to go into the next one," NALBANDIAN said “To beat such great players as I did this week makes it important."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Weekend News - Rugby, Football, Tennis & Much More

RWC 2007 - Pumas Create Double Over France

Sorry for the late post on this. Though not the match that most of us would have wanted in the first place but still what a way for these warriors to finish off the tournament that they started in the first place. At some point, I thought I was watching the final itself. Both teams were trying hard but in the end the it was the Pumas intelligent rugby won the match.

A brilliant display with tries coming from man of the match Filipe CONTEPOMI (2 tries), Omar Hasan JALIL and Federico Martin ARAMBURU (a contender for try of the tournament) help the Pumas crushed France 34-10.

With this result, Argentina has sent its message out to the World that they deserve a place in a first tier nations tournament. A tribute to the key figure of this team is on the way.

But for now lets just celebrate this wonderful achievement. On behalf of Mundo Albiceleste, congratulation to the Springboks. They truly deserve it.

Tennis - Madrid Master

Despite having a tough time in 2007 which saw his world ranking drop to No.25, it was a sensational performance from David NALBANDIAN as he defeated the 3rd seeded Novak DJOKOVIC in straight sets 6-4 & 7-6 in the semis. His opponent in the final will be non-other than World No.1 Roger FEDERER.

Its been a while since we've seen NALBANDIAN playing like this and lets hope that this brand new version of him will prevail over the Swiss maestro in the final.

Football News

English Premier League

Great weekend for both Javier MASCHERANO and Carlos TEVEZ. Javier was a starter in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Merseyside rival Everton.

Though there was no goal to his credit, CARLITOS played probably one of the best game in a Red Devil jersey as Man Utd crushed Aston Villa 4-1

Spanish Primera Liga

Despite a tough travelling schedule over the past week, both Lionel MESSI and Gaby MILITO were starters but Barca were defeated for the first time this season 3-1 by Villareal.

With Pablo ZABALETA and Clemento RODRIGUEZ playing for Espanyol, the Catalan side were the surprise of the night as they beat Real Madrid 2-1. Gonzalo HIGUAIN was in the starting line up while Fernando GAGO was a second half substitution for Real.

Federico FAZIO was a late substitution for Seville in their 2-0 win over Levante.

Italian Serie A

Inter were made to work hard in their 1-0 win over Reggina. Among the starters were Julio CRUZ and Esteban CAMBIASSO. Javier ZANETTI came in a second half substitute for Adriano while Hernan CRESPO and Walter SAMUEL were on the bench.

Amazing performance from Napoli, perhaps the match of night in Europe, as they drew with AS Roma 4-4 at the Stadio Olimpico. Ezequiel LEVAZZI scored in the 2nd minute to give Napoli a perfect start while Roberto SOSA was on the bench.

Germany Bundesliga

Martin DEMICHELIS was a starter as Bayern rallied back from behind to beat VfL Bochum 2-1. Jose Ernesto SOSA was on the bench and did not see any action.


Some golf news, Daniel VANCSIK held a one stroke lead in the Portugal Masters third round, ahead of South African Charl SCHWARTEL and Briton's Steve WEBSTER.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Grand Slam CABRERA

Barely a few days after losing the World Match Play to Ernie ELS, U.S. Open champion Angel CABRERA wanted to beat an elite field of major champions at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, but it did not escape the big-hitting Argentine that this was an exhibition.

That explains why he hit driver at every turn, with mixed results.

It put him in dire trouble on the opening hole, leading to a triple bogey that left him five shots behind. And it rescued CABRERA at the end of an exciting afternoon at Mid-Ocean Club, with two booming drives on the par-5 18th.

One led to an eagle that put him in a playoff with British Open champion Padraig HARRINGTON.

The other led to a two-putt birdie for an unlikely victory Wednesday.

"I trust my driver very much," CABRERA said. "And I thought it would be nice here to show off a little bit, to show everybody how nice and how far I hit my driver."

Indeed, some 7,000 fans -- that's about 10 percent of the population on Bermuda -- gasped when CABRERA pounded the ball off tee.

Even more breathtaking was his finish.

CABRERA finished birdie-eagle to atone for his triple-bogey start, giving him a 2-under 68 to force a playoff with HARRINGTON. He beat the Irishman with a birdie on the third extra hole to get the Grand Slam off to a great start in its new home in the Atlantic.

"The only thing I can say is it was complicated after the first hole, and I was able to come back," he said. "And that was a great thing."

CABRERA, who rallied from his atrocious start to catch HARRINGTON with an eagle on 11th hole, figured to be the least of Harrington's worries when the Argentine made a sloppy bogey on the 16th after driving some 50 yards short of the green.

"I told my caddie we had to make 2-3 to have a chance," Cabrera said.

Both missed the 18th green and made pars, and HARRINGTON got up-and-down at the 17th to keep the playoff going. CABRERA pounded another tee shot on the third extra hole at No. 18; hit a 4-iron to 18 feet. He needed only two putts for birdie and the victory after Harrington hit into a deep bunker off the tee and still had 4 feet left for par when it ended.

For the first exhibition in the silly season, these guys were all business.

"I wouldn't have liked to be second here," CABRERA, said.

HARRINGTON's only big mistake came at the ninth, when he hooked his tee shot into the bushes. Despite getting plenty of directions from fans across the fairway, he never found his ball and wound up with a double bogey.

That put some drama into the back nine, setting up a big finish and an unlikely victory for CABRERA

Pumas Makes 6 Changes For 3rd Place Match

In a match where neither side wanted to play in the first place, Marcelo LOFFREDA has made six changes, included two in the front row, for Friday's Rugby World Cup bronze medal game against host France.

Prop Martin SCELZO and hooker Mario LEDESMA have been ruled out by injury and replaced on the starting lineup by Omar HASAN and Alberto Vernet BASUALDO.

Federico ARAMBURU takes over from Lucas BORGESs at wing with Gonzalo TIES as outside center instead of Manuel CONTEPOMI, who scored the Pumas' try in the 37-13 semifinal loss to South Africa.

Rimas Alvarez KAIRELIS plays in the second row instead of Ignacio Fernandez LOBBE and Martin DURAND comes into the back row in place of Lucas OSTIGLIA.
Lineup: Ignacio CORLETO, Federico ARAMBURU, Gonzalo TIESI, Felipe CONTEPOMI, Horacio AGULLA, Juan Martin HERNANDEZ, Agustin PICHOT, Rodrigo RONCERO, Alberto Vernet BASUALDO, Omar HASAN, Rimas Alvarez KAIRELIS, Patricio ALBACETE, Martin DURAND, Juan Martin Fernandez LOBBE, Gonzalo LONGO.

Reserves: Marcos AYERZA, Eusebio GUINAZU, Esteban LOZADA, Juan Manuel LEGUIZAMON, Nicolas Fernandez MIRANDA, Federico TODESCHINI, Hernan SENILLOSA.
The most significance aspect for this game is not just about to redeemed some pride but could probably be the last time we see Captain Marvelous Agustin PICHOT donning the famous stripes ever again. Lets hope despite of all the disappointment from last Sunday's match, the Pumas will give everything they have for one last time in this World Cup and also present our captain the perfect the ending in what already is a glittering career.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cool Argentina begin Qualy on fire

After watching Argentina defeat Chile and Venezuela (both 2-0 results), the first thing I have to highlight is how cool and in control our team looked.

Both matches could have been played to the end of the first half and save the other 45 minutes, such was the difference between the Albiceleste and "La Roja" and "La Vinotinto".

It was evident in Buenos Aires. After Roman fired Argentina into a comfortable 2-0 lead with two precious free-kicks, COCO's boys started to pass the ball around and keep it cool. Avoiding injuries and keeping their legs fresh for Tuesday's match at Maracaibo.

And when Tuesday came, it was like watching the same movie all over again. Roman scored against Chile in the 26th and 45th minutes and he didn't score tonight, but those were just about the only differences, as Gabriel MILITO opened the scoring in the 16th and Lionel MESSI doubled our lead in the 43rd.

But if the first halves were similar, the second halves were identical!

Complete ball control by Argentina and our rivals took it easy as they tried to avoid a big heavy defeat. After all, it's not a crime to lose 2-0 against Argentina. Have Chile or Venezuela played a little bit more offensive or taking more risks, the difference could have been a lot bigger.

The Barça Boys gave us our second win in a row and these two results give COCO a little bit of peace of mind so he can work on preparing our next match (against Bolivia in November).

There are a lot of things to talk about but I'll concentrate in just one: it hurts me, but I don't think MESSI and TEVEZ are working well together and I doubt they'll ever will.

I've seen some lovely passes from MESSI tonight (and some tries on Saturday) but I'm not seeing Carlitos passing the ball to Lionel (the exception being our second goal against Venezuela).

Lio tried to feed Germán DENIS (congratulations on making his debut for the Albiceleste) and waited for TEVEZ before sending a pass in front of goal (Carlitos was anticipated by a Venezuelan defender). In both situations, MESSI could have tried to shoot and could have probably scored, but he decided to pass the ball. I think that's a very healthy thing to see.

Carlitos seems to be in a constant need to prove his condition of striker. He's desperate to score and the more he gets desperate, the more chances he misses. That's something COCO should pay attention to and should work on that problem to solve it now.

We will need to play 90 minutes full-speed in the near future and we need to be at our best in front of goal.

What's your view?

Return to Maracaibo

93 days after "tragedy" against Brazil in the Copa America final, Argentina return to Maracaibo to face Venezuela in the South American World Cup Qualifier's second round.

According to the latest information I got, Argentina will jump to the field with an unchanged team from our 2-0 victory against Chile. That means:





Javier ZANETTI will play his 115th cap and will reach Roberto AYALA at the top of the list of most capped Albicelestes players. Congratulations to "Il Capitano" and here's hoping he celebrates his achievement with three points.

Venezuela defeated Ecuador in Quito for the first time in history and will hope to upset Argentina to continue with good step towards what could be their first ever participation in a World Cup.

Their probable starting eleven will look like this:





It looks like a 4-5-1 but ARANGO and ROJAS (sometimes PAEZ as well) can join in MALDONADO in attack.

Our friend Roy, from Canada, gives us the following link for those of you that are familiar with The Dish (online broadcast):

I would advice to check at: You'll see a cartoon of former referee Pierliugi COLLINA and below there's a list with the TV listings. Argentina-Venezuela is the last item in that list and there is an option to watch Chile's Channel 13 by using REAL PLAYER.

Good luck in getting online broadcast and hope you can enjoy the match!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gracias Pumas!

The dream is over. Time for the legend to start building up as these Pumas will forever be remembered by the whole world like true warriors!

These bunch of players don't realise yet just how big was their achievement. They have put Argentine rugby in the map and they were really close on playing a Rugby World Cup final!

Yes, they were outclassed by the Springboks, a team that capitalised in every opportunity they've got. But Los Pumas are, in my opinion, this World Cup's biggest winners.

When thousands of kids start playing the sport in this country and in 15-20 years time we continue a movement that really took off in 2007 (because it started a long time ago!), then we'll realise just how important Marcelo LOFFREDA and all his players really were.

Gracias Pumas!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

PATO Cabrera Reach Match Play Final

So we are going to have a two part of Argentina vs. South Africa this Sunday.

US Open champion Angel CABRERA produced a sublime putting performance to go through to the final of the £1million-pound HSBC World Match Play Championship with a 2 & 1 victory over debutant Hunter MAHAN.
Despite a late rally from the valiant American, the 38-year-old Argentinian produced nine birdies and two eagles to set up a fascinating encounter with South Africans six-time champion Ernie “The Big Easy” ELS.

It was remarkable ending on the nail biting 34th, the Argentinian missed a 30-foot putt for victory but an under-pressure MAHAN holed from the fringe to lie just two down with two to play - to the delight of the crowd.
However, CABRERA's consistency showed in the end as he putted from five feet to tie the 35th hole and win the match 2 & 1 to go through to the million-pound final and end the American's plucky debut run.

I'm on my way to the stadium!

Yes, I wanted to write a match preview or something rich in content but my life is a mess(i) at the moment.

So much stuff to do and so little time. So I'm checking out some appartments today (looking for a place to rent in Buenos Aires) and then I'll meet Johnny so we go together to River Plate's Stadium.

I'm sure you'll follow the match through our comments' box and we'll be your eyes at El Monumental.

Don't try and spot us on TV because our seats are in the highest tier of the stadium.

Enjoy the match. I know we will.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Pumas At Full Strength Against Boks

Pumas coach Marcelo LOFFREDA has announced the starting 15 that will take on the South Africans SPRINGBOKS in their World Cup semi-finals clash at Stade De France.

Starting 15 :-

1 Rodrigo RONCERO
2 Mario Ledesma AROCENA
3 Martín SCELZO
4 Carlos Ignacio Fernandez LOBBE
5 Patricio ALBACETE
7 Juan Martín Fernandez LOBBE
8 Gonzalo Longo ELIA
9 Agustín PICHOT (c)
10 Juan Martín HERNANDEZ
11 Horacio AGULLA
14 Lucas BORGES
15 Ignacio CORLETO

Replacements :-

16 Alberto Vernet BASUALDO
17 Omar Hasan JALIL
18 Rimas Álvarez KAIRELIS
19 Juan Manuel LEGUIZAMON
20 Nicolás Fernandez MIRANDA
21 Federico TODESCHINI
22 Gonzalo TIESI

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Argentina team news to face Chile

The lineup is pretty much confirmed. There are a couple of players still giving Coco some doubts as to which one will he prefer.

But here's what we know so far:






My analysis:

I love it!

What can I say?

Pato should be playing his last few matches and we still don't have a replacement that stands head and shoulder above the rest.

ZANETTI is a different case. Yes, his age is not an advantage and it'll be very difficult to see him still going strong for the next World Cup. But his fitness is as good as ever and his experience makes him the best choice for captain. Happy to see him as a starter.

I'm curious about DEMICHELIS but I've got to admit that he is looking good as of late. Scored against Australia (Pablo D. will remember quite well!) and deserves a chance.

Gabriel MILITO has the chance to make-up for the horrible Copa America he's had. Not playing bad for Barcelona in their start of the season.

HEINZE? You know I'm not his fan, but should do the job.

Maxi RODRIGUEZ!!! Another player for whom I'd pay the money for the ticket. It's one of the key members of our starting eleven and should continue being so for a very long time.

Same for MASCHERADONA! He'll be back in the stadium where he started chasing players professionaly! River fans love him. Boca fans too! To be honest, he plays more a Boca style of football and that's why he is one of the darlings of our fans.

CAMBIASSO. I need to see CAMBIASSO this season. I don't know which version of him are we going to see on Saturday. But he can be everywhere and when he shines, the team has a lot of chances of winning.

RIQUELME. Always debate around him. Always controversy. Now, after playing a sensational Copa America, his inclussion is questioned because of his lack of match-fitness. Ignored at Villarreal, on Saturday he'll get to 90 days without playing a professional match. The last one? Yes, you guessed right: Argentina 0-3 Brazil in that Copa America final. RIQUELME says he won't suffer from his lack of activity and if he is right, then we are up for a wonderful evening.

TEVEZ. He is starting to show some magic at Old Trafford (last Saturday's goal against Wigan was superb!). He scored 2 goals in training and he looks ready to make a statement to become the target man Coco is looking for. Unlike CRESPO (very unfair with Hernan), Carlitos will have the people on his side.

MESSI will be the main attraction. And he knows it. If he wasn't the way he is, I would be worried. But knowing how well he copes with pressure, I'm thinking he'll know how to use the situation to his advantage. I imagine a very nervy start of the game and if we can't break Chile playing as a team, then MESSI will be the difference and will give Argentina the edge.

Time to debate!


Yes. I saw it coming, but now I can say it's a reality. Argentina-Chile will be played in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday.

Apart from being the start of the World Cup Qualifying campaing, there were other reasons to explain this hunger for tickets.

This will be Lionel MESSI's second match in Buenos Aires, but the first one with his now acquired status of football superstar. He is nominated (together with fellow Argentines Juan Roman RIQUELME and Carlos TEVEZ) to win the footballer of the year award. He is the top-scorer of La Liga (with 6 goals, followed by his friend Sergio Kun AGÜERO with 5) and he showed a lot of what he can do in an Albiceleste shirt during the last Copa America.

Marcelo BIELSA, the only manager in history to win an Olympic Gold with Argentina, will be seated in Chile's bench as he starts his tenure for them. Much has been said of BIELSA and he was one character that used to divide the waters when he was in charge. Some loved him, some hated him. That didn't change that much and I expect some applauses and some booing coming from the crowd in similar proportions.

Players like RIQUELME and TEVEZ are also crowd-pleasers and I'm sure a fair bit of fans bought their tickets just to watch them.

All and all, I think there are a lot of positive signs these players could use to raise their game. It's always good to have the supporters on your side and Saturday present these players with a great opportunity to make the Copa America final image slowly go away.

A fresh start with some not-so-fresh faces, but positive atmosphere in the camp.

Los Pumas are taking over as the main stars of the present and the football national team will look forward to regain their historical place in the highest step of the podium.

The people have responded. Now it's the players' time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A boy became a Pablo D.

Back in action and the first thing I want to do after securing our tickets for Argentina-Chile is spice up a little bit the build up for the match and pay my debt with a regular reader of Mundo Albiceleste.

Last month, in preparation for the World Cup Qualifiers, Argentina went to Melbourne to play Australia. I was in France at the moment and I couldn't even watch the match. I was unable to keep my posts in this blog coming and John did a great job in updating it.

But now, because it's never too late, I would like to publish this report from one of our readers.

Pablo lives in New Zealand and he never had the chance to see Argentina playing live at the stadium. He took his chance and, just like Roy did when he went to watch Argentina v North Korea in the latest U20 World Cup in Canada, Pablo became our correspondent for a day.

Here's Pablo's story of that day and some pictures to go with it!

Muchas gracias Pablo!

Today a boy became a man...

There are many defining moments in a boy's life to push him closer to the so called manhood.

The first time you have to shave, the first kiss, the first time "it happens" and today I really became a man.

I finally saw my beloved country play, score and!

Living in New Zealand there's no chance to see Argentina play and when the game against Australia in Melbourne was announced, it was a done deal I was on my way. It's only about 3 hours away from where I live.

The trip over was most uneventful. I did wear my shirt and scarve in anticipation of the upcoming event.

Game day was a little cold with rain. Kick-0ff was Aussie 7.30 PM so we left at 5. The good news was their were a lot of blue and white everywhere. It was beautiful! The drums, the noise and the very colourful and always happy Argentine supporters. Even my German friends had to bow in honour of the support and yes, they even held up the scarve and chanted "Vamos Vamos Argentina!".

We were seated beside the Argentine supporters, sadly I was unable to get tickets in their section. The noise, flag waving and chanting was simple beautiful and on the big screen they showed the greatest goals of the past. As expected, "The Hand of God" brought the laudest roar from the crowd. The game was good and bad. The good was the section all of us were is behind the goal and this end was were the game was for the first half. But in the second half we were a long way from the other end. There were 70,000 in the M.C.G. A lot of action and a fair score would have been 3-1 to us.
Overall a very good but not brilliant performance. MESSI was amazing. His footwork, speed and control were just incredible. TEVEZ looked very off and we really do missed CRESPO a lot. In fact it is a real problem that there were no real tall hitman-type striker. If we dont find one soon we will have problems. We do a lot of good work to get the ball in the middle but there is no one to finish it off...where are they???

TEVEZ is better just in behind the front 2 not up the front. Because big tall defenders win the ball way to easily whereas if he has space to run at them he can turn quickly and shoot. Defence looked very solid. I was impressed with our defending and i thought HEINZE was very impressive. The midfield was also solid although lacked a little imagination and down the wings were slow apart from the Atomic Flea (MESSI) who was everywhere.

There are no words to say how amazing it felt being part of a dream for me and I'm sure every Argentine and every Argentina supporter who has not been to a live game will understand how I felt watching the blue and white live for the first time. I really hope it happens again soon for me maybe 2010 in South Africa.

Just to cap of an incredible time while I was in the airport after customs some members of the team were also leaving and I got to talk and shake hands with some of them. I can rest a very happy man now.....


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Buying tickets for Argentina v Chile

It's proving to be a very tough task!

I'm back in Buenos Aires after leaving in January and one of the first things I did was to get to the Luna Park Stadium (traditional sporting venue with a history of boxing and basketball events) where they are selling tickets to watch Argentina v Chile on Saturday. A match that will mark the start of the World Cup Qualifiers for South Africa 2010.

I met Johnny (one of our regular posters here) and we wanted to join the queue at 4:30 PM. It turned out to be a very long one! Covering the whole of 400 meters. As we got to the end of it, a couple of policemen said: "You have to come back tomorrow".

So that's what I'll do. I want to see MESSI live for the first time in my life. I want to be a part of the start of a new era for our national team.

Who knows...maybe in four years time, we will all remember this Saturday as the day when it all began.

I believe. I never stopped believing.

Keep the faith, Johnny...we'll get the tickets and we'll become the eye witness for all the readers of our blog to give them our review just after the match.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pumas World Cup Dream Alive

Los Pumas created history by qualifying for the Rugby World Cup semi-final for the first after defeating the brave hearts from Scotland 19-13. Even before the match kicked off, the Los Pumas were already creating airwaves in Argentina as the “El Classico” derby between Boca/River had to be re-schedule so that everyone could watch this crucial match.

As for me, waking up as early as 2.30a.m was all worth it and for this I thank God for making this entire magical moment happening during my time.

The Pumas got the first try, after Gonzalo Longo ELIA, who went charging down a kick subsequently gathering a loose ball, to covert a try in the 33rd minute. Filipe CONTEPOMI went on to complete the conversion to give Argentina 13-3 lead.
However a penalty by Chris PATERSON, who has never failed to convert a penalty throughout this tournament, reduced the score line to 13-6 at half time.
After the re-start, another penalty from CONTEPOMI and a field goal from Juan Martin HERNANDEZ made the score line 19-6 and it looks almost certain that the Pumas were on their way to face the Springboks.
But the Scots were rejuvenated when substitute scrum half Chris CUSITER scored a try in the 63rd minute, with PATERSON completing the conversion to bring the score line down to 6 points.

Scotland pushed for another try towards the ending of the game only to see a resilience Pumas defending prevailing at the end of the game.
Though it wasn’t the kind of performance I would have expected from the Pumas (after last week superb display against the Irish) but being "A quarter Scottish" myself I am extremely happy the way both sides performed.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Pumas Line Up Against Brave Tartan Army's

Los Pumas head coach Marcelo LOFFREDA has announced the team that will take on Scotland in the quarter-final. The match will be played at Stade de France on Sunday.

LOFFREDA has decided to keep the same team that took on Ireland last Sunday.
The biggest mystery surrounding this team was the condition of Felipe CONTEPOMI who has shaken off the flu he was having for the past few days. The illness has forced him to miss two training sessions.

Starting 15 :-

1 Rodrigo RONCERO
2 Mario Ledesma AROCENA
3 Juan Martín SCELZO
4 Carlos Ignacio Fernandez LOBBE
5 Patricio ALBACETE
7 Juan Martín Fernandez LOBBE
8 Gonzalo Longo ELIA
9 Agustín PICHOT (c)
10 Juan Martín HERNANDEZ
11 Horacio AGULLA
14 Lucas BORGES
15 Ignacio CORLETO


16 Alberto Vernet BASUALDO
17 Omar Hasan JALIL
18 Rimas Álvarez KAIRELIS
19 Juan Manuel LEGUIZAMON
20 Nicolás Fernandez MIRANDA
21 Federico TODESCHINI

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Plenty Of Names Involved

Besiktas JK 0 FC Porto 1
A very important win for the Portuguese side with both Lucho GONZALEZ and Lisandro LOPEZ were starters. Mariano GONZALEZ was on the bench but did not see any action.

On the other hand, Besiktas had Matias DELGADO in the starting line up Federico HIGUAIN coming in as a second half substitute.

Liverpool 0 Olympique de Marseille 1

The good news is that Javier MASCHERANO was on the bench and not involved in all so, perhaps by now Rafa BENITEZ should know who is the best player to partner GERRARD in the center.

SS Lazio 2 Real Madrid 2

Christian LEDESMA of LAZIO and Gabriel HEINZE of Real were both starters. Lionel SCALONI (Lazio) and Javier SAVIOLA and Gonzalo HIGUAIN (both Real Madrid) all came in as second half substitute.

Werder Bremen 1 Olympiacos 3

A wonderful away result for the Greek side, with both Christian Raul LEDESMA and Luciano GALETTI pulling the string in midfield. Leonel NUNEZ was on the bench and did not see any action.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Champions League News - Messi Does It Again

VFB Stuttgart 0 FC Barcelona 2

Despite twice being denied a goal by the excellent Raphael SCHAFER, Lionel MESSI did manage to get himself in the score sheet in the 67th minute as Barca won 2-0.

Not only that, he was also chosen as the Fan’s Man Of The Match. This only goes to show that this young lad will continue strife to do what he does best despite the presence of such heavyweights like RONALDHINO and HENRY.

Manchester United 1 AS Roma 0

Carlos TEVEZ only came in as a second half substitute in which ROONEY scored the only goal of the night to give the Red Devils the 3 points.

Internazionale 2 PSV Eindhoven 0

Inter have recovered from their first game defeat with 2-0 win over PSV with Hernan CRESPO, Walter SAMUEL, Santiago SOLARI, Esteban CAMBIASSO and Javier ZANETTI were all in the starting eleven.

Dynamo Kyiv 1 Sporting Lisbon 2

Important win for the Portuguese with Leandro ROMAGNOLI in their starting line up.