Sunday, April 29, 2007
Carlos DELFINO & Detroit PISTONS First Through
Carlos DELFINO's Detroit PISTONS became the first team to progress further by defeating the Orlando MAGIC 97-93, to complete a 4-0 whitewash in their series. Quiet night for DELFINO as he contributed 8 points & 1 rebound
BULLS Knocks Defending Champion Out!!!
Andres NOCIONI's quote was tacked above Shaquille O'NEAL's seat in the Miami HEAT locker room before the 3rd game of the series, with the key phrase marked in yellow highlighter.
"We will not sweep Miami,'' the Chicago Bulls forward said. But NOCIONI was wrong.
The Bulls won that third game 104-96 in which was the first road playoff win for the franchise sin the "JORDAN/PIPPEN Era". Chapu posted 10 points, 8 rebounds & 2 assists.
And on Sunday, the swept was accomplished. Chicago knocked the defending champions out in the first round by beating them 93-79 in the fourth game and will now be facing the Detroit Pistons in the second round. NOCIONI posted 11 points, 5 rebounds & 1 assists.
It'll be Carlitos vs. Chapu. So we can say now that we will have an Argie in the Eastern Conference Finals regardless of the outcome of the series between Bulls and Pistons.
SPURS lead 2-1 against NUGGETS
On Saturday night San Antonio Spurs took a 2-1 lead in their series against the Denver Nuggets by defeating them 96-91 on their own stadium. Manu GINOBILI combined well with Tim DUNCAN & Tony PARKER by posting 19 points, 7 rebounds & 5 assists. On the other hand Fabricio OBERTO despite being given limited time play, manage to post 4 points and 1 rebound.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
They experienced some mixed fortunes with Carlos TEVEZ and Gabriel HEINZE being on the winning side, while Liverpool duo of Gabriel PALETTA and Emiliano INSUA and Middlesbrough's Julio ARCA lost their respective matches.
Let's take it one by one:
West Ham played a game that looked like a final against Wigan Athletic. They needed to win to try and cut out the points difference with the Latics and to position themselves higher in the table to face the last two games with a shot to avoid relegation.
And they won 3-0 in style. Carlitos didn't score and had no assists, but his work rate was there to be seen and his pace caused all sorts of problems to the Wigan defense.
Now they are levelled in points with Wigan (35) but trail on goal difference by 5, so West Ham will have to get at least one point from the last two matches if Wigan are to lose both.
Up next for the Hammers is a tough test at Upton Park against Bolton, while Wigan play against Middlesbrough. The good news for West Ham is that Manchester United have won today and they could secure the title in any of the next two matches (Manchester City and Chelsea), so the Red Devils could field a team of substitutes in the last game of the Premiership against West Ham.
United started off with all sorts of problems at Goodison Park and Everton took a 2-0 lead. That result, combined with a temporary 2-1 Chelsea victory over Bolton, had the two title contenders with the 82 points each, with 3 games to play and the crucial encounter between them at Stanford Brigde on May, 9th.
But Gabriel HEINZE's team came from behind and scored 4 goals in the second half, while Chelsea allowed Bolton to score their second and now Manchester United is clear 5 points at the top of the standings.
If both teams win their next game (Manchester United will visit Manchester City, while Arsenal will entertain Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium), then the Red Devils could be crowned champions with a win or a draw against Chelsea at Stanford Bridge.
Gabriel PALETTA and Emiliano INSUA:
Out of the fight for the league title, with a place in next year's UEFA Champions League already in the bag and with a very important game on Tuesday against Chelsea for the Champions League semifinals, Rafa BENITEZ preserved his key men.
So Liverpool came to play against Portsmouth without REINA, CARRAGHER, FINNAN (I think he was injured anyway), AGGER, RIISE, GERRARD, MASCHERANO, PENNANT, CROUCH and KUYT.
So with an almost entire reserve team, the couple of Argentine defenders, Gabriel PALETTA and Emiliano INSUA, had a chance to start for the Reds.
It wasn't easy for them and Portsmouth won 2-1. With one of the goals coming when MWARUWARI out-paced PALETTA before beating DUDEK.
Emiliano INSUA made his absolute debut for Liverpool after he was loaned from Boca Juniors in January 2007 . He did quite well playing as a left-back and he even had an effort off target. INSUA will stay at Anfield Road until August 2008. He is 18 years old.
He entered the game in the 64th minute when his team (Middlesbrough) were losing 2-1 at home against Tottenham. He couldn't do much and the Spurs came out victorious 3-2.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Maxi RODRIGUEZ will go to the bench for Atlético de Madrid this Saturday against Betis and this is great news for our national team.
He spoke with Olé and talked about how he lived this time away from the pitch, how he remembers that great goal he scored against Mexico in the World Cup, how his grandfather is a key figure in his life and how his childhood hero surprised him after he got injured.
“I had the surgery in the morning and at night, my mobile phone rang and I heard him saying: “Hi Maxi, is Cholo speaking”. I was excited to talked to him. Diego SIMEONE was my childhood hero. When I played as a little boy, I pretended to be SIMEONE. So you can imagine what it meant to me for him to call me that day. I was also called by HEINZE, FIGUEROA, Gonzalo RODRIGUEZ and even XAVI (the FC Barcelona midfielder). He is adored by the supporters of Atletico de Madrid and I wish that one day he can have the chance to coach me”.
“I met SIMEONE when he was in the national team and I was a young kid playing for the sparring team in Argentina’s training sessions. Back in those days he always supported me and he used to tell me to keep up my hard work that one day I’d make it. I remember I was lucky enough to play against him once. I was in Espanyol and he played for Lazio. After the game we swapped shirts. Those are memories that I’ll keep forever.”
“My leg has responded very well. It is an injury that is very tough and it depresses you at the beginning, because everything is very slow and it seems like you’ll never have the chance to play again. But here I am. I’m ready now.”
“To play in the Copa America is one of my goals. I have it on my mind. But I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself because I don’t want to take a false step. I want to take it slow, play some matches for Atlético…but at the same time, I’ll work the best I can to return to our national team and have the manager (Alfio BASILE) to consider me”
“I know that BASILE have always said good things about me and it really makes me proud when I read on the news what he said about me. It is one of those things that give me strenght, because it was a short period that I shared with him prior my injury, just two days. And we just talked about basic things for that friendly against Spain. I wish I’m still in his plans for the Copa America”
“BASILE also called me after the surgery. He always gave me peace of mind. He said not to rush my recovery, not to try and comeback right away. That really helps.”
“Everytime the number of the AFA (Argentine Football Association) appears on my mobile’s caller ID, I’m happy. Because there is nothing better than the Albiceleste for me.”
“I don’t know if I’m a player identified with our national team. I leave that for others to say. I feel I’m estimated. I’m always eager to play for Argentina.”
“I think I’ve lived wonderful things with the Albiceleste: Being U20 World Cup champions and doing it in your own country was really important. It even caused my name to be known in Buenos Aires, because when you are from the inner Argentina (Rosario), it is harder for the people in the big city to know who you are. That Youth World Cup title opened the doors of Europe for me. And then, of course, playing in Germany 2006 was really huge for me, despite that pain that still remains inside”.
“I just watched my goal against Mexico once right after the World Cup. The thing is that I tried to forget about the World Cup, such was the pain that I felt after being knocked out by Germany. I tried to do things not related to football. I didn’t even watch the semifinals or the final. I think I’ll forget that pain that Germany 2006 left me if I have the chance to play the next World Cup (South Africa 2010).”
“Back in Madrid, I watched that goal more often. I wanted to look for things to cheer me up and to lighten my mood while I was injured.”
“My grandfather became a celebrity in Argentina! After the World Cup, the media interviewed him more than they interviewed me! But he deserves the recognition. He did a lot of efforts to take me to my local club (Malvinas) when I was a little boy. And besides, he was the one who insisted that I use the left foot to kick the ball aswell. It was thanks to him that I managed to scored with my left against Mexico”.
Monday, April 23, 2007
But for now, here is the complete draw:-
Group A - Germany, Argentina, England, Japan
Group B - USA, Nigeria, Sweden, Korea DPR
Group C - Norway, Australia, Canada, Ghana
Group D - China PR, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand
Now I would just like to share on what a remarkable improvement have the ladies made, since they're historically debut four years ago when the competition was held in the United States.
Having being in the shadows of continental rivals Brazil for many years, the team achieved the unexpected when they defeated them in last year Sudamericano Femenino by 2-0. Though the team has met with minimum requirement to qualify for the World Cup, the most significant importance of that result allowed us to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the first ever in our women's football history.
I was really ashamed that I did not include them in our Best of Argentina 2006 Top 10 review last year, after having just found out what a major achievement it was for us.
With Walter Herrmann having all but ruled himself out and his fellow NBA-based players Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto and Andres Nocioni hinting they will miss, national team coach Sergio Hernandez was desperate for some good news and now he’s got it.
Both Wolkowyski and Scola were important members of the teams that captured gold at the Athens Games in 2004 and silver two years earlier at the FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis.
Power forward Scola, who plays in Spain with ACB giants Tau Ceramica, told the Clarin newspaper: "I have never said I wouldn’t play (at the FIBA Americas Championship) or that I was in doubt."
Wolkowyski, a 2.07m BC Khimki center speaking ahead of his team’s Russian Superleague playoff tie with Dynamo Moscow Region, told the Ole newspaper: "I want to play at the pre-Olympic championship."I always want to play for the national team. It has given a lot to us, so we have to give something back too."Every Argentinian’s dream is to play in the national team, as well as mine."
However, the 33-year-old says that at his age, taking the summer off could make sense as he tries to prolong his career."I am fine now, but on Friday I start to play two games in two days and I am not 25 years old," he said."If it has been six or seven years ago, I would have walked all the way to join the national team, but now my body feels trips and games."I also want to see if I can sign for another team which would allow me peace of mind when joining the national team."
Scola was philosophical about the possible absences of veterans."This change does not have to be necessarily bad," Scola said."What we have to do is to leave comparisons aside. If we compare, we’ll have problems. We’ll have to start writing a new story as a team."
The three teams with the best chances of taking the two qualifying places in the tournament that is staged from August 22 to September 2 in Las Vegas are the United States, Argentina and Brazil."It will be a real war," Scola said."It will be terribly tough. The United States play at home and Brazil are a great team who want to take one of the berths."There are also some good teams like Puerto Rico and Venezuela, plus some others who always make it complicated for you, such as Panama and the Dominican Republic."
courtesy of http://www.fiba.com/
Sunday, April 22, 2007
But today, Internazionale became the Italian champion for the season and they won it in style, deservingly.
By beating Siena 2-1 with both goals scored by controversial Marco MATERAZZI, Inter took their tally to 15 league titles. This is the first time they win the league on the pitch since 1989.
This success has an extra value for a few Argentinians who are wearing the black and blue, but specially for the big captain: Javier ZANETTI.
He's suffered immensely since arriving to the "nerazzurri", but his work rate and determination, as well as his talent and commitment have made him a symbol of the Italian giants. He deserves to be the first one to lift that trophy.
Along with him, in today's starting lineup, there were another 4 Argies: Nicolás BURDISSO, Esteban CAMBIASSO, Santiago SOLARI and Julio CRUZ. Mariano GONZALEZ stayed in the bench, while Hernán CRESPO is injured and Walter SAMUEL was sidelined.
So it is a triumph for a great bunch of Argentinians and they deserve it.
Congratulations to them!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
His team, West Ham United, have managed to get all three points against high-flying Everton. That result, combined with Wigan loss against Liverpool and a draw between Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United gave the Hammers a little bit of hope to face the final three games of the season.
They stand 3 points behind salvation and they'll be visiting Wigan next week. A win and they will reach the Latics position in the table and they'll certainly look to carry on with that momentum. But they've got to win first.
Imagination. Creativity. But most of all, passion! That's what I can say after hearing about a crazy idea from a Napoli supporter. He wants to have 3 million Napoli supporters to pledge 35 euros each, in order to raise more than 100 million euros and buy Lionel MESSI with that money. They clearly have fresh in their minds what Diego MARADONA did at the San Paolo Stadium and they don't want to miss on the chance of bringing in his natural born successor.
The Chicago Bulls started their NBA playoffs campaign with a tight win over the defending champions Miami Heat. Chapu scored two crucial free throws in the dying seconds of the game to help his team make sure of a 96-91 victory to take the first round series to a score of 1-0.
The Argentine played 30 minutes, scored 17 points (6-15 from the floor with 2 three-pointers), he grabbed 4 rebounds and had 2 assists and 2 blocked shots.
Friday, April 20, 2007
“What he’s done was Maradonian. Extraordinary, extraordinary! It was an awesome thing: You know he can do it and this time he did it. From the right, he dribbled everybody and the difference (with Diego’s goal) is that he finished with the right foot. He went a little bit wider than Diego after dribbling the keeper and near the goal line he even lifted the ball a little bit because there was a defender closing in. And don’t forget that his right foot is not his best foot. He’s got everything in his left. What he did is something unique players can do. It was my biggest joy of the day as Argentina’s national team manager”
“MESSI has to have a free role in our team” said COCO to his friends.
Ok that’s enough; anyway I’m getting excited as well because we will have four Tall Albicelestes representative from three different teams, all of which have great chance becoming champions. Which is why I’ve decided to write this article to analyze on each player and how was their performance in the regular season.
So hopefully all you Albicelestes supporters will be with me in the coming months as we could have our first champion of 2007 here before our football teams will go to compete in the Copa America and the various FIFA age category World Cups.
Manu GINOBILI & Fabricio OBERTO of San Antonio SPURS.
For any team that plays against the SPURS, the first things they need to stop Tim DUNCAN. But that alone is not enough as there is Tony PARKER that needs to be controlled as well. Even if anyone achieves that, then there is always a bigger headache in Manu GINOBILI. For instance when Spurs played against the Atlanta HAWKS back in February, while other fail to deliver he rose to the occasion to score a season high 40 points (including 24 straight points, a franchise record). Those are the kind of quality that he possesses, regardless whether he is a starter or coming from the bench.
While MANU may not have the celebrity appeal like his All-Star captain or the credibility to be “Mr.LONGORIA” but in the end on his best, you can’t find a better threat than him. He is arguably Gregg POPOVICH secret weapon when needed the most. In 2003 he was an unknown quantity that burst into the scene like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode and two year later against the Detroit PISTONS, there was no answer against him.
After a disappointing 2006 which has been filled with injuries, MANU must be very much motivated to end this year by collecting his third championship ring.
As for OBERTO, playing alongside MANU should inspire him to realize on what is at stake. Despite the fact he is given limited time play, as he is often a bench player, OBERTO is surely to deliver when called upon. He has shown tremendous improvements this season, as he managed to post 4.4 per game (1.7 last year), 4.7 rebound (2.1) & 0.9 assists (0.5). Some of the highlight includes, notching a career high 22 points against the Phoenix SUNS in November.
Oh yes, I’ve almost forgot, rumours has it that MANU is in the running for the Sixth Man Award. Whether he is the first, second or sixth, for me MANU is the MAN!!!
First Stop Denver NUGGETS – I do see Spurs coming good in this one but perhaps with a bit obstacle against the likes of ANTHONY and IVERSON. We could have a showdown between Argentina (GINOBILI, OBERTO) and Brazil (NENE). Seba, since you’re based in Rio, you might want to take note of this.
Andres NOCIONI of Chicago BULLS
The Bulls are back!!! The current team is regarded the best since the JORDAN/PIPPEN Championship winning era, as coach Scott SKILES has built around a young and talented team that consist of Kirk HINRICH, Luol DENG, Ben GORDON, Chris DUHON, Tyrus THOMAS and a certain Andres “CHAPU” Nocioni. Also included in the team is former NBA winner and four-time Defensive Player Of The Year Ben WALLACE. There is plenty of anticipation from the current BULLS team after having seeing disappointing result at the first hurdle of the play-offs for the past two seasons, so will it be a third time unlucky?
Now back to Chapu, it has been very much a roller coaster ride for him this season. Upon returning from his involvement with the National Team, he had slow start but then of the sudden, bang!!! Point after points including a career high performance against the New Orleans/Oklahoma HORNETS, where he managed 31 points back in December.
It was during this time, he was beginning to show to the type of player he really was and the BULLS were giving everyone the impression of a serious championship contender. However injury prevented this progress sometime February which resulted of him being out of action for the entire month of March. It was personal scare for me as there were report he might even miss the play-offs, should he does not recover in time.
Nevertheless due to the strong nature of his will power, he has made a comeback just in time and should be fit enough for the play-offs. Though I’m a bit concern on whether coach SKILES is going give him more time play, as the BULLS were playing well during in absence, but lets remember one thing that the figures don’t lie.
This season, despite having sat out for almost two months, he manages to post an average 14 ppg (13 last season) & 5.7 rpg (6.1). Furthermore his contract is coming to end this season, and Chapu is really desperate to extend his stay. What a better ways there is to convince the BULLS franchise to give him his extension than a great performance in the play-offs.
First Stop, Miami HEAT – A repeat of last season first round encounter on which the Heats won the series 4-2 and the rest, as you know is history. Regular season meetings is favouring the Bulls with 3-1 win but it will not be easy when you’re up against WADE and O’NEIL in the play offs. SKILES young boys need to raise their stake.
Carlos DELFINO of Detroit PISTONS
Personally I’m not really a fan of the PISTONS. Even when they were surprise champions in 2004, I was never really attracted to them as mush as other team. But I’m not going to deny what great cohesive teamwork they have. The current team doesn’t look that different with almost the same line up such as Chauncey BILLUPS, Richard HAMILTON, Rasheed WALLACE etc.
As for Carlos DELFINO, he had dismal debut back in 2004, due to the fact the coach then Larry BROWN had overlooked on his offensive qualities. Plus to the fact he was even injured for several months during that season, and his form dipped forcing coach BROWN to leave him out of the play-offs rosters.
However under the guidance Flip SAUNDERS who was appointed as coach in 2005, is where DELFINO thrives the most. Though despite coming off the bench, he had posted several double-digit performance and was well renowned for his defensive performance to the change of pace offensive scheme, that SAUNDERS had instill on the team.
No doubt as for this season he continues to start from the bench but coach SAUNDERS should not neglect him as he has often produced when it really matters.
For instance, he shot the nail-hitting buzzer from 3-point range in that epic match against the New York KNICKS (a match that when into 3 over times) back in December. Apart from that he has had posted several double digit performance in recent important matches such as Eastern Conference contender Toronto RAPTORS, Miami HEAT, and also Championship contenders such as the Phoenix SUNS.
As I’ve mentioned earlier that he missed the 2005 finals, DELFINO will want to make up for those times by providing plenty of support to ensure that the PISTONS will make it this time and perhaps who knows, go on to win the championship as well. If that happens, it’s MOTOR CITY ROCKS!!! All the way
First Stop, Orlando MAGIC – The PISTONS swept the MAGIC 4-0 during the regular season, so I do believe they would not have that much of resistance in this tie. DELFINO defensive play could be put up to test when he faces the likes of Grant HILL, Dwight HOWARD & Hedo Turkoglu.
Not to forget…
I wouldn’t want to forget El Guerero himself. Coming to the NBA with a monster reputation in Europe and for Argentina, from bench warmer he went on to become Charlotte BOBCATS most celebrated player towards the last few months of the regular season. The BOBCATS must be banging their heads for not being able to utilize his potential from the beginning itself. Though no news regarding his extended stay in Charlotte, but I believe Walter HERRMANN has done more than enough to ensure his reputation is heard across the NBA.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
This year's FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas is crucial, handing two direct berths to the Olympic Games in Beijing next year. Uruguay and Mexico are in Group A of the FIBA Americas Championship along with Sergio Hernandez's Argentinians, Panama and Puerto Rico.
Canada, meanwhile, have been drawn in Group B alongside the United States, Brazil, Venezuela and the US Virgin Islands.
Courtesy of www.fiba.com
OK, so finally I've found some time to dedicate to things other than the content. So I have added a couple of tools to our site.
There are a series of videos from YouTube about some key words that I have entered but some might have nothing to do with our Albicelestes (like I've seen a video displayed there where a couple dances the tango or Madonna plays Evita).
Also...there will be breaking news from Google News and of course, there'll be about our beloved Albicelestes.
The only thing that concerns me is that, from what I'm seeing here, since I'm in Brazil, all the news are being shown in Portuguese! And I can't seem to find a solution to have them in English.
It's a shame and I'll try and sort out that problem.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about this new look we have and send me your suggestions, ideas and whatever comes to your mind to make our blog better.
If you want a better definition of the word Golazo, then just watch what Diego MARADONA did in Mexico 86 against England or what Lionel MESSI emulated 21 years later at the Camp Nou for FC Barcelona against Getafe for the Copa del Rey.
Now I find it very logical yet amazing that all the media in the World are now comparing both goals and all they seem to talk about is how the two gems are ridiculously similar.
It's been said here in this blog (in one post which was not signed) that the conditions of the pitch at the Azteca back in that Mexico 86 World Cup were not ideal, and were very far from that.
That's not the only difference I've found. There are plenty, like the importance of the game and the calibre of the opposition.
But what about the similarities?
What about these facts?
- Both started on the right hand side of the field, just before the midfield line.
- Both dribbled past 5 rivals (including the goalkeeper).
- Both needed just 11 seconds from start to finish.
I find it really hard to believe. 21 years later and an almost exact replica of the most sensational goal ever scored in the history of the World Cup performed by none other than the boy who Diego himself have chosen as his successor.
The more I watch both goals, the more I'm in awe and the more I feel extremely happy to know they are both Argentine.
The notable difference I've seen from one goal to the other?
- DIEGO touched the ball 11 times since he started that run. MESSI touched it 14 times.
- DIEGO finished with the left foot. MESSI with the right.
But that's about it. That's all!
Should we wait for the Hand of the MESSIah, now?
I'll be happy if he scores from the spot as long as he is wearing the Albiceleste!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Chapu Is Back
Andres NOCIONI has been improving tremendously, as he posted 19 points, 7 rebounds & 1 assists, his best since his return from injury. However Chicago BULLS lost their to the New Jersey NETS 97-106.
Rare Start For Delfino
Carlos DELFINO was in the starting line up when the Detroit PISTONS face the Boston CELTICS. He posted 9 points, 7 rebounds & 3 assists, as the PISTONS won 91-89 to complete their dominance in the Eastern Conference
El Guerero Finale?
Under these circumstance, others might not have bothered that much. But not in the case for Walter HERRMANN as in what could be his final match for the Charlotte BOBCATS. Despite going down to the New York KNICKS 93-94, Walter posted the highest score for his team as he notched 22 points & 5 rebounds. Till date, there’s no news regarding on his extension.
But it was 0-0. Yes, Argentina was unlucky at some point by hitting the woodwork in more than one ocassion, but Chile had their fair share of chances and could have very well return to their country with a sound victory.
Everything is a work in progress at the moment and it's very soon to jump into conclusions, but I'm sure Coco BASILE now has a better idea of who is up to the task of wearing the Albiceleste and who is not.
Knowing that COCO will use a mix between the bunch of players who were in action tonight and those who are plying their trade in the European leagues, I'm sure he's got more things to be upbeat than downbeat.
MESSI scored a brace, CARLITOS kept his scoring shoes on and now Fernando CAVENAGHI joins the list of Argentine scorers in Europe, after he scored his first goal for Bordeaux in a 3-0 victory against Nancy for the French League.
I'll wait for COCO's and players' comments and see what their voices say.
I don't think there are reasons to be worried about. It's still very early for that.
It was a difficult task today, when the Hammers entertained defending champions Chelsea.
But he scored a great goal from outside the area to level things up.
A shame that Chelsea scored three times after that and the Hammers now see themselves deeper and deeper in relegation woes.
Keep it up CARLITOS!
It was just amazing to see him mesmerising the entire Getafe side in a race that started just before the midfield line. Maybe a little bit more to the right, closer to the sideline than where Diego started that glorious run against England in Mexico 86.
But the rest of the action was very very similar to that famous best goal in the history of the World Cup.
Lionel skipped past the goalkeeper (it was substitute LUIS and not first team starter Roberto ABBONDANZIERI which was given a rest by Getafe's manager) and there came the other notable difference if we compare this goal with Diego's: he finished with the right foot.
All of a sudden, most of the Spanish newspapers started organising polls for the visitors to vote and choose between MESSI's and MARADONA's goals.
Of course, in my opinion, Diego's epic run remain the most extraordinary individual action in the history of football. MESSI scored a very similar goal if you take away the colour of the shirts, the competition in which it was scored and the importance of the rival. But you can't take those factors out of the question and that's why Diego still has the edge.
Here's hoping Lionel raises up the stakes and tries to scored more goals like the one he scored today.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Here is Argentina's starting eleven:
Goalkeeper: Juan Pablo CARRIZO (River Plate)
Defense: skipper Hugo IBARRA (Boca Juniors), Eduardo TUZZIO (River Plate), Daniel DIAZ (Boca Juniors), Jonathan BOTTINELLI (San Lorenzo).
Midfield: Fernando BELLUSCHI (River Plate), Cristian LEDESMA (San Lorenzo), José SOSA (Estudiantes de La Plata), Daniel MONTENEGRO (Independiente)
Forwards: Rodrigo PALACIO (Boca Juniors) and Mariano PAVONE (Estudiantes de La Plata).
Monday, April 16, 2007
The former Manchester United, Chelsea, Parma, Inter, Sampdoria, Boca Juniors (and probably a couple of more clubs) now playing for Estudiantes de La Plata, picked up an injury during the weekend and won't take part of the team that will face Chile on Wednesday.
We are talking about Gustavo CABRAL (Centre-back, Racing Club) and Pablo LEDESMA (Midfielder, Boca Juniors).
CABRAL played the U20 World Cup with MESSI in The Netherlands 2005 and he has a couple of seasons of experience playing for Racing Club.
LEDESMA have scored the fastest goal in the history of the Superclásico (Boca Juniors v. River Plate) on Sunday. He drew first blood inside the first minute after an incredible assist by RIQUELME saw him running free into the River Plate area.
The team is getting ready for the match but the bad news are that Juan Sebastián VERON (Estudiantes de La Plata) and Leonardo PONZIO (River Plate) are injured and both could be missing against Chile.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Charlotte BOBCATS at Chicago BULLS
The BOBCATS chances of pushing for the last slot in the Eastern Conference play-offs has come to an end after losing to the BULLS 81-100. Walter HERRMANN had another great night as he was the BOBCATS top performer with 14 points and 5 rebounds. I'm pretty sad for El Guerero after all the effort that he has put for his team but it was all not all wasted. Had the BOBCATS used him from the beginning it could have been all different. At least this goes to show that he has proven that he can play and mixed with the World's best. Charlotte BOBCATS should sign him for a long term contract as with him, Emeka OKAFOR, Raymond FELTON & Adam MORISSON, the Eastern Conference could probably have a new contender next season.
But there was good news, as Andres “Chapu” NOCIONI has made a return from his injury, just in time before the play offs. Though he was only given14 minutes of time play, he still had 2 points and 5 rebounds. But I'm pretty sure once he return to full match fitness, he's definitely going to be on a roll.
San Antonio SPURS at Minnesota TIMBERWOLVES
Great night for Manu GINOBILI has he notches 21 points to help the SPURS beat the TIMBERWOLVES 110-91. Fabricio OBERTO meanwhile had 3 points and 2 rebounds to his credit.
Detroit PISTONS at Toronto RAPTORS
Despite going down to the RAPTORS 84-87, the PISTONS should know by now that Carlos DELFINO can arguably be the team best player from the bench. As often when the likes Tayshaun PRINCE or Chris WEBBER fail, DELFINO provided much of the ammunition by notching 11 points (the team second highest of the night), 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Now I can't really wait for the play-offs to begin
Friday, April 13, 2007
"His life is not in danger" said Oscar CICCO, head of the Mother Theresa of Calcuta hospital in Ezeiza, just south of the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires.
Diego was taken back to hospital after he suffered from an acute abdominal pain but after being treated the doctors decided that he will have to stay under observation for at least between 48 and 72 hours.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
However, he didn't waste a lot of time before giving one of his well-known explosive quotes: "I'll go and watch Boca Juniors vs. River Plate even if I have to go with a stretcher and serum!"
Well...no doubt he is back in full speed, right?
Hope he stays well now!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
While the dream of European Glory is still on for one, it has come to an end for another.
Roberto AYALA and Valencia were knocked out courtesy of a last minute blow from Michael ESSIEN as Chelsea snatched a 2-1 win (3-2 on aggregate). While this will be his last season at the Mestalla before he moves to Villareal, AYALA would have wanted to leave on a high note after having experiencing back-to-back defeats in the final.
Tonight two more Albicelestes will take on to the field for their respective clubs.
Javier MASCHERANO and Liverpool are almost certain to be through to the semis and another stellar performance from Javier might just help him to cement his place in the Reds starting line up.
Believe me if everything falls into places, we could probably witness an all time midfield battle between Javier, Xabi & Gerrard against Lampard, Ballack & Essien.
I’m not too sure whether Martin DEMECHELIS will be in the Bayern starting line up but I’m hopping to see the Bavarian side progressing further to meet Man Utd in the semi-final, a classic encounter indeed.
Overall something tells me we might just have an All-English final this year. What about your prediction?
The battle for European supremacy does just end on the field but will also take place on the court as well.
Pepe SANCHEZ and Unicaja Malaga will take on Winterthur FCB in the best of 3-series to clinch a place in the semi-finals. At the moment the series is tied at 1-1 so this match will be a winner takes all.
Already in the semis are Luis SCOLA, Pablo PRIGIONI and Tau Ceramica.
It's been known, after Walter spoked with an American newspaper recently, that he won't be taking part of our team to play the Olympic Qualifying tournament this year in Las Vegas.
So Argentina will be without him and others in the absents list could be:
Manu GINOBILI (99% out, even though he didn't announce it yet)
Andrés NOCIONI (if he extends his contract with Chicago Bulls then the chances for him to play in Las Vegas will be better)
Now, some of those players have physical reasons to pull out of the tournament. Some others have contract concerns and might prioritise their future in the NBA and there are other cases in which the player/s simply don't agree with coach Sergio HERNANDEZ.
Pepe SANCHEZ is still to decide, while the only stand-out player from our starting lineup in the last World Championship to have confirmed his presence is Luis SCOLA.
We'll see what happens in the next few days, but it sure doesn't look good at all.
I would hate for Argentina to miss out on qualification for Beijing 2008 where we should be going with our morale sky-high to defend our gold.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Well…I didn’t know him much, until I saw what happened in the last minute of Mallorca 2 – Getafe 0.
Mallorca were winning 1-0 and so the manager, Gregorio MANZANO, thought it was a good idea to make a substitution and sent this 18-year-old Argentine to the pitch for the final minute of action. It was more to kill time than anything, but what happened next?
Oscar TREJO picked up the ball and skipped past two opponents before beating non-other than Roberto ABBONDANZIERI to score in the first minute of action in his absolute La Liga debut!
Now that takes some doing!
Today he is the darling of the Argentine media and everybody is talking about this boy who left Boca Juniors, tired of not having enough chances, in a situation that was brought to Justice.
His family finally excercised what is called Patria Potestad (a right that gives the parents the power to take his boy wherever they want to) and they took TREJO out from Boca Juniors.
It was almost the same thing that happened with Fabricio COLOCCINI in the past.
Now Boca are really annoyed by this situation and are appealing the decision.
But in the meantime, the kid just wants to play. After playing only once for Boca (63 minutes and 1 goal scored!) in July, 2005, now Chocota (such is his nickname) is dreaming of playing the U20 World Cup in Canada, later this year.
So stay tunned and watch Mallorca from now on, he might as well keep up his impressive record of one goal every 32 minutes and 30 seconds!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Walter HERRMANN was named NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of March'07, a feat that almost seemed impossible to believe when he joined the Charlotte BOBCATS at the start of the season.
El Guerrero as he is known was born on the 26th of June 1979 in Venado Tuerto. The first team he played was for local outfit Olimpia de Venado Tuerto in 1999, averaging 13.2 points per game (ppg). The following year he managed an average 18.6 ppg, 7.2 rebound per game (rpg). In 2000 he was named in the Argentinean All-Star Game and even won the Slam Dunk Contest (in fact he was well known for being one the best slam dunkers in Argentina and Spain).
His performance got the attention of Asociación Deportiva Atenas with whom he signed in the year 2001. On his debut season, he avaraged 18.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, while helping the club to win the Liga Sudamericana (South American League). The following season prove to be much more successful for both HERRMANN and Atenas as he averaged 20.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.9 assists (ast) in 54 games. The club won the Liga Nacional de Básquetbol (LNB) after defeating Estudiantes de Olavarría 4-1 in the play offs final and HERRMANN was named the finals MVP.
In 2002 he decided to go across the Atlantic Ocean, to play in the ACB (Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto) for Fuenlabrada Madrid. On his debut season in Spain, he was named the Regular Season MVP as well as the Top Scorer in ACB. The following season he was transferred again this time to Unicaja Málaga.
In 2004, HERRMANN's name was included in the Argentina squad for Athens Olympic Games. Though he was a reserve and was used sparingly, he made his most important appearance at the Athens Games against Team USA in the semi-finals, scoring 11 points in 14 minutes of that 89-81 triumph. Argentina went on to win the gold medal after defeating Italy in the final.
However, the years 2003 and 2004 proved to be the toughest time for HERRMANN, off the court especially. First in 2003, he lost his mother, 2 younger sisters and girlfriend in a tragic car accident. Exactly one year later, his father died of a heart attack.
He remained in Unicaja until 2006, where he helped the club to win the ACB title. Rumours have been circulating that he was on the verge of a move to the NBA. Something that he himself has always dreamed about.
In 2006, HERRMANN name was included in Sergio HERNANDEZ Argentina national team for the FIBA World Championship in Japan. Despite having a tough act to follow from their Olympic triumph, Argentina managed to finish fourth in the tournament.
It was also during this time, after weeks of speculations, that the BOBCATS have announced they have signed HERRMANN as a free agent. His contract is a one-year deal with an option for a further season. His NBA journey did not have the greatest of starts as he was often warming the bench and language barrier was a problem itself, adding to the fact that he was on the verge of an NBA disappearing act. But that did not stop him from realizing his dream, as through plenty of hardwork and motivation, his was finally rewarded for his patience.
With the BOBCATS suffering from an injury crisis, coach Bernie BICKERSTAFF had no choice but to call him on, the number five responded with one fine display after another.
In one nine-game stretch, he averaged 14.8 points and shot 59% from the floor, which lead him to the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award. Even more important is that the 27-year-old HERRMANN's defense has been excellent. HERRMANN is a very good example of how players sometimes need to play a waiting game in the NBA.
On a lighter note, HERRMANN has a new nickname. People in the Queen City have taken to calling him Fabio because of his resemblance to the male fashion model who appeared on the covers of countless romance novels in America in the 1980s and 90s.
And somewhere in heaven right now, Mr. & Mrs HERRMANN must be very proud of their son.
Eres una inspiración para cada uno de nosotros
Saturday, April 07, 2007
OK I think I had enough of that. But one thing for sure, not many people out there has rated our 1986 World Cup winning team into that entire list that I've mentioned above. One of the main reason is that it was often looked at as a one-man performance rather than a whole team. But I'm pretty sure that they were some players in that team that have equally contributed to that success.
But if I'd ask you to name the eleven best players who have don the Albicelestes colours throughout history, what would your choice be? Trust me, the more you think about it, the harder it gets, especially when I've already decide on one player and suddenly out of the blue moon another player comes to the picture. It took me days to figure out who should be in my list, as I needed to really be sure about this. At times when discussing this with my friend Alwin, we often had our preference on who deserves the most. This is when I realized that the best team might depend on one opinion on how he or she would like the team to be. Which is the main reason for me to why I decided to write this article. So that YOU out there might want to share with us who do YOU think are the best players, the best formation and the captain to lead them or even the best coach for that matter.
But below is my final eleven that I've selected after weeks of mind blowing and head cracking session. I've decided to go with the 3-4-1-2 formations.
Nery PUMPIDO - One of the few memorable things that I remember about the 1986 World Cup, was the silver shinning plated jersey wore by PUMPIDO. After all it was the 1980's. However this was a tough choice but in the end, no one can deny what a great goalkeeper he was. Even I feel those who came after him were not that close to what he was. This is why he is my first choice keeper.
Oscar RUGGERI - Arguably the most successful defender in the history of Albicelestes and who can argue that? Having represented Argentina for 97 times plus a World Cup medal, twice captaining us to Copa America success plus numerous titles that he has won with Real Madrid, River Plate and Boca Juniors. Without the tough and uncompromising El Cabezon in defense, we would have been a weaker team in 1986.
Osvaldo "Ossie" ARDILES - A competitive and skillful player. Despite the tension that was surrounding in England during the Falkland Island War, Ossie prove to be a hit with his magnificent sublime skills both with the Spurs fans and elsewhere. Is there anything else special about him? Oh yes there is, I like the number of his jersey, very unique indeed.
Diego MARADONA - Well what can I say? Do I need to say anything else about him? Well for all our loyal readers in this blog, I believe everyone would agree 120% on this. But for those of you who are still living in denial, scratching their heads and trying to figure out why I choose him, you have no idea what you have been missing
Guilermo STABILE - Something from the old school and arguably the first superstar to come out from Argentina. STABILE will be remembered for being the 1930 World Cup leading goalscorer, scoring 8 goals in 4 matches. Although his career with the Albicelestes lasted only for a blink of an eye, but what a blink it was as his legacy went on to inspire generations of Argentine players.
Cesar Luis MENOTTI - I've got nothing against Señor Carlos BILARDO's "win at all cost" approach. But when you have a line-up that contains the best of the best it has to be the beautiful attacking approach, that MENOTTI emphazised
There can only be ONE...
There is no way we should not have such an fine in-form striker in our squad to play in the Copa America. I hope COCO sees it the same way I do and gives Diego MILITO one of the 22 tickets he'll be delivering to join him on the plane to Venezuela in June.
Real Zaragoza fans are over the moon with their team moving to 4th place in La Liga after defeated defending champions and current leaders FC Barcelona.
And they have Diego MILITO to thank. The former Racing Club (ARG) and Genoa (ITA) striker has made an habit out of scoring goals against Spanish power-houses like Real Madrid and Barcelona.
With his lone strike on Saturday, the Champions League qualification for next season looks closer and closer, while La Liga is wide open at the top, with Sevilla having the chance to end this week as the only leaders.
So...I don't know who should play with Diego MILITO in our attacking lines, but he MUST play the Copa America.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Well...I've got the info that follows:
Tickets will be on sale from Monday 16th between 9 AM and 8 PM at Supercanal, Diario Uno and Tarjeta Nevada in the city of Mendoza.
Preferential seating $ 80 (Argentine pesos)
Seating with roof $ 60
Seating without roof $ 40.
Standing $ 15
Well Johnny (and anybody interested), I hope this information helps.
The tie will also see the return of David NALBANDIAN to the team. Also included in the team is the recently Sony Ericsson Open runner-up Guillermo CAÑAS, Juan Martín DEL POTRO and Sebastián PRIETO.
The following is the schedule for this tie:
1. Thomas JOHANSSON vs. David NALBANDIAN
2. Robin SODERLING vs. Juan Martín DEL POTRO
3. Jonas BJORKMAN/Robert LINDSTEDT vs. David NALBANDIAN/Sebastián PRIETO
4. Robin SODERLING vs. David NALBANDIAN
5. Thomas JOHANSSON vs. Juan Martín DEL POTRO
Lets hope that Alberto MANCINI's side will be able to overcome the Swedes in this tie and progress further in the competition, perhaps go one step further than last year.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
It was great to see Javier MASCHERANO in the starting line up for Liverpool as the REDS has got one foot already in the Semi-Finals with a 3-0 away win over PSV Eindhoven.
This news really does make me happy after all the turbulence that he and CARLITOS had to go through since their transfer to English Football. Although I must admit I was skeptical about their presence on whether they will adapt to the EPL standard but the way both players have come out from their dreadful start is simply magnificent.
With TEVEZ in scoring mood and JAVIER being in the starting line up for their respective teams, I can't wait to see them both in action this coming weekend.
Tall Albicelestes In Action
The Charlotte BOBCATS are pushing hard for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference and Walter HERRMANN is playing an important role in this pursue. In today’s game against the Washington WIZARDS the BOBCATS prevailed with a 122-102 win and HERRMANN has 21 points to his credit.
Both Manu GINOBILI and Fabricio OBERTO were in action for San Antonio SPURS against the Seattle SUPERSONICS. Only this time surprisingly OBERTO had the better off his National Team colleague by scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while MANU had 8 points and 5 assists.
Carlos DELFINO had a quiet night as he only got 1 point and 2 rebounds. Nevertheless he had his part in Detroit PISTONS 100-85 win over the Indiana PACERS.
Luis SCOLA had 8 points and 9 rebound as Tau CERAMICA had an amazing 84-59 victory over Greek side Olympiacos.
In All-Spanish affair, Juan “PEPE” Sanchez had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists as his team Unicaja triumph over Winterthur FCB by 91-75
You all know him through his comments on this blog and now he'll take things a little bit further by writing his own articles like the one he did with the Top10 Albicelestes teams by sports in 2006.
So I would like you to welcome John from Malaysia as our new writer!