Monday, November 30, 2009

MESSI claims the Ballon D'Or France Football

We've been hearing it for ages. Everywhere you heard people saying: 'There's no way MESSI will not win the Ballon D'Or'. Well...all those people were right, as Lionel MESSI becomes today the first Argentine player to ever win this prestigious accolade awarded by French magazine France Football.

Not only that, by winning the election, MESSI got 473 out of a possible 480 points, which represents a record in itself.

No other player in the past collected as many votes.

It's worth mentioning that non-European players became eligible to win this award only in 1995.

Prior to this stage, 30 finalist were announced and the following is the complete result of the voting.

1. Lionel Andrès MESSI (Argentina, FC Barcelona) : 473 points
2. Cristiano RONALDO (Portugal, Manchester United/Real Madrid) : 233 pts
3. Xavi HERNANDEZ (Spain, FC Barcelona) : 170 pts
4. Andrés INIESTA (Spain, FC Barcelona) : 149 pts
5. Samuel ETO'O (Cameroon, FC Barcelona/Inter Milan) : 75 pts
6. Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan/Real Madrid) : 58 pts
7. Zlatan IBRAHIMOVIC (Sweden, Inter Milan/FC Barcelona) : 50 pts
8. Wayne ROONEY (England, Manchester United): 35 pts
9. Didier DROGBA (Ivory Coast, Chelsea): 33 pts
10. Steven GERRARD (England, Liverpool) : 32 pts
11. Fernando TORRES (Spain, Liverpool): 22 pts
12. Cesc FABREGAS (Spain, Arsenal) : 13 pts
13. Edin DZEKO (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wolfsburg) : 12 pts
14. Ryan GIGGS (Wales, Manchester United) : 11 pts
15. Thierry HENRY (France, FC Barcelona) : 9 pts
16. Luis FABIANO (Brazil, FC Sevilla), Nemanja VIDIC (Serbia, Manchester United), Iker CASILLAS (Spain, Real Madrid): 8 pts
19. Diego FORLAN (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid) : 7 pts
20. Yoann GOURCUFF (France, Bordeaux) : 6 pts
21. Andreï ARSHAVIN (Russia, Arsenal), Julio CESAR (Brazil, Inter Milan), Frank LAMPARD (England, Chelsea) : 5 pts
24. MAICON (Brazil, Inter Milan) : 4 pts
25. Diego (Brazil, Werder Bremen/Juventus) : 3 pts
26. David VILLA (Spain, Valencia), John TERRY (England, Chelsea) : 2 pts
28. Franck RIBERY (France, Bayern Munich), Yaya TOURE (Ivory Coast, FC Barcelone) : 1 pt
30. Karim BENZEMA (France, Lyon/Real Madrid): 0 pt

Congratulations to Lionel and now let's hope for a 2010 that's better and more memorable for him and for Argentina!

Kun & Maxi Steers Atlético Out Of Relegation Zone

The whole world had it’s eye on El Clasico Spain and it was a happy return for Lionel MESSI who played a pivotal role to help Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0.

However the star among the Albiceleste in Europe was Kun AGUERO after helping Atlético Madrid to a 4-0 win over the other side from Catalan, Espanyol. The results ensure that Atlético moves out of the relegation zone in the La Liga standings.

Kun, whom in recent weeks has been much in the spotlight with a speculated move in the January transfer, scored twice; one of which is from a curling free kick. Also on the score sheet is Maxi RODRIGUEZ, tapping in the far post courtesy of a cross from Kun himself.

In Italy, Diego MILITO scored from the spot with 5 minutes left as Inter Milan won 1-0 against Fiorentina, a result which takes them eight points clear at the top. German DENIS was on target for Napoli in their 1-1 draw with Parma.

In the French Ligue 1, Lyon could only salvage a 1-1 draw at home against Rennes with Lisandro LOPEZ scoring their equalizer.

NBA News - Manu Returns But Scola’s Hurt

It was all good news for the San Antonio Spurs as Manu GINOBILI return to action against the Philadelphia 76ers, after missing the last six games, and posted 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block shot. Spurs won the game 97-89.

However as one player makes his return another could be out as the bad news came in the Houston Rockets 100-91 win over the Oklohama City Thunders. Luis SCOLA was hurt on a freak play as the Thunder’s Etan THOMAS dunked with his right hand, simultaneously smacking SCOLA in the face with his left.

A trainer came onto the court to help him, and he held a towel up to his face as he walked to the locker room. He would end up getting seven stitches on his right eyelid. We certainly this is not something serious and that he will be back in action soon.

The worst team last season are currently the surprise package as the Sacramento Kings overcame the New Orleans Hornets 112-86, with Andres NOCIONI posting 13 points, 2 rebounds and an assist.

ATP World Tour Finals - No Good Ending For Delpo

Juan Martin DEL POTRO could not finish his remarkable year with another title after losing to Russian Nikolay DAVYDENKO in straight sets 3-6 & 4-6 at the London O2 Arena. Nevertheless keep an eye on him during the 2010 seasons.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

DEL POTRO Wins Epic Semis To Play In ATP Finals

US Open champion Juan Martin DEL POTRO beat Robin SODERLING in a heavyweight encounter to reach the final of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals for the first time.

The 5th seeded won 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to set up a decider against Russian 6th seed Nikolay DAVYDENKO, a surprise 6-2 4-6 7-5 winner against top seed Roger FEDERER. DEL POTRO is now one victory from landing the biggest title outside the four Grand Slams.

For a while, he looked to be in trouble when SODERLING converted his first break point of the night to lead the third set 4-2. However DEL POTRO immediately responded back with a break serve thus forcing the final set to a tie breaker.

DEL POTRO dominated the shoot-out after opening with a raking backhand winner and an ace.
After two hours and 10 minutes the man from Tandil found himself with four match points and he converted the second with an ace before raising his arms in triumph.

"I'm very happy to make my first final, one more match before my holiday," an exhausted DEL POTRO told the crowd.

Pumas Ends Euro-Tour With A Win Over Scotland

Los Pumas rugby team has finally achieved a win in their November Autumn tour in Europe after suffering defeats against England (15-37 & 9-16) and Wales (16-33) with a win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

Santiago PHELAN, already having team selection problem following the injuries to several big names, made six changes for this final test of the year. The Scots dominated possession in an almost one sided affair and were 6-0 up at half time, courtesy of two penalties from Phil GODMAN. But the Pumas responded with attacking minded approach in the second half.

They were rewarded with two penalties, both which were converted by Martin RODRIGUEZ, to tie the score line 6-6. Then with the clock showing just two minutes left, RODRIGUEZ accepted a pass from a ruck 30 meters out from the Scottish posts, steadied himself briefly, then sent a towering dropped goal over the bar.

The Scots did tried to fight themselves back for a win but were unable to find their way as Los Pumas showed plenty of character to maintain their lead and win the game 9-6.

Friday, November 27, 2009

TEVEZ Takes On DEL POTRO In A Tennis Match

Now for something entertaining.

Carlos TEVEZ was on courtside at the O2 Arena to watch Juan Martin DEL POTRO taking on Roger FEDERER at the ATP World Tour finals. Our Grand Slam winner was once again victorious over the Swiss maestro, defeating him 6-3, 7-6 & 6-3.

Despite of the result, the ATP officials still had to determined whether he will advanced to the semi-finals due to some confusion over the complicated scoring system. While waiting for the announcement, Delpo went over to Carlitos and invited him to take part in an impromptu knock around.

Realizing on his lacked of skill with the tennis racquet, he decided to show off the crowd with his fancy footwork using the tennis ball. From the video, you could tell the crowd was absolutely delighted and entertain.

When the organizer finally came back to make the announcement, it was all good news as the result over FEDERER was enough to send DEL POTRO into the semi-finals.

Thank you Carlitos & Good luck to DEL POTRO!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

No HEINZE, yes to PALERMO versus Catalunya

Well the list is out for the friendly match against Catalunya on December 22.

Diego POZO (Colón)
Mariano ANDUJAR (Catania).

Nicolás PAREJA (Espanyol)
Martín DEMICHELIS (Bayern Munich)
Nicolás OTAMENDI (Vélez)
Cristian ANSALDI (Rubin Kazan)
Cristian ALVAREZ (Arsenal)

Fernando GAGO (Real Madrid)
Maxi RODRIGUEZ (Atlético Madrid)
Jesús DATOLO (Nápoli)
Angel DI MARIA (Benfica)
Pablo AIMAR (Benfica)
Javier MASCHERANO (Liverpool)
Mario BOLATTI (Huracán)

Gonzalo HIGUAIN (Real Madrid)
Sergio AGUERO (Atlético Madrid)
Lionel MESSI (Barcelona)
Martín PALERMO (Boca)
Ezequiel LAVEZZI (Nápoli)

Do keep in mind that this is, as Seba put it, "a ridiculous friendly match". What bothers me about this list is that this would be a list that Diego would put out against any team, any match. I fear that Diego sees this as our strongest squad, when clearly it's not. I don't mind the inclusion of domestic based players, not at all. In fact, I'm hoping to see MASCHERANO and BOLATTI together in midfield instead of MASCHERANO and GAGO. But what's the point of calling up GAGO, MAXI, PALERMO and LAVEZZI when you have the chance to test out a few young skilled players like PEROTTI, PIATTI, BANEGA(even if he always looks like he's going to get himself red carded), ZARATE, FAZIO and others. SAVIOLA is on fire at the moment and this would be a great time to play AIMAR, DI MARIA and SAVIOLA together.

On the plus side, no HEINZE.

Pipita Does It Again For Madrid & Lucho Saves Marseille

A short highlights of what took place on Wednesday Champion’s League fixtures.

Real Madrid took a step closer to the knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Swiss side FC Zurich. Gonzalo HIGUAIN’s scored in the 21st minute with a low post strike after picking up a through ball from KAKA. Despite the massive dominance from the Galaticos it turned out to be the only goal that separated both sides.

In the same group, Olympique Marseille came away with a valuable draw against AC Milan in the San Siro. The Rossenerri took the lead in the 10 minute but the French side equalize just six minutes later through Lucho GONZALEZ; striking a loose ball after DIDA could only clear Mamadou NIANG’s cross inside the area.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Diego to watch the balls on TV

The ridiculous FIFA has banned the ridiculous MARADONA (the manager) for a ridiculous two months, during which we will play a ridiculous friendly match against Catalunya and we will surely be placed in a ridiculously hard World Cup group again...

But when 4 December comes and the World Cup draw takes place in South Africa, Diego MARADONA won't be able to be in attendance as he is suspended by FIFA to perform any activity related to his job as a national team manager.

On one hand, Diego should be relieved because he won't be missing any action in the World Cup. Had he been suspended for any number of official matches, he would have been bound to miss all or at least some of the Argentina matches in the World Cup.

On the other, Diego got a two-month suspension and the World Cup draw happens to fall inside that window and therefore we won't have a manager in attendance, thanks to his ridiculous comments.

Carlos BILARDO has already announced that he won't be in attendance either as it would be wrong to take Diego's place there, in what is another ridiculous statement for someone that was supposed to be helping MARADONA and our national team and instead is washing his hands and staying out of the fire front. I can't remember an official who was less willing to take an active role (or any role for that matter).

There you go...we continue to be the laughing stock for all the world to see and chances are we could be the only national team without proper representatives at the World Cup draw ceremony.

Champions League Matchday 5 - Wednesday Preview

Well there were no goals from our Albiceleste heroes from Tuesday’s fixtures so we do hope to see something from the list of matches to be played on Wednesday.

Sadly for Javier MASCHERANO and Emiliano INSUA it was the end of the road for them. Good thing is that two clubs that in some aspect have a special place in Mundo, Barcelona and Internazionale, are still alive to progress together to the next stage.

Before we go further about today’s fixtures, lets look at the list of players first

FC Girondins de Bordeaux vs. Juventus


FC Bayern Munchen vs. Maccabi Haifa

Manchester United vs. Besiktas Istanbul

Real Madrid vs. FC Zurich
Gonzalo HIGUAIN and Fernando GAGO

AC Milan vs. Olympique de Marseille
Lucho GONZALEZ and Gabriel HEINZE

FC Porto vs. Chelsea
Fernando BELLUSCHI, Diego VALERI, Mariano GONZALEZ, Ernesto FARIAS, Tomas COSTA and Sebastian PREDIGUER

APOEL Nicosia FC vs. Atletico Madrid

Like MASCHERANO and INSUA, Martin DEMICHELIS could also be heading for the exit as his Bayern Munich side to win against Israelis Haifa. Not only that he would also need some favour from CAVENAGHI and Co. when French side Bordeaux take on Juventus. A win for the Turin side would mean nothing for Mico and his team.

Real Madrid will be looking to consolidate their place in the next stage and they do look good to do so against Swiss side Zürich based on their form lately. It is also another chance for Gonzalo HIGUAIN to spearhead Real’s attack.

Gabriel HEINZE has turned to be quite a hero for Marseille in recent times. From Argentina’s perspective I wouldn’t mind seeing another similar occasions from him against Milan.

I would also be hoping to see a good outing for both Kun and Maxi as Atletico, though out of the Champions League already, still do have a chance to compete in the Europa League by virtue of finishing third group.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Champions League Matchday 5 - Tuesday Preview

It’s crunch time in Europe as the Champions League group stages reaches its climax and certainly for some big names, its matter of do or die situation. Here are the list Tuesday fixtures involving Argentine players: -

Debreceni vs. Liverpool
Javier MASCHERANO and Emiliano INSUA

Fiorentina vs. Olympique Lyon
Jose Ignacio CASTILLO, Mario SANTANA, Lisandro LOPEZ and Cesar DELGADO

FC Rubin Kazan vs. Dynamo Kiev
Alejandro DOMINGUEZ and Cristian ANSALDI

FC Barcelona vs. Inter Milan
Lionel MESSI, Gabriel MILITO, Javier ZANETTI, Esteban CAMBIASSO, Walter SAMUEL and Diego MILITO

FC Urinea Urziceni vs. Sevilla FC
Pablo BRANDAN, Federico FAZIO, Aldo DUSCHER, Lautaro ACOSTA and Diego PEROTTI

AZ Alkmaar vs. Olympiacos
Sergio ROMERO, Luciano GALETTI and Christian LEDESMA

MASCHERANO and INSUA will hoping for some favour from Licha LOPEZ and DELGADO as a win for Fiorentina against Lyon means end of the road for Liverpool’s Champions League campaign. Tricky isn’t it?

But nothing gets more trickier than what is happening in Group F, with just two points separating Inter and bottom place Kiev. The Nerrazzurri will travel to face a MESSI-less Barca with a win would secure their place in the next round.

But that could also means that Barcelona will also be in trouble of going out early, a proposition which I’m not interested at all. Euro giant killers Kazan will bank on the shoulder of their mercurial talent Chori DOMINGUEZ for a win at home against Kiev, which will put the three points clear for Barca.

The Albiceleste contingent of Seville are most likely to secure top post in Group G against Romanian side Urinea. Greek giant Olympiacos could also book their place in the knockout stage with a win against ROMERO’s Alkmaar.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Argentina to face Catalunya in December

It's been rumored for a while, but it's now been confirmed. On December 22, Argentina will take on Catalunya(a region in Spain) at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. Since Catalunya is not an official country, this will not be an Official FIFA date. In other words, clubs are not forced to release their players for this match. Which might mean that the players picked by MARADONA will be local based players, however, it is possible that Lionel MESSI and Gonzalo HIGUAIN be picked for the match as they both play in Spain(MESSI already in Barcelona) and they both played versus Catalunya in 2008. Sergio AGUERO and Ezequiel LAVEZZI also played in that match.

Catalunya is coached by Dutch and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff. Players who have recently played for Catalunya include: Carles PUYOL, Gerard PIQUE, Victor VALDES, Sergio BUSQUETS, Joan CAPDEVILA, Bojan KRKIC, Andres INIESTA, XAVI and Cesc FABREGAS.

The last time we faced Catalunya was on May 24, 2008 where Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Ezequiel LAVEZZI. Prior to that, it was on December 29, 2004 where Argentina won 3-0. Here is the line-up for the match that took on Catalunya in 2008. Note, it was our Olympic team coached by Sergio BATISTA at the time.

Federico FAZIO
Emiliano INSUA
Cristian ANSALDI
Fernando GAGO
Lionel MESSI (Lucas BIGLIA, 72)
Sergio AGUERO (Marco RUBEN, 90)
Gonzalo HIGUAIN (Angel DI MARIA, 61)
Ezequiel LAVEZZI (Mauro ZARATE, 84)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SCOLA Leads Rockets & NOCIONI A Celtic?

The Houston Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings 113-106, after needing plenty of firepower and some excellent defense down the stretch from Luis SCOLA to help them to achieve just that having almost lost a commanding lead during the game.

SCOLA lead the Rockets with another double-double for him this season, posting 22 points, 12 rebounds plus 2 assists, one steal and a block shot. Among notable highlights from him was he's basket snapped a 101-all tie with 3:41 to play. He followed with two rebounds that helped the Rockets stay ahead.

“It was a really hard and long week,” SCOLA said. “We had some good and bad moments. We fought, we played hard. We can’t always win pretty but tonight was a huge win for us. We needed a win.”

On the opposite end, Andres NOCIONI played his part in almost wrecking the Rockets party. He posted 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and one steal. His is playing his best basketball since arriving here from Chicago in February.

However there has been several rumours suggesting of another trade involving him in recent weeks. Some reports suggest that in three way deal, Chapu might be heading to play for the Boston Celtics. We will keep you posted once this is confirm.

In another game, a depleted Milwaukee Bucks continued their winning streak with a 103-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Carlos DELFINO, kept in the starting line up, posted just 3 points and 1 rebound. A MANU-less Spurs end their 3 games losing streak with 106-84 win over the Washington Wizards. Fabricio OBERTO had 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 block shot.

GOL-Zalo HIGUAIN Send Real On Top Of La Liga

I must admit that I love it whenever Gonzalo HIGUAIN turns out to be the difference for Real Madrid this season. Well I’ve got two reasons for that.

First he is our National Team leading striker and for sure we want him to be on top form for his club. The second, not that I’m a fan of them but still it just goes to show that their “Galaticos” approach is a rotten tomato policy.

With Christiano RONALDO still out injured, Real’s last season top scorer kept his place in the starting line up and scored for the fourth straight La Liga appearance in a 1-0 win over Racing Santander. Racing keeper TONO could only push KAKA's low cross out as far as Ezequiel GARAY, whose header back into the six-yard box was volleyed into the roof of the net by Pipita.

With Barcelona only managing a draw with Athletic Bilbao, the result sends Real Madrid to the top of the standing in Spain, setting up both teams perfectly for next week’s El Clasico encounter.

In earlier matches, there were more woes for Atletico Madrid as they went down 1-2 to Deportivo La Coruna. Kun AGUERO gave Atletico’s a perfect start with a brilliant strike as early in the 3rd minute. Diego COLOTTO equalized for Depor in the 21st minute and the winner came courtesy of a last minute penalty for the home side.

Diego PEROTTI celebrated his return to club football after receiving his first cap in last weekend friendly against Spain with a goal for Seville in their 2-1 away win over Tenerife.

Inter Milan moved eight points clear at the top of Serie A with a 3-1 win over Bologna with Diego MILITO continuing his great form in Italy. He opened the scoring for the Nerazzurri in the 22nd minute with a nice turnaround strike from which he blasted to the roof of the net. That goal was his seventh goal in ten league appearance.

MILITO that became the provider for his side’s third goal of the night. With the score line at 2-1 in favour of Inter, Esteban CAMBIASSO put the result beyond Bologna reach with a far corner shot in the 72nd minute, after receiving a cross from MILITO.

Along side Walter SAMUEL and Javier ZANETTI, all four players were starters in Jose MOURINHO’s dominating side. The best that we can all hope is that they keep up this momentum thus putting some extra pressure on Diego MARADONA to bring them back to their rightful place; the National Team.

In France, Cesar DELGADO was on target for Lyon in a 1-1 draw with Grenoble as the defending champion failed to consolidate their chance at the top of Ligue 1. In a lesser know league, Mauricio POY was the hero for FC Xanthi in their 2-1 win over Levadiakos in the Greek Super League.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kruger Send Marseille Fourth in Ligue 1

Now that the World Cup Qualifiers is over, the next important event that we all are eager to look forward to will be the World Cup draw on December the 4th. Watch out for this space.

Now back to European continental football, with plenty of action gearing up this weekend. But to kick things off is the big games in France, the first "Le Classique" match of the season played on Friday between Olympique Marseille and Paris St Germain at the Stade Velodrome.

Gabriel HEINZE, who played for PSG between 2001-04 scored with a first half header to give Les Phocéens a 1-0 win over their fierce rival. Mr. Kruger stole in to head home after receiving Fabrice ABRIEL's free-kick in the 25th minute. Lucho GONZALEZ did not start the game as he was on the bench but did came in the 76th minute.

As a result, Marseille will move up to fourth place in the French League standings and certainly this will only enhanced HEINZE’s popularity among the clubs legion of supporters for scoring in such an important encounter; but not necessarily with fans of Argentina.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Night For DELFINO & SCOLA Leads Rockets

In a night which Carlos DELFINO and the ever impressive Luis SCOLA produce big performance, Manu GINOBILI suffered an injury on his groin during SA Spurs lost to the Dallas Mavericks before the start of the second quarter. It was announced that he will sit out for Thursday home game against Utah. We certainly hope that he will recover soon and get back to his best.

DELFINO produced his best performance ever since his return from Europe for the Milwaukee Bucks as they defeated the NJ Nets 99-85. He was chosen to start the game as the Bucks were without Luc MBAH A MOUTE and he made the most of it.

He made 4-8 on threes and 3-3 at the line, tying Andrew BOGUT for the team-lead with 21 points. He was impressive enough as a playmaker dishing out 6 assists along the process. Not that this is something unusual as we have seen him doing something similar to his days with the Toronto Raptors. Hopefully, this will be one of many we will see from him in the coming months.

Luis SCOLA lead the Houston Rockets to an incredible 97-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, their 11th lost in a row. The Rockets still without YAO Ming and Tracy McGRADY, needed all the help they can get from SCOLA, so far it has been extremely successful.

SCOLA is always familiar with the idea of playing with responsibility. Tonight he scored 21 points and producing a season high 16 rebounds, another of his many double-double this season. Not to forget a steal, a block shot and one steal to his credit as well.

“If we are able to win against all of the bottom of the standings teams on a regular basis, we’re going to have a lot of wins,” SCOLA said. “We can beat some of the good teams once in a while, especially at home. That’s going to put us in the playoffs for sure.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MESSI 1986 hair style?

With all the negativity going around, I thought it would be interesting to post this.

Thousands of fans in Argentina are requestion that Lionel MESSI style his hair like MARADONA in 1986. MARADONA as DT, retro 1986 jersey and now this.

Here's the official website, which even state some "scientific reasons" and even some "mythology reasons".

There's also an Official Facebook group with over 10,000 fans(they were around 2,000 yesterday).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Maradona banned for 2 months

The FIFA disciplinary committee held a meeting with MARADONA earlier today and Diego has been hit with a 2 month ban and a fine of £14,800. He's banned as of today until January 15. In short, Argentina have a friendly against the Czech Republic on December 12, Diego won't be able to make the match.

For those unaware, following the Uruguay match last month, Maradona went off on his critics(the press) and used explicit language. Initially, FIFA wanted to slap him with a 5 match ban, but cut it down to 2 months instead. For those hoping that Diego would get the 5 match ban which would lead to him resigning, it's not going to happen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spain 2-1 Argentina. Dave's player ratings

I didn't watch the entire match as I missed the first half because of work. Therefore, I don't feel like I should write a report about this game as it wouldn't be fair.

But there is someone who did watch it and he is here to share his player ratings with all of us.

Dave, amigo, this space is all yours...

Was looking forward to this game ever since we qualified for 2010 last month. My initial impressions are that we are reverting back to the style of play that was going to get MARADONA fired before last October. We were playing Spain, which is no doubt one of the most talented, if not the most talented team in the world, but we definitely were lacking world class quality today. In the first half we created a few chances with HIGUAIN and DI MARIA both being off the mark. But other than that Spain ran circles around our midfield, we had no pressure on them and they were free to hold possession and attack the entire half. With the amount of pressure we were receiving, our defense did surprisingly decent, even though we were reckless. In the second half we came out with more intensity and fight, probably because XAVI was taken out of the game, but anyway it was a slightly more convincing performance from our players. Again, the defense and ROMERO were the only things keeping the score from being 4-1 or 5-1.

Anyway here are the ratings…

ROMERO (7.5): A good performance from our young keeper. Was confident in coming off his line to save many attacks from the Spaniards. On the first goal unlucky to have the deflection come out to an unmarked Xabi ALONSO, but Spain’s build up was beautiful. Towards the end of the game he had 4 goal saving saves. The only bad part of ROMERO today was his distribution, which seemed forced and reckless. Can’t do anything about ALONSO’s PK it was rocketed into the upper right.

COLOCCINI (5): Really shaky performance by Colocho all game, playing out of position at right back. As the game went on he settled in a little more, but was caught out of position too many times and would make reckless tackles like many of our other defenders tonight. He did save a goal of the line with his neck, but other then that proved not to be efficient enough as a defender and should not be on the NT. ZANETTI, ZABALETA, or Jonas should play this spot

DEMICHELIS (6): Demi was a brick wall the majority of the game. A solid outing versus a start studded Spain team, he would slow down VILLA, SILVA, INIESTA and XAVI all game. Made many key tackles at the last second and was confident on the ball. Very unlucky to get a hand ball in the box to allow for ALONSO to hit his PK. After the PK was scored in the dieing seconds we had another chance to score and Demi put the header over the net. If he let it go to CAMBIASSO maybe it would have been a tie. But other then 2 very unlucky plays he was the best defender on the night for us.

HEINZE (5): He always seems to impress me with how much passion he plays with, but today he was out of control more often then not. He would always be late with his tackles and was caught out of position on Spain’s first goal. Much like COLOCCINI he was made to look silly by SILVA and VILLA, he got very angry at how good Spain were and got a yellow card for making very silly tackles. Still HEINZE did have a few saving tackles, but I don’t know when MARADONA will see that his days on the NT are over, bring in SAMUEL or GARAY.

ANSALDI (5): Played well with his first International start against Spain. He had a quiet performance and was rarely out of position except for the ALONSO first goal, but could not do anything with such a lucky deflection. ANSALDI showed strength in holding up the midfielders and would push forward sometimes. Every time Spain would attack it was either at HEINZE or Colocho so ANSALDI did not have as much intense defending to do but when he was called upon he did well.

Maxi RODRIGUEZ (4.5): Was completely irrelevant in the first half, was nowhere what so ever to help the forwards and did little to no defensive work. However, in the second half he woke up a little bit an played with more intensity, he got involved with some runs forward and got the PK called for him by attacking ALBIOL. Other than that not much to say about Maxi, our entire team was lacking any offensive creativity or chemistry, we were all content sitting back.

MASCHERANO (5): Helped out in the defense the entire game like he was supposed to do. Did not have the most dominant game and allowed for INIESTA and XAVI to make runs around him all game. Was terrible in the distribution aspect of the game, and could not seem to break up any passes from the defense to the midfield which halted any of our attacks. Played well but with not much hope in attacking.

GAGO (3.5): What can I say? He played horrible. In the first half was just aimlessly running around and getting yellow cards and fouls. He did little to nothing in spreading balls out wide and distributing to MESSI and HIGUAIN. With a performance like this I can safely say that he is not NT quality. In the second half he came out with more hope to play better but it only made him play more clueless. In the 75th min he was subbed out for CAMBIASSO.

DI MARIA (5): Played well in the first half when we had no attacking combination at all. DI MARIA was the only player, that would make a chance out of our attack, he set up the first ball to HIGUAIN, which he missed, and when he had his chance he took it poorly and over chipped the goal. Still had good spirit and wanted to push forward all night. In the second half he pretty much disappeared when Maxi started playing. We could not get both our wings playing well at the same time tonight.

HIGUAIN (4): He made some good runs in the first half but probably touched the ball 4 or 5 times the entire game. Two of those touches were missed chances, the ball that DI MARIA played him he should have kept low into the corner. Later in the second half before he was subbed out he made a good individual run and almost powered the ball into the corner but missed. Good efforts but it was not his night tonight, and had no combinations with Messi all game, poor performance.

MESSI (4): Much like HIGUAIN, MESSI could not get anything going, partly because he could not combine with anybody because when he would look back to the midfield GAGO and MASCHERANO were never there. They were playing defense. He got very frustrated as the game went on and tried to do things himself. He made some individual runs but after beating 2 players he would get stopped or run into a wall of PUYOL or ALBIOL. All his passes were picked off or sloppily played. Good PK but that finish was expected of him. Another poor attacking performance in general by Argentina.


TEVEZ (4): Came on for HIGUAIN and added his typical work rate to the game, however his first touch could have been a pass that put DI MARIA in and it was horrible as he kicked it over the end line way to strong. Made some combinations with MESSI but could not get anything else.

CAMBIASSO (NA): The player we were all excited to see get called up only ended up playing 10-15 mins of the game. He really did not get settled into the flow of the game. He made some good tackles while he was in, and did make some good passes to MESSI. However, its unfair to rate him for only playing so little. I hope to see him starting in our next friendly if he keeps his form up.



Overall in this game we saw more of what we usually see. Terrible midfield-forward combination, there was absolutely none of it today. We needed AIMAR or VERON to get involved so that MESSI and HIGUAIN would have a partner to play with. This is the main reason why we had no attack, GAGO and MASCHERANO are both DM. Our defense was solid against the ever-attacking Spain and played with good intensity but it was reckless intensity. MARADONA needs to stop calling up players like COLOCCINI, GAGO, HEINZE, and Maxi and get better defenders as well as midfielders that can get the attack involved if we want to score goals and get the best out of MESSI. Why call up PEROTTI and CAMBIASSO and only give them 10 mins of play time? Some names that should be considered by MARADONA for the next friendly are SAMUEL, ZANETTI, BANEGA, ZARATE, GARAY, ZABALETA, and INSUA. New tactics need to be tried because this 4-4-2, which is basically a 6-2-2 is horrible.

Hopefully, he will figure this out after witnessing today’s game. Our spirits were high and we worked hard but in the end it was an amateur football experience tonight. No one seemed to be in tune with each other, our work rate, along with ROMERO’s great hands was what kept the score from being 5-0.

Spain 2-1 Argentina. Euro champs too much for us

Possible Argentina/Spain Lines-ups

For Spain, they practiced with the following line-up:


That's a hell of a midfield. All signs indicate that XAVI will NOT start the match, but will be on the bench. Fernando TORRES is injured and was not called-up.

For Argentina, we practiced behind closed doors, but there is some news. For one, we know that MARADONA's #1 is ROMERO, MASCHERANO as the captain will start and after coming out and saying that MESSI should be the leader of the team, it's a no brainer that MESSI will start.

But now that we've got the obvious news out of the way, lets start at the back. MARADONA didn't call that many defenders(5 to be exact). PAREJA has been called-up a few times but has yet to actually start a match, which is why I think we'll see the following:


A horrible back-line, I know, but that's who Diego called-up.

In midfield, we have a bit more options. Do remember that GUTIERREZ is injured and PEROTTI was called-up to replace him. After saying that DI MARIA is doing great at the moment and having played the last 2 Qualifiers, I think it's safe to say that DI MARIA is in. The only question marks are who will play on the right(MAXI or PEROTTI). Everywhere I've read has indicated that it's one of them on the right, AIMAR hasn't even been mentioned as a possible starter. The other question is who will partner MASCHERANO(GAGO or CAMBIASSO).


Up front, AGUERO doesn't seem to be 100% fit, TEVEZ is completely out of form, LAVEZZI has always been a squad player which leaves us with HIGUAIN who has started the last 2 Qualfiers for us and is our best striker at the moment. All in all, this is what I think we'll see.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

"SAVIOLA will get his chance"

MARADONA held his first press conference since the post-Uruguay match blowout on Thursday and had some interesting things to say, specifically about SAVIOLA. Here are some quick notes.

-He said that he talked to a few players behind closed doors and that privacy is very important(in the team).

-He once again re-assured that he and Bilardo are fine, but that they both know their limits.

-He then moved on to talk about Benfica's Argentine trio of Javier SAVIOLA, Angel DI MARIA and Pablo AIMAR. About SAVIOLA, he said that he's scoring goals, he's scored goals everywhere he's been, that "SAVIOLA is SAVIOLA" and that he will get his chance. He mentioned that DI MARIA is shinning at Benfica right now and that AIMAR is "an exceptional player".

-Concerning Spain, MARADONA said that if he can pick one player from Spain's squad it would be XAVI.

-Finally, he talked about MESSI. He said MESSI "must own the team", he's the best in the world and that he must utilize him.

My thoughts? It would be great to see SAVIOLA get a chance with the National Team. He's always done good with Argentina and we must utilize the fact that AIMAR, DI MARIA and SAVIOLA play together.

I think I agree with Diego when he said he would pick XAVI from Spain, he would likely be my choice as well.

Happy Birthday To Mike from Canada

Once again we’re back again for another social post.

On the 12th of November we’re celebrating the birthday of Mike DI TOMASSO, one our most active reader/commenter. Like Roy, Mike is also from Canada and one of the many passionate Albiceleste supporters that comes from there.

In the past, Mike has shared with us a
picture of his amazing tattoo. This time we will would like post a picture of his birthday cake, specially made for him by his girlfriend and his brother GK.

Amazing isn’t it! Great job by the way.

So to Mike, on behalf of myself, Seba, Roy and all the other readers of Mundo Albiceleste, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you Feliz Cumpleaños.

Hopefully you’ll have a great day ahead and thanks for sharing with us this wonderful picture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Make Shift Pumas To Face England

While all eyes will be on this Saturday’s friendly against Spain in Madrid, another important friendly will take place in London as the Los Pumas will take on RWC runners up England at rugby’s spiritual ground, Twickenham. This will be the first meeting between these two at the same venue since 2006, in which the Pumas made history by defeating England (25-18) for the first time.

The build up to this test match hasn’t been kind to the Pumas. They are missing star fly-half Juan Martin HERNANDEZ, centre Felipe CONTEPOMI, number eight Juan LEGUIZAMON and wings Gonzalo CAMACHO and Lucas AMOROSINO through injury.

Ex-Sale captain Juan Martin Fernandez LOBBE will lead an Argentina side with a fledgling half-back duo and three new caps. Among which is Santiago FERNANDEZ will start his first Test at fly-half, after a centre outing against England in June, with Alfredo LALANNE of London Irish at scrum-half.

Martin RODRIGUEZ, Mauro COMUZZI and Tomas LEONARDI all make Test debuts. That trio are among six players in the 22 who play in Argentina's amateur domestic rugby.

Here is the complete line up and replacement for this upcoming Test.

Starting 15: Horacio AGULLA (Brive); Lucas BORGES (Albi), Gonzalo TIESI (Harlequins), Martin RODRIGUEZ (Atletico del Rosario), Mauro COMUZZI (Pucara); Santiago FERNANDEZ (Hindu), Alfredo LALANNE (London Irish); Rodrigo RONCERO (Stade Francais), Mario LEDESMA (Clermont Auvergne), Martin SCELZO (Clermont), Esteban LOZADA (Toulon), Patricio ALBACETE (Toulouse), Tomas LEONARDI (SIC), Alejandro ABADIE (Rovigo), Juan Martin Fernandez-LOBBE (Toulon - captain).

Replacements: Alberto Vernet BASUALDO (Toulouse), Marcos AYERZA (Leicester), Manuel CARIZZA (Biarritz), Alejandro CAMPOS (Montauban), Agustin FIGUEROLA (CASI), Benjamin URDAPILLETA (CUBA), Federico Martin ARAMBURU (Dax).

TIESI will start at outside centre, with another England-based player, AYERZA on the bench. His presence among the replacements is testimony to the Pumas' front-row strength, where the rugged France-based trio of RONCERO, LEDESMA and SCELZO will provide a stiff test for England's inexperienced triumvirate. There is further experience and class in the shape of dynamic Toulouse lock ALBACETE and captain LOBBE.

Foursome MAXI & A Noche King

In Round 16 of the Copa del Rey, it was goal galore night for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona as they progress towards the next stage but for big spending Real Madrid, an absolute disaster.

Atletico trounced Marbella 6-0 at home to win their tie 8-0 on aggregate. In this match, they were already 2-0 up with goals from Jose Manuel JURADO and Florent SINAMA-PONGOLLE. This was followed by a four goals performance from Maxi RODRIGUEZ. Hr scored twice before the interval and grabbed his hat-trick just after the restart with a fine effort from the edge of the area. Shortly after the hour mark he was again to star as he managed his fourth of the evening with a rolled finish after jose Antonio REYES's pass.

Barcelona too were in a goal scoring blitz against Cultural Leonesa after trashing them 5-0 (7-0 on aggregate) with a goal from Lionel MESSI in the 64th minute. He produced a sublime solo effort moments, skipping his way past three Cultural defenders before lashing to the roof of the net past a hapless Cultural keeper.

Both Fernando GAGO and Gonzalo HIGUAIN started for Real Madrid in their 1-0 win over Alcorcon but it was not enough to see them through after the shocking hammering they received from the unknown side in the previous leg.

NBA News - Chapu & Kings Immediate Turnaround

Last year, they were the worst season in the entire league and at the start of this campaign, it did look like they fortune are not going change at all. But all that change as the Sacramento Kings notch their third win in a row, the latest a 101-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunders.

Andres NOCIONI scored 16 points (his fifth game in a row posting double digits), 5 rebounds plus an assist and a steal. Much more he was a menace in defense especially against Kevin DURANT. His aggressiveness display force the Thunder’s leading scorer to miss 8-11 shots in the first half.

In other highlights, Luis SCOLA posted 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal but the Houston Rockets went down against fellow Texas franchise the Dallas Mavericks 103-121.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bat-MANu Lifts Spurs Past Raptors

Coming into the new season, there were many who doubt that Manu GINOBILI was back to his usual self. He took time off during the off season to rest and recovery from his injury, many of which are directly rooted from his style of play.

So far, his performance has been relatively good (but not the best by his own standard). Instead he reminded us of another talent that he became legend for; Bat Hunter!

Tonight against the Toronto Raptors, all that doubt is clear as he is back! He scored 36 points (including four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter) and the Spurs beat the Raptors 131-124. Also he had 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal and 4 shot blocks.

Like the superhero from Gotham City, Manu had to bring the best out of the SA Spurs by himself as his team was playing without the service of Tim DUNCAN and Tony PARKER

The typical Manu approach of making aggressive move towards the rim and hustling game was there to be seen. His trickery with the ball in providing assist also brought the best of his teammates.

In the end, as they say…..THE LEGEND CONTINUES


Yes, you read it right. Diego MARADONA(and his coaching staff) arrived in Madrid just a few hours ago and one of the first things MARADONA did was announce that PEROTTI has been called-up for the friendly against Spain. PEROTTI, 21, plays for Sevilla and this will be his first call-up with the National Team. For those who don't know, Jonas GUTIERREZ got injured this past week-end while playing for Newcastle(he scored a goal and a few minutes later was substituted off). Whether PEROTTI actually takes part in the match against Spain is another question.

I know this news will make alot of our readers happy as people have been wanting PEROTTI on the National Team since the beginning of the European season back in August.

Licha Scores Twice In Thrilling French Clasico

Simply unbelievable! The main fixture in the French Ligue 1 last weekend turned out to be an instance classic encounter between Lyon and Olympique Marseille.

After all the thrills and drama, the match ended in a 5-5 draw! Guess this is diplomatic result for both teams as it will be a shame to have someone losing after what has happened.

Lisandro LOPEZ continued from where he left off during the mid-week encounter against Liverpool, by netting twice in a space of three minutes. His first came in the 81st minute as Lyon were down 2-4 prior to that. He chipped over the advancing Steve MANDANDA after latching on to Jean MAKOUN's through ball.

He brought the score line to 4-4, courtesy from a penalty after a Marseille player was found to handle in the area. And the culprit is? Gabriel HEINZE

While in the Italian Serie A, the Albiceleste strike force of Genoa (Hernan CRESPO and Rodrigo PALACIO) combined well to their side a 4-2 win over Siena. As a result they move to sixth place in the standing.

CRESPO scored first in the 2nd minute, burying a rebound after the early strike from PALACIO. After missing out several chances, he finally manages score his and Genoa’s second goal in the 18th minute. PALACIO took a shot in which the opposition goalkeeper could only fumble, with CRESPO being at the right place and the right time to tuck the ball into the back of the net. While CRESPO failed to convert several more chances to complete hat-trick, PALACIO continued to be provider when he assisted Raffaele PALLA DINO to score Genoa’s third goal.

While in the Russian Premier League, Euro giant killers Rubin Kazan took massive step towards retaining their league title with a 2-0 away win against CSKA Moscow. Alejandro DOMINGUEZ scored for them first in the 66th minute.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pipita Get’s One Over Kun In Madrid Derby

Arguably the biggest match of the week, Gonzalo HGUAIN and Real Madrid continue their remarkable run against city rival Atlético in their first El Derbi Madrileño of the season. The match lived up to it’s expectation with plenty of action from which Real almost squandered a comfortable lead to win 3-2.

Also remarkable was the current form of HIGUAIN since he was reinstated into Real’s starting line up. He scored in the 64th minute to put the Los Merengues 3-0 up, his fourth goal in three La Liga appearance. Capitalizing on a defensive error from Luis PEREA, Pipita charged into Atlético’s penalty area before coolly slotting past Sergio ASENJO.

Shortly after that goal, Los Colchoneros were given a life line when Real were down to 10 men following the dismissal of Sergio RAMOS. Atlético took advantage of the situation with near comeback. In the 78th minute, Diego FORLAN pull one back and just two minutes later Kun AGUERO brought even closer after firing a low shot past Iker CASILLAS. Deep into injury time Kun had a great chance to leveled the match but this time he was denied by CASILLAS.

Alongside Pipita and Kun, the match also saw three other Albiceleste players in action; Maxi RODRIGUEZ (Atlético), Ezequiel GARAY and Fernando GAGO (both Real Madrid).

Earlier before the match, Barcelona ensured their position at the top of the league with 4-2 win over Real Mallorca, with Lionel MESSI scoring from the spot three minutes from time.

Also cementing their place at the top but in another league was Newcastle United after defeating Peterborough 3-0 in the Coca Cola Championship. Jonas GUTIERREZ scored their first goal to give the Toon Army supporters something to cheer about during these troubled times at the club.

In the German Bundesliga, Diego KLIMOWICZ scored for Vfl Bochum in their 1-3 defeat to SC Freiburg. Eulogio ZARATE scored twice for Grasshopper in their 7-0 trashing against Bellinzona in the Swiss Super League.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Europa League - Eagles Keep Flying & More

Plenty of goals coming from the Albiceleste Army in Europe’s other club competition. So I decided to put a short article just to keep some of reades who may not know, updated.

Of course for me in the competition its all about Benfica. Javier SAVIOLA and Angel DI MARIA were just to much for Everton to swallow as the Eagles from Lisbon came away with another superb 2-0 win against the Premiership side. The SAVIOLA-DI MARIA combo produced numerous chances throughout the game but had to wait until the 63rd minute to finally break deadlock.
A brilliant counter attack involving those two resulting in a clinical finish from close range by SAVIOLA. The results sends Benfica three points clear at the top of Group I.

In the same group, AEK Athens drew 2-2 at home against BATE Borisov with a goal from Ismael BLANCO.

Italian side Genoa revived their hope in the competition with a 3-2 win against French side Lille. The Albiceleste partnership of Rodrigo PALACIO and Hernan CRESPO gave them a 2-0 lead before the visitor pull back level with just six minutes to play. Genoa’s winning goal came from Giuseppe SCULLI deep into injury time.

Also looking good to progress to the next stage is Anderlecht who won 3-1 at home to FC Timisoara with Matias SUAREZ scoring for them first from the spot. Lazio’s progress took a stumble when they were defeated by Villareal 1-4 away with Mauro ZARATE scoring a consolation for them. Gonzalo RODRIGUEZ was sent off in the 33rd minute. Romanian side FCR Cluj had Sebastian DUBARBIER scoring for them in their 2-3 loss to Sparta Prague.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Argentina WC shirt unveiled - Back to 1986?

In what seems to be another quest to bring back the glory of 1986, the new Argentina shirt was unveiled on Thursday with Juan Sebastián VERON and Julio GRONDONA in attendance, but without Diego MARADONA.

Only the albiceleste model was presented. We still need to see how the blue one will look like, but I'm guessing it'll be similar to the one Diego wore when he scored the two most famous goals in the history of the World Cup.

One particular aspect is that there'll be two identical models of the same shirt, but one will be body-fit (kind of like the Kappa shirts Italy used to wear in the past) and the other one will be less tight.

I have no information regarding the price and the availability of this shirt worldwide. But in the meantime, here are some images for you to start salivating until you finally get your hands in one of these shirts.

Watch Goals From Licha & Milito

Two crucial goals from our unsung strikers. For reason they never seem to get they chance they deserve to fully utilize their potential for our National Team.

Licha’s equalizer propelled Lyon to the next stage while spelling more trouble for Javier MASCHERANO and Liverpool.

On other hand, Diego MILITO two important contribution from the game has open the door wide open in Inter’s group. There is still a lot play for here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

U17 World Cup: Argentina vs. Colombia (Match Preview)

Just about four hours left before our Under-17 team will returned to action. For their second round encounter, Los Pibitos will play against a very familiar side; fellow South Americans, Colombia.

The Match

Jose Luis BROWN is expected to bring back his first choice names after resting them for their last group encounter against Nigeria. Argentina was missing the fire power from their inspiration front men; Sergio ARAUJO and Daniel VILLALVA.

Though the Colombians had a rough patch getting in to this stage, nothing should be taken for granted if Los Pibitos were to moved further in the completion. Especially when you have both Brazil and Netherlands out of the competition already.

Here is the line up as named by BROWN (taken from website)

Damián MARTINEZ; Leandro MARIN - Leandro GONZALEZ - Esteban ESPINDOLA - Lucas KRUPZKY; Ezequiel CIRIGLIANO - Jorge BALBUENA - Franco BITANCOURT; Sebastián GONZALEZ; Daniel VILLALVA - Sergio ARAUJO

For the record, both teams have met once previously. The last encounter was at the 2003 edition, which we won 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw, thus taking third place spot.

The Quote (from

"It'll be vital to stay focused for the entire 90 minutes against Colombia. They are a dangerous team, and we've come up against them at a point of the competition where there's no margin for error. Whoever slips up will be heading for home and we don't want to go home until after the final." Jose Luis BROWN, Argentina coach

The match will be played in Ijebu-Ode, 16.00 (local time)

Champions League Matchday 4 – Wednesday Preview

Watch Kun AGUERO’s double for Atletico

Atletico Madrid’s Champions League campaign has come to an end after failing to win against Chelsea at home. But still I feel it is still worthwhile to watch two brilliant goals from Kun.

Now let’s look at the some of the exciting fixtures on Wednesday fixtures which will involved the Albiceleste.

Fiorentina vs. Debrecen
Mario SANTANA, Jose Ignacio CASTILLO

Lyon vs. Liverpool
Ceasar DELGADO, Javier MASCHERANO and Emiliano INSUA

FK Rubin Kazan vs. Barcelona
Alejandro DOMINGUEZ, Christian ANSALDI and Lionel MESSI

Dynamo Kiev vs. Inter Milan
Javier ZANETTI, Esteban CAMBIASSO, Walter SAMUEL and Diego MILITO

Seville FC vs. VfB Stuttgart
Federico FAZIO, Aldo DUSCHER, Lautaro ACOSTA and Diego PEROTTI

Unirea Urziceni vs. Glasgow Rangers

Arsenal vs. AZ Alkmaar

Standard Liege vs. Olympiakos
Luciano GALETTI and Christian LEDESMA

Of course every football fans attention will be drawn to Group F after those spectacular upsets from Matchday 3. The unknown Russians from Kazan will be in confident mood to do something spectacular at home; therefore it will be a tough proposition for Lionel & Barca.

Then there is Inter Milan who find themselves at the bottom of the group. They too will be travelling to the east and hoping to bring their domestic form with them. Both matches are expected to be a cracker.

Not to forget, Javier MASCHERANO & Liverpool are also in a desperate situation when they travel to Lyon.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Champions League Matchday 4 - Tuesday Preview

First of all, a big thanks from Mundo to all our readers for the support and prayers for Fernando CACERES. We will keep you posted on any development on this sad incident. Back to the forefront of European premier club competition. Lots of exciting matches up ahead: -

FC Bayern Munchen vs. FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Martin DEMICHELIS, Jose Ernesto SOSA, Fernando CAVENAGHI and Diego PLACENTE

Besiktas Istanbul vs. Vfl Wolfsburg

AC Milan vs. Real Madrid
Gonzalo HIGUAIN and Fernando GAGO

Olympique de Marseille vs. FC Zurich
Lucho GONZALEZ (out of this one because of injury) and Gabriel HEINZE

APOEL FC vs. FC Porto
Fernando BELLUSCHI, Diego VALERI, Mariano GONZALEZ (out - suspended), Ernesto FARIAS, Tomas COSTA and Sebastian PREDIGUER

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

The biggest match of the night has to be at the San Siro between two Euro giants. Provided if he starts or play, Real Madrid will be banking on Gonzalo HIGUAIN for the goals, just as much they got from him during the weekend.

All eyes will also be on Kun as in recent weeks rumours has it that he could be in his way to join the Blues in the near future. But for now, he and Maxi will be hoping to get something positive out of this game in order to keep their qualification to the next stage alive.

Micho and SOSA of Bayern will be hoping to get a win at home against CAVENAGHI’s Bordeaux to keep their qualification alive as well. By the way, could we expect another classy strike from Freddy HEINZE?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

CACERES shot in the head, fighting for his life

Former Argentine international Fernando CACERES was shot in the head in the early hours of Sunday in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. He is in a comma at the moment I'm writing this.

He underwent emergency surgery and the doctors decided to leave the bullet in as it was too risky to remove it.

CACERES was driving his car when he was intercepted in Ciudadela by four men in a stolen car (for those who don't know, it's an area very close to Carlos TEVEZ's home town of Fuerte Apache). The criminals, supposedly with the intention to steal CACERES' car too, eventually shot the former footballer and hit him in the right eye.

CACERES played for Argentina in the Copa América 1993 when the Albicelestes won it in Ecuador (the last major trophy won by Argentina) and he started and played in all four of our national team's matches in the 1994 USA World Cup.

He came up the ranks at Argentinos Juniors and played for River Plate, Zaragoza, Boca Juniors, Valencia, Celta de Vigo, Córdoba and Independiente, where up until a few months ago was working as the reserves head coach.

On behalf of all of Mundo Albiceleste's readers and friends, we wish Fernando all the best in this terrible moment.