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The World Game thread

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Woot! So glad Real is finally playing well. Good to see Ronaldo & co finding some chemistry. I LOVE Higuain too - soo good.

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I'll admit, I've been hesitant to post about football since my knowledge on the subject is cursory at best.

However, I am a fan. Over the past year I've been getting into it more and more and now it's one of my favorite sports.

Anyway, I follow the Bundesliga pretty closely but I also have interest in the Premiere League.

Zlatan has always been my favorite player. I love his combination of power/size/speed.

But my newest favorite is Marko Marin (as you might have guessed).

I think he has the potential to become exceptional (he's only 21 right now).

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^^if you just add one of: anelka, balotelli, and now rooney you can have a temperamental triumvirate!

seriously though that marin is a bit of a prima-donna isnt he?

just cant get my head around rooney, i want him to stay but see absolutely no way of that happening now, burnt bridges and all that. i just dont understand his thought process. EVERY pundit (even the liverpool die hards) are professing united as his best choice. whats he gonna do go to barca and play second fiddle to messi and villa and play on the wing anyway!?

they were interviewing city fans on skysports news and they were all amusing theirselves with cocky quips 'yea, we'd have him, but he'd have to up his performances...' 'do we need him? we got world class all over, he isnt really is he?' FUCK OFF bunch of fucking idiots.

barca and mardid i can live with, especially if we get some sort of transfer incentive (ie: cash AND a decent striker). but chelsea/city would just be a complete lack of respect and proof that there is no loyalty in football anymore (waiting for the obligatory 'he left everton' shouts)

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in terms of champions league, i can only see another string of predictable results.Inter will beat tottenham comfortably, no disrespect to them, good team with some good players (and an signing of the season in van der vaart) but you just feel inter are too strong, maybe im wrong but it would be huge for spurs to go to san siro and get even a point! anything can happen in the 'champions league'barca will roll over copenhagen twente vs. bremen...honestly no idea, bremen i suppose?lyon should beat benfica?utd SHOULD (and most likely) beat bursaspor...even without spuddythe only other match worth looking at is rangers valencia, and even at home i see the spaniards taking it. that is if they can connect with a chance they create. Rangers are a well organised team and defend well but, again, dont know anything about them going forward...we will see i suppose

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It's Juan Mata with the Spanish national team. Blackstar will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he still plays for Valencia?

There's a full video:

So fast, so clean. Beautiful stuff.

I love how the rest of the squad is just like 'Oh shiiiiit!'

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barca and mardid i can live with, especially if we get some sort of transfer incentive (ie: cash AND a decent striker). but chelsea/city would just be a complete lack of respect and proof that there is no loyalty in football anymore (waiting for the obligatory 'he left everton' shouts)

HE LEFT EVERTON

Rooney is a petulant twat - i'm sure he learned it from Sir Alex.

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Why is it that so many famous/amazing players wear #10? Messi, Ronaldinho, Maradona, Pele, Zidane, Rooney, Beckham, etc.

Real beat Cruz Azul 3-1 last night, way to go! There were more Cruz Azul fans in Real's stadium than Real fans, almost all Mexican, and they started a lot of fights when they saw their beloved Mexican pro team losing to the local MLS boys. If only the match wasn't sold out...

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I'm sure someone else can explain it better than I, but the number 10 has sort of historically been given to a team's main threat/goal-scorer.

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Rooney has no place at either Madrid or Barça, and has anyway said he's not going to leave England. he's not the kind of player we're looking for and Madrid don't need him.

I'm sure someone else can explain it better than I, but the number 10 has sort of historically been given to a team's main threat/goal-scorer.

it's a leftover from the days when players were given numbers according to their position on the pitch. the "7" was the right-sided attacker, the "9" the central, primary striker, the "8" an inside midfield playmaker and so forth. the "10" has traditionally been a central attacker playing behind the "9", and that's usually where teams placed their most gifted players, all the way from the beginning of the game (since it was pared down to 11 players, anyway) to today. however these numbers, even in those days, weren't static; for instance the "5" is a famous number in Argentina because there it denotes the shielding or defensive central midfielder, whereas in England it is simply a center-back's number; and the "4" is a famous number for Barça as it is no-where else on the continent because the position in which numerous "4"'s have played there, as a initiating regista (deep-lying playmaker), is pretty unique. the "10" has a special, near-mythological significance as a result being worn by so many great players all the way from Ferenc Puskás to Leo Messi, and thus is usually now bestowed upon a team's "best" or marquee player regardless of exact position.

Real beat Cruz Azul 3-1 last night, way to go! There were more Cruz Azul fans in Real's stadium than Real fans, almost all Mexican, and they started a lot of fights when they saw their beloved Mexican pro team losing to the local MLS boys. If only the match wasn't sold out...

maybe the Cruz Azul fans were upset because they recognized that Real Salt Lake have perhaps the most shallowly idiotic name in sports. in Spanish, "Real" of course means "Royal", and in Spain the honorary title of "Real" (as in Real Sociedad and Real Madrid) denotes patronage or sponsorship from a member of the royal family. i'd be interested to know what member of Utah's royal family gave Salt Lake's football club their patronage? or was it just picked out by a 25-year-old advertising major who saw "Real Madrid" were some successful club and thought the name sounded cool? and people wonder why people who are serious about football don't take the MLS seriously....

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^really enjoyed that exposition on the 10. in my eyes its by far the best position in sports, if you can control the ball you control the game.

its a rights of passage thing as well. have you heard that story (and i probably did hear it from you- blackstar) when fabregas was upset about his parents and gaurdiola brought cesc a signed #4 jersey telling him he'll be barcas #4 one day? fucking magical the history and legacy of numbers (and that is only a few years!)

so he wears 10 fer spain and 4 for barca...i mean arsenal.

anyway, numbers begin to mean less and less...especially when ronaldo leaves and you give the coveted, magical, awe-inspiring, fear inducing, championship winning number 7 to micheal welsh dwarf fucking owen.

he scored against city. that just about floats it.

i could bang on and on about rooney but i suppose there is no point. if it is truely a lost cause and we wont convince him back into the fold i hope ferguson sits him on the bench, with the reserves, in altrincham on a tuesday in december. bet he'd agree with injury then.

that being said. he has given us a lot of special moments, and all would be forgiven if he would just wake up and look around.

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<br /><br /><br /><br />maybe the Cruz Azul fans were upset because they recognized that Real Salt Lake have perhaps the most shallowly idiotic name in sports. in Spanish, &quot;Real&quot; of course means &quot;Royal&quot;, and in Spain the honorary title of &quot;Real&quot; (as in <i>Real</i> Sociedad and <i>Real</i> Madrid) denotes patronage or sponsorship from a member of the royal family. i'd be interested to know what member of Utah's royal family gave Salt Lake's football club their patronage? or was it just picked out by a 25-year-old advertising major who saw &quot;Real Madrid&quot; were some successful club and thought the name sounded cool? and people wonder why people who are serious about football don't take the MLS seriously....<br />
<br /><br /><br />

yea but new york red bulls isnt exactly 'proper' football is it? americans are always going to be the brunt of the the football worlds jokes because they are what they are. americans playing soccer.

i think the mls deserves some serious respect, americans are increasingly recognised. does the system work the same for basketball and football ie: you go to a college and then get drafted? i think that will be a good spring board for the league starting off wise but it has to start (and most likely has im sure) investing early in teams.

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^really enjoyed that exposition on the 10. in my eyes its by far the best position in sports, if you can control the ball you control the game.

its a rights of passage thing as well. have you heard that story (and i probably did hear it from you- blackstar) when fabregas was upset about his parents and gaurdiola brought cesc a signed #4 jersey telling him he'll be barcas #4 one day? fucking magical the history and legacy of numbers (and that is only a few years!)

so he wears 10 fer spain and 4 for barca...i mean arsenal.

that's a true story; Cesc idolizes Guardiola, who was perhaps the quintessential "4" in the Barça system during the Cruyff days. notice that Xavi wears the "8" since his position, while still a playmaker, is much more forward, and that the "4" most recently at Barça was taken by Rafa Marquez, who came into the club playing as an advanced sweeper/ball-playing center-back/defensive midfielder just in front of the defense, where Guardiola played to such effect in a roughly similar role. Arsenal fans should note that the "4" at Barça is currently uninhabited....

anyway, numbers begin to mean less and less...especially when ronaldo leaves and you give the coveted, magical, awe-inspiring, fear inducing, championship winning number 7 to micheal welsh dwarf fucking owen.

he scored against city. that just about floats it.

yes but Cristiano Ronaldo himself went from the standard "9" he wore at United to, this season with the departure of the talismanic Raul, the "7" previously worn by the arch-Madridista Spaniard. difficult to interpret that as anything other than a symbolic passing of the torch from one Madrid legend to (hopefully) the next, so it's equally difficult to say that numbers have lost their meaning. for instance, the #10 of the Brazilian national team is probably the most coveted shirt in sports to this day, and as the next World Cup approaches my bet is you'll see every major Brazilian attacking player really step up their respective games to try to claim it.

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Blackstar, what do you make of Real (and Ronaldo's) recent play? I know you don't particularly like them, but I enjoy reading your write-ups.

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i think the mls deserves some serious respect, americans are increasingly recognised. does the system work the same for basketball and football ie: you go to a college and then get drafted? i think that will be a good spring board for the league starting off wise but it has to start (and most likely has im sure) investing early in teams.

one of the biggest problems here in the States, which i face all the time as a club coach, is not just the inconsistency of coaching in general but that our kids are thrown into full-sided matches from a very early age, which doesn't give them as much of an opportunity to excel. the Dutch/Spanish method of training is, to my mind, obviously the best, but i don't think Americans are culturally capable of doing it: training 6-8 hours a week, living together in club dorms for several years during the crucial 11-16 age brackets, and playing 5 and 7 a side up until that point. in particular young Spanish kids aren't even put into an 11-a-side match until that age, and during their most expansive learning years from about 9 or 10 to 13 they play strictly 7 a side. [interestingly Fabregas, Pique and Leo Messi were briefly on the same 7-a-side team at La Masia (Barça's academy) until they started beating teams 11-0 and had to be separated for their own development.] 7v7 is my preferred format for the age group i coach (U-13), but the American youth football institution doesn't have enough quality coaches to effectively double their number of teams while still maintaining that commitment to openness on a large scale.

i submit that one of the best ways to get more quality players relatively quickly is would be to initiate and encourage more futsal, particularly in the inner city, to create a transitional market from basketball to football, drawing away some athletes from the former to the latter via a fast, skillful, interesting game that doesn't require much room or equipment. i've thought about this alot but i'm sure most people aren't interested so i'll take the full exposition for another time, perhaps.

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Blackstar, what do you make of Real (and Ronaldo's) recent play? I know you don't particularly like them, but I enjoy reading your write-ups.

as much as i hate to admit, they're getting better. still weaknesses that can be exploited (since that's mostly what i look for when i watch them), but they have an absolutely sensational squad that's completely packed with young, extremely skillful, motivated players. they're still in the early stages of their development under Mourinho but it's a team practically tailor-made for his brand of counterattacking football, only they're not quite as defensively solid as he might wish (though the addition of Carvalho, such an underappreciated player, has ameliorated that somewhat). their 4-2-3-1 is quite effective and getting moreso every passing game:

-Casillas-

-Arbeloa(Ramos)-Pepe-Carvalho-Marcelo-

--Xabi Alonso--Khedira--

-Cristiano-Özil-di Maria-

-----Higuain-----

the speed and energy of Khedira, di Maria, and Özil (all new signings) has been essential and if there's one thing Mourinho teams require it's motivated players with huge workrates. obviously, Xabi Alonso isn't the most mobile and asking Cristiano Ronaldo to track back is about as worthwhile as asking a turd to fly, but with the former being supported by Khedira and the latter given virtually a free role across the pitch that hasn't yet become a problem. HOWEVER, they also really haven't been tested yet, and it's been the pressure from the fans along with the timidity of their opposition thus far that's prompted Mourinho to play more expansively. their back line, despite their excellent record thus far (they've only allowed 2 goals all season), is still not as solid as the defenses Mourinho has had to work with at Chelsea or Inter so parking the bus isn't nearly as effective an option while the next band ahead of them in midfield, containing Özil and Khedira (who had the blanket thrown over them by Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets at the World Cup in Germany v. Spain), a slow Alonso and a disinterested C. Ronaldo, is not nearly as committed or professional as the force of Cambiasso, Zanetti et al either. their great weakness, still, is being out-possessed and worn down and for that reason i still fancy our chances come the first Clasico, but they're playing a faster, more direct and more attractive style than we've seen from Madrid in a long time. we could beat them, perhaps the physicality and speed of Chelsea could give them problems, but i doubt many other teams could at the moment. let's hope i'm wrong.

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that's a great point, blackstar, about the American system of throwing youth players of ALL ages directly in to 11v11 matches. I still have the memories of my youth playing "jungle ball" as an 8-10 year old. Just a messy pack of kids chasing the ball from one end of the pitch to the next.

I wasn't even aware of the possession-style mindset of the professional game until I was probably 13 or 14.

At such an early age, it's too easy to feel completely lost on a full field with 10 other teammates. Starting off 7v7 would have been hugely beneficial.

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Spurs lol.

EDIT: i cant imagine how this game could have started any worse. 3-0 down after 13 minutes. Gomes sent off which in turn means modric is sacrificed for cudicini. Amazing.

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Bale is brilliant, i almost wish we'd put in a bid for him if we didn't have the option of 3 different left-backs + Villa already. certainly a phenomenal improvement from last season and (going back to an old talking point) really how much better off would you islanders be if it was a British national team comprised of players from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England:

-Hart-

-Hutton-Jagielka-J. Evans-A. Cole

--Huddlestone-Fletcher--

-A. Johnson-Wilshere-Bale-

---Rooney---

maybe then the future maybe wouldn't look so foggy?

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Blackstar, what do you think Real will do with Kaka? I love him, but I've really only seen him in action from the World Cup/watching youtube videos. I'm not sure who to kick out of Real's lineup if Kaka were to stay, and to come back healthy.

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