Tag Archives: Lionel Messi

A New Group of Stars Emerge At World Cup

Courtesy ???????? ????

By Joe Meloni

The stat lines of a few of the world’s best through the first few weeks of the 2010 World Cup may have left a few of the game’s newest fans a little confused. They’re wondering why Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead his nation deeper in the tournament with a dazzling set-piece or two. They sat waiting as Spain and Portugal battled in the Round of 16, but they wound up remembering the name Gerard Pique instead as the massive Barcelona defender helped stifle Ronaldo and the entire Portuguese attack. Those opting to watch Argentina clamored with anticipation while Leo Messi left a defender or two in his path only to hit a ball wide or send one sailing into the crowd. It was Messi’s countryman Gonzalo Higuain drawing most of the praise for the Argentines in their run to the Quarterfinals.

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The Rise of Gonzalo Higuain

By Cameron Dickinson

There have been few players to stand out during the opening week or so of the World Cup. Indeed only one player has caught the world’s attention – Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.

The Argentine has timed his rise to prominence to perfection, and, now, with the Albiceleste qualified for the Round of 16, he has reached the peak of his young career.

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Who Won't Win the World Cup Part 2: Group B

Courtesy Olhares Mágicos Picasaweb

By Ryan Thies of The Long Beach Post

As I told you last time, there is no clear-cut favorite in this year’s World Cup. This year’s field is more wide-open than any in recent memory. But it’s not just that there are no clear-favorites, it’s that every team in the tournament has a glaring weakness. Some commentators will say that means that whoever wins the Cup will be the team that kept their weakness in check; I say, these weaknesses mean that no one will win the Cup. Group B is probably one of the weakest groups of the whole tournament, but at least I can find all of them on a map (I’m still trying to find Uruguay–it’s an island, right?). So without further ado: here’s why no one in Group B can possibly win the World Cup.

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The Mighty Mourinho

By Kevin Koczwara

Jose Mourinho’s teams win. That’s just what they do. You can’t say they are always the most entertaining side, or the best team on the field. But they score timely goals, come together in tough matches, and win. It’s that simple.

Mourinho won every trophy he could when he was in charge of FC Porto in Portugal, including the UEFA Champions League. He was introduced to the world during Porto’s amazing run through Europe. Mourinho’s men held off the marauding Manchester United and went on to win the trophy in 2004.

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Champions League Semi-Finals Second Leg Highlights

By The Soccer Guys

Thought we would share with you some good highlights we found online from yesterday and today’s Champions League action. This is an all video post, no text, so check it out.

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Champions League Quarterfinals Draw In Perspective

By Kevin Koczwara

The next stage in Champions League play has been set today. Teams have been told who will face in the next round, and who their potential opponents could be.

This year’s quarter-finals and semi-finals have potential to be great match-ups. These next rounds could also become major coming out parties to the smaller clubs involved. With the likes of CSKA Moscow, Bordeaux and Lyon all making it further than expected.

So let’s break down each pairing and each route to the finals in Madrid.

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Messi In Class of His Own

By Kevin Koczwara

After watching yesterday’s Champions League game between Barcelona and VfB Stuttgart, I got to thinking about what Lionel Messi has meant to that game of soccer, Barcelona, and soccer fans.

Then I decided to jump over to ESPN’s Soccernet and see what the writer’s over there were saying about the boy-wonder. I read a column by Tom Adams, and the comments, and got to thinking about the argument Adams was making– Rooney is not as good as Messi, but he is a prolific goal scorer.

I cannot agree or disagree with Adams. I am stuck in the middle. Messi is a genius with the ball at his feet. He can dribble and imagine moves no other player has veer thought of or tried. He can create scoring chances from all over the field, for himself and his teammates. And he is only 22 years old (makes me wonder how my life has panned out at 22). The game comes so easily to him that it is frightful.

But is it fair to compare Rooney and Messi?

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World Cup Draw Part 1: Groups A & B

Courtesy Wikicommons/ Audrey & Patrick Scales

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s look at the first half of the Group Stages of the World Cup. The draw was Friday afternoon, and now that I have had some time to digest the pairings, I am going to make a few predictions. I will write a wrap-up of each group, two at a time, in this series. There will be four parts and all will be posted this week.

So let’s start it off with groups A and B.

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Two Small Strikers with Injury Problems: Michael Owen and Taylor Twellman

Twellman has a great strike rate in the MLS but his game has not transferred well to the international stage. (Courtesy Jarrett Campbell)

Twellman has a great strike rate in the MLS but his game has not transferred well to the international stage. (Courtesy Jarrett Campbell)

By Kevin Koczwara

I have been thinking about Michael Owen ever since he signed with Manchester United. I just don’t know what it is about that story that keeps me coming for me. Michael Owen bothers me for some reason. He just makes me think about how great some players could have been, or were but no one really noticed. He was under appreciated at one time, and for a while he was overrated, and washed up. He scores goals, yes. But he doesn’t seem to have that winning edge, or that cutthroat play.

And today, while mowing the lawn and thinking about what I would write tonight, it hit me. Michael Owen reminds me of Taylor Twellman for some reason. And hear me out on this.

I am not saying Twellman is the equivalent to Owen, Michael has more talent and has faced stiffer competition throughout his career. But the way their careers have unfolded is what got me thinking.

Taylor Twellman Michael Owen
1980                                                            1979
5 ft 11 in                                                     5 ft 9 in
International Scoring Rate: 0.21    International Scoring Rate: 0.58
Club Scoring Rate: 0.60                      Club Scoring Rate: 0.50

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Champions League Live Blog Experience

By Kevin Koczwara

Today The Soccer Guys are going to do something unprecedented. I am not going to write a column, a news wrap, or anything of the sort. I am going to Live Blog the Liverpool vs Debrecen game and (this is a bold and) update the scores of other games that are being played. Lots of computer screen watching, television watching and the likes today for a few hours. But it will be done.

So check back in around 2:20 p.m. (est) for all the news and happenings before the game. Should be a doozy of a day.

2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel has an interview with Lucas…don’t know why. But it is good filler.

2:35 Line-ups announced:

Liverpool Debrecen

25 Pepe Reina (G)                   (G) Vukasin Poleksic 1

37 Martin Skrtel (CD-L)       (CD-L) N Meszaros 17

23 Jamie Carragher (CD-R)       (CD-R) Adam Komlósi 16

22 Emiliano Insua (LB)          (LB) Marcell Fodor 21

2 Glen Johnson (RB)                (RB) Laszlo Bodnar 10

21 Lucas (CM-L)                      (CM-L) Zoltán Kiss 30

8 Steven Gerrard (CM-R)    (CM-R) Luis Ramos 6

11 Alberto Riera (LM)            (LM) Péter Szakály 55

15 Yossi Benayoun (RM)                 (RM) Peter Czvitkovics 77

9 Fernando Torres (CF-L)            (ST) Adamo Coulibaly 39

18 Dirk Kuyt (CF-R)        (RCF) Leandro 4

2:40 Cesc Fabergas is starting in the Arsenal game. Big news for Arsenal Fans, but no Arsharvin yet.

2:45 Notably no Mascherano on the Liverpool side. His fitness for this weekend’s game is now in question.

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