Tag Archives: Mesut Ozil

Barcelona Thrash Real Madrid to Take Top Spot in La Liga

The Catalonians weren't disappointed at the Camp Nou with Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real Madrid. (Courtesy Aldas Kirvaitis)

By Kevin Koczwara

El Clasico was billed as the Messi and Ronaldo show, but we (the media) should have known games aren’t decided by two players on opposite sides. Nope. Games are decided by teams and the individuals on those teams. Barcelona’s 11 men were superior, far better, than Real Madrid’s. The 5-0 win for the Catalans was as easy as that.

Madrid couldn’t handle Xavi and Andres Iniesta in the middle of the Barcelona midfield, and most teams can’t. The two World Cup winners control tempo, don’t give up the ball and eliminate opposing teams attacking players by not allowing them to ever touch the ball. Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil were lucky to touch the ball in the first half. The only chances for Madrid came when Angel di Maria smashed a shot directly at Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and at the end of the half when Ronaldo took one of his two free kicks and missed just wide of Valdes’ post. Other than that, it was a forgettable night for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Mourinho and company came into the Camp Nou with a one point lead over Barcelona in the table, and now, they leave with a two-point deficit and a big time humbling.

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Bundesliga Bringing the Boom

Young German starts Philip Lahm (left), Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira defend a free kick in the World Cup this summer against Argentina. (Photo Courtesy sdhansay)

By Jonathan Gold

Quick, no thinking allowed: What’s the most entertaining soccer league in Europe? I guarantee you just got that wrong.

The Prem? Overpaid, overexposed, overcapitalized.

La Liga? If you’re not a fan of the endless financial pissing contest between Barca and Real, then you’re out of luck.

Serie A? Corrupt, slow, predictable.

Ligue 1? Sorry, too many racist shithead fans (at some clubs), the national apparatus is in utter disarray and all the talent goes to one of those other three leagues about 0.00145 seconds after it gets discovered.

Why didn’t you say the Bundesliga? Vas ist deine probleme? (Apologies, I’m 99 percent sure that doesn’t mean “What’s your problem?”)

All that aside, you should be watching German soccer. Yes, you. Particularly since the Revs season is over.

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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 18, 2010

James Milner has finally sealed his lucrative move to Manchester City from Aston Villa. Courtesy vuhlser

Sky Sports – City Agree Milner Fee

The former Leeds United and Newcastle United player, James Milner, has secured a lucrative move to financial giants Manchester City from Aston Villa. Milner played an integral part in Villa’s 4-0 weekend thrashing of West Ham. Villa have been trying to stave off the big spending City but were unable too refuse a deal that sent the England international Milner to Manchester and Stephen Ireland and cash to Birmingham.

The Guardian – Craig Bellamy in debt to Roberto Mancini after fairytale Cardiff move – Stuart James

Manchester City banned winger Craig Bellamy from their training grounds over the weekend and now have finally offloaded the troublesome player to his hometown club, Cardiff City. The catch? City will still be paying the majority of Bellamy’s large weekly sum.The real shocker here is that Bellamy even goes so far as to wish the club and the manager good luck in the upcoming season despite the recent feud he has had with management.

BBC Sport – Real Madrid confirm signing of Germany star Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been rumored to be moving from German club Werder Bremen to Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City, but he ultimately sealed his fate with fellow German international and World Cup star Sami Khedira. The young German star has been one of the transfer markets hottest prospects after he impressed at the World Cup. Bremen were forced to show their hand this summer rather than next because the 21-year-old had not signed an extension on his current deal that expires after this season.

The Guardian – Arsenal offer ‘fanshares’ to dampen fears of takeover

The Gunners are offering their fans a chance to purchase 1/100 of a share (valued at £10,000 each) for the price of £100. Fans that purchase the shares will be able to attend general meetings and ask the board of directors questions. Arsenal are setting a new trend in the English Premier League as many clubs face backlash from their fans (Manchester United and Liverpool mainly) by including Gunners fans in the team’s finances. Will this scheme work out for the best or will it just make a mess of  the ownership system?

ESPN Soccernet – Spurs avoid Young Boys thrashing, Ajax held

Champions League play began with some surprising results. Tottenham looked dead in the water early against the Young Boys as they fell behind 3-0 in the first 30 minutes. The Spurs rallied back with two away goals but have an uphill battle to come at home. Ajax was unable to take advantage of Denys Garmash second yellow card in the 57th minute for Dyanmo Kiev, reducing the club to 10 men. The Dutch club does return to Amsterdam with an important away goal though. To get through to the next stage (the group stages) is a major financial boost for teams, so many of the teams competing now are dreaming of the big checks that come with a win next week.

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Best and Worst Performers at the World Cup

Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Holland's captain at the World Cup, was a stand-out defender. Courtesy Paul Blank

By The Soccer Guys

Kevin’s Picks:

Strikers

Diego Forlan – Forlan was the most dangerous striker on the field every time Uruguay suited up. He was handed the Golden Ball by FIFA as the World Cup’s best player, and he deserved it. He scored vital goals and did everything for the underrated and under-appreciated Uruguay team.

David Villa – Villa’s five goals tied him for the Golden Boot with Forlan, Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder, and his goals saved Spain from elimination. Without Villa, Spain might have been watching the final match from home rather than playing and winning the world’s biggest sporting event.

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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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