jenni_blog: (laliga-atleti-tiago)
Now that MOST of the leagues are finished for the season (not ALL, mind you - some of the South American leagues have still to finish) I thought I'd do a photo recap of the winners so far. Also some of the teams in the lower leagues who have risen to the top once more (or in some cases, it's perhaps for the first time).

Starting with...yeah, baby, Atletico Madrid, 2012 winners of the Europa League!


A few pictures here... )
jenni_blog: (bund-schalke-erwin-2)
My NEW Favourite Teams

I always like to feel good. I hate that feeling of being down when it comes to my teams' losses. I always like to have a lot of teams around me. I don't know - my feeling has always been that if I had only ONE team and they lost and made me feel bad, then I would have no other teams I could watch that might be able to cheer me up. Therefore I have always watched a lot of matches from a lot of different leagues with a view to finding teams that interest me and are fun to watch and get involved with.

And this year, at season's end for most leagues, I've decided that I am no longer going to cheer for the biggest teams. In the beginning I think I, like most people, got sucked in to thinking I had to get behind teams like Real Madrid or Manchester United because they were the ones I could see the most on TV. Or Barcelona. Or Liverpool, or Chelsea. AC Milan. Etc., etc. But once I got Pay TV and discovered streaming, there was no excuse NOT to follow other, 'lesser' teams. And once I got started doing that, what did I discover? That these teams are much more fun to follow. Their players are not the big headed 'superstars' that the BIG teams seem to swallow up like so many jelly beans until some of the disappear into what seem like black holes, never to be seen again.

It seems that these superstars are usually too 'professional' for me to like them very much. It's like they are playing only for the money and the stardom, to see how many goals they can rack up in a season, as if that is the only reason they are playing, certainly not for the team that hired them. They tend to change teams a lot as well, maybe because it's a way of staving off boredom. I don't know. To each his own, I guess. I am not knocking these teams or players, but just writing about what's interesting for me and what isn't.

So, okay. The teams I REALLY, really like based on what I've seen during the past season, are:

Below the cut )

EDIT: I forgot to mention CONCACAF! I love the Mexico NT with all my heart, and I like Costa Rica. I also like the Venezuela NT. Forgot to mention them as well. ;)
jenni_blog: (laliga-atleti-falcao leather jacket)
I found I was torn while watching this match. Because I like both teams very much, it was nice to see one of them doing so well, but difficult to watch the other lose. In the end, I think the result was fair, because Atletico Madrid had won this tournament before and was the more experienced team. Not only the team, but their star player Radamel Falcao, had just won this competition last year with FC Porto, and in both tournaments he was the top goalscorer. Sometimes experience does win over youth and in this case I think it was true.

Okay, onto the pics!


More here... )
jenni_blog: (peace pendant)

Training Pics

Atletico Madrid


Athletic Bilbao


More here... )
jenni_blog: (laliga-atleti-toto salvio)
Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have made it to the final. Both teams are favourites of mine in La Liga, although Atletico Madrid is my #1 favourite. I'm too superstitious to say that I want my team to win the trophy (again) this year, having won it two years ago when Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan were with the club. Last year Falcao won the Europa with FC Porto, and was the leading goalscorer in the competition. This year he is with Atleti, and is the leading goalscorer in the competition again! How awesome is that? I love Falcao. I've been following his career since he was at River Plate in Argentina. Like Leo Messi, Falcao never played for a club in his home country (Colombia), moving to Argentina in 2001 when he was 15, to join River Plate. He was there for 8 years before moving to FC Porto in 2009 and becoming a great success in Europe.

Okay, enough reminiscing, and on to the photos from yesterday's matches:

Valencia vs Atletico Madrid:


Athletic Bilbao vs Sporting Lisbon:


More here... )
jenni_blog: (laliga-athletic-fernando llorente-2)
The semi-finalists are: Atletico Madrid, Valencia CF, Athletic Club Bilbao and Sporting Club de Lisboa.

Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon won the first legs at home. But will Valencia and Athletic Bilbao prove too difficult to overcome in the second legs?

All four of these teams are so evenly matched, it's almost impossible to say. I had predicted Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao in the final, but I could be wrong. Whatever the result, the two remaining semi-final games should be very exciting!

Some pics from the first legs:

Falcao for Atleti. Last year's top goalscorer with 17 goals for FC Porto, who went on to win the title. This year tied on goals with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke with 10 so far.


More here... )
jenni_blog: (laliga-athletic-fernando llorente)

Sporting (Lisbon) 2-1 Metalist (Kharkiv)
AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Valencia
Schalke 2-4 Athletic (Bilbao)
Atletico (Madrid) 2-1 Hannover

ALL teams except AZ (whom I don't know much about) are favourite teams of mine, the Europa tournament notwithstanding. Therefore it's hard to see some of them not do well (Schalke, especially). But in an interview I watched with Schalke before the match, it seemed that they were a little too confident. When one of the players said he thought they would have no trouble winning, I *facepalmed*. You never, ever say anything like that before as important a game as a quarter-final. That's what Manchester City did to Sporting Lisbon in the Round of 16 and look what happened to them! Schalke was not at all wise to underestimate the giant-killers Athletic Club Bilbao, who knocked off Manchester United without any problem.

Anyway, I think that anything could happen. Except that I believe Schalke now has no chance against Athletic in Bilbao. Sporting is a very strong team, IMO, but they have to play the next leg in the Ukraine. However, I think they will prevail. Valencia has a good chance back home at the Mestalla and should go through. Athletic should go through. The most up-in-the air should be the Hannover vs Atletico Madrid one, because Atleti has to play in Germany. If they can score an away goal and keep Hannover from scoring two, they will go through. But it could be tough because Hannover is also a very good team. The next leg will be extremely exciting.

And now for the picspam...

One of the funniest comes from Sporting vs Metalist:


More here... )

The second most exciting club football tournament in the world is in the knockout stages and will play the second leg of these fixtures on March 15th. We'll then be down to only 8 teams.

These are the matches that took place on March 8th:

Metalist (Ukraine) 0 - 1 Olympiacos (Greece)
Sporting (Portugal) 1 - 0 Manchester City (England)
Twente (Holland) 1 - 0 Schalke (Germany)
Atleti (Spain) 3 - 1 Besiktas (Turkey)
Manchester United (England) 2 - 3 Athletic Bilbao (Spain)
Standard Liege (Belgium) 2 - 2 Hannover (Germany)
Valencia (Spain) 4 - 2 PSV (Holland)
AZ Alkmaar (Holland) 2 - 0 Udinese (Italy)

Of my favourite teams, Metalist and Schalke are not doing too well, although they still have a chance, especially Schalke, who will play the next fixture at home. Hannover managed a tie with Standard Liege, which was okay, because they have two away goals and will play the next leg at home. My favourite teams on the winning side are all Iberian! Sporting Lisbon, Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia all won their first leg matches, although all but one were at home.

Of these, the most impressive away win was Athletic Bilbao over Manchester United. AUPA ATHLETIC!!!


More here... )
jenni_blog: (bund-schalke-papadopoulos hugs benni)
Most of my teams are doing well so far in the Europa League. The Round of 32 has finished, so we are down to the final 16 teams. The results from the Round of 32 (just including MY teams) are:

Manchester City 4 - 0 FC Porto
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Lazio
Schalke04 3 - 1 Plzen
Metalist 4 - 1 Salzburg
Athletic Club 1 - 0 Lokomotiv Moscow
Valencia 1 - 0 Stoke City
Club Brugge 0 - 1 Hannover
Sporting Lisbon 1 - 0 Warsaw

So the Round of 16, first leg to take place on March 8th, involves these final eight match-ups:

Metalist vs Olympiacos
Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
FC Twente vs Schalke04
Standard Liege vs Hannover
Valencia vs PSV
AZ Alkmaar vs Udinese
Atletico Madrid vs Besiktas
Manchester United vs Athletic Bilbao

My thoughts? It is VERY unfair to have Manchester City always playing Portuguese teams. Also interesting that there are no French teams remaining. Spain and Holland each have 3 teams still in it, England and Germany both have 2.

This is from Athletic vs Lokomotiv


jenni_blog: (Default)
This is a picspam of photos I liked from the CL and Europa Leagues this past week. No commentary, no results. Just let the pictures tell the stories.

jenni_blog: (Default)
Some game results:

Champions League
CSKA Moscow 1 - 1 Sevilla

Europa League
Unirea Urziceni 1 - 3 Liverpool
Wolfsburg 4 - 1 Villareal
Galatasaray 1 - 2 Atletico Madrid
Valencia 3 - 0 Brugge
Werder Bremen 4 - 1 FC Twente
Sporting 3 - 0 Everton

From Valencia vs Brugge



jenni_blog: (Default)

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