Inter Milan Win the Champions League – And Complete The Treble

Inter capped off an brilliant season.  They won the Serie A, the Italian Cup and today the Champions League.  A magical season.

Diego Milito scored a brace in a 2 – 0 win over Bayern Munich, which gives Inter three European Cups over all, the first in over 40 years.  The pupil beat the master, Jose Maurinho was brought in just for this.  To give Inter European glory.  And that he did in his second try.  He beat his old boss Louis van Gaal who manages Bayern Munich, who also won their league (Bundesliga) and the German Cup.

Bayern were allowed to have possession and pass the ball around, till they got close to the penalty box, Inter were happy to let them.  With a very well organized team they contented themselves to hit Bayern on the counter, and that they did.  Both of Inter’s goals came from fast play.  First one came after a long punt from the Inter keeper Cesar to Sneijder, he then passed it to Milito with a great ball, Diego Milito then our run and out thought the Bayern defence and keeper, and finished very well to make it 1-0 in the first half after 34 minutes.

After the break it was more of the same, Bayern kept the ball, and even created a few chances, but arguably Inter’s chances off the counter attack were of better quality.  And it showed later in the second half.  In the 70th minute another pass to the middle of the pitch to Samuel Eto’o , a sniper who was asked to play out wide and defend more than attack, which he did very well.  He then passed the ball to Milito and the Argentinian  forward made his run into the box, he made van Buyten look like an amateur, turned him and finished brilliantly into the long side.  And it was over.  van Gaal had no answers to Maurinho’s tactics and Inter’s organization and quality.  I don’t think Ribery would have made a difference.  Robben looked ordinary despite trying.  But in the end Inter have better players.  And are better organized, so finally Bayern’s luck run out.

The 36 year old Zanetti made over 50 starts, he and his compatriot Cambiasso wont be going to the WC with Argentina, but today they are the deserved Champions of Europe.

Well done to them.

There was a bit of a worry about Howard Webb refereeing the game as he came under criticism this past season, but I thought he did quite well.

Now that Jose Maurinho won the CL with Inter the question is:  Will he stay in at Inter or just go to Madrid?

Scoring Summary
Bayern Munich Internazionale
Alberto Diego Milito (34)
Alberto Diego Milito (70)
Bayern Munich
No. NAME POS
22 Jorg Butt (G)
6 Martin Gaston Demichelis (CD-L)
5 Daniel van Buyten (CD-R)
28 Holger Badstuber (LB)
21 Philipp Lahm (RB)
31 Bastian Schweinsteiger (CM-L)
17 Mark Van Bommel (CM-R)
8 Hamit Altintop (LM)
10 Arjen Robben (RM)
25 Thomas Müller (CF-L)
11 Ivica Olic (CF-R)
Internazionale
No. NAME POS
12 Julio César (G)
25 Walter Samuel (CD-L)
6 Lucio (CD-R)
26 Cristian Chivu (LB)
13 Maicon (RB)
19 Esteban Cambiasso (LM)
4 Javier Zanetti (RM)
22 Alberto Diego Milito (F)
10 Wesley Sneijder (RCF)
27 Goran Pandev (AM-L)
9 Samuel Eto’o (AM-R)
Bayern Munich Substitutions
Substitutions
Miroslav Klose for Hamit Altintop (63)
Mario Gomez for Ivica Olic (74)
Internazionale Substitutions
Substitutions
Dejan Stankovic for Cristian Chivu (68)
Sulley Muntari for Goran Pandev (79)
Marco Materazzi for Alberto Diego Milito (90)
Bayern Munich Yellow Cards
Name Min
Martin Gaston Demichelis (25)
Mark Van Bommel (78)
Internazionale Yellow Cards
Name Min
Cristian Chivu (29)

World Cup Provisional Squads- Part 2, South Africa 2010

continued from here

Well well, more shocks in store.  This time Domenech and Maradona did not fail to raise many an eyebrow.  Though I must say that Joachim Low’s selections are not without controversy.  Well here goes.

France:

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda(Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux), Mickael Landreau (Lille)

Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Rod Fanni (Stade Rennes), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla), Adil Rami (Lille), Marc Planus (Girondins Bordeaux), Gael Clichy(Arsenal), Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon)

Midfielders: Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Alou Diarra(Girondins Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Yoann Gourcuff (Girondins Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Yann M’Vila (Stade Rennes)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Hatem Ben Arfa (Olympique Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Stade Rennes)

The fact that Mr. Domenech still has a job can only mean that the French FA are either all insane, or that he has something on them.  France barely qualified for this WC, and that was not without controversy.  Henry’s handball is the most famous handball since Maradona’s in 1986.  But whatever one may think of the way they got there, the fact remains that France made is to the WC.  And on paper at least, they have a reasonably easy group.  Mexico, South Africa and Uruguay can be had by the talented French team.  And they are talented.  People might not think of them as a great team any more, but its not because of the players they have.  It because that under the current coach, they play uninspiring, boring football.  And recently they have failed to get the results.   There are several newcomers on this provisional team.  Like the Rennes midfielder M’Vila.  Yet there was no room for the likes of Patrick Viera who has 107 caps, nor for Karim Benzema of Real Madrid.  The young superstar striker who cost Madrid well over 30 million pounds may have gotten his dream transfer last season, but that transfer cost him as place in the French Squad.  He failed to impress at Madrid.  Then again, he rarely shone for France, but he is still young and I am sure he will improve his national team record.

Predicting the line up for France is like predicting the future based on the horoscope, … oh wait.  But unlike Mr. Domenech I am not an expert on such matters, so do excuse me if this effort proves to be mostly wrong, we don’t know what will be written in the starts in a month.  The very young and very talented Lloris should start in goal.  Sagna at RB perhaps, Evra looks good for the other flank.  Gallas should be fit for the WC and should start at CB, his partner might be Abidal who can certainly play CB.

The midfield should include two defensive midfielders, Lassana Diarra and Toulalan look the part.  It would be hard to not play Malouda after the season he had, so it think he and Gourcuff will play, with Ribery in a free attacking role supporting Henry.

As I mentioned, many have given up on France.  Their group is manageable, the teams they face are solid teams, but no more talented than the French.  It all depends which team shows up.  They were inspired in 98, shocking in 2002, a combination of both in 2006.  With no Zidane who will lead the team mow?  The most likely seems to be Ribery.  Much depends on Domenech himself.  His line ups and tactics leave many shaking their heads.  I think they will get out of the group, the rest depends on the draw they have and momentum.  This team can be dangerous to anyone given the right circumstances.

Argentina:

Argentina squad:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar), Mariano Andujar (Catania), Diego Pozo (Colon)

Defenders: Nicolas Burdisso (Inter Milan), Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Walter Samuel (Inter Milan), Gabriel Heinze (Olympique Marseille), Nicolas Otamendi (Velez Sarsfield), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle), Juan Manuel Insaurralde (Newell’s Old Boys), Clemente Rodriguez (Estudiantes), Ariel Garce (Colon)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Liverpool), Sebastian Blanco (Lanus), Juan Sebastian Veron (Estudiantes), Jesus Datolo (Olympiacos), Jose Sosa (Estudiantes), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Liverpool), Mario Bolatti (Fiorentina), Juan Mercier (Argentinos Juniors), Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle), Javier Pastore (Palermo)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid), Diego Milito (Inter Milan), Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors), Carlos Tevez (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli).

Well, this is strange.  But that’s one of the kindest words that Maradona’s reign as NT manager can used to describe as.  And he did not fail to live up to the weirdness when making his selections for the WC squad.  This is certainly his team.  No Zannetti or Cambiasso, who have been inspiring for Inter on their way to the Champions League final.  Yet Coloccini and Gutierrez who play for second division Newcastle make it.  As well as Maxi Rodriguez of Liverpool.  Go figure.  Frankly I have no idea who will start in goal.  The defence is weird as well.  Maradona says he will play four central defenders, though the likes of Heinze can play on the flanks.  Samuel, Demichelis and Heinze look most likely to start at the back.  The fourth I am not sure about.

In the midfield it definitely will be Mascherano and I think Veron.  Beyond that I just don’t know.  Depends on what system Maradona will try to play.  Leaving Di Maria out of the line up would seem strange, but its Maradona.  Messi will play.  That is certain.  Maradona claims he will give him a free role, but will it be in support of one or two forwards?  And which forwards?  Maradona loves Tevez and Aguero, but while Tevez had a very good season for Manchester City, he did not shine much for Argentina.  Aguero, Maradona’s son in law, a very talented player, has failed last season both for the national team and his club Atletico.  And then we come to Martin Palermo of Boca, he did not fail at his club.  But Diego Milito and Gonzalo Higuain have also shone for their clubs, and at a higher level.  Which ones will be left out of the line up or the squad altogether?  And I have still not mentioned the talented Lavezzi of Napoli.  That gives us seven players for at most 3 spots on the pitch and most likely 4, perhaps 5, spots on the team.  How can Maradona justify taking Aguero and leaving out Higuin or Palermo?

This team has even more questions than France.  The tactics, line ups are all unconventional and unpredictable.  Again, a talented team to be sure, but one that almost failed to qualify.  Frankly I do not expect much of them.  Unless someone like Messi will inspire the whole team I think they will fail.  They have an easy group.  Greece is a second tier European side, with boring players and tactics.  Nigeria talented, but tactically undisciplined and without continuity when it comes to management.  North Korea, well its North Korea, so who the hell knows what they will do.  From what little I have seen of them I was not inspired, nor shocked, a second level Asian side.  So Argentina should get out of the group.  Beyond that I do not expect much, even with an inspired Messi it could prove too much for them.  After all, Argentina does not have a Xavi to pass the ball to Messi, Veron is a very good player, but he is no Xavi.

Germany:

Germany’s provisional 27-man World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Dennis Aogo (Hamburg).

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea/ENG), Sami Khedira (Stuggart), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Christian Trasch (Stuttgart), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen).

Forwards: Lukas Podolski (Cologne), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Cacau (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich).

Not 30 but 27.  It leaves only 4 players to cut in June.  But Joachim Low still managed to rework the squad once again.  This is a German side that is a work in progress IMO.  While it has the likes of Ballack and Schewinsteiger and Klose, it also has many youngsters.  Now to be fair, some of those younger players are quite experienced at the national level but this is nothing like the 94 side.  Then again that side failed miserably, so it might not be such a bad thing.  Aside from Ballack they all play in the Bundesliga.  However not one player was called up from last year’s Bundesliga Champions Wolfsburg.  No Reitner, no Gentner.  Yet two uncapped players managed to get on the squad.  Kuryani also did not make it, his spat with Low has apparently not been forgotten.

At goalkeeper the Germans have a bit of a problem.  Rene Adler is injured.  He was inspiring for Germany, as brilliant as Kahn was, but seemingly sane.  Now I think another young keeper will get the nod.  Shalke’s Manuel Neuer is a very good keeper, and while Low called up the veteran Butt, it think it was mostly as a calming figure.  In defence Mertesaker is likely to play, as is Westermann I think.  Lahm will be on the flank, which one though?  Not sure Low will give another shot to Jansen or Friedrich, then again I would not be shocked if he just played some kid.

Ballack is the Captain, and along with Schweinsteiger will be in the midfield.  But along with whom?  Trochowski, Marin, Ozil, and even the young Kroos all seem to deserve a chance to play.  Just what roles will Low give the players will depend on who plays, so I think quite a few of the midfielders will get a shot at one time or another.

The forwards look familiar, well some of them.  Klose and Podolski, the Polish born tandem, have been great for Germany.  But Klose is not getting any younger, and Podolski has been less than inspiring for his clubs the last two seasons.  His record for Germany though has been brilliant.  Gomez has been also less than stellar for Munich, and for Germany too.  Then there is the in form Kiessling and young Muller.  Cacau imo is the outsider.  Klose and Podolski I think will both go.  Gomes should as well.  But how can Low leave out Kiessling, he might be not very experienced at the national level, but not taking him might prove to be a mistake.  A hot forward is a good thing to have.

Germany is traditionally strong in major tournaments.  They made the final of the Euros just two years ago.  But I think a a semi final might be too high a goal this time around.  Then again, its the Germans, count them out at your peril.

Spain:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David De Gea (Atletico de Madrid), Diego Lopez (Villareal), Jose Manuel ‘Pepe’ Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Cesar Azpilicueta (Osasuna), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Xabier Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javier Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), Marcos Senna (Villarreal), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona).

Forwards: Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juan Manuel Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Daniel Guiza (Fenerbache), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia).

The European Champions look to be one of the strongest contenders for the WC title.  But its Spain, they only became the European Champions after years of terrible performances in major tournaments.  Will the last one prove to be the catalyst for great things or was is a one off?  The team on paper is certainly good enough to win.  One of the best keepers in the world, a good enough defence, several world class midfielders and two of the world’s best forwards.  Yep, on paper there is not much doubt.  But.  Yes, but, as I mentioned, its Spain, so don’t count your medals just yet.  Not many controversies in the provisional squad.  Some promising younsters did not make it, but they are youngsters, so they will get their shot in the future.  A couple of veterans who were somewhat poor last seasons did make it, but Senna is hard to leave out.  He has been always inspiring for Spain and gave them the needed protection in the midfield.  But he might not get to play.  Perhaps del Bosque will go with the passing midfielders?  Only questions are the injured players.  Torres, Fabregas are said to be recovering well, but until they play its a question mark.  Iniesta and Xavi have also not been injury free.

Cassilas is the undisputed number one.  His back up will be Pepe Reina, and remarkably that means one of Valdes or De Gea wont go.  Valdes has been very good this season, and the youngster De Gea just won the Europa League with his club.  Spain is as solid in the net as any country out there.  Personally, though its not fair, I would take the kid to let him get the feel of the great event.

Defence is good, but not great IMO.  Pique is a brilliant, and still young, defender.  The rest can be either inspiring or frustrating.  Puyol has his faults, but can be great and he should be the one partnering alongside Pique.  Ramos of Madrid thinks he’s an attacking superstar, unfortunately he plays at RB and at times is missing from the defence because he mindlessly ventures forward.  Still, a very good player that can be an asset to have as Spain will be on the ball more than without.  Capdevilla should be on the other flank.

In the midfield we have a problem.  Too many great players.  Xavi when healthy is a must.  But a more defensive minded player is needed alongside him.  Will it be Alonso or Senna, or perhaps the young Busquets?  Iniesta should also start, but will there then be any room for the likes of Silva and Fabregas?  Either way, its better t have these sort of problems than shit players.

If healthy both Torres and Villa play.  Problem is Torres is not very healthy.  So perhaps Villa alone up front and one of those great midfielders will be in support?  But even the supporting forwards are quite talented.  Problem is that because of the talent of Villa and Torres they do not get to play much for Spain.

Spain should go far in the tournament.  Whether they will win it or not will of course depend on the draw and a bit of luck, but if they can stay fit its hard to look past them.

World Cup Provisional Squads Announced- South Africa 2010

Well a few surprises were in store yesterday when national team managers named their World Cup Squads for the tournament that begins in a month in South Africa.  Lets quickly go through some of the “bigger” nations.  Those who are thought to compete for the title, and US.

USA

The 30 called up, to be narrowed down to 23 by next month are:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Jose Torres (Pachuca)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles Galaxy), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki).

No Charlie Davies of course, as he is not yet fit after the horrific accident in October that almost cost him his life.  The 3 called up keepers will definitely go.  That is where the US strength is.  And those 3 are not far apart in terms of talent, but Tim Howard of Everton and an ex Manchester United player, will start if healthy.  Defence is a bit of a worry.  Leftback is weak no matter who plays.  Right back is no prize either.  Spector, another United reject, can be very good on his day, but those do not happen often enough.  The centre of the defence is a worry as well.  Bocanegra was always a solid player, but his regular partner Oneywu just came of a long term injury and has hardly played at all this season for Milan.

What will coach Bradley do in the middle of the pitch is another question.  US will most likely play 4-5-1.  But will the three midfielders be defensive or attacking?  Michael Bradley is the one most likely to start, and not because of nepotism, he truly earned his place.  His partners are a bit of a question mark.  Will Edu play alongside with him?  Or will it be Holden?  Perhaps all three?  What is likely to happen is Beasly playing out wide.  However I would rather the US play someone like Torres to support the attack.  Not likely though.  Landon Donovan will also start, in support of the lone striker, likely to be Jozy Altidore.  The other supporting attacker will be Clint Dempsey who did very well this season at Fulham.  The player I would like to see left out are Ching, who I do not know why he was called up.  Gomez should be given a shot, as should Buddle who has been on fire for the Galaxy.  Either way, the US will have a tough task getting out of the group.  Anything beyond 3 and out should be considered a success.

England

England’s 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup finals:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).

Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

So, Fabio named his players.  The 30 will also narrowed down to 23.  Everything was going right for England last fall.  They qualified in style, they were scoring for fun, their midfield was working, their defence solid.  Then everything started going pear shaped.  Beckham got injured and will miss the World Cup.  Now he might not have been a starter but his presence alone would have been good for the team.  Then Mr Chelsea himself turned out to be a complete and utter prat and lost his Captaincy.  There was even talk of Terry being banned from the team altogether.  Wayne Bridge announced he would not play for England is Terry was on the team.  Then injuries hit, Glenn  Johnson, Ashley Cole, Ferdinand, Rooney, Barry now, Lennon, and others.  Now there are question marks.  But lets get to the call ups:

Interesting.  Jamie Carragher convinced to come out of international retirement.  King of Totenham called up.  The man has two very bad knees, he hardly trains, is injury prone, but is still on of England’s top defenders.  With Rio Ferdinand’s injury worries, the England defence could get thin and fast.  Not sure who Fabio will start in goal, the very experienced James or the very good Hart.  I would play Hart, he lacks the experience but he has been brilliant all season.  On defence, if everyone is healthy there will be no shocks.  Johnson at RB, Rio Ferdinand the Captain and Terry in the middle, and Ashley Cole at LB

The midfield is a bit weird.  Capello likes to play both Gerrard and Lampard together, but if he is to play 2 up front then Gerrard might be on the bench, or out of position on the left.  Personally I would bench Gerrad, as he was shocking this season for Liverpool.  I would play Barry or Parker with Lampard and have Milner on the left.  And I would play the novice Johnson on the right ahead of Aaron Lennon.  I think Johnson brings more to the game, he is more creative, can defend, unlike Lennon, and is just a better player.  But he might not even go as his call up was not certain.  The shock is the call up of Shaun Wright Phillips who lost his place at City to Johnson.  How he is called up and Ashley Young not is beyond me, I guess Fabio does not like Young.  Carrick is also a bit of a surprise, he has played enough games for England and they are not too rich in the central defensive department, but Carrick has been very poor all season.  So not sure he should play or even go.

Up front we have another dilemma.  Defoe has been scoring a lot of goals this season, not many lately, but he is not the player who will start with Rooney.  Rooney’s injuries are a worry, but he starts if he can stand.  His partner is a question mark.  Fabio, for some strange reason really likes Heskey.  And it sort of works, but Heskey is not the player many would pick.  Darren Bent deserves a chance at least in the friendlies to show what he can do.  Crouch is destined to be on the bench I think.  Its likely that Fabio will take 4 strikers so the likely odd one out is either Heskey or Bent.

England are going to South Africa to win it all.  Anything less than a semi-final will be considered a failure.  A medal will be a good campaign for them, the gold and being crowned Champions of the World will be the promised land.

Update:  News Just came out that John Terry got injured in training and may miss the WC, depending on scan results, a foot injury is reported.

Brazil

Brazil squad: Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (AS Roma), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyon), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Lucio (Inter Milan), Juan (AS Roma), Luisao (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Ramires (Benfica), Elano (Galatasaray), Kaka (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Roma), Kleberson (Flamengo), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg).

Forwards: Robinho (Santos), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Villarreal), Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg).

Dunga, the former Captain of the World Cup 1994 winning side is doing things differently, he named only 23 players with 7 stand bys to be added.  Hmm.  No two time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, no Ronaldo.  Dunga is banking on his kind of players.  Hell the former WC winner and United reject Kleberson got a call up.  Its a gutsy move not to call up Ronaldinho, Dunga will of course be criticized for it by everyone in Brazil, but its his job on the line, so its best to do it your way.  Cesar will likely start in goal, he is one of he best keepers in the world, a usual weakness of Brazil is now their strength.  Left back on the other hand is not so great.  No more of Cafu and Carlos on the flanks.  Now they have Maicon and Alves, except that they both play the same position.  But Maicon is much better than the overrated Alves, he is as good (better IMO) an attacker, but he can actually defend unlike his Barcelona counterpart.  Lucio is a shoe in for the middle, with Juan likely to be his partner.

In the middle is where we might see something different.  Melo has been rather disappointing for Juventus.  But Diego who did not get a call up was much better.  However he plays a role similar to Kaka so he wasn’t going to play anyway.  But its likely Melo and Gilberto Silva will start in the middle, With Kaka, Robinho and Elano supporting Fabiano?

Perhaps.  Its Dunga’s job on the line.  He is going to South Africa to win the World Cup.  But in Brazil just winning is not enough, it must be won Brazilian style.  However this team does not play like the 1982 Brazil.  Its closer to the 94 side.  In 94 they won but did not play Joga Bonito.  In 82 they did, but did not win.  Dunga wants to win.  He will do it his way, and will be criticised for it whatever the outcome.

My next instalment will have Germany, France and Argentina as well as Spain.

Politically Correct Madness in America -Cinco De Mayo and anti-American bias

You can read the story here

Wow.  I am shocked.  Now let me preface this by saying that I am an immigrant.  I was not born in the United States.  I came here when I was 13.  But I do love this country and consider it my own.  At the same time I see that its not perfect.  It has problems, many problems.  One of them is the way this country goes about treating its immigrants.  legal or not.  Case and point is the stupid and racist law in Arizona.  Lets not kid ourselves here.  Its an anti-Latino law.  The excuses do not wash seeing as the immigration and crime statistics do not back up the claims made by the Arizona legislators.  So lets call it what it is.  They don’t like Mexicans, and will use any excuse to get at them.  If those illegals were white I doubt that such a law would pass.  I am white btw, this would not effect me as I am also as US citizen, but its bullshit.  Hopefully it will be challenged and struck down soon.  I wrote about immigrants before in here , and this stupid law is not the answer.

But why am I talking about Mexicans today.  Because I really am pissed off about the news I read today (link on the top of the page).  I love this country because it is so diverse.  And people from all over have the right to be proud of, and to celebrate, their heritage.  Case and point, the lovely Mexican Heritage Day Cinco De Mayo.  We Poles have our own day.  As do many nationalities.  Except NONE of US are fucking offended by America.  And sadly that was the case this past Cinco de Mayo in a California High School.

Seriously!  What the hell?!  Some kids wore clothing and apparel with American flags, and that offended people?  They had to leave school?  Some have asked them to apologize?  For what?  In case the faculty and students of Live Oak High School forgot, they work and study in America!  Yes, shocking.  These student were threatened with suspensions.  People said there might be violence!  Really?!  Because they wore American colours on Cinco de Mayo?  In a H.S. that has a large Mexican American student population.

What these offended Mexican Americans seem to forget is the second bit.  The “American” part.  Many were probably born in the United States.  Yet America offends them?  How does America collide with a celebration of Mexican heritage?  You want Gringo free celebration, move the fuck back to Mexico!

Now I really hate those ignorant cretins who, whenever they hear anyone criticise America for anything, tell others to get the hell out of America.  But this is different.  Its not about acknowledging America’s mistakes and faults, and we have made many, and are not perfect.  This is about America itself.  For all its faults, those kids are still here.  Now I do not know any of the kids.  Perhaps they don’t usually wear American colours to school, and did it on Cinco de Mayo cause they don’t like Mexicans and wanted to show it.  Well that would make them racist dicks.  But so what.

The point is that no one in America should be offended by America.  When Poles hold their Pulaski Day parade in NYC (which I am sad to admit I never attended, I just don’t do parades), along with thousands of Polish flags, there are thousands of US flags.  Same goes for any nationality on their holiday.  You can celebrate your heritage without hating America, especially when you live in America.  Nothing prevents you from being a proud Mexican.  And you can be a good Mexican and a good American at the same time.

I might be bordering on schizophrenia but I am a Pole and an American at the same time.  I am proud to be both.  I list Pole first, but that’s because I was born there.  But if I was born in this country I would call myself an American Pole.  I would still be proud to be both.  So what gives?  Where is the disrespect?  You want to celebrate your heritage?  Great.  Its supposed to be your special day.  Well, whatever.  Being a Mexican is more more that just a holiday.  I don’t feel more Polish on Pulaski Day or on November 11th (Poland’s Independence Day), or on my birthday, which is Poland’s Constitution Day.  I also don’t feel more American on Fourth of July.  When I used to have a flag on my car antenna years ago I had it all the time, not just on July 4th (someone stole it).  Nor did I pull out my pin only on major holidays.  I am Polish and American everyday.  Yes, holidays are important.  But I do not stop being Polish when I watch the fireworks and eat my BBQ on July 4th (most likely the grilled food would be Polish anyway).  Nor do I stop being an American on Polish holidays.

Some may say this is just blown out of proportion.  I disagree.  It shows an attitude by immigrants and their kids.  Now, not everyone mind.  But a big enough proportion to notice.  It seems, and this is all immigrant groups, not just Mexicans, that these people have problems with reconciling being both.  To many its either or.  They either love only America, or they only love their country of origin (or their parents origin).  Why?  One does not need to reject one part of one’s self in order to satisfy the other.  America does have a history of quick and total assimilation.  That is one reason we don’t have ethnic ghettos like Europe does.  People come here, immerse themselves into the country, learn the language, customs, and reject most things from their homeland.

This was the norm in the past.  Second generation immigrants were truly American.  But there is no need for that any more.  Even though America has an ugly history of racism and bias against foreigners, it changed a lot.  One can assimilate without forgetting one’s past and origins.  America has grown up over these 200 plus years.  Its not perfect as Arizona shows.  But in order to fight such idiocy, we also have to accept America.  Because the other side of the coin is the relatively new tendency of immigrants to resist assimilation altogether.  Perhaps its fear of losing one’s original heritage.  But that is not a certainty if one gives America a chance.  There are many 3rd and 4th generation families here that have assimilated without losing their sense of history.

So, to all my Mexican AMERICAN friends I say this.  Do not fear the country you live in.  Its not here to offend you or to force you to lose your identity as a Mexican.  But if America does does offend you somehow, then go screw yourselves and kindly leave.

Roger Waters The Wall- Official Dates, Tickets

Yes, he is coming, The Wall will be performed this year.  Tickets are on, or are about to go on sale, depending on the venue.

Roger Waters To Tour in 2010?

The rumours I mentioned in the post above are true.  He will be in NY on Oct. 5, and around New York on dates close to it.  Find it, buy it, enjoy.  Its definitely a must, though those ticket prices are rather expensive.  I am sure it will be worth it though, as putting on The Wall wont be cheap and Roger alone or Pink Floyd is always worth the price.

Tour dates and ticket prices below:

Roger Waters The Wall Tour, ticketmaster

Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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