Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

My Pelada

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Sports

A street where football is played with samba moves.

Pelada

The neighborhood is filled with fresh cut grass, where children waving their hands carrying homemade signs and their body language implies a rhythmic samba steps. The cheers coming from them make it easy for me to blink my lazy morning eyes.My olfaction is restricted with the sharp smell of grass. It’s an odor that makes me believe life is nothing but a green pitch. And Pelada street is my pitch!

It starts with the referee’s whistle. I strap on my jacket with great enjoyment and head towards the pelada field with other samba fans. The rush started and the weather began to sprinkle.The rain drops and the mingling wind joined together to perform the samba tunes. At that moment, The air was filled with screams and yells. How powerful the pelada street is! Flags and scarves were waving like Brazilian curves. They twirled rhythmically in the wind. And the paper scoresheet was blown over and following my steps by the corner of the street.

As the rain rolls down my face my eyes start to shut down. My hands start to sweat. I am having hot flashes in a freezing weather. Suddenly, I feel a gentle breeze. I look up, but all I can see is a glare from the yellow sun, and a smile from the green grass which revived me in one of the most tensed Friday mornings in my yearly calendar.

I look around me, all shops were closed, and the neighborhood was occupied. Even ‘El Arbi’ the neighborhood morning guard vanished from my sight. All the crowd from men, women and children were captivated by pelada fictional stadium. Even taxies gave no service. Knowing that the game have just started, the faster I walked. Just then, I heard the fans screaming…Goaaaaaaaaal!

I fought my way against the wind. The crowd got all wet through by the sobbing for samba victory. At that moment, I saw ‘Sokaina’, the old lady who is always in green and yellow dress, rushing to her bakery shop on the right hand side of the street despite the chaos taking place in pelada. And ‘Mehdi’ the face painter staining calmly yellow and green paint on his face, saluting pelada street football. Now I can only smell the yeast, and flour mixed with sugared water. As I only hear ‘one Dirham….one Dirham.’ Sokaina is celebrating with her freshly-baked Pao de Queijo. How exciting! I was celebrating too in a downbeat street in Morocco I call, my pelada.

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Spain, the World Champions:)

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Sports

Gerard Pique in Tears, After Spain's Euphoric Moment


Pepe Reina and Cesc Fabregas (left) in Barca Jersy! One day Fab


Sweet Dreams, true Dreamer:)


The wild couple (Iker, and Sara) being teased by Pepe


Nothing But Smiles:) Fabregas, Torres, Pepe, Xabi Alonso

Golden Tangos, for a Golden Cup!

Today Argentina had it all! From ball possession, correct passes, beautiful display with jubalani ( the ball of South Africa World Cup), and above all the win under the hands of Maradona. They qualified to the quarter finals and will play the Germans to weigh up more affirmation of being the favorites to cuddle the Golden Cup this year in South Africa.

World cup trophy

Even though Argentina’s number 10 MESSI doesn’t appear on the scoresheet, the maestro is behind every magical pass that leaded to 10 goals for Argentina!

The first goal was agreed offside, but still was an exciting goal! MESSI dinks the ball forward to Tevez (who was offside) and then Carlitos nods in the ball!! And it was a GOAAAAAL:)

Here are some some pictures (Argentina VS Mexica) as a visual
proposal from me to you.

Arg vs mex

Carlos fever goal in world cup

Lionel Messi of Argentina tackles Efrain Juarez of Mexico during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Argentina and Mexico at Soccer City Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Messi world cup

By Weam Al Dakheel

Africa WC

14 – The number of FC Barcelona players that will be representing their countries at the World Cup.
Barça has sent off 14 players to South Africa – which is the most number by any club in all leagues. The next closest is Chelsea with 13 players.

Some of Barca's Players in the World Cup 2010

To know who is actually participating in the world cup, here is the list of Barcelona’s players:
Barcelona’s players that will be in South Africa are: Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Sergi Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Pedro Rodriguez and David Villa for Spain; Eric Abidal and Thierry Henry for France; Rafa Marquez for Mexico; Yaya Toure for the Ivory Coast; Dani Alves for Brazil; and Leo Messi for Argentina.

World Cup Groups:
Groups

Match Schedule

messi

This is the first time that an African country will host the global Championship, and worldwide fans are already looking forward to this big football event! I just want to be there in 2010 if not then 2014 and see how all the 64 matches are played by the 32 international teams with MESSI centering his magic in Africa!!

Nelson Mandela, Africa's Liberator

Last Ticket Sales (Source FIFA official Website)

World Cup Tickets

From Friday, 28 May at 9.00am, there will be around 90,000 additional tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ available for public sale across all 64 matches, including the Final, the Opening Game and the two Semi-Finals. In total there are about 160,000 tickets still available for the public via the current sales channels (FIFA.com, Call Centre, Ticketing Centres, FNB Branches and Shoprite/Checkers).

34,000 of these tickets are available in category 4 (the most affordable for South African residents only), 28,000 in category 3, 23,000 in category 2 and 75,000 in category 1. “For the Final there are only about 800 tickets left, but for other matches it’s up to a few thousands”, explained FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

So far 96% of the total of 2,88 million purchasable tickets have been sold. The additional 90,000 tickets for public sale have become available following the finalisation of seating arrangements at all FIFA World Cup™ match venues, after the final stadium inspections have been completed, and further adjustments of different ticket allocations.

WC 2010

So, who do you think will be make a big buzz in South Africa World Cup? Will Messi rise above Maradona’s coaching confusion, and shut up Argentinean journalists and haters? Will Villa explode his excitement as a BARCA player for next season? Will Xavi get the recognition he deserves as FIFA world player before finishing his career? Will Yaya give Guardiola a surprise, and convince BARCA that he is the right defensive midfielder in Camp Nou? Will Henry make his last World Cup as the icing on top of his career, and forget Irish people their bitterness about that dratted hand with good football?

Share your predictions, explanations, fears, wishes, judgements and facts in the comment box!

By Weam Al Dakheel

henry

Thierry Henry’s talent and popularity was growing numerously in the past decade since he joined Arsenal FC in 1999. Many in the football world considered him as the greatest striker in the world. After an epic career with Arsenal FC, he kept showing his class and football experience in FC Barcelona last season 2008_2009, being an essential part of winning the six cups (La Liga, Champions League, Copa del Ray, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, and the World Cup Club). But this season Henry has found himself as a trivial figure. From the 41 games Barcelona has played so far this season (25 in the Liga, 7 in the Champions League, 4 in the Copa del Rey, 2 in the Spanish Super Cup, 1 in the European Super Cup and 2 in the Club World Cup); Henry has started just 18, coming off the bench as a substitute in 4 games. He scored 4 goals and made 1 assist. Unlike the young striker Pedro who has started one game more than Henry, 21, making 14 substitute appearances so far this season scoring 17 times this season, and creating 4 assists. “If I had scored 15 goals the situation would be different. Personally, I think I don’t deserve to play,” said Henry.

In fact, Titi deserves the ultimate respect (but not from Irish people maybe!), and judging him by numbers is unfair to his true greatness as a footballer, especially when you consider Henry’s advancing years, he will be 33 in the summer and still was one of the strongest strikers last season competing with the stars of the new football generation such as Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney, having in his tally 25 goals and 11 assists. Additionally, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has admitted he believes that the youngster Pedro still has a lot of work to do before he reaches the level of Thierry Henry.
Speaking to Sport TV Before Getafe’s home game, Guardiola said, “He’s still quite a few steps ahead of Pedro,” adding, “I have great faith in Titi [Henry] and I hope he will recover his best form soon.”
But despite the great respect and faith Guardiola holds for Henry, the boss has slowly limited Henry’s minutes, deciding on the youngsters like Pedro Rodriguez and Bojan Krkic because this season has been something of a struggle for the former Arsenal talisman to shine with his foot again on the pitch.

HENRY GOODBYE TO BARCA

For that, it seems that the French man is nearing an exit from Camp Nou. And the question on many people’s minds at the moment is whether Henry on his way out of FC Barcelona or not?
The French striker has stood up with pure honesty to the media and claimed that his poor performances are due to his lack of minutes on the pitch with his club Barcelona, saying, “This is a new experience for me, playing 25 minutes here and 15 minutes there.” “When you play regularly, you keep all of your speed and shape, but entering the Barcelona first team is difficult with Iniesta and Pedro playing so well.”

This Barca team is all about speed, highball possession, rotation of roles, and correct ball passing. After all his effort and playing time this season, Henry just hasn’t got the fitness or speed to do what is expected of him as the left winger of Barca, whether in leading the counter attacks, pressing at defenders, or tracking back to cover the left wing gaps.
After all, it seems unfair that the lasting memories of a player like Thierry Henry to be his worst days rather than his greatest. But still, he is ought to have all the affection and respect people hold for him because at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to see Titti’s shinning smile after rocking the stadium with his glamorous football style?
To end this, I will leave the last word to the great man himself;
“In football you always get judged on your last game. Whoever you are, or how amazing you are, it’s the last game that everyone has seen. ” – Thierry Henry.

Has Ibrahimovic Replaced Etoo?

Posted: January 17, 2010 in Sports

By Weam Al Dakheel

Ibra vs Etoo
The Swedish Magician Had Already Replaced Eto’o in Barca’s Hearts

After an impressive start with 11 goals and 6 assists thus far in all competition, the number ‘9’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proved himself exceedingly with the “highly competitive nature,” said Guardiola (Barcelona coach) he embraces on the pitch that makes him an exceptional striker with ability to score rare goals. He has a unique football perspective to the game relies to enjoy as much as possible in the performance of duties, does not tend to play classical at all, not like an easy way to score goals. What he does with the ball difficult if not impossible for others to do.
After his superb finish of the lob goal, assisted by Messi, against tough Xerez last week in la liga competition, followed by his late brilliant strike last Saturday against “well organized” Deportivo La Cronia, all this lead one to wonder, would Eto’o have been able to juggle a touch of the quality that Zlatan has to place the ball into the white basket so calmly, with so much confidence? As he celebrated the goal before the ball punched the net!
So far, the best of Zlatan came out at the start of the league, as he needed himself in a good performance mainly to gain the public’s faith, many of whom were and maybe still unconvinced with the necessity of his services. He has significantly helped his teammates, as in return he also took his chances from his them perfectly. Messi has been so far his number ‘1’ server. The Ballon d’Or winner has been his main assistant who served him four passes to convert into goals, with the Brazilian winger Daniel Alves and the French defender Eric Abidal providing two assists each.
But, and this is a big but, that does not mean Eto’o is incomparable with the quality of Ibra. Perhaps Eto’o could have scored from the same position taking his assists in a totally different way and less attractive fashion with the ball.
And to answer the claims surrounding Ibrahimovic’s poor record in big games, it is enough to remind you of his striking and winning goal (1-0) in the Clasico against Real Madrid which is considered the biggest and historical game of the season. He came on the pitch in early second half with a straight observation for the game and high motivation, which he spread every time he gets on the pitch. With his presence, Barca has a whole new dimension of football quality that Eto’o failed to bring to the green football table.
Ibra appeal. Yes, his appealing football character that allowed him to slot into Barcelona’s beautiful style perfectly. He said in an interview to Barca TV in his first week after joining the Blugrana: “I’ve joined a winning team. Do you know what this means? You have to get better each day and I am ready for that from now. There is no room to relax, you are the winner and you have to show it in every game. That’s exciting. ”
You are exciting Ibracadabra!! Electrifying your viewers with your magical football, remarkable goal scoring record that respectively raise a thumb for you and despite being a proven player with a terrific league record got off to an outstanding start with the Blugranas in just 15 games so far. He had already won the hearts of Barca and their respect by giving him warm standing ovations every time he steps in or off the pitch.
He is the new Camp Nou hero. Admired for his stylish show, tactical tricks and the classiness performance with the ball together with his commitment to success. He assured the Camp Nou fans “I will be on next year’s Champions League final poster! I will be on the Bernabéu poster (laughs). You’ll see. This is our mentality and our strength. It would be really beautiful to win at the Bernabeu.” Well-said Ibra!
In spite of some may argue the decision to replace the Cameroonian lion (Etoo) with the Swedish magician. In this case I believe it was the right decision to grab Ibrahimovic’s from San Siro to Camp Nou and drive Eto’o on his way to Italian champions Internazionale
p.s With Ibra this current FC Barcelona squad has actually gained the best league start ever in the entire 110-years of the club history with 36 points in 14 games. Another win on Saturday against Espanyol at the Nou Camp, would equal Terry Venables’ team’s 84-85 records of 15 games without defeat.
To answer the title’s question I say, “this is how life sweet for Barca when they have the number ‘9’ as their clock engine, but from a Swedish brand!”

Proud to be a Barcelonista

Posted: January 17, 2010 in Sports

Weam al dakheel

BARÇA, the football inspiration

Since I became conscious of my football instinct, what I always had, and still have Faith in, is Barca. Never matters dropping points, going from superiority to chaos, losing the lead in the league competition and champions league, playing without our cracks (Ibrahimovic, Messi, Henry and Toures) in crucial matches, and never doubted the Catalan alluring football to last, never ever!! Simply because it is Barca, back to the origins of “La Masiah”, will always impress and interest with their Red and Blue Magic.
People started to say end of the hegemony cycle, they are joking? Aren’t they?
While going back to the last crucial games when Barcelona played the Italian leaders Inter Milan in the Champions League and their cocky rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish League (La Liga) they turned the table upside down as leaders in both Leagues, leaving Madrid struggling to catch them, IF THEY CAN, and Inter Milan hoping for a Miracle to happen in San Siro in order to qualify for the champions league.
Beautiful Barca, who is deadly in love with the ball, showed the entire football community once again, that when they turn on their engines, they transform to wild beasts that are hungry for nothing but goals, dedicating their fans prestigious triumphant win that we enjoy with every breath we take for the constant 90 minutes of the game. And still want more!
Although the passionately of playing against Barcelona in front of the crowds of the mighty stadium Camp Nou, every opponent out there will try to stop them instead of playing them. They will try to figure out the magical recipe that would ultimately shush the Catalan powerhouses.
Yes, unfortunately there are teams out there who buried their football style under the grass of Camp Nou the minute they face Barcelona. They are useless teams stupid enough to ruin their year match by floating on the pitch… how pity!! They forget to play their real identity with the ball, and here is the lesson: what you win on one side of the pitch, you may lose in another if not both, maybe in a killing minute. And after all the Defensive efforts, the results would turn morally unaccepted for them beside the animalistic protection they demonstrate on their green box. It is a price they deserve, which is absolutely an appetizing DEFEAT I enjoy the most.
In fact, all the games Barca has played so far this season in all competitions, the opponents are nothing but a bunch of boring defenders who are hypothetically playing the CincoChampions (Five Champions), doing nothing but Running…running…running and running!!
We see dizzy players who cant take the weight of their boots and almost vomiting from the rapid circulation of Barca’s style of play. They are just floating all over the field, and chasing after a dream, to catch the ball.

After all, it is normal to see how Barcelona is envied for their football philosophy that can’t be imitated nor purchased. The perfections itself on the pitch is a mind-blowing, you witness it exploding in Camp Nou and you start mouth-watering hysterically. Absolutely you become in love… from the very first moment with no sense of doubt, Never!!
Really I am overwhelmed, it is such a brilliant job these men are doing, they made all the Barcelonista proud of them, way till the end with no sense of doubt, Never!! It is a message for all, yes, read it well: A Message for All.

Finally, Florentino Peres I say to you, “There is no money in the world that can force or buy Barca’s style, you B…….. Madrista ”