what next after valdes for Barca?

Victor Valdes' decision shocked many fans

You might have heard about news of Victor Valdes‘ decision of not to renew hist contract when it expires at end of 2014 season. If you have missed that, it’s not your fault because football media was fancying on news of Guardiola’s appointment as Bayern Munich manager starting next season. On 18 Jan, valdes’ agent announced ‘irrevocable decision’ of not renewing his contact even with a refusal to sit for a meeting to discuss what club has to offer.

Task of finding a successor for Valdes is a job not easy becuase of their own philosophy on playing style. For all other top clubs, task of a goalkeeper is to make reflexive saves, but in Barcelona keeper has to act, not just react with saves. In Barca, keeper is considered as eleventh outfield player. Barcelona’s defense play high up pitch to keep the team’s shape to be faithful for their attacking philosophy. This add additional responsibility of covering vast amount of pitch by keeper. One on One situations are more frequent in Barca than any other clubs. Another factor is passing ability. In Barcelona, goalkeeper is integral in starting  buildup of play with his passing skills. Hitting long ball is like a last resort. Valdes excelled in all theses characteristics, Barcelona coaches demanded. In past, Barcelona recruited some top custodians in the past, but most failed to fulfill demands Barcelona system asked for. Vitor Baia, Rustu Recber, late Robert Enke all are failed candidates for the job with Barcelona. Robert Enke once mentioned of keeping for Barcelona as the most difficult goalkeeping job in football and there are claims that his depression started due to failures at his times with Barca.

So why Valdes decided not to renew his contract? If we try to find reason behind players leaving Barcelona, it it mostly for first team opportunities or club didn’t want players service anymore for indiscipline, wage demands etc. But case of Valdes is odd if consider his first team opportunities. After all, who wants to leave behind a first team opportunity in the best team in the world? Reason mostly is for living in a new city, new culture and new style of play. As Guardiola reasoned when he finished his Barca career as a player in 2001 saying “we say ‘mes que un club‘ or ‘more than a club’, but I want to find if it’s true by exploring other clubs. Another reason could be a reunion with his former mentor Guardiola in Munich. Presence of Manuel Nuer as an established keeper in Munich is a roadblock for Valdes.

Then who can take most difficult goalkeeping job in football? There is rumors already linking Reina with Barcelona. Error’s by De Gea in Manchester strengthens rumors of his exit and return to Spain. The best solution will be Pepe Reina because he is a La Masia graduate, his understanding about working of club and his father Miguel Reina played for Barca from 1966 to 1973. Another wild rumor echoed in media is a swap of Casillas and Valdes which will not happen due to the hatred feel between their respective clubs.

Valdes and Reina at their times in La Masia

Valdes and Reina at their times in La Masia

Lets keep our fingers crossed till the official announcement comes from Valdes on his next destination and fromclub on the successor of Valdes.

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Ronaldo deserves Ballon D’or for 2012-13


Announcement of FIFA Ballon D’or winner is around the corner. This time Messi, Iniesta and Ronaldo are sharing podium. In recent years, mandate to become ‘Footballer of the year‘ is winning League, UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup or Euro Cup. But this year that rule, there is a high probability to break that rule due to 91 goals Messi scored in this calender year and broke record of Gerd Muller‘s 40 year old goal scoring record. If the selection had happened at the end of season instead of end of year, chance of Messi missing the trophy was unlikely. For UEFA footballer of Year at the end of season, it was not Messi but Iniesta emerged as the winner.

Who do you think should be the winner this year if we consider season to find winner? My vote for this year is for Ronaldo for his mastery in making Real champions of Spain.

Have your say

I’ll be more than happy to have you in the discussions.

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Super star from winter transfer market

So january transfer market is ON. January window is the period for finding replacements for injured or out of form players or a move in search of first team chances by players mostly. Take this year’s examples of Sturridge, rumors on Villa’s move from Barcelona or Ba’s possible move to Chelsea. And when clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool recruited top clas players for trophies, it ended as super flop signings in form of Torres and Carroll. Is there any winter signings that was a super hit?

Eric Cantonna. Yes, Eric Cantonna was a winter signing by Manchester United from leeds for a fee of 1.2 million in 1992. Ferguson’s first choice in the transfer window were David Hirst, Le Tissier and Brian Deane when were in search of a striker. When leed’s chairman Bill Fotherby enquired about availability of Dennis Irwin to United’s chairman Martin Edwards, Fergie was also present with Edwards and both chairman and manager agreed that Irwin is not for sale and they enquired about Cantona‘s availability. Fotherby consulted with Howard Wilkinson on Cantona and agreed to sell him.

That was the start of ‘King Eric’s’ making.

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Arsenal Vs Newcastle

Arsenal defeated Newcastle in a ten goal thriller at Emirates stadium two days back. Theo Walcott scored a hatrick in his new designated role as central striker.

I fontly searched to find if seven is the most goals Arsenal scored in a match along with that 7-5 victory against Reading this year. After analyzing all the scores from their history, found their best in a single match was in 1932/33 season, a score of 9-2 against sheffield United and a 9-1 victory over Grimsby Town in 1931. Another score that amused me was a 6:6 draw against Leicester city. Best high scoring spree I have witnessed till now is the 4:4 draw of Sweeden against Germany recently.

Most by Arsenal in a single match

 Date  Home/Away  Against  Score
04/02/2012 H Blackburn Rovers 7:1
30/10/2012 A Reading FC 7:5
14/01/2006 H Middlesbrough FC 7:0
11/05/2005 H Everton FC 7:0
25/09/1963 A Staevnet København 7:1
01/09/1934 H Liverpool FC 8:1
01/12/1934 H Wolves 7:0
15/12/1934 H Leicester City 8:0
19/04/1935 H Middlesbrough FC 8:0
29/10/1932 H Leicester City 8:2
24/12/1932 H Sheffield United 9:2
25/02/1933 H Blackburn Rovers 8:0
28/01/1931 H Grimsby Town 9:1
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Happy X’Mas and New Year

On the eve of Christmas and New Year, ‘ll take this opportunity to remind you few words from Kaka while receiving prize for FIFA World Player of Year in 2007/08 season. 

“It’s really special for me-it was a dream for me just to play for Sao Paulo and one game for Brazil. But the Bible says God can give you more than you even ask for and that is what has happened in my life”.

All my friends, I’m using this post to wish you all Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Lets have a wonderful and safe celebration’s. 

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Lyon: Lion’s of France

PSG Vs Lyon

PSG Vs Lyon

Today Lyon visit Paris to extend their lead to 6 while PSG trying to equal Lyon in points. These days, PSG is always there in news be it for their next superstar to be signed, Guardiola or Mourinho the successor to coach them.

While PSG is in a mission to win League title after long 19 years, last decade Lyon got bored winning it for seven times consecutively between 2001-02 to 2007-08. No other teams from major league were able to dominate their league for such a long period. In Italy, Juve(1931-35), Torino(1942-48) and Inter(2005-10) recorded 5 consecutive league wins. In Spain, Real Madrid also did it between 1986-1990 for 5 times. Even though Lyon dominated in domestic level, they were not able to translate that into European competition. Their best performance was a semifinal defeat in 2010 against Van Gaal’s Bayern Munich.

Do you believe, had they kept stars like Essien, Mahamadou Diarra, Malouda, Abidal, Benzema they would have performed better in Europe?

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Argentina vs Brazil football rivalry

Argentina against Brazil is a football rivalry that can pull audiences from whole world. They both are powerful nations in South America but there is no dispute between them politically. This rivalry is purely on footballing terms. Some times it goes beyond the limit as it happened this week for Copa Sudamericana final between Sao Paolo(Brazil) vs Tigre(Argentina). Officials representing Tigre claimed guns were pulled on them by security staff’s in Morumbi stadium, Sao Paolo.

This is not for the first time that police intervened when clubs or national team clashed each other. In 1946, for south american championship Brazil visited Argentina for the last game with trailing by one point to Argentina. Intensity of match was heightened due to an incident in the first leg in Brazil when Ademir of Brazil had broken Argentina defender Jose Batagliero’s leg in a 6-2 victory for Brazil. Argentina got a 2 goal lead through Norberto Mendez and fights started when Jair injured Salomon, breaking his tibia and fibula in a tackle that brought an end to the Argentina captain’s top-class career. Team mates of both Argentina and Brazil came to protect their team mates and chaos escalated when around 500 people invaded pitch. Riot police had to intervene and Brazilians were escorted into dressing room. Game recommenced later and trouble continued when Ademir came as a substitute were punched in his face. With no further goals, Argentina won match and trophy. It took a decade to see Argentina and Brazil playing against each other.

In another event, Brazilian police arrested  Leandro Desabato, a Quilmes defender while playing against Sao Paolo in Copa Libertadores match in Brazil in 2005 for making racist comments against Grafite. Desabato and Grafite confronted at 44th minute of match and consequently Desabato made racist comment on Grafite which recorded in televisions.

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