La Furia Roja vs. Gli Azzurri: Who’s ready for the final?
We have had a truly magnificent Euro 2012. Somehow, the stars aligned in Poland and Ukraine and we had a tournament filled with goals, tactics, and some of the the best football to be found, anywhere. But two nations are into the final, and rightfully so. Pirlo and Balotelli have made Italians proud of their national team once again. For Xavi, Iniesta, Iker, and the rest of the Spaniards, it’s essentially been business as usual. Tiki taka will be the main force at the final, but Italy will do everything in their power to avoid defeat against the Spanish for the second time in the tournament.
“Finally it’s Camp Mou”: The global media reflects on Real Madrid’s victory against Barcelona.
Sport: Farewell to the league. FC Barcelona said goodbye to the League after losing to Real Madrid in a disappointing game.
Mundo Deportivo: Barca says goodbye to the league. The Madrid win in Camp Nou and already has seven points of advantage in the absence of four days.
Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy): Finally it’s Camp Mou.
L’Equipe (France): The true measure of the champion.
Corrire della Sera (Italy): Mourinho, with the league in his hands. The Real blow to Barcelona.
Olé (Argentina): Must be acknowledged. This time, the duel between Messi and Ronaldo was for the Portuguese, who gave the victory in Camp Nou to Real Madrid and above all leads the scorers’ table with 42 goals.
A Bola (Portugal): Ronaldo decided the superclasico.
Record (Portugal): The calm of Ronaldo. CR7 makes the difference at the Camp Nou. Khedira opened the scoring, Alexis tied and Ronaldo settled the match.
The Sun (Great Britain): Joy for Mou at the Nou.
El Nuevo Herald (United States): Real Madrid wins 2-1 to Barcelona and moves away to the top.
Lance (Brasil): CR7 decides against Barca and Real close to the title.
Alessandro Nesta and The Classiest Moment at the Camp Nou last night
35 years old. 78 caps for Italy. 19 years of club football calcio in Italy. For Milan fans, for Italians across the world, Alessandro Nesta is a man that makes you proud to be associated with him in any way, shape, or form. Though Thiago Silva may have stolen the show at the Camp Nou last night with a last minute equaliser that allowed the match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan to finish 2-2. But the headlines only tell so much of the story. Nesta put in a performance that resembled his best days from 8 or 9 years. He never backed down against an opponent, his timing on every tackle was impeccable, and his unparalleled defensive instincts could be seen from anywhere in the stadium. This moment, this sublime tackle against the best player in the world has shown another generation of fans what true legends in this game are made of.
At the end of the 2009-10 season, Granada CF and Barcelona B finished first and second in the third tier of Spanish football, both gaining promotion to Liga Adelante. This past season, Barcelona B finished 3rd and Granada finished 5th.
Promotion into La Liga is almost identical to promotion into the Premier League. That is, the best two sides in the league go directly into La Liga while the next four battle it out in promotion playoffs. However, there’s one caveat. Barcelona B could not compete for promotion into La Liga because it is part of FC Barcelona and two sides from the same club cannot play in the same league. Instead, 7th place Real Valladolid was able to take on 4th place Elche CF in the playoff semifinals. Elche progressed into the promotion final in dramatic fashion, as did Granada. One Spanish club from Andalusia and one from the province of Alicante, it all seemed so straightforward.
However, when Granada faced Celta Vigo this past Saturday in the playoff semifinal, 6 out of the 11 starters were Udinese-owned. In fact, 11 players on the Granada roster are “on loan” from the Italian club, including starlets such as Dani Benitez (pictured above) and internationals such as Ghana’s Jonathan Mensah. Simply, the majority of Granada’s squad is an Udinese B filled with Spanish flair. Where the rules stopped this year’s Barça B squad from progressing, Udinese used a different country to push forward. And now, after the two matches in the playoff final on Wednesday and Saturday, Udine could essentially have a team in both Serie A and La Liga. An Italian job indeed.