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Joseph Blatter’s words do harm March 1, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Colombia, News and politics, Soccer.
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If FIFA’s purpose is to make to world a better place to live in, its president’s declarations regarding the assignment of the host country for the 2014 World Cup don’t help much.

Colombia is a country that has suffered through a lot of violence and injustice in the last 50 years, and recently it seems like the country has seen much improvement, as far as security and economic development, it could be said it is the best the country has been in the last 20 years. Last year, Colombia’s president decided to bid to be host of the 2014 World Cup, competing with Brazil for it since it has been said that hosting the Wordl Cup that year corresponds to a South American country. Even though it does seem like Brazil would be a much stronger candidate for several reasons, only the idea of making the try to compete for it should be supported by FIFA authorities. The government of Colombia is serious that it will make the biggest effort possible to make Colombia a strong candidate, and has been working for it.

Yesterday, in a series of declarations regarding future world cup assignments, Joseph Blatter, FIFA president, put a big road block to Colombia’s bid. In his declarations, Blatter said that Colombia’s bid is “mora a public relations presentation” to hide Colombia’s real problems, and make Colombia appear on international headlines for things other than violence in the country. Now, I wonder if Blatter knows the extent of his words. I mean, even if this was real, even if the real possibility of Colombia hosting the biggest sporting event in the world is very remote, Blatter should at least support the effort that the country is making, focus more on Colombia’s real improvements, and see what kind of a candidate Colombia can make.

Instead of this, Blatter went even further saying that if Brazil and Colombia don’t make strong candidates, then “we would go north instead as the logical thing”, like if going North was the logical thing these days, especially when there is so much inequality in the world; countries from the “South” need more support instead of disregarding words like those. Furthermore, on top of this, Mr. FIFA president decided to open the possibility for yet another World Cup in the US for 2018. No that I have anything against the US, (actually I do have a few things against some of their actions and policies), but the US is not even a country where soccer is that relevant. Maybe Joseph liked too much all the money that was made there in 1994, and would like to repeat the feat.

It looks like Blatter got up with his Corporate, big-marketing, money-making instinct yesterday morning. His words do more harm than perhaps he realizes, and go against what FIFA proclaims, which is helping to create “Fair Play”, and equality in the world. C’mon, Sepp, if you can’t say anything to help for justice in the world, at least let countries work for it, and keep your mouth shut.


Understanding Zidane July 24, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Life in general, Soccer, World Cup 2006.
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Something happened to me last weekend that made me that made me understand a bit more what Zidane did at the world cup final. This may be obvious, but when somebody is talking too much, and you want them to stop doing it, and they make you loose your cool with their words, violence comes, as you think it is the only way to bring things to an end.

What happened to me last weekend was similar to Zidane’s case in that there was this guy who was drunk and annoying, and he started harassing my girlfriend friend, and obviously that got me upset, so I went to him and told him to stop it, but they guy only got more annoying, and started saying insults, and all that. It doesn’t really matter what this guy said, but when he got so annoying, I totally lost my cool, and jsut wanted to beat the “#$%*&%” out of him. I hit him on the face a couple of times, broke a camera he was using to annoy people, and threw his sunglasses on the floor… The guy never did anything other than saying annoying things, I don’t know if it was because he was so drunk, or because he is just such a wimp. After that, the security people separated us, and I went back to my table, but the guy still would not shut up, so I got up, confronted him again, and told him to go outside with me to resolve any problem that he had…. The security guys of the place saw me confronting him for the second time, and even though I hadn’t been the initiator, and I was the sober one, they kicked me out of the place….

Making the connection to the Zidane case, you can say that he probably didn’t initiate things (who knows)…. But the thing is that as a human you can really loose control of yourself when others are too annoying, and maybe Zidane did get hurt if the words were insults to members of his family. This doesn’t justify anything, as Zidane should have kept his cool, just like I should have as well on my incident, but personally I think I understand a little bit what was going through Zidane’s head when he head butted Materazzi.

Good Ending to the world cup. July 10, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.

I liked the final of the FIFA world cup. In the end, Italy prevailed, and that was my favorite team. As for the game itself, I think it was pretty good, although at times it seemed like Italy was giving up on he attack, and France seemed really dangerous. Especially Henry, who I thought was the best French player yesterday. Now, let Italians celebrate, they deserve it. Throughout the world cup this team grew on me after I didn’t even think they would make it past the group stage.

Now what is really interesting is the way in which Zidane decided to end his career. I mean, is this guy out of his mind, or what? How to explain his childish reaction? Zidane had the opportunity to retire in fashion, with the world at his feet, as a hero, but instead he chose to end his career as a jerk. I will never be able to understand how one of the “greatest” (or at least one of the most talented) players in history is able to loose his head like that and react in that way. Some say it is exhaustion, or all the pressure of the moment, etc. but still, I am sure he’s gone through similar situations before, so I don’t know how he could react like that in the most important game of his life. What Materazzi told Zidane is another thing that will remain as an enigma forever….

Now, how can a guy like this win the Golden Ball of the world cup? This time I really disagree with the result. Zidane did not deserve this, especially after what he did in the final.

Unfortunately, the media will talk about Zidane’s stupidity as much as about Italy’s victory, when it should be all about Italy and their well deserved fourth world cup. 

So, good for Italy, bad for Zidane, great for Football all over ther world, what a great World cup!!! Now, waht are we going to do now with no world cup soccer every day?….  I’ll miss the world cup 

Just another world cup blog (world cup semis) July 6, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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So I thought I’d write a few lines about the latest results on the world cup just because I haven’t commented on the topic in a few days, but really not because the results have me exited. Don’t get me wrong, I was relieved that Italy beat Germany, but as I’ve said before, I would have much rather seen Argentina there instead if Germany.

The Italy-Germany game was pretty good, I have to say. In spite of the 0-0 in the 90 minutes, I liked the game. And then, in the extra time, I loved what I saw. No midfields, just give-and-take football, from one side to the other, with desperation, exhaustion, passion… Both teams were giving everything they had. I really liked those 30 minutes of football. (Should they get rid of midfielders to make soccer faster-paced?… I know this is just a utopia.) And then, in the end, seeing two excellent goals to close up from Italy made me love this team, which was my favorite from before the game, and now makes it my preferred team to win the cup… Yes, I WILL BE CHEERING FOR ITALY.

There is really not much to say about the other semifinal. It was a much more boring game, nothing really to talk about, not even goals as France just scored on a penalty shot. I wanted Portugal to get through, but they didn’t really show much to deserve it. Not that France showed much more, but at least they had that penalty. Crsitiano Ronaldo showed some interesting stuff, and that is it. I don’t like the French team.

So, the final should be interesting (hopefully) I think Italy will win, but so far my predictions for this world cup have been pretty off, so I don’t know….

Broken Heart…. June 30, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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What a heart breaking loss for Argentina… Unbelievably, after I thought it was a secure win, the Germans tied the game, and won in penalty shootouts. My favorite team is out of the world cup, so that, together with Spain’s earlier elimination, makes my two favorite teams of this world cup be surprisingly eliminated.

I really don’t know who to cheer for now, not that I care too much at this point. If logic prevails, (which it never has in world cups) Brazil and Germany would play the final. BORING. I mean, not that I have anything against Brazil, but really, personally I am a bit tired of seeing them always in the final, plus they are just starting to show some good soccer, after a pair of horrible games in the first round. As for Germany, I really don’t care at all for them. They have shown some force, and achieved results, but really I don’t like that team.

We will see what happens between Brazil and France, and England and England and Portugal. I have to say that of the teams still alive in the world cup, I would like to see England prevail. For some reason I like England in this world cup much better than any of the other teams.

Most of my interest for the world cup has gone. Argentina and Spain eliminated, I really don’t care too much for the remaining teams…. nobody to be exited about. I just hope there will be some good games left…

Spain… same as always June 27, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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Good Bye, Spain, seems to be something very, very usual in world cups”

There is definitely something going on with Spain. They will never be able to win, or even get to a world cup final game. The story of today is nothing new: Spain, has a great team, but still gets eliminated in the early stages of the world cup. This has been the case for every world cup that I can remember. Really sad, if you ask me.

Let’s now wait to see what happens with France and Brazil… Looks like Brazil has better chances here, and as usual, they will find their way to the final, as I don’t think either England or Portugal have what it takes to beat Brazil. I hoped for Spain, but it’s been demonstrated that in World Cups it takes more than a good team to get far, something that obviously Brazil has, and Spain absolutely lacks.
Get set for an all-South American final, just like we saw in the Olimpic Games.

I know I am getting ahead of myself, but this is where things are leading us now….


Where did good quality football go? June 26, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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After seeing the result from the Italy-Australia game in the round of 16, only one thing comes to my mind about this round of the world cup… Where is the good quality soccer that we saw in the first round?

So far we’ve seen boring games, where the teams that are supposed to be favorites haven’t really shown clarity, and the “underdogs” never really showing to be a threat. We’ve seen tangled-up games decided by one goal, and literal battles, like the one seen between Portugal and Holland, but none of the good soccer with lots of goals seen in the first round. In the end, the teams that were expected to win have won, but not in a convincing way. Is it the pressure of the knock-out round? Who knows…

Mexico Dissapoints in the first round June 21, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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Mexico's performance in this now ending first round of the world cup has been really disappointing. All three games that they've played have lacked clarity; they have been boring games, in which honestly I have nearly fallen asleep. And then the results also speak for themselves: They barely beat Iran in a game that was really really complicated, they could not get it done with Angola, and they lost against Portugal in the last game. Only a Win and a tie for mexico, who has not lived up to the expectations that being a seed mean.

They go on to the next round, but that was more than expected, as rivals Angola and Iran really are not world class. With Portugal Mexico did not show anything, they had the ball for the most part of the second half, but it was more because Portugal just wanted to hold the score, and let Mexico do the hard work, and then there was Omar Bravo: a missed penalty, and a clear one-on-one opportunity that he also missed all within two minutes…. The guy really pissed me off. Portugal was the better team in this group, and they deserve to go on now, more than Mexico.

What is going on with Brazil? June 18, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.

Today's game in spite of the victory was very poor for Brazil. You know, as a fan you expect all the beauty, and the magic that has brought Brazil to 5 world championsips. This team is full of stars; these players are capable individually to make any team on earth a good team. So, why can't they shine in the same way in this world cup? Today Austraila were able to complicate things for them, I never saw any clarity, and Australia even had more shots on goal than Brazil did on the first half. Granted, in today's soccer it is really easy for a team to play defensively, and prevent their opponents to score, or play smoothly, however this is Brazil we are talking about here. They know that any other team that they play will be an underdog with them, and that all teams will play with the goal of "not loosing" instead of winning against Brazil. I have to say that perhaps Parreira, Brazil's coach is not doing such a good job in planning the matches. Brazil should be able to come up with a system that can overcome the defensive game of all the otehr teams that they face.

Anotehr concern is: What is happening to Ronaldo? you can only feel bad for the guy. Whenever he steps on the field, everyone expects so much from hmi. Right now he looks overweight, slow, lacking distance… Is this another case of too much pressure? Is he healthy enough? Remember that this last week he had to be taken to the hospital due to some dizziness that he was experiencing… Are the ghosts from the '98 final coming back? As you can see, there are more questions then answers with Ronaldo. I consider that if he needs so sit a game out, he should. Brazi has plenty of other good players.

So, this Brazilian team is worrying me. Not because I want them to win. I actually would like to see other teams other than Brazil getting to the final, but as a soccer fan you always expect so much from Brazil. You want to see that magic, that touch that make these samba boys be regerded as the best players in the world.


It is great to see upsets like today’s June 18, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2006.
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After today’s world cup games, I have nothing to say other than expressing how great Ghana’s victory was. I don’t have anything against the Czech Republic, in fact, coming into this tournamet I thought they were one ofr the great teams, and that just adds to the sweetness of Ghana’s first world cup vitory ever. This also adds to the greatness of the game of football. Seeing an underdog win in the way that the black stars did, is great. They absolutely dominated the game, it is not like the goals were just lucky plays. Ghana dominated the ball for the whole game, and the got their very well deserved W. Good for them.

A word on the USA-Italy game…. Is this really the 3-time champion Italian team that I am seeing? Where is their class and strength with the ball? It was a very boring game… It was a tie, and some say that the red cards for the US were unfare…. What if the US had played with 11 men throughout the game??? Very very scary for Italy….