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QUOTE(and the NEW @ May 27 2008, 10:20 AM) [snapback]390720[/snapback]
Oh god, now we just bought Pique. drag.gif

Definately not sold on him, but hey, cannot do any worse than their current defence, despite the high profile names!

Pique looks assured enough in defence but the thing I didn't like about him was his pace. He's so slow. He was never going to dislodge either Rio or Vidic for us so a move back to the club he's always supported is great for him.

Mourinho it seems, will be Inter manager within 48 hours but why are they replacing Mancini (if the reports are true)? I don't understand that at all and talk that Mourinho will bring in Lampard, Carvalho and Drogba are nothing but speculation. Can Inter afford those 3? I mean, Chelsea aren't going to give them away as a gift to Mourinho afterall and besides, Frank Lampard is the most overrated peice of shit I have ever seen play. He's been a disgrace for England, a player I absolutely loathe and I hope he does go...just so I don't have to see him score 20 deflected goals a season!

Drogba is doubt about it and that is good news for the Premier League because he is a despicable man - one of the most hated players the English league has ever seen and after his petulance during the champions league final even the Chelsea fans have turned on him. Karma!

So who is going to be the next Chelsea boss? Mancini, Riijkaard, Deschamps, Hiddink...shit even Roy Keane and Mark Hughes have been linked with the vacancy lately! Whoever gets it has a difficult job. They have to win the Champions League and the Premier League or they are sacked and to be honest I very much doubt they will win either next season.

United continue to be linked with Alves and Fabiano...I hope we don't sign either. I rate them, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to lose players to International tournaments such as the Copa America or the Olympics...we already have Tevez and Anderson who will have to travel to these International games (granted, Tevez has been given a rest at the moment) but to have two more South Americans won't do us any good.

Oh and if these Ronaldo rumours don't cease quickly I'd have to hold my hands up and say "sell him!" I'm sick of it. He either stays with us or asks to leave. One way or the other I want it wrapped up within the next week. It's doing my head in.
If Drogba is gone(Inter can't afford him I don't think but don't quote me on that), then that opens the doors for Chelsea to buy Villa. But I don't know how willing they'll be to give Valencia the 40 million euros they're asking for. And if this move occurs after the Euro Cup, Villa will probably be at 45 million, if he's able to score 5 goals or so in the tournament. This is too complicated. This issue is really pissing me off and I wish it would just get settled already, regardless of how it ends up. If he leaves, I hope he goes to Barca, or maybe Chelsea. Arsenal are surrounded by fools so I don't want to see that anymore.

Mourinho will just make the team ultra defensive, but even at that, they'll still be hard to beat. Even harder probably. Both Deco and Lampard would come cheap. Neither guy is all that young, and Deco has been very injury prone these past couple of seasons. Inter won't have to pay much for them. But Drogba would be expensive I think. I think at least 25 million he would cost.

The favorites to land the Chelsea job are Rijkaard and Deschamps I hear. Chelsea are the Real Madrid of the PL in that if you don't win any silverware, you are sacked no matter what. But I could see them winning the Champions League next season, and we all know that no matter what, they'll always be in the race for the PL. Just too much talent there to not compete at the top.

Luis Fabiano is a player I like, but he's too volatile. He needs to learn to control himself out there. He's a strong player and very fast and skillful. If his head's right, he can be something special. Danny Alvez seems more keen on joining Barcelona. He's pushed for that move for the past few months it seems and I think its just a matter of Barca tying up a few loose ends and they have him.

The Ronaldo saga is out of control. The latest is that Man United are "not prepared" to give Ronaldo the contract he really wants despite him being the 2nd highest paid player in the world I think it is, behind Kaka. I don't understand Ronaldo's rush. He has plenty of time to go to Spain. He's got many years left and he's just won a double with Man United something that is rarely done. Just nuts this is.
QUOTE(PR316 @ May 27 2008, 11:31 AM) [snapback]390727[/snapback]
The Ronaldo saga is out of control. The latest is that Man United are "not prepared" to give Ronaldo the contract he really wants despite him being the 2nd highest paid player in the world I think it is, behind Kaka. I don't understand Ronaldo's rush. He has plenty of time to go to Spain. He's got many years left and he's just won a double with Man United something that is rarely done. Just nuts this is.

From Sporting Life.

Manchester United have insisted they may report Real Madrid to FIFA over their public pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Premier League and European champions issued a statement this evening describing their "growing irritation" at continuing comments seemingly emerging from the Spanish club concerning their interest in the Portugal attacker.

The statement, released on their website,, said: "Manchester United has watched with growing irritation the comments attributed to Real Madrid over their alleged desire to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

"The facts are: the player is on a long-term contract and his registration is held by Manchester United; The player is not for sale.

"The club will have no alternative but to report Real Madrid to the world governing body, FIFA, if it continues to behave in this totally unacceptable fashion. These public attempts to unsettle the player are completely against the regulations and the club will not tolerate them any longer.

"In addition, the club is certain that they are a distraction for the Portuguese national squad as they prepare for the European Championships. No one should be in any doubt that Manchester United will do everything in its power to keep its best players."

Madrid coach Bernd Schuster confirmed Ronaldo is his club's number one summer transfer target.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already voiced his dislike of Madrid touting for Ronaldo, pointing out their major domestic rivals, Barcelona, refrain from public expressions of admiration for other clubs' players.

That tactic has worked for Barca in securing the services of United defender Gerard Pique on a four-year contract today.

But with any softly-softly approach for Ronaldo almost certain to meet with failure, Real have decided to come out all guns blazing.

And Schuster's latest comments seem to have prompted a curt response from United today.

Ferguson is sure to be infuriated by Schuster referring to the 23-year-old in a manner that would suggest the signing has virtually been completed.

"There are other players we have been looking at but everything has slowed down a little due to all this Cristiano Ronaldo business, seeing as he is the big priority for the club," said Schuster.

"The English way has been a perfect education for a player with such exceptional individual talent.

"There he has learned to enjoy his football as a complete professional. This means we would get a Cristiano who would arrive here with his lessons learned."

Given such a statement, Ferguson is probably glad he is due to embark on his annual summer holiday next week, thus avoiding what is sure to be a regular stream of stories linking Ronaldo with a move to Madrid.

For his part, the United boss is adamant Ronaldo neither wants to, nor will be, leaving Old Trafford this summer, claiming last week the acid test of the relationship between player and club will not be faced for another two years.

By that time, Ferguson expects his team to have added at least one more European Cup to a tally they took to three with their penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea in Moscow last week.

In addition, they could have overtaken Liverpool's record of 18 English championships; United moving to within one with their latest success, the 10th of Ferguson's 23-year stint as manager.

Not that Real are likely to be dissuaded by history.

Although they, like United, have won back-to-back titles, European success has remained frustratingly out of reach since 2002 for the nine-time winners, a record Schuster is determined to put right with Ronaldo leading the charge.

"Cristiano would help us in a lot of ways, without a doubt, but we can't stop with just him," he explained.

"He'll be expensive and we'll have to pay a lot of money, but we need more players because he won't be enough.

"For a few months now we have had a plan and we know what we want, but now Alexander Hleb has been added to that plan.

"We didn't know he would be able to leave Arsenal, but now it seems he will."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be about as happy with Schuster as Ferguson but the German, who has impressed at Real since replacing England boss Fabio Capello at the end of last season, is not likely to be influenced by that.

He certainly does not see the man expected to be confirmed as the world's best player in December being a problem to his squad, no matter what massive price tag is attached and what attention he attracts. After all, this is the club that signed David Beckham.

"In this Madrid side, the kid wouldn't create any problems," he said.

"For the fans this signing would be an amazing explosion similar to what happened here when Beckham arrived.

"This isn't England, and that change will affect him. We have to be clever about this and sort this problem out for the kid."

and the NEW
Pique, slow, exactly my point.

I would like to see Hiddink at Chelsea, but it won't happen. Deschamps, definately like to see how he would go. Mancini is a dikc!

Mourinho will def sign there at Inter after the Mancini sacking! I think Lamps and Deco would be cheap and while neither are the best in the business, both are very good players.

Ronaldo, I'm over the speculation, what is done will be done. Villa is in this same boat.

Drogba is gone.

At least Real Madrid who won the title last season, still sacked their coach due to the boring play! Now that, I respect!

Fabiano, IMHO is a better goal getter than Rooney, Tevez or Saha. I would welcome him with open arms at Barca, but think he would do even better in the Premier League. I see him with 20 plus goals a season in a United shirt. I would be jealous if you signed him and we got Pique instead! sad.gif

I am still not sold on Alvez, while I don't doubt his free kick ability or his dribbling and passing, he is not a defensive rock on any accounts. Bad news for Barca. This transfer season is prooving very disappointing! Maybe not even a CL place next season! Messi has a big task on his hands, the way Ronnie did when he signed all those years ago!

Barca should be going for guys like Carvalho, Alex from Chelsea, Lucio, Richards, Cris (from Lyon), Gallas, Toure, I am sure all these guys could be swayed with the right offer and all are world class defenders. Selling Ronaldinho, Deco, Edmilson, will bring in enough cash for two of these guys! And Barca are not exactly struggling for dough. I hope Pep is having a say in these transfers and really knows what his doing!
One thing that has really disappointed me is that Ronnie has not come out and spoken of the situation. We don't have HIS SIDE of the story. I think for the fans and for the media to stop with their crap, Ronnie should have at least taken the time to address the issue. I'm not saying the man doesn't deserve to have his vacation in Brazil but I don't like the idea of giving the world of football the "silent treatment." I think he should just be honest and say "Yeah we're working on a deal with AC Milan because things at Barcelona aren't going well for my career at the moment" or something to that extent. I think it would aleve alot of speculation for fans and most of all for HIMSELF... I think it would give Ronnie that peace of mind as well which is what any player needs if he's to commit fully to the cause regardless of what club he plays for.

I don't think anything is certain as far as Drogba, Ronaldo and Villa go. The world of football is so strange and often has no reasons or explanations as to why things are done the way they're done.

Capello was sacked for boring football yes, but more than that, he was sacked because he was a PRICK... Plain and simple. The man just had no respect. Very much a character like Mourinho.

Fabiano has developed into quite a player. If he ever got a grip of his ego and bad attitude, he would be even more coveted. Ferguson wouldn't put up with any of his antics, thats for sure. But there's no denying that he would score alot of goals in the PL.

The thing with Danny Alvez is that he's YOUNG.. Still only 22 I believe. I remember Miguel in his younger days in Valencia and he wasn't a great pure defender either, but did improve with good coaching and most of all, TIME.... I think Danny Alvez will also improve that area of his game. He's a strong bastard I must say that. I've seen him throw around Villa and Adebayor like its nothing. He LOVES the physical contact aspect of the game. I think with some proper coaching he can mature and develop more.

A club like Barca will always have the money. I wouldn't be worried about that. Barca have been very clear about this so far. 40 million for Eto'o, and 40 million for Ronaldinho. NOTHING LESS. If Milan want Ronnie, they'll have to cough up, period. Same thing with the likes of Tottenham and Inter who seem intent on signing Eto'o. Thats a big price tag there. And it always comes down to a battle of egos with neither side willing to be budged at the negotiating table. Milan I last heard, have put up 25 million for Ronaldinho, and will make that their final offer. Its up to Ronnie to push for his own move. I've heard about the possibility of him paying his own buyout clause and thats always possible but being that he hasn't done that(We know he has more than enough money to do so), I'm starting to now question just how badly he really wants out of Barca. I don't know. I mean last year Beckham and Ronaldo pushed HARD for their own transfers out of Real Madrid and got them. Surely Ronnie could do the same if he wants out so badly right??..
and the NEW
Wasn't Beckham more thrown out......?

But yes, he should push harder if he wants.

I heard the sporting director of Barca (cannot spell his name) saying they had a meeting and decided they would keep the core of players that won them the CL in their squad rebuild. As Ronaldinho and Eto'o were certainly pivitol, it could potentially mean they still want to keep them. You never know what Pep is saying and doing behind the scenes. Though, the sale of Deco looks imminent and he was still a vital memeber of the team.

Ronnie has always kept quiet, I have only heard him state he is happy with his life and is sorting things out. Though, no doubt he should have defended himself with his stats last season when everybody was criticising him. May have made the media think twice, but nobody bought it up. Nobody can deny he CARRIED the team last season, in both the CL and the League, of which they were unlucky against Liverpool thanks to Valdez (which again, was somehow blamed on Ronnie) and were leading the League for most of the season, despite Eto'o and Messi both out, again, not spoken of. With Ronnie the only man scoring!

Again, not spoken of.

Capello is no doubt a prick, didn't see the England V USA game, how did it look?

I will be happy if we get Alvez and he turns out to be as good defensively as Miguel!

There is no denying the quality of Fabiano IMO, but somebody needs to teach the man to fight if he keeps up his attitude, LOL!!!!! His fight last season was too funny, worse than two woman!
Its funny because Capello actually wanted to keep Beckham and tried to get Calderon to convince him to stay, but it was already too late as Becks had already made the deal for his big move to the US. Ronaldo on the other hand was more or less thrown out. He had numerous spats with Capello over showing up late to training(Sometimes not showing up at all), hung over, too much partying, drinking, women, and nightlife(Hell I've been guilty of this too, LOL) and was overweight and supposedly "Not willing to work hard for the team", words from Fabio himself. Capello pretty much gave him the Ronald Koeman treatment and held a meeting with him telling him that he didn't want him on the team anymore and told him to look for another club because he would never play for Real Madrid again. Ronaldo immediately negotiated his release and big move to AC Milan, and Milan were able to get him for about 20 million euros I believe it was.

Ronnie's situation is more complicated because as I said, he hasn't exactly pushed for his move and NOBODY really knows what he wants to do(With the exception of his brother). The 40 million price tag is probably the road block that Barca and AC Milan have hit in not being able to secure the transfer and Laporta will not accept anything less apparentley.

Manchester City have offered 35 million. They've also given Barca a deadline. I doubt this move occurs but you never know in football. Things happen for no apparent reasons at times.

Ronnie ABSOLUTELY needs to defend himself. There is no reason he should just sit quietly and allow the media and others to dirty his name. He's given too much of himself for Barcelona and basically WILLED the team 2 seasons ago to a 2nd place finish in La Liga which could have easily been a 1st place finish if Barca's defense would have helped a bit more. I think his keeping quiet and just disappearing is what has turned most Barca fans against him, along with his supposed drinking, partying, and women. I think if comes out and clears the air on the situation, it would cool off all the unnecessary drama surrounding it.

You guys are after a striker it seems, having been linked with Ibrahimovic, Villa, Huntelaar, Benzema, and Adebayor. The latter 2 are overrated I feel, though they're good players. Not Barcelona material IMO. Of the first 3, either would be a good addition. If you want a big strong clinical finisher, Huntelaar is your man. Villa provides link up play and great free kicks, while Ibrahimovic brings another creative spark and laser like passes. The latter 2 are good young talents but very inconsistent in front of goal. Adebayor also brings in a huge ego and I hear from Arsenal fans that he's bad influence in the locker room, training ground, and off the pitch competely. You guys don't need any of that.

Fabiano now needs to learn how to throw a punch. Horrible technique. Now he is a slapper!.. LOL... That was definitely pretty embarrassing.

BTW, Mourinho will earn a reported 9 MILLION EUROS A SEASONS with Inter. LOL... Isn't that what Real Madrid is trying to offer Cristiano Ronaldo??... LOL!!!...

Also LMAO at Manchester City trying to make Ronald Koeman their next manager. I guess they're looking for a top 18 finish??... They're really aiming high arent' they!!...ROTFLMAO!!!... Top quality stuff!!!... So much ambition and desire.. LOL.... Just look at what he did at Benfica and Valencia. Classic management.
and the NEW
ha ha, I hope they don't get Koeman!

May get Rijkaard instead! ha ha. Though he could well sign at Chelsea!

I saw we have our eye on Ibrahimavic, I would be a happy happy man to land him! Infact, I would be ecstatic! But I don't think Inter would let him go anytime soon! Adebayor, I actually like his style of play and think his presence in the air would be great for Barca! They have absolutely no arial threat! With Ronnie probably scoring the most headers and he is by no means great in the air!

I would also be very very happy if we land Villa. Don't want to see Benzema or Huntelaar. Don't rate the former too highly and the later does not fit the sytle of play at Barca. Not quick enough, or overly technically gifted IMO.

Villa or Ibrahimavic, heck, bring them both in and sell Henry and Eto'o! At least it would get rid of two huge egos!

Eto'o does have an ego but at the very least he works hard out there. VERY HARD... Henry is a guy that likes to be the star of the show and that was the problem at Arsenal the last 2 seasons he was there. Then again we can't say Arsenal are that much better off because they're trophy less again. Fabregas is better off though. Henry's problem is that if he isn't in the center demanding the ball all the time, then he can't play comfortably.

Ibra would be an awesome addition to La Liga, let alone Barcelona themselves. I think the Barca board are going to pay HUGE ATTENTION to the Euro Cup in order to make their big decision in regards to bringing in a striker if Eto'o indeed does decide to leave. Ibrahimovic, Villa, Huntelaar, and Benzema have all been linked with Barca and I'm pretty sure are all being monitored. Its possible that a direct swap for Ibrahimovic with Eto'o going to Inter occurs, for that has been talked about.

If you guys get Adebayor, it wouldn't be a bad buy but I do think you'll find yourself screaming at how many easy shots he misses. It drives Arsenal fans nuts.

and the NEW
Yeh, though you never really see direct swaps, so doubt that would happen. But imagine, two swaps, Kaka and Ibra for Ronaldinho and Eto'o, damn! Different squad that would be! Not quiet as many goals in the former pair though.

Adebayor does miss a few, but he also creates. He is pretty quick, strong, skillful, good in the air and does have some great technical ability on occassions. Some of those goals last season were amaizing! The ones he bought down on his chest perfectly and then put away in one shot.

Barca are also heavily linked to Hleb (who apparently is not so keen on Inter having to work under Mourinho), I am starting to become more interested in the Barca moves now! Some of the names they are at least linked too are world class once again! But they are missing the vital element, some great centre backs! One who really impresses me is Carvalho, and being from Portugal, I am sure Barca could land him if they wanted.
Latest news on the Cristiano Ronaldo saga... Brace yourselves my friends.

Cristiano's God father in Portugal recently spoke with the Spanish media while the Portuguese national team gears up for Euro 2008.

According to him, Cristiano has made up his mind that he will go to Real Madrid...... He will announce it after Euros.

Scolari has also been in Ronaldo's ear the whole time while in Portugal, telling him that its a great opportunity that may not come again. Ronaldo is reportedly "Open to offers" according to those close to him, but it now seems imminent. Cristiano will be a Real Madrid player next season. Sad for the Man United fans certainly. But great for Spanish football overall along with Real Madrid whom you guys know I HATE... Corrupt bastards. threaten.gif

Real have a VERBAL AGREEMENT apparentley with Ronaldo's people and are in the current process of preparing a big bid which will break records. Man United are said to be uhappy but nonetheless they have accepted this all in good faith and in well wishing of the player and will grant him his release after the Euro's conclude to allow him to work out his deal with with the Madridistas.

In other news, Hleb is apparentley another guy that Barca are looking at as a potential replacement for Ronaldinho. Silva and Van Der Vaart are the other two.

Back at Valencia, Vice President Augustin Morera held a news conference and informed them that there have been NO OFFICIAL OFFERS from anybody for the services of Villa or Silva. Both guys have been linked with big moves this whole season, mostly due to Valencia's pitiful form. It may be too early to tell, but it seems to me that the price tags on both Villa and Silva(40 million and 35 million respectively) are turning away potential buyers. One thing about Valencia is that they IN NO WAY will allow either guy to leave on the cheap. I think the club are waiting for Chelsea, Barcelona, and Real Madrid to make moves but I don't see it. Real seem ready to spend what is rumored to be a 90 MILLION EURO transfer fee for Ronaldo with a salary of 9 million a year, and I still have the feeling that Eto'o will remain a Barcelona player. Chelsea on the other hand is quite possible, but it is well known that they're unhappy with Valencia's transfer fees.

As for the Spanish squad, Aragones is trying different things it appears. They say that Fernando Torres will be first choice striker this season and thats definitely great, but I don't like the 4-3-3 with Torres alone. I think Spain should play either a 4-2-2- or a 4-4-1 with Villa playing off Torres. Tactically, I don't really like what Aragones has done with Spain at times. I think he hasn't always used the players to the best of their abilities. Spain's weakness though is that central defence. Puyol is notorious for being beaten by quick skillful strikers, and its not a certaintly as to whom will partner him. I think they're building the team around Torres similar to this past World Cup which was a good formula but the defense let us down. That is a problem they will have to fix or other wise it will once again be "Goodbye Spain"
and the NEW
Yeh, all I have been reading also is Ronaldo to Real! What a huge huge loss for Man United and the Premier League but as you say, good for Spain and Real Madrid (damn it)!

On another note, I hear Manchester are trying to buy Robinho, which would make a lot of sense. Robinho would do well at Manchester and could really add the spark if Ronaldo leaves.

Having Robben on one wing and Ronaldo on the other, now that is pace to burn!

Might be another very humble season for the Barca followers! Hopefully they end up like the galacticos they were a few years ago and of which Barca have now become!
and the NEW
On another note Fitz, did you watch the WC qualifier tonight? Australia played well, despite some defensive lapses! A very good win and puts them in a great position in the group now!

Ket Kennedy in there and they will destroy the Asian teams with wing play and crosses onto his head IMO. Germany showed how to do it already, just have to follow that model.

I missed the game. I had an indoor game myself, lol. But it was good to see we came out on top.
Spain looked ok against very defensive Peru. They won 2-1 with goals from Villa and Capdevila but didn't put away Peru the way they should have. Torres was poor, and Fabregas didn't do too much.

Not looking good. But maybe they'll improve for the tournament. They play another friendly against the USA in a few days.
How do yous expect Spain to go in the Euro? Ever since I was little, my dad always used to tell me that Spain were like England. Always high expectations, with good lists that most times, end up being failures. Based on what I have seen in the past, it seems that's the case most of the times. Are they going to be any different this time, or will it be the same old story again?
and the NEW
Yeh, some interesting results lately. Canada nearly beating Brazil, WTF! England doing well, Sweden horrible, Holland looking strong, France ordinary!

Wasn't Fabregas on the bench in the Peru match?
I just think Spain have to get SOMETHING right this time around. I'm not saying WIN IT ALL. I just want them to get to the semis. Quarter finals even. It just doesn't make sense to have that much talent on your team and fail every time. Just doesn't make sense.

Fabregas opened in the 2nd half and was ok, nothing more.

Aragones opened with a 4-4-2 with Torres and Villa and its a good attack, but Spain just seemd to lack flow. The goal they conceded was downright LAUGHABLE... Marchena ought to be embarrassed to wear his country's colors again after that pitiful defensive display. Puyol was just DISGRACEFUL.. Enough said there.

Hope they improve against the US and onward to the Euros because I'm not happy with them right now.
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Yeh, well their group is not that hard, so a quarter final birth is simply making it out of their group. That is EXPECTED. They should be at least aiming to make the final IMO. With their squad, a semi final exit would be ok, but they really need to make the final to clall it a good tournament.

Cannot wait for kickoff! These last few weekends have seen a bit too much partying as there is no football to watch!
HUGE NEWS PEOPLE... Fabio Cannavaro is OUT of Euro 2008. Suffered a tournament ending injury on the training ground. It sounds like a ligament tear in his left ankle which was a more severe injury than I suffered to my ankle. I had a 2nd degree sprain(3rd degree is a tear), and it was PAINFUL.. I still deal with pain even now as I work out and play basketball or football with friends.

Big blow to Italy. Cannavaro had a huge tournament in the World Cup but he was getting exposed constantly in La Liga this season. Cannavaro this past season was getting TORCHED by the likes of Garcia, Fabiano, Villa, and Kanoute. If it wasn't for Pepe and Sergio Ramos, Real would have conceded so many goals that they wouldn't have won La Liga. Cannavaro is up there in age now. I dislike him as a player for his arrogance and all but I'm sad that this happened to him.

But I'm happy for Spain!!!.... LOL... I know thats cruel.

A scare for Portugal. Ronaldo suffered a right ankle injury though as I write this, the severity is not know. But on there is a picture of an ice pack attached to his ankle. He apparentley had to leave training early.
and the NEW
And in other news, Mourinho officially confirmed as Inter coach.

Along with Giovanni apparently on the verge of a Tottenham deal!

Good times! Only a few days left!

Apparently Ronaldo will make up his future any hour now also! No idea how, considering Man United and Madrid do not appear close to resolution of a deal! I personally, think he will go to Madrid, and Robinho will head the other way, along with perhaps 50-60 million euros. Maybe not a bad deal for Manchester, if they can bring Robinho into the right wing, they would have cash to land either Eto'o or Ronaldinho and still have funds left over.
Barca and Milan cannot agree on a transfer fee, leaving the President of Milan(Forget his name) to say that a Ronnie transfer is "unlikely". It looks like our beloved Ronaldinho is gonna be staying.

Milan seem more interested in Samuel Eto'o. A 35 million bid will be made but I expect Barca to demand 40. Zambrotta is also a Milan player along with Flamini.

Giovani to Tottenham is all but official it looks like.

Man United are DESPERATE to keep Ronaldo for sure and have really gone on the attack against Real. But in reality, its all up to
Cristiano. If he wants to go, he's gonna go. The cash Man United would get would be MASSIVE.. I think Ronaldo would cost AT LEAST 60 million. Many feel thats too much for any 1 player, so it wouldn't surprise me if Real got him for 48 million or something, especially if Ronaldo pushes for the move. But if Man United are gonna be stubborn about this one, then 60 million will probably be the key figure.

Rijkaard is the favorite to land the Chelsea job, once again. DesChamps has been talked to also but ole Frank is the one who looks likely to land it.
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Yeh, sad to see Zambrotta go! I think all in all, he played very very well on the right wing back.

Ronaldinho staying would be fine with me, if Pep uses him, which he would be mad not too!

Eto'o leaving is probable if they offer that kind of cash!

I heard Ronaldo was only on sale for 100mil Euros, I guess not THAT expensive considering Zizou went for 75mil I beleive, and that is not factoring in inflation.
I don't follow anyone in La Liga, though Madrid were the team I watched when I used to watch it for a bit. If Ronaldo moves to Madrid, I would probably have to support Barcelona in La Liga, lol.
and the NEW
QUOTE(Fitz @ Jun 3 2008, 10:20 AM) [snapback]391273[/snapback]
I don't follow anyone in La Liga, though Madrid were the team I watched when I used to watch it for a bit. If Ronaldo moves to Madrid, I would probably have to support Barcelona in La Liga, lol.

Good man!
United are close to signing Cardiff teenager Aaron Ramsey according to reports. He's only 17 so definitely one for the future but if the reports I've read on him are true, then he will be some player in a few years.

Alex Ferguson remains convinced that Ronaldo will stay with United for the immediate future but I can tell you all now that a large amount of United fans are fed up with the player. The will he/won't he saga has annoyed fans of our club. Afterall we support Man United, not Cristiano Ronaldo FC. He is on a fantastic contract which he only signed last year and he could have quite easily nipped all these rumours in the bud by simply saying he wanted to stay at United. Now he claims he will make his decision within 48hrs (24 hrs to go then), but it's not his decision to make at the end of the day.

United don't sell players unless they want to sell them. I've never known us lose a single player to a club unless we wanted him to go. Most recently we sold Heinze to Madrid....he'd lost his place to Evra and wanted to go to Liverpool but that was never ever going to happen. Before that we sold Van Nistelrooy to Madrid...he'd outstayed his welcome with us and had made our play somewhat one dimensional. His departure has seen us win two league titles and a European Cup. Good bit of business. Same goes for David Beckham. His courting of the media limelight coupled with a dip in form meant it was good business to sell him.

Of course, if Ronaldo comes out and publicly says he wants to leave then he'll have to leave, despite comments that the club will leave him to rot in the stands. The whole thing has become rather ugly and it has definitely tainted Ronaldo's reputation amongst United fans. If he says he wants to stay in the next 24hrs, everyone will be delighted but he must understand that no player is bigger than the club and if his silence, coupled with occasional flirting over a possible move to Madrid, continues, he will become something of a hate figure amongst the hardcore fans.

Rio Ferdinand haggled over a contract for some time a few years back and everytime he got the ball at Old Trafford he was booed. The fans simply won't stand for disloyalty - whoever the player is. One thing I don't want to happen is for us to sell Ronaldo and sign Robinho. I don't want Robinho here. Yes, he's a good player but not the sort of player I want at our club.

When all is said and done, I hope Ronaldo dismisses the move rumours and pledges his loyalty to United. If that's too hard for him to do then I want him out of the club - but only for a world record fee. Remember, the record is for Zidane and he was 29 at the time. Ronaldo is only 23. If he wants to go, Madrid had better break that only...or they can forget about it.

and the NEW
2 great players in Ronaldinho and Riquelme have been left to rot in the stands, so I think if Ronaldo wants to go and he is not allowed, he could cop the same fate. Ferguson has to let him be on his way if he says that is what he wants.

The other guys you mentioned, Heinze, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy were not quiet sought after as Ronaldo, who can pretty much choose which team he wants to play with at this point in his career.

I agree though, he should have put the rumours to rest a while back, but I guess the kid is confused, nothing wrong with that, it is his life afterall. Were the United fants loyal to him after the Rooney incident in the WC? Cannot remember if they were booing along with the rest of England, or if they were cheering him at Old Trafford.......

It is surely a mess, that much can be said.

Robinho is arrogant, but you cannot doubt his ability. He has come out of his shell as of late, both Internationally and at club level. Who knows, United may even go for Queresma, very similar player to Ronaldo, but not near the same scoring capability.
QUOTE(and the NEW @ Jun 3 2008, 11:48 AM) [snapback]391294[/snapback]
Were the United fants loyal to him after the Rooney incident in the WC? Cannot remember if they were booing along with the rest of England, or if they were cheering him at Old Trafford.......

Oh yes the incident with Rooney was cleared up (by Ferguson and the players themselves) before the season started and the United fans were behind the both of them straight away. There was never any booing from United fans towards Ronaldo over that matter.

The rest of England still boo Ronaldo, they still boo Rooney unless he's in an England shirt.

Club loyalty is imperitive at United and that is what is annoying fans at the moment. Is Ronaldo going to be loyal? He only signed a contract last still has 4 years to run. "I will make MY decision in 48 hours" just pisses fans off.
It would make me upset too honestly. I think Ronaldo has had EVERYTHING handed to him by you guys on a PLATINUM PLATTER.

If he wants to leave, then he should man up and say "I want to leave Man United" and allow this whole situation to go through smoothly. But all this keeping everyone in suspense deal is just gonna come back to hurt him in the end, especially if he remains at Man United. He needs to make clear what it is he wants and do it soon.

But Man United are being pushovers . They've got to stop this. They need to get it out of him that he wants to stay or that he wants to leave. UNLESS.... Even if Ronaldo intends to wait after the Euros, the club needs to be informed and simply ship him out if he wants to go. This whole deal with Ferguson going to Portugal to talk to him is bullshit. Thats not the stuff of a club of Manchester United's status.

England fans boo Wayne Rooney???... Thats amazing. I mean I know what kind of player he is and what kind of reputation he's built for himself in the way he abuses referees and all but he's still a warrior.

Robinho is an ego maniac, just like many star players. But his class as a player can't be overlooked. The things he does on the pitch are amazing. I would be hesitant to take him because of his reputation as a locker room cancer, but there no doubting his ability.

Barcelona keep moving in for David Silva the rumors say but I don't take that seriously as of YET... had said that by the end of May, Villa would be a Madridista but that hasn't happened yet. But Silva would be a great buy for Barca because of his versatility.

and the NEW
If Villa becomes a Madridista, I will never forgive him!

I would MUCH rather sign Villa, than Silva.
^^^^You and me both!!!... DISGRACEFUL THAT WOULD BE...1 thumbsdown_anim.gif

Of course Real are one of the few who could pay the 40 million euros Valencia would want. The others are Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, and Barcelona.
and the NEW
FUKC, see the Mourinho scandal!!!!

Poor Porto of this season, some of these players would not have even been around in 2003-2004! I will miss them in the CL! Even more reason for Queresma to leave now!

Hleb apparently on the verge of a deal! smile.gif
Wow that is ugly. A blow for European football. Terrible stuff. Quaresma I believe has wanted to march anyway, but its a matter of him finding the right club. Porto are not just going to sell him to anybody.

Hleb is looking more and more like he'll be a Blaugrana next season. Seems to me that everyone is starting to see that Arsenal is being run by clueless people. Wenger is reportedly desperate to keep Hleb, already having lost Flamini. 3 straight seasons without championships, key players leaving them these past couple of seasons. More will follow suit after Wenger gets fired either next season or the one after.

Everybody knows that Fabregas will be a Barcelona player in the future. The lure of winning Ligas and CLs will be too much as Arsenal continue to play nice football but win nothing everytime. Give it 2-3 seasons.

Valencia are apparentley trying to sign Diego Milito, as the possible exit of either Villa or Zigic looms. No concrete offers for Villa yet, though Zigic has been courted by many PL teams who seem willing to pay well for him. Silva is being monitored by Barca and Inter but only Barca have apparentley made a direct offer which at the moment is being studied by the club. I don't expect any of these possible moves to occur until after the Euros anyway. By then, we'll have a pretty good idea as to what the club wants to do.

BTW, did you hear about Eto'o???... The guy is crazy!!... Apparentley assaulted a journalist in a crazy rage and could face jail time in Cameroon!!!... All that aside, I don't think he'll be charged. Superstars with money always manage to settle out of court and this is no different. But it still shows how tempermental the guy is. I could see how he's a difficult customer in the Barcelona dressing room.
From Sporting Life...

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed he "wants to play for Real Madrid", according to a respected Brazilian website.

Terra claim to have carried out an exclusive interview with the Portugal international in which he said: "I would like to play for Real Madrid but only if it is true they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them.

"However, it does not depend on me."

The interview continued with Ronaldo stating his hope that the announcement would bring closure to the speculation linking him with a possible move to the Bernabeu.

He added to Terra: "From today I'm not going to talk about this topic with anyone at all.

"I'll only talk about this again after the European Championship. Don't ask me any questions because I won't answer."

So, that appears to be that then. He's got to go. Nobody wants a player at their club if he isn't entirely committed or happy. It's a shame because he'll be walking out on a club who can and will be challenging for everything again next season. Be sad to see him go but enough is enough and I've made up my mind now that I don't want him playing for us anymore. (Unless of course he comes out and says he wants to stay with us, which seems unlikely now).

What, apart from the weather can Madrid offer him that we can't? If his decision is solely based on the climate then he's a very shallow man and I'd like to see him flop at Madrid....yeah, I'm a little bitter about this whole thing now.

That c**t Nistelrooy has been slagging of Ferguson again saying that he had a bad world cup because United were shit that season. Fact is, United played badly because everything was going through him and he was bloody awful for us towards the end of his time here. He should shut his mouth. It was he who had to be separated from a full blown fight with Ronaldo because he taunted Ronaldo about his dead father and told him he was a show pony (or words to that effect). He became a bad apple at the club and we have thrived since he went.
^^^Its a fucked up situation indeed, Maxy.

Honestly, Real Madrid can offer Liga titles and CL football along with big money and fame(Man United can offer all that too I know).

Ronaldo is a young man still and a sharp looking kid. I think what attracts him most to Spain are like we said, the weather, culture, food, nightlife(Take it from me that nightlife in Spain is something else), style of football, and lets not deny it.... THE WOMEN.... They are GORGEOUS over there... ATN knows as well as I do. Ridiculously gorgeous. If you've ever been to Spain you'd know. All that plus he'd be very close to his family as well.

I'm not saying it makes it right. He's definitely letting down alot of his fans at Manchester. He's definitely turning into the Kobe Bryant of football. Its pretty messed up. I think he should at least stay 2 more seasons with Man United. But with him being set to joint he Madridistas it seems, he walks out on a club that is not only paying him alot of money and who's made him a superstar, he walks out on a club that has recently pulled off the double, a feat that is RARE... I don't think he'll be accomplishing that at Real Madrid anytime soon. And he'll find the defenses tougher to crack in La Liga.

Van Sissy Boy is useless. Plain and simple. We all hate him at Valencia more than we hate the entire Real Madrid association. He is the Drobga of La Liga with his constant bitching, diving, and arrogant ways. He knows his time is running out at Real Madrid and he hates the fact that they've been linked with other strikers to replace him. Schuster should get rid of him ASAP because all he's done for the Madridistats this season is cry, complain, dive, and spend time in the trainer's room for his injuries. I think the fact that Man United won 2 Premierships and a Champions League has to hurt him because he knows he was shit. Huntelaar should replace him for the Orange because if they go with the Van Sissy Boy, they will not score many goals. I say ship him to a midtable Italian Club in Serie A for the rest of his career.

According to sources, Dos Santos own words say "I will go to Tottenham next season." He's a good young talent and he'll like speedy stye of football over there. Barcelona seem to have an ENDLESS pool of youth talent. Much like Arsenal in that sense.

Barca are said to be within days of FINALLY nailing down the signature of Dany Alvez. They've already signed Caceres as well and are also after Boca Juniors playmaker Palaciaos(I think that kid is the next Aimar ATN, watch out for him if you guys get him).

Man City are supposedly willing to put up the 40 million euros wanted for Ronaldinho and could do so within a matter of days. Something tells me though that Barca will reject and Ronnie will still be a Blaugrana next season, especially considerning that AC Milan have pulled their offer off the table for good now.

Speaking of AC Milan, how disgraceful is that with just being HANDED a CL spot???... I HATE THEM MORE EVERYDAY!!!!... Did they even earn a UEFA Cup football spot???... What a disgrace.. Politics again killing football. shiftyeyes_anim.gif

QUOTE(Fitz @ Jun 5 2008, 03:40 PM) [snapback]391472[/snapback]
Really? Is that because Porto getting kicked out of next years CL for the cheating? The story that was posted couple of days ago? Wouldn't common sense say that the next Portugese team after Porto get the spot?

Yeah I hadn't heard about Milan getting in the Champions League. That is absolutely disgraceful. I can't believe it.

Fitz is right, surely the next best Portugese team should get the spot? Surely there will be some sort of appeal against this?

This is just completely wrong.
and the NEW
Oh, the nightlife in Spain is definately crazy!!!!!! Smokin hot woman! But really, he should be concentrating on one thing now, his football.

I will put my head out and say it now, Ronaldo will not COME CLOSE to replicating what he did at Man United last season in Spain.

He will be HACKED, double marked, and his speed will not be so evident. He will probably end up seeing a few injuries too, just as other guys like Messi and Ronaldinho have with the treatment they receive from other players! More than unpleasant I would say, constantly being kicked about the field.

Interesting to see where Dos Santos is played at Tottenham. Despite only a brief view of him as a centre attacking mid, he played brilliantly there! Though he can play on the right wing also, but is not exactly upto the standards of Messi out there.

Ronaldinho and Jo are targets of Man City and despite thinking the chances of seeing Ronaldinho there are more than slim (I have heard it called 'one of the most bizzarre transfers of all time' should it go through by football experts), I think if both of them are signed and they keep Richards to Partner Dunn, that Man City could really push for that 4th spot! Infact, I would back them to get it.

Palaciaos, I have seen a little of him and am unimpressed, just as I am of Alvez as a right wing back. I love him going forward, and if Ronnie leaves, it wil leave us with a great spot kick taker, and I know he is young, but I hope to go he can get his defensive duties right. It is so imperative to win a league, despite having a great offence. On another note, havne't heard a thing out of Deco?

What is this with Milan, they were given a CL spot (in place of Porto I guess?). Have not heard that yet, how was it decided to give it to Milan? That is rediculous!!!!!!!

and the NEW
FUKC, Milan must be the luckiest team I have ever seen (other than Italy last WC and Greece in the Euro)! You would think they would give it to the second placed Bulgarian squad then! Though, in defence of that, it would probably just be a white wash!

So who takes Portos place? I guess Sporting............has to be!

This is turning out to be a circus!
Ronnie to Man City..... Definitely a strange move should it occur. I can't picture Ronnie at this point in his career making a move to the PL though anything is possible in this game.

Both Tottenham and Man City are gaining fast I think. Arsenal and Liverpool need to watch out. Especially Arsenal who have not done a thing to strengthen their squad as well as turning down some top talents to join their squad. They have not replaced Flamini or Hleb, and they have not found Adebayor an adequate strike partner. And that defense is just a disgrace. I don't know what Wenger is doing with that team.

Dos Santos isn't Messi, no, but then again who can be??... He's probably the most naturally gifted player walking the planet. More gifted than Cristiano Ronaldo even. His game is not as complete though. He needs to work on his finishing, especially with the right foot, and it would be nice to see him improve his set pieces, for like ATN pointed out about him not hitting them that accurately. But I think his vision, link up, and passing are better than Ronaldo even without being the threat on goal that Ronaldo is.

Barcelona have now OFFICIALLY completed the transfer of young Danny Alvez for a 32 million euro fee plus other incentives. He replaces Zambrotta on the right wing for Barca. Probably Barca's biggest signing as of NOW... Word out of the club is that they are aiming towards ONE MORE BIG SIGNING.. Ronnie and Eto'o are being shopped around it appears but only Ronnie is in ongoing negotiations with another club(Man City). No concrete offers for Eto'o at the moment. But it is expected that Chelsea make a move for the striker now that Huntelaar appears to be staying put at Ajax. Rumors persist of Barca landing Trezeguet but I have my doubts. He's up there in age now and I think Barca are aiming for a younger striker with experience. Of course there is the possibility of Eto'o staying, lets keep in mind. But if not, the club is targeting Benzema or Villa. Benzema probably won't come. Villa would if Barca bring the right price, but it won't be easy prying him away from Valencia either. But I would say things are working out for Barca at the moment. There is also the possibility of landing a playmaker in either Van Der Vaart, Silva, or Palacios. I think they're trying to not spend as much money as last year while at the same time keeping their core of players.
and the NEW
You know what, I think Ronnie will be wearing a Barca shirt again next season. I have heard Pep wants him in his squad, with Eto'o the more liekly to move on due to his ego.

Interesting either way.

If Eto'o goes, the only two rumoured targets I would be happy with are Ibrahimavic and Villa.

and the NEW
Just watched the Euro, CR and Switzerland was a pretty ordinary match. As suspected, without Rosicky and ESPECIALLY Nedved, they are going nowhere in this tournament.

Portugal DEMOLISHED Turkey! Could have been 4-5 nil! What a squad!

Australia lost to Iraq in the qualifier! Still in a good position and I am going to watch the China V Australia game, a win there would put us through to the next stage of qualifying and should be able to win solidly at home! Really miss Cahill in the centres there and where was Bresciano? Emerton and Kewell as usual had pretty decent games.

Not really looking forward to either match of the Euros tonight and will probably flick between them and the French open final!
and the NEW
Yeh, I used to play tennis for years, but only watch the big matches every so often, or the Australian open when it is on.

I hope Federer can break through at the French finally, something Sampras failed to do, however, I doubt he can beat Nadal in his current form, on clay. He looked awesome disposing of Djokobich the other night. Though if anybody is to beat him over 5 sets, its Fedex!
Well Fedex got beat badly. I don't understand why he can't quite solve Nadal on clay. He's sure to beat him at Wimbledon and US Open should they meet, but on clay its just not happening.

Anyway, Portugal looked DEVASTATING.. Their defense hasn't been tested though. But thats for another time. They look very good.

Germany won and looked solid, nothing more. They look a bit more vulnerable at the back than they did 2 years ago in Germany during the World Cup. They will likely meet Portugal in the 1st round.

Looking forward to tomorrow or today's(Depending on your timezone) matches pitting France and Holland and Italy and Romania. Definitely the best day of the group phase for sure. Two HUGE matches in the group of Death. Holland are hurting though losing Ryan Babel and a bit of internal dissent I hear with the team and coach. But the youth and talent on that squad cannot be denied.

Spain will apparentley go with both Torres and Villa up front but it is not known if Fabregas will start. I love Cesc, but it seems to me that the play of Spain just doesn't suit him. Either that or the pressure is on him and its making him tighter than usual. Spain's midfield has to really play a great tournament to help their sometimes suspect central defence, and they have to keep possession and spot the runs of Torres and Villa.

I'm enjoying the tournament so far.
and the NEW
Yeh, Nadal played like a monster!

His ground strokes are just so powerful, and he generates so much top spin. Add in his incredible quickness, angled hitting and incredible consistency on clay, and like Fitz said, you probably have the greatest clay court player of all-time! Federer is no doubt, a LOT better on clay than was Sampras.

Not to mention, Nadal pushed Fed on grass at Wimbeldon last year I beleive and is also not bad on the hard court and he is improving every year. Few more years and it will be between him and Djokovic!

Yeh, PR, I thought Portugal looked astounding! As I alluded too earlier in the thread, I think Carvalho is one of the best centre backs in the game, if not the best! Big call, but I truly think Terry gets too much credit, when Carvalho is brilliant, not to mention, he can move forward also. Add to that Pepe, and you have a pretty resolute central defence! Turkey are always tricky customers!

I am looking forward to tonight also! Some huge matches! Who do you tip?

I think two draws will be the outcome. A win would be a very big step towards advancing and a vital confidence boost for all 4 teams! Amaizing the group has 3 big guns, while the other 3 groups combined only have 3 of the big guns. Very unfair draw!

Germany defence is nowhere near what it was in the WC and a big reason I think they are destined to fail at the Euro.

For me, Portugal, France (and Holland and Spain as outsiders). You also never know with the Italian rubbish style.
^^Yeh I watch tennis casually. Mostly the big tournaments and all. I love watching Fedex play. Looks like an artist out there. He'll be number 1 for a long time.

As for today's matches. My bad made a mistake on who was playing whom.

I think Italy will just barely nip it against Holland. The Italians havent impressed me at all during their qualifying campaign nor in the friendlies. Their top defenders are in bad form, they'll miss Totti badly, Pirlo and Gattusso have been HORRIBLE, and their only striker thats in good form is Toni.

Holland just have no defense whatsoever. I think it'll come back to haunt them late in this game.

I think France and Romania will draw. Hopefully its a good match. Henry is injured I believe so he won't start.
and the NEW
Well we got one draw right, and while I thought the Dutch squad was more likely to succeed than Italy, I definately did not predict that score!

Was boring as hell to begin with and then really opened up!

The refereeing was HORENDOUS!!!! Some huge calls just let slide. Buffon took Van Nistelrooy down and didn't even give away a penalty in the box! My blood was boiling then, thinking here we go again!!!!!

Thank god for the result! Italy now needs to do extremelly well, or they are all but out!

France V Romania was relatively boring, Ribery should have been playing in the centres to create spark, not out on the wing! I really don't like the French lineup or formation, despite them having all the talent in the world! The coach has lived off the success of Zidane, and I think it may be time to see he is not very good at his job, with brilliant players, and no Zidane, he cannot get the job done as often as he should be doing!
and the NEW
Well just near the end of the Spain game, and while Russia are a very good side IMO, there is just a gap in class in this match!

Spain look a bit shaky at the back, lucky they have such a great keeper! However, their midfield and attack are firing on all cylinders! There goes that Villa price tag, I can see it rising already! A hat trick, great game from him so far, and you can really see the play between he and Torres. Worked remarkably well together and see after his third goal how he ran over to hug Torres on the bench? No doubt Rafa is watching that! They really look for eachother on the field too! Silva is having a pretty good game too, despite missing an easy opportunity to thread Villa through straight on goal.

Oh and PR, did you see that pass by Van Der Vart last night? Incredible! Had Ronaldinho written all over it!

Must say, I am getting really pumped about the Euro now! Great to see Portugal, Spain and Holland all doing well! Next it's time for a snoozefest with Greece out on the park. Think I will go to bed instead, 4am and Greece is a bit too much for me!
^^^That Van Der Vaart pass is EXACTLY what I was gonna talk to you about!!!... My goodness that reminds me of not too long ago when Ronaldinho would thread that killer ball square to feet of Eto'o and basically let Sam do the rest. WOW.... Holland were amazing. Just left Italy in shambles. Destroyed them and completley played them off the pitch.

The Spanish attack is incredible. 4-1 with goals by Villa and Fabregas in stoppage time. The Torres-Villa partnership was amazing. Quick passes, lots of opening runs, and great understanding. Iniesta looked dangerous everytime and set up Villa's 2nd goal. Fabregas came in and started slow but got his rhythm bit by bit. He was ALMOST THROUGH on a nice pass from Villa and he almost set up a goal for Silva. Then his header goal in stoppage time was a nice way to cap off for him. Should be a great confidence lifter for him to get into the Spanish team and assume that leadership role. The defense is shaky. We all knew that coming in and I must say that the Puyol-Marchena partnership was not working well. Had it not been for Marcos Senna, we would have been in BIG TROUBLE.. Aragones has got to address this. Definitely noticed Villa running all the way to the bench to hug Torres. That was very cool of him to do that. They play well together. They look for one another alot. They use their pace incredibly down the flanks, and they not only look to just shoot, but set up one another or another teammate. Top quality stuff.

I've really enjoyed Holland, Spain, and Portugal in particular. So far at least, either of the 3 look capable of winning this championship.

Maxy, Fitz, what do you guys think so far of the tournament??..
and the NEW
Yeh, great finish to a great match. Fabregas played well and should really be out there instead of Xavi IMO, who get's a bit too much credit. He is a good player, a very good player, but not in the league of Fabregas IMO who does everything out there. See his run to let Villa have space?

I think Villa and Torres worked better together last night than just about ANY striker partnership I have ever seen, BIG CALL! They were like two sharks, always together, in close quarters, working with one another, not just chasing defenders down or running the ball themselves. EXACTLY how you are coached to work as a striker!

As I stated before, Portugal, Spain, Holland and France (though they need to win their next match) are my favourites still. I think one of these 4 HAS to win it, don't they? Might even have a bet on Portugal who would be my favourite!
I too prefer Fabregas to Xavi in the midfield as well. To me, Cesc has more presence there. The big difference between Arsenal and Spain though is that Spain's midfield is more congested, meaning that there is less room for movement and for Cesc to I guess "express himself" out there., whereas Arsenal is a bit more traditional with wingers on both sides of the pitch and Fabregas with more room to use his vision and passing, whereas Spain's midfield is more similar to Barcelona's, which is the big reason why I think Aragones starts Xavi ahead of Fabregas. But in terms of quality, to me and apparentley to you too, Cesc is a better player. He has more presence out there, he dictates the game better, his threaded passes are better, and he contributes more on defense. He has tremendous understanding with Torres, Villa, and Silva, and he's just a maniac out there, going from box to box with tireless rate, tackling people, and has turned into a good scorer as well. I really HOPE that Barcelona get him one day soon.

Good comparison on Torres and Villa. It was like 2 sharks in deep waters manuevering towards their prey(The goal of course),always together, from either side , knowing where the other was at ALL TIMES, and with the defense apparentley unable to anticipate where either guy was going to be when they got there, and then too late... The killer strike would come.

France still have hope to me. They get Henry back on Friday but they really need to at least DRAW against Holland on Friday and I have my doubts about that. One thing for sure, they'll put on a MUCH BETTER performance than they did against Romania and their attack will have more fire than Italy, whom seems to struggle to create opportunities.

Italy are in real trouble. That 3 goal differential is going to be hard to live down especially if the group remains tight. Italy really need to put a serious hurting on Romania on Friday. They're in real danger of not making it to the knockout round.

Portugal for me tomorrow. I look forward to seeing them again. I honestly felt that their lack of a true world class striker up top would haunt them but thus far it hasn't. Probably because they're solid everywhere else.
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