Click here to see me pretending to be a soccer expert.
As long as we're on soccer, I found this piece by Aleksandar Hemon slamming Real Madrid's galáctico approach extremely unfair. It was built around Real's now-annual failure in the Champions League, which is surely a fun event we can look forward to every spring. But to declare Real's present lineup nothing more than a bunch of preening underachievers without even mentioning the team's performance in La Liga is just dishonest. Real is keeping pace with Barcelona, despite the fact that the latter is enjoying the best moment (going back to late 2008) of any club team this decade and is employing the services of a latter-day Maradona playing some of the best soccer you could ever hope to see. In fact, Real is not just keeping pace, but is presently in first thanks to a greater goal differential. To ignore this accomplishment is to evaluate Ali without taking into account anything he did before Joe Frazier came into his life. Furthermore, Hemon slams their defense, while neglecting to mention that Real has given up only 11 goals in 28 games in Spain this year, bested by only two teams. In the Champions League, it wasn't the defense that failed Real, but the one goal they scored in 180 minutes of action against Lyon that did them in.*
*I stand by every word, but to be clear, I wrote this post to jinx Real down the stretch.