Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Soccer Notes

World-class pot-stirrer and eye-poker Jose Mourinho, coach of Inter Milan, called Roma boss Claudio Ranieri, whose team he beat in Wednesday's Copa Italia and against whom he holds a two-point lead in the Serie A, a loser and mocked his game preparation.

In Spain, with Barcelona a mere point up on Real Madrid, all eyes are on Sevilla and Madrid today. Earlier this week, Zinedine Zidane said that come what may in today's matches and next weekend's, there will be two Spanish champions. I think given all the disappointment about Manuel Pellegrini, this is a point that could be made more often. At the very worst, Real will have achieved the second best season in history under the Spanish league's present point format (which extends back 15 years), bested only by this year's Barcelona squad. They are a disappointment only in the sense that Joe Frazier was a disappointment, with Barcelona serving as Ali and the Champions League playing the role of George Foreman.

I've read once or twice about how Gonzalo Higuaín flubs as many chances as he converts (the only article I can find is this one, but I believe I've heard that elsewhere), so I was interested to see that he has half as many total shots and shots on goal as Ronaldo, but one more goal than the Portuguese prima donna.

Earlier this week a sort of suggestive picture of Gerard Piqué and Zlatan Ibrahimovich was taken outside of the Barca facilities, which led to suggestions that the two men were perhaps more than just teammates. Confronted by this possibility, Zlatan told a reporter, "Come to my house, and you'll see if I'm a faggot. And bring your sister". It doesn't seem like he has much of a sense of humor about the snapshot, but it does present fantastic possibilities for goal celebrations were he to net one today.

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