Category Archives: General

500 Days Of Matthias Sammer

In order to properly honor the half-birthday of one of the least celebrated Ballon D’Or winners in the last twenty five years (well, at least in my opinion. I think he was a great player that sadly doesn’t get the respect he deserves in retrospect), I give you… Continue reading

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Ibrahima Bakayoko

Do you guys remember Ibrahima Bakayoko?

I used to play A LOT in Premier Manager 98, and Bakayoko was one of the best players there. He was definitely in the top 10, alongside Maldini and the original Ronaldo.

Check out his stats from that game:

Not sure if Ibrahima Bakayoko or Lionel Messi.

Not sure if Ibrahima Bakayoko or Lionel Messi.

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1972 – Football’s Annus Mirabilis

From Wikipedia: “Annus mirabilis is a Latin phrase that means wonderful year, “year of wonders” or “year of miracles”.” This is a term more often used for Isaac Newton’s amazing 1666 year, or Albert Einstein’s astonishing 1905 year. But yeah, we can definitely apply it to football as well. After all, “Football is not a matter of life and death… it’s much more important than that” – Bill Shankley.

Growing up as a sports fan and sports stats fanatic, I couldn’t not notice that there seemed to be these magical cohorts in sports. These wonderful years, in which a disproportional number of great athletes were born. Like the magical 1963 in basketball, a year which gave the world (let’s take a deep breath) – Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Hakeem Olajuwon, Joe Dumars, and those are just the major stars. One can also mention Charles Oakley, Detlef Schrempf and Spud Webb.
It seems un-fucking-believable that all of those players were born in the same year, within 12 months of each other. I mean, one can produce an all-time great team just based on this cohort alone. A starting five of Hakeem, Malone, Sir Charles, Michael and Dumars/Mullin – are you fucking kidding me?! Is there any other year that can compete with that?! Continue reading

Cristiano Ronaldo – Goals in 2014

Goals scored in a calendar year were never really important, until Messi made everyone count them in 2012. Since then, people all of a sudden became very interested in this kind of statistic, and now whenever a calendar year ends – we get the stats of how many goals in the last calendar year scored the leading scorers in the world. Continue reading

Not sure if Liam Neeson or 50 year-old Leo Messi

A short one this time, and totally not stats-related.

I watched “Taken” a few days ago, and I couldn’t not notice that Liam Neeson looks EXACTLY like Lionel Messi, about 25 years from now…

And I took a photo with my cellphone to prove it:

It's a meme, it doesn't need a caption!

It’s a meme, it doesn’t need a caption!

 

Why I Hate Messi and Ronaldo

Ok, well, I don’t really hate them. I don’t think you can be a real football fan if you hate them. For example, some aspects of Ronaldo’s character do get on my nerves from time to time, but I can’t stay ignorant of the fact that the dude is a footballer of a historic caliber, and I feel really grateful that I had the opportunity to follow his whole career.

But still, having said that, I do hate them in a way. Or actually, I hate their truly mind-fucking goalscoring numbers, which really changed the way we look at other players, past and present.

One of the many fetishes that I have is browsing through Wikipedia and looking at the statistics of different footballers. Wiki is a truly great site, and it has much stats-related information. I love looking at the tables with all the appearances and goalscoring data, and in several cases they also have assists data. Unfortunately, in Messi’s case – they don’t :-(.

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Why I am embarrased to be an Italy fan

No, it’s not because they lost to Costa Rica and were eliminated at the group stage in the last World Cup.

In football, I have three loves. At the club level it’s Chelsea and AC Milan, and at the international level it’s the Italian national team.  My relationship with the three of them started at about the same time, right when I started to become interested in football. Italy captured my heart at the 1996 European Championships, the first time I watched football, and Chelsea & Milan did it in the following season, 1996/7.

Eric Cantona, one of the greatest football players among the philosophers, has a famous saying: “You can change your wife, your politics, your religion, but never, never can you change your favorite football team”. And even though I wasn’t aware of this saying until a few years ago, it makes sense intuitively. How CAN you change your favorite football team? Continue reading