Posts Tagged ‘ Sergio Aguero ’

World Cup 2014: Best XI Of The Tournament

worldcup (easports)

The sun has now set on the 2014 World Cup finals, with Germany trotting off back to the heart of Europe with the trophy tucked neatly under their collective arm. It threatened to be a World Cup for the underdogs, until the established powers of Brazil, Argentina, the Netherlands and Germany used their nous to edge out the likes of Costa Rica and Colombia in the quarter-finals. But it was undoubtedly entertaining from start to finish, and here we will look back and celebrate the best performers on this grand stage, with our best eleven players from the World Cup.

Goalkeeper:
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

A key part of Costa Rica’s surprising drive into the last eight of the competition, Navas was a reliable pair of hands behind his defence, when called upon. The Costa Rican defence was very strong throughout, but Navas still had to make twenty-one saves over the course of five games, and that was before taking part in two penalty shootouts. Predictably, his exploits have led to plenty of rumours of big clubs trying to sign the Levante man, with the word now that he is off to Bayern Munich. A well-earned reward for the stalwart custodian between the Costa Rican sticks. Continue reading

Long Awaited World Cup Set For Big Kick Off

worldcup (easports)

The first kick-off of the 2014 World Cup will take place later this evening. If your reaction to that is a sigh of relief, then you are likely not the only one. There has been an awful lot of build-up to these finals, with the analysis and predictions and hopes and fears gradually growing louder and louder. With no major European club football to speak of for nearly a month, the only thing to do was to look forward to the major tournament ahead. Surely it is a glorious summer when possible transfer deals are not the big talking point for football heads. But the time for action has come, finally.

It is no surprise that people are excited, of course. There is no World Cup that would not be celebrated, or treated as anything but the ultimate competition the game has to offer. But this time around, it is even more special. This is a World Cup in Brazil, the home of beautiful football. It is a rare treat for the players involved, knowing that they some of them will get to claim the game’s grandest accolade in the country which has always always managed to breath creativity and flair into the game at the highest level. To win a World Cup in Brazil is about as big as it gets. Continue reading

Survey Reveals Irish World Cup Verdict

worldcup (easports)

Ireland may not be represented at the World Cup this month, but we’re still excited about the tournament.  A survey conducted by EA SPORTS™ 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL™ videogame amongst Irish sports fans has found that despite the Boys in Green not qualifying for Brazil, almost 90% of respondents are still looking forward to the World Cup, with only less than 2% saying that they are not interested in the tournament at all.

We’ll be watching…… one third of respondents plan to watch over 75% of the matches during the tournament, while a massive two thirds will tune into at least 50% of the matches.  Almost 88% planning on watching at home with RTE’s coverage by far the most popular choice (65%) amongst fans. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: The Favourites

worldcup2014

2014 is shaping up to be a great year for football. With exciting finishes ahead in the Premier League and La Liga, both of whom are currently topped by pre-season outsiders with only a few games to go, and a couple of exciting ties remaining in the Champions League, it will be a year to remember. There is, of course, a World Cup coming straight after the end of the club season, so quality football will continue well into the middle of the summer. Here, in the first of a two part special, we will examine the favourites for the competition, who look set to take Brazil 2014 by storm. Continue reading

The Top Five Football Moments of 2012

twSo December 21st came and went, the earth didn’t fold in on itself and the world didn’t end, though if you are an Aston Villa fan, one could be forgiven for thinking that way. But for the rest of us the planet has stubbornly continued to spin and instead of humanity’s untimely doom we look forward to another year of football – hopefully as full of surprises, ecstatic triumphs and memorable moments as its predecessor. And so, in no particular order –

5. Lionel Messi surpasses Gerard Muller

Messi finishes 2012 with a remarkable haul of 91 goals, in the process breaking the 40-year-old record of Gerd Muller who in 1972 scored 85 goals in the calendar year. What can you say about Messi that hasn’t already been repeated infinitely by thousands of misty eyed fans and pundits? This is yet another boundary smashed by the young Argentinean; one which will surely add another stumbling block to the path of Cristiano Ronaldo as he keeps chasing his Barcelona rival for the as yet elusive title of the best player in the world.

4. Manchester City become noisier neighbours

Despite the fact that they had hundreds of millions sunk into the club since their wealthy Arab owners took over, silverware was still proving somewhat elusive for the blue half of Manchester, particularly the Premier League crown which would, amongst other things, force their rivals at Old Trafford to finally reset their infamous banner, counting the years since City last won a trophy. The 2011 FA Cup triumph was only the beginning and City battled hard to take the throne from United, and due to a combination of resilience, a remarkable collapse from the red half of Manchester and some serious last day drama courtesy of a late winner from Sergio Aguero against QPR, the trophy which had eluded the club since 1968 was finally back in their hands.

3. Fabrice Muamba unites football

Everyone’s heart went out to the former Bolton player when he suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed during the first half of a cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Bolton’s club doctor later revealed the severity of the situation; Muamba’s heart having stopped for 78 minutes. But two weeks later, pictures emerged of the player sitting up in hospital smiling. Though all Muamba wanted to do was get back on the pitch and start playing again, it wasn’t to be and on the 15th of August 2012 he announced he was retiring from the game, based on the advice of his medical staff. What we can all remember, however, is the reaction from fans and players alike all around the world; an immediate and immense outpouring of concern for the player which united football on a truly global scale.

2. Abramovich’s dream comes true

2012 was a year for big wins under somewhat surprising conditions, as Manchester City proved in early May and Chelsea highlighted not too long after. The latter stage of the blues’ journey to the Champions League final was quite impressive; beating Barcelona is no easy feat and Chelsea formed a wall around their goal as solid as concrete. Skip forward to the Allianz Arena on the 19th of May 2012 and their opponents were an impressive Bayern Munich side, on home turf, in the Champions League final. Bayern had control for much of the match and it appeared as if it was going to be just another one of those days for the blues, Muller taking the lead in the 83rd minute. Against the run of play, Didier Drogba scored just five minutes later, taking the game first into extra time, then to penalties, where all of Bayern’s hard work was undone, missing two key penalties and handing the initiative back to Chelsea as Drogba, taking his final touch for Chelsea, sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way to finally seal Roman Abramovich’s dreams of European glory.

1. Glory for the Bhoys

It’s not really surprising that Barcelona feature, in one way or another, three times in this list. But once again (sorry Barcelona) it is to highlight the impressive nature of any team which manages to beat their particular brand of flowing football. Mankind loves nothing better than an underdog. It’s why countless films are full of lesser people rising up and overcoming the odds stacked against them, why on shows like Survivor those who seem unlikely to win often receive a lion’s share of the support. These are people we can relate to, people like us, on our level, and we love them for trying for a share of the spoils. Football is no different. Which is why, when Celtic faced off against Barcelona, so many of us were silently or not so silently willing the Bhoys on. The stage had been set perfectly. Their first meeting with the Catalans in October had ended in a 2-1 defeat; Celtic had played with fire and heart, having taken the lead in the 18th minute through Samaras, though an equaliser on the stroke of half time and a late, late goal from Jordi Alba broke Scottish hearts. And in early November they faced Barcelona once more, a day after celebrating their 125th anniversary, and still hurting from a defeat in which they gave so much and took so little. The result, now, is emblazoned in history. But for a 91st minute Messi goal which briefly threatened another bitter disappointment, Celtic were 1-0 up and looking quite equal to arguably the greatest club team in the world, taking everything which was being thrown at them with verve and aplomb, and looking every bit as threatening each time they took their chance to break. And then, from a Fraser Forster kickout, that next bit of European magic happened, as Xavi missed his attempt at putting the ball back in Celtic’s half, as 18-year-old Tony Watt latched on to the ball and fired his way into the back of Victor Valdes’ net and Celtic’s history books. The stuff of legend.

*As with any football list there will be much arguing over what was and wasn’t included and why in particular this list is so very wrong. Please not this is a list rather than the list. Though 100 per cent correct all the same.