April 4th, 2012

Champions League Observations, Pt I: Repetitive Strain Injury

Image: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach.

Broken records, hot hip-dips and excessive German nudity. But haven’t we seen it all before?

Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan (agg)

The Mexes: Offering generous accommodation space for a family of five. Image: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Is Phillipe Mexes’ sizeable bottom impeding his ability to run? Admittedly it’s tough for anyone to look good defending against Barcelona’s tiki-taka trickery, but Robbie Savage asking for a lend of “the caravan Mexes is towing” during last night’s game suggests we’re not the only ones to have noticed.

Have a good old look at Philippe’s super big shelf booty – is it something you would enjoy if it were parked on your driveway?

2. Are you suffering from Messi Fatigue? Leo broke the record for most goals scored in a Champions League campaign last night, which should fit nice and snugly into his vast collection of broken records and gongs already safe in his home’s trophy wing. While we totally appreciate the opportunity to witness probably the greatest player in the world at his peak, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to  find new and interesting ways of writing about his genius. Should we apply our usual technique of simply not bothering, or are we duty bound to care?


Bayern Munich 2-0 Marseille (4-0 agg)

Bayern players remove their clothing again. Make it stop! Image: THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Are Bayern Munich trying to provoke us into retracting our repeated calls for more nudity in football? We do try to avoid overexposure of certain players and teams here on Kickette (believe it or not), but be real, ladies and gents. When confronted with hip-dips of this calibre right on the tail of movie star side-eye, what’s a bunch of women with boundary issues to do?

Pop a cork and admire from afar.

2. Having helped keep the score to a relatively respectable 2-0 in last night’s match, we spotted Marseille ‘keeper Steve Mandanda running through a few pole dancing moves on his post, and found the effects rather pleasurable. We know one or two players have taken up yoga to keep their flex on, but has Mr Mandanda embraced another fitness craze?


Tonight’s Games

Didier’s bringing the hair into tonight’s fixture vs Benfica while Jose Mourinho has issued  a call for his team to “show respect” to Apoel Nicosia, who trail by three goals to nil going into the second leg at the Bernabeu.

We’ll be watching Dider’s hair (as well as Fernando’s) this evening.

Kickettes, your TV or live stream viewing schedule?

Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe.

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45 Responses to “Champions League Observations, Pt I: Repetitive Strain Injury”

  1. every time they play always controvert, but always love to watch . i am waiting to see tonight what will happen

  2. indianmuggle says:

    You are duty bound to care about Messi and post as many pictures of him as possible. You can't ignore him! Not with ( what I consider him to have) his breathtakingly adorable face and his performances! "Even when he's not at his best, he's better than most!" ( Some player said it, don't remember who, but I totally agree)

  3. littlegreenpea says:

    Mario Gomez's abs look dangerous. Can I touch them just to make sure? ;)

  4. Mee says:

    Why can't Barca every go by without a controversy?
    I mean they're great and all but a controversy EVERY time?

  5. xoWinnie says:

    penalty talk already? oh boy….
    *pops corn*

  6. lydia says:

    You had me at ‘German nudity’. :)
    I think base layers are a crime, except for you Franck, keep it on.

  7. Bella says:

    As Pep says, its useless to keep trying to describe Messi, just watch and enjoy him. So, no need to think up copy just keep posting links!
    Re ref, the second penalty may have been uncommon in a CL match, but it was a legal call. I have a soft spot for Milan, they are certainly my favorite Serie A team, and I like how hard Ambrosini plays for the team, but he might have been sent off in the first half – or the second, Alves had a clearer argument that wasn't awarded.
    No offense to his fans, but Jose has always complained about the refs. My answer to him is that his players are often asked to play like thugs, particularly in the Classicos, so obviously they will get more fouls.

  8. Gladys says:

    All Leo and ref and penalty talk aside, I just want to say…..INIESTAAAAAAA!!! He wasn't doing so well in the beginning but then he got his elegance and grace back and scored!! (His goal was not as lovely as Milan's, certainly, but he danced his way in there and put it in. And I'm never happier than when that man scores.)

    And though I'm a Barca fan, I have a soft spot for Chelsea. Good luck to them today. And if FCB and CFC meet in the semis, may it be an exciting, and controversy-free pair of matches.

    • Maran says:

      I just want to say…….INIESTAAAAAAA!!! too :)

    • DebS says:

      I agree. I love Iniesta. He was having a rough time of it but he always seems to come through when really needed. And his goal celebration sucking on his thumb is just too adorable. Bet he's an awesome dad.

  9. emma says:

    monsieur mexes is the definition of sexyness.

    • emma says:

      i mean it's like the ''fat frank'' situation. all these guus are insanely fit….wtf??

    • MikaElle says:

      I love Mexy … all body !!!!!!! girls are awfull with him , he came bak to severe injure … FILIPPO SEI UNA MERAVIGLIA

  10. Carvivlie says:

    Completely and utterly tired of hearing about anything regarding Messi. I wish Barca would lose so that commentators would move on to waxing poetic about someone else. Sorry Barca fans.

    • con2e says:

      Can't appreciate the best player in the world? You're sad.

      • DebS says:

        I think it's not that Carvivlie doesn't appreciate Messi, just that often times the commentators/media spend so much time talking about Messi that comments about the other great players, including Messi's teammates, often are not made or minimal for equally spectacular play. Sometimes it'd be nice if they "shared the love" a bit more, imo.

  11. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Before jumping into my thorat for saying this, but I honestly think that Barcelona should stick with either speaking about referee or don't, I really don't know how a club could say something as " we dont speak about referees, or the two penalties were not given to us first leg'. ( before replying by saying Jose this and that, *yawn* since we all know what he does and say)

    About game zzzzzzzzzz, seriously what a bore, a better team won, really have nothing o say about the game about both teams, it was really a snooze fest over the both legs.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      I honestly feel bad for neutrals who went through some clasicos as this one :p

      • Kat22 says:

        I admit that the game last night was a bit disappointing, but I really enjoyed the first leg, even though there were no goals.

        Looking forward to the semis, because then you can watch all the games without having to choose. :-)

        • DebS says:

          FoxSoccer online has all Champion League games both live an on-demand. I know that won't help you for this season, but keep it in mind for next. ;)

    • Kristina says:

      Hahaha, even when Barcelona don't talk about the refs, they talk about the refs. I see now how it is impossible to argue.

  12. Doles says:

    Definitely watching CFC v Benfica! Supporting my boys!!
    Hopefully, there is no heartbreaker today. I will cry my heart out if Chelsea doesn't make it to semis.
    We need to face Barca and revenge! (remember CL 2009??!!)
    Also I still haven't give up on CFC vs Inter final (a.k.a Mou Derby)

  13. Kristina says:

    I'm not suffering from Messi fatigue, no, but I feel the journalists agony ;) . So happy for the win! The best team won, imo. (I feel it best to put in the "imo" so not to appear as a arrogant Barca fan). It was a tense and a little strange game between two giants. A little embarrassed and disappointed with Zlatan and his willingness to walk in Mou's leash and contribute to the worldwide conspiracy. But I'm still happy, and hungover, and nothing will stifle my love.

    Ze Germans….sigh. Hope you last a long time in this tournament.

    • Kat22 says:

      Barca were definitely the better team! Read an interesting comment today by a Real Madrid supporter, who said he hates Barca for obvious reasons, but even he has to admit that they simply play brilliant football.

      • Kristina says:

        And I'm a Barca fan who thinks RM plays fantastic football. But of course I want Barca to win always. :)

        • Kat22 says:

          Lol, of course! :-)

          I just meant that there seems to be a lot of jealousy surrounding Barca. And it seems like a lot of Chelsea fans are already saying if they lose to them in the semis it'll be due to bad/unfair refereeing.

          Let's be honest and admit that they haven't achieved everything they have because of favours, because that is just ridiculous.

        • Sarah, Madrid says:

          We exist, I do believe Barcelona play brilliantly as well, these numbers that both teams are breaking are not coming out of no where

          • Kat22 says:

            That's what I mean – people should still give teams credit.

            It's like everybody always going on about United and how they are the darlings of the FA. Not a fan of United at all and there have been some dodgy decisions (erm, Howard Webb anyone?), but you can't say a team that has had that much success has had it all given to them and it has nothing to do with playing good football.

    • Kat22 says:

      Re Messi – one thing I really admire about the guy (besides his goal scoring records!) is the fact that he always seems to try his best to stay on his feet. Definitely no diver.

    • cupcakes says:

      And yet Barca DO get a lot of decisions going their way at the Nou Camp in decisive games, although the first pen yesterday was fair enough. How I would LOVE for Chelsea to beat Barca in their (hopefully!) semi because the ref turns down a series of penalty appeals for the latter, though.

      It's only a "conspiracy" thanks to video replays and people with eyes. ;)

      • Kristina says:

        lol, bring on the videos!

        • cupcakes says:

          Which one? The video of Pique's hand ball in the CL semi, or the video of Pique admitting to the hand ball in the CL semi?

          Or Busquets dropping to the floor clutching his face against Inter? Do you want the original video, or one of the many parodies?

          Or how about Valdes sprinting the length of the pitch to harry the ref into carding an opposition player. There's a dozen of them – so do I post a selection or do you have a particular favourite?

          At least most RM fans can admit that Pepe (and to a lesser extent) Marcelo are thugs who they'd gladly see never set foot on the Bernabeu turf again…

          • Kristina says:

            Since you took me seriously, and out of respect, I will answer you. With a question. What good would it possibly do if you and I started sharing videos back and forth? You would send me one to support your standpoint, and I would send you one to support mine. I promise you we could go on and on, and quite frankly I'm too old for that. I've been around long enough to know that all teams have their fair share of fouling and dubious situations. All teams have been awarded advantages that they shouldn't have. And vice versa. Plus all truly great teams have been accused of getting advantages. No news there.

            What's new in this situation is Mou. He spreads his venom by insinuations, plotting and open accusations. Always blaming others. And it's a very clever plan because when those that he accuses tries to defend themselves, THEY becomes the ones starting controversy.

            It's unfair, but hey the world is unfair. The only thing I can do as a Barca fan is to support my team and enjoy their football. And when I get old I can be happy that I was smart enough to appreciate one of the greatest teams in the world. Instead of being bitter and jealous.

  14. Kat22 says:

    I was kind of disappointed with the Barca/ AC Milan game. Even though there were no goals during the first leg I thought it was a much better game. But at the end of the day Barcelona won, as everyone expected. The web seems to be full of conspiracy theories today about how the refs are always ruling in favour of Barca and how they will therefore make it to the finals no matter what. The two penalties they were given last night were definitely penalties, don't really see how anyone could argue that.

    I'll be watching Chelsea v Benfica tonight. If the first leg is anything to go by it should be a cracking game.

    • Kristina says:

      Yes the penalties were legit. And they should've had at least one in the first leg. It's too bad that these kinds of questions gets so much attention. Something must be done. Perhaps the ref's should be allowed to use cameras and other technical devices after all?

      • Kat22 says:

        I think they should! If you think about how much wrong decisions can influence games it's a no-brainer really.

        But I suppose we should be grateful they're at last discussing goal line technology now. I still feel for Frank Lampard when his goal in the WC was disallowed. Granted, my team won, but still.
        In rugby they've been using it for ages, so why don't they do it in football?

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      True! I love how everyone turn into a referee after games discussing if penalty legit or not or his/her calls, I miss the early 2000 football when referee role wasn't even mentioned seriously as much now.