March 8th, 2012

Champions League Observations, Pt. II: A Warning To You All

Yeah alright, you beat us. You don’t have to rub it in. Image: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez.

We offer you a little insight into our minds during this quickie round-up, but obviously it comes at a price.

Barcelona 7-1 Bayer Leverkusen

We’ve never had a thing for Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle. We’ll let you know if he shows up unexpectedly in the near future. Image: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images, REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi.

1. Can you think of a player, either current or retired, that has come close to the awesomeness Leo Messi shows on the pitch practically every time he turns up to play? You lot should note that if the comments section turns into a Real/Barca bloodbath again, our editors and moderator are going to totally ban us from even whispering those names, let alone post semi-naked pics of their players. Be warned.

2. Is it wrong to use protective face masks in private fantasies about players? For us, things started to go a bit ‘Zorro’ when Marco Borriello started sporting one, but now they’re creeping into all kinds of unexpected scenarios, regardless of whether our chosen player has suffered a blow to the face or not.


Apoel Nicosia 1-0 Lyon (Apoel win 4-3 on pens)

Image: Getty Images

1. Um, who the hell saw this one coming?

2. Assuming that you are as surprised about the result as we were (see above question) and a neutral, do you enjoy it when a so-called team of minnows fights it’s way into the later stages of a major competition? Do you love the sniff of an upset, or believe that a Cup Final is that much more exciting when it’s a battle between the super-heavyweights?

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46 Responses to “Champions League Observations, Pt. II: A Warning To You All”

  1. Maran says:

    Answer to the first question: No I cannot think of a more awesome player than Leo Messi. No one compares these days. Two of the many reasons why I love to watch the barca games are the genious of Messi and the fun intelligence of Mr Pep Guardiola.

  2. littlegreenpea says:

    I never thought the day would come when someone (or two someones ) openly professed their love for Keita.

  3. Gladys says:

    Great to see some love for Keita. Not only is he damn fine, but he's about as good as they come as a human being. There's a picture of him on FCB's site with a bunch of Malian orphans who were adopted by Catalan families. It's pretty painfully adorable.

  4. Jenni says:

    I like cup upsets and random teams in finals, as long as they didn't knock out Arsenal. Let's face it, without Millwall's epic cup run in 2004, the football skills of Tim Cahill might have gone unnoticed by Everton, and if he still played in the lower divisions, less people would have experienced his hotness.

  5. stapiiid says:

    I fucking love Messi…I mean without him Barca would be still the best team but with they just mindblowing.

  6. Kadoosy says:

    Messi is the best player in the world!!! There never was, nor will there be a better player :)

  7. Gen says:

    Besides the pure genius that he is… he just loves playing football.. ALL HAIL THE MESSI!!

  8. Mathummus says:

    Where's the credit to the midfielders that make the play happen??Fowards would be nothing with out them!

    • Tashinka says:

      I think that's the answer to the question of why Messi shines like the sun on certain occasions and seems to go into hiding on others (as The Ramos mentions below). He is amazing with the ball, but someone has to pass it to him, of course. I mean, it is a team sport after all!

      Sometimes the hot-stuff forward is used to draw attention away from other players, so that they can get in behind the defense and score. I've seen that happen when so many good players get together on one national team. It doesn't mean the striker has lost his touch, or that he's not liked by his fellow players, though the critics will say that…

    • anon says:

      messi isnt a forward

    • Ioe says:

      Exactly! The reason I think Messi hasn't had quite as much success with the Argentinian NT as he's had with Barca is because the Barca midfield are a lean ball-feeding machine (and this coming from a Madridista). Without guys like Iniesta, Xavi, and Cesc, Messi would be orphaned upfront, and even with his speed and skill, he wouldn't be able to continuously force his way through the defense on his own.

      • Sha says:

        Why is it that the player considered to be the best in the world couldn't lift his national team past the quarterfinals in the last World Cup? It's because he didn't have the support of that stellar Barca midfield, which is the midfield that won the competition for Spain.

  9. The Ramos says:

    Messi is only great because Barcelona is built around him for him, other than that I would like to see him do something for the national team.Every time he plays in the NT nothing happens.
    And dont get all huffy and puffy beacuse of this comment.

  10. AiM says:

    I forced myself to stay up late at night to watch the game live, and promptly dozed off right after Messi's first goal…arrrghhh! Woke up and saw that he had scored 4 other goals…I mean, whaaaaattttt?? Is this guy real? Noticed that he took a pill right before the team entered the stadium? what was that, some kind of super power vitamin or something? I don't know how much more I can adore this small adorable man. The fact that he's one of the best, if not the best ever, footballers is one thing, but they way he's just so sincere about the whole thing, know what I mean? he truly loves the game, he's not in it for the money and fame…and look at his expression after scoring the 5th goal, he had no airs about it, just pure joy of playing with his team and winning….love him!!

  11. Fernanda says:

    Lionel Messi is simply the best I've ever seen! Period.

  12. littlegreenpea says:

    I'm so happy for Apoel. They had a whole nation behind them.
    I think it's safe to say that Messi is the best player in the world. He's been on fire lately.
    But more importantly… CRISTIAN TELLO. How hot is he?! And talented, too.
    It's beautiful outside… I think this is a perfect time for some ice cream… almost as yummy as Tello's eyes…

  13. Realtalk says:

    Cristian Tello, welcome to the S.S.S.S.S. (Sexy Spanish Soccer Star Society)

  14. Fernanda says:

    Lionel Messi is simply the best I’ve ever seen! Period.

  15. Jayy says:

    Tello scored too ;) That boy is too fine mm mmm mm!

    • Kat22 says:

      And too young. :-(

      • Jayy says:

        HaHa not for me! 18 is the perfect age for perving but the only person i feel uncomfortable perving on is Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. Why? Because he is a month younger than me and it feels wrong.

        • Kat22 says:

          You cougar! ;-)

          (one month is nothing – thought that's hilarious!)

          • Jayy says:

            I know :P but I tend to over think things really badly and I have this thing where I have to be the younger one in the relationship.
            I actually refused to go out with a guy cos he was 2 days younger than me! Am I crazy? Yes, I think I might be.

  16. indianmuggle says:

    Watching Barca thrash the opposition makes me wonder, is the team just too incredible or the opposition too weak? Of course, it's the former.
    Messi was out of this world, needless to say. He wins my heart all over again every single time I watch him play. I had to watch the match in the dead of the night, without letting my parents know I was doing so, and it was hard. I had to rush back to bed at the 80th minute to avoid getting caught and missed two incredible goals. Got them on the replay, but it's just not the same when it isn't live..
    As Xavi said, the players feel stronger and I hope we can keep this form.
    Tello is fantastic. Scoring a brace in his CL debut!
    Did anyone watch the teams enter the stadium? Messi was swinging his hand and banging it on another, just like a kid would do. It was SO cute! If anyone has a video link, please share it?
    My entirely non-technical and fan girl like comment is over. Just didn't want to get analytical about such an awesome match..
    Reading the above, I know I sound stupid, but what the hell!

  17. Kat22 says:

    OMG, Messi is just amazing! Unbelievable. And he makes it look so effortless too!

    I guess everybody knew Leverkusen were going to get slaughtered, but credit to them – they didn't give up. I was actually hoping they were going to get at least one goal, not least for their travelling support. Loved that little moment between Robin Dutt and Pep Guardiola straight after. :-)

    And oh my God – how cute is that Barca player that came on as a substitute, Cristian Tello??? First time I've seen him, he's gorgeous.

    • Kat22 says:

      Forgot to say: And of course he scored two great goals as well.

    • Gladys says:

      Totally agree. I loved the game and was so happy for Barca but I started to feel bad for Bayer. It was a relief when they got a goal, and especially one at the very end, showing they didn't give up. And the two managers– such a nice moment. Plus, you gotta love Tello. A brace in the CL and yet he was quoted as saying how he's a Barca B player and that's his team and that he's lucky to be playing with the first team. Wow, that's not luck. His speed and accuracy is awesome.

      But Kickette, I was almost equally happy for Apoel. I know this sounds completely contradictory, since I'm a Barca fan, but aside from them, I love an under-dog (in fact I'm often conflicted because of this). I hope Apoel continues on (and I hope Levante continues on in 4th in La Liga, so they too can have a try at the CL next season).

      Oh and happy International Womens Day to everyone!

      • Kat22 says:

        True – his first appearance in the CL and he scores two goals. Bodes well for the future!

      • Sarah, Madrid says:

        Gladys, I love the underdog too, but they better not take away Athletic well deserved place in UCL, did you see what just happen? Muniain ay dios!!! oh god what a performance Athletic.

        • Gladys says:

          You're right (and I think you have a lot better sense of La Liga than I do). There are some strong teams, like Athletic, that can't manage to break in the top three but are playing amazingly. (I did watch Valencia though, and boy did they let all of that hard work go in the last ten minutes. I hope they can hold PSV at bay in their own stadium.)

          • Sarah, Madrid says:

            it is too bad for them that RM and Barcelona are too good for the rest, but I hope people gets part of the reason why these 2 are really strong the fact that they compete with strong teams week in week out, I understand that the first and second place are secured, but it is not their fault, Oh Gladys I think they might give Valencia even a run for their money, I don't think third place is as much secured as it was last season, honestly very exicting battle coming our way in Liga.

            • Gladys says:

              Sadly, I think you're right. I really admire Valencia– they lose their best players every season and still manage to bounce back and play with such strength. But they seem less and less able to maintain their energy for a full 90 mins lately. There are so many strong teams beneath them. It's going to be interesting. Given that the league is pretty much won already, it will be interesting to see the race for third and fourth.

              • Sarah, Madrid says:

                Me2! I really like Emery, I think he is one of the best coaches and admire Valencia for ability to cope with their lost players, but it eventually will caught with them, esp after Banega injury ( he is such an important player for them)..
                I still want them in UCL though..

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      Tello is gorgeous damn it and he plays amazing, I do believe he could be the new Iniesta Messiah, yes I said it.

      They scored a beautiful goal, I already said in "La Manita de Dios" hats off!!

      Apoel I am so happy for them, best part they kicked Lyon out..

    • DrStrangelove says:

      Tello is part of the Barca B team. Occassionally Pep allows a few of them out for a CL match, for the experience, usually as subs, but they don't get much airing otherwise.

      • Kat22 says:

        Yeah I know, the commentator mentioned he's with the B team.

        What a shame…but I guess in a couple of years we'll be seeing more of him? :-D