miércoles, 9 de julio de 2014

Brazil and the last game

Rivalries in football are nothing new, some have been going on for ages, and some are just for bragging rights. No matter what the case here are the top ten biggest football rivalries in no particular order.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United

Probably the most well known rivalry, Liverpool vs. Manchester United has been a game to see for a long time. This is such a popular rivalry because these are the two best teams in England, with more than 110 trophies combined.

Although in days past fan violence was prominent, these days it’s rare to see fights break out.

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

This is yet another age old rivalry and again one of the most popular. Just like Liverpool and Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid are the two most successful teams in their country of Spain.

This rivalry exists mainly because of the fact that Madrid is coupled with the Spanish royalty and Barcelona sits on its own. There has even been discussion of making Catalonia, the place where Barcelona is located, its own country.

So between the two it’s as if the rich pompous royalty is fighting against the common folk.

Penarol vs. Nacional

This is literally the oldest rivalry in the sport. It spans over a hundred years of competition, pretty amazing yea? Penarol claims 47 tophies and Ncaional claims 41, so you can see why they fight one another.

In fact, this rivalry takes place in Centenario, Uruguay where the very first world cup was played.

Olympiacos vs. Panathinaikos

A truly “old school” rivalry based out of Greece, these two teams have one of the meanest game nicknames there is. The Derby of Eternal Enemies or the Mother of all Battles, strikes fear just by itself, but when you add in the fact that this rivalry still faces violent outbursts, it really conjures up some emotions.

Much like Barcelona and Real Madrid these two teams represent different ends of the spectrum. Olympiacos is more of the blue collar working class whereas Panathinaikos represents more of the upper class of Athens Greece.

Al-Ahly vs. Zamalek

This particular rivalry runs so deep that when the two teams play each other officials are typically brought in from different countries entirely to avoid any sort of biased judgments. Although this doesn’t do too much for the fans when they don’t get the call they’d like to get.

The fans have become so unruly here in Cairo, Egypt in the past that even today different routes are strictly managed to make sure the opposing teams fans don’t ever interact with one another.

Partizan vs. Red Star Belgrade

This rivalry makes the list strictly because of the fans in Belgrade, Serbia. While these teams are great in their own right and the two top cities in Serbia, it’s their fans and their derby name that tops them all. Their game’s nick name is the Eternal Derby, pretty ominous eh?

Well along with the great derby name there is a constant threat of fan violence. If you ever attend one of these games be prepared to see a lot of police in full riot gear ready to stomp out the flames of the fans.

Fenerbahçe v. Galatasaray

This is a pretty unique rivalry because they are based out of the same exact city except for one little thing. The Bosporus Strait is what separates them. As with a lot of rivalries these two teams represent the lower and upper class, Fenerbache is associated with the working class and Galatasaray is typically coupled with the upper class of Istanbul, Turkey.

sport news

“If he’s on top form, this team could go far. And I really hope they do.” These were the words of Pablo Forlan, the former Uruguay international who now follows the performances of La Celeste from the stands. The passion Forlan displayed for his country in his playing days is undiminished, but with a twist, for as that quote suggests he now has an additional reason to hope that the national team exceed expectations at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

Father of Diego, one of Uruguay’s key players, Pablo understandably derives great pleasure and pride from seeing his son put opposing defences under pressure. The feeling of admiration is mutual, according to Forlan Jnr: “My father had the opportunity to play in two World Cups, in 1966 and 1974. It’s a real source of pride.”

FIFA.com managed to grab a few minutes for an exclusive chat with Forlan Jnr, the striker on whom Uruguayan hopes would appear to rest.

While in Korea/Japan 2002, he was new to the international stage, this time around Forlan finds himself in a starring role. “Well, the years have flown by for everyone, but this time it's my turn to be one of the older heads. I’ll enjoy myself just like I did at my last World Cup, but I’m able to approach it with a bit more experience under my belt,” he said, humbly sidestepping the suggesting that he is any more important than the other Uruguay players.

Forlan clearly believes in the collective strength of the squad, to the extent that, when asked if the team still needs to improve before the tournament begins, his response was blunt. “There is nothing to improve," he said. "We’ve got a great bunch of footballers who all get on very well together.”

It all starts now
He also gives short shrift to the idea that the way Uruguay qualified for South Africa 2010 – via a two-legged play-off against Costa Rica – is in any way relevant. "It doesn’t matter how we got here, what’s important is that we are here now, at the World Cup," he said. "We’re not worried about the ghosts of matches past. We knew that the two games would be tough, but that our qualifying chances were in our own hands."

Similarly, Forlan does not read anything into the fact that their opponents on Friday, France, also had trouble securing their place at FIFA’s flagship tournament. “How they qualified isn’t significant either – they have some excellent players, and it’s going to be a very difficult match,” he adds.