Bouncebackable Footballer: Xabi Alonso.

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02

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The Midfield Maestro. The Long Ranger. Flawless GQMF.

It is with equal parts shame and pride that I’ll confess to not liking him when news first broke of his move to Liverpool from Real Sociedad in 2004. Firstly, he was one-half of the Spanish twosome (the other being Luis Garcia) whose purchase was partly-funded by the money Real Madrid CF paid Liverpool FC for the sale of Michael Owen, and since my “I’ve-just-lost-my-favourite-footballer-to-another-club” wound was still so raw that it was seriously impairing my ability to think clearly, it was with near-complete disdain that I assessed his arrival. Secondly, he was handed the number 14 shirt, which was then an empty number for several years, and since it’s my favourite number, my line of thinking was that even a football demigod wouldn’t be deemed worthy to have that number on their back (real mature of me, I know). I immediately decided that I was not going to like this Spaniard–Ever.

However, Alonso proceeded to prove me wrong on every account of my rather-superficial and highly-irrational disdain for him with every single match that he played, with every single pass he completed. The fluidity of his passing and sheer awareness of the game made me appreciate the midfield wars and tactics as much as I anticipate the elusive attacking breakaways. I consider him as one of the most clever and intelligent footballers out there–he’s calm in the face of a storm, confident without being arrogant and a natural leader without being an usurper. Far from being a flashy player, he still ends up as one of the most powerful and influential players in any match when he is at his absolute best. From club football to international football, his sheer class shines through. Eminence grise, indeed.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Middlesbrough - Anfield

Bossing the Liverpool Midfield.

Even though he resisted the overtures of Juventus, when Real Madrid came a-calling, it was an offer he could not refuse, and when he left Anfield to come back to the Spanish La Liga to join Los Blancos, I felt a deep and immeasurable sadness stemming from the knowledge that Liverpool FC will never be the same again.

This year though has brought about a double whammy: His time in the International stage and in La Liga has come to a close. True, he will still be very much visible in club football terms as he is now part of the German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, but now that he has vacated the number 14 La Roja and Real Madrid shirts, the hole that was left is truly a Herculean task to fulfill.

And so in the end, I was (partly) right—in my eyes, no one can possibly wear the number 14 shirt of Liverpool FC (and La Roja) ever again and be really, truly, categorically worthy of it. It’s just not possible. Xabi Alonso set the bar far too high.

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Unusual Nicknames In Football.

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Ah, name-calling: a practice that is now inextricable from the intricately-woven culture of football (and sport in general, actually).

Some are “legitimate”, some are gathered from various fansites, forums and word-of-mouth, and some are… from my colorful imagination. Wherever they’re from, all I know is, it is highly amusing and infinitely funnier to give footballers weird monickers:

.

Xabi AlonsoMr. Perfect, Dexter, The Long Ranger


Daniel AggerDagger, Aggersome


Nicolas Anelka- Le Sulk

Andrei ArshavinArseshaving

David Beckham- Becksywecksy, Mr. PWhipped, Goldenballs

Joey BartonJoey Farton, JB, Mr. Hipster-Homicidal-Secretly a Teddy Bear Footballer

Craig Bellamy- Bellend

Rafa Benitez- Fat Spanish Waiter

Karim Benzema- KBenz

Dmitar Berbatov- BRBtov

Sepp Blatter- Sepptic Blatter, Sepp BlahBlahtter

Bojan- El Jailbait

Jamie Carragher- Carradonna, 23CarraGold

Iker Casillas- Mofeta, El Dork, San Nevernude

Petr Cech- Cechmate

Ashley Cole- A.Hole, Mr. Tweedy

Didier Drogba- The Drog, The Drog’s Balls

Patrice Evra- Whatevra

Cesc Fabregas- Cescbomb

Rio Ferdinand- Braapder, Oreo

Sir Alex Ferguson- Rednose, Purplenose, Hairdyer Master

Steven Gerrard- The G, Captain Fantastic

Pep Guardiola- Peppers

Guti- El Diva, Gutiiiiii!!!!

Roy Hodgson- Woyster

Gerard Houllier- Monsieur “We’re turning the corner soon”

Mats Hummels- Prince Mats

Andres IniestaCasper, Miniesta, Geniusta

Stephen Ireland- Stephen England; Otter

Toni Kroos- Count Kroos

Philip Lahm- Emperor Lahm

Frank Lampard- Mr. Deflection, Fat Lampard, Lumpard

Juan Mata- John Matter

Jose MourinhoJMo, Trollinho, Maureen

David Moyes- Gollum

Thomas Mueller- Precious Tommy

Michael Owen- Little Mickey, PermaCrock, MUMO

Lionel Messi- Football Messter, Mes Que Un Player

Mesut OzilBambi, Deer-Caught-In-Headlights

Gerard PiqueMr. Moc Moc, Mr. Christmas Tree, Piquechu, Mr. HerpDerp

Lukas Podolski- Polkadot, Prince Poldi

Carles Puyol- Slash, Tarzan

Peter Ramage- Rampage

Sergio Ramos- The Ramos, Alice in Wonderband, The Horse Whisperer, El Caballo

Harry Redknapp- ‘Arry ‘Oudini

Jamie Redknapp- Mr. “He’ll be disappointed with that”, Glass

Pepe Reina- El Jester, Pepsicle

Frank Ribery- The Face

Cristiano Ronaldo- Crispy, Eurogrease, Cristina

Ronaldo- Teletubby, Bucktooth

Wayne Rooney- Grannynator, Shrek

Bastian Schweinsteiger- Swaggermeister

Paul Scholes- Gingerpubes

Alan Shearer- She-Ra

David Silva- David Silver

Martin Skrtel- Skittles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Skrtle

Jay Spearing- Spearochaun

Luis Suarez- Gerbil

John Terry- Cockney Yob

Fernando Torres- Fernanda Tresses, Ratita

Francesco Totti- Top Totty

Victor Valdes- The “Not Iker Casillas” Spanish Goalkeeper, VV

Andre Villas-Boas- Mourinho 2.0, Like A Boas

Neil Warnock- Nutter Neil

Arsene Wenger- Mr. Myopia, Mr. “I Didn’t See The Incident”

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Do you have your own kickass contribution/s? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it/them to the list!

If You Can’t Beat Them, Tweet Them: Footballers on Twitter.

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Image via memegenerator.net

From the famous to the infamous to the downright inconspicuous (on and off the pitch), the Twitterverse has now been invaded by football players of all colors, shapes and sizes. They are here to stay, so go on, and don’t fight the urge to send them your best bit of banter/adulation in the space of 140 characters.

Why did I compile their accounts? So you didn’t have to.

Active Players:

A

Mehdi Abeid- http://twitter.com/reelM_abeid

Charlie Adam- http://twitter.com/Charlie26Adam

Freddy Adu- http://twitter.com/FreddyAdu11

Sergio Aguero- http://twitter.com/aguerosergiokun

Marc Albrighton- http://twitter.com/12Albrighton

Paco Alcacer- http://twitter.com/paco_alcacer

Thiago Alcantara- http://twitter.com/Thi_Alcantara91

Diego Alonso- http://twitter.com/TornadoOfficial

Marcus Alonso- http://twitter.com/marcosalonso28

Mikel Alonso- http://twitter.com/alonsomik

Xabi Alonso- http://twitter.com/XabiAlonso

Dani Alves- http://twitter.com/daniAlvesd2

Fernando Amorebieta- http://twitter.com/la_grulla5

Bruno Andrade- http://twitter.com/Brunsky36

Nicolas Anelka- http://twitter.com/anelkaofficiel

Juan Pablo Angel- http://twitter.com/JUANPABLOANGEL

Nadine Angerer- http://twitter.com/NAngerer

Cesar Arzo- https://twitter.com/carzo4

Alvaro Arbeloa- http://twitter.com/aarbeloa17

Gai Asulin- http://twitter.com/GaiAsulin

Peter Aylmer- http://twitter.com/Peter_Aylmer94

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B

Ryan Babel- http://twitter.com/RyanBabel

Edgar Badia- http://twitter.com/edgarbadia

Javier Balboa- http://twitter.com/javibalboa85

Ever Banega- http://twitter.com/Ever21Banega

Elyaniv Barda- https://twitter.com/ElyanivBarda

Karen Bardsley- http://twitter.com/klbardsley

Joey Barton- http://twitter.com/Joey7Barton

Sebastien Bassong- http://twitter.com/BassongOfficiel

James Beattie- http://twitter.com/JSBeattie

Alejandro Bedoya- http://twitter.com/AleBedoya17

Yossi Benyaoun- https://twitter.com/YossiBenayoun15

Darren Bent- http://twitter.com/DBTT39

Ryan Bertrand- http://twitter.com/RyanBertrand3

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov- http://twitter.com/Bilyaletdinov_7

Dexter Blackstock- http://twitter.com/dexblackstock23

Carlos Bocanegra- http://twitter.com/BocaBoca3

Veronica Boquete- http://twitter.com/VeroBoquete

Aly Borromeo- http://twitter.com/alybor11

John Bostock- http://twitter.com/johnbostock1

Bobby Boswell- http://twitter.com/bobbyboswell

Reece Brown- http://twitter.com/ReeceBrown1991

Titus Bramble- http://twitter.com/19tmb

Alex Bruno- http://twitter.com/alexbruno34

Edson Buddle- http://twitter.com/EdsonBuddle

Nacho Buenache- http://twitter.com/NachitoBF

Diego Buonanotte- http://twitter.com/Diego_Buona

Maor Buzaglo- https://twitter.com/maorbuzaglo

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C

Yohan Cabaye- http://twitter.com/ycabayeofficiel

Tim Cahill- http://twitter.com/Tim_Cahill

Sergio Canales- http://twitter.com/_SergioCanales

Fabio Cannavaro- http://twitter.com/FabioCanna17

Joaquin Cañas- http://twitter.com/joaquincg3

Nacho Cases- http://twitter.com/NachoCases

Joan Capdevilla-  http://twitter.com/capde11

Juan Carlos- http://twitter.com/1uancarlos

Roberto Carlos- http://twitter.com/Oficial_RC3

Jose Maria Cases- http://twitter.com/jmcases

Andre Castro- http://twitter.com/AndreCastro16

Julio Cesar- http://twitter.com/JulioCesarGol

Giorgio Chiellini- http://twitter.com/chiellini

Simon Church- http://twitter.com/churchy18

Tom Cleverley- http://twitter.com/tomclevz23

Billy Clifford- http://twitter.com/Bclifford47

Jordi Codina-http://twitter.com/codina13

Carlton Cole- http://twitter.com/Carlton9Cole

Tino Costa- http://twitter.com/tinocostalf

Lee Croft- http://twitter.com/croft7

Carlos Cuellar- http://twitter.com/Cuellar24

Ivan Cuellar- http://twitter.com/PichuCuellar13

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D

Stephen Darby- http://twitter.com/Stephen_Darby_

Jesse Darko- http://twitter.com/Jesse_Darko

Charlie Davies- http://twitter.com/CharlieDavies9

Curtis Davies- http://twitter.com/thecurtisdavies

Kevin Davies- http://twitter.com/kevindaviesbwfc

Scott Davies- http://twitter.com/scottd888

David Davis- http://twitter.com/Ddavis0121

Jermaine Defoe- http://twitter.com/IAmJermainDefoe

David De Gea-  http://twitter.com/D_DeGea

Alessandro Del Piero- http://twitter.com/delpieroale

Denilson- http://twitter.com/_denilson15

Lisa Devanna- http://twitter.com/L_Devanna11

Sylvain Distin- http://twitter.com/sylvaind15tin

Dwayne De Rosario- http://twitter.com/dwaynederosario

Alejandro Dominguez- http://twitter.com/Chori1708

Alvaro Dominguez- http://twitter.com/adominguez18

Maribel Dominguez- http://twitter.com/MaribelD9

Ryan Donk- http://twitter.com/Ryan_Donk18

Landon Donovan- http://twitter.com/landondonovan

Michael Doughty- http://twitter.com/mdoughty92

Shane Duffy- http://twitter.com/ShaneDuffy34

Ed Dzeko- http://twitter.com/EdDzeko

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E

Robert Earnshaw- http://twitter.com/RobertEarnshaw

Emmanuel Eboue- http://twitter.com/Official_Eboue

Nathan Eccleston- http://twitter.com/NathanEccleston

Maurice Edu- http://twitter.com/MauriceEdu

Neil Etheridge- http://twitter.com/Neil38Etheridge

Jose Enrique- http://twitter.com/J_Enrique3

Jonny Evans- http://twitter.com/j23evans

Patrice Evra- http://twitter.com/patriceevra6

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F

Luis Fabiano- http://twitter.com/luis_fabuloso

Cesc Fabregas-  http://twitter.com/cesc4official

Ibrahim Farah- https://twitter.com/Ibby_Farah

Anton Ferdinand- http://twitter.com/anton_ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand-  http://twitter.com/rioferdy5

Suso Fernandez- http://twitter.com/suso30fernandez

Jon Flanagan- http://twitter.com/jon_flan93

Steven Fletcher- http://twitter.com/stevenfletch10

Andreu Fontas- http://twitter.com/afontas26

Diego Forlan- http://twitter.com/DiegoForlan7

Jake Forster-Caskey- http://twitter.com/JakeCaskey28

Robbie Fowler- http://twitter.com/robbie9fowler

Ryan Fredericks- http://twitter.com/RyanFredericks_

Emmanuel Frimpong- http://twitter.com/Frimpong26AFC

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G

Daniel Leon Gabbidon- http://twitter.com/DGabsey

Sam Gainford- http://twitter.com/samgainford

Jorge Garcia Torre- http://twitter.com/jgtorre

Gary Gardner- http://twitter.com/Gards38

Shay Given- http://twitter.com/no1shaygiven

Diego Godin- http://twitter.com/DGodinOfficial

Henok Goitom- http://twitter.com/Henok_Goitom

Daniel Gomez- http://twitter.com/danidanigomez

Hercules Gomez- http://twitter.com/herculezg

Jonas Gonçalves- http://twitter.com/oficialJonas07

Grafite- http://twitter.com/graffa23

Esteban Granero-  http://twitter.com/eGranero11

John Guidetti- http://twitter.com/superguidetti

Chris Gunter- http://twitter.com/Chrisgunter16

Guti-  http://twitter.com/Guti_SER

Brad Guzan- http://twitter.com/bguzan

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H

John Heitinga- http://twitter.com/Johnheitinga

Marcel Henry-Francis- http://twitter.com/_MHenryFrancis

Pablo Hernandez- http://twitter.com/phernandez19

Ander Herrera- http://twitter.com/anderherrera8

Gonzalo Higuain- http://twitter.com/G_Higuain

Scott Hircombe- http://twitter.com/ScottHircombe

Stuart Holden- http://twitter.com/stuholden

Matt Holland- http://twitter.com/mattholland8

Aaron Holloway- http://twitter.com/AaronHollz

Tom Huddlestone- http://twitter.com/TomHuddlestone6

Nacho Huertas- http://twitter.com/NachoHuertas10

David Hunt- http://twitter.com/DavidJHunt

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I

Andres Iniesta-  http://twitter.com/andresiniesta8

Emiliano Insua- http://twitter.com/EmilianoInsua

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J

Jordan Jackson- http://twitter.com/JordzOfficial

Nathaniel Jarvis- http://twitter.com/N_Jarvis

Frankie Jay- http://twitter.com/FrankieJay_

Jermaine Jenas- http://twitter.com/jjenas8

Raul Jimenez- http://twitter.com/Raul_Jimenez47

Miles John- http://twitter.com/Milesjohn95

Adam Johnson- http://twitter.com/AJohno_11

Gethin Jones- http://twitter.com/GethinJones8

Glen Johnson- http://twitter.com/glen_johnson

Brad Jones- http://twitter.com/Brad_Jones1

Jake Jones- http://twitter.com/jakejonesofcl

Rafa Jorda- http://twitter.com/RafaJorda

Bojan Jorgacevic- http://twitter.com/BojanJorgacevic

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K

Tasha Kai- http://twitter.com/tasha_kai00

Kaka- http://twitter.com/KAKA

Kei Kamara- http://twitter.com/keikamara

Dekel Keinan- https://twitter.com/DekelKeinan

Martin Kelly- http://twitter.com/MartinKelly1990

Harry Kewell- http://twitter.com/Hkewell10

Joshua King- http://twitter.com/joshuaking92

Sacha Kljestan- http://twitter.com/SachaKljestan

Vincent Kompany- http://twitter.com/VincentKompany

Leon Knight- http://twitter.com/leonknight82

Bojan Krkic-http://twitter.com/BoKrkic

Dirk Kuyt- http://twitter.com/Dirk_18_Kuyt

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L

Eric Lamela- http://twitter.com/Coco_Lamela

Lucas Leiva- http://twitter.com/LucasLeiva87

Aaron Lennon- http://twitter.com/AaronLennonpsl

Aaron Lescott- http://twitter.com/aaronlescott

Fernando Llorente-  http://twitter.com/llorentefer19

Angel Lopez- http://twitter.com/AngelLopez6

David Lopez- http://twitter.com/David_Lopez_7

Alberto Lora- http://twitter.com/AlbertoLora11

Lee Lucas- http://twitter.com/leelucas31

David Luiz- http://twitter.com/DavidLuiz_4

Jordan Lussey- http://twitter.com/jordanlussey

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M

Shaun MacDonald- http://twitter.com/ShaunMac20

Michel Macedo- http://twitter.com/Michelmacedo16

Florent Malouda- http://twitter.com/realflorentm

Ivan Marcano- http://twitter.com/Marcano_23

Eric Martin- http://twitter.com/Eric18Martin

Javier Martinez- http://twitter.com/Javi24kikiteam

Sergio Martinez- http://twitter.com/MantecaOfficial

Juan Mata- http://twitter.com/juanmata10

Chris Mavinga- http://twitter.com/Chris_Mavinga

Jay McEveley- http://twitter.com/jaymcev03

Steven McGarry- http://twitter.com/stevenmcgarry

John Meades- https://twitter.com/JMeadesy

Neil Mellor- http://twitter.com/NeilMellor33

Felipe Melo- http://twitter.com/_FelipeMelo_

Alvaro Morata- http://twitter.com/AlvaroMorata

Adam Morgan- https//twitter.com/AMorgan94

Bryn Morris- http://twitter.com/BrynMorris1

Fabrice Muamba- http://twitter.com/fmuamba

Iker Muniain- http://twitter.com/IkerMuniain27

.

N

Nani- http://twitter.com/luisnani

Samir Nasri- http://twitter.com/nanas08

Louisa Necib- http://twitter.com/LNecib10

Gary Neville- http://twitter.com/GNev2

Phil Neville- http://twitter.com/fizzer18

Lee Nguyen- http://twitter.com/LeeNguyen24

Nacho Novo- http://twitter.com/nnovo1010

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O

Marvin Ogunjimi- https://twitter.com/Marvinogunjimi

Jamie O’Hara- http://twitter.com/mrjamieohara

Alberto Olmedo- http://twitter.com/alberolmedo1

Oguchi Onyewu- http://twitter.com/OguchiOnyewu5

Tommy O’Sullivan- http://twitter.com/tomosullivan10

Michael Owen-  http://twitter.com/themichaelowen

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P

Dani Pacheco- http://twitter.com/dani37pacheco

Fernando Pacheco- http://twitter.com/92pacheco

Dani Parejo- http://twitter.com/DaniParejo

Jamie Paterson- http://twitter.com/jamiepaterson12

Marc Pelosi- http://twitter.com/marcPelosi

Kris Penny- http://twitter.com/krispence95

Kristoffer Peterson- http://twitter.com/KrisPeterson7

Steven Pienaar- http://twitter.com/therealstevenpi

Kevin Pietersen- http://twitter.com/kevinpp24

Gerard Pique-  http://twitter.com/3gerardpique

Robert Pires- http://twitter.com/piresrobert7

Lukas Podolski- http://twitter.com/Podolski10

Chris Pontius- http://twitter.com/ChrisPontius13

James Poole- http://twitter.com/jpoole1990

Darren Purse- http://twitter.com/darrenpurse4

Carles Puyol-  http://twitter.com/Carles5puyol

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Q

.

R

Sergio Ramos- http://twitter.com/SergioRamos

Aaron Ramsey-  http://twitter.com/aaronjramsey

Pepe Reina- http://twitter.com/reina_official

Koke Resurreccion- http://twitter.com/KOKE_32

Jose Antonio Reyes- http://twitter.com/JoseReyes_19

Micah Richards- http://twitter.com/OfficialMR2

Rohan Ricketts- http://twitter.com/RohanRicketts

Ali Riley- http://twitter.com/RileyThree

John Arne Riise- http://twitter.com/RealJohnARiise3

Hector Rodas- http://twitter.com/hectorrodas4

Jadson Rodrigues- http://twitter.com/jadson_8

Alejandro Rodriguez- http://twitter.com/AlejandroRod10

Pedro Rodriguez- http://twitter.com/_Pedro17_

Toni Rodriguez- http://twitter.com/toni_rodrguez

Jack Rodwell- http://twitter.com/JackRodwell26

Ronaldinho- http://twitter.com/10Ronaldinho

Cristiano Ronaldo- http://twitter.com/Cristiano

Wayne Rooney- http://twitter.com/WayneRooney

Manuel Rosales- http://twitter.com/mrosales21

Danny Rose- http://twitter.com/Danny_Rose25

Tomas Rosicky- http://twitter.com/rosicky_tomas7

Giuseppe Rossi- http://twitter.com/GiusepeRossi22

Rufo- http://twitter.com/rufinho9

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S

Louis Saha- http://twitter.com/louissaha08

Bruno Saltor- http://twitter.com/brunosaltor2

Toto Salvio- http://twitter.com/totosalvio14

Jordan Santiago- http://twitter.com/jordansantiag0

CJ Sapong- http://twitter.com/BigAfrika88

Jonathan dos Santos- http://twitter.com/jona2santos

Robbie Savage- http://twitter.com/RobbieSavage8

Lotta Schelin- http://twitter.com/L8schelin

Kasper Schmeichel- http://twitter.com/kpschmeichel1

Alex Scott- http://twitter.com/Alexscott2

Caroline Seger- http://twitter.com/Cseger9

Gilverto Silva- http://twitter.com/GilbertoSilva15

Danny Simpson- http://twitter.com/dannysimpson12

Bradley Simmonds- http://twitter.com/Bradley_Simmo

Christine Sinclair- http://twitter.com/sincy12

Kelly Smith- http://twitter.com/kjs8eng

Wesley Sneijder- http://twitter.com/sneijder101010

Kike Sola- http://twitter.com/kike_sola

Roberto Soldado- http://twitter.com/R9Soldado

Raheem Sterling- http://twitter.com/sterling31

Jordan Stewart- http://twitter.com/jordanstewart3

Wojciech Szczesny- http://twitter.com/53Szczesny53

Luis Suarez- http://twitter.com/luis16suarez

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T

Kevin Thomson- http://twitter.com/k33vvt8

Fernando Torres- http://twitter.com/torres

Miguel Torres- http://twitter.com/MiguelTorres24

Roger Torres- http://twitter.com/Rogertorres_20

Sean Tse- http://twitter.com/skktse

Matt Tubbs- http://twitter.com/MattTubbs

Blair Turgott- http://twitter.com/blairturgott

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U

.

V

Victor Valdes- http://twitter.com/1victorvaldes

Antonio Valencia- http://twitter.com/AntoV25

Rafael Van der Vaart- http://twitter.com/rafvdvaart

Gregory Van der Wiel-  http://twitter.com/Gvanderwiel

Ruud Van Nistelroy- http://twitter.com/RvN1776

Robin Van Persie- http://twitter.com/Persie_Official

James Vaughan- http://twitter.com/vaughany08

Alvaro Vazquez- http://twitter.com/AlvaroVazquez8

Frederic Veseli- http://twitter.com/fredericveseli

Thomas Vermaelen- https://twitter.com/T_Vermaelen05

David Villa- http://twitter.com/guaje7villa

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W

Reece Wabara- http://twitter.com/ReeceWabara

Stephen Warnock- http://twitter.com/StephenWarnock3

Vladimir Weiss- http://twitter.com/VladiW7

John Welsh- http://twitter.com/jwelsh08

Theo Wharton- http://twitter.com/theojw1

Ellen White- http://twitter.com/ellsbells89

Faye White- http://twitter.com/faye_white

Alex Whittle- http://twitter.com/AliWhitts

Ashley Williams- http://twitter.com/AshWills84

Jack Wilshere- http://twitter.com/jack_wilshere

Michael Wilson- http://twitter.com/MikeWilson95

Luke Woodland- http://twitter.com/Woodyluke

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X

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Y

Josh Yorwerth- http://twitter.com/JoshYorwerth

James Younghusband- http://twitter.com/JYH53

Phil Younghusband- http://twitter.com/PhilYHusband

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Z

Pablo Zabaleta- http://twitter.com/pablo_zabaleta

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Retired Players:

John Aldridge- http://twitter.com/realjohnaldo

Mark Bosnich- http://twitter.com/TheRealBozza

Mark Bright- http://twitter.com/Mark__Bright

Santiago Cañizares- http://twitter.com/santicanizares

Stan Collymore- http://twitter.com/TSCollymore

Kenny Dalglish- http://twitter.com/kennethdalglish

Paul Dalglish- http://twitter.com/pauldalglish

Lee Dixon- http://twitter.com/LeeDixon2

Iain Dowie- http://twitter.com/MrIainDowie

Jason Euell- http://twitter.com/#!/jasoneuell

John Hartson- http://twitter.com/#!/JohnHartson10

Shaka Hislop- http://twitter.com/ShakaHislop

Chris Kamara- http://twitter.com/chris_kammy

Nigel Martyn- https://twitter.com/nmartyn25

Neil Mellor- http://twitter.com/NeilMellor33

Pedro Nieto- http://twitter.com/Pedronieto23

Richie Partridge- http://twitter.com/rpart1

Pele- http://twitter.com/Pele

Mick Rathbone- http://twitter.com/MickRathbone

Jamie Redknapp- http://twitter.com/JRedknapp_SS

Mark Robinson- http://twitter.com/robboma3

Ronaldo- http://twitter.com/ClaroRonaldo

Peter Schmeichel- http://twitter.com/Pschmeichel1

David Seaman- http://twitter.com/thedavidseaman

Gareth Southgate- http://twitter.com/GarethSouthgate

Ian Taylor- http://twitter.com/IanTaylor7

Phil Thompson- http://twitter.com/Phil_Thompson4

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Did I miss anyone? Leave a comment and I’ll update the list as soon as possible. Thanks!

The Twelve Days of Christmas…Football-Style!

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By viewing this entry, you are hereby required to sing the song while reading this post. 🙂

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On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the fifth  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the seventh  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the eighth  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Eight Ikers a-wagging

Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the ninth  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Nine Yoanns strolling

Eight Ikers a-wagging

Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the tenth  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Ten Webbs a-carding

Nine Yoanns strolling

Eight Ikers a-wagging

Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the eleventh  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Eleven Mous a-boasting

Ten Webbs a-carding

Nine Yoanns strolling

Eight Ikers a-wagging

Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

On the twelfth  day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Twelve players a-brawling

Eleven Mous a-boasting

Ten Webbs a-carding

Nine Yoanns strolling

Eight Ikers a-wagging

Seven Nandos stretching

Six Xabis winking

Five Owens!

Four laughing Becks

Three Lions

Two Stevie G’s

and A framed pic of Spain NT.

HAVE A HAPPY &  BOUNCEBACKABLE HOLIDAY SEASON!

Videos of the Day: The Evil Genius of Jose Mourinho.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t1RvkeixIQ

So here’s the lowdown: With his club Real Madrid winning 4-0 away to Ajax, Jose “The Special One” Mourinho gets Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to waste time. Both players then get sent off for a second yellow. Ramos & Alonso are suspended for the last group game which is immaterial to their standing. Both go into the knockout rounds with a clean card slate.

Sergio Ramos shook the ref’s hand on his way out of the pitch.

Bottom line? You can’t teach special like that in school, kids.

Pointless Nostalgia: Dreaming of My Own Red Army.

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Despite everything that has been happening, I refuse to give up and cry into my Liverpool scarf. It’s not as if the Apocalypse is going to happen anytime soon (knock on wood), and I firmly believe that the Reds will be able to rise from the ashes and recover from this…cruel case of footballing stupor they’ve been suffering from.

Meanwhile, as a wounded, bleeding fan, I am allowing myself the proverbial 15 minutes of wallowing in pain and self-pity–so I hereby present my list of players for whom I would give up my personal fortune to somehow magically join the 2010-2011 Liverpool squad:

1. Xabi Alonso (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for Real Madrid)
In all honesty, Liverpool have never, and for the near future, will not get over the departure of this Midfield Maestro. Every time I look at the evidence of how depleted and weak our current midfield is, I just want to laugh a hollow sort of  laugh because crying has never been my cup of tea. In times of trouble and uncertainty, Xabi can whip up passes and create space for our attacking players with unbelievable competence. His presence of mind and on-pitch awareness is more than enough to stabilize the team when we are struggling. Next to Steven Gerrard, he is the most complete footballer Liverpool has had during this generation, and no matter what Milan Jovanovic will do, he will sadly never ever live up to his predecessor’s legacy. Come back, Xabi, I am ready to beg and grovel on behalf of all the LFC supporters.

The Midfield Maestro. The Long Ranger. All-Around Gentleman.

2. Michael Owen (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for Manchester United)
Spare me the hating, the myopia and the criticism–this man is, and will always be a Liverpool legend for me. Yes, I was hurt when he left for Real Madrid, and yes, I was stunned when he signed for Manchester United, but we have to remember that in between those two deals were repeated, albeit botched negotiations to come back to Liverpool. The prospect of him linking up with Fernando Torres is an interesting one, not to mention that in reuniting with Steven Gerrard, he’ll be with one of the midfielders who can read, find and play him the ball within a 5-mile radius. Let’s face it, we badly need a Fox in the Box, and wee Mickey will play that role extremely well. Although it is highly unlikely that Man United will sell him to the Reds, it is not impossible, and agreeing to move to his boyhood club to fight for Premiership survival will be the ultimate acid test for him, so I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

I will never stop hoping for his Anfield return.

I will never stop hoping for his Anfield return.

3. Danny Murphy (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for Fulham)

 Do you see a pattern emerging here? Yes, I am extremely fond of the members of the so-called Scouse Mafia, even after their cruel and untimely demise at the hands of Rafa Benitez during 2004. My memory of Danny as a Red is that he’s always been tireless and hardworking, and of course, who can forget the screamers and match-winners he has scored throughout the years, especially against the Mancs? Heaven knows we can use someone who can blast the ball with a fury of a scorned woman nowadays.

Ever-reliable. Especially against the Mancs.

4. Dietmar Hamann (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for Milton Keynes Dons)
Liverpool’s original Eminence Grise before the arrival of Xabi Alonso, the one fans fondly called The Kaiser. His unique mixture of  German efficiency, nerves of steel and humility will remain unparalleled for a long time. Oh, and I will always bow to his foot with the broken toe that converted the first penalty kick in the 2005 Champions League Final penalty shootout. Speaking of penalties, he is your man if you want them converted without breaking a sweat.

Didi. Always dependable and firmly grounded.

5. John Arne Riise (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for A.S. Roma)
The left-back with the golden strike. I’ve lost count of the number of important long-range goals and screamers he has scored for LFC during his stay. Equal parts famous and infamous for his “We never give up. Cowards give up.” quote during the 2006 season–we can badly use someone with that kind of attitude right about now.

Okay, I’d be lying if I say I don’t miss his trademark goal celebrations, too.

6. Sami Hyypia (ex-Liverpool player, now plays for Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
THE Rock that helped establish Liverpool FC as a Defensive Powerhouse in the mid-2000s. I can still vividly remember the seasons when we were called “The Best Defensive Club in the Premier League”. Nowadays, Sami would most probably be slapping his forehead in frustration with the quality, or complete lack, of defense in the team. Very few defenders nowadays can measure up to the dedication and work ethic of his. A true Red since childhood, he’s truly one of the wisest signings the club has made.

Super Sami’s made of pure Finnish steel that became the nightmare of rival players.

7. Scott Parker (ex-Newcastle United player, now plays for West ham United)
The Wildcard in my list. No, I am not on a wind-up. I’ve followed him from Charlton to Chelsea to Newcastle United and I truly believe this man is one of the most talented Midfielders in England. He is horribly underrated both by Premier League clubs and the FA. His passing and tackling skills are both on point, and when he decides to push forward, he becomes a potent goalscoring threat. Having had experienced trying times such as injuries, management changes, even relegation battles, and still managing to maintain consistency and diligence makes him a good fit for an obviously struggling Liverpool side.

Stats don't lie. This lad has talent. End of.

Stats don’t lie. This lad has talent. End of.

I hardly think this will ever reach the attention of Roy Hodgson, let alone the new owners, but during testing times like this, it’s a refreshing change to do away with extreme negativity and meta-analyses and simply just…dream. After all, if above us there is only sky, then maybe the supporters’ dreams and wishes can make it up there for the consideration of a Higher Being.

Meanwhile, excuse me while I brush up on my prayers and novenas–Liverpool FC is going to need nothing less than divine intervention now, and you know what, sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing.

Reversal of Fortunes: Real Madrid vs Barcelona Round 2

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Never be too sure about anything in football.

Barcelona 0-2 Hercules

Just when I thought that Barcelona was going to walk their match against newly-promoted side Hercules, they went and lost 2-0.

Yes, 2-0. The Primera Liga defending Champions, with no less than 5 World Cup-winning players on their squad, were soundly beaten by humble Hercules.

Operation Giant-killing is now well and truly underway in La Liga.

P.S. Gerard Pique continues to be hounded by unfortunate on-pitch incidents, as his clash with the Hercules goalkeeper resulted in quite a painful, bloody mess:

Don’t worry, Pique fangirls. He’s okay.

Real Madrid 1-0 Osasuna

Meanwhile, Real Madrid went into their match with Osasuna determined to forget the lackluster goalless draw with Mallorca during Week 1. Cristiano Ronaldo made an astounding recovery and came back from injury to feature in Mourinho’s side. Still, a goalfest has yet to be produced by the Los Blancos and ironically, it was new signing, Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho, that produced the match-winning goal.

Have a Xabi Alonso side-eye screencap, Madridistas:

Also, this post will not be complete without recognizing that Sunday was the 12th Anniversary of Real Madrid Captain Iker Casillas’ debut in the Primera Liga. All hail the man with probably one of the best profiles in the world:

For this round, Real Madrid wins. Current standing: Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid.

There you have it, a complete reversal of fortunes for the 2 Title Contenders in a span of a fortnight. To make things interesting, the club that sits atop the La Liga standings right now happens to be Atletico Madrid. I bet the Real Madrid blacksuits are just seething. Then again, it’s still early days so Atletico better enjoy their present standing while they can, for who knows, tomorrow or next week it just might be Hercules lodged in their place.

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