Iker’s got a pair of brand new shoes (and gloves)

Iker Casillas said a tearful good-bye to Reebok, who have kept him geared-up and looking awesome for over a decade, yesterday.

Who could ever forget this little piece of their advertizing genius

Best Iker Ad Ever (well, photo ad at any rate)

He has switched over to the big boys of European sportswear. Save Barcelona and Portugal, these kings of kits and barons of boots outfit all my favorite teams in Europe. The hallowed name, of course, is Adidas. And Iker has joined their almost cult like campaign by going all in.

Does that include all his worldly possessions?

The world’s best goalie, for…ah, how many years running is it now? No clue, great, so we’ll go with now and ever shall be, is set to debut his new duds in Real Madrid’s game away to Mallorca tomorrow.

Of course, everyone will be checking out the new gloves and boots in action, but true fans will keep a close eye on Iker’s hands because we will finally get an answer to an age-old Iker query. Why his he constantly readjusting his gloves? Is it something to do with their design, or (and this is the more likely) is it some sort of nervous twitch that will carry merrily on to the next creators of the most hallowed gloves in footballdom.

In either case, we wish the fusion of gear and goalie to be complete so he can keep doing this

Iker Save

So we can keep seeing this

Iker Celebrates World Cup Win

And most especially this

Spain Win World Cup


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Filed under Euro, Football Themes, La Liga, National Teams, World Cup

End of the Spain Christmas Cookie Story

Well, the holidays are all tapped out. Even the dia de los reyes has come and gone. So its high time I end my Christmas cookie adventure.

My family and I were loathed to eat the adorable, cookied versions of the Spanish National team, so my dad lovingly packaged them up in one of the left over Christmas boxes and sent them home with me. I, in turn, planned to dish them out to my freezing colleagues, who were all cramped into a small office space as the main buildings had their heat shut off till New Year’s.

This was a brilliant plan, for it prevented me from having to face down the prospect of eating them. But like all careful scheming something went amiss. Xabi Alonso did what he is wont to do and took one for the team.

Alonso goes down in the World Cup Final

His cookie version lost a leg in transport. In the end, I ate him. It was not a pleasant experience and the only way I could do it was by flipping the cookie upside down so I couldn’t see his shiny frosting kit and happy face get mercilessly chomped on.

Xabi is way to cute to eat

Thankfully, the rest survived the trip and were set out for hungry passers-by to consume. They got rave reviews. They were cute and delicious by all accounts. But as my fellow cogs in the wheel are not as futbol nuts as I am and really who is. So they didn’t really know what the cookies were supposed to be. They got the sports relationship, but I got told how nice the football players (right name but wrong country for it) and rugby players (don’t ask) were. Ah, well, they were still appreciated. I was content to sit with my back to the carnage of gnashing teeth over soft sugar cookie.

Most of this cookie demolition didn’t faze me but for one member of our staff who insisted on taking her time in eating them. She drove me fairly nuts when she decided to eat Messi’s legs and then save the rest for later. For half a day, I walked past the sight of this cookie without its legs.

Christmas Cookie of Lionel Messi

Point of fact, this was the first one I made, hence the horrid frosting job, before my sister caught wind of it and I started on my La Roja kick.

Anyway, the little cookie men vanished one-by-one. The Barca players outlasted everyone else.The last three on the plate were Iniesta, Xavi and Villa. They were eaten in that order until there was just crumbs of tan cookie and red and blue frosting flecking the plate.

Villa is the Last Christmas Cookie Standing

So ends this year’s Christmas cookie footy tale. We are already talking about next year’s batch. My dad suggested I make players I don’t like so we can eat them. I’d rather make the Euro wining side, so come on Spain, Germany, Portugal, England, and Sweden one of you ought to be able to take the honors. Otherwise, I’ll be making the Copa America winning Uruguayan team from last year. Hey that’s not a bad idea either.

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Filed under Football Themes, La Liga, World Cup

I’ve Decided to go to Twitter for a Chance at Champions League Silverware

OK, not really, but you have to admit that with the January transfer window looming it’s a dang good title. I really added some twitter action to my life so that I could tweet short things that I don’t have time to make a proper post out of. So check me out at Fanatical4Football @Fan4Football.

Also for those interested in the fate of the cookies…well, I’ll have more on twitter and here soon. But here is a teaser to their grand adventure.

Xavi and Villa are the Last "Men" Standing

Happy New Year!

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Filed under Football Themes

Christmas Cookies of the Spanish National Team

Feliz Navidad!

Bon Nadal!

Merry Christmas!


My family has a tradition of making homemade Christmas cookies and  decorating them to the nines. We are not professionals by any stretch and do this as just a bit of holiday fun. You know, Christmas trees for the girls, bloody spear-points for the boys (thank you Simpsons). So whilst my sister was hogging the green and I’d already completed my requisite spear-points, I grabbed the red and gold before me and made a Spanish flag tree.

Spanish Flag Tree Cookie

Then several cookies later, I made a Torres cookie in goal-scoring mode.

Torres Christmas Cookie

Yes, the yellow dot is supposed to be a star of the World Cup winning variety.

My sister, who is not a footy fan but puts up with my love of the game and guys valiantly, bet me that I couldn’t make the whole Spanish National team out of cookies. She won by default because there simply were not enough cookies to make the 25 man team.  I didn’t realize that until I was in to the double digits, but I none-the-less had lots of fun making the ones that I could. So enjoy the La Furia Roja cookie funness.

Spanish National Team in Christmas Cookie form

Happy Holidays from Spain’s starting 11 (World Cup era)

The Captain and goalie sends out his best wishes for a Feliz Navidad!

Casillas as a Christmas Cookie

Bon Nadal from the best center back pair around.

Pique and Puyol in Cookie form

Not to be out done,

Capdevila and Sergio Ramos as Christmas Cookies

the rest of the back-four sends their love.

Here’s the midfield thinking warm cookie thoughts for a sweet family fun.

Sergio Busquets and Alonso as Christmas Cookies

Xavi and Iniesta as Christmas Cookies

And everyone’s favorite strike pair wishing for lots of good luck in the New Year.

Christmas Cookie Torres and Villa

Poor Villa comes complete with cast. Get better soon!

Last but definitely not least is a shot or two of Spain’s high-class subs bench.

Marchena and Albiol as Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookie Versions of Silva and Mata

Sorry for the slightly messed up 13 Mata I was getting kinda punchy by then.

Please note that I did this mostly from memory with occasional help with numbers via Pepe’s World Cup speech, so I’m sure I messed up something. Feel free to let me know what it was in comments.

The man himself made it into cookie form as the very last one I managed to make. Here he is diving for a save.

Pepe Reina as Christmas Cookie

Then the boys were good enough to pose for some group shots.

Real Madrid Members of Spain’s Team
Photo by Me
La Masia FC Barcelona Members of Spain’s Team
Photo by Me

Premier League Members of the Spain's Team

To end things off on a super sweet note a few of my favorite pics.

Sergio Ramos and Casillas

Sergio Ramos and Casillas

Cesc, Pique, and Puyol (AKA The Three Musketeers)


Filed under Football Themes, La Liga, National Teams, Premier League, World Cup

Carpenters of Barcelona Rejoice! (FC Barca Win Club World Cup)

If you are an installer of shelving in the Barcelona area, you’re not worried about the fact that the Euro is collapsing or the Spain’s economy is crumbling because every single person who gets off the plane from Japan, and one who’s laid up in bed, will need new shelves put in for their new silverware.

Pique Dreams of New Trophy Cabinets

Seriously, where on earth do they put all this stuff!

Iniesta and Cesc Celebrate Club World Cup

Not sure if they meant to do this, but Iniesta has two fingers up showing us that this his second Club World Cup as he won it with more or less the same Barca team in 2009. Cesc is pleased to remind us that this his first World Cup victory on the club side. Also, I love his hair this picture.

Any who, FC Barcelona took Brazilian team Santos FC, complete with Neymar, to town beating them 4-0 in the final. Messi opened and closed the scoring on 16 and 82 minutes respectively with Xavi pitching in on the 23rd and Cesc making his presence known on the 44th.

Happy as we are for the boys of blaugrana who were on the pitch and a manager who has now won ah, I think this makes 19 titles but don’t quote it is so easy to lose track with these boys,  I’m even more happy that Villa will be able to complete his collection of winning, well everything.

Quote from Villa’s web page before the start of the Club World Cup:

The FIFA Club World Cup is a very special championship for Villa, because it is the only trophy he hasn’t got yet, so till now he has achieved the Liga, Champions League, Spanish King`s Cup, Spanish and European Supercup, UEFA Euro, and the World Cup.

(Not that he’s the only one on the Barca team that can say they’ve won everything now mind you)

But this is despite his only being able to play for 37 minutes of the competition when he broke his left tibia during Barca’s 4-0 rout of Al-Sadd in the semifinal.

Villa Carried off the Pitch

El Guaje, Spain’s leading goal scorer, will have surgery tomorrow on his leg and will then undergo a long recuperation process, 4-6 months depending on who you ask. The man himself will think of Munchen in spring time to get back up to snuff for the Champions League Final in Allianz Arena in May.

Villa on Facebook:

Hola a tod@s! Gracias por vuestros ánimos!!! Esta lesión es un golpe duro, pero estoy convencido de que me voy a recuperar lo antes posible, pensando en jugar la final de Munich (sé que mis compañeros me llevarán a ella) y la Eurocopa. Voy a trabajar duro para ello. Que cuenten conmigo!!! Mañana ya estaré en España. Un abrazo!

I guess this means his Barca teammates better make sure to get there!

Mucha Furerza Gauje! (to steal the words printed on the Barca player’s shirt worn at the final)

I wish you the speediest of speedy recoveries. We all want you back to goal poaching glory by the Euros, well maybe not the Germans or the Dutch, or the Italians…you know what I mean.

In the mean time, I’ll close with this; the words of Xavi Hernandez on Facebook today “Somos campeones del mundo ..!” For me what goes after those three little dots is the word “again” but I don’t think anyone will ever get tired of saying it.

Play it again boys!

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Filed under Club World Cup, La Liga

11-1 = How Many? (10 men Bayern Munchen over FC Koln 3-0)

FC Koln came to Allianz arena on Friday to defend. They sat the whole squad, indulging lone striker Lukas Podolski, behind the ball an in their own half for most of the game. The tactic was a good idea for going up against Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munchen, on their home turf.  But when Ribery picked up two yellow cards for a pointless dispute with Sereno on 33 minutes with the score still at 0-0, one might have expected the mentality of Koln to change.

Ribery Red Carded After Altercation with Sereno

They only thing I can figure is that no one on the Koln side stopped defending long enough to do the math. They went right on playing like Bayern still had 11 men on the field. Of course, when the half-time team talk came around the home side did realize that Koln wasn’t going to try to go for their jugular. So Baryern figured that if Koln thought they still had 11 men then they would play that way. They emerged from the tunnel ready to go and Gomez got them on the score-sheet promptly after (48′) off of a last-ditch assist from Muller who was falling inside the box as he passed the ball on. Muller was then substituted for Alaba, who went on to score in the 63′ when the Koln defense failed to clear a Kroos corner kick. Kroos wrapped up the scoring in a nice Weihnachten bow with his beautiful finishing as he chipped the keeper in the 88th minute.

Gomez Joins Alaba to Celebrate his Goal

Oh, and did I mention that the ball popped after being deflected from a van Buyten free kick. Robben disposed of it properly by kicking it into the stands.

Robben with Exploded Adidas Ball


Filed under Bundesliga

Now Boarding: Uruguayan Transfers

Several members of the Copa America winning Uruguay squad will be backing their bags as the transfer window closes.

Coates will be joining his gun-slinging countryman in the red and white of Liverpool to shore up the back-line.

Coates Accepts the Award for Best Young Player at the 2010 Copa America

In profile: Sebastian Coates

Coates centerback mentor and Uruguay captain, Diego Lugano, jumped from Turkey’s Fenerbahce to France’s Paris St Germain.

Lugano Joins PSG

He looks there a bit like he just got off the plane and isn’t sure which country he’s in. I’m sure he’ll settle in soon though.

Then there’s Diego Forlan, who leaves Atletico Madrid for Inter Milan.

Who the hell saw that coming?

Well, we knew he would be exiting Madrid. But as he pointed out himself, “It’s not everyday you get the change to play for Inter Milan at 32. Let’s hope I can meet expectations.”

I’ve got my fingers crossed for you! Forlan is an amazing talent and, as that quote shows, just a stand up kind of guy. I wish him all kinds of luck.

Forlan Already Signing Autographs for Inter Fans

He’ll join about half the Uruguayan team hanging out in Italy. With Cavani and Gargano camped out in Napoli and several more scattered about. But he will miss out on the chance to score against national keeper Fernando Muslera who went from Lazio to Galatasaray.

Muslera Joins Galatasaray

This time of year is always a bit hard on fans and players alike (I can only imagine what their families go through). You get used to seeing someone week in week out. You have your ups and downs together. You build a strange kind of life together and then one day you wake up and check the news or new team roster and realize they are gone.

You can’t help but feel something. You might be angry. You might be glad. If they’ve moved down the street or suddenly become the opposition in the Champions League you might have to think about your loyalties and how they will be received when next you meet. If they’ve moved half way around the world, into a league you don’t follow. You may feel quite a big sense of loss, not to be able to see them again for a long time.

But while all these emotional responses are understandable, I think preservative is always important. After all of the flack that players like Cesc and Neuer and others have gotten this transfer season the words of Forlan really spoke to me.

“Some moments weren’t great (referring to his time at Atletico) but the majority of years here have been spectacular. But I’m happy with the decisions I’ve taken because life goes on, players come and go and you have to accept that.”

Here! Here! Suck it up people! Wish these outstanding athletes well. Be respectful of them when you meet again. And remember that your life and theirs simply must go on.

So I will end with this. To all you weary travelers that find yourself in new colors, with a new coach and teammates and perhaps speaking a new language:

Good Luck!

Buena Suerte!

Viel Glück!

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Filed under Copa America, La Liga, Premier League, Preseason, Serie A