The rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund is not so much equals staring one another down, but rather big brother-little brother. Munich is the unquestionable King of German soccer, while Dortrmund has lead a bit of an insurrection in recent years. This season, Bayern reclaimed the bundesliga crown and knocked out Dortmund in the German Cup, but found themselves in the Champions League semifinals across brackets.
Another year, another disappointment. No decima. No dice. Madrid fought the good fight in the King's Cup, conceded La Liga way early, and fell in the semifinals of the Champions League. Despite some fun wins at the Camp Nou, even Jose Mourinho has admitted this is his worst season ever.
Did you see that? Wow. Never has Raul Albiol been made to look so...Raul Albiol. Since Ronaldinho's elastico and Robinho's sombrero, soccer has gone quiet on the dribbling front. Yes, Neymar has rubber legs and a bag of tricks. However, he walks a path blazed by Garrincha. Brilliance is making the difficult look simple.
Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement last Wednesday. Tears were shed. Thank you's exchanged. Pleasantries spoken. The world held its breath for a grand total of 24 hours before United announced their next manager: fellow Scot David Moyes, of Everton.
However, what wasn't announced was United's frantic search to find a replacement.
Another year, another lesson in shaming by the MLS Players' Union. It's no secret that MLS salaries are lower than other pro sports in North American and pale in comparison to top European leagues. The bigger secret is how MLS salaries reflect the sad reality of the US workforce at large: for the last two decades, we've all worked harder and earned less.
Don't you hate it when your favorite blogger hops and skips about and blogs at sites other than his own blog domain? You have to, like, click on links and go to other sites. It's quite inconvenient. Well, alas, prepare yourself. I have put finger to touchscreen for a few other fine sites. Here they are:
Please disregard my recent eBook, it's not always all about Real Madrid & Barcelona.
Guess what eBook goes on sale to the general public today? A hint. Look at the above image. Details after the jump.
For only $6, you can now get a hundred years of history in glorious eBook technicolor! I'm proud to announce that the eBook, a tour de force on the first hundred years of this rivalry, is available at the following outlets:
You can buy a copy at Amazon for your Kindle by clicking HERE (Or on the icon below).
Real Madrid fell a single goal short in their comeback attempt vs. Dortmund. Barcelona got smoked at home by Munich. All glory is fleeting. But fans of both clubs can glance back at 100 years of history to conjure up fond memories and look forwards to a future of trophies. Thanks to my Kickstarter backers, I had the pleasure of researching, writing, and now publishing a book on the first hundred years of this rivalry.
There are some excellent scribes who write about Argentine Soccer. Sam Kelly. Dan Colasimone. Ed Malyon. Most of them live in Buenos Aires, whereas my own tenure there was an all too brief six months (several years ago). However, there's just one problem: none of the aforementioned writers are pricks.
Destruction is inevitable, creation divine. For most forwards in soccer, we ask little. If you loiter in the 18 yard box for 90 minutes, that's okay. If you're occasionally offsides, that's okay. All we want is the bare minimum: competent finishing. If you get an open header, firmly place the ball on frame, or, even better, towards a low corner.
High school yearbooks. Reunions. Facebook. The universe conspires to nostalgically divide time into "watershed moments" that "forever mark" our lives. When the smoke cleared in Munich, a 4-0 shellacking had folks cuing Green Day's "Good Riddance", saying adios to the Iberian era of dominance, and gushing about a new era of Bavarian brilliance.
James: Hello, this is James and John again reporting but this time from Old Trafford, where a mouthwatering match awaits us.
John: James, the story of the day is obviously not United's potential record 20th Premiership crown or Aston Villa's fight against relegation, but rather whether, if United win this game and the title, will Sir Alex Ferguson then name Robin Van Persie to play in next week's game vs.
The universe demands, dare I say, cries out for another clasico. However, UEFA is a tease rather than repeating a Spanish Champions League semi-final from two years ago, a few German speed bumps have emerged. As in, Barcelona and Real Madrid will not face one another. Rather, they will face German teams.