Posts Tagged Sergio Ramos

5 Sexiest Bearded World Cup Players

Beards are sexy. Footballers are sexy. Here are the red hot results of what happens when you put the two together.

 

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Sky Sports Germany pokes fun at Spanish football

The Champions League has reached its final stage and the Germans are rejoicing. It’s the first time that two German teams will be facing each other in the final.

So naturally, like a good sport, when you are winning you make fun of the opposition. That’s exactly what Sky Sports Germany has done. In an ad released earlier this month, the sports broadcaster quite literally sticks it to the Spanish.

The ad is set in a bull fighting arena and dramatic music builds up to the mighty bull fighter’s entry. We see only the maestro’s feet but sadly it’s all over before you can even say Vamos.

All our hopes of a handsome, brave, Spaniard are dashed as a fat, mustachioed old man with Bayern and Dortmund flags up his rear end is revealed as the bull fighter.

The video ends with the words “Adios amigos! The way to Wembley.”

One can only wonder how bull fighting fan Sergio Ramos is coping with all this hurt.

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Sergio Ramos: A star is born

Sergio Ramos, the man whose exploits alone could provide life long fodder for the meme community, has yet again proven that he is a man of many talents. It turns out the golden locked wonder, who likes throwing trophies off  the top of high buses, can sing.

In a recent video published on the official La Liga YouTube channel, the Real Madrid defender successfully crooned alongside Flamenco singer Canelita.

On the other hand, Swindon Town manager, Paolo Di Canio, restored the football-musical talent balance when he went onstage to sing the chorus to British band  Toploader’s hit song ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’.

The band were doing a concert at The Country Ground as a part of the the celebrations for Swindon Town winning the League Two title.

The Robins’ manager could probably blame all the shouting at the referees for his performance.

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World Cup 2010 Final: Netherlands vs. Spain

The final of the World Cup between Netherlands and Spain is going to be a fascinating contest considering how similar the two teams are in their style. Both of them have been traditionally talented teams who play attractive football, have a reputation of ‘bottling it’, underachieving at major competitions and have never won the World Cup.

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Netherlands

Ranking: 4

Netherlands have a greater World Cup record than Spain and have reached the finals of the competition 2 times before. They have a slight advantage going into this game over Spain in the sense that they had 1 day more rest than the Spaniards. Also, Netherlands is the only team this World Cup who came from behind to win their game and they managed that feat against the mighty Brazil. The Dutch are yet to lose in this World Cup and the team will go all out today, to ensure that it is third time lucky for the Dutch.

The Netherlands manager BertVan Marwijk has no injured players and will most likely go with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Maarten Stekelenburg in goal.Their defence will be lead by their captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Gregory van der Wiel, John Heitinga and Joris Mathijsen. Netherland’s strength is their midfield. They have basically two defending midfielders and 3 attacking midfielders. Mark van Bommel and Nigel De Jong recover balls, keep possession,support the back four and launch attacks while Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder are all capable of scoring and changing games. Robin Van Persie will play upfront as the lone striker and eventhough he hasn’t had a great World Cup, he is in no way not dangerous.

To win and get rid of the tag of  being ‘the best team to never have won the World Cup’, Netherlands must keep possession, take risks and press Spain up front. If they decide to sit back against Spain, they will lose.

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Spain

Ranking: 2

Spain can also be called the ‘best team to never have won the World Cup’ and if they lose today that tag will be truer than ever before. The current Spanish team has the best midfield in the world, however, they are still to really convince (and by that I mean score a lot of goals) in this World Cup. However, they have lost only one game so far. Spain were simply brilliant in the way they outplayed Germany in their last match showing that their is a new maturity to this traditionally flamboyant national team. In a tournament where results matter more than how  those results were, Spain have proved to be very very good.  Today they will want to create history by not only winning their first World Cup but also by becoming the only team to have won the World Cup after having lost their first World Cup game.

Spain manager Vincente Del Bosque also has all his starting XI available and will go with a 4-2-3-1 formation and Fernando Torres will probably once again start on the bench, especially since his replacement Pedro put in a great performance in the last match. The youngster was brilliant throughout the game against Germany and didn’t set a foot wrong except when he got a little selfish and cost Spain a sure-shot goal  by trying to score a goal himself rather than pass to David Villa. Iker Casillas will be in goal for Spain with Sergio Ramos,Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Joan Capdevila forming Spain’s defence. Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso sit ahead of them protecting the back four, keeping possession and launching attacks. Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and David Silva will make up Spain’s attacking midfield with David Villa up front.

Spain will be patient and will want to keep possession up front, like they did against Germany and search for openings for David Villa. They will need to be extra careful to keep Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder at bay.

The match is going to spell ecstasy for 11 players and absolute agony for the other 11 and is one of the toughest matches to call even though Spain definitely have an edge over the Dutch going into the game. The Dutch on the other hand have luck on their side considering their defenders have gotten away with some tackles which were close calls, they  won against Uruguay after their Wesley Sneijders’s shot took deflection and no one noticed Van Persie being offside and they got a Brazilian (Felipe Melo) to score an own goal. The stats seem to be on their side too, since they surely must even out not having won despite having reached the Finals. Spain, have the terrible stat of no team having won the World Cup after losing their first game to fight but then again they have octopus Paul on their side!

Manager Speak

“It doesn’t interest me who is the favourite, I don’t care what the world is saying. We will play our own game.” – Bert Van Marwijk, Netherlands manager

“Both have players of great technical ability. It’s going to be great propaganda for world football.” Vincente Del Bosque, Spain manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Netherlands: Wesley Sniejder, Arjen Robben, John Heitinga

Spain: David Villa, Andreas Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Ramos

Go Figure!

This is the first World Cup final that does not involve one of Brazil, Argentina, Italy or (West) Germany

If Holland are the victors they will be the only the second side ever (Brazil in 1970 were the other) to win every match in qualifying and at the tournament itself

If Spain triumph in the final they will be the first side ever to win the World Cup after losing their first game

Spain have completed 3,387 passes at the World Cup – more than any other side

Wesley Sneijder has scored seven goals in his last eight internationals

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World Cup Preview: Germany vs. Spain

The second Semi-Final of the World Cup 2010 has all the elements to make it a classic. It sees a young, vibrant, new-look German side who have been stamping their authority on the tournament round by round take on Spain who have not hit top-form in the tournament yet.

The fixture is a repeat of the 2008 European Championship Final in which Lukas Podolski was head-butted by David Silva in an incident missed by the officials and a Fernando Torres strike broke German hearts settling the match 1-0 in Spain’s favour. The Germans would like nothing more than to turn the tables on Spain today.

Spain who are often labelled as ‘underachievers’ at major tournaments, ‘partly’ got rid of that label with 2008 Euro win but their real test will be winning the World Cup, something they have never done before. Interestingly, Germany who are almost always favourites haven’t won the World Cup since reunification and will want to win it this time with their vibrant, multi-ethnic team.

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Germany

Ranking: 6

Germany have been the surprise of the tournament. Joachim Loew’s team with so many young players coming in to replace injured experienced players and most players playing at changed positions was written off even before a ball was kicked. However, Germany in their first match against Australia won with an impressive 4 goals and single-handedly lighted up a World Cup which was till then looking quite drab. Doubters like me, continued to believe that the win was more courtesy of a poor performance by Australia than phenomenal German play. However, to prove that the performance against Australia was no fluke, Germany have since then repeated the feat of scoring 4 goals as they knockout heavyweights Argentina and  England out of the tournament, on their way to the Semi-Final.

Its tough not to support this German side which quite sensibly favours youth and pace over the oft overrated experience and today will be another test for them. Germany are without the suspended Thomas Muellar while both Cacau and Sami Khedira have shaken off their injuries and will be available for today’s match. Thomas Muellar will most likely be replaced by Toni Koos on the right.

Germany manager Joachim Loew will go with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Manuel Neuer in goal and Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng at the back. Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger will look to control the midfield.  Mesut Ozil and Toni Koos will combine with Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose to form Germany’s attack.

For Germany to win today, they need Khedira and Schweinsteiger to control the formidable Spanish duo of Iniesta and Xavi Alonso in midfield. Another interesting battle will be the one down the German right and the Spanish left between David Villa and Philip Lahm. David Villa has been absolutely stunning in the World Cup and if the German captain can contain the Spaniard, he would have negated Spain’s most potent goal threat.

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Spain

Ranking: 2

Spain came into the World Cup as one of the favourites. They have won every single game since their shock defeat against Switzerland in their World Cup opening match. However, La Furia Roja have yet to have as authoritative a win as Germany’s wins in their matches. Spain have struggled to find goals with Fernando Torres not being able to find form and defensive teams being successful in containing their midfield. Even Spain’s defence hasn’t looked its best. The free-scoring Spain have a reputation to protect today, with  Germany’s 13 goals being more than double the number that Spain have managed so far.

Vincente Del Bosque will be faced with a tough decision about whether or not to keep Fernando Torres in the starting line-up. The striker has struggled to find form and playing him today might be Spain’s undoing. However, he did score the winner in the 2008 Euro and is a super finisher when he is in form.  If the Liverpool striker is dropped he will most likely be replaced by Cescs Fabregas (who probably isn’t 100% fit) or David Silva (of Lukas Podolski headbutt fame).

Spain will go with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Iker Casillas in goal and Sergio Ramos,Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Joan Capdevila at the back. Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso sit ahead of them. Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and David Silva will make up Spain’s attacking midfield with David Villa up front.

Spain’s Carles Puyol who has been known to lose his focus sometimes cannot afford to do so today as he tries to keep Germany’s ‘national’ goal scoring machine Miroslav Klose at bay. Sergio Busquets is another player whose performance could be crucial for Spain. The Barcelona star  must contain one of the stars of the 2010 World Cup and the most likely to win ‘the best young player’ award for this World Cup Mesut Ozil from supplying  to Germany’s attackers, for Spain to frustrate Germany.

Spain have the best midfield in the tournament while Germany have the best attack in the  tournament. Spain must not make the mistake Argentina and England made against Germany and need to control the game and keep their organisation to win. So far, Germany have been defying the odds and winning. However, Spain are still Spain and can’t be written off just because they aren’t in top-gear yet. They can turn it on anytime and are dangerous even when they aren’t at their best.

Manager Speak

“Spain do not have one Messi. They have more than one Messi. Especially in attack there are many players who can decide a game. Spain are not like England and Argentina, teams that make mistakes.” – Joachim Loew, Germany manager

“We know we can play better than we have done so far, hopefully it will be an open match and a good advert for football.” – Vincente Del Bosque

Lucky Charms

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Germany

Okay, so the octopus has ditched Germany by predicting a Spain win. However, Germany have another potent weapon in Joachim Loew’s blue jumper which the manager was wearing when Germany beat Argentina and England. Loew will be wearing the blue jumper today and so far whenever he dons the blue sweater, Germany score 4 goals. Spain you have been warned.

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Spain

If Germany have their blue sweater, Spain have Rafael Nadal. Yep, the Spanish tennis star.  The last time Nadal won the Wimbledon (his first Wimbledon title), Spain won the Euro. He has won the Wimbledon again. Germany you have been warned.

Stars to Watch Out For

Germany: Miroslav Klose, Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski

Spain: David Villa, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos

Go Figure!

Thomas Müller could be missed – he has scored four goals from four shots on target in this tournament

David Villa is one goal away from equalling Raúl’s record as Spain’s all-time top scorer (44)

Xavi has completed more passes at the World Cup (404) than any other player

All 14 of Miroslav Klose’s World Cup goals have come in open play and from inside the box, and half of them have been headers.

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World Cup Preview: Spain vs. Portugal

Two years ago, on this day, Spain beat Germany to break their major tournament jinx and lift the European Championship trophy. Today, they can continue on that tradition and take a very significant step towards breaking their World Cup hex by beating neighbours Portugal. The two teams have met 32 times in international football. Portugal have won just five matches, Spain 15 and there have been 12 draws. However, Spain have only beaten Portugal once in ten matches since 1958 and the last time the two teams met Portugal won 1-0, knocking Spain out of the 2004 Euro in the group stages.

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Spain

Ranking: 2

Spain entered the World Cup as favourites for the first time. They have always had a talented, entertaining team but since they always underachieved at major tournaments, no one really ever thought of them as favourites. All that changed however,with their 2008 win at the European Championships and now Spain have to live with the pressure of expectation every time they get on the pitch. It is probably this pressure to perform which saw Spain unable to score against Switzerland and also concede a very sloppy goal which made their last game in the group stages a must-win game. The European champions, however, have gotten over that shock dealt to them by the Swiss and have looked good against Honduras and Chile but that defeat showed other teams how to beat Spain.

Spain manager, Vincente Del Bosque will most likely play a 4-2-3-1 formation with Iker Casillas in goal. Sergio Ramos, Gerrard Pique, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevilla will form Spain’s back four. Xabi Alonso who sprained his ankle during Spain’s 2-1 win over Chile, will most likely be replaced by Xavi Martinez who will play alongside Sergio Busquets in defensive mid-field. Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and David Villa will make up Spain’s attacking midfield and support Fernando Torres in front.

Portugal have great wingers who pose a massive threat to Spain on the counter and Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevilla will have to be extra sharp today.

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Portugal

Ranking: 3

Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo. That is all that most people seem to relate with Portugal. Cristiano is definitely one of those players that can change the complexion of any game and since Cristiano hasn’t been extremely effective for his national side, many people wrote off Portugal’s chances. However, Portugal have proved that although they may not play the prettiest of football at times, they have found a way of staying in the competition and getting results. They managed a very good albeit dull draw against Ivory Coast and then held Brazil. Anyone who can keep Brazil from scoring is dangerous in their own way. Portugal have transformed themselves in to a very good defensive side. They are yet to concede a goal in the World Cup and have kept 22 clean sheets in their last 26 matches. Furthermore, they have gone 19 games unbeaten under coach Carlos Queiroz. Portugal’s only weakness it seems is their inability to score goals and that they lack an out and out striker. However, they do have incredibly talented wingers in Cristiano Ronaldo and Simao Sabrosa who can catch any team on the counter. So even though, it seems impossible for any team to keep the very talented Spanish squad from scoring, Portugal just might. Also, if Cristiano Ronaldo can tame the Jabulani, Portugal would have a great advantage from set pieces especially since Iker Casillas and Spain are not the best, at defending set-pieces.

Portugal manager, Carlos Queiroz will most likely play a 4-3-3 formation with Eduardo in goal. Paulo Ferreira, Bruno Alves, Ricardo Carvalho, Fabio Coentrao will form ‘the great wall of Portugal’. Although Deco has recovered from the hip injury that forced him to miss Portugal’s final Group G game against Brazil, he is unlikely to be in the starting line-up as Tiago has done very well so far. Another player sure to miss out is the injured midfielder Danny. Pepe will most likely retain his position in Portugal’s midfield alongside Tiago and Raul Meireles and Portugal’s attack will be lead by Simao Sabrosa and Cristiano Ronaldo playing on the wing on either side of Liedson.

Although, Spain have to be the favourites going in to this match considering the quality they have in their team, Portugal cannot be counted out especially since they have a very good defence and have players that can be lethal on counter-attacks. The match bound to be a very close one and if it goes to extra time, then Portugal will win.

Manager Speak

“Portugal are going to be a very tough side. I take no satisfaction from the fact we’re up against Portugal instead of Brazil. They are both great national teams.”- Vincente Del Bosque, Spain manager

“We want to win this game from the very first minute.” – Carlos Queiroz, Portugal manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Spain: David Villa, Andres Iniesta,Xavi Hernandez, Fernando Torres

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul Meireles, Tiago, Simão Sabrosa

Go Figure!

David Villa has scored six goals in six starts at the World Cup and is now the all-time top scorer for Spain at the tournament.

Portugal have failed to score in their last two World Cup knockout matches – 0-0 (aet) against England in the quarter-final and a 1-0 defeat to France in the semi-final in 2006.

Spain have kept clean sheets in 26% of their World Cup games (nine out of 34) since the start of the 1982 tournament

Portugal have conceded just one goal in their last 12 internationals.

Spain were the first team since Hungary in 1986 not to collect a single card in the group stages of a World Cup tournament

If Portugal avoid defeat in this match they will set a new national team record of 20 games unbeaten in all competitions

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World Cup Preview: Spain vs. Honduras

This is a must win game for tournament favourites and European Champions Spain. No one could have predicted that Spain would lose to Switzerland 1-0 in their World Cup opener leaving them not top of Group H but sharing space at the bottom with Honduras making today’s game crucial to their World Cup campaign.

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Spain

Ranking: 2

Spain have top-class players and they did very little wrong in their match against Switzerland except that they couldn’t score and conceded a cheap goal to Switzerland due to a miscommunication between the defenders and Iker Casillas in goal. La Roja would have sorted that out and will be raring to go against the Honduras. Vincente Del Bosque’s team knows that this is a must win game for them and they will put their shocking defeat behind them. Also, unlike Switzerland, Honduras cannot afford to draw this match either and therefore cannot sit back and just defend. They will have to go forward and attack which will leave space to the Spanish and everyone know what happens when you give the Spanish team space to play their game… they score plenty of goals. Vincete Del Bosque will probably go with a 4-4-2 formation, with both strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres starting for Spain. This means Sergio Busquets is most likely to be dropped. Another change could be the incorporation of Jesus Navas on the right wing rather than David Silva in attacking midfield. Cesc Fabregas might once again find himself on the bench, awaiting to make his World Cup 2010 debut. Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Joan Capdevila  will retain their positions at the back. Andres Iniesta who suffered an injury during the Switzerland match  is still not a 100% fit and will most likely not start for Spain.

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Honduras

Ranking: 38

Honduras are the weakest link in Group H. They lost only by a goal to Chile and are level on points with Spain as they go into this match. Theoretically they have as much of a chance as Spain to qualify for the knock-stages of the tournament. In reality, Chile’s 1-0 scoreline over them does not tell the entire story of a match where Honduras did not create any chances and in fact they managed only one touch  inside the Chilean opposition penalty area over the entire duration of the game. Secondly, Chile have very limited resources and are struggling with injuries, it would be impossible for them to beat a top-class team like Spain. However, one can never underestimate confidence and belief in football and the Spainiards loss to Switzerland must have boosted the Hondurans in to believing that anything was possible. Reinaldo Rueda’s team are without striker David Suazo and midfielder Julio Cesar Leon who suffered an injury before the Chile match and is still recovering. He will be replaced by Jerry Palacios, who has set of a record of sorts by playing in the same World Cup with two of his brothers Johnny and Wilson. Spain are one of the scariest of all attack minded teams and the Honduran defense lead goalkeeper Noel Valladares will have to remain very focusedor else risk finding out just why their opponents are nicknamed La Furia Roja.

Manager Speak

“They are going to play football, it will not be easy to beat Honduras. We will play our game, take the initiative.” -Vincente Del Bosque, Spain manager

“We know we can give more. We have the strength to withstand the demands of Spain.” – Reinaldo Rueda, Honduras manager

Stars to Watch Out For

Spain: David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xavi Hernandez

Honduras: Noel Valladares, Jerry Palacios

Go Figure!

Honduras are winless in their last six matches, failing to score in five of them.

Spain had won 45 games out of 48 prior to their opening group defeat by Switzerland.

Honduras have only ever beaten two European nations – Slovenia and Latvia – in 14 attempts.

Spain’s only loss in 14 matches against a north and central American nation came a year ago at the hands of the USA in Bloemfontein.

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