Monday, 26 July 2010

The Best Penalty Ever??

Highlighted by, it's believed that this may be one of the best penalties ever.

You watch for yourself and decide.

His name is Ezequiel Calvente, and he is a 19 year old left midfielder playing for Real Betis in Spain, and he scored the penalty in the 3-0 win over Italy.

He is currently representing the Spanish U19's at the UEFA European Under 19 Football Championships.

*The Italian team were fuming at the audacity of the penalty, that's the reason for the referee blowing his whistle many times during the replays.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The New Brazilian Sensation

A storm is brewing in Brazil regarding a young striker who is destined to light up the football world, and not for the first time this year.

Three months ago, the Brazil coach at the time Dunga received widespread criticism from the Brazilian faithful, as well as respective media and football pundits alike who demanded that a striker with a record of 41 goals in 77 appearances for his club side in two seasons, should be one of the first names on the squad list to the World Cup.

The name on everyone’s list was 18 year old Neymar da Silva of Santos, who has had a phenomenal second season, scoring 27 goals in 32 appearances, gaining him to be likened to both Ronaldo and Robinho, as well as an inevitable comparison to Brazilian great Pele.

The uproar was caused for the fact that stars of yesteryear, including Pele who made his debut as a 17 year old at the 1958 World Cup and Ronaldo was a member of the 1994 World Cup Winning side; aged just 17 and it was believed that Neymar was more than worthy enough of heading to South Africa. However the more philosophical management methods of Dunga favoured Wolfsburg’s Grafite and Villarreal’s Nilmar instead, with Brazil going onto South Africa 2010 crashing out to Runners-up Holland in the Quarter-finals.

Subsequently the World Cup passed, with it being abundantly clear that Brazil’s problems were more of the defensive nature rather than the attacking options, it remains to be seen what impact, if any, the 18 year old could have made.

With this all swept under the rug, the attention shifted from national team selection to the ability and onto the player itself. So much so, that last week it was confirmed by Santos itself that English Premiership and FA Cup champions Chelsea had made a formal approach and a transfer offer, believed to be in the region of £17-18million.
Santos subsequently rejected this bid, stating that they are not open to negotiations. More uproar occurred, with the boy’s father slamming the club for seemingly dismissing the bid without as much as a conversation with the Brazilian star or his representatives.

So this is a brief insight into the background to the transfer saga that is undoubtedly one of more intriguing transfers of the summer while it remains to be seen whether the West London club will indeed dig deeper into their pockets and consider paying a touted £25million fee for the 18 year old.

Watch the video below to see the undoubted ability of the youngster

Here’s all the info about latest prodigy coming from the Santos team:

Name: Neymar da Silva
Date of Birth: February 5, 1992
Age: 18
Place of Birth: Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil
Club: Santos
Position: Winger/Striker
Career Apps: 77 Career Goals: 41

Compared to his current team mate Robinho, best suited to a 4-2-3-1 formation attacking from a wide position and taking attempts on goal. A pacey individual with an eye for goal, he is always willing to shoot on sight. Blessed with technique in abundance as well as the Brazilian samba flair it will only be a matter of time before he follows the like of Pato and Robinho and heads off to Europe.

For more on the youngster, read the Sky Sports News Scout, watch the video below and follow Real Talk Football on twitter @RealTalkFB

Real Talk Football

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The First Major Moves of the Summer Transfer Window

Joe Cole – From: Chelsea To: Liverpool – Fee: Free Transfer

News Story

Age: 28 Position: Attacking Midfielder Nationality: English Interest: 9/10

This, so far, has been the most captivating transfer of the window, mainly due to the fact that English double champions Chelsea just pushed the talented 28 year old to one side without so much as a second glance. Available on free, he found his best and most financially rewarding offer from Roy Hodgeson’s new look Liverpool side, supposedly turning down the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham. He will wear the “legendary” number seven shirt at Anfield and will undoubtedly be a better replacement for both Yossi Benayoun (who left for Chelsea) and Albert Riera (who has spent the last 6months rotting in the Liverpool reserves.)

Eduardo Da Silva – From: Arsenal To: Shaktar Donetsk – Fee: £6million

Age: 27 Position: Striker Nationality: Croatian Interest: 9/10

This one hasn’t been completed just yet, but is expected to be confirmed within the next 24hrs. The 27 year old Brazilian born striker has spent 3 years at Arsenal, and after a promising start, his blossoming career was derailed by a serious double leg break in February in 2008. After more than a year out, he struggled to find his previous form, failing to break back into the starting line up and more importantly failing to find the back of the net. Now, despite signing a new contract in November 2009, he is now on his way to start afresh in Ukraine with Shaktar Donetsk (pending a medical). The subsequent response from all Arsenal fans is a positive one, wishing the former Number 9 all the best, while this decision is best for all parties.

Pedro Leon – From: Getafe To: Real Madrid – Fee: €10million

News Story

Age: 23 Position: Right Winger Nationality: Spanish Interest: 3/10

The talented young wingers transfer may have slipped under the radar for some, but he is a very smart signing for Jose Mourinho’s Madrid side. The tricky technically gifted winger will provide some much needed balance to the Madrid side, and should provide ample backup for Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as slotting into the 4-3-3 system if needed.

Adriano – From: Sevilla To: Barcelona – Fee: €9.5million

News Story

Age: 25 Position: Left Back/Right Back, Left Mid/Right Mid Nationality: Brazilian Interest: 3/10

The Brazilian signed from Sevilla, and is one of the most versatile and reliable players in the Spanish league. Adriano can play in four positions, making him the perfect utility man, and is perfect for Barcelona. He’s transfer, also slipped under the radar, but has expressed his desire to get straight to work with Pep Guardiola, and continue FC Barcelona’s recent success.

Angel Di Maria – From: Benfica To: Real Madrid – Fee: €25million

News Story

Age: 23 Position: Left Winger Nationality: Argentinean Interest: 9/10

Linked with a whole host of European clubs, and recently subject to a bid from Manchester United, the Argentine left winger had an excellent 3 years in Portugal with Benfica, leading him to command a €25million fee from the Madrid money bags. Added to the squad to bring balance to the side, however it seems was signed before Mourinho was instilled as manager, so it remains to be seen if the Portuguese tactician has any real motive to use the 23 year old, time will tell.

Adriano – From: Flamengo To: AS Roma – Fee: Free Transfer

News Story

Age: 28 Position: Striker Nationality: Brazilian Interest: 7/10

There was interest in the burly Brazilian ever since January, were AS Roma headed up a queue that included West Ham United, to sign the fallen star. After some time away from Europe, the 28 year old is looking to repay Claudio Ranieri’s faith in him, and prove the critics that he can still cut it in the big time, perform at the highest level and maybe even get into the Brazil national team.

Simon Kj æ r – From: Palermo To: Wolfsburg – Fee: €12.5million

News Story

Age: 21 Position: Centre back Nationality: Danish Interest: 9/10

Well well well, the young defender who was linked with every major club in Europe, ended up preferring to ply his trade in a very physically and technically demanding league in Germany, with Steve McClaren’s Wolfsburg. Despite having a poor World Cup, the signing is somewhat of a coup at just €12million, however he is very young and this should be a stepping stone to see how he develops for moving onto the best in Europe.

Edinson Cavani – From: Palermo To: Napoli – Fee: €16million

News Story

Age: 23 Position: Striker Nationality: Uruguayan Interest: 7/10

The Uruguayan international joined Napoli on the back of a very good World Cup, which saw him help his country to finish in 4th place in South Africa. After being heavily linked with Tottenham, the 23 year old joined the vastly improving Napoli side, to play along the likes of Marek Hamsik, Fabio Quagliarella and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Stay tuned for more transfers and a lot more football news as we lead up to the new football season.

Real Talk Football

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Real Talk Football Awards: World Cup Edition

Player of the Tournament

Winner: Andres Iniesta
Runner Up: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Honourable Mention: Carlos Puyol

The winning goal in the World Cup final is every players dream, and Iniesta’s dream came true in extra time at the Soccer City Stadium. No doubt the added break Iniesta took during the season with Barcelona through injury, helped his performances at this year’s tournament, strolling through all the games since that defeat to Switzerland. Iniesta stats didn’t lie in this tournament, although he only scored 2 goals, both were vital in wins over Chile (2:1) and of course Holland (1:0). The 26 year old had a 73% pass completion rate, and covered over 41 miles during the tournament.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, an admiral runner-up, had an excellent tournament and has now established himself as a world class central midfielder, taking up the new role as “The Metronome” as the way the Bayern Munich midfielder dominated and dictated the play is a joy to behold. Just 25 years of age, two more World Cup’s are possible, and more medals are a serious possibility.

Carlos Puyol, he is vital for Spain, and has continued his brilliant Barcelona form onto the world stage and help his country only concede two goals at this year’s tournament. He scored the winner in the semi-final

Young Player of the Tournament

Winner: Thomas Mueller
Runner Up: Mesut Ozil
Honourable Mention: Asamoah Gyan

Thomas Mueller, the 20 year old Bayern Munich attacker, has had a brilliant World Cup and has burst onto the World Stage. He took Europe by storm last season, helping Bayern reach the Champions League final. He played 6 games at this year’s tournament, scoring 5 goals, laying on 3 assists and being voted man of the match for his performances in the wins against England and Uruguay. Collect both the Golden Ball and Best Young Player award.

Mesut Ozil, another German youngster, had a brilliant tournament and again caused real interest in his and Germany’s performances. The 22 year old helped himself to 1 goal, 3 assists, with a 71% pass completion rate. Another youngster with a very bright future.

25 year old Asamoah Gyan held up the hopes of Arica, helping Ghana reach the quarter-finals in just their second tournament. He scored 3 goals in 5 games, and helped gain the respect of many pundits as a very good lone striker. The only blight on his performances was that penalty miss against Uruguay, but expect the lively Ghanaian to bounce back and be even stronger for the next tournament.

Biggest Shock

Winner: Switzerland 1-0 Spain
Runner Up: Italy 2 – 3 Slovenia
Honourable Mention: New Zealand finishing 3rd in their group

Goal of the Tournament

Winner: Giovanni Van Bronckhorst vs Uruguay
Runner Up: Fabio Quagliarella vs Slovenia
Honourable Mention: Mesut Ozil vs Ghana

Team of the Tournament

Winner: Ghana
Runner Up: Spain
Honourable Mention: Germany

Ghana, who beat Serbia and USA in this campaign, were deemed the moral victors of the World Cup after the controversial quarter final defeat to Uruguay. A team packed full of youngsters, mixed with older and more experienced individuals, who flew the flag for Africa after a poor showing from the other nations at the tournament.

Spain, the winners of their first ever trophy, playing the best football at the tournament, and deservedly collecting the World Cup title. The likes of Iniesta, Xavi, Puyol and Casillas are talented natural born winners and deservedly leave South Africa with a winner’s medal.

Germany would have surely been on route to the final if they hadn’t met Spain in the semi final. Destroying pre tournament favourites England 4-1, in tournament favourites Argentina 4-0, were some of the highlights of the Germans campaign.

Goalkeeper of the Tournament

Winner: Iker Casillas
Runner Up: Samir Handanovic
Honourable Mention: Eduardo

Real Madrid’s number one, had an average season this year, but is a completely different individual for Spain. The way the Spanish keep the ball means the opposition rarely get attempts on goal, however in the final, Arjen Robben broke through the defence twice and was one on one with the goalkeeper, with Casillas stopped the Dutchman twice. Winner of the FIFA golden gloves, and a well deserved accolade.

To be honest the goalkeepers at the tournament were quite average, and the Slovenian goalkeeper impressed with his displays in the group stages, and is one of the brightest prospects in Europe with Udinese, and could definitely play for a Champions League club.

Eduardo, formerly of Sporting Braga, impressed at this tournament, although no more than any other goalkeeper to be honest, and has since earned himself a move to Genoa in Serie A.

Defender of the Tournament

Winner: Philip Lahm
Runner Up: Carlos Puyol
Honourable Mention: John Mensah

Philip Lahm, who had a very good previous tournament, has had another excellent tournament this time round, and is undoubtedly the most complete full back in the World, excellent going forward but even better defensively. Germany’s undisputed national team captain.

Again the Barcelona defender has performed excellent at this World Cup, and is undoubtedly the best centre back in the World.

Ghana’s John Mensah receives an honourable mention, despite his awful penalty kick against Uruguay, the 27 year old defender, currently on loan at Sunderland, experience was vital to his countries performance in South Africa, and had some excellent performances against Germany, USA and Serbia.

Midfielder of the Tournament

Winner: Andres Iniesta
Runner Up: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Honourable Mention: Xavi

The reasoning for these awards were highlighted earlier, Spain’s sensational midfield duo of Iniesta and Xavi, tied with Barcelona team mate Sergio Basquets helped Spain dominate teams ultimately culminating in winning the trophy.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was the driving force behing the Germany teams ascendance back onto the World stage.

Striker of the Tournament

Winner: Miroslav Klose
Runner Up: David Villa
Honourable Mention: Diego Forlan

For me, Miroslav Klose was the best striker at this tournament, and is one of the best to play in the World Cup tournament itself. The 32 year old has had a terrible season for Bayern Munich only scoring 3 goals in all competitions, but he has a knack for performing on the world stage. He is the second highest goal scorer in World Cup finals history with 14 goals in 3 tournaments, one behind Ronaldo, and his caused was helped with 4 goals scored in 5 games at this tournament, including Australia, England and a brace against Argentina.

David Villa was vital to helping Spain win the World Cup, scoring 5 goals in 7 games. Slyly anonymous in the semi final and final, that’s why he missed out on the top spot, but he was brilliant nonetheless, causing people to accuse Fernando Torres of being a rubbish striker, rather than a player who has just come back from injury.
Diego Forlan, FIFA’s recipient of the golden ball for the best player at the tournament, but is an admirable third place from Real Talk Football. Excellent goals, and an iron nerve, Forlan guided his country to fourth place at the World Cup.

Star of the Tournament

Winner: Wesley Sneijder
Runner Up: Andres Iniesta
Honourable Mention: Luis Suarez

Underperformers of the Tournament

Winner: England
Runner Up: Italy
Honourable Mention: France

England had another overhyped tournament, and once again underperformed in South Africa. No real excuses can be made for the poor showing, they had a good coach and a sufficient amount of depth within the squad but clearly some of the strange decisions made by Fabio Cappello undoubtedly aided in the second round defeat. Struggling to qualify from the group, as soon as they faced a really good opposition, they crumbled and left the tournament without a whimper and got an extra two week holiday on the luxury island of their choice.

Italy and France’s problems were well documented. Italy were defending World Champions but finished bottom of a group that included Slovakia, New Zealand and Paraguay, while the French, runners-up four years ago, had another awful tournament, also finishing bottom of their group while the big ego’s of players such as William Gallas, Patrice Evra, Thierry Henry and Nicholas Anelka led to in fighting and denial to train. The most unprofessional and shambolic performance I’ve ever seen.

Overachievers of the Tournament

Winner: Ghana
Runner Up: Uruguay
Honourable Mention: Paraguay

Of course no disrespect to Ghana, overachievement is undoubtedly a good thing in the World Cup, and teams will now no longer ignore the African side as they should have made it to the semi finals but were undone by some controversial Uruguayan methods. Second round four years ago, quarter finals this time round, how will they do in 2014?

Uruguay lost 3-2 to Holland in the semi-final so that shows you how close they were to the World Cup final. Some great attacking football, along with some great goals meant Uruguay can be very pleased with the account they gave of themselves in South Africa.

Paraguay qualified top of their group, winning the first penalty shoot out of the World Cup, losing to eventual winners Spain in the quarter finals.

Do you agree with the awards? Comment below or on the Facebook page and let me know you opinion.

The best XI of the tournament coming up tomorrow.

Real Talk Football

Sunday, 11 July 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010 - Champions

In a tough, hard fought out battle at Soccer City, Johannesburg, which saw some great saves, some outrageous tackles, and controversial decisions, the 2008 European Champions Spain beat perennial runners-up Holland 1-0 after extra time, thanks to a goal from one of, if not the best midfielder in the World; Andres Iniesta.

Real Talk Football would like to congratulate Spain for collecting their first ever World Cup title

Also Real Talk Football would like to congratulate South Africa on hosting an excellent tournament and hope they can be a shining example of things to come

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Fabio Quagliarella aka Mr Wondergoal

Fabio Quagliarella aka Mr Wondergoal

One week ago, reigning World Cup holders Italy were eliminated from the 2010 tournament, after failing to qualify from their designated group, finishing embarrassingly bottom of their group which consisted of minnows New Zealand, perennial underdogs Slovakia and tricky South American side Paraguay.

The Azzurri crashed out with only 2 points from a possible 9, a woeful defence of their title, leading to Marcello Lippi accepting full responsibility and subsequently to step down.

Upon returning to Italy, the Italian press slaughtered the team, while fans likewise hurled abuse and scrutinised the players seemingly more so than any other nation; including the French and English.

The scrutiny established different reasoning and discussions to the Italian failures. Was is that the Italian team were too old; mainly relying on players such as 36 year old Fabio Cannavaro, 32 year old injury plagued Gigi Buffon, 33 year old Gianluca Zambrotta.

Or is that the coach had no idea what the best team was? Experimenting with the 4-3-3 formation in the first game, then switching to 4-4-2 in the second, when Lippi clearly should have had this known before he even took his team to South Africa.

The final notion that came up was that the Italian team just couldn’t function effectively without key midfielder Andrea Pirlo, who was instrumental in the win four years ago, but has had a relatively poor season hindered by injury.

Despite these issues and damaging criticism of the Italian side, there was one shining individual who summed up the spirit and importance of the playing for their given national side, as well as producing the best Italian individual display at this World Cup, despite only playing for 45 minutes in the whole tournament. This being Napoli’s 27 year old striker Fabio Quagliarella.

He made his mark in the shock 3-2 defeat to Slovakia, whereby the striker came on at half time for Gennaro Gattuso with the Italian’s 1-0 down, and his influence was clear for all to see. His first impact was having a goal controversially ignored after the referee claimed that Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel had cleared his attempt off the line.

In addition to lifting his team, and causing the Slovakian defence all sorts of problems, he scored an absolute stunning strike to keep Italy slim hopes of a fight back alive.

The problem for him was simple, the rest of the Italian players were not up to his standard to match his desire and determination, subsequently sending Italy reeling towards a 3-2 defeat.

Upon the final whistle, scenes of elation erupted from the Slovakia bench while the Quagliarella took a knee and began to shed a tear at his nations defeat. As the Italian substitutes consoled the 27 year old, captain Cannavaro could also be seen getting emotional.

The key motive and lesson to be learnt from the Italian teams fall from grace, is that they still have one of the most overlooked and talented strikers in Europe, as a motive for new coach Cesare Prandelli to pair him with Gianpaolo Pazzini to build his new squad around.

Here’s all the info you need:

Name: Fabio Quagliarella
Position: Forward
Age: 27
Current Club: Napoli
Previous Club: Sampdoria
Career Apps: 235 Career Goals: 73
Int Apps: 21 Career Goals: 5

Although never the most prolific of strikers, Quagliarella is without doubt the wonder goal specialist, and an exceptionally gifted striker with excellent technique, pinpoint accuracy and a subsequent eye for goal.

He has now well and truly staked his claim for the number one striker in Italy thanks to his performance at this World Cup, noticeably for being a lot better than those of Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Simone Pepe who let’s be honest, will be too old for the next World Cup, and who were believed to be above Quagliarella in the pecking order.

Quagliarella, known for being somewhat of a Journeyman in Italy, may not need to settle down with one single club, but he will definitely need to settle down and establish himself into the national team since the Italian nation are waiting for someone to come and rescue them from their troubled times, and Quagliarella will need to grasp this opportunity with both hands.

Take a look at some of his unbelievable goals below

Real Talk Football