Football ⚽, Musings

So, it’s July…

…and it still hasn’t settled in as yet.

We welcomed July with heavy rains last evening, so I thought this scripture was fitting. 

The World Cup wraps this month – the 15th to be precise – and I’ve been loving the atmosphere so far. The euphoria of the greatest event on the planet – it was never you, Carnival – has captured many attention and hearts globally, but please, make sure it doesn’t capture your soul. I’ve read a news article in which two fans took their lives in two separate incidents. One took his life when Argentina lost 3-0 to Croatia and the other when they got knocked out of the tournament by France. 

Bottom line is, this is just football and there is no need for anyone to take his/her life over it. The young men who took their lives were not even Argentinians; they hailed from India. I’ve been supporting France for years now and if they don’t win this WC, it’s not going to be the end of the world for me. It is selfish to take our lives over trivial and meaningless things.

We die for mortal idols, yet, we won’t die for the One who gave His life for us if the chance presented itself. Be careful of who/what you worship for these mortals aren’t gods; they’re flesh and blood just as us.

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Challenge for juillet

Again, I won’t be doing any challenges this month. Last month, I said I wanted to complete the tags and challenges I’ve been neglecting for months, but never got around to it. I’ll try to see what I can do this month. 

Blessed juillet to all and keep walking with Jesus. 

 

Football ⚽

Giroud, the heart stealer; Lloris, the quiet leader

Two Frenchmen; one post. Why not? 😄

  

Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris are the best of friends and they’re my boys! 

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I’ve followed their careers since they played in France and before the English league cashed in on them. Although I still can’t stand to see Ollie in that Chelsea uniform…

I can just hear the Chelsea fans now: Roses are red. Violets are blue. We have a beautiful Frenchman called Olivier Giroud. I kid you not.

This one is the heartthrob of the World Cup, but I like watching him in action on the pitch. He’s fantastic in the air, great at passing, and he makes France looks good.

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Ollie has scored all manner of spectacular goals from the bicycle to the overhead volley, but the scorpion kick against Crystal Palace while in an Arsenal jersey is my favorite goal of his to date.

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Despite his work rate, Ollie is still underrated in England (such a shame that the English can appreciate his beauty, but not his football), but he’s on the move with Les Bleus. He’s tied at number 4 with Zidane for most goals with Les Bleus (31), which I hope he surpasses soon. 

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And I love that Arsenal fans still support him. 😄

The other Frenchman up is our quiet leading captain and my all-time favorite goalie, Hugo Lloris. 

France vs. Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Football is lucky to have Hugo because his first love was actually tennis and just imagine if tennis had actually gotten him! He has great hand and eye coordination and fantastic catlike reflexes. He needs to up his penalty game, but you can’t get past him on a good day when he’s disguised as a wall.

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Hugo commands his box well and he was given the name ‘sweeper keeper’ by the media because of his lightning speed when coming off the line to clear the ball or to deal with opponents in his area. 

France is a young team – they’re the second youngest team at the World Cup – and I see so much room for improvement in all areas, but Didier Deschamps won’t listen to me so I won’t tell him where to improve. I’m not the coach, so joking aside, through victories and disappointments, Les Bleus will always be a part of my heart. 💙

ALLEZ LES BLEUS! 

Football ⚽

They call him Edinson; I call him Bae.

He may not be Uruguay’s finest, but he has his moments.

My plan was to feature a few of my favorite players during the current World Cup tournament, but things have gotten off to a slow start since I started with Lionel Messi. Speaking of Leo, I recently read that he’s paying Argentina’s security out of his own pockets. If that’s true, kudos to him. I’ll try to squeeze in two more tomorrow God’s willing, but right now, it’s Cavani time. 

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My all-time favorite photo of Bae 😄

Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez. They call him Edinson, but I call him Bae to the point when I was super active on Twitter during football season, whenever I was absent during a Napoli game, football fans will tweet me saying things such as, “Where are you? Your Bae is playing!” That was before Twitter got boring and that’s how El Matador automatically – and officially – became Bae. 😄

Cavani is the man who got me into Italian football and the reason why I support Uruguay. I never considered Italian football a treat because it was boring how Juventus was mostly always winning the league, but when I saw Cavani play for Napoli, I thought the team was something special and adopted them as my favorite Italian team. 

I guess here is where I saw nice things about Bae now. 😆

Cavani is what we call a “modern striker”. He’s good with his feet and in the air (he’s terrific with headers!). He plays as a center-forward, but he’s capable of playing in several positions… maybe except goalkeeping. He’s the ultimate finisher with 323 goals in 12 years with Danubio, Palermo, Napoli and current team Paris Saint-Germain.

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Cavani’s mind is not on legendary status. After passing 100 Ligue goals for Paris Saint-Germain last year, he said, “I don’t play to be a legend. I play for pleasure, for the passion that I have as a football player.” And that’s good enough for me at the end of the day for lately, footballers play for money rather than passion. 

He has a quick temper (thus do most Latinos), but he’s easy to forgive. Case in point: he and David Luiz (then at Chelsea) once got into a heated argument during a Champions League match, but when Luiz came to PSG, they put aside their differences, became fast friends to the point where they roomed together out on the road and they only had nice things to say about each other. 

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And they weren’t afraid to embarrass themselves together in front of the footballing world:

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It’s too bad Luiz went back to Chelsea. Oh, and he’s got the greatest hair in football. Shampoo models ain’t ready yet. His hair is glorious!

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It took a long time for Uruguay fans to realize what a gem they have in Cavani. Their support for him wasn’t excitable as it was back then when they were busy making him the scapegoat whenever Uruguay lost a match as if he was carrying the entire team on his back. This isn’t Messi’s Argentina.

Uruguay v Russia: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

His friendship with Luis Suárez both on and off the pitch is a joy to watch. They found their flow in this WC and they even managed to score in one match (against Russia), something that never happened before. 

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And this doesn’t really matter, but he and teammate Martín Cáceres could be twins:

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Despite all the things I like in Cavani as a footballer, he’s still massively underrated, but that won’t stop him from representing his country to his full potential. 

Arriba Uruguay!

Uruguay Vs. Russia: Group A - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

***Photos and GIFs via Google Search

Football ⚽, Français ... et autres langues.

French Friday: football terms ⚽

Bienvenue à un autre édition de vendredi français. If you’ve been reading or simply passing through my blog, you’ll see that the World Cup fever has taken over. 

Before I continue, I just want to say how happy I am for Les Bleus moving on to the round of 16 in the coupe du monde. They have room to improve, but even if they don’t make it past the round of 16, they’ll always be my heart. 💙

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Impossible N’est Pas Francais!

Votre force, notre passion. Allez les bleus!!!

It’s day 9 of the World Cup and I’ve decided to learn a few football terms in French. 😄

Football (le football)

game/match – le match
halftime – mi-temps
overtime – la prolongation
stoppage time – les arrêts de jeu 

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People & Players (Gens et joueurs)

team – une équipe
coach – un entraineur
referee – un arbitre
player – un joueur
forward – un avant, attaquant
striker – un buteur
goalie – un gardien de but/goal
defender – un défenseur
winger – un ailier

Les Bleus – “the blues” which refers to the French national football team

France vs. Peru: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Scoring and Penalties (Buts et pénaltys)

goal – un but
own goal – un but contre son camp
perfect pass – un caviar
corner kick – un corner
free kick – un coup franc, coup de pied arrêté
yellow card – le carton jaune
red card – le carton rouge
tackle – un tacle

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French aside, I’ve not been brushing up on my Greek and Italian. What about you? What have you learned this week that you’ll love to share?

Football ⚽

The greatest World Cup song of all time!

The new World Cup song is so terrible that the first time I tried to listen to it when it came across TV during a match break, I couldn’t get past the chorus and had to put it on mute. It’s the stupidest song I’ve ever heard. Our very own Ultimate Rejects created a better song than the official rubbish that FIFA is calling a song:

‘Live It Up’ doesn’t have the passion of the World Cup. It’s like the song, and video has its own agenda. And what even is Will Smith doing on the track? This song deserves a red card.

‘Wavin Flag’ by Knaan is one of the best songs to ever feature for the WC. Don’t ask me about ‘Waka Waka’ for I don’t like it and Shakira’s voice kind of make my blood crawl. ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’ by Pitbull for Brazil 2014 is forgettable and quite rightly so. 

Jean-Michel Jarre’s ‘Rendez-Vous 98’ for France 1998 is a masterpiece and I appreciate it very much. 

However, no matter how much FIFA tries, no song is ever going to beat the glorious ‘La Copa de la Vida’ by Ricky Martin for France 1998. This song is legendary and the Waka Waka generation doesn’t even know how precious this song is for football lovers. It captures the passion, the joy, the spirit, the love of the beautiful game! It’s the only song I listen to whenever a WC rolls around and this year is no different. It still gives me goosebumps. And his voice was so beautiful! 💙

Ricky Martin also contributed ‘Vida’ to Brazil 2014 and it was the best song of the bunch.

Here’s a thought, FIFA: from now on, let Ricky Martin do all the singing for the WC for he embodies the passion and joy of the game.

And now here’s a fun fact: Ricky Martin made me appreciate Spanish… Puerto Rican in particular. Seriously, though, he was the one who got me into Spanish music. La Copa de la Vida was the first song I’ve learned the Spanish lyrics to. Ricky bought the Spanish flavor to the French capital in 1998 and we loved it!

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Un, deux, trois! Ale, Ale, Ale!

Football ⚽

Why I like Lionel Messi.

He does his talking on the pitch and off it, he is quiet. He doesn’t want to live like a superstar instead, preferring privacy. 

Lionel Messi easily became one of my favorite footballers when I first saw him play. However, off the pitch, he’s the least interesting man in the world. Where many footballers like to be seen and heard, Leo actually shies away from such things preferring the comfort and privacy of his home. And speaking of home, it’s actually quite easy to walk up to his home for he lives on a regular street instead of on a private road/area with security flanking his property. He lives in an old home in the town of Castelldefels which has a view of the Catalan mountains. 

His neighbors say he’s like a ghost, though, for he doesn’t mix and mingle in sheer abandon. 

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Interviews and photo shoots are not a total nightmare for him, but if he could skip them all, he definitely would. He never considers himself to be the best player, but I agree with his best friend, Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero:

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He’s very passionate in representing Argentina on the international stage despite the country not being fully behind him at times for they’re itching for another Maradona:

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He gives back via The Lionel Messi Foundation which helps children around the world suffering from health ailments. Last year, the foundation partnered with UNICEF and helped build 20 classrooms in Syria.

Leo is famous, yes, but he doesn’t play it up to his advantage, thus preferring to live like a recluse away from prying eyes. He speaks little preferring to do his talking on the pitch. He seeks simplicity not wanting the attention to be on him 24/7. Whether or not, Leo wins the World Cup with Argentina, he’ll always be legendary and the greatest player of this generation the beautiful game has ever seen. 

All the best, Argentina.

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***GIFs and photo via Google Search

Football ⚽

And the star of the World Cup goes to..

No, it’s not Lionel Messi or even Cristiano Ronaldo.

When women tuned into the Morocco v Iran game on Friday, the social media world EX.PLO.DED! No, it was not because of one of the players, but a certain coach. Hervé Renard of Morocco!

There is actually more footage of the French coach than the match. Women took to social media to express the reason why they’re suddenly interested in the World Cup and yes, I might have rolled my eyes at some point. Some people said he looks like something called Jaime Lannister (or something of the foreign sort) from some show I’ve never seen (I think it’s Game of Thrones, but I don’t care for it), others said he should be on romance book covers (Fabio would have a cow!), the next James Bond, a male model, an actor, and some said he looks like Prince Charming from Shrek.

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Doesn’t even come close to the real thing…

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Even the commentators had a field day! They called him dashing and other glowing adjectives every time the camera landed on his face. And I’m sitting trying to enjoy the game wondering if they’ve never seen an attractive man before.

I like Renard. A lot. And he might have just boosted the female ratings for the WC, but he’s more than just a pretty weathered face in an immaculate white shirt. I’ve been a long time supporter of Renard. I was elated when he became the first coach to win 2 AFCON (African Cup of Nation) titles with Zambia and Ivory Coast and I threw my support behind him when he took on the Morocco job. I also think that he’s one of the most stylish coaches of all time despite his style being so effortlessly simple.

I’m not saying that it’s not nice to appreciate beauty, but we live in a world where everything has to be beautiful in order to be accepted or worshipped. This can easily turn into lust. I’m glad that I do not tune into football for the great looks, but for the game itself otherwise, I wouldn’t be enjoying the game. If good looks won games, then Renard definitely would’ve taken this World Cup, but he isn’t going to. I’m certain all the ladies who started watching the beautiful game just for him would abandon it when his team leaves. 

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Here’s a funny thought, though: the first time I laid eyes on Renard, I was like, “Did this man just stepped out of a romance novel?” I mean, here’s a suave dude with flowing shiny blond hair, astonishing eyes, nice bone structure, really nice tan and stubble and handsome ruggedness. He is the quintessential walking stereotype romantic Frenchman hopeless writers write about. 

Yes, he’s shockingly French looking, but the world is still spinning.

And thirsty ladies, the WC sensation is taken.

Yay for interracial goodness! 😃

Football ⚽

And so… World Cup begins!

Guys. I promise that I have no intention of turning my blog into a football commentary center, but I’ll be talking about the tournament every now and then. I don’t know how many of you are football fans/lovers and I have no hopes of converting no one so if you don’t like the sport, stay away from this post. 😁

I still have the overdue tags and challenges to complete, and June is still young although time is slipping by quickly. I’ll admit that I don’t have the motivation to actually sit and blog as before, but I’ll take whatever I can get for now. 

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Saudi Arabia met the hosts in the opener earlier and whoa, Russia! I suck at predictions for it’s not my thing – I mean, come on, I’m not a psychic – but I knew Russia was going to bring their A game. I had them at 2-1 against the Saudi Arabians given that opening tournament matches do not provide exciting scorelines, but the Russians proved most of us wrong. They won the game 5-0.

The game started out with Saudi Arabia (I love saying the name of this country! It’s so exotic on the tongue!) enjoying a healthy dose of possession, but the Russians played up on their weakness in the back catching the Saudi Arabians unawares most of the time. 

It was a great opening, but the only sad aspect of it was seeing key player Alan Dzagoev of Russia go out with an injury. The WC is done and dusted for him. 

I didn’t watch the opening ceremony for I don’t care for Robbie Williams and all those shenanigans, but I enjoyed the opening game. It’ll be a blast if France and Argentina end up as the final showdown, but it’s most likely not going to happen.

Another thing I love about the WC is the fans and today, my favorite fan was this Egyptian at the opening game:

Russia v Saudi Arabia: Group A - FIFA Fan Festival

I’ll save the match stats for Wattpad. 

I won’t be logging in tomorrow God’s willing, but I may have a few things scheduled. I wish you guys a blessed and wonderful weekend. Take care and God bless. 💙

Football ⚽

A few World Cup facts!

If you’ve been a long time or even a short time reader (I don’t like saying ‘follower’) you know that I’m a football loving fan. I intend to talk about the World Cup during the tournament, but today, I’ll just leave a few WC facts. 

The World Cup tournament was created by the Frenchmen Jules Rimet who, inspired by the success of the Olympic Games, had the idea of bringing nations together through football.

* The first World Cup match kicked off on July 13th, 1930 with France beating Mexico 4-1 in Uruguay. 

* 13 teams took part in the first WC: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, France, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, the host Uruguay, USA, and Yugoslavia.

This is the first time that Russia will host the World Cup. The Russians will be making their 11th WC appearance; their highest finish was 4th place in 1966.

India withdrew from the competition in 1950 when they were denied playing barefoot in the WC tournament.

Football ⚽, Musings

World Cup madness!

This month is definitely going to be an interesting one. 😁

It’s June and although I’ve already scheduled some posts in advance, I won’t be blogging or checking in much this month. Okay, maybe I’ll check in a little. The World Cup is right around the corner and I am so excited for this tournament already!

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This month I plan to follow the WC closely and cheer my teams on. Blogwise, I’ll be cleaning out drafts (you do not want to know how many drafts I’ve saved since then), unfollowing inactive blogs, and probably look for a new theme. Maybe I’ll also post my six-word stories. We’ll see.

Challenge for juin

I won’t be doing any challenges this month. Maybe I’ll talk about football-related things during this month, but I’m not sure as yet. What I want to do, though, is get all the tags and challenges out of drafts and into scheduled posts this month so I’ll definitely do that.

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Blessed juin to all and to those who are football fans, all the best to your team during World Cup.