Football ⚽

Congrats Giroud and all the best Cavani!

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Today was a good day for Olivier Giroud! He played his 100th game for France becoming only the 8th player to do so for Les Bleus joining the likes of Hugo Lloris, Lilian Thuram, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, and current Les Bleus manager, Didier Deschamps. It was only a friendly against Ukraine in which Les Bleus won 7-1, but it was brilliant!

Welcome to the 100th club, Giroud.

Ollie is a World Cup winner and France’s second-highest goalscorer at 42 goals. Only Henry stands in his way with 51 goals. I’ll love to see Ollie beat that. Only today I was reading an interview about Ollie talking about his new book, ‘Always Believe It’ and he said something that stuck with me, so I’ll share that here: 

“I am a very religious person who asserts his Christian faith more and more in recent years. It allowed me to overcome trials, to put things into perspective and to always believe in my chances, in his destiny and in Jesus, who is there, at all times, to watch over me.” 

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And Edinson Cavani is a new-mint Manchester United player. I’m no fan of anything Man U, but all the best, Cavani… even though that red shirt is going to hurt mi eyes. Show the English why we call you ‘El Matador’! I’ll also leave something from Cavani’s interview that resonated with me:

“I believe that in life things come when they are meant to and sometimes, no matter how much you want something, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

The 33-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal on around £210,000 per week after tax

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Football ⚽

Merci, Cavani!

Lately, this is how I feel about everything…

¿Cómo será probar sus labios? - señor Jackson disculpe que lo moleste… #fanfic # Fanfic # amreading # books # wattpad

…including football, so that’s why I was the last to know that Edinson Cavani aka Bae left PSG never to return. 

🎶 Musique mélancolique 🎶

I’m currently writing this while listening to French music because nothing sets the mood like French music. Plus, it’s aesthetically satisfying to listen to while writing about French things in general even if I don’t speak fluent croissant.

Italian football was never my thing. I was content with just La Liga and supporting Les Bleus, but one day, I decided to expand my viewing range. I thought the EPL all right and soon enough I was supporting teams such as Wenger’s Arsenal, Man City, and Tottenham. It was time to give the Italian league Serie A, a chance. I went in not expecting anything grand… until I saw a SSC Napoli game… and then I saw this guy…

Edinson Cavani - Edinson Cavani Photos - SSC Napoli v AC Siena ...

…so I stayed and adapted Napoli as my favorite Serie A team until July 16th, 2013, when Edi joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain. He brought joy to many French fans that noted his drive, enthusiasm, commitment, passion, and humility. He also brought his strong headband game.

End of an Era: Cavani, Silva, and Others Expected to Leave PSG ...

Cavani was PSG’s number 9 and overtime, the fans formed a bond with the player like no other. Almost every match day at the Parc des Princes, supporters chanted:

E-din-son Cavani, lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo.”

It was special. The appreciation was beautiful for PSG supporters can be cold, and they rarely sing songs for an individual, instead opting to serenade the club or the city. Even as a spectator in front of my TV, oceans and miles away from Paris, I felt as if I was right there in the stands chanting along. Even if Edi was only on the bench as a sub or not playing at all, they’ll be singing his song.

Outside the Parc des Princes, Cavani went above and beyond to integrate himself into French culture and it was gratefully received by the locals. Whenever Cavani got the opportunity to return home to Salto, Uruguay, he’ll be seen working the family farm even on his vacation.

Don't miss Cavani mowing herbs - JuniperSports

Merci!

Finally, coming to the point that warranted this post in the first place: Cavani didn’t get his goodbye applause from the stadium he called home for the last 7 years due to not extending his contract until this August. He deserved a fitting send-off, but he quietly left the club as PSG’s all-time top goal scorer (200 goals in 301 games) and 19 trophies to his name. I think it’s criminal that PSG is in the Champions League final and Cavani’s name won’t be on the roster.

Two of my all-time favorite moments I’ll always treasure of Cavani in a PSG jersey comes in the form of his character and not goals. The first was when he gave his jersey to a disabled supporter…

…and the second was quite recent. In March, PSG beat Borussia Dortmund and when many of PSG’s boys were mocking Erling Haaland’s goal celebration, Cavani manned up and stayed away from such childish tactics.

Merci beaucoup for the goals, and fond memories, El Matador! There’ll never be another you and here’s to Benfica or wherever you may end up, even if it’s a team I dislike in the EPL.

Pin su UEFA Champions League & Europa League

Related: They Call Him Edinson I Call Him Bae

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

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Football ⚽

The goal of the tournament! ⚽

After this post, I believe that there are just three more posts to go before I get back to regular scheduling. Until July 23rd, you can vote for the goal of the tournament on FIFA here: Goal of the tournament but I already know who my winner is regardless of the end result from the very first time I saw it.  

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Benjamin Pavard v Argentina

LE PLUS BEAU BUT DU MONDIAL!

INCROYABLE!

The curly head defender’s wonder goal changed the entire match. For me, it’s the best goal of the tournament and the best goal of the year. It was a wicked glorious ice-cold beauty which delighted not only the fans of Les Bleus but also the footballing world. 

Other goals I loved:

Ángel Di María v France

This was such an amazing goal!

Edinson Cavani v Portugal 

He is too good with his head!

Entertainment

Les Bleus sends La Celeste home

France beat Uruguay 2-0 to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2006. 

Les Bleus outplayed Uruguay in the opening 30 minutes and had nothing to show for it until the 40′ when Varane scored a scintillating header! It was his 3rd goal for France. 

Uruguay vs. France: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

No more goals would come until the 60′ when Griezmann fires from the edge of the box. The ball heads straight for Muslera who make a regulation save, but ends up palming the ball at the back of the net.  Yes, it was a howler for a keeper like Muslera, but it’s not like Uruguay were drawing the French 1-1, so don’t be hard on him.

Uruguay vs. France: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Luis Suárez looked lost without Cavani who did not make the starting XI but made the bench nevertheless. But even with El Matador on the pitch, I don’t think Uruguay would’ve won. They did not bring much to this match and the French didn’t give the South Americans much space to work with. I have to commend the French for their excellent defending in this match. 👍

Uruguay vs. France: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

#hairgoals

I have to say that I am extremely disappointed in Mbappé showing off his acting chops. In December he said,

“I am learning every day from Neymar. I try to watch all the things he is doing in order to learn as quick as possible.” 

So, I guess he’s learning well from the master. Imagine if the two of them meet in the semis! But it won’t happen for my gut feeling is going with Belgium. It’s going to be a French showdown!

 

There is one man who goes about his work effectively and quietly, that his masterclass is almost dismissed and that is my boy, N’Golo Kanté. I notice all the hard work that he puts in even though he shuns the limelight and I am delighted with it. He is our engine at only 5’5. He is consistent, a joy to watch, has a great partnership with Paul Pogba, and a masterclass midfielder. He is a precious gem. 

And today was no different. He had an excellent game today! There is no better holding midfielder in the world currently than him and France should be grateful for him. 

     

I also want to commend Olivier Giroud for occupying the Uruguayan defense. He was a force to be reckoned with proving that he doesn’t have to score to make a name for himself.

Uruguay vs. France: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 

And Hugo Lloris just claimed the save of the tournament! Just before the break, he denied Martín Cáceres by using his right foot to stretch his upper body thus saving what was a potential goal. Many shocked people said that he had no right to save that, which is true, but we Les Bleus fans know that Hugo Boss is a cat. 😎

Uruguay vs. France: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

And last but never least, Didier Deschamps. When the tournament kicked off, I was not pleased with the way Les Bleus began. When they played Argentina, I witnessed the growth I was looking for and it was the same today against Uruguay. Yes, there is still room for improvement, but Deschamps is working through it, and I am happy to see that. 

One of my favorite moment during the match was when he took Pogba aside and talked some sense into his head when some Uruguayans clashed with the French. He is often criticized, but he is a very good leader. For example, when Argentina went 2-1 up early in the 2nd half, Didier Deschamps ushered players to the touchline and asked them not to be scared. 9 minutes later, Benjamin Pavard equalized. (L’Équipe)

 

 

And when he joked with Griezmann after his substitution.

 

Thank you, Uruguay for gracing us with your presence in this year’s tournament. As for France…

ALLEZ LES BLEUS!

     

Football ⚽

Welcome to the quarter-finals!

These teams are here for they played hard and fought even harder. Uruguay and France played with passion and joy. Brazil with attitude (and Neymar slipping one too many times for many fans liking!), Belgium with pride, Russia with determination, Croatia with heart, Sweden with focus and England with pleasure. 

This World Cup is the most entertaining I’ve witnessed since France 1998. It was mostly unpredictable from the first whistle, although I got all of mine right. Some teams stole my heart all over again (Japan, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mexico) and some teams played beautiful football but were unable to it make to the round of 16 (Morocco and Tunisia). Some teams still need improvement (Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Serbia) and some teams were present, but their mindset wasn’t (Argentina, Poland, and Germany).

And I still love you, Iceland!

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THE QUARTER-FINALISTS

Uruguay v France – July 06th @10 am

I love these two teams. Whichever one wins I’ll be happy, but I’m leaning more towards Les Bleus. They’ve played some of the best football during the tournament although they didn’t start off convincingly prompting the Danish coach to say that we’re nothing special. Well, we might not be anything special, but we’re giving it our all and we deserve to be here. The boys are not going home without a good fight. 

France is the youngest team in the quarter-finals and I know I’m always stressing on this, but I’m going to stress on it anyway: Room. For. Improvement. Despite playing our best game against Argentina and despite playing with beautiful passion, I still see room for improvement, especially at the back. We need to tighten defense and we need a stronger flowing rhythm in midfield. At the end of the day, we’re all about teamwork and it’s the reason why we’ve reached this far.

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay also did a fine job at shutting the critics up and Edison Cavani finally stepped out of Luis Suárez’s shadow and lost his scapegoat status. Antoine Greizmann is looking forward to this match because of his Atlético teammate, good friend, and godfather to his daughter, Diego Godin. Because of Godin, Greizmann feels half Uruguayan as he has immersed himself in their culture, language, and tradition. However, Suárez thinks Greizmann should stop pretending to be Uruguayan. 🙄 Like, dude, todo bien! I love Uruguayan culture and know some Uruguayan-isms and I love listening to the gentle Uruguayan Spanish coming from El Matador’s mouth, but I have no claims to be an Uruguayan… not even if I can move to the rhythm like Cavani!

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It’s the same thing with French culture. I do consider myself a Francophile but at the end of the day, I do not feel or want to be French despite having French in my family.

Griezmann gave the country a beautiful compliment, so shut up, take it, and stop being so literal. At this time, we’re still unsure about the extent of Cavani’s injury, but it’s most likely he won’t start/face the French. I think Uruguay might make the mistake of focusing on Kylian Mbappé and this can cost them, so I hope that this won’t be the case. 

  

I won’t be able to talk about the other 6 teams like this, but I think nothing less of them.

Brazil v Belgium – July 06th @2 pm

This is going to be a good match! Brazil has a great team, but one of the reasons they’re turning fans off everywhere is due to Neymar’s unnecessary falling to the ground and then making a spectacle out of it by rolling around as if he got hit by Jack Reacher.

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Sometimes, he’s barely touched and down he goes, flopping on his back and then proceeds to imitate a rolling rock. This display is appalling. Even a bar in Rio de Janeiro had invented a new drinking game: free shots every time he falls down. And this was during Brazil’s crucial game during Serbia. Dude, leave the acting to Tom Cruise.

Although I’m not a fan of Brazil, I have nothing but love for Marcelo. 

Brazil vs. Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Belgium is having an amazing time at this tournament! Their football makes me smile. They’ve produced exceptional players and this generation is crafting a name for themselves. I won’t underestimate them for they’re capable of springing surprises. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling a France-Belgium semi-final showdown, but like I said, I won’t take anything away from these teams for it can also be an Uruguay-Brazil/Belgium showdown. 

Belgium vs. Japan: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Sweden v England – July 07th @10 am

Sweden’s football might not be the most beautiful, but their focus is on another level. Many have said that they wouldn’t have strived without their talisman, but they’re proving that life without Zlatan is actually sweet.

Germany vs. Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

As for England, this is the best I’ve seen them and they’re giving their nation hope of winning it all. When Gareth Southgate came on, despite not getting the backing, I just knew that he was going to be the one to propel England to greatness and Harry Kane is simply a joy to watch even more so than David Beckham.

     

Russia v Croatia – July 07th @2 pm

Even before the tournament kicked off last month, Russia was written off. Although I chose Russia and Uruguay to advance from the group stage, the odds were expecting Egypt to advance with Uruguay. But even after advancing, the Russians were still written off, but when they beat Spain to remain in the tournament, many people started taking them seriously. And who would’ve thought it, eh? That the host nation was going to give a good fight? I am happy with their progress.

Spain vs. Russia: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

I’ve come to love Croatia a long time ago. I believe that’s when I saw them participate in France 1998 and… wait, today is the 4th of July! On this day, 20 years ago, Croatia handed Germany a 3-0 defeat in Lyon, France during the 1998 tournament! That was the first game I saw the Croatians play and they stole a piece of my heart. Just like that.

Although I didn’t get to watch most of their games this tournament, they played with heart and proved critics wrong. They deserve to be here. They can go on and win this thing and they know it.

     

All the best to everyone and don’t forget to check your local schedule for listings.

*** GIFs and images via Google Search and Zimbio

Entertainment

Mbappé and Cavani stand out on the world stage!

Day 16 of the world’s most beautiful game: France sends Argentina packing and Cavani made Portugal pack their bags to join them. 

I did not get to watch any of the matches because it was the Sabbath and I attended church. But the sun has set now and I looked at the highlights and was satisfied with what I saw. I hope to catch the MOTD in a few hours.

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France v Argentina 4-3

I said that I’ll be satisfied with whichever team won and I am happy with France’s progression. Griezmann gave Les Bleus an early lead through a penalty in the 13′ which was canceled out by  Angel Di Maria’s stunning goal in the 41′. Mercado put Argentina ahead in the 48′ coming from a Messi assist, but France was not about to let Argentina have all the fun and struck back through Benjamin Pavard in the 57′ to level things up. 

Mbappé decided to join the party and scored in the 64′ causing Argentina to panic. Olivier Giroud’s scrumptious pass found the young man again 4 minutes later and Mbappé tucked it away to pile on the pressure on the Argentines who responded through Sergio Aguero in the 90′ from a Messi assist but it was already too late. 

Shucks! I didn’t plan this commentary! 

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

No champagne, no problem. Water will do. 😆

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

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France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

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France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Thanks for gracing us with your presence at the World Cup, Argentina. 

Uruguay v Portugal 2-1

CAVANI! BAE! Cavani came into this tournament to prove that he was good enough to represent his country and he certainly made his point today after scoring two beautiful goals which dumped Portugal out of the WC. He was emotional after both goals, but after limping off with an injury, he was inconsolable when the final whistle blew. I hope the injury is nothing serious because I want to see him feature in the game against the French on Friday. 

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

This is Bae’s world; we’re only living in it. 😉

 Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Ronaldo helped Cavani off the pitch after he was injured.

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Man of the Match! 👍

***All photos via Zimbio & Google Search

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. 

Image result for edinson cavani smile

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.

Image result for gif edinson cavani

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:

Image result for edinson cavani martin caceres

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