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Entries Tagged as 'Spain'

Messi and Barca: Must-See … Once

December 2nd, 2017 · No Comments · Barcelona, Football, soccer, Spain

Twice, I have seen Lionel Messi play at Camp Nou. In 180 minutes of La Liga play witnessed by moi, he has scored three goals (and Luis Suarez has another) … but FC Barcelona did not win on either occasion. The first Camp Nou match for me was a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in […]

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Italy Out? Now ‘This’ Is a National Disaster

November 13th, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, Italy, Rugby, soccer, Spain, World Cup

Italy went bonkers tonight. The national team, the azzurri, was held to a scoreless draw with good-but-not-special Sweden, and the home-and-away runners-up playoffs for the final four European berths at Russia 2010 went to Switzerland, Denmark, Croatia — and Sweden. Italy stays home. This is the biggest shock from this edition of World Cup qualifying […]

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Europe: Bigger Than We Think

October 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Spain, tourism, Travel

Americans tend to think of Europe as a small place. Physically small. Especially when compared to North America, let alone Asia. And Europe is fairly compact. Especially the western half of it. From Ireland to, say, the borders of the former Soviet Union. But, and it’s big but … Europe is not dinky. If you […]

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Catalonia, FC Barcelona and Football Chaos

October 1st, 2017 · No Comments · Barcelona, English Premier League, Football, France, Italy, soccer, Spain, Sports Journalism, UAE, World Cup

Catalonia took another step on the road to sovereign status in a referendum today. And, as we typically do in reflecting the world of sports, we make it about us. To wit: “If  Catalonia leaves Spain … what does this mean for FC Barcelona and the Spanish league and the Spanish national team?” The short […]

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MLS: ’28th Strongest’ Soccer League in World

August 13th, 2017 · No Comments · English Premier League, Fifa, Football, soccer, Spain

Not exactly a rousing endorsement of Major League Soccer. The data guys at the FiveThirtyEight website have come up with a batch of calculations they believe indicate the “relative strength” of soccer leagues in Europe, North America and South America. (See the rankings, about a third of the way down the page.) In simplest terms, […]

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Fifa’s Confederations Cup Matters Now

July 2nd, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, soccer, Spain

I remember the 2009 Confederations Cup, in South Africa, where the U.S. national team nearly won a global competition. Bob Bradley’s Yanks shocked world-No. 1, unbeaten-in-35-matches Spain 2-0 in the semifinals (go back and read that again), then faced Brazil in the championship match and led 2-0 at half … before losing 3-2. I noted, […]

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Barcelona and Revisiting Main Site of the 1992 Summer Olympics

June 24th, 2017 · No Comments · Barcelona, NBA, Olympics, Spain, Sports Journalism

I first traveled to Barcelona in the summer of 1992 to help cover the Summer Olympics for Gannett News Service. I was very impressed with the place. It had charm. It had class. It organized a very fine Olympics. It seemed like a city people would want to see, if they knew about it. And […]

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Rocket’s Red Glare, Bombs Bursting in Air … in Catalonia

June 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Spain, Travel

It always is a bit embarrassing, while traveling, to walk into someone else’s important holiday … and know little or nothing about it. A pre-Easter parade in San Blas, Mexico, in 2005. Bastille Day, which we didn’t see coming in Normandy three decades ago … and then tried to make amends by marching at the […]

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Confederations Cup? Ah, Warm Memories of South Africa 2009

June 22nd, 2017 · No Comments · Fifa, Football, soccer, Spain

It was the biggest week in U.S. national soccer history. The 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. In this order: (And we are not messing with you here; this actually happened.) U.S. 3, Egypt 0 U.S. 2, Spain 0 (!) U.S. 2, Brazil 0 — at halftime of the championship match. It ended Brazil 3, […]

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U.S. Soccer and an Age-Group Success?

May 26th, 2017 · No Comments · Arsenal, Fifa, Football, France, Italy, London 2012, Rio Olympics, soccer, Spain, UAE

In 1999, a U.S. team led by Landon Donovan got to the semifinals of the Fifa Under 17 Championship, in New Zealand. The young Americans played Australia to a 2-2 draw but lost the shootout 7-6 when Kenny Cutler missed his penalty and Oz’s Joshua Kennedy converted. Brazil won the tournament and the Yanks finished […]

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