Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Argentine football interview

Part 5 of my global interview series takes us to global football powerhouses Argentina and Juan Pablo Monsonís, from Mar del Plata. Juan Pablo hosts a weblog called "Leyendas del Futbol Mundial".

The weblog is dedicated mostly to storytelling about a fictional football league. My thanks for participating.

FC: We know about River Plate and Boca Juinors in the Argentine league, what about some other teams that have impressed you recently?

JM: Although Boca and River are the ones that most frequently win the Argentinian Championships, there are a few squads that have improved their game play during the last years. The most unexpected case is Newell's Old Boys who has won the Torneo Apertura in the last semester of 2004, and after that, Velez Sarsfield, the last champion of the Torneo Clausura 2005. Both of these teams had done well in the last seasons. We can include Banfield, Estudiantes and Arsenal as teams that have made great campaigns in these years, all of this maybe because the irregularity of the most economically powerful teams.

FC follow-up: Newell's Old Boys, where did the name come from?

Newell's Old Boys takes its name of Isaac Newell, an English professor from Kent. He lived in a house in Rosario which later would become a school, the Anglo Argentino. In that school, during the breaks of every class, the kids used to play football. Newell's son, Claudio, was one of those kids. Ater graduating, he and his former partners decided to establish a football club in the city. So, the club was named Newell's Old Boys as a tribute given to Isaac Newell by his ex-students. This happened in February of 1903.

Newell's has a very strong tradition in promoting young players who usually become football stars. Players like Gabriel Batistuta, Abel Balbo and Nestor Sensini among others, have started their careers at Newell's Old Boys. The derby of the city of Rosario is Newell's - Rosario Central. Recently, they've played a play-off match to decide which team would participate in the Copa Sudamericana (South-American Cup). The first match ended 0-0, and the final encounter in Central's stadium was 1-0 for Central. After the match there were many incidents caused by fans of Newell's which was stopped by the Police.

Another interesting anecdote about Newell's is their nickname, leprosos (leppers). This happened in the very first years of the century when Newell's was invited to play a friendly match against Rosario Central which would be of benefit to people affected by lepracy in a Rosario hospital. Newell's accepted the invitation, Rosario Central declined so the Central's fans have called them "Leprosos" since that moment, Central is called "Canallas" (Bad Boys).

FC: Argentina has many great players in Europe, but who haven't heard of yet that is still in Argentina but you think will move to a bigger clubs abroad?

JM: Nowadays, and thanks to the great performance that his team is demonstrating in the Torneo Apertura 2005, the man of the moment is Sergio Agüero from Independiente. He has been compared recently with Romario because of his ability to play in reduced spaces. He has not played so many matches, but his talent has all the football fans impressed very much, especially playing in the under-20 national team. He's 17 years old and a bright future ahead.

FC: What is the youth football system like in Argentina? How well supported are the youth national sides?

JM: Argentina always had very talented and powerful youth squads. There's a lot of work done in many clubs with their younger players who in many cases, appear very frequently in their clubs' line-ups since their are almost kids. Unfortunately they leave the country so soon and we can only enjoy watching them play for only a few years.

FC: Who are your top 5 Argentine players at the moment? How about top 5 ever?

JM: Mmmm, a difficult question. It took me some time, but this is my list. Obviously, it's personal, so here it goes:

Best Argentinian players nowadays:

1) Juan Roman Riquelme (Villarreal FC)
2) Carlos Tevez (Corinthians)
3) Lionel Messi (Barcelona FC)
4) Javier Mascherano (Corinthians)
5) Luis Gonzalez (Porto FC)

Best Argentinian players ever:

1) Diego Armando Maradona
2) Alfredo Di Stefano
3) Mario Alberto Kempes
4) Gabriel Batistuta
5) Daniel Passarella

FC: Because so many Argentine players play in Europe, are the European games televisied there regularly?

JM:We are able to see matches from the Premier League, Liga Española, Calcio Italiano, and the European competitions. Also, the Sports Channels show all the goals made by Argentinian players around the world. We can follow their tracks wherever they are, fortunately.

Please email if you'd like to conduct an interview (over email) or if you know the name of a weblog in your country.


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Anonymous eduardo pacheco said...

nice interview :)

9/21/2005 4:57 AM  
Blogger David Skul said...

Spain a Contender in World Cup 2006

This Friday December 9, 2005 saw football lovers round the world clinging to the edge of their seats, ready and waiting to determine who they would play in the group stages of the World Cup 2006 in Germany. The ceremonial occasion contained all the anticipated fanfare and hoopla that a soccer fan would normally link with modern sporting events. In other words, the smitten sports buff was subjected to hours of mindless slobber when awaiting for the unparalleled action to start out. Whosoever puts these events together just can't perchance believe that the football fans who have tuned in to see such an event can be in any way smitten in the flaky magic exhibits and dance troops they force out. One can only believe that heavy numbers of hard cash in brown envelopes that changes hands in order to generate some feeble performers their luck to be on worldwide television. The experience was produced slenderly supplementary endurable with a handsome blonde in a revealing dress co-hosting the program.

When the standoff did at last came it was dragged out, with a horde of footballing celebrities taking balls to pick out the teams. Again, a soccer fan has to accept that the presenters and celebrities were being paid off by the second as they struggled to make this non-event into a television spectacular. This should have taken no further than fifteen minutes to carry through, but no, soccer reporting went on for a undivided three hours! Because this is an indication of affairs to hail it is no question that the tourney will take an entire calendar month to finish.

When the dust settled on the over padded proceedings in Leipzig, England came out of it rather well. Notwithstanding having traditional rivals for Sven's loyalty, Sweden, in the group, Paraguay and Trinidad & Tobago are surely there just to make things fair. With the top two from every group coming along to the second round, England are favorites to proceed into this phase with out too much trouble. Depending on the setting in both England’s group (B) and the Germany / Poland group (A) the substitutions perchance set up an early crunch match with the hosts. Even so this would bank on either Germany or England neglecting to win their various groups and an England vs. Poland second round match is tremendously additional probable. Providing this potential banana skin can be negotiated, the usual is that England will crash out on penalties in the quarter finals to either Holland or Argentina. All England buffs, notwithstanding the optimism that usually rings the ballyhoo to a world cup, hold a sensation of the inevitable heroical defeat in the latter stages of the tourney. The common comments have been made up by the various directors, with Sven contributing in his normal unrestrained flair.

Perhaps the most intriguing groups are C, where Holland and Argentina are drawn jointly, and E, where Italy takes on USA, Czech Republic and Ghana. Normally ho-hum starters to tourneys, and having broke down to go on from the group stages last time around, Italy stand a tough task onwards. Having been drawn with the very much improving USA and a Czech side who are beginning to indicate signals of the retuning glory days with an mythical performance in the last Euro Championships, Italy may be the competitors first large casualty, with Ghana being very tremendously an unsung entity. Group C caters to an early clash of the prominent boys, where the Dutch face are good deal better than their ungraded position suggests, but both Holland and Argentina need be firm enough to overcome Ivory Coast and Serbia & Montenegro to win to the second round. The only question in truth is of who may top the group and in theory cast the easier second round match.

Historically it has been very rocky for a South American squad to win a world cup in Europe and at first site Brazils ranking as clear front-runners might seem a little generous. Notwithstanding, the game is not the equal as it has been in the yesteryear and several of the Brazilian team already frolic in top European sides in England, Spain and Italy. Their adaptation has been years in the forming and the European manner of soccer fused with the traditional Brazilian genius and talent may be mouthwatering to observe. It might take a very expert face to take away their pennant from them and in Ronaldhino they have a player who can bend any play off on his own.

Perhaps the most fun facet of any world cup is catching the dark horses, those minnows from commonwealths not affiliated with footballing grandness, progress and bowl over some of the brighter lights. This time around, there are reasonable aspersions of African commonwealths in the blend and some surprises could come from there. It may be worth looking out for the likes of Ivory Coast and Ghana when determining where to set that venturesome high odds wager at the loan shark. South Korea, Maybe the surprise bundle of the previous world cup in Japan are unlikely to be capable to replicate their heroics and will not be undervalued a second instance

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12/15/2005 3:35 AM  
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