alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Ronaldo Cry Moar)
Hmm, I haven't been watching football for enough years to claim any historical knowledge, but this was the most underwhelming Grand Finale so far.



Minuses:

- Poor Oranjie!!! But gosh, did they play dirty.

- I do dislike Spain and I dislike the team even more now. This is definitely the most disliked team I have ever seen or will ever see to win the World Cup. I know my icon is actually of Portuguese player, but it is something that I find very fitting to Spain-the-team.

- The most boring final of all times. In comparison with the 2006 finale that had 2 goals, penalties, Zinedine Zidane head-butting drama AND Italy winning, this was bad.

Pluses:

+ One year Spain is going to lose. And I hope I still will be there to watch it! I have a long memory as far as spitefulness is concerned!

+ Germany/Uruguay was a lovely match!

+ Overall the World Cup 2010 was such a great show. Just few things that made my day: France melt-down, Ghana winning USA, Forlan, Maradona, Messi, Germany-the-team, cheeky Honda and Japanese free-kicks. There were many many great moments!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Netherlands Wesley Snei)
I have a big meeting on Tuesday, so I am trying to finish everything I was supposed to finish on this new system for the meeting, getting deeply buried under layers of PHP and JQuery. But I must stop for a minute because the Final of the World Cup 2010 is nigh! And it is Spain against Netherlands, Spain being one of the only 2 teams (out of 32) that I actively dislike this season. My apologies to any fans of Spain, but I just don't like so many things about this collection of temperamental superstars! Plus, in my opinion , the team didn't try hard enough in the group stage so I feel they don't really deserve to win. I liked them in 2008 when they were young and hadn't yet become the biggest divas of football. But anyways, if you cheer for Spain - let's the best team win. :D

If if are not sure which team you support:



And the bigger version: Wesley Sneijder has a lovely smile, I want him to keep smiling! )
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Germany second yellow c)
I am so so sad. I haven't expected to be so sad. I had to be somewhere this evening and I didn't watch the match at all, and now I am sad and devastated and I don't even know what happened. Please tell me the details , I will appreciate this very much. I feel now guilty that I didn't like Germany as much as I should have had. ** sigh ** And I am afraid for Netherlands now - Spain continues to create these 0:1 wins!

I had To cheer myself up by making Netherlands icons, as promised to [livejournal.com profile] queenofthorns, and this has cheered me up indeed. There is certain collection of qualities that (almost) every Netherlands player possesses : they have gorgeous smiles, bold heads and arms of steel.

01. 02. 03. 04.

05. 06. 07. 08.

PS: gone to bed, a bit sad.
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Netherlands Wesley Snei)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I love love love this team, they have the nerves of steel, they are hardy, they are classy and pragmatic, they have team spirit and wonderful goals!! You have to give it to Uruguay for trying until the last minute, but you know - sometimes it is good to give your 100% through the whole match, and not just rely on "Hand of God" and last minute rush. Take it Luis Suarez - you could not do anything about the outcome of this match.

Now, I am afraid, the World Cup is entering in what may be a sad territory for me. I have to admit it, of what I have seen of Germany , they look awesome. But I can't do anything , my brain tells me "Germany are good and wonderful multicultural team that plays great football" but my heart belongs to Oranjie this year. Italy has exited what seems long time ago and the empty place in my heart was filled with Wesley Sneijder and Robben(!!!!!!!!!)



PS: I am trying to figure out why I don't like Germany as much as everyone else does, and I think the real reason is that I always cheer for an underdog. Italy were underdogs in 2006, Ghana and Netherlands are in 2010. Germany have always been a team that everyone think is going to win, and especially so in 2010. And the second, much smaller reason is that some part of me always feels pain for someone who has to lose 0:4 and asks "do you have to flatten someone into the ground?". I am so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai! And I do like Germany-the-team, I just prefer Netherlands to win!

PS2: Also "WHAT was that referee doing?" He was a Uruguay fan , or something? I know that the last attack is usually allowed, but not blinking 3 minutes on the top of extra time! And after that he blows the whistle to give a yellow card to Mark van Bommel (who should have gotten a red card - I don't like the guy :D) and everyone thinks "this is it", but the referee re-starts the match for another 20 seconds! And this is the same referee who blew the whistle in the middle of the Dutch attack at the end of the first period!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Messi)
With only 4 teams left and 3 out of four are big European countries:

Germany: The Killing machine. Are the other 3 teams shaking in their boots after the horrendous Argentina defeat? Most likely. Germany is on the roll: the machine had a couple of blips in this tournament, easily explainable away by the newness of the mechanism and the parts. Have all the bugs been fixed by now?

Spain : Last Season’s favourite. A pale shadow of it’s own 2008 self, Spain seems to be stumbling from one match to another, pulling a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute. Will they be able to do the trick with Germany or will we see some ugly temper displays?

Uruguay: The dark horse. The only non-European country, representing a tiny nation and containing the Goldilocks of the World Cup 2010, Forlan. Do they have what it takes? Or will the karma of the Ghana match go after them?

Netherlands : The nerves of steel. Have you seen a team losing 0:1 to Brazil and capable of turning the tables in 15 minutes? Are these guys for real?

Semi-finals: My personal wishes:

Germany/Spain: Germany, the lesser of two evils. I have few friends supporting Germany , and although I have realised that for my shallow self everything is about hotness or un-hotness of certain teams and their style, largely regardless of their footballing prowess, I like my friends to be happy.

Netherlands/Uruguay: Netherlands. It should have been Ghana, not Uruguay, plus Netherlands has some attractive players and bright orange uniform.

[Poll #1588116]

PS: one most amusing article recommended by awesome [livejournal.com profile] arathesane, The name of the game: Do Americans hate football?. Jack Kemp, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback turned Republican congressman : "Our football embodies "democratic capitalism"; their football is "European socialist"." : hahahaha!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Maradona oh n)
Oh noes!!!!!!!! Argentina is exiting the tournament in flames, losing 0:4 to Germany. Germany-the-team looks astoundingly awesome and slightly scary. The first goal was scored within the first 3 minutes and after that there was no stop to them. They are a killing machine, and I guess for me as a viewer the perfect efficiency of a killing machine is not as interesting.. I am returning back to my original assessment - they are going to win the whole thing (and luckily, this is not a hotness contest for there is not one good loking chap amongst them). Still - I will welcome their win, it will be fair.



Spain:Paraguay At first, this was one of those perfectly boring 0:0 Spain matches. Spain looked as if it was going to win on penalties or something like this, but who really cared? The next stop is Germany and Spain is going to go down. Then everything came alive and both Spain and Paraguay didn't even manage to score the penalties! At the end, Spain managed to pull off a goal. YES! It is Spain:Paraguay 1:0 , a match that was 3/4 of snoozefest and 1/4 of shambles.

Ghana: Their exit seems to have affected me the most. I am still very very sad. Also I have watched the game and I really think they were better than Uruguay , but lady luck was against them. To go through all that long match and lose on penalties , just when everyone is dead tired? So sad.
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Germany second yellow c)
As much as I am happy for the Oranjies (and I am very happy for them and for my sweepstakes perspectives - and this was my "most torn" match of the championship as I like both teams), i am very very sad for Brazil. What has happened? After the first half, they were practically winning the match, having it all on a platter with a blue ribbon on top and then - BAM! Everything fell to pieces, even the first Netherlands goal happened because of a big mistake of a Brazilian defender. The red card for Melo was also as embarrassing as it was deserved (don't kick a man when he is down!).

** sigh ** I am so so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] sodahands and [livejournal.com profile] seven_trees


PS: Ghana? Please? Win? Make me happy????

Edit: no such luck for Ghana Am very sad. I haven't had anything against Uruguay so far but I am about to start being spiteful and wish for them to be beaten in a horrible fashion in semis (by Netherlands) for the destroying the hopes of the only African country left. Also had a better look - no, Forlan is totally not my personal cup of tea, too blond and curly.
alexandral: (Default)
This was a very rewarding day of football, both Netherlands (2:1) and Brazil (3:0) winning comfortably. The sad thing is, it seems quite unfair that one of these great teams will have to go soon (they have to play against each other in the quarter-finals). Sometimes the way quarter-finals are arranged doesn't seem to be fair.

In non-football news, I haven't been watching too much of other things, but I have watched some. I got stuck in middle of the 12th episode of "My country calls" due to too much fun and fluff and not enough angst.

The currently running drama I like the most so far (not counting "Bad Guy" that seem to have disappeared somewhere) is Dong Yi. I am up to date with all the subtitled episodes and this drama is a quiet hit with me. The main appeal, of course, is that the drama is all about women. Any male characters and any romances seem to be secondary to the various and awesome female characters.

Speaking of male characters, I am very very angry with the King at the moment. He has a a lovely adorkable romance with Dong Yi, but this doesn't mean I am going to forgive him for unfairly dethroning of his quite fabulous lady wife (who was framed by his evil consort/concubine) . Man up, King Sukjong, sort out your problems with various women and stop being so naive! It is not right for the first man of the country to be so gullible, plus, clearly, his story is another prof that monogamy is a healthy option.

On the plus side, the love triangle with King Sukjong - Dong Yi - Chun Soo hasn't has surfaced yet and I really really hope that it never will. I hope Chul Soo will get to have his own romance with one of Dong Yi's friends.

But although the King is too naive for words, his pining for disappeared Dong Yi is lovely and makes my hart beat faster , gives me goose bumps and nice tugs at my chest , as all good romance stories should.

This was a wonderful scene: The King is pining for Dong Yi under the falling cherry petals; one petal is heart shaped and it flies all the way to the place where Dong Yi is hiding. AWWWWWWWWWWWW!



The rest of the heart-shaped petal scene )
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Maradona)
OMPH! Just when I thought that there is enough controversy for one day already and things can't get any muddier, Tevez scores from an off-site position! And there was some brawl at the beginning of the half-time! I find myself to be a double-standard person because I don't care for Argentina's off-site goal so much as I did for England's disallowed goal. Mexico are looking quite good but they are not a match for Argentina.

But Maradona trying to calm down the Mexico guys? So worthy of watching!



Edit: 3:1 WOW! Argentina is going to eat Germany for breakfast. Or dinner. Or tea! Mexico was a very very strong team!

Edit 2: The picture below makes me all sorts of indignant! (from [livejournal.com profile] sodahands):

alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Germany second yellow c)
I am not a big fan of England , but fair is fair - the second England goal was totally in. Whatever happens in this match, I feel that unless England wins (which is unlikely), this might make me dislike Germany-the-team for the rest of my life, because one thing that I dislike the most is UNFAIR.

Sorry to the fans of Germany on my friends list - but THIS IS UNFAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edit: I know that the difference was such that may be the goal would have not made any difference. Or may be it would have had, the dynamics of the match are hard to predict, especially when it is 2:2 at the half-time. Anyways, I didn't care for the outcome too much but I will care for the Argentina : Mexico tonight. If Argentina beats Mexico, I would be really hopeful they can beat Germany too. If Mexico beats Argentina, it will also mean they are good enough to beat Germany!

I don't really dislike Germany because so many of my friends are fans of this team, but at the same time I miss Ballack and his beautiful legs I am vengeful so I will be glad to see Germany beaten, And after that, I will probably feel guilty and sorry for them and may be Ballack will come back.
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Messi)
Hurray! Just when I thought that everything will be decided in penalty shoot-outs, Ghana goes ahead and scores another beautiful goal!! I am so happy an African country is advancing into the quarter-finals!

Just for the record: although I thought that the penalty by USA (their first and only goal) had some grounds for being awarded, it wasn't a completely fair one (but this is just my opinion, I must say I don't really like penalties), so I am doubly glad that Ghana won. I thought the laws of fairness were on their side! Congratulations to Ayew, the man of the match!

This is not Ayew, it is Asamoah Gyan, the man who scored the second goal for Ghana:



Congratulations to Ghana and Uruguay!!
alexandral: (Art - Crazy whale)
Thank you so much to everyone for you messages, gifts and birthday wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My huge appreciation and love to you all!!!. So far , I have had a great birthweekbirthday!

The World Cup 2010 is in the last stage: we have the last 16 and from now on it all will be down hill, so I am already missing this World cup.:D

As far as the matches go:

Uruguay vs Korea: I want both teams to go through. I have a particular interest in South Korea, but Uruguay is a tiny awesome South American country that is difficult not to cheer for.

United States vs Ghana : Nothing would make me happier than Ghana beating USA. I think USA is dominating in too many sports already, plus they are playing a different game to everyone else for soccer is NOT the same as football. And Ghana can be a single African country to go into the quarter-finals.

Germany vs England : I don't really care whichever way it goes. I am not a huge fan of England, but Germany without Ballack is not the same for me.

Argentina vs Mexico : I wish for Argentina to win as Messi is my footballer of the year and I want to see more of Maradona's antics, but at the same time Mexico winning everyone's favourites this year would be a nice strike!

Netherlands vs Slovakia : Netherlands! This has to be their year! I have nothing against Slovakia apart from their cruel win over my Italy.

Brazil vs Chile : Brazil is my magical team, but Chile has some great spirit so I will still cheer for them in the case of Chile's unlikely win.

Paraguay vs Japan : If South Korea can't advance, can it be Japan (with their awesome free kicks and cheeky Honda)? It would be great to see some Asian countries in the quarter-finals!

Spain vs Portugal : These are two teams that I dislike (Portugal – for Ronaldo's crying and diving ; Spain – for Villa's punching people in their faces left right and centre) . On the plus side: one of these teams won't reach the quarter-finals. On the minus side: one of them will advance!


My sincere apologies for belated birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] winterspel, [livejournal.com profile] criyu and [livejournal.com profile] partypaprika!! I hope you had a wonderful day and your next year (and many years ahead) will be full of happiness!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Maradona oh n)
I am so sad and crying! My Italy is out!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!



I wonder how did this happen? How??????????????????????

Edit : Japan / Denmark - 3:1 On the other hand, Japan and their awesome free-kicks so deserve to go through. My small confession: I know that the best goals of the century and such are usually run-and-get-it-done goals, but my personal preference are long curvy free-kicks, there is just something purely mathematical about these.

Honda is very fast, very cute and plays for Moscow CSKA!!!



Edit 2: Netherlands / Cameroon - 2:1 Woo-hoo! Is this a good year for Oranjies????
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Netherlands Wesley Snei)
** sigh of relief **

I am not really that interested in the national team (apart from the whole patriotic aspect of it all), but I am quite relieved : my daughter is turning into a crazy England supporter and this day (warm and beautiful otherwise) would have been a total misery if her hopes for England were crushed. Personally, I am ready for the new crop of English players to come along ; may be I can find someone to like and then will be able to cheer for the national team in earnest.

Anyways: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


The win was performed in the best tradition of English team: they kept their fans on the edges of their seats UNTIL THE VERY END. Never mind, it is not as if England has too many chances ahead, for it seems highly likely that Germany will be the winners of the group D and Germany will wipe the floor with England.

In other news, USA : Algeria - 1 : 0. I am torn between fairly admitting that USA have been quite good this year and panicking "Oh No! Another sport that will be dominated by the World Superpower USA soon! NO!". Also I would have really liked Algeria or Slovenia to go through, so sorry, I am no USA supporter..

My predictions for the evening matches:
Germany will beat Ghana
Serbia will beat Australia

Edit:

Germany/Ghana 1:0
Australia/Serbia 2:1

Ghana is through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to cheer for them with all my heart!!!!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Brazil Hug)
I am so so happy for the host country! South Africa:France , 2:1.

I want "South Africa" to go to the next round; if Mexico and Uruguay match ends in a draw,I will harbor all sorts of suspicions!

I am so so happy!

But I am less happy about following things:

- There have been quite a lot of drama already in this World Cup; so far the French team debacle is the biggest and the nastiest. Their match with South Africa feels like they are not even trying, and what a disgrace this is!

- I am also quite surprised by the way the yellow and red cards have been dished out like hotcakes. I don't think the red card against South African goalie was fair, but the one against Kaka was the worst of all.

- David Villa Punching Emilio Izaguirre just out of the blue was a nasty one as well.

To end the post on less grumpy note and celebrate my recent interest in Kaka, here is a short pictorial collection of the footballer with the STRANGEST NAME EVER (it literally means "poo" in Russian, and as I was told, in some other languages as well) who is nonetheless one of the hottest and bestest footballers there is:



the rest of the pictures of pretty Kaka )

Edit: I just have watched the footage, and after the match Raymond Domenech REFUSED TO SHAKE HANDS with the South African coach. OMPH! The man is a lunatic!

Edit 2: Argentina : Greece , 2 : 0 ! Fantastic! I am so happy for MessiArgentina !

South Korea : Nigeria , 2 : 2. This was a really good match, and I am so so happy my South Korea is going through!!!!!!!
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Maradona)
He is funny beyond belief! There is so much good will and Argentina liking here at the moment , which is so good to see as the people in England still can't forget the hand-goal Maradona scored in 1986. I must say, the "Hand of God" incident was atrocious and my father (in Russia) was forever ranting about it:



But nonetheless, I am glad that people are moving on, and Messi doesn't look as a person who is going to be involved in any of this type of antics. Plus Maradona acts like a big child and I am so glad that he is doing so well after so many years of drug addiction!

Sorry of much ramble, Maradona's interview with BBC is here:

alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Brazil Hug)
Among all my favourites of this season, there is something that makes Brazil to stand out : their amazing team spirit!!!! When I see the guys on the pictures or on the screen , they seem to like each other so much and have such a great fun together!

Also: Didier Drogba scored!!!!!!!!!!!! But I am less pleased about the cheating incident at the end!!! I don't think it will change anything, but still!



You know when I am obsessed with something , it is when I start making icons every day! Some icons of Brazil below, free to share:

........

And a random shot of the day (something I found when I was scouting for iconable pictures), Maradona and Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Nigeria) :

alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Maradona)
One week down, I have more or less decided on the teams I am going to cheer for (in order of intensity):

1. Italy
2. Netherlands : because I am a materialistic person and this is my sweepstakes team. I also like the team, the orange uniform and the best looking coach of 2010 Bert Van Marwijk. Also I have suddenly remembered that I have friends in Rotterdam.
3. Brazil : this is always a magical team for me.
4. Argentina : the team of Messi plus the most hilarious coach of ever Maradona
5. Serbia : again, for materialistic sweepstake reasons and because Milan Jovanovic is nice
6. Ivory Coast : Didier Drogba.

As promised to fabulous [livejournal.com profile] queenofthorns, I have made some icons with Maradona and Rafa Marquez. And because I felt compelled to, I also made some icons of Messi, Italian team, Netherlands, Brazil and Serbia

Preview:

........

1-11 : Maradona
12-15 : Messi
16-18 : Rafa Marquez
19 : Didier Drogba
20 : Brazil
21-24 : Italy (Fabio Cannavaro, Buffon, Daniele de Rossi)
25-27 : Netherlands (Wesley Sneijder, Bert van Marwijk, Robin van Persie, Joris Mathijsen)
28 : Milan Jovanovic
29-36 : Germany (Özil, Podolski, Loew), by [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai's request
37-40 : Brazil

The rest of the icons, 40 in total )
alexandral: (Life - Dani shooting things)
This World Cup is shaping into a good championship for underdogs. Just to days ago Spain lost to Switzerland, then France lost to Mexico and now Germany totally unexpectedly lost to Serbia. I particular cheer for Serbia (one of my sweepstake teams).

However, I confess, this year I am all about Messi.He is cute, he is shy, he plays awesomely and he even has dimples when he smiles, which he doesn't do often enough:

Awwwwwwwwwwww!


A short collection of pictures with Messi )

The picture below amused me. English supporters should bring the pictures of Queen Victoria. Or may be King Henry the VIII. It might help.


Edit : England / Algeria : 0:0 : England was so ridiculously bad and badly ridiculous that I am still feeling embarrassed.
alexandral: (World Cup 2010 - Argentina Messi)
The World Cup: Argentina/ South Korea 4/1
I thought Argentina played awesomely well and Messi is officially my favourite player of this season, but one of the goals was scored from an off-site position. This doesn't change anything, just makes me less cheerful for them as a team. This feels like the old days of Maradona – these things used to happen all the time with him.

Tangentially, I wonder how Messi's name is supposed to be pronounced. Every one here says it as "messy", but I suspect that the emphasis could be on the first vowel, "e".

Summer's Desire : I am still quite obsessed with it. I have read what is available of the novel here (thank you so much [livejournal.com profile] vert_gazon) because I couldn't wait, the up-coming marriage through manipulation was making me worried. BUT!!!!!! )

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