Monday, June 30, 2008

La Selección: ¡CAMPEÓN!

44 years – 22 matches.

The Spanish National Fútbol Team waited 44 years to win a major trophy, winning the Euro 2008 on Sunday, June 29th, also reaching an amazing 22nd match unbeaten. At times it wasn’t as pretty as their win against Russia, and they played the counter attack for much of the second half, but they never really looked to lose control, instead kept the ball for most of the match, and gave Casillas little tension at goal. There were several more chances, like Torres’s and Sergio Ramos’s headers which hit the post, and the cross that Senna almost had.

The moment Casillas lifted the trophy was profound, as a nation, long-suffering so many dashed expectations, finally rejoiced with their team. I will soon be donning that awesome t-shirt up there, which greatly depicts Spain’s few but proud footballing achievements.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Furia … amarilla?

The Spanish National Fútbol Team was forced to play in their yellow (mustard) away jerseys Thursday, something they were loath to do being that yellow is supposed to be a bad luck color. Well, maybe they should wear it more often as Spain produced their most outstanding performance in the Euro 2008 since playing Russia two weeks prior. Now, La Selección is back in the European Championship final after 22 years, and hoping it ends better than that one in ’84. If Spain plays as well as they did yesterday on Sunday, more than 10,000 Spaniards better get their razors ready.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Want to Play in the Champions League?

I think I’ll take a little break from the Euro 2008 to talk about something very near and dear to my heart. No, not just football boots like you see pictured, but the UEFA Champions League Boots – these special adidas boots with colors made as a tribute to the tournament.

The UEFA Champions League is the Premier Club soccer competition in the world, and every soccer players' dream to win it - now you can wear the special boot created by adidas: official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, with the special tournament colors. Celebrate the tradition of great soccer!

Here’s the Story of Some Super Boots with plenty of Rave! First off, the Story of the Predators –

adidas Predator PowerSwerve TRX FG Cleats (White Metallic/Indigo & Rave Green) - It’s a story you probably know well, since so many great players – like Steven Gerrard - wear these top-notch boots. The world's premier boot with cushioning Predator and flexible PowerPulse - Metallic microfiber upper for an eye-catching look, soft feel, lightness and a glove-like fit. Features a smaller but extremely strong external heel counter, reengineered Predator that is more integrated into the power zone for shooting power. The Predator technology is also in the swerve zone for passing and shot power and control. Dynamic PowerPulse, a Tungsten powder-filled element, shifts weight towards the point of impact as you kick for more powerful shots and increased flexibility. And, if all that weren’t enough, the adiPRENE insert in the sockliner offers amazing cushioning.

Now, the Story of the TUNITS - adidas F50.8 TUNIT Start Kit (Rave Green/Indigo & Dark Orange) - as worn by Argentina’s Leo Messi:

This is a customizable boot set, meaning that you have options as to the ground you play in. Check it out: The upper contains new engineered lightweight TUNIT microfiber synthetic for a soft and glove-like fit, semi-clear, 3-D heel/bottom unit for stability, flexibility and a cool look, an innovative lace cover for fit and increased strike zone. That’s not all – also includes a synthetic Agion antimicrobial lining that stops odors, bacterial and fungal growth. And, a new exchangeable TUNIT ClimaCool Competition Chassis for maximum weight reduction and breathability; plus the new exchangeable TUNIT ClimaCool Competition Insole offers maximum weight reduction and breathability.

Included is a set of soft ground, firm ground and hard ground studs with a stud wrench. For use on all surfaces! WEIGHT: (11.6 oz.) Note: All TUNIT elements are compatible, which means the components of this kit are compatible with all other TUNIT elements including those of the F50.6 and F50.7.

Last, but definitely not least, we have the adiPURES - adidas adiPURE TRX FG Cleats –(Indigo/Metallic Silver/Rave Green) - as worn by Kaká:

Live the elegance of the game you love with adiPure. With a kangaroo leather upper for a glove-like fit and incredible comfort, synthetic lining, and molded EVA sockliner with adiPrene insert in the heel, and a TPU outsole plate for lightweight performance with Traxion for grip and comfort on firm, natural surfaces. Weighs 9.2 ounces.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cesc Sends Spain to Euro 2008 Semis

The Euro 2008 semifinals are finally all set, as Spain out-penalty-kicked Italy 4-2 to advance after more than two hours of goose eggs Sunday afternoon. Spain is the only group winner to advance to the semis, by the way.

The above jersey is sure to give Italians nightmares, as Cesc Fabregas kicked the fourth and decisive penalty kick – not before Iker Casillas of Real Madrid saved his second Italian shot, one more than the man who won Italy the World Cup just two summers ago – Gianluigi Buffon.

Up next for La Furia Roja is a Thursday rematch with the Russians, who will be looking to avenge the 4-1 thrashing they got from David Villa and Spain in their opening group stage match.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, another Celebrity Supporter

With Weezer's release of the Red Album, Rivers Cuomo has cemented his spot among Rock and Roll's super stars. But in this video for "Lover in the Snow" from Rivers' solo album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, we get a much more intimate look at the usually very quirky Cuomo. He shares his passion for the beautiful game and more specifically the U.S. soccer scene.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Croatia's Swan Song

Croatian National Team Manager, Slaven Bilić, may have met an early demise in today's loss on penalties to Turkey. But at least he has something to fall back on, his career as lead guitarist for Croatian rock band, Rawbau. In preparation for Euro 2008, his band wrote the song "Vatreno Ludilo" ("Fiery Madness") as an anthem for his team. Not that bad, considering I don't know any Croatian:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Man U Goes White Away

The best team in Europe right now - Manchester United have launched their brand new away kit today. Known as the Red Devils, Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez and the rest of the Premier League and Champions League winners look positively angelic - perhaps since they reached such heavenly heights of late - in this white jersey with royal collar and side trim. It’s a kit that goes away from the ordinary. Last year’s all-black away kit seemed very popular among the fans; let’s hope they like this one, but if not, we’ll soon find out!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Euro Drama Heightens this Weekend

I was thoroughly glued to the tube all weekend long, as the Euro 2008 raised its level of excitement, intensity and yes, drama, by several degrees.

Yeah, Italy should’ve beaten Romania by about 3-1, and the 2006 team, with talismanic Francesco Totti surely would’ve, but this team is missing Totti and his leadership in a big way; and Romania took advantage of some questionable officiating to hang with the Azzurri throughout, coming a PK away from stunning Italy out of the competition.

The Oranje were once again marvelous, a delight to watch, as four different Dutchmen got in on the scoring fun and humbled Les Bleus to the tune of a 4-1 shellacking.

And then there’s Villa.

Bigger, stronger, more physical. That described the Swedish team’s control over the Spaniards on Saturday. Every time Spain swiftly moved the ball near the box, Sweden’s men would strong-arm, and just bully the Furia Roja away, so much it became repetitive; this forced Spain to resort to long-ball tactics, which seemed doomed to fail, that is until Villa latched onto a ball, flanked by two Swedes, caused the keeper to dive early, and the ball seemed to roll on its own into the net.

There will be a new champion

The Greek title defense came to a screeching halt as Russia’s first half goal was enough to send the 2004 winners home goalless and winless. Russia will battle the aforementioned Sweden for a chance to move on and play the mighty Netherlands.

Turkey wins the most dramatic team of the Euro 2008 award as they came from 0-2 down to steal a late victory over the Czech Republic, in the most exciting match of the entire tournament, thus far. The jersey they wore is not around but you’d look great sporting the white home jersey, especially cheering on your side in the next round against non other than Croatia.

Meanwhile, in Group B, Germany took care of business, finally, barely, as Michael Ballack nailed a free-kick and Austria’s hopes of continuing at home, thereby sending Germany into a scintillating clash against Portugal in the quarters, and Austria to join Switzerland as absentee co-hosts.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo finally scored in the Euro 2008 – as we all knew he would – and assisted on another goal, as Portugal ran roughshod over a Czech Republic team that looked to be up to the task early on. So, in case they hadn’t yet done so after their previous win against Turkey, Portugal continues to cement their status as the team to beat in Austria/Switzerland 2008.

And Speaking of Switzerland.

A stoppage time Turkish goal eliminated Switzerland – one of the host nations – from the Euro 2008 tournament. Turkey will face Czech Republic on Sunday for a shot at the quarterfinals.

New Product Watch: Pine Green Mercurial Vapor IV

One day after you saw Cristiano Ronaldo score a goal in Portugal's thrashing of the Czech Republic, we've got the Green boots that have been dazzling fans and opposing players. While every other Nike endorsed player has been wearing the Euro 2008 version of the Mercurial Vapor, the greatest footballer in the world got one all to himself. Maybe it was because the teal in the Euro 2008 Vapors would clash with his Portugal kit, or maybe Nike just wanted him to stand out. Either way, they are a very nice looking addition to the range of Mercurial Vapor IV's.

Turn my Blues Sky Black

Chelsea officialy revealed their new away kit for the 08/09 season here:
And we're all hoping the new color isn't a reflection of how they feel after coming oh so short last season in winning the Premier League and the Champions League.
Whatever the state when the adidas designers threw this black kit together, surely things are looking up at Stamford Bridge after the recent hiring of Felipe "Big Phil" Scolari - the same Scolari who has Portugal as the unnanimous favorite to bring home the Euro 2008 trophy.
Fans should like this away kit much better than the eye-sore yellow from last season. Man, did I hear some complaints about that one. So, maybe it's a bold statement of how much they want to get over the hump and bring home some silverware.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kevin Garnett, Chelsea Supporter?

Kevin Garnett seemed pretty excited about receiving his customized Chelsea Home Jersey. Apparently Garnett is a big supporter of the Beautiful Game, despite not hearing back from Drogba after he wished him luck before the Champions League Final (maybe it had something to do with Chelsea losing). Or perhaps this is Drogba's way of saying thanks. After all, Didier is no stranger to Chelsea's Club Shop.

¡Viva Villa!

Not too shabby for a guy who was questionable to make Spain’s Euro 2008 squad. El Guaje hit three goals (what they call a hat trick, though he wasn’t wearing one) in Spain’s Euro 2008 opener versus Russia – no minnows by any means. Yet, Villa made it look easy, making the Russian defenders look like third-graders.

Three goals makes this jersey look really, really cool!

In other Euro 2008 action Tuesday: a team nobody expected would do much – Sweden – crushed the holders – Greece – 2-0, possibly ending the Greeks’ shot at a repeat. This sets up a scintillating match-up between Sweden and Spain.
The Swedes have some pretty nice gear.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oranje Crush Azzurri

Going Wild at the Wankdorf

The biggest surprise of these Euro 2008 games thus far occurred yesterday, and it was a doozy. The Netherlands (or Holland) hammered Italy 3-0 for the most lopsided match of the tournament thus far. Though missing key players through injury (Van Persie and Robben), others stepped up, like Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored the controversial first goal very early on, to set the tone of the match, possibly the tournament, as Holland will surely be the new faves to win it all.

In another surprise, but not so much, Romania held France to a stalemate of the scoreless kind, a clear victory for the Romanians.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Big Winners in EURO 2008 Gear

Everyone loves winners, as evidenced by the weekend's soccer gear sales, revolving around the four winners from the first four matches of the 2008 European Championship. Despite ESPN's really cool AXIS technology, there weren't many surprises from on the pitch - in Austria & Switzerland, neither of whom could produce a goal.


Not surprisingly, Portugal made short work of Turkey Saturday in Geneva. The only surprise was Cristiano Ronaldo not scoring a goal. In fact the goals came from a couple players I'd never heard of: Pepe & Raul Meireles. Another surprise: Ronaldo's new GREEN Vapors!

Czech Republic

The kickoff match with the Czech Republic versus Switzerland was highlighted by the injury to Swiss striker Sebastian Frei, ending his (and Switzerland's) Euro 2008 run before it could even begin.


Maybe the best match of the weekend. Croatia, one of the dark horses of the competition after not allowing England into the competition, were lackluster throughout, after securing an early PK. Despite Austria's contsant pressure, they could not break through, and give their home fans some joy.


Lukas Podolski should always play for the national team, as the young Polish-born striker connected twice (the second time was a cannon-shot) to give Germany the 2-0 victory over Poland, who have yet to defeat them in international soccer competition.

We watch on, enjoying every tackle and kick from the best European Championship ever - at least the most watched.

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 6, 2008

We’re all Eurocentric

The Euro 2008 is less than 24 hours away, and I can’t wait for kick-off. Speaking of kicks, Nike has come out with some sensational boots especially for the European Championships.

We have the very limited edition Nike E8 boots. Most Nike players (Fernando Torres, Klose, Gattuso, Fabregas, van Nistelrooy) will be wearing the E8 limited edition version of their boot in at Euro 2008. There were only 1600 released in the US so these will not be around long! The two versions are:

Special Limited Edition - Air Legend II E8 (EURO 2008) Firm Ground Soccer Shoes from Nike. Includes a kangaroo leather upper, with Zoom Air (Lightweight, super-responsive performance cushioning. Incredibly thin, Zoom Air brings the foot closer to the ground for optimum feel and aggressive maneuverability without sacrificing comfort) in the heel for spectacular comfort. The sole is made of Thermoplastic Urethane, and the boots weigh 11 ounces.

Special Limited Edition - Mercurial Vapor IV FG E8 Soccer Boots from Nike - These incredible boots include soft, supple Teijin microfiber leather upper that adjusts to the shape of your foot, plus a contoured speed last, covered lacing for increased strike zone, internal chassis for instant acceleration, and contoured sockliner with EVA inserts for great comfort. The outsole consists of a glass fiber reinforced innersole with direct-injected studs for weight reduction, Vapor forefoot plate with multi-direction traction studs, for maximum performance on firm, natural surfaces. Weighs 8.1 ounces - Made in Italy.

Something they both share is the deep brown color, which was inspired by the heritage of craftsmanship in the two host countries and calls to mind a focus on quality and detail. On the heel counter of each shoe is an intricate embossed pattern honoring the championship and its hosts. To add a pop of color, Nike uses a crystal blue on the outsole that you are sure to see under the flood lights throughout the tournament!

My picks for the tournament:

Group stage:

Group A –


Group B –


Group C -


Group D -





Spain v. Portugal



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TUNIT in Euro 2008 Style

The Euro 2008 is just days away, but there’s still enough time to get some of the coolest merchandise available for this highly-anticipated competition. You can’t get much cooler than the adidas Country TUNITS, which you could find in various spots on

You can see all 16 uppers, plus the various full sets here:

These TUNIT uppers have a distinct lace cover design, and with the team colors intertwined in the sleek TUNIT style, this is a boot upper you're going to wear forever!

The Uppers:

Some of the technical details you'll enjoy are the New engineered lightweight TUNIT micro-fiber synthetic for soft and glove-like fit, 2nd density, semi-clear, 3-D heel/bottom unit for optimal combination of stability and flexibility, lace cover for increased kicking area, and Agion antimicrobial lining to stop odor, bacterial and fungal growth. Weighs 5.8 ounces.

The complete sets:

Come with the set of soft ground, firm ground and hard ground studs with a stud wrench. So you can play on all surfaces. Weighs 11.6 ounces.
Note: All TUNIT elements are compatible, including those of the F50.6 and F50.7.

Nike has also made some special shoes for the Euro 2008, and I’ll be discussing them very soon.