Monday, June 30, 2008
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
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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
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
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
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
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.
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.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
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
Monday, June 9, 2008
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!
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.
Friday, June 6, 2008
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 A –
Group B –
Group C -
Group D -
Spain v. Portugal
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
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!
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.