Troubling news: a report that UEFA will consider imposing a two-match ban on Nilmar and Santi for receiving deliberate yellow cards (as well as Iniesta in the CL). This would be scandalous given that two Real Madrid players already got away with this infraction, so hopefully it will not come to pass.
Goal.com has actually talked to someone--a real, live,living and breathing someone--who works for a football club!! Gasp! Not Radio Kiss Kiss or a player's agent thirdhand! And guess what...
We are allegedly interested in a player owned by Juventus, playing for Parma, Sebastian Giovinco. Known as "Atom Ant" (anyone remember THAT cartoon?), he would make Santi look tall. Attacking midfielder, free-kick specialist, that sounds great, but I think the club's priority in the summer is likely to be adding a central defender as cover for the recovering Gonzalo and a defensive midfielder.
As far as yesterday's match was concerned, Porto coach Villas Boas was there to see it. Remember he scouted for Mourinho at Chelsea, so probably saw some interesting things, but I doubt he expects the referee in Portugal next week will allow Porto to be such dirty b******s as our visitors yesterday.
Marca, quite rightly for once, gave Señor Turieno Alvarez 2 out of 10 for his arbitration. Match reports:
I forgot about it in all the excitement of Rossi winning the penalty, but Ponzio (the offender) already had a yellow card, and should've been booked for that offense as well. And even earlier Obradovic, already on a yellow, should've received a second yellow for a cynical trip on Borja (who received a yellow card late on for exactly the same thing). We talk about protecting the Messis of the world, but it's not just about protecting the best player in the world. Borja, Santi, and Nilmar in particular deserved exactly the same protection last night, and didn't get it.
Finally, and if you happen to be anywhere near Vila-Real, you can get your picture taken with the World Cup! Apparently over 4000 people did yesterday, and it is on display today at the new library (which I have heard was recently opened without books, but I can't confirm that). The reason being of course the restrictions on political events with an election upcoming.
Meanwhile those of us in the USA will at least have the chance to see (some of) the world champions when La Roja come to Boston to play the US in early June. General public ticket sale starts tomorrow.
The players have a well-earned day off. Hey guys, if you need something to do there's always the World Cup down at the local library....you can ask this guy about it....!