Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Correct Pronunciation of Foreign Names: Letter "E"

Egurе́n (Ur.)
Uruguayan defenseman Sebastian Eguren stresses the last syllable in his surname.

Estе́ban (Span.)
A Spanish name, stressed mostly incorrectly.

Evander (Eng.)
Outside of English-speaking world people tend to pronouce this name wrongly. It should sound this way: [ee-va'n-der].

Ewell (Eng.)
A tricky English surname is pronounced quite simply: [yool].

Transfers: Esteban Buján

A capable enganche raised in Velez Sarsfield, Esteban Bujan, who has been failing to find his team in last years, returned to Banfield, where he already played in 2004-2005. After Banfield Esteban spent two seasons at Independiente and Godoy Cruz. For the club from Mendoza he played under the guidance of current Banfield's coach, Juan Manuel Llop.

Transfers: Rolando Schiavi

Despite wonderful performance in the current Brasileirao, Argentinean Rolando Schiavi is leaving Gremio. The next club of the central defenseman, who won every title possible with Boca Juniors, will be Argentinean Newell's Old Boys. Gremio will get $150K for this transfer as well as a possibility to test the young players on a new vacancy.

Transfers: Jonatas

After a quick return of Ibson from Europe to Flamengo, another his ex-mate, Jonatas, decided to return to the same club, after having spent quite little time at Spanish Espanyol. That's the first club's reinforcement after the signing of a new coach. The transfer was facilitated by the wish of Jonatas himself to return home.

New Coach in Flamengo

The chiefs of the club from Gavea could not stand for long the miserable location of Flamengo at the bottom of the table and decided to change a coach. Instead of Ney Franco the team will be governed again, after year and a half, by Joel Santana, whose last place of job was Japan.

Transfers: Josiel

The best as of now scorer in Brazilian championship, Josiel (12 goals) may leave Parana as soon as this week. The forward announced his transfer to one of the French clubs, the name of which will be revealed soon.

Transfers: Somalia

Popular in Brazil forward Somalia was acquired by Fluminense only a month ago, but he is already about to move to a Japanese club with unrevealed name for now. During this month he not only managed to earn a status of an absolute titular, but also became the main club's scorer with four goals.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Transfers: Weldon

Sport from Brazilian Recife can lose its forward Weldon. He is being actively sounded by Japanese Yokohama Marinos.

Correct Pronunciation of Foreign Names: Letter "D"

Darío (Span.)
In this Spanish name the stress falls onto the second syllable, although most people put it onto the first one.

De Michelis (Arg./It.)
That's an Italian surname, hence should be pronounced through [k]. Although in Argentina you will hear lots of [ch] too.

Derby (Eng.)
The Englishmen pronounce the name of their city and club as [dar-bee], not [der-bee].

Diarmuid (Irl.)
Fancy Irish name is pronounced as [deer-mid].

Djurgorden (Swed.)
In Swedish language in combination of "dj" "d" is mute. So, it's [yur-gor-den].

Transfers: Jorge Diaz and Junior de Barranquilla

Junior from Colombian Barranquilla can not count for now on its forward Jorge Diaz. His case has been studied by FIFA after that the forward reportedly did not fulfill his obligations according to the contract with the club from Azerbayjan and returned to Colombia. The club is looking for a new forward. It can be either Paraguayan Freddy Barreiro, or Bolivian Diego Cabrera.

Colombia: Copa Mustang Favorites

On the eve of the second half of the national Colombian championship the team to have the highest chances is country's champion Atletico Nacional, although it did not show too much of activity during pre-tempotrada. Deportivo Cali has serious chances too after having reinforced with such strong players as Oscar Cordoba, Edgar Zapata, Sebastian Hernandez, Oscar Cornejo and an excellent forward Fredy Montero. What weakens the team are Alvaro Dominguez who has left and Sergio Herrera, who has got injured. Deportivo Cucuta may hope to prolong its bright campaign too, but only if the club's finances permit to compensate the absence of key players Blas Perez and Ruben Bustos. Those to have very high ambitions are Bucaramanga who declared its desire to win the Cup soon, and Barranquilla, that has been lead since recently by a coaching tandem of Luis Grau and Carlos Valderrama. The experts admit that Boyaca Chico and vice-champion Huila can generate some surprises too. The rest of the teams, as expected, are to keep on playing on the same level.

Transfers: Aaron Galindo

German Eintracht presented its new player - Mexican defenseman Aaron Galindo. Raised in Cruz Azul, the 25-years old has played in Europe for Spanish Hercules and Swiss Grasshopppers. He will be the third Mexican to play in Bundesliga after Ricardo Osorio and Pavel Pardo.

Toluca Has Beaten Reggina

Mexican Toluca has beaten 2:0 Italian Reggina at the Trophy Cup hold in Chicago. Both goales were scored by Uruguayan Vicente Sanchez. Another two teams to take part in the tournament are Spanish Sevilla and Polish Wisla.

Necaxa Won Copa Aguacalientes

Mexican Necaxa has won a friendly tournament Copa Aguacalientes, having defeated Universidad Autunoma de Guadalajara in final 4:0. Colombian forward Hugo Rodallega scored twice.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco Debuted in MLS

Mexican Cuauhtemoc Blanco played his first official match for Chicago Fire. His club destroyed Toronto 3:0. Blanco assisted to hondureño Ivan Guerrero.

Sulantay Won't Coach a National Team

A bright coach of Chilean juvenile teams, who rasied many bright stars in recent eyars, Jose Sulantay, neglected the possibility that he might be a coach of Chilean national team for the qualification round for the World Cup. Despite being the only candidate for this position, he did not manage to achieve an accordance with the chiefs of Chilean football.

Alan Baia Suffered a Car Accident

Central midfielder of Atletico Paranaense, Alan Baia, yesterday got in car accident in Curitiba. While driving by avenida in Bairro de Pinheirinho he lost control and smashed into a post. Alan himself got his head injured, while his passanger, another player Alex Miranda (27), sadly, passed away.

Brasileirão: Corinthians-Flamengo

Soon upon having signed with Flamengo, wonder-playmaker Roger took part in a clash against his former club. He did it well: right after entering the game whem Fla was losing 0:2 (Clodoaldo and Dinelson), he initiated an attack that ended up with a goal of Souza. Soon Leo Medeiros scored another one and brought a valuable draw to Cariocas. Both grandees are in the lower part of the table for now.

The squads:

Felipe; Edson, Fábio Ferreira, Zelão and Wellington; Bruno Octávio, Moradei, Dinélson (Arce) and Willian; Wilson (Ricardinho) and Clodoaldo.
Coach: Paulo César Carpegiani

Bruno; Leonardo Moura, Moisés, Ronaldo Angelim and Juan; Cristian (Paulo Sérgio), Jaílton (Roger), Léo Medeiros and Renato Augusto; Souza and Obina.
Coach: Ney Franco

Transfers: Flamengo

Flamengo has signed three interesting names. First, Ibson did not manage to last for long in Portugal and returned home. Second, wonderful Roger did not manage to get well with new "Timao"'s coach Carpeggiani, and had to make a move to Fla. And finally, the most interesting acquisition: Argentinean Maximiliano Ariel Biancucci, a Rosarino raised by San Lorenzo, but drafted solely by Paraguayan teams, is known, first of all, for being Lionel Messi's cousin.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

New #10 for Uruguay

In Uruguay the fans are playing a funny game - they are voting for a player to wear number 10 jersey in the national team during the qualification phase for the next World Cup. The choice seems to be interesting, since it represents the very core of Uruguyan national footballistic talent today:

Alvaro Recoba, Ignacio Gonzalez, Martin Parodi, "Cebolla" Rodriguez, Marcelo tejera, Betito Acosta, Fabian Canobbio, Martin Ligera, "Malaka" Martinez, "Pollo" Olivera, Antonio Pacheco, Horacio Peralta, Carlos Grossmueller, Mario Leguizamon, Nicolas Olivera, Adrian Sarkissian, Mariano Bogliacino, Sergio Orteman, Marcelo Lipatin, Roberto Bobadilla

Truly Great Clubs

Which club is the greatest? What to measure with? Are there any objective criteria? Looks like yes, there are. The quality and the quantity of produced players will be such criterion which we suggest to oppose to tight-filled, but stupid purses of pseudo-great clubs which have no relation to real greatness.

Let’s have a look at the recent past and recall which Argentinean and Brazilian clubs presented to world which players in last 10-15 years. We have chosen only those who could be called outstanding by various reasons: whether they went to other teams and became leaders there; or they went to Europe; or they were called to national teams; or they won various tournaments; or they were parts of various ideal teams; or they achieved various personal results, etc. The absence of various famous players can be explained by that they were actually revealed and raised in small clubs.

By overall quantity of produced high-quality players the first rank is occupied by Newell’s Old Boys from Argentinean city of Rosario, which now has all the rights to be called world’s football capital (or more exactly, one of the world’s football capitals). The Brazilian clubs settled mostly in the lower part of the table. It can be explained, obviously, by more even distribution of talents over Brazilian clubs, as well as simply by lesser number of talents, produced in country since recently, if compared to Argentina.

"Newell’s Old Boys" (Argentina) - 32
Fernando Crosa, Diego Crosa, Leonardo Ponzio, German Re, Damian Manso, Mauro Rosales, Lisandro Sacripante, Fernando Belluschi, Guillermo Marino, Leandro Fernandez, Claudio Enria, Diego Castagno Suarez, Sebastian Cejas, Fabricio Fuentes, Nicolas Pavlovich, Maxi Rodriguez, Hernan Franco, Pablo Guiñazu, Sebastian Dominguez, Santiago Solari, Lionel Scaloni, Mauricio Pochettino, Eduardo Berizzo, Gaston Aguirre, Aldo Duscher, Gabriel Heinze, Lionel Messi, Facundo Quiroga, Gabriel Batistuta, Walter Samuel, Fernando Gamboa, Elvio Martinez

"River Plate" (Argentina) - 31
Ariel Ortega, Pablo Aimar, Marcelo Gallardo, Javier Saviola, Diego Barrado, Andres d’Alessandro, Juan Raponi, Fernando Cavenaghi, Gaston Fernandez, Juan Pablo Carrizo, Gonzalo Higuain, Lucas Mareque, Maxi Lopez, Damian Alvarez, Daniel Ludueña, Guillermo Pereyra, Martin de Michelis, Javier Mascherano, Jesus Mendez, Diego Placente, Matias Almeyda, Oscar Ahumada, Osmar Ferreira, Juan Menseguez, Hernan Crespo, Cristian Nasuti, Augusto Fernandez, Matias Abelairas, Dario Conca, Nicolas Domingo, German Lux

"Velez Sarsfield" (Argentina) - 27
Roberto Nanni, Patricio Camps, Fabian Cubero, Mauricio Pellegrino, Maximiliano Pellegrino, Hernan Pellerano, Emiliano Dudar, Juan Falcon, Esteban Bujan, Patricio Perez, Leandro Gracian, Federico Dominguez, Jonas Gutierrez, Leandro Somoza, Dario Husain, Claudio Husain, Rolando Zarate, Mauro Zarate, Emmanuel Fernandez Francou, Lucas Castroman, Roberto Pompei, Omar Asad, Sebastian Mendez, Turu Flores, Pablo Batalla, Emmanuel Centurion, Dario Ocampo

"Boca Juniors" (Argentina) - 26
Juan Roman Riquelme, Nicolas Burdisso, Clemente Rodriguez, Sebastian Battaglia, Carlos Tevez, Franco Cangele, Neri Cardozo, Fernando Gago, Ever Banega, Jonatan Fabbro, Omar Perez, Cesar La Paglia, Anibal Matellan, Javier Rosada, Daniel Tilger, Roberto Colautti, Hector Bracamonte, Jose Maria Calvo, Christian Gimenez, Pablo Islas, Fernando Ortiz, Ariel Carreño, Wilfredo Caballero, Aldo Paredes, Andres Franzoia, Alfredo Moreno

"Rosario Central" (Argentina) - 25
Marcelo Delgado, Eduardo Coudet, Daniel Diaz, Luciano de Bruno, Luciano Figueroa, Cesar Delgado, Federico Lussenhoff, Angel di Maria, Paulo Ferrari, Marco Ruben, Walter Gaitan, Antonio Pizzi, Jose Chamot, Pablo Sanchez, Roberto Bonano, Martin Cardetti, Claudio Ubeda, Matias Lequi, Kily Gonzalez, Horacio Carbonari, Roberto Abbondanzieri, Gabriel Loeschbor, Hernan Encina, Pablo Vitti, German Herrera

"Flamengo" (Brazil) - 19
Julio Cesar, Alessandro, Athirson, Paulo Nunes, Gilberto, Zinho, Junior Baiano, Luis Alberto, Renato Augusto, Ibson, Jonatas, Jean, Paulo Cesar, Marcelinho Carioca, Fabiano, Fabio Baiano, Savio, Adriano, Juan

"San Lorenzo" (Argentina) - 19
Sebastian Saja, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Leandro Romagnoli, Pablo Zabaleta, Pablo Barrientos, Ezequil Lavezzi, Jonatan Bottinelli, Walter Garcia, Eduardo Tuzzio, Guillermo Franco, Walter Erviti, Raul Estevez, Lucas Pusineri, Fabricio Collocini, Mario Santana, Walter Montillo, Hernan Peirone, Damian Luna, Adrian Gonzalez

"Argentinos Juniors" (Argentina) - 16
Federico Insua, Diego Cagna, Leonardo Pisculici, Leonel Nuñez, Rolando Schiavi, Gustavo Oberman, Lucas Biglia, Victor Zapata, Carlos Moreno, Christian Zermatten, Ariel Garce, Sebastian Pena, Fernando Redondo, Juan Pablo Sorin, Ariel Seltzer, Cristian Ledesma

"Lanus" (Argentina) - 16
Dieso Klimowicz, Gabriel Schurrer, Ariel Ibagaza, Julian Kmet, Rodrigo Archubi, Marcos Aguirre, Cristian Fabbiani, Sebastian Leto, Ezequiel Carboni, Agustin Pelletieri, Rodrigo Diaz, Mauricio Romero, Silvio Gonzalez, Javier Morales, Juan Jose Serrizuela, Diego Galvan

"Corinthians" (Brazil) - 15
Gil, Marques, Doni, Anderson, Rubinho, Cris, Jo, de Souza, Marcos Senna, Coelho, Viola, Marcinho, Ze Elias, Silvinho, Paulo Sergio

"Independiente" (Argentina) - 14
Gabriel Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, Leonel Rios, Emmanuel Rivas, Esteban Fuertes, Sergio Aguero, Oscar Ustari, Livio Prieto, Matias Vuoso, Mariano Pernia, Gustavo Lopez, Christian Diaz, Bruno Marioni, Ismael Sosa

"Estudiantes" (Argentina) - 14
Martin Palermo, Juan Krupoviesa, Juan Sebastian Veron, Mariano Pavone, Jose Sosa, Jose Luis Calderon, Ernesto Farias, Gaston Sessa, Diego Colotto, Pablo Quatrocchi, Luciano Galletti, Bernardo Romeo, Marcelo Carrusca, Claudio Lopez

"Gimnasia de La Plata" (Argentina) - 13
Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Gustavo Barros Schelotto, Nicolas Cabrera, Lucas Licht, Lucas Lobos, Sebastian Romero, Mariano Messera, Leonardo Cufre, Jorge San Esteban, Martin Pautasso, Roberto Sosa, Ariel Pereyra, Andres Guglielminpietro

"Santos" (Brazil) - 12
Deivid, Maurinho, Andre Luiz, Paulo Almeida, Elano, Diego, Robinho, Gustavo Nery, Baiano, Alex, Michel, Sergio Manoel

"Sao Paulo" (Brazil) - 12
Dodô, Caio, Fabiano Costa, Elivelton, Kaka, Rogerio Ceni, Fabio Simplicio, Julio Baptista, Diego Tardelli, Cafu, Edmilson, Denilson

"Gremio" (Brazil) - 11
Scheidt, Anderson Polga, Ronaldinho, Anderson, Lucas, Carlos Eduardo, Roger, Tinga, Claudio Pitbull, Marcelinho, Emerson

"Banfield" (Argentina) - 10
Javier Zanetti, Julio Ricardo Cruz, Mauro Camoranesi, Jesus Dátolo, Daniel Bilos, Jose Luis Sanchez, Marcos Galarza, Gabriel Paletta, Claudio Graf, Emiliano Armenteros

"Cruzeiro" (Brazil) - 10
Alex Mineiro, Luizão, Maicon, Jussié, Ramon, Gomes, Edu Drácena, Maxwell, Geovanni, Belletti

"Atletico Paranaense" (Brazil) - 10
Renaldo, Gustavo, Kleberson, Kleber, Dagoberto, Ilan, Jadson, Fernandinho, Oseas, Paulo Rink

"Coritiba" (Brazil) - 10
Helcio, Adriano, Lima, Alex, Liedson, Basilio, Marcão, Rafinha, Ze Roberto, Marcel

"Palmeiras" (Brazil) - 9
Flavio Luis, Rogerio, Marcos, Magrão, Nene, Rodrigo Taddei, Alberto, Vagner Love, Ricardinho

"Internacional" (Brazil) - 9
Daniel Carvalho, Nilmar, Diogo Rincon, Alexandre Pato, Cristian, Chiquino, Rafael Sobis, Fabio Rochemback, Lucio

"Racing" (Argentina) - 8
Maxi Morales, Adrian Bastia, Diego Milito, Gustavo Cabral, Lisandro Lopez, Mariano Gonzalez, Maxi Estevez, Vicente Principiano

"Vasco da Gama" (Brazil) - 8
Pedrinho, Geder, Felipe, Romario, Edmundo, Pretto Casagrande, Valdir, Morais

"Huracan" (Argentina) - 7
Lucho Gonzalez, Daniel Montenegro, Emmanuel Villa, Antonio Barijho, Gonzalo Hirsig, Nestor Silvera, Maximiliano Castaño

"Fluminense" (Brazil) - 6
Roni, Carlos Alberto, Rodolfo, Antonio Carlos, Roger, Arouca

"Goias" (Brazil) - 6
Gustavo, Josué, Danilo, Araujo, Dill, Fernandão

"Atletico Mineiro" (Brazil) - 6
Mancini, Renato, Cicinho, Euller, Lincoln, Gilberto Silva

"Colon" (Argentina) - 6
Hugo Ibarra, Cesar Carignano, Alcides Piccoli, Cristian Castillo, Martin Romagnoli, Jose Sand

"Guarani" (Brazil) - 5
Mineiro, Amoroso, Roberto, Luizão, Robson Ponte

"Parana" (Brazil) - 5
Tcheco, Cristian, Ricardinho, Lucio Flavio

"Botafogo" (Brazil) - 3
Iranildo, Dimba, Beto

"Baia" (Brazil) - 3
Fabão, Dani Alves, Jorge Wagner

"Ponte Preta" (Brazil) - 3
Rodrigo, Luis Fabiano, Andre Cunha

That’s quantity. If you want a quality criterion, then we need to disregard the narrow-profiled specialists and count only the pure and absolute multi-lateral talents (their names are marked in bold). In this case the teams will be ranked more predictably. The first three will be the world’s truly greatest clubs – River Plate, Boca Juniors and Flamengo, with River having outrun the rest significantly. Also note that Flamengo still manages to produce the quality players despite all their never-ending problems during the last decade.

River Plate – 20
Boca Juniors – 13
Flamengo – 10
Newell’s Old Boys – 9
Velez Sarsfield – 9
Rosario Central – 7
Independiente – 7
Gremio – 7
Corinthians – 6
Estudiantes – 6
Vasco da Gama – 6
Palmeiras – 6
Lanus – 6
San Lorenzo – 6
Argentinos Juniors – 5
Gimnasia de La Plata – 5
Atletico Paranaense – 5
Internacional – 5
Goias – 5
Atletico Mineiro – 5
Parana – 4
Sao Paulo – 4
Banfield – 4
Racing – 4
Coritiba – 4
Santos – 3
Cruzeiro – 3
Huracan – 3
Botafogo – 3
Fluminense – 2
Guarani – 2
Baia – 2
Colon – 1
Ponte Preta – 0

In both lists both teams from Rosario are placed high, despite the run of bad luck for Rosario Central. The sudden high rank of Lanus is explained by the splash of activity in last couple of years. While Velez Sarsfield has simply derived maximum of benefit from team’s successes in the mid-90s, having launched the football schools at full-load.

In Brazil the tendency of producing the bright footballers gets lower to South with every year. The best suppliers today are states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul. Ex-leaders like Botafogo and Atletico Mineiro mainly vegetate. It’s interesting to observe the good work of “canteras” of Goias, a club from modest Goiania, as well as of a club of Argentinean poverty, Banfield, that returned to elite not so long ago.

P.S. And now, if you want to know what the greatest world’s clubs are INDEED, as well as to understand, which nation is the most footballistic in the world, recall hundreds of excellent Uruguayan players, distributed throughout the world in latest 15 years, and divide them between 5-6 Uruguayan leading clubs.

Transfers: Martin Garcia

Colombian forward of Vasco da Gama, Martin Garcia is moving to Mexican Necaxa. The chiefs of Brazilian club don't worry much, since the Colombian is about to be painlessly replaced with either Enilton or Alan Kardec.

Transfers: Adriano Magrão

Fluminense's forward Adriano Magrão is packing. Unsatisfied with little space left for him after the arrival of Jean and Somalia, the forward is moving to Japanese Yokohama Marinos. Although not so long ago Adriano Magrão was the key figure in Flu's triumph at Copa do Brasil.

Correct Pronunciation of Foreign Names: Letter "C" (continued)

Cо́rdoba (span.)
The names of Spanish and Argentinean cities (as well as people's names, derived from them) are often pronounced incorrectly, Especially by the beginners. The stress should be put here onto the first syllable.

Cо́ria (span.)
That's the exception we talked about before. Unlike in most Spanish surnames ending with "-ia", in this case the first syllable is stressed.

Corinthians (br.)
Brazilians don't pronounce the second "n" in the name of this great club.

Corretja (cat.)
Catalan "tj" sounds like English "j". The variant which many are so accustomed to - [kor-ret-ha] - is so wrong.

Coudet (arg.)
Actually, you can pronounce this French surname according to the French rules, but in this case no one in Buenos Aires will understand who you are talking about. The local public's pet is called there {ko-oo-de't}. Or simply "El Chacho".

Cruyff (dut.)
The correct traditional spelling of this surname is "Cruijff". "Ui" is pronounced like French "eu". The Englishmen, obviously, may pronounce it as "Kroyff" too.

Cuauhtemoc (mex.)
Often the second "u" is forgotten in this Aztecan name. But it exists and is pronounced.

Cufrе (arg.)
In the surname of this Argentinean raised in Gimnasia La Plata, the stress falls onto the last syllable.

Uruguay: Apertura 2007

Uruguayan Apertura 2007 starts on August 18th. The national title will be disputed by 16 teams: Danubio, Nacional, Peñarol, Defensor Sporting, River Plate, Wanderers, Central Español, Liverpool, Bella Vista, Tacuarembó, Miramar Misiones, Rampla Juniors, Progreso as well as those ascended Fénix, Cerro and Juventud de Las Piedras.

Transfers: Omar Pouso

Uruguayan anchorman Omar Pouso won't be playing for Argentinean Colon. It became clear after he signed with Paraguayan grandee Libertad. The Paraguayan club is coached by Pouso's compatriot, Ruben Israel.

Transfers: Walter Lopez

Mexican league has now one Uruguayan more. The "Tecos" of Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara have signed a left wing, Walter Lopez. Raised in Uruguayan River Plate, he spent the last season in Spanish Xerez.

Transfers: Marco Vanzini

The idol of the fans of Uruguayan Nacional, defenseman Marco "Polillo" Vanzini, will be playing for Brazilian Juventude from Caxias-do-Sul. During the last seasons Vanzini has been a Uruguayan grandee's captain.

Transfers: Fabian Estoyanoff

Fabian Larry Estoyanoff will start the new season at Real Valladolid, which is the third Spanish club in his career. The Uruguayan who belongs to Valencia, spent two lasts seasons at Cadiz and Deportivo.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Correct Pronunciation of Names: Letter "C"

Cа́ceres (span.)
A traditional mistake of many non-Spaniards. The stress should fall onto the first syllable.

Cа́diz (span.)
Tha name of this city (and football club) is often misstressed too.

Cа́ngele (span.)
...as is the surname of this extremely talented Boca's alumnus.

Caniggia (arg./it.)
This Italian surname is pronounced mainly correctly in Europe - in Italian way. But don't wonder if you happen to hear it as [canihhia] in Argentina. It's quite spread there even among the commentators.

Carew (nor.)
The Norwegians themselves pronounce this English surname in their own way - [ka-rev].

Carles Puyol (cаt.)
This name is usually pronounced in Catalania as [karlas], although you may hear [karles] too. As for the surname, it used to be "Pujol", with "j" like in French "Jean". Then the language became prohibited, and the surname turned into [poo-yol] and [poo-hol]. Only the most die-hard Catalans preserved it as it was before.

Carlisle (eng.)
In this tricky English surname the "s" does not sound: [karlail]

Carvalho (port.)
The Portuguese surname sounds the same both in Portugal and in Brazil: [kar-val-yoo].

Chandia (span.)
In most Spanish surnames ending with "ia", the stress falls onto the second from the end syllable. But there are exceptions (see the next posts).

Chaquico (port.)
This is no footballer, but a musician, although the case is worthy. This Portuguese surname is written this way - Chaquiço, and read as [sha-kee'-soo].

Chevanton (ur./span./fr.)
Although the surname looks definitely French, in Uruguay people are not too familiar with the phonetics of this language. So, it should be read in Spanish way (as should "Chamot" too, by the way).

Ciurlizza (per.)
This enormously talented Peruvian has an Italian surname [choor-lits-tsa]. But Peru is not Argentina, where Italians represent the half of population. So, in most cases this surname will sound in Spanish way - [soor-lis-sa].

Latin Football Vocabulary

Latin football has many terms that are hard to translate correctly into other languages, and that sometimes express the things more exactly. There's nothing wrong in using those expressions that can enrich the language of commentators or journalists all over the world.

Brasileirão - [bra-zi-lei-ro'n]
That's an unofficial but widespread name of Brazilian National Championship, carried out since 1971.

Volante and meia
In Brazil they divide midfielders into two categories: those defending and those attacking, naming them correspondingly "volantes" and "meias". Quite short and quite eloquent. Don't mix it with Argentinean terminology, where "volante" is any midfielder.

Enganche [en-gan-cheh]
A uniquely Argentinean position that links midfield and attack. Usually, number 10 and the most talented team's player.

Golazo [gola'so]
This is what they call the supergoals in Argentina. Classy word.

Lujo [loo-ho]
Another bright term used to describe the game of talented players. Means fancy (cute, clever) movement (action). Is translated as "luxury".

The same as "lujo" with more narrow meaning. A foot-trick.

A "nutmeg"

A "bicycle" kick

A "dove" - a diving header with landing on the chest.

Transfers: Andre Lima

Just in a couple of days after the disqualification of Botafogo's main striker Dodo, the club got new reasons to worry - Dodo's substitute Andre Lima announced that he is being approached by unrevealed European clubs. Andre Lima has already outrun Dodo, and has now nine goals in Brazilian championship.

Transfers: Claudio Maldonado

Chilean "volante" of Santos, Claudio Maldonado, stil hopes to manage to jump to Europe before the end of the "transfers window". One of the possible destinations for a Chilean who has a very solid reputation in Brazilian football, can be Inter Milan.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Transfers: Ramon and Antonio Carlos

Surprising news from the camp of Atletico Paranaense - they have two new serious players. Brazil's playmaking legend "vascaino" Ramon (35), who have played virtually all over the country, had already been in the team at the beginning of the season, regularly played as titular, but then went to Qatar. Now he returns. Another signing is Fluminense's alumnus Antonio Carlos, now in France. He is about to replace famous Marcao (Skavinsky), who moved to Internacional.

Transfers: Alexandre Pato

Milan would like to accelerate signing of contract with one of the best young Brazilian players, Alexandre Pato from Internacional, who is only 17. To beat Real and Chelsea, Milan sends its director Leonardo to Brazil where he is supposed to explain to Pato all the advantages of signing the contract with Italian club.

Argentina: On the Eve of Apertura 2007

A year ago after San Lorenzo lost 0:5 both to Boca and River I still was sure that this was a great team, which it proved as soon as in six months. While six months ago I was sure about another thing - that Racing would reign in Clausura 2007. That confidence did not prove: Racing found itself in the lower part of the table by the end of the season. But still there are no doubts that this team is great and that it will surely have success. "Academicians"' problems during Clausura were connected rather with logistical issues and scandals of their coach Reinaldo Merlo with the club's chiefs. The legendary coach is not anymore with the team, but his successor Gustavo Costas is quite able to repeat Simeone's trick. I'd like to remind that Estudiantes was prepared for the championship by the same Merlo, while Simeone actually skimmed the cream. The team does not have weak links. The keeper Gustavo Campagnoulo has been definitely one of Argentina's best keepers in the last decade; the central defense tandem of Diego Crosa and Gustavo Cabral is a wonderful fusion of experience and young blood; the midfield is full of both hard-workers and creators - Martin Romagnoli, Christian Pellerano, Nicolas Cabrera, two 2001 champions that returned to glorious home Jose Chatruk and Adrian Bastia. The bulk of jewels is crowned by a nugget of Maxi Morales. No one resembles me of Maradona more than him, even Messi. Maxi has just returned from the Mundial sub-20 which he won jointly with other "Academicians". In attack even after the defection of Gonzalo Bergessio there are two solid pillars - Facundo Sava and Claudio Lopez. Well, despite the collapse in Clausura, Racing still is the brightest spot among all the teams.

Let's right away strike of the list of possible candidates for the title such clubs as Argentinos Juniors, Banfield, Colon, both Gimnasias, both clubs from Rosario (regretfully), as well as all four newcomers. I would not regard Arsenal either, since club's president's father's chair of president of Argentinean Football Federation has been rocking since recently. Remaining are five traditional grandees Boca, River, Independiente, Racing and San Lorenzo, plus semi-grandee Velez Sarsfield, plus Estudiantes with Lanus. Of two latter Lanus is more preferable since it lost minimum players of its tuned and tested squad. Estudiantes has no Pavone, no Sosa, no Calderon, hence no reasons at all for optimism. Neither San Lorenzo is likely to repeat its huge success - Ezequiel Lavezzi, who joined Napoli, meant too much for the team. Besides, the defense leader Jonathan Bottinelli has already packed too. Although the team is actively buying good players. Pedro Troglio is unlikely too to start his work at Independiente with successes - Burruchaga has left too much of a mess. The least probable candidate to win is Velez as long as it's ruled by la Volpe. Especially after both rescuers have gone - Castroman to Mexico and Mauro Zarate to Qatar. River is miserable too - seems like Passarella wants to destroy it down to the ground. If Belluschi leaves, the main task will be not to descend. There's no confidence today in this wonderful club. Boca is in much more favourable conditions, although Russo did not manage to impress as a coach so far, and there's no guarantees that the title won't escape from the Xeneizes for the third time in a row.

Well, the main stakes should be made, obviously, on Racing, Lanus, San Lorenzo and Boca. Seems like the best mood on Christmas will be in a camp of one of these four clubs.

As for individual achievements, the most serious candidates to be named as Apertura's best player are young Maxi Morales from Racing, Angel di Maria from Rosario Central and Ever Banega from Boca. Besides, there's a hope that the stars that left Velez, freed space for very talented Emmanuel Fernandez Francou. As for the older players, it will again be Riquelme, Belluschi, Arzuaga, Patiño. Surely, there will be some young star to emerge from nowhere, as it happens every year. Whatever plot Apertura 2007 would have, one thing is for sure - it's not going to be boring to anyone. Aguante!

Correct Pronunciation of Foreign Names: Letter "B"

Barijho (span.)
Usually "jh" is used in Caribbean region to make Spanish public read the names in English manner, like in "Jhohnny", to avoid reading it as "Honny", in Spanish way. But that's not the case of Argentinean striker. He is [bariho].

Beckham (eng.)
The suffix "-ham" in English language is pronounced without "h", which is mute in this case.

Belluschi (arg./it.)
There is no sense to try to read this surname according to Spanish phonetics - you'll end up with the broken tongue. It's an Italian one, and should be read in Italian.

Betis (span.)
The first syllable is stressed in the name of this Spanish club.

Bianchi (arg./it.)
Another Italian surname of an Argentinean, which can be read either way in Argentina. Although the high-brow Argentineans prefer to pronounce the Italian surnames in Italian.

Bolaño (span.)
The tilde is not shown often, hence the wrong pronunciation of this Colombian player's name.

Bouma (dut.)
"Ou" in Dutch language is pronounced as [au] - like in English "how".

Transfers: Marcel

Disappointed by the absence of goals the chiefs of Gremio presented a new forward - 26-year Marcel. Actually belonging to Benfica he spent last several months at Sao Paulo, where lost competition to Aloisio, Borges and now Diego Tardelli. Coritiba's revelation managed to play for Corean Suwon Bluewings, Portuguese Academica, Sporting Braga and Benfica, Brazilian Parana and Sao Paulo. In 2003 Marcel scored 32 goals for Coritiba.

Transfers: Alex

Having recovered from various injuries Internacional's midfielder Alex has sparkled interes of Barcelona scouts. The possibility to sign Brazilian gets more realistic in light of possible transfer of another Barcelona's Brazilian - Thiago Motta - to Milan.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Argentinean Players' Nicknames

There's no secret that to most Argentinean "hinchas" the nickname ("apodo") of a player will tell more than his name and surname. For example, what would you understand from boring "Alejandro Dominguez" which you have hundred thousands in Argentina of! Quite another story would be "Chori Dominguez" or simply, "Chori". Everyone immediatley knows who you are talking about. In communication between fans, commentators, journalists, coaches and players themselves one word is enough: "Mostaza". "Chacho", "Caldera", "Cuqui", "Chelo" or "Cata". There's no need to add anything or decifer. And how would you like the hypnotizing "Guiillleeeee!" over Bombonera when Boca seems to have problems! It's legendary "La Doce" demanding their idol. And whichever coach is training Boca at the moment, he understands right away, who this is about, and sends the player in.

In order to get inspired with magnificent spirit of Argentinean football, to plunge into it deeper, we offer a list of most popular players' apodos (not everyone is granted with a nickname). Now you may forget their official names. An apodo will be anough both for you and for them.

Federico "Pocho" Insua
Rolando "Flaco" Schiavi
Roberto "Pato" Abbondanzieri
Hugo "Negro" Ibarra
Antonio "Chipi" Barijho
Marcelo "Chelo" Delgado
Guillermo "Guille" Schelotto
Daniel "Cata" Diaz
Alejandro "Chori" Dominguez
Ezequiel "Equi" Gonzalez
Ernesto "Tecla" Farias
Daniel "Rolfi" Montenegro
Diego "Pichichi" Forlan
Alvaro "Chino" Recoba
Damian "Piojo" Manso
Eduardo "Chacho" Coudet
Leandro "Pipi" Romagnoli
Santiago "Pato" Raymonda
Leonel "Toti" Rios
Christian "Laucha" Lucchetti
Daniel "Flaco" Bilos
Fernando "Pintita" Gago
Claudio "Paragua" Morel Rodriguez
Rodrigo "La Joya" Palacio
Martin "Loco" Palermo
Ezequiel "Loco" Lavezzi
Federico "Colo" Lussenhoff
Adrian "Polaco" Bastia
Rodrigo "Chapu" Braña
Jose Luis "Caldera" Calderon
Marcelo "Chelo" Carrusca
Jose "Pepe" Chatruk
Rodrigo "Kalule" Melendez
Mariano "Tanque" Pavone
Jose "Principito" Sosa
Gustavo "Tucu" Balvorin
Esteban "Tetе́" Gonzalez
Lucas "Army" Lobos
Sergio "Kun" Aguero
Nicolas "Garza" Frutos
Maximiliano "Pelado" Castaño
Gaston "Tonga" Aguirre
Fernando "Pelado" Belluschi
Ivan "Memo" Borghello
Juan Sebastian "Brujita" Veron
Ariel "Burrito" Ortega
Diego "Burrito" Rivero
Ariel "Pepi" Zapata
Carlos "Lechuga" Roa
Miguel "Japonе́s" Caneo
Pablo "Tolo" Guiñazu
Nestor "Cuqui" Silvera
Ruben "Mago" Capria
Cristian "Lobo" Ledesma
Maxi "Enano" Morales
Esteban "Bichi" Fuertes
Sebastian "Chirola" Romero
Diego "Cholo" Simeone
Reinaldo "Mostaza" Merlo
Gaston "Gata" Fernandez
Marcelo "Muñeco" Gallardo
Danilo "Paco" Gerlo
Gonzalo "Pipa" Higuain
Gustavo "Cachete" Oberman
Jairo "Viejo" Patiño
Victor "Chapa" Zapata
German "Pirulo" Rivarola
Emmanuel "Tita" Villa
Pablo "Pitu" Barrientos
Walter "Tota" Garcia
Ariel "Pata" Pereyra
Fabian "Poroto" Cubero
Jonas "Gaigo" Gutierrez
Gaston "Gato" Sessa

Transfers: Argentina (update)

Juan Pablo AvendañoKaiserispor (Turkey)
Gonzalo Choy (Uruguay)Morelia (Mexico)
Leandro Desа́batoEstudiantes
Leonel NuñezOlimpiakos (Greece)
Marcelo SarmientoLarissa (Greece)

Alejandro DelorteBrescia (Italy)
Sergio EscuderoIndependiente
Nicolas SaucedoIndios de Ciudad Juarez (Mexico)

Esteban DreerKaunas (Lithuania)
Cristian LlamaCatania (Italy)
Mauro О́boloAIK Solna (Sweden)
Jorge OrtizSan Lorenzo
Ibrahim Sekagya (Uganda)Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)
Lucas ValdemarinAIK Solna (Sweden)

Martin AndrizziBanfield
Jose Luis CalderonEstudiantes
Israel DamonteNueva Chicago
Leonardo UlloaSan Lorenzo
Andres YllanaBelgrano

Martin AndrizziArsenal
Jose ChatrukRacing
Josemir Lujambio (Uruguay)Olimpo

Ariel BroggiVelez Sarsfield
Jose Devaca (Paraguay)Godoy Cruz

Daniel DiazGetafe (Spain)
Andres FranzoiaHuracan
Guillermo MarinoTigres (Mexico)
Bruno MarioniAtlas (Mexico)
Sergio Orteman (Uruguay)Ankaragucu (Turkey)
Clemente RodriguezEspanyol (Spain)
Santiago VillafaceReal Madrid В (Spain)

Julio BarrosoLorca (Spain)
Alvaro Gonzalez (Uruguay)Defensor Sporting (Uruguay)

Diego BarradoOlimpo
Gaston EsmeradoArsenal
Jose SandLanus

Jose Luis CalderonArsenal
Mariano PavoneBetis (Spain)
Jose SosaBayern (Germany)

Leandro Desа́batoArgentinos Juniors
Diego GalvanRiver Plate
Ivan Moreno y FabianesiVelez Sarsfield

Cezar CarranzaNueva Chicago
Nereo FernandezUnion
Juan Manuel MarbellaGodoy Cruz
Matias MiramontesNewell’s Old Boys
Facundo Perez CastroArgentinos Juniors

German BasualdoAlmirante Brown
Diego HernerBanfield

Pablo BatallaQuilmes
Federico DominguezRiver Plate

Mauro MilanoAsteras Tripolis (Greece)

Antonio Barijho
Nicolas CastroAl Ahli (Arab Emirates)
Andres FranzoiaBoca Juniors
Franco MendozaAtlante (Mexico)
Federico NietoVerona (Italy)
Alan Sanchez O'Higgins (Chile)
Omar ZarifNueva Chicago

David Abraham Gimnastic (Spain)
Emiliano ArmenterosSevilla В (Spain)
Sergio EscuderoArgentinos Juniors
Oscar UstariGetafe (Spain)
Federico GonzalezFerro

Sebastian Carrizo Vecindario (Spain)
Lucas Mareque River Plate
Matias Oyola Belgrano
Ricardo Moreira Rosario Central

Cristian Fabbiani CRF Cluj (Romania)
Sebastian Leto Liverpool (England)
Diego Manicero CRF Cluj (Romania)
Mauricio Romero Morelia (Mexico)

Roberto Jimenez (Peru) San Lorenzo
Adrian Peralta Newell’s Old Boys
Jose Sand Colon
Leonardo Sigali Nueva Chicago

Gaston Aguirre San Lorenzo
Oscar Ccardozo (Paraguay) Benfica (Portugal)
Matias Miramontes Gimnasia de Jujuy
Adrian Peralta Lanus

Pablo Aguilar Chacarita Juniors
Matias Donnet Belgrano
Marcos Gutierrez Olimpo
Diego Torres Quilmes

Silvio Carrario Aldosivi
Jose Maria Bazanta Estudiantes

Diego Barrado Colon
Sebastian Gonzalez (Chile) Veracruz (Mexico)
Josemir Lujambio (Uruguay) Banfield
Carlos Navarro Montoya Nueva Chicago

Gonzalo Bergessio Benfica (Portugal)
Sixto Peralta River Plate
Sergio Romero AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands)
Juan Manuel Torres - San Lorenzo

Jose Chatruk Banfield

Juan Pablo Carrizo Lazio (Italy)
Federico Dominguez Gimnasia de La Plata
German Lux Mallorca (Spain)
Nelson Rivas (Colombia) Inter (Italy)
Rubens Sambueza UNAM (Mexico)
Jose San Roman Tigre
Victor Zapata Velez Sarsfield
Diego Galvan - Estudiantes

Sixto Peralta Racing

Ricardo Moreira Independiente
Leonel Rios Velez Sarsfield

Martin Arzuaga (Colombia) Godoy Cruz
Emiliano Para Velez Sarsfield
Enrique Seccafien Veracruz (Mexico)

Roberto Jimenez (Peru) Lanus
Ezequiel Lavezzi Napoli (Italy)
Leonardo Ulloa Arsenal Sarandi

Gaston Aguirre Newell’s Old Boys
Jorge Ortiz Arsenal Sarandi
Juan Manuel Torres Racing

Pablo Frontini Gimnasia de Jujuy
Ariel Carreño

Sebastian Erreros Velez Sarsfield
Sebastian Rusculleda Quilmes
Jose San Roman River Plate

Ariel Broggi Banfield
Lucas Castroman America (Mexico)
Sebastian Erreros Tigre
Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi Estudiantes
Emiliano Papa Rosario Central
Gaston Sessa Barcelona (Ecuador)
Mauro Zarate Al Sadd (Qatar)

Leonel Rios Rosario Central
Victor Zapata River Plate
Pablo Lima (Uruguay) Danubio (Uruguay)

Transfers: Mark Gonzalez

The least Chilean of all the members of Chilean national team, born Southafrican Mark Gonzalez after all the Liverpool's loud acquisitions fell out of Benitez's schemes. It has been confirmed already that he will start the new season in Spanish Betis.

Transfers: Nery Castillo

Although the hero of Copa America, Nery Castillo promised to focus on playing for Greek Olimpiakos, the coming offers represent too big temptation both for the player and for the proprietors of his transfer. The most zealous has been Manchester City and Shakhtar. The sum in question is somewhere between 15 and 20 million euros.

Transfers: Welliton

Goias's leading forward Welliton has already waved goodbye to local torcida and is about to fly to Russia. The name of his new club has not been revealed yet. It is expected to be either Spartak or Lokomotiv.

River Plate at Peace Cup

Being a world´s club number one (by various parameters), the Argentinean grandee had no chances to perform well at this tournament. Like Veron represented a delayed-action mine for Argentina at Copa America, Passarella has been an absolutely predictable grave digger for any ambitious plans that Millionarios might have under his rule. With this coach they won’t win anything.

Although, a year ago it started very optimistically. A trio of Belluschi – Ortega – Higuain supported by wonderful defensemen Lussenhoff and Gerlo, was smashing everyone around and was about to bring the title to River easily, if the process of internal decay wasn’t barefacedly initiated by Passarella. For a start he put Ortega, who gained unbelievable pace, on the bench, which resulted in immediate dipsomania of the latter, that hasn’t been releasing Burrito for long since ever. Gallardo, who replaced Ortega, neither obtained a cart-blanche and was feeling clearly uneasy till he decided to spit upon it and return to France. Having destroyed midfield of his own, Passarella focused on defense. The tuned as a clock tandem of central defensemen Lussenhoff – Gerlo was broken up, and straight till the end of Apertura the combination of defensemen had chaotically or, even, hysterically been constantly shuffled, which infected with nervousness the rest of the team. During the intermission another central defenseman, Nelson Rivas from Colombia, was bought for unknown reasons only to take part in stupid Passarella’s experiments. As a result, with wonderful defense experts in his team, the coach did not manage to solve the problems in the most familiar to him part of the field.

Then there was an epopee on the left wing, where Passarella didn’t like one after another Zapata, Fede Dominguez, Sambueza and even marvelous Mareque. The guy he finally chose turned out to be Abelairas, too young, too inexperienced, hence worse, as for now, than any of the abovementioned players.

Right after Nicolas Domingo warmed up enough to produce brilliant games, he was put on the bench too. It would be justified if he gave place to Ahumada. But Ahumada’s substitute now is Rene Lima, who does not impress. Domingo is better than Lima, but Passarella does not see it.

Besides, during Passarella’s governing (although, justice demands to say that it started in Astrada’s times) we began to see too many “unriverish” players in the team, i.e. mediocre players according to Argentinean overall standards, and weak players according to River standards. Santana, Sambueza, Dominguez, Zapata, Lima, Ruben, who still has been failing to explain his sudden appearance in the team, Colombian Garcia Zarate whose inability to play River’s trademark football became especially evident at Peace Cup. Mauro Rosales is a very good player, but not “un millionario”. Leonardo Ponzio seems to have played all his best games at Mundial sub-20 in 2001, and ever since got too infected with “europeism”. And vice versa: ideally “riverish”, extremely intelligent and sophisticated Jairo Patino spent two years in dead reserve. The idling in production of club’s most trademark position – playmaking – is very evident today too. The last genuinely outstanding number 10 was d’Alessandro (Belluschi does not count, he is from Newell's). The only one to pretend to be called another Maradona is probably Augusto Fernandez, but his progress is way too slow.

To conclude, today only three players correspond to the level of great team: Fernando Belluschi, Juan Pablo Carrizo and Oscar Ahumada. Two of them did not play at Peace Cup – Carrizo was sitting on bench in Venezuela (and later sold to Lazio), while Ahumada is recuperating from an injury. That’s’ why what we saw was a great team which a mediocre coach pulled down to its mediocre level. Although Belluschi was great as ever.

Correct Pronunciation: Letter "A"

Abelairas (arg.)
The surname of this left-wing of River Plate is written without any accent signs, but I met it written like this Abélairas. So, very likely that it should be pronounced with the first syllable stressed.

Adãozinho (br.)
We'll talk in detail about this complicated Portuguese dyphtong later. As for now, it's a diminuitive of the Biblical name Adão (a-dan). The suffix "-inho" is pronounced in Brazil as "ee-noo". So, "a-dan-zee-noo".

Ahumada (arg.)
In Spanish language "h" is mute.

Alemão (br.)
The same complicated suffix. The name should be read as "Aleman" ("German").

Alе́x (br.)
It was fun to hear in Coritiba camp as the name of club´s most prominent alumnus is pronounced with the second syllable stressed.

А́lvarez, А́lvaro (span.)
Both name and its derivative surname are pronouced with the first syllable stressed.

Andrе́s (span.)
The Spanish name is often pronounced in English way. The correct variant has the second syllable stressed.

Arellano (mex.)
The double "l" in Spanish language may be pronounced in several ways, depending on the region. Spain, Cuba and Mexico say it more or less as "y" - "Areyano". The lower you descend to the South of America, the more chances you get to hear it as "Arejano" or even "Areshano". The "L" does not sound there in any case.

Aristizа́bal (span.)
All surnames with this suffix should be stressed like this.

Arouca (br.)
In most cases Portuguese "ou" is pronounced as "o". One of exceptions - "Souza".

Ayoví (ven.)
The tricky surname of Ecuadorian playmaker has the stress on the last syllable.

Breaking News: Cristian Bárdaro!

Uruguayan Danubio finished its Argentinean tour with a convincing victory over Tigre - 3:1. All three goals were scored by a bright Danubio's acquisition - Argentinean Cristian Bardaro, ex-Velez Sarsfield.

Breaking News: Walter Gargano!

A promising Uruguayan playmaker of Danubio and national team, Walter Gargano, signed with Napoli. He will spend five next seasons in Italian club. This is the second Napoli's recent loud signing. The first one was the best Argentina's player Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Breaking News: Rodrigo Diaz!

A wonderful Argentinean playmaker Rodrigo Diaz may start the new championship in Independiente's jersey again. It became clear after Mexican Toluca, which Diaz belongs to, signed Brazilian Robert de Pinho and exhausted its limit for foreigners.

Breaking News: Cristian Ledesma!

Despite that everyone in Argentina's champion's camp were sure that San Lorenzo will start Apertura with its pillar Cristian Ledesma in midfield, the offer which came from Greek Olimpiakos turned out to be too tentative. In Greek grandee the best, according to Ramon Diaz, Argentinean midfielder will join his compatriot Leonel Nuñez from Argentinos Juniors and will try to revenge for unsuccessful trip to German Hamburg.

Breaking News: Sixto Peralta!

Oriundo from Comodoro Rivadavia, who started his career in Huracan, Sixto Peralta began training in his new club, River Plate. The 28-year midfielder has experience of playing for Argentinean Racing, Italian Inter and Torino, English Ipswich ad Mexican Santos Laguna and Tigres.

Breaking News: Enrique Seccafien!

Rosario Central announced another signing. Veracruz's defenseman Enrique Seccafien is returning home from Mexico. This player is known for having made a good career straight from poor Deportivo Moron, with not a single game played in La Primera. Many Mexican grands were hunting him this season.

Breaking News: Angel di Maria!

Rosario Central's Angel di Maria, who showed outstanding football at Mundial sub-20, will not be sold within the country. That was a reaction of Central's president, Pablo Scarabino to Boca's offer to buy the young talent. Rosario Central has reportedly been already offered 5 million from the side of Arsenal London, but Scarabino says that the price for the midfielder has not been defined yet.

Meanwhile Rosario Central won a friendly match against Tiro Federal (2:1) with such a line-up:
Cristian Alvarez; Juan Grabowski, Ronald Raldes, Andrés Imperiale; Tomás Costa, Damián Ledesma, Leonardo Borzani, Emiliano Papa; Andrés Díaz; Gonzalo Belloso and Martín Arzuaga

Breaking News: Dudar and Vilson!

Argentinean defenseman of Vasco da Gama, Emiliano Dudar (ex-Velez, Independiente and Libertad) is going to be operated. During his absence the responsibility for Vasco's defense will be on the shoulders of young Vilson.

Breaking News: Xaves and Gerson!

Atletico Mineiro from Belo Horizonte, which still occupies the first rank in the table of achievements in Brasileirao's history, announced signing of two ex-Parana midfielders - Xaves and Gerson. Both played under the current Galo's coach Zetti at the beginning of this season. As the main reason for the transfer both named the presence of real torcida in Belo Horizonte.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Correct pronunciation of names

There are too many mistakes and differences in pronouncing the names coming from various world’s languages. If you have doubts as to how to pronounce a particular name, ask here by leaving a comment. I’ll do my best to give the right answer and to explain why.

Some wide-spread mispronunciations:

- Xavi. This Catalan name should not be pronounced as if it was Spanish "javi" (with English "h" as the first sound). The correct pronunciation is "Shavi". Although some Spanish commentators call him "Chavi". The Catalans complain…;
- Moya. The accent sign is often missed, hence the wrong stress. It should fall onto the second syllable – Moyá;
- Kuranyi. The guy has too tricky descent to track his origin correctly. The surname is Hungarian and should be pronounced as "koo’-ran-ї", with the first syllable stressed;
- Corretja. Another Catalan name, read mainly wrongly. "Tj" in Catalan language stands for English "j" sound. The "j" letter should not be read here in Spanish way;
- Garrincha. It’s Garrinsha. "Sh", not "ch".
- Fabregas. In Britain people intuitively stress it correctly, since English language tends to stress the first syllable. In the rest of the world more often the second and the third syllables are mistakenly stressed;
...and for dessert:
- Ronaldinho. If you want to sound real Brazilian, try to say it with energetic “h” instead of “r”, “j” – instead of “d”, and “noo” – for “nho”. How do you like it? (update: “noo” – for “nho” is an Algarvian dialect. The most wide-spread in Brazil variant is "nho", like English "new").

Breaking News: Dodó!

One of Botafogo's leaders, forward Dodo, is prohibited to play football for 120 days. That's a reaction of Sports Justice Tribunal to his positive testing for femproporex. So, Dodo will hardly be able to help his team in this championship.

Breaking News: Diego Lugano!

Diego Lugano, who plays currently for Turkish Fenerbahce, visited his ex-mates in Sao Paulo's complex of Barra Funda. All the Uruguayan's achievements are connected with this club, including winning of Copa Libertadores in 2005. Lugano said that he dreams to return to Sao Paulo.

Breaking News: Araujo!

Cruzeiro's captain and brightest star, forward Araujo, denies the rumours of negotiating with a club from Qatar. Although he admits that interest from such club exists. Araujo played several games for Brazilian national team.

Breaking News: Diego!

A keeper of Atletico Mineiro, Diego, who is one of team's best stars this season, signed a contract with newly promoted Spanish Almeria. In his new club Diego is about to meet with his compatriot Felipe Melo from Flamengo.

Breaking News: Josue!

A new Copa America's champion Josue from Sao Paulo received an offer from Murcia. The Spanish club that recently returned to the first division, enlists signing the contract with Brazilian defensive midfielder among its highest priorities for the next season.

Breaking News: Sebastian Gonzalez!

A Chilean superforward Sebastian "Chamagol" Gonzalez, who scored about 80 goals in Mexico, will not play for Nacional, as it was expected. Instead of Uruguayan grandee the Chilean chose to play for newly ascended Argentinean Olimpo.

Copa America 2007: An Overview

For those who did not have a chance to watch Copa America, here is a tournament’s review.

The main (and sad) news about Copa America since 2003 has been FIFA’s decision to have it twice as more seldom, robbing the world of real fiesta.

But the fiesta took place anyway…

Perhaps the most pleasing team of all who arrived to Venezuela. No one else, except for, obviously, Chileans, are able today to play straight on the grass so fancily and calmly a two-touch football with short and medium passes to partners who have opponents right by their side. Erwin Sanchez shook the squad up well, having left at home acknowledged and skillful leaders Limberg Gutierrez, Limbert Pizarro, Joaquin Botero, Leo Fernandez, Jose Castillo (who promised to rise no-kiddingly on a global scale). Two years ago Diego Cabrera performed so brightly at Copa Libertadores, that left no doubts about going to become the most important figure in the national team. In actual fact, he was sent in from the bench just a couple of times. But anyway, Sanchez’s team left no reasons for complaining. All the key units were there – a powerful defensive duo of Juan Manuel Peña and Ronald Raldes, a monumental left wing playmaker Lorgio Alvarez, an excellent anchorman Ronald Garcia, unlucky to get injured, wonderful forwards Jaime Moreno and Juan Carlos Arce, and, finally, a game conductor of no lower level than, probably, Sanchez himself, Jhasmany Campos. He was allowed to play just one (but beautiful!) half-a-game. Bolivia just wasn’t lucky against Peruvians: Pizarro scored an illogical goal that unfairly left the green team out. But anyway, I have no doubts that Sanchez’s experience and ambitions will eventually bring his team to success.

Similar to Bolivians in their mild manner to control the ball, Chileans arrived at Copa America as favorites, boasting of having Matias Fernandez – the Best South America’s Player (which for many, including the one who writes these lines, equals to the Best World’s Player) according to annual poll carried out by Uruguayan “El Pais”. Along with Humberto Suazo he was smashing the Colo Colo opponents in last Copa Sudamericana up to the final, where Chileans lost to Pachuca. According to personal observations, Matias possesses Kaka´s speed, Zidane´s power, Riquelme´s wit and Robinho´s dribbling. I can’t recall such an all-round master since the times of Gullit. His merits were obvious to anyone but Chile’s coach Nelson Acosta, who has never been caught before at doing stupid things. As a result, instead of the brightest play of the brightest star we had to be content with second-rate players whose inability to compete with Brazil became especially evident after two other key players – Melendez and Valdivia – got injured. No wonder, it ended up with two shameful losses to Brazilians, whom three years ago Chilean team outplayed clearly, although having allowed a stupid goal two minutes to the final whistle. This team did not stand comparison with the one from the previous Copa America. It lacked the steadiness of Rodrigo Valenzuela and creativity of Milovan Mirosevic. Suazo was fighting single-handedly most of the time, producing masterpieces and having proved that he is an extra-class forward.

Having one of the richest football talents’ deposits in the world, Colombians constantly fail to make the bulk of their precious nuggets out, and hence to arm a focused team. Once again, a whole dozen of playmaking diamonds was ignored: David Montoya, Arnulfo Valentierra, Geovanni Hernandez (the guy to replace Matias Fernandez in Colo Colo after the latter moved to Villareal), Freddy Grisales, Neider Morantes. But strangely enough, the squad still looked impressive. With no weak spots, but with promising young names like Hugo Rodallega. The playmakers were good too – notable David Ferreira and Fabian Vargas, who suddenly were overshadowed by McNelly Torres, one of the main Copa’s revelations to me. Solid was defense too, as were the wings, especially Javier Arizala on the left. What Colombians clearly lacked was some luck. The awkward defeat from Paraguay turned out to be too cruel, and the Chibchas eventually failed to recover from it. The coach Jorge Luis Pinto was a pain to watch – the cleverer he acted, the more goals his team was allowing. Hope, the chiefs of Colombian football won’t sack him.

The team was good as ever, although already too old. Ivan Hurtado and Geovanni Espinoza who have been shining for the last five years as a tuned tandem, this time made errors enough for another five years. Besides, there are signs of oppressing the young blood. The only one to receive his chance was Luis Antonio Valencia, although we know that Franklyn Salas is as good. As are Borja and Saritama. Well, Ecuadorians did not manage to replace adequately Aguinaga, Kaviedes and Delgado, and the team sank down to outsiders. The best Ecuadorian to play at this Copa was Christian Benitez, who outshone the declared first violin, Carlos Tenorio.

No comments. To be turned out from Copa America forever! Anti-football. Looks like they brought weak players deliberately to compromise the tournament.

Usually one of the least Latin-spirited teams on the continent this time did not look such. Thanks to a magnificent multilateral talent of Claudio Morel Rodriguez (one of the world’s best players now, as for me) and a very bright star of Oscar Cardozo who jointly with Humberto Suazo formed the best pair of forwards on this tournament, IMHO. While an awful performance of pseudo-stardom Santa Cruz (except for an illogical hat-trick in the first game) inclines to think that Latin American teams should better refuse to invite players from Europe. It concerns Argentina and Brazil too. The local players are second to none of those who play in Europe in any aspect, but they don’t have a “pecho frio” syndrome, which is a huge advantage. As for Paraguayans, they were killed by a referee in quarter-finals who expelled their keeper a couple of minutes into the game (while a yellow card could be enough in that case). The team did not deserve such a smashing defeat from Mexicans, while we got deprived of a bright show of two great teams.

The Peruvians left somewhat an ambivalent feeling. First, their best stars should have been punished straight after the second game. Farfan, Guerrero and Pizarro walked during the games lightly, while the bench turned out to be overwhelmed with wonderful players like Andres Mendoza, Israel Zuniga, Damian Ismodes or Jhoel Herrera, who obtain only half-a-game each. In general, Peru lacked spirit and did not deserve to qualify from the group. Playmaking wonder of Juan Carlos Mariño was one of Copa’s revelations, although he failed to last all the tournament through.

This team took advantage of hosting the Cup in full, having shown great football. To be honest, Juan Arango again, as three years ago, failed to reveal his huge potential. Besides, key Leopoldo Jimenez was left outside of the team. But the midfield anyway almost in all the games was under control of Venezuelans, where Miguel Mea Vitali and Ricardo Paez again cooperated excellently. The main mistake was in overestimating the pair of forwards. Daniel Arismendi clearly deserved to play more, while de Ornelas was senseless. Undoubtedly talented Alejandro Guerra should have played more too. But in general both the team and its fans should be satisfied with this Copa America.

Finally Mexicans were lucky to have an adequate coach (Hugo Sanchez). Besides, they were extremely lucky in that a phenomenal Uruguayan (by face, by soul, by blood and by the playing manner) Nery Castillo chose to play for this national team. Rafa Marquez was great again. There were lots of aces in the sleeves, be it Andres Guardado or oldish but nevertheless terrific Cuauhtemoc Blanco. But the main problem was not settled – after the retirement of one of world’s last decade’s best players, Jesus Arellano, who carried on his shoulders one tournament after another, the midfield turned out to be in the feet of hard-workers. The talent went from there and concentrated on the field edges – in the feet of Marquez and Castillo. The midfield needed equally talented link, which, as it turned out, spent the whole tournament on the bench, and was sent in only against Argentineans, when it was too late. I’m talking about Alberto Medina. All in all, Mexicans did not find anything to oppose to Argentina.

The strongest impression of this tournament, despite the disgusting start. Recoba is simply genial, he needs only to enter the field to turn the course of the game upside sown. He radiates football! The other charrua superstars matched the leader well too – Diego Lugano, Dario and Christian Rodriguez, Pablo Garcia, who finally managed to show fully what he is capable of, Vicente Sanchez, and even Forlan, who was pulling the blanket onto himself. The team again was buried by its coach who removed Recoba at the most crucial moment in semi-finals, having destroyed the game completely. The second mistake was in granting low confidence to sharp-talented Fabian Estoyanoff. Assiduous but boring Pereyra looked way weaker. For me Uruguay is a real champion of Copa America 2007. No one played better here.

Never thought that I would write something like that about Brazilian team one day! The nastiest tournament’s team with ten dungas on the field. Robinho slept the whole Copa on his feet, Vagner Love was the only one to play football. There’s nothing to write about. Here is a very partial list of those who have been shining on the world’s arenas for the last three years, and whom we did not see in Venezuela: Correa, Magrao, Pedrinho, Jadson, Dagoberto, Washington, Alex, Lucas, Fernandao, Tcheco, Daniel Carvalho, Baiano, Danilo, another Danilo, Deivid, Fabao, Marinho, Rodrigo, Rodrigo Tabata, Felipe, Grafite, Marcinho, Flavio Luis, Fabio Baiano, Nilmar, Obina, Rafael Sobis, Rafinha… I would trade immediately any of these REAL Brazilians for the whole team that landed in Venezuela. For the only reason – “pecho frio”

The arrival of ultra-adequate Alfio Basil promised a corresponding football. But in the first match we saw on the field as many as three numbers 5 – Veron, Mascherano and Cambiasso, who unfortunately remained there for the whole tournament. Not in Basile’s way. What distressed most was return of giftless Veron (in group matches the percentage of inaccurate passes forward was not less than 80). Estudiantes had back luck to have him in its squad during the victorious championship last year, after which the journalists, who did not see the championship themselves, trumpeted that Veron won that Apertura. In fact. Veron was one of the worst in that squad. And if you want someone to call a real Apertura’s winner, try better splendid Mariano Pavone. Someone who regretfully was left outside of the national team. Neither we saw there the best after Riquelme Argentinean midfielder today, Fernando Belluschi from River, nor extremely hot attacker Ezequil Lavezzi, who made his San Lorenzo a country’s champion this year. But of those who play in Argentina, only the players of Boca Juniors, whom Basile coached a year ago, received an invitation. The defense of the team is not interesting anymore. I would prefer to see there, say, Lussenhoff with Tuzzio, or Burdisso with Diaz. Zanetti is good, but so boring already! Could someone tell him to let finally play at least a bit to Ibarra, who’s Zanetti’s coeval, by the way. Finally, Crespo against even old Palermo, not saying about a bunch of younger and hungrier forwards, is a torture for eyes. Although all the negative emotions (even Veron!) are compensated by the magic trio of Riquelme, Tevez and Messi. This trio is worth all the world’s triumphs! In general I would like to point out that this team is worse than the one that Pekerman had a year ago.

Ideal teams after each round, formed of those best rated:

1st round:
Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico) – Jorge Rojas (Venezuela), Rafa Marquez (Mexico), MiguelVillalta (Peru), Alvaro Ormeño (Chile) – Pablo Aimar (Argentina), Juan Carlos Mariño (Peru), Juan Carlos Arce (Bolivia), Roque Santa Cruz (Paraguay) – Umberto Suazo (Chile), Nery Castillo (Mexico)

2nd round:
Renny Vega (Venezuela) – Claudio Morel Rodriguez (Paraguay), Ismael Fuentes (Chile), Rafa Marquez (Mexico), Hector Gonzalez (Venezuela) – Juan Carlos Mariño (Peru), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Christian Rodriguez (Uruguay), Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina) – Umberto Suazo (Chile), Oscar Cardozo (Paraguay)

3rd round:
Leao Butron (Peru) – Javier Arizala (Colombia), Jualio Cesar Caceres (Paraguay), Juan Manuel Peña (Bolivia), Miguel Hoyos (Bolivia) – Miguel Mea Vitali (Venezuela), Carlos Tevez (Argentina), Jhasmany Campos (Bolivia), McNelly Torres (Colombia) – Nelson Cuevas (Paraguay), Israel Zuñiga (Peru)

Ideal team of Copa America 2007:
Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico) – Claudio Morel Rodriguez (Paraguay), Diego Lugano (Uruguay), Rafa Marquez (Mexico) – Christian Rodriguez (Uruguay), Alvaro Recoba (Uruguay), Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina), Lionel Messi (Argentina) – Nery Castillo (Mexico), Umberto Suazo (Chile), Oscar Cardozo (Paraguay)