Qatar World Cup 2022- No Sense!


The headline pretty much sums what many people feel, including myself. While it is great to think outside the box and let other countries partake in the hosting—- this is ludicrous! The tiny yet wealthy nation shocked fans as we learned that they will be in charge of the World Cup 2022.

Let’s start off—-World Cup 2022 will be in December. Yes ho, ho ho, Merry Christmas. Typically the WC is in June, it syncs well with the leagues and clubs, however, due to the extreme heat players cannot be expected to play in those months in Qatar. Leagues will need to start rearranging schedules.

Second—we should learn from the past to avoid making the same mistake over and over again. How many times have we seen massive stadiums be built for one-time events, then just left abandoned? It happened recently in Brasil, where the government was not able to upkeep the maintenance of stadiums used during the last WC. They end up just taking up space and resources. Now Qatar, with a population of about 2.6 million, will be building 9 stadiums and rebuilding 2. Qatar has declared that they will be building the stadiums with zero-carbon emission. This is an infrastructure issue that only time will tell if it becomes a failure.

Third on my list—these stadiums cannot be built overnight. Hard, intense labor is also a part of the construction. There are many concerns from organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, that have brought up Qatar’s modern day slave-system (known as kafala) for migrant workers as simply abusive.  Qatar’s government has promised to improve this condition, however, reports are still surfacing from deaths at construction sites and the withholding of checks to workers.

Most recently, there have been tensions between Qatar and the neighboring countries. With terrorist organizations already threatening professional players, fans must take into consideration how much of a risk attending the WC will be. There is an ongoing investigation over the bidding process and corruption, there might still be time to change the host country.

Last but not least, women can sit and watch a game in the stadium, right? Maybe have a beer? I mean it is 2017, soon 2018, so there should be no problem.


Soccer Withdrawal Symptoms


Yes,  there is such a thing as soccer withdrawal symptom. After Champions League, Copa Centenario, Premier League, EuroCup, I can really say we were spoiled. One tournament after another, now a few weeks with no soccer action. Next month we can start enjoying the leagues again.
Tic toc tic toc….just waiting.



Wake me up when this nightmare is over. Messi called it quits last night, no more national team for him. Can we blame him?  Not really. I’m sure he feels no matter how hard he tried no trophy was won. He was not appreciated many doubted his passion when playing in the national team. In reality, he pretty much took Argentina to the finals. Without Messi the team would not have gone so far. The media, fans, and other critics have been harsh on Messi. Plain and simple…he’s just frustrated, drained, and disappointed.
Argentina has 65 days to have Messi come aboard another project Russia 2018. I hope he goes back to enjoying the game to continue shocking fans worldwide with his natural ability.

Deja-Vu: Argentina vs. Chile

Messi & Co. leave another final- empty handed. For me the most heartbreaking scene was watching Messi miss the penalty and suffer for the remainder of the shootout. I don’t think anyone else wants it as bad as he does. The constant criticism and negativity for not winning a national title is probably overwhelming. He looked thoughtful, uncertain, and deja-vu kicked in as he prepared for this penalty. He did everything he could during the game but this cannot be a one-man-band. Mascherano did a great job, however the clear goals that Higuain missed are unforgivable. Argentina had great shots in the first half. We all know these opportunities only come once and if missed can be the biggest regret. Rojo being red carded affected Argentina, Di Maria not playing at his best, and now Messi having to create every single chance into a goal had the team in a bind.

With one man down, Chile was able to stay afloat better than expected. During the second half, Chile really came out to pressure and finalize the game. However, they were not lucky at scoring during regular time either. Bravo, Barcelona’s goalkeeper, proved to be the man of the match. He had numerous saves and when it came down to penalties he did his job. Chile is proving to be a powerhouse in CONMEBOL. This is a team that will continue to get far. Vidal did not play well, missing his penalty as well, but Sanchez continued to shine. Honestly, this will go down as the best generation of players for Chile.

Can we even put a name to the man in the middle, also known as ‘referee’ Heber Roberto Lopes. Yes, we knew this was going to be a rough game. Chile typically leads this type of plays. The referee made the game feel choppy, no flow, constantly being stopped. That affected the way the teams continued playing, yellow cards and red being tossed around. This type of referee is not worthy of such a final. Both Chile and Argentina had complained about him because of his track record. When a referee is talked about you know it is not for good calls.

Nerve-wracking. If i had to pick one word to summarize the 120+ minutes of this game, that’s the best way to describe it. Very even, tough, challenging game that’s why it led to the dramatic end. If I had to say if the better team won, I would say the team that made the penalties won.

Update: Messi just announced his retirement from the national team.


Big Final! Copa América Centenario


Today is the day!  This is a worthy final, two great teams each with its own dream of being the champion.
Argentina has reached many finals since 1993, however it has not succeed in winning that ONE final game. It’s a cloud, burden to carry for any team. The psychological aspect of facing defeat is already a goal against them. They have the most expensive players, the ideal team. …will we finally see Messi lift a trophy with the albiceleste today?
Chile on the other hand is coming in with the mind of a champ. They have gone from average to dynamite in this tournament. If they carry that momentum into this game,  Argentina is in trouble.
All I want to is to see a fair game, no referee interfering, and no weird hand goals.

South American Treat: Chile vs. Colombia


La Roja or Los Cafeteros, where to even begin. These two South American teams are on fire! They have elite world-class players, not to mention goalkeepers Bravo and Osuna. Chile is coming from pretty much demolishing the Mexican national team (Siete Cero), they are the reigning Copa America champs and are motivated to prove that was not a fixed tournament. Chile just dominates, pressures, and runs the game at a fast pace. It is a dynamic team who has many players that can pull a trick on the opponent. Chile started the Copa America not on a good note losing against Argentina but surely reached the semi-finals. I personally like Alexis Sanchez, he’s a superb leader, player, risk taker and performer.

On the other hand, Colombia started a great tournament but I was not impressed in their quarter-final game. They struggled against Panama, the penalty shootout even made James Rodriguez cry at the end. My favorite player is by far Cuadrado, the Juve player. It seems like he has an invisible magnet between the cleat and the soccer ball. If he has a good game then everything flows. Sorry, but I’m still not in love with James Rodriguez.

If Colombia plays the way they did with Panama and Chile the way they did with Mexico, then Chile will win. No doubt. Tomorrow, I expect this match to be explosive, non-stop running, and of course beautiful goals. Place your bets and hope you win 🙂


Messi: His Visit to Earth

13445294_785518201550101_7947840796380572851_nSimple, normal, average people–that’s us. Then there’s Messi. Once in awhile it is said that aliens, out of this world figures, visit us. He is one of those visitors.

Tonight Argentina played the semi-final game against the US. It is not just any game, Messi scored a beautiful free-kick goal—his 55th goal that is. It was a light, feathered touch yet powerful to place it right above the goalkeeper’s reach and lightly scratching the post. Unbelievable! With this goal, Messi has become the all-time top scorer for the national team. He surpassed Batistuta’s  record, that in itself is already an honor. He reads the game, knows when to pass, creates spaces, and all this while 4-5 opponents are trying to block him.

The albiceleste was synchronized and no doubt they controlled the game from the start. I dare to say they even slowed down, at times it seemed Argentina was at a training practice just casually circulating the ball. At full speed I know the score could have been worse (so thank you!). The US team could not even place a shot on goal, no threat, a truly easy game. I did expect a more intense, challenging game, especially after Klinsmann’s words of encouragement. The positive to take from this, we do have to commend the US team. They made it to the semi-finals, unfortunately they had to play against the best team in the world and the alien we call Messi.