Beyond the News
This last weekend was really busy for sports fans. The European summer season is heating up quickly and looks like that this weekend was the kick off for what is about to come. In football while some celebrate the end of a cycle, others are just beginning a new one. In car racing, the exciting F-Indy made the boring F-1 to lose its meaning and in Italy and Portugal polemics took place over football finals. Sit back now; it is time to review the weekend!
I will not talk too much about the Champions League Final; I already covered this topic yesterday. It was a great final and a positive feedback for the German football. There are no doubts that they will go to Brazil next year as favorites for the World Cup, and then it will be the time to see whether this is a real deal or if Bayern and Borussia got that far just because they have foreigner players amongst the local ones. However, before that, it will be interesting to see Pepe Guardiola managing Bayern Munich in this coming season. Will he really prove his quality as a coach? Or will he reveal to be an average leader who was lucky to be in the right place, at the right time, coaching the right team? I bet all my money (which is not much) on the first possibility. How about you?
Another football star who will have to prove something in the next season is the Brazilian striker Neymar. He moves from Santos to Barcelona to play with the best players in the world and will, as a consequence, become a billionaire. But will Neymar’s football really shine in Europe? In Brazil he has been rocking since 2010, but Neymar has been heavily criticized due to his poor performances while playing for the national team. Personally, I believe he did the right choice. Players at Barcelona want to play with him, including Lionel Messi, and this might make easier for his quick adaption in a team full of celebrities. I am not sure whether he would have the same environment while playing at Real Madrid. But, still, he will have to prove himself anyway.
In the meantime, in Italy, the Italian League Final focuses its headlines on what happened out of the pitch. Lazio beat Roma for 1 x 0 and became the champion. However, before the game, the South Korean pop star Psy was invited by the Italian Football Federation to sing at the stadium and the public welcomed him with a huge boo. To make the matters worse, after the game, Italian reporters fought between themselves while Lazio celebrated the title. What a mess!!! Anyway, in Portugal more scandals! Benfica lost their third final in just 3 weeks – Europa League, National Championship and now the Portuguese League. They were beating Vitória Guimarães until the 85th minute for 1 x 0, then Benfica’s coach did some changes in the team and the final result was 2 x 1 for Vitória Guimarães. At the end of the game, Oscar Cardozo (one of the players replaced) went to the coach Jorge Jesus, pushed him and said: “It is your fault”! The coach simply walked away. You can see the video here.
FIA did a lot of changes in the F-1 in the last 10 years to make sure that the category will keep its competitive edge. Until 2004, when Michael Schumacher won his last world title, F-1 was boring. We knew the script from the beginning and everyone there was fighting for the second position because the German driver would win anything. This time has passed, although another German, Sebastian Vettel, won the last 3 seasons. The difference now is that anyone in the grid can win. Last year in the first 7 races there were 7 different winners. This year, out of 6 races, we had 4 different racers stepping up on the top of the podium. However, what makes the F-1 boring now is… the pilots!
Anyone who tries something different becomes a black sheep, irresponsible, crazy, etc. Lewis Hamilton used to be this “bad guy” in the last seasons. He really drives his car forward, he takes the corners and leverages the competition to another level. But for his mates he is an “out of his mind” racer. The new one to join the “bad guys team” is Sergio Perez. The Mexican does not care who is in front of him, he wants to do what everyone supposed to: race. No one wants to see an accident, but if someone sits in a car to run over 250 km/h, he is aware that his life is at stack; so complaint that someone is trying to overtake you aggressively sounds like a little baby crying for a toy.
Lewis and Sergio made my time worth it yesterday. They are really talented racers and with guts! But others do not like it and the feeling that I have is that they would rather race in a free track, like a training section or rally! This might be the reason why some racers end up going to F-Indy and others never actually really race in F-1. It is the case of Tony Kanaan, who yesterday won the 500 miles of Indianapolis for the first time, even though he started in 12th. F-Indy is known as outdated race, with old cars and no technology, but there are real drivers who are not afraid to race seriously.
To finish my review of this week I would like to remind everyone that the Roland Garros started yesterday. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are likely to meet each other in the semi-final, so it is a great chance for Roger Federer to reach a major final this year. Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro did not go to Paris and his main opponent will be Tomas Berdych. A tough one, especially in clay, but not as tougher as Djokovic or Nadal! There is also David Ferrer: is he now ready to face a Grand Slam final? Nevertheless, I believe that the champion will be the winner of Djokovic x Nadal game. But, I might be wrong! And usually I am… For more details of the tournament, click here.