OK, I've been to the websites, including FIFAs and the UEFAs. And I can still not figure out what makes a team qualify for the Champions League, or the UEFA cup, or both, or what round they go into when, or any of that shit. I know there's some serious soccer fans out there (I'm mostly a Premiership Highlights on FoxSportsnet kind of guy myself), and I'm mostly trying to figure out if my favorite teams - Middlesbrough (watch them - five clean sheets in a row, a healthy Michael Ricketts, and a Gaizka Mendieta who's starting to show flashes of his old form), Tottenham, and Atletico de Madrid - have a shot at getting a Champion's League spot next year.
Two other soccer questions - how does the Carling Cup work, and could someone make a case for a Serie A team to root for. I currently have no Italian League favorite and am kind of looking for one.
What makes America great is best expressed by your average 83-year-old Brooklynite. Everything else is just people wanting your vote.
As far as I can tell based on my limited knowledge of European sporting events and my ESPN2 viewership, the various football leagues have an allotted amount of teams they can send to the Champions' League and to the UEFA Cup so the top however many go Champions' League, and the next however many go UEFA Cup, and the rest are sad.
I don't even know what the Carling Cup is.
The extent of Italian knowledge is thus: Milan has two teams. Juventus' away jerseys are salmon. Edgar Davids wears goggles.
OK...here goes, from the perspective of a La Liga fan in Canada.
Champions League spots go to the winner of each domestic league. Some of the bigger countries (England, Spain, France, Germany, etc.) get more than one berth...for example, Spain gets 4 teams that qualify (currently they would be Valencia, Real Madrid, Deportivo, and Atletico Madrid for the next CL, if La Liga finished today.)
The champion and runner-up of the domestic league of the larger countries automatically make it to the round of 32. Smaller countries typically get only one berth, and need to beat the champions of other smaller countries to make it to the group of 32 stage. Also, those teams from larger countries that finished third or fourth must take part in this qualifying, usually entering the qualifying stage in the third round (as Celta Vigo and Deportivo did for the current CL by placing 3rd and 4th in La Liga last season.)
UEFA Cup spots go to teams that place out of the CL spots in each country...again, the number of UEFA Cup spots varies from country to country. Spain gets 2 teams into the UEFA Cup (currently Barca and Osasuna (!) if the season ended today.) I believe some of the "bigger name" teams that fail to qualify for the CL through the qualifying stages get placed into the UEFA Cup. Someone may want to correct this for me!
This thread from back in June may be of some help as well.
The UEFA Cup is not just for 'teams that didnt qualify for the CL' but for the domestic Cup winners.
Yes, most countries have two trophies each year. The League Cup. The team that has the most points after the season and the Cup. FA Cup in England for instance. This is a pretty standard elimination tournament. A lot of teams play, and finally two play the finals after all others are eliminated. The winner of this one directly qualifies for the UEFA CUP. That one is also a pretty straight forward elimination tournament.
And yeah, teams that place 3rd in each group in the CL qualifyers can go to the UEFA Cup. Enter it in round 3 or so.
Don't worry if you don't understand the CL rules though. They pretty much change every year..
Oh, and root for AC Milan or Inter Milan. Good teams.. Juventus is also nice, as it is one of the classic teams. Sort of funny though, asking people to pick you a team to root for. Why not a team that does well (or not) and appeals to you personally?
Originally posted by A-MOLHate to break it to you - I see Tottenham in Divison 1 more than I see them in the Champions League.
And I should know, being the fan of former CL semifinalists likely to be in Div 1 next year.
I think that both options are unlikely. Spurs hasn't a hope of qualifying for Europe next year, but will pick it up slightly and avoid the drop to Div 1. There are certainly enough bad sides in the Premiership that Tottenham can stay out of the relegation zone.
Oh and oldschoolhero, I almost gagged when you said Arsenal is the non-annoying team. Every time Arsene Wegner opens his mouth (usually to whine about other teams, refereeing etc) I feel my gorge rising. It'd make me happy if just once he would admit that his admittedly talented players have serious disciplinary problems and aren't simply victims of a vast anti-Gooner conspiracy.
"...Don't the sun look angry through the trees? Don't the trees look like crucified thieves?" --Warren Zevon, Desperadoes Under the Eaves
Originally posted by oldschoolheroActually, root for Arsenal. They're the non-annoying version of Manchester United, AND they whupped Inter 5-1 last week. Hoo-hah!
I watched that game last week...all Arsenal seem to be missing are actual English players!
(edited by Bullitt on 2.12.03 1130)
Its become pretty much standard fair for the top teams to have few 'local' players ever since they stopped restricting the number of foreign players allowed.
The only team I can think of off the top of my head that doesnt is Athletic Bilbao who only sign players from the Basque region (or at least did the last I checked).
As for an Italian team to support for MoeGates, I always had a soft spot for Parma who came from nowhere 10 or so years ago to play with the big boys.
Your Premiership teams are probably going to be stuck in midtable hell this year and Tottenham in particular probably won't look too pretty getting there, but Middlesboro have got enough talent to possibly get into the UEFA Cup if they steer clear of injuries.
The Serie A team you all should look for is Juventus. I've been a big fan for a long time, they just rock.
Best English teams are Southampton and Chelsea. Manchester City's also quite good.
best Spanish Teams: Real Sociedad and Athletico de Madrid. I hate Real Madrid. fucking hate them....
Good teams from other countries: Dinamo Kiev (Ukraine), FC Basel (Swizerland), Partizan (Serbia-Montenegro), Porto (Portugal)...
and best players: Alessandro Del Piero (god), Ryan Giggs, Lilian Thuram, Antti Niemi, Filippo Inzaghi, Patrick Vieira, Juan Sebastian Veron, Sami Hyypiä, Christian Vieri, Gianluigi Buffon and a few other.
The best Ukrainian player is named Dinamo Kiev? Isn't that like a great hockey player named Gary Ottawa, or a champion sumo wrestler named Yoshihiro Tokyo?
Hate to break it to you - I see Tottenham in Divison 1 more than I see them in the Champions League.
In the one edition of WCW Magazine I ever bought, it featured an interview with Sting about a recent English tour. He said, and I quote, "Tottenham's my team!"
This has been your regularly scheduled burst of inane trivia. Thank you.
Let's put this in the plainest terms possible: Darryl Strawberry has no business instructing anybody about anything. He has never done a thing in his life to warrant a position of guidance. Not on the field. Not off the field.-- David Vescey, si.com
Thank you all for the explanations - I think I get it as much as a Yank could by now.
As for the comments about teams to root for - first of all, I'm a Tottenham fan, and even though I'm not very well-versed in the intracacies of England football rivalries, I do know I can't show up at White Hart Lane talking about "Arsenal's my other favorite team." So Arsenal's out, even though they have a much cooler name.
As for why I'm asking for help choosing a team - I follow La Liga and the Premiership, and I figure I'm missing out on the third leg of World Class football if I'm not following Serie A as well. Following a league is made a lot more enjoyable by having teams to root for. As for why I don't choose the team myself, the problem is this: like most folks, I become a fan of whatever team based on either
a) being from, living in, or liking the city they are in - Madrid is my favorite city in Spain, I liked South Madrid a lot more than North Madrid (plus Real is just obnoxious, and I'm already a Yankees fan, which is pretty much the same thing), hence my choice of Atletico or Rayo. Rayo got relegated, and anyway it seemed to be much more of a neighborhood thing that I really couldn't be a part of, so I went with Atletico (but I still dig Rayo). Problem with Serie A is that I've never been to Italy.
b) something strikes you about a team's personality, players, colors, name, or whatever other random thing. I'm kind of waiting for that with an Italian team, but not only is there no Serie A that I get on cable, there isn't even a weekly roundup like with the Premiershipo I can't really get a feel for the teams. None of the players I like from following the World Cub play in Italy, so that's out too.
What are different teams personalities like? Who's the lovable losers, the thugs, the cocksure winners, the steady blue-coller team, the mercurial team that can be great or horrible, the overachieving team with no superstars, you know what I mean. Who's the "Murderers Row" Yankees, the 70s Oakland Raiders, the L.A. Lakers of today, the Edmonton Oilers of the early 80s, the 90-94 Buffalo Bills, the 69 Mets? I think that's what I'm looking for.
I wonder how much money George W. Bush gave Paris Hilton.
Originally posted by MoeGatesWhat are different teams personalities like? Who's the lovable losers, the thugs, the cocksure winners, the steady blue-coller team, the mercurial team that can be great or horrible, the overachieving team with no superstars, you know what I mean. Who's the "Murderers Row" Yankees, the 70s Oakland Raiders, the L.A. Lakers of today, the Edmonton Oilers of the early 80s, the 90-94 Buffalo Bills, the 69 Mets? I think that's what I'm looking for.
Dear lord, how could I have forgotten the wackiness that is PERUGIA!
I've no idea what category you would put them under, but in the last 18 months or so their manager has
1. Terminated the contract of Ahn Jung Hwan, the South Korean striker whose 'crime' was to score the goal that knocked Italy out of the 2002 World Cup.
Said the Chairman "He was a phenomenon only when he played against Italy. I am a nationalist and I regard such behaviour not only as an affront to Italian pride but also an offence to a country which two years ago opened its doors to him,"
2. Signed promising Libyan striker and son of the Colonel of the same name, Saadi Gaddafi. Apparently this was in no way a publicity stunt, but curiously since signing, Saadi has never played a minute in the first team due to having a 'sore back' and has spent most of his time holed up in a variety of 5 star hotels.
Shirt sales, however, have been phenomenal.
3. Attempted to sign the first woman to play in top flight mens soccer. He tried to get a Swedish international Hannah Ljungberg on the basis that she was 'strong and athletic, like a man' and that really once you have that 'anyone can learn how to play football'.
She rejected the offer saying that she didnt want to risk her career over something so stupid.
Can't remember what else he's been up to but if you're looking for eccentricity then look no further.
"Oh and oldschoolhero, I almost gagged when you said Arsenal is the non-annoying team. Every time Arsene Wegner opens his mouth (usually to whine about other teams, refereeing etc) I feel my gorge rising. It'd make me happy if just once he would admit that his admittedly talented players have serious disciplinary problems and aren't simply victims of a vast anti-Gooner conspiracy."
As opposed to Alex Ferguson, who believes that his entire team is above every footballing law or punishment, who will protest against any and all charges brought against his team rather than just accepting them like every other manager is supposed to, who drove David Beckham out of the club just because he didn't like the fact that he was a huge star, who can never accept responsibility for his own actions, whose team ALWAYS get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to difficult decisions, and who is rapidly becoming dependent on the size of the club's funds rather than actual skill?
Arsenal are the only undefeated team in this season's premiership. They do this with no high-profile summer signings, and a budget close to a tenth of both Manchester United and Chelsea. That's why they're the non-annoying team. And give me a fuckin' break, discipline problems. The much-hyped "Battle Of Old Trafford" was such a damn farce. So they went back and picked apart the Arsenal players' behaviour via videotape. Are they applying the same precautions to every match now? Hell no. That's a dangerous precedent to set. And as for van Nistelrooy getting a nice little clip round the ear...count at that as some small payback for the trash-talking, play-acting and outright diving that takes part in every damn week.
Can I hate Arsenal and Manyoo in equal measure, becuase they are both pretty much as bad as each other in terms of arrogance and paranoia?
oldschoolhero, with reference to diving and Red Van Rum (forgetting the little shit, Christian Ronaldo, are we? That boy is the a master of the art already.), I have four words: Pires, Jeffers and Cole. And Wenger is just as bad as, if not worse, than Fergie with his "I did not see the incident" and "There are rules for some teams and some for others" claptrap.
Now excuse me, I am shopping for the necessary amounts of alcohol for this weekend to dull the inevitable pain Duberry vs Mutu and Crespo.
seba, I'd keep an eye on that "City are good" stuff, if I was you, especially with Nic having one eye on a move to the Salford area.
And now, an uncanny impression of The Battle Of Old Trafford:
(edited by A-MOL on 3.12.03 1414) ...full of energy. Multi-orgasmic, if you will, in a cosmic sort of way."
"oldschoolhero, with reference to diving and Red Van Rum (forgetting the little shit, Christian Ronaldo, are we? That boy is the a master of the art already.), I have four words: Pires, Jeffers and Cole. And Wenger is just as bad as, if not worse, than Fergie with his "I did not see the incident" and "There are rules for some teams and some for others" claptrap."
Jeffers is a talentless hack on his way out come transfer time. Pires has dived in the past-but he seems more to be front and centre right now due to the admittedly horrendous display against Portsmouth. I can honestly say that I have never seen an incident of Cole outright diving. There have been a few questionable incidents, but I'd hardly say he has a reputation for it. And whilst Wenger is an ass 60% of the time, I can hardly believe that people feel he's even close to Fergie in terms of bluster, swagger and arrogance. I think what really separates Fergie from Wenger is Fergie's unbelievable hypocrisy. He'll readily sacrifice any number of players whilst screeching "no one man is bigger than UNited", yet seems to forget that he has managed to put several of his personal feuds over the good of the club by letting some of his most talented players go over trivial issues.
And besides, even if Arsenal did have the cockiness of MU-which I firmly believe they don't-I still reserve special hatred for both United and Chelsea for being less football teams and more millionaire's playgrounds. At least Arsenal are succeeding on the quality of their signature players and team unity rather than the number of international stars their board/backers can load them with.
And Keown looks more like one of those nasty little monkeys that Ross had on Friends-although the chimp is a fair likeness.
I liked "Shades of Guilt". It was a well told story and the fact that the first two words uttered by the narrator were "Portrait of" put a smile on my face. Good ending too. (And it's nice to see I-Man getting some work)