Tag Archives: Calcio

Transfer Talk – Part 3

Transfer Talk - Liga - Calcio - Ligue 1

Following what we’ve already covered about some of the Premier League’s top clubs (part 1 and part 2), and now have a look at some of Europe’s elite, and most active in the market, Football clubs.

FC Barcelona

Figo29: The major concern is in the attack as David Villa is ruled out for the season. Rumor has it that Chelsea are willing to swap Fernando “I Fire Blanks” Torres for the young trio of Cuenca-Roberto-Montoya. However, they will be looking for a striker with experience AND eligible to play Champions League. Bids are already in place for Abidal (PSG) Keita (Milan) and Maxwell (Arsenal), while Mario Götze is on Barca’s radar. I recommend Maxi Lopez for a second spell or someone who is a real number 9. p.s. Forget about Neymar, please!

TFS: Despite Villa being ruled out, I just can’t see Barca buying anyone significant during the middle of their season. Basically, the way I think of it is – why fix something that isn’t broken? To be fair Villa hasn’t had the best of seasons and regardless of his presence, Barca will still be successful and beating teams for fun. So, no signings here in my opinion, but maybe a new name from their youth ranks.

Real Madrid

Figo29: Mourinho still has at least six months before we witness a new exodus and a wave of signings. Albiol, Higuain, Benzema, Khedira, Diarra, Kaka and Ozil are all rumored to be leaving but that’s not likely to happen soon, not at least for most of them. New additions are coming, so expect to see Neymar, Bale, Gotze, Tevez, or even Hulk. I take no gambles with Real Madrid.

TFS: I can’t see them selling anyone in the transfer window. Anything could disrupt the fragility of their title challenge. Mourinho is never a big spender in January, nor are Real Madrid. If a signing is made, it’ll be in the summer and it will be another huge “galactico” signing. So for now…nada.

AC Milan

Figo29: Galliani says it is either Tevez or no one. Don’t trust him. Pato and Robinho are unsettled, so is Taye Taiwo. Maxwell and Keita are probable reinforcements, and a surprise Kaka return might be on the cards. Maxi Lopez, Domenico Criscito, Riccardo Montolivo, and Ganso all expressed their love to Milan, and Milan needs all of them.

TFS: They’ve got to buy Tevez. If not to bolster their striking options, then simply so that we (the football fans) can stop hearing about Tevez moaning about what he likes and dislikes (weather, food, golf…). Taiwo could be possible departure and I never thought about it – but Old Trafford would suit him, as United do need cover at left-back.

Internazionale Milano

Figo29: Expect another round of useless transfers including a change of the coach, too. Inter has an aging squad and a mad millionaire who will bid for anything this winter. Milito, Motta, Chivu, and Sneijder may not stay and some footballers’ lookalikes will join.

TFS: I bet Sneijder is cursing himself for not pushing to leave during the summer. I doubt they’ll buy anyone significant. Their transfer activity in January won’t do much I believe. Alejandro Gomez (Catania), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen – and a legend in the game Football manager) and Juraj Kucka (Genoa) have all been linked. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Krasic jump the boat from Juventus to Inter either.


Figo29: Antonio Conte is gaining the fans and the board’s trust, and no one will argue with him if Vincenzo Iaquinta, Eljero Elia, Fabio Quagliarella, Luca Toni, Amauri, and Miloš Krasić are placed on the transfer list. Yet, do not expect big names to replace any departing player. Angelo Palombo is a probable signing, while Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertongan are tempting enough for the Old Lady.

TFS: Rumor has it that 2 moves are in the works for January – Martin Cacares (a loan from Sevilla with an option to buy) and Marco Boriello (another loan from Roma with an option to buy). Juve have been lethal this season, and I wouldn’t doubt the effect that Conte’s signings could have on their title challenge.

Paris Saint-Germain

Figo29: A rich club wanting to be among Europe’s biggest names in no time, so you do the math. Carlo Ancelotti will lead the overhaul, and he might sign his previous favorites: Malouda, Pato, and Alex. Beckham is one name bigger than the club and can bring the media to Paris, while Tevez might be a shock signing.

TFS: The equivalent of Manchester City in France, they’re linked with pretty much everybody. Some of the names being spoken about are quite ridiculous but I wouldn’t put it past them to make the moves – Carlo Ancelotti at the helm, Kaka, Pato, Malouda, Alex, David Beckham, Higuain….and of course, Carlos Tevez. Let’s see which of these will happen, but I don’t expect Pastore to be the lonely megastar in that team for long.


LNFR – Five Quick News

  1. Rio Ferdinand is in the form of his life. He is scoring too. No wonder why Fabio Capello overlooked him.


    The @RioFerdy5 Renaissance

  2. Since he scored no goals in Euro 1992, Marco van Basten was chosen in the team of the tournament. Platini’s UEFA are now ahead of Blatter’s Empire at least for this glorious achievement. (source)
  3. YouTube will go down due to an extensive usage yet to happen. Just wait until the documentary which Lionel Messi never saw is uploaded by the museum man himself. Pele is still generous after all those years. (source)
  4. Arsenal are going crazy in the next transfer window. I couldn’t believe that Wenger announced it by himself: “The ideal situation is that he extends his contract and if he doesn’t you have to respect that.” Who needs van Persie after all?
  5. Serie A, or Calcio, or whatever you still remember it with, is still the best league in the universe. Don’t believe whoever tells you it is not.

    Serie A results

    Week 7 of Serie A missed on goals in 50% of the matches

Gabriel Batistuta – The Last Number 9

With the recent forms of the world’s best known footballers and with the trend set by some scoring an incredible number of goals each season I was triggered to redefine the expectations. Football has become a faster paced game, and a player who is expected to score and fails in doing so in consecutive games is deemed a failure. Even more; a player who is expected to score a hat-trick every game and scores only one goal is considered a mediocre performer.

I am not here to judge who the best player is and not willing to compare statistics, so I created a poll (check here). The poll was a mere reflection of my thoughts on what a striker is. The results of the poll put a smile on my face because football fans have decided on the best description: A striker is a Batistuta.

Batistuta's Famous Celebration

The Machine Gun: The Batigol famous celebration

Back to the basic definitions of football positions, and blaming it on my old school mentality and attachment, a typical striker is the one responsible for scoring goals only. There are many formats of how a striker can be deployed but there is only one task assigned to a striker: get the ball in the net.

My personal definition of a striker: Is a number 9 – Is NOT a centre forward – Is selfish in front of goals – Has deadly finishing skills – Is clinical in the box – Needs one chance in 90 minutes – Is powerful against defenders – Ends a team maneuver with a thrust – Is not the most talented – Can score with any body part frequently

One Ball is enough

As dull as this may seem, one pass, one ball, one chance can define a striker

You might not agree on the above definition or simply think it is lame and plain. You might be right while I strive trying to segregate between: False 9 – Center Forward – Striker – Attacker – Poacher – etc. These name tags and positions are just the result of the normal evolution of football tactics, but the last typical striker I have seen is Gabriel Batistuta aka BATIGOL.

The Typical Striker (

The perfect positioning of a striker comes even after a forward's

In the words of Diego Maradona “if you gave Batistuta a rugby ball he’d score with it” “He’d go 80 minutes without touching the ball and in the last 10 he’ll score a hattrick – That’s exactly what a goalscorer is all about.”

Batistuta did not win all the titles throughout his career and did not manage more than 30 goals in one season, but he defined what a striker should be. In his own words: “One title with Fiorentina is worth ten with Milan or Juventus.” In the Summer of 2000, Fabio Capello asked the management to sign him Batistuta to win Serie A. Capello got his man and AS Roma won the title with Batistuta scoring 20 crucial goals in 28 league games.

Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, and many others are maybe greater talents with an awesome hunger for goal. They can score 30 and 40 goals in every game but none is the typical striker I am searching for since the Batigol retirement. As of the time of writing this post, Batigol sits among only four players who scored two hattricks in the World Cup history and is the only one who managed to do so in two different consecutive tournaments (1994 and 1998).

Batistuta is the last striker in a generation of a rare breed throughout history; and the likes of Marco van Basten, perhaps.

Batistuta Statue at Fiorentina

Fiorentina fans set a life-size bronze statue of Batistuta in 1996, in recognition of his performances for Fiorentina (not even titles)

p.s. The following links are some of my favorite Batistuta goals: Goal against BarcelonaGoal against Manchester UnitedGoal against ArsenalGoal against JuventusGoal against Fiorentina

If you do not want to use Google or Wikipedia to research
Gabriel Batistuta, you can always check this blog post
that I stumbled upon in April 2011
by Joe Sharratt (@fiveinmidfield):All-Time Great – Gabriel Batistuta

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