Friday, May 29, 2009

Lionie Messi, pemain satu ini beberapa tahun terakhir ini menjadi perhatian pengamat dan penggemar sepak bola sejagad. Usia masih muda dan karir masih panjang. Pada final Liga Champion eropa 27 Mei 2009 yang lalu, anak muda Argentina ini sangat berperan besar untuk kemenangan Barca dengan mencetak gol kedua melalui sundulan kepala. Coba bayangkan Messi hanya 170 cm dibandingkan Rio ferdinan, Messi hanya setinggi bahunya. Tapi dengan timing yang tepat bola umpan akurat dari Xavi disundulnya.
Foto AFP (Lionie Messi)

Hasil sundulannya membuat Barca unggul 2 - 0. MU benar-benar kerepotan menghadapi pemain satu ini. Lihat lapangan tengah MU yang diisi Carrick dan Schol benar-benar kocar kacir membendung pergerakkan Messi. Apa yang menjadi pelajaran bagi kita Indonesia dari final Liga Champion Eropa 2009?. Pemain bertubuh kecil bisa berprestasi jika didukung talenta dan kerja keras serta disiplin profesional. Iniesta, Xavy dan Messi adalah pemain-pemain Barca bertubuh mungil layaknya pemain-pemain kita. Lihat mereka merupakan pemain kunci di klub maupun Timnas.......Tunggu apa lagi pssi? Saatnya berbenah untuk menyongaong masa depan sepak bola nasional.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Puyol: Pressure is on United

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol claims the pressure is on Manchester United in today's UEFA Champions League final as the Spanish giants have already surpassed expectations this season.
With a new coach in inexperienced Josep Guardiola at the start of the season, Barcelona have made headlines by claiming the Primera Liga title and the Copa del Rey trophy en route to the top game in Rome.
"We've enjoyed a very good season," Puyol said. "The team has worked very hard and the results we have obtained are proof of that. We hope to win and make this season a spectacular one."
Puyol, who returns from suspension tonight to lead Barca on the pitch in his second European final, fully expects United to give them their biggest challenge of the year. "It's going to be a very complicated game," Puyol said. "We are facing the best team in the world.
"Manchester United are very strong defensively and have players that can make the difference at any moment. We know their players very well. But I wouldn't focus on just the attack but on the whole team."
We have good vibes and we know we have an historic opportunity against a great team. We are optimistic,
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol.
Barcelona go into the match marred by injuries and suspension but the Spanish international believes that is no excuse for his team not to deliver. Central defenders Rafa Marquez and Gabriel Milito are out injured while backs Eric Abidal and Dani Alves are both suspended.
"We do have important players missing," Puyol said. "But the team arrives to this game in good form. We have great players and everything will be perfect. We have good vibes and we know we have an historic opportunity against a great team. We are optimistic."
Sir Alex Ferguson's team go into the clash riding a record-breaking 25-match unbeaten run in the competition. Moreover, United have a superb defensive record in this season's competition with just six goals conceded.
For Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, Cristiano Ronaldo will not be the only threat for him, with Dimitar Berbatov having - like Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney - scored four goals in the competition this season. "Berbatov is a striker with a lot of quality," Valdes said. "He is very dangerous, especially when he moves inside the area.
"We will have to analyse his virtues and try to stop him in the best possible way, just like any of United´s players. But I am prepared for anything. It´s going to be a battle like any other final."

Source :

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hiddink thought about staying

Interim coach Guus Hiddink acknowledges there have been occasions when he wished he was staying on at Chelsea. But the Dutchman continues to insist that he will quit the Blues after the FA Cup final against Everton on 30 May. Hiddink will leave the Stamford Bridge hotseat and return to his full-time role as coach of the Russia national side as soon as the season is over.

The 62-year-old has transformed Chelsea's fortunes since he replaced sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari in February. He kept Chelsea in the title race until a few weeks before the end of the campaign and led them to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

He also piloted the Blues into the final of the FA Cup but, despite calls from players and fans to stay at the club, Hiddink is convinced he will leave in the summer. But when asked if he had ever thought about staying during his successful spell at Chelsea, he replied: "I love working here, but at the same time I know that my job in Russia is not done yet. I had that feeling that you're saying, but I don't have any regrets whatsoever to go where I am going to go in June.

"I came here to restore what was more or less, at the time, difficult - the fight for qualification for Champions League. That was my main aim, my target. I was not coming here to make friends," said Hiddink.

"I am proud to have worked here. This is a big club and I am happy that I could give my contribution," he said. "I always admire the clubs that have the standard of quality, not just in performances, but also how they cope with the fans and how they show themselves to the world of football and outside."

Hiddink is expected to make way for AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti. The former Holland coach believes communication could become a major issue if they appoint Ancelotti. Many of Chelsea's players failed to communicate properly with Brazilian coach Scolari, who struggled to get his points and tactics across clearly in English.

"It is important if someone is coming in and is not dominating totally the English way of communicating," added Hiddink.

"If a foreign manager is coming in and not completely controlling the English language, he can do that in limited time. Communication is important and he will be helped. But I think the manager who comes in will communicate rather easily," he said.

Rome final
Chelsea's exit to Barcelona in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League still hurts the Dutchman and as a result, he has turned down television invitations to be a pundit in Rome on 27 May when the Spanish giants take on Manchester United.

"I will not go to the final for practical reasons, because we are preparing for the cup final," said Hiddink. "I have been asked by television to do it - to give some comments - but I won't do it because I don't have the feeling to be there to be honest.

"I think Manchester Untied are well equipped to win it because they have shown in this strong league that they can cope with the pressure," he added.

(Source : FIFA)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Johan Cruyff - The Netherlands' Grand Master

Very few players have earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Diego Maradona. Although he never won an international title with his country and played in only one FIFA World Cup™, Johan Cruyff is one of them. Such was his natural talent, the Dutch master enjoys an undisputed reputation as one of the game's all-time greats.
Cruyff was brought up in the shadow of Ajax Amsterdam's stadium and training ground, where his mother worked. His father died from a heart attack when he was 12. From a very early age, the young Cruyff set his sights on one thing alone: becoming a professional footballer. He began formal training when he was seven years old and, to his mother's horror, left school at 13 to concentrate exclusively on sport.
Coaching legend Rinus Michels spotted the slightly-built youth's talent, and designed an exercise programme aimed at developing his frail physique to withstand the rigours of a professional career. Cruyff broke into Ajax's first team aged 17 and two years later, in 1966, picked up the first of nine Dutch league titles destined to come his way.
He soon rose to international prominence as a fleet-footed, elegant and technically gifted footballer, who never evaded a tackle. Cruyff was a playmaker, ammunitions provider and marksman rolled into one, with an ability to time a pass that has hardly been equalled before or since. He was a leading figure off the field as well, confident and opinionated, and never one to mince his words for fear of making enemies.

The epitome of total football
For one of the sport's greatest names, Cruyff's international career was relatively short. He made his debut for the Dutch national side against Hungary in September 1966 and went on to make 48 appearances for the Oranje before quitting in October 1977 aged 30. His last act on the international stage was to help the Netherlands qualify for the 1978 FIFA World Cup™ in Argentina, though by that stage he was only called up for the key fixtures.
Cruyff's finest hour with the Netherlands came at the 1974 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany. The Dutch went into the tournament with few expectations; they had only just qualified and the players had given little indication that they were comfortable with the tactics of coach Rinus Michels, brought in late in the day to replace Frantisek Fadrhonc. The pieces of the puzzle fell into place just in time, however, and by the end of the first round, the Oranje were considered the tournament favourites.
The Dutch dazzled with their total football, a style of play epitomised by Cruyff himself. Although he was fielded as centre-forward, he wandered all over the pitch, popping up wherever he could do most damage to opponents. His team-mates adapted themselves flexibly around his movements, regularly switching positions so that the tactical roles in the team were always filled but not always by the same person. This was a revolutionary concept, and it took the world by storm.
In the second round Cruyff got among the goals, netting twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Argentina, arguably the Netherlands' best performance of the tournament. The match against East Germany was a more subdued affair, won 2-0, before the Dutch faced Brazil in what was effectively a semi-final in the last of the second-round group games.

After a rough-and-tumble contest, Michels' side walked off 2-0 winners. Cruyff struck his team's second goal, a spectacular volley in the 65th minute. Meeting a centre from Ruud Krol, he wrongfooted goalkeeper Emerson Leao with his flying effort inside the near post.
Disappointments and disputes
Cruyff's brilliance was on view just seconds into the Final. From the kick-off, the Dutch passed the ball around, not allowing West Germany a touch. Orange shirt to orange shirt to orange shirt, and then the ball came to Cruyff who started a run, slipped past Berti Vogts, and was mowed down by Uli Hoeness inside the box. Johan Neeskens buried the resulting penalty before a single German had touched the ball.

The Dutch failed to press home their advantage, however, and allowed the hosts back into the game, Paul Breitner equalising from the penalty spot and Gerd Muller making it 2-1 two minutes before the break. In the second half the Oranje failed to overcome the barrier that was keeper Sepp Maier and the title was lost. Cruyff's player of the tournament award was scant consolation.
The afternoon of 7 July 1974 would be Cruyff's final appearance on the world stage. He had already announced that he would not play in the next FIFA World Cup in Argentina, mainly because he did not want to be away from his family for so long. Add a series of disagreements with the national federation and his international career soon reached a premature end.
At club level Cruyff enjoyed greater longevity. Between 1971 and 1973, he won the European Cup three times in a row with Ajax. In 1973 he moved to Spain with Barcelona, collecting the league title in his first season. After announcing his retirement in 1978, he resurfaced in May 1979 in the United States where he spent a couple of seasons before a short-lived spell with Spanish second division side Levante.

Then it was back home to Ajax in the summer of 1981 for the start of an Indian summer. After winning the league-and-cup double, in 1983 he moved to Ajax's arch-rivals Feyenoord where he inspired the Rotterdam club to do the same. In his mid-30s, Cruyff was playing some of the best football of his life. After two successive Footballer of the Year awards, the best Dutch player of all time hung up his boots once and for all in 1984.
Moving into the dugout
Although Cruyff had no formal coaching qualifications, a new career beckoned and he took over as technical director at Ajax at the beginning of the 1985/86 season. He brought silverware to the club - leading them to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1987 - and by the time he quit the following year had also helped develop talented youngsters such as Dennis Bergkamp, Aaron Winter, Brian Roy and the Witschge brothers, Rob and Richard.
In 1988, in a repeat of the journey he had made as a player, Cruyff left Ajax for Barcelona where he set about reconstructing a struggling team, releasing a dozen players including German Bernd Schuster and bringing in new stars. Soon he had fashioned one of the most spectacular club sides of recent times, the so-called 'Dream Team' which won the 1992 European Cup and four domestic championships in a row.
After an eight-year relationship, Johan Cruyff and Barcelona parted company for a second time in 1996. Cruyff, who was forced to give up smoking after a bypass operation in 1991 and had recurring heart trouble in 1997, swore he would never coach again and he has kept his word.

Yet his legacy is assured. As he said himself of the Dutch team of his day: "We showed the world you could enjoy being a footballer, you could laugh and have a fantastic time. I represent the era which proved that attractive football was enjoyable and successful."

Source :