Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Lionel Messi Champions League Final

Messi - Lionel's riches.

This week’s UEFA Champions League Final held football’s Valhalla in thrall as two of Europe’s biggest clubs prepared to do battle at Wembley for the first time since 1992. And as in 1992, England prepared itself for an invasion of a Spanish force feared across Europe as Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona looked to defeat Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in their own country. Although Barcelona were clear favourites, many of the spectral football enthusiasts here at In Off the Ghost fancied Manchester United to give Barcelona a stern test following their defeat at the hands of the Catalans in the 2009 final. However, United’s Champions League hopes sank faster than the Mary Celeste as Barcelona romped to a 3-1 victory with goals from Pedro, Messi and Villa.

After the game we were contacted by a spirit who knows all about Anglo-Spanish battles, and was livid with the capitulation of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. A cold welcome to Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth I!

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I - Even less penetration than United

“My loving people, I watched with baited breath the invasion of the Spanish forces onto British soil, hoping for a repeat of our famous victory at the Armada in 1588” spoke Queen Elizabeth I, majestic in full amour aloft a ghostly gelding, “I thought with foul scorn that Barcelona, or any other of the princes of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm and carry away the European Cup at the expense of an English club. I thought that Manchester United could compete with the Catalans as a side who had been recently amassed a record amount of English football’s riches. But brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths. The Spaniards routed our forces, battering United 3-1 and conquering the Wembley turf.

“A fool too late bewares when all the peril is past, and Ferguson must now rue his team selection. Sir Alex, may God forgive you for picking Giggs and Carrick to face Xavi and Iniesta, for I never can. United had no man of the stature of Sir Francis Drake to lead them to victory. In the midst and heat of the battle, one man with a head on his shoulders is worth a dozen without. Xavi controlled the midfield battle whilst the United midfield were crestfallen. They could not live with the devastation caused by the Spaniards most lethal weapon, Lionel Messi. I know it may look as if Messi has the body and haircut of a weak and feeble woman, but he has the heart and stomach of a king, and the ability to match the sport’s greatest ever players.

“However this game was not about individuals, and as a team Barcelona were imperious. Pique and Mascherano were like a rock that bends to no wind. With masterful displays from Abidal, Alves and Villa they used every one of their virtues on the field. Their superiority comes from many years of preparation, and now the end crowneth the work. It is a dark day for our nation. The Spanish forces and their merciless talisman Messi look set to dominate all of Europe for years to come.”

(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)


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'Please God, don't send me back to the Galaxy.'

When I was lying on my deathbed, one of my many regrets was that I had never travelled the world. I had never experienced the cultural wonders of the continent, had never been harassed by street performers or relieved of extortionate amounts of money for local delicacies.

However, my time in the afterlife has given me the chance to discuss all things football with the late and great of many nationalities. So now In Off The Ghost can share with you, the world of the living, their opinions on the latest European news.

The biggest story in Europe at the moment is David Beckham’s return to the Serie A with AC Milan after his self-imposed purgatory in the MLS. Beckham helped the Rossoneri to a 5-2 victory over Genoa at the San Siro. I asked legendary opera singer and Italian football enthusiast Luciano Pavarotti what he thought of the performance:


'I bet you a tenor that Beckham gets in the England Squad.'

“I love the English, they are eccellente!” boomed the tenor. “Signor Beckham showed more invention than Da Vinci against Genoa! He has class and beauty, much like some of the other Inglese I have met. It also helps that his fan base is bigger than my waistline! Ha-ha! And Milan need all the popularity it can get with Signor Berlusconi as the owner.”

In Off The Ghost’s Spanish Football correspondent is famous Spanish painter Salvador Dali, who watched a surreal round of Copa Del Rey matches this week. Atletico Madrid were murdered by second division Recreativio 3-0 and Barcelona were beaten 2-1 in their first leg by Sevilla:

Dali - Strange

“The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents, and this was running high after Barcelona’s performance last year. Now the celoso are delighted  after this result.” pondered Dali, twirling his moustache around his fingers.

“Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision. These results go to show that the big teams can be demolished by brave conquistadors!”

A final delve into the catacombs of European football takes us to the Bundesliga, where we have non other than 80’s Europop sensation Falco, who conquered the world with his smash hit ‘Rock Me Amadeus’ and was an avid follower of both the Austrian and German Bundesligas.

Falco - Impressed by a Leverkusen starke mannschaft.

“This season has been über competitive again, with Bayern München down in third and Bayer Leverkusen playing some wunderbar fußbal this season. In fact they have rocked me all the way to the top! Their goal keeper has been especially impressive. Come on rock me Rene Adler, ja!”

When I asked Austrian born Falco what he thought Leverkusen’s chances were of finally winning the Bundesliga, he was quietly confident:

“Like the Berlin wall, Leverkusen’s Bundesliga hopes normally start to crumble in November and are rubble by the summer. But this year they seem to have a more starke mannschaft so they might finally be champions.”

(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)

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