It is the fake day of love folks, I hope you did something for your loved one today or else this Hallmark holiday will leave you in the dog house. Unless that is your thing then enjoy your day Fido!
While Wakezilla and I were not frolicking at the park, the 3 canine enthusiasts chose me for day two of the Champions League preview. There is a certain Spanish team participating that makes my blood boil. So on the day of love I get to bring the hate. In fact there are 2 sides that play today that I would enjoy seeing get killed in any match that they participate in. So, happy fake love day and now lets get to the hate!
Match 1. PSG @ The White Scum that is Real Madrid.
Litre_Cola: I detest Real Madrid so much it cannot be measured and I honestly do not know why it is so strong but my Catalan love probably explains it. How are the Madridistas doing in the league? Oh, well that isn’t good. How are they doing in the Copa del Rey? Oh my, they lost to Leganés! I know nothing about them but they are now my 3rd favoUrite team in Spain. It seems that the Champions League is all they have left and we all know that they get up for this competition Every. God. Damn. Year. Ronaldo is still phenomenal but watching them struggle gives me great pleasure. They are up against the new mercenaries in town Paris St. Germain. They have allll the dirty oil money that you can imagine and more. They spend the gdp of small nations each year in the transfer window. They play against shit sides in France but I do watch them regularly due to the front 3 of Mbappe, Neymar, and Cavani. They are fucking amazing to watch. They have the pieces that can beat Real and are very deep, I may be talking myself into it as I just detest Madrid so much but Vive La France!
FUN FACT: If you want a lot of fun facts about futbol buy this book. I just read it again and it is great and informative. Prediction: 2-1 PSG bahahahahahahahahaha suck it Marcelo.
Balls: I too am not a fan of Real Madrid due to my Catalan love. Which makes it really funny that in my most recent European trip with my parents, we went to the Bernabeu (Real’s home) and took the tour. I even got a picture taken with Ronaldo. Well, they electronically shopped him in, but you get the jist. The main reason I don’t like them is actually the front office. They buy like their bank accounts have infinite amounts of money and don’t care if the pieces actually fit together. Oh, that guy is considered the best [pick a position] in the world? Sign him! We already have one of those and he’s probably the second best? Don’t care! Sign him!
Previously, this would end up in the pieces not fitting in quite right and a flameout in the Champions League elimination rounds. Recently, though, Real have put together the pieces and have found success in both La Liga (winning the title last year) and the Champions League (winning it all three of the last four years including the last two). Admittedly, this both infuriates me and makes me want to give Zinedine Zidane a little bit of respect.
As for this year, Real are in 4th in La Liga 17 points behind Barcelona and, as Litre noted, out of the Copa Del Rey. Which means all they care about is a third straight Champions League. Unfortunately for the rest of the teams, Real have started finding their form winning their last three games in La Liga by healthy margins.
As for their opponents, Paris St. Germain are the French Real. Olympique Marseilles are the French Barcelona and are 13 points back while AC Monaco, the French Atlético Madrid, are 12 back. Which is to say that you have two teams with the same philosophy on how to build a team facing each other with nothing to worry about in their home leagues. It should be a very interesting and close matchup. Prediction: I say the home ground advantage helps Real take a 2-1 lead with the return leg in Paris and a vital away goal giving PSG a real chance at winning the tie.
King Hippo: Hey-oh, I don’t like Real Madrid, either. Bunch of whiny babies. PSG, on the other hand, always just kind of…there. Like the side salad of European footy. You’re not happy to draw them, but not suicidal. They seem like someone who could (yet again) steal the opening tie in Madrid and cock up the home leg. Did that happen 3x in a row last season, or just twice? Anyway, it was annoying as fuck. There will be goals in this one, perhaps a shed load. Prediction: Call it the cray-cray fixture of the week, a 3-3 bananacakes draw.
Don T: Shoutout to Litre CoUla for displaying my staggering alpha virility. Even I am getting hot flashes from that pic. Woof.
Turning to teh fútbol, PSG has been Galácticos France, due to their name signings each year. However, they’ve been the Froinch Bengals of the knockout rounds of the Champions League. I gleefully rejoin the #RealHate, but can’t shake the feeling of a 2 : 1 win over PSG in this match.
Wakezilla: Madrid has played like absolute dogshit all year. Madrid have lost three of their last six home games in all competitions, winning just twice and being on the end of a humiliating 3-0 loss to Barth-a-lona during that run. With Madrid already being out of the Copa del Rey and are a Galácticos away from Barcelona in la Liga, Zidane might find his bald ass at the back of the unemployment line if PSG beats them.
PSG’s Left back Layvin Kurzawa, midfielder Thiago Motta, and striker Edinson Cavani are all injured for PSG. They are hoping that Thiago Silva and Julian Draxler can return to the starting lineup after returning to the bench from injury on Saturday, but, there’s no guarantee. With that many bodies banged up, I’m thinking this will be a . .
Match 2 : Liverpool @ Porto.
Litre_Cola: I think this one will be very close. I have too many friends that are supporters of the Reds. Every damn time that they win anything my phone blows up. They could beat Swindon Town 2-1 and I will get texts claiming that they are the best and they are on their way back to the top. I HAVE BEEN GETTING THESE FOR 20 YEARS! In 2005 I was living in Australia and had to wake up in the middle of the night to watch the game at the hostel I lived at. My buddy and I watched the 1st half with a bunch of English folk and they were so angry it was delicious. At 3 nil we figured the game was over so called it a night and went back to sleep. Well good lord I had 83 text messages on my phone when I woke up. “Fuck ya you non believer, the best in tha fuckin world!!! Ya better had watched it.” would have been one of the most polite entries. I will admit Liverpool should progress through this and they have been very entertaining to watch this year. It is a shame Coutinho had to leave for a king’s ransom but they are still a side that plays like a team and can beat anyone on any given day. Klopp is a terrific manager and I adore his passion thus it pains me to cheer for him. As for Porto I know nothing about them except their city is super cool and the females in that city were fantastic upon visiting when I was 23. Well holy shit they haven’t lost a game all season but are only 2 pts up on the Lisbon duet of Benfica and Sporting. Iker Casillas is here! Have you ever seen his wife? FUN FACT: I saw Porto play Benfica and got a gun pulled on me by security because I had a Porto scarf in the Benfica ultra section. I put it away, and he did not care about the brick of hash he found in my sock when patted down. Prediction: 2-2 draw and it will be damn exciting.
Balls: As you may have read in yesterday’s post, I am not a big fan of EPL teams in the Champions League. I am, however, a big fan of many Portuguese things including egg tarts, bacalao, and some of their football teams. Porto shares a name with a great Cuban bakery here in Southern California that serves amazing food.
Combine that with Mrs. Casillas
and my pick goes to the home team. Prediction: 2-1 in an exciting game that will be wide-open and free-flowing. Both keepers will make amazing saves to keep the scoreline relatively low.
King Hippo: Save some hate FOAR the Redshite, why dontcha? The last thing this Bitter Blue needs is the media sucking off Jurgen Klopp more furiously if he reaches the round of 8. And those jammy fucks are playing really well of late, good thing Man City is such a runaway freight train this season. Hopefully, they and their legendarily bandwagon, shithouse fans will take Porto lightly – which would be a bad, bad mistake. FUN FACT! It’s a running joke during the now shamefully frequent Everton managerial searches to refer to “PG” for “Porto Guy” as the guy we always should have hired. There’s always some talent here, despite the annual selling off, and I am feeling lucky/hopeful. Prediction: 3-1 to the good.
Wakezilla: Liverpool scored twenty-three times in the Champions League group stage– only PSG netted more. Meanwhile, despite being in a weak pool, Porto conceded 10 goals, which is bad, but scored fifteen goals, which is decent. In other words, we’re going to have a good old fashioned shootout!
In a just world, we’re going to sit back and enjoy Vincent Aboubakar and my boy Mohammad Salah exchange a bunch of goals for 90 minutes. With Porto not having Felipe in the lineup, I’ll say Liverpool will get the 3-2 win in an entertaining match.
Don T: Klopp Klopp Klopp, ???. My love for the guy is well-documented. Porto 1 : 2 Liverpool.
In lieu of contrarian fútbol musings, a word on unrequited love. The receiving end is the worst: the full brunt of heartbreak with the emotional sinkhole of leaving yourself fully vulnerable—and quashed. Succintly put:
It’s a bad situation, but assigning blame is fruitless. Not being into someone is seminal stuff. There’s irony, and over irony is realizing that personal turnoffs can’t be turned off. Expecting someone to correspond immeasurable lust and complete devotion because “I’ll treat you right” is presumptuous AF. Cervantes explained it best back in the early 1600s, in Chapter 14 of Part I of Don Quixote—the anti-eulogy for Grisóstomo, given by the object of his heartbreak and alleged death: the shepherd Marcela, as beautiful as woke. A highlight, per a decent English translation:
[B]eauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance or a sharp sword; the one does not burn, the other does not cut, those who do not come too near. Honour and virtue are the ornaments of the mind, without which the body, though it be so, has no right to pass for beautiful; but if modesty is one of the virtues that specially lend a grace and charm to mind and body, why should she who is loved for her beauty part with it to gratify one who for his pleasure alone strives with all his might and energy to rob her of it?
Being jilted sucks, whether through “Don’t text me again” or “I love you like a brother (sister)”. There’s no effective salve for that, not even pity partying and getting shitfaced—has THAT ever worked? But you can’t go wrong with striving for dignity: sack (ovary?) up, step away, and don’t be a psycho stalker.
Enjoy the games!