28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans fire back at UEFA with amazing tifo over Champions League ruling

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After having its UEFA Champions League qualification tossed out on a pretty bogus technicality, Legia Warsaw were steaming mad.

To recap, Legia Warsaw blasted Celtic in their Champions League playoff to the tune of a 6-1 aggregate win, but the Polish side were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player late in their second-leg win. As a result, Celtic were reinstated, and Legia Warsaw were dropped to the Europa League.

To make matters worse, Celtic did absolutely nothing with the extra chance they were given at Champions League glory, losing to Slovenian side Maribor in their playoff earlier this week.

So, yeah, Legia Warsaw’s fans were none too pleased with UEFA. Luckily, they channeled their frustration into creativity and put together an amazing tifo. Ahead of Legia Warsaw’s Europa League playoff match against Aktobe, they busted out this:

The tifo meet all the requirements needed to send a message to UEFA: A gigantic, greedy pig holding a “6<1” sign with a caption of “Because football doesn’t matter, money does” with the backdrop of the UEFA logo?

Message received.

(h/t 101GG)

27
Aug

Cosmin Moti: The Champions League’s newest sensation

Merely an afterthought at the beginning of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League shuffle, Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Steaua Bucuresti wound up turning into a true thriller.

The drama really kicked off when Ludogorets scored just before Spanish referee Alberto Undiano blew for full time, sending the contest into extra-time. With an apparent affinity for heightening drama toward the end of a period, Ludogorets then had their keeper, Vladisov Stoyanov, sent off with a red card.

Out of substitutions and with a penalty shootout looming, the team turned to central defender Cosmin Moti to save the day. And boy, did he:

Moti donned backup keeper Ivan Civorovic’s keeper shirt, but it may as well have been a cape. Not only did Moti step up to take his side’s first kick of the penalty shootout (with his goalie gloves on!), he drilled it past his counterpart.

Then, the new Champions League star went on to save not just one, but two Steaua penalties to seal the win. Moti’s heroics earned lowly Ludogorets their first-ever berth in the Champions League group stage.

Here’s to hoping Moti and his scrappy side keep the hits coming against some other big boys.

26
Aug

Hulk scores on scintillating solo run as Zenit reach UCL group stage

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Hulk doesn’t need to smash to be a menace on the field. Sometimes, a little solo run past three hapless defenders will do just fine, as was the case Tuesday against Standard Liege.

The robust Brazilian striker scored two goals to send Zenit into their third straight Champions League group stage. The first was a penalty kick, and the second was, well, just watch:

16
Aug

Legia Warsaw trolled with Champions League anthem ahead of Polish league match

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Polish champions Legia Warsaw still haven’t gotten over their harsh Champions League exit on a clerical error, when on Friday they were mercilessly ridiculed by their next Polish league opponents.

After their 6-1 aggregate victory over Celtic was wiped away over fielding an ineligible player for the final four minutes of the second leg, Legia were greeted by Ekstraklasa side Jagiellonia Bialystok with the Champions League anthem blaring in the stadium as the teams took the field!

That’s some A+ trolling right there, but justice was eventually served as Legia went on to whip the cynical opposition, 3-0.

H/T Pies
Image via Reuters
21
May

Trecker’s Travels: Lisbon, Day 2

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LISBON — The red and white scarves have been stowed for the season, the plaza at City Hall last night was being swept up of the cups and flags. Over at Restauradores, the only rally was for graduating university students – something to do with big wooden spoons and lots of beer, by the looks of it. A Bola is still gleefully printing pictures of Benfica players holding up three fingers but the rest of the city has moved on towards the big game on Saturday. The headline in Record read: “The world is watching.”

But until then, there’s not much to do, soccer-wise. The teams are training in Spain, the fans have yet to trickle in, and Lisbon, the oldest city in Western Europe is glorious. So, why not see it?

Now, I have a weakness for trains. I believe they are the only civilized way to travel, and I have been known to walk miles between train stops rather than take a bus. I once refused a plane trip from Berlin to Warsaw on the grounds that I could take a sleeper car there overnight. The fact that it turned out to be a Soviet-style bed car, complete with hissing steam, did not teach me any lesson whatsoever. On the contrary, I am of the belief that it made me stronger, much as the journeys from Leuchars to Dundee on the sublimely discomfiting Fife Rail trains of the early 1970s, all plaid and burr.

Much to my glee (and my partner’s despair) Lisbon has had an urban train system for nearly 130 years. Yesterday, I decided to ride all of them, going from the ancient basilica on the west side of the city out to the giant flea market that occupies Alfama just west of the castle. The points are connected by an ancient tram line, the “28,” which runs through the winding roads along the harbor line. The “28” started out as a horse carriage line (I pity the poor beasts on these hills and cobblestones) but switched to overhead electric in 1901.

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