Anti Joga Bonito (Love All Football)

Celebrating club football and shining the light on incompetent and biased journos indulging in stereotyping and negativity.

Tag Archives: Hulk

Villa outs Villareal

Despite losing out on the night to a resilient Villareal side that would not completely lay down their arms, Porto go through to the final in Dublin in convincing fashion on a 7-4 aggregate score. And in the process, Falcao has written his name in European football history in bold letters by bettering Jurgen Klinsman’s record of 15 goals in the European competition by 1 (so far), and possibly 2 even if you consider the qualifyers.
Villa-Boas and his team can now contemplate repeating the feat of José’s side in 2003 by another historic treble (or quadruple if you include the Portuguese supercup). One piece of this glorious romp, the league title, is already acquired with an impressive string of new records and notably a hefty point lead over historic rivals Benfica, whom they will be not be meeting in the final as in the other semi, Braga has succeded in pulling off yet another remarkable performance by extracting qualification at the expense of the Lisboetas.
Despite the lesser gloss of the Europa League, it is a telling accomplishment for Portuguese football to be providing not only the two sides for the final, but also two promising young managers, André Villa-Boas & Domingos Paciência. Beleza.

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The Braga faithful celebrate a historic qualification.

The Falcon Strikes Again

I hope that all the whinging “beautiful football” people bothered to tune in to the Europa League to see a very entertaining game between Porto and Villareal (at the Estádio do Dragão) which ended in a six goal orgy. If not, it’s OK, they are forgiven for missing it, I do understand that the marketing of the “beautiful game” does not encompass such lowly sides from the South of Europe, so feel free to catch the highlights here.

Despite being down 1 goal just before half time, Porto staged a very convincing comeback with striker Falcao netting 4 goals on the night, 1 penalty, 1 short distance slot in, and 2 magnificent headers. This third highly impressive performance by the Colombian striker (he already scored 3 against Spartak Moscow earlier in April at home, and 3 against Rapid Wien away back in December) will surely see his name popping up on cash rich managers’ summer shopping lists, as will probably Hulk’s, who did not score tonight but provided one assist and has otherwise enjoyed a great season. Hopefully for them they (or their agents) will know better than to succumb to Steve Bruce’s or Alan Pardew’s swan songs.

Heading for the net and the final in Dublin

Undoubtedly I also now expect the pro-Barça or joga bonito leaning hacks to opportunistically raise the stock of André Villa-Boas (the “little José”) to stratospheric levels in typically simplistic and infantile juxtaposition to his mentor. The man definitely does deserve props for what he has achieved as Porto have literally obliterated all local opposition this year and will probably emerge as the favorites for the final, so don’t get me wrong; but I’m certain it won’t even be another 48 hours before we’ll be subjected to more of the same kind of cheap and patronising trite drivel as uttered by the two stooges on Channel 5 (one of which was a most infuriating Scotsman that seems to be such an unavoidable staple of football on British TV) masquerading as football philosophy, to further castigate Mourinho and score brownie points with all other respectable aficionados. The best illustration of these people’s ignorance and baseness was the statement that André Villa-Boas “should be – no disrespect to Porto – looking for a job at one of Europe’s big clubs”. Maybe someone should inform them that in the last decade Porto won both a Champions League and a UEFA Cup, a feat that only one so called “English” club can match: Liverpool. But then that Porto side was coached by a guy called José Mourinho and you see, it’s not very fashionable to be supporting him… or at least not until he wins something else again.

Anyway, mega props to Portuguese football for fielding 3 clubs in the semis (and especially Braga for making it through so many rounds and persevering after a fairly grueling Champions League group stage), and for heading for what seems likely to be a spicy all-Portuguese final.