As the weekend progressed, a Mercedes 1-2 on Sunday felt pre-ordained. Apart from Free Practice 2, during which running was severely disrupted, The Black Arrows were in a class of their own; Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas seemingly racing in a different class than the rest of the field. In the Star Wars metaphor where Mercedes is the Empire, it looks like the rebellion has been crushed and there is no hope for the system. Mother Nature tried her best to hold back the Mercedes freight train, with the Hungaroring presenting the drivers with a slippery surface and uncertain conditions as start time approached, but nothing could stop the Mercedes team and Bottas could stop Lewis Hamilton from winning yet again in Hungary. The championship leader is the undisputed King of the Hungaroring for this era. Records are tumbling down as Hamilton’s career unfolds, and he is, as a result of his victory today, tied with Michael Schumacher for winning the same Grand Prix eight times (Schumacher having done so at the French GP), while being five wins short of the overall win record held by the heptachampion. It is worth pointing out that both drivers have also won the same Grand Prix seven times (Canadian and San Marino for Schumacher, Canadian for Hamilton), and six times as well (Schumacher doing it in 4 different GPs, Hamilton in 3), sharing that mark with little known names such as Alain Prost (Brazilian and French) and Ayrton Senna (Monaco). If anyone had any doubts before, it does seem as if this Hamilton chap is pretty handy behind the wheel.
Red Bull Drama
Before the cars had even reached the grid, the tricky conditions had already claimed their first victim. On his way to the grid, Max Verstappen’s tires momentarily lost grip coming into Turn 12 and, unable to regain traction, the Red Bull skidded off into the barriers, the nightmare weekend for Red Bull seemingly about to get much worse, as his left suspension looked damaged as he made his way to the grid The Red Bull mechanics proved their extraordinary quality once more, however, bringing his car back to working conditions with 20 seconds to spare. Verstappen would make sure their efforts did not go to waste, ultimately salvaging the best possible result from what looked to be a dreadful Hungarian experience for the entire Red Bull family.
And It's Lights Out
Once the lights went out, Hamilton scampered away and seemingly without breaking a sweat had a more than comfortable 3-second lead to Lance Stroll in P2 at the end of Lap 1. If anyone still harbored illusions that Mercedes could be contained, those evaporated after just one lap around the track. Behind the leader, things were chaotic. Bottas and Sergio Perez, starting P2 and 4, had terrible starts, dropping to P6 and 7 respectively, jumbling the order up and down the field, as the cars behind them scrambled for space in the narrow Hungarian track. Kimi Räikkönen, fresh off an AMA with our sub, started dead last and was immediately up to P15, with Nicolas Latifi reaching P10 in the Williams, with the Ferraris getting jumped by fast starting Max Verstappen. As conditions improved, a flurry of pit stops jumbled the order even further. Charles Leclerc and Bottas both pitted at the end of Lap 2, going on Softs and Mediums respectively, followed by seemingly the entire field the following lap, the gaggle of cars going in and out of the tight pitlane causing some drivers to lose significant time, as their teams waited for an opening to release their cars safely, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz being the biggest losers in this category, as Ferrari and McLaren holding them stationary for over 8 seconds. Williams was not interested in such frivolities, releasing Latifi into the path of Sainz, who did well to avoid a collision at the exit of the pits. The Williams suffered a puncture, the rookie spinning as he went into T1. In addition to dropping to last, he would also be given a 5-second time penalty for the unsafe release, rather destroying any chance of a good result after his tremendous start (he did have this excellent exchange before the race, though). After an excellent Saturday, Sunday would come to a close with both Williams cars dead last, with George Russell leading Latifi home. Even if Russell would finish the race as with the 9th best lap between drivers, the momentum from yesterday led to a deflating Sunday for the team. The same fate would befall the Alfa Romeos. After Räikkönen’s excellent start, their cars would drop down the order as the race progressed, ultimately finishing ahead of only the Williamses, with Giovinazzi trailing his teammate home. A nondescript and ultimately frustrating weekend for the Italian team, highlighted only by Kimi’s AMA with us, naturally. Once the flurry of pit stops ended, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean found themselves P3 and 4, as they jumped into the pits after the formation lap. Although both cars would not be able to withstand the pressure of the frontrunners as the order re-established, the race would prove to be an unexpected boon for the USA-based squad, as Magnussen’s no-prisoners attitude was in full display as he fought tooth and nail all race before managing to hold a hard charging Sainz at the end to finish P9P10 and score the team’s first points of the season, with the team exploding into celebration as the flag dropped at the end. Both drivers are under investigation, however, for a possible violating, during the formation lap, of the rule against driver aids (article 27.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations).Both drivers were penalized for violating article 27.1 of the F1 Sporting Regulations when the team told them to box during the formation lap, so Magnussen dropped to P10 behind Sainz. After pitting for Medium tires, Stroll made good on his start and was quickly back with both Haas cars, eventually overtaking both to stay in P3, as Red Bull pulled off a tiny strategic master stroke, leaving Verstappen out for a few additional laps, during which he did a sequence of fast laps to overcut Stroll. Eventually, Bottas would also overtake both Haas cars, setting off in pursuit of Stroll and Verstappen. Although he would take P3 from Stroll, Verstappen put on an amazing driving display and held back the charging Mercedes until the end, securing a second place finish that seemed impossible less than two hours before. Across the garage, Alexander Albon also salvaged an excellent result, coming home in P5 after his troubles on Saturday. Albeit short of his teammate, it was a beautiful drive, in a rear-happy car in trick conditions, and the Thai driver also escaped a penalty that could have wrecked his Sunday. Even if Pierre Gasly could not shake his mechanical troubles from Saturday (the team changed his ICE, TC, MGU-H, and MGU-K, but his gearbox had a very smoky failure after only 15 laps) and was the only retirement for the race, a weekend that looked like a nightmare for both Red Bull teams turned out to be quite decent, with Daniil Kvyat managing to climb up to P12 after starting in 17th place. Renault saw Daniel Ricciardo among the midfield leaders for a long spell, but he was ultimately unable to progress much further than the P8 he finished in, with his teammate Esteban Ocon came home P14, one position behind McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was unable to deploy Scenario 7 today. The team has again protesting the Racing Point cars’ brake ducts, in what is obviously going to be a repeating pattern until a decision on the matter is issued. Racing Point again showed that they are a real threat to anyone not named Mercedes, even if Perez could never quite recover from his race start to join his teammate at the head of the field, but a finish of P4 for Stroll and P7 for Perez means the team is in an excellent position to challenge for “Best of the Rest” honors. Ferrari had a much happier day compared to the Styrian GP, but the Scuderia is still in some trouble. Finishing with only one car in the points (Vettel in P6, who appeared to achieve more than the car should be capable of today), with Leclerc P11, is certainly not what Maranello hoped to achieve this season. To add another layer of ignominy to the season so far, both cars were lapped by Hamilton, which cannot be a good sign for those hoping for a Ferrari resurgence this season. Leclerc was put on Softs after his first pitstop and his race was severely compromised from there on out, ending up on 40+ lap old Hards that hampered his pace so much he was unable to challenge Magnussen for P9 nor hold back Sainz for P10. Back to the race winner and now championship leader, apart from a late pitstop in Lap 67 for Soft tires (enough for a race lap record 1:16.627, over a second faster than the next fastest driver), Hamilton’s race was as straight-forward as a mixed conditions win in a tight and twisty track can be, in yet another reminder of the seeming inevitability of the Mercedes/Hamilton combo this season.
As with any complex machine, Formula 1 is a contraption that requires multiple cogs working together to create a precise (or in this case, chaotic) race. Here are the most important gears in today’s race. The largest cog in this race was made up for several smaller ones. Max Verstappen and the Red Bull Racing team performed flawlessly after Verstappen broke his left front push rod on the installation lap, securing a second place that even the most ardent RBR fan would not bet on just minutes before the start. The RBR mechanics performed a near miracle to repair the car with 20 seconds to go in the start procedure deadline and, after a scintillating start, along with great strategy calls, Verstappen clearly finished much higher than what the car should have been capable of. Even if the team debrief will be extensive and detailed as they look to solve their understeer, oversteer and setup problems that have plagued them the last two weekends before the F1 circus reaches Silverstone. A fun stat for today: Car 33 has 33 points in the WDC and took his 33rd podium this weekend. Another big gear is Lewis Hamilton. With the pace the Mercedes has shown and the exquisite form he is showing, Michael Schumacher’s days as the holder of the record for most wins in Formula 1 seem unlikely to reach 2021. Along with the obscene advantage Mercedes already enjoys in the Constructors’ Championship (they currently have more than double Red Bull’s tally), the only question seems to be when will the team confirm their 7th straight WCC and who will win the team’s 7th straight WDC. Smaller cogs added to the chaos of this race, including the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, able to secure a P910, with the team’s strategy call to pit at the start proving both a boon before ultimately costing their drivers 10 seconds each, and (even if their race result proved disappointing) Williams, as they made their second straight Q2 appearance. After three races, we are still waiting for a clear picture of what the midfield looks like. Racing Point is, undoubtedly, at the front of the pack, even if their wet and dynamic weather pace seem to be a weakness, as both Red Bulls and Vettel’s Ferrari could take points away from them today. Ferrari and McLaren seem to be interchangeable depending on the weekend, while Renault and AlphaTauri try to break through to trouble them. With the triple header done, we now have a much needed one week break before the fans and the paddock can set their eyes on the next triple header, with two races at Silverstone, including the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, along with a visit to Catalunya, starting August 2. In the meantime, we will try our best to keep you informed and entertained, with the last part of the excellent “The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team" series dropping this week.
Welcome to the Summer Transfer Megathread 2020! Here you can discuss rumours, confirmed transfers and also which player you personally would want to sign and how you would like to integrate them into the squad. Of course transfer rumours can still be posted as their own separate posts but you are free to post them in here as well. I will keep this updated as new rumours come in, but only those sources that mention us directly. If you believe a rumour should be added, just PM me or post them down in the comments. If you want to know how reliable a source is, just take a look at our Transfer Tier Guide.
The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club? Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated. Redditsidenote!It'smeagain.Somemayremembermyexperimentsfromagesago.I'mbackandwritingagain,butasyoucanprobablytell,withanewnameandwebsite.Ifyouwanttoseethispostwithmuchbetterformatting,alltheimages,andeveryone'sprofileattheend,goheretoreaditinfull:linkYoucanstayhereifyoupreferthough! So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career. That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?
With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut. January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition. Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine. Loyal Players Remaining: 46 Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: None
With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto and Mario become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined. The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends. Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go. Loyal Players Remaining: 41 Abreu Club Count: 23 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Watford (FA Cup)
My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo. The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all. The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier. Loyal Players Remaining: 34 Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Croatia (World Cup)
Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers. January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20. In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga! On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon. Loyal Players Remaining: 30 Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Caen (Coupe de France)
2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts. Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors. Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started. Loyal Players Remaining: 24 Abreu Club Count: 24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Hoffenheim (Europa League)
The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window. No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection. Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff. Loyal Players Remaining: 17 Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: None
With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move. After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper. The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year. Loyal Players Remaining: 14 Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)
Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that. The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks. Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet. Loyal Players Remaining: 13 Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: None
The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length. There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close. 2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need! Loyal Players Remaining: 13 Abreu Club Count: 25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)
At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.
Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1. Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history. Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks. Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners! Loyal Players Remaining: 10 Abreu Club Count: 27 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Tottenham (Premier League)
Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died. At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing. Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off. Loyal Players Remaining: 9 Abreu Club Count: 28 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)
With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career. With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not. As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing. Loyal Players Remaining: 8 Abreu Club Count: 29 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners: Brescia (Coppa Italia)
Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving! There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals. Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying. Loyal Players Remaining: 8 Abreu Club Count: 31 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners: Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)
2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me. Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career. Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either. Loyal Players Remaining: 7 Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners: Honduras (Gold Cup)
With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random. No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German. Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period. Loyal Players Remaining: 7 Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners: Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)
The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now! We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player. Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies. Loyal Players Remaining: 4 Abreu Club Count: 32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners: Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)
With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
Oscars 2021: An inside look (like, really inside) to 50 possible contenders in the next awards race
Another Oscar ceremony happened, and we got our fair share of joy and disappointment. After Parasite surprised the world and took Best Picture, it seems like the game has changed for the awards race, now that non-English speaking films can actually fight and be recognized as well as classics as… Green Book. The Oscar race is still full of pain and glory, and even though the year has barely started, we have a bunch of movies that are fighting for air. And here’s 50 of them. Yes, I had some free time in my hands and this is a cool hobby, so I took the liberty to introduce most of the movies that will have Film Twitter entertained for the following 12 months. I say most, because there are always contenders who come out of nowhere later in the year, so this is the starter set. Here we go. -Annette: Since Parasite’s road to the Oscars started at Cannes, it seems fair to talk about a movie that is circling a premiere in the world stage that is set in France. After delivering weird, indie classics like Mauvais Sang and Holy Motors (yes, the kind of movies that make you seem like a snob when you recommend them to people), Leos Carax is making his first movie spoken in the English language… and it has a musical screenplay written by the cult rock duo of Sparks. Recently robbed Adam Driver and previous Oscar winner Marion Cotillard sing in this tale of a stand-up comedian and a famous soprano singer who rise and fall in Los Angeles while their daughter is born with a special gift. It seems like a wild bet, but we already know that Carax is a master with musical moments, so this is one of the most intriguing question marks of the year. -Ammonite: It’s time to talk narratives. On the one hand, we have Kate Winslet, a known name who hasn’t been very successful in the Oscar race since her Oscar win for The Reader over a decade ago (with the exception being her supporting performance in Steve Jobs, where she had a weird accent). On the other, we have Saoirse Ronan, a star on the rise who keeps collecting Oscar nominations, with 4 nods at the age of 25, including her fresh Best Actress loss for Little Women. What happens if we put them together in a drama set in the coasts of England during the 19th century where both of them fall for each other? That’s gonna be a winning formula if writedirector Francis Lee (who tackled queer romance in his acclaimed debut God’s Own Country) nails the Mary Anning story, and Neon (the distribution company founded three years ago that took Parasite to victory) is betting on it. -Benedetta: We know the Paul Verhoeven story. After isolating himself from Hollywood for over a decade, he took Isabelle Huppert to an Oscar nominated performance with the controversial, sexy, dark and funny thriller Elle. Now, he’s back with another story that perks up the ears, because now he’s covering the life of Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century lesbian nun who had religious and erotic visions. If you know Paul, you already can tell that this fits into his brand of horniness, and a possible Cannes premiere could tell us if this has something to carry itself to Oscar night. -Blonde: With a short but impactful directorial credits list that takes us from Chopper, to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik is back with a film about Marilyn Monroe, a woman who has transcended the ideas of fame and stardom, in ways that are glamorous and nightmarish at the same time. After failing to launch with Naomi Watts or Jessica Chastain,the rising Ana de Armas takes the lead in the retelling of Monroe’s troubled life based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, which is said to be covered in the screenplay as somewhat of a horror movie. We don’t know what that means yet, but Netflix is gonna push hard for this one, especially considering how the Academy loves throwing awards to stars playing previous stars, and that also can possibly include co-stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody. -Breaking News in Yuba County: While he hasn’t gone back to the heights of his success achieved by the box office and award success of The Help (a movie that did not age well), Tate Taylor is still enjoying himself economically due to recent thrillers like The Girl on the Train and Ma. For his next movie, he’s made a dramedy that once again reunites him with Oscar winner Allison Janney, where she plays a woman who has to keep appearances and a hidden body when she catches her husband cheating on her, and then he dies of a heart attack. With a cast that also includes Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Awkwafina, Samira Wiley, Wanda Sykes, Jimmi Simpson and Ellen Barkin, this could be a buzzy title later this year. -C’mon C’mon: You may love or hate whatever Joaquin Phoenix did in Joker, but you can’t deny the benefit of playing the Crown Prince of Crime in an Oscar-winning performance. The blank check that you share with indie directors afterwards. Now that Joaquin’s cultural cachet is on the rise, Mike Mills gets to benefit with this drama that stars Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann, with him playing an artist left to take care of his precocious young nephew as they forge an unexpected bond over a cross country trip. We only have to wonder if A24 will do better with this movie’s Oscar chances compared to 20th Century Women. -Cherry: After killing half the universe and bringing them back with the highest grossing movie of all time, where do you go? For Joe and Anthony Russo, the answer is “away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The Russo brothers are trying to distance themselves and prove that they have a voice without Kevin Feige behind them, with a crime drama that’s also different than their days when they directed You, Me and Dupree or episodes of Arrested Development and Community. To help them in the journey, they took Tom Holland (who also needs to distance himself from Spider-Man, lest he ends up stuck to the character in the audience’s eyes) to star in a crime drama based on former Army medic Nico Walker’s memoir about his days after Iraq, where the PTSD and an opioid addiction led him to start robbing banks. -Da 5 Bloods: After bouncing back from a slump with the critical and commercial success of BlackKklansman, Spike Lee is cashing a Netflix check to tell the tale of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure. With a cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Paul Walter Hauser and Chadwick Boseman, this sounds like an interesting combo, although we still should remember the last time that Spike tried his hand at a war movie, with the dull Miracle at St. Anna. -Dune: If you are on Reddit, you probably know about the new film by movies’ new Messiah, Denis Villeneuve. While the epic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert is getting a new chance in the multiplexes after that David Lynch movie that was forgotten by many, some are hoping that this will be the beginning of a new franchise (as seen by the release date of December 18, taking the spot of the usual Star Wars opening), and a return to the whole “remember when stuff like Return of the King or Fury Road were nominated for Best Picture?” question. Timothee Chalamet will be riding a lot of hope, and sandworm. -Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: As you start to see, there are several musicals that are gonna be fighting for attention over the next year, and Annette was the first one. Now, we also have this adaptation of the hit West End production, that centers around a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar Brits (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), the creative team of the stage musical will jump to the big screen with the help of Fox Searchlight (sorry, just Searchlight), who has clear Oscar hopes with a release date right in the middle of awards heat, on October 23. -Hillbilly Elegy: Even though the Parasite victory gave many people hope for a new Academy that stops recognizing stuff like previous winner Green Book… let’s be honest, the Academy will still look for movies like Green Book. This year, many people are turning their eyes towards Ron Howard’ adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio, filled with drugs, violence and verbal abuse. If this sounds like white trash porn, it doesn’t help to know that Glenn Close, who has become the biggest living Oscar bridesmaid with seven nominations, will play a character called Mamaw. And if that sounds trashy, then you have to know that Amy Adams, who follows Glenn with six nominations, is playing her drug-addicted, careless daughter. I don’t want to call this “Oscar bait”, but it sure is tempting. -I’m Thinking of Ending Things: After his stopmotion existential dramedy Anomalisa got him a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars but at the same time bombed at the box office, Charlie Kaufman is getting the Netflix check. This time, he’s adapting the dark novel by Iain Reid, about a woman (Jessie Buckley, who is on the rise and took over the role after Brie Larson had to pass) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), in a trip that takes a turn for the worse. If Kaufman can deliver with this one, it will be a big contender. -In the Heights: Yes, more musicals! This time, it’s time to talk about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony-winning musical, that was overshadowed because of his other small play about some treasury secretary. Now, his Broadway ensemble tale about life in a neighborhood in Washington Heights is jumping to the movie screen with Jon Chu at the helm, following the success of Crazy Rich Asians. This Latino tale mixes up-and-comers like Anthony Ramos (who comes straight from Hamilton and playing Lady Gaga’s friend in A Star is Born), names like Corey Hawkins and Jimmy Smits (who is pro bits), and Olga Merediz, who starred in the Broadway show as Abuela Claudia and who could be the early frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress, if Chu allows her to shine like she did onstage. -Jesus Was My Homeboy: When looking at up-and-coming Black actors right now in Hollywood, two of the top names are Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield, who already appeared in the same movie in Get Out, which earned Kaluuya a Best Actor nomination. This time, they share the screen in Shaka King’s retelling of the story of Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader… as well as the story of William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent by J. Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the party and arrest him. With the backing of Warner Bros, this will attempt to make an impact with a clash of actors that will have to fight with an August release date, not the ideal time to release an awards movie. -King Richard: Starting with Suicide Squad, Will Smith has been trying to prove that he’s back and better than ever. Some attempts to get back to the top of the A-list (Aladdin, Bad Boys For Life) have worked, while others (Gemini Man, Spies in Disguise)... have not. But Will is still going, and now he’s going for his next prestige play as he plays Richard Williams, the coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena, who pushed them to their full potential. While it’s weird that the father of the Williams sisters is getting a movie before them, it does sound like a meaty role for Smith, who has experience with Oscar notices with sports biopics because of what he did with Michael Mann in Ali. Let’s hope director Reinaldo Marcus Green can take him there too. -Last Night in Soho: Every year, one or two directors who have a cool reputation end up in the Dolby Theatre, and 2020 could be the year of Edgar Wright. After delivering his first big box office hit with Baby Driver, the Brit is going back to London to tell a story in the realm of psychological horror, which has been supposedly inspired by classics like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. With a premise that supposedly involves time travel and a cast that includes Anya-Taylor Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg, Wright (who also co-wrote this with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was just nominated for Best Original Screenplay for her work in 1917) is making a big swing. -Let Them All Talk: Every year there’s more new streaming services, and that also means that there’s new players in the Oscar game. To secure subscribers to the new service, HBO Max has secured the rights to the next Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges, again) in a journey to find fun and come to terms with the past. The last time that Soderbergh and Streep worked together, the end result was the very disappointing The Laundromat. Let’s hope that this time everything works out. -Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Now that Netflix got the deal to adapt August Wilson’s acclaimed plays with Denzel Washington’s production company, the next jump from the stage to the screen is a meaty one. Viola Davis is playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, with a cast that also includes Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo. The Tony nominated play talked about race, art and the intersection of the two, and it’s gonna be explosive to see that unfold on screen, even if director George C. Wolfe’s previous filmography isn’t very encouraging. -Macbeth: In a shocking development, the Coen brothers are no more. Well, just this time. For the first time in his career, Joel Coen is making a movie without Ethan, and it’s a Shakespeare adaptation. Denzel Washington is playing the man who wants to be king of Scotland, and Frances McDormand is playing his Lady Macbeth. While this just started filming and it will be a race to finish it in time for competition in the awards race, the potential is there, and this project has everybody’s attention. -Mank: After scoring 24 Oscar nominations and only winning 2 awards last Sunday, Netflix has to wonder what else must they do to get in the club that awards them. They tried with Cuarón, they tried with Scorsese, they tried with Baumbach, they tried with two Popes, and they still feel a barrier. Now, the big gamble for awards by the streamer in 2020 comes to us in the hands of David Fincher, who is basically their friend after the rest of Hollywood denied him (Disney dropped his 20,000 Leagues adaptation, HBO denied the US remake of Utopia, and Paramount drove World War Z 2 away from him). In his first movie since 2014’s Gone Girl, David will go black and white to tackle a script by his late father about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. Will the Academy fall for the ultimate “power of da moviesshhh” story? -Minari: Sundance can be hit or miss with the breakout films that try to make it to the Oscars. However, you can’t deny the waves made by A24 when they premiered Lee Isaac Chung’s new drama there, ending up winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition. If Parasite endeared Academy voters to Korean families, Steven Yeun hopes that the same thing happens with this story, where he plays a father in the ‘80s who suddenly decides to move his family to Arkansas to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, we must also remember that last year, A24 had in their hands The Farewell, another Sundance hit about an Asian family that ended up with no Oscar nominations. Let’s hope that this time, the Plan B influence (remember, that’s Brad Pitt’s production company, of Moonlight and 12 Years a Slave fame) makes a difference. -Next Goal Wins: It’s a good time to be Taika Waititi. Why? Taika Waititi can do what he wants. He can direct a Thor movie, he can win an Oscar for writing a comedy set in WW2 about a Third Reich boy who has an Imaginary Hitler friend, or he can pop up in The Mandalorian as a droid. Taika keeps winning, and he wants more. Between his press tour for Jojo Rabbit and his return to the MCU, he quickly shot an adaptation of a great documentary about the disgraced national team of American Samoa, one of the worst football teams known to man, as they try to make the cut for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Everybody loves a good sports comedy, and Searchlight bets that we’ll enjoy this story led by Michael Fassbender as the new (and Dutch-American) coach in town who tries to shape the team for victory. -News of the World: Seven years after their solid collaboration in Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks reunite for more awards love in what seems to be Universal’s main attraction for the Oscars. This time, Hanks stars in a Western drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel where he plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. With a Christmas release date, Universal is betting big in getting the same nomination boost that 1917 is enjoying right now, and the formula is promising. -Nightmare Alley: Following his Best Picture and Best Director wins for The Shape of Water, everybody in Hollywood wondered what would Guillermo del Toro do next. Well, as Del Toro often does, a little bit of everything and nothing. Some projects moved (as his produced Pinocchio movie on Netflix, or his Death Stranding likeness cameo), others stalled and die (like his proposed Fantastic Voyage remake). But now he’s rolling on his next project, a new adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel that already was a Tyrone Power film in 1947. This noir tale tells the story of a con man (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to trick people and win money, and how things get out of control. With a cast that also includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara and more, this could play well if it hits the right tone. -Nomadland: There’s breakout years, and then there’s the amazing potential of Chloe Zhao’s 2020. On the one hand, after making Hollywood notice her skill with the gripping story of The Rider, she got the keys to the MCU kingdom to direct the next potential franchise of Kevin Feige, The Eternals. And just in case, she also has in her sleeve this indie drama that she wrote and directed beforehand, with two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand playing a woman who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. If Chloe nails these two films, it could be the one-two punch of the decade. -One Night in Miami: Regina King is living her best life. Following her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk and the success that came with her lead role in the Watchmen show on HBO, the actress is jumping to a new challenge: directing movies. For her big screen debut, she’s adapting Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, between Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown. -Over the Moon: After earning praise and Oscar nominations with I Lost My Body and Klaus, Netflix will keep its bet on animated movies with a film directed by the legendary Glen Keane. Who? A classic Disney animator responsible for the design of characters like Ariel, the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and more](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jRkx2PNVr8), and who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, which he co-directed with the late Kobe Bryant. Now, he brings us a musical adventure centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess. -Passing: It’s always interesting when an actor jumps behind the camera, and Rebecca Hall’s case is no exception. For her directorial debut, Hall chose to adapt Nella Larsen’s acclaimed novel set in Harlem in the 1920s, about two mixed race childhood friends (Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson) who reunite in adulthood and become obsessed with one another's lives. With a premise that explores tough questions about race and sexuality, it looks like a tricky challenge for a first timer, but it would be more impressive if Hall manages to rise over the challenge. -Prisoner 760: An interesting part of following the awards circuit is looking at when it's appropriate to talk about touchy subjects in recent history. I’m saying that because this next movie tells the real life tale of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), a man who, despite not being charged or having a set trial, is held in custody at Guantanamo Bay, and turns towards a pair of lawyers (Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley) to aid him. Based on the famous journal that the man wrote while he was being detained, the movie (that also counts with Benedict Cumberbatch) is directed by Kevin Macdonald who, a long time ago, helped Forest Whitaker win Best Actor for The Last King of Scotland. Could he get back in the race after almost 15 years of movies like State of Play? -Raya and the Last Dragon: This year, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ bet for the Oscars is a fantasy tale set in a mysterious realm called Kumandra, where a warrior named Raya searches for the last dragon in the world. And that dragon has the voice of Awkwafina. Even though they missed out last Oscars when Frozen II got the cold shoulder by the Academy in Best Animated Feature, this premise looks interesting enough to merit a chance. One more thing: between last year’s Abominable, Over the Moon and this movie, there’s a clear connection of animated movies trying to appeal to Chinese sensibilities (and that sweet box office). -Rebecca: It’s wild to think that the only time that Alfred Hitchcock made a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture was with 1940’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel, more muted and conventional than his more known classics. Now, Ben Wheatley and Netflix are giving the Gothic story a new spin, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife, the mysterious Rebecca. The story is a classic, and we have to see how much weird Wheatley stuff is in the mix. -Red, White and Water: Between 2011 and 2014, Jennifer Lawrence was everywhere and people loved it. She was America’s sweetheart, the Oscar winner, Katniss Everdeen. But then, everything kinda fell. Those X-Men movies got worse and she looked tired of being in them, her anecdotes got less charming and more pandering to some, she took respectable risks that didn’t pay off with Red Sparrow and Mother!, and some people didn’t like that she said that it wasn’t nice to share private photos of her online. Now, she looks to get back to the Oscar race with a small project funded by A24 and directed by Lila Neugebauer in her film debut, about a soldier who comes back to the US after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. Also, Brian Tyree Henry is in this, and it would be amazing if he got nominated for something. -Respect: You know what’s a surefire way to get Academy voters’ attention? Play a real singer! Rami Malek took a win last year for playing Freddie Mercury, Renee Zellweger just won the gold after portraying Judy Garland, and now Jennifer Hudson wants more Oscar love. Almost 15 years after taking Best Supporting Actress for her role in Dreamgirls, Hudson will try to get more by playing soul legend Aretha Franklin, in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy that practically screams “give me the gold”. How am I so sure? Well, see the teaser that they released in December (for a movie that opens in October), and tell me. It will work out better for Hudson than Cats, that’s for sure. -Soul: Unless they really disappoint (I’m looking at you, The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2 and Cars 3), you can’t have the Oscars without inviting Pixar to the party. This year, they have two projects in the hopes of success. While in a few weeks we’ll see what happens with the fantasy family road trip of Onward, the studio’s biggest bet of the year clearly is the next existential animation written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (voice of Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a promising first trailer, and it also promises a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as new songs by Jon Batiste. The only downside so far for the marketing was the fact that the trailer reveal led people to notice a suspicious trend involving black characters when they lead an animated movie. -Tenet: When Leonardo DiCaprio finally touched his Academy Award, an alarm went off in the mind of a portion of Internet users, who have made their next crusade to give themselves to the cause of getting Christopher Nolan some Oscar love. And his next blank check, an action thriller involving espionage and time travel, could pull off the same intersection of popcorn and prestige that made Inception both a box office hit and a critically acclaimed Oscar nominee. It helps to have a cast of impressive names like John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson, as well as a crew that includes Ludwig Goransson and Hoyte van Hoytema. In other words, if this becomes a hit, this could go for a huge number of nominations. -The Devil All the Time: As you may have noticed by now, Netflix is leading the charge in possible Oscar projects. Another buzzy movie that comes from them is the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos, a filmmaker known for delivering small and intimate but yet intense and terrifying dramas like Simon Killer and Christine. Using the novel by Donald Ray Pollock, Campos will follow non-linearly a cast of characters in Ohio between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, with the help of an interesting cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough. -The Eyes of Tammy Faye: After being known as a sketch comedy goofball because of The State, Wet Hot American Summer and Stella, Michael Showalter reinvented himself as a director of small and human dramedies like Hello, My Name is Doris and The Big Sick. For his next project, he’s gonna mix a little bit of both worlds, because he has before him the story of the televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain, who has been really trying to recapture her early ‘10 awards run to no avail) and Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield, who was previously nominated for Hacksaw Ridge, instead of Silence, because why). With a real life tale that involves Christian theme parks, fraud and conspiracies, this is the kind of loud small movie that Searchlight loves to parade around, especially as an actors showcase (Jojo Rabbit being the most recent example). The first image looks terrifying, by the way. -The Father: It’s weird to be in the middle of February and say that there’s already a frontrunner for the Best Actor race at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance a couple of weeks ago, every prognosticator pointed in the direction of Anthony Hopkins (recently nominated for Best Supporting Actor in The Two Popes), who delivers a harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). With reviews calling it a British answer to Amour (in other words: it’s a hard watch), Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play not only benefits from having Hopkins and Colman together as a selling point, because it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, a distributor with experience in getting Academy voters to watch adult movies with heavy themes. If you don’t believe me, watch how they got Julianne Moore a win for Still Alice, as well as recent nominations for Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Glenn Close for The Wife, and Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. They know the game, and they are going to hit hard for Hopkins and Colman. -The French Dispatch:If you saw the trailer, we don’t need to dwell too much on the reasons. On the one hand, we have the style of Wes Anderson, a filmmaker who has become a name in both the critics circle and the casual viewer, with his last two movies (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Isle of Dogs) earning several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture for the one with Gustave H. Then, we have a long cast that goes from the director’s regulars like Bill Murray to new stars like Timothee Chalamet, and also includes people like Benicio del Toro. The only thing that could endanger the Oscar chances for this is that the story, an anthology set around a period comedy with an European riff on The New Yorker, will alienate the average Academy member. -The Humans: There’s the prestige of a play, and then there’s the prestige of a Tony-winning play. Playwright Stephen Karam now gets to jump to the director’s chair to take his acclaimed 2016 one-act story to the big screen, and A24 is cutting the check. Telling the story of a family that gets together on Thanksgiving to commiserate about life, this adaptation will be led by original performer Jayne Houdyshell (who also won a Tony for her stage performance), who’ll be surrounded by Richard Jenkins, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Steven Yeun and June Squibb. If it avoids getting too claustrophobic or stagey for the cinema, it will be a good contender. -The Last Duel: Always speedy, Ridley Scott is working on his next possible trip to the Oscars. This time, it’s the telling of a true story in 14th-century France, where a knight (Matt Damon) accuses his former friend (Adam Driver) of raping his wife (Jodie Comer), with the verdict being determined by the titular duel. It’s a juicy story, but there was some concern when it seemed that the script was only being written by Damon and Ben Affleck (who’ll also appear in the film). A rape story written by them after the Weinstein revelations… not the best look. But then, it was revealed that they were writing the screenplay with indie figure Nicole Holofcener, who last year was nominated for an Oscar for her script for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Let’s hope that the story is told in a gripping but not exploitative way, and that it doesn’t reduce the role of Comer (who deserves more than some of the movie roles that she’s getting after Killing Eve) to a Hollywood stereotype. -The Power of the Dog: We have to talk about the queen of the indie world, we have to talk about Jane Campion. More than a decade after her last movie, Bright Star, the Oscar and Palme d’Or winner for The Piano returns with a non-TV project (see Top of the Lake, people) thanks to Netflix, with a period drama centered around a family dispute between a pair of wealthy brothers in Montana, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons), after the latter one marries a local widow (Kirsten Dunst). According to the synopsis, “a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn”. Can’t wait to see what that means. -The Prom: Remember the Ryan Murphy blank check deal with Netflix that I mentioned earlier? Well, another of the projects in the first batch of announcements for the deal is a musical that he’ll direct, adapting the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (now played by the one and only Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and, uh, James Corden, for some reason) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. The show has been considered a fun and heartwarming tale of acceptance, so the movie could be an easy pick for an average Academy voter who doesn’t look too hard (and you know that the Golden Globes will nominate the shirt out of this). It’s funny how this comes out the same year than Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and then it’s not funny realizing that Film Twitter will pit the two movies against each other. -The Trial of the Chicago 7: After getting a taste of the director’s taste with Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin wants more. For his second movie, he’s tackling one of his specialties: a courtroom drama. And this one is a period movie centered around the trial on countercultural activists in the late ‘60s, which immediately attracts a campaign of how “important” this movie is today’s culture. To add the final blow, we have a cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance. If Sorkin can contain himself from going over the top (and with that cast, it would be so easy to surrender to bouts of screaming and winding speeches), this could be one of the top contenders. -Those Who Wish Me Dead: Having made a good splash in the directorial waters with Wind River, Taylor Sheridan (also known for writing the Sicario movies, the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water or that Yellowstone show that your uncle raves about on Facebook) returns with yet another modern Western. For this thriller based on the Michael Koryta novel, Angelina Jolie stars as a survival expert in the Montana wilderness who is tasked with protecting a teenager who witnessed a murder, while assassins are pursuing him and a wildfire grows closer. -Untitled David O. Russell Project: Following the mop epic Joy, that came and went in theaters but still netted a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence, the angriest director in Hollywood took a bit of a break (it didn’t help that he tried to do a really expensive show with Amazon starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore that fell apart when the Weinstein exposes sank everything). Now, he’s quickly putting together his return to the days of Oscar love that came with stuff like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, with a new movie that is set to star Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and Michael B. Jordan. Even though we don’t know many details (some people are saying the movie is called Amsterdam) except for the fact the movie hasn’t started shooting yet, David is a quick guy, so he’ll get it ready for the fall festival circuit. If there’s one thing that David O. Russell knows (apart from avoid getting cancelled for abusing people like Lily Tomlin, Amy Adams and his niece), it’s to make loud actor showcases. -Untitled Nora Fingscheidt Project: When Bird Box became one of the biggest hits on Netflix history, the streamer decided to keep itself in the Sandra Bullock business. Sandy’s next project for Ted Sarandos is a drama where she plays a woman who is released from prison after serving time for a violent crime, and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. To get redemption, she searches her younger sister she was forced to leave behind. With the direction of Fingscheidt, who comes from an acclaimed directorial debut with Systemsprenger (Germany’s submission to the last Academy Awards), and a cast that also includes Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jon Bernthal, this will also hopefully try its luck later this year. -Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project: We don’t know if this movie will be ready for the end of the year (although last time, he managed to sneak Phantom Thread under the buzzer and earn several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture), but PTA is apparently gonna start to shoot it soon, with the backing of Focus Features. After several movies with prestige locations and intricate production design, Film Twitter’s Holy Spirit will go back to the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, to tell the story of a high school student who is also a successful child actor. -Stillwater: Tom McCarthy’s recent career is certainly puzzling. After delivering the weird lows of The Cobbler, he bounced back with the Best Picture winner that was Spotlight. And following that, he… helped produce the 13 Reasons Why series. And following that… he made Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, a Disney+ original movie. Now, he’s back to the award race with a drama starring Matt Damon, who plays a father who rushes from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter (Abigail Breslin), who is in prison after being suspected for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. -West Side Story: To close things, we have to see one of the possible big contenders of the season, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the iconic musical that translates Romeo and Juliet to the context of a street gang war in 1950s New York. While the decision to adapt again something that has been a classic both in Broadway and in movie theaters almost 60 years ago is a challenge, the idea of Spielberg doing a musical closer to the stage version with Tony Kushner as the writer is too tempting for the average Academy voter, who is already saving a spot in major categories in case Steven nails it in December. However, there’s two question marks. First, how well will Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler stand out in the roles of Tony and Maria? And second, will In the Heights steal some of the thunder of this movie by being, you know, more modern?
[Translation] Which La Liga club fits each Premier League team?
Good morning lads and lassies of soccer. To celebrate that the Bundesliga finally comes back I bring you the transcripton/translation of a pretty interesting video I had watched some time ago, related (and literally titled) "Which La Liga team fits each team of the Premier League?" Now, I know the issue about fans that have simpathy for "second" teams is polarizing and as we all know after last year, it can become something completely vomitive, but this video is indeed trying to give fans of Spanish clubs reasons to like a particular English club, and with that said, tbh I believe at the end of the day most fans, plastic or not, do feel at least some simpathy for some clubs above others excluding their own. From the small town fan who supports their local club but also the "big" team that challenges for the league in the top division, to the Ultra that hates every club of their country that isn't his but do likes a foreign club of which he befriended their respective Ultras in the past, I'm pretty sure that most football fans do feel at least a bit of simpathy for some particular club of a foreign league. But well, that discussion shouldn't be the topic of this. The fact is that these Spaniards of the video do like particular English clubs and to guide other similar Spaniards analyzed the situation and created this "guidebook" about which Premier League club "currently" fits each La Liga club, and that is what will be shown here. With a last emphasis in the "currently", there's nothing else to say as preview. Just remember that these aren't my opinions and I'm only sharing what they decided.
Both have pretty big stadiums with almost the same capacity (52k and 53k respectively) that also coincidentally are in the center of their respectives cities, something that is laudable in these modern times where stadiums are being designed to be in the outskirts, and not few clubs are forced to traslate them from their original places because of the economical advantages.
And another thing that united them is that they are one of the few historical rich clubs that doesn't have a derby rival in their city. So, if you're born in Bilbao you better fucking support Athletic and there is no room for debate about it, and something similar happens in Newcastle. And in the same way, the derby that the clubs have actually have (Sunderland and Real Sociedad) goes beyond football and is a derby between the whole cities.
They faced each other in the 94/95 UEFA Cup Round of 16 and what highlights it was that it was an epic clash that ended in a global 3-3 draw where Athletic won thanks to away goals, and that in the second leg had a pitch invasion from Basque fans that after celebrating with their team, went to laud the away stand, as the English visitors had been great and even cheered for Athletic after the end of the match, thing that a lot of old fans from both clubs would remember forever.
That match would be so iconic for some that Rob Lee, one of the best Newcastle players of the last decades, would require his farewell match for the Geordie team to be... against Athletic. And such wish was granted.
Crystal Palace & Getafe
Both are clubs from the south of the metropolitan areas of the capital of their countries. Selhurst for London and Getafe for Madrid respectively.
Both are managed by tacticians with a similar ethos: Bordalás and Hodgson. The parallels of both teams are easily spotted when you watch both teams: strong rigid defenders, fast strikers, sitting back and counterattacks, the whole 4-4-fucking-2 package, et al.
Vicente Guaita played for both teams, and in fact was directly tranferred from Madrid to London.
Both have blue as their main colour,
Liverpool & Real Madrid
Both are the Europeanroyalty of their respective leagues. Real Madrid is just the most successful in history and nobody comes close, while Liverpool has the double of Champions Leagues than the second most succesful English team and only Milan between them and Real.
Both stand out for their mentality and comebacks. Istanbul and Lisbon, for example, are among the most dramatic Champions League finals in the whole history. One team comeback from a 3-0 in the first half, the other tied and later won a match that they were losing until the 90'+3.
Xabi Alonso, Steve McManaman, Alvaro Arbeloa, Dudek, Antonio Núñez, Rafa Benitez, Michael Owen, Fernando Morientes and the greatest of all, Nuri Sahin, served in both clubs.
Both stand out for being the best teams of the 20th century in their countries by far, which nevertheless suffered many years of drought after the golden years until they eventually achieved an epic again, being Mijatovic's goal and the penalty saved by Dudek, the final actions that crowned them for the first time in decades as European champions for the seventh and fifth time, respectively.
Norwich & Valladolid
Both won the league cup of their countries in the same years (84/85).
Both highlight for the atypical colour of their kits (violet and yellow/green).
Both are the biggest teams of relatively isolated counties.
The two smallest stadiums of each league. Dean Court has a capacity of barely above 11,000 in a league where the average is above 40k, while the Municipal de Ipurua has only... 8164 seats.
Likewise, both are clubs from pretty small cities that almost nobody would know if it wasn't for their football teams. Lets just say that Eibar isn't exactly in the same tier of the other Basque cities like Bilbao, San Sebastian or Pamplona, while Bournemouth only has 190k inhabitants and was founded as recently as the 19th century, something strange for English standards.
And finally and ringing the same bells, they are two small teams that were promoted to the top tier for the first time ever in recent years (2014-15) to the first division, and that also coincidentally, have never descended from that time despite their (lack) of historical status.
Burnley & Alaves
Both are extremely physical and defensive teams that also highlight for their lack of possesion (the lowest and second lowest of their leagues respectively).
Turf Moor and the Estadio de Mendizorroza have almost exactly the same capacity (20k).
Both are clubs with over a century of history, however, both are currently united by their quick promotions of recent years. Few clubs do it each season, but those who climb two divisions practically in-a-row, even less.
The English club was in the third tier of the English pyramid from 2013 to 2017, after which they won the promotion to the Championship after becoming champions with 100 points. After that, they finished 10th in their first season there, just to assure the promotion in dramatic tones after Leeds implosion in the late stages of the 18/19 season.
Meanwhile the island club was even more epic in their promotions. After failing to Segunda B (the third tier of Spanish football) for the first time in 40 years, they fired everybody but 4 players, but still were able to win their local group of the division and later compete in the final play-offs that gave the promotion spots, and in that they first assured a promotion spot and later become champions of the division. And then? they arrived to the Second Division with the hopes of not being relegated, but overperformed and in an epic way assured the last position that gave a spot to the play-off for the final promotion spot, and despite losing 2-0 in the first leg of the final, the won 3-0 the second leg and completed their return from the Third Division to La Liga in the fastest possible way.
Finally but not less important, both have red in their kits.
Brighton & Levante
Both are small clubs from coastal towns.
Both won the promotion from the second division in 16/17.
Brighton logo shows a seagull and they're known as such.
Levante's coast has a record for having the biggest number of a certain breed of seagulls in the whole world.
Leicester & Villarreal
Both are clubs that are relatively small when it comes to historical status... and for the same reason both were part of some of the best underdogs stories of the world in recent decades.
Villarreal, the Yellow Submarine, comes from a small Valencian city of around 50k, and despite having a history of almost a century, they never reached the top division until 1998, just to be relegated in the same year. But they didn't gave up and came back to La Liga as quickly, and this time they stayed, and in what a way! Pellegrini's Villarreal spearheaded by Román Riquelme and Diego Forlán surprised Europa by ending third in La Liga just behind the Galacticos and Ronaldinho's Barca and won the right to play the 2005/06 Champions League, in what would end being their greatest moment in history so far by eventually reaching semifinals and barely losing the chance of playing the final in their first season thanks to some cursed penalties against the Arsene Wenger club. Even in defeat, the history that they made was epic as few others.
But one that actually was it even more was what Leicester did exactly 10 years later in the Premiership. From barely avoiding being relegated to win the whole league was a FIFA Career-esque story, and for the same it will be remembered forever.
And finally, what made even more iconic both legendary performances was the charisma of some of their players. Vardy, Forlán, Riquelme more precisely.
Southampton & Leganés
Southampton are called the Saints and their stadium is named St Mary's.
Leganes' stadium is called after a religious figure (Virgen de Butarque).
The Pozzo family: originally known from being the owners of Udinese in the Serie A, eventually the Italian family diversified their investments, first buying the small Spanish team in 2009, and later the English one in 2012. Because of financial reasons they sold their participation in Granada in the late 2016, aye, however, there was a timelapse that lasted years were both clubs where effectively in the same hands.
And for the same reasons, a number of players have been "property" of both clubs. Isaac Success and Adalberto Peñaranda the most iconic of them.
Chelsea & Atletico Madrid
Both are pretty big clubs in the capital but that have lived in the shadow of their historically bigger neighbour for more time than not, a certain Arsenal and Real Madrid respectively.
An impressive number of illustrious names have passed through both teams, and not few times from one to the other and even in some times back again: Fernando Torres, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Thibaut Courtois, Mateja Keman, Tiago Mendes, Maniche, Radamel Falcao, Jesper Grönkjaer, Hasselbaink, Morata, and more.
Both suffered for tragic defeats in the Champions League final, Chelsea in 2008, Atleti in 2014 (and 2016). One team had their captain slip and missed the crucial penalty, the other ended losing a final that was winning until the 90'+3. Coincidentally, all those finals were between teams from the same country.
Tottenham & Sevilla
Both have white jerseys.
Both were managed in recent years by Juande Ramos.
Both are famous because of their fierce rivalry with a neighbour, that makes them part of one of the most iconic derbies in their country.
Both are clubs that have a long history and that in recent years have had a pretty great period, but still weren't able to truly displace or replace the historically bigger clubs from their place.
Both are of the biggest clubs with the biggest fanbases of their country, and both are currently underperforming when you see their historical status, which enrages such fans.
Both have some of the worse owners that a big club that want sportive instead of just financial success could have, and that are one of the main causes of their decline in recent years: the Glazers and Peter Lim.
And fanbases of both clubs also hate the right-hand of their owners that is the most direct responsible of the sportive issues of their clubs: Anil Murthy and Ed Woodward.
Both are proud clubs with an illustrious history despite being the smaller club compared to their more famous neightbours, and also are clubs that these days suffer more time than not.
Both had their peak in the 80's, with Everton two leagues and one cup, exactly the same numbers than la Real. That decade would also be the last one when they had any major success, with Sociedad only being able to say that they ended second in the 02-03 La Liga and the Toffees with that they won a FA Cup in 95'.
Also of the first stages of the changes after the arrival of the Sheikh was the creation of a sports city for young players, imitating la Masia, probably the second most famous thing of the Spanish club.
And another was the bet for a female team, in what now both are powers, unlike their historical rivals that are shamefully far behind them on it despite their historical status.
Also beyond Pep there are other people that both clubs share: Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, financial director and sports director respectively of both teams in the past and now.
Claudio Bravo played for both, although with different kind of performances.
And finally, not a few Barcelona fans today complain that the closest thing to the Barca that touched the sky today is Manchester City.
West Ham & Espanyol
Both are clubs of a big city where there are bigger teams. West Ham is arguably the 4th biggest London club these days after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, while Espanyol are the second biggest but loyalist club of Barcelona, where there is a certain secessionist bigger Catalan club.
Both are clubs that have been almost all their history in the top division and yet have never won it. Likewise, both had their peaks and almost did it in the 80s, where both ended 3rd, in almost the same year (86' and 87').
Both were clubs that had an old stadium as traditional as loved (Estadi de Sarrià and the Upton Park) that were eventually replaced by stadiums built by the city for the Olympics (Espanyol eventually left his one though).
Both have never being relegated to the third division of their countries despite being some of the oldest clubs around.
Both are the club with most Mexicans of their league, Raul Jimenez vs Diego Lainez plus Andres Guardado respectively, what makes their teams far more popular than what they should in the CONCACAF giant.
Joey Guðjónsson and Alfred N'Diaye played for both clubs.
Six Portuguese have played for Betis in this century. Six Portuguese play for Wolves this season.
They played a friendly last year.
Aston Villa & Celta de Vigo
Both are related to the sky-blue colour.
Both clubs are characterized for having a player that is almost a demigod for the fans and club overall: Jack Grealish and Iago Aspas.
Those demigods are local players who have been fans of their club since they were children, and love them so much that played for them even in the second division.
The ranking of the most colourful characters in Polish football of the 21st century! Part 1/10, (91-100).
Here's the original: https://weszlo.com/2020/03/24/ranking-najbarwniejszych-postaci-xxi-wieku-91-100/ Polish football site Weszło.com made their ranking of 100 most colourful characters in polish football. I decided to translate its 1st part and, if there will be some interest in those stories, I will translate them all. So here we go: Polish football is full of colourful, unusual characters. Sometimes they are charismatic leaders, sometimes unforgettable heroes of anecdotes, sometimes it's just plain dickheads. Because we sit at home and get a little bored - we decided to gather all these colorful birds into one ranking. And here is a hundred of the most colourful figures of Polish football in the 21st century. What criteria did we choose? Basically - different. Sometimes we were guided by a person's influence on pop culture, sometimes by a multitude of strange stories, but also by charisma, charm or the level of an unusual CV. The most important thing is that this character is INTERESTING. We start from the bottom and every day we will throw in a tenth from our ranking (and I will translate it from time to time ~Bartoni17). We chose the form of the ranking with the classic division into places, but remember - it's more of a form of inviting you to a discussion and an excuse to remember the dozens of anecdotes provided by our colorful characters. We realize that it is impossible to compare Bogusław Leśnodorski to Zbigniew Boniek or Jarosław Królewski and Orest Lenczyk. The whole thing is totally discretionary, but we hope that we treated the participants of the series "Polish Football" honestly. We hope that you will smile a few times. Have a nice trip and... until tomorrow! 100. WILDE-DONALD GUERRIER & EMMANUEL SARKI An ideal kind of foreigners who come to the Polish Ekstraklasa. They raised its level? Undeniably. And at the same time they added some colour, although usually by actions which, hmm, are not MENSA references. When Wilde-Donald Guerrier came to the Wisła, he declared that faith is of great importance to him, he avoids parties and alcohol. And for a long time it was like that, until he came to know Emmanuel Sarki. Then he turned into a demon. The Kraków's clubs "Coco" and "Frantic" became the second home of the colourful two. There were legends about their erotic conquests, some cannot count the offspring that one of them left behind after a few years in Krakow. People from Wisła clutched their heads in disbelief when Wilde-Donald confessed that he was feeding the child... with raw meat. A few months old child, let's add. Wild Donald is the protagonist of the most absurd social media accident that happened to an Ekstraklasa footballer. He wanted to upload a picture of his jersey to Facebook, but he threw in a free photo of his cock. NSFW Sarki? Another incident that went down in history. In an interview for "Przeglad Sportowy" he revealed: - My great grandfather came to Nigeria from Haiti as a missionary. He died recently, at the age of 132. At the age of 132, which meant that Sarki's great-grandfather was the oldest man in human history. What's more, he beat the second oldest person by thirteen years! To make it even more funny, Sarki was a Nigerian of blood and bone, and that great-grandfather was supposed to have Haitian roots, which would allow the player to play in the Haitian national team. In the same national team that Wilde-Donald (a hundred percent Haitian) persuaded him to play. When Sarki's call-up to the team came to Kraków, the club asked for any documents confirming Sarki's relationship with Haiti. In response, Wisła read that... the federation is not yet able to send papers. But it will soon. Both of them were basically identical - a style for an „American rapper”, their own world, and not one by one in their heads. Guerrier had his own brand of clothing and loved cars. At one point in his life he had seven of them. Yes, at once. When one of the fans suggested under the picture of the Porsche Panamera that he should focus on playing instead of cars, he wrote briefly: - Fuck off. Saying goodbye to the White Star, he wrote to the fan that his mother was a prostitute. He lost himself in the cars to such an extent that one day a lift trucker appeared at the Wisła training. The footballer took a few leases on him, but forgot that... they still have to be paid off. Franz Smuda said that Sarki and Guerrier would send him to a psychiatrist. Watching the Wisła then had its peculiar charm - one of the Haitian aces was losing the ball, cameraman took a shot at Smuda, and he used his broken Polish-German-English to say the worst things to them. Once he shouted to one of them: - I'll kill you! Guerrier told the media about Borusia Dortmund's interest, Sarki about Galatasaray. Eventually the first one went to Alanyaspor, the second one - to AEL Limassol (and today he plays in the fourth league Odra Wodzisław). Guerrier leaving, tricked his agent, Daniel Weber, who did the transfer, but... when it came to signing, DG77 flew alone so he didn't have to share the commission. Well, it's no coincidence that he got the name "Wilde" from his parents - supposedly because he's been behaving in a wild way since his first days. 99. STANISLAV LEVY The Social One, Sultan of Olomouc, Denatured Midas. Imeprsonations in the commentaries on Weszło became classics. Probably the only coach in the Ekstraklasa, who had his club to tell him to get himself together, because a messy moustache, thinned haircut and a few days' beard were making associations for itself. And Levy himself din't look as a saint with his statements. Such as when he fainted during the match with Lech and during the live interview he admitted that he drank too little during the day. The image of taxi driver from Mielec was making a base for incredible stories invented by our readers. Loans taken for ID of Sylwester Patejuk, Wigry 3 bicycle trips, a struggle hanging in the air, the smell of excrements, purple ragweed, dog named Scrappy, Jerzy the Dwarf pawned in a pawn shop, moonshine made from rats, a sip of Blue Paris, Sigma Olomouc's tracksuit... We don't know if there was a better series of fake stories in the history of the Internet. But we're afraid not. And We don't think it will ever happen again. The Social One Maybe we should drop off some classics, because there may not be a better opportunity:
(London, Stamford Bridge Stadium. Journalists from all over the world are coming to a press conference, during which the owner of The Blues himself is to introduce a new manager. To the amazement of the journalists, Chelsea's coach turns out to be not Jose Mourinho, but a Czech coach from Olomouc, Stanislav Levy, champion of Albania and bronze medalist of the Polish Ekstraklasa. A nice moustacheman makes him call himself "The Social One". Stanislav's first decisions were to hire a new training staff: his new assistant is a man named Mietek, a sports director named Mirek, and his concubine is appointed as a Chelsea's spokesperson. Levy's first move on the transfer market is to hire "a young, forward-looking," 26-year-old left defender Patrik Mraz. The Czech also decides to cooperate with the Bohemians Prague. Unfortunately, as the conference progresses, the coach more and more often drinks an unidentified liquid from his drinker. With every sip, the Czech Mourinho seems to be more and more absent. Embarrassed by the situation, Abramovich significantly pulls him by the sleeve of his jacket... Then Stanislav opens his eyes. It turns out that he is not sitting but lying down, not on the Stamford Bridge, but in a social house. It is not the Russian oligarch who lint him by the sleeve, but the Scrappy Dog, while in front of him, instead of English journalists, he sees empty bottles and a worn sweatshirt that says "Hansa Rostock 1986". London can breathe with a sigh of relief - the drunken eldorado has still not crossed the English Channel.
again this month, careless games with a cigarette and a denaturate end in a fire in a social tenement house. The sound of fire sirens is intertwined with the sinister creaking of the Wigry 3 bicycle on which the creator of the Olomouc catenaccio moves away from the place of the event.
completely drunk trying to tear the grating from a confessor in the confessional, thinking it's a grating from a sewer, he curse, and waves his fists when he fails to get absolution on credit.
On Saturday morning on Wrocław pitches officials notice the lack of nets on goalposts, there are holes in the fences after cutting with pliers. The monitoring system shows that on each object 4 men break into the object and still effectively took off the nets 2x5m. The officials scratch their heads with a helpless face. On Saturday, near Olomouc by the lake, the first poaching collection is taken out of the football nets just after noon. The victims were sturgeons, perches, hurdles but also children from the Wrocław pitches.
When the Skoda 130L on the Olomouc registration was leaving Śląsk's stadium, many footballers breathed a sigh of relief. - He was able to criticize the team so much that I felt sorry for some boys. I understand the reprimand and sometimes I got it myself. But he would come and insult people. Coach Lenczyk was a very strict and demanding trainer, but he did not destroy people. Levy did," said Sebastian Mila. After all, they weren't footballers, they were pozoranty. 98. NICKI BILLE NIELSEN Lech Poznań boasted that they had thoroughly examined the Dane and knew everything about him. They knew this nut so well that they put him in an apartment right next to the Old Town. And it's a bit like locating a guy fighting a candy addiction between a Haribo shop and a chocolate drinker. No wonder that after Nicki Bille's transfer, the profits of the nearby pubs and fast food bars reached record levels. Kolejorz's attacker may not have left a beautiful card in statistics, but Wrocławska Street was rumbling during his stay in Poznań. We have heard from several people from Kolejorz, that he entered the first training games like a boar in an acorn. Bombardiero, as you look at it, scored against Termalica right at the beginning of the round and... later it was only worse. A muscle injury, then a mysterious nose fracture. The official version? A collision with a colleague in training. Unofficial version - boxing sparring on the town. Psychologically overwatched before transfer Nicki had no problem with organizing a trip to the capital, drink few stronger drinks and then driving in the car around the city. In this hooligan mode, Bille Nielsen's lifestyle was quite broad. He was interested in art, painting, movies and rather the more ambitious ones. It is only a pity that he was a weak footballer. But at least he could guarantee the show. During the official presentation on the club's website, he said that one thing he was sure of - he would never go to Legia. We immedietely thought that in his childhood, throwed darts at posters with Brychczy and Pisz. Later, he said that shooting a goal is better for him than sex, and if it went to Legia's net, it would actually be like an orgy. Well, in recent months he has been shooting so many goals in Poznan that all sport he has left he has to do at home. Nicki had even more interesting life after he left Lech. Fights, drugs, sex in public, almost shot off, threats to the doctor... Maybe he didn't become the Danish athlete of the year, but at least he had an interesting relationship at InstaStories. 97. ARKADIUSZ PIECH As effective on the pitch as outside of it. So, once he hit the right one, and once he didn't. In 2003, he and two of his buddies beat a 45-year-old. Firstly he and his mates threw some rocks on the victim's house, and when the guy, over 20 years older than the guys, went out to chase the kids away, the three assailants beat him with the rails pulled out of a nearby fence. Piech and his colleagues explained at the Police Station that it wasn't like that, they first had a contest in throwing stones at a distance and one of them accidentally fell in the garden of a 45-year-old man. He started to get angry, caught up with three guys, and an argument was started. The cops, didn't quite believe that a man with heart disease ran after the three guys. Eventually the earlier testimony was withdrawn by the attackers, Piech himself got a sentence - 1.5 years in prison, he got out after nine months. "Świdnica County Eagle" (he supposedly described himself as such) hit for the second time in 2014. The media circulated information that completely drunk Arkadiusz Piech (then the name given without the letters I, E, C and H) fell into the emergency room together with his injured colleague. As we read - the sniper from the Ekstraklasa did not like waiting for his turn, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. And it wasn't about changing queue numbers, but about the hit in the chin of the doctor. We heard various stories about Świdnica. That it can pull you in, and if you can't fight, you might have not the best stories from the city. Piech not only could fight, but he liked it. He was bragging about the connections in the Świdnica crime-world, the doctor mentioned above was supposed to be intimidated with the words "you know who the fuck I am and who I know?". We cannot deny Arek the colourfulness, although it is not the colour desired by mothers with future son-in-laws. 96. PIOTR LECH One fact is indisputable - he must love goalkeepeing. He started playing in 1986, finished... 30 years later, in 2016. In his last performance in the Ekstraklasa he was 40 years, 10 months and 28 days old. And then he played in the lower leagues for eight more years. If you believe in stories of a large number of Polish footballers, Piotr Lech would write the most interesting biography. More a legend of changing rooms than the media he never liked. A typical representative of the old school - a relaxed approach to lifestyle, first to the atmosphere and cloakroom mockery. In his book Szamotulski writes that Lech was one of the worst players in the history of the league in terms of lifestyle. Górnik once organized a meeting with a nutritionist. He asked the players how their breakfast looked like. Lech smiled: - A cigarette and a coffe. "Szamo" also describes another story about Lech: "He liked to play with fate. As a player in the Ruch Chorzów, he made a bet with Jacek Bednarz that he would jump over the car. What's worse, a moving car. "Benek" didn't believe it, and that's a mistake. When the accountant was going to the club with her Fiat126p, suddenly Piotr ran right in front of the hood and jumped as high as he could - at the same time pulling his legs up to his chest. The car went under him, and Lech claimed the prize. Another time Lech made a joke on Jacek Wiśniewski, to whom he proposed before the match "something good to stimulate". He glued a ball from a piece of paper and recommended to drink it with a liter of water. „Wiśnia” without asking what it was, swallowed and drank. After the match, friends ask: - Wiśnia, how's that?
Great! What was that? Great!
Another show? Shooting firecrackers in the locker room. It took a few seconds of silence for Lech to enter the game, boom! He could see the victim and chase him with those firecrackers - the more fearful someone was, the more fun Lech had. Lech was also non-predictible on the pitch - he happened to hit Dariusz Wdowczyk, then Legia's coach, after a match in which, according to Lech and the whole GKS Bełchatów, the referee whistled suspiciously biased. He instructed the young ones, as Rafał Gikiewicz, for example, tells us: - Don't be a cunt! Get out from the goal, even if you make one mistake for five actions, they will still remember that you defended four! Believe it or not - in those days Lech was a legend of many locker rooms. 95. PRZEMYSŁAW CECHERZ We regret that we can't find the statistics of sending coaches back to the stands. Cecherz would have dominated over the rest of the stake with a lead worthy of Liverpool in the current season. Maybe only Ryszard Tarasiewicz would be able to compete with him. The author of perhaps the most famous rant of referees work at the memorable press conference after the match between Olimpia Grudziądz and Sandecja Nowy Sącz. - I don't know why. I have no idea. Maybe beacause of a weakness? Mister... In the match, show eleven cards? ELEVEN? Now, in the match, when two footballers meet with their heads, the card goes to two. And in my match only Szufryn got it. Why? Because he's weak. Can I swear? Because he's fucking weak. Or biased. Or biased... Why does he see two punishments one way and not for us? I'm asking. This is a situation that decides about a picture of a whole game. Am I afraid of those words? Sir, I'm afraid of God, no one else - Cecherz shot like a rifle. RANT – you really don't have to understand any of this to be scared of him xD He was also famous for the drying in the locker room. Sometimes trash cans and bottles were flying. Once at a press conference the stewards had to come to watch over furious Cecherz. He could shoot a whip over the players heads. Once, during a trip to the game, Michał Chrapek was quietly went to KFC. He tried to explain that he didn't eat anything there, that he just drank a milkshake. - I'll give you a fucking shake! You got your whole face in a coat! - Coach erupted. 94. NENAD BJELICA Maybe he didn't leave a full trophy cabinet in Poznań, but he made the Polish ball richer with texts that have permanently entered the language of the Polish Ekstraklasa. Whoever hasn't thrown "cirkus and skandaloza" at least once, doesn't know life and sleeps head to toes. You can say a lot about Bjelica - that the coach was not bad (maybe even very good), that he did not achieve successes in Lech, that he was sometimes impulsive. But you can't deny him one thing - he was damn expressive. When he made a thesis, he defended it until he fell. When, after Lech lost with Utrecht, he said that he was proud of the players, he teared up with everyone who dared to question the importance of this success. When he didn't like the VAR, he put on a castet for every verbal skirmish with a supporter of video-verification. Oh, circus and skandaloza is just the top of what we remember him from. Well, because Nenad happened to complain about the weather ("the temperature wasn't perfect") or throw himself almost with his fists to the fans (lost in Szczecin, the team manager had to separate him from the visitors' sector). Referees sent him to the stands regularly – one time he teased Kibu Vicuna, Jan Urban's assistant in Śląsk. Once he said to the referee "Jebe ti mater (I fuck your mother in Croatian, as you can expect, completely understandable phrase for Polish referee), what the fuck have I done?!". He also decided that the Poznań journalists should play with Lech to one goal, and if Kolejorz reaches for the championship, then with their participation. Bjelica's testosterone level was way above normal. And at the same time - when he cooled down and put aside his emotions - he was one of the most pleasant people in Polish football. 93. RICARDO SA PINTO When he was signing the contract, it was not known if it will be better with Legia, but you could bet on something else - that it will be more interesting. He had a rich resume, but also a patch of the troublemaker, who can only last a few months in one place. And what a surprise - in Legia he turned out to be a troublemaker who only lasted a few months. But even those few months were enough for him to argue with the whole world. Even with people as conflict-free as Waldemar Fornalik (!), with whom the Portuguese stood during the match to a little fight, just like with Michał Probierz. He was disturbed by everything - the church bells next to the Legia training field, which he ordered to be silenced. The advertising bands around the bench, which he willingly treated from his shoe. The pitch at Łazienkowska Street, which condition he openly criticised. The VAR system and the referees, who got the worst treatment from him at every possible opportunity. But also the older players he kicked out of Legia without regret - Michał Pazdan, Krzysztof Mączyński or Arkadiusz Malarz. He did not even trust his co-workers and he happened to throw out Polish members of the training staff from the briefing room. He even had a fight with journalists who had been with the Legia for years and who decided to insult Sa Pinto by coming to the training camp in Portugal. The coach cut them off from everything (even the photojournalists), and when he found out that one of the newspapers had been accommodated above his room, he put the whole hotel personnel on full alert and had the insolent writers evicted. In fact, Iza Koprowiak from "PS" even couldn't ask questions at official press conferences. In her articles we could read about the sick rules that the Portuguese introduced. Not answering the phone from the staff? A few hundred euros penalty. Distancing yourself from Warsaw by 30 kilometres? The penalty. Sa Pinto didn't even respect his assistants, who he once ordered at 11 p.m. to go to the stadium for a cosmetic bag he forgot. We don't even mention such actions as throwing muddy shoes to a warehouse worker. And we were not at all surprised by the recording, which circulated the Internet a moment after the release of Sa Pinto from the Legia, in which Richard the Lionheart was invited out from the plane. Probably someone got a problem with him again! 92. STANISLAV SALAMOVICH CHERCHESOV Igor Lewczuk: - In the preparatory period before the season during Cherchesov's era, the warm-up was more tiring than the main training with other coaches. Marcin Komorowski: - It's the hardest preparation I've ever participated in, I don't think it's possible to train more. He was able to make a dryer in the locker room after a 2:1 victory over the Zagłębie Lubin, and he was also able to pat the players on the shoulder after a defeat with Termalica and say that football is sometimes like that. He suspected Ivica Vrdoljak about simulating an injury, he said something back to him, and since Cherchesov's hierarchy in the team was clear, Cherchesov only responded to the footballer with blaclisting him from a camp where Legia was at that time. In Legia they laughed that he train players like dogs. Stories from the football-fiction series made a sensation, in which Cherchesov with a bear on the chain rushes players to intervals. Whatever the appraisal - the attitude and way of being fit into these imaginary stories like to no other coach. Well, imagine such a story with - let's say - Jacek Magiera. It would come out comically, and with Cherchesov - even being aware of the absurdity of this story - it did not seem so abstract. There was a lot of truth in the stories about the football player puking after training with Stani. His approach to players can be summed up by the story of when, after Legia, he wanted to put Roman Pavlyuchenko into play, who had a broken arm. Cherchesov only asked: - Wait, he plays with his hands or feet? Cherchesov with his players He also trained journalists - just a memorable skirmish with Żelisław Żyżyński (yes, that's a Polish name) in a pre-match interview, or a classic from the conference 'gentlemen, the end of these questions, we have a plane right away'. The trainings were closed, for exceeding the allowed quarter of an hour to watch Legia trainings, journalists were to pay "a few euros penalty, because in Legia a new era began also for journalists". Bloody Stan from distant Ossetia chewed on the nails and desires of his opponents. Bogusław Leśnodorski (one of Legia's owners at the time), who defined his role in the Legia accurately, stated that a certain group of people, under certain circumstances, needs this type of boss. Legia took a task-seeker who was to give her the crown of the Ekstaklasa twice for the centenary of the club and eventually he gave it. But in the long run it was difficult to work with him. And we're not just talking about footballers who would probably withstand a maximum of one more round with him, and then you would have to give them to Ciechocinek healt resort. Cherchesov didn't even care for club academy, which he called a "kindergarten". And this in an interview on the official Legia club website. In the same conversation, the eternally injured Mateusz Szwoch was sent to learn to play the violin. 91. JACEK WIŚNIEWSKI When he was going out to the presentation in Górnik Zabrze, he joked that he "bumped into a crooked snout", and when the fans were taking pictures with him, he suggested, with a smile, that you have to turn the camera to make the photo come out normally. You shouldn't judge people by their appearance, but Jacek Wiśniewski's appearance... says everything about him. A killer on pitch who played in over 200 games in the Ekstraklasa. He's talking about himself - "chopping lumberjack." In the locker room they joked that as a kid he chewed raw beef instead of gum. He was not a virtuoso, but in every club he was extremely respected. A lot about Wiśniewski is said by the situation from GKS Jastrzębie. A field clash, "Wiśniewski" on the ground, a bone breaks in his wrist. When the doctor sees this injury, he immediately reports the change on behalf of the player.
No, no, no change! - Wiśniewski protests and... plays the game to the end. With a broken arm, wrapped in a bandage.
After the match, he said that he will train normally this week. Plaster? He can wear it if the referees let him run out on the pitch in it. And since the rules forbid playing with plaster, he stands on an elastic bandage. For Górnik Zabrze he was able to give back a lot. He declared that he would come to this club on his knees. We once asked if it was true that for eight years he had played in Górnik for three thousand złotys (around 600-700 euros) - No. I'm honestly saying that the last two years they raised me to five - he answered with a smile. Do you already understand why he was the perfect material for the stand's favourite? Anyway, he was even respected by fans of opposing teams. And if not, there was a confrontation. Szczakowianka Jaworzno, a train trip to Szczecin. Train stops for a while, three Pogoń fans stand on the platform. They catch on, show Wiśniewski with a finger. The footballer, thinking little, jumps out the window and runs towards them. Three on one. The fans of Pogoń can see that it is about to get hot and soften momentarily. To get out of the situation somehow... they ask for an autograph. They know what the fight can end with. Wiśniewski liked to fight, which he never hid. But how can you hide it if your face says you've taken a few harder punches in your life? Wiśniewski trained boxing when he was a kid. He finished when he came home with a black eye. But he came back to martial arts after his career, he performed in MMA. When before the gala he got a question about what repertoire of punches he will present, he answered with confidence: - Good fucking hit from a leg is way to go. As befits a footballer. The interview after his first fight became a legend. "Okay, I lost, but is that what a knockout man looks like? Let's not fuck around! The referee could still let us fight!" INTERVIEW AFTER FIGHT He's never been a good boy. He says if it wasn't for coach Bochynek, he'd either be dead or at best landed in a jail. Friends in the business? Some of them are "cunts" for Wiśniewski and would gladly beat them up. Many times he happened to discipline other players from the team.. One of the statements about players who complain about trainings: - Well, don't let them sign contracts! Let one of them go to the mine with the other one, work for eight fucking hours! And then what will he say? "Fuck, I'm gonna go down that mine for eight hours again?" And he's only got two-fourty here, and for a lot of money! And he's still whining! I've never been fucking around! Wiśniewski worked in the mine, so he knows how hard it is. He always said what was in his heart. Just like in another interview that went down to legend "Wiśnia" had his undeniable charm, but he was not always brainy. This is testified to - but also about his strong character - the story from the league debut, for which ... he forgot his boots . He founded the ones that were in the cloakroom at hand, two numbers too small. Wiśniewski recalled in Przegląd Sportowy: - I was running like a duck on the pitch. During the break, I take off those damn shoes, and there is a lot of blood, it was possible to spill, on every finger, a hellish blaze. His sloppiness was also a reason for jokes from his teammates (anecdote above with Piotr Lech in the lead role). Some time ago, we tried to arrange an interview with "Wiśnia". The details were to be determined by text.
Which day will suit you? - we asked.
Yes - we read in reply.
The appointment failed. Authors:: DAMIAN SMYK i JAKUB BIAŁEK
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