Tuesday , July 23 2024

The Soccer List, Midweek Edition – Electric Bugaloo


So after a pretty crazy couple of international World Cup qualifiers it’s time to bring up a rare mid-week “The Soccer List“. I’ve boiled the kettle and am ready to dive into the biggest and weirdest stories from the last 48 hours.

1. Ronaldo Pretty Much Seals Balon d’Or

I mocked him earlier this week calling him Puppet Ronnie, but my word did he put me in my place, during the 2nd Battle of Mercurial Vapor Hill. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic dragging Sweden by their bootstraps, the Portugal captain replied in kind, to give the neutral supporter probably the most exciting match of the day. Portgual came into the day needing just a goal to advance next summers World Cup, thanks to a Ronaldo header in the first leg.

Following a goalless first half , the neutrals were treated to the “Ronaldo and Zlatan Show” in the second forty-five. Ronaldo kicked off the scoring five minutes into the second half, this time using his new custom Vapor IX’s as opposed to his head. Needing three goals now without conceding, Zlatan decided now was the time to drag his nation back from the brink, heading home on 68 minutes, before netting his second with a powerful free kick 4 minutes later. However, for Sweden is was not to be, knowing they still had to push for a third goal, Ronaldo camped out near the half way line waiting for the counter, and five minutes later he scored his second of the day which could have been a carbon copy of the first, and busted out this little celebration, which may or may not be letting us know who he thinks is the world’s best player this year:


The man with the customized Supernova Vapor’s added his hat trick goal to ensure that next summer could possibly be “The Summer of Ronaldo” and that this winter FIFA should be naming this “The Year of Ronaldo”.

2. France Dial A Miracle

Needing a 3-nil win over Ukraine to make the World Cup without using extra time, Didier Deschamps and his team pretty much needed a miracle against a tough Ukraine side. Who’d have know that a miracle comes in the shape of a Liverpool central defender? Despite  being home to some of footballs most explosive players in Pogba, Giroud, Benzema, and Ribery, it was Mamadou Sakho, who was Les Bleus hero, as he bagged a goal in either half, sporting the jack of all trades Nike CTR 360 Maestri III’s. 

France Qualify

Speaking of Benzema, the Adidas F50 Samba wearer popped up with a questionable goal late in the first half, he looked offside when he scored, but officials allowed it to stand.

3. Bendnter Predicts a Move to Barca or Real

Talisman is a word thrown around all too often in our sport, one player who would never be considered a talisman (at the present moment at least) is Arsenal reserve striker Nicklas Bendtner, who happens to be the owner of the worst ponytail in professional footy. Despite a club scoring ratio of 1 goal in 4 and a bit matches, the Dane isn’t short of self confidence, as he predicted a future move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid is in his near future. I’m not going to lie I’m a bit confused where the Vapor man thinks he’s going to fit in at either club if he can’t even guarantee himself a spot in the Arsenal XI. And, if I’m honest I don’t even think he’s the best striking option for Denmark anymore, not with the emergence of “Yukon” Andreas Cornelius.

Yukon Cornelius: the man to take Denmark back to the World Cup
“Yukon” Andreas Cornelius: the man to take Denmark back to the World Cup, seen shortly after savaging the Canadian Men’s National Team as part of the Danish League XI

A slightly more believable rumour sees Catalan club Barcelona taking a punt on my favourite active footballer, Dimitar Berbatov, as a cover for Lionel Messi. Adding the Bulgarian would be similar to their signing of Henrik Larsson back in 2004, bringing in a veteran but supremely skilled player.

4. New Reviews Posted

It’s only been 48 hours since our initial Soccer List of the week but our Scottish contributor Kevin has done the North American market a service, providing a review of the MIJ Mizuno Morelia, before they hit our shores. Check out Kevin’s take here, but it’s safe to say if it’s anything similar to what Mizuno usually puts out  it’s fantastic!

5. Welcome to UEFA, Please See Michel For Your Complimentary Fruit Basket 

The final section of The Soccer List, is usually something I reserve for the plight of my beloved hometown Sheffield United, who happen to be the 23rd best team in the Sky Bet League One. However, they’ve been inactive since their loss versus Gillingham on Saturday. So I’m donating their spot to the Ultimate Minnow’s. That’s right after nearly 20 years of trying Gibraltar are an officially sanctioned UEFA nation. Despite the fervent objections of reigning World Cup Champions Spain, out of fear I’ll bet! (I wish, it’s a 300 year old political thing) UEFA have been forced to accept the application of the British Territory, and today saw their first official match.

This IS Gibraltar, all of it, including a bit of Spain.
This IS Gibraltar, all of it, including a bit of Spain.

The home match took place in Portugal, as the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar isn’t rated for international competitive matches and the GFA was hoping to get some practice in on the pitch they’d be using for their Euro 2016 qualifiers. Fielding a lineup of amateurs who were bolstered by the additions of Scott Wiseman of Sky Bet Championship Barnsley, and ex-Manchester United trainee and ex-Sheffield United player Danny Higginbotham. The state with a population just shy of 30,000 put up a performance for the ages in a nil-nil draw against Slovakia. I watched the match on a feed provided by the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation, and was shocked. Expecting a mullering, I was surprised as the Gibraltarians hunkered down and played some outstanding defense lead by goalkeeper Jordan Perez and man of the match Danny “The Rock of Gibraltar” Higginbotham, who was wearing some classy looking Adidas Copa Mundial’s in the centre of defense. They even nearly nicked the match in injury time as Al Greene hit the bar with a lovely looking effort. While making Euro 2016 might be a bit of a stretch let me say that manager Allen Bula is up to something on ‘The Rock’.

Gibralter Celebrate

Now this officially concludes The Soccer List for this week. Critical passes are a must, and worldies are always appreciated.

About Richard Wyatt

When he's not playing deft flicks and through balls with various 7 a side teams, Richard is either enjoying a good brew or enlightening the world with SoccerCleats 101 and the good ship Twitter. Find him on Twitter if you want to know what a Sweeper/Deep Lying Playmaker looks like!

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  1. You should know that Bendtner was purposely misquoted by the british journalist. I think it was Daily Star. That's a tabloid with a big T. What he said was that if He had to choose he would love to play for clubs like Barca or Real and it was all said in a ironic context..

    • That's true mate! I did know he was purposely misquoted, and was being ironic, I was having a bit of fun with it. Still think Yukon Cornelius will be the next big thing for the Danes however!

      • He definitely got the raw talent, but we haven't seen his adjustment to BPL just yet. So far Bendtner has been the best striker for DK yet and if Wenger hadn't stopped his transfer this summer, we might have seen more from him. He used to have the talent, now he just have to prove it for real!

  2. Listen although I am a Messi and Barcelona fan, I am also a huge fan of CR7. Do you guys remember when he won his first Ballon d"Or? At the time Ronaldinho was still in his prime and was then seriously injured. Later that season he was crowned as the best player in the world. Now Messi is injured and having a rough season and it looks certain that CR7 is going to win. To clarify I am just stating a coincidence that I noticed. CR7 has worked just as hard as Messi and needs another Ballon d'Or to his name. It is interesting though isn't it?

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