I have returned after almost two weeks of absence and it sure is the perfect time to do so. Everything that has taken place in football during this time period had me thinking about what my main focus would be. It’s a difficult decision but I think technology deserves the top spot in this blog post, however I will also focus on the semifinals of the champions league and my prediction for this Sundays derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Technology in football (soccer) was something that was unthinkable at some point in time. The argument against its use was that implementing it would slow down the gameplay, debatable but it was a valid argument at the time. The 2010 World Cup and its qualifying stages would become a major turning point for technology. Everything would begin with a playoff game between France and Ireland; French super star Thierry Henry became the most hated man in soccer after his infamous “hand of god”. In the final play of the game he received a long pass and used his hand to control the ball and make the game winning assist. The Irish federation demanded a replay of the game but FIFA stood by the referee and declared France winner but in the end they had one of the worst participations in the tournament. In the Round of 16 of the world cup Germany and England faced each other. The game was (2-1) in favor of the “manchaft”, Frank Lampard took a long shot and the ball hit the crossbar clearly bouncing off inside the goal line. The goal was not given and Germany would end up winning the game, shortly after FIFA issued a statement and finally promised the used of technology in the future.
(ENLAND’S DISALLOWED GOAL IN 2010)
The reason why I brought this up was because I need evidence to support my argument; technology must be fully implemented in football. Why fully implemented? I know we now have goal line technology but that’s only part of it since we also have the new “video assistant referee”. This new addition gives referees the chance to review controversial plays with the assist of personal from the stands that would either confirm or deny the decision. My argument for it started in the win that Barcelona had over PSG but it became clear after Real Madrid’s win over Bayern this past Tuesday. In the Barcelona game the use of video assistance would have prevented the comeback by the “cules”. If it was used, the foul against Di Maria would have awarded them a penalty that would have completely killed any hope for Barcelona but it wasn’t given and we all know what took place. The second game was another case, Real Madrid looked like they could hold off Bayern without any extra help but then again favoritism resurfaced. It took the referee 3 wrong calls to change the outcome of the game.The first call was Robert Lewandowski wrong offside call in a clear one on one chance. Then came Arturo Vidal’s wrong sent off since he made a clean challenge that wasn’t a yellow card even in UEFA standard. The call that changed it all was Ronaldo’s goal in clear offside position, I mean to be honest if they managed to spot Lewandowski’s position with one lines man, then how did 6 referees didn’t see Ronaldo? If video assistance was used then the goal wouldn’t have counted and perhaps Madrid would have still won but this time in a fair way. Similar to a recent game between France and Spain recently, it saw a goal disallowed because of an offside position. The use of this method caused confusion but if improved it can be beneficial for everyone. My position with the use of technology is clear and I will stand by it until it proves me wrong.
I want to conclude this blog with my prediction for this Sunday’s derby between Barcelona and Real Madrid and the semifinals of the Champions League. “El clasico” is by far the most broadcasted game in the world; both teams arrive to this game with different realities with a championship at stake. The winner will boost their chance for the title and the loser (let say Barcelona) would have to evaluate their structure completely since it would signal the end of an era. The verdict I give is in favor of Madrid because they are lethal despite the inconsistency they showcase. When it comes to Europe everything changes, the Champions League will give us a Madrid derby that’s worth the occasion. Real and Atletico Madrid face off in the semifinal with very even game styles, but I see Atletico going to the final thanks to their unbreakable defense. The second semifinal sees Juventus and Monaco, two great teams but in this game I see the experienced juventus overpower Monaco’s impressive run this season. In the end anything can happen but I say it now, the Cardiff final will be between Juventus and Atletico Madrid. I know this was a long blog post but I had to get my point across, maybe next week Barcelona will be my topic of discussion but you would have to stay tuned for that! So see you next time!.