Posts Tagged ‘Poll’

Football at the Olympics: Who Cares?

Last Saturday, I found myself at Wembley Stadium watching a highly entertaining game between Mexico and Senegal. Despite it being a six goal thriller and an almost full Wembley, I couldn’t help but ask myself  “Does the Olympics really care about football?”. Over 81,000 spectators at the match would suggest that people do care but then again a lot of people I talked to (Some of them football fans) didn’t even realise that football was in fact an Olympic sport.

Olympic football made its first appearance in 1900 at the games in Paris, a total of 30 years before the World Cup (Although international sides didn’t really make an appearance until 1908) . It has appeared in every Olympics since, apart from the 1932 Los Angeles games where it was dropped to try and promote American Football.

It seems to me that a vast majority of non-football fans almost look down on Football in the Olympics and feel that it should be done away with due to the fact that it features professional footballers who “make millions a year”. The same could be said for Tennis, Basketball and eventually Golf which will feature at the next Olympics. In my opinion that is no reason to want to get rid of the sport which has been in the Olympics for so long.

Then again the hardcore football fan doesn’t seem to care too much for Olympic football either, seeing it as more an inconvenience than anything as they eagerly await the new football season to start. It seems to me that they would rather see their player take part in pre-season with his club than try to get an Olympic medal for his country.

From my experience the people going to the games weren’t the usual crowd who would be attending football matches across Britain. It was definitely a more relaxed family atmosphere and I have to admit it felt strange at first but soon enough I started to really enjoy myself as a neutral. Something I don’t get the pleasure of doing too often but it’s not something I want to get used to either.

A talented Brazilian side.

One country that is really going for gold this Summer is Brazil, who arguably have one of the most talented and star-studded squads. With the likes of Neymar, Pato, Hulk, Thiago Silva and Marcelo in the team it was hard to bet against them. The Brazilians have never won gold at the Olympics and it has now almost became an obsession for them, especially since their rivals Argentina are the current holders. One country that definitely cares about Olympic football.

They will face Mexico in the final on Saturday, a side who has fewer stars than Brazil but is packed with young talented footballers.

Being Irish I obviously couldn’t get emotionally attached to any team at this Summers Olympics but I enjoyed the football on display nonetheless. For me, it is a chance to see the next group of players coming through the ranks for each country and potentially witness a star being born on the world stage.

Leave your opinions in the comments below.

Who will be crowned the champions of Europe?

This weeks Champions League fixtures provided us with what some would call “shock results”. On Tuesday night Mario Gomez scored a late winner to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over Europe’s most successful club, Real Madrid.  Josef Heynckes men will be relishing the opportunity of playing in the final in their own stadium, the Allianz Arena in Munich. However they have the difficult task of going to the Bernabéu Stadium next Wednesday. Without a doubt Real Madrid will be up for the task at hand but they will have one eye on their upcoming La Liga match with their fierce rivals Barcelona. Will the El Clasico fixture distract them from the second leg of the semi-final?

Last night Didier Drogba’s strike was enough to seal a victory over a frustrated Barcelona side.  As per usual, Barcelona dominated the possession and passing stats. Pep Guardiola’s side had chance after chance throughout the game but with a little bit of luck and a great performance Chelsea came away with a victory that left their faithful fans feeling very proud of their team. Like Bayern Munich, Chelsea have to travel to Spain next week for the second leg. Barcelona are still the favourites to win the tie over two legs and no doubt their fans will be expecting a better performance in front of goal come next Tuesday night.

Less than a week to go before we find out which two teams will be travelling to the Allianz Arena on the 19th of May for the Champions League final.

Will it be Bayern Munich to win it in their own city, or will Real Madrid add their tenth European Cup to their trophy cabinet?

Barcelona will be hoping they can become the first team to win the Champions League (European Cup) back to back since Ac Milan in 1989/90. Whereas Chelsea are looking to lift their first Champions League trophy in the clubs history.