Liverpool, God & Jesus…Have We Found A Judas in Michael Owen?

July 26, 2009

by Michelle Alves… Have we now found Judas?…Judas who has sold his soul to the Devils… the “Red Devils”? I’m talking about Michael Owen, yes the “ex” Liverpool footballer.

Michael Owen, one of the most memorable players to have played at Liverpool was respected and admired, even after his shocking move to Real Madrid. A lot of people then could talk about him being a traitor and money hungry…some did, yet many yearned to see him back at Anfield.

I’m not accusing “MO” of anything. I’ve always respected him and appreciated all he’s done for us but at the end of the day I’m a Liverpool supporter, I can’t help feeling betrayed.

Put yourself in our place, imagine your favorite player, someone who was raised and learned to play at your club, saying something about the team you detest, something that goes like this: “‘Right throughout the squad they are obviously a fantastic team with fantastic players, that’s why they’ve all won so much throughout their careers, and hopefully I can jump on the bandwagon, score a few goals, and help us to further success’.”

And when you remember former quotes like ‘“I believe my ambitions can be fulfilled at Liverpool. I find it a little insulting that, after 12 years’ service, my loyalty is being questioned. I want every supporter to know that I am as committed to Liverpool as any player at the club. I have been the same ever since I first came to Anfield as an 11-year-old.”

You wonder…Where is that commitment?

Hurts doesn’t it?

His move to Real Madrid didn’t leave the greatest impression in one’s mind, but a move to Manchester United is a true blow. Cristiano Ronaldo has been a few times accused to being a traitor… but nothing can be as traitorous as moving to a rival team.

Manchester United fans might agree with me that someone who achieved fame and popularity at one team, leaving as soon as he hears a big number is not a positive quality.

Michael Owen’s move to Madrid is strikingly similar to Ronaldo’s move, except for the fact that Ronaldo was born and bought up in a foreign country. Michael Owen graduated through the Liverpool Academy and grew up in Liverpool.

One may have wondered why would he moved to Real Madrid… Is the fame? Or the money?

In his autobiography, Michael Owen spoke about his move. He said that he wanted to become a greater player. 118 goals in 216 appearances, winning five trophies in one year, including the UEFA Cup and the FA Cup… and he feels that Liverpool FC is stifling his growth?

Implying that by moving to a ‘greater’ team, he would achieve his dreams reminds me  of the words of Jamie Carragher… ‘Who’s bigger than Liverpool?’

For two guys who were really close in their young days, they seem to have different morals and beliefs. Jamie Carragher would just laugh in Ferguson’s face if approached for a move. It is obvious that no matter how great he gets, he would not accept an offer to Madrid. It is such loyalty that is appreciated in football. Has football become about money, fame and status now?

The same year Owen moved to Madrid, another very famous Liverpool player was offered a chance at another club.  This player stayed, while the other one left… Steven Gerrard is now undoubtedly the more successful of the two, would you deny it?

Although comparing Owen to Judas might be wrong, Jesus also says to him ‘You will be cursed by the other generations—and you will come to rule over them”…

Owen, minus injuries, has the capability to be a remarkable force for United, he could revert to his former goal scoring ways… or maybe this is a huge mistake on Ferguson’s part.

Whatever the future holds, I no longer hold the same respect as I did for Michael Owen, and wish him good luck in all his future endeavours. I will, from now on, deny his existence… and only refer to him as Judas, till the shock of this betrayal wears off.

Soccer Ruined My Life

January 7, 2009

by Michelle Alves…

I was a normal girl, before this addiction. I was shy, sensitive, never loud, and very polite. My friends loved me, I treated everyone equally and I never fought with anyone. Oh, how I long for those days. Things have changed now, ever since I got hooked on to this damn sport. I have nothing left now.

My Social Life

Is in shatters. I miss parties because I’m at home, watching football. When people call me out I check my schedule first, which consists of match dates and fixtures. I classify people into three different groups.

1)  The Liverpool fans—Also known as Upper Class in my dictionary.

2)  The non-Liverpool fans—Middle Class, basically includes people who support other teams.

3)  The non-watchers—Those who don’t watch football.

It’s not the fact that I’ve classified people that kills my social life. The problem is, I give first preference to the upper and middle class, I feel superior to the lower class, but its a group I haven’t bothered to classify that ruins it all.

The United supporters. How would Victoria Beckham react if a beggar walked into her mansion with muddy feet and dirty clothes? That’s my reaction when I meet Manchester United fans.

But wait, before you get your keyboard out to leave me harsh, hate-filled comments, I have something to say!

Something I’ve learned over the last few weeks, is that not all United supporters are that bad. Some are actually quite fun. Now, this is not an attempt to revive my social life, it’s mainly the truth.

My Voice

Like I mentioned before, I was a shy girl, never one to talk loud or annoy people. I didn’t even know how to scream. In 2002, the FIFA Youth World Cup was held in U.A.E. By then I was sports crazy and finally got a chance to see my first football match.

It was Brazil vs Spain and I was all decked in yellow and green. That night my voice was at a volume never heard from me before. By the time I reached home it felt like someone was dancing with knives inside my throat, but it was worth it.  I learned to scream that day, and now I don’t have to be at a game in order to scream. Ask my television set, if it had ears before, its probably gone deaf by now.

The comebacks!

I was never good at comebacks. Ever. If someone insulted me, I’d either cry or say, “Oh yeah…well same to you!”

How things change. Soon, I was the one making people cry.

Ok, well not cry… but come close to it.

My Bedroom  & bedroom habits!

“Mum, I’m painting my room red and you can’t stop me!”

You don’t even want to know my mother’s reaction to that. She soon gave up though, I’m not a fun person to argue with nowadays. My usual, dull white room is now a picture of Red and White, full of Liverpool FC posters and banners. Unfortunately now, my mother refuses to enter the room, and I have to clean it up all by myself.

I used to play the guitar, write songs, paint, and read during my free time. Now, its football schedules, fantasy football, designing team kits.

I used to spend  time playing with my cat and dog, now they’re on the receiving end of kicks. It took them a while to realise that it was safer running for cover as soon as they saw me coming anywhere near.

The Love Life

Non-existent. Why, you ask? I guess some guys prefer it when you shut up and not go on and on about how the team they support sucks and how they should switch to Liverpool.

If he is not a football fan and somehow we got along, I tend to compare his commitment to Stevie G, dance moves to Peter Crouch, and looks with Torres. Ah, poor me!

My Fashion Sense

Ever since football took over my life, I’ve been a walking fashion faux pas.  Okay, so I don’t wear the same boring Liverpool shirt always. I change them! I’ll wear a Stevie shirt on Thursday, a Torres one on Friday, a Mascherano one Saturday, and if Liverpool’s playing on Sunday, I’ll wear a shirt with Rafa’s name on it, because there are chances that some idiot might score an own goal *hint* *hint* Riise!

Worst of all, how was I to know Fowler’s jersey isn’t regarded as a prom dress? I mean its Robbie Fowler’s jersey!

Damn sport , I’ll never forgive you for ruining my life. I will forever step on footballs, watch all the games so I can yell at TV screens, and curse you under my breath when telling people I cannot attend a party. Hear me? This is war!

Football: Expressing Yourselves!

October 23, 2008

by Michelle Alves… Sitting, waiting, wishing. A Jack Johnson song? No, not just that. It’s the slogan of every football fan. Let’s admit it. How much more can we do than that?

You wearing you’re lucky socks, or you who keeps your fingers crossed…It’s time to face it! That’s not going to help! I know because I’ve tried. I’ll sit one day wearing my lucky Crouch shirt, and we win.

All excited I’ll sit through the next game, with the same shirt…in the same place, after having done the exact same thing I did the day we won, yet we lose. I’m not superstitious by nature, but I’ll do anything if it means seeing my team winning another trophy. Sadly there’s nothing I can do.

Isn’t it crazy? Even after the score being 6-0 and we’re losing at the 89th minute, when the whistle blows, we express utter most shock “Oh my God! How could we lose?”

It doesn’t stop us though. We know the outcome of a game could be: a) victory or b)defeat

Yet, when the time of the final whistle comes we go…

Here’s the deal, when you lose 6-0, the right answer to that question is, your team played like crap. It’s as simple as that. The wide opened mouth and shocked expression is really not necessary.

I can sit through the penalties with my eyes shut, with them opened, or with one shut and one open. The result is still the same.

The fact that I took all the trouble and energy to shut one eye makes no difference to the 22 players on the field.

Why is it, that some of us sit through a game after our team having taken the lead with a smirk on our faces. Can the opposition team really see us through the television? Do you think they’re looking at us thinking…‘That son of a…is smirking at us, how dare he/she?’

Let me break it to you, in all probability they have no idea who you are, and frankly, I think even if they did, they wouldn’t give a rat’s a**!

Another thing, I know I can’t resist is yelling at the television…we’re crazy aren’t we? Have you ever responded to something the commentator said? Or went “How dare you?” as if he could actually hear you? It’s useless doing that…I know you know that by now, why is it that we know that yet still do it? Don’t you state random facts or opinions at the television? Talking to it as if it were a real person? I don’t know about you, but I feel football is the reason I’m going crazy, one game at a time.

Now… goals. Everyone knows most games will have at least one goal. Yet not knowing when the goal will be scored adds an air of mystery to football. So instead of going *yawn*…there are many things you could scream. Like “Finally”, or “OH MAN” or even “Offside, you bloody ref”. Or just hold your head and scream out all the frustration!

My mum always says, football is a health hazard. She’s probably right! If you end up sick in bed, or passed out on the floor after celebrating a victory, it’s not your fault. It really isn’t! Blame it on football!

Football expressions are such Kodak moments… faces turn all kinds of colours; red, blue, green…maybe even purple (Once I’m done strangling the odd United supporter ! Spare a moment, say cheese…and keep up those exaggerated expressions! You never know who’s watching.


Why I Dislike Women’s Football!

October 9, 2008

by Michelle Alves… The first time I ever turned on the television to watch women play professional football (soccer) was two years ago. I was straight away revolted. Five minutes into the game and I couldn’t take anymore. Nothing possibly could be this awful!

I didn’t have a problem with the manner in which they played or how they looked. No, I didn’t have a problem with that at all. But someone did! My little green friend called Jealousy. That friend of mine who, was until the present, in hiding. Jealousy had a big problem alright, and she was one hell of a persuasive friend!

She whispered hate filled words in my ears. She brought tears to my eyes. Such a monster! She said to me “Look at them; They have everything you don’t have. They’ve achieved everything you wanted to achieve. They’ve stolen your life. Each and everyone on that field. Take a look!”

“Yeah,” I said loudly. “I hate this nonsense. They can’t even play.” But the reality was, I hadn’t seen them play long enough to make a judgement. 30 minutes doesn’t count if you weren’t paying attention. Distracted because you were too busy feeling sorry for yourself.

You hate them.

…No I don’t, I don’t have a reason to.

Lies! They stole your life!

…No they didn’t, they build their individual lives.

You’re a loser and it’s their fault!

…There’s only me to hold responsible, if I’m a loser.

But you hate them.

…OK, maybe just a tiny amount!

Everyone gets envious at times, my cousin is jealous of Angelina Jolie. This is something that she reminds me quite frequently. Even my cat, I’m positive is ‘green-eyed’ thanks to the pretty kitty downstairs with the pink ears and white fur.

Me, I’m not just jealous of one person. I’m envious of every single person who played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. That includes the referee’s! I’m so jealous of them, I can admit to wishing the earth beneath them caved in when they were playing. I look at them in their appealing, original, made for them designer jersey’s and think…lucky #%[email protected]#£.”

U.A.E, has a national women’s team but I’m not authorized to play for them because I’m not “Emirati…” Great!

India and Portugal both too have women’s football teams, but I’m not a resident. Even better!

All my life I’ve been hanging in between. It never mattered. 18 years of not caring about that, and now it’s coming to haunt me. If only I believed in re-incarnation. I would run in the face of a speeding car and plead that I came back the next time as the star Brazilian player, Marta.

With my luck, I’ll almost certainly end up on a wheel chair. Just perfect.

And then I won’t hate Women’s football at all.

No I won’t! [Last three words said with a tone dripping in sarcasm.]

Why the World Hates Cristiano Ronaldo

October 7, 2008

by Michelle Alves… Here I sit, staring at my keyboard, knowing very well what I want to type but wondering what the reaction to such an article would be if only based on my views. So I decided today, to find out why the world hates Cristiano Ronaldo. (Okay, so maybe he isn’t hated so much on an universal level but he does get on the nerves of the majority.)

Lily Allen, a renowned singer, once remarked, “I would have loved it if United had lost ’cause it would have been Ronaldo’s fault, and I hate Ronaldo. Well I don’t hate him, but after the whole winking incident I don’t like him so much.”

According to Google, “I hate Ronaldo” was the most popular Manchester United related web search of 2007. The only way this could be topped was if Saddam Hussein came back to life and joined the Red Devils.

So why do people hate Ronaldo so much?

I once heard someone say it’s because “at Manchester United, he’s a midfielder that dances too much to deliver the ball with any consistency. And for Portugal, he’s a forward that can’t get through World Cup defenses by himself.” I have to agree with the dance analogy, for I’ve often called Ronaldo a ballerina, although not just because of the way he runs with his toes pointed out!

Ronaldo reminds me of Beckham; just another pretty faced, metro-sexual glam doll. I admit I do feel both players are overrated but since some might disagree, I won’t stress on that.

Another person referred to Ronaldo as a “Prima donna who doesn’t do anything more than send the cost of tickets through the roof.” Although he’s done a lot for his team,  there lies some truth in that statement too.

At a younger age, Cristiano revealed he was often ridiculed for his accent. He claimed he nearly quit football because of it. He said he “felt like a clown”, and admitted, “I cried with shame.” Now if I was trying to be rude, I would have said that I still think he is a clown. On top of that, I would’ve declared that I feel, had he stopped playing football, the world would be a better place.

But I won’t do that.

Walking out with a man bag doesn’t exactly appeal to haters, or fans either. Once again, if I was trying to be rude, I would have mentioned his shaved legs, his feminine look, his plucked eyebrows, and his whiny nature.

Fear not. Because I won’t do that either.

Now, moving on to more serious issues.

We tend to associate footballers with their skills of dribbling, passing, ball control, finishing etc. But, despite a media full of admiration for Cristiano’s skill, some people (456,000 according to Google) associate Ronaldo more with his skills of diving, winking, crying, whining, and arrogance.

Such qualities are immensely hated by a lot of people. Even if you are a huge Cristiano fan, you have to admit: if another player did such stuff, you would hate them with all of your heart because it tarnishes the image of the beautiful game.

Personally, this hatred towards Ronaldo all began at the Euros of 2004. After losing in the final to Greece, his childish bawling did not impress me. At. All. For most people though, the dislike began two years later, during the quarter finals of World Cup 2006. After helping his club teammate get a red card, Cristiano winked at his coach. That moment marked the beginning of the Anti-Ronaldo Era! And to this day, it still continues.

To finish off, here’s one of the funniest quotes I’ve read about Cristiano. It perfectly describes his whiny, love-to-complain nature: “Ronaldo and I both understand that complaining of sore muscles, or other injuries, is a free pass to almost anything. But whilst I use my excuses to get a few minutes out of class in the nurses office, Ronaldo uses his to get a few days off from practice.”

p.s In order not to get beaten up, I’d like to mention that Ronaldo is actually quite a sensationally talented player. I just don’t like him. No wait, I detest him!

And no, it’s not jealousy, it’s personal!


Why Girls Should Watch Football Too!

October 4, 2008

by Michelle Alves…

Its just a bunch of sweaty men, kicking a ball around! It goes on for 90 minutes and there are chances of no goals being scored at all. The referee’s can get biased and it’s not as great as they show in movies.

But girls, you have no idea how crazy the sport really is. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, a movie in itself, and an experience that you’ll never forget!

Here’s why I think you should watch soccer (it’s football, actually).

1) The Men

Every straight girl should know what I’m talking about here. Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Michael Ballack, Kaka, and Michael Carrick are some of the well known hunks of football. If you think Brad Pitt is good looking , you should take a look at some of these guys!

2) The Goof Ups

Also known as bloopers. Have you ever had a day where suddenly you hate guys? Maybe you broke up with your boyfriend, maybe some guy just ruined your day and now you want them to suffer?

Here’s what you do. Watch football. See men get hurt, embarrassed, and insulted! How much better can it get? It happens all the time, like when the goalkeeper is passing the ball to his team mate and it slips out of his hand and goes right back into the net.

Stupid? Yeah, I know! Trust me, you’ll be laughing your broken heart back to normal in no time.

3) The Referees

T Referees are always something to talk about. Schwuler Schiedsrichter, the most  amusing referee ever. A referee in football is like the principal of a school. Very annoying, hardly ever smiles, it never seems like he’s on your side and he’s always looking when you’re hoping he isn’t. Schwuler though, is such an unique referee, I guarantee you, you’ll be too busy watching him to pay attention to the match. Take a look.

4) The crazy fans.

Football has the craziest and most devoted fans ever. The painted faces, the dancing, the cheers are fascinating to watch. The funny banners and crazy chants will leave you with a smile on your face, no matter how bad your day has been.

The streets flooded with flags before the World Cup matches, and the closing down of offices inorder to catch a big game will describe the world’s devotion towards the sport.

5)   The Miraculous Moments and Unpredictability.

Every sport has its moment. So does football.

In the 1999 UEFA Champions League final versus Bayern Munich, Manchester United were one goal down in the 90th minute. Even the tiniest glimmer of hope had faded away for the United supporters. But just as the fourth official indicated three minutes of injury time, United won a corner, which led to a goal.

Unbelievably, 30 seconds later United forced another corner leading to another goal, which led to United winning the cup, much the to shock of the Munich supporters. UEFA president Johansson described it perfectly as the “winners are crying and the losers are dancing.”

Another miraculous moment is now known as The Miracle of Istanbul. Liverpool were facing humiliation at half-time in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, being three goals to AC Milan until six unbelievable minutes of the second half, where Liverpool not only equalised, leading the game into penalties, but emerged the winner of the 2005 Champions League finals!

Talk about unpredictability. Why watch boring old predictable soap opera’s when you have a chance to be on the edge of your seat till the last minute, not knowing what’s the result going to be till the final whistle is blown? Think about it!

6) The controversy

The head-butt might not have been very popular until Zinedane Zidane gave the world a live demonstration using Marco Materazzi as his victim, but today, it is known as one of the greatest controversies in football. Zidane got red carded off the field and France lost the  World Cup!

Another controversial move was once again in 2006 when Cristiano Ronaldo appealed to the referee to get his Manchester United team mate Rooney off the field after a foul. English devotees lashed out against Ronaldo, he was booed and greatly criticized

Now, girls are no strangers to back stabbing and betrayal. I’m sure it will be nice to know that we are not alone.

Sir Alex Ferguson described it perfectly in three words, “Football, bloody hell!”

Confessions of A Football Addict

October 2, 2008

by Michelle Alves… I have to confess.  I’m coming clean.

I am a mess. I have hit rock bottom.

There…I said it.

I was born with football in my head - my first words were “Goal,” probably after I threw a spoonful of food at my dad.  Football to me was always less of a sport, and more of a battle. A battle to win, a battle for pride and respect. It wasn’t just a few men kicking around a football. Oh, how wrong I was.

When will I begin to see that football is nothing but a few men kicking a ball around? When will I learn? Every time I sit to watch a game, I think “Ok, now remember, it’s just a game. Just a ball being kicked around a field. It’s on the television, they can’t hear you.”

Sadly half way through yelling obscenities at Liverpool players I remember my thoughts before the game, but it’s too late to stop myself, I’m already worked up, I’m too into the game now.

I can’t stop watching football altogether. I’ve tried. I end up curled up in a corner, trembling, thinking “Go Liverpool…you can do this.”

I watch an imaginary game in my head and, as soon as the opposition score an imaginary goal, I run to the television in hope that what I saw was just my over inspired brain and not a premonition.

I was going to the kitchen to get a drink and hit my leg on a chair. My exact words were “Foul, you bloody thing, you deserve an effing card!” At that time I was too angry and hurt to care, but looking back, I realise that I sounded like an idiot.

I didn’t cry when my dog died, I didn’t cry at the end of Titanic — maybe it’s because I’m not a normal girl. I’m an addict because the only time I did really cry was when AC Milan beat us in the Champions League final. However, that has to be excusable. I mean, it was the FINALS.

Here I go again, sounding like the addict I truly am. What am I to do though? I’m lost…falling into this bottomless pit, waiting to hit the floor. It might make me seem puny and pitiable but I have a dilemma and I need help. Can anyone contradict this?

You know…at some point…when you’re screaming at the TV, you stop and think, “What am I saying? Do I really think Rafael Benitez can hear me? That he’ll hear me telling him what idiot he was for losing Crouch and he should go back and beg for forgiveness?”  That’s when you’ll realise, you’ve lost it.

By nature, I’m not a violent person. But when I said I’d hire an expert to kill Riise, I really meant it. Luckily I couldn’t find someone on such short notice and I guess “YWNA” wouldn’t hold much meaning if I did that. Something in the back of my mind still says, “He’s not at Liverpool anymore, avenge him.” But I’ve forgiven him.
This is a good thing—Riise’s murder would have taken this addiction to a whole new level.

Finally, even my mum realised the extent of my addiction when I said I wanted to get a tattoo. She wasn’t against me getting one, it’s the fact that I wanted the Liver Bird that made her look at me like i was crazy. See, at first I didn’t tell her it was the Liver Bird. “It’s just a bird with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ written on it, Mum.”

She fell for that. She agreed, but one day I couldn’t help but say “I’m getting the Liver Bird tattooed on me.” She got it then. Ah, once again I failed. She allowed me to get a tattoo, but the first thing she said to me is, “You better not get something to do with Liverpool because in a while you might change your mind. And they’re not that good anyway.”

I have to get rid of this addiction. I need rehab. I need to stop watching football. ‘See, oh great Liverpool FC. ‘See what you have done to me?

I’ve made up my mind. This time I’m overcoming this addiction. I’m ready for change. I’m…

Oh look, Liverpool is playing!