The Spanish National Team is currently training for a friendly versus Haiti in Miami and they plan on having a little fun while they’re down there. Iker Casillas and Andrés Iniesta are ambassadors for the bank BBVA, which is the official bank of the NBA and a sponsor of the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, the two teams playing for the NBA Championship. With this connection and the timing of their friendly and first game of The Finals, the two Spanish legends see this as a great and unique opportunity to experience one of the most exciting atmospheres American sports has to offer.
And let’s not forget that basketball is one of the top three sports in Spain, both in participation and viewership. The Spanish National Basketball Team has won three silver medals in the Olympics (’84, ’08, ’12), a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup (’06) and 10 medals overall in the FIBA EuroBasket Tournament, with two being gold (’09, ’11). Spain also has six players currently active in the NBA with the most famous being two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Soccer has changed immensely over the years, and now more than ever money is a huge part of the sport. Many players choose clubs that offer them the most money, and the 11 players who are getting the best part of the deal are all below – according to Portuguese publication, A Bola:
Goalkeeper | Iker Casillas = €6m a year
Right-back | Philipp Lahm = €10m
Center-back | Thiago Silva = €9.8m
Center-back | John Terry = €9.5m
Left-back | Ashley Cole = €12.4m
Center-midfield | David Silva = €13m
Center-midfield | Yaya Toure = €13m
Center-midfield | Franck Ribery = €10m
Right-wing | Cristiano Ronaldo = €10m
Left-wing | Lionel Messi = €15m
Centre-forward | Samuel Eto’o = €20m
What do you think? Have these players deserved to be the best paid in their position, or are they overpaid divas?
There is no one that has scored more goals for Barcelona than Lionel Messi who just added two more against Granada and went over the barrier of 300.
After looking at Infostrada Sports I managed to conclude these stats behind Messi’s genius, so if you like numbers you are going to love this …
Of the 301 goals Messi has scored, 207 have been in La Liga, 56 in Champions League, 24 in Copa Del Rey, 10 in Super Cup, 4 FIFA Club World Cup, and 1 in Europa’s Super Cup.
But who played the ball to Messi all these times? Well, the result will probably surprise you. In spot Number one we find Dani Alves with 31 assists, followed by Xavi’s 28, Iniesta’s 27, Pedro’s 18, and NY Red Bulls star Thierry Henry with 9.
The first goals Messi scored were against Albacete in 2005. Messi actually scored two identical goals but the first was ruled offside. Both of them were assisted by the times soccer genius Ronaldinho.
How did Messi score? Well, according to Infostrada Sports he has scored 244 goals with his left foot, 44 with his right, 12 with his head (one in the Champions League final against Manchester United), and one last goal, surprisingly, with his hand.
Something that truly amazed me is Messi’s ability to score against the best competition. He has scored 20 goals against Atlético Madrid and 17 on Real Madrid. That is also equal to 17 goals on Iker Casillas, who arguably is the best goalkeeper in the world.
As of his last game against Granada he has now scored in 14 La Liga games in a row, and is currently leading the top scoring competition with 37 goal
All we can do is take our hats off and thank him for the show he provides us with.
After the jump you can take in Messi’s first 234 goals. We apologize for missing 65 of his goals, but much like Messi’s talent, we’ll just have to leave that to the imagination.
The only thing worse than getting embarrassed by an opponent is having your opponent beat you so bad that they actually lose interest in beating you. So if you’re ever in a sporting event and you hear your challenger say something to the effect of: “Dude, I think you’ve had enough, let’s just end this,” just know that you’ve officially hit competitive rock bottom.
Italy, your Euro Final performance hit rock bottom – here’s proof.
The above video is Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas requesting that the referee end the game early and “have respect for the rival.”
Correction Casillas: a rival is a competitive equal; what you meant to say was “dude, what’s my motivation here? Wrap this up so we can hit the club.”
After three consecutive years of conceding La Liga to rivals Barcelona, Real Madrid finally won the Spanish title. This is Mourinho’s first La Liga title and his fourth in four different countries. Maybe he’ll come to the MLS next, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
A large part of their success came as a result of Ronaldo’s 44 goals, not to mention 12 assists. After the game, though, Ronaldo didn’t seem too happy about the championship. As the final whistle blew, Athletic’s Javi Martinez had a few words with Ronaldo and they apparently didn’t sit too well with him.
“Don’t celebrate too much, I’m a World Cup champion and you’re not, clown. (Dramatization.)”
They bickered back and forth until Ronaldo finally had enough and gave him the “shove it” gesture. I’m assuming that is the European equivalent of telling someone to buzz off. I would much rather have seen Ronaldo give him a Zidane style headbutt. Then again, that would risk messing up his hair and nobody wants that.
Other notable statistics for Madrid included 17 assists from Mesut Ozil. Captain Iker Casillas had 80 saves. You can watch the team celebrate in the locker room after the jump.
Indulge me for a second as I enter Iker Casillas’ head and bring you his mental dialogue … and, ACTION!
Man, this booger has just been sitting in my nose all day. I should probably pick it before I go out in front of thousands of people. Especially once I get my gloves on and wont be able to fit my finger in my nose. Alright, that’s it! I’m going for it! I almost got it …
(Guy taps Casillas’ shoulder)
“Hey, what’s up? I was just checking my cleats for boogers.” Finally, I got it! Now I just have to figure out where to put it. This kid wont mind if I rub it all over his cheek will he? “Here’s a souvenir kid.”
The Spanish professional footballers’ association has voted to strike for the first two matches of the new La Liga season over collective bargaining rights for wage protection.Players want a larger wage guarantee fund for when clubs become insolvent – a problem that Spain’s system has seen all-too frequently, with Levante and Hercules struggling to pay staff members in recent years and Real Zaragoza applying for administration this summer, which is a common occurrence particularly in the Segunda Division.
The AFE said that the 12 million euros owed to about 100 players last year had ballooned to about 50 million owed to 200 players.
Flanked by the likes of Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso (both Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barca) and David Albelda (Valencia), AFE president Luis Rubiales announced that enough was enough for an issue that blights the smaller clubs in what is arguably football’s top league.
“We are way behind all of Europe in this matter,” Rubiales said. “AFE and the players from the first and second divisions have made the decision to call a strike for the first two matchdays of the season. The players have met with us and decided that ‘enough is enough now’. There will be no league until a collective bargaining agreement is reached.”