Inter move on to the Final :)

It may be a little late but I just want to thank Jose Mourinho and Internazionale for their Champions League victory  over Barcelona. Definitely one of the better soccer moments of the year for me. This team dealt with so much crap: being down 10 men in Barcelona for over 2/3rds of the game due to an undeserved red card, having to deal with over 90,000+ screaming Barca supporters at the Camp Nou as well as the obnoxious fans that harassed them in their hotel keeping them up till 3:30 AM, not to mention having been unceremoniously ushered off the pitch after their victory with a rather hastily timed blasting of the sprinkler system. A richly deserved victory to Inter and I applaud them for it. I hope they win the final.

Favourite Jose Mourinho quotes re: Champions League:

“Leo Messi is Messi. An incredible talent, from another galaxy, but like all the others he didn’t play to his strengths. That should be quality and fair play, but I saw none of it on or off the pitch,” the Inter Coach told RAI.

“At 4am we couldn’t sleep, as there were fireworks outside the hotel door. We called the police at 11pm and they arrived at 3.30am.

“I can make a guarantee, that next year I’ll be back. I always seem to end up being paired with Barcelona and every time something happens.

“Thiago Motta’s card was the same as that for Didier Drogba. Unfortunately Motta lost his cool for a second. I said nothing to him at half-time. I spoke to the rest of the team to explain how they should play and adapt.

“I do not want to judge the referee. I said beforehand that when the players want to help the referee, his job is easy, but tonight some people tried to make life difficult for him.”

“It was a team of heroes, where everyone left their blood on that pitch. I am proud of everyone, those who played and didn’t, of the fans who suffered with us here and at home.

“Barcelona did their celebrating beforehand, created some controversy and did some incredible things over the past 24 hours. Now I ask the fans to welcome us at the airport, even if it’s tough and they have to work tomorrow. They should arrive at the airport to welcome these spectacular players, as they’ve earned it.

“I can only imagine how they’re enjoying it, as they know how difficult this was. It’s hard against Barca with 11 men, but with 10 it’s extraordinary.

“This is the greatest defeat of my life! But my team deserved to draw 0-0 really. Julio Cesar made it seem as if we were playing with 11 men.”

“I felt an incredible joy. I have already won the Champions League, but I can say tonight felt better than that. Porto won the Final 3-0 and I knew half an hour from the end that we had already won, whereas here it was right to the end.

“Valdes, like the others, expected to win this tie. They had a big surprise at San Siro and when we saw the mess they made with the T-shirts and the people making noise, it became clear they were afraid.

“In the way we were set out to begin with and all 11 players, we could’ve won here. Goran Pandev’s injury forced us to change and Motta’s red card again, it was an incredible game.”

“Obviously when you reach the Final, you want to win it. The fact we faced Barcelona four times on the way and also Chelsea, it means a lot. I reiterate that Inter are now a European force, so if they don’t win it this time, they will the next year or the one after.

“I thought my empathy with the Chelsea fans was impossible to find elsewhere, but I have found even more with Inter.

“It was impossible to see where our fans were in this huge stadium, but at the 85th minute I could hear them and knew they were up there. They suffered with us and we had to thank them.”

And for your viewing pleasure, one of the highlights of the post-match shenanigans...Victor Valdes spurring with J-Mo...

I <3 J-Mo xoxo
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Is there anyone more entertaining than Jose Mourinho in football? He would be hard to find.

An interesting point about Messi. I was thinking about him as a candidate for 'Player of the Year' for 2010, because he does not seem to have shone as much as he did last year. It's a bit early to predict someone for this award because the upcoming World Cup has not yet taken place, and as in 2006 when Fabio Cannavaro won 'Player of the Year' more for his part in the WC, I think, than for his play at Juve, the potential winner may not yet have shown his skills to the fullest. (I am thinking Wayne Rooney but we'll have to see how England fares in the WC and Rooney with it.) Leo Messi may well enable Argentina to win the WC but so far he has not sparkled with the NT. I'm going to take a little segue here and predict that Uruguay will do very well in June, and that someone like Diego Forlan could be huge.
My dream final four would be Argentina, Italy, Spain and Uruguay. I'm certain Brazil will have something to say about that though.
It's difficult for me to choose a final dream four for the World Cup. After much thought I'd have to choose Spain, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico. All Latino nations...heheheh.

I would not mind England, Paraguay or Chile either, although the latter two are long shots, I'm sure.

There are no teams I hate, but some I would not like to see in the finals.
Messi has been terrible with the national team but then again they haven't played World Cup yet so we'll have to wait to see.

So true about Uruguay. I keep calling them my underdog team, my surprise team and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy. Uruguay has a lot of potentially great players. If they come together at the right time they could go very far in the World Cup.
I hope they get used to losing cause it's gonna happen a bit more frequently in the future (I hope)