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Sweet Emotion

Yes, it's that awesome Sweet Emotion song by Aerosmith which I'm listening to the last couple of hours like crazy. And if you 're expecting a music blog or may be a game one (since Guitar Hero : Aerosmith is due to be relased later this month), you 're daaaaaaaaaaaamn wrong people, as this is gonna be another football blog.

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Sweet emotions is what the football fans around Europe are hungry of, as the UEFA Euro 2008 kicks off this Friday. I have no illussions. What happened 4 years ago with Greece won't happen again, most possibly not even on the next 50 or 100 years. Anything better than 3 defeats is welcomed.

But I will muble no more.

The new era of the Soccer Addict Union has hit heights. With more than 1k hits every day, users posting their thoughts for the forthcoming Euro and plenty of interesting games going on, I think it's time to put things in order and give you some very nice links, now that the Euro 2008 is ready to kick off.

OFFICIAL EURO 2008 DISCUSSION

SOCCER ADDICT UNION'S GRAPHICS SAFE On this first page you will find the awesome sigs designed by Davidhye (once again, thank you very much for your help) especially for Euro 2008. Wear them !

PREDICTION GAME - EURO 2008 SPECIAL EDITION - ROUND 1 Read the rules carefully and post your predictions about the Euro 2008 matches of matchday 1 and check out our exclusive bonus points there.

SOCCER ADDICT UNION BETS - EURO 2008 EDITION Check out the first post and in case you don't see your name on this list, simply post a message in this thread saying "I wanna join" and you will be added.

EURO 2008 FANTASY GAME Check out the rules and the needed code 2663-683 in order to enter to our league.

Also, don't forget to take a look on the 1st page of our SUMMER TRANSFERS 2008 as you will see what's the most important transfers taking place.

Other interesting topics to look out for :

The Saga on Chelsea's new manager includes all the latest news and speculation about Chelsea's hot seat.

FOOTBALL WARS : C.Ronaldo vs L.Messi Who's gonna win this round ?

That's all for me folks, thanks for reading and hope to see you all in the Soccer Addict Union :)

P.S. I'm off to eat my salad, I'm starving like hell :P

Zenit wins Rangers in UEFA Cup final

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City of Manchester welcomed Zenit's and Rangers' fans who packed the stadium, creating a very nice atmosphere.

1st half analysis

Not many to remember from this game so far. Generally speaking, Rangers theoretically put out a team to play a 4-1-4-1 formation, but it's mostly something like 8-1-1, with everyone defending, Ferguson a little higher in the midfield and Darcheville isolated up front. The Russians had a good chance early in the game with Arshavin, but his left-footed shot sent the ball to the outside part of the nets of Alexander. Since Zenit cannot find any space to move, they tried their luck with a couple of long shot. A free kick from long distance by Sirl in 12' found Alexander in position, while Anyukov's long shot at 29' didn't cause much trouble to Rangers goalkeeper.

If you see it my way, it's another team in blue defending and considered as outsiders. Does Euro 2004 ring any bells to you too? However, Walter Smith doesn't want to risk in this game, a goal might help to see a better game, but I don't see it happening unless there's a counter attack or a set piece.

2nd half analysis

Something must have happened in the dressing rooms, this is the only explanation I can give The second half was much more better. Advocaat played a mind game and finally got awarded for it

Zenit decided to "invite" the Scots in their area and Rangers missed a great chance with Darcheville at the very start of the second half. Dadis made a great move, passed it to the French striker, but his shot from close range was saved by Malaveev. Whittaker saw 2 of his shots saved by defenders and not the Russian goalkeeper.

And while Rangers were pushing forward, Zenit was waiting for the right moment. It was 65' when the Russians went on a counter attack, Arshavin run like a bullet overtaking two defenders and Alexander who went off his posts, but his shot was saved by Papac using his head. But seven minutes afterwards there was time for celebration.

An excellent assist by Arshavin to Denisov who found himself unmarked in the area and didn't let the chance go wasted.

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1-0 for Zenit and time for some motivating by Walter Smith who brought McCulloch, Boyd and Novo in. Nacho Novo may have changed the fate of the final, but his shot from the penalty area made a nearby birdy still crying from pain.

The Russians put some cream in the victory in the end, with Arshavin setting up the ball to his left for Tekke, the Turkish player made the move and passed the ball to Ziryanov the right moment to make it 2-0.

Man of the Match - Andrei Arshavin :

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He took part in both Zenit's goals and he was a constant threat for the defence of Rangers throughout the match. You could see him playing well on both wings or behind the centre forward with the same easiness.

Champions League here we come

Hello folks :D

It's been another trophyless season for my beloved Panathinaikos (the team I support in my home country for the last 31 years of my life), but yet we managed to finish it with some hope for the future, as today we clinched second place in the Greek Superleague's play-offs, which means we made it to the 2nd qualifying round of next season's Champions League :D

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It was a packed "Apostolos Nikolaidis" stadium after a long time today and the players showed from the very first moment their determination to make the fans happy. We outnumbered Aris (the name comes from the ancient Greek mythology, Aris was the God of war) and finally managed to win 3-1, thanks to two goals by former Benfica's midfielder Giorgos Karagounis and last summer's newcomer Dame N'Doye.

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Despite the fact that there's still one game remaining, AEK Athens failed to win Panionios at Nea Smyrni and everything has been decided. According to our country's and Panathinaikos current UEFA standings, we will be surely seeded among the strong teams for next season's 2nd qualifying round of Champ.League and hopefully make it to the 3rd qualifying round which things are gonna be much more difficult there.

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As for my beloved Scousers, they managed to finish in $tyle in their last match in English Premier League for this season after beating Tottenham. Fernando "EL NINO" Torres scored another goal and reached 24 goals in Premiership, breaking former ManUtd's Ruud V.Nistelrooy record of most most goals scored by a foreign player in his debut season in EPL.

Also Round 16 of the Prediction Game is on, with a special edition for UEFA Cup's final between Zenit and Rangers.

Band of the week : Bon Jovi

Thanks for reading :D

Football Wars and other stuff

FOOTBALL WARS !!! What on earth is this again ???

The Soccer Addict Union brings you another exclusive feature called "FOOTBALL WARS"

Now that the national leagues come to an end and before UEFA EURO 2008 kicks off, we thought it would be a good idea to launch this brand new feature, in order to keep you focused (and dedicated) to us In this feature you are welcomed to discuss/debate on our actual choices for the "wars", always trying to keep the language clean, do not offend any other posters, and last but not least tell us who's your choice and why. If you embrace this feature, I promise you we will have more of these in the near future.

For this round, we picked possibly the most prolific strikers this season.

Click here to find out what the Football Wars is all about and vote :D

Also don't miss our Prediction Round 15 and the brand new UEFA Euro 2008 thread made by Davidhye (great work there mate).

Stay tuned folks :D

Real Madrid smashes Barcelona in El Classico

Real Madrid 4-1 Barcelona

Real Madrid celebrated their 31st Spanish Championship with the best way

Barcelona showed great respect and recognition making the famous "pasillo", but Real Madrid didn't do them any favours. Quite the opposite, Madrid proved once again that they are the best team in Spain, smashing the Blaugrana 4-1.

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No surprises by both managers. Schuster selected his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation while "I'm-getting-out-of-Barcelona" Rijkaard insisted on his 4-3-3. The result ? Madrid's side dominated the pitch in the first 20 minutes. Just 13 minutes after kick-off, Raul smashed the ball with his left foot from the edge of the penalty area and sent it to the back of the nets of hopeless tonight Victor Valdes.

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Robben, Sneijder and Guti did whatever they wanted in the midfield, as for Barcelona they left all their hopes again to Lionel Messi who was covered by 3 and 4 Madridistas at most occasions and the ball never arrived to Bojan's feet.

At 21' the referee awarded a foul outside Barca's area (a foul that never occurred), Guti took it and Robben headed it on the way to 2-0 as he was unmarked. Barcelona's reaction to this was out of the question. Making it more simple to you, they did what they use to do almost throughout the season, which is ball possession and... nothing !!! Real Madrid shouldn't and didn't take any risks, but whenever they were forward they were very dangerous.

The second half had the same taste as the first. At 50' Real scored a third goal with Marcelo which was wrongly disallowed as offside, but Madrid had no willingness to stop. Valdes stopped Marcelo at 56' and Xavi stopped the ball before the line in Diarra's shot at 60'. The super sub of last weekend Gonzalo Higuain entered the pitch and raised the goal margin to three after a nice finishing shot from inside the area.

Madrid's crescendo had no stopping !!! They kept pushing forward as if it was the last match of their lives !!! Puyol hand-balled inside the area at 78', but it was clear to me that he was trying to protest his face rather than stopping the ball. However, the referee awarded a penalty Ruud V.Nistelrooy didn't miss.

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The Dutch striker had another chance to raise the goal margin again with a nice header, while Barcelona seemed to wake up all of a sudden and make two nice shots with Messi, which Casillas brilliantly saved, proving he's possibly the best goalkeeper in the world for this season. He couldn't do much though in a typical Henry's finish at 88'.

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AC Milan wins the San Siro derby

AC Milan 2-1 Internazionale

AC Milan made a very decisive step towards next season's Champions League.

Carlo Ancelotti's team won Internazionale 2-1 in the San Siro's derby and climbed to 4th place of Serie A, not letting the gift from Cagliari go wasted, since they beat Fiorentina 2-1.

Filippo Inzaghi and Ricardo Kaka were the goalscorers for the Rossoneri, and they ended a bad tradition, as they had lost their last 3 encounters by the Nerazzuri.

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Mancini's squad woke up after conceding their 2nd goal, but still they have the upper hand for Serie A over Roma, as they only need one win in the two remaining matches, in order to mathematically clinch their 3rd consecutive Squdetto.

Kaka and Seedorf bossed the midfield in the 1st half, while Inzaghi was the protagonist in all Milan's three chances. The first occured at 20' when Kaka found Inzaghi in the area with a magnificent pass, but SuperPipo was denied by Cezar. At 35' Gatusso found Bonera on the right flank, he made the cross but the ball went just inches higher than Inzaghi's head, while a couple of minutes after, it was Inzaghi again who took a "fishy" header but the ball went about half-meter from Cezar's left post.

The Rossoneri started the 2nd half with tremendous determination and managed to score twice in 5 minutes.

At 51' Kaka made an excellent personal run from the right, dribbled Materazzi and with a perfect cross he found Inzaghi in the area. Inzaghi didn't miss... His diagonal header didn't leave any chance to Cezar to react.

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Clarence Seedorf's long shot went wide at 54', but 2 minutes later, it was the moment for Milan to add their second goal. Ambrosini won the ball after pressing Maicon and found Kaka in the area. The Brazilian barely misses from that angle.

2-0 and the time for Milan to secure their victory has come. Kalac said no to Crespo's close range shot at 62' and two minutes later he turned away a shot by Maicon. Mancini had to take risks and he put Balotelli in for Maniche. Cruz narrowed the gap at 75' with a free kick and the game became a roulette. Kalac brilliantly saved the free kick by Chivu at 85', while Materazzi stopped Pirlo a minute later.

In injury time, hearts broke, but Chivu's free kick went about a meter higher than Kala's woodwork and 2-1 remained unharmed for the Rossoneri.

My view on Chelsea-Liverpool

Instead of a match report.

- The tie was decided on 2 injuries, Aurelio's and Skrtel's. In the first leg, Aurelio gets injured, Riise gets in and scores the own goal. Tonight, Skrtel gets injury on an effort to stop Drogba, Hyypia gets in, then Drogba scores 2 goals and Hyypia concedes the penalty

- Cech has made fantastic saves in both legs and yet flops in the "hurricane" shot of Babel (if you check the shot closer, the ball went like a bit crazy).

- The referee didn't make much of a difference tonight, but I can't let some things go unmarked. He didn't hesitate to show the centre's spot (neither SkySports did to show that the score was already 2-1, I wonder why ) when Essien scored the goal while Drogba was clearly standing in front of Reina. And secondly, can someone explain to me why he didn't award that foul on Gerrard in the very end of extra time ?

- The moment Grant tried to delay the game and catch the ball, with Gerrard slightly pushing him and Grant sitting down to his seat was priceless

- Who has the guts to say that THIS game was boring ?

- Nights like this make me proud of being Liverpool once again.

- I'll obviously watch the final, Platini can dance around with his puppets (Gallard included), and of course he can keep giving half of the tickets of the final to the sponsors and not to the supporters (I guess they still haven't realised why there's so much black market in the tickets of CL final).

- Oh and another thing, that may sound arrogant but it's true. Yossi Benayoun and F.Torres did what Messi and Eto'o couldn't do last night, just watch the move and the pass of Benayoun on Torres's equilizer. If that was Ronaldihno and Henry, the media would have made this video of the year.

- For me it's going to be like the final of 2006. Back then I didn't want anyone to win, same thing goes for now.

- Cheyrou's curse is over.

Thanks for reading.

When things go the way you don't expect...

Hi there folks :D

Got back yesterday early in the morning from my recent trip to Anfield, after watching the 1st leg of the semi final of UEFA Champions League between Liverpool and Chelsea (unfortunately, pics aren't ready yet, so you may wait a couple of days more).

Day 1 - Afternoon : Arrived in Liverpool on Monday afternoon and after settling in the hotel, I contacted Craig (fishdalf) and he came over from the hotel :D We changed gifts as I got him some nice traditional Greek gifts, including a small replica of Parthenon, while he got me the match programme from the forthcoming Liverpool-Chelsea game and a special scarf about this game as well.

I paid a visit at his place, met his mom (hope you recover fast Mrs Bryan :) :) :) ) and dad, and finally the time for a PES 2008 battle between me and fishdalf has come :P

I chose to play with Panathinaikos and Craig took Liverpool. It was obviously going to be pretty one sided, but still I believe that he didn't go hard on me :P We enjoyed every moment of it and the final score was 2-0 for fishdalf, with me having a really good chance in the first half. Craig is obviously much better than me in PES :P

We then rushed to a nearby pool pub, where Craig and me tought the Evertonians some pool (billiard). I haven't touched a stick for more than 5-6 years, but still I have the feeling of it. We won 3-2 but could have easily been 4-1 (right Craig ? ) We said each other goodbye, but make no mistake Craig, I'll be coming to Liverpool again, hopefully next season :D

Day 1 - Night : I was happy to hear that the Liverpool's reserves, despite the fact that they had won the North League, they still managed to win 3-1 in their last game. I rushed to the town centre to meet with my old friends from Liverpool, and went straight to Slater Street. It was Monday night, but still very lively :D We found ourselves drinking beers at the Jacaranda pub.

Day 2 - The game : Anfield was packed once again, with the Scousers creating another incredible atmosphere. As in the game against Arsenal, the visitors had ball possession and controlled the game better in the first 20-25 minutes of the game, but Dirk Kuyt managed to beat Cech nearly at the end of the 1st half and send us to heaven.

I was so confident, I had faith and strong belied that we were going to win this game, may be even clinch the ticket for Moscow from the 1st leg. But like always happens in such games, small details are very important and that kind of small detail occured at 60'. It was the minute that our left back, Aurelio got injured and left the pitch under a huge applause. Benitez did the obvious, he brought Riise in, but nobody could imagine what will happen next.

Two of the most important biggest chances were missed in front of my eyes. First, Gerrard tipped the superbly and curled it with passion towards Cech's nets, but Chelsea's goalkeeper managed to turn it away, while 2 minutes in injury time, Torres had a very big chance from close, but Petr Cech closed his angle and saved it again.

Oh well, 1-0 isn't bad so bad... but before finishing my line, Riise sent the ball in the back of his own net. I can't be mad at Riise, such things happen in football, even if an 8 year-old could have smashed the ball away. I was just mad with Chelsea's luck.

I left Anfield with the feeling that we had indeed won the game and that the lads had a good European night again. I know it's gonna be pretty hard at Stamford Bridge, in fact we haven't scored there since 2004. As long as the lads give their best, I'll be more than satisfied. Being 3 times in the last 4 years among the truly best in Champions League is a great achievement already, it's just that strange feeling that "You'll never walk alone" gets inspired by, that makes me never let the lads alone, no matter the outcome of a game.

Thanks for reading :)

A long waited trip Part III

Hi to everyone :)

The time has come, and I have to leave you again folks for a couple of days, as tomorrow I'm flying to Liverpool again in order to watch the 1st leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea.

A semi-final sometimes looks like a final. I mean whether a teams go through has to do with luck sometimes. It's not going to be an easy game that's a fact. We 've gone far again this season in Champions League and managed to reach the semi-final for a 3rd time in the last 4 years, which already I consider a success. There have been teams that win the trophy the one year, then plenty of mediocre performances follow. I have faith in the team and the manager and I'm sure the lads will give their best.

Once again I expect an interesting and tough game and as always, no matter the outcome, we will all sign "You 'll never walk alone" to the lads :D