PSG, money can’t buy everything

Envy

For example it cannot buy coherence, I have just read another boring declaration of a leftist intellectual and European MP who says that he really hopes PSG will fail to reach its targets. The name is not important, there are dozens or so statesman like this every week, what I want to know is: does it make sense criticise PSG for its wealthy using a ideological bias?

I don’t thing so. For a start a reach owner that invest a lot of money in a struggling economy should always been referred to showing respect, they’re are creating wealth, jobs and paying loads of taxes. The good aspect of football is that when a club make the lucky strike to lure a wealthy investor, that doesn’t create troubles to other clubs. Since Manchester City has been bought by the new owners, Manchester United hasn’t gone bankrupt, in fact it earns even more than in the past; and often other owners are pushed to spend more thus improving the league, the show and creating a good effect on economy in general (jobs, taxes, investment, etc.).

I understand that there is an issue with the result on the pitch when a so rich team face competitors so much poorer, but from an ideologically and economic point of view it simply doesn’t make sense.

Uefa Europa League 2012/13 Draw

Uefa Europa League 2012/13 Draw

After the yesterday Champions League draw, today has been the big day for the very less important tournament, Europa League. Unfortunately since its start Italian teams haven’t put a lot of effort on trying to win the award, from a financial point of view it could seem a right decision (the reward for such a long competition are very poor), but in fact it is not, because this trophy contributes heavily on the scores that determines how many teams each nation could qualify for the Uefa Champions League. So it comes as no surprise that the Italian football is now in the 4th place of this ranking well behind Bundesliga which is the last league that could qualify 4 teams for the bigger European award and, that Portugal and France are now very close to Italy. Anyway let’s consider the today draft.

Udinese hasn’t been very lucky, in the group A they have reached Liverpool, Anzhi and Young Boys. The English team is one of my favourite but is only a far relative of the Benitez’ Armada that reached twice the finals in the Uefa Champions League, and now they struggle to find an identity, they have recently bought the talented Fabio Borini from Roma, a great forward in my opinion who will leave his mark on this season, but they still lack something as a team I think more than on the single players. Suarez, is a poor racist but a great player, while Carroll is definitely not up to scratch (he’s still not up to scratch but is now on loan). Rodgers as new coach could be the right choice but for now we have seen his former team Swansea still playing a great football, while his new one is playing badly, was the last season a great one thanks to him or the Swansea club organization? We’ll see. Anzhi the very rich team of Samuel Eto’o and of the troubled Caucasus area could be a real danger, especially because the Cameroonian is a real champion and could win matches all alone and I think it won’t be easy to play at their home field. Young Boys as usual happens with Swiss teams are undervalued by Italians, we think that Swiss can only ski or make chocolate, but history tells us that they’re well organised and that it’s very difficult to score, at their stadium they could beat anyone. I think that Udinese is weaker than the last year, unless Muriel grows really fast, he’s a potential champion, someone so strong that Sanchez the former Udinese player now at Barçelona would seem an amateur, but unfortunately we have no guarantees on his growth, this fact, the sold of two key players this summer and another year on the shoulder of their captain and main scorer Di Natale could be an obstacle too big to avoid. My forecast: 1. Liverpool; 2. Anzhi 50% – Udinese 50%; 4. Young Boys.

In the group F Napoli will face PSV Eindovehn, Dnipro form Ukraine and AIK from Sweden. It doesn’t seem a mission impossible for the azzurri. PSV is not the great team of the past, but never trust Nederlands teams, they’re always a danger, moreover their new coach is Advocaat one of the most experienced and winner coach on the market, they have signed Mark van Bommel also, so it’s necessary to keep them in mind if you want to win the group. Dnipro and AIK are not exactly famous teams and honestly I don’t think they will be such a difficult hurdle for Napoli. The Italian team has sold Lavezzi to PSG but has signed Insigne a young talented forward and has kept its base, I think they could have only two issues, the first one they want to focus on the Seria A more than on Europe, that’s clear, the second one their coach Mazzari is not skilled enough for a European tournament (and in my opinion for the championship too). My forecast: 1. Napoli; 2. PSV; 3. Dnipro; 4. AIK.

In group H Internazionale will face Russian Rubin Kazan, Partizan from Beograd and Neftçi from the remote Azerbaijan. Inter is the strongest team of the group, but, they have signed a very young and inexperienced coach, they struggled too much in the qualification stages against weaker teams, and they want to focus on the championship more than on Europe too. Moreover Rubin is a tough challenger, Partizan is not so good but when they play at home could be difficult to get some points. Neftçi should be the victim of the group. My forecast: 1. Internazionale FC; 2. Rubin; 3. Partizan; 4. Neftçi.

In group J Lazio has its work cut out, they will face Tottenham, Panathinaikos and Maribor. Maribor is the weakest team of the group, even if a lot of good players have recently started a career from here. Panathinaikos has faced troubles with the ownership, and I think they’re far weaker than some years ago, they have let go their most important players, the only thing that could work for them is that is always difficult to play in Athens. Tottenham is the strongest team, they have plenty of talented players, the loss of Modric is not so big, I don’t think he is so strong, but they’ve a new coach Villas Boas who is not a guarantee after his first year in Premier League. But they have kept most of their players and are an ambitious team, if they don’t focus too much on the championship they will win the group. Lazio has got a new coach, but a very weak transfer market, just two players signed, and only one of them seems a good one, but they’ve only Klose as a talented scorer, if he wasn’t fit they’d face troubles. Moreover the environment doesn’t seem a quiet one and in my opinion they are going to face a troubled season. My forecast: 1. Tottenham; 2. Lazio; 3. Panathinakos; 4. Maribor.

Chelsea vs Bayern, the first won but…

I’ve always been a great sympathizer of Chelsea, and I am a big fan of Drogba and Terry, so I’ve been very happy for their win at Champions Leagues’ final in Munich.

But, there is a but, for the good of the football is that a good news? I do not think so. Chelsea played with all their energy and with their hearth, but also with an astonishing budget, and most important with an awful loss at around 70 million of pounds, while the Bayern spent their 120 minutes pushing and making a money. They have made a profit for more than ten years in a row, not always so huge, but still a profit.

Many believe that Financial Fair Play will change that, but it is not exactly the truth, because if it principles are really fair, its applications are less fair, and let the clubs do a lot of tricks to avoid to balance their books quickly. In other words this inequality will continue in the coming years.

So if a part of me is happy for what a great club like Chelsea has achieved, another part of me think that with a balance book in the same condition maybe Chelsea wouldn’t even be in Champions.

A sudo European Union

Our common roots

Let me borrow a key word from the Linux (Ubuntu) world to express the need that we have in this time of history. We need to leave out all the populist, the fears, take our bravery in our hands and go forward to a new super state, a true integration between the nations that really want it.

The “sudo” user is the administrator, a super user, a person with all the powers, in this case I think a strong Union, with all the powers that a state needs to have, for example the USA, and with its huge economy would be able to stop the speculation on our economies, stop populism and all the risks that they carry with them, and start a new era for all Europeans, maybe for the world.

We need to join our debts, our “credits”,  our politics, our armies, our intelligences, our welfare, our educations, our health systems; everyone would have its space to integrate these fields, welfare for example, but we need a common base, so that we could not just feel citizens of a new state but we really became part of it.

We need to step on the gas of integration.

A dangerous path

The last election in Italy even if in a local scale and with only a small portion of the Italian population involved shown us a very dangerous future for our country.

I do not know whether from abroad it is clear enough. In most of the European countries that have faced really big troubles because of the economic crisis, that seems to be eternal and invincible, the population have shifted their political preferences through non main stream parties, most of them extremists (right more often but left too).

France and Greece are the last example, but we could talk about Netherlands, Hungary, Spain etcetera. In Italy the situation could seem different, but it is not. That’s why. The right parties have imploded on their corruption and on their failures in the economic policies, the centre struggle to gain ground, the left resists but in the number of their votes are always the same, voters seems to change parties within the same coalition, without leaving it. The far left and the far right do not gain anything from the crisis, it sounds good but in fact Italy shares the same political future of its neighbours.

The political movement “Movimento 5 stelle” (Five stars movement) has intercepted the protest and has got its votes multiplied by ten at least. At first it could appear like a smart on-line party, like The Piraten in Germany and in Northern Europe, but it is not. It is a mix of good willingness of Marie LePen, they always present themselves like democratic, liberal, honest and just-arrived-to-politics guys, but they are not; and a touch of populism like our old Northern League (almost ripped off after their internal scandals), or the populism of the Melanchon.

I do not want to become boring, but if you think that this is the real winner of this election and they could grown even more, our future is bugged at least as the French one, with their Front National. The Five Star Movement has some peculiar characteristics, they said to be democratic but their leader, who owns the website, the logo, and that is not elected, do not accept the contradictory, he just make proclaims, like an Assad, more than like a Western politician. They make their decision on-line, but if the leader disagree he can overruled them, of course without any discussion. Their first economic solution for the crisis is to get out of the Euro and cut half of our debts, the consequences? There is no discussion on this. I hope to have pointed out the dramatically dangerous side of an undemocratic party who got a strong increase in their power and sadly they’re getting more and more space on mass media, something unacceptable for someone who refuse the democratic praxis of the dialogue.

Boycott Euro 2012!!!

Kiev

I don’t think one can export democracy or rights anywhere in the world, both come from the inhabitants of a country, if they are ready, if a lot of things go in the same direction at the end democracy and human rights could (not have to) spring up.

Hence I don’t believe we can force Ukraine to be more democratic or at least more human with its prisoners, notably the most famous prisoner former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. But we can do a lot to freed her!

If  the main European countries boycott Euro 2012 we can send a message everywhere in the world, we in Europe do not tolerate those abuses!

I really hope they will go forward, we will not change the country, but we can save a life, and I don’t think this is a bad achievement.

Anyway if someone wanted to be a little bit polemical could wonder why such an important event was assigned to a country that was not so different years ago…