Podcast 43: A Quick Look Back at 2008-2009

The final podcast of the 2008-2009 season. Damon and Damian take a look back at the good, the bad and the ugly moments of another great footballing year. The next languagecaster.com season starts in August 2009 and it should be a great one with the World Cup in 2010. Subscribe to our Newsletter in the sidebar to keep up with what’s happening.


Damian’s Good

Well, it was good for German side Wolfsburg who won their first ever Bundesliga title, while in Brazil, it was great for Sao Paolo who in February retained the Brazilian league title but the big news there was that soon afterwards it was announced that former Brazil number 9 Ronaldo would be joining Corinthians after another long injury lay-off and he has proved to be a huge success – we may even see him in his fourth World Cup next year. Great comeback for him but for my best of the season, I am going for one of Ronaldo’s former clubs, Barcelona who have just completed an amazing season by winning the ‘triplete’, the treble of the King’s Cup, the League title and the club’s third Champions League crown. Not bad for a team that has been described as having a shaky keeper, a weak defence, a midfield that is not physically imposing enough and a forward line that has two players with no hunger for the game or the club, as well as a striker that cannot score goals with his head or against English teams. We wondered in week 13 if this side could emulate the Cruyff Dream Team of the early 1990s. Well, they have more than done so. Barca we salute you.

Damian’s Bad

Well, it was pretty bad for football in the north-east of England as Middlesbrough and more surprisingly, Newcastle were both relegated to the second tier of English football. Newcastle saw three or four (we are not sure) different managers during the season and this win at all costs scenario represents my worst of the season: a real sense of short-termism. In week 27 we featured the managerial merry-go-round which saw West Ham, Tottenham, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Blackburn and Chelsea all lose managers in England, while high-profile managers such as Klinnsmann at Bayern, Schuster at Real Madrid and Claudio Ranieri at Juventus all being given their marching orders.

Damian’s Ugly

Didier Drogba’s post-match rant at the Norwegian referee in the Champions League was ugly – though let’s be frank, it was also pretty funny. On a more serious note there continues to be lots of fan trouble in Argentina but perhaps the worst of the season for me is the continuation of racism in the game. Despite groups such as Kick it Out in the UK – which we featured in week 12 Inter’s striker (and Italian national) Balotelli, Portsmouth’s Sol Campbell and Emile Heskey all suffered – among many others – racist chants and aggression. Ignorance is still rife in the game. Ugly indeed.


retained: kept, held on to injury lay-off: a long period out of the game with injury a shaky keeper: a weak goalkeeper, a keeper that makes mistakes imposing: strong, dominating, threatening emulate: copy, imitate act in a similar way (often because of respect) short-termism: planning only for a short time in the future, not making long term lans, often panicking (to be given) marching orders: to be sacked, to be fired, to lose your job rant: complain loudly, shout,talk wildly with no control rife: common

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  • Siobhan,
    The Brazillian Série A is by far the most important domestic cup.

    We have another national cup (similar to the Kings Cup in Spain) that ends next Wednesday with the match Corinthians vs. Internacional.

    The state cups are made to stimulate local teams and to maintain the rivalry between the biggest teams of each State. It’s not the most important but it’s the funniest because we keep in touch with the supporters of the other teams which is more difficult to occur during a national competition.

  • Nice podcast, I had great recollections of that time. Botafogo had a great team that year. For some months we were considered the best soccer team of Brazil.


    Unfortunately, this year Botafogo isn’t doing very well… Our best player (Maicossuel) was sold to Hoffenhein (Germany) at the beginning of the Brazilliian League some weeks ago and the team lost its way.

    Reinaldo is another important player but he had an injury two months ago and he still isn’t able to return. Maybe you don’t know him but he has already played with some players of our current selection like Kaka, L.Fabiano and J.César.

    I like the idea of the interview but I think that it’s better to wait some time. So that I can improve my english and Botafogo its campaign.

  • Pedro,

    I have some questions about Brazilian football – which is more important to fans, the state championships or the Brazilian Série A? I know Brazil is a big country but the two competitions seem confusing. Also, what is the most important domestic cup to win?

  • Pedro,

    thanks for the kind words and good luck with your studies.

    We mainly focus on European football but are always interested in what is going on in Brazil as well. We have done a podcast about the Brazilian League before back in 2007 but maybe it’s time to have another look.

    How are your team Botafogo doing this year? Who is the star player at the moment? Which of the Rio teams is your biggest rival? We have interviewed a Vasco da Gama supporter before – so maybe we can interview you some day about your team?

  • I’d love to see him in our selection again too. But Luis Fabiano is doing very well. Though we can’t compare both of them. Only Ronaldo is Ronaldo.

    Adriano is playing here in Brazil at Flamengo, the club where he came from. Now, he is fighting with the ball and the balance… Let’s wait to see what happens.

    Here in Brazil, I support Botafogo, The Glorious.

    I’ve been studying english over the last 3 years and now I’m looking for content in english related to topics of my interest like soccer. I’m still picking up the “terminology”. And I have to say to you, this website is excellent.


  • Thanks for the comments Pedro and for the corrections!! I would love to see Ronaldo in the next World Cup, especially now that Adriano seems to have disappeared. What team do you support in Brazil?

  • Very good podcast. I’m Brazilian and I like it very much when you talk about us 🙂

    Just two things that I’d like to point out:

    Actually it was in December that Sao Paolo won the Brazilian league title and that Ronaldo joined Corinthians.

    And Ronaldo participated in four World Cups (94-98-02-06). The next one may be his fifth.

    After all, is was great. Thanks a lot.


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