On this week’s reading review section we look back at some of the first games from the 2012-13 Champions League group stages seasons, wonders what is happening in Milan and sees another handshake problem in England. You can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
Long-time followers of the languagecaster podcast will know that I have a soft spot for Spanish side Málaga after living there during the 1990s. At that time the club was in disarray and was struggling in the lower leagues but after last season’s remarkable fourth-place finish in La Liga the Andalucian club qualified for the Champions League preliminary round which they duly won to make the group stage for the first time in the club’s history. Their first game was against big-spending Zenit St Petersburg who many were tipping as dark horses in this year’s competition yet Málaga won 3-0 to leave the local fans wondering just how far this Champions League dream will go on for.
It has been a really bad start to the new campaign for Italian powerhouse AC Milan whose home fans have yet to see the Rossoneri win. Milan have lost twice at home in the league (against Sampdoria and Atalanta) and were only able to draw 0-0 against Belgian side Anderlecht in the first game of the Champions League. Season ticket sales are down after the club sold star players Silva and Ibrahimovic and many are predicting an early exit for the seven-time winner of Europe’s top competition.
The pre-match handshake in English football has only recently been introduced into the game but it has been dominated by controversy with a list of high-profile incidents involving payers refusing to shake an opponent’s hand. This continued last weekend when QPR player Anton Ferdinand failed to shake the hand of John Terry whom he felt had racially abused him in a game last season. Ferdinand also refused to shake the hand of Ashley Cole who had come out in support of his Chelsea team mate, Terry. All very ugly indeed.
have a soft spot for: To like something
was in disarray: To be in mess; chaos
preliminary round: The round before the group stages of the Champions League
powerhouse: A traditionally strong team
Rossoneri: The nickname for AC Milan (red and black)
an early exit: To be defeated in the group stages
high-profile: Quite famous, big news stories