The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Messi, Mourinho and Twitter

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Leo Messi lights up a nasty Champions League semi-final, one that had been darkened by Jose Mourinho, while Darren Gibson decides that twitter is not for him. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.

The Good

Thank God for Lionel Messi for without his brilliance, bravery, technique and goalscoring ability we would only be discussing the mind games, diving, and poor sportsmanship of the players in the Champions League semi-final first leg game between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Messi scored his 51st and 52nd goals of the season in a crucial away win in the Bernabeu which leaves the Catalan side in a very strong position to reach the Champions League final. His second in particular was a gem as he set off on a remarkable dribble that saw him beat 5 players before coolly slotting the ball beyond Iker Casillas to all but put the tie out of Madrid’s reach. Gracias Leo.

The Bad

Of course Barcelona are no angels – there was more than one occasion when their players surrounded the referee in the hope of pressurising him, while in Sergio Busquets they have a player who feigns injury in order to have opposing players carded. But at least Barcelona play football – something which cannot always be said for Jose Mourinho’s teams. Sure he is a winner – his track record, particularly in the Champions league is wonderful – but if wants his legacy to be more than that then maybe he should not send his team out to nullify his opponents rather than to beat them with attacking football.

The Funny

Twitter, the microblogging tool, is becoming increasingly popular around the world, and footballers are no different with more and more opening twitter accounts and tweeting to the world. Sometimes this can lead to trouble – not so long ago Ryan Babel, then at Liverpool, was charged by the English FA after he posted a doctored photo of a referee in the opposing team’s shirt. But other footballers, like Michael Owen recently, use twitter to engage in conversations with reporters and their fans. You’ve got to feel sorry, then for Darren Gibson of Manchester United, who was forced to close his twitter account after just 97 minutes because of the abuse he received from Manchester United supporters! Here were some of the comments he received: @dgibbo28 your performance on Saturday was one of the worst I’ve ever seen of any utd player. @dgibbo28 team do all hard work keeping possession then u hit row Z every f****** time!! @dgibbo28 you are a one trick pony. Not nice for Darren… but quite funny.



poor sportsmanship: bad behaviour, cheating, unprofessional

carded: recieve a caution, be penalised with a yellow or red card

track record: professional history, results

legacy: what people are remembered by, your record in your work that you leave for others to follow

nullify: stop with very defensive tactics, cancel out

doctored: fixed, fake, not real, changed

abuse: insulting language, offensive comments

row Z: when people say row Z they mean far back in the stadium, a long way from the pitch. If a player shoots into row Z, then miss the goal badly!

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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 183