The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Week 15

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A busy week of international sees some good and bad news for Portuguese football stars and Joey Barton makes it to our ugly section again. Good to have him back! These stories all feature this week in languagecaster’s review of the footballing news from around the world. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.

The Good

Well, we all know that international friendlies are a waste of time – at least that’s what England manager Fabio Capello and Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni might be saying after England and Ireland were both beaten 1-2 at home (by France and Norway respectively). But for one country this international week was a very good one indeed. Portugal thrashed Spain – a full-strength Spain – 4-0 in Lisbon on Wednesday night to record their third victory in a row under new manager Paolo Bento and claim some form of revenge for their World Cup defeat to their Iberian neighbours in South Africa in the summer. Martins scored the first, then former Spurs player Helder Postiga scored twice before Almeida netted the fourth to give Spain their second four-goal defeat in two months. It may have only been a friendly but try telling that to the Portuguese fans.

The Bad

Of course it was bad for the reigning World and European champions Spain but I’m going to choose something else from that game as my bad for this week. When the score was still 0-0, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a wonderful individual goal and chipped the Spanish keeper only for team mate Nani to tap the ball in – basically, Nani ‘stole’ Ronaldo’s goal but the fact that he was offside meant the goal was then disallowed. The reaction of his former Manchester United colleague is priceless; Ronaldo jumps up and down like a spoiled child and demanded an apology. Bad play from Nani, worse reaction from Ronaldo but also very funny indeed.

The Ugly’s favourite public enemy number one is back in the ugly section – yes, Joey Barton. We’ve featured the Newcastle United player regularly over the years in our reviews (1, 2, 3 ) for thuggish behaviour on and off the pitch, but we thought that he’d recently shown that he had cleaned up his act. He has been a driving force in midfield for the Magpies this season, playing intelligently and skillfully. We were beginning to think, after his spell in prison in 2008 and playing out of the spotlight in the Championship in the 2009-10 season, that Joey had turned his life around. There was even some sympathy for him when he was targeted by Wolves players for some hard tackles early in the season. But, it looks like he just can’t shake off his reputation for hot-headedness. Last weekend he punched Morten Gamst Pedersen, of Blackburn, in the ribs off the ball and received a three match suspension when his actions were reviewed after the match. Bad boy Barton is back!


thrashed: Well beaten; lose by a big score

to record their third victory in a row: To win three games – one after the other

Iberian neighbours: Spain (The Iberian Peninsula is made up of Spain and Portugal)

netted : Scored (in the net)

reigning World and European champions: The current holders, Spain

chipped the Spanish keeper : Kicked the ball over the goalkeeper

is priceless: Cannot put a price on it (it’s so funny)

thuggish: Like a lout or hooligan (suggestion of violence)

cleaned up his act: Become a better person; reformed

turned his life around: Reformed character

shake off: Lose (the image)

hot-headedness: To have short temper; be a fiery character

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 162