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Lucky 5 for Barcelona and Dimitar Berbatov, Real Madrid lose the plot and corruption at the heart of FIFA. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the post.
5 is the magic number, at least if you are Dimitar Berbatov or a player or fan of Barcelona. The Bulgarian striker scored a remarkable five times in Manchester United’s 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers last weekend and to tell the truth he could have had a couple more only for the keeper’s heroics. Barca did not score as many as United but they did play better opposition, well supposedly they did! The Catalan side absolutely demolished their arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Clasico last Monday. Leo Messi was fantastic and he helped to set up two goals for David Villa, while Pedro, Jeffren and the impressive Xavi scored the others. Barcelona go top of La Liga and have now won the last five of their meetings with Real Madrid. The magic number indeed.
Good for Barcelona usually means bad for Madrid and sure enough the Clasico was a disaster for Los Blancos as they were completely destroyed by their Catalan rivals. Their expensive Galacticos barely got a kick all game, apart from Spanish international Sergio Ramos who gave a kick to Leo Messi to earn a straight red card towards the end of the game. Totally and utterly outplayed it will be interesting to see how the team react this weekend.
The way FIFA decides host nations for the World Cup is now beyond a joke. Last month, six members of the FIFA committee were suspended for being ready to accept bribes, after evidence was published in the British newspaper The Sunday Times. And now, three more members of the FIFA World Cup selection committee are accused in a BBC documentary of having accepted bribes back in the 1990s worth up to 100 million dollars. People in England are worried that these allegations and reports by British journalists will mean England will not be chosen to host the 2018 World Cup and while, as an Englishman, I would like it to take place in my country, to be honest the less we have to do with FIFA the better. Greedy and dishonest offcials and very ugly.
remarkable : Amazing, wonderful
thrashing: A heavy defeat
to tell the truth: In reality, to emphasise
the keeper’s heroics: The goalkeeper was brave and played really well
demolished : Completely beat another team, thrashed
arch-rivals: Their strong rivals (enemies)
Los Blancos: Nickname for Real Madrid
Galacticos: Nickname for Real Madrid’s expensive team
beyond a joke: more than pathetic, not funny at all, very very bad, very serious
be suspended: be stopped from continuing (in your job / or playing for a team)
a bribe: an illegal payment of money or goods, given to receive a favour
allegations; accusations, charges, claims