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Boring Champions League semis, the race for La Liga title, injuries, empty stadiums, and a big name biting the dust all feature on this week’s good, the bad and the ugly section of languagecaster’s football podcast. Click on the links below to find out more on all of these stories. Explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the foot of the page.

The Good

Ryan Giggs, the flying Welsh and Manchester United winger at last wins the PFA best player of the season award. While most pundits agree it is a pat on the back for a great career rather than recognition for this season’s display, it’s hard to begrudge Giggs the award. Well done Ryan! You can listen to an earlier languagecaster podcast on Ryan Giggs here.

Real Madrid keep the race for La Liga’s title exciting with yet another victory, which means 17 wins and one draw from the last 18 matches for the ex-Spurs boss Juande Ramos. Shame it looks like he’s out on his ear at the end of the season. Raul scored a hat-trick as the Madrid side comfortably beat Sevilla 4-2 away. With Barcelona drawing at Valencia, this weekend’s match between the two Spanish giants looks like it could be a thriller. Of course Barca, like Man United in the Premier League, will have to have one eye on the second leg in the Champions League, as well as this weekend’s match.

The Bad

The Champions League semi-finals were pretty bad affairs. The two games which are supposed to showcase some of the best teams in Europe only produced one goal. Cagey affairs and it’s difficult to see the return legs being much more exciting. Penalties anyone?

Phil Jagielka suffered a bad knee ligament injury in Everton’s loss to Manchester City last weekend and underwent surgery this week – successfully we read – but apart form missing the rest of the season and facing a tough rehabilitation regime, the star defender will also have to sit out the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Bad for him and for his team as he had been in great form before the injury.

Bad also for Jurgen Klinnsmann the former coach of Bayern Munich, who was sacked this week. It was confidently predicted by most at the start of the Bundesliga season that Bayern Munich would sweep aside all opposition and canter to the title. A drubbing by Barcelona in the last 8 of the Champions League and last weekend’s 1-0 home loss to Schalke were the straws that broke the camel’s back. Other complaints had been his unorthodox training routines and the fact that he divided his time between his home in the USA and Germany. Bye bye Jurgen…

The Odd

As everyone is aware, the biggest news topic at the moment is the influenza outbreak in Mexico that is threatening to spread around the world. Now, languagecaster doesn’t want to join the bandwagon of alarm, but one of the effects of this troubling health development is the fact that some football games in Mexico have been played in empty stadiums. Last Sunday, for example, America lost to Tecos UAG in front of empty stands at the Azteca stadium, famous from the 1970 and 1986 World Cups and with a capacity of 105,000. Odd, spooky and a little bit worrying…

Vocabulary

Here are some of the words and phrases from the good, the bad and the ugly section from this week’s show. You can download the podcast here

PFA best player of the season award: The Professional Footballers Association chooses the best player in England each year

pundits: Experts, people who know a lot about football

a pat on the back: Congratulations

to begrudge: To resent; to be envious

he’s out on his ear: He will be kicked out; fired, forced to leave

hat-trick: Three goals in one game

to showcase: To demonstrate something; to highlight

Cagey affairs : Tense, nervous occasions (games)

knee ligament injury: Part of the knee that becomes damaged – a serious injury

sweep aside: To beat all teams easily

canter to the title: To easily win the championship

A drubbing: A heavy defeat

the straws that broke the camel’s back: The final errors that lead to being fired

unorthodox: Unusual, not something regular

bandwagon: To join a campaign, to follow others’ opinions

spooky: Scary

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The Good, The Bad, The UglyEpisode 104