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Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Messi’

The World Cup’s First Hat Trick

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Gonzalo Higuain

The World Cup’s first hat trick has been recorded, courtesy of the man on the right, Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain. While it’s still early, Higuain’s triple means he’s scored more goals than Groups H, and tying Groups G, E, C. If it wasn’t for Uruguay, you could add Group A to that bunch as well.

Like I said, still early.

Argentina’s display of offensive wizardry came at a great time as well, considering all the bitching and complaining about the lack of explosive goal scoring. Memo to those who are part of the complaints group: It doesn’t matter what you do to the ball, if a world-class team has, in many cases, up to nine men in the box, clogging the scoring lanes and simply playing good defense, goals will not come at a liberal pace.

As for Higuain’s scoring, two of his goals came from the header variety, while the other was from finishing a loose ball in front of the South Korean’s goal. Simply put, he was the definitive version of a finisher. While he may not have created his chances with dribbling wizardry, ala, Lionel Messi, he still put the ball away when it counted. See for yourself:

Gonzalo Higuain’s hat trick goodness after the jump >>

Who’s Watching Soccer Today?

Messi and Ronaldo

I normally save my soccer/futbol/footie posts for things like the World Cup qualifying, weird goals and the Euro Cup. Essentially the big, “everybody’s watching” games, like, for instance, the UEFA Champions League Final, which takes place later on this afternoon. The match will be watched the world over, and when you consider the fact that two of the best soccer players in the world (Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi) — not to mention two of the most followed clubs in the world — the appeal is understandable. For those of you who don’t like the sport, today’s game between Manchester United and Barcelona is a good opportunity to perhaps change these colors.

The United States loves its celebrities, athletic or otherwise, and with that in mind, a Ronaldo/Messi head-to-head could be the very thing to attract more fans — at least for today’s match. If you haven’t heard of either and question their star power, don’t, especially with Ronaldo. Not only is each player an international superstar, both are competing for the World Player of the Year award, which was given to Ronaldo last season. The thinking is, if Barcelona wins, Messi wins the award and vice-versa.

There is one unfortunate thing about today’s Final: the timing. Because of Europe’s silly “we’re ahead of you lot by five or six hours” mentality, the game comes on during the afternoon for us Americans. Fear not, however. ESPN360 has you covered if you are at work. If you are at home, ESPN will be doing the deed in a “live television” format.

Allow me to echo the thoughts of ESPN’s Josh Elliot (via Twitter and The Sporting News Blog), “give it a chance.” You never know, you might actually enjoy it. And hey, there’s always a chance a riot breaks out, so you have that going for you as well.

Game time is 2:25 Eastern.