The One With the Quarter Finals…

La Liga Lounge returns with a Champions League special after this week’s first leg matches in the quarter-finals.

As the competition reaches its business end, Sophie and Ben discuss Barcelona’s depleted defence (who will partner Piqué?), Messi’s mini-absence, disagree on Víctor Valdés and question whether the Catalans have a mental issue late in games.

The Lounge bar staff also talk Madrid and how it’s all coming together for Mourinho, Casillas vs Diego López, the strikers and how this could be their year. We also chat Cristiano Ronaldo, look at his amazing stats and those of Messi, remember Ronaldinho, weigh up Neymar and big up Málaga, probably the story of this Champions League campaign. Will we see them back next year?

Joe Cole finds love…

Joe Cole has moved to Liverpool as a free agent and he couldn’t be happier. Having lost his way at Chelsea over the last couple of seasons, Joe was certainly ready for a new challenge. Could this move be the making of his career?

When he first burst onto the football scene at West Ham United as a wee puppy, Joe Cole was deemed a future England superstar. And when he scored that beautiful self-made volley for England against Sweden in World Cup 2006, we all thought he would go on and evolve into a very special player as everyone had predicted. He certainly played well and won lots with Chelsea, but I don’t think we’ve seen the magic he is capable of in recent seasons.

Inhale…exhale…Chelsea have a new coach…

FBL-ENG-ITA-PR-CHELSEA-ACMILAN-ANCELOTTINot that I want this to become a Chelsea blog…but news is news people! Carlo Ancelotti was today named as the successor to Guus Hiddink. Do you think Chelsea hired Ancelotti because he looks a little like Guus? Check out the picture of Guus with the F.A. Cup below and judge for yourselves. Perhaps the owner and executive team hired the Italian master so the players can feel “comfortable” with a familiar face in the dressing room!