OH YEAH; WE'RE EXCITED! - Lintao Zhang
Champions of Europe v. Champions of North+Central America - Chelsea F.C. v. C.F.
Not too many minutes ago, a football match ended. In that football match, a team emerged victorious. Their victory was undoubted, they were clearly the better side (or so I was told by the commentator - I only watched the last 15-20 minutes due to social commitments, i.e. work-sponsored drinking). Three goals the victorious team put past the opposition goalkeeper, another one was chalked off for offside. The losing team scored with their only shot on target, in the 88th minute, to set the final score.
C.F. Monterrey thus defeated Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 to advance to the Club World Cup semifinals to take on the Champions of Europe (that's right; still!) on the 13th of December.
I don't know much about Ulsan Hyundai, but I'm guessing they have a rather close relationship with the Hyundai ex-conglomerate (not sure which arm). And apparently Lee Chun-Soo once played for them and that name (and hair) seem familiar from some World Cup. Sorry, South Korean footballers are not my forte.
Not that Mexican footballers are but they certainly carry more name-recognition with me - helped by the fact that Monterrey eliminated the Seattle Sounders in the CONCACAF Champions League and I sometimes happen to like & watch the Sounders. Monterrey boasts established international stars (Humberto Suazo - Chile, Ricardo Osorio - Mexico, Walter Ayovi - Ecuador), up-n-coming Mexican internationals (Severo Meza, 26; Jesus Zavala, 25; Darvin Chavez, 23), and even several "FM All-stars" (Neri Cardozo, Cesar Delgado, Aldo de Nigris).
What I'm trying to say is that they're not entirely talentless and their last four seasons have been thusly filled with trophies (2 Aperturas - 2009, 2010, Clausura runner-up - 2012, 2 CONCACAF Champions League - 2011, 2012). Having made it over to Japan for the second straight year and already bettered their finish from 2011 (5th place), they will no doubt be looking to add a CWC trophy to the cabinet.