A lot of people see Lionel Messi as a talent, I don’t think a lot of people see Messi as a hardworker. But he had to work so hard during his childhood, he had to leave his home when he was 13. I think a lot of people see him as a talented footballer came from Argentina but, no, he had a really though life; his family went back to Argentina so he was alone in Barcelona for a really long time, his growth problems and everything.
—  Gaizka Mendieta 

365 days of FC Bayern München


Bayern Munich crowned Champions League winners for the fourth time in their history:

The Bavarians clinched the win over Valencia in San Siro - Milan on Wednesday May 23, 2001. This game was an all-penalty game in which Valencia took an early lead with a penalty from Gaizka Mendieta in the 3rd minute. A few moments later Bayern were awarded a penalty which Mehmet Scholl shot but it was saved by Valencia’s Goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares. On the 50th minute however Bayern managed to equalize with yet another penalty shot by Captain Stefan Effenberg. The result remained 1-1 all through the normal and extra time of the game which led in the end to penalties.

The Bavarians won 5-4 when Oliver Kahn managed to save the last decisive penalty kick

FRANCE, Audon : President of the Bird Protection league (LPO) Allain Bougrain-Dubourg (L) is evacuated by inhabitants after clashing with the owner ® of a plot where bird traps were found during an action against finch poaching, on November 9, 2015 in Audon, south western France. AFP PHOTO / GAIZKA IROZ                        



This happened just yesterday (mila esker 7ilargitxoro7-ri!!). This man talking is Gaizka Garitano, Eibar football team’s coach during the press conference after the match against Almería in this same town (Andalusia).

A Basque journalist asks Mr Garitano about his impressions on the match in Euskara, and the coach starts answering in this language. But then another (non-Basque) journalist begins to mutter complaining about he can’t understand a word while the coach is speaking.
The Almeria team’s press responsible asks for silence and respect, explaining that after the ones in Basque Mr Garitano would answer every other question in Spanish, as usual. The Basque coach restarts his answer and the journalist restarts his complaints:
- Eibar coach: Is anything wrong?
- Journalist: Yes, that as you can see, we don’t get a thing.
- Press responsible: Come on, gentlemen. We’ve been in First Division for 6 years and when Barça came, we always did a question in Catalan and another one in Spanish. I don’t know why you’re doing all these gestures

Neither do we. But this is unacceptable. Well done, Gaizka Garitano, and kudos to that press responsible for calling a spade a spade: this is A LACK OF RESPECT.

UPDATE: ABC, a national newspaper, covers the story - quite incorrectly, because he didn’t answer two questions in Basque, he tried to answer just one and couldn’t - and finishes the article with this lovely sentence that has everything to do with sports: “Several times Garitano has publicly advocated for the independence of the Basque Country”. Because an article about anything Basque is never complete without a politic nuance. Independence = Euskera = Bad. EUSKERA IS A CO-OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. STOP STIGMATIZING IT.