through-ryu's-lens

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Özil, the calm conquerer

One player certainly can’t make a team great by himself, but he can help push his teammates to new heights. Enter Mesut Özil. It’s hard to call him a revelation because we all knew he was world class, but Arsenal have found the key that unlocks all kinds of possibilities on the pitch. Ryu was at the Emirates to see the German suck all the spirit out of Napoli to make North London explode. [You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and find more on his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Anything you can do…

There’s only one person more disappointed that Zlatan won’t be in Brazil than Zlatan, and that is Ryu Voelkel. The big man deceives, acting and performing in a way that makes him seem to be more than just that. Camera in hand, Ryu was in Stockholm to witness a  battle between two greats.

Just when Portugal were comfortable, Ibrahimovic put them on the back foot. Just when Sweden were full of hope, Ronaldo silenced the stadium. The Swede did all he could, but could only watch as his counterpart did more.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: The Champions League welcomes back Didier

The last time Didier Drogba kicked a ball in the Champions League, it was a cool penalty that allowed Chelsea to win the competition for the first time in the club’s history. So when Drogba landed in Turkey after an extremely lucrative and tumultuous 8 month trip to Shanghai, excitement was in the air as he could continue his already legendary career with Galatasaray. The Turkish giants welcomed Schalke in the round of 16, and Ryu was in town to capture the Ivorian making his return on the continent’s greatest stage.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: France vs Germany, Stade de France

For the first time since 1987, the French fell to Germany. It may have been a friendly, but it happened at Stade de France in Paris, no less. The come from behind victory was a product of yet another outstanding performance from Mesut Ozil, working the strings in the final third. Just look at THAT PASS to set up Sami Khedira for the match-winner. Ryu followed the Germans from Berlin to Pair-ee, capturing Deutschland defeat Les Bleus. 

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Old Trafford dreams trump FA Cup magic

The Theatre of Dreams was as vibrant as ever, and Ryu almost forgot just how incredible of a venue it is. Manchester United welcomed Fulham, but acted rudely to their guests with a display of pure demolition. Rooney, Chicharito, and Ryan Giggs led the way forward into the 5th round of the FA Cup, leaving Fulham with only a consolation goal for their trip back to Craven Cottage.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Blues in Black

It was a bright and sunny day in London. A rarity for Chelsea faithful. Matchday was made even better when Mourinho’s men stole 3 points in the dying minutes of the match against Everton. Nevertheless, Ryu brought out his camera and turned the lights down low at Stamford Bridge.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Madrid rises in Manchester

Hours after the man who led Chelsea to hoisting the Champions League was tossed out onto the streets in London, Roberto Mancini had the small task of saving Manchester City from crashing out of the Champions League trophy with a win against Real Madrid. The win never came, nor did it deserve to. Casillas may have conceded on a questionable penalty, but beyond that San Iker’s doors were slammed shut. And Ryu was pitchside with camera in hand, watching the drama all unravel.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Japan’s quick trip to Brazil

Japan already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but first they flew to Brazil to represent Asia at this summer’s Confederations Cup. They brought style and quick-passing (aka Tokyo Taka) to the tournament, including an unbelievable match against Italy, which they somehow lost 4-3. They’re also on their way back to Japan already because there’s still plenty of work to be done, and Ryu was on hand for Japan-Mexico to witness what needs to be improved over the next year.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Messi lifts Barça, PSG bows out

Fingernails were bitten, but the Camp Nou crowd saw their side edge another excellent performance from PSG. Barça were second best until Lionel Messi came on and despite playing at 60% or so due to an injury, the Argentine led the Catalans into the back of the net. Ryu was in Barcelona to see the mighty Zlatan go silent as Pedro stole the show.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: 9 Goals at Stamford Bridge

It’s difficult to describe watching a 5-4 match between Manchester United and Chelsea only to think, “That was almost as good as the match I saw yesterday.” Sometimes we’re spoiled as football fans, and this week the goals have been raining down. Chelsea were after revenge against Fergie’s squad, and - after 120+ minutes of end to end action - that’s exactly what they got. Ryu was at Stamford Bridge to capture defenders pretending to be ghosts for Halloween.

You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. [Posted by Eric]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Dortmund delivers a classic

Few gave Málaga a chance. And sure, they lost in the end, but what a fight they put up in Germany. The Andalusians climbed on top of the yellow wall, and silenced the 70,000 fans. The game was there for the taking, and Manuel Pellegrini’s side was absolutely defiant of any storylines that were supposedly set in stone. As they return to Iberia, they’ll be crushed. Dortmund rose to the occasion in the end, providing a comeback for the ages in the dying minutes, but it was a game that allowed us to see two teams competing at their very best. Ryu captured the full spectrum of emotions that both clubs experienced throughout the 90 minutes.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.]

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Through Ryu’s Lens: City disappointment, Chelsea delight

This week’s Champions League action may have temporarily taken a back seat for some due to the battle between FC Romney and Obama United, but the drama wasn’t in short support in politics or football. Ajax (and their thousands of travelling fans) left Mancini enraged and Balotelli disappointed, as Manchester City’s Champions League dream awakened to a rude reality. Chelsea continued to play with an unprecedented level of entertainment at Stamford Bridge, barely edging out Shakhtar Donetsk. Ryu Voelkel made the trip from Berlin to Manchester to London to take it all in.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Turkish giants take Germany

The Bundesliga’s stature in world football continues to rise, and Schalke were slight favourites to join Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. But with Burak Yilmaz, Wesley Sneijder, and Didier Drogba leading them forward after a 1-1 draw in Istanbul, Galatasaray rose to the challenge at the Veltins-Arena, clinching an emphatic 3-2 victory on German soil. Ryu was on the scene to catch the Turkish giants sailing into the deep waters that await in the quarterfinals.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Eric.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Bayern Munich vs. Marseille, Champions League

After a 2-nil victory in the south of France, all Bayern Munich had to do was hold on to their lead. Not only did they hold their lead, but they won once again by the score of 2-0, this time with Ivica Olic scoring a brace. Ryu was at the Allianz Arena to capture Bayern’s smooth progress into the Champions League semis.

(Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr)

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Onagawa + Tsunami

“Sometimes what you see on the screen isn’t the same as what you see with your eyes.”

As you may have noticed, we haven’t had a “Through Ryu’s Lens” post from acclaimed Japanese sports photographer Ryu Voelkel for about a month. He’s been capturing something of far greater magnitude than professional athletes. Ryu traveled from Paris to his homeland to document the drastic impact the tsunami has had on the town of Onagawa, infamously the home of the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant. 

In Ryu’s words….

“Now that [the shoot] is done, it will be all about getting the portraits published. And here is where you might be able to help me out.

If you know anyone who will be interested in publishing these portraits, please let me know via flickr or twitter or email or what not.

My website is: www.ryusha.com and you can contact me through here. I will be happy to send the samples of the portraits. It’s not necessary at all to purchase all 12 for publishing. Even one will do.

The proceeds from this project, after I take off my travel expenses, will go to the school where these children are studying.”

View more of Ryu’s photos from his trip to Onagawa here. And get involved with the project here. Spread the word!

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Through Ryu’s Lens: One for history, Croatia take on Serbia

“I asked the players: ‘Where were you born? Have any of you ever played in Croatia?’ The answer was no,” he said. “The players are so young they don’t know what we had and what we lost. They live today in a new world.” - Siniša Mihajlović


The atmosphere was tense and emotions were raw, but as Croatia met Serbia in Zagreb in a match that always seemed on the verge of boiling over, there was nevertheless one overarching sensation: hope. Relationships have been strained, to say the least, since the dissolution of Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s, and with that in mind, visiting fans had been banned from attending the pair of matches to avoid any confrontations. But even with increased security and nationalist chants raining down, Croatia managed to hold strong against Serbia, 2-0.

More important, though, was what took place after the match ended. Croatian and Serbian coaches, Igor Stimac and Siniša Mihajlović, long-time nationalist symbols with their own decades-long differences, met in the center of the pitch and embraced. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason for hope. Ryu was on scene for the derby and all the emotions surrounding it.

Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr. Posted by Maxi.    

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Through Ryu’s Lens - Marseille vs Inter Milan, Champions League

As the slightest of underdogs, Marseille had 11 men with so much to prove against Inter Milan. Though a deep run in the Champions League is always expected by fans of the Nerazzuri, this season has been far from ideal for Inter. The woe continued as Andre Ayew snagged a 1-0 match-winner for Marseille in the dying moments of the game to give Marseille the slimmest of advantages before both teams play again in Milan. Ryu was on hand to capture the emotion and athleticism on show at the Velodrome.

(Interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his Flickr)