Italy 2 – Brazil 2 (International Friendly, March 21, 2013) (Alternative highlights & longer highlights.) Fred broke the deadlock with a side foot volley at the back post. Oscar made it 2-0 with an impudent flick past Buffon after a delayed Neymar pass. Italy pulled it back with two excellent goals. A back heel from Daniele De Rossi and a sensational strike from Mario Balotelli.
“You can lose some things, but you can never lose the slyness, the passion that you have had since you were a kid playing in the street. If I didn’t have the character that I have today on the pitch, I don’t think that I would have become the player that I am today.” – Liverpool talisman Luis Suarez.
This clip will likely be taken two ways, depending on your point of view about Luis Suarez. There is no in between right?!
Either “Luis Suarez is a winner and would tackle his own grandmother if it helped his team. Liverpool are lucky to have him.”
Or, “Luis Suarez is sexist as well as an alleged racist. The Uruguayan is a blight upon the English game.”
The video below comes from a joint training session between the Liverpool men and ladies teams ahead of the new Super League season.
With all the speculation that has been rife about Luis Suarez’s future at Anfield over the past 24 hours, at least the former Ajax forward has shown he is committed to the cause…
Spain 5 – Norway 2 (U21 International Friendly, March 21, 2013) Norway took an early lead through Havard Nielsen but were immediately pegged back by Cristian Tello. By 16 minutes it was 2-1 as Cristian Tello bagged a second. Rodrigo made it 3-1. Sergio Canales claimed the 4th. A Tollas own goal made it 5-1. Kastrati had the final word, pulling one back for Norway.
Since joining from Internacional, Oscar has made a lot of things look remarkably easy during his time at Chelsea.
It appears that whilst many of the top strikers in Europe struggle to beat Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon, undoubtedly one of the all-time great custodians, Oscar has no problem whatsoever.
To recap, Oscar scored twice past Buffon in September when Chelsea drew 2-2 with The Old Lady at Stamford Bridge.
Tonight, as Brazil raced into a 2-0 lead, Oscar claimed the second with an excellent finish that almost took the mickey out of Buffon, so easy did he flick it past the Italian keeper.
Jokes then abounded how Buffon must have nightmares about Oscar and incredibly they will likely face each other again in June at the Confederations Cup.
All three Oscar goals past Buffon this season, of which the trio are all absolutely excellent, can be seen below.
Portugal 0 – Sweden 1 (U21 International Friendly, March 21, 2013) A well-taken goal from Sweden forward Mikael Ishak in the 18th minute sunk Portugal.
It was already a good friendly, but it arguably became one of the best international friendlies of recent times when Mario Balotelli smacked a howitzer past Julio Cesar for Italy 2 – Brazil 2.
What went before the Balotelli Golazo was good, including a love Brazil second featuring youngsters Neymar and Oscar as well as an excellent back heel Daniele De Rossi goal for Italy’s first.
As ever, Twitter was on hand, on its seventh birthday, to give multiple instant reactions from the great and good of the football punditry world.
Here are the best Tweets on Super Mario’s stunning strike.
BREAKING: Manchester City bid £50 million for AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli.
— Sky Sprts News (@SkySprtsNews) March 21, 2013
“Why always me”, moments of brilliance then bemusing ones, hardly celebrating or smiling…Balotelli = entertainment #bringbackbalotelli lol
— Sone Aluko (@sonealuko) March 21, 2013
I miss seeing Balotelli in Premier League. And C.Ronaldo too. Was good having those big characters/personalities that split opinion #showmen
— Sone Aluko (@sonealuko) March 21, 2013
Daniele De Rossi & Mario Balotelli are the first Italians in 16 years to score vs Brazil and the first since Del Piero in 1997 #itabra
— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) March 21, 2013
That’s eight goals in eight appearances in 2013 for Balotelli for club and country
— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) March 21, 2013
Absolute cracker from Balotelli. When Neymar does that outside of Brazil, then we can start to call him world class
— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) March 21, 2013
Oh Balotelli is a striker! What a striker! Thanks Inter!
— Milan Next(@MilanNext) March 21, 2013
Balotelli seems to be happy since he left England
— sadiq abubakar (@swaggalagga) March 21, 2013
Wilfried Zaha continued his ascent this season with an excellent performance for England Under-21s in their 3-0 victory over Romania this evening.
The Crystal Palace winger/forward, who will join Manchester United in the summer, opened the scoring with a fine run and finish in the 34th minute.
It seems increasingly likely that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has pulled off yet another coup by securing Zaha ahead of a host of other interested Premier League sides.
Zaha was a box of tricks all night and some of the skills on this GIF have to be seen to be believed and will no doubt excite even Manchester United fans used to watching some of the best footballers in the world.
Wilfried Zaha’s fine goal for England Under-21s v Romania is below.
Ecuador 5 – El Salvador 0 (International Friendly, March 21, 2013) Felipe Caicedo scored a brace and Christian Benitez, Jefferson Montero and Joao Rojas got the other goals as Ecuador romped home to victory.