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Game 39 threat comes to Spain

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    Haha

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      In fact if you pay you can see any first or second division game on telly here.

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        Costa has just been sent off on the half-hour mark against Barça.

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          Messi scores against Levante to assure Barcelona of the title.

          Four out of the last five; eight out of the last eleven.

          Messi's tenth la Liga title, the most by any non Madrid player and equal second overall with Pirri (Gento has twelve).

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            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
            Messi scores against Levante to assure Barcelona of the title.

            Four out of the last five; eight out of the last eleven.

            Messi's tenth la Liga title, the most by any non Madrid player and equal second overall with Pirri (Gento has twelve).
            Almost certain to win his sixth Pichichi, which would be a joint record.

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              He's good at football, that guy

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                Levante played well this evening,

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                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                  He's good at football, that guy
                  He's certainly made it abundantly clear that football is primarily a game of the mind. I would like to see how he slows down time.

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                    Not quite sure what you mean by this but if it's referring to loss of sheer pace this has already happened. One of the factors which keeps him one step ahead is his positional sense, his awareness of where he should be and where others are. Very hard to coach.

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                      no, I mean he's so far ahead of everyone else, In terms of speed and breadth of thought that I suspect that he must be able to slow down time by some means.

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                        I wouldn't put it past him, but then I'm not sure that he would really want to, given that it would just give his Argentine teammates more opportunities to let him down only for him to be blamed at home.

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                          *Mutley laugh*

                          https://twitter.com/RayoVallecano/status/1122601704019640320

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                            Looks like Bale is on his way out. But who wants him and of those who can afford him?

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                              Originally posted by The Awesome Berbaslug!!! View Post
                              no, I mean he's so far ahead of everyone else, In terms of speed and breadth of thought that I suspect that he must be able to slow down time by some means.
                              Which puts him in line with the other sporting greats. cf., from the famous David Foster Wallace essay on Roger Federer:-

                              The metaphysical explanation is that Roger Federer is one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws. Good analogues here include Michael Jordan, who could not only jump inhumanly high but actually hang there a beat or two longer than gravity allows, and Muhammad Ali, who really could “float” across the canvas and land two or three jabs in the clock-time required for one. There are probably a half-dozen other examples since 1960. And Federer is of this type — a type that one could call genius, or mutant, or avatar. He is never hurried or off-balance. The approaching ball hangs, for him, a split-second longer than it ought to. His movements are lithe rather than athletic. Like Ali, Jordan, Maradona, and Gretzky, he seems both less and more substantial than the men he faces. Particularly in the all-white that Wimbledon enjoys getting away with still requiring, he looks like what he may well (I think) be: a creature whose body is both flesh and, somehow, light.

                              This thing about the ball cooperatively hanging there, slowing down, as if susceptible to the Swiss’s will — there’s real metaphysical truth here. And in the following anecdote. After a July 7 semifinal in which Federer destroyed Jonas Bjorkman — not just beat him, destroyed him — and just before a requisite post-match news conference in which Bjorkman, who’s friendly with Federer, says he was pleased to “have the best seat in the house” to watch the Swiss “play the nearest to perfection you can play tennis,” Federer and Bjorkman are chatting and joking around, and Bjorkman asks him just how unnaturally big the ball was looking to him out there, and Federer confirms that it was “like a bowling ball or basketball.” He means it just as a bantery, modest way to make Bjorkman feel better, to confirm that he’s surprised by how unusually well he played today; but he’s also revealing something about what tennis is like for him. Imagine that you’re a person with preternaturally good reflexes and coordination and speed, and that you’re playing high-level tennis. Your experience, in play, will not be that you possess phenomenal reflexes and speed; rather, it will seem to you that the tennis ball is quite large and slow-moving, and that you always have plenty of time to hit it. That is, you won’t experience anything like the (empirically real) quickness and skill that the live audience, watching tennis balls move so fast they hiss and blur, will attribute to you.

                              Velocity’s just one part of it. Now we’re getting technical. Tennis is often called a “game of inches,” but the cliché is mostly referring to where a shot lands. In terms of a player’s hitting an incoming ball, tennis is actually more a game of micrometers: vanishingly tiny changes around the moment of impact will have large effects on how and where the ball travels. The same principle explains why even the smallest imprecision in aiming a rifle will still cause a miss if the target’s far enough away.

                              By way of illustration, let’s slow things way down. Imagine that you, a tennis player, are standing just behind your deuce corner’s baseline. A ball is served to your forehand — you pivot (or rotate) so that your side is to the ball’s incoming path and start to take your racket back for the forehand return. Keep visualizing up to where you’re about halfway into the stroke’s forward motion; the incoming ball is now just off your front hip, maybe six inches from point of impact. Consider some of the variables involved here. On the vertical plane, angling your racket face just a couple degrees forward or back will create topspin or slice, respectively; keeping it perpendicular will produce a flat, spinless drive. Horizontally, adjusting the racket face ever so slightly to the left or right, and hitting the ball maybe a millisecond early or late, will result in a cross-court versus down-the-line return. Further slight changes in the curves of your groundstroke’s motion and follow-through will help determine how high your return passes over the net, which, together with the speed at which you’re swinging (along with certain characteristics of the spin you impart), will affect how deep or shallow in the opponent’s court your return lands, how high it bounces, etc. These are just the broadest distinctions, of course — like, there’s heavy topspin vs. light topspin, or sharply cross-court vs. only slightly cross-court, etc. There are also the issues of how close you’re allowing the ball to get to your body, what grip you’re using, the extent to which your knees are bent and/or weight’s moving forward, and whether you’re able simultaneously to watch the ball and to see what your opponent’s doing after he serves. These all matter, too. Plus there’s the fact that you’re not putting a static object into motion here but rather reversing the flight and (to a varying extent) spin of a projectile coming toward you — coming, in the case of pro tennis, at speeds that make conscious thought impossible. Mario Ancic’s first serve, for instance, often comes in around 130 m.p.h. Since it’s 78 feet from Ancic’s baseline to yours, that means it takes 0.41 seconds for his serve to reach you. This is less than the time it takes to blink quickly, twice.

                              The upshot is that pro tennis involves intervals of time too brief for deliberate action. Temporally, we’re more in the operative range of reflexes, purely physical reactions that bypass conscious thought. And yet an effective return of serve depends on a large set of decisions and physical adjustments that are a whole lot more involved and intentional than blinking, jumping when startled, etc.

                              Successfully returning a hard-served tennis ball requires what’s sometimes called “the kinesthetic sense,” meaning the ability to control the body and its artificial extensions through complex and very quick systems of tasks. English has a whole cloud of terms for various parts of this ability: feel, touch, form, proprioception, coordination, hand-eye coordination, kinesthesia, grace, control, reflexes, and so on. For promising junior players, refining the kinesthetic sense is the main goal of the extreme daily practice regimens we often hear about. The training here is both muscular and neurological. Hitting thousands of strokes, day after day, develops the ability to do by “feel” what cannot be done by regular conscious thought. Repetitive practice like this often looks tedious or even cruel to an outsider, but the outsider can’t feel what’s going on inside the player — tiny adjustments, over and over, and a sense of each change’s effects that gets more and more acute even as it recedes from normal consciousness.



                              And of course very similar considerations also apply to Messi in Football. He is able to make correct 'decisions' in a shorter timeframe than almost all others, which is why he appears to be able to, as Berba puts it, slow down time.

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                                The only footballer I've ever come across talking about this side of the game is Wayne Rooney. It was only when I watched a match from the front row, on the halfway line at villa park that I realised that whatever about viewing things from a distance, when you're only 5 feet away, the ball moves so fast you can barely see the fucking thing. (Also that managers see fuck all of the game, and have little sense of what is happening at the time, because the view is horrendous. Also Players pay them no attention. They're there to put on a show for the fans) It occurred to me that the sheer number of constant calculations required to operate in such an environment must be overwhelming.

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                                  Eintracht Frankfurt offering Jovic to Madrid for the low, low price of 70 million euro

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                                    And Benfica, even more cannily, are getting €10m from a sell-on clause.

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