Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This one's ... for Carl!

A few words on Standard Liege, in advance of this afternoon's Champions League qualifer in Belgium against Liverpool. The team's English-language site is being revised and cannot be accessed. The club offers Belgian, Dutch and French versions of their site, but my knowledge of those languages is non-existent – outside of the fact that they exist, of course. I've been forced to go to that unflappable bastion of truth – Wikipedia – to learn a bit more about the Reds' opponents today.

• Oddly enough, the club's nickname is "Les Rouches." Translation: The Reds. What a ka-winky-dink!
• Founded in 1900, so the Liverpool Reds (Merseyside Reds if you're a Pro Evolution player) got 'em beat on the nickname by eight years.
• The club's greatest European success is runners-up to Barcelona in the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup.
• American center back Oguchi Onyewu plays for Standard Liege.

That's about it. Not much else jumping out at me from that Wikipedia page, which is disappointing. The only juicy background story was some kind of pathetic match-fixing scandal preceding the '82 Cup Winners' Cup final against Barça where the club asked league opponents to go easy on them so as to avoid injuries before the big match. A big fine ensued, Standard Liege had to sell their best players to pay it and ... well, some kind of bad stuff followed that. Whatever.

C'mon Liverpool! Rafa, get Xabi in there and forget this crap about selling him for Gareth Barry. I know you're still thinking about it. Don't lie to me!

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