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Auckland City

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:39 pm
by Scottish
I haven't been paying much attention to the club World Cup in Morocco but I've just seen that New Zealand's Auckland City have reached the semi-finals where they will play San Lorenzo of Argentina. Auckland City are a part-time team that averaged a home crowd of 948 last season, about on a par with Dumbarton. It's an incredible achievement even if - as must be highly likely - it comes to an end in the last four.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:38 pm
by the hibLOG
It is quite a story in many ways - the NZ Herald gives a nice run-down of the day jobs of the Auckland City players here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/football-socc ... d=11375305

For those of you wondering why the Wellington Phoenix, NZ's only full-time professional club, aren't representing the country instead of Auckland's part-timers, the answer is that they play in Australia's A-League and so for the purposes of the Club World Cup are defined as an Australian side and are therefore playing in the Asian Federation, not the Oceania one. Interestingly, the Asian representatives are Western Sydney Wanderers who were only founded 2 years ago. They lost to Cruz Azul, the Mexican and CONCACAF champions in the first 'quarter final', whom Auckland will play in a third place play-off should they lose to San Lorenzo. Should they win they will meet one of the richest and best supported clubs in the world, Real Madrid, in the final.

New Zealand football is of course well overshadowed by rugby in its popularity, which means that the attendances at national league games probably undersell the quality of the teams a little. But it is still a part-timers game and Auckland City have probably still punched above their weight (in true Kiwi fashion) by beating the Moroccan and Algerian champions this year.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:50 pm
by HibeeJibee
Bryan Little who was a squad player for Berwick for a single season in the late 1990s, featured for Auckland City... possibly alongside his brother, that rings a bell... in one of the early tournaments when it was being held in Japan. He had emigrated.

EDIT: the 2006 edition, to be precise, where he played in the Fifth/Sixth Place Play-off versus Jeonbuk Hyundai of South Korea. If Wikipedia is correct with its squad lists, he joins Darren Fletcher as the only Scots to have played in the world's premier club tournament :lol:!!

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:43 pm
by Scottish
Amazingly, they took San Lorenzo - winners of the Copa Libertadores - to extra time before losing 2-1.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:09 am
by the hibLOG
scottish wrote:Amazingly, they took San Lorenzo - winners of the Copa Libertadores - to extra time before losing 2-1.
Yes, outdid themselves yet again. Amazing scoreline really. Even assuming the 'big' teams don't treat this tournament with the utmost seriousness there is really no way Auckland should be taking the South American champions to the wire - apparently Auckland had a good chance late in extra time to square it and go to penalties. I suppose that is what you get when you have a team of decent enough players who know they are in the biggest game they will ever play in their lives.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:21 am
by Scottish
Oh, San Lorenzo take it seriously enough. Every team does apart from the Europeans and even there I doubt you'll see anything other than a full strength Madrid team in the final. Auckland City have now beaten the African champions, held the South American ones over ninety minutes and now get a crack at North America's best, Cruz Azul, in the third/fourth play-off.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:01 am
by the hibLOG
Auckland City, third best team in the world! :lol:

As they say here in EnZed, "Awesome!"

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:19 am
by Scottish
Real Madrid will be relieved that San Lorenzo scraped past Auckland City in the semis.

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:28 pm
by the hibLOG
scottish wrote:Real Madrid will be relieved that San Lorenzo scraped past Auckland City in the semis.
Great moment for Ivan Vicelich receiving the 'Bronze Ball' for third-best player in the tournament, sharing a podium with Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. As this article says:
"The Golden Ball, awarded to the best player at the tournament, went to Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos, one of the world's greatest defenders who earns $180,000 a week. The Silver Ball went to Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's greatest footballer and one of the best players of all time. He is thought to earn $570,000 a week. And the Bronze Ball went to Ivan Vicelich, a 38-year-old sports shop owner from Auckland. He gets paid little more than petrol money by Auckland City."

Image

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/football-socc ... d=11377674

I read also that City may have won about $3m in prize money, but they've already lost $50,000 of it in cancelling and re-booking their flights home for their unexpected overstay. After the previous game some players had to negotiate extra leave from their employers. One of the players sent a spoof text to one of their team mates saying "Great result! Congratulations! BTW you're fired."

Re: Auckland City

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:57 pm
by Vasco
Last month, for the second consecutive year I attended the World Club Cup in Morocco. The South Americans certainly do take the tournament seriously. Last year Atletico Mineiro, Ronaldinho and all, brought over 12,000 fans, only to get gubbed, and I mean gubbed, in the semi-final by Raja Casablanca. This year a similar number of Argentinians came to Marrakesh. Carnival atmosphere in lead up to the final, but almost every Argentinian I spoke to knew that Real Madrid would win.

The real problem with South American club football, and to a degree African club football, is that the above average to really good players all play in Europe, thus diluting the quality of what is left in the said continents. In an interesting conversation with a Buenos Aires journalist, I was explaining that I had travelled extensively to watch football, but that I had never ventured westward to do so. Indeed, despite visiting over 50 countries, the furthest west I have been is Lisbon!

Anyway, the subject of the Libertadores Cup came up, and the journalist more or less confirmed my statement in the last paragraph. I expressed an interest in going to Chile this summer for the Copa America. At this point his demeanour changed and he said that I would really enjoy myself and that this was definitely a tournament worth going to.

Auckland City were no world beaters, but had mastered the art of being difficult to score against, even if their own attacking efforts lacked any real subtlety.