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Alves: Only heard of one team in Manchester

Ahead of Barcelona’s game against Manchester City, defender Dani Alves had confessed he didn’t even know City existed a few years ago.

“I didn’t realise until about five years ago that Manchester had two teams,’ said Alves. ‘Of course Manchester United have been one of the most famous and successful clubs in Europe for many years – but I thought they were the only one.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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149 Comments

  1. Tommy says:

    @Gary

    Yea usually I go for a couple of days but I have just jumped on a Thomas Cook day trip, Travel the moirning of the game and fly back in the early hours the next day. @Wayne Yep I agree sometimes I feel some fights are rigged, Mayweathers last fight, he strolled through it without breaking sweat, one of the judges a women scored it a draw, the same judge controversially lost a Pac fight, Always be a boxing fan because I grew up on the Tyson era but I can see why people are turning to UFC

  2. Gary Mitrovic says:

    @Wayne, yea I can unfortunately understand why people have become disalussioned with boxing. The corruption at all levels is laughable and makes it even worse in a sport where people are putting their lives on the line. I know in UFC the top fighters are given little option in who they fight and they can’t avoid anyone. There it too much politics in boxing. I personally have never got into UFC. It’s too brutal for my liking though that probably makes me sound slightly hypocritical being a boxing fan. There is a lot of good fighters emerging out of the eastern block in the boxing world right now with Golovkin and Kovalev. There is a young Ukrainian featherweight kid who swept through the amateurs and has recently turned pro called Vasyl Lomachenko. He is widely condisdered to be the new untouchable young boxing star with rave reviews. He will become a very famous name in the near future.

  3. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Tommy, let’s hope it’s not your last trip in Europe this season! I’m hoping the players and coaching staff (despite my reserves from the outside) have had a good chat together on this break and shared their views. This break could surely have only helped the situation. The players and manager needed this break away and while we shouldn’t expect miracles on their return I am hoping for some response at Palace. On the Olympiakos tie we shouldn’t and won’t be taking anything for granted. A positive result in the way leg be it any kind of win or high scoring draw should be enough. The Greek sides traditionally are very poor travellers.

  4. Tommy says:

    @Gary

    I think corruptions always unfortunatly been involved with boxing, It used to be run practically by the mafia, Although I was not around at the time, No way does one of the baddest and nastiest men on the plannet whos whole respect was due to the street credit that he got, quit on his stool like he did against Ali without some $$$$$s coming his way, All hearsay of course but I have read articles that has claimed his wife was overheard saying to him “If youre going to lose, why put yourself through the rounds when you can quit early in the fight”

  5. WeAreUnitedd says:

    @tommy gary and wayne

    I will take this different off topic discussion every day of the weak instead of the same old same old moyes-out campaign, which has very strong arguments, but that discussion is becoming boring, so better leave it for next time

    I can imagine how hell will set loose if we happen to lose to Olympiacos, GOD forbit not, because at that time I will be close to get the Moyes-ticket out, BUT imagine people who hate the guy, not critisise like some of great posters do, but like some that have nothing else to say.

    anyway, lets take crystal palace first then the CL,! btw Imagine if we somehow managed to win the CL aka chelski style, which I think we are more cpable of doing than the chelski at that time. anyway,

    peace.

  6. Tommy says:

    @Gary

    I watched Olympiakos match on MUTV on saturday and they werent impressive, although they moved 20points clear in Greece, although I did feel for the players as they were playing in a practically empty stadium must be tough to get yourself motivated in that situation, commentator said they sell out for europe/panithinikos games, so the atmosphere will be good when United go their but for all the other games they get no attendence at all, Amazingly Olympiakos conceded a goal from a player on loan from them and 2 other players came on that are onloan from them, very strange

  7. wayne barker says:

    Tommy there’s been plenty going way back i can remember as a little kid watching the Henry Cooper,Ali fight with my dad.Cooper knocked him out the bell went before the count,then Ali’s gloves split and had to be changed biggest joke ever.I’ll never forget the Hagler/Ray Leonard fight to this day have no idea how Ray Leonard was given that but all the late money went on Ray Leonard.Been plenty of dodgy decisions with Ali dating all the way back to the phantom punch.Throughout boxing history lots of bad results.Maybe it’s changed now i just don’t follow it enough but back when it was all about the champions dodging the num 1 contender and there were so many different associations could have 3 or 4 world champs at one time.Was run by bad promoters like Don King,just the whole sport was really scuzzy.UFC is the best in the world any fighter wanting to prove himself has to go their and as long as he wins gets a shot at the title there’s no fucking about.
    A young Tyson was still the most exciting and biggest animal i’ve ever seen,the fucker was pure entertainment

  8. Tommy says:

    @Weareunited

    My dream is we win the champions league and the scousers finish 4th and we knock them into Europa, How I would love that situation to happen

  9. Tommy says:

    @Wayne

    Its more dodgy decisions from the judges, I have seen loads of fights when theirs been a clear winner and the judgers give it the other way, when even the commentators are going its a terrible decision, On the Ali, Cooper fight apprently he told his corner he didnt want to carry on and the corner told him dont worry youve got this fight in the bag, I wonder why?

  10. wayne barker says:

    Gary all my favorite boxers all bordered on the brutal side just not into watching a 12 rounder that’s all about jab and move like watching Barca play football,that’s what i love about UFC get proper battles very few fights are boring and it’s so explosive.I’ve been watching UFC since it’s early days when there wasn’t any rules started getting banned all over then Dana White bought it and cleaned it up

  11. Tommy says:

    @Wayne

    The HW division is shit, The Klitscos get some rough treatment from media and fans, although Vitalis now retired, Wlad is a quality boxer, would of been a tough opponent in any era, its not his fault the divisions shite, He can only beat whats put infront of him, Im with you I prefer explosive fighters but you cant blame the jab and move fighters, Lennex Lewis was the same but it worked for him, you do what you can to win

  12. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Tommy, well that’s reassuring to hear that they weren’t impressive. I’m sure they’ll be a lot more motivated in front of a partisan crowd with United in town like you say though. Also on your dream scenarios for this season I think the rules have been changed yet again. I’m sure that if that scenario like what happened with Chelsea and Spurs happens again this season they will actually allow the 4th placed team to enter the champions league qualifiers like they did with Everton in 2005. I’m pretty sure that’s the case because Spurs fans felt very bitter about the situation and rightly so! I’m not 100% sure though, but fairly certain.

  13. wayne barker says:

    Tommy i was only like 5 or 6 at the time just one of those childhood memories that stick,my dad was a huge boxing fan and like most his age really didn’t like Americans.Black and white tv allowed to stay up and watch it and my Dad went fucking mental when Cooper laid Ali on his ass.Henry Cooper should’ve been heavyweight champ and if i remember Ali’s gloves got split and there was such a long delay to let Ali recover before he got the new gloves on,Ali was in cuckoo land

  14. wayne barker says:

    if Utd win the CL after all the stick Moyes and this team have taken be one of the sweetest wins ever and for ROM it would be like the Pied Piper had paid a visit

  15. wayne barker says:

    Gary CL winners get automatic entry mate

  16. Tommy says:

    @Wayne

    The joys if we win the champions league mate, This place would be empty of opinions bet he still wouldnt get any credit

  17. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Wayne, I only know the household names of UFC like Anderson Silva and so on as I’ve watched very little of it. That probably wouldn’t be the case if Sky had got hold of it though. Maybe not BT sport are around and flexing their muscles they might snap up the rights to that as well. I know you said you live in Canada so I’m assuming UFC get’s mentioned a lot more in the press over there? It’s definitely grown over here though. A couple of my mates are hooked on it.

  18. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Wayne, yes the winners get automatic qualification, but I think Uefa said that if another scenario like a team winning the completion who didn’t officially quality through their domestic league position then they will allow the team that qualified in the last of the spots for champions league qualification to enter as well. Like when Liverpool won it in 2005 Uefa still allowed Everton in 4th to enter the qualifiers so there could have been 5 English teams in it that year. Unfortunately for Moyes and Everton they drew that seasons champions league semi finalists Villarreal in the qualifiers which was the hardest draw possible. Maybe Uefa did that deliberately? I wouldn’t put it past them! They didn’t want 5 English teams in the champions league.

  19. wayne barker says:

    Gary yeah mate we get tons of it on tv ,every night can see old fights,updates etc.Also get a reality tv show called Ultimate Fighter were there’s qualifying fights then so many fighters make it to the UFC house and have weekly fights till the final becomes part of a big card and the winner gets a UFC contract.English lad Micheal Bisping won it a few years ago,it’s such entertaining tv and nothing fake about it these lads are literally fighting for their futures.At the moment new twist it’s Canada vs Australia team of Aussies came over same principle winner of the whole thing gets a UFC contract.Also a lot of UFC cards are not pay per view Dana White really smart at promoting the sport even the UFC pay per view cards are not crazy priced.

  20. RepeatOf99 says:

    @Tommy and Wayne

    Just out of interest, do you give Di Matteo managerial credit for winning the CL? Or rate Avram Grant as one of Europe’s elite for coming within a hilarious slip of the same title?

    Nothing would make me happier than United winning in Europe this season. But why should that somehow shut off all the anti-Moyes noise on here?

    It is becoming clear week after week that he cannot motivate this group of players to perform for him……I am sure they don’t need his inspiration to pull themselves up for the Champions League. Let’s just all hope that we can actually pull ourselves together and pull off a miracle. Knocking Liverpool out that way would just be the icing on the cake.

  21. Ed-the red says:

    Moyes may win a thing or two during his reign here but the probability of hom not winning anything is higher, it is almost 9/10.
    In truth he has demonstrated nothing so far that he is capable. Even at Everton, he made no progress. They were consistently consistent in being positions ranging from five to seven. Of course an average English fan would rate that as being successful but it is quite the opposite…a cup( minor or major) in three seasons is good success for such teams. I would even say, Swansea and Wigan are more successful teams in the premier league than Everton at the moment.
    I know the pressure on Moyes to perform has been huge coupled with some aging members of the squad but again this argument has no legs. Because we have a very good spine of young players that Moyes could have build from….the results may not have come instantly but it would have materialized soon. But we chose laying the blame on everything even the wind and this is how ‘it is not my fault’ psychology started with Loserpool.
    Right now, I would accept any criticism of Moyes. I won’t begrudge anyone as long as the team continue the poor showing footballing wise. But I would love if Moyes proves us wrong. I must also state that even the 18 months that people yap about as the minimum for Moyes is not that a long time.
    On boxing, I loved Tyson, used to watch many of Ali early years clips but I think the Ukranians have been amazing too. It is the winning mentality that this boxers had that set them apart. You could see it in therte press conferences and in their loses too. Sadly and i have to say this, you will never see such mentality in Moyes. There is no ‘it stings like a bee’ mentality in Moyes. He is just there.
    I watched some documentary a year ago on why Togo went to world cup in 2006. The commentator said something to the effect that it was because of organization at the managerial level and not because Togo were a better team in africa-he talked about the influence of a manager on the stability of the squad, substitutions, bench, tactics and training and that even with an average squad a team can be the best. We don’t have an average squad, it is well above it but there is no stability in the team, where do you point your finger? the manager.
    I would love that even if we lost to Crystal Palace but the team played cohesively and good football or we played badly but we won 4-0 like we used to during the last years of Sir Alex and that is what I call pragmatism. As for we are playing bad imperialistic ‘Conference’ football and losing and losing….We are consistently losing and when we get a draw some self proclaimed real fans are all ecstasy that we are turning this round. Since when did we set our standards so low?
    I remember when we used to play with big teams, we were, we should have won this one. Even when Real defeated us last season you could see some fans very fallen, it was something to do with winning. But now, if we draw we are happy. If we lose to a big team we start saying they are a superior team. We tolerate mediocrity and that is how far we are sinking.
    Worse of all, some fans cannnot tolerate a divergent opinion to theirs. Of course it is bad if people were just moaning about but if there is objectivity in their voices then their opinion is good as 100% correct…It is their fucking opinion.
    Talking about Ali,

  22. gra mar says:

    Deluded Pellegrini. Blame the ref? No foul on Navas – clear foul on Messi, stone wall penalty and a clear red card. City did will with 10 and probably deserved a draw but got sucker-punched at the end.

    We’ll surely do the business against Oympiakos. It’ll be workmanlike and it won’t be pretty but coming back from the training camp and the fact that the CL is something we could win (however unlikely) will
    have the players motivated and charged up. Hopefully the coaches have ironed out a few problems and
    come up with a few game plans.

    @tommy Olympiakos conceded a goal from a player on loan from them and 2 other players came on that are onloan from them, very strange – very strange indeed!

  23. Ed-the red says:

    @ gra mar Sure, it was a clear penalty and clear red. I wonder why on earth Pellegrini started Demichelis. is it because he had trained with Messi at the international level? it was a bad call for him, I thought.

  24. The_red_devils says:

    @Gary…..According to current rule, if champions league winner is not in top 4, cl winner automatically qualifies and 4th place team goes to europa league(this rule was introduced after 2005/06 where uefa allowed 5 teams from england). But after 2015/16, england can have 5 teams if cl winner finishes outside top 4 or a team outside top 4 wins europa league

  25. gra mar says:

    @Ed-the red – Tommy called it before the match when he said Demichelis would have problems with the speed of the Barça forwards and that’s exactly where he got caught out.

  26. Blacksocks says:

    Hope we get the same Ref as last night for our game next week – at least he might actually award us a penalty unlike some in the PL this season!

  27. Ed-the red says:

    @ gra mar- very true. Tommy called right but I thought he played quite well before the sent off. That was his best display so far but it wasn’t even to Evans’ Level.

  28. m09538061 says:

    “historic day for city”. It was -when they became the first Manchester team to lose at home to Barca.”

  29. sir liam matt says:

    I will take a barcelona brand of football, over what David moyes brought with him from Everton to United..The United players currently look devoid of inspiration, low of confidence, predictable, and short on ideas.

  30. sir liam matt says:

    @ Ian Nichol
    Is no news again, that any team or the Fans who comes to play in Manchester, will be heading to Manchester United first befor they think of goin to the blue side which is shiit City.

  31. Tommy says:

    I wonder if Barca will appeal Demichelis red card hahahaha

  32. mjcRED says:

    Every one of the barca players looked comfortable on the ball, Xaxi -133 passes made, 128 found their man= 96.2% success rate??? And yet there are some on here bored or unimpressed with this style of play. Beggars belief. It shows an insight into our collective naivety and ignorance towards progressing from a brand of football that still has its principles in the 1970s.

    I would love it if we had more than a handful of players who had the vision, speed of thought and awareness, combined with an absolute trust in their team-mates ability as shown by a barca last night who didn’t even need to get out of third gear.

    I guess this why our club and international football is still languishing in the dark ages. Why keep the ball when it can be hoofed up long. Why play intricate when a bludgeoned punt from out wide will do?

    The football Moyes is having us dish up is symptomatic of an ignorance and failure to progress and take on new ideas found outside of our shores.

    Without even needing to be at their best, Barca inflicted yet another lesson on not just City, but us all.
    Until we learn to place a greater emphasis on keeping ball, and encouraging vision, imagination and intelligence in ALL of the players, the game played by the majority at the top level in this country will forever remain nothing more than an overpaid, pampered and bloated version of kick and run.

  33. Tommy says:

    @mjcRED

    No one is unimpressed by this style of play so why make things up? but their are loads of people who find teams passing their opposition to death as boring, Its the same as a boxer jabbing their opponent for 12 rounds or a batsman batting all day to get a century at a slow pace, all have incredible skill but are not nessicerily pleasing on the eye. The same was said about Spain in the last euros, like watching paint dry was a comment continually used during the euros. Incidently I fail to see what being English has got to do with peoples opinions, I have been lucky enough that I have spent the best part of 20 years watching a football genius and without a doubt the BEST midfield player of his generation, ask Zidane, Xavi and Iniesta and that man is Paul Scholes and where the fuck is he from again? 1 bad season and United are stuck in the dark ages, give me a fucking break, 3 champions league finals in the last 6 years, How many have the might of Real Madrid been in that time? Or Juventus? Or AC Milan? If you love Barca so much go and bore their blogs!!!

  34. Mark Reid says:

    One thing I like about Barcas style is how they are so interchangeable .Constantly running off the ball drawing out defenders no ones stagnant always creating little spaces.

  35. Tommy says:

    @Mark Reid

    Exactly mate and no one is denying their quality on one bit, they are an exceptionally gifted team and no one has denied that but that does not mean that yesterdays game was not boring,They could of scored 4 or 5 goals last night but they chose to pass, pass, pass and wait for little openings, cant blame them for that its worked for them for years, I like many others prefer plenty of chances created rather than a style which is waiting for the right openings. Still a class team of course which style was created by Johan Cryuff in the early 90s but took years to come off and not Pep Guardiola as some people believe! Also comparing Barcelona way of doing things to United, you just cant compare, In Barcelona they have their own school, Not just football but education, they take these kids on at very young ages and not only do they learn the Barcelona way of playing football they get a proper curiculam school education, The list of greats to have been educated at that school is as long as my arm, we will never have anything like that in England so you really can not compare the way they do things in Spain to anywhere else in the world

  36. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    In my opinion the only difference between Barcelona, Bayern and the rest of Europe is fitness. They are CONSTANTLY moving off the ball. nobody is EVER stationary. When they lose the ball, they are constantly pressuring. It is a very very difficult style of football to play because They are all have to be in peak physical condition so it means they don’t really feel the effects of moving constantly for 90 straight minutes without stopping. Compared to Barca and Bayern, our players are NOWHERE NEAR as fit. It’s probably why they start panting after 30 minutes. To play the style of football that they play, you have to be at a level of fitness that is unmatched. When we have players with terrible fitness regimes like Mr 300k himself and when we have a manager that does not believe in that style of football, then it’s pretty easy to see why we have not been able to match Barcelona or Bayern in a while.

  37. mjcRED says:

    Exactly Mark. Forget the possession, tika taka etc. the most important thing and the key difference between what they do and where we’re getting left behind is in movement. The angles and positions with which they receive and use the ball bewilders the opposition. It drives me crazy when watching United how slow it’s moved around and how often players receive the ball from a static position only to play a stale and predictable telegraph pass.

    To go back to Tommy’s point re the unarguable quality of Scholes. I couldn’t agree more. I guess I’m still gutted that he’ll never wear the red of United again. What I’d go on to say though he was and is the exception to the rule. He flourished in spite of not because of the footballing philosophy imposed by Fergie which has essentially been to counter, a philosophy that was set up and unquestionably proved successful domestically, leading to an unprecedented trophy haul. It is equally true however that this phillosophy never really saw us impose the same level of control, dominance and sustained success when pitted against the continents elite in Europe, evidenced by the two recent triumphs, which owed far more to determination, a great deal of luck and a sheer, unrelenting will to win, as personified by Fergie, than it ever did to quality, control and domination.

    I would be happy if the only thing we could take from what Barca do so well was the energy and movement with which they impose in their game and on the opposition. Our one-paced, predictable style of play will only serve to hold us back.

  38. Tommy says:

    @dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT

    It is very impressive the way they keep up the pressing game for 90 mins, when they lose the ball they hunt like a bunch of wild dogs and like you say you have to have supreme fitness to be able to do that for 90mins, I wouldnt say we lack fitness tho, maybe Rooney being an exception but could all our late goals over the years be put down to having superior fitness at the end of games than our opponents? I remember reading about the Lisbon Lions (That was Celtic), They won the european cup in 1967 and they were the fittest side in the whole of europe, They beat Inter Milan and Inter manager said I didnt think it was possible for a team to be fitter than us but Celtic were and could run all day. So fitness has always been a key ingredient to success as much as anything else, I have never known an unfit side be successful.

    @mjcRED

    Barca are an incredible side, even if some think they are boring, They are one of the best sides of all time and I am in no way disrespecting their achievments, Their the hardest working side as well so I guess they deserve every success, but I think the comparisons with United and them are unfair at this moment in time, Last year I thought United were the better side over 2 legs v Madrid, so the next level are not a million miles away from us, Munich and Barca are the 2 best sides by some way and then its the rest which even tho we are having a poor season I dont believe we are miles away from when we play our best. The spanish are way more advanced than us but its the way their brought up, Its 24/7, they live at that school like I said so every day they are breathing Barca, nothing you can do about that, the british goverment would never allow a football club to have their own school and even tho its run exactly like a school that every kid goes to, the goverment just wouldnt allow it in England!

  39. mjcRED says:

    Fair point Tommy. I guess I’m just getting a bit mardy with these long gaps between games I guess…
    Not used to us not playing competitively every weekend. Hope the change of scene has reenergised the lads, as Palace won’t be easy. Mind you, where is at the moment?!

  40. Tommy says:

    @mjcRED

    Yea be a tough game against Palace, Pulis has done a great job their, It does sometimes make me laugh the bad comments british managers get on these pages compared to foreign managers, but when you compare all the foreign managers that have joined a club near the bottom, its a british manager Pulis is doing the best job done their, We should get the 3 points but wont be a gimmie, hopefully the Dubai trip has revitalised the squad and they will come back and play a damn sight better than they have played all season so far!

  41. sir liam matt says:

    @Tommy
    Why dont you be ipentius some times atlist just for wance, if they ask you take between a Barclona type of football or a David moyes type which are you goin to take??

  42. ashtheking says:

    The best thing about Barca is they play as a team. The reason they always pip Madrid in recent years is because Barca play as a team while Real MADRID DEPEND MORE ON Ronaldo. ANd I have to say the only way you can beat them is if you play attacking football. Attack with a plan and you have a chance of defeating. Bayern did it LAST season, this year Brazil did that to Spain. I will be honest I thought City would cause Barca a lot of problem but they failed.

    People need to understand that Both Bayern and Barca have adopted a patient approach. Even at dortmund. This was not achieved in one or two season. Bayern 5 or 6 years ago were not that great. They even missed the champions league spot 6 years ago if I am not wrong but they had a plan and they waited for it to work and now they are reaping the reward of it. I wont mind United having a trophyless season or two if they have a plan for the future . I just hope our club has one.

  43. sir liam matt says:

    @ ashtheking
    What is that plan hoofin and poofin get to the byline typ of football thats what you call a plan??

  44. ashtheking says:

    liam matt

    You are a idiot. I said IF we have a plan, Did I say that we are playing with a plan. If u see any person trying to say some positive about moyes (eventhough in this case my topic was totally about Barca and about the patient approach for success) your hyper increases and you reply something rubbish. This is happening for the second time. Read and then reply and please take the negativity out.

  45. sir liam matt says:

    @Ashtheking
    SMH… for you, your comprehension skill is realy low, and you most be English too, why dont you read my post again and understand it. And FYI am not goin to insult you. this is for you. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. TMB!!!

  46. lecho says:

    That would be something to win CL and thus drop Citeh or Liverpool to Europa League, LOL :)

  47. Marko Maric says:

    Ed the Red…agree about everything.

  48. ashtheking says:

    liam matt

    A person who cant even form a sentence without single mistake tells I have low comprehension skill. This shows who the real fool is. I tried to avoid your comments but seriously I have to agree with many now that you are a wind up and have no life. Stop behaving like an ass hole, coming here and making wrong interpretation of what I said.

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