2016–17 UEFA Champions League

August 28, 2016

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“The 2016–17 UEFA Champions League is the 62nd season of Europe’s premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 25th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs’ Cup to the UEFA Champions League. The 2017 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The winners of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League will qualify as the UEFA representative at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League in the 2017 UEFA Super Cup. Real Madrid are the defending champions.” Wikipedia


After lengthy USMNT layoff, expect Copa continuity as World Cup qualifying resumes

August 28, 2016

“If it feels like it’s been a while since we heard from the U.S. national team, that’s in part because it has been—Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. rarely go more than two months without a game or camp—and in part because so much has happened in the meantime. The American men aren’t often so far from the spotlight for this long. Since the whistle blew at the conclusion of the Copa América Centenario bronze medal game on June 25, Lionel Messi missed a penalty kick, retired, then unretired from international football. Cristiano Ronaldo coached Portugal to the European crown, and Neymar kept his composure while Hope Solo lost hers.” SI


2016-2017 Season Preview: For Bayer Leverkusen, the Time is Now

August 28, 2016

“There are a few on Bayer’s squad who warrant close attention: 1. Kevin Volland, because he’s the team’s most expensive ever signing, 2. Jonathan Tah, because he’s going to be the future of the CB position in Germany, or 3. Benny Henrichs, because the youngster seems to have the talent to play almost anywhere on the pitch and has only impressed during his time with the first team. That said, if you watched the Olympics you know that there’s really one player set to steal the spotlight this season, and that is Julian Brandt. If the Games were any indication, he has added a new dimension to his game to go with his speed and technical ability.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The Question: How long will Liverpool keep faith with Jürgen Klopp?

August 27, 2016

“How long should it be before it’s reasonable to lose faith with a manager? How soon should improvement be seen? It’s not a question that has any easy answer – and it’s one to which the answer seems to be very dependent on context. Take Liverpool. On Saturday, Jürgen Klopp returns to White Hart Lane, the ground at which, last October, he managed his first Premier League game. The sense then was that Liverpool had pulled off a major coup to land one of the most exciting managers in Europe.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


The Fractious History Of Guardiola and Mourinho

August 27, 2016

“Ferguson never got on with Rafa, Clough didn’t see eye to eye with Revie and Mark Hughes doesn’t like anybody. Football is a game of intense passions, managers have let their emotions get the better of them on numerous occasions and feuds are commonplace; but you would struggle to uncover a conflict as enduring as that between Jose Mourinho and Josep Guardiola. The games’ two most highly rated managers will meet for the 17th time on September the 10th as they take their new sides into a Premier league season, both expected to bring glory to their respective ends of greater Manchester. Mourinho is expected to rebuild the Red Devils’ reputation as one of the powerhouses of European football, something that has been up in the air since the retirement of Alex Ferguson.” Football Pink


Neymar the hero of a nation as Brazil fans look for villains

August 23, 2016

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“There were real grounds for concern when the final of the men’s Olympic football tournament went to penalties. How often do the Germans lose a shootout? Winning the gold medal was much more important for Brazil – they were in front of their own fans in the Maracana stadium, this was the only title they had never won and their game badly needed a boost.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Driving A Different Route: From Hearts, To Houston ang Holland

August 23, 2016

“It was during a recent run-of-the-mill conversation with a mate that our minds revisited one of the most glorious days in the 142-year history of Scottish club, Heart of Midlothian, which, consequently, was also among the most bitter and painful occasions for their Edinburgh rivals, Hibernian. We were, of course, recalling the 2012 Scottish Cup final when the Jambos put the Hibees to the sword in the Hampden Park sun, to record a heavy 5-1 win. Now, given that neither my friend nor I have an affiliation to either Edinburgh team, it was a somewhat peculiar topic to enter our rambling.” Football Pink


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