The Death of International Football?

June 5, 2009

“One week after a much acclaimed Champions’ League final in Rome, FIFA’s Congress passed a new resolution removing age limits on a player’s ability to change national teams. While the vote received little fanfare as more attention seems to be affixed on whether Kaka will play for AC Milan, Real Madrid or Chelsea, the potential repercussions on international football are enormous.” (Soccer Lens)

Kazakhstan v England: Fabio Capello has ‘big confidence’ in World Cup chances (Telegraph)
“With a perfect qualifying record so far, England can virtually guarantee their participation in next year’s tournament with victories in Almaty tomorrow and at home to Andorra on Wednesday. Capello has also made it clear that he will accept “no excuse” for any tiredness from his players at the end of 10 months of continuous football.”

US citizen Afshin Ghotbi chases Iran’s fading World Cup dream (The Sport Blog)
“Afshin Ghotbi has learned the adoring realities of Iranian hospitality quicker than most. The Iran national team coach arrived at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport last month to cheers and a hail of flowers. It was the second time the prodigal son of Iran football had been showered by his doting public. This time it was to mark the arrival of the national team’s latest boss by a public eager for good news as Iran teeter on the edge of World Cup oblivion.”

World Cup threatens fixture chaos for English clubs in 2010 (Guardian)
“The Football Association and Premier League are under intense pressure to solve a potential fixture list meltdown before next year’s World Cup. Fifa’s rules forbid domestic-season fixtures taking place after 16 May, yet with the season due to kick off on 15 August, it means all 38 league fixtures must be crammed into 34 available weekends, with 19 midweek dates already ruled out due to international and Uefa competition commitments.”

Scottish football’s end of season hall of fame (The Sport Blog)
“The dust has settled, the last ball has been kicked and the cast members are sunning themselves in Magaluf. What started off as a disastrous season for Scottish football on account of dismal performances by club sides in Europe simmered away nicely thereafter, boiling over on more than one occasion. Let the principle protagonists take a bow.”

Josep Guardiola

June 5, 2009

“Barcelona took the unusual step of promoting Guardiola from Barcelona ‘B’ coach to succeed Frank Rijkaard in July, 2008. The former Nou Camp midfielder had been a great player, but his relative inexperience in management raised many eyebrows: How he would manage to lead a dressing room filled with star names like Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o?” (ESPN)

Real Madrid Prepares to Spark Summer Frenzy (NYT)
“Less than a week after Barcelona’s great triumph in Rome, five of the eight richest clubs on earth have made drastic changes to their managerial structure. Removing the coach is a customary rite of summer. On Monday morning, Chelsea and A.C. Milan installed new men to run their teams, while Real Madrid went for the full revolution.”

Iniesta to miss Confederations Cup (World Soccer)
“England head to Kazakhstan this Saturday for a World Cup Qualifier knowing that the one and only time they met before the Three Lions won 5-1. Andres Iniesta has pulled out of Spain’s squad for the Confederations Cup after tests confirmed the Barcelona midfielder’s thigh muscle injury as serious.”

Bojan will not leave on loan this summer (FC Barcelona Blog: Barça Transfer Zone)
“Catalan sports papers El Mundo Deportivo and Sport both claim that Barcelona forward and Spanish youth international Bojan Krkic (18) will not leave on loan in the summer.”

Man City chief Cook working some weeks on Eto’o deal (tribalfootball)
“Manchester City have been working for some time on a deal for Barcelona star Samuel Eto’o, it has been revealed. The Times says Garry Cook, the chief executive, has spent several weeks putting together a package that he hopes will persuade Eto’o, the Barcelona striker, to move to the City of Manchester Stadium.”

Where Should We Re-Inforce? (All About FC Barcelona)
“FC Barcelona will be having a along and much tougher next season. We will be fighting for six trophies altogether as I explained in my previous post. Guardiola has already asked for a larger squad that means we will be going to the market looking to buy good re-inforcement.”

SFS “LIGA TEAM” 2008-2009 – Video (Spanish Football & Sports)