A potted history of Benfica

August 4, 2013

Benfica 2
“As incredible as Real Madrid’s five consecutive European Champions’ trophies were, it was inevitable that one day they would be toppled. In a seemingly relatively even playing field, Hamburg, inspired by Uwe Seeler looked well placed to step up, as did Barcelona with their skilful Hungarian imports. The side that stepped up a gear, however, were the leading club from the other Iberian capital, Lisbon.” World Soccer (Part 1)

“One of the great pioneer African players in European football was Larbi Ben Barek. The Maghrebi superstar was hugely successful in both France and Spain enjoying memorable spells with Marseille and Atlético Madrid among others. It’s worth noting that the introduction of African born players to Portuguese players pre-dates Eusebio by some time.” World Soccer (Part 2)


Radamel Falcao’s move to Monaco will boost Colombia

August 4, 2013

“The French first division, Ligue One, kicks off at the weekend and newly-promoted Monaco will be hoping to recapture former glories after spending big money over the summer. Their two most significant signings have been the Colombian pair, striker Radamel Falcao and left-footed attacking midfielder James Rodriguez. Both are magnificent players – the former a goal machine at the top of his game, the latter rich in strong, creative promise. While it surprised some that both players decided to move to Monaco, there is little doubt the transfers will benefit the Colombian national team.” BBC – Tim Vickery

Neymar dips his toe in at Barcelona

August 4, 2013

“It is not that Neymar didn’t try to crown his home debut with a goal. In the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch in Barcelona’s 8-0 drubbing of FC Santos in Friday night’s friendly, the Catalan club’s new signing had three shots on goal and almost began celebrating before realizing he had actually hit the bar. His true mission, though, was somehow accomplished. With a classic tee-up for a wondrous Cesc Fabregas strike, Neymar provided an assist and showed with his feet what he had already said in his pre-match news conference: He’s happy to take one for the team.” ESPN

Football League 2013-14: Who would be a manager?

August 4, 2013

“A new Football League season is about to start, but just how many managers who begin the 2013-14 campaign will still be employed next May? There were 52 managerial changes in the Football League between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013, of which 34 were dismissals. ‘Recent figures are alarming as, including the Premier League, more than half of the 92 clubs now have a different manager to who started last season,’ League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan told BBC Sport. On the eve of the 2013-14 Football League season, BBC Sport explores the precarious nature of the job and speaks to two managers at different ends of the managerial ladder – one just starting out and the other well established.” BBC

TTU Go Predicting: Teams to Watch

August 4, 2013

“After a 25-year absence, Newport County returned to the Football League in May with an extraordinary play-off final win over Wrexham. For a club who were wound up, reformed and exiled to Gloucestershire in the intervening years, it is a phenomenal and heart-warming achievement. What’s more, they actually look half-decent, and we certainly wouldn’t bet against them to carry last season’s winning form into League 2 and trouble the top 10.” thetwounfortunates

Pep Guardiola’s public perception already shifting at Bayern Munich

August 4, 2013

“Bayern Munich have hardly played a game that did not end with some suit thrusting a trophy into their hands underneath a ticker-tape shower in recent months. On Thursday night, last season’s European champions, German league and cup winners were at it again, horsing around in front of an advertising board, the Audi Cup in hand.” Guardian