Fifa 2014 World Cup: Who is there & who is in the play-offs?

November 17, 2013

eu
Roman Zozulya
“With the group stages of qualifying over, the final 11 teams at next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil will be decided this week in the play-offs. Next summer’s tournament will feature 32 teams, with the draw for eight groups of four to take place at the Costa do Sauipe resort in the Brazilian state of Bahia on 6 December. BBC Sport takes a look at the definite qualifiers and the play-off contenders across the six Fifa confederations.” BBC


Chile making mark as a Bielsa team after win over England

November 17, 2013

“Alexis Sanchez trod in the footsteps of Marcelo Salas with his two goals to beat England at Wembley on Friday night. Salas scored his Wembley goals – also a 2-0 win – in a warm-up game for France 98, a tournament at which he once more gave evidence of his quality and where Chile had their moments. They made it out of their group but they did not win a single game, going down to Brazil in the second round after three consecutive draws. The current Chile side under Jorge Sampaoli are capable of better things, and not just because the 2014 World Cup is on their home continent.” BBC


Messi: 10 years of Barcelona’s brighter star

November 17, 2013

“Lionel Messi has, deservedly, become a household name all over the world thanks to his unbelievable skills on the football pitch and low-key, humble attitude off it. While it was clear that the 16-year-old who made his Barcelona first team debut at the Do Dragao stadium against Porto a decade ago had plenty of potential, the truth is that nobody could have predicted the legendary impact that the tiny Argentinean wizard has made in the club’s history since.” ESPN


Tommy Burns: the man who bridged the Old Firm divide

November 17, 2013

“The more-than-a-century old rivalry between Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers is well established in the minds of football fans the world over. The colourful, boisterous, sometimes violent, scenes when the two sides meet are Scottish footballs biggest export, beamed to millions of people in hundreds of places from New York to New Caledonia and beyond.” World Soccer