After years of stagnation Italian football is finally fighting back

October 13, 2014

Roma-stadium
“Once upon a time English clubs envied the Italian model of renting municipal stadia and thus avoiding the financial weight of owning and running their own home. The giants of Serie A were thus ‘free’, from the 1950s to the 1970s, to pay the highest transfer fees and most lucrative wages. Then came the TV, sponsorship and new media explosion and England developed the Premier League model and cashed in on the new generation of stadia built and rebuild post-Hillsborough. With restaurants, conference facilities and even sometimes hotel built into the grounds new revenue streams opened up.” World Soccer


Poles Knock Off a Neighbor to Make History

October 13, 2014

“Sports can be a mirror to life, and sometimes it is better than that. In Warsaw on Saturday night, Poland beat Germany in soccer for the first time. For 93 years, since the Poles played their first international game, people have dreamed of this. And while its bigger neighbor has had three months to celebrate the fourth World Cup title in its history, the best Poland could do was celebrate that Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, both born in Poland, were part of the German team that won the Cup in Brazil. Now, at least for one unforgettable night, the roles were reversed.” NY Times


The history of Polish contributions to the Bundesliga

October 13, 2014

“The marquee match of Group D’s Euro 2016 qualifiers takes place in Warsaw Saturday evening as Germany travel across their eastern border to play Poland. Germany are unbeaten in all 18 previous matches against Poland, holding a record of 12-6-0 in those matches. The last time the two met in a competitive match was in the EURO 2008 group stage where Germany, on the back of a Lukas Podolski brace, were 2-0 winners. The sides have met twice since in friendlies with both contests ending in draws. Only Luxembourg and the Czech Republic, of the nations that border Germany, have faced the current world champion fewer than has Poland. Luxembourg however do hold some bragging rights from their 13 battles with the neighbors, as they have actually beaten Germany once, while Poland still awaits their chance to say they’ve accomplished the same.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The state of the Portugal national team [Part 2] Second chances and the final squad

October 13, 2014

Carvalho-Tiago
“Now that we have settled in the last part exactly how Portugal arrived at the situation in which they find themselves, we take a look at the short term future of the Portuguese senior National Team. On October 3rd, new coach Fernando Santos revealed the list for the first call up of his tenure, which broke every taboo and controversy Paulo Bento had stirred in one way or another, by bringing back some very familiar names along with some new blood.” Outside of the Boot


DR Congo: Gunshots and shaking buses on international breaks

October 13, 2014

“His Peterborough team-mates are playing Crawley this weekend, but League One defender Gabriel Zakuani is making a much longer trip during the international break. The 28-year-old is a Democratic Republic of Congo international and will be aiming to stop Yaya Toure, Gervinho and Wilfried Bony when his country face Ivory Coast on Saturday and Wednesday in two crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Kinshasa and Abidjan. Zakuani was born in Kinshasa but grew up in London. He made his DR Congo debut in 2005 and was part of the squad at the Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013.” BBC


Rest could benefit Mesut Ozil as he struggles to regain his form

October 13, 2014

“Over the course of Arsene Wenger’s 18-year reign, Arsenal have become accustomed to World Cup winners. In 1998, Patrick Vieira teed up Emmanuel Petit for the clinching goal in France’s 3-0 final victory over Brazil, prompting the Daily Mirror to famously lead with ‘Arsenal win the World Cup’ on their front page. Four years later, Wenger signed Gilberto Silva on the strength of his World Cup-winning displays for Brazil, while in 2010 Cesc Fabregas assisted Andres Iniesta’s winning goal against the Netherlands.” ESPN – Michael Cox