Pep, Mourinho, Simeone and more: Ranking world’s top 10 club managers

May 26, 2016

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“Just as the Champions League format has allowed an elite group of clubs to dominate in recent years, the coaching landscape, too, is overshadowed by the personalities of a revered few who are hired at a huge expense with the guarantee of trophies. The perfect example of that is in the Premier League, where all the attention is going to be on Manchester’s clubs City and United when next season kicks off, despite their recent fourth and fifth respective finishes in the league. City will have Pep Guardiola in charge, while United looks set to have Jose Mourinho. It’s a personal rivalry that dominated Spanish football when the pair locked horns during two controversy-laden years at Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively.” SI (Video)

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Serie A 2015/2016: Final Review

May 26, 2016

“The 2015/2016 edition of Serie A had an unforeseen start and a wacky development, but still ended in the most predictable way, with pre-season favourites of Juventus clinching their 5th Scudetto in a row with 2 games to go. Allegri’s team had their worst start in history, collecting just 5 points in their first 6 games (1W-2D-3L, 6GF-7GA), and they were already considered doomed by most of the media and the public. While Juve continued to struggle accumulating a meagre 12 points tally after 10 games, four other teams led the league outright, a record for Serie A: in chronological order Inter, Fiorentina, Roma and Napoli.” Stats Bomb


Authoritarian Rules Football: When sport becomes a political weapon

May 26, 2016

“On the surface at least, this line from John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi explains the relationship between soccer and political power, except, obviously, the tennis balls are soccer balls, and the stars are ruthless tyrants swinging the racquets. Whether it is the 1974 Zaire World Cup squad (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo) that was a pawn of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, Argentina’s 1978 World Cup team that became unwitting poster boys for the country’s military junta, or the army and secret police-backed clubs of the former USSR and the Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, the stories of autocratic leaders manipulating teams and players to boost their popularity or egos are legion.” fusion (Video)


American Dream

May 26, 2016

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“The United States has always fascinated me. I grew up in Rosario, the Second City of Argentina, and have lived in Barcelona since the age of 13. But from what I have seen on brief visits, there is nothing like the U.S.: how Americans live, what they have. It’s a unique country. The stadiums are incredible, and I can’t imagine a better place to host a special Copa América, a 16-team mini–World Cup bringing together all the top national teams from South America and the U.S. and Mexico over 24 days in June. People tell me it will be the biggest men’s soccer event in the U.S. since the 1994 World Cup.” SI (Video)


Cristiano Ronaldo v Atlético: Will he score?

May 26, 2016

“Cristiano Ronaldo scored the last time Real Madrid met Atlético in a UEFA Champions League final, but can he do so again in Milan? UEFA.com picks out some key statistics.” UEFA


Tactical Analysis: Bayern Munich 0-0 Borussia Dortmund (Pens 4-3) | BVB Press Breaks & Bayern Width

May 26, 2016

“Berlin’s Olympiastadion played as the venue for what turned out to be an incredibly intense finale to the DFB-Pokal Cup and also Pep Guardiola’s reign as Bayern Munich manager. It was an evening of goodbyes as Mats Hummels also bid farewell to the club where he shot to stardom, playing 219 times before agreeing to return to Bavaria where the 27-year old began his career. However, it was the Catalan Coach that got the fairytale ending as 74,322 packed the capital’s stadium from west and south to see the Bundesliga champions complete the double in a captivating penalty shootout against old foes Borussia Dortmund, Brazilian Douglas Costa converting the winning kick.” Outside of the Boot


2015-16 Olympique Lyon Season Review

May 26, 2016

“The common joke about Ligue 1 is that instead of asking “who will win the title”, it’s more so “how many points will PSG win the league by”. As it turns out, PSG can win the league by a crap ton. But if you rewind it back to late July, there were the faint whispers that Lyon could be the team that pushed PSG for the majority of the season, kind of in a similar way to what Napoli did for Juventus. I was a bit skeptical of that happening seeing as quite a few things had to break in Lyon’s favor last season for Ligue 1 to be as competitive as it was, and they benefitted from conversion luck especially in the 2nd half of the season.” Stats Bomb