Daily Archives: December 27, 2022

Africa Super League: Can new competition improve club game on continent?

“Morocco may well have broken barriers for African football with the country’s historic run to the World Cup semi-finals, but the club game on the continent is still lagging well behind the standards in Europe. As such, Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe is hoping the launch of the Africa Super League next year will change that. The South African described the new competition as “one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football” when he unveiled the latest plans in Tanzania in August. …”


Barcelona are scrambling again as a ‘stressful’ January transfer window looms

“‘Dreams are free, but footballers are not,’ said Barcelona’s sporting director Jordi Cruyff in early December, responding to questions about whether the club would be able to sign any new players in January. … Of course, an apparently impossible financial situation has not necessarily precluded transfer spending in recent times at the Camp Nou. Despite the Catalan club being over €1billion (£880million, $1billion) in debt last summer, they still managed to activate various financial levers which allowed them to spend over €160m on signing new players, while also adding about €150m a year to the wage bill. …”
The Athletic

Quality And Depth: Fresh, Firing Liverpool Have Plenty More To Come

“It’s five minutes in. Aston Villa half-clear a corner to around 40 yards from goal, dead centre. How many right-backs will shun the easy back-in-the-mixer option to ping an outside-of-the-foot pass and find a teammate on the flank? And how many left-backs will make a surging run down the right-hand side, then meet the pass with a perfect first-time touch with the outside of the boot for your striker to slot home? They’re an extraordinary pair, are Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. …”
The Sportsman

Messi, Lusail, and closing a personal chapter

“If you have followed me or my writing, you’ll know that my own journey with the maddening game began with this freekick 20 years and six World Cups ago. In 2002, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate what I was witnessing with the Brazilian side—that arrived only in hindsight—but I can still recall that overwhelming, all-encompassing feeling, one that I’ve experienced only a few times since and keeps me hooked to a sport that routinely demands more than it can return. But oh that feeling. …”
Football Paradise