Steven Gerrard: England captain ‘broken’ before retirement

July 22, 2014

“When England captain Steven Gerrard revealed he had been left “broken” by the failure of a World Cup campaign in Brazil that effectively only lasted six days, there was nothing that would fix the pain. It meant a decision that was already in the making even before he left for South America was merely confirmed by England’s exit – only two games into a tournament he hoped would provide a perfect finale to his international career. Gerrard, looking mentally and physically shattered at England’s Urca Military Base a short drive from Copacabana, claimed only he knew what was going on in his mind. One look at his face meant everyone else could have a very good guess.” BBC


Explaining the difference between Germany’s and Italy’s World Cup wins

July 22, 2014

July 15, 2014. “As Germany evens Italy’s four World Cups, Brazil 2014 teaches us a lesson on the difference between Germany and Italy: the former win when they should, the latter win when they shouldn’t. On the day in which Germany pulled even with Italy, winning their fourth World Cup (they both trail Brazil with five) the two European football giants have never been so distant. And this isn’t just because the Nationalmannschaft literally dominated this Brazilian edition while Italy languished miserably, failing to qualify for the R-16 for the second straight time. This World Cup actually teaches us a lesson on how deeply different the Azzurri and the Germans are, even at football.” Bundesliga Fanatic

Can Mateo Kovacic Become a Regular at Inter Milan This Season?

July 22, 2014

“After what turned out to be a disappointing World Cup for him and his Croatian side, Mateo Kovacic returned to his club duties with Inter Milan last week. Manager Walter Mazzarri included him in to the starting XI in the 1-0 win over minnows Prato, in what can be seen as another sign of Inter’s determination to reject all the offers and keep Kovacic for the season that approaches. It is no secret that there is massive interest in a midfielder who turned 20 in May and has been considered one of the brightest prospects of world football.” Bleacher Report

Siberian Suncream and FK Tyumen

July 22, 2014

“Did that just happen? A glance over at the scoreboard, then down below it at the group of downtrodden visiting supporters, confirm that the seemingly impossible really has taken place. It is a sensation fans of lower-league teams may have experienced, a sensation that only those fans can experience. As the capacity crowd begins to filter out, it is all we can manage to simply gaze around and soak in the closing moments of the final act of what has been an absorbing performance of pure sporting theatre. Despite the surreal stunned silence, there it is. We, a lowly team with no international caps to speak of, have conquered the Zenit St.Petersburg of Andrei Arshavin, Axel Witsel, Neto, Domenico Criscito, Roman Shirokov, Anatoliy Tymoschuk and Oleg Shatov 2-0.” backpagefootball

Genoa get their homework done and promptly pass the Sampdoria test

September 16, 2013

“On Wednesday the headlines spoke of global domination, after Italy qualified for the World Cup with two games to spare. By Saturday the focus had shifted completely. Instead of speculating about the strength of foreign rivals, reporters were now fretting about spies within their own borders.” Guardian

German teams to face tough oppositions in the Europa League

August 30, 2013

“Today’s Europa League draw in Monaco ended in disappointment for VfB Stuttgart. The Swabians had a chance to be drawn as the team replacing Fenerbace Istanbul, but were unlucky. The two German teams were also handed tough oppositions in the group stage, but both Eintracht Frankfurt and SC Freiburg are in with a good shout of surviving the group stages. Christian Streich’s Breisgau Brazilians have probably been handed the toughest draw out of the two German teams. Freiburg are going to face off against two-time Uefa Cup winners FC Sevilla, three-time Czech champions Slovan Liberec and GD Estoril. Frankfurt on the other hand side are facing 6 times French champions and Uefa Cup finalists Girondins Bordeaux, 2012 Champions League quarter finalists APOEL Nicosia and Maccabi Tel Aviv.” Bundesliga Fanatic

Mignolet is Reds’ hero

August 17, 2013

“Striker Daniel Sturridge got Liverpool’s season off to a winning start but it was new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who was the hero with a late penalty save. The hosts had dominated throughout but had only the one goal to show for their efforts when Daniel Agger handled former Reds midfielder Charlie Adam’s free-kick three minutes from time.” ESPN