The Three Epic, Early Champions League Showdowns

December 14, 2017


“The draw for the Champions League round of 16 is set, and even though the first games will not be played for two months, we already know that at least one true European power will be eliminated before the quarterfinals kick off, and a couple more elite clubs could be in trouble. This is because the Champions League draw pitted some of the best teams in the world against each other in early clashes. According to Soccer Power Index, six of the nine best teams to make the knockouts have been drawn against each other. These three matchups — each of which consists of two games, one at each club’s home grounds — should give the Round of 16 a new level of drama. … ” fivethirtyeight, NY Times: Real-P.S.G. and Barcelona-Chelsea in the Champions League, YouTube: The Three Epic, Early Champions League Showdowns

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Bundesliga Fanatic Exclusive Interview with Mainz attacker Pablo de Blasis

December 14, 2017

“The Bundesliga Fanatic recently had the opportunity for an exclusive interview by Abel Meszaros with 1.FSV Mainz 05’s versatile Argentine attacker, Pablo De Blasis, in late November, 2017. Born in La Plata, the 29 year-old began his career with the famed local club Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, the side founded in 1887 that claims to be the oldest footballing club in South America. Pablo is in his fourth season with Die Nullfünfer, and his known for his runs down the sideline, his durability, intensity and enthusiasm, having now featured in 90 Bundesliga matches. …” Bundesliga Fanatic


Applause at the Draw, but Will Russia Keep Cheering?

December 3, 2017


“MOSCOW — Half a million fans — by current, suspiciously optimistic, estimates — will descend on Russia next year for what Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president, has already decreed will be the ‘best’ World Cup in history. Every single fan, he has decided, will have “an amazing experience.” Billions of dollars have been spent on new, or renovated, stadiums to host the finest players in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, on Friday promised a ‘major sporting festival of friendship and fair play.’ …” NY Times, The Ringer: The Four Must-Watch Games of the 2018 World Cup Group Stages (Video), NY Times – World Cup Draw: Group-by-Group Analysis


Tactical Analysis: Borussia Dortmund 4-4 Schalke 04 | An epic comeback

November 30, 2017

“This is the mother of all derbies in German football, therefore the narratives that lead to this game were full of drama and excitement: on one hand, Peter Bosz has been under pressure from the board over the past two months due to Borussia Dortmund’s slump in form, which continued during their 1-2 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League; on the other hand, Schalke’s new coach, Domenico Tedesco, has done very well so far in the league, as the team -reportedly- witnessed around 2000 fans during their last session of training prior to the game. …” Outside of the Boot


Gute Woche/ Schlechte Woche Matchday 12 Edition

November 21, 2017


“It was back to Bundesliga action after yet another international break with nine exciting match-ups for our enjoyment. Jupp Heynckes continued to work his magic at Bayern with another win, Dortmund continued to falter and Köln continued to suffer atrocious luck. Werder Bremen grabbed their first win, while Schalke and Mönchengladbach continued to climb towards the top. Drama, controversy, goals, red cards, the weekend had it all. So, just who were the winners and losers of matchday 12? …” Bundesliga Fanatic


Berlin – Hotbed of football, beer, politics and noise

November 7, 2017


“Germany, and especially Berlin, is no stranger to change. Its borders have changed drastically and repeatedly over the last century, and the governments within have been no exception to this rise-and-fall pattern. In many ways the only constant in Germany over the course of the 20th century was football. The Nazi Gauligas ran almost unhindered from 1933 to 1945, and only ceased due to Allied forces occupying most of Germany by that point. Following the fall of the Third Reich it only took until 1948 for the East to start playing again, with the West following a year later by turning semi-pro. The continuity of football was so strong it even outlasted the dissolution of its parent country, with East Germany’s Oberliga continuing as normal for two years after the Berlin Wall fell, and survived the actual reunification of Germany until the Spring of 1991. …” Football Pink


Dieter Hecking’s Unique Defensive System

October 23, 2017

“Although man-marking reminds us of the old ‘70s and ‘80s, it has been enjoying rebirth since these days. In fact, man-marking has been reinvented, thanks to zonal coverage. Thus, giving birth to a new marking systems, such as zone-oriented man coverage. So far, zone-oriented man coverage has been used in the Bundesliga by Dieter Hecking both during his time at 1.FC Nürnberg and currently at Borussia Mönchengladbach. In Hecking’s treatment, this system is a compromise between man and zonal defenses. …” Bundesliga Fanatic