Around Europe: Barcelona burnout; Ben Arfa makes his Euro case

April 12, 2016

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“There were decisive moments in the title race in England and Germany, as respective leaders Leicester City and Bayern Munich came closer to the finishing line, though a shock result in Spain has opened the door to the pack chasing defending champion Barcelona. A new coach with a familiar name enjoyed a successful start at Lazio, while in France, a new hat trick hero has given national team boss Didier Deschamps a selection dilemma leading into Euro 2016. Here is what caught our eye this week from Around Europe.” SI (Video)


‘Italian Mourinho’ Antonio Conte will be shock for Chelsea players after gentle Guus

April 4, 2016

“Mattia Destro’s first night of marital bliss ended with a 5am wake up call. He kissed his bride goodbye and left for Florence. Italy training awaited. ‘If it were down to me,’ Antonio Conte smiled, ‘he would have already been on his way back after cutting the cake.’ The Italy manager would cancel Christmas too if the rules allowed him to as his former Siena players will tell you. Second in Serie B at the time, they had lost to Varese in their last game before the winter break in 2010.” Telegraph (Video)


Uruguay legend Alvaro ‘El Chino ‘ Recoba bids farewell to football

April 1, 2016

“‘One last magic act.’ That’s how El Pais, Uruguay’s biggest newspaper, chose to headline their preview of Alvaro Recoba’s farewell match, which took place on Thursday night in the Gran Parque Central, a stadium he knew so well and lit up so frequently during his playing days with Nacional. Recoba debuted for Danubio back in 1994, but enjoyed his first successes — and his most recent ones too — with Nacional, where he became a club idol.” ESPN


Tactical Analysis: Bayern Munich 4-2 Juventus (AET) | Intense match decided on the wings

March 20, 2016

“After a dramatic 2-2 draw in the first leg, Juventus travel to the Allianz Arena in Germany to face Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League. The first leg ended 2-2 at the appropriately named Juventus Stadium following Pep Guardiola’s Bayern going into a 0-2 lead. Readjustments from Massimillano Allegri which saw the men from Turin adopt a more direct style for the latter stages causing Bayern’s makeshift centre-back pairing of Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba serious problems.” Outside of the Boot


The Downfall of Genoa

March 16, 2016

“From 1096 to 1797 the Republic of Genoa was one of the most powerful city-states in Italy and Europe. Alongside Venice, Pisa and Amalfi, it was one of the Maritime Republics, independent entities provided with a fleet of ships both for their own protection and to support their rich and extensive trade networks all over the Mediterranean Sea. During the 16th century Genoa flourished under the government of the admiral Andrea Doria (one of the two teams which in 1946 merged to form Sampdoria was named after him) but after reaching its peak the Republic fell in 1797, when Napoleone Bonaparte established the Ligurian Republic. In the 2014/2015 football season the region flourished much like it had in the 16th century: Genoa finished sixth on the table, with three points more than city rivals Sampdoria, who placed 7th but still qualified for the Europa League play-offs at the expense of the Rossoblu, who were denied a UEFA licence by the FIGC. Both Genoese teams outdid AC Milan and Inter Milan in the league table.” Stats Bomb


Vicenza Calcio – The Tumultuous Journey of one of Italy’s Oldest Clubs

March 16, 2016

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“Without question, the ‘Ballon D’Or’ is one of the most prestigious awards to be handed to an individual during his professional career. Awarded annually to the best individual footballer of that calendar year since 1956, past winners have included Zidane, Rivaldo, Platini and Cruyff, amongst countless others. Interestingly, only 5 Italians have ever won the award. Omar Sívori in 1961, Gianni Rivera in 1969, Paolo Rossi in 1982, Roberto Baggio in 1993, and Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, all legends of the game, in Italy and across the globe.” Outside of the Boot


UCL: Messi, Barcelona top Arsenal; Juventus comes back on Bayern

February 23, 2016

“There was late drama in both Champions League ties Tuesday. Lionel Messi continued to haunt Arsenal as Barcelona won 2-0 on a pair of Messi goals in London. Meanwhile, in Turin, Bayern Munich threw away a 2-0 lead and settled for a 2-2 draw against Juventus, though the German side will bring an away-goals edge with it to the return leg next month.” SI