Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Boca Juniors have two aces in their pack, one now firing on all cylinders, the other in one of his worst slumps during his final season before retiring.
River Plate have a new ace at the lower end of the age scale who is growing in confidence, cheek and sheer skill.
Juan Roman Riquelme, 32, who featured in a UEFA free kick training video when he was at Villarreal, has scored brilliantly with two dead balls in Boca’s last two games, both victories, after his team’s poor start to the Clausura championship.
Martin Palermo, Boca’s 37-year-old all-time record goalscorer on the other hand, has gone 748 minutes without finding the net but understudy Lucas Viatri came on for him and scored the last-minute winner against Estudiantes on Sunday.
Got your breath back yet? Perfected the Dejan Stankovic volley in your mirror ready to take out on the pitch? Well Tuesday’s first installment of four Champions League quarter-final evenings was spectacular and there is more to come on Wednesday.
First, a recap of last night. The Real Madrid backlash did kick in, though against the 10 men of Tottenham Hotspur and two extremely well-taken goals that on another night may have gone wide of the post.
Enjoy. That we will. Cristiano Ronaldo is back for Real Madrid and Gareth Bale for Tottenham Hotspur as four teams prepare for their biggest games this season in the Champions League quarter-final first legs on Tuesday.
Spurs forward Rafael van der Vaart is returning to the Bernabeu and would clearly love to make an impact on his old side.
In our latest Monday Spanish soccer post, Mark Elkington in Madrid reviews the situation in La Liga after Real Madrid’s shock 1-0 defeat at home to Sporting Gijon and looks ahead to this week’s Champions League action.
La Liga is Barca’s to lose
In a week when Real Madrid were reported by local media to have vetoed the playing of any Shakira songs in the Bernabeu because of her romance with Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, the Spain defender gained more than ample revenge.
With all the hype surrounding this week’s Champions League quarter-finals, the events of the weekend seem like a distant memory. Here’s a recap of a fascinating set of results around Europe the past few days.
The first day of the fourth month means April fools day, so we would really love to hear from you if there are any dubious stories doing the rounds.
As the weekend approaches we can all start getting excited about domestic football again and the increase in stories and transfer speculation.
Germany captain Michael Ballack was in the stands to watch his team lose 2-1 to Australia in a friendly on Tuesday, the first time he was present since their World Cup quarter-final win over Argentina last year.
He was in no mood for any chats with reporters, opting to sit back and watch the game, surely knowing that his own international career is quickly drawing to an end.
Now the international period is over we can focus on domestic issues again, or can we?
Tuesday’s matches provided plenty of drama, from the battles Spain and the Netherlands had to fight to get through tricky Euro 2012 qualifiers, to Ghana’s lighting up of London, to Australia’s World Cup revenge against Germany in a friendly.