Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Champions League kicks off but is there only one winner?

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Can any team steal Barcelona’s Champions League crown this term?

The easy answer is no.

They were so strong last season that even the final against a good Manchester United side was a stroll.

This term Pep Guardiola’s men have strengthened, if that was possible, with the additions of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez so it is hard to look past them and their silky skills.

But, no team has successfully defended a Champions League title so there is hope for the rest.

United have added youth to their mix and look Barca’s only proper rivals again unless Jose Mourinho can work his European Cup magic at Real Madrid.

Might misfiring Torres miss out on Euro 2012?

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Mark Elkington in Madrid raises the prospect of out-of-sorts striker Fernando Torres missing out on the Euro 2012 finals as competition for places heats up.

Fierce competition for places in Spain’s frontline for Euro 2012 has increased the pressure on misfiring Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.

Are Barca and Real killing Spanish football?

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In our latest post on Spanish soccer, Mark Elkington in Madrid ponders the opening round of matches in La Liga and what it underlined about the growing domination of the big two.

La Liga had a familiar look to it on Tuesday morning.

Wealthy behemoths Real Madrid and Barcelona top the standings on goal difference after each recorded emphatic wins against opponents who were utterly outclassed.

What is Arsenal’s future?

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By Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade

It is a bit early to single out Manchester rivals United and City as the only title contenders this season, but it appears highly likely that Arsenal will not be among the chasing pack now headed by the new-look Liverpool and Chelsea.

What is more, the 8-2 hammering the Gunners suffered at Old Trafford suggests that Arsene Wenger’s side might even struggle to finish in the top six, unless the Frenchman can swiftly turn around their fortunes.

Fergie the old hand shows softer side…for a bit

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By Simon Hart

For a brief moment, it seemed Sir Alex Ferguson really might be mellowing with age.

Twenty-four hours after ending his seven-year feud with the BBC, the Manchester United manager spent part of his weekly news conference on Friday defending the record of his erstwhile chief adversary Arsene Wenger, who comes to Old Trafford with Arsenal on Sunday.

River Plate still making waves outside top flight

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By Rex Gowar

River Plate were relegated, they play in the B Nacional championship, their profile has sunk: Right, right, wrong.

As Argentine Football Association chief Julio Grondona put it, River are not adapting to the second division, the B Nacional is adapting to River.

Real fans still in love with controversial Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho was given a rapturous reception by the Real Madrid faithful when his side entertained Galatasaray in a friendly on Wednesday.

It was a show of unity likely to leave club president Florentino Perez in no doubt that whatever reservations he might have over his stubbornly controversial coach the majority of Madrid supporters love him.

Who can Arsenal actually buy?

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With Cesc Fabregas gone and Samir Nasri possibly on the move too, there is a lot of gloom around Arsenal at the moment and Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool did nothing to help the mood.

Arsenal fans are for the first time questioning the stewardship of Arsene Wenger and have demanded some top signings to prevent yet another trophyless season.

New Juventus stadium unique in so many ways

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Juventus are due to open their new stadium next month but so far there is no name and no big-name signing to grace it.

From the very start the stadium project was unique.

Juve will be the only Italian club to own their own stadium, something which English soccer fans in particular find very difficult to comprehend.

Do Manchester United need Wesley Sneijder?

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Paul Scholes may have left a huge pair of boots to fill in Manchester United’s midfield, but Alex Ferguson may not have to add a big-money signing to his squad if their performance in a captivating 3-2 Community Shield win over Manchester City is anything to go by.

While Ferguson has apparently made several attempts to lure Inter Milan and Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder to his outfit during the break, United’s second-half comeback at Wembley suggests he may have found one or two replacements closer to home.

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