Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Short and sweet today. Is Sepp Blatter really “unbeatable” ahead of the June 1 election for the FIFA presidency?
It would appear so, though under his leadership the sport’s governing body has come under fire for alleged corruption.
That said, you have to admire his workrate. He is no ordinary 75-year-old.
Some transfer speculation now, and with Ligue 1 leaders Lille set to all but clinch the title on Wednesday will they be agitated by rumours that star man Eden Hazard could leave?
And how about Everton’s Leighton Baines to Manchester City for 25 million pounds? Money is no obstacle for the Manchester side as they prepare to sail into uncharted waters in the Champions League next season.
In our latest Monday post on Spanish soccer, Iain Rogers and Mark Elkington in Madrid select the best and worst of the 2010/11 season, a campaign marked by Barcelona’s continued superiority in the domestic league, a first piece of silverware for Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho in the King’s Cup and four eagerly-anticipated but ultimately rather depressing “Clasicos” between the big two.
Coach of Season
There is really only one candidate for this, the man who has won three league titles in his first three seasons as a top-flight coach and a host of other trophies. With Mourinho around, Guardiola did not have such an easy ride this term but when it came to the Champions League crunch his team was the one that made it through to the final. Best moment: dropping his customary cool in the Bernabeu press room and laying into Mourinho on the eve of the semi-final second leg.
Read here for a roundup of all things European football over the weekend, during which titles were won, tears were shed, and more trophies were dropped.
Ask most football fans about what day in the season they looked forward to the most in the past and the FA Cup would have often topped the list, but the grand old competition is on the wane.
Just another night of footballing action and another trophy for the all-conquering Barcelona, who on Wednesday clinched their third successive La Liga title despite a laboured 1-1 draw away to Levante.
Manchester United will be hoping a similarly weary Barcelona turn up at Wembley for the Champions League final on May 28, hopefully having themselves recently won their top domestic honour, the Premier League.
On Tuesday the bank-rolled Manchester City outfit reached the Champions League qualifiers for next season and could even secure an automatic berth if they pip Arsenal to third place in the Premier League. That would be a real kick in the guts to Arsene Wenger, who has barely spent anything in comparison to City since he took over the North Londoners in 1996.
Dominating football news on Tuesday are the allegations by David Triesman to a UK parliamentary inquiry that several FIFA executive committee members asked for favours in return for their votes for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.
Startling stuff, especially with the FIFA presidential election less than a month away and a third of the 24-man executive committee having been accused of corruption.
River Plate are playing two championships in one and until Sunday’s shock 2-0 home defeat by modest All Boys they had as good a chance of winning the Clausura title as they do now of relegation.
In the craziest of Argentine league championships, results are impossible to predict and playing away is an advantage. There have been 50 away wins and 41 at home so far in 13o Clausura matches this term.
Mourinho begins strengthening for next season
Jose Mourinho has acquired the first new weapon in his arsenal for the 2011/12 campaign as his Real Madrid side seek to loosen Barcelona’s stranglehold over the domestic title and dream of a 10th triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.
Manchester United took less than 40 seconds to score against title rivals Chelsea, all but killing the game and the Londoners’ hopes of retaining their Premier League crown, while in Italy AC Milan made it 18 Serie A trophies with a 0-0 draw at AS Roma. Barcelona took a giant stride towards a third straight La Liga title with a 2-0 win over Espanyol. Click on this link for our European roundup.