Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

from Left field:

Va-va-voom. Vintage Henry scores on Arsenal return.

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The clock said 68 minutes, and no one at the Emirates Stadium in north London was looking at the action on the pitch as the fourth official held aloft his lit-up board to signal the re-introduction of Thierry Henry to English football.

Ten minutes later and he'd scored the game's eventual winner. Comebacks don't get this good this often.

14 to replace 15 shone the bright numbers before the goal, but alas Henry's former number has since been taken by young English talent Theo Walcott, who idolises the French great.

Now, for six weeks and six weeks only after which he will return to the United States with the New York Red Bulls, Henry can be seen wearing an Arsenal shirt with the number 12, the same as his France days during which he won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

Manchester City will struggle to offload pricey Tevez

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It is quite conceivable Carlos Tevez will still be at Manchester City in February.

For all the talk of his City career being over, after the Argentine was accused by manager Roberto Mancini of refusing to come on in a Champions League game in September, no concrete offer has been forthcoming.

Balotelli courts maturity not Milan

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Mario Balotelli has got into more scrapes than a bad teenage skateboarder but the maturing Italy striker has finally found some inner peace and his game is therefore flourishing.

A goal and commanding performance in Friday’s 2-0 friendly win in Poland followed other good displays for Manchester City, notably the 6-1 hammering of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Soccer Break Monday – season already over?

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Anyone else feel as though all the excitement and potential late drama for this season has disappeared?

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.

Soccer Break Friday – titles at stake

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The week is ending but the drama is just cranking up. Yes, the weekend is almost upon us, and that means loads more football action around Europe where there is still plenty at stake.

European competition is almost over for another season after Braga and Porto booked their places in the Europa League final in Dublin.

Soccer Break Tuesday

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SOCCER-ITALY/AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi seriously believes he can sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the next transfer window. Where did that one come from? Probably because of his frustration with Zlatan ibrahimovic for being sent off for swearing and banned for three games (see Wayne, the punshment is even worse in Italy).

Of course Berlusconi has no chance of landing Ronaldo but he’s a politician and positive thinking can do the world of good.

Soccer Break Friday

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SOCCER-EUROPA/How can the upcoming domestic matches beat this week’s European action for goals? 19 were scored in Thursday’s four Europa League quarter-finals, with a further 18 coming in the four Champions League last eight ties on Tuesday and Wednesday.

What the top leagues around Europe do have however is drama, with most leagues set to go down to the wire, whereas only two out of eight of next week’s quarter-final second legs are in the balance.

Former Gunner Gallas relishing life at Tottenham

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/By Mike Collett in London

If things had turned out differently, William Gallas could well have been facing Champions League heartache with Arsenal in Barcelona rather than glory with their arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur this week.

The 33-year-old France midfielder is one of only a handful of players down the years to have moved across the North London divide — and is absolutely delighted he did.

Soccer Break Thursday

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Breathe in. Breathe out. The Champions League is over for this week after a tense two days of last 16 drama. And now for Europa League action on Thursday with yet more top sides in action.

First of all however let’s dissect the Champions League from Wednesday where underdogs Tottenham Hotspur and Schalke 04 progressed past their more fancied rivals, AC Milan and Valencia respectively.

Serie A is not as good as it thinks it is

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SOCCER-ITALY/Serie A leaders AC Milan visit Juventus this weekend in one of the showcase matches of the Serie A season but hardly anyone is expecting a “good game”.

I can count on one hand the number of top class matches in Italy this term where excitement, technical proficiency and flair have won the day.

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