Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Soccer Break Thursday

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONSGareth Bale. The dashing Welsh winger primed to scare the living daylights out of England on Saturday. Injured. Did anyone else hear that collective sigh of relief from England fans today?

But what about Tottenham Hotspur fans. Are you worried your star man’s recent struggles with injury could hamper your club’s Champions League quarter-final chances against Real Madrid?

There are of course plenty of qualifiers this weekend so read our preview for all the latest.

Anna on the Italian Soccer Serie A has picked what she reckons might be Italy’s team to play Slovenia in Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier having spied on Cesare Prandelli’s training sessions. Read more here.

Soccer Break Wednesday

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SOCCER-EURO/Happy middle of the week to you all, and if like me you are in London where the sun is out and there is very little football to write about, you are forgiven for thinking the season is over and the grasscourt tennis season is about to kick in.

Don’t look so worried, David (right). While the weather will probably change before I’ve finished writing this blog, the good news is it’s only March and there is plenty more football left. It’s just this week it’s the international break.

Soccer Break Friday – Champions League draw special

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SOCCER-EUROPA/Well well well. Now the Champions League really is wide open..

So here’s that quarter-final draw again:

Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur

Chelsea v Manchester United

Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter Milan v Schalke 04

As Gary Lineker put it, there will be an English team in the semi-finals, but could Tottenham make it two sides? Real are certainly not invincible.

Now, before taking a look at all the domestic leagues over the weekend, a recap of Thursday’s highlights from the Europa League. Quite a night of upsets.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day everyone and welcome to a new week. Following a great weekend of footballing action and with so much at stake over the next few days in Europe, there is plenty to discuss.

Let’s begin with a look at the FA Cup quarter-finals, and please add the weekend of April 16/17 to your diaries as the Manchester derby will make its way to Wembley for the semi-finals while Stoke face Bolton.

Soccer Break Wednesday

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/A fine Wednesday to you all, and a few statistics to begin with. Attendance at the Nou Camp: 95,486. Estimated crowd noise (in decibels): 121.8. Estimated noise of a referee’s whistle (in decibels): 121.8.

The operative word above is estimated, because of course we have no idea, but a quick dig around on the internet shows some debate about whether Robin van Persie could have heard Massimo Busacca’s whistle despite the defeaning noise at the Nou Camp.

Soccer Break Tuesday

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/After Chelsea’s vintage performance in a 3-1 win at Blackpool, Tuesday’s edition will start with a look at Fernando Torres.

Poor old Torres. He’s undoubtedly a classy player, but one who seems to be feeling the burden of expectation that has fallen on him after his British transfer record fee of £50 million in January.

Arsenal can do it this time says Nasri

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/

Confident talk from Arsenal playmaker Samir Nasri in a piece by Mike Collett today, looking ahead to the second leg of the Gunners Champions League clash with Barcelona in the Nou Camp:

“We approached the game differently this year. Last year we were a little scared of Barcelona because they are fantastic and play amazing football and we were surprised how good they were.

Soccer Break – Thursday edition

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day to you all wherever you may be, and let’s start with some advice from Barcelona defender Dani Alves about his teammate and arguably the best footballer in the world, Lionel Messi.

The fast-passing Catalans snuck past Valencia last night, while over in Germany Raul was making the headlines for scoring the goal that sent Bayern Munich crashing out of the German Cup in the semi-finals.

Van Persie to miss Barca clash…Arsenal’s chances gone?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/

Arsenal hitman Robin van Persie injured himself while scoring against Birmingham City in the League Cup final on Sunday and will now miss his team’s last 16 second leg clash against Barcelona on March 8. Not good news for the Gunners.

However, beat Leyton Orient in the FA Cup on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final with Manchester United, and keep the pressure up on their great rivals in the Premier League who have just lost to Chelsea, and there are still honours to be won.

Thierry Henry interview

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/


Former Arsenal, Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry is loving life in the United States and wants to see New York Red Bulls develop identity as an attractive passing football team but he also hankers after an eventual return to Arsenal in some role in the future.

The following is the full transcript of interview by Simon Evans with Henry after pre-season training with the Red Bulls in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. Shortly before the interview began at the team’s hotel Henry was approached by an American guest who recognised him from a documentary film about racism in sport but who then asked the Frenchman for his name.

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