Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Interesting story in the Guardian this morning, saying Britain’s Labour government, if re-elected, are ready to unleash plans to give fans the right to buy their clubs when they come up for sale, and to insist that current club owners give up a stake as high as 25 percent to their supporters.
If we can leave the politics aside (there is an election on the way, and the opposition Conservatives have said acting now, after 13 years in power, makes it a pre-vote gimmick) do you think this is a good idea?
It comes after the high-profile Liverpool campaign to get 100,000 fans of the club to raise 500 million pounds in a “Barcelona style” member share scheme, and more recently the Red Knights proposal of a buy-out of Manchester United from a smaller group of wealthy individuals.
This latest proposal,as reported, seems to be acceptanace that football is not just a business, and would presumably make club ownership less attractive for anyone wanting to get involved just to make a profit.
Lionel Messi’s sublime hat-trick for Barcelona against Real Zaragoza on Sunday – his second triple in consecutive La Liga matches – provided more ammunition for those who believe he is the best player in the world.
As well as putting Champions League and World Cup rivals on high alert, his latest masterclass – a nonchalant header, a mazy run reminiscent of Diego Maradona in his prime, and a sweetly struck shot – even prompted club president Joan Laporta to hail the 22-year-old Argentina forward as the best the game has ever seen.
So there’ll be one French side in the semi-finals and Inter Milan will be extremely pleased to have drawn CSKA Moscow in the quarters.
If Manchester United and Arsenal are going to meet it will be in the Champions League final in Madrid in May.
As many French teams in the Champions League quarter-finals as English clubs and only one Spanish side through.
Does this mark a sea change in Europe or is it just a freak season like 2004 (the last time two French teams reached the last eight)?
Lionel Messi’s hat-trick for Barcelona last weekend has once again sparked the debate in Argentina over his indifferent form for his country.
“Messi is unhappy in the national team,” former World Cup-winning defender Oscar Ruggeri told the local America TV broadcaster.
Seeing Sevilla’s rather dilapidated training ground for the first time in the beautiful Andalusian sunshine on Monday morning really brought home the gulf in resources compared with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Currently fourth in the domestic league, a whopping 21 points behind leaders Real and second-placed Barca, Sevilla are the only other Spanish side still alive in this season’s Champions League but their Ciudad Deportiva José Ramón Cisneros Palacios is a world away from both the Madrid club’s enormous, state-of-the-art Ciudad Real Madrid out near Barajas airport and Barca’s gleaming Ciutat esportiva Joan Gamper.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez will have two conflicting voices whispering in his ear as he contemplates Wednesday’s devastating Champions League exit against Olympique Lyon.
His better angel will be telling him to stay calm, remember that the Primera Liga title is still very much in play, that the team has actually looked pretty good lately and that a bit of stability is long overdue.
It was always going to be difficult for Pep Guardiola to repeat last year’s astonishing achievements when Barcelona swept up six trophies.
Since adding the Club World Cup to their haul in December, they have started to look vulnerable, and, more recently, jaded.
Deloitte’s latest survey of the world’s richest soccer clubs, entitled “Spanish Masters”, highlights how the dominance enjoyed by the top two, Real Madrid and Barcelona, largely depends on them raking in around half the available income from La Liga broadcast rights.
A glance at the current league table in Spain shows how this affects the domestic league, with champions Barca leading on 61 points and Real second on 59, 13 ahead of third-placed Valencia with 24 out of 38 matches played.
There are 20 minutes left to kick off for VfB Stuttgart’s match of the year, a round-of-16 Champions League tie against Barcelona. The game has been declared a sellout. Yet the stadium is only half full.
A last-minute influx fills the ground, many fans literally taking their places as the game kicks off. But who can blame Stuttgart supporters for leaving it so late – there was absolutely no motive for them to arrive any earlier.