Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Will Ronaldo A or B dominate the Euros?


The start of Ronaldo C?

So now we’ve seen him, the media-acclaimed superstar-elect of Euro 2008, Mr Cristiano Ronaldo.

He didn’t tear up any trees but played pretty well in Portugal’s opening 2-0 win over Turkey. He was denied a goal by a fingertip save that touched a first-half free kick on to a post, made several positive runs and had a hand in the second goal. He did not dominate the game but was a constant lively threat. There is almost certainly more to come, in bigger games, but are you a fan or a doubter?

Which of these below most accurately apply to the Portugal winger? You may tick more than one box.  

Ronaldo A: A showpony more interested in trickery, hair cream and mirrors than playing the right ball at the right time. A diver who cons referees into giving him decisions that other players with less nimble feet would never get.  

Forget Mourinho, it’s time for an Italian job at Chelsea


Deja vu?After sacking Avram Grant following the club’s first Champions League final, nothing at Chelsea should surprise us.

But Jose Mourinho possibly going back as coach? Even in the wacky world of Stamford Bridge, it is surely just paper talk and fantasy.

Chelsea sack Avram Grant — your views


A drenched Avram Grant leaves the pitchChelsea have acted quickly and some might say ruthlessly to their Champions League final defeat by Manchester United, opting on Saturday to sack Avram Grant.

There is no explanation on the Chelsea Web site, but then again none is really needed, I suppose. When you spend so much money on putting together the best team you possibly can, you don’t really want to settle for second place, do you?

Friday afternoon question: Is this the end of a Chelsea era?


Even costlier miss?

The futures of coach Avram Grant and several Chelsea players are uncertain following their Champions League final defeat by Manchester United. But how many will leave?

Speculation that Grant will be axed has intensified after chief executive Peter Kenyon said finishing second in the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup was not good enough.

Vlog on the pitch – why do English players slip taking penalties?

David Beckham slipped and missed a key penalty for England against Portugal at Euro 2004 and now John Terry’s loss of footing has handed the Champions League to Manchester United.

Is it nerves or a lack of technique? Vlog on the pitch regulars Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley are joined by Pedro Redig to discuss Wednesday’s final, with some fan reactions also included.

United’s Champions League victory — your views


Van der Sar celebrates

A little after half past one on a rainy night in Moscow, Edwin van der Sar leapt to his right to save the 14th penalty of a nerve-shredding shoot-out and clinch victory for Manchester United in the Champions League final against Chelsea.

The Dutchman’s save spared Cristiano Ronaldo, who had earlier missed a penalty, what would surely have been the worst night of his sporting life and won the European Cup for United for the third time.

A grey day in Moscow


Manchester United dolls on saleMoscow might have developed into a shiny new example of capitalist consumerism but the 50,000 English fans arriving on Wednesday for the Champions League final were given a flashback to how the city looked under the greyest days of Communism.

Four hours before kickoff in European soccer’s most important game, soldiers and police outnumbered fans by about 300 to one and not a metre of the route from the Sportivnaya Metro station to the Luzhniki Stadium was unguarded.

Should United sell Ronaldo after Champions League final?


Cristiano RonaldoThe speculation in Spanish newspapers in the build-up to the Champions League final is all about Cristiano Ronaldo and the chances of him signing for Real Madrid next season (see Marca, for example).

The feeling in Madrid seems to be that if United beat Chelsea here in Moscow tonight, the ludicrously talented Portugal winger could leave Old Trafford thinking something along the lines of “My work is done here…”

Anything can happen in the Libertadores

South America’s Libertadores Cup has reached the quarter-finals and, for those lucky enough to see it (it’s sadly shunned by most tv networks outside the region), offers a refreshing change to the predictability of its richer European counterpart.  

Only three of the eight teams reached this stage last year, there are no clear favourites for the title and all four ties remain wide open after last week’s first legs.  

Wheel comes full circle from Molineux to Moscow


Giant final ball

I was standing by the side of the M1 in front of my broken-down Morris 1100 on a hot afternoon in May 1972 with only one thought in my mind. And it wasn’t how to get my car fixed.

It was how was I going to get to Molineux, still 75 miles away, for the first leg of the UEFA Cup final between Wolves and Spurs.