Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Spain’s qualification for next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa has brought a welcome distraction to a nation suffering more than most of its European peers from the economic crisis.
Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Estonia put the European champions through as Group Five winners and Vicente del Bosque’s highly-fancied side will be competing in their ninth straight finals since 1978 and attempting to win the World Cup for the first time.
The Spanish FA (RFEF) opted to play the Estonia qualifier in the ancient Roman city of Merida, capital of the struggling Extremadura region, and the local fans gave star players like Fernando Torres, David Villa and Iker Casillas a hero’s welcome.
Hundreds turned out in the blazing sunshine to welcome the players at their hotel on Tuesday afternoon and the 15,000-seater Estadio Romano was packed with boisterous fans for both Tuesday’s evening’s training session and the match.
Much like a homeowner who decided to hold out for a higher offer and now finds himself stuck in a credit crunch, negative equity nightmare, Premier League side Portsmouth have made a highly regrettable financial faux pas.
Amidst the crazy antics of the January transfer window, Portsmouth decided to reject a 3.5 million pounds bid for midfielder Sean Davis from rivals Bolton Wanderers. On Wednesday he joined Gary Megson’s side for free.
The papers are bustling with talk of Milan’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka being at the centre of a £100 million pound transfer to Manchester City, with half a million a week as the incentive. Credit crunch? What credit crunch?
As shops, banks and the housing market face the recession, Manchester City, now the richest club in the world after being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, are showing no signs of being crunched.