Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Bosnian diamond Dzeko could turn City’s fortunes


SOCCER-ENGLAND/CITY-DZEKOIf Edin Dzeko can adapt seamlessly to the Premier League’s high-tempo game, the blue half of Manchester may at long last get the trophy they have craved since 1968, when City won their last top-flight title.

With Carlos Tevez having a punishing workload up front for Roberto Mancini’s side as the lone striker in a 4-3-2-1 formation, Dzeko appears to be just what City need to start firing on all cylinders.

Dubbed as the “Bosnian diamond” by media in the Balkan country for his lethal finishing, excellent close control and the ability to hold and head the ball, the striker impressed in each of his three and a half seasons at Wolfsburg, where he won the Bundesliga title in 2009.

His record of 85 goals in 138 appearances for the German side in all competitions and 17 in 31 caps for Bosnia suggests that he will be a handful for any defence in the Premier League and a perfect strike partner for Tevez.

Premature move for Swiss prodigy Ben Khalifa?


SOCCER-EUROPE/SWITZERLANDThe Swiss Super League is certainly not the strongest in the world but it’s a fairly safe bet to say that it beats the German fourth division. So why has 18-year-old Nassim Ben Khalifa, one of Switzerland’s most exciting prospects, swapped the former for the latter?

Last year, Ben Khalifa hit the headlines when he led the attack in the Swiss team which surprised everyone by winning the world under-17 championship in Nigeria.

Lesser lights may yet shine at this World Cup


Depending on the results of the second legs of the UEFA World Cup playoffs on Wednesday, next year’s tournament in South Africa could contain rather too many of football’s lesser lights for some fans out there.

Portugal, France and Russia, could all perish and the tournament, which is supposed to be the pinnacle of the game, could have a cast list including Honduras, New Zealand, North Korea, Slovakia, Bosnia and Slovenia.