Reuters Soccer Blog

Germany doing just fine without Ballack

March 30, 2011

SOCCER-GERMANY/Germany captain Michael Ballack was in the stands to watch his team lose 2-1 to Australia in a friendly on Tuesday, the first time he was present since their World Cup quarter-final win over Argentina last year.

Tired footballers? Cutting pre-season tours would help

July 22, 2010

Critics said the World Cup lacked quality because the players were tired after a long, draining season.

Smaller nations scratch around for friendlies

February 13, 2009

Like so often in the modern game, arranging international friendlies is much easier if you happen to be a big and powerful footballing nation.

There’s only one Michael Ballack..

November 20, 2008

Like political pundits on local election night, football reporters can’t¬†help reading too much into the results of international friendlies.

Another meaningless friendly? Well, not quite…

November 19, 2008

Germany’s friendly against England at the Olympiastadion later on Wednesday will have the feel of a B international, given the absence of so many familiar players.

Vlog on the pitch – Have England sunk to a new low?

August 21, 2008

A Steve McClaren tribute band. Wasters. Shapeless, aimless and hopeless, tactically chaotic and technically stunted, a mess from start to finish.

Lippi’s back but same Italian frailties remain

August 21, 2008

Marcello LippiWatching a rudderless Italy at Euro 2008 was like having my teeth pulled out.

Wednesday’s 2-2 friendly draw against Austria in Marcello Lippi’s first game back in charge since winning the World Cup was less painful, but serious problems persist.

Time up for ‘futile’ friendlies

March 28, 2008

Beckham talks to the referee

My colleague Zoran Milosavljevic was enthused about Wednesday’s batch of friendlies but not everyone was so impressed. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger both pondered the death of the international friendly¬†after the midweek ‘action’ and they were not alone.