Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Soccer Break Thursday – How to stop Barca?

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Just another night of footballing action and another trophy for the all-conquering Barcelona, who on Wednesday clinched their third successive La Liga title despite a laboured 1-1 draw away to Levante.

Manchester United will be hoping a similarly weary Barcelona turn up at Wembley for the Champions League final on May 28, hopefully having themselves recently won their top domestic honour, the Premier League.

Now, onto Manchester City, who are in the news for two reasons on Thursday. One, they play Stoke City in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Click on this link for facts and figures about the game. Two, newspaper reports say they are lining up a move for Barca’s Xavi. But then again, it was Cesc Fabregas on Wednesday.

Realistically who do you think they might poach for the new season?

Sadly the news dominating the sport this week has been the FIFA corruption allegations, where president Sepp Blatter is promising a swift enquiry into the accusations. Brazil 2014 World Cup chief organiser Ricardo Teixeira is coming under fire in his home country but he is defiant and says former FA chief David Triesman should prepare for legal action.

Soccer Break Friday – Clasico fever rises

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SOCCER-SPAIN/CLASICOOnly one day to go now until Real Madrid face Barcelona in La Liga for the first of four ‘clasicos’ between Saturday and May 3. Excited? You will be now…

Barcelona destroyed their fierce domestic rivals 5-0 in November, and although the gap at the top of La Liga remains difficult for Real to peg back, they looked a very difficult team to beat against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Soccer Break Monday – Champions League last eight week special

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/With all the hype surrounding this week’s Champions League quarter-finals, the events of the weekend seem like a distant memory. Here’s a recap of a fascinating set of results around Europe the past few days.

Before we move on, your thoughts please. Does Wayne Rooney deserve to be punished for his outburst on camera against West Ham? And Fulham fans, did you take a picture with Michael Jackson on Sunday?

Soccer Break Thursday

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONSGareth Bale. The dashing Welsh winger primed to scare the living daylights out of England on Saturday. Injured. Did anyone else hear that collective sigh of relief from England fans today?

But what about Tottenham Hotspur fans. Are you worried your star man’s recent struggles with injury could hamper your club’s Champions League quarter-final chances against Real Madrid?

Should Europa League winners qualify for the Champions League?

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Rules and competition formats which apply to other sports can rarely be implemented in soccer but UEFA may want to have a look at the benefits of a European club basketball formula if it is to further improve the Europa League.

The winners of Eurocup, the continent’s second-tier club basketball competition, win a berth in the Euroleague — the equivalent of
football’s Champions League — and the move has had only a
positive effect in attendances and the overall quality of teams.

Does Hodgson deserve a crack at top job?

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SOCCER-EUROPA/I was chatting to a bunch of Fulham fans after last night’s Europa League final defeat and the question they all asked was, “What did Roy Hodgson say about his future?”

You can tell why they would be anxious. The man who saved them from relegation after coming in midway through the 2007-08 season, guided them to seventh at the end of the next campaign and then on into their first major European final will not be short of job offers, you wouldn’t think.

Europa League final — live

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We’ll be providing updates direct from the Hamburg Arena, where Atletico Madrid look to land the first leg of a possible Cup double in the final of the Europa League against Fulham.

The English side have upset the odds all season, knocking out the likes of Juventus and Hamburg on their way to the final. Join us for all the details from a couple of hours before kick-off.

First Europa League final has a familiar feel

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SOCCER-EUROPA/The first Europa League season, following its rebranding from UEFA Cup, draws to a close with a final line-up no-one would have expected here in Hamburg, but still, there is a familiar feel heading into this match.

Fulham’s roller coaster ride is reminiscent of the journey made by Spain’s Alaves, when they made it all the way to the final in 2000-01.

Europa League semi-finals — live

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The Champions League has brought little joy to English clubs this season but the Europa League has been a different story, with Liverpool and Fulham both in with a chance of making the final.

Join us for live chat and on-the-spot details from our reporters as Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid and Fulham face Hamburg in the semi-final second legs.

Panel predictions: how low can you go?

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The best and brightest here at Reuters Soccer Blog continue to show they’d struggle to tip their own hats in a stiff breeze, let alone a correct score in the Premier League.

Our leader, Paul Radford, managed an unhappy three points this week … and look, who’s that chap who has sneaked through to replace him at the top? That was not the most impressive display of the week, however … for that look at one Julien Pretot, our new signing from the Paris bureau who leapt in with a 14 in his first week!

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