Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Fans fight back in Italy over signings

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Poulsen has signed for Juve despite fan opposition

Amongst all the talk of football and footballers losing touch with the common fan, supporters in Italy are fighting back.

There have been at least four recent incidents where fans have protested against potential signings they did not like. Juve supporters failed to stop Monday’s purchase of Christian Poulsen but did prevent a bid for Inter Milan’s Dejan Stankovic.

Christian Vieri has been abused on his return to Atalanta and Fiorentina fans halted a move for Lazio’s Luciano Zauri.

Read more here.

PHOTO: Christian Poulsen while on national duty with Denmark in 2007. REUTERS/Scanpix Denmark

Axed Donadoni living in the past

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Roberto Donadoni has lost his job as Italy coach following Sunday’s penalty shootout defeat by Spain in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals. 

The 44-year-old seems bemused as to why failure on penalties should mean the axe. He should realise that the reason for his departure is that the world champions were poor throughout the tournament, even if they managed to sneak through to the last eight and almost the semi-finals. 

Vlog on the pitch – A view of Spain’s victory from Cadiz

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Vlog on the pitch host Owen Wyatt travels to Cadiz to bring us his view of Spain’s penalty shootout victory over Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-final.

What is the most intense penalty shootout that you can remember? Is Italy coach Roberto Donadoni deluding himself that the world champions played well?

Theatricals starting to spoil the football

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Villa gets a yellow card

When I go to the theatre, I wouldn’t expect to see a soccer match break out on stage.
 
And so when I’m watching a soccer match I don’t want to see theatrics.

But watching the diving, feigned injuries and other nefarious attempts to fool the referee when Spain played against Italy in the quarter-finals made me wish both teams could somehow be eliminated.
 
It’s a beautiful game, but it was bad theatre and worse soccer. It was the first match of the tournament that I stopped watching after a while because the acting was putting me off.
 
Italy’s Luca Toni might be tall and intimidating when he runs towards the goal — and a likeable player at Bayern Munich — but several times it looked like it only took a gentle breeze to topple him in Vienna.

Group winners pay the price for rotation at Euro 2008

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Three drama-filled quarter-finals and three group winners are gone. Spain should be worried.

Three of the four sides that qualified for the knockout stages after two games are out of the championship. Spain, the fourth, face world champions Italy on Sunday hoping to avoid completing the quartet.

The two Spains: the positive and the negative

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Fernando Torres

THE OPTIMIST  (Elena Moya)    
Spain’s chances of beating Italy and reaching the Euro 2008 semi-finals are better than ever.      
‘This time is different’ is the line that is repeated tournament after tournament, just before the team inevitably falls in the quarter-finals. But on this occasion it really is different, and here’s why.

1) Spain’s inferiority complex - based on four centuries of Inquisition, a fallen empire and a dictatorship that only finished thirty years ago - is evaporating. A winning mentality has been fostered by players like Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas.

Romania, not such dark horses

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Wounded Romanian player Rat leaves fieldHaving been drawn alongside Italy, France and the Netherlands in Group C, not many people would have predicted Romania would hold their own destiny and that of the world champions and World Cup finalists in their own hands going into the final group matches.

But my Reuters colleagues at Euro 2008 and friends back in Brussels — who are not laughing at me now –  will testify that I was one of the few to tip the eastern Europeans as the dark horses to progress from the toughest group at the tournament.

Whatever happened to good old fashioned goal difference?

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Adrian Mutu gesturesFootball is a simple game so why do UEFA make the Euro 2008 groups so complicated?

The criteria for determining the rankings of teams who finish level on points are mindboggling.

Suspicious Italians demand Dutch courage

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Suspicious ItaliansSuspicious Italians

Italians are suspicious of everything, or so it seems. Several of my friends in Milan refuse to eat pasta or pizza outside Italy because they don’t believe it will taste the same.

They are just as circumspect when it comes to soccer.

The Dutch have already qualified for the Euro 2008 quarter-finals and meet second-placed Romania in their final Group C match in Berne on Tuesday. World champions Italy need the Dutch to get a result to have any chance of going above the Romanians by beating or drawing with France.  

No food and crazy taxi drivers — the perils of Euro 2008

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My non-journalist friends are very envious that I get to go to Euro 2008 matches for free.

If they had been with me to Italy’s 1-1 draw with Romania in Zurich, they might have changed their mind about the perks of my profession.

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