Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Tony Blair joins Vlog on the Pitch

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With Vlog on the Pitch regular Jon Bramley away in Vienna, Owen Wyatt has been scouring the land for the perfect replacement and we think he’s found his man in Tony Blair.

The former British prime minister, speaking at the launch of the Beyond Sport initiative, looks a bit nervous about his chances of winning the office sweepstake and reckons Euro 2008 is just about impossible to predict.

Drop us a comment below on Mr Blair’s Vlog performance or anything else Euro 2008 related in the comments below. Even better, record your own video, send us a link and we’ll post it up here.

Kevin Fylan, Ascona

P.S. Owen is the one on the left

For full Euro 2008 coverage from Reuters see here

Ronaldo and total football may not be the winning formula

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Shirtless RonaldoTotal football is everywhere these days, in newspaper headlines and pub conversations. A few exciting performances from attack-minded teams at Euro 2008 and we’re back in the 1970s. Endless guitar solos, long greasy hair and flying Dutchmen.

On one side, you have the likes of Portugal, the Dutch or Spain, a bunch of daring young artists delighting football romantics with their wizardry. On the other side are the usual suspects, Italy and France, ageing cynics boring everybody with their cast-iron back fours and tireless holding midfielders.

Bundesliga ueber alles at Euro 2008

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Ribery sits

The Bundesliga gets a bad rap at times. German clubs have for the most part failed to reach the latter stages of the Champions League in recent years, matches can sometimes seem to move in slow-motion and the officiating can be uneven or even downright scandalous (see Hoyzer, Robert).

But despite all that, Bundesliga players have been sparkling in Euro 2008. And with players from the German league on 15 of the 16 teams no league is more widely represented.
 
There have been players from the German domestic league in the starting line-ups of almost all the teams that have played of the tournament. Only Spain have no Bundesliga players in their squad.

Should ref have called Van Nistelrooy goal offside?

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Players react to Van Nistelrooy’s goal

Some you win and some you lose but it looks like almost every journalist and most TV commentators, as well as the Italian players, were totally wrong in claiming Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s opening goal against Italy in Netherlands’ 3-0 win in Berne on Monday was offside.

UEFA have confirmed that referee Peter Frojdfeldt and his assistant Stefan Wittberg were absolutely correct in awarding the goal. UEFA general secretary David Taylor said the ref interpreted Law 11 relating to offside correctly and the reason why is this:

Italy lack cohesion and fans

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Dutch parade

World champions Italy had no cohesion, no passion and no luck in their 3-0 defeat by the Dutch, but they also had something else important missing — fans.

The Stade de Suisse in Berne was three-quarters orange with only a small section of the 30,000 crowd speckled with blue shirts. Italian fans have never travelled well but with Milan just hours away by train, it was bizarre that the Dutch outnumbered them so hugely for the Euro 2008 Group C opener.

Euro 2008: Our predictions, your predictions

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Click on the video above to see just a few of our correspondents here in Austria and Switzerland giving their views on what to expect at Euro 2008.

At the end of the video we give our predictions on who’s going to win and we’d like you to follow suit. Feel free to upload your own video views somewhere (if you send us the link and we like what we see, we’ll showcase it here) or just let us know who you think is going to win in the comments below.

Italy learn to bend it like Donadoni

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It is only at major championships like Euro 2008 that training sessions become public events.

Any hint of an injury or a change of formation is gold dust to the world’s press, but often we are forced to sit and watch 23 men run around for two hours without a story in sight.

Cannavaro out but Italy can cope

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Cannavaro on crutchesItaly may be thinking the gods are against them after World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro was ruled out of Euro 2008 after being injured in their first training session in Austria. They needn’t worry too much.

The 2006 World Player of Year suffered ankle ligament damage after a robust tackle by fellow defender Giorgio Chiellini, who will now be in the running to take his place in the backline.

Germany fans offer mixed views on their Euro chances

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Andrea Merkel

Schalke’s stadium was awash with black, red and gold on Saturday evening as thousands of Germany fans turned out in rainy Gelsenkirchen to give the national team a rousing send-off to Euro 2008.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was there but chose a lime green jacket and white trousers instead of a Germany shirt, tricolor wig and scarf. She also wisely avoided the face paints.

Mourinho finally arrives at Inter, but will Lampard follow?

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Jose Mourinho

The worst kept secret in football has finally been made public – Jose Mourinho is Inter Milan’s new coach.

Rumours the former Chelsea coach would take over at the San Siro have been rampant for months and they intensified when Roberto Mancini was sacked last week despite leading the side to a third straight Serie A title.

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