Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Are polemics part of the football pantomime?

Spats like Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez’s recent run-in with his Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson are always guaranteed attention-grabbers.

But while I find stories of polemics between football’s top figures good fun, I sometimes get the impression they’re having us on.

Inter’s Jose Mourinho gave the game away some time ago, admitting he drank wine with Ferguson after matches despite their feuding in his Chelsea days.

Ferguson, especially, strikes me as someone who’s aware that he is acting a role in a pantomime which serves his purposes and helps generate interest in the game.

Tevez should stay in England, whatever Diego says

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Diego Maradona has advised Manchester United and Argentina forward Carlos Tevez to join Inter Milan.

Then again he also thinks Atletico Madrid striker and compatriot Sergio Aguero should do the same. Who’ll be next? Barca’s Lionel Messi, another Argentine?

Champions League draw – your views

Jose Mourinho will clash with old foe Alex Ferguson in the Champions League last 16 with holders Manchester United playing Inter Milan.

It is England v Italy twice more with Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri facing former club Chelsea while Arsenal and Roma, two teams who love to play the beautiful game, also meet.

Vlog in the lift – Can Chelsea afford to lose Drogba?

Didier Drogba reminded Chelsea fans of his importance to their cause with a match-winning performance against Cluj in the Champions League this week, but recent reports have suggested that the controversial striker may be on his way to Inter Milan to link up with former manager Jose Mourinho.

Can Chelsea afford to let him go? Click on the video above to see Vlogonthepitch regulars Owen Wyatt and Jon Bramley have an elevated discussion. Let us know your views.

Mourinho mind games may backfire in Champions League

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Although Inter coach Jose Mourinho believes a tough draw in the Champions League last 16 will shock his side out of their European malaise, the damage may already have been done.

The Serie A champions have remained true to Italian form by limping through the group stages, losing twice, drawing twice and winning convincingly only once.

Scowling Scolari needs a rethink

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Defeat to Arsenal means Luiz Felipe Scolari is facing his first big test as Chelsea manager and there are plenty of people waiting to see how the volatile Brazilian handles it.

Until a few weeks ago everything was sweetness and light at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea set the pace in the Premier League title race. They were scoring goals for fun and Scolari was seen as a breath of fresh air with his jovial manner.

Lippi enters the Respect debate – but is he on the losing side?

One of the benefits of being a World Cup-winning manager is that nobody complains if you turn up at a party and start badmouthing the hosts – they’re too grateful you came in the first place.

Italy boss Marcello Lippi did that this week when he reprimanded his country’s professional footballers for their treatment of referees at a ceremony celebrating the 40th anniversary of their union, the AIC.

Adriano ‘the animal’ is still to find his bite

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Adriano is surely one of the most frustrating players in the world.

The Brazilian has all the assets needed to be one of the very best strikers — power, pace and guile — yet he has wasted several opportunities to show he can be consistently good.

Indiscipline is part of his problem. Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho left him out for five games after he ignored his orders in a league match, stayed out at a night club and turned up late for training.

Mourinho v Ranieri is a veritable grudge match

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It’s hard to think of two coaches in the world with such an apparent dislike of one another as Inter’s Jose Mourinho and Juve’s Claudio Ranieri.

Even Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have got on better of late and the only coach to have real gripes with new Argentina boss Diego Maradona is Scotland no. 2 Terry Butcher.

Mourinho poised for City as geese attack Ronaldo

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In quiet weeks there always used to be transfer news to mull over but now with the advent of ‘the window’, we have been deprived of major gossip until January.

Silly season, when the media make the most of the slightest hint of a story to fill pages and airwaves, is traditionally during the lazy summer months yet it is currently in full flow in November.

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