Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Premier League best in the world? Don’t believe the hype

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The British press are purring after Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United was decided by French winger Samir Nasri’s two strikes.

“Onlookers across the world were reminded that this sport, in its modern form, can cause excitement and awe in equal measure,” wrote the Guardian’s Kevin McCarra of Arsenal’s breathless 2-1 win over the champions.

After Arsenal’s bonkers 4-4 draw with neighbours Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago, Hull City’s unbelievable start to top-flight life and the fact that Liverpool might just be genuine title contenders, the Premier League is once again ‘the best league in the world’ TM.

Or is it? (more…)

Role model Milosevic hangs up international boots

When Savo Milosevic joined Partizan Belgrade from little known Bosnian outfit Radnik Bijeljina as a 19-year old in 1992, few people imagined he would become the most capped Yugoslav player with 101 international appearances to his name.

Later this month, Milosevic will draw a curtain on his international career when Serbia entertain neighbours Bulgaria in a friendly in Belgrade. Ironically, it will be his only appearance for Serbia as he has not played for his country since it became an independent nation after the 2006 World Cup.

Opinion split as Atletico Madrid rotate keepers

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CoupetTwo is better than one, or is it?

Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre has stirred up a debate over goalkeepers by refusing to name a first choice custodian at the Calderon, rotating Argentina’s Leo Franco with France’s Gregory Coupet.

The Mexican’s policy has prompted a flurry of differing opinions after Atletico were trounced 6-1 at Barcelona last weekend, with new recruit Coupet in nets.

King Kun? Messi shows him who’s boss

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Don’t Mess-i with me!

It was the battle between the young pretender and the crown prince but there was to be no revolution, just wonderful football.

Atletico Madrid’s hot-shot striker Sergio Aguero has stolen all the headlines in recent months and has quickly been compared to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. A match-winning display in March’s 4-2 win over Barca further boosted Aguero’s profile. (more…)

Friday afternoon question: Which is the best derby?

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A typical Milan derby

Families will be divided and bars will be filled with talk of nothing else this weekend when Everton host Liverpool on Saturday and the Milan derby takes place a day later.

Despite the plethora of foreign players on show at Goodison and the San Siro, as well as Spanish, Scottish and Portuguese managers, the two derbies will still sum up what is great about being a football fan.

Friday afternoon question: Should Villarreal draw worry United?

Last time Manchester United were drawn in the same Champions League group with Villarreal in the 2005-06 season, most fans and pundits predicted a stroll into the last 16 of the competition with Lille and Benfica also looking as little more than stepping stones for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

United finished bottom of the group and bowed out of Europe before the winter break after a dreadful run including a pair of 0-0 draws with Villarreal while the Spanish side reached the semi-finals in their Champions League debut.

Strange results signify little… but we can all dream, can’t we?

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Van NReal Madrid and Barcelona lose their opening matches in Spain, Bayern Munich have to wait until their third game to taste victory under Juergen Klinsmann, AC Milan lose while Juve and Inter can only draw in Italy and three games in, not one of the big four in England’s Premier League can muster a 100 percent record…

It would be nice, wouldn’t it, to read something in to all this.

Smaller clubs that are nimbler in the transfer market have made a series of astute buys while we were watching the Olympics and the soccer superpowers were trying to prise away each other’s big stars, you might say. Once great names like Atletico Madrid, Schalke 04, Lazio and Manchester City are at or near the top of their leagues and are ready to rise again!

Vlog on the pitch – Champions League final predictions

Vlog on the pitch duo Jon Bramley and Darcy Lambton think Manchester United will beat Chelsea on Wednesday but host Owen Wyatt is not so sure. (Although judging by the haircut he has already lost a bet this week.)

Who is your money on for the big clash in Moscow? Will Didier Drogba ignore the mind games and win the game just like the semi-final against Liverpool?

Atletico back in the big time

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Atletico celebrateThey did it the hard way but Atletico finally managed to battle their way into the Champions League – well the qualifying round at least – after a 12 year absence.

Typically Sunday’s 1-0 win over Deportivo Coruna came with the usual dose of nail-biting, wincing and stomach churning that have made the Calderon such a stressful place to be in recent seasons.

Struggling Henry slips down the pecking order

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A dejected Henry

According to a poll on Facebook, strikers Nicolas Anelka and Karim Benzema are favourites to be in France’s 23-man squad for Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria.

95.8 per cent of the Facebook addicts who drew their own list think Anelka should be included, 95.7 believe Benzema also has to be in the squad for June’s tournament.

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