Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Soccer Break Monday

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ARSENAL-TAKEOVER/Hello everyone at the start of this new week, where before we talk Champions League and give a reminder of the weekend’s action, there’s news of another foreign takeover.

Arsenal are not enduring the easiest of times on the pitch but on Monday announced that American billionaire Stan Kroenke is taking over the club. Arsenal fans, what are your thoughts? Will this new era usher in drastic changes such as a new manager?

For a weekend recap, the title races in Italy and France look like being the closest, although Manchester United’s pursuers in the Premier League did their best to keep things interesting, and in La Liga Barcelona would appear to have the title won though with several clashes against Real Madrid coming up you never know.

Elsewhere Louis van Gaal was sacked as Bayern Munich coach after a double-winning 2010. The Bavarians are set to hand over their Bundesliga crown, either to leaders Borussia Dortmund or Bayer Leverkusen who again narrowed the gap at the top over the weekend to just five points.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day everyone and welcome to a new week. Following a great weekend of footballing action and with so much at stake over the next few days in Europe, there is plenty to discuss.

Let’s begin with a look at the FA Cup quarter-finals, and please add the weekend of April 16/17 to your diaries as the Manchester derby will make its way to Wembley for the semi-finals while Stoke face Bolton.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-EUROPA/Welcome back after a breathtaking weekend of soccer action around Europe. If you missed anything then read our European roundup.

Now for some blogs. The real drama of the weekend came on Saturday, when FIFA banned the snood (in our picture). Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has said they shouldn’t be worn by real men. What do you think?

Soccer Break – Thursday edition

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day to you all wherever you may be, and let’s start with some advice from Barcelona defender Dani Alves about his teammate and arguably the best footballer in the world, Lionel Messi.

The fast-passing Catalans snuck past Valencia last night, while over in Germany Raul was making the headlines for scoring the goal that sent Bayern Munich crashing out of the German Cup in the semi-finals.

Champions League final, Bayern Munich v Inter Milan — live

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Join us for tonight’s Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in Madrid. Will it be Louis van Gaal or Jose Mourinho who wins the competition for the second time? Either way, we’re expecting a belting final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Champions League final approaches with so many distractions

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Saturday’s Champions League final should be the only show in town but the build-up to the game in Madrid is offering a host of distractions.

The beautiful Spanish weather could easily lull a Bayern Munich or Inter Milan fan into thinking they had just popped over for a holiday…that is until they look at the news stands.

Early Christmas present for Van Gaal, Bayern

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal got an early Christmas present. He gets to keep his job until at least after the festive season is over following Bayern’s 4-1 crushing of Juventus in Italy to advance to the Champions League knockout stage.

Two weeks ago the Dutchman, who took over in July, looked to be on his way out with Bayern needing two wins in the remaining Champions League matches to advance, while languishing in seventh place in the Bundesliga.

Bayern are worse off under Van Gaal than Klinsmann — official

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Bayern Munich directors must be feeling very uncomfortable at the moment. Their team are sixth in the Bundesliga and almost out of the Champions League.

So far their chosen successor to Juergen Klinsmann, who was sacked a few weeks before the end of last season for failing to secure any silverware, has had a worse run than the former striker.

Van Gaal era starts with a whimper

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Louis van Gaal came to Bayern Munich because the Bavarians were looking for a “soccer teacher“, someone who would rid the club of former coach Juergen Klinsmann’s experiments — the innovative training methods, the meditation sessions and the Buddha statues – and bring the club back to basics.

So far so good. By the time Van Gaal arrived in July, Bayern had already signed strikers Ivica Olic, Mario Gomez and defensive midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

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