UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did…
Reuters Soccer Blog
Serbia winger Zoran Tosic has boosted his chances of playing more first team football for club and country after scoring his first two international goals in a 3-1 friendly win over South Africa in Pretoria.
Michael Owen missed four glorious chances in Manchester United’s 2-0 friendly win over Valencia but the very fact that he was there to miss them signals a real chance of the former Liverpool reviving his career for club and country.
from Changing China:
Soccer is in a tight spot in China -- literally. Huge crowds roar for Manchester United but the national team is a laughing stock at 108th in FIFA world rankings. Poor coaching, lack of grassroots development, even corruption and violence are variously cited as reasons for the sport's demise. But the real reason may be more basic: the fact of physical space, or the lack thereof, in China.
Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the ultimate soccer enigma.
He scores goals for fun when playing Bologna, Chievo and Palermo but often goes missing against AC Milan, Manchester United or Liverpool (which is why he is never in the running for the top awards despite the incredulity of Inter fans).
Most Manchester United fans will not have been excited when they heard of the club’s plans to sign Michael Owen. The experienced England striker certainly did not fit the usual profile of Alex Ferguson’s signings, at too old and far too injury-prone.
from Left field:
Cristiano Ronaldo's obsession with scoring an unforgettable goal in the Champions League final makes perfect sense now the world knows he always intended to leave Manchester United afterwards for Real Madrid.
The new Premier League season kicks off on August 15 and the first real eye-catching fixture is at Old Trafford a fortnight later when Arsenal visit champions Manchester United for the first twist in the title race.