Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Balotelli courts maturity not Milan

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Mario Balotelli has got into more scrapes than a bad teenage skateboarder but the maturing Italy striker has finally found some inner peace and his game is therefore flourishing.

A goal and commanding performance in Friday’s 2-0 friendly win in Poland followed other good displays for Manchester City, notably the 6-1 hammering of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

After scoring in that derby he revealed a T-shirt which read “Why always me?”, a question the colourful character also used to pose while playing at Inter Milan.

He is rarely allowed to speak publicly by PR men scared at what the 21-year-old will say next but in one post-match interview in Serie A in January last year, the forward made himself a comedy hero among many Italian fans.

Soccer Break Monday – Manchester united?

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A united Manchester after both football sides won major honours on Saturday? No chance. Both City and United will parade the streets in open-top bus parades, just a week apart.

Read here for a roundup of all things European football over the weekend, during which titles were won, tears were shed, and more trophies were dropped.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-SPAIN/CLASICOReal Madrid 1 Barcelona 1. Pictures of the teams suggest they were both pleased with the result but you would imagine Barcelona came away the happier side. Though Real were down to ten men for almost the entire second half so must be relieved not to have lost.

Who gained the upper hand then from the first of four clasicos between last Saturday and May 3? Wednesday will be an interesting affair in the King’s Cup final, a one off match as opposed to the two-legged Champions League semi-final.

Soccer Break Thursday

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/As the weekend approaches we can all start getting excited about domestic football again and the increase in stories and transfer speculation.

Read here for Arsenal and Real Madrid transfer news, and Tottenham Hotspur fans beware, Niko Kranjcar appears unsettled. It would be a shame to lose such a talent.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/Welcome back to a new week of football stories but not before we’ve taken you through our roundup of the weekend’s action around Europe.

What was your highlight? Milan’s loss in Italy which breathed new life into the Serie A title chase, or the ability of the leaders in England, Spain, France and Germany to win no matter what?

Soccer Break Friday

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SOCCER-EUROPA/Friday. That means almost weekend. Which means yet more football. When does it ever stop? We don’t want it to though, especially with some cracking FA Cup games in store as well as Europe’s top sides slugging it out in their respective leagues.

First however, here’s our take on the Europa League action on Thursday. Some nicely poised ties, though it was not a good night for Liverpool or Manchester City, or Mario Balotelli for that matter.

Italian referee leads the way in battling racist chants

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SOCCER-ITALY/Italian soccer has long struggled with racist chanting, a horror which has largely been stamped out in countries like England and Germany.

The problem persists in Italy but finally the tide is turning and ignorant fans are being beaten.

Where do awful Italy go from here?

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If you thought Italy were awful at this World Cup it could get even worse in future tournaments.

The slow, unimaginative holders were embarrassed 3-2 by Slovakia on Thursday to crash out in the group stage and retiring captain Fabio Cannavaro reckons the country is just not producing top players anymore.

Balotelli succeeds Cassano as Lippi’s torment

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SOCCER-ITALY/No¬†sooner had the campaign to get¬†Sampdoria forward Antonio Cassano an Italy call-up subsided than Inter Milan’s Mario Balotelli had taken his place as coach Marcello Lippi’s ‘tormentor’.

Cassano’s supporters have been silenced by his recent form and injury problems, along with the frosty relations with club coach Luigi Del Neri that suggest he may not have subdued the temperament issues that dogged him in the past — the apparent reason Lippi consistently overlooked him.

How far should intimidating chants go?

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Juventus have been fined 20,000 euros rather than receive a stadium ban for an offensive chant their fans sing about Inter Milan’s black striker Mario Balotelli.

As songs go, it is pretty insulting. “Se saltelli, muore Balotelli” (If you jump up and down, Balotelli will die).

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