Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

It’s still July and already we see a European domestic shock

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Yes it’s July when people should be on beaches in Europe rather than sweltering in soccer stadiums.

Well modern football (and Euro 2012 at the end of the campaign) dictates we have to start proper matches in July in the European season these days.

The Scottish league has already started while on Friday VfL Wolfsburg made a miserable start to their season by going out 3-2 at fourth division RB Leipzig in the first round of the German Cup.

Borussia Moenchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart, the other Bundesliga teams playing on Friday, beat third division opposition while former German champions Rot-Weiss Essen, now in the fourth tier, overcame second division Union Berlin on penalties.

Soccer Break: Wednesday

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So this week’s Champions League quarter-final action is over and the semi-finals are set up. As expected Real Madrid strolled through their second-leg against Spurs and will now face Barcelona. The Spanish giants are set to clash four times in 18 days, including Saturday’s La Liga match at the Bernabeu and the King’s Cup final on April 20 in Valencia.

After their astonishing win at the San Siro, Schalke 04 finished off the job against Inter to set up a meeting with Manchester United.

Soccer Break Monday

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SOCCER-FRIENDLY/Welcome back to another week of digesting the global game, and where better to start than with a look at the Lionel Messi effect on the sport.

The wizard-like Argentine is a joy to watch and by playing in countries such as the United States, where soccer is not the main sport, he can only have increased enthusiasm for the round ball game.

Scotland on their way back to London, but England match must wait a while

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tartanScotland’s soccer team return to London for the first time since 1999 at the end of this month — but they won’t be playing England at Wembley.

Instead they will face five-times world champions Brazil in a high profile friendly at the Emirates Stadium which should be filled close to its 60,000 capacity.

Exploding egg just the first of Broadfoot’s troubles

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Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot is an unlucky man.

Earlier this month, the 25-year-old Scotland international was taken to hospital after an egg he was microwaving exploded. He was trying to poach the egg but hot liquid squirted out when he opened the microwave door, burning his cheek.

There followed lots of newspaper headlines about him having “egg on his face”.

East Stirlingshire give up on fair play convention

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I’m not sure if Alex Ferguson would approve of a decision taken by one of his old clubs but East Stirlingshire, where he began his managerial career as a 32-year-old in 1974, have just taken a very controversial stand against “sporting behaviour”.

The modest club, whose major objective in the recent past was to avoid
finishing bottom of the Scottish Third Division, but are currently third in the table, have ordered their players NOT to kick the ball out of play if one of their opponents is down injured.

Is Scotland’s life ban for Rangers duo too harsh?

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Rangers players Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will no longer be considered for Scotland duty in a shock decision from the country’s FA.

The pair were dropped for Wednesday’s game against Iceland following allegations of a drinking session and were then pictured giving V signs while sat on the bench. Ferguson has also been stripped of the Rangers captaincy.

Would a unified Britain have won more than one World Cup?

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Resistance to plans for a unified British soccer team for the 2012 London Olympics means the idea may well be a one-off, if it gets off the ground at all.

The four home nations are wary of setting precedents that could harm their independent status, despite their lack of success as separate entities.

Old Firm big fish can’t swim outside small pond

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You shouldn’t laugh, but it’s hard not to after the mighty Old Firm, soccer’s biggest domestic bullies, once again found they were not so tough when they are allowed into the big boys’ playground.

Celtic might stick it to Hamilton Academical and Falkirk on a regular basis but AaB Aalborg proved too good for them on Tuesday as a 2-1 win for the Danes ended the Glasgow club’s interest in the Champions League early – again.

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