Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

You know football’s gone mad when…

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 cheeky Mourinho

Italians haven’t quite cottoned on yet to Jose Mourinho’s sense of humour.

Inter Milan have put out a statement pointing out that their new coach was joking when he told a journalist he earned 14 million euros a year.

The excesses of soccer have reached the point where any amount of money sounds plausible to some. (more…)

Ronaldinho morphs into a striker

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Ronaldinho scores

Ronaldinho’s great bullet header in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over derby rivals Inter on Sunday surprised the Brazilian as much as everybody else.

The former Barcelona player was so shocked at scoring such a goal that he ran around the San Siro pitch like a headless chicken before being hugged by his team mates and performing his customary dance. (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.

Mourinho up to his old tricks at Inter Milan

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Mourinho, known as ‘Mou’ by the Italian press

When Jose Mourinho first arrived at Inter Milan, I was expecting fireworks.

His sharp wit and tongue while at Chelsea won him fans and enemies in equal measure but no one could say the ’Special One’ was dull. 

However, in his first couple of months at the Italian champions, the Portuguese seemed somewhat withdrawn. Was this a new, more measured Mourinho? Would he just do the day job and then hide away in his new surroundings?

Never heard of Cluj? Roma certainly have now

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No longer clujing at straws?

Anyone underestimating Champions League debutants CFR Cluj will now have to think again after the Romanians beat AS Roma 2-1 away in their Group A opener.

Having a smaller club make an impact is great for the competition after years of domination by the big sides. BATE Borisov of Belarus and Denmark’s Aalborg are two other little-known teams in this season’s group stages and they can only be spurred on by Cluj’s heroics in Rome.

Could the next big vacancy be at Milan?

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Carlo Ancelotti

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti was told his position was secure after the 2007 European champions finished fifth in Serie A last term and missed out on this season’s Champions League.

However, two defeats in their opening two league matches have put him under pressure again. The arrivals of Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko were designed to help stop the rot but Milan’s main problem last season was a static midfield and the issue remains unresolved.

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!

Rivaldo, Ronaldo and that last big pay cheque

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Rivaldo

If you had told Rivaldo a few years ago that he would end up playing in Uzbekistan, it is doubtful he would have believed you.

Playing in Greece with Olimpiakos and AEK Athens was already an unusual place for the ageing former World Cup winner to wind down his career. Gary Lineker went to Japan, David Beckham to the U.S. but the Brazilian signing for Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor is something else.

Will Shevchenko ever rediscover his old form?

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Andriy Shevchenko has completed his move back to AC Milan but unlike Ronaldinho’s arrival in July, there was no fanfare from the Rossoneri.

Milan fans looked on with shock, pity and a small sense of ‘we told you so’ as Shevchenko struggled to fit in at Chelsea during two forgettable years in England.

Why don’t Englishmen like Lampard want to play abroad?

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Frank Lampard’s decision to sign a new contract with Chelsea and shun the advances of Inter Milan was hardly a surprise.

The midfielder made a wise choice if he based the decision on the previous experiences of English players in Italy.

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