Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

from Left field:

Cristiano Ronaldo and why art, not the artist, is what matters

SOCCER-ENGLAND/RONALDOCristiano 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.

Reaction in England to his departure was captured in a Guardian headline: "United fans will miss outrageous talent but not a charmless man". Ronaldo, it was said, possessed sumptuous talent coupled with obnoxious self-regard.

What, in the end, will Ronaldo be remembered for? His artistry as a footballer or his perceived failings as a man?

John Updike, who died this year aged 76, gives a clue.

A prodigiously prolific novelist, short story writer, playwright, literary critic, art critic and poet, Updike also produced one classic piece of sports writing entitled "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu". It is a wonderful account of Ted Williams's last game at Fenway Park in 1960, which turned out to be the great slugger's last game anywhere.

In defence of Giuseppe Rossi

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American soccer fans aren’t noted for their nastiness but the reaction to Giuseppe Rossi, New Jersey native, scoring twice for Italy against the U.S in their 3-1 Confederations Cup defeat on Monday has been surprisingly vitriolic.

What has upset U.S fans is that Rossi was born and bred in the U.S. but chose to play for another country and then — to add insult to injury — celebrated when he scored twice against his country of birth.

Everton to face Chelsea after Howard heroics see off United

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So, it will be an all-Blue FA Cup final this year, after Everton set up a date with Chelsea thanks to the penalty shoot-out heroics of goalkeeper Tim Howard in the semi-final against Manchester United.

Howard, a former United keeper, you may remember, saved the first two penalties from Dimitar Berbatov and Rio Ferdinand and Everton didn’t look back.

British Olympic soccer team becomes right royal farce

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There has not been one since 1960, the Scottish don’t want its return, neither do the Welsh, nor the Northern Irish and yet the prospect of a British soccer team at the 2012 London Olympics remains.

The English Football Association is refusing to relinquish an idea that nobody else seems to care about.

from Left field:

Sports picture of the day

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Split seconds count in sports photography. Reuters Sports Pictures editor Greg Bos thinks London-based photographer Eddie Keogh captured the moment perfectly when former Arsenal captain William Gallas went head over heels to the ground during an FA Cup match.

CAPTION: Arsenal's William Gallas (top) challenges Cardiff City's Jay Bothroyd during their FA Cup fourth round replay soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London February 16, 2009. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN)

Swansea show up Premier League tedium

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The (almost complete) lack of Premier League action at the weekend saw thumbs being sucked all over the place, and the Reuters Soccer Blog is no exception. While some were predicting the end of the Big Four, and others picked over Rafa Benitez’s latest contract comments, we found ourselves enthralled by the silky football displayed by Championship side Swansea City in their FA Cup game against Fulham.

Here, Padraic Halpin waxes ornithological about The Swans, while in the post below Neil Maidment bemoans the lack of on-field drama this season. Are they right? Is it just an overreaction? I’ll turn the comments off on Neil’s piece, just to keep things tidy, but they’re on here as usual. For now, over to Padraic:

Premier League drama is better off the field

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The Premier League table has made pretty interesting reading this season, what with Aston Villa and Chelsea threatening the end of the Big Four era and Tottenham stuck far too low down the standings for the comfort of their fans.

Sadly, the football itself is not providing the same level of drama.

A quick glance at the 2008/09 Player of the Year candidates shows the theme of this season rather nicely: defence.

from Left field:

Sports picture of the day

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SOCCER-LATAM/

We're back with another picture of the day, and this time Sports Pictures Editor Greg Bos has chosen a frame from the Copa Libertadores, South American soccer's version of the Champions League. Greg writes:

I like this picture because of its colour and shape - a simple, but eye-catching, illustration of football fans in Argentina sandwiched between two giant colourful flags.

from Left field:

Sports picture of the day: David Beckham

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SOCCER-SPAIN/

To celebrate the launch of the new sports blog we're reviving a feature from View from the Bird's Nest and posting a picture of the day from the Reuters file.

Sports Pictures Editor Greg Bos has chosen the first pic, a shot of David Beckham from Spanish photographer Marcelo del Pozo. Over to Greg...

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