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The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Galaxy rewarded by playing hard ball over Beckham

So often in the past we have seen transfer deals go through simply because the player asks to leave. Clubs fear the players won't play to their full potential if their wish is denied so they cave in and take the transfer fee.

But recently, some clubs have started fighting back against player power and have been rewarded.

David Beckham asked to stay at AC Milan permanently but Los Angeles Galaxy were having none of it, especially when the Italians first offered a low sum the Americans said was "ridiculous".

Galaxy stuck to their guns and have managed to get Beckham back for at least July until November.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Vlog on the Pitch talks title racing with Wenger

Join vlogmeister Owen Wyatt as he takes the plunge and asks John Arne Riise whether he's still a better player than Andrea Dossena, the man who replaced him at Anfield.

And talking of the Premier League, Arsene Wenger thinks Liverpool's title hopes are still alive, and that none of the top teams are playing to their full potential. Dare to disagree with Wenger? Let us know in the comments, or record your own video rant and send us a link. If we like it, we'll embed it here.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Round one to Liverpool, but don’t believe Benitez rumours

Rafa Benitez celebrated a famous victory over his hometown club when Liverpool beat Real Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Wednesday.He outfoxed his counterpart Juande Ramos with an astute tactical display, but anyone linking the Spaniard with a move to the Bernabeu in the near future would be mistaken.

Real Madrid are in limbo. Former president Ramon Calderon sacked Bernd Schuster in December and installed Ramos on a contract to the end of the campaign, and then was forced to resign in disgrace after a vote-rigging scandal at a club general assembly was exposed.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Real Madrid v Liverpool — what a difference two months make

Back in December, when the draw for the first knock-out round of the Champions League was made, Liverpool could be forgiven for feeling pretty pleased with the prospect of renewing their acquaintance with Real Madrid. How different things look now.

Back then, Liverpool were top of the Premier League, six points ahead of a Manchester United side facing a fixture pile-up and struggling for form. Real Madrid, in apparent disarray after sacking coach Bernd Schuster, were 12 points behind Barcelona, having just lost 2-0 to their arch-rivals.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Is Ferguson being generous saying it’s a two horse race?

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has dismissed Chelsea's Premier League title hopes, but given his side's run of form he is perhaps being generous to Liverpool by saying they still have a chance.

"The title race now is going to be between ourselves and Liverpool," Ferguson wrote in the programme for the 3-0 home win over Fulham that sent the champions five points clear of Liverpool and 10 ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea.

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