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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

An Englishman abroad? Rooney might not have fitted the bill

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/So Wayne Rooney says he would only have left Manchester United to go abroad. Could the fact that foreign suitors seemed shy to express any interest have anything to do with his sudden U-turn to stay at the Premier League club?

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was right in his prediction that Rooney would stay after all. He told United to "give me call" if the striker's departure was on the cards but never went further than that.

Given the impressive way the Portuguese has got Real playing this term (ignoring those ridiculous yellow cards), it was always diffcult to see how Rooney would have fitted in.

Sure, they only have Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema for the main striker role but two players for each position used to be enough didn't it? I'm also not convinced with Rooney upfront on his own, he likes to drop too deep at times as he has shown with England while last season with United he was never isolated in attack as he could have been elsewhere.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Will Rooney’s departure signal United’s decline?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/Wayne Rooney's demand for a move away from Manchester United has stunned manager Alex Ferguson, especially given the striker's poor form and support the club have given him through personal problems.

After winning three successive Premier League titles with United and the 2008 Champions League, Rooney enjoyed his best personal season with the club in 2009-10 -- when his impressive tally of 34 goals in all competitions was only enough to bring  the League Cup to Old Trafford.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Live blogging the Champions League

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The Champions League is back and our reporters are currently wringing out their wet things (Mitch Phillips at Chelsea)/basking in the evening sunshine by the River Manzanares (Iain Rogers at Atletico) and undergoing all climactic variations in between.

Tonight's first tranche of eight matches includes a repeat of the very first Champions League final, with AC Milan visiting Marseille, plus the European debut of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka for Real Madrid, with the Spaniards visiting Zurich.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Villa, the Spanish goal machine, stuck in the Europa League

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It’s hard to believe Spain striker David Villa will not be playing in the Champions League again this season.

The Valencia frontman was in irresistible form against Belgium in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday when the European champions romped to a 5-0 victory in La Coruna.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Champions League draw – your views

Jose Mourinho will clash with old foe Alex Ferguson in the Champions League last 16 with holders Manchester United playing Inter Milan.

It is England v Italy twice more with Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri facing former club Chelsea while Arsenal and Roma, two teams who love to play the beautiful game, also meet.

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