It’s a good thing for the French footballers that were punished for their unruly actions this summer in the World Cup that they didn’t have to answer to UEFA president Michel Platini. The former Les Bleus star thinks that the French national team players deserved lifetime suspensions for their insubordinate behavior under Raymond Domenech’s reign. But only one player was basically given such a sentence in Nikolas Anelka, who was suspended 18 games for quitting the team following a locker room outburst from the Chelsea man, so many of the punished players have already returned to the club.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest La Liga matches of the week:
Things are looking up for Messi’s club as they trounced Real Madrid in el clasico and now have sole possession of first place in the league with a two point edge over a more injury-plagued Real Madrid. This weekend they will have the good fortune of home field advantage on their side and they will be playing one of the league’s nicest surprises in 6th place Real Sociedad.
Final Pick: Barca 3-0
Serie A Tickets Online happily presents Serie A football this weekend!
Lazio has been the Cinderella team of the Serie A league so far this season enjoying 2nd place results at the moment and the surprise team is the only one in the league within reach of Milan currently down 3 points. But this week I expect that gap to double with their visit to Juventus, who ranks third in the league and would pass their opponent if victorious this weekend. It’s number three hosting number two in a battle of a strong offense verses a stingy defense. I like the home team in this critical Match of the Week.
Ghana is the latest country to be policed by FIFA due to political corruption tainting football in the African nation. The GFA was raided this Tuesday and the nation’s government was ordered “to stop all its activities, including the running of the league and other football developments.” Ghana’s domestic soccer league was suspended on Wednesday due to the developing story and FIFA sent a letter to the nation’s football federation yesterday, stating “if the Ghanaian authorities did not stop their direct intervention and allow the GFA to work again before Sunday, the case would be referred to the FIFA emergency committee.”
Manchester United has a few important decisions to make in the next six months regarding replacements for ancient stars of the club. Keeper Edwin van der Sarr and midfielder Paul Scholes are more than likely playing their last seasons in the EPL respectively and both men have been staples for the club for the last decade.
Rafa Benitez has found himself in some very hot water in his first year with Inter and the former Liverpool boss needs to win immediately if he expects to survive his debut season as manager of the powerhouse Italian club. Inter president Massimo Moratti recently admitted that ten years ago he would have already fired the new coach, but I suppose the president has become more tolerant over the years and wants his new man to succeed.
Referee Claus Bo Larsen is one of the most respected individuals in his field. Larsen is what they call a FIFA Top Class Referee meaning that he often is working the biggest games in the world especially during the UEFA Champions League.
And earlier this week Larsen was assigned the same game as Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. The ref believes that Ronaldo is “the most annoying player” in the world and told Ekstra Bladet that he has to mentally prepare for Ronaldo’s “theatrical” flops (in bids to get penalty kicks) whenever he officiates the star’s games:
Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez Creus and Andres Iniesta were the three players shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award that goes to the best footballer in the world for 2010. The award is a joint effort from both the FIFA World Cup and the Champions League and domestic league competition from 2010. All three men selected for the final award ceremony play for the same Barcelona squad and two of the three played on the winning Spanish La Furia Roja team from this summer’s World Cup.
Serie A cellar dwellers Brescia have sacked their coach Giuseppe Iachini.
The forty-six year old was responsible for sealing the club’s promotion form Serie B last season, but so far on the top tier Iachini had witnessed little success and several losses during his brief reign. And like many promoted coaches before him, the club elected to sack their manager (despite his role in getting them to the top tier) likely due to his lack of top level experience and poor results in his debut season.
Good news Serie A fans! There will be football this upcoming weekend!
Earlier today, the chances of Serie A continuing play this weekend were very grim. But apparently a new labor deal has been reached by the player’s union and the league will continue on this weekend as planned. Just days ago an emergency meeting was called by both the Italian Olympic Committee and also Serie A officials, who hoped to work out a last minute deal with the player’s union before the strike took place, and a new deal has been reached by the two parities.