Europe

Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd.

Liverpool versus Barcelona Final

The Champions League draw today sets up some intriguing quarter-final and semi-final match-ups. The quarter-final draw was:

Arsenal v Liverpool
AS Roma v Man Utd
Schalke 04 v FC Barcelona
Fenerbahce v Chelsea

The team listed first plays the first leg at home and first-leg ties take place on 1 or 2 April, with the return games on 8 and 9 April.

It is a tough draw for Arsenal and Liverpool who will play each other three times in a week with a league match sandwiched in between the two legs of the quarter-finals. Liverpool are the masters of European soccer and expect them to knock Arsenal out in a low-scoring affair.

Europe, Real Madrid

Ramon Calderon May Be Blind

Nicolas Cage (aka Nicolas Coppola) is a recognizable man.

He won an Oscar. He married Elvis’s daughter. He partied with those crazy pom pom people from Spymonkey. He went on Oprah. Yes, he’s done them all, though not necessarily in that order.

He’s really famous. One of those celebrities everbody is aware of. A real culture permeater (which sounds really disgusting for some reason).

Yet, Ramon Calderon, president of Real Madrid, recently was “punked” by an imposter claiming to be Cage, but it wasn’t by the Kutch, it was by this guy:

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

Champions League Quarterfinals Set

The Champions League Quarterfinals are set, well almost as Liverpool and Inter Milan play their second leg in Milan on March 11th with Liverpool traveling to Italy after winning the first leg at home 2-0. There have been some major surprises and some not so major surprises in the 2008 Champions League. Defending champions AC Milan will be watching from home, as they were defeated in the first round of the knockout phase. Two of the surprise teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are Schalke 04 from Germany and Fenerbahçe from Turkey. If Liverpool can get past Inter Milan there will be 4 teams from England’s Premier League in the last 8 teams in the 2008 Champions League Tournament.

Europe

Americans Missing From World’s Best Soccer Competition

I have spent the last two days watching the world’s top soccer players take part in the UEFA Champions League. Forget the World Cup, European Championship or COPA America, the best soccer competition in the world is the Champions League.

Can you name any of the top players who are not participating in Champions League soccer? I cannot. The teams left in the Champions League at this stage are all-star teams, stacked with the best players from around the world.

Europe

The 2008 World All-Star Lineup

After posting some of my predictions about the 2008 MLS All-Star lineup, I started thinking about the rest of the world and how MLS’s best would fare against their best 11. My conclusion? Not too well. But then again, what team could compete with such a collection of stars?

So, without further ado, as a companion to my MLS’s Best XI post, here is the lineup I would go with if I could choose from every player in the world:

Starting Eleven:

I would employ a 3-4-3 (simply too many great forwards to only put two up top):

Barcelona, Europe, Man Utd., News, Real Madrid

Soccer Teams Out Pace US Sports Teams in Revenue

Yesterday we covered the revenues of the top 20 soccer teams in the world in terms of revenue and how that Real Madrid Still Richest Soccer Club in the World . But how do Real Madrid and Manchester United stock up with the largest US sports franchises like the New York Yankees and Washington Redskins in terms of revenue?

Lets first look at the annual revenues of the teams in America’s largest leagues. According to Forbes magazine the top 5 baseball teams in terms of revenue are:

  • New York Yankees $277 million
  • Boston Red Sox $206 million
Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Europe, Liverpool, Man Utd., Real Madrid

Real Madrid Still Richest Soccer Club in the World

Numbers for the 2007-2008 season are available here

For the third straight year Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid topped the list of richest soccer clubs in the world. Three teams from the Premier League made the top five in Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal, while another Spanish League team Barcelona is the other club in the top 5. The list is for the money generated but does not include transfer fees.

Dan Jones the partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the group that compiled the list, stated, “This is the first time that any country has had three clubs in the top five of the Money League. Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium has transformed their revenues whilst Chelsea’s revenue increase sees them return to the top five.”

Europe, News

Ronaldo’s Injury Sparks Rumors of an MLS Move

One of soccer’s all-time greats, Ronaldo, may have recently taken the pitch for the last time.

The Brazilian striker received some grim news yesterday regarding an injury he suffered during an Italian Serie A match on Wednesday. According to AC Milan team doctors, Ronaldo’s left kneecap ligament has ruptured for the third time and it is questionable whether he has the determination left to properly rehabilitate the injury so as to return to the field.

As his AC Milan contract was due to expire in three months anyways, it is highly unlikely Ronaldo will have a future with that club.

Europe, Major League Soccer, News, Premier League

EPL: Coming to America?

Near the end of last week, the EPL, or English Premier League or Premiership (I have been instructed by Brits to never mention Barclay’s), announced its intention to play some of its regular season matches outside of the U.K. Perhaps inspired by the NFL’s decision to play a regular season game in London at Wembley Stadium last year, the EPL is seeking to expand its brand and attract new fans to its product.

Europe, Major League Soccer, News

Houston’s Three-Peat Chances Fading?

The Dynamo, known to some fans as “The Orange Crush”, may be in line to be “crushed” themselves by opponents in 2008 due to the impending loss of two forwards. Joseph Ngwenya, who scored the equalizer for Houston in last year’s MLS Cup victory, is headed to Austria to play for SK Austria Karnten. Meanwhile, Nate Jacqua also is currently in Europe testing the transfer waters and several reports have indicated he also intends to depart from the back-to-back champs.