News, commentary, tickets, pre and post match reaction alongside opinion about everything football related around the world.

Europe, La Liga, News, Real Madrid

Controversy As Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Ballon d’Or

Ronaldo-Ballon-DoRCristiano Ronaldo has won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award, which is given each year to the top-performing soccer player in the world, after a stunning year that saw him score an astonishing 69 goals in 59 games.

Ronaldo claimed the award with a total of 1,365 points, ahead of Lionel Messi (1,205) and Franck Ribery (1,127), with the votes cast by 184 coaches, 184 national captains and 173 members of the global media.

News, World Cup

Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane To Take The Republic Of Ireland

MON and Roy KeaneTwo of the most passionate Irishmen in world football have agreed to take over the reigns for the Republic of Ireland, a move that will either inspire a nation or lead to a lot of spilled Guinness.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have confirmed that Martin O’Neill will become the new manager of the Republic of Ireland, replacing the departed Giovanni Trapattoni while former Ireland captain Roy Keane will be his assistant.


Galatasaray Hire Roberto Mancini

Mancini-GalaAnother sign of the intent that Galatasaray have on becoming one of Europe’s elite teams, on Monday they announced the hiring of Roberto Mancini to replace the sacked Fatih Terim.

Mancini has signed a three-year deal with the Turkish giants worth a reported €3.5m for this season plus an additional €4.5m for each of the next two seasons. The former Man City boss will reportedly earn a €300,000 bonus if the club win the Turkish title and reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Defending Turkish champions Galatasaray spent big 18 months ago on the likes of Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder, Felipe Melo and Hamit Altintop and that investment paid off with a championship.

News, Premier League

Spurs, Man City and Chelsea Win In Capital One Action

capitalonecupThere were no big surprises Tuesday night as the big guns in the Premier League entered the Capital One Cup.

Spurs thumped Barclays Premier League rivals Aston Villa 4-0 with Jermain Defoe scoring twice and Paulinho and Nacer Chadli also hitting the target.

Manchester City continued where they left off in Sunday’s 4-1 drubbing of Manchester United by putting five past FA Cup holders Wigan. Stevan Jovetic was on target twice, scoring his first goals for the club, while Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Jesus Navas also struck in the 5-0 rout at the Etihad Stadium.


Pictures From Brazil Practice at Gillette Stadium

Neymar-BrazilBrazil are in Boston for tomorrow nights match against Portugal at Gillette Stadium and tonight’s practice was open to the media. I just could not turn down the opportunity to see the Samba Boys up close so I headed down to Gillette for the show.

And it was worth. I have watched Manchester United and Barcelona practice before and those practices were tightly scheduled. Everything had a purpose and went for a specific period of time. That was not the case with a Luiz Felipe Scolari practice.


Wondo Brace Leads US To Victory In Gold Cup

usavcubaChris Wondolowski scored two more goals as the United States advanced to the Gold Cup quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over Cuba today.

Cuba shocked the American fans when they took the lead in the 36th minute when Ciprian scored from Martinez’s cross.

But the U.S. equalized just before halftime when Landon Donovan scored from the penalty spot after Castillo was brought down in the box.

Jurgen Klinesmann must have really given the American players the hairdresser treatment at half-time as it was a much better US performance in the second half.

News, Serie A

Lazio Gets Two Match Stadium Ban By Uefa

lazio-fansUefa on Wednesday announced that Lazio will play their next two UEFA competition home matches behind closed doors plus fined the club €40,000.

Lazio was on a suspended sentence for instances of racist abuse from supporters during this season and stadium inspectors spotted around 300 members of the crowd performing Nazi salutes during the 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach last week in the Europa League.

The ban mean that Lazio’s Europa League game against Stuttgart on 14 March, will now be played behind closed doors.

Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, La Liga, Man Utd., News, Premier League, Real Madrid

Real Madrid Retains Richest Club Title

realmadridsupercupReal Madrid retained its title as the biggest club financially in the world as a new Deloitte report showed that the combined revenues of Europe’s top 20 clubs exceeded €4.8b in 2011-12, a 10% rise from the previous season’s top 20.

In a clear indication that Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules will not work, the same 10 clubs occupy the top 10 places in the Money League for the second successive year.

Topping the list is Real Madrid, which is the first football club to break through the €500m (£420m) barrier. Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea make up the rest of the top five spots.


Bradford City On Cup On Wembley Final

WembleyBradford City is within reach of Wembley after stunning Aston Villa 3-1 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

Bradford, who knocked out Arsenal in the quarter-finals, are now only 90 minutes away from becoming the first side from the lowest tier to reach the final of this competition since Rochdale in 1962.

The Bantams scored first when Villa failed to clear a corner and when Hines’s shot was blocked, it fell invitingly for Wells to sweep a powerful finish past keeper Shay Given to spark wild scenes of celebration

News, Premier League

Another Fantastic Night Of Capital One Football

After Tuesday night’s remarkable comeback win by Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, I did not think anything could top that. But Wednesday nights three remaining matches came close.

Chelsea came from behind three times to beat Manchester United 5-4 after extra time, while Norwich upset Spurs 2-1 and Swansea knocked out holders Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield.

Four days after a thrilling 3-2 United win at Stamford Bridge in the league, the two sides met again and this time combined for nine more goals. Not sure if the 14 goals scored in the two days in a reflection of both sides scoring prowess, or a reflection of their shaky defences?