Sunday, November 29, 2009

Final 10 Nominees for 2009 Ballon D'Or


The final ten nominees for the 2009 Ballon D'Or have been released, and Barcelona dominates the list with Messi favored to win the trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United-Real Madrid)

Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea)


Samuel Eto'o (Camerun, Barcelona-Inter Milan)


Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool)


Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Inter Milan-Barcelona)


Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona)



Kaka (Brazil, AC Milan-Real Madrid)

Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona)


Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United)


Xavi (Spain, Barcelona)





The winner of the Ballon D'Or is considered the best player in European football for that year, the winner is decided by a poll of football journalists compiled by France Football, the winner should be revealed Tuesday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Champions League Wrap Up: Liverpool Out, Fiorentina In


Nobody can say that the group stages are boring, full of important and spectacular matches, the UEFA Champions League's last group stage match day looks to be spectacular.

Lots of important matches and teams being kicked out this matchday, but we should start with the biggest team that will not make it to the Champions League knockout stages, Liverpool. Liverpool were knocked out due to Fiorentina getting the win at Lyon, Vargas' penalty ensured the reds wouldn't go through, and although Liverpool earned three points thanks to an early goal by Ngog,  it was a bitter victory. Another big team in risk of not making it to the knockout stages is Inter Milan, the Italian champions lost to a spectacular Barcelona 2-0, Pique headed slapped one in from a corner, and a wonderful maneuver led to Pedro tapping in a Dani Alves chip. Now Inter face Rubin Kazan, and if they lose or draw that fixture,  they are out. Bayern Munich also has a crucial match against Juventus next matchday, Juventus lost to Bordeaux 2-0, leaving them only two points ahead of Bayern, who having beaten Maccabi Haifa 1-0 the head to head clash for second will knock one of the giants out. Besiktas pull a surprise result at Old Trafford against a youth filled Manchester United side, the 1-0 could make the English giants come second in their group if they were to lose their next match. AC Milan drew 1-1 against Olympique Marseille, leaving them to claim the second spot only one point ahead of the french team, on the other side of the group, Real Madrid beat FC Zurich 1-0, a goal by Higuain, determined to be recognized as a star, lead Los Blancos to qualification.


What do you think of this week's Champions League action? Comment below!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Major European Leagues Wrap Up: *MLS Special* Real Salt Lake Beat LA Galaxy to Claim MLS Cup

This week was full of action, in which the MLS Cup was conquered by Real Salt Lake.


*MLS SPECIAL*

The MLS Cup between LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake ended in an epic penalty shootout, both teams put heart into the game, but in the end, Real Salt Lake prevailed in the shootout, claiming the 14th MLS Cup. In the first half Magee scored for the LA Galaxy, but Findley is able to get one back for Real Salt Lake. 90 minutes passed, and 30 minutes of extra time, still can't separate these two sides, in the penalty shootout Donovan misses, allowing Real Salt Lake to claim the MLS Cup. Even though Beckham has to return to Milan, he'll return in tears, having missed an important trophy to win over american fans.


In England, an amazing week with wonderful score lines and great upsets for the Premiership, an epic 9-1 for Tottenham Hotspur against Wigan, a super Defoe which bagged five goals almost completing the double hat trick. Wigan has said that they will refund the traveling fans using the players salaries, this wonderful win allows Tottenham to move to fourth, three points clear of Aston Villa. Portsmouth lost 1-0 to Stoke City, leaving Portsmouth manager Paul Hart to be sacked, and probably replaced by Avram Grant. Sunderland overcome a Van Persie-less Arsenal 1-0, and Hull City drew a fantastic game 3-3 against West Ham United. Chelsea against Wolverhampton Wanderers finishes 4-0 for the blues, but more importantly, three youngsters had their debut for Chelsea, one of them being Gael Kakuta who showed a lot of promise.

In Italy, Inter Milan have no trouble with Bologna, a simple 3-1 win, but Maicon receives a red for badmouthing an official which will make him miss the next two Serie A matches, and with Santon out this could heavily affect the neroazzurri against Juventus. Parma continue their great run by beating Fiorentina 3-2, a wonderful display of both teams, and if Parma continue like this, they might be in for a Europa League spot. Totti returns to Roma with a hat trick, one penalty, and two fantastic goals lead Roma to a 3-1 victory over Bari. AC Milan show strength and determination beating a super Cagliari 4-3, the seven goal thriller had spectacular play by both sides, and Cagliari will be disappointed to come out of this match without a point.


In Spain, Real Madrid take first place in La Liga thanks to a 1-0 win over Racing Santander, a goal by Higuain sets them up well for what should be a fantastic "El Classico" against Barcelona next weekend. Barcelona instead give up two points against Athletic Bilbao, a 1-1 draw could be dangerous, especially with "El Classico" coming up. Valencia beat Osasuna and Villareal beat Real Valladolid, while Atletico Madrid are unable to find their form. An early goal by Sergio Aguero in the game against Real Deportivo La Coruna should have let Atletico win, but a Deportivo came back to win 2-1.

What do you think of this week's action? Comment below!

Friday, November 20, 2009

World Cup Qualifiers Wrap Up: Henry Gives a Hand to Domenech

The 32 teams have been decided, while some teams reinvent themselves, others disappoint. With many controversial decisions, FIFA are starting to feel the pressure of incorporating technology into the beautiful game.



In Europe, the four huge playoffs could be described as disappointing,

Slovenia against Russia showed a strong russian team at home, winning 2-1 in the first leg, but a fantastic Slovenia against a frustrated nine man Russia wins 1-0, going through thanks to the away goals rule.

Greece and Ukraine was a rather goalless tie, the first leg in Greece ended 0-0, and in the second leg, the Greeks were able to nip a goal, going through 1-0.


Portugal faced a tough Bosnia Herzegovina side, winning 1-0 in the first leg at home, Portugal seemed sure to go through, even though Bosnia hit the crossbar and the post in the range of 10 seconds. The second leg went Portugal's way, winning 1-0 at Bosnia Portugal go through on an aggregate score of 2-0.

The best for last, Ireland against France was an exciting match up that ended in an exciting way, the first leg finished 1-0 for the French who were away against 80,000 Irish supporters. A deflection off of Anelka's shot hit the post and went in, a tragic goal for the Irish to give up. But Ireland went to France, with spirit and with heart, battering away at the French, Ireland got an away goal with Robbie Keane. The game finishes 1-0, in extra time, a free kick given to France, Henry is in offside position but it isn't called the ball swings over to him, and to keep it in play he taps it with his left hand, then quickly shifting the ball again with the same hand over to his leg, allowing him to pass the ball into an oncoming Gallas who gets the ball into the back of the net. All the Irish players go over to the referee, but the goal is allowed and France go through thanks to their captains hand. Ireland appealed for the match to be replayed, but FIFA announced that the match will not be replayed, and that France will travel to South Africa.

Check out our poll on this subject, should FIFA have replayed the game? Vote now!



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Product Review - Inter Milan Graphic Hoodie

When I look for a hoodie, I look for two main things, comfort and style. They may seem rather straight-forward, but it is hard to find a hoodie that fits both categories for you. The Inter Milan graphic hoodie fits both categories spot on with a fabulous design, while letting you support Italy's current champions, Inter Milan.



This hoodie is much different than any other hoodie I have had, the comfort and warmth is astounding, but what really surprised me was how thin the fabric was, and how light the overall hoodie was. No longer do I need to wear a heavy hoodie that is hard to store because of the thickness and space it took up, this hoodie keeps me warmer and dryer using better technologies. Imagine yourself running laps around the pitch, it starts to rain, your hoodie is thick and quickly sucks up all the water, weighing you down while letting the cold sink in to your lower layers. Now imagine the same scene, except you are wearing the Inter Milan graphic hoodie, it starts to rain, the rain drops don't penetrate through the hoodies fabric, and you stay light, warm, and insulated.  These two scenes are drastically different because of the detail and design of the Inter Milan graphic hoodie compared to a normal hoodie. The Inter Milan graphic hoodie insulates you from the outside cold and rain with elastic finishings on the waist and the wrists, the hood also has a string so you can tighten the hood, completely sealing you off from the cold. Few hoodies can boast this feature, and even less can say that their hoodies also prevent water from penetrating, these maybe small details make a world of difference in your speed, your stamina, and your health.

The hoodie also has style, the torso area is black, while the arms are blue, Inter Milan's famous colors, the hoodie also features INTER written in golden dots which clearly state who you support. Underneath is the Inter Milan crest woven in with the special edition tricolore outside finishing, and below that is the famous nike logo in striking blue. With a large ample pocket above the waist finishing, this hoodie allows you to carry a large range of items without any hassle.

The Inter Milan hoodie is the perfect item to wear over your favorite soccer jersey, keeping you dry and warm, this hoodie is perfect for any season. And if you aren't looking for an Inter Milan hoodie, you can find all the soccer gear you need at one of the best soccer shops around at www.soccerpro.com.



Courtesy of www.soccerpro.com for providing me with the items to review.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quote of the Week: Alan Ball


This week's QOTW is random and has nothing to do with current football events, but it helps understand football, and what is needed to succeed.

"I'm not a believer in luck, but I do believe you need it"
-Alan Ball

Just a small quote to entertain you during this week of International action, expect a full wrap up on the qualifyers soon.

What do you think of this week's QOTW? Comment below!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ferguson Receives Fine and Ban, and Cudicini Injured in Motorcycle Crash






Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has received a two-match touchline ban for his comments about referee Alan Wiley's fitness. The Football Association handed the 67-year-old a four-game ban, with two of those suspended until the end of the 2010/11 season.Ferguson has also been fined £20,000 and warned about his future conduct.

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has suffered "potentially life-changing injuries" in a motorbike accident in east London, police said. He has fractured his wrists and injured his pelvis but a spokesman for the north London club said they were still waiting for hospital test results.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Germany Goalkeeper Robert Enke Commits Suicide


A sad piece of news in the footballing world, Robert Enke, Hannover 96's goalkeeper and Germany's 1st choice candidate committed suicide on November 10th 2009. The 32 year old goalkeeper left a note for his family and then committed suicide by stepping in front of a train. His two year old daughter had died in 2006 because of a heart defect, and this seems to be what started his depression. After recently having a stomach infection which stopped his training, Enke's depression seemed to have returned, his wife told him, "football isn't everything". Dozens of fans left flowers and lit candles where Enke died and at Hannover 96’s stadium. The team cleared its Web site, leaving the words “We are mourning Robert Enke, 24 August 1977 - - 10 November 2009” on a black background.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Major European Leagues Wrap Up: Lyon-Marseille Ends with an Epic 5-5

In this weekend of European action France really cranked it up a notch, a 5-5 draw between Lyon and Marseille showed not only great attacking talent, but also defensive organisation. 





In England, Hull City get an important win over Stoke City with a late winner by Vennegoor of Hesselink, this win eases the pressure on Phil Brown, who was leading the sack race recently. Manchester City get another draw, this week against Burnley, who played an amazing match going two goals up in the 32nd minute, but a stunner by Sean Wright-Phillips, followed by Toure and Bellamy scoring put the score up to 3-2 for Manchester City, but a late goal by McDonald drew everything up at 3-3. Liverpool drew 2-2 with Birmingham City, Liverpool were saved thanks to a penalty taken by Steven Gerrard. Arsenal continue their great form by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 away two own goals set the tone for Wolves, and Arsenal demolished them. The "big one" this weekend was rather disappointing, a tactically efficient Manchester United against a powerful Chelsea finished up with a header by Terry, unmarked in the box, 1-0 the final score. Manchester United came with the right attitude, but Valencia was missing in action, and Giggs couldn't keep up with the pace of the game. Obertan had his debut, and he showed some promise, but it wasn't enough to convince everyone, Manchester United will hopefully get out of this Ronaldo hangover.



In Spain, Barcelona overcome Mallorca 4-2 thanks to a double by Pedro, set up wonderfully by Ibrahimovic, a sublime backheel to cut out the defense while holding off two Mallorca players gave Pedro the perfect chance to finish. The Madrid derby ended 3-2 for Real Madrid, an early goal by Kaka' followed by Marcelo and Higuain gave Real Madrid and early 3-0 lead, but when Sergio Ramos was sent off with a red card, Forlan and Aguero tried to take back the game, but it was too late, it ended 3-2 for Real Madrid. Sevilla beat Villareal 3-2, a brace by Fabiano and another goal by Kanoute sunk the aspirations of Villareal.



In Italy, Inter Milan take on Roma and end up with a 1-1 draw, a tired Inter team with a weakened Roma side provided a boring first half, but Inter stepped up the pace in the second-half, looking for the winner, but not finding one. AC Milan beat Lazio 2-1, Thiago Silva scored for both sides, a goal and followed by Pato's header, and in the second half an own goal by the brazilian defender. Sampdoria's good run ended with a 2-0 loss to Cagliari, two late goals by Conti and Matri let Cagliari defeat a weakened Sampdoria side. Atlanta lost 2-5 against Juventus, a good display by the neroazzurri was not enough to down the powerful display by the bianconeri.


What do you think about this week's action? Comment below!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chelsea Banned No More: FIFA Suspends Ban Until Final Decision


Chelsea's transfer ban has been lifted while FIFA get ready for final decision, Chelsea were banned because of signing Lens' ex-player Gael Kakuta by convincing Kakuta to terminate his contract. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has granted Chelsea's request for their Fifa transfer ban to be suspended pending a final decision by FIFA.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Champions League Wrap Up: Liverpool Almost Out


This matchday of Champions League and Europa League has provided us with action and entertainment. Anyone who said the group stages are boring is proved wrong big time, with big teams slipping, and small teams fighting, the group stages will be fought to the death.

In the Champions League, Liverpool boss Benitez is risking big with a 1-1 draw against Olympique Lyon, although the reds aren't out of the competition mathematically, they will need many results to go their way so that they can go through to the knockout stages. Besiktas continue their terrible run with only one point losing to Wolfsburg 3-0, and Olympique Marseille pummel FC Zurich 6-1. Juventus get an important win against Maccabi Haifa, a goal by Camoranesi lets them relax a bit while Bordeaux qualify for the knockout stages by beating Bayern Munich 2-0. Bayern are in trouble now, and Van Gaal has one game left to prove himself, if Bayern don't get a positive result on the weekend against Schalke then Van Gaal could be out. Manchester United drew 3-3 in an exciting game against CSKA Moska, this allows them to stay top of the group with seven points. Inter Milan are top of their group beating Dinamo Kyiv 2-1 with a late winner by Sneijder, Rubin Kazan are able to maintain a clean sheet against Barcelona, drawing 0-0 with the current European Champions Rubin Kazan could fight for a spot in the Europa League. Chelsea qualify, drawing 2-2 with Atletico Madrid, while Fiorentina are nearly there, a fantastic 5-2 win lets them inch closer to qualification.

What do you think of this week's CL action? Comment below!

Quote of the Week: Fabio Capello


This week's QOTW is Fabio Capello talking about his first training session with the England Squad, the Italian manager has guided England to qualification, and he will most probably guide them through South Africa 2010.
"I remember the first training session and I was surprised because the players were really good,"
- Fabio Capello

A bit of humor for this week's QOTW, Capello was very surprised because he thought that because England didn't make it the the 2008 Euro's, the players would not be of high quality. Let's see what Capello can do with these high quality players, and if he can guide them through a succesful SA 2010 World Cup.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beckham Goes Back to AC Milan, and more Transfer Rumors

Beckham returns to AC Milan

AC Milan have confirmed that David Beckham, currently playing for LA Galaxy in the MLS, will go back to the Rossoneri in January. David said this about his return to AC Milan.
"I had to give myself the best chance to play in the World Cup, playing on loan with Milan will help me do that. I enjoyed my last experience at Milan a lot and I can't wait to meet the team and the staff again. I thank Tim Leiweke and Bruce Arena for having given me this opportunity. I remain close to Los Angeles Galaxy and MLS and I care about football's development in America. Now I am completely concentrated on finishing this season in the best way with my club by winning the MLS Cup."
- David Beckham 




Quaresma back to Portugal?


It seems possible that Inter Milan's Portuguese winger, Ricardo Quaresma could return to Portugal on loan in January. It seems that Sporting Lisbona are interested in the winger, even though some wage fees are still a bit too high for Sporting. Quaresma has been out of the Portuguese NT for quite some time, and this move could bring back good form, and the 2010 WC to Quaresma.





Mancini in line for Red's job


It seems that if Rafael Benitez looses the upcoming games against Lyon, and then Birmingham City, the spaniard will be forced to leave. The replacement? it seems that Roberto Mancini could be the man for the job, already having dominated in Italy winning three Scudetto's in a row with Inter Milan, Mancini could bring back the powerful Liverpool side that we all know exists.




Chelsea preparing to buy Villa


Even though Chelsea have been banned, and are unable to buy players until January 2011, it seems that the blues are preparing a 33 million pound bid for Spanish striker David Villa. Currently at Valencia, the spanish club has been in heavy debt because of bad management, it seemed that many of their key players would leave last summer, but Valencia was able to keep them from the interests of Barcelona and Real Madrid. Now, Villa could leave for England, and if he leaves, David Silva could be next.




United plan Suarez signing


Manchester United have been eyeing Ajax's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. It seems that the red devils are preparing a 40 million Euro bid to buy Ajax's wonder-boy, Suarez is only 22, and he could be the player that makes everyone forget about the Ronaldo era.




Sunday, November 1, 2009

Major European Leagues Wrap Up: Arsenal Defeat Tottenham 3-0, and Ajax Destroy Arch-Rival Feyenoord 5-1

This week included two gigantic matches in world football, the North London Derby, Arsenal against Tottenham, and Ajax against Feyenoord. Pellegrini is a bit safer at Madrid, and Benitez is moving up the spots in the sack race. While Inter escape to the top of Serie A, seven points above second place Juventus, Portsmouth start getting the three points needed to start moving up the Premiership table.



*Eredivisie Special*


Ajax claim an important victory over their arch-rival Feyenoord, a demolishing 5-1 victory with Babovic being sent off in the 43rd minute leaving Feyenoord in ten men, then in the 89th, Van Dijk is sent off, leaving the losing side in nine men for the glamour finale by Suarez, who scored the final goal in the 5-1 victory.




Barclay's Premiership

In England, Fulham are able to overpower a weakened Liverpool side that at the end of the match, only had nine men on the field, Degen and Carragher both sent off with direct reds. Portsmouth get three crucial points even if they remain last in the table, Portsmouth carried by a super Dindane who claimed a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Wigan. Arsenal claim the North London Derby over Tottenham with a hearty 3-0 victory at the Emirates, Van Persie getting a brace and Fabregas scoring one to sink Tottenham Hotspur's top four dreams. A huge match between Burnley and Hull City ended 2-0 for Burnley, Phil Brown seems to be leading the sack race even though as he said, "My players are one million percent behind me." A brace by Alexander allows Burnley to rise up to tenth place. After a 4-0 win over Bolton, Chelsea can now say that their past four games in all competitions have been won by at least a four goal difference. Sunderland and West Ham face off and finish off with a 2-2 draw, with a player from both sides being sent off, West Ham went in front with two goals in the first half, and Sunderland came back well to claim the single point needed.



Serie A


In Italy, Napoli come back in style against Juventus, winning 3-2 at Juventus' home. Trezeguet and Giovinco take Juventus up 2-0, but a wonderful brace by Hamsik, and a goal from Datolo brought Napoli back to win 3-2. Amauri was sent off after being subbed on with a direct red because of a rough challenge against De Sanctis (Napoli Goalkeeper) and what could be described as a "verbal confrontation" with some Napoli players also ended his good form. A controversial 0-0 between Sampdoria and Bari causes Antonio Cassano to come out with statements against the fans, the Italian said if the fans continue their poor attitude, he would leave Sampdoria. Inter Milan cruise to the top of the table with seven points clear of the second place Juventus thanks to a 2-0 win over Livorno, a goal by Diego Milito started the scoring, and then Maicon ended the match with another goal for the Nerazzurri. AC Milan get an important win over Parma, 2-0, with a brace by Borriello, and Ronaldinho getting both assists, AC Milan are ready to welcome Real Madrid to the San Siro during the midweek.



La Liga


In Spain, Barcelona slip with a 1-1 draw against Osasuna, an own goal by Pique in injury time stole two points from the Catalans. Pellegrini looks to be a bit safer on the Real Madrid bench thanks to a 2-0 win over Getafe, a brace by Higuain will hopefully give the needed morale to Real to go to the San Siro and beat AC Milan, with Ronaldo or not. Villareal start banging in the goals, a 5-0 victory over Tenerife lets The Yellow Submarine move up to thirteenth place in the tables. Quique Flores has not changed the bad results that Atletico Madrid have been getting, a 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao leaves Atletico in 18th place. Valencia who could sell some of their key players in January win 1-0 over Malaga, letting them stay in the much needed fourth place which allows them to enter the Champions League Qualifiers next season.


This week was full of comebacks, reassuring results, and killer losses, what do you think of this week's matches? Comment below!

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