Monthly Archives: August 2015

  1. Lionel Messi Wins UEFA Best Player in Europe 2014/15 Award Beating Teammates and Rivals Alike

    Cristiano Ronaldo may have tallied more goals than Lionel Messi throughout the 2014 2015 football campaign, but the celebrations were all about the great Leo on August 27th, as UEFA unveiled their awards for the 2014/15 season. Messi not only picked up the fan-voted UEFA Goal of the Season Award, but it was also announced that Lionel Messi wins UEFA Best Player in Europe 2014/15 Award for the second time in his soccer career.

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    Messi's First Best Player in Europe Win

    Later in 2011, after winning the Best Player in Europe Award, Messi also led FC Barcelona to a victory in FIFA's Club World Cup. His total goal tally for the soccer season ended up at 31 goals for league games and 53

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  2. The 2015 - 2016 Champions League Group Stage Draw: Who Has an Easy Path to the Knockouts?

    August 27th brought a lot of big news in the European football, as the UEFA not only announced the winners of their inaugural Goal and Save of the Season Awards, but also the victor of the 2014 2015 Best Player in Europe Award. In the midst of all the awards and celebrations, the day also saw the 2015 - 2016 Champions League group stage draw.

    The tournament-which will host its first matches on September 15th-will start out with 32 teams, competing across eight groups of four. By next May, only one of those teams will be left standing. But which football club is the chosen one this season? Which soccer squads have an easy path to the round of 16, and which ones will have to work to reach the knockouts? Read on for our kneejerk reaction at the group stage draw.

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    The Easy Calls

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  3. World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group E: Predicting One of the More Unpredictable Groups of the Bunch

    Same as qualifying Group D, the UEFA's Group E-drawn for the 2018 World Cup qualifying competition-is not easy to predict. Group D-with a lineup that includes Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, and Georgia-has no real "heavyweight" contender, but is said to favor Wales and Austria thanks to strong performances in recent 2016 European Championship qualifiers. World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group E is similar, in that none of its six teams-Romania, Denmark, Poland, Armenia, and Kazakhstan-are clear frontrunners for World Cup qualification. The question then becomes how we go about predicting the outcome of a seemingly unpredictable group. 

    Group E's Teams at the World Cup

    Qualifying Group E is tough to get a handle on because none of these six teams have considerable experience at the World Cup. Often, the easiest way to predict World Cup qualifications is to see which countries

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  4. Chelsea Ladies FC: A Team Profile of the Recent FA Women's Cup Winners

    Chelsea FC have been a notable force in English football since March of 1905, but interestingly, the club have only had a ladies football team for 23 years, since 1992. This year, the Chelsea Ladies FC legacy hit a new high, with a victory at the 2014 2015 FA Women's Cup. Should we expect even more great things from this squad of talented women in the coming years? Read on to learn more about Chelsea LFC's history, stats, and prospects for upcoming years.

    Chelsea LFC: The History

    Similar to their male affiliates, Chelsea Ladies FC are nicknamed "the Blues" by fans. They also wear a similar Chelsea home jersey 2015 2016 to the reigning English Premier League champions. Unlike the male Chelsea FC, however, the female Blues call Wheatsheaf Park their home ground.

    Originally, the Chelsea ladies club came to be because fans of the Blues' male side wanted to support a women's club as well. That demand led to the 1992

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  5. World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group D: Who Will Qualify?

    Group D is unique among UEFA's 2018 World Cup qualifying groups in that there really isn't a heavyweight team among the six countries competing there. Group A has the Netherlands and France; B has Portugal; C has Germany; F has England; G has Spain; and H has Belgium. But World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group D -which consists of Wales, Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova, and Georgia-will almost certainly give the 2018 World Cup in Russia one of its bigger underdogs.

    Group D Teams and World Cup History

    That's because none of these national football teams have much of a pedigree on the global scale. Wales for instance, have been to the World Cup just once-back in 1958-though they did manage to reach the quarterfinals that year.

    Austria probably have the most consistent history at the World Cup of any of the countries in Group D. The Austrian national soccer team had a lot of success at the tournament

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  6. Ferencvaros Headed Back to the Top in 2015 - 2016 Hungarian League

    Ferencvaros are the most successful team in Hungarian soccer, having won the Hungarian League title 28 times since the division's inception in 1901. However, in spite of the dominance that Ferencvaros have enjoyed in the league, historically, they haven't been very "dominant" in recent years. Indeed, it's now been 11 years since the Green Eagles hoisted the top-flight national championship trophy, ceding victories in the past few years to everyone from Videoton (the 2014 2015 victors) to Gyor (the winners in 2013). We take a look at the 2015 - 2016 Hungarian league and ask can Ferencvaros reclaim the top-spot?

    The past decade of Hungarian football has been ruled by Debrecen, a club that won their first title in 2005 (one year after Ferencvaros won their last). Since then, Debrecen has gone on to win six additional Hungarian national soccer titles-including consecutive wins in 2006 and 2007 (and then again in 2009 and 2010), as well as recent victories in 2012 and 2014.

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  7. World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group C: Germany to Launch Campaign for Fifth World Cup Title

    In 2014, the German national football team became only the third national football team in history to win four World Cups. Starting next fall, they will begin their campaign to tie the record for five titles-a feat that only Brazil have accomplished in the past. The journey will begin on September 4th, when Germany play Norway on the first match day for the UEFA's qualifying rounds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Germans are playing in World Cup 2018 UEFA Qualifying Group C, which also includes the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan, San Marino, and the aforementioned Norway.

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    Germany's Chances at Outright Qualification: Guaranteed?

    Based on Germany's status as reigning World Cup champions-not to mention

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  8. Can the Netherlands Secure Direct Qualification for the 2016 European Championship?

    The Netherlands national football team have not missed out on qualification for the UEFA European Championship since 1984, and have seen a slew of great results at the tournament in the years since-including a title victory in 1988, and four semi-final berths, in 1992, 2000, and 2004, respectively. Now, though, as Euro 2016 looms and as the qualifiers head into their final few months, the Dutch are in danger of not securing direct qualification into the tournament. The question is, will they be able to turn things around in the final four qualifying games, or will they have to fight for their spot in the event with a strong playoff performance? We analyze the results so far and ask can the Netherlands secure direct qualification for Euro 2016?

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    The State

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  9. 2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifying Group B, and Portugal's Easy Road to the Tournament

    We've been looking at qualification groups recently drawn for the FIFA World Cup. Today is the turn of 2018 World Cup UEFA Qualifying Group B. Who is the potential winners and losers? Though they entered the 2014 World Cup with a stellar FIFA ranking, the Portugal national football team actually nearly didn't qualify for the event at all. In UEFA Qualifying Group F, the Portuguese squad finished second, behind Russia. That left them to fight for one last chance in a playoff against the second-place teams from the other qualification groups-a list that included other eventual tournament participants like France, Greece, and Croatia. Portugal ultimately beat Sweden in a two-leg playoff battle, but relied completely on Cristiano Ronaldo to do so: Ronaldo scored one goal in the first leg and three in the second to beat Sweden (whose Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals in the second match).

    This time around, it looks like Portugal should have a clear and easy road to reach the 2018

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  10. Can England Remain Unbeaten in the Euro 2016 Qualifying Competition

    The qualifying competition for UEFA's 2016 European Championship in France has brought its fair share of surprises, from the underwhelming performances of teams that excelled at the 2014 World Cup (Germany and the Netherlands), to the remarkable six-game winning streak of Slovakia-a country that has never even qualified for the European Championship in the past. However, perhaps the biggest story of the qualifiers so far has been the surprisingly great campaign of the England national football team. But can England remain unbeaten throughout the Euro 2016 qualifying tournament?

    Indeed, if you had predicted that England would be looking at an undefeated run in the Euro qualifiers a year ago, you wouldn't have gotten much support. The Three Lions were coming off their single worst World Cup performance ever, a 26th place finish that ranked the Brits as one of the worst soccer teams in the entire tournament.

    The 2014 World Cup

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