Monthly Archives: December 2015
- December 14, 2015
Real Madrid are having a solid season in the Spanish La Liga. They've secured a spot in the round of 16 for the UEFA Champions League, closing out the group stage of the tournament with a resounding 8-0 victory against Malmo FF. Cristiano Ronaldo scored 11 goals in the UCL group stage-putting him in a league of his own as the tournament's top scorer. Ronaldo is also once again a top-three finalist for the Ballon d'Or Award-though he'll probably hand the honors off to Lionel Messi.
And yet, despite all of the good things going on at the Bernabeu right now, the clubs Copa del Rey disqualification is the topic of conversation. It's a blunder that will likely go down in Real Madrid history as the defining event of the first half of the 2015 2016 season.
- December 14, 2015
Swedish soccer great Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had a remarkably great three and a half years at Paris Saint Germain, helping to usher the football club into its golden age. Indeed, since coming to France in 2012, Ibrahimovic has played a big role in three Ligue 1 titles, three Trophee des Champions wins, two Coupe de la Ligue victories, and one Coupe de France. And despite the fact that his senior career is currently in its 17th season, Ibrahimovic has hit his own peak with PSG, scoring more than a hundred goals in three-and-a-third seasons.
However, despite the success he's found with the Parisians, Ibrahimovic seems bent to leave the football club behind at the end of the current season. Though he initially signed a three-year agreement with Paris Saint Germain, Zlatan extended his contract with the club in 2013. The extension will run out in summer 2016, leaving Ibrahimovic free to leave the French champions behind on a free transfer, so now is the perfect time to take
- December 13, 2015
Any player that gets labeled the "Serbian Messi" deserves a lot of attention. It's not often that players are compared to the great Lionel Messi at all, let alone described as younger versions of him. Needless to say, a lot of people are keeping an eye on Andrija Zivkovic right now, wondering what might be next for the 19-year-old winger who has already been so impressive in his career.
As the youngest player to ever make an appearance with the Serbian national football team-and the youngest team captain ever for Serbian club FK Partizan-Zivkovic is a soccer wunderkind. He led Partizan to victory in the Serbian SuperLiga last season and has kept the club a factor in the 2015 2016 Europa League. Indeed, Zivkovic is one of the top scorers in the competition so far-a fact that has made him a transfer target for many football clubs throughout Europe.
- December 13, 2015
According to Spanish publication AS, a number of major European football clubs could soon face international transfer sanctions from FIFA. FC Barcelona, the reigning La Liga victories, will soon finish out a 14-month transfer ban of their own-a sanction handed down from FIFA after the club violated the rules for signing players under the age of 18. Evidently, though, FIFA believes other clubs have broken the same rules and is currently considering sanctions for Chelsea, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and other major European soccer clubs.
- December 12, 2015
Galatasaray SK won their 20th Turkish Super Lig title at the end of the 2014 2015 season-and became the first football club in league history to wear four stars on their jerseys-but you wouldn't know it from watching them this season. So far, Galatasaray struggle to succeed in the 2015 2016 campaign, the Lions have fallen significantly behind core rivals Fenerbahce and Besiktas on the Super Lig table and crashed out of the UEFA Champions League with losses against Benfica and Atletico Madrid.
In November, though, the Lions took a step that was perhaps too drastic, given the still-solid state of their league record: they sacked manager Hamza Hamzao?lu. His replacement, Mustafa Denizli, took over on November 26th and won his first game since taking the position on December 4th, with a 2-0 Super Lig victory over Bursaspor.
The Brief but Impressive Galatasaray Legacy of Hamza Hamzao?lu
- December 12, 2015
We've seen the stats. Eight 1-0 scorelines out of 10 total wins. Fewest chances created among the division's top sides; fewest shots on goal when compared to those teams as well.
But despite yet another single goal margin victory against Genoa on Saturday, Inter supporters should be pleased by the on-the-field strides that are being made as displayed by the last few matches.
Roberto Mancini inherited his former side in November of 2014 and wasted no time in the subsequent transfer window to begin forming the team of his liking. Unfortunately, ensuing performances weren't spectacular and the Nerazzurri finished eighth, missing out on European play this season.
Likened to the catenaccio days of Fabio Capello's Milan, Mancini's style isn't one for the neutrals looking to be oohed and awed they'll have to turn to Maurizio Sarri's Napoli or Paulo Sousa's Fiorentina to receive that delight.
No, Mancini has trusted his old ways and implemented his preferred tactics
- December 11, 2015
Aston Villa were founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and have participated in every season of the division, avoiding relegation even when doing so seemed distinctly unlikely. Newcastle United, meanwhile, were early Premier League contenders, finishing as the league runners-up in both 1996 and 1997.
Needless to say, both of these teams have notable legacies in the EPL-not to mention a lot of adoring fans. Both clubs could be on their way to the Football League Championship after the 2015 2016 season, though. Fifteen matches into the current campaign, both Aston Villa and Newcastle United both face relegation and are struggling to find their groove.
Newcastle's Second Relegation?
In addition to their early Premier League success, Newcastle also had a solid run in the league in the early 2000s, scoring top five finishes in 2002, 2003, and 2004. However, the Magpies have been inconsistent at best for the past
- December 11, 2015
By Karl Matchett.
Just a few weeks after English football in European competition was looked upon as being in turmoil, three of the four clubs in the Champions League have managed to safely navigate the group stage through
to the knock-outs, with Arsenal being the team to perform the most impressive turnaround of all.
Of course, that they needed a turnaround at all in what was a very straight-forward group is testament to nothing beyond their own mistakes and inconsistencies in the early part of the six-game encounter, but a memorable victory against Bayern Munich before back-to-back 3-0 successes over Zagreb and Olympiacos were impressive scorelines nonetheless.
It puts the Gunners into the last 16 of Europe once again and, also sitting second in the Premier League, they'll
- December 10, 2015
By Greg Lea.
The first strike was contested, but Paulo Dybala would not be denied second time around. The Argentine played a key part in Juventus' 2-0 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday night the champions' fifth consecutive triumph and their seventh in their last nine Serie A outings provoking Santiago Gentiletti's own goal in the seventh minute before doubling his side's lead just after half an hour.
It was another superb performance from Dybala, who has made a fine start to his Juve career since joining the Bianconeri from Palermo for an initial €32m fee in the summer. Despite making only 10 starts, the 22-year-old has found the back of the net on seven occasions in the Italian top flight so far this term, with his all-round performances also impressing the club's supporters.
Max Allegri's men made a poor start to the domestic campaign, losing their first two matches
- December 09, 2015
It was an exciting weekend for football fans in Germany, as the country's top four soccer clubs did battle in the Bundesliga 2015 week 15. Reigning league champions and perpetual frontrunners Bayern Munich traveled for an away fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach while 2014 2015 runners-up VfL Wolfsburg faced off against this season's revitalized Borussia Dortmund squad.
Bayern Munich Pick Up a Loss
The most fascinating thing about the weekend was that it brought Bayern Munich's incredible undefeated run to a close. The Bavarians have been on fire this season, winning 13 of their first 14 league matches and drawing the other. Their only losses since August were Super Cup defeat against Wolfsburg, a friendly fixture defeat at Jahn Regensburg, and a Champions League loss to Arsenal.
Donning the Bayern Munich