Ajax might be top of the Eredivisie, but that doesn't stop them having to worry about the January transfer window when it rolls around. Unlike many of Europe's other famous names, though, Ajax aren't likely to be hugely active in buying; instead, keeping hold of their big talents is the challenge, with the Dutch top flight a notorious hot-spot for snapping up prodigiously exciting young players.
Naturally, inflated January prices means that if any, Ajax might only have to offload one player, but there will be several in this side who the bigger teams around the Continent have more than half an eye on-here we take a look at three of the most viable candidates.
If there were any doubts about Zinedine Zidane's appointment as manager at Real Madrid, they've surely been silenced following his first game in charge of the football club. The Vikings haven't necessarily had a poor season so far, but they did struggle to stay consistent and keep audiences entertained during the brief coaching reign of Rafael Benitez. Now, though, with Zidane in charge, Real Madrid have burst out of the gates with a thrilling 5-0 win against Deportivo La Coruna.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the match, other than the fact that it was Zidane's first on the Real Madrid sidelines, is that Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score a single one of his team's five goals. Instead, Gareth Bale was the clear man of the match, scoring
Most of the Premier League's top football clubs sailed through the third round of the 2015/16 FA Cup easily over the weekend, with Manchester City, Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, West Ham United, and others all cruising through to the fourth round of the Football Association tournament. Read on for a recap of the winners and losers of the weekend!
As usual, the Premier League's soccer teams got a bye into the third round, which means this is the first time in the 2015/16 FA Cup that we are seeing teams such as Man United, Arsenal, and others. Since so many of the league's top clubs were upset and eliminated in the fourth round of last year's FA Cup-including Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea-most of the Premier
2012/13 was a season to forget for supporters of AS Roma.
Ultra-attacking boss Zdenek Zeman was unsurprisingly sacked in February with the capital club languishing in ninth place, closer to the relegation zone than Juventus at the top of the table. Caretaker manager Aurelio Andreazzoli then steadied the ship and secured a top-six finish, but a 1-0 defeat to bitter rivals Lazio in the final of the Coppa Italia meant the campaign ended in the worst manner possible.
It is fair to say that most onlookers were therefore not predicting much from the Giallorossi in 2013/14. New coach Rudi Garcia quickly settled into his surroundings at the Stadio Olimpico, however, with Roma winning their first 10 games to sit top of the pile with over a quarter of the season gone. Five
In mid-December, Maurizio Zamparini-the current President of U.S. Citta di Palermo-wrote an open letter to fans, letting them know that he was in the process of looking for a new buyer for the football club. The letter discussed the current financial state of the union at Palermo, as well as what Zamparini clearly sees as an unfair financial inequity between Italy's top soccer organizations. Finally, Zamparini said that he was looking for "an Arabian, Chinese, or Russian millionaire who can afford to lose money," stating that he can no longer afford to sink his own money into the Eagles.
The Zamparini Era
Zamparini acquired Palermo in 2002. In his open letter to fans, he says that, back then, the organization was "a club full of
Had Borussia Dortmund won their final game in 2015, they would have stayed just five points behind Bayern Munich on the 2015 2016 Bundesliga table-something that might have put a bit of pressure on the Bavarians headed into the New Year. Instead, Dortmund lost 1-2 in an away game against FC Koln-a lukewarm outcome that closed out the football club's mostly stellar autumn in disappointing fashion.
A Great Start
The question now is whether Dortmund-who trail eight points behind Bayern Munich at the season's halfway point-can still contend for a Bundesliga title in 2016. At the beginning of the season, the Black and Yellows looked poised to challenge the Bavarians for their German football clubs. Munich had won the title three years running, and Dortmund had a near-disastrous season in 2014 2015, finishing seventh in the league. The poor outcome led to the resignation of beloved manager Jurgen Klopp and begged the question
One of the big rumors of the 2015/16 season was that Real Madrid's best players-particularly Cristiano Ronaldo-were not playing their best football because they didn't like or respect manager Rafael Benitez. Especially in the wake of the Vikings' 0-4 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in November, soccer pundits everywhere were speculating that Ronaldo was trying to orchestrate an exit from Real Madrid, in favor of a return to Manchester United.
Similar stories have abounded in other parts of the European soccer world. At Chelsea, for instance, as the reigning Premier League champions dipped further and further into an insurmountable rut, speculation abounded that the club's players were unhappy with the leadership of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager did have a notable row with star player Diego Costa in late November and was reportedly snubbed by several players when he returned to Stamford Bridge to address the team one last time after he was sacked.
When the Manchester United home jersey 2015/16 arrived last summer, it was the first time Adidas have manufactured a kit for the Red Devils since 1992. Adidas paid handsomely for the privilege of outfitting United's players, with a world-record 10-year deal that will be worth a minimum of £750Â million when all is said and done. So far, though, Adidas aren't 100 percent satisfied with their investment.
Adidas: Happy with the Jersey Revenues, Not Happy with the On-Pitch Play
One of the biggest headlines in the football world last week revolved not around players or coaches, but rather around the comments of Herbert Hainer-Adidas' chief executive. The CEO voiced his company's concerns over the Red Devils' recent performances, noting that Manchester United's c
Manchester City's Joe Hart may have picked up the Premier League Golden Glove award for the 2014/15 season, keeping 14 clean sheets throughout the season. Arsenal's Petr Cech might be the current frontrunner to win the award for the 2015/16 season, having kept nine clean sheets so far. In the calendar year of 2015, though, no Premier League goalkeeper had more clean sheets than Liverpool's Simon Mignolet, who helped his football club score shutouts in 16 league fixtures.
Mignolet is often underrated as a goalkeeper. Liverpool fans criticize him frequently, often focusing on his faults, errors, and allowed goals rather than his accomplishments. He's also failed to win the Golden Glove-at least, until now. This season, he has seven clean sheets so far, putting him in a four-way tie at fifth in the Golden Glove race. Last season, he finished with 13 clean sheets-just one away from Joe Hart's award-winning tally.
Still, despite Mignolet's vocal critics, the Belgian keeper was
On an eight-game winning streak in Serie A, the reigning title holders and having made up significant ground on the league leaders in the last six weeks, everything is once again looking rosy for Juventus as they prepare for a big second half of the season.
Having started the campaign in atrociously inconsistent form, losing to the likes of Udinese and Sassuolo and taking just five points from their first six games, Juve have since rediscovered their aura of invincibility and have reverted to the 3-5-2 which has previously brought them such success. Though they remain in fourth place in Serie A, the gap to the top is now only three points and the other challengers-Napoli, Fiorentina, Inter Milan-still have such an inconsistency about their results that it's almost certain Juve will go on to win the Scudetto once again.