Monthly Archives: April 2018
After Liverpool’s emphatic 5-2 first leg win at Anfield against Italians Roma, there was a real sense that Jürgen Klopp’s men had placed one foot in the door for the final in Kyiv come the end of May.
Not many pundits, fans or even club officials would have said that Liverpool could, realistically, reach the Champions League final this season. Yes, they had a promising attack and still maintained Philippe Coutinho until January, but their defence was leaking in goals left, right and centre. To have thought they would be 180 minutes away from lifting the trophy for the first time since 2005 under Rafa Benitez’s kinship would have been ludicrous.
And yet, Liverpool are on the verge of something truly spectacular. Through Mohamed Salah’s brilliance, Sadio Mané’s relentless energy and Roberto Firmino’s selflessness, along with a fantastic manager and team cohesion, the Reds are halfway to the Champions League final.
Recent Champions League Perfor
Not all goalkeepers can claim to be the subject of a ‘Top 6 Goals’ highlight reel on YouTube, but then 1990's star Jorge Campos was nothing like all goalkeepers. In fact, watching the aforementioned tribute video, the immediate impression formed is that he was something of a predatory finisher with quick feet and quicker thinking.
Inside his ‘Top 6’ are some majestic finishes. There’s a penalty kick which he shapes to kick with his left foot, deceives the opposition goalkeeper and calmly slots home with the outside of his right. There’s a lobbed strike that he executes immediately after being tackled to the ground. There’s also a magnificent scissor kick, which is the hallmark of only the truly innovative footballing hitmen.
Goalkeeper Turned Striker
Time for some crucial context for the confused: Campos was, at various points throughout his career, a striker. No, he didn’t just go up for the odd corner kick when his team were losing and only seconds remaine
There are a lot of exciting young players in Europe right now, some are already well-known whilst others are about to announce themselves in their respective leagues. On top of that, several rising individuals are prepared to do anything to achieve the opportunity of going to the World Cup.
In Spain, the production line of youngsters being promoted from the youth academy to the first team or are brought for cheap from elsewhere and are developed effectively, remains consistent season by season. This is one of the huge factors to why Spanish football will always be superior.
Here are the four youngsters that are having a wonderful season at a personal level in La Liga...
Unai Nunez – Athletic Club
Athletic Club have proven to be a side that produces many talented individuals and a team that can keep hold of their valuable gems for longer than expected. For sure, Inaki Williams, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Yeray Alvarez are a
It has not been a Premier League classic in terms of any sort of title race given Manchester City’s dominance over the whole country, but that’s not to say there haven’t been great performances elsewhere.
The spotlight is firmly stuck on Pep Guardiola and his men, and rightly so, but three players have performed to a level that looked incomprehensible before the season had begun.
Here are Liam Canning’s three Premier League overachievers this season:
Mohamed Salah: Liverpool, right wing
It’s not right to call Salah an underrated gem, because he’s not anymore. He was, however, looked at as a gamble when Liverpool decided to spend £35 million on the Egyptian King to bring him from AS Roma last summer.
Questions were being raised, even by Liverpool’s fans, about Salah’s last stint in England at Chelsea, and how it did not go according to plan under José Mourinho. That was putting it kindly.
However, with more experience and maturity in t
It could be argued that Denmark’s second goal in their 2-0 win over West Germany in 1986 was the definitive move of that summer’s World Cup. Diego Maradona may have stolen the show with a couple of ridiculous strikes against England – one being his infamous ‘Hand of God’; the other a wonderful solo run that saw him beat five players and then slot past the goalkeeper – but neither of those efforts truly captured the times in a footballing or a stylistic sense.
Denmark V West Germany 1986 World Cup
Denmark’s second against West Germany did. It originated with a goal kick from an outfield player, which is something so rarely seen these days. What’s more, left-back Henrik Andersen didn’t just boot the ball downfield, but daintily chipped
it into midfield. That effortlessly graceful lobbed pass was followed by a nonchalant dribble up the pitch by its recipient, Soren Lerby, a provocative playmaker who wore his socks around his ankles and saw no need for shin pads. Wh
A fiery debate takes place every year which awards the Premier League Player of the Year to the best footballer in the division. The usual suspects are put up for the award, seldom anyone but forward players, and this season is going to be no different.
Two players stand out for their teams - who have both been phenomenal in their own regard - and have been a cut above everyone else this season. It is the obvious duo of Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool’s Mo Salah.
One set of fans is going to be bitterly disappointed their man didn’t win the award, but here’s Liam Canning’s take on who deserves to be crowned the Premier League Player of the Year:
Kevin De Bruyne
After being sold by Chelsea in 2014 to Wolfsburg, not many thought that the Belgian would make a comeback to the Premier League. Not least of all with Manchester City.
However, four years later, the Belgian is on course to winning his first Premier League title. De
For many people, fashion is one of the first things that springs to mind when discussing Italy. The Italian appreciation of style, the way things look, is unique; time spent in any of the country’s major cities confirms as much. This aspect of the culture is sometimes seen in club football on the peninsula, though it’s often proved a more difficult assignment to incorporate at international level.
Italian Style Injected into the National Kit
The Italy national team, like all national teams, have a set look, at least when it comes to colours involved, which generally limits their stylistic options. However, in the first tournament of the new millennium, Euro 2000 in Belgium and
Holland, the Azzurri took to the field in one of the most eye-catching kits seen in recent times.
There were several reasons behind the kit’s appeal. Firstly, it utilised a slightly different hue of blue to the traditional Italy kit. Secondly, the shirts were much tighter than the n
Posted: April 06, 2018Categories: Argentina
Not all international friendlies tell the full picture leading into a major tournament, but Argentina’s problems on the world stage have been transparent for several years now. They might be possessed with star-studded names, but when all is said and done, there is only one player that continually drags them forward. And that is: Lionel Messi.
A 2-0 win against an Italy side going through a transition period a 6-1 demolition at the hands of Spain suggest things in Jorge Sampaoli’s squad are rather tumultuous. A lack of consistency, especially in World Cup qualifying, has been a present theme over the past 24 months.
Although the Argentinean boss put out a weakened side, it was still staggering to see Julen Lopetegui’s men rip their opponents piece by piece, limb by limb in what can only be described as a massacre. La Albiceleste failed to create a game plan to stop Real Madrid star Isco, who carved open their midfield and defence, scoring a hat-trick of his o
When telling the story of a kit, there is usually a good amount of interpretation involved. How did the club arrive at such a colour scheme and design? Where does their crest come from? Why are they sponsored by this particular organisation? These are all questions that need to be answered, and answering them takes effort. However, Sampdoria’s 2017/18 kit requires little by way of research. In many ways, the kit tells its own story, and simply by looking at it from a few different angles one can easily gleam information about the club’s past and present.
Origins of the Sampdoria Colour Scheme
The most visually striking element of the kit is the colour scheme. It’s well-known, and it’s the height of football fashion. The base colour of the shirt is a dark blue, with a thick white horizontal stripe across the midriff. Within that stripe are two more horizontal stripes – one red, one black. These colours are both style and substance – they look good, and they also hint a