Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
European protagonists
by Paul Kennedy, February 19th, 2008 7AM



[IN THE SPOTLIGHT] The UEFA Champions League resumes with the first leg of the round of 16. Here's a look at some key protagonists in this week's battles, from Chelsea defender Alex to Porto's scoring machine, Lisandro Lopez.

ALEX. The Brazilian, acquired from PSV to provide additional cover for the Chelsea backline, has played well in recent weeks for the Blues, prompting Manager Avram Grant to leave captain, John Terry, out of the team that will face Olympiakos on Tuesday night.

RAFAEL BENITEZ. At the center of controversy all season, Benitez finds himself under fire again after Liverpool's 2-1 loss at home to Barnsley in the FA Cup. The Reds manager needs a big game out his team against Italian champion Inter Milan on Tuesday. "We must think about winning the next game and nothing more," he said Monday.

KARIM BENZEMA. The 20-year-old French striker will get to show off his talent when Lyon hosts Manchester United Wednesday at the Stade Gerland. Benzema has scored 16 Ligue 1 goals this season and been tipped at a United transfer target.

DIEGO CAPEL. The 20-year-old winger 's fine form has helped Sevilla climb to sixth place in La Liga and drawn the attention of English Premier League scouts, and he will be counted upon to break down the Fenerbahce defense on Wednesday in Istanbul.

SAMUEL ETO'O. Away on national team duty with Cameroon at the African Nations Cup, Eto'o has returned to the Barcelona squad in time for its game at Celtic on Wednesday. Eto'o, who has missed Barca's last eight games in all competitions, is key to the Spanish club's Champions League.

VALERIO FIORI. Fiori, AC Milan's No. 3 keeper, has not played a game since the 2002-04 season, but he could be pressed into against at Liverpool. Australian Zeljko Kalac, who recently won the starting job, has dislocated his finger, while Dida, who recently lost his starting job, hurt his back sitting on the bench at Parma.

GABRIEL HEINZE. The Argentine has not played for Real Madrid in the last six weeks, but he's needed for the Merengues' match at Roma because injuries have depleted their backline. "I don't think there's much of a risk," Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster said of Heinze reinjuring his thigh, "but we have to take it."

LISANDRO LOPEZ. The 24-year-old Argentine will lead Portuguese champion Porto when it travels to German club Schalke 04. Lopez is one of the most productive center forwards in the Champions League with 16 league goals and two more in the Champions League.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"For the most part, the competition part of it is somewhat useless. I guess the part ...
Business Report: Michael Bradley signs with Puma    
U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley signed a long-term contract with Puma to wear its latest ...
USA-Mexico: Who's got the edge at each position    
Soccer is a team game, a collective test of 11-v-11, and in one of the biggest ...
NBC Deportes will air all 52 Under-17 World Cup games    
NBC Deportes will air all 52 games from the Under-17 World Cup, which kicks off Oct. ...
What They're Saying: Jason Kreis    
"I think that this is a tremendous challenge that we've embarked on and I'm not ready ...
What They're Saying: Stephen Flamhaft    
"They have not in any shape or form condemned Blazer. That's offensive to me. I'm a ...
Fox Sports and Univision ready for Concacaf Cup    
Saturday's USA-Mexico for the Concacaf Cup, on the docket for more than two months, will draw ...
Honduras stands in way of U.S. Olympic berth    
The USA, which failed to qualify for two of the last three men's Olympic soccer tournaments, ...
Video Pick: How the U.S. U-19s lost 8-1 to Germany    
It was a rough outing indeed for the U.S. defense and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann in the ...
Video Pick: England coach impresses with ball puncture    
During England's preparations for Friday's European Championship qualifier against Estonia, goalkeeper coach Dave Watson impressed Joe ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives