• Should Individual Awards be a Thing of the Past?
    As many have noted before, Cristiano Ronaldo is a player for whom individual accolades mean a lot. It follows, then, that he desperately wants to beat Lionel Messi to the top goal scorer awards this season, both in Spain and in Europe. However, seemingly unlike Messi, who almost always plays the game with child-like joy and frequently praises his teammates when receiving individual awards, Ronaldo is frequently questioned for his attitude. His mannerisms and expressions at times suggest that he would prefer to score goals than win games. That kind of selfishness can be a big problem for a team, ...
  • EPL Braces for European (and World) Domination
    Collectively, the 20 clubs that made up England's Premier League during the 2013-14 season made an overall profit for the first time in 16 years, the Guardian reported on Wednesday. The league's profit totaled 198 million pounds ($305.5 million) last season, up from a loss of 291 million pounds ($449 million) the season before. Crucially, a set of financial fair play measures was (barely) passed by the league's clubs in February 2013, with the first effects being felt last season. As a result, 15 of the league's 20 teams made a profit last season, a huge improvement from 2012/13, when ...
  • Is Abramovich Happy with Mourinho's Chelsea?
    Back in 2007, Jose Mourinho lost his job at Chelsea. Many attributed his release to rumors that owner Roman Abramovich wanted to see the team play more attractive soccer. Fast-forward to 2015, Mourinho is back, and the Blues are on the cusp of winning two of England's three titles, having already won the League Cup on March 1, and now on an impressive run of three wins and a draw out of four in the Premier League in April. But the Stamford Bridge club has managed just four goals in its last four Premier League games.
  • Boring, Boring Bayern (Better Win Everything)
    To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bayern Munich won a record-extending 25th Bundesliga title on Sunday after Wolfsburg, its closest challenger in Germany, lost 1-0 at Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to a last-minute goal from Max Kruse. The loss meant that Wolfsburg, now 15 points behind Bayern, could no longer mathematically catch up to the first-place club with four games remaining in the season.
  • UCL Semis: A Tale of Two Homecomings
    In addition to the blockbuster lineup of Champions League semis, there is much history between the players and coaches of these teams, which means that fascinating sub-plots abound. As you might have heard, both Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti have been paired with their former clubs-although Guardiola's return to Barca will surely be a happier occasion than Ancelotti's return to Turin, as the former won 14 titles in four seasons with the Blaugrana, while Juve fired Ancelotti after just two.
  • Why is Thierry Henry a Little Pea-ved?
    Real Madrid won its two-game UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series against Atletico Madrid, 1-0, on Wednesday as Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez tapped home an 88th-minute winner following a magnificent assist from Cristiano Ronaldo, whose one-two with James Rodriguez was the one true piece of offensive quality in a series that has been defined in recent years by Atleti's stolid defending. After the game, Hernandez was criticized by France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who complained that the Mexican had celebrated as if he'd just won the World Cup.
  • David Luiz Needs a New Job
    There was yet more misery for Paris Saint-Germain defender David Luiz as Barcelona eased to a 2-0 win at the Camp Nou in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second-leg on Tuesday, giving the Blaugrana a 5-1 aggregate win over the course of two games against the French champ. Once again, the 50 million-pound defender is being eviscerated in the press for another terrible performance in the center of defense.
  • Brendan Rodgers Should be LFC History
    To be fair, Liverpool has had some good seasons since its 70s and 80s heyday: notably 2000/01, when it won a treble of the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup (now called the Europa League), and 2004/05, the year in which captain Steven Gerrard lifted the club's first and only UEFA Champions League title (Note: it won the European Cup, the competition's former iteration, four times previous to that). However, since, there's been one just a single FA Cup (2006) and League Cup (2012) triumph, but that's it. Which brings us to today's consideration point: Liverpool, one of Europe's ...
  • Is Juventus the New UCL Favorite?
    Following the respective 3-1 first-leg losses by Bayern Munich and PSG to FC Porto and Barcelona last Wednesday, the chances of the reigning German or French champ of reaching the UEFA Champions League semifinals are, shall we say, greatly reduced, leaving Barcelona and Juventus as the two likeliest European giants to lift the hallowed treble of UCL, domestic league and domestic cup this season. Having already qualified for the Coppa Italia final on June 7, and with the Scudetto effectively wrapped-up, Juve -- unlike Barca, or any other club left in the competition, for that matter -- has the luxury ...
  • Soccer, Sleep and the Chelsea Blues
    What happens when you fall asleep watching a soccer game that you actually care about? What does it mean when the club that you feel more closely associated to than anything else on this earth, puts a product on the field that makes you-gasp-fall asleep sometimes? Do you blame soccer? Do you blame yourself? It's kind of like an identity crisis.
  • How Do You Beat Barca? Ask PSG's President...
    David Luiz was certainly at fault for both of Luis Suarez's goals at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, but PSG's 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the UCL quarterfinal first-leg was still a collective failure by the French team. Luiz's two poor pieces of play notwithstanding, he was not PSG's worst player that night, nor does he deserve to shoulder most of the blame. In fact, judging by the post-game comments of PSG players and staff, the only one to get the analysis of this poor team performance right is Nasser Al-Khelaifi the ultra-rich club's president.
  • Will Klopp Find Greener (or Bluer) Pastures in England?
    On Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp announced that he is leaving at the end of the season after seven years at the helm of Germany's second-biggest club. In a press conference, BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke confirmed the news before Klopp himself admitted that the time had come for a change. The German's next destination will most certainly be England.
  • Can Porto Beat Bayern? Computer Says No
    According to ESPN's Soccer Power Index, which uses historical data to try and predict the outcome of games, Bayern Munich should steamroll FC Porto in its two-game UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series against the Portuguese Liga club. ESPN's algorithms have determined that the 2013 UCL winner has an 84 percent chance of advancing to the semifinals before a ball has even been kicked.
  • Advantage: Simeone Prior to Madrid's UCL Derby
    For Real, La Decima, or a record 10th European crown, was arguably the club's greatest-ever achievement. Which makes it kind of unbelievable that Ancelotti is being made to answer questions about his future prior to Tuesday's clash. But this is the world that coaches of Europe's top teams live in: win something (or sometimes multiple something's), and you get to keep your job. Lose, and you're done. It follows, then, that Ancelotti will be under much greater pressure to win this derby series than his counterpart. Indeed, Atleti can lose this series without any consequences for Simeone, as long as ...
  • Can Red-Hot Sevilla Overcome Bogey Club Barca?
    With all due respect to the Coupe de la Ligue final in France and the Manchester derby in the Premier League, Europe's most interesting contest this weekend is between Sevilla and Barcelona, La Liga's two-best teams over the past six weeks, in a match where three points either way could have lasting ripple effects for the Spanish league standings.