• Is there any fair way to judge Ronaldo's time at Madrid?
    Prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at Real Madrid in 2009 the club hadn't won fewer than two La Liga titles in any seven-year stretch since just after World War II. Real Madrid has won only one Spanish title since 2008, and this year will make eight seasons involving just one league title, seven of which included Ronaldo.
  • Lots of positives for talent-laden France
    Who needs Karim Benzema or Mathieu Valbuena when you have the abundance of attacking talent France demonstrated against Russia on Tuesday? The Bleus played their first game at the Stade de France since the Paris terrorist attacks on Nov. 13, and won, 4-2, with goals by four different players, all battling for Euro 2016 spots and two of them celebrating birthdays.
  • Germany gets just what the doctor ordered
    If you had asked German fans or journalists yesterday whether they thought their world championship team could win this summer's European Championship, you'd have been unlikely to get a "Ja!"
  • Canada seeks to avoid worst-case scenario -- blowout in Mexico City
    So which team had a worse Friday night? The USA, which lost to Guatemala, 2-0, in Guatemala City. Or Canada, which fell to Mexico, 3-0, in Vancouver?
  • Should England build lineup around young Spurs stars?
    Four Tottenham players, including Premier League top goalscorer Harry Kane and midfielder Dele Alli, are projected to start for England when it plays Germany at the Berlin Olympic Stadium on Saturday, but Coach Roy Hodgson apparently doesn't plan to build his lineup around Spurs.
  • Johan Cruyff's legacy spans two continents
    Americans were just awakening to soccer in the early 1970s. The player they all knew was Pele, by then already retired from international soccer and in the twilight of his career. The player they all watched and copied was Johan Cruyff, who died on Thursday at the age of 68. Watching Cruyff was not easy.
  • Another giant of European soccer is disgraced
    German Franz Beckenbauer shares a lot in common with Frenchman Michel Platini. Both are the greatest players their countries have ever produced. Both captained and coached their national teams. As executives, both brought the World Cup to their respective countries and oversaw the organization of the tournament. And sadly at the twilight of their careers, they have become embroiled in scandal.
  • Why Ibrahimovic winning the Ballon d'Or would be great for soccer
    Imagine Zlatan Ibrahimovic spending the entire run-up to Euro 2016 speaking in the third person about how Zlatan, the host nation's biggest star, single-handedly carried the European Cup back to Paris, and France Football, custodian of the Ballon d'Or since 1959, before sneering down his legendary nose during the award ceremonies in Switzerland, making it obvious Cristiano Ronaldo and Donald Trump were strictly pretenders to the throne when it comes to ego and arrogance.
  • FIFA plays the China card
    In conjunction with its first executive committee meeting since Gianni Infantino was elected president, FIFA tried to make the case that the past is the past, and it was putting years of scandal behind it and beginning to work out of the financial hole it dug itself into. That included the announcement of China's Wanda Group as a top-tier sponsor through 2030. But almost immediately, the deal raised questions.
  • Managerial carousel set to spin around Pellegrini
    He's still on track to accomplish his major objective, yet Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is a lame-duck leader as the final months of the season loom.
  • France has new King for the day
    A day after he helped Bayern Munich beat Juventus in their thrilling Champions League match, everyone was talking about French teenager Kingsley Coman, who was instrumental in the comeback win with a goal and an assist.
  • FIFA wants its money back
    FIFA filed suit to recover some of the more than $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials -- 12 former executive committee members -- who have pleaded guilty in Federal court in the corruption case that mostly involves Concacaf and Conmebol competitions.
  • The Silent Night in Dortmund: 'All fans were unified'
    Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus said afterward he and his teammates were puzzled and a bit irritated that the Westfalenstadion had gone so quiet during Dortmund's 2-0 win over Mainz on Sunday.
  • An air of inevitability (and danger) to Leicester City's title march
    A five-point lead. With eight games to play. That's where Leicester City stands after a 1-0 win over Newcastle on Monday night kept it on course toward its improbable English Premier League title. Like so much about the Foxes' season, the win was decided by a moment of magic, Japanese Shinji Okazaki's overhead kick.
  • Exodus of players to China adds headaches for South American coaches
    For decades, South American national-team coaches have dealt with issues of logistics, injury and fatigue while selecting players from European clubs. Now many of them are also grappling with staggering travel times from China.
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