Monday, December 29, 2008

Steven Gerrard Arrested!



Following a 2 goal performance in Liverpool's 5-1 win over Newcastle, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been arrested by Merseyside police.

Gerrard was one of six men who were arrested by police after a brawl in the Lounge Inn in Southport, Merseyside.

A 34 year old man was taken to the hospital with non serious facial injuries. 

Liverpool is not commenting on the incident.

The details of this incident is still unclear, but hopefully it is a situation where Gerrard was targeted or provoked by someone who hates Liverpool rather than a situation that Gerrard put himself in.


UPDATE:

The FA has determined that they will not punish Gerrard unless he is proven guilty of assault by authorities. This means that Gerrard will be able to play in England's match against Spain on February 11th.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beckham Introduced as Milan Player



David Beckham was officially presented by AC Milan today as Beckham begins a 3 month loan with the club.

Beckham is looking to train with the team to keep his fitness level up during the MLS off season, and to be in shape for the English national team.

On his move to Milan Beckham said, "This adventure gives me a great deal of motivation. Milan is truly an incredible club, better than the rest. After playing in the best English and Spanish teams, I am at the best Italian team."

Beckham will wear number 32 while with the club, and will supposedly travel with Milan to the game on Sunday.

No word on when Beck's will get in his first game, but with injuries to Gattuso, Pirlo, Kaka, and Flamini, the once amazing Milan midfield could now use all the help they can get. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Soccerpro.com Jersey's

Just had a really great shopping experience I thought you guys should know about...

I was doing my holiday shopping for some of my friends who love soccer, and I figured I would get some of them jersey's of their favorite players.

I went on SoccerPro.com to look at the jersey's and wound up getting an Italy jersey. 

The jersey was an official Puma Italy home jersey and was a real quality item that arrived quickly to my house.

So once again everyone if your looking for a holiday gift for a soccer fan, through personal experience I really recommend going on soccerpro.com to get your items.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gattuso Out for the Season



AC Milan could use David Beckham now more than ever.

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso suffered knee ligament damage this weekend against Catania and the injury will likely end his season. 

Milan posted a statement on their website saying, "AC Milan would like to communicate that Gennaro Gattuso has undergone a scan following the injury he sustained against Catania. The results of the tests have revealed an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament."

This injury could leave Gattuso out for up to 6 months. 

This is a huge loss for Milan as Gattuso is always the hardest worker on the field and is vital to their defensive success.

In other Serie A injury news:

Marco Materazzi Fractures Cheekbone

Inter Milan defender Marco Materazzi has suffered a broken cheekbone in Inter's 2-1 loss to Werder Bremen in the Champions League.

Materazzi was involved in a collision in the first half of the game, and was substituted out at half time.

It seems the injury will most likely keep Materazzi out of action until at least January. 

This is also bad news for Inter as they are already dealing with a rash of injuries.

Real Madrid Fire Coach Bernd Schuster



The revolving door of coaches at Real Madrid continues now that Madrid have announced the firing of coach Bernd Schuster.

This news comes days after Madrid's 4-3 defeat to Sevilla. After the game Schuster seemed to give up on the team saying that it would be impossible for Madrid to defeat Barcelona this Saturday.

Madrid are currently in 5th place in La Liga and trail leaders Barcelona by 9 points.

Madrid have named former Tottenham coach Juande Ramos as the new coach.

At the press conference Ramos said, "I would like to thank the board for their confidence, I face this job with excitement. It's everybody's dream. I hope I don't let anyone down and that I achieve the successes that this club has set for this season."

Ramos is Real Madrid's 11th coach in the past 10 seasons.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is Nike Influencing Ronaldo?



I hate Cristiano Ronaldo transfer rumors as much as the next guy, but this is ridiculous.

Italy's Il Corriere Dello Sport is reporting that Nike, the company that sponsors Cristiano Ronaldo is trying to influence him to go to Inter Milan.

Nike sponsors Inter Milan while adidas sponsors the team Ronaldo wants to go to Real Madrid.

Supposedly Ronaldo would get a huge endorsement deal if the move is made as well as Inter.

If this is true than it is very sad. You don't want to see companies like Nike influencing what teams players for.

Maybe Ronaldo can include some Nike products in the new store CR7 he just opened.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have You Seen This Goal?

Here is the 8th installment of the Goal of the Week.

This week the Goal of the Week was scored by Inter's Muntari in Inter's 2-1 victory over Napoli.

This goal was a great team effort.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Ballon d'Or Thoughts



The publication France Football will announce the winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or award tomorrow morning. 

Of the 30 players on the shortlist to win the award, you have to believe that Cristiano Ronaldo will win. 

Why Cristiano Ronaldo Will Win the Ballon d'Or
1. Ronaldo led his team to the Champions League title.
2. Ronaldo scored 42 goals for Manchester United last season, leading all scorers in Europe.
3. Ronaldo led his team to the Premier League title.
4. Ronaldo has already won the FIFPro World Player of the Year award.
5. Lionel Messi has endorsed Ronaldo for the award.

Why Cristiano Ronaldo Could Lose the Ballon d'Or
1. Ronaldo's performance in both the Champions League final (where he missed a penalty kick) and in Euro 08 add to the idea that he doesn't perform well in big games.
2. Ronaldo's long transfer saga this summer could have left a bad taste in the mouth of voters.
3. Since the end of last season no one has played better than Lionel Messi. Messi has looked simply unstoppable in both the Olympics and in La Liga and is currently in the best form of anyone in the world. Messi has gotten more praise from his fellow players than Ronaldo has.
4. Fernando Torres scored over 30 goals in his first year in the Premier League, and led Spain to a Euro 08 title. Those accomplishments certainly put him in the mix.


If Ronaldo does win the Ballon d'Or it would be the first time a player from the Premier League won since Michael Owen won in 2001, and the first time a player from Manchester United won since George Best in 1968.

Who do you think will win the Ballon d'Or?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Playstation Defeats Milan?



Came across an interesting story.

Following AC Milan's 3-1 defeat today at the hands of Palermo, Palermo goalkeeper Marco Amelia was asked about the penalty kick that he saved against Ronaldinho.

Amelia said that he had seen Ronaldinho shoot a penalty like that before, and realized that he saw him shoot like that playing Playstation. 

"It was like playing against Ronaldinho on the Playstation, he did the exact same run-up, it was very strange."

Although Ronaldinho did score on a penalty kick later in the game, I thought it was very interesting to see that some professional players can pick up things while playing video games.

Podolski to Man City?



Lukas Podolski has been unhappy at Bayern Munich for some time now, and it seems like a transfer will definitely happen this transfer season. 

What team is looking to spend big on Podolski? 

None other than Manchester City. 

Reports are that Manchester City is lining up a 12 million euro bid for the German star this transfer window. 

Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer said, "You can't keep a professional if he is unhappy on the bench and not playing."

Podolski's condition has only been worsened since the news of Landon Donovan coming to Bayern. 

I truly feel that Podolski is a top 50 player in the world and would do great in the Premier League.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fabregas Named Captain



Arsenal have their new captain. After William Gallas was removed as captain by Arsene Wenger for talking about team problems to the press, Wenger has named Cesc Fabregas as the new Arsenal captain.

Wenger said that Gallas will remain on the team but not in a leadership role. 

The 21 year old Fabregas is young, but a confident leader and in my opinion has become the face of the franchise for Arsenal.

Upon getting named captain Fabregas said, "It is a great honour for me to captain one of the biggest clubs in the world. I know it's a big responsibility but together with my team-mates I know we have the spirit and commitment to get back to winning ways and fulfil our potential."

This move could be just the thing Arsenal needed to do to convince Fabregas to stay and not leave for Barcelona. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Columbus Crew Win the MLS Title



The Columbus Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 to win the first title in their history.

Alejandro Moreno, Chad Marshall, and Frankie Hejduk all scored for Columbus however it was Guillermo Barros Schelotto who stole the show.

The league MVP had 3 assists in the game and took home the MLS Cup MVP award.

The Crew hadn't made the playoffs for the past 3 seasons, however they were the best team in the MLS the whole season. 

Crew coach Sigi Schmid said, "You go through a lot of emotions when you win a game like this.  I'm happy for our team and the city of Columbus. We stuck together all year, we're a team. The group was tremendous and worked hard every day. That's what got us here and that's how we did it."

Friday, November 21, 2008

William Gallas No Longer Captain!



William Gallas has been stripped of the captain's armband by manager Arsene Wenger.

This decision is coming just days after Gallas revealed to the press that there is infighting among the Arsenal players. 

Gallas' career with Arsenal could be over as well as Wenger will not allow him to travel with the club to Manchester this weekend to play City. 

I think Gallas deserves to have his armband taken away, not just because of this specific incident with the press, but because he has been a bad captain this whole season. Gallas has not been the same player he was in the past, and it's a shame that his career is ending up this way.

I hope that Wenger does not choose to get rid of Gallas because I think with a new mindset, and some better effort, Gallas can really contribute to the team again.

As far as the armband goes, I think either Fabregas or more likely Clichy will be named the new captain. Clichy is the veteran but Fabregas is the young star...it will be interesting to see which direction the team goes in.

Arsenal will make an official statement later tonight. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Theo Walcott Seriously Injured



Theo Walcott dislocated his shoulder Tuesday training with the English National Team. 

Walcott is expected to miss up to 4 months recovering from the injury. 

Under the FA insurance policy for players on national team duty, Walcott's injury could allow for his club, Arsenal to collect 1.5 million pounds in damages (The deal allows for Arsenal to collect 50,000 for the first 2 weeks, and 100,000 each week after).

The FA is one of the only soccer federations that insure their players. 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger commented on the situation saying, "In a moment like that you do not think about money, you think about how you can replace the player, you think whether the squad can deal with that. I haven't thought at all about compensation."

Earlier this season Walcott was the youngest player in history to score a hat trick for England which he did in England's 4-1 victory over Croatia. 

Arsenal are currently in 4th place in the Premier League, 9 points behind leaders Chelsea and Liverpool and this injury will certainly hurt the squad.

Landon Donovan to Bayern Munich



In a move very similar to the one David Beckham just made to AC Milan, MLS Player of the Year Landon Donovan is set to go on loan with Germany's Bayern Munich.

The loan would begin on January 1st and could last until the end of the Bundesliga season. 

Donovan has been training with Bayern for the past 10 days and has really impressed the other players and coaches. 

Donovan has tried to break into the Bundesliga twice before with Bayern Leverkusen but he says that, "As a person and a player, I am completely different now to how I was then, I have matured. I am ready. I believe I can keep up with all the other players, even if I am not the best player here."

This move is very interesting for Bayern to make, and it could affect their other players. Lukas Podolski has been unhappily sitting on the bench this season and the addition of another forward certainly won't help his chances of getting off the bench.

All in all I think Donovan can be successful this time around in the Bundesliga.

Berbatov To Call it Quits?



Dimitar Berbatov is unhappy again.

After Bulgaria was destroyed Wednesday 6-1 by Serbia reports are coming in that Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov is calling it quits on the international level.

Berbatov is easily the biggest superstar on the Bulgaria roster, and  has been blamed recently for the team's poor form. 

Berbatov's agent Emile Danchev said, "Dimitar said to me that, because people blame him for Bulgaria's bad performances, he is ready to quit the national team."

This wouldn't be the first time Berbatov has walked out on a team in trouble as he left Tottenham this season for Man United.

Berbatov has 41 goals in 64 appearances for Bulgaria. 

The United States Defeat Guatemala


USA Eliminates Guatemala from World Cup 

In a game Guatemala had to win in order to keep their 2010 World Cup hope alive, two second half goals insured a United States victory. 

Coach Bob Bradley played a bunch of young players in this game, and it certainly paid off. 

Freddy Adu dominated this game and scored a fantastic free kick in the 68th minute to seal the 2-0 win. The other youngster Jozy Altidore was creative and set up the first goal to Kenny Cooper in the 55th minute. 

A great win tonight for the United States.

Brazil dominate Portugal



This is the Brazil team we all know. Brazil put 6 goals on the board and defeated Portugal 6-2 at the Estadio Bezerrao.

Kaka and Robinho were in the starting lineup for Brazil but it was Luis Fabiano who led the way with 3 goals for Brazil. Adriano also continued his good form scoring a goal off the bench in injury time.

World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo continued his struggles at the national team level and could not get it going for Portugal. The Portugal goals were scored by Danny and Simao. 

This type of performance from Brazil puts them among the favorites to win the World Cup.

Here are game highlights:
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monthly Power Rankings

A lot has changed from the beginning of September. Some players are performing as expected, while others are playing in great form.

Here are this month's Club and Player Power Rankings.

For the club teams, I will take into account the clubs place in the league standings, the level of competition in the league, and success in international and domestic tournaments.

For the players, I will judge to form in which the player is in by the amount of goals, assists and key plays made. Also keep in mind that when I rank the players every month, it is not only a ranking for that month. (For example, Kaka could be having a great season, have an off month, but still easily be the best player in the world at the moment)

Club Teams:
1. Manchester United (England)
2. Chelsea (England)
3. Inter Milan (Italy)
4. Barcelona (Spain)
5. Real Madrid (Spain)
6. Liverpool (England)
7. Bayern Munich (Germany)
8. Arsenal (England)
9. Lyon (France)
10. AC Milan (Italy)

Players:

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
3. Kaka (AC Milan)
4. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
5. Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
6. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
7. Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona)
8. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
9. David Villa (Valencia)
10. John Terry (Chelsea)

The rest of the player rankings will be posted in the comments section.

Argentina Win in Maradona's First Game



Argentina defeated Scotland 1-0 in Diego Maradona's first game as the manager of Argentina.

A Maxi Rodriguez goal in the 8th minute gave Argentina the lead and it was all they needed.

Argentina didn't play with some of its best players such as Messi, Riquelme, and Augero however Tevez, Mascherano and the rest of Argentina were just too talented for Scotland.

All I can say is congratulations to Maradona on his first victory as a coach. I'm sure there will be many more to come.

Real Madrid Looking to Sign Arshavin



This summer many rumors were flying around about the future of Zenit St. Petersburg star Andrei Arshavin. After Arshavin's amazing display in the Euro 2008 tournament he was the one of Europe's most prized targets.

Arshavin looked to be heading to Tottenham but nothing happened from those talks mainly because of the high 27 million euro transfer price.

Now it appears that Real Madrid is the leading team to sign the unhappy Arshavin during the upcoming transfer window.

Arshavin's agent said, "Real Madrid are in pole position, but apart from that, we have not entered into any negotiations."

Madrid could really use Arshavin as Ruud van Nistelrooy will miss the remainder of the 2008-2009 season and could benefit from another strong attacker.

Poll Result

To the question "Who Will Win La Liga this Season?"

1. Real Madrid (59%)
2. Barcelona (25%)
3. Valencia (15%)
4. Villarreal, Athletico (0%)



The readers of Il Mondo di Calcio believe that Real Madrid will win La Liga this season.

I think they have a great chance, however with the form of Messi and the rest of Barcelona it will be very difficult.

Thanks for voting and keep voting in the polls!

Don't Call it a Comeback!

Well as you can see I haven't been able to update this blog in a long time.

However I am going to try and update on a regular basis.


Today was a big day in soccer as many international teams were in action.



England defeats Germany 2-1



England made it 5 wins in a row for coach Fabio Capello today as they defeated Germany 2-1 thanks to a late John Terry goal.

Mattew Upson scored the first goal for England in the 23rd minute until terrible defending by Terry allowed Germany's Patrick Helms to score in the 63rd minute. England then dominated the next 20 minutes of the action until in the 84th minute they were rewarded for their hard work thanks to a header from Terry.

Germany had been unbeaten in Berlin for the past 35 years. Truly a memorable game for England fans.

Italy draw 1-1 with Greece


While Fabio Capello made it 5 straight wins with England, Italy coach Marcello Lippi has now equaled the world record of 31 straight international games without a defeat.

Theofanis Gekas had put Greece a goal up in the 50th minute until Luca Toni finally scored a goal for Italy in the 54th minute.

I think every Italian fan breathed a sigh of relief after Toni scored because maybe he is on his way to getting back to top form.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Michael Essien Out for Chelsea



Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has ruptured a knee ligament while playing for Ghana, and will be out for the next few months.

Essien had been complaining of knee problems which caused him to miss games for Chelsea, but Ghana played him in a game against Libya, and Essien was injured.

The Chelsea website has stated, "He has a ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and will undergo an operation as soon as the majority of the swelling has subsided."

This is a huge loss for Chelsea, as Michael Ballack is also injured. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Barcelona to Expand to the MLS?



Spanish giants FC Barcelona have held preliminary talks with the MLS about creating a sister team in Miami.

Florida had a MLS team when the Miami Fusion (which played in Fort Lauderdale) played from 1997 to 2001, but had to disband due to poor attendance. 

Now this "Barcelona USA" doesn't mean that Lionel Messi or Xavi Hernandez are about to take over the MLS, but there is a chance that the next great MLS star could come from Spain, or the next great La Liga star could be an American who comes through the Barcelona program.

What is your opinion on a "Barcelona USA?"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Manchester City, a Powerhouse in the Making?



Manchester City could become the new powerhouse of English football.

For anyone that doesn't know, City was recently bought by an Arab company Abu Dhabi United Group which means that City now has more money to spend then ever before.

City has brought in Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robinho this offseason, and reports are coming in on last minute bids that were also made by City.

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Fahim said that his company has no problem paying 135 million euro for Cristiano Ronaldo, making his transfer 3 times more expensive then the previous record.

Real Madrid is reporting that City also made a huge bid on Ruud van Nistelrooy right before the end of the transfer window.

Finally, the Daily Telegraph is reporting that City will make a huge bid on Kaka next summer.

Abu Dhabi United Group have said that they want to assemble an all star squad of players, and if they are really serious about bidding and getting Ronaldo, Ruud, and Kaka, Man City would be a great team.

Many teams bid on superstar players, but not many teams are willing to make every one of their players the highest paid in the world.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two Huge Deals Close Transfer Season

Two players and lots of money changed sides Monday as Robinho moved to Manchester City, and Dimitar Berbatov became a member of Manchester United.


For Robinho, his move to Manchester City set the England transfer record, with his move costing a reported 32 million pounds. 

Robinho leaving Madrid was not a surprise, as he has expressed his desire to leave the club since the beginning of the summer. However, Robinho's move to City is a surprise, as reports made it seem that Robinho was well on his way to Chelsea. (There are also rumors that Chelsea was already selling jersey's on Robinho on their online store)

Watching Manchester City should be very enjoyable this season, as Robinho will form a great partnership with Shaun Wright-Phillips. Robinho will add the Brazilian flair that is sometimes needed in the rough English Premier League.


For Berbatov, it was 30.75 million pounds that saw him end a long transfer saga. Manchester United hadn't added anyone to the club that won the Champions League title last season until they brought in Berbatov. 

Berbatov scored an impressive 46 goals for Tottenham over the past 2 seasons, and the real question is how well will he play with Man U's big three of Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez. 

I believe that Berbatov going to Man United is just the signing they needed in order to be in a great position in the standings for when Ronaldo comes back from injury.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monthly Power Rankings

Here are this month's Club and Player Power Rankings.

For the club teams, I will take into account the clubs place in the league standings, the level of competition in the league, and success in international and domestic tournaments.

For the players, I will judge to form in which the player is in by the amount of goals, assists and key plays made. Also keep in mind that when I rank the players every month, it is not only a ranking for that month. (For example, Kaka could be having a great season, have an off month, but still easily be the best player in the world at the moment)

Monthly Power Rankings

Club Teams

1. Manchester United (England)
2. Chelsea (England)
3. Bayern Munich (Germany)
4. Inter Milan (Italy)
5. Real Madrid (Spain)
6. Barcelona (Spain)
7. Liverpool (England)
8. AS Roma (Italy)
9. Arsenal (England)
10. Lyon (France)

Top 10 Players in the World as of September 2008
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
3. Kaka (AC Milan)
4. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
5. Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
6. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
7. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
8. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
9. Samuel Eto (Barcelona)
10. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)


I updated the top players list to over 40 players that I will post the full 40 in the comments section.

Poll Result



To the question "Who Will Win the English Premier League Title This Season?"

41% said Manchester United
35% said Chelsea
12% said Arsenal
5%   said Liverpool and Other

Therefore the readers of Il Mondo di Calcio believe that Manchester United will win the EPL title. 

Thanks for voting, and keep voting on the polls.

Inter Sign Quaresma



Portuguese international Quaresma has completed a move from FC Porto to Inter Milan.

Quaresma  has been rumored to leave Porto all summer, as he is highly thought of by Milan manager Jose Mourinho.

The move also involves Inter's Pele, who will be headed to Porto. 

Inter will pay Porto 18.6 million euro, plus 6 million euro in performance based bonuses. 

Quaresma should be a big help for Mourinho at Inter, but I wonder how much playing time he will get on the star studded team.  

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Serie A Week 1 Results

This weekend is the start to the 2008-2009 Serie A season.

Here are the week 1 results:

Inter  1-1 Sampdoria
Udinese 3-1 Palermo
AC Milan 1-2 Bologna
Atalanta 1-0 Siena
Cagliari 1-4 Lazio
Catania 1-0 Genoa
Chievo 2-1 Reggina
AS Roma 1-1 Napoli
Torino 3-0 Lecce
Fiorentina 1-1 Juventus


Here are game highlights:

Roma vs. Napoli

Fiorentina vs Juventus 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Birthday

Today is my 19th birthday...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Champions League Draw and Awards

I know this post is a little late, but I've been working a lot this past week and haven't had the time to update.

The groupings for the 2008-2009 Champions League tournament have been set. Here are the groups:

Group A: Group B:
Chelsea Inter Milan
Roma Werder Bremen
Bordeaux Panathinaikos
Cluj Anorthosis

Group C: Group D:
Barcelona PSV
Sporting Atletico Madrid
Basel Liverpool
Shakhtar Marseille

Group E: Group F:
Manchester United Lyon
Villarreal Fiorentina
Celtic Bayern Munich
AaB Aalborg Steaua

Group G: Group H:
Arsenal Juventus
Dynamo Zenit
FC Porto Real Madrid
Fenerbahce Bate


This group stage is going to give us a couple of huge matchups, Chelsea vs Roma, and Juventus vs Real Madrid in the group stage....are you kidding!!!


The European Club Football Awards were also given out. 

Goalkeeper of the Year- Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Defender of the Year- John Terry  (Chelsea)
Midfielder of the Year- Frank Lampard  (Chelsea) 
Forward of the Year- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
European Club Footballer of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

England took a clean sweep of the awards as was expected. Lampard as midfielder of the year was surprising, as I don't think he had a better season then Gerrard or Fabregas. Ronaldo winning the big award was no surprise and if you forgot what he did in 2007-2008, here are all his goals:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shaun Wright-Phillips Rejoins Man City



Shaun Wright-Phillips left Manchester City three years ago for a transfer fee of 23 million.

Now he's headed back for an undisclosed fee. Wright-Phillips signed a 4 year deal with City and said, "Obviously I'm delighted to come back to City and I just can't wait to get started again."

Wright-Phillips is just like Andriy Shevchenko, as he was a big money Chelsea man who couldn't break into the starting lineup. Now they are both back with their former clubs.

Wright-Phillips move could be connected to Robinho's imminent move to Chelsea, with Robinho there Wright-Phillips would never get off the bench.

David Villa Signs New Deal



The rumor that David Villa could be headed to Real Madrid is now finished.

Villa signed a new 6 year deal with Valencia which will earn him 4.4 million per season.

This signing comes only days after Valencia rejected a bid by Madrid on Villa of over 60 million euro.

Villa was quoted as saying, "Today is a very happy day for me. In the last month and a half, a lot of things have happened around me and in my head. I am proud of what I have done because I didn't know how I was going to react."

Villa scored 22 goals for Valencia last season, and was the leading scorer in the Euro 08 tournament.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Champions League Results

4 more Champions League qualifying games took place today in Europe.

Liverpool steal a win

Liverpool was going into this match with a 0-0 aggregate against Standard Liege and it took them 90 minutes to finally score a goal and advance into the next round of the Champions League.

Dirk Kuyt scored the goal for Liverpool in stoppage time to give Liverpool an unimpressive win.



Atletico Score 4 and Advance

Atletico Madrid needed to win this match against Schalke in order to advance to the Champions League group stage. They did just that, winning 4-0 and moving on with a 4-1 aggregate.

Goals were scored by Aguero, Forlan, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, and Schalke will now be playing in the UEFA tournament this season.



Arsenal Dominate 4-0

After an unconvincing 2-0 win in the first leg against FC Twente, Arsenal dominated the second leg 4-0 to advance to the next round.

Theo Walcott was the man of the match scoring a goal and setting up another, while Samir Nasri, William Gallas, and Nicklas Bendtner all scored.



Fiorentina Advance with Draw

Fiorentina was held to a 0-0 draw with Slavia Prague, but advanced 2-0 on aggregate.

This is Fiorentina's first time in the Champions League group stage since 1999-2000.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Champions League Results

6 teams were in action today in Champions League qualifying matches.

Juventus advance in 1-1 draw

Juventus was held to a 1-1 draw with Artmedia but advanced easily 5-1 on aggregate. 

Artmedia jumped out to an early 1-0 lead off a beautiful goal from Branislav Fodrek in the 14th minute. 

Watch the awesome bicycle kick:


Juventus got the goal back in the 25th minute thanks to a header by Amauri, who is trying to make his case for a starting spot on the team.

Juventus didn't necessarily dominate the game, but they didn't have to.

Barcelona lose, but still win

Barcelona had a very off night, and lost 1-0 to Wisla Krakow, but advanced 4-1 on aggregate to move into the next round of the Champions Leauge.

This match was the first loss for Barcelona in the 8 matches they have played under new coach Pep Guardiola. 

The attacking duo of Samuel Eto and Thierry Henry looked good at times, but couldn't produce a goal.

Like the Juventus game, Barcelona fans shouldn't be worried about La Liga, but Barcelona shouldn't assume they can just waltz their way into the Champions League final.

Panathinaikos defeat Sparta Prague 1-0

Panathinaikos went into this match winning 2-1 on aggregate, and won this match to ensure their place in the Champions League group stage. 

A late goal in the 90th minute by Rodrigo Souza was the difference in the match. 

Have You Seen This Goal?

In the 7th installment of the Goal of the Week there was a battle between 2 goals.

The two goals I had to decide between were Deco's goal vs. Wigan in which he scored on a beautiful free kick that gave Chelea a 1-0 win, and Daniele De Rossi's goal vs Inter in the Supercoppa.

Ultimately the Goal of the Week goes to Daniele De Rossi of Roma. This goal was a thing of beauty from a long way out.




Here is Deco's goal as well:


WHICH GOAL IS BETTER?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week 2 Premier League Results

Every team in the English Premier League has played their 2nd game of the season. Here are the results.


Liverpool   2-1 Middlesbrough
Newcastle 1-0 Bolton
Stoke 3-2 Aston Villa
Tottenham 1-2 Sunderland
West Brom 1-2 Everton
Blackburn 1-1 Hull
Fulham 1-0 Arsenal
Wigan 0-1 Chelsea
Manchester City 3-0 West Ham
Portsmouth 0-1 Manchester United


Gerrard Saves Liverpool

Liverpool escaped with 3 points against Middlesbrough thanks to a Steven Gerrard goal late in the 90th minute. The volley was classic Gerrard and it stole a draw from a Middlesbrough side that held its own the entire game.



Through 2 weeks, it is tough to say who is the best team in the Premier League. In week 1, Chelsea looked like an unstoppable force, a team that could live up to all the hype and the talent that they have. However in this week, they really didn't dominate the match or look like the same team they did in week 1. Manchester United is playing without Ronaldo, but are still getting points. I wonder how long they can continue to win games without Ronaldo. Arsenal hasn't looked good in either of their first two games, and Arsenal fans should start to worry in my opinion. 

However, it is easy to say that Deco is looking like the best signing of the summer so far.

Madrid Bid on Villa



Real Madrid have had their 47 million euro offer on Valencia's David Villa rejected.

Valencia president Vicente Soriano made a promise to Valencia fans last month that David Villa and David Silva, the clubs two best players would not be sold for a quick profit.

Villa showed the world his skills this summer at the Euro tournament, and should once again be the leading scorer for Valencia this season.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Inter win the Supercoppa Italiana

Inter beat Roma 2-2 (6-5 on penalties) to win the Supercoppa Italiana. The Supercoppa is the preseason game between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia from the previous season (the same way the community shield is played in England). 

This was the 3rd straight meeting between Inter and Roma, with Inter winning in 2006, Roma in 2007 and now Inter in 2008.

Sulley Muntari and Daniele De Rossi traded goals in the first half, and Mario Balotelli and Mirko Vucini again equalized the score in the 84th and 89th minute respectfully.

In the penalty shootout, Dejan Stankovic's shot hit the bar for Inter, but Francesco Totti also hit the bar with a chance to win the game. Juan's kick was then saved, and Javier Zanetti converted for Inter to give them the trophy.

Here is the penalty shootout.

Robinho Must Pay to Leave



Another twist has come in the Robinho transfer saga. 

Robinho was told that in order to move to Chelsea he must personally pay Real Madrid 45 million euro.

The 45 million euro would cover the 40 million that was offered by Chelsea, and the 5 million still left on his contract. 

I hope for the sake of both teams that this issue is sorted out soon, because any distractions are unneeded with both the Premier League and La Liga seasons already underway. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shevchenko Is Back!



AC Milan and Chelsea have confirmed that striker Andriy Shevchenko is returning to Milan.

Shevchenko was one of the best scorer's in the history of AC Milan, scoring 127 goals in 208 games during his time there. 

However, since his move to Chelsea 2 years ago, Shevchenko hasn't seen much of the field, and has been unhappy and hasn't been able to score goals.

Shevchenko has been rumored to return to Milan all summer and now, "I'm happy, I have hoped for a return for a while and yesterday I began to believe that this deal could end well. For me it is as if I've won the Champions League."

This transfer is HUGE for Milan fans everywhere. Milan now has 3 first class strikers in Shevchenko, Pato, and Inzaghi, and Milan have just completed the best transfer summer of any team this year.

In case you forgot how good Shevchenko can be, watch the video.


Argentina Win the Gold

Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 to capture the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic games.

Argentina was my pick, and the favorite of many to win the gold at these Olympic games, and they didn't disappoint. 

Angel di Maria scored for Argentina in the 58th minute off a great through ball from Lionel Messi. Messi wasn't able to score in the game, but was key to every attacking chance Argentina had in the game.

The biggest factor on the game was the heat. The on field temperature for the game was 107 degrees, and FIFA decided to give water breaks to the players during the game. I think this was a good idea, and I'm sure the club teams like Barcelona appreciated it. The last thing you want to see is a player getting heat stroke before the start of a season.

Overall Argentina winning was the outcome that everyone expected, and this game once again shows how dangerous Argentina can be.


Friday, August 22, 2008

UEFA Announce Club Footballer of the Year Nominees

UEFA announced a list of 20 nominees for the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award.

17 of the 20 players on the list are from the English Premier League, with no players from Serie A represented.

The players nominated are:

Didier Drogba
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney
Fernando Torres
Michael Essien
Cesc Fabregas
Steven Gerrard
Frank Lampard
Paul Scholes
Jamie Carragher
Rio Ferdinand
Carles Puyol
John Terry
Nemanja Vidic
Manuel Almunia
Petr Cech
Manuel Neuer
Pepe Reina
Edwin van der Sar

UEFA will determine a best player at each position (attack, midfield, defense, goalkeeper) and an overall best player.

The winners will be announced next Thursday, August 28th, at the draw for the 2008-2009 Champions League group stage.

I gotta think that Cristiano Ronaldo is the favorite to win the Player of the Year. If not him then Rio Ferdinand. My prediction is that someone from Manchester United will win.
 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nike Soccer Behind the Scenes

I've posted the greatest soccer commercial ever made on the blog, done by Nike soccer.

Here is a video of behind the scenes.

It lets you see a little of the personalities of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wesley Sneijder, and Cesc Fabregas.


USA Win Gold Medal!

The United States women's national team won the gold medal, defeating Brazil 1-0.

Carli Lloyd scored the games only goal in the 96th minute to secure the gold for America.

Lloyd said, "It was hard, and this win wasn't just down to my goal. It was only achievable with the team we have and that we played for each other."

This game really was a team effort, as Hope Solo played great in goal, and 2 time FIFA Player of the Year Marta was shut down.

Marta said, "I have no idea why we can't win a final. It's something I'm gonna keep asking myself for a long time. You keep asking what you did wrong."

This is the 3rd time Brazil has lost a major tournament final, as they lost to America in the Olympic finals in 2004, and lost the World Cup final to Germany last year.

Click the link to watch the game highlights.

Poll Result



To the question, "Who will win the Serie A title this season?"

50% said AC Milan
20% said Inter Milan
13% said Juventus
3%  said Other
1%   said Fiorentina

Therefore the readers of Il Mondo di Calcio agree with me in saying that AC Milan will win the Serie A title this season.

Thanks for voting, and keep voting on the polls!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arsenal Sign Mikael Silvestre



Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Manchester United's Mikael Silvestre.

The transfer fee for the deal was not released, but Silvestre did sign a 2 year deal with the Gunners.

Silvestre said, "I've spent a large part of my career at United, the last nine years, and I'll remember that time fondly, but I feel I'm ready for a new challenge."

Silvestre's signing is the first between Manchester and Arsenal since 1974.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Have You Seen This Goal?

Don't think I've forgotten about the Goal of the Week, its just that there hasn't been that many games since the end of the Euro tournament.

In the 6th installment, the Goal of the Week goes to Deco of Chelsea for his goal against Portsmouth. 

In the 89th minute of the game with Chelsea leading 3-0 Deco fired a shot from way outside to box to give Chelsea the 4-0 win. The game was the perfect start to Deco's career at Chelsea.


Argentina Defeat Brazil

Argentina defeated Brazil 3-0 in the Olympic semifinals to earn a trip to the gold medal game against Nigeria.

Sergio Aguero scored 2 goals, and Riquelme added a penalty to give Argentina a seemingly easy win.

This game was the first victory for Argentina against Brazil since 2005.

Many people wanted to see a Messi vs. Ronaldinho matchup, and both players created chances for their teams. Ronaldinho hit the post with a free kick, and played well enough to ensure Milan fans that he should be in good form going into the Serie A season. Messi seemed to be the most dynamic player on the field, and his moves created the penalty kick which led to the 3rd goal.

The result sets up Argentina vs. Nigeria in the finals, with Brazil vs. Belgium in the bronze medal game.


The New England Captain is Set



Fabio Capello has officially announced that John Terry will be the new captain of the English National team.

Most people figured that Rio Ferdinand would get the honor, but he was instead named vice-captain.

At the press conference Terry said, "I think everybody realizes it means the world to me. I was a little bit shocked to be fair. Rio has been in awesome form on the pitch for Man United in what he has achieved in the last year...for me to get it above the likes of him and the other players in the squad means an awful lot to me."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Milan Win Berlusconi Trophy

AC Milan added another trophy this preseason defeating Juventus 4-1 to win the Berlusconi trophy. 

Goals were scored for Milan by Marek Jankulovski, Filippo Inzaghi, and 2 by Massimo Ambrosini. 

Not only did Juventus lose this game, but Giorgio Chiellini was injured in a collision with Gennaro Gattuso, and will likely be out for at least a month.

Clarence Seedorf played very well, and set up 2 goals. I think Seedorf's play this season will be huge to the success of Milan. With the crowded midfield of Milan (Pirlo, Gattuso, Flamini, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Ambrosini) Seedorf needs to stand out.

This game has to be good news for Milan as they haven't been playing well this preseason. You have got to figure that Milan will be much better when Pato and Ronaldinho return from the Olympics, and Kaka returns from injury.


Week 1 Premier League Results

Every team in the England Premier League has played their first game.

Here are the week 1 results:

Arsenal 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Bolton   3-1 Stoke City
Everton 2-3 Blackburn
Hull City 2-1 Fulham
Middlesbrough 2-1 Tottenham
West Ham 2-1  Wigan Athletic
Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool
Chelsea 4-0 Portsmouth
Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City
Man United 1-1  Newcastle United


Chelsea Look Strong

Goals from Joe Cole, Anelka, Frank Lampard, and Deco gave Chelsea a 4-0 win over Portsmouth. Deco was the man of the match, and scored the goal of the week. In my opinion, Chelsea looked the best of any team in the Premier League in week 1.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bayern Kicks Off Bundesliga Season

Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich kicked off the new Bundesliga season with a 2-2 tie with Hamburg.

Bayern who were playing without Luca Toni and Franck Ribery wasted a 2 goal lead.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski scored to give Bayern a 2-0 lead only 19 minutes into the game. However, Guerrero scored for Hamburg in the 25th minute, and Trochowski scored in the 57th minute off a penalty, to salvage a draw for Hamburg.


Roma Sign Baptista!



AS Roma have confirmed the signing of Julio Baptista from Real Madrid.

The transfer fee is 9 million euro, payable in 3 parts.

Baptista signed a 4 year deal with Roma, and will earn an estimated 4.5 million euro per season.

"The Beast" has spent time in both La Liga and the Premier League, but this will be his first time playing in Serie A. This is a big signing for Roma, as I felt they hadn't done enough this transfer season.

Baptista scored 4 goals for Madrid last season.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Champions League Results

Many of the top clubs in Europe were in action today in the first legs of Champions League qualifying matches.

Arsenal defeat Twente Enschede 2-0

Injuries forced Arsenal to field a less then perfect side, but goals from William Gallas and Emmanuel Adedbayor gave Arsenal a 2-0 victory. 




Juventus destroy Artmedia Petrzalka 4-0

Juventus are finally back in the Champions League tournament, and they arrived in a big way defeating Artmedia Petrzalka 4-0.

Goals were scored by Mauro Camoranesi, Del Piero, Giorgio Chiellini, and Nicola Legrottaglie.



Barcelona defeat Wisla Krakow

Barcelona looked like the team to beat in Europe dominating Wisla Krakow in a 4-0 victory. 

Samuel Eto'o had 2 goals, while Theirry Henry and Xavi Hernandez both scored. 

Once Lionel Messi returns to Barcelona, they should be unstoppable.





De Rossi's Father in Law Shot Dead



Sad news out of Italy today, as the father in law of Roma's Daniele De Rossi was found dead.

Massimiliano Pisnoli was found in Aprilia near Rome with gunshot wounds to the head and shoulders. Forensics suggest that he had been dead for over a week.

Pisnoli had a criminal record and was involved in robberies in the past.

De Rossi skipped todays practice session with Rome, but did not release a statement.

Lampard Signs New Deal



This summer Frank Lampard wanted one of two things to happen. 

He either wanted a transfer to Inter Milan, or a new long term deal at Chelsea. Today, Lampard has confirmed that he has signed a new 5 year deal with Chelsea. 

Lampard said, "I've just turned 30 and I see it as my final big contract, and I will play out my days at Chelsea. It has taken a while to get the deal done and there has been a big of compromise on both sides."

Lampard has 110 goals for Chelsea in his career.

Monthly Power Rankings

I've decided to start a monthly power ranking, where I will rank the current top 10 teams in the world, and the top 10 players in the world. 

For the club teams, I will take into account the clubs place in the league standings, the level of competition in the league, and success in international and domestic tournaments.

For the players, I will judge the form in which the player is in by the amount of goals, assists and key plays made. Also keep in mind  that when I rank the players every month, it is not only a ranking for that month. (For example, Kaka could be having a great season, have an off month, but still easily be the best player in the world at the moment.)

Monthly Power Rankings:

Club Teams

1. Manchester United (England)
2. Chelsea (England)
3. Bayern Munich (Germany)
4. Real Madrid (Spain)
5. Inter Milan (Italy)
6. Barcelona (Spain)
7. Liverpool (England)
8. AS Roma (Italy)
9. Arsenal (England)
10. Boca Juniors (Argentina)

Top 10 Players in the World as of August 2008:
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
3. Kaka (AC Milan)
4. Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
5. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
6. Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
7. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
8. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
9. Thierry Henry (Barcelona)
10. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

What do you think of the power rankings for this month?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fiorentina win Champions League Qualifier

Italy's Fiorentina won it's first Champions League qualifying matchup 2-0 against Slavia Prague. 

The two players who should lead Fiorentina this upcoming season, Adrian Mutu and Alberto Gilardino, both scored in the game.

The second leg of the match will be played on August 27th in the Czech Republic.

HERE ARE HIGHLIGHTS:



High profile teams will be in Champions League action tomorrow, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona, Juventus, and Athletico Madrid all in action.

Monday, August 11, 2008

International Federation of Football History & Statistics Rankings

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics have released their club world rankings.

Here are their top 15 club teams in the world:

1. Manchester United (England)
2. Glasgow Rangers (Scotland)
3. Chelsea FC (England)
4. Bayern Munich (Germany)
5. Barcelona (Spain)
6. AS Roma (Italy)
7. Liverpool (England)
8. Arsenal (England)
9. Boca Juniors (Argentina)
10. Inter Milan (Italy)
11. Sao Paulo (Brazil)
12. Fiorentina (Italy)
13. Fluminense (Brazil)
14. Olympique Lyon (France)
15. AC Milan (Italy)

I have a few issues with this list. First of all, Rangers as number 2 in the world?? Are you kidding me? Rangers were just eliminated in the UEFA tournament, and aren't even the best team in Scotland in my opinion (that honor goes to Celtic). 

Also, no Real Madrid in the top 15 but Barcelona is 5th?? Doesn't make sense to me. I also feel that Inter is a better team then Arsenal and Liverpool and should be higher on the list for winning Serie A.  Juventus was also 95th on the list.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE LIST?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Manchester United Win the Community Shield

Manchester United defeated Portsmouth on penalties to win the Community Shield. 

For anyone that doesn't know, the Community Shield is a game putting the previous seasons Premier League winner's against the winners of the FA Cup.

Manchester played without both Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, and instead relied on Nani and Tevez to lead the attack.

United dominated the game, but were unable to score. United was perfect in the penalty shootout, winning by a 3-1 margin.

Here is a clip of the penalty shootout:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Robinho Officially Wants Out!



Just as one transfer rumor has come to a close, another one starts up again.

Robinho is unhappy at Real Madrid, and wants a move to Chelsea. 

Chelsea have made an official offer to Madrid in the area of 2o million euro, but this offer will most likely be rejected.

Robinho's unhappiness with Madrid seems to have started during the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga. Robinho was unhappy with his name being brought up as a player to be sold in order to make room for Ronaldo. 

Robinho's agent said that Robinho can't become the best player in the world at Madrid because they treat him like a normal player. 

What do you think about Robinho wanting a move?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ronaldo Confirms He Will Stay at Manchester



The transfer saga of the summer has suddenly come to an end.

Cristiano Ronaldo has finally done what soccer fans have been begging him to do all summer, deliver a concrete answer to the question of his future.

Ronaldo has confirmed to Publico that he will stay at Manchester next season. 

He said, "Ferguson heard my arguments, I heard his, and in fact, it was settled that the best for both parties would be for me to stay. Therefore, I can confirm that, next season, I will play for Manchester United."

Ronaldo answered the question that I had been asking myself all week. I thought, if Ronaldo does play for Manchester next season, what type of effort will he put forth, and where will his mind be? 

Ronaldo answered and said, "Before rumors emerge saying that I will play against my will, I want to make this clear...I will play for Manchester with all my heart and soul. I will fight and honor that shirt with the same commitment and dedication as always."

Ronaldo also claimed responsibility for the controversy surrounding his move, but said that a move to Madrid in the future will most likely happen. 

All in all both Man U fans and Real Madrid fans should be happy that this story has come to an end. Man U gets the best player in the world right now back on the squad, and Madrid gets to concentrate on the team that they have, while having the knowledge that they will one day get Ronaldo in the back of their mind.

The real question now is will Man U fans accept Ronaldo upon his return?

What do you think of the news? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Olympics Preview!

With the memory of the Euro 08 tournament behind us, soccer fans have another tournament to look forward to this summer, the 2008 Olympic games in China!

First off let me say this: Soccer is in a different position then other sports in the Olympics. For many sports such as swimming or track and field, the Olympics is the ultimate tournament and test for the athletes to see who is the best. However, for soccer the ultimate tournament is not the Olympics, but the World Cup.  Ask any soccer player which would they rather have, a gold medal at the Olympics or a World Cup title, and the overwhelming majority would be the World Cup.

With that being said, all of the players playing in the Olympics want to win, and all represent their countries with pride.

Now for those of you that don't know, the Olympic squads are made up of players under 23 years old, and 3 spots are open for players over the age of 23. This is one factor as to why the prestige of the tournament is less then the World Cup or even the Euro tournament. Many of the top players in the world are ineligible to play!

Here are the groupings for the tournament:

I'm listing the teams in the order in which I believe they will finish

Group A:
Argentina
Ivory Coast
Serbia
Australia

Group B:
United States
Netherlands
Nigeria
Japan

Group C:
Brazil
China
Belgium 
New Zealand

Group D:
Italy
Cameroon
Korea
Honduras

In my opinion there are 3 possible teams that can win the gold medal at the Olympic games this year. They are Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.

Argentina Preview: After a long court battle, Argentina look to have secured the services of possibly the best player in the world, and easily the best player in the Olympics in Lionel Messi. Messi will not be alone however, as Argentina also has Liverpool's Javier Mascherano and Boca Junior's Riquelme. In short, Argentina is young, talented, and dangerous, and should make it to the finals.




Brazil Preview: When you think of Brazil you think of them dominating soccer. However, an Olympic gold medal is the only major title that Brazil is yet to win! Brazil is without some of their usual international players such as Kaka and Robinho, and will instead have to rely on a few youngsters and one veteran dying to prove a point. Two of the youngsters that will have to come up big for Brazil are Alexandre Pato and Anderson. Both players are coming off good years at their clubs, and the Olympics will give them great experience going into next year. If you didn't already guess, the "veteran dying to prove a point" is of course Ronaldinho. The newest member of AC Milan, Ronaldinho believes that he can still play at the highest level, despite concerns about his health and weight. He believes that the Olympics are the perfect showcase to show the world he is still one of the world's best. I believe that if Ronaldinho can play close to the level he is capable of, and more importantly gives enough advice and support to Pato the other youngsters, Brazil could make the finals.


United States Preview: The United States seem ready to go all out in this tournament. With many of their young talents playing overseas players such as Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are in my opinion, just as good as the foreign talents their age. With many of the world's best not playing in the Olympics, the best the United States have to offer may just be good enough to win it all!


(Also look out for the Netherlands, led by youngster Ryan Babel).


Assuming Messi plays to the level he is capable of, I see no reason why Argentina shouldn't walk away with the gold.

Who do you believe will win the gold?