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.