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.