Ronaldo sets new standards as a goal-machine

It was a strange bit of footage, certainly. Alvaro Arbeloa slid in to tap home a goal for Real Madrid, their third, against a beleaguered Almeria. And there, arriving just a few moments too late, was Ronaldo. As Arbeloa peeled away in joy, Ronaldo kicked the ball back into the net, frustrated. Then, later, he […]

Neymar soars above the ashes of his predecessors.

Brazil is the cradle for more expatriate talent than any other country in world football. Last year, 471 Brazilian players plied their trade in Europe’s leagues, overwhelmingly the most dominant expatriate nationality. The footballing classes that the nation produces, year after year, are staggering, both in volume and quality. Uncovered diamonds glide with quicksilver ease […]

All the goals from this round of Champions League fixtures

It was a week of poor results for the English teams left standing in Europe’s premier competition. Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Schalke ended up being the best English result, as Arsenal and Manchester City again reasserted the blundering and shuddering incapability they both seem stricken by at this level, losing to Monaco and Barcelona respectively. […]

The best goals from this week’s Champions League

The results of this week’s Champions League fixtures made for fascinating reading. There was a night of synchronous thrashings, handed out with relish by Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk. There was a wholly expected (yet still agonisingly confusing) lukewarm draw for Manchester City, whose inability to perform in Europe continues. There was the inevitable […]

Real Madrid mourning the loss of Alonso

For Real Madrid, it’s like seeing an ex-girlfriend doing well after a breakup. Xabi Alonso denies that the arrival of Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich compelled him to go the other way, but such was the bombastic hype that surrounded the German, and James Rodriguez, Alonso can’t have felt particularly appreciated by Real. He signed […]

The Secret to Greatness? Availability.

Any footballer can have talent. Most of them do; you can’t reach the higher tiers of the sport without it. Slogging through youth systems, taking your chance at scouting meets, or catching the eye of a visiting luminary is next to impossible without a hefty serving of aptitude. Sure, having truckload of natural ability is […]

Champions League: The best goals and misses this week

Liverpool laboured again against supposedly lesser opposition, prompting some very perturbed looks to ripple around the Kop. Madrid eventually overcame Ludogorets, who have been much stiffer opposition than many thought they would be, despite losing twice. Dortmund and Arsenal rollicked to victory, and PSG and Roma each forced through one-goal wins for themselves against tough […]

Madrid overpower plucky Ludogorets

As Real Madrid began this match strutting aristocratically, it took about 45 seconds for the commentary team to mention the story of David and his fabled opponent, Goliath. As annoying and biblically revisionist as that cliché generally is, for once it looked like a big v small sporting encounter would properly mirror the story of […]

Real Madrid 8 – 2 Deportivo La Coruña

Madrid, and their galaxy of stars, ran riot against Deportivo last night, winning 8-2 with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 27th career hat trick. Though Karim Benzema somehow managed not to score during this festival of goals, Gareth Bale got two, Rodriguez got one, and Chicharito Hernandez scored two beauties, including his debut goal for the […]

The Worst of the Best

Thank God football is a team sport. And generally, the best teams are rewarded, in that, as the old adage goes, ‘a team of superstars doesn’t make a superstar team’. The clubs that aim the highest, that expect to be permanent residents sipping brandy in the chalet at the very summit of the sport, tend […]

There and Back Again: 5 not-so-jolly English Holidays

Kostas Mitroglou scored a very tidy goal in Olympiacos’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Spanish champions Atletico Madrid last night. The Greek striker made it a night to remember for the Superleague title holders, and in doing so, he may have let these new, happy memories force out the harrowing ones from last season. Mitroglou is […]

Champions League Round up – All the Goals

A stroll for Real Madrid, a last minute penalty for Liverpool on their Champions League return, losses for Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, and wins for the rest. It was an action-packed evening in Europe’s premier club competition, and all the goals from all the matches are embedded below. Goal of the night honours resulted in a […]

The Nomadic Superstar

Mario Balotelli’s impending transfer to Liverpool is a striking development (pun tally: 1), in more ways than one. First and foremost, the price tag just screams “bargain!”; the £16 million fee Milan are likely to accept for one of the most talented under-25 strikers in European football seems incredibly good value, only £4 million more […]

Moving on after the World Cup

There is always an inherent risk in buying a player that’s coming off a good World Cup. Few things can sway a scout more than a blinding tournament performance, but the clubs looking to snap up the star performers from Brazil 2014 may want to curb their enthusiasm. One month’s worth of quality play won’t necessarily transfer over […]