Category: Soccer-Football

Transfer rater: Pellegrini, Spinazzola, Suarez, Manolas

Konstantinos Manolas is off to Napoli

It is July 1st 2019 and the European transfer window is open. As usual lot of changes will happen and unimaginable money will be spent for the upcoming season.

Teams like Real Madrid are on a spending spree, Barcelona making changes after a disappointing European season. Others like Arsenal and Milan will need to find creative ways to improve. Liverpool get ready to take a shot at overcoming Manchester City in the premier league. PSG continue the search for European glory.

Two related but officially separate transfers that have been confirmed are the swap

Copa America 2019

Copa America’s group stage has now concluded and the 12 teams are down to eight. The three groups of four tournament has featured two invitees in Japan and Qatar. Both invitees got eliminated in the group stage. The so called controversial decision to have 2 invited teams, to make the tournament an imperfect 12 teams, is bound to be questioned again.

Qatar have the stable coaching of Felix Sanchez but failed to improve on their surprise Asian Cup winning form of early 2019. The former Barcelona youth coach may be retained as the build up to the 2022 World Cup

Top 10 Most Expensive Transfers, Rated

Joao Felix is on the verge of making a €120 million transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid. The Madrid team triggered the 19 year old second striker’s recently signed release clause. Antoine Griezmann could also enter the record books this summer. The Frenchman’s move from Atletico to Barcelona provides the cash to Diego Simeone and Atletico to spend on the aforementioned Portuguese. It is a good time to take a look at the current top 10 most expensive transfers.

Neymar tops the list as the then 25 year old moved from Barcelona to PSG for €222 million. The forward has

2019 Gold Cup

The Gold Cup is the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football national team championship. The 2019 edition is the 15th edition and takes place in United States, Costa Rica and Jamaica. The latter two will host two games to open their respective groups, B and C. The Gold Cup features 16 teams for the first time and runs from June 15 to July 7. The Gold Cup has shifted between odd and even years and is held every two years.

The 16 qualifiers (out of 41 total members) are those who finished in the top 6 of

Nations League Final

Portugal won the first UEFA Nations League by beating Holland 1-0 at home, at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

The Dutch had failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and were in decline until a new batch of Ajax bred youngsters and other rising or in form players were blended together by new national coach Ronald Koeman. Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Daley Blind formed the core of Ajax’s surprise Champions League semi final team. They are joined by in form players like Memphis Depay (Lyon), Georginio Wijnaldum and Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).

Portugal came off a

2018-2019 Team of the Season

Alisson is the Brazilian national team starter and ex-Roma goalkeeper. He had a big hand in Liverpool finishing second in the EPL and winning the Champions League.

Ferland Mendy is a soon to be 23 year old left back. Another Lyon prospect but not from Lyon’s own academy. Mendy grew up at Le Havre’s famous production line which has included the likes of Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet in the past. He is rumoured to be the subject of €50+ million bids by Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Milan Skriniar is the consistent central defender at Inter Milan. He has

Champions League Final

The 2018-2019 Champions League final will take place in Madrid’s 67,000 capacity Metropolitano Stadium, the home of Atletico Madrid, on June 1, 2019. Tottenham and Liverpool will complete the all English final – he Europa league featured Chelsea beating Arsenal 4-1 in Azerbaijan.

Tottenham finished fourth in the 2018-2019 premiership a big 26 points behind Liverpool who finished second. Liverpool were last year’s Champions League finalists losing 3-1 to Real Madrid. Tottenham have been under achievers both in domestic and European competition with last winning a major trophy in the 90s – a FA Cup in 1991. Under Mauricio Pochettino,

Europa League Final

The 2018-2019 Europa League final takes place between Chelsea and Arsenal on May 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Not without controversy.

The distance and the scarcity of direct flights will mean less fans in the stadium. Also, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is an Armenian and it has been decided that he will stay home fearing for his safety in the neighbouring rival country.

The all English final has two teams that finished third and fifth in the English premiership. The winner will get a spot in the 2019-2020 Champions League so this may provide an extra incentive for Arsenal as their fifth place

European Leagues: Gap Between Top Two

One of the effects of money in football has been the gap between the rich and the poor. As in society there is some evidence that the gap keeps increasing. Several factors including how TV rights money is distributed contributes to this gap.

Somewhat unrelated to the aforementioned gap is the gap between first and second placed teams. This gap contributes to the excitement in the latter weeks of the season. Below are some numbers for the past three seasons.

In England the 2018-2019 season was historic in that the top two were very close and accumulated plenty of points.

Second Division Leaders

Portugal’s Gil Vicente take the court case route to the Primeira Liga

As the 2018-2019 season comes to a close the picture is almost clear as to which teams will join the top division in Europe’s major leagues. A few new names and a few more bigger names are headed to the top for 2019-2020.

Starting in England‘s Championship Norwich and Sheffield United won the automatic promotion spots. The latter were last in the top level in 2007. The playoff featured a faltering Leed United. The Marcelo Bielsa team led the league for a long while but collapsed late in