RGdot Blog

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

Relegation In Europe’s Top Leagues

It is late April and the football season is drawing to a close in almost every country. Disappointment time is up on many teams, some of which spent or over spent to stay in the top division.

Here’s the status of the relegation fights across some of Europe’s top leagues.

In the English Premier League Huddersfield are going back down after spending two seasons in the premiership. Jan Siewert was unable to keep them up after taking over mid season. Fulham spent around 100 million after getting promoted but can be called one of the expensive flops of the season

Value Tracker: Champions League Quarter Finals

The Champions League quarter finals produced more drama of the VAR variety. The introduction of Video Assistant Referees to the Champions League for the first time was bound to create questions as it has done at various leagues like the Serie A it hasn’t failed in doing so. A separate long read is required to point out the faults and the good of VAR but alas the results were surprising in themselves.

Liverpool might have been expected to over come Porto and Manchester United’s somewhat declining form might have given enough cause to make Barcelona favorites for the tie but

Youngest Coaches In Europe

Julian Nagelsmann is 31 and has been coaching 1899 Hoffenheim since 2016

Coaches (or managers) seem to be getting earlier starts as many former and not former players get to coach teams at highest levels inside their thirties. The following is a list of some of the youngest coaches in Europe’s biggest leagues.

In the English Premier League Jan Siewert at Huddersfield is the youngest at 36, he took over after David Wagner (47) left earlier in 2019. Scott Parker is currently the second youngest at 38. The former Fulham, Tottenham, etc. player is only a caretaker after Claudio Ranieri

FIFA U-20 World Cup

The FIFA under 20 World Cup takes place every two years. The 2019 edition is the 22nd and will take place in Poland – who beat India’s bid – between May 23rd and 15th June. England are the defending champions. The English beat Venezuela 1-0 in South Korea two years ago but failed to qualify for Poland. Six venues have been chosen for the 2019 tournament with capacities ranging between approximately 15,000 to 20,000.

Twenty three teams from six confederation have qualified and with the hosts’ automatic qualification will play in six groups of four. The qualification process is via