With European league seasons winding down, summer transfer speculation has begun in earnest with what you'd expect:
India’s National Team has never played in a World Cup, but there’s a decent chance that will change when the tournament includes 48 teams in 2026. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) currently sends four teams to the World Cup, and its fifth place team competes in a playoff with the fourth place team from CONCACAF.
When the field expands, eight teams from the AFC will directly qualify. The World Cup’s growth, coupled with the national team’s improvements, provide sufficient reasons to be optimistic about the future of Indian soccer.
Diego Maradona has one of the more interesting coaching resumes we know of. Besides being a legandary footballer in his own right and managing the Argentina National Team for a spell, Maradona has managed Argentine clubs Racing Club de Avellaneda and Mandiyu de Corrientes and UAE-based Al-Wasl FC.
He's back now, with UAE second-division club Al-Fujairah SC.
Aizawl FC's improbable I-League title is one of the best sports stories of the year, but the fight isn't over for the club based in northeast India.
A proposal to merge the I-League with the Indian Super League to form one unified Indian top division includes every Indian Super League team and three I-League teams, but not Aizawl. The champs are, understandably peeved about this, so much so that they've threatened a hunger strike.
The I-League title race came down to the 18th and final match day of the season, and Aizawl FC prevailed in dramatic fashion. After scoring in the 83rd minute last week to defeat Mohun Bagan, Aizawl only needed a draw against Shillong Lajong FC to clinch the title. Aizawl had to work for the result, as they trailed midway through the second half before Willian Lalnunfela headed home an equalizer in the 67th minute.
For those who religiously follow and catalogue all of the endless nonsense I churn out (you’re terrifying), you’ll remember that back in February (Jesus, what have I done these last two months) I got really into the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship. It was really cold and I was really sad so I turned to the carnival of sand, merriment and bangers that is beach soccer for respite. Plus it was all streamed on Facebook for free.
Aizawl FC will probably win India’s premier league (I-league) title. They lead Mohun Bagan by three points going into the last game of the season, so all they have to do is win or draw, or have Mohun Bagan lose or draw. Much more is on the line, however, than just the championship and subsequent entry into a qualification round for the AFC Champions League.
Rumors have been spreading that Brazilian midfielder Paulinho will move to Bayern Munich this summer. He might be out of China anyway, even if that doesn't happen.
Paulinho might actually be deported because of a photo he appeared in with a Japanese porn star (it's safe for work, relax).