When the starting lineups for Saturday’s El Clasico were announced, there was really only one surprise in the 22 players named for battle: Zinedine Zidane’s decision to drop Isco to the bench in favor of Mateo Kovacic. For many, Isco has been Real’s best player over the past year — a footballer of sublime skill, technique and playmaking ability — while Kovacic’s inclusion meant one thing only: Lionel Messi limitation.
The showdowns between Real Madrid and Barcelona, taking place at least twice per year, are the premier sporting events in Spain. Millions around the world tune in to watch the two richest teams in the world’s most popular sport face off in perhaps the world’s greatest rivalry. Earlier this week, we took a look at how the number of worldwide El Clasico viewers compared to the Super Bowl, the biggest event in Spain compared to the biggest event in the U.S.
Men's college soccer in the United States is an anomaly. No other country sends potential professional athletes to academic universities instead of athletic academies like the U.S. While this is the accepted norm in football and basketball, the two most popular sports in the country, soccer operates differently throughout the world.
Lionel Messi was never a little-known quantity. When he scored nearly 500 goals for Newell’s Old Boys as a young boy, people took notice. That’s why Barcelona made the highly unusual decision to sign a 13-year-old foreign player. That’s why, aged 17 years, three months and 22 days, he became Barcelona’s youngest-ever representative in an official competition. It’s why he represented La Albiceleste, the two-time world champions, at 18.
Last week, Serie A news revolved around goals. Goals change games was the mantra. After Juventus beat Napoli, it seemed like it was all change at the top of the table.
Instead, many of this week’s most important matches were goalless. Not bad, as such, but not quite the high scoring affairs we’d hoped for.
No one ever said the FIFA corruption trials would be normal. But I don’t think anyone expected this bizarre turn of events. Kevin Jonas was called to the stand to testify for the prosecution during the ongoing court case on Thursday at a U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn.
You probably don’t know who Paul Lapointe is. It’s OK. After today, you may not need to know who he is.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Inter Milan from Juventus for nearly $30 million in August 2006, the 24-year-old Swede was thrilled over the possibility of forming a devastating and prolonged partnership with 24-year-old Brazilian striker Adriano. The two had dominated Italian football since 2004, and the Nerazzurri looked set to rule the competition for years to come with two of the world’s most feared young forwards.
Goals change games. That’s pretty much football 101. That’s how the game works. But not every goal is created equal. This week in Serie A, the true value of a goal was shown to be different on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So let’s take a look at the three goals that defined the weekend and why they differed so widely.
The World Cup draw was completed this morning at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow with the 32 finalist nations placed into eight groups of four. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off on June 14 at Luzhniki Stadium with a match featuring host-side Russia and Saudi Arabia. We now know the makeup of the entire field for the competition as well as the group stage matches that'll captivate the planet next summer. Here are the full results from the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.