I have a theory as to one reason (of many) the England National Team tends to underperform in major tournaments: the players all play in the same league. Every England international plays in the Premier League. One might argue this breeds familiarity and is therefore good for the national team, but I think it leads to a lack of stylistic variety in the team and makes the payer pool stagnant. It's basically like inbreeding, is what I'm saying.
Francesco Totti appeared in his seven millionth Serie A match for AS Roma on Sunday, failing to add to his total of 1,306,478 goals for the club but appearing for a 25th successive calendar year — a streak that first began in 218 BC when Totti helped defend Rome from the invading Carthaginian army led by Hannibal.
Over the course of the streak, Totti has helped Rome gain dominance over the Western Mediterranean, assist Caesar in his conquest of Gaul, witness the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and win the 2008 Coppa Italia.
For anyone wondering, let’s get the essentials out of the way: Fiorentina versus Juventus is a big match. This is truer for one side than the other, however. Before Sunday’s game, Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci told the press that while the fixture was the most important date in most Florentines’ football calendar, it was just another game for the reigning champions.
Three days after Real Madrid heroically set the Spanish unbeaten streak record by scoring at the death against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey, Sevilla returned the favor in La Liga action on Sunday.
Liverpool travelled to the home of their most vaunted rivals and were minutes away from securing all three points, but a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header in the 84th minute rescued Manchester United.
Liverpool appeared to be in control thanks to a series of great saves from the oft-criticized Simon Mignolet on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic and an inexplicable handball from Paul Pogba while defending a corner.
James Milner dispatched the resulting penalty with a powerful effort from the spot in the 27th minute.
Luis Enrique opted to leave Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Gerard Pique out of the starting XI for Barcelona’s match against Las Palmas at the Camp Nou on Saturday, even though the side from the Canary Islands is eighth in La Liga.
But this is Barcelona, and they thrashed their opposition behind the primary strength of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Suarez scored a brace and Messi added one of his own, bringing them both to 14 La Liga goals on the season as joint top-scorers.
According to multiple reports, Chelsea have dropped Diego Costa for Saturday’s match against Leicester City amidst an argument between the Spanish forward and the Chelsea training staff and a lucrative offer from the Chinese Super League.
With Barcelona desperate to sign Lionel Messi to a longterm deal (his current contract expires in the summer of 2018), the club have reacted quickly to negative statements concerning Messi by their head of sporting relations, Pere Gratacos, by removing him from his post.
On Friday, Gratacos said, “Messi would not be as good without Iniesta, Neymar and co. He’s the best, this is true.”
Here's a thing the Guardian reported that caused a round of chuckling to be heard through our office. It was just me chuckling, but it could be heard throughout the office.
Using the sole of your boot, the roll over is a simple skill performed to create space, quickly vary the direction of your passing options or to take the ball around a defender's tackle. The likes of Andres Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard can show you how it’s done on YouTube.
But if you’re looking for a variant of the move, a sort of playground evolution to get people out of their seats and screaming “Holy s***! Did you see the tekkers on that young fella?”, then you’ll need to YouTube James Milner.
That’s right, Boring James Milner.