The return of UEFA Champions League and the beginning of the knockout stages marks a joyous time for any soccer fan. This season’s Round of 16 promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Matchups like Real Madrid vs. PSG, Juventus vs. Tottenham and Chelsea vs. Barcelona would be amazing finals for the event, but we’re lucky enough to have them in February and March. You're not going to want to miss any of the action.
Sitting fourth in La Liga and bounced in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, Real Madrid heads into Wednesday’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain a wounded animal.
With three months still remaining in Europe’s major leagues, four of the five most-watched competitions are pretty much already decided. In Germany, Bayern Munich have ostensibly been crowned champions with an 18-point lead over their nearest rivals. In England and France, it would be shocking to see Manchester City and PSG throw away their respective 13-point and 11-point advantages. Spain is tighter, but Barcelona comfortably sit nine points clear of Atletico Madrid.
Robin van Persie grew up in Rotterdam, where 15-time Dutch champions Feyenoord are something like a religion. Van Persie joined the club’s youth system as a 16-year-old after spending his formative years with Feyenoord satellite club Excelsior. He made his debut at 17 and spent three seasons with the first team before his transfer to Arsenal.
Here’s the first official trailer for Netflix’s upcoming documentary on Juventus FC, and it looks sensational. Netflix is going behind the scenes at the 33-time Italian champions, and it appears as if the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Gonzalo Higuain will feature heavily alongside club legends like Alessandro Del Piero.
And if you don’t want to watch it because of Calciopoli, you don’t have to! Nobody wants to listen to your sanctimonious patronizing, so go shit on someone else’s parade.
Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal for Barcelona after coming on as a halftime substitute in their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia Thursday. Coutinho scored four minutes after coming on as Barcelona eased into the final with a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Coutinho’s finish was sure a tidy one, but the majority of the credit has to go to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan brilliantly worked a bit of space before turning provider for Barca’s all-important away goal at a packed Mestalla.
Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City's shiny new center back, spent his formative years in the youth setup of Sporting Union Agen, a club in the French eighth division. Agen were about to go into administration when Laporte's January move from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City saved the club.