Football is a reflection of our daily life — we frequently encounter things that can be shocking and absurd. As the summer transfer window reaches new heights and top European clubs buy and sell players for astronomical sums, here are some of the most shocking transfer window stories ever.
France was 15 minutes away from an unthinkable early exit, the No. 3 team in the world going out in the group stage of the Women’s Euros. Down a goal and down a man since the 17th minute, France received a helping hand from an unlikely source — Switzerland’s goalie. More precisely, it was the lack of a hand.
In a playing career that included stints with Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter, Serbian Sinisa Mihajlovic built a reputation as one the world’s finest dead-ball specialists. Alongside Andrea Pirlo, no player has scored more goals from direct free kicks in Serie A history than Mihajlovic with 28.
He was named Torino manager before the start of last season and guided the club to a ninth-place finish in Italy’s top flight. For a goalkeeper, playing under Mihajlovic is obviously a nightmare.
The hype for the 2017-18 La Liga season has been decidedly low-key, and for good reason. Is there really any stopping Real Madrid? The club’s loss of Alvaro Morata hasn’t exceptionally weakened them, and capturing Kylian Mbappe would mean that we’re about 20 years away from parity being restored to European competition.
On one hand, preseason friendlies definitely do not matter. On the other hand, preseason friendlies between teams like Chelsea and Bayern Munich definitely matter.
Not for any competitive reason, of course. When Bayern and Chelsea met in the International Champions Cup Tuesday, Munich's 3-2 win wasn't predictive of anything. No, the Chelsea-Bayern friendly definitely mattered because we hadn't seen elite soccer in a while and missed players doing things like what Thomas Muller did.
If you have not been watching UEFA Women's Euro 2017, you have been missing out. The Netherlands beat Belgium 2-1 on Monday, but the moment of the match came when Belgium's Tessa Wullaert lobbed a volley over the beleaguered Dutch goalkeeper for an incredible long-range goal.
Approaching his 40th birthday, Italian shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon has been open about his plans for the future over the summer. If Juventus fail to win the Champions League this season, Buffon claims he’s “99.9 percent” certain that he’ll end his professional career after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
If Buffon is able to win that elusive Champions League title, his competitive nature would see him return to the field in an attempt to win the FIFA Club World Cup the following season.
He’s young, doesn’t look like anything special and wears the No. 80, but Phil Foden is England’s next great hope.
At 17, Foden doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page yet, let alone much of a following outside his mum, but he showed 67,000 fans in Houston on Thursday night what he can do.
Barcelona appear to be more and more resigned to losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and with good reason. As a club that continually lures top talent behind the ethos of “You don’t say no to Barcelona”, the Blaugrana aren’t in the business of begging players to stay, no matter how important they are to the side’s makeup.