Winter has arrived. The traditional Serie A winter break has been pushed back a few weeks to accommodate an “English-style” festive period. Now, with January in full fling, the clubs are taking a bit of time off to recover. So, naturally, it’s time to think about Serie A transfers.
2017 was a pronounced year with regards to the retirement of a legion of decorated footballers. In the list below, we have an assortment of winners of the World Cup, European Championship, Copa America, Champions League and pretty much every domestic title out there.
Sadly, we’ve seen the last of this group on the professional pitch and on our gaming consoles via FIFA. Here are 10 footballers (along with a few honorable mentions) that hung up their boots this year.
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.
AS Roma’s 1-0 victory over Qarabag in Champions League group play put the finishing touches on a remarkable progression for the Eternal City club. Coupled with Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s other Group C match, Roma now finish atop the group and will face a runners-up opponent in the Round of 16.
So maybe VAR doesn’t get every single little call right. Nor does it turn referees into infallible robots. But we think every soccer fan can get on board with the VAR decision during the Roma-Genoa match on Sunday. The VAR spotted this pathetic Daniele De Rossi slap on Gianluca Lapadula, which resulted in both players rolling around on the ground like they had just been shot.
After a review, the referee brandished red for De Rossi. Lapadula miraculously recovered from his injuries and scored the ensuing penalty to equalize and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Scrutinizing the goalkeeper position, more so than any other, requires us to expand the metric of analysis to incorporate the one asset that’s valued above all others in a shot-stopper: consistency. That’s why, although a plethora of recent statistics might tell us otherwise, many would still pony for Gianluigi Buffon over, say, Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the world’s finest keeper. One’s been at the top of his craft for over 20 years, the other for just a few.