Tag Archive: La Liga

For the English clubs, the UEFA Champions League knockout stages probably seem as though they are light years away, with some playing up to nine games prior to the round of fixtures in mid-February.

Über alles? | Arsenal face a tricky tie against runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in the knock-out stages. (Image | Bleacher Report)

Über alles? | Arsenal face a tricky tie against runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in the knockout stages. (Image | Bleacher Report)

The draw has thrown up a number of mouthwatering ties, one of which will see Arsenal line up against Bayern Munich.

Arsène Wenger’s side last faced Bayern in 2005, losing 3-2, and will do well to get anything from this tie as the German giants are nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, boasting a remarkable goal difference of +37.

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When Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez moved to install José Mourinho as head coach, it seemed to be something of a no brainer.

Transformation | Real Madrid head coach José Mourinho appears to have gone from "no brainer" to "no hoper". (Image | The Guardian)

Transformation | Real Madrid head coach José Mourinho appears to have gone from “no brainer” to “no hoper”. (Image | The Guardian)

Mourinho had just delivered an unprecedented treble for Inter Milan, with the coup de grâce being a third European Cup/Champions League title.

This was all the more significant as it was Inter’s first since 1965. Despite their worldwide renown, Inter had long been underachievers in Europe’s top tier competition.

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The phenomenon of the sporting egotist

Ego | Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as the most arrogant professional sportsman. (Image | Cristiano Ronaldo.org)

As William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage“. Many of the most fascinating stories in sport come from the athletes who view their profession as exactly that – a stage for them to display their talents.

Personally, I do not subscribe to the maxim that says sport is entertainment, especially when justifying its more oleaginous aspects.

I have always viewed it as an athletic contest between either individuals or a group of people to determine which is superior. The fact that this happens to be something that is engrossing is a happy coincidence, nothing else.

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Not so super? | This could be a regular match-up should the European Super League ever be seriously considered by the powers that be. (Image | Bleacher Report)

The European Super League. It has been talked about for a long time, but will it ever actually happen? Writing in September 2012 and looking ahead, in two years time a European Super League could be on the agenda.

This is because in 2014 the agreement that is in place between FIFA, UEFA and Europe’s leading clubs expires. As the leader of the European Club AssociationKarl-Heinz Rummenigge points out, said teams will be free to do what they want. However, would they actually look to create a super league?

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On the crest of a wave | Could a playoff system work in the Premier League? (Image | TalkSPORT)

The Premier League (EPL) is the most watched sports league in the world with over 4.7bn viewers per year. It is by far the most popular league in Europe – but why is this?

Some argue that it is the quality of the players, others the notoriety of the brand and still more the style of play.

It is difficult to pinpoint a single reason, but what is for certain is that the Premier League, since its birth in 1992, has been able to market itself better globally than any of its European rivals.

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Narrow victory | Spain have hardly set Euro 2012 alight, and many have poured scorn on their relatively painless route to the final. (Image | The Guardian)

It is quite shocking that current world and European champions, Spain, have been criticised for adopting a boring playing style. Despite reaching their third final in as many tournaments and continuing with their famous tiki-taka football, critics have unleashed a wave of attacks that has seen the tide of opinion go against Spain. A team that are one game away from a record third successive tournament win, who were once admired and celebrated among football critics and fans alike, face increased pressure to not only emerge victorious over Italy on Sunday evening, but to do so in a manner that will silence the critics.

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