The 2014 World Cup officially kicks off in Brazil two months from Saturday. Off-the-pitch worries — massive protests and crime chief among them — are well-founded, to be sure. But when it comes to soccer itself and how Brazilians regard the beautiful game, Brazil is the World Cup’s one true home. Continue reading
I was just reading a report in the Daily Mail that David Beckham, his friends and ex-team mates of the “Class of ’92″ (Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and the Nevil brothers) are bidding to acquire Manchester United from the Glazer family. The bid is supposed to be funded by the Royal Qatari Family and is over 2 billion English Pounds.
Well, when the “Daily Mail” and “The Sun” report news, one never knows how much of it, or anything at all, is true. So, it is kind of difficult to add some meat to this. However, if the news has legs, this is probably the best football/soccer idea for over 40 years.
Why is that? Well, do you know Bayern Munich? Over 40 years ago an ex-player took over the business matters in that club. The guys name: Uli Hoeness! As a world cup winner with Germany in 1974 and multiple domestic title winner with Bayern Munich, there was no doubt that Hoeness knew what’s going on in the football/ soccer world. The guy has also displayed a huge mind and sense for business and made Bayern Munich one of the most successful clubs of recent times. As of today, Bayern is arguably the best team in the world. And it doesn’t look like this will change quickly.
Not that Manchester United was unsuccessful over the past 2 decades, the opposite is true, they had lots of success. However, recent changes, most notably Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement let the club slide down the rankings like a bobsled the ice track at the Olympics. As it stands today, it requires a major financial infusion to get the team back on track. On track means on top of the English Premier League, not second, third or fourth. On whether that will be sufficiently accomplished under the current ownership has to be seen. The Glazer’s have been known to fill their own pockets first, before significant money has been spent to strengthen the team.
Beckham and his friends have the same understanding of football/soccer that Hoeness had when he started at Bayern. Over time, he got many other German football greats in to the management team. Beckenbauer and Rummenigge are the best known. Both are still in more or less important roles active at the club. Beckham and his friends would find a franchise that is already established as a brand and could start the project of bringing Manchester United back to relevance way further down the road than Hoeness with Bayern did over 40 years ago. These guys know football/soccer and as far as I can tell, at least Beckham has a sense of big business. There is a good chance that this idea could turn out to be a fantastic one.
If true, this could be huge for Manchester United and English football/soccer. For my part, not as a Manchester United fan, but as a football/soccer fan, I am hoping!
Soccer, or football, is fiercely discussed in the most parts of the world. Fans of all clubs tend to sell their clubs as the best. Those statements are not always most accurate, because there is a lot of emotion in the topic and wearing a club hat while judging other teams just doesn’t work well.
Nicola Cerin has put together the infographic below, giving a more reliable overview of the performance of the best European clubs. Have a look and see if you find some surprises.
Infographic Source: Nicola Cerin
Brazil 2014 is on every football/soccer fans mind already. The participating countries and their fans are planning their trips or at least vacation to watch all the games live at home. This is not different in England, where our soccer friends are starving for success for almost 50 years.
Inability to keep up with the rest of the world, including not even qualifying for the tournament, bad luck and a good portion of self destruction have prevented the English from winning anything over the past (almost) 50 years. According to the English press, 2014 is going to be no different. The group draw put the English into a so called group of death with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica and the confidence in the team is not very high.
In the past, the English showed up at world cup tournaments rather over confident and the modest outcomes have left their mark. This time, the press and fans have no high expectations and would celebrate reaching the second round as a success. That doesn’t mean that the English are not excited about the games, the opposite is the case, everyone can’t wait for the tournament to start.
The infographic below shows the past success of English teams at past world cups. With the past successes, or lack thereof, and the expectations low, this time the English show up quite balanced. This is a good thing and should give the team the ability to rise on the challenge rather than sliding down on unreasonable goals and pressure. While the English are not the favorite for Brazil 2014, the team is good enough to keep up with every opponent in a single game. With fair expectations and support of the fans and press, this time the outcome might be a little different. Good luck!
Infographic Source: SportingIndex
2014 is going to be a big year for soccer fans. Brazil is hosting the world cup and every fan around the globe is on fire. For those that consider to travel to Brazil, this infographic gives some basic information about the game plan, how to travel around and what to expect in the cities that host the games. Have a look and see what you can expect, or miss.
Infographic Source: JustTheFlight
While watching the Champions League game between Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United the question of the strongest league in the world was raised, again. The answer usually depends on who you are asking. An Englishman would usually not vote for LaLiga or the Bundesliga. Well, to be honest, he shouldn’t.
Looking at the leagues and the standings it is clear that each of them have their top teams that deliver outstanding and exciting soccer. Going down the league tables, however, the excitement waters down. In the German Bundesliga are two teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, that can claim international class. The rest, including Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04, cannot be counted as serious contenders in international club soccer. Going over to Spain and looking at LaLiga, the picture is not different. Barca and Real Madrid have their thing going on forever and barely someone else has the ability to change that. Looking down the table reveals the same picture as in Germany. Two teams and not much more. Does that create excitement every weekend? Not really.
Italy, France and other European leagues don’t have much to show either. There are two or three teams that fight for the national championship, the rest is modest soccer.
The English Premier League is a different animal. Barely a week goes by without a serious game between international big shots, or at least serious title contenders. Looking down the table displays 4, 5 or even 6 teams that could be considered as serious challengers for the title. The teams from position 7 to 10 are always able to make one of the top teams stumble. Something that only seldom happens in the other European leagues.
So, from excitement and quality of the weekly games, the EPL is clearly the best league in the world. The critics of the English league will claim that there is too much money involved in the EPL. Many clubs are owned by Billionaires that finance their personal hobby, or ego, and this is not a healthy way to run clubs. Well, that might or might not be right, but for the question of which is the best league, that argument is limping.
So, with the EPL being the best league, is English soccer the best? Clearly not! There are multiple reasons for that. First, the English top teams have barely English players in their team. In some teams it doesn’t require the ability to count to three to count them. Second, while usually one of the English club teams is advancing pretty far in the European Champions League, they can’t be called regular winners. The European club title is passing by the British island far more often than not. Even making it to the final is not really a given.
Looking at the English National Team also reveals rather modest soccer quality. The English qualify for big tournaments on a regular basis, but once there, they are unable to keep up with other nations such as Brasil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and many others. The modest successes of the English National Team have their origins in the “shopping habits” of the big English clubs. They rather buy an international superstar with incredible amounts of money, then giving English talent a chance to grow. The English, not known to move to continental Europe, try to find their luck with the lower ranked clubs, or in the second tier of English soccer. That’s not really helping the English National Team.
So, there is really only one answer to the question of the best league. It is the EPL! The question which Country plays the best soccer is far more open. There are a number of teams competing, the English are not amongst them.
For those that still believe soccer has no influence on people’s life, here is a video from Portugal’s latest Worldcup qualifier against Sweden. The Portuguese won 3-2 and Cristiano Ronaldo scored all three goals. Have a look and enjoy the joy people and Nuno Matos have in a simple soccer game. Clearly, Soccer Is Life!
Obrigado Ronaldo , Obrigado Portugal !!! Mundial 2014 (ANTENA 1)
Cristiano Ronaldo Amazing Hat-trick destory Sweden
Hat-trick de Ronaldo embala Portugal para o Mundial-2014 (3-2)
Twitter’s IPO is coming up on Thursday. Big and small investors are hanging on to see what is going to happen. Will it be a success, or will it be a Facebook like IPO event? Here is the latest and some past info about the popular social media platform.
If you are a fan, you might not like the experts opinion. Not many give Twitter credit for the accomplishments of the past and the opportunity ahead. Have a look for yourself.
All eyes are on Twitter this week, as the company sets its final IPO price later today and begins selling shares tomorrow. Here’s a look at Twitter by the numbers.
Cory Johnson reports on the investment potential for Twitter. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)
Rett Wallace, founder & CEO at Triton Research and Neil Irwin, author of “The Alchemists,” discuss Twitter’s valuation and look at what we may see in forward guidance from the ECB. They speak on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
Have you ever wondered what makes Jose Mourinho one of the most successful football managers that ever lived? Take a look at this infographic that delves into his management tactics, and see what you can learn from the master. Continue reading
Manchester City and the New York Yankees begin a new $100 million Major League Soccer team. Brittany Umar explores the deal’s real winners.