Tag Archives: Champions League

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Soccer is life! – Which League Is The Best In The World? EPL, LaLiga, Bundesliga?

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.

Logo Soccer is Life 8923384499_cdec8d66b0_cLooking 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.

 

 

Soccer Is Life: Possession In Football/Soccer Is Useless As A Measure For Dominance

In the aftermath of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid (1-2) the discussions are heated. Reporters, fans and otherwise acknowledged experts debate who deserved the win. One word that comes repeatedly to the surface is “possession”. Here is the explanation of possession in football/soccer: Continue reading

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United – No love lost! – Infographic

With the next round of the UEFA Champions League just round the corner, we decided to take a closer look at one of the big ties as we reach the last 16. Continue reading

Gareth Bale could join every European top club – Spurs star looking for international competition

Bale future could be elsewhere – Fox Soccer

Gareth Bale is one of the major stars in the Barclay’s English Premier League. While he is certainly proud to play for Wales, the fact doesn’t help his international career. Not being able to play at the big tournaments like a World Cup or the European Championship must be a major bummer for him. It is a similar situation like the one for Ryan Giggs, Manchester United’s superstar for almost 20 years. While he experienced the same faith with the National Team, Giggs is Welsh like Bale, he played in a top team and had plenty of international exposure.

There is nothing wrong with Bales checking on his possibilities to join a club that is playing for glory in the Champions League. Bale has quality to offer and would fit into the top teams in Europe. Bale leaving Spurs would be a major loss for the ambitions of Tottenham and could certainly put a stop on their efforts to establish a presence in the Champions League.

It has to be seen how Spurs can compete over the last few games and what eventually the outcome will be. After looking like a major competitor for third place in the Premier League, their hotness cooled down substantially. Inexperience and the continued rumors that Harry Redknapp will drop Spurs for the England job, ruined a promising campaign for Spurs.

 

It can be done – Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho claim La Liga Title from Barca and Pep Guardiola

Saturday’s clasico between the two soccer heavy weights Real Madrid and Barca once again delivered an outstanding soccer event worth watching. Saturday’s winner: Real Madrid. With a deserved win over their rival from Barcelona, Real has more or less secured the championship in La Liga.  With four games left, Real is seven points ahead of Barca and can only lose the title if Christmas and Easter fall on the same day.

Sami Khedira put Real up, while Alexis goal tied the game for a few minutes until Cristiano Ronaldo took Oezil’s master pass and secured the win for Real.

The much anticipated clash between the giants demonstrated that Barca can be beaten at Camp Nou. While Barca dominated possession, Real, like Chelsea in the middle of the week, controlled the game from a defensive position. With Real shutting down the major supply lines Messi, Xavi and Iniesta, Barca couldn’t develop the grip it takes to break the Real defense.  Dangerous attacking by Real also kept Barca honest when it comes to establishing overwhelming pressure. Very rarely was Barca able to confuse Real’s defense and when it happened the few opportunities were generously wasted.

Jose Mourinho, who is in the firing line of the press for month, should have a good night sleep and sweet dreams for the night. The Portuguese is on the hitlist of the entire soccer press around the world after deciding not to speak to the press anymore. Since soccer knowledge is usually low in the soccer press, but personal revenge need high, the coach had to listen and read all kind of nonsense over the past weeks. Since the midweek loss at Bayern Munich the heat has turned up and the press claimed and reported all kind of stuff from tactical mistakes to personal issues and back. The win against Barca and the win of La Liga should ease the pressure for the Portuguese, at least until the second leg champions league semi final against Bayern Munich.

Real is facing Bayern Munich on Wednesday and Real is under pressure to overcome a 2-1 deficit in order to reach the champions league final. With Saturday’s presentation against Barca, Real should be ready for the Germans.

Barca on the other hand has to overcome a few other obstacles in order to reach the final.  It will be interesting to see how the success spoiled team is dealing with a mini crisis after two consecutive losses in major games. Failing to overcome the 1-0 deficit against Chelsea on Tuesday will leave the Catalan’s with nothing else than the Copa del Rey, or even nothing.  The same result has left Real on the receiving end of healthy laughter from parts of the press last year.

It is very well possible that the dream of a champions league final between Real and Barca will be busted in the coming week. Bayern Munich and Chelsea are travelling to Spain with the determination to defend their lead and will fight with the knife between their teeth. Both have major motivations and issues themselves and are fighting for European participation next season and in Bayern’s case, for participation in the final in their own stadium.  Full Report and Comment Section

Dark Clouds over Manchester

Saturday’s FA Cup match between Liverpool and Manchester United put some expression of concern of all Manchester soccer fans’ face. While it was United that lost and excused themselves from the FA Cup, on the blue side of town things are no less a concern. Both clubs started into the season with hopes and ambitions in different competitions. And, a number of “pots” was expected on both sides and in the soccer world, not only in the English, in general. Now, for both, there are two opportunities left” The Europa League and the Barclay’s English Premier League Title. Continue reading

Chelsea and a New Start

According to AVB, Chelsea is now out for the title race in the Barclay’s English Premier League. One could now be a smart a.. and ask “what took you so long”? Well, he is right, there is no reason for Chelsea to discuss anything about the top two spots in the league. It is much more appropriate to take a look at third place and think of the opportunities in that matter. Continue reading