SoccerLens Archives for January 2008

Dunne to Tottenham and Richards to United?

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There has been plenty of speculation over Richard Dunne's future at Manchester City with the latest reports suggesting that the Manchester City captain had turned down the offer of a long-term contract, casting serious doubts over him playing for Manchester City next season. With Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Newcastle United interested, Dunne may be [.

Transfer Rumors (30 May 08): Alonso to Juventus, Duff to Sunderland, Kewell to Celtic, and more

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My, how the week flies! Just the other day it was Monday, and now it's Friday. Party time for me, and probably for you, but before there's any craziness, there's a transfer roundup to run through. Spanish sports newspaper Marca, ever the beacon of bullshit, is doing their part to stir the Cristiano Ronaldo [.

The 7 Most Popular Players going to Euro 2008

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Looking at the world of football through the eyes of the press can give you a perverted and totally false view of what's actually happening and on a broader scale what the world actually thinks. So we turned to the world of football shirts - specifically, online retailers, and more specifically, a single online [.

England v Trinidad & Tobago - 1 June 2008 - Friendly

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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO v ENGLAND Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain Date: Sunday, 1 June Kick-off: 2230 BST England have retained Rio Ferdinand as captain for the Trinidad trip and rested the remaining 7 English players involved in last week's Champions League final. Chelsea's John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole, plus Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, [.

Does Football really need the 6 plus 5 rule?

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This week, the 58th FIFA Congress is taking place in Sydney, presided over by Mr. FIFA President Sepp Blatter. As part of the agenda, the delegates have approved the 6+5 rule, which would allow any team to field only five foreign players on the pitch at one time. This rule is to be implemented by [..

Manchester United Trinity Statue - Best, Law and Charlton honoured at Old Trafford

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Matt Busby has Manchester United's attacking trio of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law back in his sights. A statue of the 1968 European Cup winning manager looms large outside Old Trafford and another statue of the three players - the "United Trinity" - was unveiled Thursday facing the stadium.

When Hot Women Play Football…

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England's absence from Euro 08 pretty much means that the 170 or so players available for selection to Fabio Capello will put their legs up this summer and relax. But what about the fans? There's the Euro 2008 to look forward to - even if you're an England fan, the excruciating lack of football in [.

Transfer Rumors (29 May 08): Hleb to Barcelona, Capel to Tottenham, Eto’o to AC Milan, and more

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Thursday's transfer roundup has more questions than answers, it seems. Maybe Friday will bring answers to the questions, or maybe they'll just breed more questions. Whatever the case may be, it's on to today's news and spec. So, does Alexander Hleb want to stay at Arsenal, or does he want to [.

Mediocre US side disappoints at Wembley

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One word can describe the United States Men's National Team's effort tonight against England: disappointing. The hype that this match has been getting was grossly undermined by a lackluster performance on the pitch by the players in anthracite (that's the official name of the color) kits. Earlier this week, Bob Bradley stated that this match was [.

England 2-0 USA - match report

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For England, having failed to qualify for Euro 2008, this game was always likely to be a fairly meaningless affair. For the first half hour of the game it is difficult to remember a single incident of any real note. David Beckham delivered a pin point pass from a free kick to Steve Gerrard who duly [.

Robin van Persie warns Arsenal over wages

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Robin van Persie has warned Arsenal that they risk losing their top players if they are not offered more money. Arsenal currently pay less than other clubs of similar magnitude and the Dutch striker believes that this could break up the talented team, or at least that is what The Daily Mail says. Matthieu Flamini has [.

EU calls Blatter’s 6+5 proposed rule illegal

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Sepp Blatter yesterday made it clear that he wants to impose the "six plus five" rule in football by 2012. The rule states that teams have to have at least six home-grown players and at most five foreigners in their starting line-up in every game. However the move has now encountered public opposition from the [.

Rooney to have hernia surgery after USA game

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Wayne Rooney will go under the knife after the game against the United States, The Daily Telegraph says. The England striker has been suffering with hernia since getting hit in the hip a month ago while playing against Blackburn. The Manchester United medical staff found a way to delay the surgery but after England's friendly, [.

Tottenham to pip Manchester City and Chelsea for £12.5m Barcelona youngster

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Giovani dos Santos is regarded as one of the hottest young talents in football and he looks set to leave Nou Camp this summer in the major clear out which will prepare Barcelona for next season. Tottenham has become the favourites to land the Mexican after Manchester City and Chelsea were touted as potential suitors.

Transfer Rumors (28 May 08): Pique to Barcelona, Quaresma to Inter, Emana to Newcastle, and more

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There are some people in this world who just love pushing others' buttons, no matter what the consequences might be. I'm talking to you, Bernd Schuster and Roman Calderon. Manchester United are getting really, really, really fed up with Real Madrid's public pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, as United are threatening to report [.

David Beckham - 60-yarder and naive MLS

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So, the world's most famous footballer scored from 60-odd yards out, in extra time, albeit with an open net as the opposing keeper had gone up for a corner. As a Beckham fan, I'm really happy to see him scoring goals and getting games under his belt - imagine if he'd been injury free last [...]

Pique to Barcelona - another promising youngster flies from the Manchester United nest

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Gerard Pique has officially completed his return to Barcelona. The young defender begun his career with the Catalan club before being poached by Manchester United. Now, with very limited first team opportunities at Old Trafford, Pique decided it is time to return to the club of his youth. Barcelona already have a defensive partnership of Milito [.

Capello has 170 players to pick from for England - is that enough?

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A study conducted by BBC revealed that only 170 English players started Premier League matches this past season. It was a six year low in terms of English Premier League starters which will disappoint the Premier League given that last year's number was a five year high. Given this piece of news, the FA will welcome [.

Terry to captain England against the US

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Rio Ferdinand might have been backed by Owen Hargreaves to lead England in the long run. But, as Fabio Capello wants to try out various options for the England captaincy, John Terry will have the honour of leading England tomorrow against the US, BBC reports. Apparently Terry, who was distraught after his penalty miss against Manchester [.

Clarence Seedorf Launches Goal4Africa Initiative in Milan

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Image courtesy of ON International. Yesterday morning (27 May) in Milan, Clarence Seedorf of AC Milan held a press conference to announce a humanitarian initiative with far-reaching objectives for the African continent. Mr. Seedorf is the first global ambassador for Goal4Africa, an organization that we profiled last week at Soccerlens.

Rooney could play in the hole against the US

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England fans have not had much to smile about in recent times. The Three Lions have been playing below their capabilities for the past 18 years or so. Their one flourish? At Euro 2004, a certain boy named Wayne Rooney mesmerized every England fan with two absolute brilliant performances. It was generally thought that the brilliance, [.

FIFA wants to impose 6+5 quota on football clubs

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According to BBC, Sepp Blatter has declared that he wants to impose the "six plus five" rule on football clubs around the world. He believes that this would be a great way to balance the game which has now clearly been monopolized by the richest clubs. And I believe that this is the only thing [...]

Transfer Rumors (27 May 08): Bentley to Liverpool, Dos Santos to Tottenham, Saha to Fulham, and more

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Today's transfer roundup has plenty of tasty bits, much like a certain set of articles that will appear on Soccerlens in the coming days. But you'll have to wait and see what I'm referring to, much like several of these clubs below will have to wait and see if they'll get the targets [...]

Top 10 Conference Players of 2007/2008

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The fifth tier of English football may be renowned as a league where hoofball is the order of the day, but despite this there's plenty of attractive football on offer and many players who could happily make the step up to league football. Indeed, the likes of Geoff Horsfield (Halifax), Jimmy Bullard (Gravesend and Northfleet) [.

Should Sheva return to Milan?

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Adriano Galliani has revealed today that AC Milan will make a move for former striker Andriy Shevchenko should Chelsea make the Ukrainian available, says Goal.com. Shevchenko was at AC Milan during the peak of his career between 1999 and 2006. Then he moved to Chelsea for a reported transfer fee of £30 million, but he [.

Mourinho’s Inter deal still not done

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Reports in Italy say that Jose Mourinho has given the Inter board a deadline should they wish to hire him. That deadline was rumoured to be midnight tonight, but as the clock is ticking in Italy, nothing has been announced so far. Still, Portuguese newspaper A Bola has announced that a deal has in fact been [.

Iraq’s suspension an uncertain mess

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Earlier today, FIFA has announced that it will suspend Iraq's national team from international competition for a year if it does not revert its decision to disband their football association. It was though Iraq had passed a government decree on May 20 to disband all sports federations within their nation.

Hargreaves backs Ferdinand for England captaincy

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Fabio Capello is still uncertain who will be his England captain, but Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has put in a good word for his teammate Rio Ferdinand, Sky Sports reports. The central defender had captained England on the team's last outing - a 1-0 loss to France - as Capello is testing different players in [.

Deschamps wants Chelsea job

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Didier Deschamps, former AS Monaco and Juventus manager, has declared his interest in taking over at Chelsea. The former French captain's managerial career is best known for taking AS Monaco to the Champions League final where he lost to Jose Mourinho's Porto. That game turned out to be Mourinho's last game before he joined Chelsea.

Iraq banned, Doncaster promoted, Capello is in lala-land and more

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For Doncaster and Leeds United supporters, Sunday was an eventful day. For everybody else it was a complete bore from a football perspective. It was so bad that English tabloids, otherwise known for their integrity and professionalism, had to resort to outrageous transfer speculation to fill their pages.

Manchester United fan? Liverpool fan? Or are you just a clueless idiot?!

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It is a Public Holiday in England today. You can tell just by looking out of the window and seeing how heavily it is raining! The English football season is very nearly over and for us in the UK we have a pressure free Euro 2008 to look forward to without any of our teams [...]

Top 10 Premier League Transfers in 2007-2008

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A manager's success is directly tied to the players he recruits, so naturally, the manager needs to make his money count. Clubs always have reservations about making money available to their manager, especially when players like David Nugent are bought for £6 million, but these ten buys were truly divine.

Transfer Rumors (26 May 08): Fred to Spurs, Gomez to Arsenal, Torres to Chelsea and more

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A feeling of deja vu is coming over me, as I start today's transfer roundup with a player whose name popped up often in my roundups during the winter window. According to the brother/agent of Lyon striker Fred, the Brazilian hit-man will sign for Tottenham this week if the offer is right. Rumor Rating: [.

Euro 2008 Predictions - Who do you think will win Euro 08?

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Who do you think will win Euro 2008? Let us know in the comments below. I've listed the groups and the schedules beyond the group stage to make it easier for anyone to make their stage-by-stage predictions. Here we go: Group A Switzerland Czech Republic Portugal Turkey Group B Austria Croatia Germany Poland Group C Netherlands Italy Romania France Group D Greece Sweden Spain Russia Predictions Group A Winners: Group A Runners Up: Group B Winners: Group B Runners [.

Euro 2008 Countdown: Group D - Holders Greece won’t slip up in ‘08

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Group D at Euro 2008 sees Greece, the shock winners of four years ago, pitched in alongside perennial under-achievers Spain, middle of the road Sweden and a Russian side which took full advantage of England's dismal qualification campaign to progress to Austria and Switzerland. Starting with the reigning champions first and Greece will look to at [.

Fergie plans retirement, Roman will pay any price to win titles, Hull City to pocket 60m to be Derby and more

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The English press always finds ways to entertain their readers: some of their pieces are quite interesting while some are ridiculously funny. Sometimes an article can be both at the same time, but that depends on the audience. Then, there is the odd article that can be read in its entirety. So, on this fine Sunday [.

Euro 2008 Stadiums

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Euro 2008 kicks off in 2 weeks with Switzerland taking on the Czech Republic at St Jakob Park on Saturday 7 June 2008. It promises to be a cracking event, not only for the football on display but for the picturesque backdrop it will be played in. Let's take a look at the 8 stadiums [...]

5 Things Chelsea must do to beat United next season

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Editor's Note: Avram Grant was fired by Chelsea today as a torturous period for the manager came to an end. He's put on a brave face, carried himself with grace and dignity and performed better than anyone expected him to. He's managed to hold Chelsea together - no matter how good the players and the [.

Delusional Manager 2008 - starring: Wenger, Benitez, Grant and Ramos

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'I had a dream', said Monsieur Wenger. 'I had a dream in which I saw Arsenal beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, where Adebayor's handball stood but Ronaldo's penalty was not a penalty, and Hargreaves didn't take any free kicks. I had a dream in which we won that game and won the Premier [...]

Cristiano Ronaldo and the fake Madrid circus

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When would be the ideal time for Manchester United to sell Cristiano Ronaldo? Right before Euro 08? After it? Next year? In 5 years? One feels that if Ferguson met Calderon and Schuster in a jungle he'd club them to death. He's not the only one thinking that - hordes of Manchester United fans confused [.

Transfer Rumors (24 May 08): Hleb on his way out of Arsenal, Robinho to Chelsea, Pletikosa to Manchester United, and more

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As is the case with the weekend roundups, since it's the weekend, I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Still, there are some good tidbits, so take your time. According to Alexander Hleb's agent, the want-away midfielder is all set to leave Arsenal for another club, and that everything should be sorted out [.

Goal4Africa: “Each goal scored can be a step towards creating a better Africa.”

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Images courtesy of Goal4Africa. Goal4Africa is a humanitarian initiative to mark two seminal events: The 90th birthday of the Honorable Nelson Mandela, along with the upcoming World Cup 2010 in South Africa. "The concept originated as a simple idea – and a powerful ideal. It was inspired by two major upcoming events: Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, on 18 [.

The USA will beat England. Here is why…

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England v USA, 28 May 2008, Friendly, Wembley. The USA is the habitual underdog in football, and England is the habitual underachiever. Those two virtues make the upcoming friendly exceedingly interesting. The history between these two nations goes as far back as 1607, when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock.

La Liga: Club by Club Review of the Season 2007/08

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Season 2007/2008 was not a vintage season for La Liga. In the end Real Madrid gained a record breaking 85 points, but most Madridistas would agree that their team was far from perfect. They were helped by the demise of their rivals Barcelona whose fantasticos followed the miserable path that Madrid's Galacticos had taken a [.

Transfer Rumors (23 May 08): Lampard for Inter, Makoun for Manchester City, Coupet for Spurs, and more

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Well, it's Friday again, so whatever you do this weekend, be careful, and don't do anything that I wouldn't do. But, before you go bungee jump, skydive, or take your chances with that sexy lady in the bar, don't forget about today's transfer roundup. It seems to be a given that Didier [...]

Manchester United v Chelsea - value for money?

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For the first time in as long as I can remember, a football match of such importance not only lived up to but far surpassed any hype which preceded it. The build up for yesterday's Champions League climax was palpable. That it was an all English final gave the British media something to chew on [...]

Manchester United Players: We Want More Titles

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Manchester United are the best team in England and in Europe at the moment - with their chance to make it 3 out of 3 in Tokyo at the end of the year. For the players, winning the Champions League title at this stage of their careers - many of them are still young and [...]

Euro 2008 Countdown: Group C - Dracula’s Boys to struggle in ‘Group of Death’

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As always in a big tournament draw there is always several highly-fancied teams thrown together which ultimately leads to a big-name first round casualty in what is commonly referred to as a ‘Group of Death'. Euro 2008 is no different as current world champions Italy, runners up France, the impressive-looking Holland and a Romania side, who [.

Manchester United want more after historic Double

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It was in the early hours of Thursday morning when the match went into penalties and being a united fan im thinking... not again.... Fergie has never won a truly significant shoot-out. I was truly in wonder of the faith /stupidity that SAF had in Anderson to bring a 19 year old to take potentially [.

Transfer Rumors (22 May 08): Tottenham’s move for Eto’o breaks down, Xabi Alonso for Juventus, Nasri to Arsenal (maybe), and more

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Before I begin today's transfer roundup - I hear there was some sort of game going on Wednesday. How'd that go, I wonder... I do feel for John Terry - I'm as happy as can be, but if there'a an opposing player that I respect, it's Terry, who takes a licking and keeps on [...]

Should Keegan throw Barton out of Newcastle?

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Newcastle are considering just what to do next with 25-year-old England international capped midfielder Joey Barton after his latest off-the-field antics cost him his liberty on Tuesday with a six-month spell behind bars for assault and affray. Barton's jailing came as a result of an incident in Liverpool on December 27, 2007 when he punched [.

Mission Impossible for Avram Grant

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Andy Greeves on why Avram has struggled to live in the shadow of the Special One. One of the most abiding images of the season so far was Avram Grant's reaction to Chelsea's Champions League semi-final victory over Liverpool. The Israeli crumbled to his knees as the final whistle sounded in west London, overcome by a [.

Ronaldinho’s new challenge: Milan, Juventus or Manchester City?

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This Ronaldinho saga reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy was swept away in a fierce wind. Similarly, Ronaldhino looks to be on his way in a whirlwind of transfers out of Barcelona. Once the world's best player, he must now re-invent himself at a new club. Joan Laporta, the president of [..

Poor Newcaslte stranded as Barton is jailed for 6 months

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It's hard not to feel for Newcastle United and the Geordie supporters who made the effort to accept Joey Barton as a Newcastle player despite his history of violent behavior. On the other hand, it would be foolish and naive to sympathise with Barton, regardless of the pressures of living a footballer's life or [.

Transfer Rumors 20 May 2008: Carson to Villa, Cuellar to Newcastle, Bridge to Juventus, and more

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There's plenty of news to report today, and we'll start with a couple of signings by some of Europe's top clubs. Real Madrid have completed a deal to sign Racing Santander defender Ezequiel Garay for 11 million euros. Rumor Rating: 5 - Garay has shown a great deal of talent - and [...]

Exeter City: Goodbye to the Conference

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Ok, I give up. I've written and rewritten the first few paragraphs of this piece more times that I'd care to count and have utterly failed to keep any balance of neutrality regarding the Conference playoff final at the weekend. The situation also isn't helped by the fact the game is largely a blur to [.

Chelsea FC’s financial accounts and understanding Roman Abramovich

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Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich is a man who polarises opinions. Most accept that a) he's a smart businessman and b) he loves football and Chelsea, but beyond that there are two camps - those who believe that Roman will 'grow tired' of Chelsea and those who believe that Roman is truly dedicated to [.

What Wayne Rooney Knows…

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Nike recently released a web-exclusive video of Wayne Rooney called "What Wayne Knows" – where he talks about how he plays, taking you through the technicalities of his game and approach to play. It's part of a series of videos giving an insight into leading players - this one comes early thanks to the [.

Euro 2008 Countdown: Group B - German efficiency to lead the way

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Euro 2008 betting punters looking to pull out a few shocks should probably steer clear of Group B as co-hosts Austria and Poland, both looking to make a mark in their first-ever appearance in the tournament, will have their work cut out to prevent the favourites Germany and impressive Croatia from marching into the last-eight.

La Liga week 38: Racing into Europe, Zaragoza relegated

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Racing Santander grabbed the last available Uefa Cup place thanks to an 86th minute winner against Osasuna, while at the other end of the table it is Zaragoza who join Levante and Murcia in the second division. It doesn't seem so long ago that Nayim was scoring against Arsenal's David Seaman to win them the [.

Transfer Rumors 19 May 2008: Roque Santa Cruz to Arsenal, Eto’o to Spurs, Ramsey to United, Dossena to Liverpool and more

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It's a new week, and there's plenty of transfer news from the weekend to go over in the Monday roundup. Cardiff may have lost their chance at a place in Europe, but they could be on the verge of a nice little cash injection from Manchester United, if they choose to accept United's [...]

Liverpool fans deserve better. Stevie Gerrard deserves better. Will it get better?

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This weeks postbag sees a letter from one of the most influential players in English football. Soccerlens is very proud to be chosen as a sounding board by this particular individual. Dear Soccerlens, I am a twenty-seven year old footballer who has achieved nearly everything it is possible to achieve in the game.

Conference playoff final preview

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Sandwiched between the FA Cup and the Champions League this Sunday comes a game that will be just as close, hard-fought and unpredictable when two ex-league clubs fight to regain what they consider to be their rightful league places in the Blue Square Premier playoff final. Six years ago Cambridge United v Exeter City would have [.

Transfer Rumors: Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham, Portsmouth, AC Milan, Sevilla, Getafe, Bordeaux

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Today's transfer roundup is relatively short, what with it being the weekend and all, but there's some pretty good spec to serve up. AC Milan have reportedly thrown their name into the Samuel Eto'o race, as they've made a bid of 20 million euros for the striker, who's also on Inter, Tottenham's, and [.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Champions League Final Preview

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Manchester United v Chelsea UEFA Champions League Final 21 May 2008 - Luzhniki Stadium - Moscow Time: 20:45 (CET), 19:45 (UK), 23:45 (PK), 14:45 (EST). The 2007/2008 season will end like it started - with Chelsea and Manchester United scrapping for bragging rights as the best team in England. United have won the Premier League but for [.

US National Team 2008 Summer Preview

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The European domestic leagues are coming to a close, but the US Men's National Team players based on the continent are just getting warmed up. This summer will be an important one for the USMNT in their run-up to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. A series of testing friendlies precedes the [.

Cesc Fabregas - superhero?

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You know how everyone says that Cesc Fabregas is the greatest thing since sliced bread? I never bought that - I always had him pegged as a flash-in-the-pan, over-hyped kid who couldn't cut it on the big stage. But then, step by step, game by game, Fabregas has converted me. And now I'm wondering if [.

Manchester City qualify for UEFA Cup - will Thaksin change his mind?

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Manchester City have qualified to play in the UEFA Cup next season through the Premier League's fair play table. The Premier League came top of UEFA's fair play table (I guess fewer fouls are given in England than anywhere else?) and although Manchester City were 6th in the Premier League fair play table, the 5 [.

2007/2008 Premier League TV Revenue

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The 07/08 Premier League season was the first in the new 3-year deal secured by Scudamore and co., one that promises to bring a crazy amount of money into football. While some people think that football is peaking in England, I respectfully disagree - the scramble for football dollars has just begun, with the [.

Transfer Rumors for 16/05/08: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Sevilla, Porto, Fenerbahce

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Today's transfer roundup starts and ends with rumors that may or may not have any merit. Is there any chance at all that Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer? The Daily Mail is looking to put a spin on some comments Ronaldo made in reference to his [...]

Who is the best Goalkeeper in the Premier League?

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John Stevanja (Keeper Skool) conducted a fan survey on 'the best keepers in the Premier League'. While some of the voting patterns were quite predictable (no prizes for guessing #1) and made you wonder if press coverage influenced people's opinions, some of the picks would surprise you (especially how one keeper beat several other [.

Euro 2008 Hotline - Swiss-based fans to get screwed?

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The EU and UEFA have launched an information campaign and helpline to advise fans travelling to Euro 2008 on their consumer rights and to provide support for those who run into problems. The campaign deals with consumer issues ranging from fake match tickets to transferring tickets in the case of illness, to air travel, roaming [.

Arsenal 2nd, Chelsea 3rd, Everton 4th, Liverpool 5th - How much of a difference did bad refereeing make this season?

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All year long we've been bitching about refereeing decisions going against our clubs. Sometimes we resort to bitching about how refereeing decisions unfairly help other clubs (witness SAF's comment on Arsenal's late equaliser against Villa, or Grant's whinge about referees helping United win the title).

Arsenal board choose Kroenke as lesser of two evils

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When Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood spoke about Kroenke last year, he played on the fans' sentiments and stoked the fires of independence by claiming 'we don't want his sort'. Never mind that the man was a shareholder and a business partner - a Yank is a Yank is a Yank, and in the face [...]

Transfer Rumors: Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Valencia, Juventus, Fiorentina

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Andrei Arshavin played a starring role in Zenit St. Petersburg's UEFA Cup win over Rangers at City of Manchester Stadium, and it might not be the last time he steps foot on the pitch at Eastlands. Manchester City have reportedly put in a 10 million pound bid for the Russian playmaker, who has [...]

Cardiff players to put on Superman clothes to beat Portsmouth in FA Cup Final

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Portsmouth v Cardiff 17 May, 2008 - Wembley 15:00 BST Update: While the world pretends that it cares about the FA Cup final, we have a bit more class. Good luck Pompey, and good luck Cardiff - if it weren't for Ramsey I doubt any neutrals sitting outside the UK would be watching (and even then I [..

Peter Reid: the Soccerlens Interview

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Peter Reid talks to Soccerlens about who should take the England captaincy, why Rooney is the best player in the Premiership, and getting one over Graeme Souness. Peter Reid was the kind of player you'd want to have in your team. Passionate, committed, full of drive and a never say-die-attitude that saw him gain thirteen England [.

MLS 2008 Player Salaries

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A bit late, but nevertheless: Here's the link (pdf) to the full list of salaries paid to MLS players for the 2008 season. Beckham earns the most, but the gap between him and the other million-dollar club members is as vast (he earns twice as much as Blanco, and 4-5 times as much as the [...]

Respect for the FA’s Vision

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When I first read it - and before I had read what the mainstream media thought about it - it sounded like an over-ambitious plan that had no chance of success. In one respect at least, their aims for Euro 2012 and World Cup 2010, the FA were setting the bar at the right [...]

The 07/08 Premier League Review - An exciting, unpredictable season full of surprises…

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If you believe the hype, the 2007/2008 English Premier League season was the most exciting and unpredictable season that we've had in a long, long time. Except for the eventual top 4. Or the top 2. Or guessing 2 out of 3 relegation contenders. Or seeing recently taken-over teams embrace mid-table mediocrity instead of European [.

UEFA Cup Final 2008 - Is Manchester Ready?

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It won't be long now until Rangers prepare to take on Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup Final as part of their quest for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies in the 2007-8 campaign, but how will the host city of Manchester cope with the anticipated invasion of between 80,000 and 100,000 fans for this [.

Do English referees give England players favourable decisions ?

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Paul Scholes's non-sending off in the title climax on Sunday has confirmed a suspicion I've held for a while - Premiership referees are biased in favour of England (or just plain English) players over their foreign counterparts. As Sunday's match official Steve Bennett blew his whistle to indicate a foul had been committed when Scholes clashed [.

Will Berbatov or Barry be transfer villian of 2008?

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"Judas, Judas", that evocative biblical name could be applied and regularly chanted at either Gareth Barry or Dimitar Berbatov next season if they are seen to depart their clubs for the promised land of the ‘Big Four'. They'd be following in some familiar and famous footsteps in running the gauntlet of public opinion - deciding [.

Transfer Rumors: Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Bordeaux

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Can someone clue me in - did Tottenham always have this much to spend, or is it the fact that they're realizing that winning is nice that's making them shell out big bucks? Today's transfer rumors are Spurs-heavy, so if you hate Tottenham, or are a Spurs fan who doesn't want to get their hopes [...]

Soccerlens Fantasy Football 07/08 - Wrap-up, Winners and Prizes

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Congratulations to Ilango for winning the inaugural Soccerlens Fantasy Football league. He overtook Spiral Architect (one of the earlier SL readers and a leader in the final months of the season), pushing him into 2nd place on the final day. Nig (Nicholas Aldam from FCB News) came in 3rd. You can check the full table [.

In defence of King Kev

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Kevin Keegan might as well have gone up to the Queen Mother and called her a dirty whore. The sheer outrage at his remarks - surprisingly realistic when you consider his usual optimism - was felt across the world as various stakeholders in the money-making behemoth that is the Barclays Premier League took it [.

Youth Football in the US

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Ruud Gullit: 'We can't play sexy football at LA Galaxy' "I can't play sexy football with this team at the moment because we are not ready for this. There is a huge difference between the very good players and some of the average players. The reason for this, I have found out, is that young [...]

End of the road for Halifax Town

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It has not been a season to cheer about for Halifax Town fans. Struggling at the wrong end of the table, getting into administration and taking a ten point penalty that meant they only managed to avoid relegation on the last day of the season. But there will be no more fighting for the belegured [...

Transfer Rumors: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona, AC Milan

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There is some news from the weekend to get caught up on, but first, there's an actual signing to report. Well, it's not official yet, since the player hasn't agreed personal terms yet, but once that's all done, Porto defender Jose Bosingwa will move to Chelsea for 16.1 million pounds. For a [...

Euro 2008 Countdown - Group A: Swiss to get rolled on home turf

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Don't expect the goals to fly in when the Group A fixtures get underway at the European Championships this summer. Czech Republic had an outstanding record in qualifying, conceding only five goals in 12 matches, while Portugal and Turkey allowed only 10 and 11 respectively - less than one per match - which suggests Switzerland [.

“Manchester United are champions. They are the best team in the world,” says referee Bennett

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We had an e-mail at Soccerlens this morning from a distraught football official who feels that he has been unfairly castigated by fans, managers, players, pundits, his family, his friends, people in the street, total strangers, his pets, the media, the unions, the employers, his colleagues and anyone who knows the slightest thing about fairness, [.

La Liga Week 37: Atletico Madrid seal Champions League place

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With Real Madrid already crowned champions, attention turned to the battle for European places and the fight to avoid relegation. The big news this week is that Atletico Madrid guaranteed themselves a shot at the Champions League next season, though like Barcelona they will have to get through a qualifying round in August.

Premier League Highlights - Final day of the 07/08 Season

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Highlights from the final day of the 07/08 Premier League season: Wigan 0-2 Manchester United 10th Premier League title for Sir Alex Ferguson thanks to goals from Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs. Moscow here we come! Chelsea 1-1 Bolton Chelsea needed a win but only managed a 1-1 draw. Portsmouth 0-1 Fulham Fulham did the trick of surviving in the EPL [.

Transfer Rumors: Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich

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Today's transfer roundup won't be too long, because I'm being generous. I'm sure you all have much better things to do than to sit and read for an extended period of time...right? According to the father of Barca starlet Giovani dos Santos, Manchester City is the top option for the 18-year old attacker.

Weekend Tips: Tottenham to beat Liverpool, Everton to beat Newcastle, Arsenal, United and Chelsea to win

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Saying goodbye to the football season is very much like giving birth to a ginger child: after nine months of optimism, hope and anguish, you're left with a genuine feeling of disappointment. The final day is often emotional. Who could forget Arsenal pipping Liverpool to the title in 1989? Well sadly, my old man.

La Liga Week 36: Barcelona humiliated in Madrid

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Real Madrid celebrated their 31st Liga in style by thumping rivals Barcelona 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. This will have to go down as the most one-sided clasico since Ronaldinho destroyed Madrid's defence in November 2005. How times have changed since then. Ronaldinho is only in the news now for his off the field antics, [.

Transfer Rumors: Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Schalke

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Today's transfer roundup starts with transfer-related news, but not a big rumor. Instead, I give two thumbs-up to Real Madrid's Wesley Sneijder for looking out for his brother's best interests, as he stepped in to prevent Real from making an offer to former club Ajax for his brother Rodney, a promising youth team [.

Transfer Rumors: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Napoli, Portsmouth, Sevilla

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So, what's going on in the world of transfer rumors today? As always, chime in and chip in with opinions - and with rumors! Barcelona went into Arsenal to nab Thierry Henry last summer, and now they're being linked with another one, as the Blaugrana may have Emmanuel Adebayor on their summer wish-list.

Manchester United’s debt, analysed

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The article uses last available financial disclosures of the club as at 30th June, 2007 (download document (PDF) here). The words "current/currently" reflect opinion/fact with the same timeline in backdrop. All figures are in million pounds. The author is a financial analyst. It has been some time that people have been talking about a financial crisis in-the-making [.

What constitues a football hotbed? Newcastle fans look away now…

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The North East of England is often described as a ‘football hotbed' – an area that is widely accepted to be rich in the culture, tradition and passion of the beautiful game. Three big clubs, hundreds of thousands of loyal supporters and a breeding ground for talent through the eras, there can't be many parts [.

After Robo-Crouch, Here’s Robo-Keeper…

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There could be tough times ahead for Luca Toni. The Bayern Munich striker, just recently crowned Bundesliga champion and currently leading the scoring charts with 21 goals, may soon be confronted with an unsurpassable obstacle... of the robotic kind. Its name is Goalias (or GoalIAS if you prefer), and it's the first robot-goalkepeer capable [.

Transfer Rumors: Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Wigan, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Roma, Valencia

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Today's transfer roundup starts up as the last one did, so Arsenal fans, feel free to jump a couple of paragraphs. One Arsenal player is already on his way out of the Emirates - could another follow? The Times reports that Alexander Hleb is already letting it spill that he's agreed a four-year [..

Conference playoffs: the final pairing

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This year's playoff semi-finals for the Conference were as unexpected as they were exciting, and there wasn't even a hint of a penalty shoot-out and Exeter City and Cambridge United make their respective preparations for Wembley in just under a fortnight's time. The games always looked too close to call with Torquay slight favourites to progress [.

Transfer Rumors: Arsenal, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, QPR

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Guess who's back? That's right, me and the transfer roundup. The season's winding down and the rumors are heating up, so you'll be seeing me in this space regularly. Anyway, on to the good stuff! If Mathieu Flamini had wanted to be at Arsenal, he would've signed a new contract by now, wouldn't [.

Can Keane attract better players to Sunderland?

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Keano has lost patience with some his players and wants to ship out the non-performers as soon as possible: "We've lost 22 games this season and people keep telling me we've had a good season, but I'm lucky to still be in a job. That will be done this week - if not this week, then [...]

La Liga Week 35: Real Madrid clinch the title

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Congratulations to Real Madrid for winning their 31st Spanish league title. It's been a funny old season in Spain so perhaps it was appropriate that Madrid should come from behind and score twice in the last five minutes when they were down to ten men to win 1-2 at Osasuna. Villarreal are looking good for [.

Exciting end to a crazy season in the Coca-Cola Championship

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Sunday was a momentous day in the English Championship with the teams going up, getting in the play-offs, going down and staying up, changing constantly through ninety breathless, tension filled minutes. As a Watford fan I was right in there. Looking for other scores as our plan to keep things tight at Blackpool went horribly awry, [.

Goalkeeper scores 80-yard goal

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Montgomery Town FC goalie Steve Goodwin scores a wonder-goal from the edge of his own penalty area. Fabulous, one in a billion strike (and goes straight in unlike Paul Robinson's punt that bounced once in front of Ben Foster before going in) and proof that football is about taking your chances (if the opposition [.

Manchester City fans - why do you not understand me?

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Looking through the Soccerlens postbag this week we found a letter from a man much in the news at the moment. He has written for our help as he feels he is simply misunderstood: Dear Soccerlens, I have been reading your website for some time in an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the game of [.

AC Milan Win the Derby and Ruin Inter’s Hopes for an Early Celebration (Serie A Matchday 36)

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Three weeks ago, at the end of the 3-2 match lost to Juventus (Matchday 33) Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti had declared: "Our objective for the rest of the season, in order to qualify for Champions League, will be to win all of our next 5 matches". With the important fixture vs. Inter in the [...]

Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo of the Chicago Fire

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Image courtesy of the Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer. Last year, Major League Soccer welcomed David Beckham amidst significant mainstream media coverage in North America. Another player who joined the growing league in 2007, although with less fanfare, was a legend of Mexican football: Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo.

Meet our new friends, SoccerNews.com

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SoccerNews.com is a soccer news website featuring the latest football news from around the world (a broader perspective than you'd find on most news sites) as well as live scores, league tables and more stats. Have a look, browse around and be sure to drop a comment here to tell them what you think and [.

Kaka on the 2008 Time 100 list - why?

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The World's Most Influential People in 2008 - Time 100. I'm sure one can find many flaws with this list - as opinions go, everyone has one and we all think ours smells of roses. Fair enough, and I'm sure the editorial team at TIME magazine did their due diligence when compiling this list. But having [.

Sex advice for those going to Euro 2008

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You knew this was coming... If you're going to Euro 2008, you might want to pay attention to this one. A month before Euro 2008 kicks off, the Swiss Aids Federation has launched guidelines for people who visit prostitutes. Postcards have been handed out in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Zurich and Chur – the first four being tournament [.

Everyone except sourpuss Benitez picks Manchester United as league champions

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An interesting article appeared in the Guardian this morning, featuring soundbites from 9 managers in the Premier League on the chances of Manchester United and Chelsea in winning the Premier League this season. This was before today's set of matches, mind you, so it wasn't as if these managers knew ahead of time that Manchester [.

Owner picking the team for the manager? Who is Fergie talking about?

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Earlier this week Sir Alex Ferguson made an off-the-cuff remark which directly compromised the integrity of Premier League managers and the very institution of football that we, as fans, put their faith in. He was answering a question about Eriksson's predicament at Manchester City, and he said: "At some other clubs the owners want to pick [.

Saturday 3rd May 2008 - Premier League Video Highlights

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All Premier League highlights from Saturday's matches: Manchester United 4-1 West Ham Only 90 minutes to glory as Ronaldo found goal number 29th and 30th in the Premier League. Success is near! Bolton 2-0 Sunderland We will still see Bolton in the 08/09 season after their victory over Roy Keane's men.

UEFA U-17s 2008 potential stars - who are the future Kaka, Messi and Henry?

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Uefa's Under-17 Championships have revealed many a burgeoning young talent to a wider audience in the last six years. It is the stage where Wayne Rooney (2002), Cesc Fabregas (2004), Nuri Sahin (2005), Toni Kroos (2006) and Bojan Krkic (2007) strutted their stuff and won the 'Golden Boy' award. You have to wonder what happened to [.

Cesc Fabregas on fire - literally!

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Arsenal fans seem to put a lot of faith in their young Spanish midfielder, and with good reason - Fabregas has often displayed a coolness of temperament ever since breaking on the scene for Arsenal that is rarely seen in footballers, regardless of age or experience. Arsenal fans know how lucky they are to [.

Should Tottenham and Arsenal go for Gattuso?

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Last year, with Tottenham's season winding to a close and Jol already looking towards strengthening the squad in the summer, I suggested that Tottenham go for age and experience in midfield to compensate for the lack of composure (spine) that they've shown in the middle for the last couple of seasons.

On West Ham helping Manchester United beat Chelsea

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The press should be ashamed of themselves. Their suspicion and fueling of non-issues forces players and managers in the game to lie, to think 10 times before they say something, to spout carefully prepared statements or just hide from the spotlight. Honesty and friendship, it seems, isn't allowed in football.

Liverpool offer players+money for Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry

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The move to Liverpool will tick several boxes for the Aston Villa captain: he gets to make more money (in a short career that's always a consideration), he gets to play Champions League football and he gets to dream about the Premier League title as opposed to Champions League qualification. It's a lifestyle upgrade, [.

Can Eriksson take Manchester City to the Champions League?

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It be foolhardy to suggest that Thaksin Shinawatra knows more than the average football fan. He might know how to make money, and avoid going to jail, but in terms of pure footballing knowledge he would be more Macca than Rafa, if you catch my drift. But the Manchester City owner does not consider Mr [.

Conference playoff preview: Burton Albion v Cambridge United

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One down, three to go. Last night Torquay got the better of the Westcountry derby, tonight sees Nigel Clough's young pretenders take on old hand Jimmy Quinn's Cambridge. Burton are closer than they've ever been to league football wle Cambridge are back on song after several seasons in the doldrums. So let Soccerlens put jumpers for [.

Champions League Video Roundup: Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool and Manchester United 1-0 Barcelona

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Highlights from the midweek Champions League semifinals: Manchester United 1-0 Barcelona Aggregate: 1-0 Bye Bye Barca. From Manchester with love where Paul Scholes struck a sweet shot outside the box to send Barcelona packing. Moscow here we come! Chelsea 3-2 Liverpool (AET) Aggregate: 4-3 Liverpool finally managed to score at Stamford Bridge, but 2 defending errors in extra time proved to [.

UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals Wrap-Up: Manchester United and Chelsea Are Going to Moscow

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Main contenders for the English Premiership and finalists of UEFA Champions League. The title & crown of "Kings the 2007-08 season", both domestically and in Europe, has come down to two clubs: Manchester United and Chelsea. The former, defeating Spanish giants Barcelona after a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp and a Scholes-painted 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, will [.

Premier League Predictions: West Ham to hold Manchester United, Newcastle to beat Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal to win

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Tubby Brazilian Ronaldo may be one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch, but he's definitely a poor role model. The AC Milan man let himself down when he invited three members of the late-night entertainment industry back to a motel. It wasn't just the fact that they turned out [.

What would you pay for Ronaldinho?

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Both Internazionale and Milan have balked at Barcelona's asking price for the former World Player of the Year - supposedly valued at 30 million Euros by the Catalan club whereas the Italians are rumoured to offering 16-20 million euros (reasonable, if you factor in that he is 'damaged goods' and commands high wages).

Brazil to play Canada and Venezuela in the US this summer

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Five time World Cup champion Brazil announced Tuesday that it will play two football friendlies on US soil later this year. The Brazilians have booked matches against Canada in Seattle on May 31 and Venezuela on June 6 at Foxboro, Massachusetts, as part of a twin-bill with Major League Soccer's New England Revolution facing FC [.

Conference playoffs preview: Exeter City v Torquay United

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It might not quite be Manchester United versus Chelsea in the Champions League final, but there's just as much at stake for the four teams competing for the second spot in the Football League, and for at least three of them it's a chance to reverse the pain of relegation to the non-league pyramid. Come next [.

Pato, Krkic, Balotelli or Kroos the European Rookie of the Year ?

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In US sports they call it the ‘Rookie of the Year' award, but there doesn't appear to be an equivalent honour in European football. I know the PFA have their ‘Young Player of the Year' award – but when you've got seasoned veterans like Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo in the running it hardly stacks [.

Manchester United more valuable than Real Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool

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According to Forbes.com Manchester United have been valued at $1.8 billion, ahead of the club traditionally known as the richest club in football (Real Madrid, $1.285 billion) and their chief domestic rivals Arsenal ($1.2 billion), Liverpool ($1.05 billion) and Chelsea ($764 million). Have fun sorting the lists according to different criteria.

Euro 2008 Countdown - less than 2 weeks to go

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With just 2 weeks to go now the cream of Europe's footballing nations are gearing up for the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. The fact none of the Home Nations have managed to qualify has put a dampener on the tournament for the majority of the United Kingdom's population, but let us not get away [.

England v USA - 28 May 2008 - Preview

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England v USA Wednesday, 28 May 2008, Wembley England squad for the US and Trinidad & Tobago games (England play in Port of Spain on June 1) added at the end. The USA will travel to London to play England in a friendly at Wembley on 28 May. Both teams will use the fixture as part of [...]