SoccerLens Archives for January 2009

Auxerre’s winning run cut short by PSG

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After 7 wins in a row, Auxerre's run was finally cut by PSG. After losing the first 3 league matches, it looked like it's going to be a long and frustrating for the 1995/96 champions alongside Grenoble, but the run, which started in week 7, has brought the club's name forward as a possible title contender.

SPL 09/10 – A New Beginning?

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Even a quick glance out of curiosity at the Clydesdale Bank Premierleague this season makes for interesting reading. Yes, Celtic and Rangers sit first and second respectively, but the chasing pack are closer than ever and some fans of Dundee United and Hibernian are even dreaming of that ever-elusive SPL title leaving Glasgow for the first time since 1985.

Soccerlens TV: Chelsea dominate while Barcelona prove their class

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Join celebrated football pundit, author, radio show host and DJ Andy Brassell every Monday on the Soccerlens Show.

It was derby weekend in Europe as Arsenal took on Chelsea, Everton hosted Liverpool and over in Catalunya Barcelona hosted Real Madrid (technically not a derby, but one of the hottest rivalries in Spain).

Jimmy Bullard’s Goal Celebration

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Jimmy Bullard mimes Phil Brown's half-time on-the-pitch team talk from last season as Hull celebrate scoring a goal against Manchester City.

You can also see some of the greatest goal celebrations of all time, here.

"Jimmy Bullard's Goal Celebration" was originally published at Soccerlens.

The curious case of Mario Balotelli

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Mario Balotelli wasn't even playing. At least in Turin anyway. But that didn't stop a section of Juventus fans singing: "If you jump, Balotelli dies" during last Sunday's mind-numbing 1-0 win over Udinese.

One columnist tried to explain the incident away by citing a famous novel by Alberto Moravia, one of Italy's greatest novelists, in which the protagonists are so bored they end up doing inexcusable things.

Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale isn’t ‘good enough’

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With December fast approaching Jose Mourinho's Internazionale are sitting pretty 5 points clear at the top of Serie A. This lofty perch is something the Inter supporters have become very comfortable with over the last few seasons following the Calciopoli scandal which awarded Inter two titles previously credited to Juventus and the subsequent monopoly that has been enjoyed by them as a result ever since.

Five of the Most Famous Goal Celebrations of All-Time

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Soccerlens takes time out to reflect on the most glorious and visceral expression of footballing joy the goal celebration. We look at some of the most famous goal celebrations of all time. Have a look, then join in the discussion.

The Most Memorable

Marco Tardelli – Italy v West Germany, World Cup Final, 1982


Podcast: El Clasico preview and problems facing Manchester United and Liverpool

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Tune in for episode 30 of the world famous Soccerlens Podcast, where co-hosts Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg are joined by Spanish football expert Lee Watson to discuss this weekend's mouthwatering Barcelona v Real Madrid clash.Â

The show also features energetic exchanges on England's 2018 World Cup bid, problems facing Manchester United and Liverpool in Europe and Arsene Wenger's unexpected expletives.

Fantasy Football: Manchester United and Manchester City to clean up this weekend

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Crisis. That's what the papers are saying. A team in crisis, a manager who is losing the plot. No, I'm not talking about Liverpool here. This is about the Baroque Social! A bad week for me in the Fantasy League, but a memorable one for most. Unless, of course, you happen to be a Wigan defender.

Maradona, Messi & Tevez have a little fun on Argentinean TV

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Argentinean footballers to past and present Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Enzo and Carlos Tevez play something that looks like a mix of football and badminton. Take a look:

"Maradona, Messi & Tevez have a little fun on Argentinean TV" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Liverpool’s end of season party

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Liverpool started the season aiming for a realistic title challenge (a continuation, if not improvement, of last season) and progression to the semi-finals of the Champions League (a competition they've done far better in than the league itself).

Those aims officially ended last night with Liverpool dumped to the Europa League (all the football, none of the money) and with the team 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea, this is definitely not Liverpool's year.

Real Salt Lake spot on as Galaxy miss out on MLS Cup

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It was supposed to be written in the stars above the Space Needle. Sunday was the night everything was to come together and confirm the resurrection of a fallen giant. MLS Cup 2009 had an air of destiny; LA Galaxy, guided by the reinvigorated Beckham-Donovan axis, were to confirm their return from too long in the wilderness to triumph against all the odds.

The Liverpool Reality

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Yesterday night Liverpool FC and all its fans were dealt the final blow that sent them crashing out of this year's Champions League with a game still left to play in the group phase.

For the top seeded team in the group this was not in the script. The sight of the Liverpool players in the tunnel after beating Debrecen, all starring at the TV screens desperately hoping Lyon would score an equaliser to keep their hopes of progressing in the competition alive, was a strange one to fathom.

The 10 Largest Football Stadiums In The World

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In this article we look at the world's ten largest football stadiums, some perhaps better known than others, and assess their legacies and impact both on the game and in their individual countries.

We also look ahead and ask what the future may hold for this selection of magnificent sporting venues.

Soccerlens TV: Spurs and Man City need to improve to topple Liverpool

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Join celebrated football pundit, author, radio show host and DJ Andy Brassell every Monday on the Soccerlens Show.

With one-third of the Premier League season done and dusted, Tottenham and Manchester City are meeting pre-season expectations as the two genuine contenders for breaking into the top four.

Who said Ligue 1 was boring?

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Bordeaux lose at home, Grenoble snatch a point versus Lyon, Auxerre moves top with a 8th consecutive win all that happened in the last round of Ligue 1 matches. Then of course there was the incredible 5:5 draw between Lyon and Marseille in the previous round, that was deemed as "the match of the century" by the French media and no doubt one of the best football matches in the World in recent seasons.

Behind the scenes with Jonny Evans

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The BBC has an excellent interview with Manchester United's Jonny Evans where he discusses his progress through the ranks at Manchester United, his team-mates, his international career and Sir Alex Ferguson.

You can watch the 8-minute interview here.

Fairly standard stuff, with a few interesting observations:

  • He's a very down-to-earth, grounded kid.

How Manchester United are replacing Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals

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There were questions raised over Manchester United's ability to compensate for Cristiano Ronaldo's and Carlos Tevez's absence this season, with critics especially pointing to United being unlikely to compensate for Ronaldo's goals.

Those critics have been pretty much proven wrong this season, with United scoring as many goals at this stage as they had last season, with a number of players chipping in with more than their share of the goals from last year around.

The Battle For Fourth Place

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In the summer of 2009, the usual predictions were cast on the aspirations of clubs in the Barclays Premier League. The Big Four's greatest threat was said to come from Manchester City, Tottenham and maybe Aston Villa and Everton, while the club most likely to drop out of the Big Four was Manchester United or Arsenal.

Inter ready to rock Barcelona

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Like Barcelona, who claim to be more than a club, Jose Mourinho has always cast himself as more than just a football manager. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the Special One even had the temerity to suggest he is much better at knowing what footballers are thinking than any shrink in the business.

So has football lost its soul?

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What an emotional, mentally draining week its been. Monsieur Henry's handball has been talked to death at this stage, im sure some people will be rolling their eyes at another article over this much talked about topic, but I haven't given my two cents yet and I've got some things to get off my chest.

Sunderland v Arsenal Preview – Premier League – 21 Nov 2009

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Sunderland v Arsenal
English Premier League
Saturday, 21 November, 2009

Sunderland and Arsenal are enjoying good starts to the season, with Sunderland in 8th place thanks to good home form and Arsenal in an impressive 2nd place (with a game in hand to Chelsea and United) thanks to their free-flowing displays of goalscoring.

Bundesliga preview – Can Bayern stop Leverkusen?

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Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen
Sunday, 22 November, 2009

The death of Hanover goalkeeper Robert Enke will take centre stage as the Bundesliga resumes after his tragic death.

Hanover will have little respite as they visit Schalke on Saturday.

Coke Zero – Wayne Rooney’s Street Striker: Behind the scenes

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I'm sure you have heard about Coke Zero Wayne Rooney's Street Striker show. We also showed you the little stunt Rooney pulled where he's dribbling (kind of) through a bunch of randomly rolled tires (if not, click here). We got hold of more of the clippings of the show.

Soccerlens now presents, behind the scenes of Coke Zero Wayne Rooney's Street Striker:

"Coke Zero Wayne Rooney's Street Striker: Behind the scenes" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Don’t write Manchester United off yet!

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Following their defeat to Chelsea, I read a couple of articles writing off Manchester United's title hopes. This feels absurdly early to me, so ahead of this weekend's Premiership matches here are 4 reasons why I reckon Manchester United will be lifting the Premier League title in May 2010.

The Friday Five: Footballing Heartbreakers

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In the wake of Ireland's heartbreaking aggregate defeat to France, where Thierry Henry's handballed assist for William Gallas to score an equaliser in extra time denied a team who had performed magnificently to haul themselves level, we pay tribute to five of the greatest footballing heartbreakers in recent memory.

Fantasy Football: Injuries to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United forcing changes

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So the last international break of the noughties has been and gone, we know who will be lining up in South Africa next summer, and we know that Robin Van Persie's ligaments will soon be enjoying the sweet, sweet smell of placenta fluid as he looks to regain the momentum lost in another meaningless friendly.

How can Manchester United improve?

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There is no doubt that this season Manchester United have not yet played to the heights that have become expected of them. They haven't scored as many goals and don't look as fluent. Sometimes I think they miss Tevez, but then I see him play for Manchester City. He fitted perfectly with Rooney and his work rate made him a fan's favourite.

Fun interview with Manchester United’s Ferdinand and Brown

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A short and fun interview with Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown, courtesy of talksport.

Did you know that Wes Brown was playing for United back in 1999? The lad gets very little credit for all the hard work he puts in.

So where do you see Rio in 6 months?

"Fun interview with Manchester United's Ferdinand and Brown" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Sharpen your pitchforks in the name of Thierry Henry

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France qualified for the World Cup in South Africa in the summer thanks to a William Gallas header against Ireland in Paris. With French supporters everywhere celebrating, replays showed in the build-up to the goal, Thierry Henry hand-balling the ball onto his foot to cross. Of course, that is against the rules and it is very unfortunate that he should have done that however, would we be complaining if Kevin Doyle had done it for Richard Dunne to score?

Podcast Preview: Liverpool v Man City, Man Utd v Everton and Sunderland v Arsenal

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Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg are in fine form on Episode 29 of the world famous Soccerlens Podcast.Â

There's a host of juicy topics to get stuck into this week and the duo's heated debate centres on Thierry Henry's lack of sportsmanship, the miracle powers of horse placenta and the prospects for manager-less Scotland.

Exclusive ‘behind-the-goal’ footage reveals true extent of Henry’s deception

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...Or at least if you had just read the reactions from the fans and trigger-happy journalists, you'd think this is what Henry had actually done:

On a serious note, the 'victims' the Irish team have been refreshingly objective about the situation and have laid the blame squarely on the horrible refereeing and to a much lesser extent on their own poor finishing as the real reasons why the French and not the Irish are headed to South Africa.

MLS Cup 2009 Preview: Real Salt Lake v LA Galaxy

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Nine months, 456 matches, and controversy aplenty. And it all comes down to to one game, one high-octane head-to-head for the title.

The fourteenth season of Major League Soccer is nearing its end and, while Seattle Sounders have skewed an otherwise worrying attendance picture, the action on the field has impressed.

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Comes To The Fore As Wales Look To The Future

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After years of waiting for a promising young player to develop, Wales have perhaps discovered that young players, just like buses, often come all at once. Their 3-0 victory over Scotland was ample demonstration of the burgeoning potential of players coming through for the Welsh, and while there is a long way to go, as with any journey, the hope must be that Saturday can be a starting point for something special.

Exclusive photos from Robin Van Persie’s placenta treatment

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Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie headed to Serbia earlier this week to get 'special' treatment for the torn ligaments in his ankle.

We didn't actually follow RVP all the way over, but our Eastern European correspondent (Croatian if you must ask) insists that this is exactly how Serbian witchdoctors administer placenta treatments to patients.

Eto’o makes good on a £30k promise

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The former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o promised his fellow countrymen that he will buy each of his teammates a £30,000 watch should they qualify for the 2010 World Cup. Last weekend after their 2-0 win over Morocco, Eto'o made good on his promise and gifted the same watch to all of his teammates.

Scottish football’s deep-lying problems

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After an embarrassing string of results, George Burley's reign as Scotland manager has come to an end, costing the SFA an estimated £300,000 after he recently signed a contract extension.

The vast problems with Scottish football are not down to George Burley. Granted he hasn't had the most fruitful of terms in charge, but give him some credit, he was better than Berti Vogts.

The ill-adjusted talent – what Serie A can learn about foreign youth players

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19-year-old Norwegian starlet Jo Inge Berget is contracted to Udinese Calcio, but would rather be anywhere else than in Udine.

After a loan spell at his home club in Norway, the striker was expected by Norwegian media to get a call-up to the senior national team in November, alongside players such as Aston Villas John Carew and Le Mans Club's Thorstein Helstad.

Four Brilliant Brazilians for Tottenham and Manchester United

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The Brazillians have long been regarded as the Kings of football, widely considered the most stylish, attractive and best football team in the world.

The samba stars have produced a long line of brilliant individuals: Pele, Zico, Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, the list goes on.

Angel di Maria loves Manchester United

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Benfica midfielder Angel di Maria has been the subject of much transfer speculation recently, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all linked with the Argentine international. A ridiculous fee of £36million has been mentioned for the 21 year old, although somewhere around £10-15million is more likely.

The Oldest Clubs in World Football

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Although football today is a multi-billion dollar globalised industry which has spread its commercial influence to all corners of the planet, sometimes it pays to look back into the game's annals and revisit the humble origins of what has now become the most popular sport in the world.

In this article I look at the ten oldest football clubs still in existence today and try and put the magnitude of their impact upon the game into some sort of historical perspective.

Soccerlens TV: World Cup playoffs Preview and the answers to England’s problems

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Join celebrated football pundit, author, radio show host and DJ Andy Brassell every Monday on the Soccerlens Show.

England's second-string lost to Brazil on Saturday in Doha, an event that was expected but led to the expected round of national team bashing by the English press.

Can birthday-boy Nani make the grade at United?

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Nani, who turns 23 today, needs to toughen up mentally if he wants to make the grade at United.

When Nani broke into the Sporting CP first-team he was seen as the next big thing to come out of Portugal, after Cristiano Ronaldo that is. After his big move to Manchester United he has lived in the shadow of his more glorified countryman.

Five Players That Got Away From Rafa

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Everywhere you look or listen, Rafa Benitez's ability to manage Liverpool Football Club is being questioned. I've not been immune to criticising the Spaniard myself, as followers of the Soccerlens Podcast will testify, but I'm far from alone in highlighting his deficiencies. Even Liverpool's loyalist fans are split on whether the goatee-ed one is still the man they want to lead them forward.

Women or Football – What comes first in your life?

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Firstly I would like to explain the title, whilst this is a little inflammatory I am not here to discuss the merits of the Mike Newell School of sexual equality within the beautiful game but rather the unresolved conflict between two great loves of my life women and football.

Firstly for some reason I feel I must clarify what you already know, the role of football for millions of men's lives begins at an early age.

World’s Most Polite (Brazilian) Footballer

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36 year old Alexandre da Silva Mariano, a.k.a. Amaral, is not one player that you would expect to be the (unofficially) most polite footballer.

Previously playing in footballing danger zones such as Italy (Parma; AC Fiorentina) and Turkey (Besiktas), representing Brazil 31 times, and winning an Olympic Bronze medal (Atlanta 1996), nobody anticipated that the former grave digger would have written a thank you note to his most recent club, Perth Glory.

To Cheat or Not to Cheat

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A cheat. An embarrassment. A disgrace.

All words used to describe Liverpool's David N'Gog in the aftermath of last Monday's game against Birmingham. Other media outlets demanded a 5 game ban. In a matter of seconds an unremarkable squad player catapulted to being the poster boy for all that's wrong with the modern game.

The Diamond Duo are Arsenal’s best bet for success

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Sometimes in football, the chemistry between two extraordinary players are at such a high level, that it makes it a privilege to watch.

Last season, when Manchester United fumbled, the two players that came to the forefront in Liverpool's, ultimately fruitless, challenge was Gerrard and Torres.

January Bandages for Liverpool

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Its no news that Liverpool is preforming quite horrid at the moment, sitting in 7th place, 11 points behind Chelsea. With the combination of poor form and the plague of injuries that seem to be following the lads over at Anfield, we can only ask come January who will help aid these wounds.


This 24 year old Brazilian native is the perfect item to fill the whole left by the exit of Xabi Alonso.

CBA dispute threatens MLS progress

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It seems as if every other week this Major League Soccer column trumpets the league's uniqueness as its most valuable asset and most challenging problem.

That opinion hinges on the single entity system which dictates that money, players and competitive integrity are controlled by MLS headquarters in New York City.

2010 World Cup Qualifying Playoffs Preview

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The long, two-year road to South Africa has finally come to a conclusion. So far, 23 teams, including host South Africa, have qualified for the World Cup (here's a list of 2010 world cup teams).

Four will be known after the Nov. 14 matches, while the remaining five will be known after Nov.

Portugal v Bosnia – World Cup Qualifying Playoff

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Portugal v Bosnia
Saturday 14 November 2009 and Wednesday 18 November 2009
2010 World Cup Qualifying

If a third straight World Cup is to be in Portugal's future, Carlos Queiroz's side must get past Bosnia in the present, and they're going to have to do it without Cristiano Ronaldo.

Republic of Ireland v France – World Cup Qualifying Playoff

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Ireland v France
Saturday 14 November 2009 and Wednesday 18 November 2009
2010 World Cup Qualifying

The last time that the Republic of Ireland qualified for the World Cup, in 2002, they took the playoff route to book their place in Korea/Japan

This time, the route is the same, but while Ireland were in the favorite role against Iran last time around, they‘re decided underdogs this time, as Giovanni Trapattoni's side meets 1998 World Cup champions France with a ticket to South Africa on the line.

Cudicini’s accident raises questions on player safety and ‘risk management’

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Carlo Cudicini the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper has suffered ‘potentially life-changing injuries' as the result of crashing his motorbike early this morning.

The crash occurred at 10:30am GMT on Forest Road in Walthamstow East London. The collision involved a Ford Fiesta containing a female driver and a child, both of whom walked away from the incident and did not require hospital treatment.

Portsmouth sliding at an alarming rate

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Something is happening behind the scenes that Pompey that is worth a great deal more headscratching than what it's generating at the moment. The club's present footballing situation is a nightmare, and after rumours that players and staff have not been paid, the financial situation cannot be much better.

The Friday Five: World Cup Play-Offs

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As the eyes of the footballing world switch to the glittering international events, no not the friendlies, that are the World Cup Play-offs to see just who will take final spots in the world's biggest football tournament, so we take a look back over some of the finest play-offs in World Cup history.

Soccer fan becomes…Superman?

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What you're going to see is something that I just can't find the words to describe. Just watch it yourself:

Want more football videos? Check out the Soccerlens Youtube channel.

"Soccer fan becomes...Superman?" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Robert Enke – A reminder football players are human beings

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The tragic death of German goalkeeper Robert Enke has given us all some much-needed perspective. As much as top professional players are glorified, they are still people like you and me.

Enke threw himself infront of a train on Tuesday night, after suffering from depression since 2002.

Song’s top of the charts for Arsenal

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With Alex Song in inspired form, it begs the question who will replace him when he leaves for the African Cup of Nations in January?

The obvious candidates are Abou Diaby and Denilson. In my opinion, they are not good enough to play every game for Arsenal. They are great squad players, with lots of potential.

Kaka interview: England, Brazil, Real Madrid and the World Cup

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Brazilian journalist Fernando Duarte (a future guest on the Soccerlens Podcast, once we can track him down) interviewed Brazil and Real Madrid star Kaka in Doha this week, ahead of Brazil's friendly against England.

The full interview can be read on the Guardian here are a few excerpts:

Kaka on.

Ronaldo: “I wouldn’t call myself up to the World Cup squad”

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The actual Ronaldo was talking to the Globo television about the Brazil World Cup squad. He said even he wouldn't call for himself due to the shape he is in. He also announced that he is all set to fight and reclaim the prestigious number nine shirt that he wore and made history.

Chelsea could provide England with World Cup inspiration

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Prior to England's friendly against Brazil on Saturday I have been thinking about one possible tactical option available to Fabio Capello as he plans England's World Cup strategy.

There is no doubt that Capello has done a great job of taking an underachieving group of players and turning them into an effective team.

Shay’s No. 1? It’s a Given

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February 7th 2009, and "moneybags" Manchester City play a televised match against Gareth Southgates Middlesborough. City needed to bounce back after a 1-0 loss to stoke, and they very nearly lost it had it not been for one of Mark Hughes' shrewdest of signings.

Irish international Shay Given was making his first appearance for the Blues.

Episode 28: Premier League expansion and World Cup play-offs

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Don't miss Adrian Clarke and Iain Spragg debate the beautiful game on Episode 28 of the world famous Soccerlens podcast.Â

This week's sprightly show features lively chat on possible Premier League expansion, the next destination for Man City rebel Robinho and a cheeky new way of ridding football of its diving cheats.

‘Big Spending’ Tottenham’s transfers since summer 2008

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Much has been made about Tottenham's spending (almost £150m on transfers in the last 16 months), which presumably pushes them above the Big Four in spending and leaves them second only to Manchester City.

On the surface, it's a lot of money for not a lot of success. However, keep in mind that this Tottenham side has also seen a lot of exits, some of them at fairly good prices too.

Jonny Evans on Didier Drogba

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From the United-Chelsea game on Sunday...

and then afterwards:

When I saw this in real-time I missed the first incident and only saw Drogba writhing on the floor. I was worried for a few seconds; regardless of Drogba's antics you don't want to see a professional footballer badly injured and I was worried he had suffered a spinal injury or something that could keep him out of the game for a long period of time.

This is Liverpool’s best chance of lifting the Premier League title this season

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...but it'll only be a fan, and that too if the lottery draw works in their favour.

Still, it's better odds than what they have with current playing staff.

(via Republik of Mancunia)

"This is Liverpool's best chance of lifting the Premier League title this season" was originally published at Soccerlens.

12 Youngsters Who Could Dazzle Us At The 2010 World Cup

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The forthcoming season of world football is set to be the most thrilling in recent history concluding with one man holding aloft that hallowed golden trophy in Jo'berg next summer.

As top-flight action kicks off around the globe, who should we be looking out for? Which players are capable of bursting on to the international scene and emulating the famous exploits of an adolescent Owen during France '98?

Lucas Leiva Interview: I’m willing to sweat blood for Liverpool

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It's been a long, strange trip for young Lucas Leiva since he first stepped foot on the Anfield pitch for the first time in the summer of 2007. The midfielder was a highly publicised signing, after he made his way from Brazilian side Gremio for around £6 million to Merseyside quickly becoming a star-in-waiting.

Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, 32, dies after being hit by a train

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Robert Enke, the Hannover and Germany goalkeeper who was expected to be part of his country's World Cup squad next summer, was killed after being hit by a train close to a level crossing near his home.

Jörg Neblung, a close friend and adviser of Enke, later said that the 32-year-old goalkeeper had killed himself.

Video Review: Manchester United, Lyon and FC Twente at the title races

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Join celebrated football pundit, author, radio show host and DJ Andy Brassell every Monday on the Soccerlens Show.

This week's episode focuses on the title races across Europe, with the first stop being the Premier League title race and the United v Chelsea game. Manchester United gave a strong showing at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, possibly one of their best performances at the Bridge post-Ranieri and despite the defeat all signs point to an open, three-way title race.

Can Pablo Aimar be Argentina’s trequartista in South Africa?

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There are many factors that have contributed to Argentina's poor form throughout World Cup qualification. Some may look to the exclusion of the old guard such as Javier Zanetti and Estaban Cambiasso or to the continued faith in Carlos Tevez; dismissed twice and only scoring one goal throughout qualification.

The 55 clubs Real Madrid has lost to since October 1999

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Sid Lowe's La Liga column in the Guardian shared an interesting statistic this week over 50 clubs have beaten Real Madrid since October 2009 (last 10 years), but Atletico Madrid isn't one of them.

Here's the list in full:

Al Nasr Saudi Club, Al-Ahly, Alavés, Alcorcón, Almería, Anderlecht, Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Betis, Boca Juniors, Celta Vigo, Deportivo, Espanyol, Galatasaray, Getafe, Graz, Hannover, Internazionale, Juventus, Las Palmas, Levante, Liverpool, Lokomotiv Moscow, Málaga, Mallorca, Manchester United, Milan, Monaco, Murcia, Nastic, Numancia, Olympiakos, Lyon, Osasuna, PSV, Racing, Rayo Vallecano, Nexaca, Real Sociedad, Real Unión, Recreativo, Roma, Servette, Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Sporting Lisbon, Tokyo Verdy, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid, Villarreal, Werder Bremen and Zaragoza.

Grenoble finally off the mark

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What did UE Engordany of Andorra, FK Milano Kumanovo of Macedonia, Ankaraspor of Turkey and Grenoble of France had in common before last Sunday? They were all teams from European top divisions, who hadn't picked up a single point so far this season. And yes, there actually is a football league in Andorra.

The old and the new keep Juve in contention

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It all started on September 19th in the year 2000. David Trezeguet, a high profile 40 billion lira signing from the then French champions AS Monaco, scored his first goal for Juventus an 83rd minute winner against Panathinaikos in the Champions League.

Nine years later, the 32-year-old Frenchman, who spent his formative years in Argentina watching his father finish his own playing career, celebrated his 167th goal for the Bianconeri, making him the most prolific foreign goalscorer in the club's history.

The Year of Revolution: the UEFA Wall Has Fallen

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The timing could never had been better. Precisely ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, another barrier in Europe is being taken down: the wall between the strong and the weak of European football; between the Champions League and the Europa League; between the Big Four and the Little 16.

Arsenal Have Proven They Are the Best Attacking Force in the Premier League

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It was the Friday before the start of the Premier League season and I was on a plane home. The two gentlemen next to me starting talking and the conversation soon moved to football. One of them was lamenting Southampton's relegation into League One, he then said to his friend, "So it's four years without a trophy now then?

Melbourne Lose More Pride than Points against Central Coast

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In this week's Match of the round, we travel to Etihad Stadium, where Melbourne lost both a match, and their epic pride, going down 4-0 in front of 18,000 fans. A quiet first half and start of the second was ignited by a rampant Central Coast side.

Ernie Merrick left his side unchanged for his side's clash with Central Coast, the standout being Carlos Hernandez, who is in blistering form for the Victory.

Here’s how Manchester United can beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea v Manchester United
English Premier League
Sunday, 08 November, 2009
Stamford Bridge

The last 5 titles in the Premier League have been shared by Manchester United and Chelsea, and as the two best sides in England go head to head on Sunday, it's bound to be a memorable game no matter what the outcome.

Sir Alex Ferguson – Two Decades of Domination

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On this day 23 years ago, a certain Alexander Chapman Ferguson was appointed as the manager at Manchester United. Today Sir Alex is the most decorated manager in British football history.

His tactical genius, inspirational personality and tremendous focus have put him in a league above others.

English Premier League – the easiest league to survive in?

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Even this early on into the current EPL season viewers have witnessed nearly every team have at least one or two surprise if not shock results. Often these so called ‘blips' have been accompanied by a dip in form, or at the very least results that have meant the table from top to bottom is as intriguing and open as perhaps it has ever been before.

Elizabeth Lambert – Loses her cool and everything else too!

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Elizabeth Lambert is a college football defender playing for New Mexico in the Women's Mountain West Conference college tournament. In the game against Bringham Young University (BYU), things got a little rough with Elizabeth. Things got so rough that she earned the nickname Elizabeth "cheap-shot" Lambert.

The Friday Five: Chelsea v Manchester United Matches

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This weekend plays host to arguably the match of the Premier League season when Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea take on reigning champions Manchester United in what could be reasonably termed, a championship "six-pointer".

To honour this occasion, we look back over some of the finest games between these two giants of English football:

You can catch the Soccerlens preview for the Chelsea Manchester United game and our predictions in this week's podcast.

MLS says adiós to Blanco

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Major League Soccer is growing and improving but outsiders often criticise the league for having a lack of quality. It is a relatively fast football played in the US, with plenty of big, athletic players of the kind which is becoming so important in so many footballing countries across the world.

Goonerlicious football?

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Eduardo's back heel onto Arshavin, who runs and takes the ball and finds the pass to Diaby, who sets himself up and scores.

That my friends was the goal of the night and the fourth for Arsenal against AZ Alkmaar. The football recently played by Arsenal is nothing short of phenomenal, offensively of course.

Fantasy Football: Its all about Arsenal and Manchester City this week

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Eight red cards, thirty two goals and more talking points than a Peter Andre exclusive, Gameweek 11 had everything. Even by the implausibly high standards set in Fantasy Football, this week was a bit special.

Whether you winced as Shay Given batted away James McFadden's penalty, rejoiced as Jamie Carragher finally got his comeuppance, or sat indifferently as Phil Brown's tenure at Hull approached its conclusion, chances are you will have had an exciting last seven days in the world of Fantasy Football.

Chelsea to Consider Joining the Stadium Naming Rights Surrender

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This week saw the news that Chelsea have joined Newcastle United in openly stating that they are considering selling the naming rights to one of England's  most established stadiums.

Opening myself to accusations of being overdramatic I believe that if today's announcement to tinker with the name of Stamford Bridge for commercial rights goes ahead it will be one of the biggest events in the clubs history.

Sergio Aguero Interview: I would adapt easily to English football

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Sergio Aguero inherited the mantle of star striker at Atletico Madrid from Fernando Torres and on Tuesday night he showed exactly why, scoring two excellent goals in a 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the Champions League.

Aguero has been the subject of intense transfer speculation in the last 18 months, and there were claims by Atletico Madrid this summer that they rejected a £42m bid for the Argentina international.

Should Arsenal sell Clichy?

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The news that Gael Clichy is out for up to two months is unfortunate and may harm Arsenal's trophy ambitions. When he first started his career at Arsenal, he was very injury prone, with continuous operations on his broken metatarsals. He always seems to get injured at an awkward time for The Gunners, and will return in the New Year.

Podcast: Champions League review, Arsenal’s boardroom battle and crazy transfers

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Join former Arsenal player Adrian Clarke and celebrated sports journalist Iain Spragg for Episode 27 of the world famous Soccerlens Podcast.Â

This week's bouncy banter focuses on Barcelona and Inter Milan's Champions League concerns, big money transfers that defy logic, and Stan Kroenke's bid to take control of Arsenal.

Champions League Report: Predicting the final 16

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Champions League View: Bayern Munich and Liverpool FC could get 10 points and still not qualify.

An entertaining set of Champions League games threw up some unexpected results, great games and the odd ninja (but not a very effective one). Almost all of the big names have a chance to reach the knockout stages, even though the likes of Bayern and Liverpool have made it very, very difficult for themselves.

Rockin’ Robin Reminiscent of Raul?

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When Robin Van Persie scored Arsenal's third in the North London derby against Spurs, it prompted me to draw comparisons with the Real Madrid legend Raul. He has scored seven goals in the league and been given the role of the top of the Gunners attack. He has previously been compared to Dennis Bergkamp who was a genius at linking up attacks with the rest of his teammates.

PSG’s title challenge is back on track

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With the swine flu doubt cleared up, Paris Saint Germain picked up their first win since the 30th August on Sunday, beating Sochaux 4-1.

After years of struggling the Paris side finally had a good season last year, finishing 6th and only missing out on a Champions League place due to their very poor form in the last league games, picking up only 4 points from a possible 15.

Video Review: Portsmouth v Hull City, Braga’s rise and Valencia fight for Champions League football

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Join celebrated football pundit, author, radio show host and DJ Andy Brassell every Monday on the Soccerlens Show.

This week's episode focuses on the Premier League relegation battle (it's already started), and the spotlight is on Portsmouth (who lost their first seven games, just beat Wigan 4-0 and are still bottom of the table) and Hull (who have been lurching from weakness to weakness, but still have faith in their unfortunately named manager).

How Real Madrid can beat AC Milan at the San Siro

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AC Milan v Real Madrid
Tuesday 03 November 2009, San Siro
UEFA Champions League
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK (20:45 CET)

Real Madrid face the daunting task of taking on AC Milan at the San Siro tonight as they try to get their Champions League campaign back on track sans Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool fans turn into Tottenham fans

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In fact, you can't really tell them apart anymore:

Studs Up, by Chris Toy
"Liverpool fans turn into Tottenham fans" was originally published at - Football News.

05 out of Five – Top marks for Thomas Tuchel

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Let's remind ourselves of the roller coaster ride that the fans of 1. FSV Mainz 05 have been on during the summer of 2009. In March this year, the Mainzer were forced to say goodbye to their influential midfielder Markus Feulner who had signed a pre-contract deal with Borussia Dortmund after impressive displays for the second tier side.

Portsmouth To Win The Premier League?

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About six weeks ago I did a piece predicting West Ham to win the Premier League based on their league position this year and Manchester United's league position last year after 5 games.

That prediction hasn't been working out too well (hopefully you didn't think I was serious...although I'm pretty sure I still managed to annoy some Millwall fans.

Napoli party like it’s 1988

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The last time Napoli won at the Olimpico in Turin against Juventus was on a cold November day in 1988. Diego Maradona and Ciro Ferrara were wearing Azzurro, as Napoli romped their way to a famous 5-3 victory that is still spoken about today in the unofficial capital of southern Italy.

Fabio Cannavaro, another of Napoli's favourite sons, wasn't yet old enough to play for the first team then.

The Trouble With Rangers

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It seems that whenever I write an article for this site it's about one of two things; Scottish football's decline or uprising. No prizes for guessing which one this falls under, with the issues surrounding that of Rangers dominating the back pages north of the border for most of the past few weeks.

MOTW: Gold Coast Fall in Week of Controversy

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In the (self-dubbed) newbie derby, Gold Coast have been defeated by a rampant North Queensland Fury side. Robbie Fowler lead the team from start to finish, getting on the scoresheet twice. The defeat has added to the horrible week that the Gold Coast have suffered, including a 6-0 whitewash by Wellington, and a huge condemnation by the public over club owner Clive Palmer's (right) decision to cap crowds at 5,000 to save money.

Soccerlens Predictor

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After a very long and hard work, we are proud to announce that the new version of SL Predictor is up and running, offering a new experience for our members.

For the past couple of football season we tried to make all necessary adjustments to make SL Predictor a fun Virtual Betting Site combining the fun elements of football betting with the competitive elements of not only beating the bookie – but also proving your wits and superiority over the rest of SL Predictor members.