SoccerLens Archives for January 2009

Transfer Rumors (30 June 09): Man United sign Wigan’s Valencia, Liverpool to decide on Alonso’s Real move soon, Tottenham to renew interest in Man City’s

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Well that was quite a month, wasn't it? We're already at the end of June, believe it or not, and it was quite the busy month in the transfers world.

Many pounds and euros have exchanged hands around Europe already, and it's no surprise that the month ends with a couple more new signings to add to our summer transfer lists.

When the King of Pop met Exeter City

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When it comes to discussing Michael Jackson's legacy, it's fair to say the King of Pop had much more influence on music than he did on football, unless you count Bas Savage's moonwalking goal celebrations for Tranmere Rovers. And if you were going to pick one club for Jackson to leave some form of legacy on, you certainly wouldn't have banked on him dropping by Exeter City's St.

Transfer Rumors (29 June 09): Tottenham chase Roma’s Vucinic, Aston Villa to move for Middlesbrough’s Tuncay, Wolves sign Reading’s Doyle in record deal,

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Monday came and went without all that much big news (certainly not what was expected to filter through the presses during the day), but there is still plenty to report on from the day, including a couple of new signings to add to the confirmed summer transfer lists today (updates will be complete by the afternoon) and a few more that will be added in the next couple of days.

The Evolution of Brazilian Football

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Brazilian football, unlike any other cultural interpretation of a particular sport, has the ability to conjure up in one's mind an essence of mystery, of carnival, of rhythm, of unadulterated joy and freedom.

Futebol is so deeply, so passionately interwoven into the fabric of Brazilian culture that the two entities are inextricably linked, they define each other and share an intrinsic identity, an instantly recognisable global image.

A Bridge too far for Carlo?

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Taking the Chelsea job was never going to be easy for Carlo Ancelotti. He still doesn't speak much English and he is going to have to adapt to the pace on the Premier League pretty quickly.

Ancelotti arrives at Chelsea with a pretty decent pedigree having led Milan to two Champions League successes as well as finishing runner up once.

Transfer Rumors (27 June 09): Real finalize Cristiano Ronaldo deal, AC Milan make approach for Arsenal’s Adebayor, Tottenham put £18m tag on Sunderland targe

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The big news of the weekend thus far is the completion of the formality that was Cristiano Ronaldo's world-record £80m transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid. In case you hadn't heard though, Ronaldo has signed a six-year deal with Real, and he'll officially be unveiled as a Real player on July 6.

2009 VIVA World Cup Final - Padania vs. Iraqi Kurdistan - Live Blog Courtesy of Non-FIFA News Agency

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This live report was completely compiled by the Non-FIFA news agency ( I give all redit to them, I am maerely bringing it over to soccerlens and making some grammatical corrections.

It's all over, a one-side match.

Transfer Rumors (28 June 09): Arsenal enter hunt for French stars Ribery and Benzema, Manchester City offer to make Barcelona’s Eto’o world’s highest-paid

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Sunday may have been a rest day for many, but in case you didn't know already, there's never a break when it comes to transfer news and rumors, especially in the summer.

While there was plenty of intriguing transfer speculation making the rounds on Sunday (and not just in England), a couple of new signings also went through, and you can find those new moves in our updated summer transfer lists.

The Real deal – Adios Manchester, Hola Madrid!

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Cristiano Ronaldo will finally complete his world record £80m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid on 1 July after agreeing a six-year deal with the Spanish side.

Ronaldo joined Manchester United just over six years ago in 2003, he joined a United side that consisted of Roy Keane, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville, Tim Howard, Mikael Silvestre and Quinton Fortune, all of which have since moved on to pastures new.

Eleven La Liga Kids Ready For The Big Time

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Spain's La Liga is littered with impressive youngsters. Youngsters who are superstars in the making. Youngsters who have shown that their future clearly lies at one of Spain's, or Europe's, big guns rather than at their current mid to lower table employers. Here are the best eleven of them.

Formation: 4-3-3 (Admittedly not a perfect 4-3-3, but close enough).

Summer Transfer Frenzy: Are Strikers Worth Their Weight in Goals?

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The summer transfer market just went off with a couple of high powered Exocet missiles from central Spain, leaving some of us thinking that nothing will ever be the same again. A seemingly obscene (vulgar even!) amount of money may be about to change hands with many of Europe's top clubs in the market for a striker (amongst others).

Transfer Rumors (26 June 09): Man United to use Nani as bait for Wigan’s Valencia, Man City offer €22m + Elano for Inter’s Maicon, Liverpool’s Leto set

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Not too many days are going to go by this summer without at least one Manchester club being mentioned in the transfer news and rumors headlines, and on many days, you can expect to see both United and City in the news.

One of those days is today, as City are being linked with that one, that one, that one, and that other one.

Where are Pato, Silva, Villa, Benzema and Ribery headed this summer?

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The fates of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka may have been decided in the space of a week but with over 2 months still to go to this summer, there's plenty of time for more 'superstar' signings to take place.

Here's a list of the top 5 transfer targets (left standing) this summer - will they move clubs, stay loyal or sold to pay off debts?

Who will win the 2009 MLS Cup?

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MLS Cup, the USA's flagship football championship, is awarded not to the team which finishes with the most points after the regular season but to the team that prevails after a short knockout tournament played by Major League Soccer's top eight clubs.

Now in its 14th season, MLS has been won no fewer than four times by DC United (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004).

Of Aon, Manchester United and Global Branding

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The global success of the English Premier League coupled with the Manchester United's success in the last two decades has helped propel the English football club into pole position as the most recognisable brand in the world's most popular sport.

This success hasn't gone unnoticed.

Transfer Rumors (25 June 09): Man United return for Villarreal’s Rossi?, Blackburn to replace Santa Cruz with Paraguay teammate Cardozo, Real Madrid sign Vale

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A new day, a fresh batch of transfer gossip to deliver your way. It's nice to be able to have new signings to report on and add to our summer transfers lists, because hey, who doesn't like being kept busy? Ah, don't answer that...

Speaking of busy, with the speculation that we've seen this week from here, there, and everywhere, things are going to pick up even more soon, so that means you should be watching this space daily.

Top Five Championship / League One players who could play in the Premier League

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Bolton's reported pursuit of Swansea midfielder Ferrie Bodde got me thinking. Premier League managers have become hesitant to dip into the lower leagues over the years but anyone who follows Championship football will know there are a couple of gems out there who could indeed make the step up.

Where Now For Michael Owen?

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A gamblers spirit, it is said, is a necessary part of all human endeavour. For a man who by all accounts is a fan of a little gamble, which some, most notably the outspoken Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, have accused of him being too focused on, Michael Owen must appreciate that he must play the odds and take the plunge for his next bet, which could well determine how English football remembers one of it's favourite sons.

Beware! Manchester United set to go Brazilian

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A strange lull has fallen over the Premier League at the moment. Almost eerie. I can feel it, and I know a lot of my fellow Liverpudlians can too. Blame Real Madrid I suppose. And Carlos Tévez. If it wasn't for that amalgamation of characters, chancers and crackpots, we wouldn't have this feeling.

Stuart Taylor - the ultimate backup keeper

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It looked like it might be a quiet day at the office for Manchester City didn't it? After the Big Brotheresque saga of Roque Santa Cruz's drawn out switch to Eastlands from Blackburn, it looked like Mark Hughes and his henchmen might just have a few days to contemplate their next move. And refill their briefcases with cold hard cash.

USA 2-0 Spain - Goals (Videos)

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The USA defeated European champions Spain 2-0 to proceed to the 2009 Confederations Cup final. Goals from Altidore and Dempsey gave the Americans the 'shock' win, while at the back a solid performance by DeMerit and Onyewu ensured that Spain didn't get much of a chance to get something out of this game.

Transfer Rumors (24 June 09): Wigan’s Valencia to choose Man United or Real Madrid in days, Chelsea target Charlton starlet Shelvey, Barcelona make new Villa

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If you didn't get enough transfer gossip for breakfast this morning, we're back with another batch of fresh transfer news and rumors for you this evening.

We have fresh updates to our Premier League, Serie A, and Bundesliga summer transfer lists, as there are new signings to report from each of those leagues, and a few more faces could change places in the near future.

Transfer Rumors (23 June 09): Chelsea to sign Man City’s Sturridge, Man United to bid for Atletico Madrid’s Aguero, Arsenal’s Adebayor offered to Milan ri

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We've got a couple of new signings to add to our lists of confirmed summer transfers this morning, and those new additions could soon be followed by a few more, according to the latest transfer speculation.

Who's on the move, and who could be on the move soon? Find out here.


Chelsea To Land Sturridge

Chelsea are set to sign young Manchester City striker Daniel Sturridge.

The Truth About Carlos Tevez

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There is something about Carlos Tevez that resonates with the British footballing public.

He's bullish, full throttle and explosive. He doesn't complain that much when he gets kicked. The clichés we associate with his name are the ones of bygone days like ‘covers every blade of grass' and ‘leaves his skin on the pitch'.

Brazil v South Africa - 2009 Confederations Cup Semifinal

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Watch the Brazil v South Africa semifinal live online - right here.

Spain v USA (1st Semifinal)
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2009
Venue: Bloemfontein
Kickoff: 19:30 GMT


On paper alone Brazil should win this - such is the gulf in class when talent between the two sides is compared.

Spain v USA - 2009 Confederations Cup Semifinal

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Watch the Spain v USA semifinal live online - right here.

Spain v USA (1st Semifinal)
Date: Wednesday 24th June 2009
Venue: Bloemfontein
Kickoff: 19:30 GMT

The Spanish juggernaut faces surprise package USA in the first semifinal on Wednesday night.

Eight Future Stars In English Football

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As we move closer to the start of the season, it's at this stage that fans start analysing the squad list, namely which players to sign and who of the current squad will be sold, and who they hope won't be sold.

And among all the names that will flicker up briefly on transfer sites over the coming weeks, there will be some genuine quality - players to get both the fans and the board excited.

Transfer Rumors (22 June 09): Liverpool land Portsmouth’s Johnson, Manchester City complete Santa Cruz deal, Man United in pre-contract deal with Villarrealâ€

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The transfer news and rumors aren't as plentiful tonight as they were in the morning, but sometimes, it's about quality, not quantity, and in tonight's roundup, we've got a couple of big-money (well, small, if you're Real Madrid) signings to report and add to our summer transfer lists.

The headline takes away the element of surprise, of course, but those moves aren't the only bits in the news.

ITV-Sonyheart Review

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England has a lot to look forward these days when it comes football. With the senior squad all but assured a place in next year's World Cup and the U-21's playing Germany in the European Championships' semi-final round, it's safe to say things couldn't be going better at the moment.

The coverage regarding the national squad and the Premier League around the country comes at a feverish pace that sometimes leaves many of us overwhelmed by the number of stories floating around the internet.

Transfer Rumors (21 June 09): Manchester United to replace City-bound Tevez with Lyon’s Benzema, Hull bid for Owen, Chelsea in hunt for Liverpool’s Alonso,

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In case you may have missed anything over the weekend, we've got a nice fresh batch of transfer news and rumors to deliver bright and early this morning.

In the not-so-breaking news category, Manchester United aren't going to be signing Carlos Tevez permanently, but he may well have already agreed a move to a new destination not far from his old home.

Who are you: Thomas Vermaelen?

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So Arsène Wenger has done it again. Not content with making one big money, straight-to-first-team signing this year, he has gone and produced another.

The need for a new centre half at the Emirates has been well documented (and slightly exaggerated if you ask me) of late, with Kolo Touré's alarming loss of form, William Gallas' injury and temperament issues, and Mikaël Silvestre's.

Keeping Davies the key for Bolton

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Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Davies is reportedly a transfer target for Bolton's Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers.

Davies endured a (very) difficult season for the Rovers way back in 1998/99 after a £7.5million move from Southampton. In his spell with the Rovers Davies scored just once in 24 games and was promptly sent back to Saouthampton in the summer of 1999 in a player swap deal.

Lass and Higuain - Florentino’s Chance for Redemption

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The second coming of Florentino Perez should not be judged on what big name stars he brings to the Santiago Bernabeu. His ability to attract the world's best has never been an issue of debate. Neither has his ability to generate capital for the club. Rather, any lessons the man claims to have learnt since departing the Bernabeu in disgrace back in 2006 should be judged on how he treats the less famous, yet equally important, members of the squad.

Transfer Rumors (19 June 09): Arsenal seal Vermaelen deal, Manchester United to bid for Real Madrid’s Casillas, Valencia star Villa not for sale, and more

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It's been a busy week in the transfers world, and just because it's the weekend doesn't mean that there's going to be a break of any sort.

Today's transfer news and rumors roundup includes news of a couple of confirmed signings and a few more that are set to be completed in the next few days, and of course, a transfer roundup can't be complete without an outlandish rumor or two!

Bunyodkor: the Super-club no-one has heard of

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In the first half of a month which has seen Real Madrid twice break the football record for player transfer fees paid, the news that World cup winning Brazilian coach Filipe Scolari had recently signed an 18 month contract with the Uzbek champions Bunyodkor barely registered as a murmur on the global game's seismograph.

Setanta loses 09-10 Premier League matches as ESPN and Sky prepare bids

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The Premier League has terminated its license agreement with Setanta Sports for 09-10 Premier League matches after Setanta failed to meet the Friday deadline for making payments due to the Premier League.

This means that the 46 live matches Setanta had for the 2009/2010 Premier League season are now back on the market on auction, with offers needed by Monday.

Should The MLS Become More European?

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When American soccer players discover they have the athletic prowess to play overseas, they go, and we encourage their choice. But when American soccer fans choose to ignore MLS, its considered to be detrimental to the success of American soccer.

As has been stated before in the New York Times, the biggest hurdle MLS has right now is that better quality soccer is incredibly accessible to existing American soccer fans, making MLS even less desirable.

Houston hot streak puts Dynamo in the driving seat

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After taking a few weeks of the 2009 Major League Soccer season to get going, Houston Dynamo rose to the top of the table last weekend as their remarkable run of good form continued. Chivas USA, Toronto FC and Chicago Fire have all impressed for periods, but Dynamo have quietly put together a superb run and put themselves in a position to fly past the stumbling pace-setters.

Will Michael Owen Retire? Should He?

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How times have changed for Michael Owen. The former undisputed golden boy of English football, feared by defenders throughout the World and lauded by Europe's biggest clubs, is, if growing rumours are to be believed, about to announce his retirement.


Owen's injury-plagued stay at Newcastle has proved to be a nightmare, with the player a mere shadow of his former self even when officially ‘match fit' and raring to go.

Transfer Rumors (18 June 09): Man United to bid for Arsenal star Van Persie, Aston Villa ponder swapping Young for Tottenham’s Bentley, Bayern admit approach

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The transfer news isn't as plentiful today as it has been in the last several days, but there are still some big names in the gossip pages today.

Manchester United are busy looking for a new striker, and while Karim Benzema may or may not be on his way to Old Trafford sometime this summer, there's no shortage of targets on United's striker wishlist, including one potentially surprising name.

USA 0-3 Brazil - Goals (Videos)

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The USA under-performed or were outclassed (depending on your point of view) by Brazil in today's Confederations Cup clash, with Brazil putting 3 goals past the Americans.

USA v Brazil - Goals

USA 0-1 Brazil (Melo)
USA 0-2 Brazil (Robinho)
USA 0-3 Brazil (Maicon)

Bonus read: 7 reasons why Americans suck at soccer.

Iraq v New Zealand - 2009 Confederations Cup

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You can watch the Iraq v New Zealand match live online here.

Iraq v New Zealand (Group A)
Date: Saturday 20th June
Venue: Johannesburg
Kickoff: 19:30 GMT

Asian champions Iraq face already eliminated New Zealand in their final Group A match in Johannesburg needing nothing less than a win to keep their hopes of qualifying for the semis alive.

Spain v South Africa - 2009 Confederations Cup

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You can watch the Spain v South Africa match live online - here.

Spain v South Africa (Group A)
Date: Saturday 20th June
Venue: Bloemfontein
Kickoff: 19:30 GMT

Hosts South Africa could join Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup if they avoid defeat in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Ribery replaces Ronaldo as the main summer story as Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid all chase the French winger

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As the main protagonists of last summer's transfer sagas settled for early moves in this year's annual ritual of transfer trials and tribulations so now the next big transfer saga has emerged. How could we forget last years seemingly endless transfer tales involving Gareth Barry and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have (thankfully) prevented a repeat performance by moving to Manchester City and Real Madrid respectively.

Arsenal Should Sign Sakho and Melo

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Ever since Patrick Vieira left Arsenal for Juventus, in the summer of 2005, there has been a void in Arsenal's midfield enforcer role.

Sure, Gilberto Silva helped clean things up for a few years, and the 2007-08 form of Matthieu Flamini was a revelation for Arsenal supporters. However, seeing both of those players depart in the same offseason, was a little too much for Arsenal to handle, and the results showed that.

Have boots will travel - The Great Real Madrid reshuffle

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Florentino Pérez doesn't do things by halves. Neither do Real Madrid.

For most clubs, a season finishing second only to a magisterial Barcelona side in La Liga, and suffering an (admittedly humiliating) exit in the Champions League to a side as well-equipped as Liverpool would register as decent.

Transfer Rumors (17 June 09): Liverpool close on Portsmouth’s Johnson, Man United to land Wigan’s Valencia by the weekend, Manchester City near deal for Bla

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Did you know that a player's teeth could cause a transfer to collapse? I didn't, but apparently that's the case with potential AC Milan signing Aly Cissokho, who could be set to remain with Porto after a problem with his teeth came up in his medical.

If that happens, that'll be one name to subtract from our confirmed summer transfers lists, but if things go according to today's transfer news and rumors, we could have several names to add over the next few days.

Football chant challenge gives fans something to sing about

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They echo throughout fields all over the UK during the football season, and on many occasions have been known to give players a lift. I'm talking about football chants. From Fernando Torres' "Liverpool's Number Nine" to "Glory Glory Man United," songs and chants are a massive part of what makes football such a unique sport.

09-10 Premier League Fixtures

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The 2009/2010 English Premier League fixtures list was announced earlier today.

The Premier League kicks off on Saturday, 15th August 2009 with Tottenham taking on Liverpool at White Hart Lane and Everton hosting Arsenal the pick of the fixtures on the opening weekend. The biggest game of the opening month will surely be Manchester United v Arsenal at Old Trafford on 29th August.

Portsmouth and Newcastle United summer takeovers could be disasters

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With the credit crunch and the ever increasing debt in football, this summer looks set to be filled with a lot of high profile club buyouts. West Ham have recently been taken over by CB Holdings and Portsmouth and Newcastle look set to be the next clubs to be taken over in the English game. However, could these potential club changing decisions actually end up being worse in the long run than good?

USA v Brazil - 2009 Confederations Cup

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You can watch the Brazil v USA match live here.

USA v Brazil (Group B)
Date: Thursday 18th June
Venue: Pretoria
Kickoff: 16:00 GMT

After an unconvincing win over Egypt, defending champions Brazil will be hoping for a better performance when they take on the USA in Pretoria in their second Group B match.

Egypt v Italy - 2009 Confederations Cup

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You can watch the Italy v Egypt match live here.

Egypt v Italy (Group B)
Date: Thursday 18th June
Venue: Johannesburg
Kickoff: 19:30 GMT

After giving defending champions Brazil a scare in Bloemfontein, Egypt take on Marcello Lippi's Italy in Johannesburg in their second Group B match.

USA 1-3 Italy - Goal Videos

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USA scored the first goal but at 10 men down and playing against the World Champions was never going to be an easy task, and Italy duly equalised and then went clear thanks to a Giuseppe Rossi double and a long-range effort from Daniele De Rossi.

USA 1-3 Italy - Goals:

USA 1-0 Italy (Donovan)
USA 1-1 Italy (Rossi)
USA 1-2 Italy (De Rossi)
USA 1-3 Italy (Rossi)

"USA 1-3 Italy - Goal Videos" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Transfer Rumors (15 June 09): Man United after Valencia stars Villa and Silva, Aston Villa close on Tottenham duo, Berbatov and Pavlyuchenko linked with Bundesl

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We're already in the middle of June, and though the signings haven't been coming hard and fast just yet, that doesn't mean that there's a shortage of action thus far in the summer transfer window.

In this morning's transfer news and rumors roundup, we've got tidbits from England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and Greece, with many big names and big clubs looking to spend, spend, spend.

Real Madrid Firesale: Sneijder, Huntelaar, Robben, Diarra, Van der Vaart and Ruud for sale

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The other shoe has finally dropped.

Real Madrid have put up nine players for sale, including their whole Dutch contingent. Joining Heinze, Saviola and Mahamadou Diarra on the transfer list are Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rosten Drenthe, Rafael Van der Vaart and perhaps most surprisingly, the young trio of Arjen Robben, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Wesley Sneijder.

Football “Franchises” - Right or Wrong?

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In a summer bereft of football, the release of fixture lists this week provide some form of respite for fans starved of action. Away trips are plotted, long weekends at some of the more far-flung fixtures are planned, and best mates are pleaded with not to hold their wedding on a certain date as it clashes with "the big one".

Brazil 4-3 Egypt - Goals (Videos)

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Brazil raced ahead to a 3-1 lead in their 2009 Confederations Cup group game against Egypt before the African champions fought back to level the game 3-3 with two goals in two minutes early in the second half.

With the game in its closing stages, Mohamady received a red card in the 89th minute and Kaka scored a penalty to make it 4-3 and win the game for Brazil.

Spain v Iraq - 2009 Confederations Cup

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Spain v Iraq (Group A)
Date: Wednesday 17th June
Venue: Bloemfontein
Kickoff: 15:00 GMT

After destroying New Zealand in their Group A opener, European champions Spain will turn their attention to Iraq when they meet Bora Milutinovic's men on Wednesday evening in Bloemfontein.

South Africa v New Zealand - 2009 Confederations Cup

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South Africa v New Zealand (Group A)
Date: Wednesday 17th June
Venue: Rustenburg
Kickoff: 19:00 GMT

After failing to score against Iraq, South Africa need a win against New Zealand to keep their semifinal hopes alive when the two sides meet in Rustenburg on Wednesday evening.

Australia v Japan - 2010 World Cup Qualifier

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Australia v Japan (World Cup Qualifying)
Date: Wednesday 17th June
Kickoff: 10:00 GMT

Australia will clash against Japan in a World Cup qualifier that is more about pride and professional respect than points as both teams have already qualified for South Africa 2010. You can watch Australia v Japan live here.

Everton Must Do Their Transfer Dealings Early To Avoid A Repeat Of Their Start To Last Season

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David Moyes has been the unsung hero of the Premier League in the past 7 years. He has transformed an aging Everton team in fear of relegation every season into a team consistently knocking on the door of the ‘Big Four'. However, although Moyes has worked these miracles, he will not be able to do so for much longer with Everton's current financial predicament.

Manchester United should sign Ashley Young or David Silva, not Antonio Valencia

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£80 million is a lot of money; the debate goes on over whether the world player of the year is worth it. In the meantime Manchester United has to find someone to replace a midfielder who gets around 30 goals a season. A tough ask for any manager, but the good news that comes with this is that Manchester United can now afford any player in the world.

Spain 5-0 New Zealand - Torres Hattrick (videos)

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Spain put 5 goals past New Zealand in a distinctly one-sided Confederations Cup group match last night. With South Africa and Iraq 'battling' to a bore draw, it way well be how well those two teams fare against New Zealand that decides who joins Spain in the semi-finals.

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres settled the match with a hattrick before Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas and Real Madrid-bound David Villa scored a goal each to finish the match off in style.

Cristiano Ronaldo vs The Cameraman - Who’s Better?

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A cameraman matches Ronaldo, skill for skill. Who's better?

WPvideo 1.10 Download!

More cool videos over at

"Cristiano Ronaldo vs The Cameraman - Who's Better?" was originally published at - Football News.

2009 Under-21 European Championship Squads

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The 23-player squads for all 8 U-21 Euro 2009 teams are listed below. Only players born on or after 1 January 1986 are eligible to play in the 2009 U-21 European Championships.

Group A
Belarus Euro 2009 Squad

Head coach: Yuri Kurnenin

No. Pos. Player DoB/Age Caps Club 1 GK Pavel Chesnovskiy 4 March 1986 (aged 23) FC Vitebsk 2 DF Nikolai Osipovich 29 May 1986 (aged 23) MTZ-RIPO 3 DF Aleksandr Martynovich 26 August 1987 (aged 21) Dinamo Minsk 4 DF Igor Shitov 24 October 1986 (aged 22) BATE 5 DF Maksim Bordachyov 18 June 1986 (aged 22) BATE 6 MF Sergei Balanovich 29 August 1987 (aged 21) Shakhtyor Soligorsk 7 MF Sergey Krivets 8 June 1986 (aged 23) BATE 8 MF Aleksandr Volodko 18 June 1986 (aged 22) BATE 9 FW Leonid Kovel 29 July 1986 (aged 22) Saturn Moscow Oblast 10 FW Dmitri Komarovskiy 10 October 1986 (aged 22) Naftan Novopolotsk 11 MF Mikhail Afanasyev 4 November 1986 (aged 22) Amkar Perm 12 GK Artem Gomelko 8 December 1989 (aged 19) Lokomotiv Moscow 13 MF Aleksandr Sachivko 5 January 1986 (aged 23) FC Minsk 14 MF Anton Putilo 10 June 1987 (aged 22) Dinamo Minsk 15 MF Sergei Kislyak 6 August 1987 (aged 21) Dinamo Minsk 16 DF Oleg Veretilo 10 July 1988 (aged 20) Dinamo Minsk 17 MF Sergei Gigevich 26 January 1987 (aged 22) Dinamo Minsk 18 DF Dmitry Verkhovtsov 10 October 1986 (aged 22) Naftan Novopolotsk 19 DF Aleksei Yanushkevich 15 January 1986 (aged 23) Shakhtyor Soligorsk 20 FW Vladimir Yurchenko 26 January 1989 (aged 20) Saturn Moscow Oblast 21 MF Mikhail Sivakov 16 January 1988 (aged 21) Cagliari 22 GK Anton Kovalevskiy 2 February 1986 (aged 23) Naftan Novopolotsk 23 DF Andrei Chukhley 2 October 1987 (aged 21) Dinamo Minsk
Italy Euro 2009 Squad

Head coach: Pierluigi Casiraghi


Spain v Germany - Under-21 Euro 2009

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Spain U21 v Germany U21 (Group B)
Date: Monday 15th June
Venue: Gothenburg
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT

Spain will look to convert their immense talent into trophies when their youth side takes on Germany in the second game of the UEFA Under-21 European Champions at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.

Sweden v Belarus - Under-21 Euro 2009

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Sweden U21 v Belarus U21 (Group A)
Date: Tuesday 16th June
Venue: Malmo
Kickoff: 17:15 GMT

Hosts Sweden open their campaign against Belarus in Group A of the UEFA Under-21 European Championships at the New Stadium in Malmo on Tuesday. You can watch Sweden U21 v Belarus U21 live here.

Italy v Serbia - Under-21 Euro 2009

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Italy U21 v Serbia U21 (Group A)
Date: Tuesday 16th June
Venue: Helsingborg
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT

5-time champions Italy will hope to make a winning start to their Euro Under-21 campaign when they take on Serbia at the Olympia Stadium in Helsingborg on Tuesday.

The 2009 U-21 European Championship in Sweden

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Watch the U21 Euro 2009 live here.

The 2009 European Under-21 Championship will take place in Sweden from 15 June to 29 June. While it's expected to be overshadowed in press coverage by the dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the U21 Euro 2009 still promises to be a showcase of quality football and a chance for European football fans to evaluate the young stars of tomorrow (be it for their clubs or national teams).

The 2009 VIVA World Cup in Padania

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You may have never heard of the VIVA World Cup. I don't blame you; it's quite a low-key affair. But let me explain to you exactly what this obscure competition is.

Every year (previously every two years), the unrecognised peoples of the world compete for the right to be called world champion.

Lazy Sunday Transfer Talk: Manchester United Target Torres, Manchester City Get Tevez but not Eto’o, Mascherano to leave Liverpool for Barcelona and Ribery an

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Let's have a look at what's happening in the transfer rumours today.

The story that immediately got my attention was the one linking Manchester United with an audacious bid for Liverpool's Spanish striker Fernando Torres. The Sunday Express claim that Fergie will use most of the 80 million Pounds they made from the Ronaldo sale to bring Torres to old Trafford.

Spain v New Zealand - 2009 Confederations Cup

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Spain v New Zealand (Group A)
Date: Sunday 14 June
Venue: Rustenburg
Kickoff: 7:30pm BST

European champions Spain start their 2009 Confederations Cup campaign this Sunday in the mining town of Rustenburg against New Zealand. You can watch Spain v New Zealand live here.

Brazil v Egypt - 2009 Confederations Cup

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Brazil v Egypt (Group B)
Date: Monday 15 June
Venue: Bloemfontein
Kickoff: 3pm GMT

Five time world champions Brazil kickoff their Confederations Cup campaign on Monday when they take on African giants Egypt at the Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein. You can watch Brazil v Egypt live here.

USA v Italy - 2009 Confederations Cup

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USA v Italy (Group B)
Date: Monday 15 June
Venue: Pretoria
Kickoff: 7:30 pm GMT

World champions Italy take on Gold Cup winners USA on Monday evening at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria. You can watch Italy v USA live here.


Italy are making their Confederations Cup debut.

Watch Euro 2009 Live | Under 21 European Championship Live Online

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The 2009 European U21 Championship (the 17th Under 21 European Championship) will be held in Sweden from 15 June to 29 June kicks off on 15 June 2009, and is the ideal opportunity for football fans to see the stars of tomorrow in action.

If you're having trouble finding out where to watch the Under 21 Euros on TV, you can easily watch all the U21 European Championship matches live online.

20 Most Expensive Players in the U21 Euro 2009

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The 2009 Under-21 European Championship will showcase the best and brightest of young football talent from around Europe. With Spain, Germany, England, Italy and Serbia all having qualified for the Euro 2009, the tournament will be closely followed by football scouts across Europe's top clubs.

2009 Under-21 European Championship Fixtures

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Watch the U21 Euro 2009 live here.

The 2009 U-21 Euros will take place across 4 venues in Sweden from 15 June to 29 June, with the best and brightest young footballers from Europe hoping to stake a place in the senior national team on the basis of their performances this summer.

England v Finland - Under-21 Euro 2009

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England U21 v Finland U21 (Group B)
Date: Monday 15th June
Venue: Halmstad
Kickoff: 17:15 GMT

Finland and England will kick off the the UEFA Euro 2009 Under-21 Championship on Monday at the Orjans Vall Stadium in Halmstad, Sweden. You can watch England U21 v Finland U21 live here.

South Africa v Iraq - 2009 Confederations Cup

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South Africa v Iraq (Group A)
Date: Sunday 14 June
Venue: Johannesburg
Kickoff: 3pm BST

The first match of the 2009 Confederations Cup sees hosts South Africa take on AFC Asian Cup champions Iraq in Johannesburg. You can watch South Africa v Iraq live here.

South Africa

Iraq qualified for this tournament by virtue of their 2007 AFC Asian Cup triumph.

Ten stories that haven’t been written yet, but you’ll read this summer

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If there's no football matches being played, then you have to fill the sports pages exclusively with transfer rumours.

In the two months between now and the start of the 2009/10 season, you'll see plenty of formulaic guff written, and you'll have to work out to separate the news from the speculation.

Premiership sack race: Which manager will be the first casualty of the new season?

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Some things in life are inevitable; Politicians will never win popularity contests. You will always have a soft spot for your first love. Police officers will look more and more like 15-year-olds the older you get and football managers will be sacked.

The demand for instant success ensures most managers will be sacked several times, with only two or three of them escaping the experience.

The ‘2009 Showdown in Chinatown’ - watch footballing legends in New York City on 24 June

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NBA superstar Steven Nash is at it again this summer, bringing together the world's best football and basketball players on one pitch in the heart of New York City for a game football.

The event, which was a massive hit in it's inaugural year, will be coming back to the greatest city in the United States on 24 June in an event that's being billed as the 'Showdown in Chinatown'.

Transfer Rumors (13 Jun 09): Barcelona offer Eto’o as bait for Liverpool’s Mascherano, Atletico Madrid open to selling Chelsea target Aguero, Sunderland pla

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The biggest news in the football world is still the impending sale of Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a world-record £80m.

However, in this morning's transfer roundup, you won't find any Ronaldo-related news, though there is a mention of someone that Manchester United could go after with the money they're set to soon receive from Real.

ExtraFootie Review

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My how the introduction of the new technology has changed football! Unlike in the past where you had to either live in the country of origin to see your favourite club play on the telly or fly abroad to catch it in person, you can now be the fan of a club from anywhere in the world and can conceivably watch every match from the comfort of your own home provided you have an internet connection and a link to watch games on your computer.

What does Beckham’s return mean for MLS and the Galaxy?

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Former England captain David Beckham is due to return to Los Angeles Galaxy in July following a spell with AC Milan. Beckham's move to LA from Real Madrid was seen as the end of his European career and an intermediate step between playing professional football and investing heavily in Major League Soccer.

The Ronaldo Deal: As Explained By The UK Press

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Where would we all be without the UK Press? An even better question is what am I doing adding even more print to the already exhausted saga of the world record transfer of the greatest narcissist in the history of football?

Ronaldo must be positively unbearable, flouncing around in LA with the world media spotlight on him.

Ronaldo to Real…Finally. What Next For Manchester United?

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Last summer, we heard numerous reports that Ronaldo was to move to Madrid. A deal was in place. It was definite. It was going to happen next week. But then, there was some delay; and the deal would go through the week after that. It never did. No matter for the Spanish press, as they continued to rinse and repeat the story.

Ibrahimovic is the Best in the World: Yes or No?

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Now regular listeners to the Italian Football FanCast and the Manchester United Football FanCast will be very aware of my liking for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, some of my colleagues would even call it a blind obsession. After weeks of mockery, I have decided to take it upon myself to explain why I think Zlatan is truly world class and up there with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Will United Miss Ronaldo?

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I'm going to miss him.

Sure, he's a diver and a crybaby who is one of the least likable Manchester United players of all time. It was always difficult to defend him to United haters because, for all of his considerable talent, he had the maturity of a six-year old and temperament of a diva.

Loyalty In Football - We Need More

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I know we are being flooded by Cristiano Ronaldo articles just about now, but this is actually meant to be a response to a brilliant article posted earlier in the week.

I am a Manchester United fan. I am devastated. No. Scratch that. I knew this was going to happen – we all did.

Transfer Rumors (11 Jun 09): Valencia reject Chelsea bid for Madrid-bound Villa, Manchester United interested in former target Robben, Barcelona inquire about L

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Obviously the biggest transfer news of the day is Manchester United accepting an 80m offer from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo, and justifiably so.

However, there's a lot more going on than Ronaldo's impending world-record dream move to Real, and in today's transfer news and rumors roundup, there's a wealth of tidbits to discuss.

The Call for Video Refereeing

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Sports have evolved over time. They've morphed from local clubs into global obsessions. Whether we like it or not, they've become businesses involving 20-something millionaires, multi-million dollar sponsorships, foreign investors, Middle-Eastern Consortiums and lucrative TV deals. The results of these games (among other things) now have increasingly high monetary consequences, which places more importance on the results than ever before.

England Cruise To A Respectable Win?

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Dan Mobbs writes at

The result was never in doubt against part-timers Andorra, but Fabio Cappello's England fielded a strong side and cruised to a 6-0 victory, demonstrating the Italian's respect for the opposition, although this was something perhaps that wasn't reflected by other members of the England entourage.

Transfer Rumors (10 Jun 09): Liverpool and Real Madrid in Xabi Alonso swap deal, Arsenal battle Juventus for Lazio star Pandev, Everton to land Leeds star Delph

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There's not a lot to report in the way of signings in this morning's transfer news and rumors roundup, but we could have some major signings to report in the near future, if the speculation is to be believed.

Which players could join our lists of confirmed transfers soon? Check out the latest transfer speculation from Europe's biggest leagues below.

Manchester United accept £80m Ronaldo bid from Real Madrid

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Manchester United have accepted a world record transfer bid of £80m from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The decision was taken after Cristiano Ronaldo again requested the move and after discussion with Jorge Mendes, the player's agent. With Real Madrid making an unconditional offer of £80m (it remains to be seen if this will amount will be paid all upfront through the bank loan Real Madrid have secured to fund the Ronaldo transfer or it will be paid in stages), Manchester United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the World Player of the Year.

Vidic v Rio v EVDS v Evans - who was the best for Manchester United this season?

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After a record-equaling 18th league title and a season which saw several domestic and European records tumble, Manchester United have further cemented their place in history as the most successful football team in England in the last two decades.

Indeed, 11 league titles in 17 seasons in the top-rated league in Europe is no laughing matter.

England v Andorra Preview

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If you aren't able to make it to Wembley tonight on "Tube Wednesday" (credit: Dan Warren, BBC Live Text) or if you can't watch the game on TV, you can watch England take on Andorra online here.

The match itself is expected to be a straight-forward affair with England looking to record their 7th consecutive win in World Cup qualifying and move within touching distance of qualification for South Africa 2010.

From Notts-ing to Never-ending funds - Football’s oldest club hits the Middle East Jackpot

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If you're a Newcastle fan and you're currently reading this sentence, I'd like for you to click back with your mouse and stop reading at the point. Because in all honesty, this story is just going to make you even more depressed.

Whilst Tyneside is still trying to get over the heartache of Championship football next season and the idea of having Mike Ashley and the Cockney Mafia around for at least another season, there are other clubs out there that are reaping the sweet rewards of having an Middle East sugar daddy.

The 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa

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Watch the 2009 Confederations Cup live here.

The 2010 World Cup promises to be the biggest World Cup ever in terms of Internet coverage - live or otherwise. It may not surpass the novelty of 2002 or the gaiety of 2006 and given that it will be winter in South Africa, it may not be the best event to go see world cup babes, but it will be something special.

Confederations Cup 2009: What can South Africa expect from Iraq on Sunday?

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I was watching Bafana Coach Joel Santana speaking at a press conference on Thursday after he had announced his 23 man squad for next week's Fifa Confederations Cup and it was quite concerning hearing what the coach had to say when questioned about South Africa's opening match opponents, Iraq.

Loyalty in football is over-rated

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I woke up this morning with a headache. Not for the first time, not for the last. My alarm seemed to ring about ten minutes after I had clambered into bed ready for a good night's sleep. I had a dull day of work ahead of me, with a fusion of people I can tolerate, and people I can't stand, doing a job that I could do standing on my head- though wouldn't recommend!

2009 Confederations Cup Squads

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The 23-man squads for the 09 Confederations Cup are listed below for all 8 participating teams.

Group A

Iraq Confederation Cup Squad

Head coach: Bora Milutinović

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club 1 GK Noor Sabri 6 June 1984 (aged 25) 63 0 Al-Talaba 2 DF Mohammed Ali Karim 25 June 1986 (aged 22) 6 0 Al-Jazira 3 DF Bassim Abbas 1 July 1982 (aged 26) 60 2 Al-Talaba 4 DF Fareed Majeed 17 August 1986 (aged 22) 5 0 Al-Talaba 5 MF Nashat Akram 12 September 1984 (aged 24) 75 10 Al-Gharafa 6 MF Salih Sadir 21 August 1981 (aged 27) 47 11 Al-Ahed 7 FW Emad Mohammed 24 July 1982 (aged 26) 76 23 Sepahan 8 FW Luay Salah 7 February 1982 (aged 27) 17 3 Arbil 9 MF Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail 21 December 1976 (aged 32) 67 8 Sepahan 10 FW Younis Mahmoud (c) 2 March 1983 (aged 26) 70 28 Al-Gharafa 11 MF Hawar Mulla Mohammed 1 June 1981 (aged 28) 72 15 Anorthosis Famagusta 12 GK Mohammed Gassid 10 December 1986 (aged 22) 11 0 Al-Zawraa 13 MF Karrar Jassim 11 June 1987 (aged 22) 22 1 Al-Wakra 14 DF Salam Shakir 31 July 1986 (aged 22) 11 0 Al-Khor 15 DF Ali Rehema 8 August 1985 (aged 23) 45 1 Al-Wakra 16 DF Dara Mohammed 16 July 1987 (aged 21) 1 0 Sulaymaniyah 17 FW Alaa Abdul-Zahra 22 December 1987 (aged 21) 10 1 Al-Khor 18 MF Mahdi Karim 10 December 1983 (aged 25) 64 10 Al-Khor 19 DF Essam Yassin 11 March 1987 (aged 22) 1 0 Al-Amana 20 MF Samer Saeed 1 December 1987 (aged 21) 7 0 Al-Ahly Tripoli 21 GK Uday Taleb 6 November 1981 (aged 27) 5 0 Dohuk 22 DF Muayad Khalid 1 September 1985 (aged 23) 3 0 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 23 MF Halgurd Mulla Mohammed 11 March 1988 (aged 21) 5 0 Sulaymaniyah New Zealand Confederation Cup Squad

Head coach:Â Ricki Herbert


Watch The Confederations Cup Live | 2009 Confederations Cup TV Schedules

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The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup (the eighth Confederations Cup) will be held in South Africa from 14 June to 28 June 2009 as a prelude to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Note: You can watch the 2009 Confederations Cup live thanks to our friends at the Live Sport Network.

Transfer Rumors (9 Jun 09): Chelsea to battle Real Madrid for Valencia’s Villa and Roma’s Juan, Wolfsburg’s Dzeko to replace Chelsea-bound Pato at AC Mila

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You knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen, even with the world's current economical state. Real Madrid have broken the world transfer record that they already held by landing Kaka from AC Milan for £59m.

That signing looks to be only the start of Real's monster summer spending spree, and if they can land one of their prime targets (you should already know who I'm talking about without me having to mention him by name), we could see the above record broken once again before the end of the summer.

2009 Confederations Cup Fixtures

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The South Africa 2009 Confederations Cup will take place across 4 venues from 14 June to 28 June, and will act as a dress-rehearsal for next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Here are the Confed Cup fixtures - all times are BST.

2009 Confederations Cup Teams Team Association Qualification Participation South Africa CAF 2010 FIFA World Cup host 2nd Italy UEFA 2006 FIFA World Cup winner 1st United States CONCACAF 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup winner 4th Brazil CONMEBOL Copa América 2007 winner 6th Iraq AFC 2007 AFC Asian Cup winner 1st Egypt CAF 2008 African Cup of Nations winner 2nd Spain UEFA UEFA Euro 2008 winner 1st New Zealand OFC 2008 OFC Nations Cup winner 3rd

Group A: South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand, Spain
Group B: United States, Italy, Brazil, Egypt

2009 Confederations Cup Fixtures


Sunday, June 14th
South Africa vs.

England 2018 & 2022: Let’s Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves

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England's World Cup bid for 2018/2022 certainly looks impressive on the surface - but is it impressive enough? The other countries in the running also have a good pedigree, with England's bid, in the opinion of some experts, destined to lose out.

The bid itself probably cannot be faulted - the launch saw international superstar and former national team skipper David Beckham pledging his support, with Wayne Rooney, who is tipped as an England captain of the future, not too far behind.

Beckham aims for South Africa 2010 and Shilton’s record

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David Beckham is in contention for a starting place for England's qualifier against Andorra on Wednesday. In doing so, he will reach 112 caps for England, cementing his spot as England's most capped outfield player ever. Only the goaltender Peter Shilton holds more caps (125).

However, if Becks is chosen by Capello to represent England in South Africa, he will undoubtedly break that record and become England's most capped player of all-time.

Is Yaya Toure still part of Barecelona’s plans?

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Yaya Toure's agent has stoked the rumour mill regarding his client. Dmitri Seluk reckons Barca don't ‘respect' his client and has suggested the powerful midfielder might be playing his football elsewhere next season.

This is what Seluk has had to say: "Barca have not complied with the gentleman's agreement that we reached.

Manchester United’s best midfielder is: Giggs, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson or Carrick?

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After a record-equaling 18 league title and a season which saw several domestic and European records tumble, Manchester United have further cemented their place in history as the most successful football team in England in the last two decades.

Indeed, 11 league titles in 17 seasons in the top-rated league in Europe is no laughing matter.

Ebbsfleet and MyFC vote to stay alive

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Never say the British public, and indeed the world, can't be persuaded to vote when the matter at hand is football. While the rest of England reluctantly headed to the polls to register their disapproval of the government, members of were being balloted not just once but three times for several key votes on the future of Ebbsfleet United.

Rate Manchester United’s Best Attacker: Nani v Park v Berbatov v Tevez v Ronaldo v Rooney

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After a record-equaling 18 league title and a season which saw several domestic and European records tumble, Manchester United have further cemented their place in history as the most successful football team in England in the last two decades.

Indeed, 11 league titles in 17 seasons in the top-rated league in Europe is no laughing matter.

The Rebirth of AC Milan

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These have been a disappointing few years to forget for the red half of the San Siro, not only have AC Milan watched cross town rivals Internazionale manage to win the Serie A title back to back for the last 4 years, but they have been slowly sinking from perennial Serie A and Champions League challengers to UEFA cup participants.

West Ham’s takeover points to a second sale in a few years

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West Ham have been taken over by asset management company CB Holding. Chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson have resigned from the club's board.

The new non-executive chairman, Andrew Bernhardt, has assured fans that it will be 'business as usual' at West Ham, with money available to Zola for buying new players but also that all spending will be 'within the parameters of sensible budgeting', making it clear that the club had to be treated as a business and not a joy ride.

OmniFootball Review

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Trying to get information on your favourite club from one website is damn near impossible to do. First, there's the difference in opinion. You may have one blog you go to for hilarious commentary, whilst another is for in-depth analysis and proper videos on your favourite players.

But when you add up the amount of time you probably spend going from one blog to the other, and the other things going on in your life (what, you do something other than just follow football?

Transfer Rumors (7 Jun 09): Manchester United and Real Madrid fight for Wigan’s Valencia, Liverpool look for cut-price Crouch return, Tottenham target Van Nis

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We're into a new week, and this is a week that could get off to a big bang in the transfers world. AC Milan star Kaka could very well make the switch to Real Madrid in the coming days, and a few other top European clubs could nail down a few new squad additions sometime this week as well.

The bright light at Chelsea

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Chelsea is often bandied about as being old, ageing, beyond their prime, as Sir Alex Ferguson would attest. And it's hard to argue the point, with a fair slice of our key players over 30, the most notable including Ballack, Drogba and Lampard.

And whilst there are players who are under 25, only a few continue to make the grade week after week.

The transfer merry-go-round- somebody make it stop!

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In life there are only a handful of things that are certain. You will watch Big Brother. It will irritate you. MPs will lie through their back teeth (and their front ones). Summer does make girls more attractive. And makes you feel less so. People who ring in radio stations with traffic updates are idiots.

Signing Coup in Istanbul: Frank Rijkaard to Galatasaray

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The news of Frank Rijkaard's appointment as the new manager of Galatasaray has certainly made head waves across Turkiye. In the wake of Galatasaray's mediocre season the news of Rijkaard's signing is a coup in Turkiye and has almost eclipsed the celebrations by Istanbul rivals Besiktas of their well deserved league-cup double this season.

Transfer Rumors (6 Jun 09): Chelsea and Tottenham battle for Aston Villa’s Young, Arsenal linked with Juventus keeper Buffon, Barcelona to bid for Liverpoolâ€

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There's no new Kaka news to report on, and there shouldn't be for another couple of days, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing else going on in the world of transfers.

Who's in the transfer news headlines today? As always, the lion's share of the tidbits are from England, but we've also got news and rumors to report on from Spain, Italy, Germany, and Greece.

Chelsea v Barcelona called for better rules, not more referees

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A month has passed now from the famous (and for many infamous) Chelsea - Barca semifinal of the Champions League. There's been plenty of time to reflect on it, so I feel it's worth adding a few words about it.

In the meantime, Barcelona went on to become champions, beating Manchester United in the final pretty comprehensively.

From Ukraine with Blues - Why Shevchenko should remain at Chelsea

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With the recent appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the new Chelsea manager and the recent announcement that Andriy Shevchenko will be coming back to the Bridge now that his one-year loan deal with AC Milan has expired, there are questions being asked of what Ancelotti / Chelsea will do with the 32-year-old striker.

West Ham United: Credit Where Credit Is Due

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The economic meltdown has taken many victims around the world, including some that hit close to home for football fans (Southampton and Gretna FC come to mind). It has forced many clubs to rethink their spending habits and cut back. However, some continue to carry on, blithely unaware of the dangers that lurk for football clubs that can't control their cash flow.

Bradley’s Blunders - USA dominated in WC Qualifier

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Every World Cup qualifying match is important whether its UEFA or CONCACAF, whether you are in first, or last; which is why watching the United States last night was one of the most frustrating 94 minutes since World Cup 2006.

From the outset, from the 4-3-3 laid out by Bob Bradley to his player selection, nothing seemed to make sense.

Everton’s new shirt is great, Liverpool girls not so great…

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Liverpool may have the edge on the rest of England when it comes to European titles, but when it comes to women they seem to be two steps behind (either that or Everton's PR team has very average taste).

You don't have to pick a Cheryl or a Pinho - even a Curran or Clancy will do.

But while Le Coq Sportif have done a fabulous job with Everton's new home shirt, they could have found better models to put those shirts on.

Kaka moves to Madrid ‘for life’ - which European superstar is next?

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09 June 2009: Kaká has signed a six-year contract and will earn €9,120,000 a year at the Santiago Bernabeu. As expected, he'll wear the famous number "5″ shirt previously worn by legends Fabio Cannavaro and Zinedine Zidane.

"Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, Kaka, is a Real Madrid player after an agreement was reached with AC Milan.

Five MLS players capable of succeeding in Europe

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There are plenty of promising players in Major League Soccer, and many of proven quality too. Despite Europe's negative perception of the United States' flagship football league there is a good deal of talent currently plying its trade Stateside.

Many players have played on both sides of the Atlantic already.

The Death of International Football?

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One week after a much acclaimed Champions' League final in Rome, FIFA's Congress passed a new resolution removing age limits on a player's ability to change national teams. While the vote received little fanfare as more attention seems to be affixed on whether Kaka will play for AC Milan, Real Madrid or Chelsea, the potential repercussions on international football are enormous.

Who should partner with Fernando Torres next season?

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Rafa Benitez may have made some absurd comments this season, but Liverpool football club played some high quality football over (if not right through)Â the last 9 months.

Be it shaking up the Madristas or drubbing the champions at their home, Stevie G and his troops sure had their moments.

Transfer Rumors (4 Jun 09): AC Milan’s Kaka to decide on Real Madrid move Monday, Arsenal close on Ajax defender Vermaelen, Chelsea to beat Liverpool for Port

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As you would expect, a certain Brazilian is dominating the transfer headlines right now, and in today's transfer news and rumors roundup, we've got the latest on that Brazilian and his potential world-record move, and we've also got plenty to report on about from England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France.

January 2009 Scottish Premier League Transfers

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All Scottish Premier League transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the latest January 2009 Scottish Premier League Transfers listed here. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

January 2009 Ligue 1 Transfers

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All Ligue 1 transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 Ligue 1 Transfers listed here. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

January 2009 Bundesliga Transfers

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All Bundesliga transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 Bundesliga transfers listed here. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

January 2009 La Liga Transfers

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All La Liga transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 La Liga Transfers listed here. Archives for older transfer seasons are at the end of this page. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

January 2009 Serie A Transfers

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All Italian Serie A transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 Serie A Transfers listed here. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

January 2009 English Championship Transfers

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All English Championship transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 English Championship Transfers listed here. Archives for older transfer seasons are at the end of this page. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

January 2009 English Premier League Transfers

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All English Premier League transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the January 2009 Premier League Transfers. Archives for older transfer seasons are at the end of this page. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

If you find a transfer not listed here let us know and we'll add it.

Bruce appointed Sunderland boss, despite Newcastle roots

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Steve Bruce has been announced as new Sunderland manager after the North East club finally agreed a compensation package with Wigan and personal terms with Bruce himself.

The delay in concluding the deal was attributable to Bruce's demand for a profitable ‘Image Rights' package, it is rumoured.

Can Rafa find a Silva lining in the transfer window?

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Rafa has launched a 15 million pound bid for Spanish starlet David Silva, but he thinks he's going to get him that cheap he's surely deluding himself. Valencia may be desperate to sell but they're not that desperate.

Where it anywhere near being accepted Real, Barca, Athletico and a host of other English clubs would immediately join in the bidding to push the price level to a more suitable number for a youngest of Silva's quality.

Transfer Rumors (3 Jun 09): Real Madrid and Chelsea in Kaka tug-of-war, Everton’s Arteta and Lescott in demand, Sunderland to move for Tottenham’s Bent, and

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You've got to love the transfer window. It's only inevitable that there's going to be at least one major saga in any transfer window, and just a few days into the summer window, we've got quite the saga brewing involving Kaka, Real Madrid, and Chelsea.

Of course, there's a lot more in the transfer news pages than this, but it's safe to say that it's going to be dominating the headlines until there's some sort of resolution one way or another.

Barry Signing Shows Solid Manchester City Development Strategy

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When Manchester City were taken over last Autumn by foreign investors with pockets deeper than their oil wells, there was hysteria across the footballing world. The media whipped up a frenzy feasting on a seemingly endless list of managerial and transfer targets encouraged by ambitious and occasionally ridiculous club transfer targets.

Benitez’s failed youth: Why United really have the upperhand over Liverpool

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It's about time players like Darby and Spearing got a real chance at Liverpool, because if Rafa had the guts to pick them, he'd be preparing the open top bus route right now.

In 2007-08 Liverpool destroyed the opposition in the reserve league, yet only El Zhar has come through since, while somehow Fergie can pick Macheda at 17 and he scores the 2 crucial goals that win United the league by 4 points.

Cultural Oddsmaker: Finding Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement at Manchester United

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If transfer rumours in the Daily Mail, The Sun, News of the World, and every other rag out there are to believed*, then the Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid talk is a done deal. It's time Manchester United supporters started coming to grips with the idea of their fleet-footed, fairy winger donning a shirt with the words "BWIN" on the front and blazing down the wing for a squad known as the.

Transfer Rumors (2 Jun 09): Aston Villa’s Barry signs for Manchester City, Manchester City Chelsea make bid for AC Milan starlet Pato, and more

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The summer transfer window has only been open for a day, and we've already got our first big signing in the Premier League, as Gareth Barry is making the move from the Midlands to Manchester in a £12m move to Manchester City.

Barry may be the only notable signing of the day, but he's not the only notable name making headlines today.

Manchester City complete £12m deal for Gareth Barry

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A full year has passed since Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez first started chasing midfielder Gareth Barry for his signature and the chance to put on the red shirt of Liverpool and play in the Champions League. The now former Villa star was quoted on numerous occasions last summer as saying that European football mean more to him than anything else.

The 15 Greatest Sports Cheats Of All Time

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Integrity, sportsmanship and pride. If there are three words that make up the foundation of the sporting world, these three would most certainly be at the top of the list. All sports are built on a drive to improve, the chance to compete against your peers, and the opportunity to build strong bonds with others.

Soccerlens Podcast: Wrapping up the season, Ancelotti’s long road ahead, and Downing to Liverpool!

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On the 15th episode of the Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by WhoAteAllThePies founder Ollie Irish, Chris Toy from Studs Up and Soccerlens' very own Russell Wall to discuss the big four, Tottenham and transfer speculation.

The show will be debating whether Carlo Ancelotti will survive for atleast a season at Chelsea, Manchester United's campaign beyond that defeat to Barcelona and Chris and Ollie urge Liverpool to make a move for Stewart Downing.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Worst Manchester United XI

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Last week, we brought you Sir Alex Ferguson's Greatest XI. This week, we're taking a look at the other side of the spectrum as we name Sir Alex's Worst Manchester United XI.

To err is human, and when you've been in charge as long as Sir Alex has, you're bound to make some mistakes. Maybe the highly touted youngster that you signed and developed doesn't pan out.

My cup runneth over: how to save the sanctity of the silverware

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As Chelsea reigned triumphant at Wembley on Saturday, David Moyes cut a disconsolate figure, as you would expect the manager of a losing team in the FA Cup final. Yet the Scot's comments in the run up to the game said much about cup competitions in the modern era.

Toffees fans would have been delighted had Everton taken their first piece of silverware since 1995, but, according to Moyes, winning the FA Cup would be a "stepping stone" for the club.

How To Make It Through The Summer Without Football

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I hate this. Really, I do. We're standing on the edge of the precipice now, FA Cup final done and dusted, and even the Spanish league all settled. There's nothing keeping us from tumbling into two months without our dearest friend, the game of football.

But there is, if you look hard enough, a safety net.

Talking Transfers: Taking a look at Manchester United’s summer wish list

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Another season was won or lost, depending on which club you support, but there's one thing in common for all football fans, come June. ‘It's the time to transfer!'

Every tabloid has its own set of exclusive speculations, and if all of them were to be true, none of us would remain fans in a few years.

Soccerlens Podcast: Wrapping up the season for the big four, Ancelotti’s long road ahead, and Downing to Liverpool!

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On the final episode of this season's Soccerlens Podcast, Stephen Darwin is joined by WhoAteAllThePies founder Ollie Irish, Chris Toy from Studs Up and Soccerlens' very own Russell Wall to discuss the big four, Tottenham and transfer speculation.

The show will be debating whether Carlo Ancelotti will survive for atleast a season at Chelsea, Manchester United's campaign beyond that defeat to Barcelona and Chris and Ollie urge Liverpool to make a move for Stewart Downing.

Chelsea’s future rests in the hands of a manager not named Ancelotti

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Last weekend's FA Cup final merely served to rubberstamp what we all knew anyway, Guus Hiddink is something of a managerial genius. Indeed, it is a testament to how the Dutchman has gotten his Chelsea side to perform over these past 3 months, that even when Everton opened the scoring at Wembley, there was still an inevitable sense that they would recover to turn it around.

The Soccerlens Premier League 08/09 Season Review

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So that's it. The curtain has fallen on another season in English football and what a season it has been too! We've seen Manchester United look as though they would win every conceivable trophy and yet their season ends with ultimate disappointment. Liverpool's recent form was the stuff of champions but in a campaign that looked to be promising so much, they ended up winning nothing.

The Premier League’s Most Wanted Transfer Targets

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The FA Cup on Saturday ended another fantastic football season in the English Premier League and abroad. And whilst the European U21 Championships will be a welcome distraction from the dog days of summer, we really know you'll be spending the time before the pre-season dissecting every transfer rumour surrounding your club, no matter how ridiculous.