Soccerphile World Cup Blog

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Updated:
May 25, 2017 12:01 UTC
Added:
November 24, 2005 08:58 UTC

One night to shine in Sweden

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UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL 2017 Manchester United v Ajax Friends Arena, Stockholm 19:45 GMT
The heat appears to be on Manchester United tonight, or more specifically Jose Mourinho.

The club is bigger and richer than Ajax and demands success so winning the Europa League against a lesser side is expected at boardroom level.

Cardiff's big night of the Champions League final

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I am delighted Cardiff, the first city I made my home, is hosting next month's UEFA Champions League Final, but I am also keen it puts on a good show to the continent and increasingly the world.

Whilst no-one can deny the impressive 74,500 Millennium Stadium is a fine venue for any soccer showpiece, eyebrows everywhere have been raised at the realisation that Cardiff is a little on the small size as a city (population 340,000) and does not have a major airport nearby.

Real's familiar machine motors on to Cardiff

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Real Madrid maintained their march of glory in Europe by thumping city rivals Atletico 3-0 in their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg last week.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored another hat-trick and bagged yet another record, the first man to reach 50 goals in the knock-out stage of the competition.

Fifa World Rankings April 2017

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Fifa's World Rankings for April 2017 were published on April 6 at FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Fifa World Rankings are now published on Thursday and not Wednesday as before.

The full top ten is: Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Chile, Colombia, beaten Euro 2016 finalists, France, Belgium, Euro 2016 winners Portugal, Switzerland and Spain.

Dutch in the ditch

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The latest round of European World Cup qualifiers went largely to script.

The big boys all won comfortably - Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and England all registered victories. Surprise European Championship semi-finalists Wales drew again and struggling to make it to Russia next year have probably reverted to type.

Yu keeps the Chinese Dream Alive

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* China kept their slim hopes of making it to Russia 2018 alive with a 1-0 win over South Korea 1-0 in Changsha in their AFC World Cup qualifier this afternoon.

Yu Dabao of Beijing Guoan got the only goal for Marcelo Lippi's side in the 34th minute, his nation's second win over Korea in 32 attempts.

Fifa World Rankings March 2017

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Fifa's World Rankings for March 2017 were published on March 9 at FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Fifa World Rankings are now published on Thursday and not Wednesday as before.

The full top ten is: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Belgium, beaten Euro 2016 finalists, France, Colombia, Euro 2016 winners Portugal, Uruguay and Spain.

New Chelsea Stadium Gets Green Light

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Chelsea's new 60,000 seat stadium has received final planning permission and should be ready for the 2021-'22 season.

The 'matchstick cathedral' design by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron, who designed the Beijing Birds' Nest Olympic arena and renovated London's Tate Modern, got the final nod from London Mayor Sadiq Khan today.

Fifa World Rankings February 2017

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Fifa's World Rankings for February 2017 were published on February 9 at FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Fifa World Rankings are now published on Thursday and not Wednesday as before.

The full top ten is: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Belgium, beaten Euro 2016 finalists, France, Colombia, Euro 2016 winners Portugal, Uruguay and Spain.

Five Ways To Deal With Bullying

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When you're a coach, your biggest goal isn't just to win games. Rather, it's to shape the minds and lives of the young people who you work with. This comes from fostering a sense of teamwork and ensuring that all of your players get along.

However, when you spot bullying, it can be hard to keep a feeling of teamwork alive.

Two Weeks in Gabon

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After the final Gabon group match in Libreville six of us went to a nearby restaurant in the dimly lit night. Though it was hard to read the menu, there seemed to be a lot of options.

We called the waiter over and he explained that the restaurant's speciality was wine.



There were four items on the food menu, and two of them were off.

A week in Gabon for Afcon 2017

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I have been here in Gabon for 14 games of the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 now, but it seems like just over a week. I have managed to make my way around the country. Not by the different modes of transport I intended but by flights that I have found that were not available to book before I came.


We have completed the second round of matches and the games have gone from Libreville to Franceville, Oyem and then Port Gentil.

Africa Cup of Nations 2017 Images

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Enjoy these images of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Check back as we add more each day. Click on the image to enlarge it.




Fifa World Rankings January 2017

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Fifa's World Rankings for January 2017 were published on January 12 at FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland. These are the first rankings of the year.

The Fifa World Rankings are now published on Thursday and not Wednesday as before.

The full top ten is the same as last month: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Belgium, Colombia, beaten Euro 2016 finalists, France, Euro 2016 winners Portugal, Uruguay and Spain.

Afcon Three Down

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Four days of the tournament and I am now three down.

On the eve of the opening game we had been assured by the local volunteers that no tickets were available for the opening game and that the ground would be full.



On the day of the game you would not have believed that as the opening ceremony began with only a few thousand in attendance.