Doubles all round?

IF BAYERN Munich win the Bundesliga this weekend, it will complete a clean-sweep for the five champions of the major European leagues, in oither words, every winner from 2017-18 will have retained their title. Across the big five (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), we have seen monopolies emerge over the past eight seasons – Juventus (8 titles), Bayern (7), Paris Saint-Germain (6) Barcelona (5) and Manchester City (4) have dominated their respective leagues. Since 2011-12, there have been 40 championship victories, yet only six times (Leicester, Dortmund, Atletico, Real, Monaco and Montpelier) has the trophy been lifted beyond the elite band of clubs (which also includes, Chelsea and Manchester United). Manchester City have the chance to win the first “double” in England since 2010, but if they are successful, it will mean they have won an unprecedented treble. It’s hard enough to retain the Premier – the last team to do it was Manchester United in 2007-08 – so winning all three domestic trophies will set a new benchmark. At the time of writing, other clubs are in with a chance of securing a “double” – Bayern, Barcelona, Galatasaray, Celtic, Slavia Prague, Red Star Belgrade, Dinamo Zagreb and Maribor are among them, while others, Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, PAOK and Sarajevo have already created a bit of history.

BRAND FINANCE issued its latest Football 50 this week and GOTP wrote much of the editorial of the report, along with a video script which was used on a short film produced by TIFO Football. Equally gratifying was that Real Madrid published the video on their official website. Real Madrid is not only the most valuable football brand, but is also the sector’s strongest brand, ahead of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The club may have relinquished its UEFA Champions League crown for the first time since 2015 in the 2018-19 season, and has once more been outperformed domestically by fierce rivals Barcelona, but the financial, cultural, and political clout of Real Madrid places it ahead of its rivals, despite the loss of talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Madrid for Juventus in 2018. Click here to see the TIFO video

A PORTSMOUTH fan kicked and punched a Sunderland player who happened to fall over the perimeter fence at Fratton Park in the play-offs. The incident was an ugly one and the club could yet find it is disciplined as it was all too easy for the fan to attack the player. In the past, clubs have had their grounds (or part therof) closed because of hooliganism. The footage will enable Pompey to take action against the fan, it remains to be seen how the Football League/FA respond.

MAX ALLEGRI is leaving Juventus, which will trigger off a managerial merry-go-round over the next few weeks. Allegri could end up in the Premier, but where will he resurface? Chelsea, who have a penchant for Italian coaches (Ranieri, Ancelotti, Conte, Sarri) may yet dispense with the services of Sarri, even if he wins the Europa League to add to the club already qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

MOST people will not be surprised that Brazil exports more players than any other nation. According to the excellent CIES Football Observatory, Brazil is clearly at the top of the rankings for countries exporting footballers. In total, 1,330 players having grown up in Brazil play in the 147 leagues covered in this report. Brazilians are present in 85 associations out of 98. This reflects the unique role played by Brazil in supplying professional footballers worldwide. With over 800 expatriates, France and Argentina also stand out from the crowd as exporters. Overall, almost a quarter of expatriates are from Brazil, France or Argentina (22.5%). The principle exporters from other continents are Nigeria for Africa (10th place, 361 expatriates), the United States for North America (25th, 145), Japan for Asia (30th, 128) and Australia for Oceania (35th, 101).

GOTP is off to the Non-League Finals day on May 19 AT Wembley. We’re rooting for Fylde and Cray Valley Paper Mills!

Photo: PA



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