Portuguese football: For Três Grandes, business as usual

PORTO won the first big Portuguese Primeira Liga clash of the season when they recently beat Benfica in Lisbon, a big psychological boost for the “second club” and, perhaps, a signal that the title race this season may be even tighter than 2018-19. Porto won 2-0 in the Estádio da Luz, their fifth victory at the home of their rivals in 10 visits. Porto have the … Continue reading Portuguese football: For Três Grandes, business as usual

12 games that shaped a football club: Chelsea

CERTAIN games can mould the history of a club. Chelsea have had many high points in recent years, but it is not just success that influences the culture of a club. These 12 games have all played their role in shaping the Blues. Of course, the list will prompt debate, but these have been selected for their overall importance to the club’s development, from the … Continue reading 12 games that shaped a football club: Chelsea

La Liga: Barcelona may be even stronger

CAN ANYONE end Barcelona’s recent dominance of La Liga? After a summer of big signings and the announcement of record revenues, Barca look stronger than last year and with Real Madrid enduring a miserable pre-season and Atlético Madrid in transition, it could be a third consecutive title – and nine in 12 – for the Blaugrana. Of course, Barca will be hoping for a barnstorming … Continue reading La Liga: Barcelona may be even stronger

Lyon are fancied, but PSG have most of the cards

IT’S all getting a little too predictable in France, with Paris Saint-Germain winning six of the last seven Ligue 1 titles and no real sign of the dominance ending. The financial advantages the club enjoys, means PSG should win everything – hence the club’s owners have an obvious sense of expectation and occasional impatience. Should there be a genuine contender, it might just be Lyon, … Continue reading Lyon are fancied, but PSG have most of the cards

Italy needs someone to challenge Juventus – maybe Inter

INTER MILAN’s dogged pursuit of Romelu Lukaku underlines the determination of the “nerazzuri” to try and break the Juventus stranglehold in Italy, an era of domination that includes eight consecutive Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia wins and two UEFA Champions League finals. Inter, the last Italian club to win the Champions League (2010), have not won a single piece of silverware since 2011 when … Continue reading Italy needs someone to challenge Juventus – maybe Inter

Europe’s Champions: 1957-58 Real Madrid

REAL MADRID completed a hat-trick of European Cup wins in 1958, but they had to work hard for the top prize in a gruelling final with AC Milan in Brussels. In doing so, Real also completed the double of domestic league title and European Cup for the second successive season. Nevertheless, football historians have always wondered if Real would still have been crowned champions of … Continue reading Europe’s Champions: 1957-58 Real Madrid

Football Read Review: Zonal Marking by Michael Cox

YOU could argue that Jonathan Wilson had the final word on football tactics, but if you want to know how European football got to where it is today, Michael Cox’s stage-by-stage story provides a different angle on whiteboard thinking. Zonal Marking is an excellent read and is thought-provoking in the way the author views the transitional phases of European football. You may not agree with … Continue reading Football Read Review: Zonal Marking by Michael Cox

PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

LIGUE 1 gets underway next weekend and regardless of whether Neymar stays or goes, Paris Saint-German will be favourites for their seventh title win in eight seasons. PSG were champions once more in 2018-19 by a 16-point margin, suggesting the gulf between the Paris club and the rest of the division shows no sign of diminishing. With 105 goals and 29 wins in 38 games, … Continue reading PSG’s light still shining, albeit less brightly

Europe’s most prolific teams

MANCHESTER CITY are probably the most successful team in Europe this season in that they won all three domestic trophies on offer. But City did not have the best league record across the continent, that honour arguably belongs to Red Star Belgrade of Serbia and Greece’s PAOK Salonika. In real terms, Red Star, with 33 wins from 37 games, have a win rate of 89.19% … Continue reading Europe’s most prolific teams

Football Media Watch: Barca still the team to beat

IT MAY be wishful thinking that a team is coming to the end of a period of dominance or the desire to see someone else at the summit of European football, but Barcelona may not be getting the credit they deserve this season as they close-in on another La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League. Inevitably, when a team keeps winning, the current batch … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Barca still the team to beat

Club of the Month: Atlético Madrid – firmly among the elite

IF YOU’VE visited Madrid recently, you’ve no doubt flown over the gleaming new home of Atlético Madrid, the Wanda Metropolitano. It’s an impressive site, fashioned out of a stadium built in anticipation of the Spanish capital being awarded the Olympic Games. If Atléti play their cards right, they could be playing at home in the final of the UEFA Champions League in the first week … Continue reading Club of the Month: Atlético Madrid – firmly among the elite

Farewell Adamec, the hero of ’68

IN 1969, when football in eastern Europe was still something of a mystery, Jozef Adamec finished joint 15thin the Ballon d’Or voting, with the same number of points as Manchester United’s Bobby Charlton. This was no mean feat and underlined that Adamec had made a significant impact on football writers across the continent. This week, Slovak football is in mourning for the man who became … Continue reading Farewell Adamec, the hero of ’68