Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 UEFA Champions League: The Final

Who: Internazionale Milan vs. Bayern Munich
When: May 22, 2:45pm EDT
Where: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Preview I
Preview II

Richard Williams:
Sneijder & Robben return to Madrid with point to prove

Roberto Gotta:
Inter's long wait for glory

What makes Mourinho tick?

Both teams can enter The Treble Club

Head to Head

England: Classic Wembley Championship play-off finals

Cardiff City and Blackpool go head-to-head at Wembley in the Championship play-off final with a lot to live up to in terms of drama and spectacle. Telegraph Sport remembers some of the best matches in the ‘richest game in football.’

The Joy of Six: Things we miss about the World Cup

From the original trophy to official films and posters, here are half a dozen things we used to love about the tournament.

Nike's New Ad

Nike has launched its TV ad for the 2010 World Cup, featuring some of the world's top football players and Homer Simpson. Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Fabio Cannavaro, Franck Ribery, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott feature along with cameo appearances from Kobe Bryant and Homer Simpson.

The TV ad, "Write the Future", went online on Friday ahead of its live television debut during the Champions League final on Saturday.

Interesting the Ronaldinho is featured yet will not be in South Africa. I'm surprised Nike didn't pay off the Brazilian FA to get Dunga to include him in the squad...

The Mill + ++

Friday's Rumours



Amy Lawrence: Bursaspor set Turkey alight as Fenerbahce fans torch own ground

The twist in the tale saw delirious celebrations in Bursa and Istanbul simultaneously, because some bright spark with a microphone at Fenerbahce's Sukru Saracoglu stadium announced (wrongly) that Bursaspor had faltered and they were champions. Such cock-ups do not get accepted in Turkey with the kind of stoicism observed at Manchester City in 1996, when they famously welcomed the "news" that they had escaped relegation by easing off for the last 12 minutes of a crucial game, a scene that turned tearful and melancholy when corrected scores from elsewhere condemned them.

USA: Wayne Drehs Blog

Friday, May 21, will mark the seven-month anniversary of the day Oguchi Onyewu underwent surgery to repair a torn left patella tendon that many thought would keep him out of this summer's World Cup.

Yet there he was on the practice field Thursday afternoon, kicking, running, chasing, heading -- doing all the things every one of his teammates was doing -- in hopes of being ready to return to his customary spot of defensive anchor when the U.S. takes the field against England on June 12.

Blackpool on the edge of dreamland – and the great unknown

The Seasiders had planned for measured progress and a gradual rise to success but they suddenly find themselves on the threshold of the Premier League.'s Worst Teams of the Season

English Premier League

Spanish La Liga

Italian Serie A

Friday MLS Forecast

The Forecast wonders whether Robert Pires will adapt to MLS after his comments about Philadelphia and then reveals its Week 9 picks.

Roberto Gotta's Serie A Team of the Season

The third of our end of season awards, in association with Castrol Rankings, is the Serie A Team of the Season. The formation of 4-2-1-3 worked for Jose Mourinho and Inter Milan as they won the title, so let's stick with that.

Eduardo Alvarez's La Liga Team of the Season

The second of our end of season awards, in association with Castrol Rankings, is the La Liga Team of the Season. With Barcelona and Real Madrid both finishing well clear of the rest of the field, it's an amazingly loaded team; let's just hope for more diversity next season. They line up in the 4-2-3-1 formation that has become so popular this season.

Jon Carter's Champions League Team of the Season

As the dust settles on another Champions League season, many players have shown themselves to be heroes in Europe. There can, however, only be eleven names in our Champions League Team of the Season. Here, we pick out the outstanding performers from this season's competition.

Grant agrees West Ham deal

Avram Grant has agreed a deal in principle to become West Ham United manager and sources inside the club insist it is "95% certain" he will take control at Upton Park.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ooh-la-la! Ice-cool French go a little over the top in their preparations for the World Cup

While the England squad has been forced to relocate to Austria for its altitude training ahead of the World Cup, the French of course have no such difficulties.

Les Bleus only had to make their way to Tignes, in the heart of the French Alps, to begin their preparation for the football festival in South Africa next month.

The squad stayed up he mountain last night to acclimatise to the thin air they'll experience during the tournament before walking up the glacier today.

The South Africa Angle

Tucked away in their mum's upstairs bedroom with nothing but a tin-foil helmet, the X-Files box set and detailed diagrams of the Kennedy assassination to keep them company, the conspiracy theorists are a strange bunch. But this week, they have been let loose on the World Cup thanks to Kevin-Prince Boateng's loose tackle on Michael Ballack and Lord Triesman's even looser tongue.

Divorce helped Donovan reconcile differences

Donovan and actress Bianca Kajlich, who stars on the television sitcom “Rules of Engagement,” were married for three years before separating last July and finalizing a divorce in late 2009. In discussing that deeply personal subject, the 28-year-old United States forward refers to the relationship and the split as a catalyst for his improvement as both a man and a player.

Americans On The Continent: Wrap Party

The Americans on the Continent wrap up their club seasons as the World Cup approaches.

Americans In The UK: Season Review Part 1

The first chapter explores the exploits of the Scottish league standouts as well as lower league American players, including the Championship and League One.

The secrets of the world's most successful football school

Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Yaya Toure... the list of international stars to have emerged from Asec Mimosa's Academy is remarkable. But why should one club, and one country have had so much success?

England: Premier League Season Reviews


Aston Villa

Birmingham City

Blackburn Rovers

Bolton Wanderers


Debrecen probed over Champions League match-fixing

Debrecen, one of Liverpool’s opponents in this season’s Champions League, are being investigated over allegations of match-fixing. The claims relate to the Hungarian champions’ match against Fiorentina in October.

Debrecen failed to win a single game in the group stage and Uefa officials visited the club on Saturday to question a number of players on the claims.

Jamie Carragher issues red alert over exodus

Jamie Carragher has told his unsettled team-mates that if their commitment to Liverpool is in doubt, they should not bother returning to the club for pre-season training.

The centre back is thought to have been referring to Javier Mascherano, who has expressed an interest in joining Barcelona, but his words of warning are equally pertinent to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, whose futures at Anfield are also uncertain.

The story of the 1978 World Cup

Set against a backdrop of political uncertainty and shorn of the illuminating genius of the world's finest footballer in Johan Cruyff, the 11th staging of the World Cup was perhaps the most controversial of them all.

That it ended with a fairytale first victory for the hosts Argentina remains the subject of contention to this day, with the suggestion the country's military dictatorship aided the team's triumph continuing to cast a regrettable shadow over their achievement.

The Mill + ++

Thursday's Rumours



Barcelona complete £34.2m deal for Valencia striker David Villa

The 28-year-old, who will lead the line for the European champions at the World Cup in South Africa, has agreed a four-year deal and will be officially unveiled after completing his medical tests.

Barcelona confirmed: "FC Barcelona and Valencia CF closed a €40m deal for Spanish striker David Villa on Wednesday morning... He will make an appearance on the Camp Nou pitch [on Friday]. The stadium doors will be opened to the public."

Diego Maradona runs over cameraman at World Cup squad announcement

According to a witness, Maradona's car rolled over the lower part of the cameraman's leg. "What an asshole you are," Maradona shouted from the car. "How can you put your leg there where it can get run over, man?"

Uli Hesse in Germany

Now that the Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us, I guess it's finally time to talk about David Hasselhoff and the World Cup. If you're American and have no idea what the Eurovision Song Contest is - it's what brought you Abba. If you're Martian and have no idea who David Hasselhoff is - he's an actor and singer (I'm using these terms in a very broad sense) who is supposed to be hugely popular in Germany.

France Agree Blanc Deal

Laurent Blanc will become France head coach following the World Cup finals after the country's national federation finalised negotiations with his club Bordeaux.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm on Vacation

Barcelona and Inter claimed the top prize in Spain and Italy, respectively. Chelsea edged Pompey to nab the 2010 FA Cup. Michael Ballack is out of the World Cup due to an injury sustained in Saturday's match. Chelsea are also reportedly lining up a mega-bid for Fernando Torres. More on Thursday...