England Heading to Semi-finals

England has done what no other team from the nation has done since 1990 – make it to the semi-finals. This is an accomplishment not even Beckham achieved. Saturday’s game saw England victorious over the Swedes 2-0 to send the U.K to the semi-finals and one game away from playing the finals.

Scoring first for England was Harry Maguire, their second came as a result of Dele Alli, who scored at the 59th minute of play. For Harry Kane, he felt the team was composed and in control and considering many are playing their first World Cup tournament, their performance has been one that was not expected. However, this has been a tournament that has been full of surprises.
When the clock brought an end to the game, celebrations in the United Kingdom were off the charts. Of course, they started well before knowing the odds of Sweden coming back and catching up to earn a draw and force a shootout were slim.

When you consider the likes of Beckham and Gerrard w,ere unable to achieve what this year’s team lead by Harry Kane has achieved is something to honour. England has not made it this far since 1990 and in the last tournament they failed to advance beyond the group stage.

What made the difference

A big part of the success came as a result of a young team and the guidance given by Kane and Coach Southgate. Kane stated after the game ended that he expected fans would be pleased and celebrating back home adding he imagines some good celebratory videos would be seen in the aftermath of the win.

Fans could be heard chanting at the stadium in Russia saying “On our way, on our way, to Moscow, on our way” If not for the large number of goals scored by the squad, England may not have made it this far, but with superior speed, agility and youthfulness behind them, they are strong contenders to go the distance and earn a place in the finals.

Maguire drove the first one home 30 minutes into the game. It was his first of the tournament and England’s 11th. England has been stellar in their passing skills and accepting a pass from Jesse Lingard put Ali in positon to score their second goal – fancy footwork goes along way.

Commenting on his goal, Maguire said, “We knew set plays would be key, and also that little ball that Jesse sent in for Dele, that was great. We worked on that in practice.”

The reality is, England proved to be too much for Sweden. Considering they were the underdogs and not expected to have advanced as far as they did, they were unable to break down the superior skill of the English team.

World Cup 2018: Germany boss Joachim Low admits side deserved to go out

After Germany lost in the group stage, Germany’s Coach, Joachim Low said he felt that they deserved to lose after the historic crash during the group stage. Germany were the defending champions going into this year’s World Cup and finished last in Group F after suffering a defeat to South Korea, a team many expected would not be much of a challenge for the Germans. It was the first time since 1938 that the country failed to advance.

For Coach Low, he said, “This is something for us to reckon with. This is historic. I am sure this will create some public uproar in Germany.”

The winners of Group F was Sweden, who beat Mexico 3-0. With Mexico advancing due to Germany’s loss, Mexican fans were on the edge as they watched, many in disbelieve as South Korea defeated the Germans.

When asked to expand on his comments, Low, who in 12 years of coaching had not made it to the semi-finals, explained,

“We saw Sweden had taken the lead, so we needed to keep the pressure up but our team was missing the ease of play and the classiness we usually have. So, we deserve to be eliminated, yes. At this tournament, we didn’t deserve to win again or move to the round of 16. We were eliminated not because we didn’t want to win but we never had the chance to take a lead at any point – we were always lagging behind, trying to keep up.”

While the match came down to the wire, both of the goals scored by South Korea came during injury time. The first of those was by Kim Young-gwon who scored with a close range goal that was initially disallowed after an offside call, then later overturned and allowed. The second came minutes later after Ju Se-jong tapped another past German goaltender Manuel Neuer to give the Koreans a 2-0 win.

Germany’s Epic Exit

For Germany, the end was anything expected. It was only the second time in history that Germany failed to advance beyond the group stage. They have advanced to the semi-finals in their last four World Cup tournaments and have made the final four in the World Cup with the exception of three times. They have made the final two twice and before the loss to South Korea, had yet to lose in a match against an Asian country.

U.K.’s Amazon Prime Service to Show Twenty Games A Season

On the 7th of June, Amazon significantly increased its bet on live sports programming by buying the broadcasting rights to a package of soccer games in the English Premier League. These broadcasting rights are exclusive to Britain, enabling fans to watch a selection of twenty games this season on the Amazon Prime service. The rights to broadcast a small selection of games represents a significant boost to the modest foray by Amazon into live sporting events.

With handfuls of industries disrupted in the past by Amazon, which include from grocery businesses to health care. What comes next is the power to broadcast top sport events. The package does not include the league’s marquee offering and covers two rounds of play. These include mid-week events and one on Boxing Day, a day on which only the major league schedule games.

While thousands of Brittan’s look forward to more broadcasted games, their immediate optimism is all based on the game just before the World Cup commences. Marcus Rashford put England in the lead and reports indicate that players are high on confidence while Gareth Southgate is indeed capable of putting together exciting football.

Southgate Has Reason to Optimism

Another satisfying win gives Southgate reason to optimism and Rashford announced that he is pressing for a starting place as England arrives in Russia. He also reminded England’s manager that he can produce moments of outstanding quality. Even though he can be unpredictable at times, he can score goals even against the most accomplished defences.

What is most encouraging is that none of the Southgate players are off-form. Costa Rica placed twenty-third on the FIFA World Rankings, simply overwhelmed by the team’s energy in the first half. It was a relatively stress-free evening for Butland in the first round, replaced in the second half by Pope, while Dele Alli cleared the way in the 2nd half to the second goal for England. It was Jordon Henderson that captained the team in the absence of Harry Kane, and he did so with considerable authority.

The only negative if one is pressurised to find one, it would be that Jamie Vardy had a difficult time to impress. Alexandra-Arnold impressed many during his first international appearance, while it was also the debut of England’s goalkeeper Burnley Nick Pope replacing Jack Butland in the second half.

Now Southgate has some serious decisions to make regarding England’s starting line-up in the World Cup. He agrees that he would have to leave out 11 or 12 players that are genuinely good. Normally managers find it difficult to find players for each position, Southgate’s problem is which of the great players are best for the position, which might be even more challenging.

Will Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid?

After winning the 3rd straight Champions League finale, and 4th in five years, Real Madrid’s best player Cristiano Ronaldo stated, “It was very nice to be in Madrid. In the next few days, I will give an answer to the fans who have always been by my side.” This set off a firestorm in the soccer media, as it hinted that the five time Ballon d’Or winner may leave Real in the summer. It has been rumored, and not for the first time, that the superstar will return to his old club in Manchester United where he became a star.

Manchester United is the rumor and there are other ones as well, but will Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid? It seems pretty unlikely. Man U can pay Ronaldo, but his transfer fee would likely be the biggest of all time. He is 33 years old and makes $50 million per year and is signed until 2021. There have been reports that Ronaldo has had issues with the tax authorities of Spain. On top of that even with all of his records and accolades the fans of Real have never really taken him with open arms, as their best player of all time.

Chasing History

If chasing records is Ronaldo’s goal he should stay at Real Madrid. Bookmakers already have Real as the odds-on favorite to win the Champions League next season. Real Madrid’s “Paco” Gento won six medals in the 1950’s and 60’s and AC Milan’s and Paolo Maldini and Billy Costacurta each have five. On top of that Ronaldo is tied with long-time nemesis and Barcelona great Lionel Messi with five Ballon d’Or trophies. While he would obviously help many clubs his best chance for more trophies in his stacked cabinet has to be with Real Madrid.

Where Would He Go?

While Manchester United is the club that is most often talked about when taking on Ronaldo are other clubs on the radar? PSG have been big spenders in the last few years, but they have striker Neymar under contract for HUGE dollars, so Paris is unlikely. Chelsea and Arsenal have the means, but they will likely not take on an aging star for the amount of money he would command. China is also a possibility, but even at 33 Ronaldo is still in his prime and while he would make a ton of money there, trophies and major individual awards would not be in the cards. He does not fit in the team-game mode of Bayern Munich and his style does not mesh with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Fellow Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who scored in the Champions League finale, said after the match, “Where will Cristiano go? He stays with us, we need Cristiano.” When Ronaldo’s comments after the match were relayed to Real manager Zinedine Zidane he said the Portuguese superstar is “indispensable” to Madrid. There will be a lot of talk this summer with the possible move of the best player in the world, but it would be pretty shocking if he were not in the Spanish capital next season.

Real Madrid Expectations Succeeded During the Champions League

As the Real Madrid team is preparing for their fourth Champions League Final, players such as Gareth Bale are reflecting on how their progress as a team blew any expectations they had straight out of the water.

Gareth Bale is a forward for the Real Madrid team, though his name may sound familiar as he holds the title of being one of the world’s most expensive players when we made the switch between Tottenham for Real Madrid in 2013 for a whopping £ 83 million. The player stated proudly during an interview that the team is making history. He reflected no his reason for even joining this club as he aspired to win titles before beaming and ending his statement by stating it’s going to be a special day for him and the team.

The Real Madrid team has had a history of winning the prestigious competition three times in the past four seasons – while Liverpool’s last success happened thirteen years ago in 2005. Throughout all of those wins, the Welsh player Bale has been on the team. This is not Bale’s first impressive win as he won La Liga and the Copa del Rey when he was playing on the Spanish side earlier in his career.

The manager, Zinedine Zidane must hurry and make the decision regarding if Bale is going to be a starter after the Welsh scored five goals in his previous four times as a starter. Zidane stated that he is playing extremely well and has been racking up the goals as of late. The Frenchman beamed as he complimented the Welsh player’s consistency when he has been playing for the previous three games. Following this, Bale added in that he personally feels great and is looking forward to the final as the team already won their second Champions League and they want more under their belt.

In the wake of the game, Bale cannot seem to keep his excitement to himself. He reflects as he thinks about a time where he couldn’t imagine participating in so many finals. His performance on the team is easily superseding the expectations he had for himself.

Liverpool Reaction

While the spotlight may currently be on Madrid and Bale, the manager of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has mentioned previously about the team’s desire to overcome and beat the 12-time record holding winners, The Real Madrid. Other than Madrid, the only other team that was able to win the competition in three repetitive successful seasons happened between 1974 – 1976 and the winning team happened to be Bayern Munich.

Despite the team’s row of successful games, Zidane stated that saying teams such as Liverpool was hungrier than Madrid simply is not true. The manager spoke highly before simply stating that no team can take away the hunger to win and succeed from Real Madrid as the team will give it their all to win again. Zidane finished by stating that either way – Liverpool deserves respect during the match as they have worked and to get where they are.

Mourinho is Stirring up Negativity Regarding Manchester United

Despite the teams relatively good record during the previous season, even that couldn’t help Jose Mourinho out of the downward spiral that manager found himself in on Saturday at Wembley. This was caused to the team going down a shocking 1-0 to Chelsea during the FA Cup finale.

Manchester just seemed to have a poor start this season against the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, and even Chelsea, which coincidentally were the only platforms the team had to make a spectacular comeback win which would put the team back in high regards.

Somehow though, Mourinho seemed as if he could not manage to coax out his side during the Saturday highly anticipated game – which was shown by his apparent focus to stop Chelsea instead unleashing his star players lead to the Manchester team casting shadows during the entirety of the first half of the match. The teams play showed little to none unionization, and when the players finally were allowed to release their shackles, they have already given Chelsea the head start needed to take the game home with ease.

Manchester Slow on the Field

Similar to the other games this season, Manchester was once again too slow while on the playing field. Giving Ander Herrera the job to trail Eden Hazard no matter where he went – Chelsea was shown to make the most out of the opportunities the Spaniard left for them in the midfield.

In addition, due to the Red’s lack of having a star player, Romelu Lukaku, no one felt comfortable having their backs to the goal along with the lack of having a defensive midfield, Chelsea was given multiple chances for their defensive stocks to close off spaces for players like Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.

It was thanks to a rare opportunity that Hazard finally shook off Herrera the Chelsea created the only goal scored during the game. The smooth past of the Belgium player left Phil Jones, the defender of the England team at a loss. As Jones tried to recover, he only managed a clumsy last-ditch tackle that changed nothing.

While Hazard stood up with ease and took the penalty without issue, it already felt as if the intensive blow has been landed in full. On the other hand, Jones sadly added to his growing collection of online memes thanks to his extremely poor defending. Many loyal fans of Manchester were left scratching their heads and rubbing their eyes at the unbelievability of the player, which only was intensified thanks to Mourinho refusal to start Eric Bailly instead.

This just shows United resisting their own players throughout the duration of the first half of the match – which put them in their current position. The only real chance of having hope was thanks to Pogba managing to break into the little space he could find to pass the ball to Sanchez and then Marcus Rashford continuously.

The major blows of the game were due to the lack of Lukaku due to his ankle injury that he suffered against the intense Arsenals this April. Despite this, Mourinho has seen to completely forget about the capabilities of his other players and furthered ruined the team’s chances by putting Jesse Lingard in the midfield.

Ultimately, the loss of Manchester United only added to the fuel of the bitter and ongoing rivalry between Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

Manchester United FC

The Manchester United FC is dubbed as being one of the most prominent football clubs in England. In 2016, the football club has recorded generating up to £515.3 million during the 2016 financial year. This development came from the football club winning the FA Cup (The Football Association Challenge Cup), which lead to them getting signed from 14 different sponsorship deals. The club has also seen a significant rise in appearances commercially on television and online.

Despite their success regarding their rising finances, this club also has its fair share of success while playing on the field. They have a history of winning 13 of the Premier League Titles along with having the first division title several times domestically. Overall, the club has also won the FA Cup a total of 12 times, the most recent winning being in 2016 and they are known for being the winners of the Football League Cup a total of five times, winning in this league in 2017. Despite all their wins and trophies, the team has seen its fair share as losses as well – which caused a slight change in their revenue. Nevertheless, the Manchester United FC still shows its strong roots through their dedication to improve their skills.

History

Manchester United FC, also known as The Red Devils, was originally founded in 1878 as a Newton Heath LYR football club, meaning that the club has been running for well over 140 years. During 1892 through 1893, the club had its first entrance into the English first division, the highest-ranking league for European football during those years. However, the team was not called Manchester United FC until 1902, their original name until this period was Newton Heath LYR F.C. In the years following the name change – the team won its first English League Title in 1908, thus beginning their rise in popularity and playing success.

During 1990, while under the managership of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United FC won the FA Cup, which leads the team to go through a period full of success that hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Since then, the team has won over 52 titles and championships/cup, which has led to the team being known as one of the most influential clubs in England presently.

In the most recent previous year, the team named Jose Mourinho as the newest, and currently still serving, team manager. Mourinho has been regarded as one of the greatest managers in the world by fellow players, coaches, and commentators. Before becoming the team manager of Manchester United, Mourinho was given the title of being Coach of the Century in 2015 by the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation). Following this, he was also listed in the list of the top 10 greatest coaches since the founding of UEFA in 1954. Due to this new coach, expectations of this football club having success this year is running high.

Current Activities

Manchester United has seen its fair share of loses and win. Overall though, the team has nobility shown an increase in wins during the current years. However, the team did see one of their heaviest defeats in 2012 while playing against the Athletic Club. Despite this, the team did make a well-known comeback from this loss in 2016 during the UEFA Cup.

Nowadays, the team is seeing more wins than losses due to their current manager, Jose Mourinho. Currently, they are ranked number 2 in the Premier League out of a total of 20 teams, while being ranked number 1 in the Championship League in the Group A division. In the current year, the team is expected to continue its mainly winning streak due to the manager showing no intention of leaving the team.

Conclusion

While the team may have its ups and downs, Manchester United is a football club that has worked hard to have its name remembered through history. Unsurprisingly though, the team has recorded having well over 200 official recognised supporter clubs in over 50 countries. No matter what happens with this team in the upcoming years, it is promised that the club will always have its band of loyal supporters who are thankful for having such a successful English football club team.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich is one of the best German football clubs around. Generating $719.8 million dollars, Bayern Munich is the number one football club that generates revenue through commercial revenue. Last year the club reported that over half of it’s revenue was generated from commercial revenue.

That’s not the only thing fantastic about this club either, especially when you look at their track record. They are one of the most successful clubs around with a record winning of 27 national titles along with 18 national cups. Last year, they won the Bundesliga championship (fifth time in a row), however they didn’t have enough to reach the Champions League semi finals. Even though this did impact their revenue, it’s still a show to the testament of their work and the team itself.

History

Bayern Munich was founded in 1900 based in Munich, Bavaria (Bayern). With 11 people initially, the team reached it’s stride by the mid 1960s. Before then, it was a struggle to climb up. That all started to change as they won in higher ranks by 1965. They placed third in their first Bundesliga season, which qualified them for next year’s European Cup Winners’ Cup. During that match they won dramatically against the Rangers (A Scottish club) 1-0 in extra time.

Since then, victory after victory followed them as changes were made to their team. In 1969, they retained the title they won of DFB-Pokal. This caught the eye of coach Branko Zebec, who took over as coach and revamped their strategy. By moving away from a less offensive style to a disciplined approach, the team achieved victories in both a league and cup double in one season, the first time this was achieved in Bundesliga history. Furthermore there were only three other football clubs in Germany to have done this prior to.

Current Activities

After their Golden Days (1965-1979), Bayern Munich weren’t doing so well for the next two decades. Things started to get progressively better by 1998. There was still many struggles, but there were several successes scattered throughout. Some of these victories brought Bayern Munich international recognition. A notable victory being their win in 2013 for the 2013 FIFA World Cup.

These days they are still achieving victories to retain their title of DFB-Pokal. They lost it a while back, but now since have been retaining it since 2011. Some of their more recent changes to the team come mainly in their coach. In 2017, Jupp Heynckes returned to manage the team for the fourth time. Heynckes also signed a contract to keep him there for the 2017-18 season.

Conclusion

Despite the teams upswings and downswings, Bayern Munich is still a powerful team with a lot of success riding behind them. With well over 290,000 members in the group and 4,237 official fan clubs, there is a massive support for this group. It’s no doubt a source of great pride for many people in the area since this group alone has brought many things to the Bundesliga football scene.

Barcelona FC

Being one of the most prominent Spanish football clubs in the world is not an easy task. You either have to get star players from other countries or lookout for the young talent emerging in the country. One thing is for sure Barcelona have done nothing but make their countrymen proud. The club was founded in 1889 by Joan Camper. The football enthusiast had decided to start a club and sent out an advert in the paper for like-minded fellows. Once he got 11 more men of his caliber the club was founded. The team did don’t start off at a slow pace as they were runners up on the 1902 Copa del Rey. Barcelona went on to win the title 8 times towards the end of 1928. The team experienced severe decline after this due to the political changes in the country. Some of the managers would soon leave the country due to political lines and others were assassinated for their left wing politics during the reign of Franco.

Between the years 1942- 1957 there was much success at Barcelona FC. The club managed to snag 5 La Liga titles and 5 Copa del Rey. After such a good decade despite the political circumstances, the club owners decided it was time to hire a top shelf manger in the form of Helenio Herrera. Under his guidance the club flourished more in the Spanish titles. The home grounds we’re also changed to the prestigious Camp Nou. This is where the team resides up to date with no mention of moving. Some of the team’s best players arrived in 1973. One in particular Johan Cruyff was a star player who left the team to win the Last Liga title the next year. This was a great achievement seeing as they had won none for 10 years.

In the year 1979 Cruyff came up with the idea to start a Football academy that would function on the same formalities and principles as the Ajax academy. Soon the academy grew to be one of the best internationally. The top-notch down organization La Masia produced some if the world’s greatest stars in football such as Pep Guardiola, Fabregas and Lionel Messi.

Cryuff returned to the club in 1988 as manager and come up with a dream team with former la Masia stars. He incorporated a lot of Dutch born footballers and so the team rise to fame.

Barcelona FC is one if the biggest Spanish football clubs and also one of the richest. Some of its star players include Lionel Messi, Xavi, Diego Maradona, and Gerard Pique amongst others. The club has won over the years since its inception a myriad of trophies and titles. To ne just a few 25 La Liga titles, 29 Copa del Rey trophies, 5 Champions league and many more.

Arsenal FC

The Arsenal Football Club, founded in 1886 (as the Dial Square), this club has been riddled with struggles, but is now starting to pick up. Based in Islington, London, England, this club has won 13 League titles, and a record of 13 FA Cups, amongst several other cups. But compared to other football clubs, their successes are a bit underwhelming.

Things are looking hopeful though for Arsenal FC. Last year, they reported revenue of $597.1 million, a new club record. They won their third FA Cup in four seasons this year, however they failed to qualify for the seasons’ Champions League. Even with all of this struggle, there is still a lot of hope for this group in various ways. Particularly in their choice of coach.

The Huge Switch

In 1986, George Graham returned as manager of the team, after all he was one of Bertie Mee’s double winners. From there Graham brought the team a victory in their first League Cup the very next year, followed by a victory in 1988’s Football League Centenary Trophy and a title in 1988-89 Football League. Things were starting to look up for the team from these victories, however things looked grim by 1994, after their victory of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Graham’s reputation was utterly tarnished when he was found out to have taken kickbacks from their team agent, Rune Hauge. These kickbacks stemmed from the signing of certain players. From there there was a lot of turmoil. Graham was dismissed by 1995 and was replaced by Bruce Rioch. Rioch was only in there for one season before leaving due to disagreements with the club’s board of directors.

The huge switch happened when the club brought on manager Arsène Wenger. He was appointed in 1996 but was now coaching the team and leading them to this day. With Wegner, came massive change to the team: a new attacking football, a shift in diet and fitness practices, and money efficiency. These characteristics have defined Wegner’s reign.

The Results Of The Switch

Even though the club never won another major trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, Arsenal managed to grasp the 2014 FA Cup Final. A year later from that victory, they appeared in the finals again and achieved another victory against Aston Villa 4-0. Because of this shift and decisions that Wegner brought the team, Arsenal now had 12 titles, making them the most successful club in this tournament’s history. This was matched in 2016 by Machester United.

In the end Arsenal has become a team that has been dominating the FA Cup, winning a 13th time in 2017. This victory also saw Wenger being the first manager ever in English football to have won seven FA Cups too.

Despite the fact that their 2017 victory placed them in the fifth position in the league (the first time this has happened since Wenger stepped in), the team shows a lot of promise. With victory after victory in the FA Cup, these victory streaks are bound to last.