‘Messi’s last chance to become a God’: Argentina fans on the 2018 World Cup

Argentina put their fans through agony on their way to securing their place in Russia. We went to Buenos Aires to endure and enjoy it with them By Copa90, for the Guardian Sport Network
Argentina are playing Russia on Saturday afternoon in the Luzhniki Stadium. The game is only a friendly but it will give Jorge Sampaoli and his players a chance to size up the ground that will host the World Cup final next summer. In nine months’ time, on 15 July 2018, they will hope to be back on that pitch in front of 81,000 fans winning the one match that matters more to their country than all others. Argentina were beaten finalists in Brazil in 2014, a performance deemed disappointing by a country obsessed with winning its first World Cup since 1986, but they nearly missed out on Russia altogether. Six weeks ago, with just two Continue reading "‘Messi’s last chance to become a God’: Argentina fans on the 2018 World Cup"

Golden Goal: Ronaldinho for Barcelona v Chelsea (2005) | Daniel Harris

Though football has infinite possibilities, it delivers very few goals unlike any other, but the genius of Ronaldinho found a way Football has lots of worthy aims: identity, community, competition and the like. But important though they are, none are felt quite so profoundly as the simple desire to take the piss.
Off the pitch, whether in dressing room, stand or pub, no tiny fault passes unexploited, while on it, the imperative to make opponents look silly is even more elemental than in other sports. And no one, anywhere, ever, has embraced that art and mastered that craft to the same degree as Ronaldinho Gaúcho.
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From crisis to topping La Liga: how Ernesto Valverde stabilised Barcelona

The calm and popular manager has put Lionel Messi centre stage while turning Neymar’s departure into an opportunity to recalibrate the team’s setup At the start of the season Gerard Piqué admitted that for the first time he felt “inferior”. Barcelona had just lost the Super Cup: Real Madrid had scored five, Barcelona just one – and that was a penalty. Neymar had gone, 11 days after Piqué announced he was staying and 16 days since the vice-president said he was “200% sure” he wouldn’t leave. Coutinho hadn’t come yet and wouldn’t come at all. And nor had Marco Verratti, Héctor Bellerín, or even Ángel Di María. Iñigo Martínez was done then undone and in Nice, where “the walls shook”, Jean Michaël Seri “exploded”. In the editor’s office at El Mundo Deportivo, walls shook too, phones rang and, near midnight, presses stopped, a front page hurriedly changed from “Seri Day” Continue reading "From crisis to topping La Liga: how Ernesto Valverde stabilised Barcelona"

Who are the all-time top goalscorers at the biggest clubs in Europe?

Sergio Agüero has followed Wayne Rooney in becoming the most prolific goalscorer at a Premier League club. Which players hold that accolade in Europe? • Who are the Premier League clubs’ top goalscorers?

Who is Real Madrid's top scorer with 412 goals?

Raúl

Cristiano Ronaldo

Alfredo Di Stéfano

Ferenc Puskás

Who is Milan's top scorer with 221 goals?

Gunnar Nordahl

Filippo Inzaghi

Andriy Shevchenko

Roberto Baggio

Who is Barcelona's top scorer with 523 goals?

Lionel Messi

Samuel Eto'o

Rivaldo

László Kubala

Who is Bayern Munich's top scorer with 566 goals?

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Gerd Müller

Thomas Müller

Arjen Robben

Who is Ajax's top scorer with 273 goals?

Johan Neeskens

Johan Cruyff

Piet van Reenen

Marco van Basten

Who is Internazionale's top scorer with 284 goals?

Christian Vieri

Ronaldo

Giuseppe Meazza

Javier Zanetti

Who is Juventus's top scorer with 290 goals?

David Trezeguet

Alessandro Del Piero

Roberto Bettega

Roberto Baggio

Who is Continue reading "Who are the all-time top goalscorers at the biggest clubs in Europe?"

Football transfer rumours: Harry Winks to Barcelona? Emre Can to Man City?

Today’s fluff has been spotted by accident Barcelona sent their sporting director, Robert Fernández, to Wembley to watch Spurs and Real Madrid last week – and what a time he had! His brief was to monitor Tottenham’s whispy creator Christian Eriksen who, presumably, the club see as a long-term replacement for Andrés Iniesta if they can’t lever Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool. But his head was turned by the flashes of brilliance from the Hemel Hempstead Xavi, Harry Winks, whose pop-pop-pop passing and spritely energy would go down well at the Camp Nou. So as well as reporting back – perhaps in the medium of lols – on how Eriksen helped tear Real Madrid a new one, Fernández filed a glowing report on Winks too. The 21-year-old has recently been offered a new Spurs contract but is yet to sign it. The club may have to add another zero Continue reading "Football transfer rumours: Harry Winks to Barcelona? Emre Can to Man City?"

European roundup: Paco Alcácer double helps Barcelona beat Sevilla

• Barcelona four points clear at top of La Liga after 2-1 victory
• Sampdoria beat Genoa 2-0; Edinson Cavani hits 100th Ligue 1 goalPaco Alcácer was Barcelona’s match-winner, his double helping the La Liga leaders to a 2-1 home success over Sevilla for their 10th victory in 11 games. The recalled Alcácer, who endured a disappointing first season at the Camp Nou, was making only his second league start of the campaign. He made an impact by putting the hosts ahead midway through the first half. Continue reading...

European roundup: Paco Alcácer double helps Barcelona beat Sevilla

• Barcelona four points clear at top of La Liga after 2-1 victory
• Sampdoria beat Genoa 2-0; Edinson Cavani hits 100th Ligue 1 goalPaco Alcácer was Barcelona’s match-winner, his double helping the La Liga leaders to a 2-1 home success over Sevilla for their 10th victory in 11 games. The recalled Alcácer, who endured a disappointing first season at the Camp Nou, was making only his second league start of the campaign. He made an impact by putting the hosts ahead midway through the first half. Continue reading...