31 December 2015

Happy holidays!!!

Less than 60 minutes, soccerbetadvisor team would like to wish you Happy New Year and all the best in 2016!!!

CAS rejected Bility's appeal for exclusion from FIFA's presidential race

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with its headquarters in Lausanne (Switzerland) announced today that the appeal of Musa Bility for the exclusion from FIFA's presidential race was rejected. Former player of Watanga FC (from Monrovia) and now president of Liberia Football Association (FA) Musa Bility complained to CAS after last month (12 November) did not pass the integrity check conducted by the ethics committee of FIFA. Acting president of Liberia FA was then called ineligible for the presidential race without further explanation. Bility has announced his intention to run for presidency in October. 
Bility in 2013 was suspended for 6 months from football after he used confidential documents of the African Football Confederation (CAF) in a dispute with the president of the organization Issa Hayatou. Cameroonian former athlete Hayatou is now serving as active FIFA president 'replacing' Sepp Blatter who is suspended on corruption scandals. This temporarily 'replacement' will come to an end 26 February when new president will be after 'supposedly' all 5 active candidates will face each other on live TV debate scheduled at the end of January.

Outstanding jubilee for Barcelona's wizard man

At the Spanish football national championship, popularly known as Primera Division, nothing new. In week 17 most of the favorites have won, among them is also Barcelona who beat Real Betis 4:0 to re-gain top spot in the table.
One of the scorers for 'the Blaugrana', in the thirty third minute was the Argentinian striker Lionel Messi. However this, last game for the Catalans in 2015, will be remembered for one record as well: this little magician appeared 500 times for Barcelona before his home supporters at Camp Nou. Truly remarkable!!!

30 December 2015

Suspended Platini could face further trouble

After being barred from all football activities, Michel Platini could face further more trouble from FIFA's ethics committee over appearance at Dubai event. On 27 December he attended the Globe Soccer Awards organised by the Dubai Sports Council along with many football stars. However, 6 days earlier (21 December) the head of UEFA has received an 8 year ban along with Sepp Blatter. Besides that, the Frenchman was photographed at the event and even gave his comment to Italian media about his corruption scandal that saw him banned. This suspension relates to a payment of 1,8 million Swiss francs made by Sepp Blatter (FIFA) to Platini in February 2011, 9 years after the Frenchman was working as a consultant to Blatter. Allegedly this news violation has arrived even to FIFA's ethics committee and that they investigate if the ethics' code was breached.
On this suspension, of course, Platini is denying any wrongdoing in this matter and will continue to fight in courts until clearing its reputation and name.

ESPN is calling FIFA presidential candidates on live TV debate

The biggest global sport channel ESPN invited all FIFA presidential candidates on TV debate which is scheduled to be shown on 29 January. As favorite man Platini now out of the picture, because of his ban recently of 8 years together with his 'teammate and partner' Sepp Blatter, only 5 names are running now for the FIFA's presidency top spot place: sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa (president of the Asian Football Confederation), Ali Bin Al-Hussein (Jordanian Prince), Mosima Gabriel Tokyo Sexwale (ex-minister of South Africa and businessman), Gianni Infantino ('home man' and currently UEFA's general secretary) and Jerome Champagne (former French diplomat). From the above 5 mentioned candidates, so far only the Frenchman has publicly accepted the TV confrontation. There is also report that Prince Ali's office has also received the invitation and that now he is assessing his travel schedule. Broadcaster ESPN is attempting to stage and transmit this live event from London.
After lots of corruption scandals around Sepp Blatter (and his team) who ruled fully 18 years, new FIFA president will be elected on 26 February.

European teams are still hungry for more World Cup title successes

One of the oldest continent in the world and the one who is giving most teams in World Cup finals is Europe. With its 14 qualified spots, European countries are giving most chances to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Without Russia who is already qualified as a host nation, 52 member states who are divided in 9 groups will battle exactly 14 months for the top 2 positions. From that exhausting 14-month qualifying campaign nine group winners will automatically play at the finals which will complete round 1. As a consolation for the second best teams in the groups, 8 best runner-up countries will compete in the second and last round on a home-and-away basis. Four winners of those, so called, play-off games will give us total amount of Europe's best 13 teams which will be heading to the final tournament in Russia. After the preliminary draw which was on 25.07.2015 we now know all the groups, dates and times for the European zone (years back UEFA has done some very strange and somewhat fatuous schedule of group games to be played, so the following timetable will be 'little' mixed-up):

06 September, leg 1 in group A: Belarus - France, Bulgaria - Luxembourg and Sweden - Netherlands (all these games start from 20.45 CET).
06 September, leg 1 in group B: Faroe Island - Hungary, Andorra - Latvia and Switzerland - Portugal (20.45 CET for these 3).
04 September, leg 1 in group C: from 18.00 CET plays San Marino - Azerbaijan, while for 20.45 CET games are reserved for: Norway - Germany and Czech Republic - Northern Ireland.
05 September, leg 1 in group D: Georgia - Austria will start from 18.00 CET. Wales - Moldova and Serbia - Republic of Ireland starts from 20.45 CET.
04 September, leg 1 in group E: two games from 18.00 CET: Kazakhstan - Poland and Denmark - Armenia. The only game from 20.45 CET in this group is Romania - Montenegro.
04 September, leg 1 in group F: Lithuania - Slovenia and Slovakia - England are playing from 18.00 CET. Malta - Scotland plays from 20.45 CET.
05 September, leg 1 in group G: Israel - Italy, Albania - Macedonia and Spain - Liechtenstein have 20.45 CET slot.
06 September, leg 1 in group H: Bosnia and Herzegovina - Estonia and Cyprus - Belgium are both from 20.45 CET.
05 September, leg 1 in group I: Ukraine - Iceland and Croatia - Turkey are the games which start at 20.45 CET.

Expectations in 2016: Apart from Russia who will not play these qualifiers, rest of Europe will struggle on the football pitch for those 13 available spots. September is a long way to predict any games from now, but I am sure that all the teams will give everything in their power to entertain us with some quality football big time. After all everyone, without doubt, would like to participate and be seen at the most widely viewed sporting event in the world.

28 December 2015

Biggest sport deal signed in Portugal

Porto has signed one of the biggest sponsor football agreement in Portuguese sport to date. One of the major telecommunication company in Portugal, Portugal Telecom (PT) has agreed to sign a deal, with the 27 times Portuguese champions, worth 475,5 million euros. This record sign-deal so far in Portugal is on a 10 year basis and will start to run from 2018 until 2028. This means that PT automatically has become TV right owners for Porto's home games in the national championship in that 10 year period time. Also PT has the rights for free to advertise its name on Porto's Dragao stadium. As MEO is a mobile and fixed telecommunication service and commercial brand from Portugal Telecom Multimedia, its no secret that Porto's live games will be transmitted in one of its many channels that MEO have in its property.
However, Portugal's most successful football club with 34 titles so far, and reigning champion Sport Lisboa e Benfica (commonly known as Benfica) has signed similar deal at the beginning of December with another telecommunication company giants NOS worth 400 million euros.

Dubai Globe Soccer Awards

Tenth Dubai International Sports Conference in United Arab Emirates, in the city's most exclusive hotels the Madinat Jumeirah Resort whose facilities were dedicated solely for this conference, was the host for the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards which was presented this evening. Starting from 2010 and presented by Audi, these awards comes at the end of each year. Thanks to Dubai Sports Channel, this ceremony were able to see many viewers across the Gulf and distributed live to many TV networks in all football continents. We now know the winners from all 11 categories:

01) Best player of the year: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
02) Best president of the year: Josep Maria Bartomeu (FC Barcelona, Spain)
03) Best club of the year: FC Barcelona (Spain)
04) Best media attraction in football: FC Barcelona (Spain)
05) Best coach of the year: Marc Wilmots (Belgium)
06) First player career award: Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
07) Second player career award: Frank Lampard (England)
08) Best agent of the year: Jorge Mendes (Portugal)
09) Best Gulf player of the year (presented by Kooora): Yasir Al-Shahrani (Saudi Arabia)
10) Best referee of the year: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
11) Best academy of the year: Benfica (Portugal)

27 December 2015

Small and tiny nations from Oceania did not say their final word

Many of us do not know anything about Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) region. Most Pacific Island countries who are located around Australia, mainly in the Pacific Ocean, is not considered football to be their attractive sport. Without Australia, who joined Asian region back in 2006, the OFC looks very miniscule by comparison from the other 5 confederations. With 'the Aussies' now gone, New Zealand is now largest federation within this region. And as football is not number one and top sport between these countries, OFC in general has one of the toughest way to qualify its team for any World Cup.
From 17 OFC member nations, only 11 are recognized and are members of FIFA. Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau and Tuvalu are not being eligible to be FIFA members due to its certain criteria, as these are very small islands with small football interest whatsoever. Also, the OFC does not get a direct spot at FIFA World Cup in Russia, but it is possible that a team from this confederation to reach finals via intercontinental play-off games on home-and-away basis. So those 11 nations have to play in total 3 rounds, each rounds are in groups, just for the winner to see and try its luck with that play-off game against the fifth place team from CONMEBOL zone. But when the draw for FIFA qualifiers have been made on 25.07.2015 in St. Petersburg, it looked perfectly clear that CONMEBOL will have full 5 automatic spots at the finals by just knowing the strength of those South American teams. However the OFC team must not abandon its hope and try at least to oppose strongly their giants. So far, 4 teams from Oceania were able to compete at World Cup finals. Two times each from Australia and New Zealand, with 'the Aussies' reaching round 16 for the first time at World Cup in 2006.
Currently in its second round of competition towards the final tournament in Russia 2018, 8 teams are divided into 2 groups of 4. Beginning in May, all games will be played in a space of 1 month, just to decide which 3 best teams will advance to the last round. Groups are:

Group A: Tahiti, New Caledonia, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
Group B: New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: Oceania teams each year will play 1 round, last will be 2017. Already one round played, tournament favorite New Zealand is included into round 2. With other countries' low interest in this sport, I can not see why 'the Kiwis' would have no problem to prove its superiority and qualify for the last round.

25 December 2015

African puma stars ready to shine on the road to World Cup

Most of them playing in European clubs, African players are certainly no match for the rest of the world. With their quick tempo, readiness and good motivation teams from this continent have to be considered for a higher place no matter what competitions they are playing.
Since the start of this qualifying campaign, all 53 CAF (Confederation of African Football) member nations took part into the 2 year long journey towards the finals in Russia. After two knock-out rounds played, we are left with only 20 teams into round 3. Those teams will be divided into 5 groups and each will have 4 squads in it. On home-and-away basis 5 group winners will qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Matches are not yet known as the draw for this third and final round will be held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo on 24 June.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: Already 2 rounds behind us, all in all we can say that these 20 teams deserve to be called best on African soil. However when the draw will be made in June, the Egyptian capital may give us some exciting derbies from some groups that no one can predict. As only 5 group winners will go through as direct qualifiers for the big sporting showpiece in the world there will be no room for mistakes. We can only hope that we have to expect some exciting, thrilling and entertaining football ahead of us where no slip-ups will be made.

The strength of Asian football

Throughout the years in the Asian continent we are seeing some great football. Foreign coaches who can understand and sees good values in quick, passionate and quality players are being credited for football in this region be on a high and secure path.
On 16 April 2014, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided to merge 2018 World Cup qualifiers with its qualifiers for the 2019 Asian Cup in United Arab Emirates. With Indonesia suspended, in these joint qualifiers 45 member states compete over 4 rounds and AFC itself is giving 4 guaranteed spots for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Meanwhile one lucky team from penultimate round will have to play intercontinental home-and-away play-off match from the winner of the CONCACAF zone. Usually these intercontinental games give us the very last teams which will feature in the final tournament in Russia. After first and the only knock-out round so far, we are heading into last 2 legs from round 2. Ninth and tenth leg continue in March over 2 dates with the following games:

24 March, leg 9 in group A: Saudi Arabia - Malaysia and United Arab Emirates - Palestine.
24 March, leg 9 in group B: Jordan - Bangladesh and Australia - Tajikistan.
24 March, leg 9 in group C: Qatar - Hong Kong and China - Maldives.
24 March, leg 9 in group D: Iran - India and Oman - Guam.
24 March, leg 9 in group E: Japan - Afghanistan and Syria - Cambodia.
24 March, leg 9 in group F: Iraq - Thailand and Vietnam - Chinese Taipei.
24 March, leg 9 in group G: South Korea - Lebanon and Kuwait - Laos.
24 March, leg 9 in group H: Uzbekistan - Philippines and Bahrain - Yemen.

29 March, leg 10 in group A: United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia and Palestine - Timor-Leste
29 March, leg 10 in group B: Australia - Jordan and Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan.
29 March, leg 10 in group C: Maldives - Bhutan and China - Qatar.
29 March, leg 10 in group D: India - Turkmenistan and Iran - Oman.
29 March, leg 10 in group E: Afghanistan - Singapore and Japan - Syria.
29 March, leg 10 in group F: Iraq - Vietnam.
29 March, leg 10 in group G: Lebanon - Myanmar and South Korea - Kuwait.
29 March, leg 10 in group H: Philippines - North Korea and Uzbekistan - Bahrain.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: In 2015, from all 39 teams we watched some great, enthusiastic football and all favorites, more or less, lead their respective groups. I expect that to continue in 2016 and who knows, maybe we will get few surprises. This is the magic that decorates Asian teams.

24 December 2015

Fighting spirit from CONCACAF countries

North, Central America and Caribbean football, or shortly known as CONCACAF confederation, I watch it with great pleasure. I am simply amazed how small and tiny nations play against stronger teams. With good fighting spirit they simply just leave their hearts on the pitch just to get to the next round and prove themselves big time.
In total, there are 5 rounds from this zone. After that fifth round, CONCACAF gives 3 direct spots to 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. However, fourth placed team will have to play one more additional match from fourth round Asia winner in its single, home-and-away, intercontinental play-off.
After 3 knock-out rounds at the CONCACAF zone we are now in a group stage for the very first time in this qualifier campaign. From 35 nations, just 12 compete in the fourth and penultimate round which will last until September. Three countries from North America, 5 from Central and 4 Caribbean states are divided into 3 groups with 4 teams each. Matches resume in March:

25 March, leg 3 in group A: Canada - Mexico and El Salvador - Honduras.
25 March, leg 3 in group B: Jamaica - Costa Rica and Haiti- Panama.
25 March, leg 3 in group C: St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala - USA.

29 March, leg 4 in group A: Honduras - El Salvador and Mexico - Canada.
29 March, leg 4 in group B: Panama - Haiti and Costa Rica - Jamaica.
29 March, leg 4 in group C: USA - Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago - St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: Much strongest teams from this zone United States of America and Mexico, without doubt, I expect to qualify directly to Russia as they earn it with their play and good tactics. So far, only Mexico from group A and Costa Rica from group B have maximum points from 2 games played. But there is no doubt that remaining countries will give everything in their power and will try everything to entertain us with not giving up in their intentions to secure at least a spot in one of the greatest and biggest sporting event in the world.

23 December 2015

Breathtaking and magical football expect us in 2016 from South America

Over the next days I am going to write about all games from FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Of course you can find all the tips here for every qualifier when all games will resume from 24 March 2016. My plan is to ease any doubts that you might have for every match played so that easily will receive your earnings.
I am going to start with one of the best and exciting region of all - CONMEBOL. Ten teams from this zone competes two years against each other just to give 4 secure spots for the final tournament, while fifth place team will have to play intercontinental play-off with the Oceania winner to see who will go to Russia.
With two match-days, South American qualifiers resume on 24 and 29 March with fifth and sixth leg games. Pairings are as follows:

24 March, 5th leg: Chile - Argentina, Ecuador - Paraguay, Brazil - Uruguay, Peru - Venezuela and Bolivia - Colombia

29 March, 6th leg: Venezuela - Chile, Colombia - Ecuador, Uruguay - Peru, Paraguay - Brazil and Argentina - Bolivia.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: Surprise leaders this year Ecuador have not even hoped that the two powerhouse teams, Brazil and Argentina, would have slipped that easily in the first 4 games in these qualifiers. Shock leaders from 2015 have 4 wins out of 4 with maximum 12 points. On the other hand, Brazil which is currently third and Argentina in sixth place must push hard over next games if they want to qualify for Russia. Another favorite Chile, who is Copa America reigning champion, with its play so far can hope a place in the final tournament. Uruguay and Colombia certainly did not say their final word. Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela looks like they are the weakest teams on paper but they do have big ambitions and only one goal: to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. That is why South American continent is one of the most exciting one: every team from this region plays entertaining and thrilling football as you can never know what to expect.

22 December 2015

Harsh penalties from FIFA

Today's big news from FIFA's headquarters: its ethical committee has punished hard the outgoing president Sepp Blatter and his opponent and good friend in the presidential election Michel Platini.
After this, Platini' cannot be elected for FIFA's next president as both gets 8 years ban from doing any football activities. The Frenchman was a big favorite to succeed Blatter for presidency in FIFA but his plans to rule the world's football organization are now gone. As from the 78-year old Blatter who is at the head from 1998 and who from June is denying any wrong doing in various corruption scandals, his career working with and around football will definitely be off. Beside bans, these two are fined financially as well. One of the greatest French legend, Michel Platini must pay 80.000 Swiss francs, while his colleague Blatter 'only' 50.000. FIFA has confirmed that this ban refers that Blatter (FIFA) has payed 1,8 million Swiss francs to Platini in February 2011. After this, no matter whether he likes it or not, presidential candidacy for the Frenchman is officially over, while Blatter on the other hand feel that he was betrayed by his own people. Both of them, of course, deny any wrong doing and they are ready to continue the fight in 'further' courts.
Many in the footballing world saw in advance how Platini is running the most powerful organization in the world. After today's events and this scandalous news for him, things are changing fast. One off, as the vote for new president is getting closer and closer, there are now 5 candidates remaining. Will it be sheikh Salman, Southafrican Tokyo Sexwale, Jordanian prince Ali, Frenchman Jerome Champagne and 'home man' Swiss Gianni Infantino we will find out 26 February 2016.

20 December 2015

Facts and figures from 2015 FIFA World Club Cup

Six confederations plus the host country's league winner, send their club champion to the FIFA final tournament each year just to see which team plays best football. After completion of today's games here is how final table looks like for the seven best clubs in the world:

2River PlateCONMEBOLArgentina
3Sanfrecce HiroshimahostJapan
4Guangzhou EvergrandeAsiaChina
5CF AmericaCONCACAFMexico
6TP MazembeAfricaDR Congo
7Auckland City FCOceaniaNew Zealand

At the twelfth edition of this competition, there was 21 goals scored or 2.6 per match. Eight goals were scored in the first half, while strikers was mostly in the mood for second half where even 13 times have touched the net. The only team which have not score a goal in its single game in this tournament is Auckland City FC. The New Zealand team lost the opener 2:0 against J-league winners and host Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
In eight games played in this tournament there was only 1 penalty given. It was for the European and Spanish champions Barcelona against Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC in the second semi-final game. In total 14 players managed to enter the score sheet.

Goal/sPlayer nameClub
5Luis SuarezBarcelona
2Tsukasa ShiotaniSanfrecce Hiroshima
2PaulinhoGuangzhou Evergrande
2DouglasSanfrecce Hiroshima
1Yusuke MinagawaSanfrecce Hiroshima
1Oribe PeraltaCF America
1Long ZhengGuangzhou Evergrande
1Kazuhiko ChibaSanfrecce Hiroshima
1Takuma AsanoSanfrecce Hiroshima
1Dario BenedettoCF America
1Martin ZunigaCF America
1Rainford KalabaTP Mazembe
1Lucas AlarioRiver Plate
1Lionel MessiBarcelona

Superior Barcelona claims third intercontinental club title

River Plate - Barcelona 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 35 Lionel Messi
              0:2 49 Luis Suarez
              0:3 68 Luis Suarez

Result for 3rd place play-off match

Sanfrecce Hiroshima - Guangzhou Evergrande 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 03 Paulinho
              1:1 69 Douglas
              2:1 82 Douglas

Final: River Plate - Barcelona

Whoever plays against Barcelona its not going to be happy. Even though Spanish champions are not playing the best football this season, South American killer trio Messi-Suarez-Neymar brings fear to every goalkeeper. Probably the best two confederations in the world: CONMEBOL and European club champions clash each other in the grand final for the ninth time in 2015 FIFA Club World Cup. In the last world international tournament this year, River Plate will play Barcelona from 11.30 CET in Yokohama at the International Stadium Yokohama.
In their fourth final, Barcelona would like to make a hat-trick after they won this title in 2009 and 2011, although they lost in 2006. Most interesting thing is that 'the Blaugrana' played all those three final games against South American clubs. On the other hand, for River Plate this will be their first ever final at this event. 
Marcelo Gallardo as a former Argentinian football player, now coach of  'los millionarios', will try everything to at least stop the above mentioned trio. Will and how he will stop it would be very interesting to see. His tactics may give some result, but if River Plate wants to do something and grab the confederation title they will have to play at its best and give all 100% for full 90 minutes.
From my point of view Barcelona will add one more trophy to their rich collection.

Match for third place: Sanfrecce Hiroshima - Guangzhou Evergrande

Luckiest side from quarter-finals, Guangzhou Evergrande's 28-game unbeaten run has ended this Thursday. Now 'Big Phil' have to motivate its players to take at least third place in the last international tournament of the year. But its not going to be that easy for the Chinese side as they are playing against a Japanese team which is eager to steal that same prize and have their home fans something to cheer about. Before the grand final, Sanfrecce Hiroshima entertain Guanzhou Evergrande Taobao FC at the International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama at 08.00 CET. Even though it will be their first ever meeting between these two I am going to expect a tough and stubborn game from both teams. After stalemate in 90 minutes everything is possible, but I think Sanfrecce will just snatch it at the end.

18 December 2015

Group seeds and dates announced for 2016 Copa America Centenario

This Thursday top seeds and dates were determined for one of the oldest international competition in the world. For first time in its history Copa America will be played outside South American continent. Next summer 10 United States cities of Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle will have the honor to host, as popularly is known, 2016 Copa America Centenario.
All 10 teams from South America plus 6 CONCACAF representatives will include in this historic competition. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela from CONMEBOL confederation, together with 4 already qualified teams from CONCACAF region: Mexico (winner of 2015 Gold Cup), USA (host and 2013 Gold Cup champion), Costa Rica (Central American reigning champion) and Jamaica (winner of the Caribbean Cup) will mark this tournament.
However 2016 Copa America fever starts earlier than expected. From Friday 8 of January in Panama City, Panama we will learn remaining two teams which will conclude the final list of 16 for this 100 year anniversary event. In a single play-off game Panama will play Cuba, while Trinidad and Tobago will face Haiti. These 4 teams earned their place thanks to their performance in the 2015 Gold Cup, where Cuba, Haiti, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago all advanced to the quarterfinals. 
For 2016 edition of Copa America Centenario there will be 4 groups with 4 teams each. As hosts, USA will be top seed in group A, while Argentina will do the same in group D thanks to the highest position in December FIFA Coca-Cola ranking list. Brazil and Mexico have also been designated as top seeds in group B and C respectively for being most successful teams for the last 100 years in their confederations. Seeds and dates for the groups are as follows:

- group A: USA will open its first game of the tournament in Santa Clara, California, followed by Chicago 7 June and 11 June in Philadelphia.

- group B: Brazil will play its games in Pasadena on 4 of June, Orlando - 8 June, with last group game in Foxborough on 12 of June.

- group C: Mexico will open its account 5 June in Phoenix, 4 days later they will play in Pasadena and will close in Houston on 13 June.

- group D: Argentina on 6 June travels to Santa Clara, California, second game will be 10 June in Chicago, while last group game will face in Seattle on 14 June.

One of the biggest and most prestigious tournament in the world, the 2016 Copa America Centenario consist of 32 games and will entertain us from 3-26 June.

17 December 2015

FIFA Club World Cup

Second semi-final

FC Barcelona - Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 39 Luis Suarez
              2:0 50 Luis Suarez
              3:0 67-pen Luis Suarez

FIFA Club World Cup

Luckiest side in the tournament from quarter-finals Guangzhou Evergrande FC will face one of its biggest and toughest task so far - the mighty FC Barcelona from Spain.
Today from 11.30 CET we are awaiting the second semi-final game between the European and Asian champions to see who will be playing River Plate into Sunday's grand final.
This will be a very tough match, but Barcelona will prove to be too strong for the Chinese side and there has to be 3 or more goals in the whole game. Although Barcelona is not playing very well this season they do have the strength however to end Luiz Felipe Scolari's 28-match unbeaten run since he took over as Guangzhou coach in May.

16 December 2015

FIFA Club World Cup

First semi-final

Sanfrecce Hiroshima - River Plate 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 72 Lucas Alario
FIFA Club World Cup

Match for fifth place

CF America - TP Mazembe

Scorers: 1:0 18 Dario Benedetto
              2:0 28 Martin Zuniga
              2:1 42 Rainford Kalaba

FIFA Club World Cup

In the second game of the evening at the Osaka Nagai stadium, from 11.30 CET, we will learn the first finalist of this competition.
First semi-final of the day sees host Sanfrecce Hiroshima take on South American champion River Plate. Home crowd will surely back their team entering the final, but the Argentinians are also tough opponent to win. So I sense here that this will be the first draw in the tournament. After that River Plate might just pull through.
FIFA Club World Cup

First game on Wednesday from 08.30 CET we will see if CONCACAF champions will be strong enough to clear their minds from quarter-final match and won at least fifth place in this tournament over the stubborn Congolese side from Africa.
After the unfortunate loss in the last 30 seconds of the game against Guangzhou Evergrande, CF America will have to recover it quickly and try to have revenge over TP Mazembe. This time it might prove that the Mexican team is a little bit too strong to win this game in 90 minutes and regain some pride back home.

14 December 2015

UEFA Europa League

Matches for the knock-out phase in the Europa League are known after UEFA did its draw for the round of 32 which will played next year:

Valencia - Rapid Vienna

Fiorentina - Tottenham

Borussia Dortmund - Porto

Fenerbahce - Lokomtiv Moscow

Anderlecht - Olympiacos

Midtjylland - Manchester United

Augsburg - Liverpool

Sparta Praha - Krasnodar

Galatasaray - Lazio

Sion - Braga

Shakhtar Donetsk - Schalke 04

Olympique Marseille - Athletic Bilbao

Sevilla - Molde

Sporting - Bayer Leverkusen

Villarreal - Napoli

St. Etienne - Basel

These games will be played on home and away match basis with first leg scheduled for 18 with the return on 25 February 2016. Standard day and time of all Europa League games is on Thursday at 19.00CET and 21.05CET.
UEFA Champions League

Round of 16 draw has concluded today in UEFA headquarters in Nyon:

Gent - Wolfsburg

Roma - Real Madrid

Paris St. Germain - Chelsea

Arsenal - Barcelona

Juventus - Bayern Munchen

PSV Eindhoven - Atletico Madrid

Benfica - Zenit St. Petersburg

Dynamo Kyiv - Manchester City

First legs will be played on 16, 17, 23 & 24 February, while return legs are expected to be played 8, 9, 15 & 16 March 2016.

13 December 2015

FIFA Club World Cup

Second Quarter-final result

TP Mazembe - Sanfrecce Hiroshima 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 44 Tsukasa Shiotani
              0:2 56 Kazuhiko Chiba 
              0:3 78 Takuma Asano

FIFA Club World Cup

First Quarter-final result

CF America - Guangzhou Evergrande FC 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 55 Oribe Peralta
              1:1 80 Long Zheng
              1:2 90+3 Paulinho

12 December 2015

EURO 2016

Twenty four qualified teams for EURO 2016 have learned their fate today in the draw for 
the respective tournament. The teams are divided into 6 groups with 4 teams each:

Group A: France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland.

Group B: England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia.

Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland.

Group D: Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia.

Group E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden.

Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary.

EURO2016 will be held from 10 June - 10 July 2016, across 10 cities in France.

TP Mazembe - Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Sunday 13 December 2015 11:30 CET

Last week Sanfrecce Hiroshima has won the Japanese J-league for the 8th time in a tense final against Gamba Osaka. After that exciting match, they also won the opener against Auckland City FC at the FIFA Club World Cup. Now the Japanese champions will like to continue their winning streak against Tout Puissant Mazembe in the last quarter-final of the day at the Nagai stadium in Osaka from 11.30CET. African football is on a high all these years, that is a fact. But over here the Congolese club will have no chance to oppose the Japanese champions and have to overcome the fanatical and noisy home crowd who will be their 12th player.

Club America - Guangzhou Evergrande FC., Sunday 13 December 2015 08:00 CET

The first match on Sunday sees the CONCACAF champion entertain the Asian counterparts Guangzhou Evergrande FC. As it looks like, Mexican players should easily win this game as they are favorites in this game. But knowing the strength of the Chinese champions and under the helm of Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the South China Tigers will pull up the surprise and qualify for the semi-finals where there awaits little difficult and mighty FC Barcelona from Spain.

07 December 2015

Plan for year 2016

This is the plan. The soccer predictions for year 2016 will be very focused here and will cover:
  • Eurocups
    • Champions League => last 16, 1 leg: Starts from 16, 17, 23, 24 February
    • Europa League => last 32, 1 leg: Starts from 18 February
  • World Cup Qualifiers
    • Asia => Resume qualifiers from 24 and 29 March
    • CONMEBOL (South America Qualifiers) => Games resume from 24 & 29 March
    • CONCACAF (North, Central America and Caribbean) => Resume from 24 & 29 March
  • African Cup of Nations => All AFCON competitions usually starts in the middle of January. Next is in Gabon 2017.
    • AFCON Qualifiers 2017 => Resume qualifiers from 23 March
  • Asian Cup => UAE 2019 (AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019)
    • Because there are lots of countries AFC (Asian Football Confederation) has agreed that, for the AFC Asian Cup 2019, its qualifying tournament will be actually all the games from World Cup Qualifiers 2018 - Asian zone.
  • World Cup Qualifiers - continuation
    • Oceania => 2nd round tournament starts from May
  • Copa America => Starts from 03 - 26 June
  • Super Cup => One game. Starting from August (every year before the start of next season’s Eurocups)
  • World Cup Qualifiers - continuation
    • Europe => Starts from 04 September
    • Africa => Resume qualifiers from October with 3rd round [as the draw for the 3rd (and final) round will be made on 24 June 2016, the pairs are not yet known]
  • FIFA Club World Cup => somewhere around middle of December
Stay tuned! You might want to bookmark this page or follow this blog by email! The clock is ticking... :)