31 August 2017

Hosts took maximum points on day one

Uganda - Egypt 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 51 Emmanuel Okwi

Guinea - Libya 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 07 Naby Keita
              2:0 23 Demba Camara
              2:1 86 Motasem Sabbou
              2:2 88 Akram Zuway
              3:2 90+3 Alkhaly Bangoura

Congratulations to Japan: second Asian representative into the finals

Japan - Australia 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 41 Takuma Asano
              2:0 82 Yusuke Ideguchi

PR China - Uzbekistan 1:0 

Scorer: 1:0 84-pen Lin Gao

South Korea - Iran 0:0

Syria - Qatar 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 06 Omar Khribin
              1:1 35 Ali Assadalla
              2:1 54 Omar Kribin
              3:1 90+5 Mahmoud al Mawas

Thailand - Iraq 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 33 Justin Meram
              1:1 63-own goal Ahmad Ibrahim Khalaf
              1:2 84-pen Saad Abdul-Amir

Sued by his former club

Recently he was a star in the team, everybody loved him, worshiped him, however nowadays he is just an (ordinary) player because he has 'broken his word' (from which you cannot escape).
Last Tuesday the court in the Catalan capital received a complaint against Neymar from his ex-club - Barcelona. The team is very confident to win the case against the 25 year old because the Brazilian had a contract until 2021, and thus received 8.5 million euros as a bonus prize in October 2016. And now it is time for 'revenge': Barcelona only want its money back from this 'disobedient' player!

Banned gesture lead to imprisonment

You can (miraculously) escape if you show your middle finger to someone, but if you are overreacting it you are completely done. That is exactly what happened to a Rapid Vienna football fan.
In a game against Modling from 13 August 2016, an unemployed male spectator without thinking (and obviously drunk) raise his right hand and did a Nazi salute. As this is unforgivable in Austria, now the 39 year old have to spend one year and a half in prison. On top of that he is also banned accessing the stadium. This verdict from last Tuesday was not his only offence. With a tattooed number 88, which is a code for 'Heil Hitler', this skinhead was charged in 2013, because on Facebook he wished Hitler a happy birthday. 
Austria has one of the strictest law in Europe which dates from 1947 against worshiping or speech inspired by Nazism.

29 August 2017

Revenge result, but this time with turnaround

United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 19-pen Nawaf al-Abid
              1:1 21 Ali Ahmed Mabkhout
              2:1 59 Ahmed Khalil

Together is much better

South American neighboring countries Argentina and Uruguay are going to submit a joint bid to organize World Cup tournament in 2030. On 30 August Argentinian president Mauricio Macri will host its colleague from Uruguay Tabare Vazquez, after which they will officially submit a request in FIFA. These two football associations has already agreed that, if this candidature succeeds, their two best players, who are colleagues in Barcelona, will promote this competition in both countries: Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Also, the most sports watching event in the world can come back after 100 years to Uruguay, as this country was the host of the first World Cup in 1930.
Their big competitor and the only hurdle may be PR China who wants to welcome 48 best teams in the world for the centennial tournament in 13 years time.

28 August 2017

Next month six matches to be played

From the starting kick-off CONCACAF is the last region from the list. In a space of 4 days, 6 games will be played. That means two rounds is scheduled to take place next month. The first will be next weekend and, as it stands, 5 teams can still reach the finals, while the sixth has lost all chances.

02 September, Saturday at 00.55 CET: United States of America - Costa Rica.
02 September, Saturday at 02.00 CET: Trinidad and Tobago - Honduras.
02 September, Saturday at 03.30 CET: Mexico - Panama.

Leaders playing against each other

Two teams that finished almost identical in their groups from the previous phase, now they are playing against each other. On 01 September, Friday from 09.35 CET New Zealand (winners from group A) are playing against Solomon Islands (which was the best team in group B), just to see who is the best team in the region. This is only the first 90 minutes, while the exciting return leg is on schedule 4 days later.

Very busy nights from the old continent

At the end of this and start of next month the old continent awaits 2 rounds. First round will be played next week and part of the second. Matches are usually divided in 3 days with 9 pairs each and 2 fixed times.

31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Belgium - Gibraltar.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Bulgaria - Sweden.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Cyprus - Bosnia and Herzegovina.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: France - Netherlands.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Greece - Estonia.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Hungary - Latvia.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Luxembourg - Belarus.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Portugal - Faroe Islands.
31 August, Thursday at 20.45 CET: Switzerland - Andorra.

01 September, Friday at 18.00 CET: Kazakhstan - Montenegro.

01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Czech Republic - Germany.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Denmark - Poland.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Lithuania - Scotland.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Malta - England.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Norway - Azerbaijan.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Romania - Armenia.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: San Marino - Northern Ireland.
01 September, Friday at 20.45 CET: Slovakia - Slovenia.

02 September, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Albania - Liechtenstein.
02 September, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Finland - Iceland.
02 September, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Georgia - Republic of Ireland.
02 September, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Serbia - Moldova.

02 September, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Croatia - Kosovo.
02 September, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Israel - FYR Macedonia.
02 September, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Spain - Italy.
02 September, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Ukraine - Turkey.
02 September, Saturday at 20.45 CET: Wales - Austria.

03 September, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Belarus - Sweden.
03 September, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Estonia - Cyprus.
03 September, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Faroe Islands - Andorra.
03 September, Sunday at 18.00 CET: Netherlands - Bulgaria.

03 September, Sunday at 20.45 CET: France - Luxembourg.
03 September, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Gibraltar - Bosnia and Herzegovina.
03 September, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Greece - Belgium.
03 September, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Hungary - Portugal.
03 September, Sunday at 20.45 CET: Latvia - Switzerland.

Boiling CONMEBOL region

With last 2 teams practically gone, 7 nations are battling out for 3 direct spots or for one intercontinental play off match. Long ago team number 10 already qualified for the finals, so it will be interesting to see whether it will give necessary points to their opponents or will (continue to) show no mercy at all. Next week is time for round number 15 (out of 18).

31 August, Thursday at 23.00 CET: Venezuela - Colombia.

01 September, Friday at 00.30 CET: Chile - Paraguay.
01 September, Friday at 01.00 CET: Uruguay - Argentina.
01 September, Friday at 02.45 CET: Brazil - Ecuador.
01 September, Friday at 04.15 CET: Peru - Bolivia.

Mid eliminatory games in Africa

After quite some time the African region is back into action. Usually playing on second part of the week or weekend mostly, this continent came at the midway point of matches. Twenty teams have to overcome these harsh qualifiers to be winners in their respective groups, so they can go to the finals. As it look like until now 13 teams have that chance, and next week round number 3 is at the schedule.

31 August, Thursday at 15.00 CET: Uganda - Egypt.
31 August, Thursday at 19.00 CET: Guinea - Libya.

01 September, Friday at 17.30 CET: Ghana - Congo.
01 September, Friday at 18.00 CET: Nigeria - Cameroon.
01 September, Friday at 20.30 CET: Cape Verde - South Africa.
01 September, Friday at 22.00 CET: Morocco - Mali.
01 September, Friday at 22.00 CET: Tunisia - Democratic Republic of Congo.

02 September, Saturday at 15.00 CET: Zambia - Algeria.
02 September, Saturday at 18.00 CET: Gabon - Ivory Coast.
02 September, Saturday at 22.00 CET: Senegal - Burkina Faso.

Penultimate round

Bit by bit, the qualifying games in Asia has come to an end. One team is already known for the finals, 5 are battling out for 3 direct remaining spots, while (of those 5) 4 teams are in contention for the play-off game. Next week round nine will be completed.

29 August, Tuesday at 18.30 CET: United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia.

31 August, Thursday at 12.35 CET: Japan - Australia.
31 August, Thursday at 14.00 CET: PR China - Uzbekistan, South Korea - Iran, Syria - Qatar, Thailand - Iraq.

Another type of qualifyers

The word 'qualifying' is never going to leave. It will keep us company until the end of the year and then it will show up once again...well we can say temporarily.
For the last 3 months Champions and Europa league qualifiers entertained us for the whole summer and for the next 3 months unfortunately, for one another major tournament will come to an end for this year. World Cup qualifying action is back and it happens to be dates from end of August / start of September. For the first time this year, next week the focus will be only on the World Cup qualifying games as no other major qualifying competition is interfering. In total, 61 matches will be played from Tuesday until Sunday, and 6 regions will be covered. In terms of starting kick-offs, first will start the Asian region, followed by African zone, we are going to see always thrilling CONMEBOL games as well, matches from Europe (are a must in every calendar year), one game from Oceania with an exciting CONCACAF zone.

27 August 2017

Punishments across Europe

Just from last and this week the European football organization will get 77.500 euros plus one more case is still 'under consideration', so more money will slip away in UEFA cash registry. On the wall there were 4 clubs who were penalized.
On a night where Legia was playing against Sheriff Tiraspol last Thursday for trying to make a good first result at the Europa league, the Polish champion has been fined. Their supporters spread 'forbidden' banner plus people were sitting on the ground as the stairways were blocked against Astana in the second qualifying round (that time the club was competing in the Champions league). For that 'disciplinary and safety crime' they have to pay 35.000 euros. However one more punishment awaits them. Ironically or not that same night, playing versus the Moldovan title holders, their 'bad bad' fans spread again that 'unhallowed' (this time new) banner and threw fireworks on the pitch. It was alluding to the first punishment and showed a (greedy) pig under UEFA flag, with title underneath 'And the 35.000 euros fine goes to...' This new fate for the team will be decided next week.

Apollon Limassol and Aberdeen have their own troubles. Both these clubs have met at the Europa league third qualifying round, second leg and both are being penalized. The verdict is: 10.000 euros for Aberdeen, because their fans got into crowd trouble, while Cypriots have to deliver 27.500 euros, due to fireworks and objects throwing.
And finally in this black report list jumps Dinamo Zagreb as well. Croatian club have to say goodbye to 5.000 euros plus they must close their north tribune in next European play at Maksimir stadium. Racist behavior and use of fireworks were a cause for the penalty. Because the team has departed from the competition, their punishment begins much probably from next season.

25 August 2017

Exciting autumn awaits us with Europa league groups

Three months of qualifying for the Europa league ended yesterday night and now it is time for the group stage. From September until the end of the year, 48 teams will do their best to thrill us and prove (again and again) why this tournament is the best from its predecessor. These are divided in 12 groups of 4, who will play 144 matches in total. Previously, lots of them got here through elimination process, 16 clubs enjoyed being privileged, while 10 losers were transferred from Champions league.

Group A: Villarreal, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Astana, Slavia Prague.

Group B: Dynamo Kyiv, Young Boys Bern, Partizan, Skenderbeu.

Group C: Braga, Ludogorets Razgrad, Hoffenheim, Basaksehir.

Group D: Milan, Austria Vienna, Rijeka, AEK.

Group E: Olympique Lyon, Everton, Atalanta, Apollon Limassol.

Group F: FC Copenhagen, Lokomotiv Moscow, Sheriff Tiraspol, Zlin.

Group G: Viktoria Plzen, Steaua, Hapoel Beer Sheva, Lugano.

Group H: Arsenal, BATE Borisov, Koln, Crvena Zvezda.

Group I: Red Bull Salzburg, Olympique Marseille, Vitoria Guimaraes, Konyaspor.

Group J: Athletic Bilbao, Hertha, Zorya Luhansk, Ostersunds.

Group K: Lazio, Nice, Zulte Waregem, Vitesse.

Group L: Zenit Saint Petersburg, Real Sociedad, Rosenborg, Vardar.

Last European Cup qualifiers for this season

AEK Larnaca - Viktoria Plzen 0:0

Dynamo Kyiv - Maritimo 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 32 Denys Garmash
              2:0 35 Mykola Morozyuk
              3:0 61 Derlis Gonzalez
              3:1 68 Erdem Sen

Maccabi Tel Aviv - Altach 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 20 Johannes Aigner
              1:1 41 Vidar Orn Kjartansson
              1:2 58 Philipp Netzer
              2:2 72 Shiran Yeini

Zenit Saint Petersburg - Utrecht 1:0, 2:0 after extra-time

Scorer: 1:0 09 Aleksandr Kokorin
            2:0 105 Aleksandr Kokorin

Sheriff Tiraspol - Legia 0:0

Red Bull Salzburg - Viitorul 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 06 Munas Dabbur
              2:0 37 Fredrik Gulbrandsen
              3:0 52-pen Valon Berisha
              4:0 88 Amadou Haidara

Ostersunds - PAOK 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 70 Saman Ghoddos
            2:0 77 Saman Ghoddos

Olexandriya - BATE Borisov 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 34-pen Vasyl Grytsuk
              1:1 69 Mirko Ivanic
              1:2 73 Mirko Ivanic

Suduva - Ludogorets Razgrad 0:0

Videoton - Partizan 0:4

Scorers: 0:1 06 Leandre Tawamba
              0:2 24 Seydouba Soumah
              0:3 35 Uros Djurdjevic
              0:4 87 Uros Djurdjevic

Skenderbeu - Dinamo Zagreb 0:0

Midjylland - Apollon Limassol 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 09 Rilwan Hassan
              1:1 50 Andre Schembri

AEK - Club Brugge 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 27-pen Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
              2:0 39 Andre Simoes
              3:0 90+1 Andre Simoes

Olympique Marseille - Domzale 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 28 Valere Germain
              2:0 56 Valere Germain
              3:0 84 Florian Thauvin

Rosenborg - Ajax 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 25 Nicklas Bendtner
              1:1 60 Amin Younes
              1:2 61 Lasse Schone
              2:2 80 Samuel Adegbenro
              3:2 88 Samuel Adegbenro

Athletic Bilbao - PAO 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 21 Iker Muniain

Braga - FH Hafnarfjordur 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 15 Bodvar Bodvarsson
              1:1 38 Joao Paulo Dias Fernandes (aka Paulinho)
              1:2 51 Bodvar Bodvarsson
              2:2 80 Joao Paulo Dias Fernandes (aka Paulinho)
              3:2 90+3 Dyego Sousa

Crvena Zvezda - Krasnodar 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 06 Nemanja Radonjic
              2:0 10 seconds (II half) Guelor Kanga

Austria Vienna - Osijek 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 62 Gabrijel Boban

Additional information: Teams marked in green will learn their fate, of who will play who at the Europa league group stage, on Friday, 25 August from 13.00 CET.

All groups known for Champions league

On a night where Europa league clubs were torturing themselves to get to the best 48 this autumn, UEFA on a strange afternoon carried out Champions league group phase draw. Twenty one teams entered directly, champions from the second competition from previous year are also here and the rest of the teams came out from tough and long, long qualifying process from the past 3 months. Thus at the end, we are left with 32 teams who were divided in 8 groups of four which will start entertain us from next month. Exactly first round will get underway 12 and 13 September, while all is schedule to end on 05 and 06 December. Here is how it turned out:

Group A: Benfica, Manchester United, Basel, CSKA Moscow.

Group B: Bayern Munich, PSG, Anderlecht, Celtic.

Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag.

Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiacos, Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor.

Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City, Napoli, Feyenoord.

Group G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB (RasenBallsport) Leipzig.

Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, APOEL Nicosia.

24 August 2017

Historic Azerbaijani success

CSKA Moscow -Young Boys Bern 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 45 Georgi Shchennikov
              2:0 64 Alan Dzagoev

Steaua - Sporting CP 1:5

Scorers: 0:1 13 Seydou Doumbia
              1:1 20 Junior Maranhao
              1:2 59 Marcos Acuna
              1:3 63 Gelson Martins
              1:4 74 Bas Dost
              1:5 87 Rodrigo Battaglia

FC Copenhagen - Qarabag 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 45 Federico Santander
              1:1 63 Dino Ndlovu
              2:1 66 Andrija Pavlovic

Slavia Prague - APOEL Nicosia 0:0

Additional information: Yesterday overall winners plus CSKA Moscow, Sporting CP, Qarabag and APOEL Nicosia plus 21 teams (who entered directly), plus 2016/17 Europa league champion (Manchester United), we are going to see at the Champions league group phase draw on Thursday from 18.00 CET.

23 August 2017

Crazy first match

Astana - Celtic 4:3

Scorers: 1:0 26-own goal Kristoffer Ajer
              1:1 33 Scott Sinclair
              2:1 47 Serikzhan Muzhikov
              3:1 49 Patrick Twumasi
              4:1 69 Patrick Twumasi
              4:2 80 Olivier Ntcham
              4:3 90 Leigh Griffiths

Sevilla - Basaksehir 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 17 Eljero Elia
              1:1 52 Sergio Escudero
              2:1 75 Wissam ben Yedder
              2:2 82 Edin Visca

Maribor - Hapoel Beer Sheva 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 15 Mitja Viler

Additional information: From little Champions league balls, we are going to hear names of Celtic, Sevilla and Maribor at the group phase draw on Thursday.

22 August 2017

European football organization shows generosity

In three European Cups (leagues), UEFA plans to spend just this season estimated more than 1.7 billion euros. Forecasts are telling that the organization will have gross income of 2.35 billion euros, but unfortunately that money will not be divided equally for the Champions, Europa league and Super Cup.
For the 'strongest' competition each club of the 32 teams in the group phase are guaranteed minimum 12.7 million. Every win will be awarded with 1.5 million, while draw costs half a million. Six million euros will receive clubs who enters into last 16, quarter finalists receives additional 6.5 million euros and semifinalists are rewarded with 1 million more (7.5 million euros). The losing finalist are getting 11.5 million, whilst the champion will collect the trophy, flying confetti (from the celebration) plus 15.5 million euros. Adding it all together and supposedly they will have all 6 victories at the groups, theoretically the winner of the Champions league could be rich in the end with 57.2 million euros.
At the most competitive and interesting Europa league things are quite different, as 'only' 399.8 million euros are allocated for this tournament. There are big number of clubs, so the lucky 48 receives 2.6 million for just 'showing up' and participating in the groups. If teams are winners they will receive 360.000 and 120.000 for stalemates. Being number one at the group means additional 600.000, while second placed are getting 300.000. Those teams who will go into round of 32 receives 500.000 euros, round of 16 worth 750.000, last 8 best clubs will earn 1 million and semi-finalists 1.6 million. Three point five million receives the runner-up team and the champion will be awarded with 6.5 million. Presumably the club shows no mercy and are getting all 6 victories in the group stage, this years winner could earn nearly 15 million euros (14.96 million) in total.
As there is only one game with no mathematics at Super Cup, thus UEFA does not have to spent so much on this competition. It is simple: that the 'crying team' which will lose in the final will receive 3 million, but at the end they will 'eat themselves up' with that 1 million more, who will get the champions (4 million euros).

21 August 2017

Final three qualifying nights

Plenty of qualifying games have started from this June, and now we came until the very end. At both European competitions next week will be the final qualifying hurdle before entering group stages. Some results from the first 90 minutes are real tense, so for surely we will have additional minutes in certain matches or even penalties. While some clubs have done the job in first leg so they comfortably goes into second 90 minutes. 

Famous Champions league is starting first and over two days kick-off are playing equal number of matches. On the first day one game will begin much more earlier than the others.

Tuesday, 22 August at 17.30 CET: Astana - Celtic.

Tuesday, 22 August at 20.45 CET: Maribor - Hapoel Beer Sheva, Nice - Napoli, Rijeka - Olympiacos, Sevilla - Basaksehir.

Wednesday, 23 August at 20.45 CET: CSKA Moscow - Young Boys Bern, FC Copenhagen - Qarabag, Liverpool - Hoffenheim, Slavia Prague - APOEL Nicosia, Steaua - Sporting.

As always (and on a strange day), UEFA is holding the group phase draw for this competition the next day. Unfortunately it will collide with matches for the following tournament, thus it will be unclear what to watch. We will find out fate of 32 teams on a special ceremony gala from Monaco on Thursday, 24 August at 18.00 CET.

Whoever will get lucky (or have knowledge), we will watch 22 overall winners from next month again and 22 losers will watch Europa league from home. This is the last time where various kickoffs are starting, as from the group stages two fixed times will apply.

Thursday, 24 August at 18.00 CET: AEK Larnaca - Viktoria Plzen.
Thursday, 24 August at 18.45 CET: Dynamo Kyiv - Maritimo.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Maccabi Tel Aviv - Altach.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Olexandriya - BATE Borisov.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Ostersunds - PAOK.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Red Bull Salzburg - Viitorul.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Sheriff Tiraspol - Legia.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.00 CET: Zenit Saint Petersburg - Utrecht.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.30 CET: Fenerbahce - Vardar.
Thursday, 24 August at 19.30 CET: Suduva - Ludogorets Razgrad.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.00 CET: AEK - Club Brugge.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.00 CET: Midjylland - Apollon Limassol.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.00 CET: Skenderbeu - Dinamo Zagreb.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.00 CET: Videoton - Partizan.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.45 CET: Athletic Bilbao - PAO.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.45 CET: Braga - FH Hafnarfjordur.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.45 CET: Olympique Marseille - Domzale.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.45 CET: Rosenborg - Ajax.
Thursday, 24 August at 20.45 CET: Skendija - Milan.
Thursday, 24 August at 21.00 CET: Crvena Zvezda - Krasnodar.
Thursday, 24 August at 21.00 CET: Hajduk - Everton.
Thursday, 24 August at 21.05 CET: Austria Vienna - Osijek.

20 August 2017

Best ever player in Spanish Primera

Argentinian striker Lionel Messi is statistically the best football player in history of the 86 seasons Primera division in Spain. In an extensive research major factors were taken into consideration, like playing each season, goals from open play, goals from penalty kicks, own goals, red cards.
Last Tuesday, according to the research institute of history and statistics in Spanish football CIHEFE (Asociacion de investigacion de la historia del futbol Espanol) placed the 30 year old at number one position with 545 points, ex-Real Madrid player Raul gathered 528 points, former Barcelona star Cesar Rodriguez 524, ex-Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra with 493, former Barcelona and Sporting Gijon player Enrique Castro 'Quini' collected 488, Juan Arza and Alfredo di Stefano both picked 481 points, Paco Gento 467, Carlos Alonso 'Santillana' 464 and Gillermo Gorostiza is number 10 in this list with 454 points. Footballers who are still active (and are playing nowadays) at this moment are Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, which overall occupies seventeenth position with 415 points, while at number three is Aritz Aduriz from Athletic Bilbao gathering 314 points and so far he is at number 67 place overall.
Since the start of LaLiga from 1929 in first division only there were 9.280 registered players, from those 854 were goalkeepers. The little magician from Barcelona is dominating Spanish championship under all criteria. Messi is the only one who has surpassed the number of 300 goals, so far he gave 349.

19 August 2017

North African country wants hospitality in nine years time

Seven days ago Morocco has officially announced that it wants to be proudly hosts of the World Cup in 2026. After 16 years (South Africa, 2010), this major and most popular sporting event viewed by billions of viewers could return to African soil, but Morocco will nevertheless be the first country to welcome expanded competition of 48 teams. When it comes to backing, CAF will strongly support its member nation to win the rights.
As host/s rotate every 4 years, Europe and Asia are forbidden to bid for this World Cup in nine years time (Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022), which leaves 4 continents would have the rights to welcome the event: Oceania, Africa, North and South America. However, this north African nation will be a big competitor to triple north American candidates of Mexico, United States of America and Canada, who will also make a history: for the first time this tournament will compete in 3 states. Nervousness would be over in 2020 when FIFA will announce the final decision.

18 August 2017

After sleeping and to avoid embarrassment, some favorites needed turnaround for victories

BATE Borisov - Olexandriya 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 07 Mirko Ivanic
              1:1 19 Evgen Banada

Apollon Limassol - Midtjylland 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 14 Charalambos Kyriakou
              1:1 37 Alexander Sorloth
              2:1 69 Jander Ribeiro Santana Santana
              2:2 73 Alexander Sorloth
              3:2 90+1 Ioannis Pittas

Krasnodar - Crvena Zvezda 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 19 Ivan Ignatyev
              2:0 46 Victor Claesson
              2:1 57 Slavoljub Srnic
              3:1 66 Sergei Petrov
              3:2 70 Aleksandar Pesic

Dinamo Zagreb - Skenderbeu 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 37 Liridon Latifi
              1:1 90+5 Junior Fernandes

FH Hafnarfjordur - Braga 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 39 Halldor Bjornsson
              1:1 61 Joao Paulo Dias Fernandes
              1:2 78 Nikola Stojilkovic

PAOK - Ostersunds 3:1

Scorers: 0:1 21-pen Brwa Nouri
              1:1 38 Leo Matos
              2:1 77 Aleksandar Prijovic
              3:1 88-pen AAleksandar Prijovic

Viktoria Plzen - AEK Larnaca 3:1

Scorers: 0:1 08 Acoran Barrera Reyes
              1:1 29 Marek Bakos
              2:1 36 Daniel Kolar
              3:1 74-pen Marek Bakos

Altach - Maccabi Tel Aviv 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 67 Vidar Orn Kjartansson

PAO - Athletic Bilbao 2:3

Scorers: 1:0 29 Robin Lod
              2:0 55 Bryan Alfredo Cabezas Segura
              2:1 68 Aritz Aduriz
              2:2 70 Oscar de Marcos
              2:3 74-pen Aritz Aduriz

Ludogorets - Suduva 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 61 Cosmin Moti
              2:0 75 Virgil Misidjan

Viitorul - Red Bull Salzburg 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 01 Hwang Hee-Chan
              1:1 07 George Tucudean
              1:2 28 Hannes Wolf
              1:3 31 Munas Dabbur

Osijek - Austria Vienna 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 15 Muzafer Ejupi
              1:1 26 Cristoph Monschein
              1:2 59 Raphael Holzhauser

Domzale - Olympique Marseille 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 12 Amedej Vetrih
              1:1 63 Morgan Sanson

Legia - Sheriff Tiraspol 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 76 Kasper Hamalainen
              1:1 87 Cyrille Bayala

Club Brugge - AEK 0:0

Ajax - Rosenborg 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 77 Samuel Adegbenro

Partizan - Videoton 0:0

Maritimo - Dynamo Kyiv 0:0

16 August 2017

Fifth gear for Scottish champion

Celtic - Astana 5:0

Scorers: 1:0 32-own goal Yevgeny Postnikov
              2:0 42 Scott Sinclair
              3:0 59 Scott Sinclair
              4:0 78 James Forrest
              5:0 88-own goal Igor Shitov

Basaksehir - Sevilla 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 16 Sergio Escudero
              1:1 63 Eljer Elia
              1:2 84 Wissam ben Yedder

Hapoel Beer Sheva - Maribor 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 10 Marcos Tavares
              1:1 11 Anthony Nwakaeme
              2:1 45+2-pen Shir Tzedek

One goal enough to open this phase

Utrecht - Zenit Saint Petersburg 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 76 Zakaria Labyad

15 August 2017

These qualifiers did not even start and already we saw a strange goal in Bern

Qarabag - FC Copenhagen 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 25 Mahir Madatov

Young Boys Bern - CSKA Moscow 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 90+1-own goal Nuhu Kasim

Sporting - Steaua 0:0

APOEL Nicosia - Slavia Prague 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 02 Igor de Camargo
              2:0 09 Efstathios Aloneftis

Hefty financial fine

In qualifying games against Buducnost (second) and Olympiacos (third stage) for the Champions league, UEFA has heavily punished Partizan last Monday. The club is accused because their fans spread nationalist messages and insulted the first guests, while for the second they threw fireworks, plastic bottles, racist behavior and blocked the stairways. Because of this bad organization in both games, the Serbian champion has to play two European matches behind closed doors plus pay 130.000 euros financial fine.
One other ex-Champions league club is also facing punishment and their fate is going to be known this Thursday, on the same night when the team plays Sheriff Tiraspol at home in the Europa league. Legia supporters spread political symbol against Astana which was played this month in the third qualifying round: on one tribune a banner paid tribute to Polish people who were killed in the second World war by the Nazis. As that is strictly forbidden at matches Polish champion will now face disciplinary measures for this 'illicit banner'. On their account on 'illegal' activities is added that stairways were blocked as well.

14 August 2017

First 90 minutes of anxiety

We are only 180 minutes away (or more in some cases) from entering group stages in both European league competitions. At second part of this month, first half will be played of matches where some new teams will be introduced, in total - 5.

Five new clubs are going straight into the play off round of the Champions league. Various kick-off times in this competition is over, but due to time difference with Azerbaijan one match will start earlier. Pairs are equally divided and are going to be played over two days.

Tuesday, 15 August at 18.00 CET: Qarabag - FC Copenhagen.

Tuesday, 15 August at 20.45 CET: APOEL Nicosia - Slavia Prague, Hoffenheim - Liverpool, Sporting - Steaua, Young Boys Bern - CSKA Moscow.

Wednesday, 16 August at 20.45 CET: Basaksehir - Sevilla, Celtic - Astana, Hapoel Beer Sheva - Maribor, Napoli - Nice, Olympiacos - Rijeka.

In apart from its predecessor, Europa league still have different starting times. As in this tournament there are no new teams for this round, we are going to see old clubs from previous stage back in action (again): 29 winners from this competition plus 15 losing sides who transferred from Champions league (and both are coming from third qualifying phase).

Wednesday, 16 August at 18.00 CET: Utrecht - Zenit Saint Peterburg.

Thursday, 17 August at 19.00 CET: Apollon Limassol - Midtjylland.
Thursday, 17 August at 19.00 CET: BATE Borisov - Olexandriya.
Thursday, 17 August at 19.00 CET: Dinamo Zagreb - Skenderbeu.
Thursday, 17 August at 19.00 CET: Krasnodar - Crvena Zvezda.
Thursday, 17 August at 19.45 CET: FH Hafnarfjordur - Braga.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.00 CET: PAOK - Ostersunds.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.00 CET: Vardar - Fenerbahce.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.15 CET: Viktoria Plzen - AEK Larnaca.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.30 CET: Altach - Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.30 CET: Ludogorets - Suduva.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.30 CET: PAO - Athletic Bilbao.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Ajax - Rosenborg.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Club Brugge - AEK.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Domzale - Olympique Maersille.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Legia - Sheriff Tiraspol.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Milan - Skendija.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Osijek - Austria Vienna.
Thursday, 17 August at 20.45 CET: Viitorul - Red Bull Salzburg.
Thursday, 17 August at 21.00 CET: Partizan - Videoton.
Thursday, 17 August at 21.05 CET: Everton - Hajduk.
Thursday, 17 August at 21.30 CET: Maritimo - Dynamo Kyiv.

13 August 2017

Third club spoiled visiting support

Next week the first half of last qualifying phase will be played, before entering group group stages. Along with the Europa, Champions league will start first and one of the pairs are real champions in its own countries.
First duel of Olympiacos and Rijeka will be played on the second day. But, this Thursday both clubs (surprisingly) has decided that no visiting fans will travel either to Croatia or Greece: nor Croatian supporters should travel to Piraeus nor Greek fans will go to Rijeka.
Motive of this (strange) decision is due to security concerns and fear of clashes before, during and after the game at their stadiums. Also, selling tickets to the guests will be strictly forbidden and rigorously controlled. However, the main reason who is damaging this fun is a Serbian club. Supporters from Crvena Zvezda, who are in excellent relations with Olympiacos fans, might come and cause a ruckus in both matches.

12 August 2017

Make a donation from your salary

Every football players has to make a donation from its salaries. That was a call from Juan Mata, which gives 1 percent of his wage for charity donations, and urges his colleagues to do the same. This news came out last Saturday, and the 29 year old midfielder is now determined to give that percent to Common Goal foundation, led by a non-governmental organization streetfootballworld which gathers 120 charity institutions. The Spanish international even shot a short film for the campaign in Mumbai, India.

11 August 2017

Knives on a pitch

Last Sunday night the Turkish Super Cup basically introduced new football season in the country, which will start this weekend. The end result was (little) surprising as Konyaspor took the trophy by defeating Besiktas 2:1, but during and after the match was a real chaos. 
Both spectators were throwing lots of fireworks, firecrackers, and even knives were seen onto the pitch. After the winning goal for Konyaspor in the stoppage time from penalty spot fans invaded Vodafone arena terrain in Istanbul. Because of this serious omissions, Turkey FA decided to punish Konyaspor with 5 home games without spectators plus 85.135 euros financial fine, while their opponents has to play 1 game with closed doors in the championship.
Besiktas fans are tending to be on the left-wing political option, whilst their rivals (spectators from the winning team) are known to be one of the worst in Turkey.

10 August 2017

In search of best players for Champions league 2016/17 season

Last Friday morning, just before Champions league play-off round draw started, UEFA has announced the potential award contenders for the mentioned competition for 2016/17 season. Who will be winners and who losers we are going to find out on 24 August on a special ceremony night where 8 Champions league groups will be formed for this season. Every category has 3 candidates, but only one name will be the best in each 4 positions for last year:

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) and Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid).
Defender: Leonardo Bonucci (ex Juventus player), Marcelo and Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
Midfielder: Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric - all players are from Real Madrid.
Forward: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

It is really no difficulty to find out which club gave most footballers.

08 August 2017

Champions league winner better than the Europa league counterpart

Real Madrid - Manchester United 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 23 Casemiro
              2:0 52 Isco
              2:1 62 Romelu Lukaku

Setting new boundaries in football transfers

Last Friday Neymar Jr. has become the most expensive football player in the world. With 222 million euros transfer, the Qatar owners in PSG paid little more than twice as much from previous world record of 105 million set by Paul Pogba, who from Juventus moved to Manchester United in 2016.
Whoever wants to buy the number 10 shirt will have to pay 100 euros, and on that same day the French club has said that it sold 10.000 jerseys which brought PSG earnings of 1 million euros. Unofficially for the 25 year old striker it circulates that his payment would be 45 million euros per year.

07 August 2017

Super duel

At the absence of European Cup (league) tournaments next week comes its ‘replacement’. It is true that this will be one match only, but the excitement is nevertheless there. We still remember the memorable 2016/17 season, how those titles were won, and now those champions from both competitions will have to play against each other, just to see which team is better: the Champions or Europe league title holder. Philip II arena in Skopje will have a great honor to see the Super Cup game final between Real Madrid and Manchester United on Tuesday, 08 August from 20.45 CET. This duel is also considered to be the opening match of 2017/18 season in Europe.

06 August 2017

'Friendly' football attack on officials

The meaning of friendly game is to play a match of good spirit and without any incidents between two clubs, but some supporters do not realize that. One Israeli team will not remember recent trip to Suchocin by any good.
As any other club, before their season starts later this month, Hapoel Petah Tikva was headed to Poland to play preparatory game against MKS Ciechanow on Wednesday evening. The visitors won 2:0, and instead of celebrations after the match began real trouble. A group of masked hooligans, without any reason, attacked two stuff members from the Israeli club. Oz Batzon and Moshe Harel both experienced slight face injuries. This was immediately characterized as 'anti-Semitic incident' by the Polish government, while their spokesman Rafal Bochenek is convinced that police will find the perpetrators.

04 August 2017

Decisive Europa league qualifying games

After thrilling battle last night at the Europa league, today 22 pairs are known for the final qualifying round. Divided by numbers there are some interesting matches to be played in the last preliminary hurdle. Those will be on on Thursday: first leg will be played on 17, whilst on 24 are going to be decisive ones.

Skendija - Milan.
PAO - Athletic Bilbao.
Osijek - Austria Vienna.
Apollon Limassol - Midtjylland.
Crvena Zvezda - Krasnodar.
FH Hafnarfjordur - Braga.
Club Brugge - AEK.
Everton - Hjaduk.
Maritimo - Dynamo Kyiv.
Viitorul - Red Bull Salzburg.
Vardar - Fenerbahce.
Domzale - Olympique Marseille.
Ajax - Rosenborg.
Altach - Maccabi Tel Aviv.
BATE Borisov - Olexandriya.
Dinamo Zagreb - Skenderbeu.
Ludogorets Razgrad - Suduva.
Partizan - Videoton.
Utrecht - Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Legia - Sheriff Tiraspol.
Viktoria Plzen - AEK Larnaca.
PAOK - Ostersunds.

Champions league fourth round matches

In two different paths at the Champions league, UEFA today performed pairings for the play-off round. Both legs will be played in second part of this month: first 90 minutes are on 15 and 16, while decisive ones will be one week later (22 and 23).

Champions route:

Qarabag - FC Copenhagen.
APOEL Nicosia - Slavia Prague.
Olympiacos - Rijeka.
Celtic - Astana.
Hapoel Beer Sheva - Maribor.

League route:

Basaksehir - Sevilla.
Young Boys Bern - CSKA Moscow.
Napoli - Nice.
Hoffenheim - Liverpool.
Sporting - Steaua.

This is definitely a sport of surprises: lots of them in only one night

Dinamo Minsk - AEK Larnaca 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 47-pen Anton Saroka
              1:1 90+3 Acoran Barrera

Odds Ballklubb - Dinamo Zagreb 0:0

Zenit Saint Petersburg - Bnei Yehuda 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 66 Almog Buzaglo

Videoton - Bordeaux 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 45+5 Stopira

Gabala - PAO 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 52-own goal Rodrigo Moledo
              1:1 63 Robin Lod
              1:2 66 Bryan Cabezas

Sparta Prague - Crvena Zvezda 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 18 Richmond Boakye

Apollon Limassol - Aberdeen 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 17 Andre Schembri
              2:0 86 Emilio Zelaya

Olexandriya - Astra 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 42-pen Andriy Zaporozhan

Fenerbahce - Sturm Graz 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 32 Nabil Dirar
              1:1 66 Philipp Huspek

Fola Esch - Ostersunds 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 52 Stefano Bensi
              1:1 59 Gabriel Somi
              1:2 66 Tom Pettersson

Lyngby - Krasnodar 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 08 Mauricio Pereyra
              0:2 21 Mauricio Pereyra
              1:2 27 Mikkel Rygaard Jensen
              1:3 89-pen Pavel Mamaev

Maritimo - Botev Plovdiv 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 34-pen Rodrigo Pinho
              2:0 48 Ricardo Valente

Skenderbeu - Mlada Boleslav 2:1, on penalties: 4-2

Scorers: 0:1 17 Adam Janos
              1:1 54-pen Sabien Lilaj
              2:1 83 Sebino Plaku

PAOK - Olimpik Donetsk 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 24 Robert Mak
              2:0 45+1 Gojko Cimirot

Lech - Utrecht 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 01 (43 seconds) Gyrano Kerk
              1:1 26 Christian Gytkjaer
              1:2 89 Zakaria Labyad
              2:2 90+4 Christian Gytkjaer

Altach - Gent 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 11 Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu
              1:1 44-pen Danijel Milicevic
              2:1 76 Stefan Nutz
              3:1 87 Kristijan Dobras

Hajduk - Brondby 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 59 Ante Erceg
            2:0 63 Ante Erceg

Midtjylland - Arka 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 59 Dawid Soldecki
              1:1 77-own goal Tadeusz Socha
              2:1 90+3 Alexander Sorloth

Ruzomberok - Everton 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 80 Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Oostende - Olympique Marseille 0:0

Osijek - PSV Eindhoven 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 25 Petar Bockaj

Athletic Bilbao - Dinamo Bucharest 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 23 Raul Garcia
              2:0 29 Raul Garcia
              3:0 85 Aritz Aduriz

Panionios - Maccabi Tel Aviv 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 78 Omer Atzily

Domzale - Freiburg 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 50-pen Senijad Ibricic
              2:0 58 Lovro Bizjak

Braga - AIK Solna 1:1, 2:1 after extra time

Scorers: 0:1 13 Chinedu Obasi
              1:1 73 Rui Fonte
              2:1 120+1 Raul Silva

Additional information: On this crazy night of Europa league football around 00.36 CET, on Friday morning, finally ended the third and exciting qualifying round, second leg. We are going to see these names again in the next stage: Suduva, Austria Vienna (from Wednesday), AEK Larnaca, Dinamo Zagreb, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Videoton, PAO, Crvena Zvezda, Apollon Limassol, Olexandriya, Fenerbahce, Ostersunds, Krasnodar, Maritimo, Skenderbeu, PAOK, Utrecht, Altach, Hajduk, Midtjylland, Everton, Olympique Marseille, Osijek, Athletic Bilbao, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Domzale, Braga.
To be more interesting at the play-off phase, Champions league losers are joining the party as well: Sheriff Tiraspol, BATE Borisov, Viitorul, AEK, Club Brugge, Dynamo Kyiv, Viktoria Plzen, Ludogorets Razgrad, FH Hafnarfjordur, Rosenborg, Partizan, Red Bull Salzburg, Legia, Ajax.