31 December 2018

Happy 2019!

With just under 20 minutes left, wish you all to have a wonderful New Year filled with lots of excitements and happiness. Happy holidays to everyone!

The Asian greatest show is ready to start

On the last Sunday in 2018, we are introducing the first official tournament at 2019 playing in United Arab Emirates. Next year even 4 continental champions will be known, while the primary winner is going to be known in the second month. With great interest, the football world is going to watch the prestigious seventeenth edition of the Asian Cup, where the champion will qualify for the Confederations Cup event in 2021 in some Asian country which is yet to be determined (it is not going to be played at 2022 World Cup host Qatar).
For the first time this tournament have been expanded from 16 to 24 teams, which means we are going to see more football from the continents best. Whether Australia is going to defend the title won at 2015 we will find out on 01 February 2019, but before that final, 50 more duels have to be played. There are 6 groups, the top two teams will go straight to last 16, while best 4 third-place teams will join them. Group stages are going to last until 17 January, while four knockout rounds begins from 20 January, with couple of days rest in between them. As this is only the commencement, next weekend we are going to see only 4 matches in first week of 2019.

05 January 2019, Saturday at 17.00 CET: United Arab Emirates - Bahrain.

06 January 2019, Sunday at 12.00 CET: Australia - Jordan.
06 January 2019, Sunday at 14.30 CET: Thailand - India.
06 January 2019, Sunday at 17.00 CET: Syria - Palestine.

30 December 2018

Participants known at first official competition in 2019

Exactly seven days from now, on the Asian continent is going to start the major football event of 2019. Until this Thursday every detail was known on the regional championship next year, except players that will take part at the Asian Cup. This puzzle was finally been removed as 24 coaches have send away their list to the organization 10 days before the beginning. You can read all 552 names on the confederation website.

29 December 2018

Weird region

For the whole Europe the tennis number one player Novak Djokovic from Serbia is the best sports person of 2018, but that is not the case at one part of the continent.
In the south portion of Europe (called Balkan), the state Bulgarian news agency announced Luka Modric of Croatia the best athlete for this year gathering 75 points out of maximum 90. His neighbor and the above mentioned best tennis icon is second with 73 points, while 65 collected in third place another number one star in women tennis from Romania Simona Halep. The 33-year-old is the second footballer to have won the award after the legendary Bulgarian icon Hristo Stoichkov, while the 31-year-old individual sportsman have won this prize five consecutive times (from 2011 until 2015).
Started at 1973, this poll was completed yesterday in which nine state agencies took part across the Balkan area.

28 December 2018

Stadium punishment due to mockery

Kalidou Koulibaly is a Napoli defender who on Wednesday was sent off ten minutes before normal time in a game against Inter at the Italian Serie A championship. In an absolutely stupid behavior the home fans imitated monkey taunts every time the 27-year-old had the ball. Because of this dumb and ugly racist scene throughout 80 minutes the Milan-based club now is punished with two games without spectators at its own venue.

27 December 2018

Assaulted 'man in black'

Last Wednesday morning in Larissa Thanassis Tzilos was brutally beaten in front of his house by four masked men. This referee, who joined on the FIFA list recently, suffered injuries on the head and legs. His neighbors who witnessed the whole incident called the ambulance. Twenty-four hours later his colleagues announced a strike for which last weekend the Greek Super league cancelled all its games.

26 December 2018

Top European goal scorer won his second consecutive trophy

With 34 goals from 2017-18 season Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe award. Last Tuesday the 31-year-old striker picked up the second consecutive awards (after 2016-17), and for the fifth time overall. On second place for last year is Mohamed Salah who scored 32 goals, while 30 times when Harry Kane deceived the goalkeepers is in third place.

25 December 2018

Lifetime entry

In November AIK Stockholm came to an idea to sell lifetime tickets the price was 189.100 Swedish Krona (18.345 euros), because the club was founded in 1891. Thus, last Monday Magnus Kack has bought the first ever such ticket. For this pleasure the 40-year-old businessman, who also helped them financially, will enjoy plenty of privileges for his beloved club in home games, and so this first owner who have purchased an eternal ticket is going to be with the number '001'.

24 December 2018

Plenty of numbers from the Club World Cup

The last official tournament of 2018 which finished yesterday night was quite successful. We know that Real Madrid has won for the fourth time (more than anyone), who also was the third consecutive trophy. And now, after all is over comes a little statistics of what has been done and achieved at the competition.
In 8 duels impressive 33 goals were scored or 4.125 per match. Players were very happy to give most goals in the second half - 18, while 15 times they have shaken the net in the first 45 minutes. In all 16 halves one goal was scored or more (until 4), except in one game: second 45 minutes for the fifth / sixth place in Esperance Tunis - Chivas Guadalajara where zero goals were scored. One player has scored into his own net (the last match). From 8 matches, 3 needed a lottery deciders.
Referees gave in total 4 penalties: out of which half of them were converted, one was perfectly saved, while the last one hit the crossbar. The 'men in yellow' also gave 3 red cards, who 2 of them were direct and both were given in extra time: one was received at the 121 minute. Another straight red was issued in 96 minute, while one player got 2 yellow cards on the same duel 18 minutes earlier (this happened in the above mentioned game). This was the only play where a referee gave two red cards for the same ('home') team in 120 minutes of football.

22 December 2018

Team from Spain are rulers of the world!

Classification for third / fourth place:

Kashima Antlers - River Plate 0:4

Scorers: 0:1 24 (23.21) Bruno Zuculini
              0:2 72 (72.06) Gonzalo Martinez
              0:3 88-pen (87.59) Rafael Santos Borre
              0:4 90+3 (92.20) Gonzalo Martinez


Real Madrid - Al Ain 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 14 (13.21) Luka Modric
              2:0 59 (59.02) Marcos Llorente
              3:0 78 (77.59) Sergio Ramos
              3:1 85 (85.13) Tsukasa Shiotani
              4:1 90+1-own goal (90.50) Yahia Nader

Decoration of busses consisting words

With just over 15 days remaining, an Asian football main event now is getting very close. Although the starting date of the Asian Cup is going to be only 5 days old in 2019, this breathtaking tournament with the best 24 teams of the continent must never be missed.
The above mentioned 24, towards the training and official games, will be carried on by busses whom on them is going to be written just one sentence. Those words, which are popularly known as slogans, have to give players strength and stimulus every time they look in it for the games ahead. In the past 3 months the confederation conducted a survey asking supporters which motto would be best for the participating teams on their official website. Selection process was closed on 05 November, whilst the winners were announced 11 days ago by the Asian football organization.
Ending results were more than astonishing as over than 105.000 votes were registered. Out of this number an absolute winner is the Islamic Republic of Iran receiving more than 25.000 votes, while over 11.000 goes to the victory slogan. Here are all bus phrases for the first official competition next year.

Australia: Heroes will rise.
Bahrain: Never say never.
India: Blue tigers: The hope of a nation.
Iraq: Lions always prevail.
Islamic Republic of Iran: Eighty million people. One nation. One heartbeat.
Japan: Respect all, fear none.
Jordan: Make Jordan proud.
Kyrgyzstan: The White Falcons!
Lebanon: The Cedars are coming.
North Korea: In the spirit of Chollima.
Oman: Four million hearts, one dream.
Palestine: We will triumph. We are Palestine.
People's Republic of China: Fighting for the same dream.
Philippines: To dream the impossible.
Qatar: We and the nation of pride are fine.
Saudi Arabia: From the desert to the throne of the continent.
South Korea: We are the Reds.
Syria: One team. One nation. One Syria.
Thailand: Changsuek together as one.
Turkmenistan: Green ground, green team, green Turkmenistan.
United Arab Emirates: Our time is now.
Uzbekistan: Here we are Uzbekistan.
Vietnam: Golden star warriors.
Yemen: Never give up.

21 December 2018

Searching for the top players in CONCACAF region

In this time of the year every confederation is naming their best players, and so the North, Central American and Caribbean region are seeking the best performers as well. Males and females are nominated in five categories each, plus there is an reward for the wonderful goal of 2018. Every candidates for these 11 types of awards were announced 10 days ago, and all football lovers are encouraged to vote for their favorite footballers until 08 January 2019. Apart from spectators, winners are also going to be choosing: coaches and captains from 41 regional members together with journalists which will be selected from CONCACAF, and all are going to be weighted equally for the final decision: 25 percent. Beside the voting process, victory names will be announced late January on the website of the organization.

20 December 2018

First hat-trick at this competition

Second semifinal:

Kashima Antlers - Real Madrid 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 44 (43.24) Gareth Bale
              0:2 53 (52.33) Gareth Bale
              0:3 55 (54.42) Gareth Bale
              1:3 77 (77.03) Shoma Doi

19 December 2018

Both games needed a lottery deciders

Match for fifth / sixth place:

Esperance de Tunis - Chivas Guadalajara 1:1, on penalties: 6-5

Scorers: 0:1 05-pen (04.25) Walter Sandoval
              1:1 38-pen (37.53) Mohammed Belaili

- The African champion ended the game with 9 players: due to two yellow cards Anice Badri had to leave the pitch at 78 (77.55), while Houcine Rebai joined him in the dressing room in 90+6 (95.37) when he did a nasty foul for direct red.

First semifinal:

River Plate - Al-Ain 2:2, on penalties: 4-5

Scorers: 0:1 02 (02.10) Marcus Berg
              1:1 10 (10.17) Rafael Santos Borre
              2:1 15 (15.08) Rafael Santos Borre
              2:2 51 (50.25) Caio Lucas Fernandes (simply known as Caio)

- River Plate had a chance to win this duel, but Gonzalo Martinez hit the crossbar from 11 metres at 69 (68.43).

18 December 2018

Last draws of 2018 for first knockout round in 2019

For both European Cup competitions UEFA today performed couple of draws for the first knockout round scheduled for next year.

In the Champions league now there are only 16 teams left. This means that only 2 duels will be played on each night and all 8 pairs are going to start at the same time: 21.00 CET.

Schalke 04 - Manchester City.
Atletico Madrid - Juventus.
Manchester United - PSG.
Tottenham - Borussia Dortmund.
Olympique Lyon - Barcelona.
Roma - Porto.
Ajax - Real Madrid.
Liverpool - Bayern Munich.

We are going to be bored from this competition as this round will finish in 2 months. At this phase is scheduled 4 dates in each leg: first is on 12, 13, 19 and 20 February, while 05, 06, 12 and 13 March are the returning 90 minutes.

Eight more pairs are in the Europa league, which 2019 begins with one round higher: the last 32. Sixteen pairs will be played at one night 2 times: 14 and 21 February from 18.55 CET and 21.00 CET. Two matches are exceptions as they are going to start earlier than others.

Viktoria Plzen - Dinamo Zagreb.
Club Brugge - Red Bull Salzburg.
Rapid Vienna - Inter.
Slavia Prague - Genk.
Krasnodar - Bayer Leverkusen.
Zurich - Napoli.
Malmo - Chelsea.
Shakhtar Donetsk - Eintracht Frankfurt.
Celtic - Valencia.
Rennes - Real Betis.
Olympiacos - Dynamo Kyiv.
Lazio - Sevilla.
Fenerbahce - Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Sporting Clube de Portugal - Villarreal.
BATE Borisov - Arsenal.
Galatasaray - Benfica.

17 December 2018

Which club is playing the best football?

We are searching for the team who is playing top class football and that is going to be answered next weekend. In the contest remained clubs from three continents: South American, Asian and European champions together with the host. But, before coming to the last game both semifinal duels have to be played together with couple of classification games and the final. At the event two teams are going to appear for the first time.

Match for classification (fifth / sixth place):
Tuesday, 18 December at 14.30 CET: Esperance de Tunis - Chivas Guadalajara.

First semifinal:
Tuesday, 18 December at 17.30 CET: River Plate (Argentina, CONMEBOL champion) - Al-Ain.

Second semifinal:
Wednesday, 19 December at 17.30 CET: Kashima Antlers - Real Madrid (Spain, European champion).

Classification match (third / fourth place):
Saturday, 22 December at 14.30 CET: here are going to meet losers from the semifinal matches.

Saturday, 22 December at 17.30 CET: here will meet winners from the semifinal games.

Third European club international tournament

Who says only movies can have its continuance? Last Monday UEFA has announced that a new competition will start from 2021-22 season, who by now, have the working title 'Europa league 2', however this can easily change if appropriate name is found in three years time.
At the newly formed competition in the group stage it is going to participate 32 teams, and this will bring shifts in 'the brotherly' Europa league as well - who from 48 also is going to have 32 clubs. Europa league 2 is going to have 8 groups with 4 teams and all duels will be played on Thursdays. Out of 55 member nations 34 are going to be present here and those are in main smallest nations (countries with lowest coefficient) who will qualify directly into the tournament. The winner of the event is going to climb one place higher: the Europa league.

16 December 2018

Night of early goals

Second round:

Kashima Antlers - Chivas Guadalajara 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 03 (02.27) Angel Zaldivar
              1:1 49 (48.31) Ryota Nagaki
              2:1 69-pen (68.50) Sergio Antonio Soler (simply known as Serginho)
              3:1 83 (83.09) Hiroki Abe
              3:2 90+3-own goal (93.18) Hugo Leonardo da Silva

- Just 3 seconds before the second goal for Chivas Guadalajara, a penalty was perfectly saved from Alan Pulido, but unfortunately, the ball bounced back to the midfielder of Kashima Antlers who put it into its own net.

Esperance de Tunis - Al-Ain 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 01 (01.19) Mohamed Ahmed
              0:2 16 (15.46) Hussein al Shahat
              0:3 60 (59.24) Bandar al Ahbabi

15 December 2018

Rushing things

Group stages in both European Cups are over, and now the qualified teams are awaiting their opponents next Monday for the first knock-out phase, which is scheduled to start on February. And from that knock-out round onwards, the European football organization announced that it will introduce the video assistant referee for the Champions league games. This system was supposed to be introduced from 2019-20 season but last Monday UEFA has decided to brought it earlier than expected after many mistakes from the referees on the pitch.

14 December 2018

Bye-bye 2018 Europa league group stage

Villarreal - Spartak Moscow 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 10 (10.05) Samuel Chukwueze
              2:0 48 (47.38) Karl Toko Ekambi

- For a nasty foul Jaume Costa (Villarreal) was given direct red card on 89 (89.10).

Rapid Vienna - Glasgow Rangers 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 84 (83.33) Dejan Ljubicic

Sevilla - Krasnodar 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 05 Wissam ben Yeder

              2:0 10 Wissam ben Yeder
              3:0 49-pen Ever Banega

- Cristian Ramirez (Krasnodar) left the team early, as he received direct red card at 48.

Olympique Marseille - Apollon Limassol 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 08-pen Anton Maglica

              1:1 11 Florian Thauvin
              1:2 29 Anton Maglica
              1:3 56 Marios Stylianou

- Two players from Olympique Marseille were sent off: Boubacar Kamara received a direct red card at 07, while at 90+3 Lucas Ocampos picked his second yellow card.

Akhisarspor - Standard Liege 0:0

Rennes - Astana 2:0 

Scorer: 1:0 68 Ismaila Sarr
             2:0 73 Ismaila Sarr

- On 67 Benjamin Bourigeaud (Rennes) missed a penalty.

Dynamo Kyiv - Jablonec 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 09 Martin Dolezal

Videoton - Chelsea 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 30 (29.27) Willian Borges da Silva (simply known as Willian)

              1:1 32-own goal (31.16) Ethan Ampadu
              2:1 56 (55.31) Loic Nego
              2:2 75 (74.24) Olivier Giroud

Genk - Sarpsborg 08 4:0

Scorers: 1:0 02 Zinho Gano
              2:0 05 Joseph Paintsil
              3:0 64 Sander Berge
              4:0 67 Joseph Aidoo

PAOK - BATE Borisov 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 18 Maksim Skavysh
              0:2 42-pen Mikalay Signevich
              0:3 45 Mikalay Signevich
              1:3 59 Aleksandar Prijovic

- The double scorer of BATE Borisov Mikalay Signevich received a direct red card at 61.

Besiktas - Malmo 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 51 (50.21) Marcus Antonsson

Celtic - Red Bull Salzburg 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 67 Moanes Dabour
              0:2 77 Fredrik Gulbrandsen
              1:2 90+4 Olivier Ntcham

- Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) did not covert a penalty, but gave a goal when the ball bounced back to him few seconds later.

AEK Larnaca - Bayer Leverkusen 1:5

Scorers: 1:0 25 David Catala
              1:1 28 Dominik Kohr
              1:2 41-pen Lucas Alario
              1:3 67 Dominik Kohr
              1:4 77 Paulo Sampaio Filho (simply known as Paulinho)
              1:5 86 Lucas Alario

Ludogorets - Zurich 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 21 (20.38) Stephen Odey
              1:1 45+1 (45.47) Jakub Swierczok

Spartak Trnava - Fenerbahce 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 40 (40.04) Kubilay Yilmaz

RasenBallsport Leipzig - Rosenborg 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 47 (46.32) Matheus Cunha
              1:1 86 (85.32) Tore Reginiussen

Slavia Prague - Zenit Saint Petersburg 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 32 (31.33) Jaromir Zmrhal
              2:0 40 (40.05) Miroslav Stoch

Sporting Clube de Portugal - Vorskla Poltava 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 17 Fredy Montero
              2:0 34 Miguel Luis
              3:0 44-own goal Ardin Dallku

FC Copenhagen - Bordeaux 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 73 (72.55) Jimmy Briand

Dinamo Zagreb - Anderlecht 0:0

F91 Dudelange - Real Betis 0:0

Arsenal - Qarabag 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 15 Alexandre Lacazette

13 December 2018

Crazy match at Johan Cruijff stadium

Viktoria Plzen - Roma 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 62 (61.53) Jan Kovarik
              1:1 67 (67.00) Cengiz Under
              2:1 72 (71.44) Tomas Chory

- On 90+2 (91.27) Luca Pellegrini left Roma with 10 players due to two yellow cards.

Real Madrid - CSKA Moscow 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 37 (36.38) Fedor Chalov
              0:2 42 (42.07) Georgi Schennikov
              0:3 73 (72.46) Arnor Sigurdsson

Ajax - Bayern Munich 3:3

Scorers: 0:1 13 (12.29) Robert Lewandowski
              1:1 61 (60.51) Dusan Tadic
              2:1 82-pen (81.35) Dusan Tadic
              2:2 87-pen (86.50) Robert Lewandowski
              2:3 90 (89.32) Kingsley Coman
              3:3 90+4 (94.10) Nicolas Tagliafico

- For nasty play two players received direct red cards from the 'man in blue': Maximilian Wober (Ajax) at 67 (66.32) and Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) on 75 (74.42).

Benfica - AEK Athens 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 88 (87.29) Alejandro Grimaldo

- Two yellow cards received Konstantinos Galanopoulos (AEK Athens) on 86 (86.11).

Young Boys Bern - Juventus 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 29-pen (29.02) Guillaume Hoarau
              2:0 67 (67.16) Guillaume Hoarau
              2:1 79 (79.01) Paulo Dybala

Valencia - Manchester United 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 17 (16.22) Carlos Soler
              2:0 46-own goal (46.18) Phil Jones
              2:1 86 (86.11) Marcus Rashford

Shakhtar Donetsk - Olympique Lyon 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 22 (21.37) Junior Moraes
              1:1 64 (64.19) Nabil Fekir

12 December 2018

Awakening of the hosts after desperate first half

First round:

Al-Ain - Team Wellington 3:3, on penalties: 4-3

Scorers: 0:1 10 (10.03) Mario Alberto Barcia
              0:2 15 (14.54) Aaron Clapham
              0:3 44 (43.35) Mario Ilich
              1:3 45 (44.51) Tsukasa Shiotani
              2:3 49 (48.29) Tongo Hamed Doumbia
              3:3 85 (84.29) Marcus Berg

- Mohammed Abdulrahman Al Raqi (Al-Ain) got a second yellow card on 120+1 (120.32).

Unpopular result from one duel has sneaked through

Schalke 04 - Lokomotiv Moscow 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 90+1 (90.22) Alessandro Schopf

Galatasaray - Porto 2:3

Scorers: 0:1 17 (16.22) Felipe Monteiro (known as Felipe)
              0:2 41-pen (41.05) Moussa Marega
              1:2 45-pen (45.14) Sofiane Feghouli
              1:3 56 (56.19) Sergio Oliveira
              2:3 65 (64.26) Eren Derdiyok

- On 67 (66.40) Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray) penalty hit the crossbar.

Inter - PSV Eindhoven 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 13 (12.44) Hirving Lozano
              1:1 72 (72.04) Mauro Icardi

Club Brugge - Atletico Madrid 0:0

Barcelona - Tottenham 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 07 (06.43) Ousmane Dembele
              1:1 85 (84.20) Lucas Moura

Crvena Zvezda - PSG 1:4

Scorers: 0:1 09 (08.57) Edinson Cavani
              0:2 39 (39.12) Neymar
              1:2 55 (55.03) Marko Gobeljic
              1:3 73 (73.16) Marcos Correa (known as Marquinhos)
              1:4 90+2 (91.06) Kylian Mbappe

11 December 2018

More referees on an expanded tournament

We know that next month is going to start the first official competition in 2019. As the Asian Cup is growing from 16 to 24 teams, last Wednesday the Asian football organization has decided to increase also the number of referees. For the first time in history of the event, even 60 'men in black' are going to be judge on the pitch, and those are divided equally in main ones and assistant referees. Also this number have to perform various roles in the game: from fourth official to being 'locked up' at the video assistant room. To this long list are added and called 4 more men as reserve officials.

10 December 2018

Get ready for the final club international event of 2018

Apart of European Cups, one other international competition is taking place in Asia as next week is starting the last official football tournament of this year. The Club World Cup kicks of in the sunny United Arab Emirates, only to find out which club plays good football out the champions from all 6 continents plus the home team. In the following 7 days 3 duels are on the schedule with the first 2 stages.

First round:
12 December, Wednesday at 16.30 CET: Al-Ain (winners of the Arabian Gulf league, host of the event) - Team Wellington (Oceania Champions league winners).

Second round:
15 December, Saturday at 14.00 CET: Kashima Antlers (Asian Champions league winners) - Chivas Guadalajara (winners of the CONCACAF Champions league).
15 December, Saturday at 17.30 CET: Esperance de Tunis (Champions league winners from Africa) - winners of the opening match.

Icy stage

Round number 5 in November was like an announcer of what is coming, however this month tends to be extremely cold. For the last time in the group phase at both European Cup competitions we are awaiting 40 duels in total. Those teams which still like to play their part in the summer (knock-out rounds) needs to be well prepared, as footballers will face one serious opponent: very chilliest weather, who in some parts of the continent knows to be below zero.

As always, Champions league is going to start first with equal duels in both nights. Now it has become practice that two games are beginning earlier than others.

Tuesday, 11 December at 18.55 CET: Galatasaray - Porto.
Tuesday, 11 December at 18.55 CET: Schalke 04 - Lokomotiv Moscow.

Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Barcelona - Tottenham.
Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Club Brugge - Atletico Madrid.
Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Crvena Zvezda - PSG.
Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Inter - PSV Eindhoven.
Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Liverpool - Napoli.
Tuesday, 11 December at 21.00 CET: Monaco - Borussia Dortmund.

Wednesday, 12 December at 18.55 CET: Real Madrid - CSKA Moscow.
Wednesday, 12 December at 18.55 CET: Viktoria Plzen - Roma.

Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Ajax - Bayern Munich.
Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Benfica - AEK Athens.
Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Mancheter City - Hoffenheim.
Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Shakhtar Donetsk - Olympique Lyon.
Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Valencia - Manchester United.
Wednesday, 12 December at 21.00 CET: Young Boys Bern - Juventus.

In the following event we have 24 games which will be played on one single night. After previous two rounds in Europa league, kick-off times are back to two with equally distributed duels.

Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Akhisarspor - Standard Liege.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Besiktas - Malmo.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Dynamo Kyiv - Jablonec.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Genk - Sarpsborg 08.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Lazio - Eintracht Frankfurt.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Olympique Marseille - Apollon Limassol.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: PAOK - BATE Borisov.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Rapid Vienna - Glasgow Rangers.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Rennes - Astana.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Sevilla - Krasnodar.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Videoton - Chelsea.
Thursday, 13 December at 18.55 CET: Villarreal - Spartak Moscow.

Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: AEK Larnaca - Bayer Leverkusen.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Arsenal - Qarabag.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Celtic - Red Bull Salzburg.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Dinamo Zagreb - Anderlecht.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: F91 Dudelange - Real Betis.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: FC Copenhagen - Bordeaux.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Ludogorets - Zurich.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Olympiacos - Milan.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: RasenBallsport Leipzig - Rosenborg.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Slavia Prague - Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Spartak Trnava - Fenerbahce.
Thursday, 13 December at 21.00 CET: Sporting Clube de Portugal - Vorskla Poltava.

Delayed Superclasico completed all participants

The game of all games (better known as 'Superclasico', 'match of the century'...) is finally over. After all those delays, ugly scenes on the streets of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and complaints, at last we have the CONMEBOL champion. It was really difficult to choose from either of the two teams (River Plate or Boca Juniors), but unfortunately, one club had to emerge as winner. The South American organization has decided to play their last Copa Libertadores duel on another continent (for the first time), and the 'home team' was well adapted on the foreign pitch. In the great atmosphere in Madrid (Spain) River Plate have won the title and as well qualified for the final tournament of 2018, beating their fierce opponents 5:3 on aggregate after 210 minutes of passionate football.
With this game its completed the list of all participants for the Club World Cup (which is beginning next week in United Arab Emirates), and those are: Chivas Guadalajara (North, Central America and Caribbean), Team Wellington (Oceania), Real Madrid (Europe), Esperance Tunis (Africa), Kashima Antlers (Asia), River Plate (South America) - who are winners of all six continents plus the host of the event Al-Ain.

09 December 2018

Quest for an African topflight footballer

African continent is preparing to find out who is their best player. The grand ceremony will be staged in Dakar, Senegal, where on 08 January 2019 are going to be crowned those finest footballers of 2018. There are various categories in both men and women section, many candidates are on the list, while the best is going to be chosen from coaches and captains (within the region), journalists and from the development committee of the African football organization. Every nominees can be found on the website of the confederation.

08 December 2018

Semifinal pairs are now known

This Monday UEFA in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, performed the semi-final draw for the Nations league on the European edition. Portugal is chosen to be the host of this premier event, only 4 winners from league A will participate, and this mini-tournament is going to be played from 05 until 09 June 2019.
On the first night in Porto are going to collide Portugal and Switzerland, while the other semi-final pair 24 hours later is going to be in Guimaraes between Netherlands and England. At the last date schedules for plays, Guimaraes is going to be the city for an bronze medal game, and the final is in Porto later in the evening.

07 December 2018

Disqualification one round before the end

In the previous two rounds for the qualifiers of Africa Cup of Nations 2019, Sierra Leone did not even participate. At the beginning of October FIFA suspended this West African country from football due to governmental interference into the association, so they were absent playing in round 4 and 5. Because this problem is still ongoing and has not yet been solved, on Monday the African football organization banned the team for the rest of this qualifiers. This means that group F will now consist of only 3 teams, all duels with Sierra Leone will become invalid, and this decision comes one round before the end of these qualifying cycle (which are going to conclude in March 2019).

06 December 2018

Players crowned in Asia

Exactly seven nights ago the Asian football confederation announced who are the best footballers in the continent for this year. At the ceremony in the Oman capital, Muscat there were many categories in the men and women section who received a prize, and here it will be mentioned only few of them.
In the women category at coach of 2018 Asako Takakura (Japan) picked up the award, while Wang Shuang (PR China) has won the reward for the best player. Another Japanese trainer got the prize in the men section: Go Oiwa was named the best coach, whilst Abdelkarim Hassan (Qatar) is the footballer of the year.

05 December 2018

Central American state hosts major tournament for the first time in history

Edition number 15 of the multi-national Gold Cup 2019 for the first time will be held in Costa Rica. The capital of the country, San Jose, is going to see its national team playing basically at home at the estadio Nacional de Costa Rica (National stadium of Costa Rica), along with the second duel which will open group B. This was decided last Monday from the CONCACAF organization, which is yet to announce one Caribbean place for completion of the whole schedule.

04 December 2018

Losing hospitality rights

Cameroon will not be anymore the host country for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. With the last day in November the African football organization was concerned about the big delay of the stadiums just six months before the start of the event. Also was stated that before the end of the year a substitute country is going to be found, where strongest candidates are Morocco and South Africa.

03 December 2018

Qualifying groups for EURO 2020

On the unusual day for working activities, except for play on the fields, today UEFA in Dublin performed the qualifying draw for the complexed 2020 European championship. In two years time the continent awaits its sixteenth EURO edition, at 12 chosen cities, 12 various states which is going to begin from 12 June until 12 July. But before that, all 55 members have to go through qualifiers who will commence 21 March and will last until 19 November 2019, where only the top two names are going to travel to the finals. Teams are divided into 10 groups with the following result:

Group A: England, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Kosovo.

Group B: Portugal, Ukraine, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg.

Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus.

Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar.

Group E: Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary, Azerbaijan.

Group F: Spain, Sweden, Noway, Romania, Faroe Islands, Malta.

Group G: Poland, Austria, Israel, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia.

Group H: France, Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova, Andorra.

Group I: Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, San Marino.

Group J: Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia, Liechtenstein.

02 December 2018

Back from the dead

The following story tells how an 'obvious error' can be made from only one person if you want to postpone a football game.
In the third level division at the Republic of Ireland football system (also called Leinster senior league) one amateur Dublin team has made a serious mistake and caused a ruckus in media. Ballybrack and Arklow Town had to play their duel today, and did not even start. On Thursday the home side wrote in social media that one of its players Fernando Nuno-la Fuente has been killed in a motorbike accident last Thursday. Out of sorrow this match was immediately suspended, all others held a minute silence, while the Spanish footballer was alive and well, who flew back to his native country four weeks ago. The club even posted a death notice in Irish newspapers, all media was talking about this bizarre incident, condolences were offered, whilst the person who made and posted this news was immediately fired.