31 January 2021

Icon of this sport have lost battle with epidemic

Infected with the virus on 21 January, at the age of 45 this Wednesday night passed away one of the outstanding midfielders and a true legend of Islamic Republic of Iran Mehrdad Minavand.
On a team level he won the bronze medal at the 1996 Asian Cup event. Two years later was a member in the first ever victory for the country at the World Cups (against United States of America, 2:1). When it comes to clubs, is the only Iranian footballer who played 21 games from the European version of Champions league, while back home participated in the famous Persepolis leaving a deep trace.
That is why former coaches and players from this club together with other football stars, were at his funeral the following day in the capital Tehran.

Brazilian representative enters as last team

A really tough and thrilling last fight between two clubs from the same country belonged to Sociedade esportiva Palmeiras. In the ninth minute of stoppage time Breno Lopes with his head gave the only goal in the duel against their big rivals (Santos) winning the second Copa Libertadores final after 21 years.
But the hunger for trophies do not stop here. Now the next prize for them is representing the South American region as champions at the Club World Cup tournament. As the club will immediately travel to Qatar just to feel the atmosphere, their first showing at the event is going to be at the semi-finals scheduled for the following Sunday.

30 January 2021

Going to appeal at highest tribunal

For the Trippier case everything is now known: how he was humiliated by its own association for giving private information to his friends at 2019, so that they already profited 'good' money from his transfer in Spain. Paying financial fine and banned for playing at the club, Atletico Madrid decided to appeal about the second thing. With right they complained that the team had nothing to do with it, but the world football association last Monday has rejected all that by saying that this has a 'worldwide effect'. Because the club have lost the first part of the battle, the second one will be on even more stronger place than before, by announcing that will appeal to the Court of arbitration for sport.
As it stands, the English defender Kieran Trippier can return on the field at 01 March (if the 30-year-old is still picked by the coach after this scandal of course).

29 January 2021

Satellite television provider has just enriched its own platform

Viewers in Turkey, who are subscribed to the second largest pay television operator in the country, will watch top Asian football content for four years. The deal includes broadcasting all major competitions at the continent from 2021 to 2024, and for the first time within the territory this was brought by the digital platform D-Smart. Lots of services are expecting to carry out the live transmissions.
Nine days ago this contract was achieved with the partner and main negotiator of the confederation Football marketing Asia.

28 January 2021

Less exchanges of players between teams

At 18 January the world football organization has released numbers from 2020 as recapitulation of how clubs had been exchanging between each other.
On a global level, transfers between them last year has plunged to 4.7 billion euros comparing to 6.4 billion that was in 2019. The reason is much more obvious of why this happened, as in 2020 the decline was the lowest since 2016 where the sum back then was 4.3 billion euros. Also, 970 contracts were made less than 2019 as 18.047 were signed back then against 17.077 agreements which was done last year.
In 2020 the English teams has invested more with 1.325 billion, 595.7 million euros was the costs in Italy, while Spain is in third place. Chelsea is a number one spender for reinforcements, followed by Manchester united, Manchester city, Barcelona and Juventus.
Outside Europe, the biggest pay out country on deals was Brazil last year.

27 January 2021

Two confederations announced calendar of new club international season

From this year on the Asian international club competitions more clubs are going to join in the group stages. Expanded from 32 to 40 teams, the Champions league will kick-off on 07 April with the preliminary games. Group duels at the West region commences on 14 April, following by the East who is going to start seven nights later. Second event, the AFC Cup, who may rise by three teams, after qualifying phases from 06 April, resumes with group stages from 14 May. Because of the epidemic situation is still present on the continent, all group matches from both competitions will be staged in one place.
Travelling over to North, Central America and Caribbean continent, the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions league new 2021 season begins on 06 April. Playing four phases in the tournament, the first 3 are going to have 180 minutes excitement, whereas the last duel is going to be a single match at the end of October. But before all that, pairs for the first stage have to be drawn and this will happen on 10 February.
Detailed release of the whole dates ahead for this year concerning these events can be found on the websites of the two confederations from 22 January.

26 January 2021

Choice from spectators

The European football organization has conducted a survey on its website asking the fans to compose a team from the given 50 players. Inside there are three debutants, whereas one of them entered for the first time on the annual listing, who is coming from North America. Mixed up of almost six million votes until 06 January, five days ago, the affiliation has released our best 11 choice for 2020 on a 3-3-4 formation: Manuel Neuer - Joshua Kimmich (first time in list), Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk - Alphonso Davies (debutant plus first footballer from Canada), Thiago Alcantara (first time in list), Kevin de Bruyne - Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar da Silva Santos junior, Robert Lewandowski.
And because all these names comes from the Champions league from the big number above, one lucky winner is going to receive the grand prize: two tickets from the final game of the mentioned event that will be played on 29 May.

25 January 2021

Horrific plane accident

Six people have been killed in an airplane accident that happened today in the Brazilian state Tocantins. On a small private aircraft were the players of the fourth division club Palmas (Guilherme Noe, Lucas Praxedes, Marcus Molinari, Ranule Molinari), their president Lucas Meira together with the pilot (Wagner Machado) who traveled to Goiania to play the game versus Vila nova. Upon take off at the end of the runway, the plane suddenly dived into the ground and got burned. Video of this terrible tragedy can be found on social media.

24 January 2021

Postponed lower leagues

On the first part of 2020 the virus created a real mess in the calendar, while one year later unfortunately is still causing plenty of headache and is not erased from the earth completely. Almost everyday we are hearing that some players are infected with it and because of that one country has decided to stall championships in the minor football categories to stop the spreading.
Decided together with the health ministry, last Monday the Scotland football association has announced that provisionally suspends the lower leagues, thus all matches will be cancelled for three weeks. Therefore Leagues one and two ; Highland ; Lowland ; East, West and South of Scotland ; plus some junior championships are not going to be back in play until 31 January.

23 January 2021

Eleven as a lucky number

Yokohama has renewed the contract with the oldest active professional player in the world for one more year. Entering in the playing season 36, Kazuyoshi Miura can only extend his own record which was set in 2020 with 53 years 6 months and 28 days. The striker and captain of the club, who wears number 11 shirt on the field, has just prolong the loyalty and passion for this sport on 11 January at 11.11 local time.

22 January 2021

Access denied

On 12 January the world football organization was unsuccessful in an attempt to get rid off the special prosecutor who investigates its president for corruption activities, nor they were approved to approach the documents as well that was gathered by him. These two decisions were issued by the Federal criminal court in Switzerland. While the accused party is saying that the plaintiff do not have permission and is not qualified to lead this suit, the other side returns that everything is doing by the law.
Gianni Infantino allegedly have met the attorney general Michael Lauber that explored criminal activities in football. Due to these fishy encounters that occurred multiple times, in July 2020 federal special accuser Stefan Keller has opened the case against the chairman. Involved in a scandal that violated office duties and lied to the investigators concerning the above affiliation, the lawyer has resigned from the post in August 2020, while on the same month president Gianni Infanitno was cleared internally (within its own organization) of any wrongdoings.

21 January 2021

Made substitution on partnership

When we are seeing the visual content and the formations line-up on players before, results during, and statistics after the match, on television screens is going to be written the name (provided by) Sportradar. Last Thursday this video and data distribution company has made an agreement with the Asian football confederation to be the partner on the major club and team tournaments. The deal was sealed with the selling firm (main negotiator) Football marketing Asia on eight years: beginning from 2021 and up until 2028, or divided in two cycles out of 2021 as far as 2024 and 2025 to 2028.
In the previous period, from 2017-2020, the existing contract was held by Stats perform.

20 January 2021

Famous club introduced one matter, called off another

Last week Barcelona has announced couple of news.
On 11 April the team will play their fierce rival Real Madrid. Because of this special occasion eight days ago they have announced a completely new kit designed only for this match. The equipment was made in a collaboration with the manufacturer Nike for the 182 El clasico match alone in the championship, while this is going to be the fifth outfit that the players will wear in particular for the upcoming duel.
Due to the very high number of cases with the virus in the region, the presidential election scheduled for 24 January is cancelled. The main problem is preventing people to travel between municipalities, thus the Catalan government together with club officials past Friday decided to call off the whole process not announcing a replacement date.

19 January 2021

Due to cancellation of a team, competition is shifted

Just 17 nights before the start, the Oceania representative formally has withdrew their participation in the Club World Cup event. As the virus still poses a big threat and because of the strict rules in the country, this is the only reason of why Auckland city cancelled their trip when the club will return back home in New Zealand. Considering that the team was awarded this place and is not an actual winner of the confederation (as their Champions league did not finish mainly due to travel restrictions caused by the disease), no new replacement is introduced.
So, instead of 01, the tournament in Qatar is going to commence on 04 February. Playing three nights later from the original schedule, the host Al-Duhail now goes directly into the second round without a fight. Its opponent will be known on 19 January when the draw is going to be made (where basically from the bowls have to come only three names who will comprise the second phase).

18 January 2021

Lots of trouble after excursion in warmer parts

On 02 January Celtic went to warmer parts of the world (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) just to conduct training sessions and better prepare for resuming of the season (that commenced one week later). As the country was in strict epidemiological situation, the trip of the Scottish champions was criticized by their own government and media. Upon their arrival back home last Monday it was revealed that one player has been infected with the virus (Christopher Jullien), and that meant basically the whole club (13 of them) had to be isolated from the rest, including the coach and his assistant.

17 January 2021

United major tournaments

From 04 January on the Asian continent, four team together with two club events are already having a new logo and visual identity. Asian Cup for men / women and under 23 category, Asian qualifiers plus the AFC Champions league and AFC Cup are going to change their image on social media platforms and television coverage. To distinguish the connection between them: the first 3 tournaments share the same basic elements of visuality, while the last 2 are focused mainly on the trophies and the regions for the first club competition (East and West) together with the second (East, West, Central, South and Asean) painted in colors. Modifying of the image brands into fresh look that counts as one, also have its purpose to promote these six competitions towards the end consumers - fans.

16 January 2021

Court awaits the extortionist footballer

For playing a dirty game and engaging in a criminal activity together with four other people last Thursday was revealed that a Real Madrid striker have to appear in court. The whole thing began in June 2015 when Karim Benzema threatened to release a sex tape in public with his ex-teammate Mathieu Valbuena and an unknown person, and in the process were demanded 150.000 euros. According to the prosecutors, the 33-year-old even encouraged him to pay the ransom. If the above quintet were to be found guilty, this 'very clever idea' from the blackmailers can cost them of up to five years behind bars. Date for this trial has not yet been decided.

15 January 2021

One month of pure future holiday

Each one of us (football lovers) have to reserve the following dates and travel to People's Republic of China in two years time. Because the weather will be perfect to watch, as it is going to be summer time, from the edition number 18 of an Asian Cup tournament. Little rain is not going to spoil anything (if there is) on a competition that will be staged on a national level, as the best 24 teams in the continent who are going to compete at the finals will certainly give their best. If we want to see prime football of what the continent has to offer, everyone have to be there from 16 June until 16 July 2023 to witness the above event, and these two dates were officially revealed from the local confederation last Thursday.

14 January 2021

No spectators for last game

Yesterday night was Palmeiras, while this evening the celebration went to Santos. Both of these two clubs were victorious over two fierce rivals from Argentina in the semi-finals, and thus qualified for the big Copa Libertadores final. This match will be played on the last Saturday of the month.
However, as the health situation is not yet stabilized in Brazil, the home clubs are going to have to play this last game behind closed doors as no fans will be allowed to enter on the legendary Maracana stadium. Unfortunately, this decision was made eight days ago by the South American together with the Brazilian football association, thus only television crew, players, referees and club officials are going to be privileged to watch the last duel on the big night on 30 January, for conclusion of the 2020 season.

13 January 2021

End of hostility

2021 has really started in a bright light / way, as one dispute was finally solved after so long, and is affecting the country where the next World Cup is going to be played.
At 05 June 2017 Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates put a ban on everything that comes from Qatar. This diplomatic blockade was ended 42 months (three and a half years) later when last Tuesday the above quartet has agreed to sign a deal of truce. In footballing terms this opens plenty of possibilities. One of it certainly is an opportunity to host plenty of World Cup matches throughout the Middle East (that is going to be staged for the first time in the region) with open borders and free flow of local fans, because one of the 32 teams may be welcomed also in Kuwait, Oman, together with the above mentioned sinners Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates as suggested countries to host.

12 January 2021

Main judges selected

From each confederation there is one name of referees whose players will have to listen to on the pitch at the Club World Cup, with an exception of the South American continent who are going to have two representatives. Twelve of them are going to help the main ones as assistants, while number of those that are going to be hidden and locked in the room, checking the little monitors from above are seven. In short, the above mentioned is the list of 26 judges that will lead 8 matches in Qatar from 01 until 11 February, and all their names are written on the world football association website from an article which can be viewed or downloaded in a file from 04 January.

11 January 2021

Topgallant players from historians perspective

After announcing at the beginning of December 2020 its best players for that year, on the first day in 2021 the International federation of football history and statistics (or shortly Iffhs), have done the same for most valuable footballers from each confederation of the previous year as well. Votes was given from every member (that this institution has) at 150 countries throughout the world. In total there were 17 titles: same 7 categories by men and women, together with 3 for male persons which are specialized for giving goals. Out of this number here are going to be written only 10 winners with 8 names.

Most valuable player of the world, Europe, and best (overall or for the club and country) scorer (47) goes to Robert Lewandowski (Poland).
Sadio Mane (Senegal) won the title of topgallant footballer of Africa.
Best player of the Asian continent is Son Heung-min (South Korea).
At North, Central America and Caribbean Alphonso Davies (Canada) is the most valuable footballer.
Topgallant player from the Oceania region is Christopher Wood (New Zealand).
South America celebrates Lionel Messi (Argentina) who is chosen for the best on the continent.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) won the title of the best leagues scorer (33).
Winner of topgallant goal scorer (40) at international competitions went to Romelu Lukaku (Belgium).

10 January 2021

Stepped onto 2021 with new investor

After 14 months of negotiations on the last day of 2020 ALK Capital formally has become a new owner of Burnley. Specialized on investing in a sport and technology sectors, the American company bought 84 percent shares worth 200 million pounds (221.1 million euros). Director of the company Alan Pace became a new chairman of the club as well, while the predecessors Mike Garlick together with his partner John Banaszkiewicz stayed in the board for further advisements.

09 January 2021

Being independent...at last

Beginning with the 2020-21 season in Australia three football championships are going to separate themselves from Football federation of the country, it was officially disclosed on the first day of this year. The A, W and Y-leagues [or in other words: first, (Westfield) Women and (Foxtel) Youth championships] will operate under the newly formed Professional league system.
Splitting from the federation means that the above three championships are going to make its own decisions and be very much independent in a marketing sense over the tournaments. Relieved from these duties, the association will still control (observe): disciplinary issues ; transfers ; admission of players, clubs and officials ; making game layouts within the country plus the national team.

08 January 2021

Victory in court over unjust dismissal

Eight days ago Zvonimir Boban has won its case against Milan. The 52-year-old was working at the club as a sporting director until 07 March 2020. He was immediately fired from the job after quarrel with another chairman Ivan Gazidis who already found his replacement. Because doing things behind his back is illegal, the cash box of the club will be eased for 5.375 million euros in compensation. This decision from the Milan court certainly did not like the team itself which already announced an appeal.

07 January 2021

Likes to perform bigger function as well

According to Mundo deportivo newspaper from 28 December 2020, another nominee has emerged for the elections in Barcelona which is going to happen on the penultimate Sunday of this month. Currently out of its football activities at the club (due to knee injury), Gerard Pique became an official candidate for the president.
Since the above date, the 33-year-old has asked 65.000 ballots from the team for chasing signatures throughout Camp nou. But before that the club regulation needs to be changed, thus the defender was in extensive talks with officials, for present players to be allowed to run for high functions (in this case chairman).

06 January 2021

Wrote an 'illicit' word, and then received a hefty fine because of it

'Negrito' translated from Spanish means 'black', and this is the most common word that you do not want to use on social media, well...if you are a professional player then you are doomed. From just these seven letters, a footballer might lose little money, but 100.000 pounds (110.531 euros) is a way too much.
Wanted to sound like a joke, however, the other side was taking this very seriously (not to say making a big offence). Exactly this amount was paid by Edinson Cavani, where the Manchester united striker wrote a few sentences to his friend and in between sneaked the above word. This expression certainly did not like the English football association when last Thursday pronounced the sum and also suspended the Uruguayan for three matches because of an 'unallowed racist speech'.

05 January 2021

Injured from firework

On a farewell to the old and welcoming the new year in most countries of the world fireworks are being used. At the wake of crazy celebrations those who do not know how to use them properly may cause many harms to lots of people where unfortunately one footballer felt the real power of it.
In the hand of the Galatasaray defender, Omar Elabdellaoui exploded such device right on the night of 31 December. Turkish media has reported that the 29-year-old has suffered a severe injuries on the face, hands and both of his eyes, but luckily is out of life danger and is recovering at hospital.

04 January 2021

Globe football prizes given

Seven nights ago the Globe awards were given at Dubai, where lots of stars were present in the most populous city of United Arab Emirates. In total there were nine categories, however here only six will be mentioned.
The German champions Bayern Munich collected all three familiar rewards for 2020: Hans-Dieter Flick has been chosen as best manager, striker Robert Lewandowski player of the year, while the club has been voted topgallant per 2020.
Awards with the unusual and strange names were also given. Coach of the century is rewarded to Josep Guardiola, Cristiano Ronaldo won footballer of the century prize, and Real Madrid has been named club of the century (because they won six Champions league titles). To be more clear: in this section counts the accomplishments from the beginning of this 100-years period (from 2000-01 until 2019-20 season).

03 January 2021

Former number one back with a new function

Undoubtedly the best goalkeeper in the world got a job at his ex-club in which he left a deep trace in it. Since the heart attack at May 2019 Iker Casillas unfortunately had to retire from football (one year later), but nevertheless his accomplishments throughout the playing career were very well recognized in Real Madrid. Therefore the true legend of the team is back where he belong, but this time with a fresh role: on 22 December 2020 the 39-year-old is appointed assistant general director at foundation of the 'Los blancos'.

02 January 2021

Opening and closing on two different stadia

We are exactly one month away from the first club inter-continental official competition of the new year that is going to last 11 nights. It is already known when the opening and last duel are going to be played in Qatar, where the final pairs are going to be finalized on 19 January from the Club World Cup tournament.
Host Al-Duhail and (the Oceania representative) Auckland city will commence the event at Ahmad bin Ali venue on 01 February from 20.30 local time (18.30 CET). Another thing which is familiar is that new champion is going to wave us from the podium in the eighth game, who is going to start on 21.00 local time (19.00 CET) at Education city stadium on 11 February. In between these two pairs, Khalifa international is the third and last arena in which is going to be staged two matches.
The preliminary schedule, that can be seen and download, is available on the Asian confederation website from 23 December 2020.

01 January 2021

Happy 2021

Wherever you are, have yourself a Happy New year with lots of warmth, comfort, love and success. All the best to everyone in 2021!