Right before last summer, Real Valladolid unexpectedly won the playoffs of the Spanish Segunda Division, getting promoted to play in La Liga. After struggling for four seasons in the second tier of Iberian football, the dream of a city, the dream of a region became true. Who would have thought that Ronaldo Nazario de Lima could show some interest in buying the club?
Whether it is El Clásico, a Champions League tie or the World Cup Final itself, a top-level match is often billed as “the biggest game of the century” or suchlike. But this time, with Buenos Aires rival clubs Boca Juniors and River Plate facing each other in the upcoming Copa Libertadores Final, the epithet will be even more appropriate.
Last Thursday, the draw for the Champions League 2018-19 Group Stage took place. It was the day every fan had been waiting for since last May’s Real Madrid win over Liverpool 3-1 in the Final in Kiev. This year, the title of “Group of Death” went to Group C, which will feature Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, and Red Star Belgrade.
The Football League Championship kicked off last Friday, with Derby County winning 2-1 at Reading in the opening game. The Championship has been growing year after year, especially when it comes to the quality of players. In this new edition of our “The Grass Is Greener” column, we relive the history of the Rams, one of the most titled clubs in the English second division.
The role of goalkeeper has always been pretty much on the sideline of football news and stories, especially when it comes to the summer transfer market session. But since the last Champions League Final, and the World Cup in Russia 2018, it looks like things may be about to change, starting with the record transfer deal of Alisson Becker from Roma to Liverpool.
In 1996, the British band Three Lions released “Football Is Coming Home,” referring to the fact that England was hosting its first major football tournament since the 1966 World Cup. The song eventually evolved to hint at the Brits’ hopes of bringing home the World Cup trophy this year. Gareth Southgate’s team made one more step in that direction by beating Sweden 2-0.
The unbelievable happened today in Kazan, as already-eliminated South Korea pushed the World Cup defending champions of Germany out of the tournament, scoring two goals during stoppage time. It is the first time ever that the Germans fail to make it past the Group Stage, a setback that will spark much debates and criticism over Die Mannschaft.
As a sport journalist, I always try not to get too much involved emotionally when I write, especially about the teams that mean something to me. But today I’m going to make an exception, as I’m writing for Poland from the bottom of my heart, to comment their shocking 0-3 loss to Colombia that put them on a plane back to Warsaw after two World Cup games only.
Mexico’s win over South Korea, thanks to the goals by Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez, triggered a journey through memory for the Cult of Calcio’s correspondent Carlos Molano, who recalled episodes of his past related to both countries. The result is a match recap that also tells us more about the culture where the Tricolores and the Taegeuk Warriors come from.
In the last weeks, we had been hearing about Russia 2018 being the World Cup of big data and technology. Nigeria and Iceland, which faced each other yesterday in Group D – with the Super Eagles prevailing 2-0 – are a great example of it. Since the very moment the Nigerian playing kit for World Cup 2018 got released, it quickly went viral and sold out.
The long-awaited day finally came for Poland and Senegal, as they squared off today in Moscow for their World Cup 2018 debut. Both the Red-and-Whites and the Lions of Teranga joined the world tournament featuring one of their best generation of footballers ever, but the victory went to the Senegalese, which prevailed 2-1 in the first match of Group H.
The new golden generation of Polish players has been constantly moving forward, and they arrive at World Cup 2018 in full maturity. Players like Kamil Glik, Grzegorz Krychowiak , Piotr Zielinski, and of course Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski can make a whole country dream. Will this be the year of Poland? Are their underdog days over?