Paulo Dybala, Juventus and the Problem With Italy

The travails of Dybala, whose contract with Juventus runs out this month, are emblematic of a soccer ecosystem that is often a world apart.

#ancelotti-carlo-1959, #dybala-paulo-1993, #juventus-soccer-team, #lukaku-romelu-1993, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

At Champions League Final, the Fans Weren’t the Danger

Preconceptions about Liverpool supporters and policing decisions that didn’t prioritize their safety led to the chaos at the Champions League final. That’s dangerous for every fan.

#darmanin-gerald, #internal-sub-only-nl, #liverpool-soccer-team, #real-madrid-basketball-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

Why the Champions League Final Was Delayed

European soccer’s showcase game kicked off more than 30 minutes late after overcrowding at the stadium gates led to clashes between fans and the police.

#uefa-champions-league-soccer

Luis Díaz Is the Liverpool Star Who Never Should Have Made It

Luis Díaz has become a hero in only five months in England. But his story resonates not because he made it, but because so many others like him never get the chance.

#colombia, #content-type-personal-profile, #diaz-luis-1997, #indigenous-people, #liverpool-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

The True Cost of Kylian Mbappé’s New Deal

It is easy to be dazzled by money in soccer, especially as the figures blur into incomprehension. But the numbers matter because of what comes next.

#mbappe-kylian-1998, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Lyon’s Women Defend the Past in a Changing Champions League

The arrival of new money in women’s soccer has come at a cost in Europe: It has separated the sport from its past.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #olympique-lyonnais-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Andrea Pirlo Is Timeless

With elite soccer increasingly driven by coaches and systems, Pirlo feels as if he belongs to another era. But can a classic ever go out of style?

#juventus-soccer-team, #pirlo-andrea, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Russia Is Barred From Women’s Euros and 2023 World Cup

Russian soccer teams and clubs were barred from all European competitions, including the Champions League, for the 2022-23 season.

#court-of-arbitration-for-sport, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #soccer, #spartak-moscow, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #uefa-europa-league, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa, #womens-world-cup-soccer

The Champions League’s Drama Is Worth Savoring, and Saving

The Champions League’s late-stage drama is a feature, not a bug. Let’s hope no one messes that up.

#bayern-munich-soccer-team, #benzema-karim, #liverpool-soccer-team, #mbappe-kylian-1998, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Is Bayern Munich Breaking the Bundesliga?

Germany’s perennial champion can secure its 10th straight title this weekend. Even its own fans are starting to worry that its success is getting a little boring.

#bayern-munich-soccer-team, #borussia-dortmund-soccer-team, #german-bundesliga, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

You Decide Which Games Matter

The F.A. Cup and the Conference League have meaning not because of tradition or design, but when the players, and particularly the fans, decide they are important.

#football-association-cup-soccer, #guardiola-josep, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

For Liverpool and Manchester City, a Showdown With Consequences

Manchester City and Liverpool meet Sunday in the first of a series of collisions that could decide as many as three trophies. Neither team can be sure of what comes after that.

#english-premier-league, #guardiola-josep, #klopp-jurgen-norbert-1967, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #mourinho-jose, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Soccer’s Focus Needs to Be Product, Not Packaging

A simple rule change paved the way for the modern soccer we watch today. An obsession with Super Bowl-style changes won’t move it forward.

#english-premier-league, #internal-sub-only-nl, #khelaifi-nasser-al, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Karim Benzema Carries Real Madrid Over Chelsea

Three goals confirm what should have been obvious long ago: Benzema is Real Madrid’s brain, and its heart.

#benzema-karim, #chelsea-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Can Liverpool and City Win When the Bar Is Set Too High?

The Premier League leaders will compete for three high-profile trophies this spring. But does failing to win them all turn a great season into a bad one?

#english-premier-league, #guardiola-josep, #klopp-jurgen-norbert-1967, #liverpool-soccer-team, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Ada Hegerberg Wants to See How Good She Can Be

The world’s best women’s player lost nearly two years to injury. Now she’s back and eager to get herself, Lyon and maybe even Norway to the top.

#content-type-personal-profile, #hegerberg-ada, #norway, #olympique-lyonnais-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

City Thumps United in Manchester Derby Stripped of Its Tension

The Manchester derby has changed, mostly because United can no longer keep pace and City no longer has anything to prove.

#english-premier-league, #guardiola-josep, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Russia, Soccer and a Line Drawn Too Late

Soccer did not have to allow itself to be the field in which geopolitical rivalries played out, or the stage on which oligarchs sought power and prestige.

#infantino-gianni, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #world-cup-2018-soccer

Champions League Final Will Be Played in Paris, Not Russia

European soccer officials took the continent’s showpiece game from St. Petersburg as punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

#ceferin-aleksander, #macron-emmanuel-1977, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

Cameroon’s Goalkeeper André Onana Just Wants to Play

Cameroon’s 25-year-old goalkeeper has already had his career interrupted twice by bans. Now he’s back, and eager to move on.

#ajax-soccer-team, #barcelona-soccer-team, #cameroon, #content-type-personal-profile, #doping-sports, #onana-andre-1996, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Premier League Buckles In Amid Covid Surge

Familiar fears return as the pandemic’s shadow returns to soccer, to sports, to everything.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #internal-sub-only-nl, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #soccer, #tottenham-hotspur-soccer-team, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Champions League Repeats Its Draw After a ‘Technical Problem’

A buzzed-about round of 16 matchup between Manchester United and Paris St.-Germain was the result of a mistake. P.S.G. will face Real Madrid instead.

#manchester-united-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #uefa-europa-league, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

Manchester United Picks Ralf Rangnick as Interim Manager

Rangnick, an architect of the Red Bull soccer empire, will take over as United’s manager while the club pursues a permanent replacement for Ole Gunner Solskjaer.

#manchester-united-soccer-team, #rangnick-ralf-1958, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer, #solskjaer-ole-gunnar, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

A Transfer Market Mystery: What’s a Player Worth?

The authorities in Italy are investigating dozens of transfers involving top clubs. In doing so, they might pull back the curtain on accounting practices that defy easy explanation.

#juventus-soccer-team, #napoli-soccer-team, #soccer, #trades-sports, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

At Barcelona, Life After Lionel Messi Is Haunted by the Past

The departure of Lionel Messi shook Barcelona to its foundations. But on a good day, if you look closely, you can see the shoots of a new era.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #messi-lionel, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

USMNT’s Tyler Adams Doesn’t Need an Armband to Be a Captain

The RB Leipzig star is too young to be stained by the U.S.’s failure to qualify for the last World Cup. But he is old enough to know it is his job to make it right.

#adams-tyler-1999, #berhalter-gregg, #marsch-jesse, #mckennie-weston, #new-york-red-bulls-soccer-team, #rb-leipzig-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team

Cherish the Feel-Good Stories. They Won’t Last.

Enjoy the underdogs now, because money will restore Europe’s usual order soon enough.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #national-womens-soccer-league-us, #north-carolina-courage-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

In One Moment, Messi and P.S.G. Make It All Work

The Lionel Messi goal that completed a Champions League win over Manchester City offered a flash of his past, and a glimpse of his new club’s future.

#manchester-city-soccer-team, #mbappe-kylian-1998, #messi-lionel, #neymar, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

At F.C. Barcelona, a Sensation Worse Than Sadness

The Camp Nou’s reaction to a humbling defeat in the Champions League was a measure of how far and how fast a mighty team has fallen.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #bayern-munich-soccer-team, #manchester-united-soccer-team, #messi-lionel, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

When a Champions League Fairy Tale Is Disputed Territory

Sheriff Tiraspol, a team from Moldova (sort of), has made the Champions League. But whether the club’s story is wonderful or worrying depends on the light.

#moldova, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #sheriff-soccer-team, #soccer, #transnistria-moldova, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Mbappé, Ronaldo and the South Beach Moment

Lionel Messi moved to P.S.G. because Barcelona couldn’t stop him. Kylian Mbappé may have to stay put because his club holds all the leverage.

#kane-harry-1993, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #mbappe-kylian-1998, #messi-lionel, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

UEFA Plans $7 Billion Pandemic Relief Fund for Soccer Clubs

European soccer’s governing body will give cash-strapped teams access to their future earnings from club competitions like the Champions League.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #ceferin-aleksander, #english-premier-league, #european-club-assn, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

The Case for a 32-Team Euros

Given the depth of quality in Europe, a small expansion (and a simpler format) could make for a much better tournament.

#eriksen-christian-1992, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #uefa-european-football-championship, #uefa-nations-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

At Euro 2020, a Reminder That Good Can Be Great

Holding national teams to club standards spoils the fun of international tournaments like the Euros and Copa América.

#bayern-munich-soccer-team, #eriksen-christian-1992, #mbappe-kylian-1998, #pogba-paul, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #uefa-european-football-championship

Chelsea’s Champions League Secret: N’Golo Kanté

Every coach has a plan. But players still decide games, and only Chelsea has Kanté. In the Champions League final, that made all the difference.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #kante-ngolo-1991, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Pep Guardiola and the Ones That Got Away

One of soccer’s most successful coaches hasn’t been to the Champions League final in a decade. But as Manchester City meets Chelsea, he has a chance to reclaim the trophy he values most.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #bayern-munich-soccer-team, #chelsea-soccer-team, #guardiola-josep, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Revisiting Ilkay Gundogan

The Manchester City midfielder is a rare player in the Champions League final: one with experience in the game. He wants to know what it feels like to win.

#atletico-madrid-soccer-team, #chelsea-soccer-team, #guardiola-josep, #gundogan-ilkay-1990, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Champions League Final: The Rich Get Richer

Seismic shocks to European soccer’s landscape have turned Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea into a sign of things to come.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #european-super-league-soccer, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

After Stumbling to the Finish Line, Liverpool Clinches Champions League Place

A win at Anfield guaranteed the club a place in the Champions League next season, but only a brief respite before it plunges into soccer’s new reality.

#english-premier-league, #klopp-jurgen-norbert-1967, #liverpool-soccer-team, #salah-mohamed-1992, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

The Super League Thought It Had a Silent Partner: FIFA

Publicly, soccer’s global governing body criticized a breakaway European Super League. Privately, it had held talks for months with the founders about endorsing the competition.

#ceferin-aleksander, #european-super-league-soccer, #infantino-gianni, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #perez-florentino, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

Juventus Finds Its Fall Guy in Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo was given a difficult task and failed at it. But if Juventus misses out on next season’s Champions League, it won’t be entirely his fault.

#ajax-soccer-team, #chelsea-soccer-team, #juventus-soccer-team, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #pirlo-andrea, #ronaldo-cristiano, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

A Barcelona Star on Style, Substance and Another Champions League Final

Lieke Martens and Barcelona will face Chelsea on Sunday. Both have their sights set on raising the standard for success in the women’s game.

#barcelona-soccer-team, #chelsea-soccer-team, #content-type-personal-profile, #martens-lieke-1992, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Champions League Final Is Moving to Porto, Portugal

Istanbul is in lockdown and England wouldn’t bend on travel restrictions, so European soccer’s governing body will take its showcase game to Porto, Portugal.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa

Champions League Final: Meeting Set on Move to London

UEFA officials and the British government will discuss shifting the Manchester City-Chelsea game from Istanbul to Wembley to sidestep coronavirus travel restrictions.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer, #union-of-european-football-assns-uefa, #wembley-stadium-london-england

The Super League Founders Are Now at War With One Another

Real Madrid, Juventus and Barcelona are threatening to extract damages from their former partners in a doomed European Super League.

#english-premier-league, #european-super-league-soccer, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Champions League: Deep Pockets, Deep Benches, English Winners

Manchester City and Chelsea seal an all-Premier League final thanks in part to resources and rosters that no club, not even their biggest rivals, can match.

#chelsea-soccer-team, #guardiola-josep, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Manchester City Beats PSG, Advancing to Champions League Final

With a win over Paris St.-Germain, City worked past some demons and headed to the Champions League final.

#manchester-city-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

When the Goals Come Out of Nowhere

A Greek striker is one of the top scorers in Europe, and his play has caught the eye of big clubs. But are his goals a product of his talent, or his environment?

#chelsea-soccer-team, #european-super-league-soccer, #manchester-city-soccer-team, #paris-st-germain-fc-soccer-team, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Real Madrid’s Marcelo May May Miss Game for Election Duty

Unless the Brazilian defender is excused from working at a polling place next week, he may miss his club’s Champions League match at Chelsea.

#elections, #madrid-spain, #marcelo-1988, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer

Real Madrid’s Marcelo May Miss Chelsea Game for Election Duty

Unless the Brazilian defender is excused from working at a polling place next week, he may miss his club’s Champions League match at Chelsea.

#marcelo-1988, #real-madrid-soccer-team, #soccer, #uefa-champions-league-soccer