erics

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Posts by erics

Lionel Messi

Barcelona is cruising in La Liga

Barcelona had their point lead atop La Liga reduced over the weekend after a 1-1 draw against Valencia. It took a Lionel Messi penalty to save a point for the league leaders. While Barcelona dropped points, Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 1-0. Despite having their lead reduced, Barcelona still has a nine point lead over Atletico Madrid in La Liga and a 16-point lead over rivals Real Madrid.

Part of the reason Barcelona are cruising in La Liga is because of Messi’s fine run of form. Messi has scored 34 goals while adding 8 more assists in 22 La Liga matches. With those goals and assists, Messi has contributed or scored more than half of Barcelona’s goals this season in La Liga. That is incredible with a team like Barcelona, where there are world-class players all over the field.

With a solid lead in La Liga, Barcelona may start looking to their Champions League match-up against AC Milan. Barcelona will want to reclaim the Champions League trophy after Chelsea won it last season. Barcelona has a favorable match-up against AC Milan in the Last 16. AC Milan currently sits in fourth in Serie A, 12 points behind league leaders Juventus.

The way the season has gone so far, it is hard to find a team that could beat Barcelona in either La Liga or the Champions League. Not only has Messi scored a large amount of goals in La Liga, he has also scored five goals and added two assists in the Champions League. Barcelona looks set to reclaim La Liga and the Champions League this season. Let us know who could possibly beat Barcelona in either La Liga or the Champions League.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

Inter Milan Away Jersey

Inter Milan Away Jersey – 2012/13

Inter Milan has struggled recently in Serie A, going winless their past three games. Despite their poor form, Inter are still fifth in Serie A, tied on points with rival AC Milan. They are three points out of Champions League qualifying and 12 points behind league leaders Juventus.

Despite likely being out of the Serie A title race, Inter are still in a tight race to make it into the Champions League. If they were to miss the Champions League next season, it would be a massive disappointment for one of Italy’s top clubs. During this crucial run, Inter will be wearing their great looking away jersey when they travel away from the San Siro.

Inter’s away jersey looks a lot different from previous versions. This away jersey is primarily red, the colors of their rival AC Milan, but still ties in Inter’s traditional colors. Each sleeve features a blue and black stripe that ties in the club’s home jersey. Inter’s long standing sponsor, Pirelli, is pressed on the front in white and the club’s crest is stitched on the left chest with a single gold star above the crest.

This jersey not only looks great but is also extremely comfortable. It is made of 100 percent recycled polyester. It also features Nike’s Dri-Fit technology to keep you cool and comfortable while you cheer on your favorite club.

This jersey has a much different look than previous Inter away jerseys and ties in the club’s traditional black and blue colors. It also is extremely comfortable. This jersey is currently available at SoccerPro.com, so head over and check it out today.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

Balotelli

Mario Balotelli is going to AC Milan

Mario Balotelli is heading back to Milan, however, this time he will be with the other Milan club. Balotelli played for Inter Milan before joining Manchester City in 2010. Balotelli has played in seven games in the Premier League for City this season, but has only scored once.

“Milan reportedly paid $27 million plus bonuses for Balotelli, who will be taking a pay cut to play for the club he has supported since childhood,” according to ESPNFC.

Balotelli’s time at City has been up-and-down. Last season, Balotelli netted 13 goals with one assist as City claimed the Premier League title. That’s the good. The list of bad, as documented by BBC Sport, is much longer. Balotelli has always been a controversial figure and it seemed his time at City was finished several times before the news of his transfer.

Balotelli will be a welcome addition at AC Milan after striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed for PSG. AC Milan is currently 12 points behind league leaders Juventus and six points behind Lazio for the final Champions League spot. AC Milan must be hoping the addition of Balotelli will help the team net more goals and climb the table in order to be in the Champions League next season.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

Jurgen

U.S. face Canada before final World Cup qualifying round

The Canadian national team travels to BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston to face the U.S. national team tonight. Even though the game is just an international friendly, it still holds some importance.

This is the last match the U.S. national team will play before facing Honduras Feb. 6 in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification. The U.S. will need to perform much better than they performed in the previous round of qualifying. The remaining six teams are the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama. Out of these six teams, the top three qualify for the 2014 World Cup and the fourth place team goes to a playoff. Americansoccernow.com has a fantastic page dedicated to the final round of qualifying and is worth a look.

It will be interesting to see whom the U.S. plays tonight and how the team looks going into a difficult final round of qualifying. If you are looking for something to keep you occupied before actual lineups are announced, ProSoccerTalk and Bleacher Report take their best guess of the starting lineup tonight.

After the match, make sure to check out the site again for post-match thoughts and comments about the performance.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

Wesley Sneijder

Sneijder heading to Turkey

Wesley Sneijder is on his way to Galatasaray after passing a physical. Despite rumors linking Sneijder to Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, the midfielder is on his way to the Turkish club.

Sneijder signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Galatasaray, leaving Inter Milan after contract negotiations stalled. However, there are no hard feelings from the Dutch midfielder.

“I also want to thank [Inter President Massimo] Moratti, as our problems were only economic, never personal. I leave Inter on good terms – they allowed me to win everything possible,” Sneijder said according to ESPNFC.

Under manager Jose Mourinho, Inter and Sneijder won the treble – Serie A, Copa Italia and Champions League – during the 2009/10 campaign. However, since then, Inter have struggled on the pitch and currently sit fourth in Serie A, which would leave the club missing the Champions League.

Despite Sneijder’s success at Inter, he has only played in five Serie A games this season, scoring once and assisting once.

According to ESPNFC, Sneijder looked to Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal before making his decision.

“I called Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal because they have been key figures in my football career and I think their opinion is important,” Sneijder said. “They both said the same thing: ‘Do!’ They gave me the final push, knowing how Turkish football is on the rise.”

Galatasaray is currently first in the Turkish league, and are one of the remaining 16 teams in the Champions League tournament. Galatasaray will face Schalke in the Champions League.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

Manchester City v Arsenal

Manchester City heads to the Emirates Stadium

If you are a soccer fan, Sunday is the perfect day for you. Not only do Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, but Manchester City travel to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal as well.

Both teams come into the match with plenty of positive recent results. Both teams come into the match winning four of their past five games in the Premier League. However, they are still separated by 11 points in the league.

The game is also a must-win for both teams. Manchester City is currently seven points behind league leaders Manchester United. A loss on Sunday could extend United’s lead at the top to double digits, which would be hard to come back from. Since City has already been knocked out of the Champions League, they will want to compete for the Premier League if Mancini is to keep his job after the season.

As for Arsenal, they are currently 18 points behind United, but, more importantly, four points behind Chelsea. Chelsea is currently in fourth place and holding onto the Champions League qualification spot. Arsenal cannot afford to drop points this late in the season if they hope to be part of the Champions League next season.

On a side note, the two teams are having a spat off the field already. Some Manchester City fans are refusing to pay the high-ticket price to watch the game.

“The English champions were given an allocation of 3,000 tickets, but 912 have been sent back and are being sold to Arsenal supporters,” according to ESPNFC.

ESPNFC continues, “A survey carried out in October confirmed Arsenal have the most expensive adult match day ticket and season ticket in the Premier League.”

The dispute between clubs on ticket prices and the fact that both teams need a win on Sunday should create for an exciting match. The first match between these two teams on Sept. 23 ended in a 1-1 tie. Hopefully, this time one of the teams will be able to find a winner and fans will get to see more goals.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

RVP

Liverpool head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United

Has there been a better acquisition this season than Robin Van Persie for Manchester United? Since Van Persie’s decision to leave Arsenal for Manchester United, United have been reaping the benefits of Van Persie’s spectacular form. This season in the Premier League, he has scored 16 goals and added six more assists.

This production has helped lead Manchester United to the top of the Premier League and into the final 16 of the Champions League. United currently have a seven point lead on Manchester City and are sitting comfortably at the top of the league. Van Persie has had a hand in producing over 40 percent of Manchester United’s goals this season in the Premier League.

Not only has Van Persie scored a good amount of goals, they have also been crucial goals. The Independent has a slideshow showing some of the crucial goals Van Persie has scored this season to help his team succeed.

Van Persie will have to play well this weekend when Liverpool head to Old Trafford to face United. Even though Liverpool is 21 points behind Manchester United in the league table, Sunday’s match is sure to be close and intense, especially with the recent confrontations between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez. However, Sir Alex Ferguson said he hopes both clubs have moved forward.

“Last year, it was unfortunate with the Suarez behavior. But I think, hopefully, it’s behind both clubs now and we can just look forward to the game,” Ferguson is quoted as saying.

The first match between these two this season ended in a 2-1 win for Manchester United. Liverpool has won their past two matches in the Premier League outscoring their opponents 6-0 in that two game stretch. On the other side, Manchester United has not lost a Premier League match since Nov. 17 against Norwich City.

Both teams will come into this game with the confidence to get a win given their recent results, which should result in an exciting game for fans. Let us know who you think will come out victorious between these historic clubs.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

CR7

Is Cristiano Ronaldo on the way out?

Cristiano Ronaldo, once again, caused a stir with recent comments regarding a possible transfer. Ronaldo has been sensational on the field for Real Madrid, scoring an absurd amount of goals during his time at the club and winning La Liga. However, in September, the Portuguese star said he was sad at Real Madrid.

“I’m sad – when I don’t celebrate goals it’s because I’m not happy. It’s a professional thing. Real Madrid know why I’m not happy,” Ronaldo said.

Now, Ronaldo has left his future at Real Madrid in doubt. Rumors have circulated recently about a possible transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“I am fine with Real Madrid, I have a contract until 2015. But in life, anything is possible. My intention is to win a lot of titles with Real, but I repeat, in life, all is possible,” Ronaldo said.

Even though he somewhat denies the rumor, he definitely leaves the door open for a transfer away from Real Madrid. It seems strange to emphasize, “all is possible” multiple times if Ronaldo’s real intention is to stay at Real Madrid.

PSG director Leonardo said that PSG is a club that could attract a player like Ronaldo.

“When we are discussing a possible transfer for a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, there are only four or five clubs that can be taken into consideration. Paris Saint-Germain are one of those clubs,” Leonardo said.

It will be interesting to follow transfer rumors surrounding Ronaldo and Real Madrid. As several media outlets have reported, rumors are circulating around Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and whether or not he will return to the club after this season.

Real Madrid is currently third in La Liga, 16 points behind league leaders and rival Barcelona. They are also likely out of the discussion of repeating as La Liga champions.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2012

And the Balloon d’Or goes to…

As many of you may have known, the Balloon d’Or presentation happened today. Also, as many of you may have guessed, Lionel Messi won the award again. However, this is not the only award Messi took home today. He also won the award for worst dressed at the award presentation, wearing a strange polka dot tux with a matching polka dot bow tie. It was interesting to say the least. But when your team wears a jersey that resembles the sun when they travel away from the Nou Camp, maybe style isn’t what Barcelona is best at.

Now, let’s get back to the award. With the win today, Messi has now won the prestigious award four consecutive times. To put that into context, we’ll quote what ESPNFC wrote earlier today.

“The fact the tiny kid who came to Barcelona with his determined dad looking for a chance all those years ago has now gathered more individual trophies than Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini or Marco Van Basten is certainly incredible,” according to ESPNFC.

It’s no real surprise that Messi took home the Balloon d’Or Monday. Messi scored 91 goals in 2012, breaking a record. It is hard for someone to put up numbers like that and not take home the award. Messi enjoyed receiving the award, but was quick to share credit with his teammates.

“To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words,” Messi said. “I would like to recognize my other colleagues from Barcelona. Andres, it has been great to train and play alongside you.”

Messi then continued with praise for others.

“I would also like to recognize all of my friends in the Argentina national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also, my wife and my son. Thank you,” Messi said.

Even though Messi was the highlight of the event, there were other rewards given out, including an American winning. Abby Wombach was voted FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com