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As 2010 wraps up, we at SoccerProse figured we’d throw a few predictions out there for the next calendar year across the soccer world:

1). Belgians will be the hottest transfer prospects.

*Romelu Lukaku. If you haven’t heard of him, look him up right now. The 17-year-old Belgian stud may be young but that doesn’t mean he already has an absurd amount of experience for a kid his age. This campaign, he’s already notched 14 goals and 4 assists in 28 appearances. 2 years prior, he was playing against kids 4 years older than he was and still managed 26 goals in 1 season. He even averaged a goal a game during his entire youth career. Already coined as the next Didier Drogba, Lukaku has the physical tools and natural goal-scoring ability to wreck havoc in a top league for years and years. Expect the top squads to be fighting for this player

*Eden Hazard. A versatile attacking midfielder or winger, Hazard is 19 and amazingly has nearly 100 appearances for a club in a competitive league (Lille in Ligue 1). He draws comparisons from French media as being comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi and while these claims may seem outlandish, he could easily become this type of player (not necessarily caliber). I see him becoming more of a player with the career path of Portuguese winger Nani, but he’s still got loads of talent and pace for such a youngster.

*Jan Vertonghen. A 23-year-old Ajax center back who can also be employed as a defensive midfielder, Vertonghen already has top clubs knocking on his door. Vertonghen has his best years ahead of him in football and is a physical force similar to former Ajax captain Thomas Vermaelen. In turn, that’s why many people place Vertonghen in the Arsenal squad as of this summer but I could see him doing quite well in La Liga, too.  Inter Milan also has claimed their interest in the man as a replacement for Walter Samuel.

2). Qatar will make more attempts to buy fan’s hearts.

It was already nauseating for Qatar to win the 2022 World Cup bid and an absolute testament to test how much money countries can shove into FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s pockets. Now, the tiny nation has shelled out the richest shirt sponsorship in history so they can get exposure in Barcelona. What’s next? I figure we’ll start seeing more shirt sponsorships like this one, a possible deal with Manchester United, and the nation trying to start it’s own powerful league by offering Manchester City type money to the world’s top players. Expect some old Italian players to bite on this deal (ahem, Fabio Cannavaro).

3). Lionel Messi will be the best, again.

The superlatives to describe the Argentinian magician have run out. We can just sit on our couches and watch in awe as he terrorizes all opposing defenses while he has the innocence of a 6-year-old child. Sure, Cristiano will have a superb season, again, at Real but even Mourinho’s magic can’t outdo the trickery of Messi and the gang.  I’m buying my Messi jersey now so I can be on top of the world for 3+ more years.

4). Manchester United and Chelsea will be in the buying mood come summer time.

Let’s face it: both squads are getting old. Players such as Ryan Giggs, Edwin Van Der Sar, Paul Scholes, and Gary Neville all have the possibility of being gone after this coming season and although the squad will still be deep, Sir Alex may be willing to purchase a big name again during the summer. As for Chelsea, the core of the squad are all on the wrong side of 30 and have looked atrocious in the last couple months. If Roman Abramovich wants to keep this squad competitive, he’ll need to be willing to drop a few dollars.

5). Ian Holloway will have another amazing rant.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has thrust himself into stardom by guiding Blackpool into a respectable position in the table and being the most honest manager in football. We can see more rants coming now. Hopefully more like this one.


About the author: cbehrens



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