2695blog entries

Time for the Blatter era to pass

Hours before FIFA was rocked by numerous arrests of officials in Zurich on corruption charges and explosive allegations of bribery and racketeering from United States investigators, Les Murray penned this opinion piece.
There is no doubt FIFA’s image needs a serious make-over. That would be a massive understatement. The question is whether the young Jordanian prince, Ali Bin Al Hussein, is the one who can provide it. On 29 May, FIFA’s vast, 200 plus membe...

Is this a case of Real Madrid history repeating?

Only a year after winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, a wise, experienced coach adored by the players is unceremoniously dumped by club President Florentino Perez.
That was 2003 and the coach was 2010 FIFA World Cup winner Vicente del Bosque - who had just led Los Blancos to La Liga glory. Twelve years later, it appears Perez has not learnt past lessons after he (by all reports the decision was entir...

Trigger-happy Socceroos out to survive Russian roulette

Now that Ange Postecoglou has announced his squad for next month's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan, Australia's campaign to reach the finals in Russia is officially up and running.
WATCH ALL THE SOCCEROOS FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 QUALIFIERS ON SBS The Socceroos kick off their attempt to play in a fourth straight finals in Bishkek on 17 June (AEST). Postecoglou has picked a strong side that will form the basis of the Socce...

A Copa Libertadores stoush that's worth watching

You can hardly blame me for having occasional pangs of jealousy when I think about the journalists on the other side of the Atlantic who cover the UEFA Champions League but an impending battle in South America's equivalent has me thanking my lucky...
They get to see the best players from the four corners of the globe, in the arena where it really matters – where they want to prove their class to themselves and their peers.  All of this takes place in magnificent stadiums in an atmosphe...

Football’s Pacific solution

While Australian football makes the most of its presence in the powerful Asian Football Confederation, it has an opportunity to be a major player in the development of Oceania Football Confederation member countries like Fiji.
Recently in Sydney, Fiji’s Under-20 team lost 2-1 to its Colombian equivalent in a warm-up game for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Fiji  - with Frank Farina acting as technical adviser, by the way - will be in New Zealand for that event as t...

Victorious Melbourne on track to surpass Brisbane

The Brisbane Roar side that romped to two back-to-back A-League championships in 2011 and 2012 is still regarded as the benchmark of Australian club football but it may have a contender for that title very soon.
Coach Ange Postecoglou got Brisbane to play a brand of possession football never seen in Australia that was rewarded by two league titles. Melbourne Victory may not have reached Brisbane's level of tactical sophistication and eye-catching ...

Two best teams to do battle in worthy finale

Sunday's grand final will be a match-up between two of the best teams the A-League has ever seen, and while the game may well deserve a bigger stadium, those fans lucky enough to get a ticket to AAMI Park are in for a special treat.
The showpiece contest in the showpiece event, played in front of a fraction of the potential crowd. It will still be a brilliant occasion, but the stadium fiasco is a great shame. Nevertheless, we move on and take important lessons away. T...

The 5 biggest blues in A-League history

When Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory square up in the A-League grand final on Sunday, they'll not only be playing for the coveted golden toilet seat, but bragging rights in an interstate grudge match that has thrown up its share of classic...
A host of heroes and villains have emerged as the two glamour teams have bashed each other purple in the quest to be the biggest blue. We've picked out our top five. 5. Thompson's masterclass - Melbourne 5-0 Sydney, 2005   A sell-out crowd...

Clasico UCL final would settle the Messi v Ronaldo debate

A dream UEFA Champions League final between Barcelona and Real Madrid moved a step closer to reality after two compelling semi-finals that confirmed Lionel Messi's status as the most extraordinary player in the world.
The Argentine wizard inspired Barcelona's 3-0 win over Bayern Munich with a majestic performance that was crowned by two goals and an assist. Messi was here, there and everywhere in the free role he has been given by coach Luis Enrique and...

Robinho is still a shining light for Dunga's Brazil

The inclusion of Robinho in Brazil’s squad for next month’s Copa America has raised a few eyebrows around the world.
Back home, though, this was not seen as controversial at all. Robinho was a leading light in the Santos team that just won the Sao Paulo State Championship, the most prestigious of Brazil’s regional competitions. He has been consistently n...