The little Brazilian seems destined for the Nou Camp unless another team can stump up the buy out fee, wages and financial penalties involved.
There’s no doubt he has talent but i doubt he will want to play second fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
With both Bayern and Dortmund through to the semi finals of the Champions League and the national team waltzing to World Cup qualification, German football looks exceptionally strong this term.
The Bundesliga has a healthy mix of foreigners and home grown talent and is watched by record crowds at reasonable ticket rates. Furthermore, the clubs have to adhere to strict and sensible financial regulations providing a relatively level of competition for all whilst off setting potential business meltdown.
Everything is warming up nicely for German domination in European football. Especially if Platini’s financial fair play comes to fruition.
Last weekend Bayern wrapped up the title in record time over a faltering Borrusia Dortmund.They could also snare a unheralded triple of Cups: Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup by season end.
Bayern’s return to the top comes after two years of 2nd place failure.
Current top team of the Bundesliga:
Dante (Bayern), Piszcek (Dortmund), Lahm (bayern)
Ribery (Bayern), Reus (Dortmund), Guendogan (Dortmund), Max Kruse (Freiburg)
Kiessling (Leverkusen), Mandzukic (bayern)
The FIFA rankings are notoriously confusing and sometimes spurious however what they show is current form in the World game. Croatia have moved into 5th position and although impressive in UEFA qualification Group B can hardly be merited as the 5th best team in the World. Similarly a faltering Portugal do not deserve their 6th position (they currently lie 3rd in Group F behind Russia and Israel.
The top ten is made up of the usual faces with England even placed at 7th despite trailing Montenegro in Group H. Ecuador have been boosted into 10th position but this probably a fair reflection given the Andean nations recent form.
Brazil have plummeted to their worst ever ranking at 19th suffering from their lack of telling international games in the run up to their hosting of the World Cup in 2014.
Scotland (deep breath) continue their decent into oblivion and lie in 77th position between Congo and Canda. This doesn’t deserve a comment.
Scotland has a population of around 5 million, similar to that of Croatia and Norway. The league system is compromises of 4 leagues: the SPL, First, Second and Third Divisions, with a 12, 10, 10, 10 share of clubs. In reality only the top two divisions comprises full time professional clubs.
One shepherd should easily be able to supervise a flock of 42?
Not so in Scotland, where we need 2: The Scottish Premier League (SPL) and the Scottish Football League (SFL).
Both of which look like toppling our national game over the cliff edge.
The SPL is headed by Chief Executive, Neil Doncaster and SFL –all those out with the SPL- by David Longmuir. While both men come from different backgrounds they share the same ability to use political language and the passive voice. They rarely answer any questions directly and never stick their neck out.
Doncaster in particular has performed his role in a manner that would get most men shot in some countries. He has bundled his way through one mini crisis to another. It is amazing he still remains in his post.
Longmuir is viewed by many to be a Rangers double agent, protecting the interests of the stricken Ibrox club above all. His eye on an Ibrox post in the long term.
Into this mix we also have the Scottish Football Association (SFA) – or Sweet Fuck All, as this is what they do. They have a simple enough task:
“The ultimate responsibility for the control and development of football in Scotland”
In the last 20 years they have, in various ways, run the game into the ground. The national team has not qualified for a major tournament since 1998 and currently are in 66th position in the FIFA rankings, between Libya and Togo (the same Libya who are recovering from a civil war).
Tis all comes on the heels of the McLeish report: an in-depth investigation into Football in Scotland, commissioned by the SFA. In reality this turned out to be a total waste of time, money and effort as most of the recommendations have been ignored. The messages seemed clear: the Scottish game is on its death bed and change is needed immediately. Nothing happened.
The current football associations “controlling” league football in Scotland are a disgrace. Their procrastination and bumbling is beyond farcical and would not be permitted in any self-respecting football nation. However, our national game is a far cry from the halcyon days of the 60’s and 70’s.The footballing public has all but given up on these fools producing any sort of remedy to our ills and now we are staring oblivion in the face.
What comes next is anyone’s guess.
The luckiest man is the goalkeeper whose blushes are saved by the striker’s howler.
09/04/2013 CA Peñarol – Deportes Iquique
09/04/2013 Vélez Sársfield – CS Emelec
10/04/2013 Tigre – Sporting Cristal
10/04/2013 Deportes Tolima – Santa Fe
10/04/2013 Real Garcilaso – Cerro Porteño
11/04/2013 Corinthians SP – Club San José
11/04/2013 Club Tijuana – Millonarios
11/04/2013 Grêmio Porto Alegre – Fluminense RJ
11/04/2013 SE Palmeiras – Libertad
12/04/2013 CD Lara – Universidad de Chile
12/04/2013 Olimpia Asunción – Newell’s Old Boys
It has been a long time since we saw James McFadden at his best. Injury has blighted his recent moves in England so he has opted to return to Motherwell to salvage his career.
This free-kick shows some of his old magic.
Just watched this documentary about the great man. It was filmed by the Serbian film-maker/artist/musician, Emir Kusturica.
It gives a valuable insight into Maradona. Especially his political beliefs and his thoughts after battling cocaine addiction.
There is more than a bit of George bashing, and Prince Charles and Tony Blair get the treatment too. Which is no bad thing.
Kustarica follows Diego around Buenos Aires (his home and the the Bombanera) and also to Napoli and the former Yugoslavia.
Beautiful clip of Diego in his pomp , showing of his skills pre-match.
If you notice he hasn’t even tied his laces.
Rotten tune though.
“What national team? We don’t have one. There is a lack of quality. We don’t have players like we used to because the seeds weren’t planted well.”
The old Brazilian star could be talking about Scotland as this is exactly where the problem lies here.