Brazil And Italy Conjure Up A Majestic Contest

21 03 2013

It might be nine games and 16 months since Italy last won a friendly but Cesare Prandelli will be proud of the spirit the Azzurri showed to turn a two goal deficit into a draw against the much fancied Brazil.

Italy are notorious for their nonchalant attitude towards friendlies, an opportunity to test new players and tactics but no reason to arduously seek a good result, but this performance will put them in good stead for their World Cup qualifier against Malta next week.

In these non-competitive games we have become accustomed to witnessing dour contests lacking both intensity and personality, however the match in Geneva showcased two teams with World Cup winning ambitions, and both will gain confidence from proceedings.

Mario Balotelli and Neymar exchange shirts after the friendly in Switzerland.

Mario Balotelli and Neymar exchange shirts after the friendly in Switzerland.

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The Curious Case Of Bojan Krkic

10 02 2011

Some players are destined to be great. From a young age they stand out head and shoulders above their peers. Fans know they have a genius amongst their academy, and they count down the years until they see the rough diamond explode onto the first team scene. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Mario Balotelli and Neymar were hotly tipped to be superstars a few years before they even made their first team debuts; or since 13 in Neymar’s case, who apparently was subject to a €1 million bid from Real Madrid.

Bojan Krkic was the player the Culés were anticipating the most after the flattering reviews from his youth team days. Whether this fact is true is dubious, but reports state Bojan scored over 800 goals during his seven-year spell in La Masia. Forget Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez or Thiago Alcantara, this young striker whose father was an international for Serbia, was the prestigious talent who was destined for greatness.

Bojan has scored 28 goals in 154 games for Barcelona.

Bojan has scored 38 goals in 154 games for Barcelona.

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Forget Özil And Di Maria, Canales Could Be The Best Buy

15 09 2010

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had a bright idea when he was elected in 2000. He could build the best squad in the world if they followed some simple procedures. In principal the theory sounded perfect. You would spend enormous sums of money on the best footballers such as Ronaldo (€39 million), Zinedine Zidane (€75 million), David Beckham (€35 million) or Luis Figo (€45 million).

The big names would equal revenue, so television deals and merchandise would enhance because these household names would be attractive, especially in the untapped markets of American and Asia, and eventually that large transfer fee would be recouped. Finally players from the Castilla would be promoted, such as Alvaro Mejia and Francisco Pavon, meaning the beliefs of Real Madrid are installed into the team, they would not cause problems if they were not playing consistently and they would not be heavy contributors to the wage bill.

Canales Is Whetting Madrids Appetite

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