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Rest Of Europe

Luis Suarez bites again

As the group stages of the World Cup draw to a close, all the glorious football has been overshadowed by an act of madness. Yet again Luis Suarez has found himself at the centre of a media storm and, yet again, it’s not because of his undoubtedly brilliant talent. With both Italy and Uruguay facing each other in a sudden death match to qualify for the Last 16 round, the stakes were high. At 0-0 entering the 80th minute with Uruguay attacking, Suarez reacted to a tussle in the box with Giorgio Chiellini by intentionally biting the defenders left shoulder. The Italian understandably responded by flinging his arm out which hit Suarez, sending him to floor. The PFA player of the year then comically held his teeth in pain. No action was taken. Marco Rodriguez, the Mexican referee in charge, failed to see the incident. Astonished, Chiellini showed the mark… Continue reading →

Could Belgium upset the odds?

As the World Cup in Brazil draws ever closer and attention turns to the “big” teams in the tournament, Belgium could be a force to be reckoned with.

A small country sandwiched in-between such footballing powerhouses as Germany, Netherlands and France, many fans of the sport could be forgiven for not taking the Belgian World Cup campaign seriously. Woe betide those who don’t. The Diables Rouges, or Red Devils as the national team are affectionately known, boast some of the most talented players in the world.

Back in 2006, Belgian football was in disarray. Having failed to make the final stages of the World Cup, the team dropped to 71st in the FIFA World Rankings. An all time low. The misery continued after not reaching the Euro 2008 competition and again, defeated in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Faced with falling into obscurity, the country pushed through a crop of… Continue reading →

Guus Hiddink to become next Netherlands boss

Former Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink is set to become head coach of the Netherlands after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 67 year old will replace current boss Louis van Gaal and will remain in charge until the end of Euro 2016. Current assistant coach Danny Blind will replace Hiddink after the competition.

 

Hiddink boasts a magnificent managerial career that has stretched over the last three decades. Many Premier League followers will remember him for his brief spell in charge of Chelsea, replacing Luis Felipe Scolari in February 2009. Hiddink lead Chelsea to FA Cup glory after they defeated David Moyes’ Everton 2-1 and the Blues lost only once during Hiddink’s brief tenure at the club.

 

In recent years, Hiddink has been the manager of both club and international teams. Jobs such as Russia and Turkey added to a wealth of international managerial experience that started… Continue reading →

Top goal scorer: Come get me Arsenal

Arsenal target Michy Batshuayi has admitted he wants to play for the North London side.

 

Manager Arsene Wenger has kept tabs on the Standard Liege striker for 18 months, sending scouts to numerous Jupiler League matches. Now it appears the league leaders face a fight to keep their star striker.

 

20-year-old Batshuayi is currently the top goal scorer in Belgium’s top flight. He admitted he doesn’t see his long term future at Liege though, stating his desire to play for the side he supported as a child.

“I don’t think I’ll play for Standard Liege long in the future,” he told La Tribune.

“If we qualified to Champions League, maybe I could keep playing here one more year. My preferred destinations would be England or Germany, and I’ve always been supporting Arsenal. They have got a very good philosophy for young players and I’d like to play for… Continue reading →

Zenit Snap Up Villas-Boas

Russian Premier League side Zenit St. Petersburg have appointed former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas on a two-year contract, according to the club.

Still only 36 years of age, Villas-Boas has suffered two spectacular setbacks in English football after a hugely successful period in charge of FC Porto.

He brought home the UEFA Europa League and Portuguese title in his one and only campaign at the Porto helm, prior to a move back to Chelsea where he’d previously spent time as part of Jose Mourinho’s back-room staff.

However, it all went wrong at Stamford Bridge, with high-profile clashes of personality between the young head coach and senior players causing an uneasy tension in the dressing room and some unusual results on the pitch. A round of 16, 1st leg Champions’ League defeat away to Napoli was the final straw and he paid the ultimate price for his team’s… Continue reading →

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