Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friendlies upcoming as Bulgaria will play Japan and Kazakhstan

Today, the Bulgarian Football Union announced a friendly in Tokyo with Japan on May 30th. A June 4th friendly with Kazakhstan in Astana will follow.

The friendlies should assist Luboslav Penev's national team in its quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Bulgaria last played in the World Cup in 1998.

Currently in qualification action, Bulgaria are second with six points in Group B.

Link via Eurosport.com

South American footballers who could transfer to Italy's Serie A in summer 2013

Three footballers plying their trade in South America who could move to Serie A in the summer 2013; pure speculative post but fun nonetheless.

+ Alexander Domínguez: Goalkeeper at LDU de Quito
The 25-year-old Ecuadorian national team member has spent his entire career with the club, posting an impressive 719 minutes without conceding in 2007. Domínguez, with the club since 2006, combines physical prowess (6-5/176lbs) with strong technical abilities.

+ Christian Cruz: Defender/Midfielder at Barcelona SC
The other Ecuadorian on this list, Cruz is a versatile 20-year-old capable of playing in the back or midfield. A member of the U-20 national side, he came through the youth ranks at Barcelona with other emerging talents, Brayan de la Torre and Dennys Quiñónez.

+ Yordy Reyna: Striker at Alianza Lima
The 19-year-old Peruvian has dominated the 2013 South American Youth Championships (U-20). With five goals, and a match remaining, the Alianza Lima attacker looks primed for a move to Europe.

Video via therafa2012 YouTube Channel.

AC Milan Transfer Rumours 2013-14


A listing of all stories throughout the year linking speculative reports of players moving to and from the club.

March
+ Jordan Lukaku tracked (5 March 2013)
+ Ruffier a target? (3 March 2013)

February
+ Mangala to move to Milan? (28 February 2013)
+ Milan targets Adil Rami but Arsenal also closes in (28 February 2013)
+ Marco Verratti battle to begin (20 February 2013)
+ Milan targets Zaza? (12 February 2013)

January
+ Three South Americans who could jump to Serie A (31 January 2013).

Inter Transfer Rumours 2013-14


A listing of all stories throughout the year linking speculative reports of players moving to and from the club.

+ Inter join race for South Korea footballer (20 February 2013)
+ Pedro Obiang tracked by Juve and Inter (11 February 2013)
+ Inter after Juan Fernando Quintero? (11 February 2013)
+ Ajax ace Christian Eriksen linked to Manchester City and Inter? (6 February 2013)
+ Three South Americans who could jump to Serie A (Jan. 31, 2013).

Juventus Transfer Rumours 2013-14


A listing of all stories throughout the year linking speculative reports of players moving to and from the club.

March
+ Ruffier a target? (3 March 2013)

February
+ Domenico Berardi a target (28 February 2013)
+ Paul Pogba not for sale (27 February 2013
+ Gaston Ramirez linked (25 February 2013)
+ Marco Verratti battle to begin (20 February 2013)
+ Pedro Obiang tracked by Juve and Inter (11 February 2013)

January
+ Three South Americans who could jump to Serie A (Jan. 31, 2013)

Bangladesh appoint new national team football coach

The Bangladesh Football Federation continues the headline trail - view recent Barcelona news -- with word that Dutch coach Lodewijk de Kruif now tasked with taking Bangladesh up the FIFA rankings ladder.

It's a two-year contract for Kruif and with the national team readying for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 qualifiers (Nepal, Palestine and Northern Mariana Island), the new coach will assist with the March matches and then fully integrate this July. The Dutch coach will be joined by assistant Rene Koster.

Shirt manufacturer Olympikus launch Racing Club 2013 Home and Away Kits

Shirt manufacturer Olympikus launched the new Racing Club 2013 home and away kits recently as the historic Argentine side moves toward the return of club competition. The home shirt couples vertical white and light blue stripes whilst the away design is made up of horizontal dark blue stripes.

Check out Football Shirts News for photos.

LDU de Quito 2013/14 Umbro Home and Away Kits

Umbro unveiled two new kits for one of South America's most famous clubs, a giant in Ecuador's top flight. For 2013, LDU de Quito's home shirt is white whilst the away shirt is navy blue. Check out Football Shirts News for photos of the release campaign with the motto Rey de Copa.

Umbro unveil Cruz Azul third shirt 2013

A special ceremony in Mexico City focused on the new Cruz Azul third shirt. A classic black look to join the club's rich blue home kit as well as the white away.

Link via Umbro.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Australia names roster for international friendly with Romania in Spain on 6 February 2013

Australia and Romania square off in Spain on 6 February 2013 in international friendly action. Holger Osieck named his 19-strong Socceroo squad:

Goalkeepers:
Adam Federici (Reading)
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)

Defenders:
Robert Cornthwaite (Chunnam Dragons)
Jason Davidson (SC Heracles Almelo)
Ryan McGowan (Shandong Luneng)
Lucas Neill (Al-Wasl)
Luke Wilkshire (Dinamo Moscow)
Rhys Williams (Middlesbrough)
Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht)

Midfielders:
Mark Bresciano (Al-Gharafa)
James Holland (Austria Vienna)
Brett Holman (Aston Villa)
Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace)
Matt McKay (Changchun Yatai)
Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht)

Forwards:
Alex Brosque (Al-Ain)
Robbie Kruse (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Mathew Leckie (FSV Frankfurt)
Nikita Rukavytsya (FSV Mainz)

Kuwaiti international goalkeeper joins English side Nottingham Forest

25-year-old goalkeeper Khalid Al-Rashidi finally is heading to Nottingham Forest after patiently waiting since July 2012 when he first went on trial with the English side.

A solid performer for Al-Arabi SC over the last several campaigns, Al-Rashidi becomes the first Kuwaiti to join an English club.

"I'm looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and getting to know the Championship," Al-Rashidi remarked to the club's official website.

Tottenham to QPR pipeline to continue today?

QPR's ol' Harry Redknapp continues to wheel and deal with The Sun reporting on a smashing idea where Redknapp will bring in a Hotspur troika of David Bentley, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas on the last day of the transfer window. The trio going on loan from Tottenham until the end of the 2012-13 campaign.

Bangladesh look to bring Barcelona to country in August


Per a report via Reuters, the Bangladesh Football Federation hopes to bring La Liga giant Barcelona in for a friendly match in summer 2013, perhaps this August if financials and a suitable opponent can be located.

In 2011, Lionel Messi, the sport's most popular and talented superstar, appeared in an international friendly with his native Argentina. The 3-1 Argentine victory over Nigeria proved wildly successful for the South Asian country and now the hope appears to strike twice with Messi; this time with club and not country.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mazinho and Cléo off to Japan

Samba attacking specialists Mazinho, a 25-year-old left-footed player, and Cléo, a 27-year-old Brazilian who wanted to play for the Serbian national team, are off to the J-League.

Mazinho, on loan from Palmeiras, will join Vissel Kobe until January 2014. Cléo, who is also going out on loan to rival Kashiwa Reysol, played last year with 2012 Chinese FA Cup winner Guangzhou Evergrande.


Video via Alan Eduardo Firmino YouTube Channel.

Australia national team left back Aziz Behich off to Turkey

Socceroo left back Aziz Behich, the first ever player to take to the pitch for both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart, transferred to Turkey side Bursaspor today. The 22-year-old defender should see action in Bursaspor's home clash against Galatasaray this weekend.

Link via WAToday.com.au

Manchester City Ishmael Miller: Where are they now?

"Where are they now?" looks at the career arc of former footballers from the top clubs in Europe.

Ishmael Miller, a 25-year-old English striker who plays for Middlesbrough on loan from Nottingham Forest, played for Manchester City during the 2006-07 campaign, enjoying a total of sixteen appearances with the top-flight club.

On 15 August 2007 Miller moved to West Bromwich Albion on loan with the transfer permanent in 2008. Another loan followed where the striker spent a 93-day spell with Queens Park Rangers before moving on to Nottingham Forest on 13 August 2011.

And another season-long loan saw Miller off to Middlesbrough for 2012-13. He scored on 23 October 2012 against Hull City.

Here's footage of his goal versus Bristol City 24 November 2012.

Video via MFC Malty YouTube Channel.

A physical presence in the air standing at 6-3, Miller already enjoyed a run out in three matches for Middlesbrough thus far in 2013, with a goal scored during the 5 January FA Cup match versus Hastings United at the Riverside.

Will it be more loan moves for Miller in his future or is he safe as houses as Middlesbrough moving forward?

David Villa off to Arsenal?


Video via DavidVilla7.com YouTube Channel.

Goal.com today enters a massive transfer rumour report into the Internet speculative atmosphere as the site reports that Barcelona and Spanish national team striker David Villa and Arsenal are engaging in formal talks regarding a move to the North London side.

Arsenal's top contract negotiator Dicky Law arrived in Barcelona to oversee a transfer fee per Goal.com.

31-years-old and coming off an injury, is this run at Villa, the best possible move for the Gunners?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Portuguese Primeira Liga 26 January 2013; Benfica jumps in front of Porto

At this juncture, the 2012-13 Primeira Liga title is down to Benfica and Porto.
Both clubs are unbeaten with Benfica three points clear of Porto after a 2-1 take-down of Braga Saturday evening. Benfica claims 13 wins and three draws on the season whilst Porto notches 12 wins and three draws thus far. Proto plays on Monday against Gil Vicente, a club named for a Portuguese playwright.

Braga, the third-place side table wise, now listlessly sit 13 points behind the top-of-the-table.

Benfica saw goals from Eduardo Salvio and Lima in league action today.

Football Friendly Northern Ireland travels to Malta 6 February 2013; Michael O'Neill names squad

Northern Ireland national team manager Michael O'Neill named his 23-man squad for the 6 February 2013 friendly action at Malta to be played at the National Stadium.

Inverness striker Billy McKay, whose club form this season is nothing short of spectacular, hopes to translate SPL goals into first-team production for country.

McKay, a 24-year-old who joined Inverness for the 2011-12 campaign, notched 20 goals thus far in 2012-13 Scottish Premier League action as his club nips at the boots of top-of-the-table Celtic.


Video via Scottish Premier League YouTube Channel.

Several other footballers are looking to impress O'Neill as well as earn a debut cap in the process including: Hull defender Alex Bruce, Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson, Tranmere striker Adam McGurk and Liverpool midfielder Ryan McLaughlin.

Goalkeepers: R. Carroll (Olympiakos), A. Mannus (St Johnstone), T. Carson (Bury)

Defenders: A. Hughes (Fulham), R. McGivern (Hibernian), J. Evans (Man. United), C. Cathcart (Blackpool), G. McAuley (WBA), A. Bruce (Hull), D. Lafferty (Burnley)

Midfielders: S. Davis (captain, Southampton), O. Norwood (Huddersfield), C. Evans (Hull), N. McGinn (Aberdeen), C. Brunt (West Brom), S. Ferguson (Newcastle), R. McLaughlin (Liverpool)

Strikers: D. Shiels (Rangers), W. Grigg (Walsall), J. Ward (Derby), B. McKay (Inverness), P. McCourt (Celtic), A. McGurk (Tranmere)

Cristian Zaccardo moves to Milan in transfer action

A recent transfer deal finds 31-year-old defender Cristian Zaccardo off to Milan with former club Parma receiving two players back.

Zaccardo, who was with Parma for three-and-a-half years, travels to the San Siro now to ply his trade whilst left-back Djamel Mesbah and midfielder Rodney Strasser (loan until the end of season) are heading the other way.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani told the club's official website: “We are happy, Zaccardo is a good footballer.”

Here's video of Algerian national team member Mesbah via 860 Blake YouTube Channel.

Josip Radosevic to join Napoli as club looks to add to defensive midfield

Defensive midfielder, Josip Radosevic, is leaving Hajduk Split for Italy. The 18-year-old will join Serie A side Napoli after a three million Euro, five-year deal was completed recently. Radosevic is the youngest member of the Croatian national team that will travel to London to square off against South Korea in international friendly action.

Stimac recently named Croatian team that will face South Korea on 6 February 2013 international friendly

Croatia and South Korea face off in London on the 6th. Croatia's coach Igor Stimac named:

Goalkeepers:
+ Stipe Pletikosa (Rostov)
+ Dario Kresic (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Defenders:
+ Josip Simunic (Dinamo Zagreb)
+ Domagoj Vida (Dynamo Kiev)
+ Vedran Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow)
+ Gordon Schildenfeld (PAOK)
+ Dejan Lovren (Lyon)
+ Ivan Strinic (Dnipro)
+ Darijo Srna (Shaktar Donnetsk)
+ Mario Maloca (Hajduk)

Midfielders:
+ Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
+ Josip Radosevic (Hajduk)
+ Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla)
+ Sammir (Dinamo Zagreb)
+ Ivan Perisic (Wolfsburg)
+ Niko Kranjcar (Dinamo Kiev)
+ Mateo Kovacic(Dinamo Zagreb)
+ Arijan Ademi (Dinamo Zagreb)
+ Franko Andrijasevic (Hajduk)
+ Ognjen Vukojevic (Dinamo Kiev)

Forwards:
+ Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)
+ Eduardo da Silva (Shaktar Donnetsk)
+ Nikica Jelavic (Everton)
+ Nikola Kalinic (Dnipro)
+ Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg)
+ Mladen Petric (Fulham)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Will Roman Bezus factor in Ukraine's February 2013 international friendly versus Norway in Sevilla, Spain?

Roman Bezus, a 22-year-old striker, moved from Vorskla Poltava to Ukrainian power Dynamo Kyiv recently; with three caps for the national team, will Bezus see action against Norway on February 6th in Spain?

Check out this spectacular goal via 101greatgoalsFan2 YouTube channel.

Who will make the roster for the Wales vs. Austria international friendly in February 2013; Craig Bellamy to be included?

The Football Association of Wales and Chris Coleman, coach of the national side, will soon announce the next roster at the end of January. The Dragons play Austria in a friendly on Wednesday, February 6.

The match will be played at the Liberty Stadium home of surprising Premiership side Swansea.

37-years-ago, Wales defeated Austria 1-0 in Wrexham to move into the quarterfinals of the European Championships. In the other six meetings between the national sides, the Austrians enjoy the edge as that famous match was the only Welsh win in the series.

After the friendly, Wales moves forward with 2014 World Cup qualification with a March 22 match at Scotland followed by a return home to face a solid Croatia side. Austria hosts the Faroe Islands on March 21 and then travels to Ireland four days later.

One critical question for the Dragons will be answered shortly, will Craig Bellamy return to national team action?

Link via BBC.co.uk

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Italian national team centre back Angelo Ogbonna tracked by a number of English clubs

The 24-year-old Cassino native, a pivotal player for Torino FC in the club's return to Italy's Serie A this year, continues to see his name in speculative reports throughout the Internet. A host of super squads are linked to Ogbonna.

His club president Urbano Cairo recently noted massive interest for his star defender via a report from TribalFootball.com.

Italy next plays the Netherlands in friendly action on the 5th of February.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

International Friendly Poland versus Romania 2 February 2013

What to look for:

+ Polish national team head coach Waldemar Fornalik named a 18-man roster recently as the squad hopes to earn a victory versus Romania this February.

+ Defender Piotr Celeban will face off against colleagues as the Polish defender competes for Romanian side Vaslui. Celeban's teammate, 19-year-old midfielder Nicolae Stanciu, is looking to debut for the Romanian national team.

Prospect Watch:

+ Mariusz Stepinski, a 17-year-old attacker with the Widzew Lodz, could earn his first cap with the senior national team. One of the Ekstraklasa's brightest prospects, Stepinski appears ready for prime time.



+ Interesting to see how the Legia Warsaw midfield troika performs. Daniel Łukasik, Jakub Kosecki and Dominik Furman are all eager to earn a second cap for The White Eagles.

*Link via Poland Soccer Blog and YouTube video via ScoutingPolska channel.

Chile Downs Haiti 3-0

Football Friendlies recently previewed today's match between Chile and Haiti; the Chilean national team did not disappoint with a smooth 3-0 victory.

+ 23-year-old attacker Carlos Muñoz continued his run of top form with the opening goal. Muñoz enjoyed a massive scoring season with Colo Colo tallying 19 in 2012.

+ Check out a rundown of the match via Soccerway.com.

International Friendly Azerbaijan versus Uzbekistan 31 January 2013

What to look for:

+ Both squads are coming off impressive World Cup qualifying matches as Azerbaijan tied Northern Ireland 1-1 back in November whilst Uzbekistan took down a spirited Iraqi squad.

+ Azerbaijan's coach Berti Vogts, leader of the squad since 2008, looks to continue to run out a youthful squad from the country's home clubs; Uzbekistan also often fields a squad from within the domestic league.

Prospect Watch:

+ Shohruh Gadoev - The 21-year-old midfielder earned some recent runs out with the national team. A move outside the country could be in store if he continues to progress with club -- Nasaf Qarsi -- and country.