Apparently all it takes is a little off-field happiness to transform a player from overpaid bust back to FIFA World Player of the Year. Or so seems to be the case with Ronaldinho.
Explaining his recent resurgence (6 goals in the past 3 games), the AC Milan midfielder said, “I feel the love and so I am happy. I step onto the field happy and everything goes smoothly from there.”
Turn up the Bobby McFerrin!
The group stage draws for the Champions League are in, and barring a few exceptions, the Premiership clubs again look like the favorites to make deep runs. In case you don’t feel like doing anything strenuous (like clicking a link), here’s some of the more interesting opening round pairings:
Inter and Barcelona in in Group F
Real Madrid and AC Milan in Group C
Unirea Urziceni and VfB Stuttgart in Group G
Wait a minute…
The connection between online gambling and soccer continues to grow in prominence — damn, I really need to learn to bet on soccer — with 188Bet becoming the first two-team kit sponsor in the EPL … their brand soon to be on both Wigan and Bolton. In a two-year deal, gone is JJB Sports and Gone-ish is Reebok.
188Bet-Bolton and 188Bet-Wigan join Mansion-Tottenham and SBOBET-West Ham … making online gambling outfits the torso sponsor of 20 percent of the EPL.
PokerStars, of course, recently entered into Mexico’s Primera Division with FC Chivas, PartyBets has a Coca-Cola team with Leyton Orient, and of course the big boys, Bwin, have Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Bayern Munich. I’m almost sure I’m forgetting a few others …
188Bet, interestingly enough, is an online gambling op that currently draws 80 percent of its customers from the Asian market, and it’s just a coincidence that the new Bolton jersey image above happens to be sized at 188 pixels
Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter, and Club America will be playing an exhibition tournament six American cities this July (with several of the games preceded by international friendlies against MLS clubs:
From the NYT:
“It gives us the opportunity to really capitalize on the growing support of the game,” said Peter Kenyon, the chief executive of Chelsea. “It’s utilizing the team — on the back of broadcast — to go and support football development, soccer development, and also allow our fans, who are an ever-growing number, to come and touch the holy grail if you like.”
The teams will play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.; the Georgia Dome in Atlanta; Atlanta’s MT&T Bank Stadium; Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.; Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.; and the new Cowboys Stadium in Texas. All games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as the Spanish-language network, ESPN Deportes, and online at ESPN360.com
Thanks, Steve, for the link.
Chelsea FC, Inter, AC Milan and Club America will be coming to the U.S. this summer for a six-city exhibition tournament called the World Football Challenge. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited (and already have tickets to the July 21st Chelsea vs. Inter game at the Rose Bowl).
Here’s more on the event from SiTV.com