One of the biggest upset in recent memory has to be Ajax’s 2-1 win over Juventus in the 2018/2019 Champions League quarterfinals.
Having beaten defending champions Real Madrid in the last round, most people thought that the Dutch men had overachieved and would definitely be eliminated by Juventus in the quarterfinals.
One reason why so many people didn’t give Ajax a chance is because Juve had spent £100 million on the signing of ‘Mr Champions League’ Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer and he should be able to help them finally win the Champions League, so they thought.
The Dutch side entered this season’s Champions League as outsiders but they made their mark quickly as they qualified from their group only behind Bayern Munich and have now reached the Champions League semifinals.
Ajax have made themselves favourites for www.oddsusa.com soccer bettors now as they seem full of confidence and it seems like any team that dares to underrate them would do so at their peril.
Youngsters all over
Frenkie the Jong ran the show when they played Juventus in the first leg, he is 19. David Neres scored their equalizing goal in that game, the Brazilian is 22 years old, while Matthijs de Ligt who scored the winning goal against Juventus is just 19 years of age as well.
These youngsters were plucked away by Ajax from very young ages and they have been groomed to become stars of the game.
It is a well-established fact that Ajax is a soccer factory that produces some of the global superstars who they usually sell to the world’s biggest teams.
Apart from being the club with some of the world’s best youngsters, Ajax has now become the favourite team to bet on for many bettors.
Their sweet attacking football makes them favourites to win almost every game and since they hit their stride, they have just been getting better with every game.
They have been involved in over 1.5 goals scored in more than 90 percent of their matches. Having scored over 100 goals in just 30 league games, most bettors would stake on their games to end in over 2.5 goals.
They are on course to win the Dutch league title as well as the Champions League and if they achieve any of this it would be with an average of age 24 years.
Every 4 years, football lovers are excited about the World Cup tournament. World Cup is no doubt real the best tournament ever, attracting millions of people all around the world. The article lists some interesting things you may not know about this incredible tournament.
The history of the World Cup
The World Cup was held for the first time in 1930 by FIFA- the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Football had existed for a long time before the year 1930. The match between Scotland and England marked the first international football match in the world. Since then, football had stretched all around the world and gained love from a huge amount of people.
In the 1932 Summer Olympics in the United States, football did not appear in the list of sports, which led to FIFA’s decision about holding their own football tournament. Uruguay was chosen as the host country for this first tournament.
First FIFA World Cup was held in Centenario Stadium in Montevideo city. There were only 13 nations taking part in this tournament, including four nations from Europe, two nations from North America and seven nations coming from South America.
Reasons why the World Cup is held every four years
World Cup is obviously the most attractive tournament in the world. So there must be some reasons why FIFA decided to take it every four years instead of two years, three years or every year. The answer is more simple than what you have in your mind.
In the past, IOC, the organization which holds the Olympic event, had tried to hold it every two years. However, they failed from their first time in 1906. After some discussions, they all agreed that 4-years coming up as the best gap to hold this football tournament.
In addition, as the FIFA World Cup started in 1930 when transportation did not develop strongly like what it does today, it was hard for footballers to travel around the world for the annual tournament. This is the reason why there were 13 countries joining the first World Cup tournament in 1930. In fact, four countries from Europe participated and others chose to stay at home because of this geographical barrier.
Hosting a World Cup tournament is not an easy task. Source: AboutBrasil
On the other hand, footballers really need time to relax and recover (if they have any injuries during the tournament). As football is sports with many activities, footballers can potentially get the injury. In some serious case, they have to stop playing for a particular period of time to receive treatment. The gap four years may be an ideal period for them to fully recover but not making their fans to wait too long.
From the view of the host country, World Cup would be an incredible chance to introduce more about the country, culture, splendid sights,…Thus, the host country can attract more foreign tourists, contributing greatly to the development of tourism industry.
However, the story is not that simple. The host country has to ensure its infrastructure to welcome about five million or even more football fans. Brazil, the host of World Cup 2014, spent about $4 billion in their 12 stadiums upgrading. The amount of money is even three times bigger for Russia to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Their $12 billion to prepare everything needed for this football tournament really shocked the whole world.
Lastly, the four-year period seems to be a perfect time for the football fans to wait for their favourite footballers’ performance. Letting them wait instead of holding this football tournament every year or every two years is actually reasonable and smart.
Are the winners “home teams”?
It is not random that in many football tournaments, the winners are the home teams. This is what many people, especially the football lovers, often complain about. The host nations not only gain huge economic benefits but their home teams seem to receive preferential treatments no matter how their performances are.
There are six home teams who are also the winners: Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), England (1966), Germany (1974), Argentina (1978), France (1998). In four years, including 1930, 1950, 1962 and 1978, when the FIFA World Cup was held in South America, all the teams won came from South America.
This may be just a coincidence. Of course, we cannot deny the fact that all many teams are talented, but these coincidences really raise doubts about the preferential treatments. Why people around the world all perceive football as the king of sports? The reason is its tremendous spirit that no other sports have. And damaging this spirit, of course, makes football fans angry.
Is there a nation competing in every World Cup?
Brazil competes in every World Cup tournament. Source: BongDaF
The answer is Brazil. Brazil is the only country in the world to participate in every FIFA World Cup. Brazil now leads the world with its five wins. Before building this excellent reputation, Brazil team had faced a hard time when they lose Uruguay in a knockout match in the 1950 World Cup.
That Uruguay won 2-1 was really a shock, not only for Brazil citizens but also for football fans all around the world. The president of FIFA, Jules Rimet, had thought that Brazil would be the winner and only prepared his speech in Portuguese, Brazil’s most popular language. Brazil now ranks first in the soccer World Cup titles won by the country with their five winning tournaments, including 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002.
The Queen of World Cup songs
Football and music have a close relationship. World Cup songs often are sung by famous singers and they receive love from people all around the world, even they are not football fans. These songs inspire both footballers and football fans greatly with their meaningful lyrics and an amazing beat.
Shakira is the Queen of World Cup theme song. Source: YouTube
One of the most successful World Cup songs is “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)” which is the combination between Colombian singer Shakira and South African band Freshlyground. Released in 7th May 2010, the song was chosen as the official song of FIFA World Cup 2010.
This pop song encourages people to purchase their goals and fight for them like a soldier. At the moment, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) has got more than two billion views on Shakia’s official Youtube channel with more than 8,3 million likes. More than just an anthem, Waka Waka also ranked 38 on the Billboard 100. Shakira, therefore, is called as the Queen of World Cup by Billboard.
Shakira also sang the 2014 World Cup theme song “La La La” feat Carlinhos Brown. The collaboration of pop and Brazilian funk has gotten love and support not only from football fans but also from music lovers.
At the moment, the song has gotten more than 1 billion views and 4.3 million likes. “I dare you” appears at the very first second of the song, making the whole song like an encouragement. Another reason for the popularity of this song, besides the incredible beat and lyrics, is the appearance of most famous football players, such as Messi, James Rodríguez, Neymar, Sergio Agüero, Eric Abidal, Cesc Fàbregas, Radamel Falcao, Shakira’s boyfriend Gerard Piqué.
The football world is more than what in your mind. The most beautiful performances are not the only incredible things about this fascinating world. There are hundreds of things in this football world waiting for you to discover.
Former Arsenal star, Samir Nasri is set to make a stunning return to the Premier according to reports. The attacker was banned for doping-related offences earlier this year and his ban is set to expire from January 1.
However, he can begin to train with a potential suitor from this month, and it appears that West Ham are ready to offer him a chance to revive his career.
He won the Premier with Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City in 2014 and the duo are set to be reunited at the London Stadium.
Reports from Talksport claims that the Irons have offered the midfielder a trial and he is set to start training with them pending when the January transfer window reopens and he would sign on permanently.
Pellegrini is looking to turn ambitious West Ham into a top 8 team and would need the help of as many experienced player as he can get.
Nasri was offloaded by Pep Guardiola in 2016 after the Catalan became tired of his weight and attitude and the Hammers would hope that it has improved since that time.
Arsenal are facing a major hurdle in their bid to sign AS Roma striker, Patrik Schick as a replacement for Danny Welbeck. The England attacker suffered a major injury in their game against Sporting Lisbon and has undergone surgery, however, the Gunners currently do not know how long he would be sidelined, so they are pursuing a deal for Schick.
The 22 years old Czech Republic international is currently out of favour at Roma and wants regular first team football. He was scouted by the Gunners before he joined Roma from Sampdoria last summer but decided to move to Rome instead.
A move for Schick would be a struggle to pull off for the Gunners according to Italian media. They opine that the attacker wants regular first-team football, but Unai Emery cannot guarantee him that.
Sevilla and Crystal Palace are two other teams who want to take him on as well. The Spaniards and the Eagles have promised him first-team football, and he may decide to go to Seville instead as he would be playing in Europe there.
With the next transfer window just two months away, clubs have begun making plans and one team we all feel should be making plans to add to their line up is Tottenham.
The Lilywhites became the first team not to add a single to their roaster in a transfer window last summer, and they would make do with some new players when the winter transfer window opens.
Reports on Talksport claims that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are set to sign Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez, but they face competition from Borussia Dortmund.
Gomez was a star for Uruguay at the last World Cup and he has continued his fine form for the Spanish side this season.
He has formed a good partnership with former Liverpool flop, Iago Aspas and has either been scoring or providing an assist this season.
Harry Kane is the undisputed first-choice attacker for Spurs, but Pochettino wants a backup for the England man. Borussia Dortmund believe that the prospect of playing more regularly would convince Gomez to join them instead.
The Bundesliga has entered the 10th week, while there is still time for almost any team to win the competition, Borussia Dortmund doesn’t look like they would be relinquishing the top spot soon enough. Here are our review of Matchday 10 games.
VfB Stuttgart 0 vs 3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Stuttgart continued their poor start to the season as they were well beaten at home by German Cup holders, Eintracht Frankfurt two first-half goals gave the lead, and while Stuttgart looked like getting back into the game, they were killed off by an 89th-minute strike from Nicolai Muller.
Bayer 1 vs 4 Hoffenheim
This was one of the most impressive results of the weekend as Hoffenheim visited Bayer Leverkusen in one of the most anticipated games of the weekend. The visitors took the lead through Arsenal loanee, Neilson on the 19th minutes, however, the home side pegged them back on the 30th minute. Hoffenheim restored their lead on the 34th minute before 2 further goals put the game beyond the home team.
Schalke 04 3 vs 1 Hannover 96
Schalke 04 prepared for their Champions League clash in midweek with a routine 3-1 win over Hannover 96. Nabil Bentaleb gave them the lead from the penalty spot, but they were pegged back by Hanover on the 70th minute before Breel Embolo restored their lead in 71st minute, then Mark Uth wrapped up the points on the 85th minute.
Bayern Munich 1 vs 1 Sc Freiburg
Defending Champions Bayern Munich continue to struggle this season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Freiburg. They were made to work hard until the 80th minute before they took the lead through Serge Gnabry, but they were pegged back by the visitors again on the 89th minute. Niko Kovac’s men are now 3rd on the league table, 4 points behind Borussia Dortmund.
Wolfsburg 0 vs 1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund were not on their attacking best at the weekend, but they still managed to secure a 1-0 away win over Wolfsburg. That result has helped them consolidate their position at the top of the league table as 4 points separate them from the rests now.
Augsburg 2 vs 2 Nurnberg
Nurnberg came from behind twice to earn a point away at Augsburg this weekend. The home team had taken the lead on the 11th minute, but they were pegged back on the 54th minute. They took the lead 5 minutes after and looked like earning all three points, but Lukas Muhl scored an 88-minute equalizer for the visitors to ensure that the spoils are shared.
Hertha Berlin 0 vs 3 RB Leipzig
After beating Bayern Munich and earning a point against Borussia Dortmund, many expected Hertha Berlin to get a home win in this game, but Leipzig showed them that they are one of the best teams in Germany. A brace of goals either half from Timo Werner and the other from Matheus Cunha was enough to help Leipzig see off Berlin.
Borussia Monchengladbach 3 vs 0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Three second-half goals helped Monchengladbach beat their newly promoted visitors in this game. The visitors had held firm for the entire first half, but Monchengladbach came into the second half with more determination to break them down, and it paid off. The visitors are now second from bottom, and level on points with VfB Stuttgart.
Mainz 2 vs 1 Werder Bremen
Mainz edge out Bremen in the last game of Matchday 10 in Germany. One goal in each half gave them a 2-0 lead before former Chelsea striker, Claudio Pizarro scored what turned out to be just a consolation goal in the 78th minute for Bremen.
Manchester United are on the verge of losing David de Gea on a free transfer next summer as the Spaniard continues to fail to give assurances over his future.
De Gea has under a year left on his current deal and although the club has the option of extending it by another year, the Spaniard seems to be on his way out of Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho has voiced his concern over the fact that the former Atletico Madrid stopper could be on his way out of Old Trafford in the nearest future, and that could become a self-fulfiling prophesy.
According to reports, Juventus have begun works underground to bring De Gea to the Serie A when his Manchester United contract expires.
The Italians have developed a reputation for snapping some of the world’s best players on a free transfer and want to make De Gea their next big catch.
When asked to give assurances about his future, De Gea said:
“What matters is the team and all of us being focused on what we need to focus on.
“[That] is winning games, rather than contracts or any topics that can be a distraction.
“What matters is focusing on football.
“We have an important game against Everton and we have some big fixtures over the coming months.
“I think that’s what matters, rather than thinking about anything else.”
Barcelona flop, Malcom could be on his way to the Premier in the next transfer window as he continues to remain in the wilderness at Barcelona.
The Brazilian joined Barca from Bourdeaux last summer in a twisted transfer saga after the Spaniard’s spectacularly hijacked his move to AS Roma at the last minute, however, he seems not to have been bought after consultation from Valverde and the Spanish manager has no place for him in his current team.
Tottenham who made no signings last summer are preparing to make some additions to their team in the next transfer window as they look to ensure that they don’t fall off the pace with their fellow title contenders.
Sun Sport reveals that the Lilywhites have been told that they would have to pay more than the £37 million Barcelona paid to sign him last summer. Per the reports, the Lilywhites are ready to splash the cash and Pochettino has given the go-ahead for a £50 million bid for the 21 years old.
If he does move to the Premier League he would become yet another exciting Brazilian to join the English top flight after the likes of Lucas Moura, Bernard, and Richarlison.
Manchester City are on the verge of losing another of their promising youngster as he reaches the final few months of his current contract.
The Cityzens lost Jordan Sancho last summer after he decided to try his luck in Germany with Borussia Dortmund rather than remain on the periphery of Pep Guardiola’s squad. His bold gamble has paid off and he has become an important first team member of Dortmund this season.
Another promising youngster who has been impressing for the Cityzen’s youth teams is Phil Foden and the England teenager seems to be considering a move abroad of his own.
Foden has played less than 50 minutes of Premier League football despite always impressing, and several top European sides have begun to consider moving for him.
According to Sun Sports, Juventus are leading the race for the talented midfielder. He has just under a year left on his current deal, and moving to the Old Ladies without signing a new contract could see the Italians pay just £175,000.
Manchester City are desperate to keep hold of him, but he would have to decide if he wants to go somewhere else so he can play or if he wants to remain a reserve team player at Manchester City.
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