There were a couple of European squads in Confederations Cup Competitions. So, let’s look at those, plus UEFA Champions League Draw, U-21 World Cup Action, and back to the Rumour Mill!
Russia v New Zealand – The opening of the Confederations Cup, the Junior Prom of the FIFA Prom Circuit, kicked off on Saturday with a 2-0 win to ze Ruskies. New Zealand had not won in their previous nine Confederations Cup matches. So, anyone expecting a different result is clearly a coked out degenerate.
Portugal v Mexico – Portugal drew Mexico 2-2 in a battle of who can be the most CONCACAFy team in the whole fucking tournament! Wasted opportunities by both teams and a very late equalizer by old man Moreno means whoever gets a positive result against Russia will be heading to the semifinals.
Germany v Australia – Australia gave the defending World Cup Champions all they could handle. taking the Germans all the way to a 3-2 win for Deutschland. The German B-Team was up 3-1 when Tomi Juric of Australia scored, assisted by VAR (Video Assisted Referee). The first positive use of VAR in International competition confirmed the goal in the 56th minute for the Aussies. It did not matter though as the JV German squad pulled out the win. Next up for the German squad is a tussle with the other really good team in the group Chile this afternoon!
Russia v Portugal – This was a boring fucking game. I watched this one at work and almost fell asleep; that’s how boring it was. Russia could’ve booked their spot in the Semifinals with a win, but alas, it was not to be. Ronaldo scored in the eighth minute, and Portugal hung on to win. Fun Fact: Ronaldo has now scored in every single major tournament he has been a part of for Portugal. But for a few chances in the second half, Russia never really threatened the Portuguese. The defending Euro Champions now sit atop the Group with four points, tied with Mexico and level on goal differential. The Mexicans are ahead on Goals Scored after a wild match against New Zealand that saw them go down right before the half. The match ended with a flurry of yellow cards and a flurry of punches in stoppage time!
Upcoming Confederations Cup Matches
Germany v Chile – In a possible preview of the Finals for the tournament, two of the top four men’s teams in the world, per FIFA, square off for the right to win Group B and presumably host Mexico in the semifinals. The only time these two have met in recent years was way back in 2014 in a friendly prior to the World Cup. Mario Götze scored the only goal, and this is a much younger German side than the team that won the World Cup three years ago. Chile on the other hand are not fucking around and have come to win the tournament. This should be one helluva game, so if you can knock off work in the afternoon and watch it, I highly encourage it!
Mexico v Russia – With the results from Wednesday, Russia needs to beat Mexico or draw and hope that Portugal manages to lose to New Zealand to qualify for the semifinals. A fairly tough task against a Mexican side that drew 2-2 with Portugal earlier in the tournament. On the bright side, this should prep Russia for next year when their World Cup tournament will be an absolute fucking failure, and the Russian hooligans can go beat some fuckers up.
New Zealand v Portugal – Kicking off opposite the Mexico-Russia match will be this one. Portugal has all but sealed a spot in the semifinals, barring some sort of epic collapse against the already eliminated Kiwis. It’s really just a matter of whether they will be facing off against UEFA foes Germany or CONMEBOL powerhouse Chile.
Germany v Cameroon – Depending on what happens on Thursday, Germany might need a result here or they might need nothing. Either way, if the Germans need something I fully expect them to get it!
Other European Shit!
UEFA Champions League Draw for the first two rounds happened on Monday.
Some of the mediocre matches that might be interesting in mid July.
Malmö (Sweden) v Vardar (Macedonia)
FH Hafnarfjörður (Iceland) v Víkingur (Faroe Islands) or Trepça ’89 (Kosovo)
Linfield or SP La Fiorita (San Marino) v Celtic (Scotland)
This is mostly awesome because I want anyone of the Iceland-Faroe Islands-Kosovo trio into the main draw!
U-21 World Cup– Well, well, well, perhaps we are entering a Golden Generation of English soccermen. Or perhaps we are entering a world of bloated expectations leading Harry Kane to go prematurely bald and transfer to Chelsea much to everyone’s (or no one’s) chagrin. Only time will tell.
Time did tell us that the English U-20s won a World Cup, the first global tournament win since 1966 for England. England’s Freddie Woodman actually saved a fucking penalty to preserve the victory and prevent the match to going to the Ultimate English Achilles Heel (or should I say Penalty), Extra Time Pens! Dominic Solanke, formerly of Chelsea now of Liverpool, won the Golden Boot and part of England U20’s Top Three striking Liverpool (city) unit, along with Everton’s Lookman and Calvert-Lewin.
Well Cristiano Ronaldo is apparently facing a very hefty tax bill and demanded to leave Real Madrid last week. He ran that back later but still, Ronaldo doesn’t seem to want to stay with the Madrid side. However he would probably demand $180 million and that ain’t happening anytime soon.
Speaking of potential jail time, Croatian hero Luka Modrić weirdly and conveniently forgot a statement he made in the trial of Zdravko Mamić. Mamić, who is tied to Croatian gangsters, is facing corruption charges, and Modrić’s statements were part of those charges. Modrić recently took the stand and basically reneged on his statements, and now Modrić could face from six months to five years in jail for perjury. Oy vey, Modrić, maybe don’t defend a known mobster next time!
IFAB be cray!
The International Football Association Board has finally broke bad. The IFAB is made up of representatives from the four British FAs as well as representatives form FIFA. They basically make up the rules of the game, so of course it’s a cabal of white dudes and some token non-white folks. They can’t screw up soccer too much, can they? Oh wait, these are the folks who brought us VAR! Well, here’s a list of proposed rule changes:
- Two 30-minute halves, with the clock stopping for substitutions and so on. The idea is to make time-wasting impossible.
- A stadium clock that stops and starts with the ref’s watch, so we all know exactly how much time is left.
- A “clearer and more consistent definition” of handball.
- A proposal for players to be able pass to themselves at free kicks and corner kicks, including goal kicks. Essentially meaning a player can put the ball down and start dribbling.
- Not allowing rebounds on penalty kicks during games.
Now a couple of these, independent of one another, might not be the worst thing in the world, like it would actually be good to know how much time is actually left. However, the clock starting and stopping and not allowing rebounds on Penalties just seem bonkers! It might take a few years, but some of these things might actually make it to the Beautiful Game.
Puppy Rumour Mill
Per NBCSports Man City is making a move for Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Liverpool had noted to be in, but that might be mostly due to Jürgen Klopp’s familiarity with the striker. Honestly though, if it’s me, I’d rather have Dembélé or Pulisic, either for a better striker or U.S. money.
Italian Goalkeeper of the future Gianluigi Donnarumma is playing hardball with AC Milan. Apparently he needs to sign a new deal because of Italy and shit. I know a great place where Donnarumma would be much appreciated.
Liverpool have reportedly agreed to terms with AC Roma for Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah. The deal is said to be worth up to £39 million to the Italian side. He has apparently agreed to a five-year, £90,000/week contract with the Merseyside club. This Liverppol fan is very much looking forward to both Salah and Sadio Mané bombing down the wings!
Ronaldo announced he wants to leave Real Madrid because he didn’t think the club supported him enough. The President of Real Madrid has said that he is not leaving. 4 words: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City! UPDATE: Apparently now he wants to stay, make up your fucking mind, Ronaldo!
Apparently Antonio Conte is pissed at the Chelsea board for not bringing in the players he wants. Chelsea appears interested in relegated Middlesbrough winger Adama Traoré and Leicester City man Riyad Mahrez.
Word on the street is American Danny Williams is headed to recently promoted side Huddersfield Town. Williams was recently tearing up the midfield for Reading and goes to Huddersfield on a free transfer.
Finally, now that Zlatan Ibrahimović has been released by Manchester United, there have been plenty of rumours about his next place of employment. I, for one, think he should hang up his boots and become a professional fishermen, but I think Zlatan has other plans. Apparently his clothing line leaked his next move, LAFC. Wow, Manchester United to LAFC — can we talk about his fucking-stupidly-named sportswear company, A-Z?!
That’ll do it for this week. By this time next week, we’ll be balls deep in Confederations Cup Semifinals! Enjoy all the hot European action!