Can Real Madrid end the Champions League hoodoo?

With the Champions League group stage underway, everyone will have an opinion on who will win this season’s competition. The usual suspects head the betting, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and defending champions Real Madrid leading the way and a handful of other potential winners among the 32 teams. It’s a great market for providing long-term…

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Ronaldinho and the eternal journey to joy

In the long annals of football, two Ronaldos stand out. The first – the original to many – was Il Fenomeno, the Brazilian striker capable of the most audacious burst of pace at his peak and some of the most clinical finishing the game has ever seen. The other Ronaldo – boasting greater statistics but perhaps a…

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Red Star Paris: the other Parisian club

Talk about football in Paris and the conversation is likely to be dominated by Paris Saint-Germain after Les Rouge-et-Bleu completed a domestic treble last season. Laurent Blanc’s side are dominating French football at the moment while making impressive strides in the Champions League; it is difficult to see the Qatar-backed juggernaut being stopped given the club’s…

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Carlo Ancelotti: a profile of success

Reggiolo is a rural cheese farming town in the heartlands of Italy’s north. Famous not only for its parmesan cheese, but a certain eyebrow-raising, world-class footballer and manager: Carlo Ancelotti. Born the son of a cheese farmer in 1959, he had an honest, traditional Italian upbringing, working the farm with his father and brother. Grown accustomed to…

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The faded but everlasting brilliance of Ronaldinho

Applause ringing around the cauldron that is the Santiago Bernabéu; all you could hear was a generous din of applause from the grateful home fans, littered with adoring whistles. The date was 19 November 2005, nearly a decade ago and perhaps the grandest and most anticipated of all grudge matches, El Clásico, had taken centre stage once…

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