The Real deal: Is Gareth Bale worth $120m?
Gareth Bale scored 21 Premier League goals for Spurs last season. (Getty Images)
July 31st, 2013
12:49 PM ET

The Real deal: Is Gareth Bale worth $120m?

Just wait a minute. Am I the only one who is outraged by the amount of money Real Madrid are willing to spend on Gareth Bale?

The latest reports suggest the Spanish giants are ready to splash a world record $120 million on the Welsh winger.

Surely this is too much cash for a player who has yet to win a single trophy and has only truly enjoyed one world class season with Tottenham? FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
Analysis: Martino who? Is 'El Tata' the man for Barcelona?
Gerardo Martino has never previously coached outside of South America. (Getty Images)
July 25th, 2013
04:42 PM ET

Analysis: Martino who? Is 'El Tata' the man for Barcelona?

Martino who? That’s what most football fans were thinking when Gerardo “El Tata” Martino was announced as FC Barcelona’s new manager.

The truth is the 50 year-old Argentine is practically unknown outside of South America, given he has only ever managed in his home continent.

So how did he get the job? Well, in my opinion, there were three factors which led the reigning Spanish Champions to appoint Martino: the influence of Leo Messi, the coach’s football philosophy, and the lack of other alternatives. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
Can Real Madrid reign in Spain?
Will Cristiano Ronaldo enjoy success with Real Madrid next season? (Getty Images).
July 12th, 2013
11:22 AM ET

Can Real Madrid reign in Spain?

The dust may still be settling at the Santiago Bernabeu following Jose Mourinho’s turbulent reign at Real Madrid, but a new era is already dawning at the most successful club in European football.

Real officially kick off the new season on Monday with Carlo Ancelotti taking the reins and we can be sure about one thing: there will be less acrimony with the experienced Italian manager in the dugout.

That is one of the few certainties surrounding Real right now because there are many questions which hang over the squad as the players get back to work. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
May 21st, 2013
04:06 PM ET

Pedro's POV: And this year's European champions will be ...

Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund in the first ever all-German final of the Champions League on May 25th.
Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund in the first ever all-German final of the Champions League on May 25th.

Let’s face it, if I could predict the future I would not be working as a sports journalist. Considering all the money I could make foretelling events in the coming days, weeks, months and years to come I would ideally work less than a sloth on strike. Clearly then, this is not a superpower I possess. However, though I can’t tell you exactly what will occur in this weekend’s UEFA Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, I can make an informed guess; so that is what I am going to do.

So let’s start with the score. I think Bayern will beat their Bundesliga rivals 2-1 so it will be the Bavarians celebrating their fifth European Crown when the dust settles at Wembley on Saturday night.

Bayern will win because they have been the best team in the competition: simple. They have won nine of their 12 games, have scored more goals and conceded less than any other side. They have shown they can dominate games by hogging most of the possession while also being effective as a counter-attacking team against Barcelona. This is a well-oiled machine, which plays to its strengths and seems to score at will against any opposition.

The key to Bayern’s success this season has been their wing play. Most of their attacks are conducted down both wings and they rely on deadly combinations between the full backs and wingers to create two-on-one situations around the opposition’s box. We all know Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben create goal-scoring chances, but what full backs Phillip Lahm and David Alaba have done is quite extraordinary. They combine for six assists in 12 Champions League games this season.

FULL POST

May 7th, 2013
01:32 PM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Who is the Champions League's MVP?

Which of these five players has been the 2012/13 Champions League's MVP? (Getty Images)
Which of these five players has been the 2012/13 Champions League's MVP? (Getty Images)

After 124 games and 355 goals, there are only two teams left standing in the European Champions League.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund managed to navigate their way through an intense group stage and six dramatic knock-out stage matches to reach the final, scheduled for May 25 at Wembley.

Since there is still plenty of time to look ahead to the Battle of the Bundesliga, I have decided instead this week to take a look back at what has been an exhilarating season and pick my Most Valuable Player of the competition. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
April 22nd, 2013
03:25 PM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Does responsibility come with superstar status?

Does Luis Suarez's lofty status mean he should set a better example? (Getty Images).
Does Luis Suarez's lofty status mean he should set a better example? (Getty Images).

English Premier League footballers have it pretty good. They are rich, famous and idolized by millions of fans around the world.

It would be fair to say they are reaping the rewards of all the work done by English football officials over the last 21 years in making the nation’s top flight the most marketable and profitable soccer product on the planet.

However, as the Luis Suarez case showed this past weekend, the increased money has brought increased scrutiny, and that means players need to realize they have a responsibility to act in a professional manner. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
April 16th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Do Bayern need Guardiola?

Josep Guardiola oversaw a period of domestic and European dominance for Barcelona. (Getty Images).
Josep Guardiola oversaw a period of domestic and European dominance for Barcelona. (Getty Images).

Bayern Munich have clinched the Bundesliga title in record time, reached the semifinals of the European Champions League and the German Cup, and yet they are preparing to say goodbye to manager Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

Considering how well the Bavarians have done this year, we have to ask, do they really need Pep Guardiola? I say no they don’t.

Whatever way you look at it, Bayern have had an amazing campaign. Domestically, they are on course to set new league records for victories and points. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
April 9th, 2013
06:07 PM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Is Barca's backline strong enough?

With Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano out, much is expected of Gerard Pique. (Getty Images).
With Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano out, much is expected of Gerard Pique. (Getty Images).

Carles Puyol is out. Javier Mascherano is out. All of a sudden, Barcelona have yet another defensive crisis ahead of a crucial Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain.

At a time when speculation regarding a big money move for Neymar continues to grab the headlines, is signing another forward really a priority at the Camp Nou?

Securing a top defender would be a better investment. Without one, future European campaigns could proves fruitless. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
April 2nd, 2013
11:56 AM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Tough at the top of Champions League summit

Ruud Gullit (right), this week's guest on CNN FC, won back-to-back European titles with AC Milan. (Getty Images).
Ruud Gullit (right), this week's guest on CNN FC, won back-to-back European titles with AC Milan. (Getty Images).

How tough is it to win the Champions League? So tough that since the competition's format was changed in 1991, no team has won the trophy in consecutive years.

You may know that the last club to successfully defend its title was AC Milan, and that was a side which had some world class players in its ranks. I am talking about guys like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten among others.

As I prepare to interview Gullit on the CNN FC show this week, I decided to take a closer look at all the challenges clubs face in winning the competition these days, and I will tell you what, I don’t think any club will win back-to-back titles any time soon. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
March 26th, 2013
10:52 AM ET

Pedro's Point of View: The Old Lady a Champions League dark horse?

Andrea Pirlo is key to Juventus' chances of beating Bayern Munich. (Getty Images).
Andrea Pirlo is key to Juventus' chances of beating Bayern Munich. (Getty Images).

Watch the CNN Football Club every Thursday at 1700 GMT and join the the show's social debate on Facebook and Twitter.

Everywhere I look, everyone I talk to, has Bayern Munich as the favorites in an upcoming high-profile European Champions League quarterfinal clash with Juventus.

I honestly can’t believe it. In my book, the Italian giants will not only knock the Bavarians out of the tournament, but they could go on to lift the trophy at Wembley in May.

I have said it for a while and I will say it again: Juventus may be the most underrated team in Europe. FULL POST

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
« older posts