"Almost impossible." That's how former German international striker Oliver Bierhoff described the task his country face in trying to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
On the evidence of last week's Champions League semifinal first legs, Bierhoff is mistaken.
Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund could both capture continental glory after four-goal hauls against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, but the big winners look set to be the German national team.
A look through the starting line ups for both Bayern and Dortmund reveals an array of young, exciting, vibrant, German talent which must have national coach Joachim Low licking his lips. FULL POST
Brad Friedel has become part of the furniture in the English Premier League, spending 16 years in the division with a host of top clubs.
On Thursday, the formidable Tottenham Hotspur shotstopper made his debut for the CNN Football Club. FULL POST
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
Stan Collymore forged a reputation as a formidable English Premier League striker before building a career as one of Britain’s most recognizable football broadcasters.
On Thursday, the former Liverpool and England goalscorer made his debut for the CNN Football Club. FULL POST
This year’s Masters had its fair share of quiet periods, but in the deepening Augusta gloom it finally delivered the climax for which everyone had been hoping.
A worthy, popular winner, great sportsmanship, some phenomenal shot-making - not least Angel Cabrera’s stunning approach to the 72nd hole when he knew nothing less would extend his challenge - and a final explosion of Aussie joy as the nation’s 77-year Masters curse dropped into the 10th hole along with Adam Scott’s ball in the sudden-death playoff.
Last July, Scott’s family and friends stood, silent and stunned, some in tears, as they watched a TV behind the 18th green at the British Open. Their man had walked off the 14th with a firm grasp on the coveted claret jug, but as they stood there, was proceeding to bogey each of the final four holes, relinquishing what would have been his first major victory. FULL POST
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
The decision late last year by Augusta National to break with tradition and allow its first ever female members has been widely applauded with the general consensus being " about time too!"
Current world No.1 Tiger Woods described the news as "fantastic" while three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson said Condoleezza Rice is one of his favourite people to spend time with.
"Lefty" even played an Augusta practice round with the former U-S Secretary of State who impressed all watching by reportedly sinking a huge 40 foot putt on the very last hole!
Rice - along with South Carolina financier Darla Moore - remain the only female members at the private Augusta National Golf Club - as far as we're aware - and ahead of this year's Masters, club chairman Billy Payne described their joining as a joyous occasion adding "it's just awesome". He added he feels his club is a "beacon in the world of golf".
There's certainly no question that after years of intense focus on the club and its all-male policies –the admittance of two women is very much a step in the right direction but is it enough and will it indeed trigger other iconic venues to see the light of the Augusta beacon and follow suit?
This year's British Open championship venue Muirfield in Scotland for example still doesn't allow women members.
At a packed media press conference on Wednesday I asked Chairman Payne if he felt other clubs should now follow Augusta's lead. He responded that any such move would have to be their own decision while Mickelson declared he doesn't get involved in the "politics" of the game.
Here at Augusta fans out on the course are known as patrons. In truth, while the majority do fully agree it's high time to move on and adapt to the times, I did find a couple of female voices united in their belief that membership issues are down to each individual club.
That said, it's certainly not going to change the growing pressure of that majority to change. In addition to Muirfield - the world governing body of the game outside the USA - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at Saint Andrews - is also male only.
Since its beginning in 1754, it's simply never had a female member! After almost 260 years - and following the recent example of Augusta - is the time now right for us to even dare to dream of change?
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
After taking to the pitch for both Spain and Barcelona, Albert Ferrer knows about performing under pressure.
But how did the former full back fare when he made his debut for the CNN Football Club? FULL POST