Uefa are considering the introduction of an NBA-style All-Star weekend as part of an ongoing consultation into the future of the Champions League and Europa League.
The competitions committee of Europe’s leading footballing body are currently looking at how to improve continental tournaments and are analysing a number of possibilities.
And sources with knowledge of the discussions have confirmed to MirrorSport that an All-Star game, to be played between two teams voted for by fans, is one proposal “on the table” but only “one of many under consideration.”
The idea could see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo line up on the same side for the first time in their careers, with the initial idea and most likely configuration pitching North vs South. The Northern European side would be made up of players plying their trade in England, Germany, Holland and Russia among others, while the South team would boast La Liga’s biggest stars as well as the best footballers in Serie A, France’s Ligue 1 and other Mediterranean nations.
Now I’m not the biggest fan of “All Star games.” Most of the players are so afraid of getting hurt that they play zero defense and it just becomes an offensive showcase. However, I also see the appeal of that. We as fans so rarely get to see certain players play together that an All Star game is the only way players like Ronaldo and Messi will ever be on the same team (as far as we know). It might seem cheesy but I know I would pay good money to see this and I’m sure other fans would. After seeing the Liverpool Charity match hosted a few weeks ago I know that this game has the potential to be both entertaining and highly desired. Get it done UEFA
The vanishing spray that was one of the main talking points of the 2014 World Cup has since begun to be widely used around the world after proving its worth during its summer showcase. Many fans can recall seeing it being used in the English Premier League games this season. However, it is currently not approved by the European Union since it is produced in Germany. According to Bild “Technischer Überwachungsverein [TÜV] said that the vanishing spray tested positive for “hormonally active” chemical compounds called parabens.” In other words they think the product may have adverse effect on all-grass playing fields. The potential for the spray to cause harm to the fields has raised concerns over Schalke 04’s upcoming UCL match.
The city of Gelsenkirchen has warned referee Carlos Velasco Carballo to not use UEFA’s vanishing spray in the Champions League match between Schalke 04 and Maribor on Tuesday night.
If the referee does use it then he could be charged up to 55 Euros. While this is a relatively small fine in the world of international soccer this issue could gain steam if its adverse effects are proven. This is something to keep an eye on.
With the close of the 2014 World Cup comes the ending of the biggest International Soccer competition until Russia in 2018. This tournament caused the biggest movement of FIFA’s rankings until the next major tournament, so these rankings should be relatively stable until CONMEBOL’s Copa America (2015/2016) or UEFA’s Euro (2016). Copa America and Euro will of course result in changes, but only for certain regional confederations, whereas the World Cup helps and/or hurts every FIFA team in the world. Let’s get into these preliminary rankings, starting with the prediction for the new top 30:
Below is a chart showing how teams entered the World Cup Finals and how the final results moved them around:
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Given that Spain, England and Italy were all bumped from the tournament in the Group Stage, Spain fared quite well only dropping to number 8. Italy and England were not so lucky, falling to 18th and 25th respectively. The impressive tournament performance by CONCACAF teams advancing to the knockout stage (Mexico, USA and Costa Rica) only allowed Costa Rica to move up from 28th to 23rd. The United States dropped from 13th to 22nd and Mexico held at 20th. Those European teams that made it out of the Group Stage did quite well, especially the Netherlands (15th to 3rd), France (17th to 6th) and Belgium (11th to 5th). Of course, these are all predictions using the FIFA Prognosis Tool (better than WebMD) and will be either blown out of the water or confirmed come Thursday when FIFA is set to release their next rankings update. IF these predictions hold true, the highest ranked team that is not a member of UEFA or CONMEBOL is…Algeria, at 19th in the world. I’ll bet nobody called that one.
Check in after FIFA releases their new rankings this Thursday for a comparison of FIFA using FIFA math and my attempt at using FIFA math.
The report includes analyses of cash flow. The report also presents, among other things: a three-year review of 1,700 head coach changes; analysis of domestic competition structures; a five-year transfer activity review; analysis on agent commissions and player contracts; the five-year evolution of wages and club revenues for over 50 countries; and attendance trends and market research on supporter levels across Europe.
I suggest you read the full article to get more analysis of the report and its findings. The link also provides download links to the entire report if you are so inclined to read it. These reports are always an interesting read because they really dive deep into the financial landscape of European soccer. It’s astounding how much analysis goes into European Club Football and this report gives everyone an inside view of a world in which many of us are stuck on the outside looking in.
In the UEFA Nations League, the 54 member associations will be divided into four groups based on coefficient rankings. These groups will then be further divided into playing pools of either three or four teams. The teams in each pool play each other home and away between September and December of the season in question, with the group winners either qualifying for the final four competitions or gaining promotion. The bottom sides face relegation from their division.
In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament. Four teams within each group, who have not already qualified for the finals, will qualify for play-offs in March 2020 with one team from each group joining the 20 teams who had qualified via the European Qualifiers.
in the eyes of many soccer fans he popular phrase “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” would seem to apply to the current system in place for UEFA qualifies/friendlies. However, UEFA seems to believe differently. Their claim for the past few years is that the system is broke. They say this because the international friendlies that litter the calendar of international soccer teams are failing to produce the revenue that UEFA deems acceptable. Euro Cup and World Cup Qualifiers draw big crowds and money because they are important games that matter to fans. Unfortunately, there are a lot of a “pointless” friendlies and exhibitions that have no direct effect on qualification for major tournaments. Therefore, these games have lower attendance and which means less money from fans and sponsors. It does not help that many European teams use these friendlies to test fringe players and thus the fans aren’t treated to the star-studded rosters they have come to expect. As a result, UEFA decided that the only way to fix this was to insure that all international fixtures in Europe are significant.
This new league will increase the amount of competitive international European games at a time when club soccer is starting to turn more and more soccer fans attention away from international soccer and more towards club soccer. More competitive games will mean more soccer to watch for us fans but what will be the negative impact? First, there is always the concern of more injuries because the players are playing more intense games. There’s also the fear that too many competitive international games will dilute the appeal of these international fixtures. However, the biggest potential threat is the concentration of international teams within separate soccer confederations. One of the best things about international friendlies is giving teams from different confederations the opportunity to play each other and compete against team they don’t normally played. The League Of Nations will make this a lot less likely and may lead to “inbreeding” of soccer styles. The inbreeding will be result of European teams developing a European style of soccer without being able to cross-pollinate their styles of soccer with ideas from international teams outside of their confederation.
However, all of this is conjecture. Big decisions like this always frighten the sports public because they broach the subject of the unknown. This new system very well could greatly hurt international soccer, or it could greatly improve it. We just don’t know, and I for one am willing to watch and see how this plays out.