Tag Archive: Arturo Vidal

The most expensive man in football - but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

The most expensive man in football – but is Gareth Bale enough for Real Madrid to overturn their arch-rivals, in Spain or in Europe? (Image via faniq)

It has to be said – we are all relieved that the football season is now back in action. A lot of transfers have occurred this summer with a lot of teams willing to spend immense sums, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona (on Gareth Bale and Neymar respectively), and others choosing not to break the bank such as Manchester United.

The Armchair Pundits takes a look at the potential fortunes of the big 3 in Europe and offer predictions of who will be league champions in their respective countries.

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All hail the (nearly) invincibles

Alessandro Del Piero is Juventus’ all time leading goalscorer, and his name is synonymous with the club. He will be a free agent from this summer after nearly 20 years at the club. (Image | Wikipedia)

Forever remembered as a golden time for Italian football, 2006 saw the national side winning that year’s World Cup. But Italy’s international glory was sullied by a story much closer to home. It can be summed up in one word: calciopoli.

The scandal that rocked Italian football sent shockwaves throughout Serie A, and those tremors were felt most keenly at Juventus. The then reigning champions were stripped of their two previous league titles, and demoted to Serie B, starting the following season on -9 points. This was incredibly damaging to the Old Lady, arguably Italian football’s most famous club side. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the playing and coaching staff didn’t come to Turin to work in the second tier.

As a result there was a mass exodus.

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Spot the difference: Inter’s “Rambo” netted a hat trick against city rivals AC Milan, and has a goal scoring ratio of more than a goal per two games for Stramaccioni’s side.

A derby day hat-trick from Diego Milito downed Inter’s city neighbours Milan during the Derby della Madonnina, handing the title to Juventus in the process. Their record-setting 28th Scudetto win was confirmed as they roamed to a comfortable 2-0 victory against Cagliari, sending them four points ahead at the top of Serie A with just the one game remaining. The “Rambo” lookalike made the all-important difference in what was a pulsating game at the San Siro, netting two from the penalty spot after opening the scoring with a close range finish.

The 4-2 victory ended any hopes Milan had of retaining their league title, while Inter knew anything less than three points would run them out of contention for the final Champions League qualification spot. As it is, their chances are incredibly slim: they must beat Lazio next week and hope both Napoli and Udinese fail to pick up any points in their respective games.

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