Friday football preview: round one

During the new Argentine Primera División season, I’ll have an article each Friday lunchtime on The Bubble looking forward to the highlights and lowlights from the coming weekend of football – in short, which matches you should try to set aside the time to watch (and try to get along to, if you’re in Buenos Aires) and which ones you definitely shouldn’t alter your plans for. The opening round of Primera action kicks off in two and a half hours, and you can read my first round preview by clicking here.

Posted in Andrés D'Alessandro, Belgrano de Córdoba, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Primera A, River Plate, Rosario Central | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hand Of Pod Episode 211: previewing the 2016 Primera División championship

Hand Of Pod is back for 2016, folks. Here, we preview the 2016 transitional championship, which kicks off in a few hours. Source: Episode 211: previewing the 2016 Primera División championship

Posted on by | Leave a comment

Weekly opinion: 2016 Primera preview, part 2

Last week for The Bubble, I wrote the first part of a preview of this year’s Primera championship. This week, with the top flight season starting on Friday, I’ve written the second part of that preview – picking out a few of my teams to watch (for a variety of reasons) from outside the Big Five. You can read this week’s article by clicking here.

To round up the season previews in one handy post, here’s a link to last week’s Big Five preview, and if you want, here’s a guide to the structure of this year’s championship.

Posted in Atlético Rafaela, Atlético Tucumán, Lanús, Newell's Old Boys, Primera A, Rosario Central, Season preview, Torneo de Transición, Vélez Sarsfield | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly opinion: 2016 Primera preview, part 1

In this week’s opinion piece for The Bubble, I’ve written the first part of two which will serve as a preview to the 2016 Primera División transitional championship, which kicks off at the end of next week and runs until late May. This week, I run the rule over the Big Five and the summer transfers and friendlies they’ve had. Next week, I’ll pick a few teams from the other 25 sides to keep an eye on for varying reasons. For part one of this preview, click here.

Posted in Boca Juniors, Independiente, Primera A, Racing Club, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Season preview, Torneo de Transición | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What I hate about Argentina’s Torneos de Verano

This week’s opinion piece for The Bubble was a tricky one to start writing, because there’s nothing much happening in Argentine football this week. Nothing, that is, apart from transfer sagas and the over-hyped, overblown Torneos de Verano, the summer championships. So I decided to expand on just why I wish these pre-season friendlies could be treated with a little more sense of their real importance. You can read the piece here.

Posted in Argentine football, Pre season, Torneo de Verano | Tagged , , ,

La Nación have drawn up a Best XI of Argentines whose transfers were dodgy

Yep. So many Argentines footballers have had their transfers ‘triangulated’ – i.e. have seen their registrations pass from their Argentine owners on to a club they never actually play for before moving on to their real next team – that Jonathan Calleri’s exit from Boca Juniors today has prompted one of the country’s biggest newspapers to draw up an ‘ideal XI’ of players it’s happened to. As yet, Calleri has no new club – his new owners will now find someone else to loan him out to, but right now, since a player’s registration can’t be owned by an individual but has to be in the name of a club, he’s officially a Deportivo Maldonado player, in the Uruguayan second division. This XI consists solely of players whose transfers moved through Uruguayan clubs, by the way; others, like Gonzalo Higuaín (who went from River Plate to Real Madrid via Swiss club Locarno) aren’t considered. You can read the piece (in Spanish) here.

Posted in Boca Juniors, Transfers | Tagged , , ,

Weekly opinion: does Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or make him the best ever?

In my latest weekly opinion piece for The Bubble, I predictably took a look at Lionel Messi, who won the Ballon d’Or for the World Player of the Year for the fifth time on Monday. Individual awards are a bit daft in a team sport though, in my opinion, so rather than the achievement of winning the thing itself I decided to focus on where Messi might stand in the all-time pantheon of players for European clubs, and especially how his influence compares with that of Alfredo Di Stéfano. You can read the full piece here.

Posted in Alfredo Di Stéfano, Diego Maradona, Football awards, Lionel Messi | Tagged , , , , ,

Weekly opinion: the 2016 transitional championship, and how it’ll work

My latest piece for The Bubble welcomes the new year with a look at how the Primera championship that will be held in the first half of the year is structured. Three and a half months, two groups, home-and-away clásicos and a final at the end of May to decide it all. Oh, and only one relegation. If you want all (well, most) of the detail you’ll need, click here to read it.

Posted in AFA, Argentine league, Primera A, Season preview | Tagged , ,

Carlos Sánchez is South American Footballer Of The Year for 2015

As one year begins, another has just ended, and on Thursday (that was new year’s eve, for those who aren’t keeping up), Uruguay’s El País announced the results of their annual poll to find the best players and managers in South America. Carlos Sánchez, who’s just joined Mexican side Monterrey but played all year for River Plate, won the main gong, and my thoughts on his win – and Carlos Tevez’s second place – are right here on ESPNFC.

Posted in Copa Libertadores, Football awards, Marcelo Gallardo, River Plate | Tagged , , ,

Argentine football in 2015: a review

2015 has just hours left to run (in Argentina that is; happy new year if it’s already gone where you are), and the folk at The Bubble have asked me to take a look back on the last twelve months in Argentine football, as part of their Year In Review series. Here are my key moments from the Primera, the Copa Libertadores, the AFA and the national team.

Posted in AFA, Argentine national team, Boca Juniors, Copa América, Copa Libertadores, Goal videos, Lionel Messi, Primera A, River Plate, World Cup Qualifiers | Tagged , , ,