Real Madrid Become First to Win Back to Back UEFA Champions Leagues

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most watched sporting events in the world. This year reigning champions Real Madrid returned to defend their title against Italian giants, Juventus. If you missed any of the action, here is a brief recap. Juventus looked the better team from the start, but in the 20th minute Dani Carvajal played a perfect pass to an unmarked Cristiano Ronaldo waiting at the top of the box. CR7 unleashed a shot into the bottom corner, just out of Buffon’s reach for his 104th UCL goal. Not long after Real Madrid opened the scoring, in the 27th minute, Juve’s Mario Mandzukic netted a historic bicycle kick to equalize for The Old Ladies. Minutes later Ronaldo tried to duplicate Mandzukic’s feat, but his attempt was blocked. Right at the hour mark, Casemiro’s strike was deflected off of former Real Madrid midfielder, Sami Khedira, leaving Buffon helpless and giving Real the lead. From there on Massimiliano Allegri’s men fell apart. Just 3 minutes after Casemiro’s goal, Luka Modric sent a ball into an (yet again) unmarked Ronaldo, who finished to give him a brace and Real Madrid a two goal lead. Things would only get worse for the Italian giants though. In the 84th minute, Juan Cuadrado, who had just entered as a sub for Juve accumulated a second yellow card for shoving Real’s captain, Sergio Ramos, and was sent off. In the 90th minute, one minute before the whistle blew, Marcelo cut it back for Marco Asensio to seal the game with a fourth goal for Los Blancos (Real Madrid). Real Madrid are the kings of Europe again and the first team to win back to back UEFA Champions Leages. Congratulations Real Madrid! 🙂

Ronaldo Bags Fourth Ballon d’Or

Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo who won his fourthBallon d’or this past Monday after an outstanding 2016 with both club and country, leading Portugal to their first ever major trophy in the Euro and lifting the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. CR7 scored an astounding 51 goals in 55 games in all competitions. He beat out Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann and five-time winner,  Lionel Messi for the award.

2016 Summer Transfers

The 2016 summer transfer window has officially closed. This post will inform you on all the biggest moves that occured. Paul Pogba returned to his former club, Manchester United from Juventus for a world record fee of 105 million Euros! Manchester United seemed to be the big spenders this year, also signing former Villereal center-back Eric Bailly for 38 million Euros, Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan for 42 million, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) on a free transfer! United weren’t the only big spenders in Manchester though. City bolstered their squad with names such as John Stones (55 million from Everton), Claudio Bravo (18 million from Barcelona), and Leroy Sane (50 million from Schalke), making them a formidable oppent for Jose Mourinho’s Reds (Manchester United). It will be interesting to see how both sides fare this year in the EPL. Fellow Premier League club Chelsea signed Michy Batshuayi for 39 million from Marsielle and N’Golo Kanté for 35 million from last year’s champions, Leicester. Sadio Mane (formerly at Southampton) joined Liverpool for 41 million, Granit Xhaka (formerly at Gladbach) joined Arsenal for 45 million, and Moussa Sissoko (formerly at Newcastle) joined Tottenham for 35 million. Over in Serie A, Jueventus purchased Gonzalo Higuaín from Napoli for a fee of 90 million Euros as well as Pjanic from Roma for 32 million. Mats Hummels transfered from Dortmund to their rivals, Bayern Munich for 35 million. Alvaro Morata returned to Real Madrid from Jueventus for 30 million Euros. Well, I hope that you are a little caught up on all the 2016 summer window transfers. For a more complete list click on the word transfers.

2016/17 Premier League Preview

It’s been nearly three months since the last Premier League match but the wait is almost over. This weekend marks the start of the 2016/17 season. There’s much to be excited about with new managers Pep Guardiola (managing Man City), Jose Mourinho (managing Man Utd), and Antonio Conte (managing Chelsea) providing new competition for returning managers Arsene Wenger (managing Arsenal), Claudio Ranieri (managing Leicester), Jurgen Klopp (managing Liverpool), and Mauricio Pochettino (managing Tottenham). Many clubs have not only bolstered their staff, but also their squads. Manchester United and Arsenal have made a number of big signings with teams such as Tottenham and Manchester City making a couple new editions (I will talk more in depth about the transfers in my Transfer Talk post). As always the new boys Middlesborough, Hull City, and Burnley will be interesting to watch. Well, only time will tell, but this could shape up to be one memorable season.

The Champions

Here is a list of the champions of the most popular leagues in Europe:

English Premier League- Leicester City

FA Cup- Manchester United

La Liga- Barcelona

Copa del Rey- Barcelona

UEFA Champions League- Real Madrid

UEFA Europa League- Sevilla

Serie A- Juventus

Bundesliga- Bayern Munich

Ligue 1- PSG

Portuguese Liga- Benfica

Scottish Premiership- Celtic

Congratulation to all of these teams!

Real Madrid Complete La Decima + 1

The UEFA Champions League is the most coveted title in Europe. At the beginning of the season there were 32 teams competing for the chance to lift the trophy. We are now down to the final two, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. If you missed any of the action here is a brief recap. Real Madrid exploded out of the gate, first forcing Oblak (Atletico’s keeper) to make a great kick save and then only a couple minutes later (15′) scoring from a Kroos free kick which Ramos was able to force in. Then in the 46th minute Pepe (Real) brought down Fernando Torres (Atletico) in the box. A penalty was awarded to Atletico. Antoine Griezmann stepped up and smashed it against the crossbar! Atletico were finally able to equalize in the 79th minute through Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco who had a brilliant match. Neither side was able to score before the final whistle nor in extra time. So they went to penalties. All of the first three kicks for both sides were converted. Ramos cooly finished Real’s fourth kick. Juanfran however, was unable to score for Atletico, hitting the post. Cristiano Ronaldo had a chance to win the game with his kick. He buried it, making Real Madrid the champions of Europe for the 11th time in their history.

Manchester United Lift 12th FA Cup After Triumph Over Palace

The FA Cup is the most historic competition in England. It’s a tournament like no other where clubs from the lowest divisions can sleigh EPL giants. This year’s final saw Manchester United and Crystal Palace compete to see who would have the honor of lifting the trophy. If you missed any of the action here is a brief recap. Manchester United may have been a little lucky early on not to have conceded. Conor Wickham was steaming down the touchline when Chris Smalling tripped and brought the Palace man down as well. Wickham recovered well though and went on to score. To Palace’s dismay , instead of playing the advantage Mark Clattenburg (the referee) had called a foul when Wickham fell so the goal did not count. United dominated the beginning of the second half, hitting the woodwork twice. Then in the 78th minute Jason Puncheon put Palace 1-0 up! Three minutes later United equalized through Juan Mata. The match headed into extra time. Right at the end of the first half of ET Chris Smalling was sent off! But in the 112th minute, Jesse Lingard volleyed the ball into the upper left hand corner from the top of the box giving Manchester United a 12th FA Cup title.

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