Tomorrow, 8 December 2016, starts the 2016 World Cup for Clubs with the qualification game between the champions of the host country Japan and the winner of the Oceania Champions League: Kashima Antlers vs Auckland City. It will be the 13rd time the tournament is played under this name (it still had a different format in the 2000 edition though), but if we would count all World Cups on club level (known as Intercontinental Cup before) that were disputed in history, it would be edition number 56. For the rest of this blog we will consider the latter.
The 2015 winter transfer window is open and Real Madrid is – so far the only team – spending again! A very short update on an earlier post on their transfer expenditures since 2000.
With the transfers of Ødegaard and Lucas Silva, Real Madrid has now spent almost €1.5 billion on signings since 2000 (they are only €37.5M short..). Lucas Silva was the 10th Brazilian to transfer to Real Madrid in this century and Ødegaard, obviously, the youngest and first Norwegian player.
In the table below an overview of the transfers per nationality with corresponding fees:
The season is slowly – the international break made it a bit slower – progressing and we try to make some sense out of the various tables of the top European leagues. As tends to happen at the beginning of the season, we see some under- and overperformers in the competitions. At least a different performance to what our expectations were towards several teams. An often-heard and other hand sometimes forgotten flaw of the current league tables is that, with 11-13 games in, only just over half of the first competition round has been played. This obviously means that some teams have faced other rivals than their competitors. And more important, although some teams might share their league rank with another team, they might have faced tougher competition than the other team. In this post I introduce (or reapply as it has been used since 1882..) a way to distinguish the teams that gathered a high amount of points (partly) because they just faced weaker opponents so far.
In the shadow of all big transfers of last summer’s transfer window, there was Javier Hernández’ move from Manchester United to Real Madrid. Quite a big name and two big clubs, but I am sure there is a lot o football followers who still do not know Chicharito is playing at last season’s Champions League winner. But he might have woken up some people with his 2 goals against Deportivo la Coruña last weekend (20 sept). Although it concerned the 7-2 and the 8-2, his first goal for Los Merengues was a beautiful one: http://youtu.be/-Ww05EX1MZ8
From the minute that some obscure Twitter accounts brought the news of Hernández’ move my Mexican friend told me he would downgrade Madrid’s current striker Karim Benzema to the bench, arguing that Chicharito, when he finally plays, makes more goals than the French striker. Time to see the stats:
After having spent 12 years forming a new superstar team, Real Madrid won the Champions League for the tenth time in May of this year (2014). In the final, Real Madrid’s first 11 had a combined transfer value of €380.5M (*see list at the end of article) and Casillas, almost costing them the cup, was the only player to come from Madrid’s youth academy.