UEFA Issues Licensing Benchmarking Report On European Club Football.

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.

Article And Downloads: http://www.uefa.org/protecting-the-game/club-licensing-and-financial-fair-play/news/newsid=2091784.html

Nico Calabria’s Story of Defying Expectations (The One-Legged Soccer Player)

This is Powerade’s new World Cup commercial. It is about Nico Calabria, a kid born with one-leg who defied expectations in order to play soccer. He has been covered many times by many news outlets, and even has been a Top Play on Sportscenter’s Top 10. This story is incredibly inspirational, and well-done to Powerade for bringing his story to an even larger audience. Check out his Sportscenter Top Play and interview on Ellen embedded below. Also click the hyperlink to read Coca Cola’s profile of Nico which was written to support this advertisement release.



What Is Wrong With Lionel Messi?

It has become a cliche topic as of late but the idea has a lot of validity and that idea is something is wrong with Lionel Messi. Throughout his career Messi has been praised not only for his ability but for his work ethic. Several of his coaches have remarked how he has the enthusiasm of a young kid who is playing the game for fun and less so for the money and fame. This enthusiasm is evident in the way he prepares for and plays in a game. He is one of the few players who always seems to be running at top speed all game and never seems to dive in order to trick the referee into awarding him a free kick. His hard work has served him and Barcelona well as he has won numerous awards both for the team and individual awards for himself. When compared to his La Liga counter-part, Cristiano Ronaldo, he seems to represent all that is good and beautiful with soccer whereas Cristiano Ronaldo represents the arrogance and trickery of soccer. While fans are accustomed to Cristiano Ronaldo complaining to referees, diving, and sulking; they never see Lionel Messi do that and therefore hold him to a different standard.

That standard he is now held to is part of the reason that his recent lack of production and dip in performance has become so magnified. It’s not just that Messi isn’t scoring, even the best forwards suffer from streaks of profligacy, instead it’s the way he is doing it. Any fan with a discerning eye can see that something is wrong with Messi because he does not seem to have the work-rate and “edge” that has thus far defined his career. Recently he was slammed for barely running over one more mile than Pinto, the Barcelona goalkeeper. During Barcelona’s recent game against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, Lionel Messi ran 6.8 km versus Pinto’s 5.3 km. Obviously, this isolated stat does not paint the full picture, but there is a reason the media has been highlighting it. The media pointed this stat out because it illustrates what they have already noticed while watching Barcelona games of late: Messi is not trying as hard as he used to. In Wednesday’s Copa Del Rey final both teams did not perform to their best ability but Messi once again looked listless and disinterested. Gareth Bale was all over the place, and even Neymar, who has been much maligned for his lack of production this season, came close to bringing the game to overtime. Messi hung on the outside of the action during many of Barcelona’s attacks and even when he was involved there was something intrinsic missing from the way he was playing.

There are several cases to be made as to why Lionel Messi is not playing up to his usual standard, such as him playing out on the wing which means he is involved less in the attack compared to when he has typically in the center of the attack. It’s true that playing out wide isn’t his natural position but a player of Messi’s caliber should still be able to adjust. Gareth Bale has been forced to adjust multiple times during his career and his work-rate and production have not suffered as greatly as Messi’s has during his recent streak. There is more to this argument and plenty of stats that could be analyzed but the naked-eye test is all that is needed to see something is wrong with Messi. This is not to say, that Messi is a detriment to his team, because he has scored 38 goals in 41 games in all competitions for Barcelona this season. In fact, Messi even at his worst is better than most players best. Unfortunately for Messi, his excellent play has created a barometer of success he is expected to consistently reach. This is evidenced by the large amount of criticism he received during the early part of his career for his sub-par performances when he played for Argentina.

Lionel Messi is a great player and he is allowed to go through a slump. Anyone who has watched him play know that this is not a sign of a permanent drop in play. That being said great players such as Messi do not suffer these obvious drops in play unless there is a reason. It could be the result of an injury, either a new one or the reemergence of an old one. He could be dissatisfied with the inner politics of the organization, the coach, or even tactics. Whatever it is that is affecting Messi, it is deprecating the intangibles that have made him such a wonderful talent to watch. Hopefully, it is a sign of a small problem and not something larger that could affect his World Cup performance. Something is wrong with Messi and it needs to be fixed.






American Futbol Movie- Two American Soccer Fans Document Their Journey To World Cup 2014

American Fútbol is a documentary project chronicling the journey of two American soccer fans looking to uncover the future of the American game, likely to feature a distinct Latin flavor.

These guys are enjoying what many of us soccer fans wish we could enjoy; the freedom to explore and interact with the beautiful world of soccer. They will travel from “the States through South and Central America along the Pan American Highway on their way to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.” What an idea! This has the potential to be a very intriguing documentary and I have confidence that these documentary makers will do an excellent job. It could be on par with Pelada, which I believe to be one of the best soccer documentaries ever made. The video above explains their project and please visit the link below to visit their blog and learn more about the project and how to donate.


André Rieu – You’ll Never Walk Alone

In honor of Liverpool’s run at the EPL title here isa fantastic cover of the song that epitomizes the “Liverpool Way.” (See? We can get cultured here at The93rdMinute.)

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid
Of the dark

At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song
Of a lark

Walk on, through the wind
Walk on, through the rain
For your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone