Pitchside Europe

  • United and Chelsea chase ‘Snow Messi’ (aged 8)

    A new Argentine wonderkid dubbed ‘the Snow Messi’ is reportedly on the radar of Manchester United and Chelsea.

    Claudio Gabriel Nancufil, aged eight, has been making waves with his incredible close control and dribbling.

    Nicknamed ‘Little Snow Messi’ because he hails from the town of Bariloche in the foothills of the Andes mountain range, the tiny trickster is being scouted by Europe’s clubs, including Premier League giants United and Chelsea.

    This video shows just why he is turning the heads of football scouts around the world – despite being a small child, he has all the tricks and an

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  • European Football Show: A World Cup without Zlatan

    Host Dave Farrar is joined by European football expert Ben Lyttleton and Eurosport's own Alex Chick for the latest edition of the European Football Show.

    The guys review Tuesday's World Cup play-offs and rue the fact that the finals in Brazil next summer will have a big Zlatan Ibrahimovic-shaped hole in them, even if the show will go on.

    However, Cristiano Ronaldo's quite awesome performance still proved that international football has the capacity to leave us in awe.

    Matt Spiro also joins the team on the line from Paris to discuss France's quite brilliant turnaround against Ukraine...

    How To

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  • Winner Stays On: Magic Morrison makes list

    In our regular weekly feature, we present five goals published on our site and you then decide which is your favourite!

    But there is a twist: in classic 'winner stays on' format, the goal with the most votes then defends the title the following week against four new efforts.

    Goalkeeper Tolo Barcelo is the reigning champ having claimed victory with his overhead kick last week and that means we have four new challengers vying for your vote.

    This week's options are:

    Reigning champion: Tolo Barcelo - UE Alcudia v Mallorca B

    An overhead kick. In the dying seconds. By a goalkeeper. Yes, this really

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  • Gibraltar’s goalless draw against Slovakia was a fitting start to the tiny enclave’s life as an official footballing nation, making it the only unbeaten national team in the world.

    A British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain, famous for its monkeys that cling to the mountainous coast, Gibraltar has long campaigned for acceptance by the world’s sporting authorities.

    Its main obstacle has been Spain, whose claim to sovereignty has recently returned to the forefront on account of some sabre-rattling at their shared border. Historically Spain has opposed Gibraltar’s applications to

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  • Why England – and Walker – must be wary of Marco Reus

    Germany coach Joachim Loew has confirmed that he will rest some key players ahead of their friendly match with England at Wembley on Tuesday.

    Loew was forced into leaving Sami Khedira out as the Real Madrid midfielder tore his knee ligaments against Italy on Friday. Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer and Mesut Ozil will not start either as Loew experiments before having to pick his World Cup 2014 squad next summer.

    The man expected to replace Arsenal’s Ozil is Borussia Dortmund playmaker, Marco Reus.

    Reus played for his country in Friday’s 1-1 draw in Italy with his team-mate Mats Hummels scoring

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  • The French media has made an unusual if low-key demand of their team ahead of tonight’s crunch play-off second leg with Ukraine.

    With France trailing 2-0 after a shock defeat in Kiev, the onus is on Didier Deschamps’ team to score goals. They were disjointed last Friday, with some feeling France employed negative tactics against Ukraine. With that in mind, a major tactical switch is in order. Karim Benzema is widely expected to be brought back into the starting XI.

    You would think this would dominate the news cycle, with France on the brink of failing to qualify for the World Cup.

    But most of

    Read More »from Euro Papers: ‘Mission (nearly) Impossible’ for disinterested France
  • Inter’s E.T. leading Serie A into brave new world

    E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial. If you were watching Sky Italia and Sport Mediaset towards the end of last week and through the weekend in Italy, you could be forgiven for thinking that they were showing Stephen Spielberg’s film on repeat. They weren’t. They were instead covering another E.T: Erick Thohir, the Indonesian media and entertainment magnate heading the consortium that announced a binding agreement to purchase a controlling 70% stake in Inter last month.

    The script felt more or less the same: an alien landing in a new world, the world of Italian football. Thohir was in town with his

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  • Just another Catalan derby…

    “It’s your first time on the north terrace,” declares an older boy. His younger companion, nervous and excited, nods.

    He’s 14 and with three mates. They’re queuing in the rain to buy tickets for the uncovered stand behind the goal. Six Euros dug out of his still dry jogging pant bottoms secures this lad’s entrance to this important rite of passage.

    As they wait, a 50-strong group of older boys marches by behind a banner saying: ‘Nastic o Mort’ (Nastic until death). Chances are these lads won’t be going to games in 10 years. Falling in love, family, as well as the inevitable growing cynicism

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  • Is Jose Mourinho right to drop Ashley Cole?

    Cesar Azpilicueta has been preferred to Ashley Cole in the Chelsea left-back spot recently but is Jose Mourinho right to promote the traditionally right-sided player into an unconventional role, or should the England centurion be brought back into reckoning?

    In dropping Juan Mata in the early stages of his Chelsea return, Mourinho has had to endure more question marks than he ever experienced during a trophy-laden first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge. Now he faces more after dropping Cole to the bench.

    When Leighton Baines lost Alexis Sanchez for Chile’s opening goal in a 2-0 win over

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  • Saido Berahino paid tribute to his father on a night in which his brace helped England Under-21s to a comprehensive win against Finland.

    The 20-year-old's father was one of the estimated 300,000 killed in the civil war that plagued Burundi, leading to him leave the capital of Bujumbura for Birmingham a decade ago.

    After the impressive Luke Shaw saw a shot parried, Berahino slotted home simply from close range and showed a shirt with 'RIP Love U Dad' scrawled on it.

    Berahino was rather harshly booked for the gesture following his 37th-minute strike - something he apologised to boss Gareth

    Read More »from Callous FIFA law sees Berahino’s tribute to late father punished