Pitchside

  • For those in attendance for Santos’ clash against local Brazilian side Juventus in 1959, the crowd were treated to what is regarded as Pele’s ‘most beautiful goal’.

    Aged 18 at the time, the Brazilian star reportedly flicked the ball over the head of two defenders before embarrassing Juventus’ goalkeeper with the same trick to nudge the ball into the back of the net.

    And what’s even more incredible is that Pele didn’t even allow the ball to bounce once as he bamboozled the opposition.

    No actual video footage exists of the goal, but we now have a digitally recreated version.

    Enjoy.

    Pele (Getty)Pele (Getty)

     

     

    Read More »from The best Pele goal you've never seen brought magically to life
  • Paco Alcacer is one of the star names in this season's impressive Valencia sidePaco Alcacer is one of the star names in this season's impressive Valencia side

    European champions Spain play in Bratislava tonight and while Vicente del Bosque's squad contains many of the experienced heads who disappointed in Brazil, he's introduced several new players with a strong Valencia influence.

    Los Che are second in the league having won five and drawn two of their league games. On Saturday, they beat champions Atletico 3-1 in a packed, sunny, happy, Mestalla. The season is young and Valencia are benefitting from no European football for only the second time this century, but the signs of an improvement under exacting new boss 'Nuno' Espirito Santo, 40, were

    Read More »from Valencia's summer revolution is being felt in Spain
  • England manager Roy Hodgson (Reuters)England manager Roy Hodgson (Reuters)

    Roy Hodgson spurned a decent opportunity when he named his squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers with San Marino and Estonia.

    While his 21-man squad contains a refreshing blend of potential and experience, the England manager should have gone further and promoted a handful of other uncapped youngsters.

    The FA could pluck a team from the Football League, shake out the non-English contingent, and field them against European minnows San Marino. They would still win a match that is a completely pointless exercise for England at Wembley on Thursday; a pointless exercise, that is, unless

    Read More »from How Roy Hodgson can atone for his missed opportunity against San Marino
  • Squawka say it is time for a changing of the guard at left-back for England, with Kieran Gibbs a superior option to Leighton Baines.

    - - -

    Kieran Gibbs has been Arsenal's first-choice left-back since Gael Clichy's departure in 2011, but he hasn't had the chance to establish himself in the England team.

    However, the 25-year-old has been called up as part of the squad to face San Marino and Estonia in the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers and he could get the chance to add to his three international caps to date.

    Ashley Cole was unquestionably the national team's best left-back for many years,

    Read More »from Why Gibbs MUST take Baines' spot for England
  • Barcelona could be kicked out of La Liga, and join the French league as a consequence of independence for Catalonia.

  • Our friends at Squawka were unimpressed with Mesut Ozil's display against Chelsea, and say Arsenal cannot afford to carry a passenger in big games.

    - - -

    After losing 2-0 to Chelsea on Sunday, Arsenal find themselves nine points behind the Blues after just seven league games. Arsene Wenger has now failed to beat Jose Mourinho in 12 attempts, and his side have struggled badly against their title rivals in recent years.

    Mesut Ozil's £42 million arrival was supposed to herald the dawn of an exciting new era for the club, demonstrating that they could now compete for the very best players in the

    Read More »from Arsenal can't afford to carry Ozil any more
  • Euro Papers: Vidal to ‘divorce’ Juve for United?

    Arturo Vidal is looking to cut ties with Juventus after they fined him £62,000 for a street fight, while Iker Casillas tells all in a candid interview.

    Arturo Vidal is looking to cut ties with Juventus after they fined him £62,000 for a street fight, while Iker Casillas tells all in a candid interview.... 

  • A record transfer fee is often described as a burden, yet for many players it is a blessing. It validates them and provides independent confirmation of how good they think or hope they are. The early impressions are that Angel Di Maria has been significantly empowered by his £59.7 million move to Old Trafford.

    It was easy to ridicule his suggestion that a move from Real Madrid to Manchester United was a step up, yet in terms of his development that’s precisely what it is. Di Maria is no longer the angel who serves Gods like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. For the first time in his career

    Read More »from The £59.7m bargain: How Di Maria transformed Man Utd
  • It's hotting up in the contest for the Premier League's most valuable player. But which player would scoop that award if just away days counted?

    Chelsea are the league's only remaining unbeaten team - so is one of their stars key, or is another big-name signing the star man so far?

    Watch the video to find out!

  • Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England October 4, 2014.Liverpool's Jordan Henderson celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England October 4, 2014.
    Sometimes players get labels that they don't deserve - "he's only good in the air" or "he's just a speed merchant."

    These labels are often unfair and can be very difficult to shake off.

    Liverpool's Jordan Henderson has often been labelled with the "midfield runner" tag but on Saturday he gave a performance that reminded people he is so much more than that.

    Brendan Rodgers decided to push Henderson a little further forward, which gave Liverpool more attacking impetus and Henderson a new lease of life. He made his name at Sunderland as a more offensive player and against West Brom on Saturday he

    Read More »from Rodgers giving Henderson freedom to excel