Here are just a few of my thoughts regarding issues that recently came up in the soccer world.
Neymar: The biggest (and saddest) soccer story of the week was Neymar’s incredible transfer from Barcelona to Paris SG For the unbelievable sum of 222 million Euros.
I am not sure what is more mind-numbing, the fact that Barca would ask for a transfer fee of 222 million Euros for one player, no matter how good, or the fact that PSG was willing and able to pay that ungodly sum.
I never wanted to bring politics or morality into this blog and I have long come to terms with the fact that soccer is a business.
But is there not a point where we have to say that enough is enough? Surely one does not have to be a raging leftist to know that we are entering an era where the money is having a negative influence on the game!
Soccer, the Beautiful Game was always the sport of the little guy, the people’s sport, the great social equalizer that lifted Pele, Maradona and millions of others out of poverty. I realize that that romantic era of soccer is over, but where does the greed end?
Bundesliga clubs: The German Bundesliga is a quality league, but for cultural reasons, there are rules in place that prevent its top clubs from amassing the kind of wealth that they would need to compete with the Spanish, English and now even arguably the French league. Marketing is a major factor as well.
SC Freiburg was unable to prevail against Slovenian Cup winners NK Domžale in Europa League qualifying, as they lost 2-0 in the Balkan nation after having won the first leg at home. That already cost the Bundesliga one European spot.
Another similar loss could come in Champions League qualifying, where TSG Hoffenheim was drawn against highly-favored Liverpool. Though in case of defeat, Hoffenheim would drop down to the Europa League.
Bayern Munich: To my fellow Bayern fans, I can only say calm down! Yes, the pre-season performances were awful, but the injuries and the Asia trip were problems that will solve themselves, as the season begins.