SportsNet - June 2013
When Brazil take the pitch on Wednesday to square off vs Mexico in the second round of the Confederations Cup, there will be more on the line than a place in the semi-finals. Both enter the match fully fit and fresh, but where does the value lie? Let's take a closer look.
In the Summer Olympics final in London, Mexico pulled off the unlikely upset and defeated Brazil 2-1. This win was preceded by another Mexico victory over Brazil just two months prior. So will the samba side view this as a grudge match?
Not according to Brazilian captain Thiago Silva.
Most players will say something along these lines in order to avoid giving the opposition any bullitin board material, but in this case there may be some truth to it.
When it comes to Brazilian football, winning is never enough. They must also win with flair and style. Yet, there is another undercurrent to this Confederations Cup run - social unrest.
The similarities between Garcia and Mata are based on their playing styles. Both can play wide or centrally and act as the creative hub in attack.
Like Mata, Garcia has a knack for playing defence-splitting passes. He is imaginative and possesses excellent technique. Garcia currently plays out wide and Mata also began his career as a winger who liked to drift inside.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger likes to move wide players into central roles. He did the same with Santi Cazorla at the start of last season and has previously played Tomas Rosicky as a schemer in the middle.
Arsenal need another flair player in midfield. Rosicky is a veteran who remains brittle. Speaking of brittle, youngster Jack Wilshere has also struggled to avoid injuries.
When the San Antonio Spurs defeated the defending champions the Miami Heat 114-104 in game 5 of the NBA finals Sunday it was a big game and a must win game. It was almost predictable who would win game five, because the only formula anyone needed to know was which team needed the game the most, and that was the San Antonio Spurs.
Neither the Miami Heat nor the San Antonio Spurs have been able to win a must win game when the must win game is the opponents. Each of the five NBA final games have unfolded with the must win team delivering the knock out punch. Now that is no longer the case, it takes two, back to back wins to secure an NBA championship title!
The Spurs were walloped by the Miami Heat in game 4, 109-93 and a loss in game 5 at home would have sent them on the road to Miami for the final two games, down 3-2 in the finals. The Spurs wanted nothing to do with that scenario and they came out playing the type of defense they faced against Miami in game 4. The Spurs were able to keep Miami from starting game 5 with the defensive and offensive aggression they ended game 4.
According to reports from The Daily Star, Manchester City are awaiting the green light in order to make an offer for Real Madrid's exciting winger Angel Di Maria.
The 25-year-old Argentina star has been scouted by Chelsea and was alleged to be following Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, but the reports since died down although The Blues are still said to be monitoring the situation. These fresh new reports surfacing on Tuesday state that new City Boss Mauel Pellegrini is waiting for Real Madrid to allow them to make an offer for Di Maria, who could potentially switch from La Liga to experience Premier League football.
Real Madrid's main target is Tottenham's Gareth Bale, if that move goes through as expected then this will certainly open the door for Di Maria to make his move away from The Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid will hope use it to recoup some of the fees spent on Bale.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will be watching closely with Mourinho having good experience working with Di Maria before and would like the pacy winger at Stamford Bridge.
As we approach the 1st July and the next transfer window, it looks like things are heating-up, with a flurry of rumours and speculation. Trying to sort out the real stories from the half-truths and outright fantasy is difficult at the best of times, but with the real transfer about to start, we are going to look at some well supported stories.
First up is Thiago Alcantra; he has been the subject of mixed messages for some time at Barcelona and now it seems that he has demanded more minutes on the field or a move away from the Catalan club. Barcelona is willing to sell as long as somebody meets the £18m buyout clause in his contract and it looks like Manchester United are that club. United have been linked with the player before and had him watched last season, so it is no surprise that they are considering a bid, especially as he fits in with the youth policy now prevalent at Old Trafford. The reason Barcelona are willing to sell is because they want to buy Mata from Chelsea. Despite him being their stand-out player last season, with 19 goals and 35 assists, Mourinho is not a fan and will listen to offers.