Is German soccer in trouble? A German club hasn't won the Champions League in eight years, and success in the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) has been few and far between as well. World Soccer chats with German national-team coach Joachim Löw, who explains the need for speed at the top level, not just in the legs, but in the mind, too.
With Atlante's scoreless draw over Cruz Azul in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Tuesday, los Potros punched a ticket to the FIFA Club World Cup, where they could meet either Manchester United or Barcelona come December.
Serie A's status suffered another blow with the failure of any Italian clubs to make the last eight of this season's Champions League. Is Italian soccer on the slippery slope of irreversible decline and fall? The question inevitably asks itself in the wake of Serie A interest in the Champions League being ended by teams from the English Premier League for a second successive season.
Ordinarily, Manchester United making a trip to Craven Cottage isn't much of a story. Fulham hasn't beaten United at home in league play since 1964. But an unusually high amount of attention is focused on this weekend's encounter.
The way Francisco Marcos saw it, all he wanted was a chance. For years, the president and founder of the United Soccer Leagues felt his supposed second-tier teams deserved respect and recognition instead of banishment and obscurity. All they needed was a platform on which to perform.
Holland gave everything to Euro 2008. The team played dazzling soccer against France and world champion Italy. Pundits swooned over an updated version of total football and praised the individual skills of Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart & Co.
Five things we learned while watching Manchester United's win on penalty kicks over Chelsea (after a 1-1 tie) in Wednesday's Champions League final from our lair in Baltimore, aka Moscow-on-the-Patapsco:
After years of ups and downs, it finally seems like Inter Milan has reached its full potential. The Italian Serie A leaders have been sensational this season, and if they continue their outstanding form, there's little doubt they'll cruise to their third successive Scudetto in May.
Twelve months is a long time in soccer. In 2006, Italy demonstrated the international game's ability to triumph in adversity. A year later, the club game fought back and reasserted itself over national-team concerns.
If you suggest to AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti that his side is too old and that perhaps the club has failed to adequately strengthen itself with new signings this summer, he just smiles. In fact, as he sits at the boardroom table at Milan's lair, Milanello, he sounds very upbeat about the new season.
Trying to explain the Champions League to your typical cheesesteak-loving, MGD-swilling American sports fan is like trying to explain the infield fly rule to a Prussian aristocrat. Something gets lost in translation.
The draw for the group stage of the Champions League takes place on Thursday in Monte Carlo as the movers and shakers of European soccer congregate for their annual get-together, organized by governing body UEFA.