Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Footballers NOT going to the 2014 World Cup!

On Wednesday night the thirty-second and final remaining place for the 2014 World Cup finals in Rio was secured by Uruguay. Earlier in the day Mexico completed the formalities of defeating New Zealand and so the teams heading to Brazil were confirmed.

However some high profile teams will be missing next summer at one of the biggest sporting events in the world including the likes of Sweden, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Serbia and Denmark. Along with these missing teams there are some tremendously talented players who will also absent from footballs greatest global stage.

GK: Petr Cech - (Czech Republic)
Chelsea’s stalwart will not be adding to his 105 caps for Czech Republic this summer as Cech misses out on his second World Cup in succession. Cech played in every minute of his nation's group stage qualifying campaign but was unable to secure their place in Brazil. The Chelsea shot-stopper conceded nine goals in ten matches as his side finished third in the group. However at 31 Cech should not give up hope of featuring in Russia 2018. The giant goalkeeper remains a vital player for club and country.

RB: Lukasz Piszczek - (Poland)
Borussia Dortmund's marauding full-back (right) misses out. The Pole loves to gallop forward and is great in doing so. It's a shame we will not see this mans bursting runs forward in Brazil. Piszczek scored twice in qualifying but could not help Poland out of England’s group.

CB: Daniel Agger - (Denmark)
Denmark's leading scorer during World Cup qualifying, Agger (extreme right) was incredibly unlucky not to make the World Cup, with his side the only country to finish second in their qualifying group and miss out on a play-off spot.

CB: Branislav Ivanovic - (Serbia)
The Chelsea defender was one of only two players to take the field in every one of Serbia's matches during qualifying but his side performed poorly, missing out on a play-off place to rivals Croatia

LB: David Alaba - (Austria)
Placed in a qualifying group alongside Germany and Sweden, the Bayern Munich full-back was unable to guide Austria to their first World Cup since 1998 - although he contributed more than most, leading the goalscoring ranks with six strikes.

DM: Nemanja Matic - (Serbia)
The Benfica midfielder only returned to the international fold in September after a lengthy absence but will be missed in Brazil. Last season's Primera Liga 'Player of the Year' has established himself as one of Europe’s most impressive combative midfielders.

LM: Gareth Bale - (Wales)
Ryan Giggs, Mark Hughes and Ian Rush never managed to play in a major international tournament and the world's most expensive footballer will not feature in Rio, but the 24 year-old has time on his side. He will be focusing on helping Wales qualify for The 2016 UEFA European Championships, which will be held in France.

RM: Arda Turan - (Turkey)
Turan is one of Atletico Madrid’s prized assets, having made his move to Spain from Galatasaray in 2011. The 26-year-old is also a very influential member of the Turkey squad, creating 29 chances for his Turkish teammates in qualifying. Turan also has 13 goals in his international career to date.

AM: Marek Hamsik - (Slovakia)
Napoli midfielder Hamsik is most definitely the name that catches the eye when scanning the Slovakia squad. Hamsik has attracted a lot of attention across Europe and is another key name that will be missing out on the World Cup in 2014, after Slovakia finished well behind Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece in qualifying.

ST: Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Currently leading the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with nine goals in 12 games, Lewandowski (right) could only help his nation finish fourth in England's qualifying group.

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
The mercurial Swede, famed for his spectacular goals as well as his outrageous comments, did his bit in the play-off against Portugal, scoring twice but he could not haul a below par Swedish side to the finals.

Other noticeable absentees:

Gylfi Sigurdsson - (Iceland) Iceland's fairytale came to an end with a 2-0 play-off defeat against Croatia, which means the Tottenham midfielder will not make his debut at a World Cup finals.

Aaron Ramsey - (Wales) The Arsenal star has improved beyond recognition this season and now boast statistics to rival any midfielder in Europe. It would have been fascinating to see if Ramsey could replicate his stunning club form on the world stage in Brazil.

Christian Eriksen - (Denmark) The Denmark midfielder (right) is yet to make his mark in the Premier League this season, but he created more goalscoring chances than any other player in the Eredivisie (Dutch League) with Ajax last season.

Andriy Yarmalenko - (Ukraine) Yarmolenko can play as a winger or as a centre-forward. The 24 year-old plays his club football for Dynamo Kiev and has an excellent goal scoring record for both club and country.

Henrik Mkhitaryan - (Armenia) The Borussia Dortmund maestro has impressed in the Bundesliga this season but remains hampered at the international level by one of Europe's weaker teams. Mkhitaryan played every minute of qualifying and inspired impressive results like the 2-2 draw against Italy in Naples, but it wasn't enough.

Neven Subotić - (Serbia) Subotić has dazzled for Borussia Dortmund, but his national team didn't cut the mustard. To add to his woes it was recently confirmed he will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

Stevan Jovetic - (Montenegro)
Montenegro have risen rapidly since they gained independence in 2008 and Manchester City's £22million forward has been a key player during that time.

Matija Nastasic - (Serbia)
The third Serbian defender on this list, it is a wonder how they do not have a better defensive record, but at 20 years of age Nastasic still has plenty of time ahead of him to make it to a World Cup.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

All the latest transfer gossip across Europe!

Here is a round up of all the latest transfer gossip across Europe today!

Is your club involved?

Chelsea, Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal, Tottenham, Juventus, Inter Milan, Corinthians, Napoli, Liverpool, Hamburg, Aston Villa, West Ham, Everton, Hull, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Manchester City, Malaga, Manchester United, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Lyon, Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, FC Groningen, Valencia, Arsenal, Southampton Watford, West Brom, Barnsley and Tranmere Rovers.........are all caught up in the latest transfer news/rumours across Europe, as we speak.

Sporting Lisbon have placed a £6m price-tag on winger Diego Capel (right), 25, a target for Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham - Daily Express, The Sun and

Inter Milan are weighing up the chance to try signing 24 year-old Brazilian international Alexandre Pato from Corinthians next January, but face opposition from both Arsenal and Tottenham for the forward -

Juventus' general director Giuseppe Marotta has responded to fresh rumours by reiterating that Fernando Llorente (right) is not for sale. Reports in Italy continue to suggest that Arsenal hold an interest in the 28 yer-old Spain international and are plotting a January raid -, and 

Liverpool are reportedly preparing a January swoop for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye. The 27-year-old is thought to be valued at around £18m by the North-East club - The Northern Echo

Napoli manager Rafael Benitez is eyeing up a raid on his former club Chelsea for Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta - Daily Star and

Benitez is also planning to ask another of his ex-clubs Liverpool to open talks on a deal for 26 year-old midfielder Lucas - The Sun

Despite being offered a new Hamburg SV, Venezuelan international Tomas Rincon (25), is considering his options as he can leave as a free agent next summer. It is reported Rincon (right), who can play as a defensive midfielder or right-back is a target for Aston Villa, Hull City and West Ham - Bild (German tabloid)

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, disappointed with Joe Hart's performances, is willing to sign Argentinian goalkeeper Willy Caballero (32), a former player of his, in January. The 32 year-old is contracted to Málaga CF until 2016 -

Everton, Hull and Crystal Palace have joined Newcastle in the race for Manchester City's 22 year-old midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim - Daily Star

Manchester United are lining up Sevilla's Alberto Moreno, 21, as a replacement for left-back Patrice Evra - Daily Express

Real Sociedad's former French Under-21 international winger Antoine Griezmann (right), previously on the radar of Juventus, Tottenham, Arsenal and Olympique Lyon, is now being pursued by Manchester United, whose management are ready to make an effort to sign him in January.

Heurelho Gomes admits he is tempted to return to his native Brazil after accepting that his time at Tottenham Hotspur is up. The 32 year-old shot-stopper Gomes told Portal da Band: "I am much more open now than before as I have been in Europe for almost 10 years and I miss Brazil, my mother, brothers and friends -

Currently on a deal with Stuttgart until June 2017 and already tracked by both Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, Romanian international Alexandru Maxim (23) has been targeted by Liverpool as well. The 23 year-old atttacking midfielder is likely to leave on a full basis during next summer -

Manchester City are considering a bid for FC Groningen's Richairo Zivkovic, 17, who has been dubbed the "new Arjen Robben" - Daily Mirror

Valencia midfielder Ever Banega (right), 25, has confirmed he wants to move in the January transfer window, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton all believed to be interested in the Argentina international - Daily Express

Hull City striker Aaron McLean reveals that he would be opening to leave the club on loan should the Tigers accept an offer from a Football League outfit -

Watford have signed West Brom's 20 year-old midfielder George Thorne on loan until the new year - Daily Star

Barnsley's Jim McNulty has extended his loan deal with Tranmere Rovers until the start of January -

Friday, November 01, 2013

Babe of the Month - Reading Minsk

Anton Zingarevich is a Russian businessman best known for being the owner of Reading Football Club, who play in the English Championship. Zingarevich's bid to take over the club was announced in January 2012, and he formally purchased the club on 29 May 2012.

In 2008, Zingarevich met his future wife, a Belarusian Victoria's Secret super-model called Yekaterina Domankova, commonly called Katsia. The couple married in late 2009.

Katsia was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1990 and she earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World in 2006 which truly launched her modelling career. But that wasn't her first brush with the modeling industry. While completing homework in a café one day, she was approached by an agent from Select in London and officially began her path as a model.

But more recently, she gained notoriety by appearing in the Victoria’s Secret "What Is Sexy?" commercial alongside Erin Heatherton, Adriana Lima, Lily Aldridge, and Candice Swanepoel.

You can follow Katsia on Facebook or see more of her by visiting her website