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Power Rankings: Champions League winners Liverpool end season on top

Tue, 4 Jun 2019 09:19:00 GMT

After Liverpool's first UCL title since 2005, the FC crew discuss their silverware prospects going forward with a number of players in their prime. Shaka Hislop explains how Alisson's presence in goal and saves in key moments have been an invaluable asset for Liverpool this season. In a reversal of the Premier League standings, European champions Liverpool came out on top against Manchester City. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Champions League, Europa League success for Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs shows power of 'London effect'

Mon, 27 May 2019 11:52:58 GMT

Tottenham's new stadium, in a drab part of outer/north London, is a thing of wonder. Automatic taps that fill the glasses from beneath can deliver 10,000 pints a minute, everything is cash-free and the South Stand alone can seat 17,500 people: more than Bournemouth's entire stadium. The new White Hart Lane also symbolizes a shift in soccer power: for the first time ever, the British capital is becoming a capital of the European game. It's no accident that London has produced three of this season's...

Lionel Messi beats Kylian Mbappe to season-long Player Power Rankings crown

Mon, 27 May 2019 08:06:24 GMT

We kicked off the 2018-19 Player Power Rankings campaign nine long months ago, with some famous faces coming in and out of our top 10 all season, and some surprise entrants making their presences felt. With the domestic calendars now all wrapped up, we looked back on a season's worth of Player Power Rankings to bring you our year-end top 10. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Frenkie De Jong is joining Barcelona but it's nothing he can't handle

Tue, 21 May 2019 10:13:00 GMT

With Barcelona's coup for Frenkie de Jong complete, check out what the budding Dutch star brings to the Camp Nou. Frenkie De Jong receives a back-pass standing still in the Ajax half. Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric charge at him, but the Dutch playmaker, who seems to have all the time in the world, turns full circle and then accelerates away, leaving Modric chasing helplessly behind him. Vinicius, who has missed him by meters, falls over. The scene is a thing of beauty, like Charlie Chaplin escaping a posse of cops. Ajax won 4-1 in the Bernabeu on March 5. There are supposedly no secrets...

Alaba's title-winning showing tops Player Power Rankings ahead of Sterling

Mon, 20 May 2019 09:59:00 GMT

Following a fairy tale ending to their Bayern Munich careers, ESPN FC's Steve Nicol chimes on the departing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. ESPN FC's Craig Burley can't hold in his excitement after watching Manchester City's dominant FA Cup victory over Watford. David Alaba excelled in Bayern's title-winning victory, while Raheem Sterling's performance in Man City's FA Cup triumph fell short with our panel. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Jean-Paul Boetius (Mainz). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Liverpool and Tottenham continue to lead the way

Thu, 16 May 2019 06:16:00 GMT

ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains why Liverpool shouldn't be considered failures after they came up short in the title race. Craig Burley says Manchester City justified his past declaration that they're the best team in club football after they edged Liverpool to the title. Relive the best moments of a title race for the ages, as Man City edged Liverpool to the Premier League title, winning by a single point. The Champions League finalists still set the standard, while newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City have moved up. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: None Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Premier League way-too-early 2019-20 predictions

Mon, 13 May 2019 01:06:00 GMT

Craig Burley makes his very premature prediction of Premier League's top six next season one day after Manchester City secured the 2018-19 title. Man City were only crowned 2018-19 Premier League champions yesterday, but it is never to early to start looking ahead to next season. Will City repeat? Which club will surprise? Who is in trouble? And finally which top-six club is headed for a transition season? Nick Ames takes a way too early peak at the 2019-20 campaign and makes a few projections regarding the next edition of the Premier League. - When are the Premier League fixtures published? - When does the transfer window open? Manchester...

Mane tops Player Power Rankings as Silva, Mahrez split Man City vote

Mon, 13 May 2019 10:20:00 GMT

ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains why Liverpool shouldn't be considered failures after they came up short in the title race. Steve Nicol shares his candid thoughts on Liverpool's second place finish, as their 97 points set a record for the most ever by the runners-up. Relive the best moments of a title race for the ages, as Man City edged Liverpool to the Premier League title, winning by a single point. ESPN FC's Steve Nicol praises Manchester City's mentality and defensive superiority during their run-in to a second straight Premier league title. Sadio Mane earned a share of the Golden Boot to top the Player Power Rankings, as our allegiances were split between a pair of Man City champions. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Has the USL found the way forward in soccer's concussion problem?

Mon, 13 May 2019 08:18:00 GMT

Jan Vertonghen's injury was the latest flash point to call attention to football's treatment of head injuries. The issue of head injuries in soccer -- and how to diagnose them -- has received more attention in recent weeks. The handling of an incident involving Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen, who returned to the field in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Ajax after suffering a head injury, was criticized in some quarters after the player nearly collapsed shortly after being cleared for play. Now, a league is prepared to take the on-field diagnosis of head injuries to...

Power Rankings: Liverpool leapfrog Barcelona into lead, Tottenham second

Thu, 9 May 2019 03:14:00 GMT

Steve Nicol says he feels guilty for doubting Liverpool could pull off a comeback against Barcelona and reach the Champions League final. Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop examine where things went wrong for Ajax, pointing out the instances in which their inexperience cost them against Tottenham. ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop weighs up who will stay and who will go at Barcelona following their UEFA Champions League exit against Liverpool. Sensational comebacks are reflected at the top of Shaka's latest Top 10, which is led by the participants in an all-English Champions League final. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Atletico Madrid Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Santi Mina beats Charles Aranguiz, Timo Werner to Player Power Rankings summit

Mon, 6 May 2019 12:07:00 GMT

After Chelsea guaranteed themselves Champions League football with a win over Watford, the FC crew examine the overall success of their season. Scoring twice and adding a pair of assists as your side desperately chases a Champions League place is reason enough to top Player Power Rankings. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Rafa Silva (Benfica), Tiquinho Soares (Porto). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Barcelona continue to lead; Liverpool, Spurs drop

Thu, 2 May 2019 02:25:00 GMT

Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings are back and while a few familiar faces are near the top, Premier League clubs may have fallen down the ranks. Gab Marcotti was more impressed with Ajax's maturity and ability to manage a 1-0 result away from home than with their attacking prowess. The newly-crowned Spanish champions are still No. 1, but there is movement below as two English clubs drop and Ajax climb again. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Sol Campbell starred for Arsenal and Spurs. Now he's a first-time manager leading Macclesfield's survival bid

Wed, 1 May 2019 10:46:00 GMT

Sol Campbell, 44, interviewed for several management jobs in the past but finally found a fit and a challenge in League Two. MACCLESFIELD, England -- Nestling on the edge of the beautiful Peak District National Park, 20 miles south of Manchester, is the town that produced England's robot-dancing, 6-foot-7 striker Peter Crouch, Joy Division's Ian Curtis, New Order's Stephen Morris and double Olympic gold medal-winning sailor, Ben Ainslie. Macclesfield is one of the 30 wealthiest boroughs in Britain thanks to nearby villages populated by Manchester United and City footballers and former managers including Sir Alex Ferguson,...

Salah beats Caligiuri, Vardy to top spot in Player Power Rankings

Mon, 29 Apr 2019 10:08:00 GMT

Mohamed Salah scored twice and added an assist in a win that kept Liverpool's title hopes alive to top Player Power Rankings. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Diogo Jota (Wolves), Adri Embarba (Rayo Vallecano), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Clement Grenier (Stade Rennais), Pizzi (Benfica), Nabil Fekir (Lyon). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Barcelona hold firm at No. 1, Liverpool second

Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:20:00 GMT

Barcelona are chasing a treble, and two wins last week mean they stay atop Shaka Hislop's Top 10. At the other end, there are three new entries. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Arsenal, Chelsea, Istanbul Basaksehir Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

The bad boys of soccer: Sergio Ramos, Luis Suarez, Neymar lead the way as players you love to hate

Tue, 23 Apr 2019 06:20:00 GMT

Soccer's best villains match their dastardly deeds with their all-world talent to produce the ultimate in bad boy brilliance. Soccer is the beautiful game. When played the "right way," it is a pure experience. Nice passing patterns, soft touches, artistic flourishes. But enough of all that. Remember the time Zlatan Ibrahimovic said that the Barcelona dressing room was like a classroom full of preppy schoolboys? Nobody wants that. Soccer needs villainy. The game's best side is its dark side. As The Joker said: "I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve." - Football's dark arts: Your guide - ESPN FC 100: Who...

Karim Benzema leads trio of hat trick heroes in Player Power Rankings

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 09:37:00 GMT

A trio of hat-trick heroes made their way on to our top 10 list, but Karim Benzema's stood out in Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Our global editors pick their top 10 performers from the weekend. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Also receiving votes: Ishak Belfodil (TSG Hoffenheim), Carlos Bacca (Villarreal). Let us know what you think of the countdown by commenting on Twitter using #ESPNFCrankings.

Power Rankings: Barcelona, Liverpool remain on top; Ajax climb, Juventus fall

Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:05:00 GMT

The Champions League semifinalists occupy the top four spots, while Juve's bad week is reflected by their tumble. Plus, Arsenal and Chelsea are in! (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.

Virgil van Dijk is the best player in the Premier League: how the Dutch defender became Liverpool's leader

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 07:13:49 GMT

In his teens, Virgil van Dijk worked part time washing dishes in a small-town restaurant. Nobody at Willem II, his mid-table Dutch club, saw much future in him. He was a well-liked but occasionally difficult kid -- "a real little rat," according to his youth coach, Robby Hendriks. Willem II wasn't even planning to offer him a professional contract. Fast-forward to 2019, and this spring, Van Dijk, 27, is expected to win both of England's Footballer of the Year awards. One is voted for by his...

Power Rankings: Barcelona No. 1; Liverpool, Juventus climb; Man City drop

Thu, 11 Apr 2019 01:53:00 GMT

Shaka Hislop presents his weekly Power Rankings where Premier League sides have taken control of the top five, but will any claim top spot? Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview that he wants Lionel Messi to remain linked to the club forever. The leaders claim another week on top, but there is movement down below as a pair of Premier League clubs, plus the Italian champions, move up. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Atletico Madrid, Porto, Borussia Dortmund Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV, which airs daily on ESPN+.


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