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  1. #1
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    2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Okay folks,

    It's time for another season of covering the best European leagues, outside of England in the European Club Football/Soccer Thread.

    Spanish Primera Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Dutch Eredivisie and other leagues.

    We're also covering the countries' domestic cup, supercup and league cup tournaments.

    Barcelona's appearance in the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.

    And of course, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Europa League action.

    Have at it!
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  2. #2
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    BB55's Take: 2010-11 European Club Football/Soccer Season: La Liga and Serie A
    La Liga
    What a 3-year period for Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. A total of 10 trophies won in his 3-year reign with the Catalans.

    The way that Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and company keep winning, more success will be on the way.

    The biggest question is how long will Barcelona keep up this winning pace and will they recover if Guardiola leaves in 2012?

    I don't think Barca need to tinker much. I think bring in a defender or two, maybe Cesc Fabregas back to Camp Nou. That's probably it.

    Meanwhile in the Spanish capital, sure Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey and prevent Barca from getting their second mega treble in three years, but will they match the Blaugrana? Florentino Perez gives Jose Mourinho all the power on making the squad. RMCF brought in Hamit Altıntop to the Santiago Bernabeu to start with, but they need more and they also need to use their youth system.

    Villarreal making the Top 4 in the UEFA Europa League showed why La Liga is not all about Barcelona and Real Madrid.

    Valencia is back in the UEFA Champions League despite selling Villa and David Silva.

    The team I feel sorry for is 2000 La Liga champions and 2004 UCL semifinalists Deportivo La Coruna who were relegated to the Segunda Division. They just can't score goals and I think they spent more to get their successful run in.

    But they have great fans and they'll be back to the Primera very soon.

    Italian Serie A
    It's a Milan year for the Italian Serie A. The Rossoneri of AC Milan won their first Scudetto since 2004.

    I have to give credit to Massimiliano Allegri for putting this squad together and figuring out a way to mix and match attacking combinations between Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano.

    Milan still have to work on their defense. Getting Philippe Mexes and Taye Taiwo is nice for depth.

    And also, integrate more youth.

    Meanwhile, AC Milan's Milan derby rivals Inter Milan won another trophy this time under Leonardo with the 2011 Coppa Italia.

    With AC Milan getting more youth into their team, Inter need to inject more youth to their squad. Getting Sergio 'Kun' Aguero is a start.

    Some of their players like Julio Cesar, Walter Samuel and Goran Pandev are getting older, injury prone and inconsistent.

    They need pace along the flanks like every other Serie A team.

    As for other clubs, Udinese made it to the UEFA Champions League, but face tough decisions on Alexis Sanchez.

    They're one of the most successful scouting teams in the world and I won't be surprised if Sanchez is sold.

    Lou aka Tifoso's beloved Juventus is in crisis mode. They sacked Luigi del Neri. They need more youth from within. Basically, they spend money and it's a mess.

    They need to revamp their youth system and bring them up and hire a manager and stabilize it.

    Team I feel sorry for in Serie A: Sampdoria.

    Why? From celebrating a UEFA Champions League spot one year and then relegated to Serie B the next.

    Poor captain Angelo Palombo his tears after Sampdoria were relegated says it all.

    Doria have great fans, they'll be back soon.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  3. #3
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    BB55's Take - 2010-11 European Club Football/Soccer Season: Other European Leagues

    German Bundesliga
    Borussia Dortmund returns to the UEFA Champions League as German Bundesliga winners.
    Jurgen Klopp's men pulled away from the pack from November on despite making it a little interesting in April when Bayer Leverkusen is breathing down their necks.

    Shinji Kagawa and Lucas Barrios will be a force to be reckon with in the UEFA Champions League.

    However, most of, if not, all the eyes will be on Bayern Munich where they're coming off a turbulent, trophyless season.

    Louis van Gaal was sacked and the Bavarians finished in third meaning they have to qualify for the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League as Allianz Arena is hosting the final.

    Meanwhile, Schalke 04 is coming off their surprise Top 4 finish in the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League tournament and by winning the German Cup, they're back in Europe in the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League.

    Mainz and Hannover 96 were the biggest surprises in the unpredictable Bundesliga finishing in 4th and 5th and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.

    Also, Hamburg, Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart will look to bounce back.

    French Ligue 1:
    What a memorable season for Rudi Garcia and Lille as they won the French Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in 2011.

    Lille is back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2007. Adil Rami and Moussa Saw lead the way for Lille, but it will be a tough decision for the Ligue 1 champions on the future of Belgian starlet Eden Hazard.

    Meanwhile, Marseille didn't win the French Ligue 1 title, but still won a trophy as they successfully defended their Coupe de la Ligue title and back in the UEFA Champions League.

    Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain are back in European competitions with OL going to the UCL and PSG back in the UEL.

    The team I feel sorry for is Monaco when the 2000 Ligue 1 champions and 2004 UCL runners-up were relegated to Ligue 2. They'll be back.

    Dutch Eredivisie:
    janttje is still celebrating Ajax's Amsterdam's first Dutch Ereidivisie title since 2004 holding off FC Twente Enschede and denying them a Dutch Eredivisie and KNVB Cup double.

    Despite seeing Martin Jol resigning and selling goal-scoring captain Luis Suarez to Liverpool, Frank De Boer's Ajax led them to their 30th Dutch Eredivisie title and a near Eredivisie and Dutch Cup double.

    Mounir El Hamdaoui led Ajax with 19 goals, Siem de Jong, one of the talented de Jong brothers with the other being Twente's Luuk, chipped in with 17 goals.

    Despite losing the Eredivisie title, Twente proved that their Eredivisie title win in 2010 was no fluke by winning the 2011 KNVB Cup over Ajax.

    Meanwhile, PSV Eindhoven ran out of gas in their title challenge against Twente and Ajax.

    ADO Den Haag won an incredible UEFA Europa League playoff over Groningen via penalties despite winning the first leg 5-1 and lost in the second leg 5-1.

    Feynoord Rotterdam hovered around the relegation zone before escaping in the final three months of the season.

    Scottish Premier League
    What a send off for Walter Smith by Glasgow Rangers storming back to win their third SPL title over a heartbroken Neil Lennon and Celtic.

    Despite losing Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd due to transfers, Nikica Jelavić picked up the scoring slack with 19 goals. Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty added 15 each.

    New boss Ally McCoist has big shoes to fill with Smith retired.

    Meanwhile at Celtic Park, Lennon and Celtic finished second behind Rangers in the SPL and Scottish League Cup, but made up for it in the Scottish Cup.

    Lennon also had to deal with parcel bombs and fan attacks in 2011.

    It will come down to those two again, but Rangers will be the only club carrying the Scottish flag in the Champions League as they start in the third qualifying round.

    Super League Greece:
    Olympiacos is back on top of the Greek Super League with rivals Panathinakos joining them in the UEFA Champions League.

    Super League Greece as a whole had two teams, Aris and PAOK, in the knockout stages of the Europa League, but failed to advance.

    Portuguese Liga:
    The best league in 2011 outside the European Big Six was the Portuguese Liga with Porto, Benfica and Braga making Top 4 finishes in the Europa League.

    Led by Andre Villas-Boas, Radamel Falcao and Hulk, Porto won the Portuguese Liga, Portuguese Cup Taca de Portugal and the UEFA Europa League.

    They have concerns over losing Falcao and possibly Villas-Boas, but like they did when they lost manager Jose Mourinho, Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Costinha, Jorge Costa, Pedro Mendes, Lisandro Lopez and Lucho Gonzalez, Porto still finds a way to build their teams, stay competitive, be pests in European competitions and win trophies.

    Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev did well again in the Ukranian Premier League and in Europe with Shakhar reaching the quarterfinals. Ditto for Dynamo Kiev.

    The Russian Premier League had another successful European campaign with one of their teams in the Top 8 in European competitions: Spartak Moscow made it to the Quarterfinals in the UEFA Europa League.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  4. #4
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  5. #5
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Back in Spain: Former PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy signs with Malaga
    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/010620...gn-malaga.html

    Schalke 04 Manuel Neuer signs with Bayern Munich
    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/010620...euer-deal.html
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  6. #6

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    Back in Spain: Former PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy signs with Malaga
    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/010620...gn-malaga.html

    Schalke 04 Manuel Neuer signs with Bayern Munich
    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/010620...euer-deal.html
    Malaga is really trying to compete but they need to sign younger players, Julio was a good signing for them earlier this year.

  7. #7

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    BB55's Take: 2010-11 European Club Football/Soccer Season: La Liga and Serie A
    La Liga
    What a 3-year period for Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. A total of 10 trophies won in his 3-year reign with the Catalans.

    The way that Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and company keep winning, more success will be on the way.

    The biggest question is how long will Barcelona keep up this winning pace and will they recover if Guardiola leaves in 2012?

    I don't think Barca need to tinker much. I think bring in a defender or two, maybe Cesc Fabregas back to Camp Nou. That's probably it.

    Meanwhile in the Spanish capital, sure Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey and prevent Barca from getting their second mega treble in three years, but will they match the Blaugrana? Florentino Perez gives Jose Mourinho all the power on making the squad. RMCF brought in Hamit Altıntop to the Santiago Bernabeu to start with, but they need more and they also need to use their youth system.

    Villarreal making the Top 4 in the UEFA Europa League showed why La Liga is not all about Barcelona and Real Madrid.

    Valencia is back in the UEFA Champions League despite selling Villa and David Silva.

    The team I feel sorry for is 2000 La Liga champions and 2004 UCL semifinalists Deportivo La Coruna who were relegated to the Segunda Division. They just can't score goals and I think they spent more to get their successful run in.

    But they have great fans and they'll be back to the Primera very soon.

    Italian Serie A
    It's a Milan year for the Italian Serie A. The Rossoneri of AC Milan won their first Scudetto since 2004.

    I have to give credit to Massimiliano Allegri for putting this squad together and figuring out a way to mix and match attacking combinations between Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano.

    Milan still have to work on their defense. Getting Philippe Mexes and Taye Taiwo is nice for depth.

    And also, integrate more youth.

    Meanwhile, AC Milan's Milan derby rivals Inter Milan won another trophy this time under Leonardo with the 2011 Coppa Italia.

    With AC Milan getting more youth into their team, Inter need to inject more youth to their squad. Getting Sergio 'Kun' Aguero is a start.

    Some of their players like Julio Cesar, Walter Samuel and Goran Pandev are getting older, injury prone and inconsistent.

    They need pace along the flanks like every other Serie A team.

    As for other clubs, Udinese made it to the UEFA Champions League, but face tough decisions on Alexis Sanchez.

    They're one of the most successful scouting teams in the world and I won't be surprised if Sanchez is sold.

    Lou aka Tifoso's beloved Juventus is in crisis mode. They sacked Luigi del Neri. They need more youth from within. Basically, they spend money and it's a mess.

    They need to revamp their youth system and bring them up and hire a manager and stabilize it.

    Team I feel sorry for in Serie A: Sampdoria.

    Why? From celebrating a UEFA Champions League spot one year and then relegated to Serie B the next.

    Poor captain Angelo Palombo his tears after Sampdoria were relegated says it all.

    Doria have great fans, they'll be back soon.
    what other possible superstar can real buy now? its like they can sign 2 more superstars and i still believe they wont be better than barca, as for barca i would like fabregas but where will he play, who will be sent to the bench who will be sold, will busquets be sent to the bench and how about macherano? he did a good job playing central defense but if we bring in fab who will take the fall. i think we need one more defender unless we decide to just use macherano as defender, and i would like to see dos santos make the team next yeaer but no space for him since we have afellay

  8. #8
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bxnyy1889 View Post
    Malaga is really trying to compete but they need to sign younger players, Julio was a good signing for them earlier this year.
    Julio Baptista was a good signing.

    I think the best signing was hiring Manuel Luis Pellegrini as manager.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  9. #9

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    Julio Baptista was a good signing.

    I think the best signing was hiring Manuel Luis Pellegrini as manager.
    i dont think he deserved to lose his job in RM but RM was just in love with mourinho and what they got was a headache even though he did bring in a trophy

  10. #10
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bxnyy1889 View Post
    what other possible superstar can real buy now? its like they can sign 2 more superstars and i still believe they wont be better than barca, as for barca i would like fabregas but where will he play, who will be sent to the bench who will be sold, will busquets be sent to the bench and how about macherano? he did a good job playing central defense but if we bring in fab who will take the fall. i think we need one more defender unless we decide to just use macherano as defender, and i would like to see dos santos make the team next yeaer but no space for him since we have afellay
    Well if Cesc Fabregas doesn't go to Barcelona, I think Real Madrid will get him. If Barcelona get him, it looks like he will be on the bench, but Cesc wants to start often.

    However, Real Madrid also have Mesut Ozil and their underutilized youngster in Sergio Canales.

    I also think Pep Guardiola will continue to use La Masia in particular Thiago Alcanatara, Andreu Fontas and you said Jonathan Dos Santos.

    I also like the idea of Javier Mascherano as a central defender too, but that's not his natural position. The reason why Pep used Masch at central defense because of injuries to Carles Puyol and also Gabriel Milito.

    I feel sorry for Milito who had to battle through knee injuries and he has really lost some steps.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  11. #11
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bxnyy1889 View Post
    i dont think he deserved to lose his job in RM but RM was just in love with mourinho and what they got was a headache even though he did bring in a trophy
    And also, Manuel Luis Pellegrini did better against Barcelona than Jose Mourinho did during La Liga play.

    Pellegrini lost both games to Barcelona, but was outscored 3-0 by Barca.

    Mourinho? A loss and a draw, but gave up 6 goals in those two La Liga Clasicos.

    I think Pellegrini going to Malaga, a low-key club, benefits him over a megaclub like Real Madrid.

    Florentino Perez is an egomaniac who doesn't have a stable bone in his body.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  12. #12

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    Well if Cesc Fabregas doesn't go to Barcelona, I think Real Madrid will get him.

    However, Real Madrid also have Mesut Ozil and their underutilized youngster in Sergio Canales.

    I also think Pep Guardiola will continue to use La Masia in particular Thiago Alcanatara, Andreu Fontas and you said Jonathan Dos Santos.

    I also like the idea of Javier Mascherano as a central defender too, but that's not his natural position.
    i think that would just be a bad move for Fab to go there, and not even because hes a barca boy but because look at the team and look at who they got, Kaka looks like he mite stay but i doubt it, ozil is there i just dont see fab fitting in, and RM would do it just to get back at barca, Thiago and Fontas are gonna be key players next year i believe and dos santos i rather him play more then just 30 min a month, barca is a team with good players on every position, the keyt to next season is iniesta staying healthy and xavi continueing to play superb, and of course the world player of the year for the 3rd year in a row Messi, i would actually like to see bojan play more but its hard with villa and pedro ahead of him

  13. #13

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    And also, Manuel Luis Pellegrini did better against Barcelona than Jose Mourinho did during La Liga play.

    Pellegrini lost both games to Barcelona, but was outscored 3-0 by Barca.

    Mourinho? A loss and a draw, but gave up 6 goals in those two La Liga Clasicos.

    I think Pellegrini going to Malaga, a low-key club, benefits him over a megaclub like Real Madrid.

    Florentino Perez is an egomaniac who doesn't have a stable bone in his body.
    I think mourinho is going to leave RM the same as when he was let go at chelsea, no CL trophies, hes going to go back to EPL and his tenure in RM will not be great he may win 2-3 more trophies but not the big one.

  14. #14
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bxnyy1889 View Post
    i think that would just be a bad move for Fab to go there, and not even because hes a barca boy but because look at the team and look at who they got, Kaka looks like he mite stay but i doubt it, ozil is there i just dont see fab fitting in, and RM would do it just to get back at barca, Thiago and Fontas are gonna be key players next year i believe and dos santos i rather him play more then just 30 min a month, barca is a team with good players on every position, the keyt to next season is iniesta staying healthy and xavi continueing to play superb, and of course the world player of the year for the 3rd year in a row Messi, i would actually like to see bojan play more but its hard with villa and pedro ahead of him
    I also keep hearing that Barca are interested in Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi.

    I just don't think Pep and Barca will go down the same road and waste money on Rossi or Cesc Fabregas like they did with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (even though Ibra won some silverware with Barca). They don't need to tinker much. Maybe defensive depth only.

    Barca have David Villa, Lionel Messi, Pedro, Jeffren, Bojan up front. No room for Rossi there.

    Barca have Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ibrahim Affelay, Sergio Busquets, Seydou Keita. No room for Fabregas there.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  15. #15

    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    I also keep hearing that Barca are interested in Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi.

    I just don't think Pep and Barca will go down the same road and waste money on Rossi or Cesc Fabregas like they did with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (even though Ibra won some silverware with Barca). They don't need to tinker much. Maybe defensive depth only.

    Barca have David Villa, Lionel Messi, Pedro, Jeffren, Bojan up front. No room for Rossi there.

    Barca have Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ibrahim Affelay, Sergio Busquets, Seydou Keita. No room for Fabregas there.
    i heard its 30mil for rossi, hes good but hes going to the bench unless pedro is going to the bench and rossi moves to the RF cuz messi playing CF and Villa LF. we dont need rossi, we need a defender, central defender preferably

  16. #16
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    Barca have David Villa, Lionel Messi, Pedro, Jeffren, Bojan up front. No room for Rossi there.

    Barca have Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Ibrahim Affelay, Sergio Busquets, Seydou Keita. No room for Fabregas there.
    Agree with you on both counts, particularly Fabregas who was a pale imitation of the player we know he is this season. There is however talk of Bojan being part of any deal for Rossi. I'd personally stick with what they've got.

    As for Real, with Valdano out of the way I'd expect Mourinho to have a much greater say in signing policy. I predict less 'Galactico' style moves, and more shrewd dealing in the transfer market.

  17. #17
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Obri View Post
    Agree with you on both counts, particularly Fabregas who was a pale imitation of the player we know he is this season. There is however talk of Bojan being part of any deal for Rossi. I'd personally stick with what they've got.

    As for Real, with Valdano out of the way I'd expect Mourinho to have a much greater say in signing policy. I predict less 'Galactico' style moves, and more shrewd dealing in the transfer market.
    I also say that Barca should stick with they got. They have La Masia to use.

    As for Real Madrid, I hear that they're trying to get Atletico Madrid striker Sergio 'Kun' Aguero.

    I'm also reading that AC Milan is going for a swoop of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and former Arsenal and Manchester City turned Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

    AC Milan should focus on defense rather than attack. They already have Alexandre Pato, Antonio Cassano, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  19. #19
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  20. #20
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  21. #21
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Bayern Munich complete Manuel Neuer signing: 5-year deal
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/st...igning?cc=5901
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  23. #23
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Bayern Munich and German international striker Miroslav Klose joins Lazio on a free transfer
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/st...-free-transfer
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

  24. #24
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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

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    Re: 2011-12 European Club Football/Soccer Thread

    Barcelona B coach Luis Enrique fills AS Roma's vacant managerial spot
    http://www.repubblica.it/sport/calci...63/?ref=HRLS-3
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

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