Video Score: four / five
Bayern Munich managed a narrow 1-0 win over Premier League champions Manchester City in the opening Champions League group stage match on Wednesday. Arjen Robben, who was a major doubt for the match, only made it into the substitutes bench due to recent injuries. However, he came on with less than 25 minutes on the clock and made a big difference. His presence on the pitch provided space for other players to create chances and this in turn led to the goal from Jerome Boateng with only minutes left on the clock. The good start to the group stages was important for Bayern since they are in a difficult group.
Bayern have been poor form in the Champions League of late, but this victory brings them crucial three points. It could have been very different had they drawn yet another match. After the 4-0 thumping of the hands of Real Madrid last season, Robben says that it will be awhile before the Allianz Arena is a fortress once again. He reckons that the club can do much better in terms of form going forward. The Bundesliga champions have made an indifferent start to the league campaign by dropping points against opponents like Schalke when they are expected to dominate comfortably.
“We didn’t play as well as we can and we still need to find our rhythm, but we’re on the right track. We’re working on certain things and the only way is up. We got the three points and that was the most important thing. Sometimes chances go in, sometimes they don’t. Not everyone who gets a chance is going to score. But there were plenty of positives, we created a lot of good opportunities. Fitness-wise I’m doing well. I started the season really well against Wolfsburg,” said Robben after the match.
Online video Score: 4 / five
Movie Score: four / 5
New Dutch manager Guus Hiddink has said that he has not taken a decision on the captaincy of the national team. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager was appointed as the replacement for Louis van Gaal, who decided to opt for the Manchester United job after two years in charge of the national team. Hiddink is no stranger to the national team after having been in charge of the Dutch from 1994 to 1998. He has also been in charge of several international teams across the world. As a club manager, Hiddink has enjoyed undisputed success by winning trophies like the English FA Cup and the Champions League with clubs like Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively.
Much has been speculated about the team Hiddink will select for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying matches. After finishing third in the World Cup 2014, Netherlands will be expected as one of the favourites for the Euro 2016. However, a number of crucial players are approaching the end of their international careers. This list includes the likes of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie. Both players were key towards Netherlands reaching the third place in Brazil, but they are above 30. Hiddink is expected to name his new captain with this in mind, but he says that no decision has been taken yet.
“It’s too early to talk about technical decisions. Robben and Van Persie were very important so I think that they will remain captains. I can’t say in what order yet,” said the 67-year-old. This is widely expected to be Hiddink last role as a manager. He has previously hinted at retiring after having been a manager since 1987. In order to assist him in his role, Hiddink has brought in former Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is one of the celebrated players in the nation’s history.
Online video Rating: 3 / 5
As soon as the campaign of Netherlands comes to an end in the 2014 World Cup, Louis van Gaal will be making his way to Old Trafford as he was the man chosen to replace and succeed David Moyes at Manchester United but even though his challenge at the Premier League has not even started he has received praised from managers and players all over the world.
One of the latest players who has recognized the work and respect that the Dutch managers deserves is Andres Iniesta as he worked and played close up and personal with Louis van Gaal from 1997 to 2000 when the Spanish midfielder used to play in the youth team of Barcelona during the same time that van Gaal was in charge of Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta praised Louis van Gaal as he said: ‘’He already commands respect when you are a veteran, so imagine when you have just entered the team and are young. But the truth is I have a special memory of him, because he is someone who is very important to me and if there was something he cared about, it was supporting the young players from the reserves.”
Even though Louis van Gaal is busy trying to push Netherlands to the next stages of the World Cup, he has still managed on signing a few players to Old Trafford with Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw costing a total of €50 million.
Barcelona has recently undergone a series of changes not only in the squad but also in the staff management of the club as well. Gerardo Martino was replaced by Luis Enrique after suffering a disastrous debut season where the club failed on securing any major trophies as well as seeing Victor Valdes and Xavi Hernandez leaving the squad.
Recently there has been a series of rumors which are linking Andres Iniesta with a move to Manchester United as he would be interested in working with Louis van Gaal but this seems highly unlikely that it’s going to happen considering that the Spanish midfielder has a contract with Barcelona that expires in 2018 and Iniesta still remains being an influential role in Camp Nou.
Online video Ranking: 4 / 5
Andres Iniesta has played a pivotal role in Spain on several occasions in the past as the Barcelona midfielder scored the winning goal in the finals of the 2010 World Cup which gave his country the crucial win as Spain won their first World Cup in their history.
In the moment that the Barcelona midfielder scored against Netherlands in the finals of the 2010 World Cup, Iniesta joined a an elite list of 56 players who have managed to score in a final of a World Cup and now with the next edition taking place in Brazil, the Spanish attacker confessed the importance that goal represented for him.
‘’It was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Not only for me on a personal level but also for the Spanish team. There are not many other moments in life when you can feel any more overjoyed than that. When I scored, what was in my mind was that there wasn’t a lot of time left and I just really wanted the referee to blow the whistle!’
Spain was placed in Group B along with Holland, Chile and Australia, the team of Vicente del Bosque is not only expected to make it through the group stages of the 2014 World Cup but to reach the finals of this worldwide tournament that will be introducing video technology for the first time at such a big stage which is going to help the referees and proper authorities take a decision if the ball is unclear as to whether or not it certainly moved past the goal-line.
Iniesta is hoping that he can replicate the performances he displayed some years ago with Spain as his teammates and coach will be depending on Andres Iniesta as one of the main creative and attacking forces in the team of Vicente del Bosque.
Video clip Score: 4 / five