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4 days ago

Could football ever truly ditch FIFA? Plus: Mancini might be ideal for Inter

The ESPN FC team delve deeper as FIFA cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption over their World Cup bids.

It's something mooted by many of those who are disgusted every time FIFA wastes an opportunity to show it can clean up its act. Or at least give the impression it is cleaning up its act.

Like right now, when you have a serious, supposedly independent investigation like Michael Garcia's being withheld from the general public -- indeed, withheld from everyone in the world apart from those you can count on the fingers of one hand. Instead, we're served up a redacted "summary" that Garcia himself...

7 days ago

Answering questions surrounding FIFA's ethics investigation summary

A FIFA judge has cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption in their winning bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Got questions about the latest goings-on regarding FIFA and the investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups? So does Gab Marcotti. He has answers, too.

Q: OK, so I read FIFA's statement which responds to Michael Garcia's investigation and it boils down to the fact that most bid committees engaged in some level of wrongdoing, which might warrant further investigation, but there's no evidence of anything really, really bad. That means it's clear sailing ahead for...

Nov 12, 2014

David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and luck: The trouble with judging managers

ESPN FC's Craig Burley gives his take on how the perception of David Moyes at Manchester United became reality.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are David Moyes.

Eighteen months ago you were probably the highest-regarded British manager in the Premier League. For more than a decade you had stewarded a club with little going for it (apart from, obviously, its history and fan base) from minor miracle to minor miracle, consistently finishing in the top eight and outperforming better-funded rivals.

Then you went to Old Trafford to succeed a legend and things didn't work out. So now you have to rebuild your reputation.

(Quick...

Nov 10, 2014

PSG pick up more than a win vs. Marseille. Plus: more pain for Rodgers

It was another big, big weekend in the English Premier League, Anthony Richardson recaps the best and worst of it.

You could write a fancy academic thesis and wax both philosophical and sociological based on what we saw at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night. Paris St. Germain versus Olympique Marseille was the individual versus the collective, Nasser Al-Khelaifi's chequebook versus Marcelo Bielsa's notebook, Le President versus "El Loco."

A team that's bigger than the sum of its parts versus a collection of superstars used to serving Zlatan Ibrahimovic and underachieving when he's not around (and, sometimes,...

Nov 3, 2014

Dortmund, Manchester United take positives from defeat; Barca in no crisis

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti says Jurgen Klopp tried to bring Borussia Dortmund back to the basics against Bayern Munich, but after a 2-1 loss, Dortmund are now in the Bundesliga's relegation zone.

It may seem like a paradox, but a side such as Borussia Dortmund, with all their built-in issues and complexes, were bound to find it easier against a better team. And, indeed, it's not coincidental that five of the six opponents Dortmund faced during their horrid run going into the Bayern game were in the bottom rungs of the Bundesliga (Dortmund are now winless in their last seven games).

Dortmund's plan to thwart manager Pep Guardiola's crew was to sit and play the counter, with a double-pivot...

Oct 27, 2014

Ancelotti triumphs, van Gaal's progress, Dortmund disappoint, more

The ESPN FC panel discuss the player ratings following El Clasico.

You can't really call Real Madrid's clasico win a tactical victory.

That's because frankly, manager Carlo Ancelotti -- as he promised ahead of the game when he said there would be "no surprises" -- did nothing particularly fancy that night. His XI -- with Isco in for the injured Gareth Bale -- picked itself. (Or, if you're really, really cynical, you might say a man named Florentino Perez picked it.)

What Madrid did was execute and figure out a way to get a lopsided, top-heavy lineup to work against...