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FC 100 is about team, not just stars

FC 100

Gap between superclubs like Man United, Real Madrid and rivals must be addressed

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has talked about redressing the balance between clubs but so far, it's getting worse.

UEFA's Annual Benchmarking Report, released Tuesday, confirmed what many suspected: the rich are getting richer and leaving the merely well-off far behind. This is perhaps the most stark observation from the hefty study -- it runs to 126 pages -- of top-flight club football in every league across the continent. If you're even a little bit wonk-ish, the Benchmarking Report, which is compiled from licensing, transfer and financial data, some of it accessible only to UEFA), makes a fascinating read,...

Liverpool vs. Man City lived up to hype, Real in free-fall, Wenger woe

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol describes his wave of emotions and explains what Jurgen Klopp's side did right in their win over Man City.
Steve Nicol and Gab Marcotti go back and forth about Liverpool's defence during their Premier League team of the weekend discussion.

Not every game lives up the hype, especially the incessant, percussive kind where commentators and pundits go out of their way to regularly remind you that what you're watching is fantastic and entertaining and you made such a clever choice with your leisure time.

But Liverpool vs. Manchester City certainly did. It was breath-taking, high-speed stuff, blending technique and work-rate against a raucous backdrop. Oh, and City suffered their first defeat in a "real" game since April. (Sorry: the...

Another Sanchez 'sliding doors' choice over Man City, almost seven years on

The FC crew discuss Manchester United's interest in Man City target Alexis Sanchez and what it means for Arsenal.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden says Man City are prepared to abandon their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez after costs have escalated over recent weeks.
Arsene Wenger says clubs can utilise interest in players to start a bidding war, but reiterates that Alexis Sanchez is still an Arsenal player.

Alexis Sanchez missed Arsenal's trip to Bournemouth on Sunday, leaving plenty of time to contemplate his future. Everybody knows his options: a move to Manchester United or Manchester City this month, joining City (or another club) in June or -- and admittedly this is rather remote -- extending his contract with the Gunners and staying in North London.

The Chilean international striker has been here before, almost seven years ago. In some ways, it was his "sliding doors" moment: A career-changing...

Why Barca bet big on Coutinho, Real stumble again, Wenger woe

Steve Nicol discusses what comes next for Liverpool after selling Coutinho, while Alejandro Moreno exmaines the Brazilian's possible role at Barcelona.
Steve Nicol identifies three big-name players he wants Liverpool to pursue with the money they received for Philippe Coutinho.
The FC panel delve into all of Arsenal's shortcomings - from the squad selection to player performances - in their FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest.
After Real Madrid's draw at Celta Vigo, the FC crew identify the issues that have seen the reigning La Liga winners fall 16 points off the top.

Depending on whether or not you count Kylian Mbappe -- and you probably should, since while it hasn't actually happened yet, barring divine intervention, the money is committed -- Philippe Coutinho is now the second or third most expensive footballer of all time.

Coutinho has sold for €120 million ($144.4m), plus another €30m ($36m) in fairly easily attainable bonuses (related to appearances and Barcelona qualifying for the Champions League) and another €10m ($12m)...

Premier League now worse than Spain, Italy when it comes to sportsmanship

The FC crew discuss the developing feud between Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, which escalated with Mourinho's match-fixing comment.
Antonio Conte says Jose Mourinho has always been 'a little man' following Mourinho's recent jibe about alleged match-fixing.
Jose Mourinho wasted no time responding to Antonio Conte's criticism of his touchline antics, bringing up an incident from Conte's time as manager of Siena.

Many years ago, Gianluca Vialli and I spent some nine months criss-crossing Italy and England talking to football managers about the game. Working with Vialli opens a lot of doors and I was hugely privileged to be able to spend time (a lot of time in some cases) with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Marcello Lippi, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Sven Goran Eriksson, Fabio Capello and a host of others.

It eventually became a book, "The Italian Job," aimed at comparing and contrasting football culture...

Wishes for 2018: Peaceful World Cup, transparency over PSG spending

The FC pundits give their most memorable moments in the world of football this past year.
Relive the funniest moments from 2017 of the English Premier League season.

It's that time of year when I look forward to what I'd like to see in 2018. Some of it is pie-in-the-sky, some of it less so and some of it you've probably seen before in 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017. But, I hope, you'll agree that these are worthy wishes for 2018.

Happy New Year!

1. That the 2018 World Cup in Russia works about as well as the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia in terms of racism (no reported incidents), hooliganism (no reported incidents) and logistics (everything worked fine)....