Previous
Aston Villa
Arsenal
0
3
FT
Game Details
West Ham United
Liverpool
3
1
FT
Game Details
AC Milan
Juventus
0
1
FT
Game Details
Deportivo La Coruña
Real Madrid
2
8
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Celta Vigo
2
2
FT
Game Details
America
Pachuca
2
1
FT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
4
1
FT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
FC Dallas
2
1
FT
Game Details
Hamburg SV
Bayern Munich
0
0
FT
Game Details
Mainz
Borussia Dortmund
2
0
FT
Game Details
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders FC
4
1
FT
Game Details
Los Angeles Galaxy
FC Dallas
2
1
FT
Game Details
Leicester City
Manchester United
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Almeria
0
2
LIVE 66'
Game Details
Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cordoba
Sevilla FC
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Cologne
Borussia Monchengladbach
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Parma
1
0
LIVE HT
Game Details
AS Roma
Cagliari
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Genoa
Lazio
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sassuolo
Sampdoria
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atalanta
Fiorentina
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Udinese
Napoli
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Palermo
Internazionale
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
Hellas Verona
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lille
Montpellier
12:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Guingamp
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lens
St Etienne
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Lyon
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundee
Dundee United
0
0
LIVE 9'
Game Details
Celtic
Motherwell
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Osasuna
Mallorca
3
3
LIVE 70'
Game Details
Girona
Real Betis
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leganes
Racing Santander
4:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Valladolid
Tenerife
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Albacete
Numancia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
RB Leipzig
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Heidenheimer SB
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Nurnberg
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Twente Enschede
1
3
LIVE HT
Game Details
AZ Alkmaar
PEC Zwolle
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Ajax Amsterdam
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Cambuur Leeuwarden
12:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Utrecht
FC Groningen
2:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Belenenses
Maritimo
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rio Ave
Arouca
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Benfica
Moreirense
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Gil Vicente
Sporting Lisbon
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Porto
Boavista
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
CSKA Moscow
Lokomotiv Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kasimpasa
Karabukspor
11:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Sivasspor
Konyaspor
2:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fenerbahce
Gaziantepspor
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
AIK
Halmstad
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kalmar FF
Djurgarden
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Mjallby
Elfsborg
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Helsingborg
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Viking FK
IK Start
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aalesund
Stabaek
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lillestrom
Odd Grenland
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Sogndal
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Haugesund
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Monterrey
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Guadalajara
Queretaro
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies
ESPN3 8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Arsenal de Sarandí
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Banfield
Boca Juniors
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Independiente
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Aldosivi
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
All Boys
Temperley
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento de Junín
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Nueva Chicago
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Sp. Belgrano
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Corinthians
São Paulo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Atlético MG
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Bahia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flamengo
Fluminense FC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Coritiba FBC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Goiás EC
Palmeiras
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gremio
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos FC
Figueirense FC
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing (U)
Tacuarembó FC
1:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Rentistas
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Juventud
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Wanderers
Rampla Juniors
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atenas
Nacional
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Aguilas Doradas
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Envigado
Independiente Santa Fe
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Atlético Nacional
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
Fortaleza CE
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Inti Gas Deportes
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Melgar
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Martin
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
Olimpia
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sol de América
Nacional
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
12 de Octubre
10:45 PM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
Liga de Loja
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Olmedo
LDU Quito
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Barcelona
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
Mushuc Runa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Venezuela
Deportivo Petare
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Llaneros
Carabobo
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa
Deportivo Anzoategui
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trujillanos
Estudiantes de Mérida
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Aragua
Zamora
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Táchira
Tucanes
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mineros
Deportivo La Guaira
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Bolívar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Pando
San José
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Potosí
Wilstermann
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oriente Petrolero
Nacional Potosí
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Blanc: PSG not in best shape

PSG 3 days ago
Read
Jul 3, 2013

A-League joins in marquee dream

Whispers of well-known free agents heading abroad to extend their careers have filled the minds of world football fans in recent days. The opening of transfer windows across the globe can signal a new beginning for players, but also marks the start of endless dreaming on the part of their supporters.

Following the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey last season, fans of the A-League have now genuinely joined in the annual tradition of pining for big-name signings. But, while understandable as a way to pass the seemingly eternal off-season, is it realistic to expect more of these high-profile footballers to arrive on their shores?

David Trezeguet is a fine example. The World Cup and European Championship winner suffered the ignominy of being cut from River Plate's first team squad last week after battling fitness concerns. A champion in every sense of the word, the French striker ruled out retirement in May, and is reportedly being hotly pursued by Brazilian sides Fluminense and Flamengo.

Such news leads to social media and fan forum chatter, and supporters in Australia have begun asking 'would it be possible for my club to secure a player like him?'

The A-League's marquee player rule allows each club to sign one foreign and one Australian player outside of the salary cap in order to lure footballers of renown to the fledgling competition.

Former Fulham midfielder Giorgos Karagounis has been most heavily linked with a switch to the Antipodes. The man who helped Greece to Euro 2004 glory and 2010 World Cup qualification has been in discussions with Melbourne Victory - and possibly rivals Melbourne Heart - for some weeks, with the deal perched at a critical stage. The capture of Karagounis would be significant for the competition and the club, with Melbourne having the world's third largest Greek-speaking population after Athens and Thessaloniki. Aside from the obvious off-field benefits, a player of Karagounis' ilk could also provide the A-League with a touch of class on the pitch.

With bigger names still in world football, the same could be said of Ronaldinho and Raul, who have impressed in their recent performances with Atletico Mineiro and Al Sadd respectively.

Indeed, Ronaldinho - who has six months left on his contract - is understood to have been shopped around to A-League sides at the end of last season at a price of AU$2 million for 10 matches. There were no takers in the run-in to the finals series, but the value of the former Barcelona playmaker may be priceless in terms of gaining long-term worldwide exposure. Raul, meanwhile, could prove equally valuable, with reports in Qatar suggesting his deal is set to expire following a relatively successful stint in the Middle East.

Add to that list Nicolas Anelka and Vincenzo Iaquinta - both released from Juventus - along with Florent Malouda, who has left Chelsea following a tormenting season in which he was forced to train with the youth side. Also let go by their Premier League clubs, Yossi Benayoun and Djibril Cisse are recognisable figures around the globe, and would be shoo-ins for marquee status.

But perhaps the most telling free-agent story for A-League followers is that of Pablo Aimar. The Argentine No. 10 was set free by Benfica, and has since been wooed by Malaysian club Johor Darul Takzim at great expense. The money on offer at JDT would no doubt be significant, and the club has an enviable fan base, but such reports should surely alert A-League clubs to the ongoing possibilities of bringing in well-known players direct from Europe.

Indeed, all of the players mentioned are being actively hunted by clubs in Asia, MLS or South America. It's relatively early days, but Australia can begin to play a more significant role in that mix.

Of course, a big name does not guarantee success. In fact, some fans would prefer to see their teams win by playing a brand of attractive football regardless of the personnel. Still, there remains a part of most fans, deep inside, that craves seeing a player who has scaled the heights of the sport wearing their jersey.

But, is it representative of reality or fanciful video game-driven dreaming that fans talk of big-names making the A-League switch? Is it feasible that in the next season or two, each team will have a genuine marquee player?

Lou Sticca, the agent at the heart of sealing Del Piero's move from Juventus to Sydney FC 12 months ago says it is. While careful to not reveal names, Sticca confirmed high-profile players are currently in talks with A-League clubs, and believes the tendency toward big-name signings is a natural progression.

"In season one [of the A-League in 2005], having Dwight Yorke [at Sydney FC] as part of the inaugural season of this new competition gave it immediate credibility and exposure into a previously impossible mainstream market," Sticca told ESPN.

"The fact that he ended up playing that well that it reignited his international career leading Trinidad and Tobago to the 2006 World Cup was sensational, but for him to be purchased by Sunderland for seven figures on leaving the A-League to play back in the Premier League speaks volumes for the competition here.

"Having Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono set the benchmark [last season]. The fact that all three have committed to another season in the A-League shows that they want to keep up their standards and, in each one's case, help their clubs go better than last season.

"I have no doubt at all that there will be more big names joining the A-League in years to come. I personally have been in talks with a number of well-known players and, whether they are signed this season or not, Australia and the A-League will become a more sought-after destination for world footballers.

"Marquee players like Del Piero, Heskey, Ono and Yorke bring media attention and that ultimately brings in sponsorship money, increased gate receipts, more in merchandise sales and greater value to television rights. Marquees will be inextricably linked with the A-League for many years to come."

The fans' speculation, then, is not entirely unfounded, but will remain dreamlike in nature as clubs increase their proactive approach to high-profile signings. Regardless, it appears the discussion over marquee players is set to rumble on and, with Del Piero's mate Francesco Totti coming off contract in 2014, may gather greater speed in the year to come.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.