WEEKLY SOCCER FIX – September 1st, 2017

Weekly Soccer Fix Sept 1st 2017


The latest highlights of the week from the beautiful game

September, 1st 2017


Finally, some light in what seemed to be a dark summer for Barcelona. Ousmane Dembele has reached an agreement with the Catalan club and will join the squad for the next season. The French star from Borussia Dortmund arrives at the Camp Nou in an attempt to fill the void that Neymar left in the team. The striker arrives after scoring 10 goals in 49 matches last season and having topped the Bundesliga’s successful dribbles table, with 103. He has also capped by the French national squad 7 times with only 20 years of age. The French striker will arrive at the Catalan club for a transfer fee of 222 million Euros, becoming the second most expensive signing in the world right after Neymar, and followed by Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Dembele will now join Messi and Suarez, in an attempt to take Barcelona back to winning a UEFA Champions League. But Dembele isn’t the only signing that Barcelona might make, with the transfer window coming to a close it is expected for the Catalans to make one last attempt at signing Brazilian Liverpool star, Philippe Coutinho.


The World Cup qualifiers are back this week when countries all over the world resume competition once again for a spot at next year’s World Cup to be held in Russia. So Far only four teams are officially qualified for the event. Russia guarantees a spot for being the host of the tournament, Iran will also be going to the cup after a great run in the Asian qualifiers, followed by Japan, and finally five-time champion Brazil has clinched a spot after a leading the league table in the South American qualifiers. With that there are still 28 spots left and up for grabs and the world’s best national teams will all be fighting for a chance to travel to Russia during this week. So which teams have the best chances to go to the big event? In Europe France, Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, Poland, England, Spain, Belgium and Croatia all lead their respective groups and have high chances of clinching a spot, followed closely by countries like Sweden, Portugal, Ireland and Italy. The big upsets in this region are the Netherlands and Gareth Bale’s Wales, who are on the verge of being eliminated from the qualifiers. In Africa things are heating up as the last round of qualifying has begun in this region with Congo, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Uganda leading their respective groups closely followed by South Africa, Egypt, and Cameroon. In Asia, like we mentioned before Japan and Iran have already guaranteed a spot in the tournament, with 2 more spots left and a third one that go on to face the intercontinental play off for the final spot in the Cup against a team from the North American region.  There are several teams still on the hunt for a chance to participate in Russia like South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and underdog surprise, Syria. In the North American Region, Mexico, Costa Rica and the USA are very close to making their participation in the next World Cup official, with Panama and Honduras fighting for a chance to go to the intercontinental play off against an Asian country. In South America, Brazil as mentioned is already qualified, followed close behind by Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile. Surprisingly Argentina is in 5th place in the qualifiers and at the moment, it would only be able to guarantee a spot in an intercontinental play off against the winner of Oceania. In Oceania, the strongest candidates to face the 5th place of South America are New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. Each one of these countries lead their respective groups and very likely will face each other for the spot at the intercontinental play off against a South American team.



After being linked during the whole summer to a transfer to Real Madrid or Barcelona, Monaco star Kylian Mmbape has joined PSG. The French striker has reached an agreement on a loan deal with the French giants to join their ranks for the next year, with an option to buy for an estimated fee of 180 million Euros. The 18-year-old forward arrives from Monaco after scoring 23 goals for Monaco last season, and helping them reach the UEFA Champions league semi-finals. Considered one of the most promising young talents in current international football, Mbappe was recently the youngest player to score for the national French teams since 1963 after scoring during France’s win of 4-0 against the Netherlands for the World Cup Qualifiers. Mbappe now completes what is the most expensive starting eleven in modern football. With the French striker, PSG now has a starting eleven conformed by big names like Neymar, Cavani, Di Maria, Verratti, Rabiot, Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Areola that altogether are valued in 640 million Euros. Will the most expensive team in football that has dominated this summer’s transfer window also have what it takes to dominate this upcoming years European competition? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, PSG will certainly be a team to watch out for in the next season.

VENUE OF THE WEEK: Rio de Janeiro

Maracana Stadium in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is known as the unofficial capital of Brazil. Although Brasilia is the official capital of this country, where the Congress and President have their residence, Rio de Janeiro is the touristic, cultural, and Sports center of this South American territory.  Rio is the second most populated of the country and the sixth most populated of the Americas. Rios landmarks include the iconic “Cristo redentor” statue, the Carioca aqueduct, and the Rio Niteroi bridge. But Rio is perhaps more famous for its natural sites like the Copacabana beach, and the Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountain, and of course its traditional Carnival celebration. But its importance also resides in being the home of the legendary Maracana Stadium. At one time the biggest stadium in the world, it is still one of the main venues in the soccer world, with a capacity of 78,000 spectators. The Maracana has hosted two World Cups, in 1950 and 2014, and one confederations cup in 2013. The Maracana is not only home to Flamengo, one of the most important and popular soccer clubs in Brazil, with 6 Brazilian leagues, 3 Brazilian Cups and one Copa libertadores under their belt. The Maracana is also the home of the Brazilian national team, the five-time World champions who are the first team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


Official Transfers:


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal to Liverpool

Fernando Llorente from Swansea to Tottenham

Douglas from Barcelona to Benfica

Bojan from Stoke city to Alaves

Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich to Swansea City

Mbappe from Monaco to PSG

Nani from Valencia to Lazio

Dembele from B.Dortmund to Barcelona

Ibrahimovic to sign again with Manchester United

Samir Nasri from Manchester City to Antalyaspor

Kevin Prince Boateng from Las Palmas to E. Frankfurt

Rodrigo Palacio from Inter Milan to Bologna

Jeison Murillo from Inter Milan to Valencia

Gabriel Paulista from Arsenal to Valencia

Kondogbia from Inter Milan to Valencia

Jesé Rodriguez from PSG to Stoke City (loan)

Paulinho from Guanzhou to Barcelona


Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona

Julian Draxler from PSG to Manchester United

Gabriel Barbosa from Inter Milan to Benfica

Tomas Lemar from Monaco to Arsenal

Angel di María from PSG to Barcelona

William Carvalho from Sporting Lisboa to West Ham United

Strootman from Roma to Juventus

William from Chelsea to Barcelona

Pepe Reina from Napoli to PSG

Arda Turan from Barcelona to Galatasaray

Andre gomez from Barcelona to Tottenham

Johnny Evans from West Bromwich to Manchester City / West Ham

Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan to Manchester United

Mahrez from Leicester City to Chelsea


Upcoming games to watch:

USA vs Costa Rica 18:00hrs Central Time  September  1st WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS  

Brazil vs Colombia  15:30hrs Central Time  September 5th WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

Mexico vs Costa Rica  21:00hrs Central Time  September 5th WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

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