Lukas Podolski – profile

Lukas Podolski, striker

Lukas Podolski, striker

Lukas Podolski will be one of Germany’s on-field leaders - and this June, opposition defences will be hard pressed to contain him. Long the strike partner of Miroslav Klose, Podolski is a fast winger with a lethal shot who can also play as an attacking midfielder. He has been a prolific scorer since he first entered the Bundesliga with Koln at just 18.

  • Born: 1985, Gliwice, Poland
  • Height: 182 cm (6’0″)
  • Position: striker
  • Club team: Arsenal
  • National team: Germany, 2004-present

Beautiful Game post here.

Bastian Schweinsteiger – profile

Bastian Schweinsteiger - midfield

Bastian Schweinsteiger – midfield

At 29, Bastian Schweinsteiger is expected to dominate the midfield for Germany in 2014. He is a complete package, with very strong ball skills, vision, a hard outside shot, and tenacity in tackling. Schweinsteiger is a veteran of two World Cups and has over 100 caps for Germany with 23 goals. In South Africa, he served as Germany’s temporary captain and was named one of ten finalists for the Golden Ball award.

  • Born: 1984, Kolbermoor, Germany
  • Height/weight: 183 cm (6’0″)
  • Position: midfield
  • Club team: Bayern Munich
  • National team: Germany, 2004-present

Beautiful Game post here.

Does Toronto FC own the Best Player in the World?

Michael Bradley

Michael Bradley

Have either of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or even Luis Suarez suddenly become the property of a team once dubbed the > Worst Team in the World by one of it’s own players? Those are currently the top three players in the world – at least according to our > poll – and one of them is property of TFC?

How is that even possible given that we are not even in the middle of a transfer window?

Well, if Mexico’s National Team manager is to be believed, there is a player outside of the Big Three who played as well as anyone of them the other night. And his name is Michael Bradley.

Michael Who? Well that’s not fair. Most American soccer fans actually know who he is. But the question is how can an American be in the Best Player in the World conversation?

Here’s how – he played brilliantly the other night against a team and a manager who would know something about world soccer standards.

The manager in question is Miguel Herrera and here’s what he said of Toronto FC and US midfielder Bradley after his team drew 2-2 with the United States in an international friendly played at the University of Phoenix: “Bradley looked as if he was the best player in the world”.

If you read reports and commentary from the match and look at the stats which show Bradley scoring one and setting up the other US goal, you might better understand Herrera’s comments.

Remember now, Bradley is not far removed from being a player with one of the world’s storied clubs, AS Roma, and he put on his most recent display against one of the world’s soccer powers.

So, why not? Why not say that for at least a night Bradley “looked” like the Best Player in the World?

I don’t find that notion too troubling. I really like Bradley. What I can’t believe is that Toronto own him. How did that happen? For a team that hasn’t done much right on the pitch in it’s eight-year existence (they do have a world-beating marketing department), landing Bradley – who is to my mind at the very least > the Best North American Player in the World right now – is a big coup.

Now, the question is, will TFC be able to hang on to this fabulous player, this player that for one game at least caused one established international manager to think he was the Best Player in the World? Now that would be a real coup.

Messi becomes Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer with hat-trick vs Osasuna

Messi became Barca's top scorer vs Osasuna

Messi became Barca’s top scorer vs Osasuna

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Osasuna on the weekend to take his La Liga total to 18 this season and also make him Barca’s top scorer of all-time.

Messi passed Philippine legend Paulo Alcántara, who scored 369 goals for Barcelona at the turn of the 20th century – 142 in official games and 227 in friendlies, over a total of 357 games.

Messi has hit 230 goals in the league and a total of 370 by the ripe old age of 26 years.

Given his relative youth he should score enough goals in his career to make his record virtually eternal and unbreakable.