UEFA celebrated today the match ups for the final 16 teams of the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE phase with the following results:

Champions League 2019

For the Spanish Clubs:

- Ajax Amsterdam vs REAL MADRID CF

- Olympique Lyon vs FC BARCELONA 


Ajax Amsterdam - Real Madrid CF (away 13th Feb 2019 / return 5th March 2019)

Olympique du Lyon - FC Barcelona (away 19th Feb 2019 / return  13th Match 2019)

Atletico de Madrid - Juventus FC (20th Feb / 12th Madrid)

Schalke 04 - Manchester City (20th Feb / 12th Marzo)

Manchester United - PSG (12th Feb / 6th Mar)

Tottenham Hotspurs - Borussia Dortmund (13th Feb / 5th Mar)

AC Roma - Oporto (12th Feb / 6th Mar)

Liverpool FC - Bayern de Munich (19th Feb /13th Mar)

Europa League 2019

The next phase of the Europa League also was on the UEFA agenda today with the matchups for the next phase of the competition which includes the Clubs that finished 3rd place in the Champions League. 

Spanish Clubs:

- Celtic Glasgow - Valencia CF
- Lazio - Sevilla FC
- Sporting Portugal - Villarreal
- Stade Rennais - Real Betis 

Away 14th Feb / return 21st Feb 2019


UEFA Champions League continued tonight with the remaining Group games scheduled which included Real Madrid & Valencia CF in their respective clashes. Here is a brief summary of events, goalscorers & final results.

Real Madrid vs CSKA Moscow

REAL MADRID hosted CSKA MOSCOW with Top spot of the Group assured & playing for prestige & image. While The Russians came into the match looking for a must get victory to assure a chance to get the third place (if Viktoria Plzen did not win their match against AC Roma) to secure their pass to the Europa League.

Real Madrid put in a "B-side" line-up to rest some players & give the less used during the season a chance to show themselves. The starting 11 is illustrated in the above image. 

Real Madrid CF

The first half was a summary of the Real Madrid season, match control, multiple goal occasions but losing by 2 goals at the end of the 45 mins. Strange as it sounds CSKA Moscow were super effective with their limited opportunities to score through CHALOV in the 37th min & SCHENNIKOV in the 43rd min. Real Madrid hit the post with an Asensio chance & Vinicius was on fire but some poor concentration & bad defending put all the hard work go down the "drain". 

Real Madrid - CSKA Moscow

The 2º half was a chance for Real Madrid to lift & show some character but again not effective in the goal scoring department. Real Madrid put onto the field Kroos to move the ball around & Gareth Bale up forward, but no positive result. Once again a limited Russian goal opportunity was converted into a 3rd goal by SIGURDSSON in the 73rd min. 

In conclusion, effective game plan by CSKA Moscow but unfortunate in destiny for in the other match Viktoria Plzen won 2 - 1 AC Roma thus leaving the Russian Club without European competitions the rest of this season. For Real Madrid a severe whistling off by home fans, some serious doubts with the attitude some big names & some concern that with the upcoming FIFA World Champions Club finals in Abu Dhabi Real Madrid will be vulnerable, especially to a more confident River Plate team who has just won the Libertadores Cup.


Champions League

VALENCIA CF hosted MANCHESTER UNITED with the latter having secured the 2º spot of the Group (but with a chance of Top spot if they win & Juventus lose) & Valencia the 3º place for Europa League. For both the match had image, reputation & prestige factors up for grabs along with giving some players time on the European Football stage. The Valencia CF starting 11 line up is as it appears in the above image. 

Valencia CF

Good 1ºst half by Valencia CF which played good Football & dominated during substantial periods Manchester United. Their efforts & intensity was rewarded early with a 17th min goal by CARLOS SOLER. Manchester had their moments as well with the closet chance a Pogba goal opportunity that nearly gave Man Utd the equalizer.

Valencia CF vs Man Utd

Valencia CF got of to a flying start in the 2ºnd half with an own goal by Manchester United player JONES in the 48th min. While Valencia at this point were comfortable, that English Club began grinding back into the match & creating goal scoring opportunities. Man Utd was reward in the 87th min when RASHFORD scored. From here with 5 - 7 mins left, Manchester United went all out to find the equalizer, they nearly achieved it.


Conclusion, Valencia CF through to the Europa League, while Manchester United finishes second in the Group.


UEFA Champions League was back this week with the last Group matches scheduled & before the Christmas Break. Two of the four Spanish Football representatives was up for show tonight with the following summary of events, goalscorers & final results.

Champions League 2018

FC BARCELONA hosted English Club TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS with the former having the Top spot of the Group secure & thus not playing for much except prestige. On the other hand Tottenham was battling with Italian Club Inter Milan for the prized 2º place & for them a tonight victory was vital ( or that Inter to lose their game to keep 2º place).

Under the "relaxed" circumstances for Barça Coach Valverde used the occasion to give less regular & younger players a run as you can see in the above image of the starting 11 side. 

FC Barcelona

The first half was entertaining with plenty of occasions for both teams. FC Barcelona managed to score first early after "maverick" Frenchman DEMBELE did his magia with a long spirit, dribble & great goal in the 11th min.  The first half end with Barça ahead by the only goal scored by the French forward.

FC Barcelona - great match vs Brugges

The 2º half saw a more active & determined Tottenham Hotspurs which had one ear (via the radio) listening to what Inter Milan was doing & the other needing to score. However while Barcelona had opportunities - Coutinho hitting the post - FC Barcelona goalkeeper Cillessen was earning himself the "MVP" tag with some spectacular & match winning saves. However, just when one thought that Tottenham was "jinxed" a counter-attack from the mentioned post hitting Barça occasion lead to the equalizing goal by LUCAS MOURA in the 85th min.

With Inter Milan drawing 1 -1 in their game this result was enough for Tottemham to keep the second position of the Group & give them the ticket to the next phase of the Champions League. Thus both Barça & Tottenham "won" tonight.


Champions League 2018

ATLETICO DE MADRID travelled away to play Belgian Club FC BRUGGE to attempt to secure the Top spot of their group which they were competing with German Club Borussia Dortmund. Thus a win for At. Madrid was a priority tonight for them & as you can see in the above image of the starting 11.  Coach Simeone went out with the available "big names".

At Madrid vs FC Brugge

The 1º half gave plenty of occasions to Atletico de Madrid that were not converted into goal. Two opportunities to note were those of Griezmann & Thomas that came close, while Brugge goalkeeper Horvath played his part. Atletico midfielder Saul deserves a mention for his Football & outstanding plays that contributed to At Madrid dominating & being the more dangerous but not scoring. The first 45 mins finished with both teams scoreless. 

At Madrid vs Brugge

The 2º half complicated things for Atletico de Madrid which could not find the way to score the needed goal. In fact FC Brugge got stronger as the anxiety levels increased for the Spanish team, added with the extra frustration of not being able to score to secure the Top spot of the Group. Atletico goalkeeper Oblak was forced to do some great saves to avoid the Belgian team from taking the match & victory.


Atletico goes through to the next stage as second placed of their group behind Borussia Dortmund. Not good at all as Atletico could be matched in their next game against the likes of either Bayern, Man City, PSG or Juventus FC. 

Tomorrow more Champions League games with Real Madrid & Valencia FC scheduled for their Group games. 


Croatian International & Real Madrid midfielder LUKA MODRIC has been proclaimed "FRANCE FOOTBALL GOLDEN BALL WINNER 2018" in tonight's ceremony held in Paris, France. The Croatian breaks the Messi - Cristiano Ronaldo 10 year straight hegemony to win at the age of 33 years & after an extraordinary Football year for the Croatian Captain.

Luka Modric was prized ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (2º), Antoine Griezmann (3º), Kylian Mbappe (4º) & Lionel Messi (5º).

France Football Golden Ball Award 2018 Winner

The other winners tonight were:

ADA HEGERBERG player of Olympique de Lyon & Norway International won the first ever "FRANCE FOOTBALL FEMALE GOLDEN BALL AWARD 2018", &

KYLIAN MBAPPE player of Paris St Germain & French International won the "KOPA TROPHY" for the Best U21 Player in World Football.

France Football also dedicated part of the ceremony to praise the FRANCE WORLD CUP TEAM for winning the FIFA World Cup, something to expect under the circumstances & who the organizers are, France Football.

To finish, just two notes:

1. Hours before the ceremony & the official announcement of the Golden Ball winner, the list of players, placing & points was filtered out to media. Perhaps its a custom to "prepare" everyone for the occasion. Who knows.

GOLDEN BALL AWARD 2018 standing list

2. Once again CRISTIANO RONALDO pulled his party trick. Knowing beforehand that he would not win, the Juventus FC player decided not to attend tonight's ceremony. This went contrary to 3º placed Griezmann who also knew beforehand he would not win a prize he has desired & called for himself, but attended keeping a smile & commenting he was there due to respect to the other players.

Cristiano Ronaldo once again shows his egoistic personality, & disrespect for other players & in this case, Luka Modric ex-teammate who helped him win his Champions League titles which contributed to his own passed Golden Ball Award title.

Cristiano Ronaldo has lost respect & if it would be possible, I would remove his passed Golden Ball Awards as his behaviour & actions go against the values of the Sport: team spirit, competitive but respectful & acknowledgement to those who are better.

To conclude, absolutely shameful & disgusting the attitude shown by Cristiano Ronaldo for not attending

From here congratulations to Luka Modric, his family, friends & Croatia will be proud & happy for this well earned Football Award. 

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