Lyon and Atletico Madrid locked their spots in this year's Champions League, as did Debreceni VSC, Maccabi Haifa, and FC Zurich. Lyon continue their representation of France in the Champions League, and Aguero and Forlan's goals return for a second consecutive year. Maccabi were Israel's first group-stage representatives in the 2002-03 season, and now return for their second time. Meanwhil Debrecen make their first trip into the group stage, and are Hungary's first representative since 1995-96.
Sneijder throws a wrench in Real Madrid's efforts to move him to Inter...or anywhere...again. It looks like he wants to stay, and is going to do so. The Dutchman is willing to compete for a spot at bench-heavy Real.
Ukranian international and Shakhtar Donetsk central defender Dnytro Chygrynskiy may finally arrive in Barcelona. Pep loves the guy. No one else knows a thing about him.
West Ham's 3-1 Carling Cup win over rival Millwall was overshadowed by the disgraceful events in and around the stadium.
If Sevilla's signing of Alvaro Negredo weren't enough proof of his quality, then his 80 million euro buyout clause certainly is. As for Sevilla itself, the fact that Negredo, at 14 million euros is their most expensive signing, speaks volumes about how well that organization is run. Numerous top four finishes, two consecutive Europa Cups, a King's Cup, and several Champions League appearances in recent years with no signings over 14 million euros? Impressive to say the least.
Today Michel Platini met with several club presidents, including Barcelona's Laporta, Lyon's Aulas, Bayern's Rummenigge, and other club brass (Milan's Gandini and Inter's Paolillo) in Geneva to discuss the implementation of a salary cap and transfer fee cap in club football. The E.U. president agrees, and Platini hopes to have the statute drafted within a month. I suppose Laporta forgot what he just paid for Ibrahimovic, and what he pays Messi, Ibra and Henry. I guess Aulas forgot the transfer checks Lyon's been cashing for years now, and it's not as if the other clubs on that list have always bought cheap. And Platini, well I'm sure the transfer fees for him were extremely reasonable.