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Pep va a Torino, in Italia da quattro anni?

Pep Guardiola made Premier League history with Manchester City this season

(Getty)

Pep Guardiola — the famed Catalan soccer manager who played for and then coached FC Barcelona to glory with this player named Lionel Messi — is the subject of a rumor reaching a fever pitch level.

Is Pep heading to Turin, Italy to coach the Old Lady, commonly known as Juventus?

Speculation in Italian media is that the current Man City man has agreed to a 4-year deal to lead Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus.

Just last week, Pep reiterated his reported denial of a move to Italy.

“How many times do I have to say? I’m not going to go to Juventus, I’m not going to move to Italy.”

But that was last week. Conditions, like those on the pitch during a game, can change.

While confirmation hasn’t been declared by Pep or Man City, this move would fit with the coach’s recent stints in Germany coaching Bayern Munich for three seasons and just finishing up his third season in England coaching Manchester City. This kind of move seems inevitable as Pep appears to be seeking continental club glory.

Literally.

And this is why this rumor should, at least, be entertained. Whether a move to Italy happens or not, it fits with Pep’s pattern of coaching European powerhouse clubs in different countries for just a few years at a time.

Here’s a quick rundown of Pep’s trophy case as a head coach:

  • FC Barcelona 14 trophies (2009 Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup; 2010 La Liga, Spanish Super Cup; 2011 La Liga, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup; 2012 Club World Cup, Copa del Rey)
  • Bayern Munich – 10 trophies (2013 German Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup; 2014 Bundesliga, German Super Cup, DFB-Pokal; 2015 German Super Club, Bundesliga, German Super Cup; 2016 Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal)
  • Manchester City – 5 trophies (2018 Premier League, League Cup; 2019 Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup)

The 48-year-old soccer manager still has at least a couple more decades coaching at the highest level, which is where he’s at right now. And since Pep hasn’t won the Champions League since leaving Barça — getting ever so close in Germany and England — there is a strong chance that the Catalan is yearning to cap his club coaching career with at least one more Champions League title in a country other than Spain without Lionel Messi before tackling a full World Cup cycle(s).

We’ll see if Pep’s pursuit of a return to Champions League glory will be attempted with Man City or Juventus this upcoming season. Something to consider from his perspective is that the chance to coach an in-form 34-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo may prove to be too tempting at this point.

Future Prediction: If Erik ten Hag, formerly of Pep’s coaching tree at Bayern Munich, doesn’t win the Champions League with Ajax during the next few seasons, then it would not be inconceivable that Pep moves to Amsterdam to coach the aforementioned club in the Johan Cruyff ArenA in a few years.

Or, staying in the same time period stated immediately above, Pep could move to Amsterdam but coach the Dutch national team instead to try and help the small yet historically soccer-rich country win its first World Cup. Winning at this level for the Netherlands would make for an incredible full-circle career, doing something special for his late dear friend, former coach and footballing inspiration, Dutch (and FC Barcelona and Ajax) legend Johan Cruyff whose Total Football legacy that started with fellow Dutchman Rinus Michels remains the prominent philosophy over him and modern soccer.

If there’s anyone in soccer who knows with acute detail where the ball will move next, it’s Pep. And if there’s anyone in soccer who knows with clarity and awareness where his admired and prized philosophy is wanted, it’s Pep.

Italian soccer, like Germany and England during the past six seasons, may never be the same again.

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Discovering the Bones of a Football Stadium

The Discovery Channel + Sports?

Yes. It’s true.

In the spirit of recent news regarding new innovative soccer stadiums in Europe, as covered here on Jimmy’s Daily Planet involving Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, let’s dive deep into an enlightening perspective of the building process for a football stadium (applies to American and European football equally) that’s not normally fit for front page news.

Discovery UK, staying true to its M.O., dove into the groundwork of how American football stadiums are built for its latest (ad)venture. Specifically, the University of Phoenix Stadium was examined.

Tackling this fascinating subject matter–which again still qualifies for stadiums dedicated to the world’s game–should certainly earn some views at the pub whilst sipping on a frosty pint during halftime of Champions League.

Today’s UEFA Champions League schedule at 3 p.m. ET:

  • Ajax vs. Juventus
  • Manchester United vs. Barcelona

Interestingly, like the version of football favored in Europe, constructing a stadium requires acute attention to detail, innovation in design and patience for achieving the ultimate goal.

The following blueprint isn’t for your average LEGO set.

Interior and outer design, size, sound control and distribution, the impact of weather, pitch condition, and many other essential variables and constants must be addressed–and can be addressed–in a variety of ways when building a new major sports stadium. Thankfully, Discovery UK has provided at least a few answers that will hopefully satisfy our understandable curiosities concerning our particular tastes in sports stadiums.

Given that sports stadiums are a community’s calling card and identity, knowing the bones (so to speak) of our favorite stadiums around the world is valuable knowledge. An awesome power, really. Because, like sports, once we understand the fundamentals, we can then begin to innovate in ways that redefine perception locally and beyond for generations to come.

What’s your favorite sports stadium(s)? Why? What experience(s) impacted your opinion(s)?

Isn’t it amazing how our cherished memories of watching sports live are only partly about the game? That’s what’s really beautiful about “the game” in the abstract.

Oh, substitute hot dogs for well-done mini bratwursts and we’re all good, Discovery UK.

The Spurs of the Moment Have a New Home

Innovative sports stadiums of the future don’t grow on trees…

but they sure are popping up like they do.

Continuing from yesterday’s article that spotlighted Real Madrid’s recent plans to upgrade its Bernabéu Stadium, today’s UEFA Champions League first-leg clash between Tottenham Hotspur (“Spurs”) and Manchester City (“Man City”) seems like the right time to spotlight Tottenham’s new stadium, which was the site for the aforementioned Champions League match.

FYI – Tottenham Hotspur upset Man City 1-nil. The return leg in Manchester will be a must-see TV experience as Pep’s friends are in a bit of a pickle.

For now, enjoy the future of football (or soccer for my American friends) in London with a digital tour of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“The stadium cost an estimated £850 million, boasts a retractable pitch, and has a sunken artificial pitch so it can host 2 NFL games each season.

It also has the biggest single tier stand in the country with a capacity of 17,500, which Tottenham hope will generate a wall of noise to rival that of Borussia Dortmund’s famous yellow wall at Signal Iduna Park.”

–Sam Pilger, Forbes contributor, ‘Can Tottenham Hotspur’s New Stadium Deliver Success?’

For the record, the digital access cards mentioned in the video above have been used at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena for the past several years. It’s new to Tottenham fans, but not European football. And further, on the record, the digital access cards are pretty cool and pleasantly seamless concerning transactions.

There’s certainly a temptation for sports stadium architects to focus too heavily on technology as the driver of the fan and player experience. That’s fair. However, the ownership groups that will survive and thrive will use exciting technological innovations as a complementary feature to enhance the modern playing experience and fan experience with equal consideration. It’s all about the game and the players and the fans. First and foremost.

In today’s spotlight, Tottenham Hotspur appears to have delivered on those two experiences.

And surprising Pep’s Man City with a home win in Champions League didn’t hurt the new stadium’s introduction to a global audience.

P.S. That goal line-stretch bar deserves a global cheer. Norm Peterson already claimed his barstool. 

Happy Monday!

Now it’s time to get real about the new home of soccer (or footballing) superpower Real Madrid.

Even as a Bayern Munich fan: Wow.

It doesn’t surpass the Allianz Arena–for which I have firsthand experience seeing a Champions League game–but the vision is impressive nonetheless.

The Spanish club recently revealed its plans for a new Bernabéu Stadium via state of the art upgrades as seen through a dramatic video tour featured below. Designed with a capacity of 80,000 fans, complete with cool technological features, the new Bernabéu is an awe-inspiring sight of the future for sports stadiums that can be appreciated by soccer fans and non-soccer fans alike.

Bottom line: Can Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane win in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era? That’s the real question that will determine the future of Real Madrid.

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.