December 21 – Belgium will finish 2019 as the world’s top ranked team, ahead of France and Brazil – the same positions they held in December 2018 in the FIFA/Coca-Cola men’s World Rankings.
December 18 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, in Qatar for the Club World Cup, says he’s not the right person to talk about human rights in the country and whether it fit to host global tournaments.
By Paul Nicholson
December 17 – The Liverpool bubble was dramatically burst last night as Aston Villa spanked a young team 5-0 in the quarter finals of the EFL League Cup and in front of 30,000+ fans at Villa Park, 4,000 of them travelling Liverpool fans.
December 18 – A data analysis of MVPs in clubs in Europe’s Big 5 leagues for the season to date shows Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as again being their clubs key players so far. But the lists also throw up some less well known names.
December 17 – Arsenal and Everton are both hoping for new managers for Christmas with Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti respectively emerging as frontrunners.
December 13 – The use of video assistant referees for marginal offside decisions, which has caused so much consternation throughout Europe, could be amended next season if a joint bid by UEFA and the British football associations succeeds.
December 11 – No sooner had he guided Napoli into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday than Carlo Ancelotti, one of Europe’s most successful coaches, was sacked .
December 10 – He may starting to look towards his retirement but Lionel Messi still tops a ranking of the best performing players across 35 European leagues.
December 6 – Amid growing criticism across Europe over the inconsistent way VAR is being interpreted, UEFA are to ask football’s lawmakers for greater clarification according to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
December 3 – Lionel Messi heads a table of outfield players who have played the highest percentage of domestic league minutes in the big-5 league team in the 2010s.
By Andrew Warshaw
Just 10 days after north London rivals Tottenham sacked their much-admired manager Maurico Pochettino after five years in charge, Arsenal followed suit today by dismissing Unai Emery – though not quite with the same surprise or fanfare.
By Osasu Obayiuwana
November 26 – With just seven months left on his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Gernot Rohr, the German coach of the Super Eagles, is making it clear that he is looking at his options.
By Samindra Kunti in Lima
November 25 – Late heroics from Gabriel Barbosa ‘Gabigol’ crowned a resilient Flamengo Copa Libertadores champions on Saturday against River Plate with a 2-1 victory and within 24 hours the Rio giants won the Brazilian league after Palmeiras failed to collect any points at Gremio, becoming the first Brazilian club to complete the double since Pele’s Santos in the 60s.
November 25 – English football’s refereeing chief has admitted that there have been four recent VAR blunders, increasing pressure on the game’s authorities to either scrap the system or tighten it up.
By David Owen
November 25 – Their reign at the top could not quite match the 25 years – and counting – of Alexander Lukashenko, the country’s president. Nonetheless, BATE Borisov’s dethroning on Sunday as national champions of Belarus very much qualifies as ‘the end of an era’.