March 15 – Training your own talent is no guarantee of success at club level though the stats suggest that it gives a slight advantage. Players who spent at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21 in the club accounted for almost 25% of champion winning team squads, compared to only about 20% for all clubs surveyed.
March 7 – Money, it seems, has once again has failed to buy success for Paris St Germain who continue to wait to land Europe’s biggest club prize.
March 6 – The latest CIES Football Observatory data report looks at the clubs with the best ratios between shots taken and conceded from inside the box during the current domestic league season.
March 5 – After a detailed study and a two-year experiment, football’s lawmakers have officially approved the use of a fourth substitute being used in extra time, starting with the World Cup.
By Andrew Warshaw in Zurich
March 4 – So now it’s official. No turning back. But are there still more questions than answers? As anticipated, video assistant referees are set to be used at this year’s World Cup in Russia after football’s lawmakers, the International FA Board (IFAB), voted to roll out the technology when they met at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Saturday.
March 2 – Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has appealed to football’s lawmakers not to give the green light to video assistant referees being allowed at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
March 1 – Any slight chance the world’s most expensive player had of making his club’s most important game of the season has been ruled out with the news that Neymar will have surgery after suffering a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle.
February 28 – The world’s most expensive player has suffered a damaging injury at the worst possible time. Neymar’s fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle is expected to keep him out of action for at least six weeks meaning he will miss Paris St Germain’s all-important upcoming Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Real Madrid.
February 28 – He may have successfully campaigned for the European Club Association, which he headed for nine years, to have a voice on UEFA’s decision-making executive committee but Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is annoyed at the decision not to use video assistance in next year’s Champions League.
February 28 – Internazionale have opened their eighth academy outside of Italy, the latest being in Beirut, Lebanon. Inter is working in partnership with Water Resources LTD Company and Sportomondo on the project in Lebanon.
February 27 – Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is the world’s leading dribbler of the ball so far this season, topping Neymar and Lionel Messi in an analysis of Europe’s Big 5 league players.
By Andrew Warshaw
February 27 – Gianni Infantino says he has had no second thoughts about using video assistant referees (VAR) at the World Cup despite a string of controversial incidents that have called into question how effective the system is.
February 20 – Five players at English clubs, two of them in the Championship, make the top 50 list of European U20 players with the best career prospects, according to a ranking compiled by the CIES Football Observatory.
February 16 – Scotland finally have a manager to succeed Gordon Strachan – very much a sense of déjà vu. Alex McLeish has agreed to take over for the second time – 11 years after leaving the post.
February 16 – Research by the CIES Football Observatory into the age ranges within clubs in 31 top division European leagues finds that the most competitive clubs are the ones with older squads.