December 23 – Argentina, whose national association is under the control of a FIFA normalisation committee, will at least finish the year as the world’s number one nation on the pitch, according to the final FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking for 2016.
December 23 – An unheralded club in Wales is on the verge of making international football history. Welsh Premier League champions The New Saints have already established a Welsh Premier League record of consecutive wins but now they are close to setting a new world record of consecutive victories in all competitions.
December 23 – In football quality beats quantity every time, is the conclusion of the latest analysis by the CIES Football Observatory of the number of players used in the season to date in teams in 31 top division of UEFA nations.
December 23 – Former England manager Sam Allardyce, who lasted only 67 days in charge before being forced to resign following a newspaper sting, could be back in the spotlight before the end of the year.
By Samindra Kunti
December 9 – French champions Paris Saint-Germain are teetering on the edge of a crisis following a defeat against Montpellier and a draw against Ludogorets in the Champions League. On Sunday, they host league leaders Nice with coach Unai Emery in the pressure seat.
December 6 – FC Barcelona is taking its academy blueprint to China and is backing the build of a facility at the world’s biggest golf resort, Mission Hills, on China’s Hainan Island, near Hong Kong.
December 5 – Goalkeepers, often the old wise heads of top league teams, appear to be getting younger. Of four players under the age of 20 who have played every minute of every league match so far this season in the top divisions of 31 European leagues, three are goalkeepers.
November 20 – Gareth Southgate, who stepped into the role on an interim basis when Sam Allardyce was forced to step down over a newspaper sting after just 67 days in charge, has been given the England manager’s job on a four-year deal.
November 30 – The CIES Football Observatory has launched a new version of its free-to-use Digital Atlas that looks at the composition of squads across Europe.
November 29 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, dismissed for the second time this season last weekend, has now been charged by English football authorities – also for the second time.
November 29 – There are more Brazilian players playing outside their home country in Europe’s top 31 leagues than any other nation. Though there are more French players playing outside of France in the Big Five leagues than there are Brazilians.
November 28 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, the self-styled Special One, prides himself on setting records. But his latest “achievement” will hardly go down as one of his most admirable.
It’s the ultimate catch-22 question for ambitious club owners and coaches. How do you fund an expensive new stadium while at the same time build a competitive title-contending team?
November 25 – Inter Milan, one of the world’s most iconic clubs but currently struggling in Serie A despite being taken over by Chinese investors, have suffered the ultimate humiliation after being knocked out of the Europa League – baby brother of the Champions League – with a game to spare.