Basque total football, Balotelli rumours and the Blues seek European revenge on Barça

Well, the mid-week Champions League footie was good, wasn’ it? But look at the forthcoming fixture list for the semi finals. Barcelona v Chelsea – a difficult one for Chelsea who needn’t be reminded of the events when the two sides last met in the Champions League semi final 2nd leg at the Bridge back in 2009. The Londoners are out for revenge against the mighty Barça side. The other one, Bayern Munich v Real Madrid, is historically one of the most tense duels on the European stage – scandals, controversies and carnage have been on the menu in previous ties. An El Clásico final? Quite the thought, eh?

Another el clásico/fight, anyone?


Speaking about European competitions, how good have Athletic Bilbao been in the Europa League? Amazing to watch, aren’t they? They are making Thursday nights enormously worthwhile, footie-wise. They’ve tossed a little-known team called Manchester United out of the competition, have a date booked against FC Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final and currently lie in 7th place in La Liga with an eye to hopefully make it into the top four and into a Champions League play-off spot. Surely they can’t….can they?

Bilbao - the Basque Brazil


Elsewhere in the beautiful game this week, reports from Italy suggest that Mario Balotelli‘s former club Inter Milan may possibly be interested in taking the Man City nutter back to San Siro. I can hear Noel Gallagher screaming in the distance as I type: “Noooooooooo”. Also, Football El Mundo also bids farewell to the former Italy, Lazio, New York Cosmos and Swansea City striker Giorgio Chinaglia who passed away last Sunday. Here are all 50 goals from his record-breaking 1980 NASL season with the New York Cosmos – a club he joined in the prime of his career unlike stars such as Pelé and Johann Cruyff.

Is Mario to leave to blue half of Manchester for the blue half of Milan?



Follow Rob Smith @robsmithireland