International Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Febregas sidelined, FIFA Club World Cup semis set and more


While Leo Messi was celebrating his historic feat, Cesc Fabregas was writhing in pain.

Fabregas lasted only nine minutes in Barcelona’s 2-1 over Real Betis on Sunday before being removed due to injury, and it has been determined that the Spanish international will be out for up to a month with a thigh muscle injury. Fabregas tore the bicep femoris in his left thigh early in the game before being replaced by Alexis Sanchez.

The injury rules out Fabregas for Barcelona’s final three games of the year, a pair of La Liga fixtures and a Copa del Rey Round of 16 match.

Here are more stories from around the soccer world:


After a pair of quarterfinals matches took place on Sunday, the FIFA Club World Cup final four in Japan are set. Al-Ahly will take on Corinthians on Wednesday after the African champions defeated hosts Sanfrecce Hiroshima, 2-1, and Chelsea will battle with Monterrey a day later in the marquee semifinals match. Monterrey defeated South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai, 3-1.


The Manchester Derby was overshadowed by unruly fans on Sunday, and over a dozen arrests were made throughout the match. Thirteen people were arrested for varying alleged crimes during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Manchester City, and police are still looking for the person who threw the coin that hit Manchester United centerback Rio Ferdinand. Of the 13 fans arrested, it is known that three were fans of Man. Utd and six were City supporters.


The U.S. Women’s National Team just cannot stop winning. The Americans continued their Fan Tribute Tour by defeating China, 2-0, on Saturday in the first of their three games this month. Carli Lloyd and Sidney Leroux each scored in the second half to give the U.S. the win and improve to 6-0-2 on the Fan Tribute Tour. The United States play China again on Dec. 12 and 15.


Expecting Barcelona to not miss a beat even without Fabregas? Who do you see winning the FIFA Club World Cup? Will the USWNT finish their Fan Tribute Tour undefeated?

Share your thoughts below.

    • Kevin_Amold

      I wouldn’t call him a bust, just one option at midfield amidst an embarrassment of midfield riches. I do think he was a far better player with Arsenal, simply because they needed him to be so good.


    • Thebumswillalwayslose

      Do you think he’s a bust just because they’ll be able to play without him? Because you could use that logic on most of their team outside of Messi and Xavi. Or does it have more to do with his individual play? I guess you could consider him a bust if you expected him to immediately step in and make people forget about Xavi, but otherwise I’d have a hard time attaching that label to him. He had some difficulty finding a role in Pep’s system, but he’s excelling this year in Villanueva’s. They’re still very tiki-taka, possession oriented, but with Cesc sitting behind Messi and Pedro/Alexis they also now have the added capability of playing much more direct if the situation calls for it. Whether their hot start in La Liga is fully attributable to that or not is up for debate, but I think it’s certainly at least one of the factors and Cesc plays a major role in that.

      Early on in his second season back with the club he’s managed to establish himself as a starter (14 of 15 La Liga games thus far), he’s leading the league in assists, creating tons of chances, scoring a few goals and is generally playing as well as anyone in La Liga not named Messi, Ronaldo or Falcao. Not quite sure what else you’d want him to do…


  • wendellgee

    Really want an MLS team to qualify for the CWC. However, it will probably a let down when it happens, as the tournament still really struggles to garner the level of attention its name suggests it should.


    • Hogatroge

      The US should push hard to host the Club World Cup in the near future, whenever the multi-year deal w/ Japan (and any other countries lined up) expires.

      That way an MLS team could automatically qualify, with the ever-increasing possibility that another might win the CCL.


  • dave

    Not to go on troll patrol here, but in 70 appearances for Barca, Fab has scored 22 goals and helped on 29 assists. I agree that Barca will have no prob w/o him but to say he’s been a bust is a bit of a stretch.


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