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Tuesday Kickoff: UEFA receive All-Star Game proposal; Man City ready for summer sales; and more

LionelMessiCristianoRonaldo1 (Getty)


Soccer purists may dislike the MLS All-Star Game, but it could be catching on in Europe in the coming years.

According to a report from Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo, UEFA and some of Europe’s biggest clubs have received a proposal from an undisclosed “multinational marketing company” to stage an All-Star Game. While most of the details are still vague, the game would pit players in Europe’s northern leagues (English Premier League, Bundesliga, Russian Premier League) with Europe’s southern leagues (La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1).

Clubs could contribute two to three players to the teams, and it could feature the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing against Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, and Arjen Robben. Mundo Deportivo put together a mock XI for the northern and southern teams.

The proposal still has yet to be approved by UEFA but it is currently being studied in order to determine its feasibility, according to the report.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:


Manchester City’s squad could have a much younger look next season.

Playing with one of the oldest squads in the English Premier League and struggling to live up to expectations, Manchester City are considering offloading up to eight first-team players this summer to revamp their squad, according to a report in The Telegraph.

The report states that along with James Milner, who is expected to leave on a free transfer, and Frank Lampard, who is heading to New York City FC, Man City could sell Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, and Stevan Jovetic this summer.

Replacing the octet of players could be 21-year-old Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, 20-year-old Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling, 22-year-old Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, and 23-year-old Wolfsburg winger Kevin De Bruyne. All four of those players are summer targets for Man City.


The Asian Football Confederation conducted the draw for the second round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday morning, and it saw Asian giants Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Iran all drawn in separate groups.

Defending AFC Asian Cup champions Australia were drawn in Group B, Japan were drawn in Group E, South Korea were drawn in Group G, Iran were drawn in Group D, and Iraq were drawn in Group F.

Surprise participants Bhutan were drawn with neighbors China in Group C.

The teams, placed in groups of five, will play each team once at home and once away. The winners of the groups automatically qualify for the third round of World Cup qualifying and qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

The best four runners-up will qualify for the third round of World Cup qualifying while the remaining four runners-up will move on to the third round of Asian Cup qualifying.

Here’s the draw for the second round of AFC World Cup qualifying:

Group A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor-Leste, Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei

Group G: South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, North Korea, Yemen


Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony in Shanghai, French legend Eric Cantona claimed that Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore is the best player in the world, over Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. (REPORT)

Former World Cup winner Lilian Thuram stated that he once turned down a move to Juventus in order to go to Parma in 1998, before eventually making his way to Turin in 2001. (REPORT)

Stoke City forward Bojan has revealed that AS Roma could have signed Marco Verratti back in 2012 and were about to complete Verratti’s transfer from Pescara before then-head coach Luis Enrique pulled the plug on the deal. (REPORT)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed his surprise that his team have won eight league games in a row. (REPORT)

What do you think of these reports? Would you like to see an UEFA All-Star Game? Do you see UEFA approving it? Do you see Man City offloading so many players this summer?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You can be sure that any UEFA All-Star Game won’t screw up the clubs’ schedules by being played in the middle of the big leagues’ regular seasons. MLS, on the other hand . . .

    • Aren’t players already complaining about too many games? I guess it’s all about the money. I have no need for and no interest in such money-driven games, but I’m sure there are plenty of people that love certain players (rather than a team) that will waste their money on this.

    • Milner would be exciting.. i was thinking Yaya Toure or Edin Dzeko.. defiantly would have to best offers from a number of European teams, but possible.

    • Milner would be a great pick-up for NYCFC. Not a star name ncessarily, but a versatile, hard-working professional who would really add a lot to the squad. Plus he’d be coming on a free transfer. Problem is NY probably wants to make a bigger splash with that last DP spot – too bad MLS didn’t add a fourth slot.

  2. Soccer purists…..LOL.

    You mean the guys that hate playoffs, but love Euro Champions “League?”
    Hate the US AllStar game, but love testimonial games?

    • The same people who call it the UEFA “Champions” League, even though it’s technically not a league of champions, but a league mostly consisting of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams. Last time I checked, a “champion” is considered 1st place.

    • The MLS All-Star game doesn’t bug me. What does bug me is MLS and some MLS fans trying to use it as some sort of real world measuring stick against top European leagues and it’s marketed as such and even covered as such by media outlets in the US. I think that’s what the soccer “purists” I believe find annoying.

      • There are just as many MLS-haters who use summer friendlies as confirmation (bias) that MLS is a crap league. It cuts both ways. The truth is that neither the MLS Cup nor a pointless summer friendly is any real indication of a team’s quality.

      • I haven’t seen much of that in years. I think most soccer fans in the US have matured where friendlies are seen as just friendlies for the most part. Except, of course, when it comes to the MLS All-Star game which is a friendly with fancy dressing. Last year’s coverage alone was enough to make me vomit. You would have thought there was a UEFA Champion’s League final at stake the way some fans and soccer writers were covering it. It’s embarrassing. Just take it for what it is, a fun exhibition with nothing at stake for either team.

      • I don’t care how the league stack up.

        But the reason the soccer purists hate it is because MLS wins it.

      • No I don’t think so. The purists hate it because of how it’s marketed. Marketing it that way also makes MLS look bad if MLS loses it. It’s a meaningless exhibition, but I don’t think it shouldn’t exist. I just think the approach MLS takes with it is hugely flawed.

      • I’ll bite. What’s wrong with the way the ASG is marketed? It’s marketed as a big weekend event with concerts and sideshows. It’s a big spectacle, just like all the other sports leagues’ ASGs.

        How many times prior to last July did Bayern Munich play in Portland, Oregon? I’d wager the answer is somewhere around zero times. We can forgive Portlandians for getting excited, right?

      • Making it a big event is fine, but it’s also marketed as a pseudo-championship game because of the opponents. Personally I always enjoyed the East vs West format myself. The players would play with reckless abandon and just have fun, which All-Star games are all about. The way it is now, it’s basically a faux championship game with only one team caring about the result. It just comes off as try-hard and cheap.

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