Ryan Bailey

  • Donald Trump once helped conduct the English League Cup draw

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 16 hrs ago

    In a matter of days, Donald Trump could become one of the most powerful people on the planet. Twenty-five years ago, he found himself drawing Norwich and Middlesbrough out of a green felt bag in the League Cup quarterfinal draw.

    The bizarre clash of worlds occurred in December 1991, when a British film crew were in New York City to film the qualifying draw for the 1994 World Cup. While in the Big Apple, the crew needed to take care of the matter of drawing the final eight teams in the League Cup. According to The Guardian, relatively-fresh-faced 45-year-old Trump had already agreed to an interview and subsequently agreed to the help decide the fate of England’s second-biggest cup contest.

    Ian St. John and World Cup winner Jimmy Greaves – who formed a formidable double act on British screens as “Saint and Greavesy” – were invited to a boardroom in Trump Tower, along with FA Secretary David Dent.

  • BBC survey finds 8% of fans would stop watching their team if it had a gay player

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 16 hrs ago

    A survey of more than 4,000 people, conducted by BBC Radio 5 Live, has found that 82% of soccer fans in England, Scotland and Wales would have no problem with having a gay player on their team.

    However, the same survey found that 8% of fans would stop watching their team if they discovered that one of the players was homosexual.

    One may have thought that we live in more enlightened times, but clearly homophobia remains a prominent issue in sports. A lack of acceptance of gay players has made headlines in the NFL in recent years, and it remains a taboo subject in the European game.

    The first player to come out in England was Justin Fashanu in 1990. He committed suicide one year after retiring in 1998 and no male player in the country has come out since.

    The survey also found that 18% of British fans felt that homosexual players should “keep it to themselves,” while 15% said a gay player coming out would make others on the team feel uncomfortable.

  • Is this the real reason Lionel Messi is retiring from international duty?

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    We appear to be at the end of an era.

    In the aftermath of Argentina’s Copa America Centenario final loss to Chile on Sunday – the Albiceleste’s third consecutive summer of losing a major tournament final – Lionel Messi announced his decision to step down from international duty.

    [ Copa America: Winners and losers | Messi retires | Chile defends title | Match stats ]

    On Saturday, the AFA (Argentine Football Association) was put under the administration of a FIFA committee in reaction to dubious elections, poor management and troubling in-fighting.

  • Euro 2016 bracket prediction: Triumph for France, upset for Belgium

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    The Euro 2016 group stage brought us fantastic goals, brilliant individual performances, plucky underdog displays, ripped shirts, angry Ronaldos and a very disgusting Jogi Loew.

    [ EURO 2016 | Predictions | Scores/Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    Now, the bracket for the Round of 16 is set – and it is rather uneven. One side contains a combined 20 world and European titles, while the other has precisely zero. We now face a scenario where one of Switzerland, Poland, Croatia, Portugal, Wales, Northern Ireland, Hungary or Belgium are guaranteed to be in the final. Which is an unexpected turn of events.

    In this video, I run through the brackets and make my predictions all the way to the final. Check it out and be sure to leave a comment below.

  • Has Cristiano Ronaldo lost his mojo?

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    Cristiano Ronaldo is unquestionably one of the greatest players ever to grace a rectangle of grass. At this stage, he has nothing left to prove. However, there is a key piece missing in the jigsaw of the Portuguese megastar's career – success with his international team.

    [ EURO 2016 | Predictions | Scores/Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    The 31-year-old has thus far endured a disappointing Euro 2016, with 20 unfruitful shots, a missed penalty and plenty of punishments for wandering offside after two group games. Saturday's goalless draw with Austria was a definite lowlight on the spectrum of his glittering career.

    Be sure to give your opinions on the matter below.

  • Euro 2016 predictions: The best team, the worst team and the dark horse

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    The wait is nearly over!

    After nearly two years of qualifiers and few weeks of lukewarm pre-tournament friendlies, Euro 2016 finally kicks off on Friday. To whet your appetite, here are our picks of the likely contenders, the underachieving pretenders and the oft-discussed "dark horses."

    France have a knack for imploding at major tournaments, but they are favorites for the festivities in their own backyard as they boast a very strong squad and impeccable form on home soil. Albania, meanwhile, are tournament virgins who will do very well to keep their heads above water in Les Blues’ group.

    And as for the dark horses? Let’s just say we’re not going with the cliche of Belgium.

    Check out the video and be sure to have your say in the comments.

  • The five Copa America Centenario group stage games you must watch

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    After much anticipation, the 45th edition of the Copa America, the world’s oldest international soccer tournament, kicks off on Friday. In this special-edition, centenary-celebration tournament, the 10 usual CONMEBOL suspects will be joined by six CONCACAF guests in 10 cities across the United States.

    [ Copa America Centenario | Scores and Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    Before the knockout stage is reached, there will be 24 group stage games in 11 heady days, all broadcast across the Fox Network in the USA. Of course, one should endeavour to take in all of the games, but if real life gets in the way of that plan, this video highlights five of the very best group stage games to prioritize.

    Let us know your thoughts on the selected games and the tournament in the comments.

  • Why the Copa America Centenario is better than the Euros

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    Good news: It's going to be a fantastic summer of soccer! We’ve got two major tournaments on our hands, with Copa America Centenario kicking off in California on Friday and Euro 2016 debuting a week later.

    Most soccer fans – particularly those of a European persuasion – will tell you that the European Championships are a far superior tournament to the equivalent festival of futbol across the pond. And in many ways, they may be right. However, there are plenty of reasons why this summer’s big tournament in America will be a much more entertaining affair.

    Check out this FC Yahoo original video and be sure to give your thoughts on the matter in the comments.

  • Why the Champions League final is a much bigger deal than the Super Bowl

    Ryan Bailey at FC Yahoo 5 mths ago

    This Saturday, two of the world’s greatest soccer teams will meet at the pinnacle of domestic European competition in the UEFA Champions League final.

    The 61st iteration of Europe’s premier club competition will see Real Madrid face its neighbors Atletico Madrid, effectively giving us a replay of the 2014 Champions League final where Los Blancos scooped their much coveted " Decima " (10th European Cup). 

    The Champions League final is a global behemoth, but how does it compare in stature to America’s biggest annual sporting event – the Super Bowl?

    In the video above, I run the numbers to compare and contrast the two types of football. Take a look and be sure to check our 2016 Champions League final preview in the latest FC Yahoo podcast.

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