When should a football club retire a player’s shirt number?

Moore, Baggio, Maradona, Maldini and ‘the 12th man’ have all been given the honour but is it really a sign of weakness?By Ricci Potts for The Gentleman UltraNot long ago I was speaking to some Napoli fans about Lorenzo Insigne. He was born in Naples, s…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/the-gentleman-ultra/2018/nov/15/football-club-retire-players-shirt-number-maradona-baggio-maldini-moore

La Liga could teach the Premier League about being competitive

Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are disproving the theory that ‘anyone can beat anyone’ in the Premier LeagueBy Martin Laurence for WhoScoredThere are many factors to consider when assessing what makes one league better than another, but over th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2018/nov/14/la-liga-premier-league-competitiveness-manchester-city-chelsea-liverpool

Gonzalo Higuaín suffers Milan meltdown as Juve push him over the edge | Paolo Bandini

Gattuso warned the striker to stay calm but a missed penalty sent the former Juve talisman spiralling towards a red cardHad Gennaro Gattuso noticed something in training, the first tremors that foretell the eruption of an emotional volcano? Milan’s mat…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/nov/12/gonzalo-higuain-milan-juventus-red-card-serie-a-football

European roundup: Barcelona suffer first home defeat in more than two years

Lionel Messi scores twice in vain for BarcelonaAIK win Swedish title thanks to victory over KalmarBarcelona suffered their first home defeat in La Liga for more than two years, the champions losing 4-3 to Real Betis despite Lionel Messi scoring twice o…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/nov/11/european-roundup-barcelona-suffer-first-home-defeat-in-more-than-two-years

The reinvention of João Mário and how Inter have found a new spirit | Paolo Bandini

In the summer, the midfielder said he did not want to play for Inter again. On Saturday, he was at the heart of their 5-0 winJoão Mário sounded so certain. Interviewed by Gazzetta dello Sport at the start of June – just after he had completed a success…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/nov/05/reinvention-joao-mario--inter-found-new-spirit-serie-a

Ten young players who have taken Europe by storm this season | Martin Laurence

James Maddison and Richarlison have been brilliant in England but Germany is the place to be for emerging talentBy Martin Laurence for WhoScoredMore than the odd eyebrow was raised when Everton agreed to meet Watford’s lofty £40m valuation of Richarlis…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2018/oct/31/young-players-season-storm-europe

Milan find their groove as two No 9s equal success against Sampdoria | Paolo Bandini

Patrick Cutrone and Gonzalo Higuaín are forming an unlikely partnership after both scored to boost Gennaro GattusoOld habits die hard for Silvio Berlusconi. It is more than a year since he sold Milan, and barely a month since he completed a takeover of…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/oct/29/milan-find-their-groove-as-two-no-9s-equal-success-against-sampdoria

European roundup: Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Juventus beat Empoli

• Serie A leaders maintain pace despite falling behind to Empoli• Jadon Sancho scores twice in Dortmund draw with HerthaCristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus came from behind to beat lowly Empoli 2-1 and maintain their scorching pace at the top of…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/oct/27/european-roundup-cristiano-ronaldo-juventus

The most improved football teams in Europe this season

Liverpool had a negative goal difference this time last season. Which other sides in Europe’s big leagues have improved?It’s easy to forget that Liverpool were in a worrying position this time last year. Having just suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Totte…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2018/oct/26/improved-football-teams-europe-season

Mauro Icardi lives up to Higuaín’s hype as Milan derby rocks with hope | Paolo Bandini

Inter’s lethal finisher scored an injury-time winner in a derby notable for the feelgood factor among both sets of fans“An assassin.” That was how Gonzalo Higuaín described Mauro Icardi in the build-up to Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina. Invited by Gazz…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/oct/22/mauro-icardi-higuain-milan-derby-inter-football