A rollercoaster of a year for Yusuf Demir can end with his head held high after a tournament full of pride with Austria's Under-19's. Not reaching the semi-finals will feel like a major disappointment for Das Team, but the Wien local boy looks to have found the reinvigorating form that earned him a move to Barcelona at the start of last season. Things never quite panned out for Demir at Barca, and his contract was terminated after just six months. Since returning to Rapid, his performances have been up and down, but his evident technical quality still brings promise for what could become of the 19-year-old in the future. This Euros tournament has been all about regaining the confidence that sent Yusuf Demir to Camp Nou in the first place, and many top European sides will now be on red alert for his signature. Here is our analysis of Demir at this summer's U19 European Championship.
past weekend, securing an easy 4-2 win against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid. With the likes of Dani Alves, yes Dani Alves, and a younger version of Xavi himself in the form of 17-year-old Gavi, Barca have a mix of incredible experience and youthful verve to propel them into the top four moving forward. Here is our match analysis of Barca's 4-2 win over Atletico, and Barcelona's attacking variety and balance throughout the match.
Barcelona have been on a deep, downward spiral ever since rumours of Messi's departure started to surface toward the end of the 2019-20 season. The La Liga giants have won just the 2020-21 Copa del Rey since the 2018-19 season, and now look destined to finish below a UEFA Champions League place this time around. Xavi Hernandez has come into the club to try and restore normality, but with the club floundering under uncertainty of poor budget planning and insufficient funds, Xavi's task appears to be a mammoth one. Barcelona sit in just sixth place at the moment, and they've had very few convincing performances since the former Barca legend arrived from Al Sadd. With young players not quite ready and old heads no longer at their best ruling the starting lineup, Xavi's ability to find consistency before the end of the season could be impossible. So with that, let's take a look at some of the tactics Xavi has deployed since taking over the helm at Camp Nou, and what needs to change if the legend is get his team back into the UEFA Champions League next season.
The moment every Barcelona fan had been dreading for years has finally arrived. Lionel Messi has left the club as a free agent, unable to pen a new contract, which had apparently been agreed months ago. While there could be more than meets the eye regarding the current situation, the Catalan giants must now prepare for a new era without their most successful player ever.
Lionel Messi wants OUT of Barcelona again. But we're not convinced he's actually leaving again. Meanwhile, Manchester City have splashed the cash on Jack Grealish and might do so again to sign Harry Kane. If they do, is the title race done and dusted before it even begins? Rhys doesn't think so, and thinks another Premier League challenger could be set to go neck and neck with the Citizens this season. Then the lads break down the top four race, relegation battle and why Tottenham, Arsenal, and Everton are still stuck in no-mans-land. Follow the show @futbolmasterminds and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!
After a disappointing couple of years, FC Barcelona are making active strides in the transfer market to turn their fortunes around. The signings of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero signal their intent to be the best team in Spain again, and end their two season run without a La Liga title. Here is a tactical analysis of how FC Barcelona may set up under the influence of Ronald Koeman next season.
It was a weekend of football like none other, with two domestic league cups to discuss, new developments in the title races in Spain and France, and a goalkeeper scoring a header in the Premier League. Kausty, Russell, Rhys and new guest Shomik get together to discuss Leicester's stunning FA Cup final win, Dortmund's resurgence in the DFB Pokal and Bundesliga top four race, and Alisson's incredible headed goal. The panel then end off with a discussion about Barcelona crashing out of the La Liga title race, and whether or not Ronald Koeman is to blame. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!
Russell is back(!!), and back in style to discuss all the top European leagues in episode #11 of the Futbol Masterminds show. The panel first delve into Chelsea vs. Man City, Timo Werner and panenkas, before moving to Serie A, discussing Juventus' top four hopes being dashed before their eyes. The panel then give their picks in the respective races for the La Liga and Ligue 1 title, before discussing the potential Ballon d'Or race between Lewandowski and Messi. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!
Former Barcelona man Xavi Hernandez is widely considered one of the best midfielders of all time. In his hay-day with both Spain and Barcelona, Xavi formed one of the best midfield triads the game has ever seen, alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. He won twenty-five major trophies with Barcelona and three for Spain, before moving to Qatar ahead of the 2015-16 season. He then went on to finish his career in style, winning the Qatari league in his final season at the club in 2018-19. The very next season he was named manager of the squad and soon afterward completely revolutionized Al Saad into a near unstoppable unit in the QPL. The Spanish midfielder has quietly gone about his business at Al Sadd, playing in Guardiola-esque ways and doing del-Bosque-esque things, winning six trophies in two seasons so far. Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the now 41-year-old, and in time we may see one of the game greatest ever midfielders become one of the game's greatest ever managers. Here is a tactical analysis of Xavi Hernandez's Al Sadd.
April 20, 2021, will go down in history as the day when European football was saved, and in large part, saved by the fans of the game. Sir Matt Busby famously said, "Football is nothing without the fans", and it was proven right when fans of all Premier League clubs involved in the creation of the Real Madrid led European Super League protested against their own clubs and owners. Liverpool fans took down banners inside the stadium and replaced them with protest banners outside the stadium instead and fans of Chelsea FC took to the streets to protest before their match against Brighton & Hove Albion, even prompting club legend Petr Cech to jump off the team bus and plead with them to move out of the way. The owners of the six English clubs got the message loud and clear, "WE DO NOT WANT THE SUPER LEAGUE." This is how fans stopped the European Super League from happening.
On Sunday April 18th, 2021, twelve of Europe's elite clubs made a shocking announcement that they had agreed to take part in a "European Super League". The announcement was instantly condemned by UEFA, FIFA, the FA, and fans around the globe...not to mention the Futbol Masterminds. Rhys, Kausty and special guest Vivek dissect some of the many issues to do with the European Super League, before delving into a discussion on racism in football and England's Euro 2020 squad. Submit questions and follow the show @futbolmasterminds on Instagram, or on themastermindsite.com.
As requested by virtually everyone, the Futbol Masterminds panel discuss whether or not Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have officially dethroned Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the quest to be the world's best. The panel also discuss the big moments from the North London derby, the La Liga title race and Chris Wilder's unfortunate sacking from Sheffield United. Follow @mastermindsite and our new Instagram @futbolmasterminds to submit your questions every weekend before the show.
Thomas Tuchel's PSG weren't brilliant in Ligue 1 this season, but his sacking still came as a relative surprise for many footballing fans. Given his reputation as a tactical innovator at FSV Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund and even to an extent the Parisians, all clubs (and potentially even national teams) in need of a new manager should be thinking long and hard about the potential to bring the German into their set-up. Alongside analyzing his principles of play, common trends across his managerial career, and potential suitors, we establish where might be the best place for Thomas Tuchel to land next in this two-part tactical analysis. This is our latest analysis into the mind of last season's UEFA Champions League finalist, Thomas Tuchel.