2014 MLS Cup - New England Revolution v Los Angeles GalaxyIt’s Landon Donovan’s last press conference. He has just won another MLS Cup with his beloved LA Galaxy. It’s a fairytale ending. He’s had a picture book career. He has given everything to club and especially country.

What an honor to see him play his last professional game. What a privilege to be at his last LA Galaxy presser. He looks tired. He’s ready to walk off into the sunset as a champion.

co_1743[1] Act One of the new season in Spain is over and Sophie and Ben return to dissect the action so far, as Barcelona begin with a perfect record under ‘Tata’ Martino.

Atlético are hot on their heels with eight wins of their own and Real Madrid follow five points behind – albeit with some teething problems in their post-Mourinho project.

We take a look at how Barça have coped without Messi, how Madrid can improve in the lead-up to the Clásico, the difficult start to life in La Liga for Gareth Bale, plus Atlético and how the third team in Spain are looking to challenge under Diego Simeone.

Arsenal-v-Aston-Villa-Premier-League-2179159 A sad start to the new football season for Arsenal Football Club.

How the mighty have fallen. How the once great club has regressed. Eight years going on nine without a trophy. Losing to Aston Villa at home on the opening day of the season. That hasn’t happened in 20 years.

No transfers. No fresh blood. Just the same old story for Arsenal fans to eat. Well the Gooner nation is full from the club’s nonsense. They won’t be fed the PR lines for one more game. They don’t want to hear the lies any longer. They don’t want to be shined.

messi-et-neymar-barcelone-santos-10604955ghaax_1879 La Liga Lounge returns with a Brazilian blend, dedicating the entire show to one man…Neymar!

The most talked about transfer in football over the last two seasons is finally done. Neymar joins Barcelona from Santos and we look at how this deal could work out.

Will Neymar complement Messi or will he try to compete with him? Can these two superstars co-exist? Or are there too many cooks in the Camp Nou kitchen?

Neymar is also slight and doesn’t carry too much weight. Can he bulk up and also change his style of football to adapt playing in Europe? Will he be a huge success like Ronaldinho or will he end up a high-profile flop? Remember Keirrison?

La Liga Lounge returns with a Champions League special after this week’s first leg matches in the quarter-finals.

As the competition reaches its business end, Sophie and Ben discuss Barcelona’s depleted defence (who will partner Piqué?), Messi’s mini-absence, disagree on Víctor Valdés and question whether the Catalans have a mental issue late in games.

The Lounge bar staff also talk Madrid and how it’s all coming together for Mourinho, Casillas vs Diego López, the strikers and how this could be their year. We also chat Cristiano Ronaldo, look at his amazing stats and those of Messi, remember Ronaldinho, weigh up Neymar and big up Málaga, probably the story of this Champions League campaign. Will we see them back next year?

In my weekly memo to fellow football fans there’s a fair bit of passion. Some folks have irked me.

Firstly, Luis Suarez got the football universe all riled up because of his handball in the F.A. Cup against wee Mansfield Town. Suarez certainly had lots of darts thrown at him after his unsportsmanlike action, but are the referees just as guilty as Liverpool’s bad boy?

Robin van Persie is having another phenomenal season. He is a world class player who has elevated Manchester United to impressive heights. The delicious Dutchman has been prolific since joining the Red Devils in the summer. Can Robin van Persie play in any team in the world right now? And should someone at Arsenal pay with their blood for selling him?

In this week’s memo to fellow football fans, we talk Frank Lampard and Chelsea. Does Frank Lampard deserve more respect? It’s rare for me to praise Chelsea Football Club. It’s almost as rare as one of those space comet things.

We do have to recognize Chelsea’s battering of Aston Villa this weekend. Eight nil is an impressive score regardless of the opponent. And the young players emerging in the Chelsea team are exceptionally exciting. Eden Hazard can dazzle, Juan Mata is a total magician and David Luiz has found himself in the midfield position. Rafa Benitez is making progress and Fernando Torres might be finding his confidence again.

La Liga Lounge returns for a little chilled, relaxed and at times, passionate football talk. Despite the looming winter break in Spain, the Lounge bar staff are putting in some overtime to bring you enlightening and groundbreaking opinions!

In this week’s episode, we chat Tito Vilanova and his illness, how Barcelona will cope without their coach, a mouth-watering meeting between Real Madrid and Manchester United in the Champions League, Mourinho’s must-win match, Malaga and Valencia, Atletico, Falcao’s future and much more.

Sophie and Ben’s laid-back look at the game in Spain has been very laid-back of late, but they return to discuss Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the fight for the Ballon d’Or. How would Ronaldo cope if he lost out to Messi again? What would it mean if Messi won for a fourth time at the age of 25?

The Lounge staff continue the Messi dialogue and chat about his pursuit of Gerd Muller’s single season scoring record. How would Barcelona cope if he were injured? And it wouldn’t be a fulfilling show without a little Mourinho at Madrid and the possible destination for both he and his great rival Pep Guardiola next season.

Footballer. Mother. Captain fantastic. A legend in the making. The ultimate leader. The USWNT has performed heroics in many games and Christie Rampone has experienced the highs and lows having been part of this team for many years.

Rampone has won at every single level. An Olympic gold medalist and World Cup Winner, Christie is a true inspiration and one of the best captain’s the USWNT has seen. It was wonderful to spend a few minutes with her during training camp and tomorrow she and her team have the opportunity to redeem the loss to Japan in last summer’s World Cup.

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