FAIL! Fernando Torres pulls a Torres, misses wide-open net from a yard out

Fernando Torres fail (Chelsea vs Olimpija… by footazo

Fernando Torres is already in his mid-season form. Unfortunately, that’s “Torres’ form,” and not anybody else’s.

How do you mess this up? HOW?!

At least Jose Mourinho will be happy to know that if he needs his team to miss a sitter, Torres is still his guy.


Chelsea players look exactly like soccer players while shooting hoops

Despite what is looking increasingly like a trophy-less season for Chelsea, it looks like the Blues aren’t spending too much time sulking.

Chelsea TV caught footage of some of the players playing a pickup game of basketball during training. We’re hoping it was just a fun way to stay fit, because if this was meant to showcase any skills for a prospective career-switch, they’re barking up the wrong tree.

You can tell these gents spent the bulk of their time using their feet, not their hands. It’d be like asking a carpenter to use his feet to build a set of stairs. Sure, the job would get done (maybe), but it certainly wouldn’t look natural.

One lesson we can extract from this video, though? David Luiz is as gun-shy from distance with a basketball as he is with a soccer ball. Brick city! Oh, and don’t forget to watch out for Jon Obi Mikel playing some Dennis Rodman defense on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Back in December, Bayern Munich’s stars also tried their hand at basketball, with similar results. Check it out here.


Chelsea players have favorite moments immortalized in sculptures

Last season’s tease and reveal of Chelsea’s new kits was one that adidas would have a hard time topping, but it looks like they’ve done it.

In a video voiced by Jose Mourinho, Chelsea stars recreate their favorite moments as a Blue and have that moment immortalized by incredible sculptures. The process and end result are both rather stunning.

And the new kits aren’t bad, either.



Images via Chelsea FC


Mourinho targets Atletico star


Atletico Madrid have a habit of developing top-class strikers. Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa have all graced the Vincente Calderon in the past seven years. Atletico seem to get a good price for their top talent and then immediately replace with players of equal capability.

Diego Costa could be the next star striker on the way out of Atletico. A host of clubs are known to be admirers and Friday’s newspapers report that Jose Mourinho is set to make him his major summer signing.

For this rumor and the rest of Friday’s transfer gossip, click here.


Chelsea want Atletico ace Costa

Despite both scoring for their club this week, both Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o could face increased competition from another forward. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho appears keen to bolster his attacking options and has his sights set on Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa. The Brazilian-born striker has been in superb goal-scoring form so far this season and is emerging as one of Europe’s top attackers.

We also have rumors on Gareth Bale and Arsenal target Fernando Llorente. For this and the rest of today’s transfer gossip, click here.


Special Inside Look: Spain’s Ciudad del Futbol


Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer


Wednesday evening in Madrid — and hundreds of kids are training at the Spanish football federation’s Ciudad del Futbol campus. Their sessions over, they grab a quick drink of water, then quickly gather in the small stand beside the suburban facility’s biggest pitch, to watch national coach Vicente del Bosque run his World Cup holders through their paces ahead of their crucial upcoming qualifiers for the 2014 finals.

The young spectators cheered and squealed as their heroes completed a light warm-up, then a series of ‘rondos’ — piggy-in-the-middle-style exercises where good technique is key and a sense of humor helps. Being a public session, no tactical secrets were displayed, but Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta had recovered from minor knocks to take part. Spain looks ready for the clashes with Belarus in Mallorca on Friday, and then Georgia in Albacete next Tuesday, when four points will seal qualification for Brazil next summer.

 If, as expected, Spain win on Friday, del Bosque may use the Georgia game for experimentation and give Swansea city attacker Michu a first cap. The Swansea attacker told reporters at the Cuidad de Futbol on Wednesday morning that he’d been a little awestruck at first when training alongside so many world champions — but was now ready to stake his claim for a regular squad spot.

Image provided by Getty

“When you step out on the grass, with the [World Cup winner] star on your chest, the sensation is indescribable,” Michu said. “I was a little nervous to be playing with the best players in the world, but you settle down quickly. I am here to make the most of the opportunity — and to help Spain qualify for the World Cup.”

The gap between Michu’s press conference and training left time to visit the impressive campus’ excellent museum — which shows visitors just what soccer means in Spain. The exhibits begin with a search for the sport’s origins in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Mexico and Scotland, then fast forward to the early 20th century as young king Alfonso XIII oversees its introduction here.

Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres — dressed in period gear — guide you through a time tunnel to a 1930s pre-Civil War dressing room. Among the other life-sized dioramas is a 1950s film-set from when General Franco’s regime “persuaded” Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano and Barcelona’s Ladislao Kubala to star in feature length propaganda pictures.

Big sections cover the 1964 European Championships, which Spain won; and the 1982 World Cup, which Spain hosted but flopped at. The tour ends on a high — with the Henri Delaunay [European Championship] and Jules Rimet [World Cup] trophies on display, alongside jerseys and footballs from their victories in the last three major international tournaments. There’s also the actual 2010 final locker-room flipchart, with del Bosque’s detailed handwritten instructions for defending Holland’s set pieces.


Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer

Once qualification is assured for next year’s tournament, del Bosque can ponder how to best retain the trophy. Selection decisions must be made on players including Michu, Casillas, Torres, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Juan Mata, Koke, Isco and – most controversially – Brazilian-born Diego Costa.

But all that can wait for now. Wednesday’s session ended with a friendly mini-game, before the sun set behind the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, and the players, children and journalists headed home for their suppers.

Another day at one of world soccer’s most important nerve centers — with Brazil 2014 on the horizon.


Homecoming? Torres linked with return to Spain

Valencia is supposedly on the look-out for a new striker with Roberto Soldado thought to be heading for Tottenham. With that in mind Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has emerged as a potential replacement for the Spain international. We’ve also got the latest on Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Luis Suarez, so just click here for gossip galore!


Most Expensive Soccer transfers of all-time

imageWhile it might seem that the transfer fees teams pay for players increase on a yearly basis, the truth is a bit more complicated. As the saying goes, a dollar today just doesn’t get you as far as it used to.

With that in mind, Forbes Magazine recently published a list of the most expensive transfer fees in history, adjusted for inflation. Essentially, a dollar on any given day in the past isn’t necessarily worth as much as a dollar today, as the cost of goods, services, and well, soccer players, constantly shift.

Here are the top 10 transfer fees in soccer history, adjusted for inflation:

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (2009), from Manchester United to Real Madrid

    Original Fee: $130 million, Adjusted for inflation: $141 million

  2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2009), from Inter Milan to Barcelona

    Original Fee: $94 million, Adjusted for inflation: $102 million

  3. Kaka (2009), from: AC Milan to Real Madrid

    Original Fee: $90 million, Adjusted for inflation: $98 million

  4. Zinedine Zidane (2001), from Juventus to Real Madrid

    Original Fee: $65 million, Adjusted for inflation: $85 million

  5. Fernando Torres (2011). from Liverpool to Chelsea 

    Original Fee: $79 million, Adjusted for inflation: $81 million

  6. Hernan Crespo (2000), from Parma to Lazio

    Original Fee: $60 million, Adjusted for inflation: $81 million

  7. Radamel Falcao (2013), from Atletico Madrid to Monaco

    Original Fee: $77 million, Adjusted for inflation: $77 million

  8. Luis Figo (2000), from Barcelona to Real Madrid

    Original Fee: $56 million, Adjusted for inflation: $76 million

  9. Neymar (2013), from Santos to Barcelona

    Original Fee: $74 million, Adjusted for inflation: $74 million

  10. Andriy Shevchenko (2006), from AC Milan to Chelsea

    Original Fee: $58 million, Adjusted for inflation: $66 million


Arsenal strike out with Torres/Rooney hunt

Arsenal’s profligacy in front of goal has long been a problem point for the Gunners. The reason for such a long wait for a trophy is often pinpointed as the lack of a true goalscorer. Well, this summer they seem intent on changing that.

Not only have they bid £20m for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, but Arsene Wenger’s side, also courting Real Madrid goal-getter Gonzalo Higuain, are now after a striker from their bitter rivals Chelsea. Yep, you got it, Fernando Torres.

Nando’s been a little out-of-form for a while now. Since his move from Liverpool, basically. We all know that the Spaniard has goals in his locker though, as he’s proven during the Confed Cup over the last month. Is he the solution for Arsenal though.

For all these rumors and more check out today’s edition of Paper Chase.