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Blog - The Football Writer

 By Andy Mitten

Premier League the richest in the world but will someone think of the fans?

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer explains what changes the Premier League should make as a result of the 5 billion pound TV deal.

The Premier League's 5.14 billion pound television deal, which starts in 2016, will reconfirm England's top flight as the world's richest football competition.

It's a collective deal so the top-earning club, the champions, will receive only 1.5 times more than the bottom club. It's as much as 10 times higher in Spain, where the majority of clubs are seeking a model similar to England for the greater good and even threatening to strike if it isn't adopted.

The equal distribution in England makes...

Jocelyn Gourvennec, the French Klopp looking for his own Dortmund

Guingamp boss Jocelyn Gourvennec's reputation is high following his exploits with the club.

On Sunday, Monaco's impressive record came to an end. They haven't conceded a league goal for 842 minutes since November, kept eight clean sheets in a row and won six of those fixtures. The likes of Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon tried to find the net against them and failed.

Finally, tiny En Avant Guingamp solved the puzzle, winning 1-0 with a goal from left-back Dorian Leveque. Even more remarkably, they achieved the feat despite playing with 10 men for most of the game.

That is definitely not the...

 By Andy Mitten

Brazil wrestles with an uncertain World Cup legacy

The Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha hosted seven games in the World Cup but there are concerns about its future.

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil -- Statues of Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernandao have been unveiled in the last week; two footballers who were crowned continental and world champions during their club careers.

Ronaldo was present on his home island of Madeira, in the north Atlantic, to attend his "unveiling" but the other ceremony, held by the southwest Atlantic in Porto Alegre, Brazil, was a far more sombre occasion.

Fernandao, the former striker, who led Internacional to the Copa Libertadores -- he was the...

 By Uli Hesse

Wrestling, rejection & unemployment: A tale of three Bundesliga keepers

Timo Hildebrand, Tim Wiese and Michael Rensing had the world at their feet, but the three Bundesliga goalkeepers have seen their careers go in a different direction.

In Monchengladbach back in May 2007, a 22-year-old goalkeeper by the name of Michael Rensing made his first league appearance of the season for Bayern Munich. The regular No. 1, Oliver Kahn, was nearing the end of his career and Rensing was being groomed as his successor.

On 50 minutes, you could see why the club had such high hopes. A great Peer Kluge strike from 16 yards should have made it 1-1, but Rensing was there and turned the shot around the post. At the same time 250 miles away, VfB Stuttgart's...

 By Andy Mitten

From Warrington to Blyth, nonleague clubs retain FA Cup dreams

Trafford FC, a semiprofessional football club that plays three miles from Manchester United Old Trafford in the Premier Divisions of the Northern Premier League, England's seventh tier, send a monthly newsletter out to 34 people.

The latest one contained a message from one of their directors: "The success of Warrington Town in the FA Cup and the 200,000 pounds plus they have made so far makes me tremendously envious," wrote David Law, "particularly as they defeated us in an earlier round when the...

 By Andy Mitten

On the trail of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking forward to a return to the Nou Camp after his Paris Saint-Germain side overcame Ajax 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in his return to Champions League action while Edinson Cavani added a brace as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 3-1 victory over Ajax.
Paris Saint-Germain were powered by two second-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in their 3-1 win over Ajax.

PARIS -- Bonjour from the French capital, where I've spent the last few days while travelling for a week from Barcelona to Manchester over land and sea.

On Tuesday, I was at the Parc des Princes to see Paris Saint-Germain beat Ajax 3-1 in the Champions League.

In the mixed zone after the game I spoke to PSG's David Luiz, who was very helpful and bright, plus Edinson Cavani, about the club.

I'd really hoped, though, to speak to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He's a fascinating interviewee when he's in the mood...