On one hand, preseason friendlies definitely do not matter. On the other hand, preseason friendlies between teams like Chelsea and Bayern Munich definitely matter.
Not for any competitive reason, of course. When Bayern and Chelsea met in the International Champions Cup Tuesday, Munich's 3-2 win wasn't predictive of anything. No, the Chelsea-Bayern friendly definitely mattered because we hadn't seen elite soccer in a while and missed players doing things like what Thomas Muller did.
For years now, dedicated fans and wanna-be designers have been mocking up jerseys that are infinitely better than what Nike, adidas and the rest continually roll out. It’s the fans that pay around $100 for these annual threads, but it often seems like jersey manufacturers go out of their way to mess things up.
“You guys always wear vertical stripes? Okay, we’ll make them horizontal.”
“The jersey is always just predominately red? Okay, we’ll throw in some black, white, yellow and blue for good measure.”
AC Milan have confirmed that they’re currently in talks with Bayern Munich regarding a possible two-year loan deal for 19-year-old Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches with the option to sign him permanently for €40 million.
The International Champions Cup begings today and with it comes an assault of hyperbole, a glut of sponsors and a legion of mercenary money-grubbers. It’s hell on earth as ESPN tells us that Miami’s El Clasico will be the biggest event in American soccer history, Heineken encourages you to consume a pony keg by way of IV drip and Manchester United plant their imperial flag in Sandy, Utah.
The James Rodriguez experiment at Real Madrid is all but finished. The 25-year-old Colombian attacker is moving to Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal with an option to buy.
Not coincidentally, Bayern are now coached by the man who brought Rodriguez to Real Madrid in the first place, Carlo Ancelotti. Rodriguez moved to Madrid from Monaco after the 2014 World Cup, at which he won the Golden Boot, but he failed to consistently crack Real Madrid's starting lineup. Bayern Munich now have two World Cup Golden Boot winners, as Thomas Muller won the award in 2010.