The last 16 of the Champions League is set, but it was a rough day for Europe’s elite on Wednesday, as Manchester United, Juventus, and Real Madrid all lost to Valencia, Young Boys, and CSKA Moscow, respectively. Bayern Munich could also only manage a draw against Ajax. Despite the tough results on the last day, all of those big teams advanced to the knockout rounds, along with Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Tottenham, PSG, Liverpool, Porto, Schalke, Ajax, Manchester City, Lyon, and Roma. With the traditionally big teams not seeming to fire on all cylinders, the Champions League this year seems wide open.
Racism is the scourge in football and in society that we just can’t seem to get rid of. It reared its ugly head again on Saturday, as Raheem Sterling was shown to have taken some vitriolic and what seemed to be racist abuse from Chelsea fans while he was retrieving the ball from the sideline. Sterling has been a frequent target on and off the field for vile commentary, and he made a point after the game, not only shedding light on what happened to him on the weekend, but showing how the media’s portrayal for black athletes builds on stereotypes and encourages the bad elements in society in targeting minorities for racist attacks. Sadly the media should not have to have this pointed out to them by Sterling, and if they want to be a part of the solution for this problem, they need to examine their culpability and failings on this front.
Like most other years, in 2018 we had breakout stars, and saw the decline of some past greats. In Europe, Real Madrid reigned supreme again, and during the World Cup France’s star shined brightest. But which were the best 10 players at each position throughout the year? ESPN put together its list of the best players of 2018.
Atlanta United won MLS Cup on Saturday, breaking Atlanta’s long title drought and capping a whirlwind two years in MLS in which the team took the league by storm. The party was on at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that night, and at the parade on Monday. And then after that on Monday, when some of the players took the trophy with them to Magic City, a well known strip club in Atlanta. Atlanta United broke a lot of records and norms these two seasons so far in MLS, and it appears like they eclipsed one more norm. Magic City indeed.
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