World Football: 25 Bold Predictions For 2011
With the new year just around the corner, some people are starting to prepare their New Year's resolutions. Others like to make predictions as what may happen in the coming year. 2011 should be interesting in one in the year of football and fans can expect to several exciting things happen. Because there is no World Cup or European Championships, clubs have more time to focus on the transfer market. Look for some big moves over the summer.
A Spaniard Will Win The 2010 World Player Of The Year Award
We all know a Barcelona player is guaranteed to win the 2010 World Player of the Year Award. But this time it will not be Lionel Messi and rather one of two Spaniards -- Xavi or Andres Iniesta.
Edin Dzeko Will Move to Juventus
The star Bosnian striker for German side Wolfsburg will sign for Juventus next summer, after indicating a desire to play in Italy.
Fabio Coentrao Will Move to a Bigger Club
Left back Fabio Coentrao, one of Portugal's bright young stars, will leave Benfica for greener pastures. While a number of clubs will make bids for him, in the end he will choose to play for countryman Jose Mourinho with Real Madrid.
Serie A Will Win Back Champions League Spot
With the German Bundesliga all but guaranteed to have four teams in the 2011-12 version of the UEFA Champions League, Serie A squads will once again overtake them to have four Champions League squads for 2012-13.
Jose Mourinho Will Still Claim He Is The Best
Jose Mourinho will fail to win Spain's La Liga and the UEFA Champions League, but it won't stop him from proclaiming himself as the greatest manager in the world.
Javier Pastore Will Move In Summer
Clubs will start lining up for Palermo's Javier Pastore in the spring time. Come summer, the financial offers will be too difficult for the Sicilian side to hold on to the Argentine playmaker who reminds many of Kaka.
Edwin Van Der Sar Will Retire
Edwin Van der Sar will hang up his gloves at the end of the season, leaving a hole for Manchester United to fill. Look for the Red Devils to look outside England to find his replacement.
Rafa Benitez to Return To England
Rafa Benitez will return to England and find a job, possibly once again with Liverpool.
Ronaldinho Will Return to Brazil
Ronaldinho will return to his native Brazil in either January or the summer. But a return is a guarantee. AC Milan will replace him with Palermo's Javier Pastore.
Thierry Henry Wins MLS MVP Award
Thierry Henry will show that is still a great player by winning Major League Soccer's 2011 MVP award for New York Red Bull.
Alexandre Pato to Pack Bags
AC Milan will sell Alexandre Pato now that it has Robinho and Antonio Cassano that play the same position. Pato will command a tremendous amount of money from an English club, much of which will be re-invested with the acquisition of Javier Pastore.
Antonio Cassano Will Get Into Fights With Teammates, But Nobody Will Know
Antonio Cassano will have some altercations with teammates, most likely Gennaro Gattuso, but it won't be leaked out because AC Milan is excellent with taking care of its internal problems.
In the end, Cassano will end becoming an asset to the club after the air is clear.
Gareth Bale Will Move to Manchester United
Tottenham left back Gareth Bale is expected to move to one of the elite sides in the world. Bale will more-than-likely join Manchester United to replace Patrice Evra, who is expected to leave the club.
Patrick Vieira to Join Major League Soccer
Patrick Vieira will be the next veteran French star to join Major League Soccer, following Thierry Henry.
Adrian Mutu Will Leave Italy
Romanian striker Adrian Mutu will leave Italy and he certainly won't be going back to England. He may move to Turkey and join Galatasaray, which is coached by former Romanian great Gheorghe Haji.
Fernando Torres Will Return to Spain
Leonardo Will Fail To Win a Title
Inter Milan has hired former AC Milan coach Leonardo to take over for Rafael Benitez. But don't look for Leonardo to win any titles. Inter has struggled and this hire appears to be more of an attempt to get back at AC Milan, which has taken several ex-Inter players in recent years including Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Juventus to Return to Champions League
Led by coach Luigi Del Neri (pictured), Juventus will finish in the top three in Serie A in 2011 and return to the UEFA Champions League in 2011-12.
Borussia Dortmund Will Win Bundesliga
Mario Balotelli Will Return to Italy
Balotelli will return to Italy at the end of the season and join AC Milan, the club he admired as a child. He will be inserted as part of a deal that will send Alexandre Pato to Manchester City.
Erik Lamela Will Move to Europe
It remains to be seen which club is in pole position to sign River Plate's 18-year-old attacking midfield sensation. Lamela is being monitored by all of the top clubs in the world.
Sergio Araujo Will Move to Europe
River Plate will lost Erik Lamela to a European side and rival Boca Juniors will do the same as young Sergio Araujo will also be part of a bidding war for clubs across Europe.
Liverpool Will Fail to Make Champions League
For a second consecutive season, Liverpool will fall short in its bid to finish in the top four in England's Premiership, which would guarantee a spot in the UEFA Champions League.
Portugal Will Fail To Qualify For Euro 2012
Portugal started out slowly and although it has recovered slightly, it will fail to qualify for Euro 2012.
Kaka Will Leave Real Madrid
Kaka will leave Real Madrid for either Inter Milan, where he is wanted by Leonardo, or Chelsea, where he will be reunited with Carlo Ancelotti.