Arsenal qualified for the group stage of the European Champions League after an impressive 2-1 victory against Italian side Udinese on Wednesday.
Top 10 storylines on the eve of the new French Ligue 1 season:
Spanish La Liga side Malaga have continued their recruitment drive with the purchases of French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan from Lyon and experienced Dutch central defender Joris Mathijsen from Hamburg.
The current row over TV rights in French soccer might not have made the news across Europe but its consequences soon will. Orange has dropped out of the bidding for next season's rights -- it paid the French league €200 million ($288M) to show one game a week for the last three seasons -- leaving Canal Plus as the sole bidder. Canal has shown a willingness to pay something similar to its current deal, worth €450 million ($650M), but whatever happens, it will not make up the huge shortfall caused by Orange's drop-out.
Real Madrid reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time since 2004 with a convincing 3-0 win over Lyon in the Bernabeu Wednesday.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is hopeful that star striker Cristiano Ronaldo will return for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Lyon.
Claude Puel has been Lyon coach for almost three years, and the jury is still out. Puel was appointed after Lyon's unprecedented dominance of Ligue 1 resulted in seven straight titles, but the club has not yet won a trophy under him. It did, however, reach the Champions League semifinals last year for the first time in its history.
Lyon scored a late equalizer against Real Madrid to deny Karim Benzema a victorious return to his old club on Tuesday, while Chelsea moved towards a place in the Champions League quarterfinals with victory at Copenhagen.
Lyon moved up to second place in the French league with a 4-0 crushing of Nancy on Friday in a warm-up for next week's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
Titleholders Inter Milan will take on Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League after Friday's draw produced a repeat of last season's final.
Lyon forward Lisandro Lopez was Ligue 1's Player of the Year last season but he began this year looking a shadow of his former self. Lyon struggled in its worst start to a season for 15 years, earning just five points from its opening seven games, and Lisandro, sullen, sulky and only half-fit, seemed to embody the team's struggles.
It's the feel-good story in France right now: how a small club in the rainiest part of the country took advantage of a rainstorm on the Cote d'Azur, of all places, which washed out the Marseille-Rennes game, to sneak ahead of both sides and claim top spot in Ligue 1 for the first time since going bust and reforming at the bottom of the league ladder back in 1991.
France coach Laurent Blanc and Jose Mourinho, in charge of Real Madrid, used to spend hours talking football when the pair crossed paths at Barcelona during the 1996-97 season. Blanc was a player then, and Mourinho part of Bobby Robson's coaching staff (they were often joined by fellow players Gica Popescu, Luis Figo and, ironically, current Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola). Nowadays the two coaches are still on friendly terms, and it¹s safe to assume that at the moment, one subject dominates their conversations more than any other: France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.
Bordeaux broke a French top-flight record when it won the league title in 2008-09, winning its last 11 games to jump four places and overturn a six-point deficit. At the time, it was as though a perfect storm had descended over Les Girondins. Stats later showed that no team that season scored more goals from headers (22), from set-piece moves (25, nine from corners), from substitutes (10) or by coming from behind (23 points).
Lyon have reached agreement with French league rivals Bordeaux to sign French international playmaker Yoann Gourcuff for a fee of 22 million euros.
Last month, France won the Under-19 European Championships on home soil by beating Spain 2-1 in the final. It was the nation's first youth title since 2005, when a side that contained Yoann Gourcuff, Abou Diaby and Hugo Lloris won the same tournament in Northern Ireland.
Bayern Munich suffered a double injury blow ahead of the Champions League showdown with Lyon, as the German leaders' hopes of winning the Bundesliga title were dented by a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
Another wonder strike from in-form Dutch winger Arjen Robben proved enough to give Bayern Munich a narrow 1-0 Champions League semifinal first leg win over Lyon, in a match which saw both sides reduced to 10 men.
Lyon coach Claude Puel is confident that his team can cause an upset in their European Champions League semifinal first leg against German giants Bayern Munich.
Europe's top soccer teams will play their Champions League semifinals this week after opting to undertake grueling bus journeys to avoid the flight restrictions enforced due to the volcanic ash from Iceland which has paralyzed air travel in the region.
First, a disclaimer. Yes, after three consecutive seasons of having three English league clubs in the Champions League semifinals, this year there aren't any. Not since 2003-04 has Europe's Final Four included no Premiership teams.
Bayern Munich produced a spirited fight back to knock 10-man Manchester United out of Europe's Champions League and set up a semifinal against Lyon.
Bayern Munich scored in injury-time to defeat Manchester United 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, while Lyon beat their French rivals Bordeaux 3-1.
Arjen Robben proved the difference for the second time in four days as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Freiburg 2-1 to leapfrog Schalke at the top of the Bundesliga.
Beleaguered Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini has received a vote of confidence for the club's director-general Jorge Valdano despite their disastrous Champions League exit to Lyon on Wednesday night.
Big-spending Real Madrid have crashed out of the Champions League after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Lyon.
Real Madrid made amends for their midweek Champions League defeat in Lyon with a 6-2 rout of Villarreal in the Bernabeu on Sunday night.
French club Lyon kept up their hoodoo over Real Madrid with a 1-0 win on Tuesday night as the Spanish giants face the prospect of exiting Europe's premier competition at the last-16 stage for the sixth successive season.
Christian Gross enjoyed the perfect start as Stuttgart coach as his side scored three goals in the first 11 minutes to defeat Romania's Unirea Urziceni 3-1 to book their Champions League last 16 berth.
Liverpool have crashed out of the Champions League despite a narrow 1-0 Group E win over Debrecen in Hungary.
Dutch international Ryan Babel has threatened to leave English Premier League side Liverpool unless he is picked to play in more games by his manager Rafa Benitez.
Lyon scored a last-minute equalizer to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool, sealing the French side's place in the Champions League last 16 and leaving the 2005 champions on the brink of elimination.
Porto striker Hulk has been called up to the Brazilian squad for friendly internationals next month against England and Oman.
We're halfway through the Champions League group stage, which means it's midterm report-card time for Europe's elite. In this evaluation, though, you don't get a straight grade -- you're on a curve based on how you've performed relative to expectations.
Lyon snatched a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 victory at Anfield as Liverpool lost four games in succession for the first time since 1987 to leave the English giants' Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread.
CNN's U.S.-based Arsenal fan iReporter laments AZ Alkmaar's defensive tactics during their draw with Arsenal.
Liverpool's Champions League hopes took a blow as teenage Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic scored both goals to give Italian side Fiorentina a deserved 2-0 Group E victory.
Giampaolo Pazzini scored the only goal as Sampdoria beat champions Inter Milan to leapfrog them at the top of Serie A on Saturday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto'o were both kept under wraps by their former team-mates as Inter Milan held Champions League holders Barcelona to a dour Group F goalless draw at the San Siro.
Finally, the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League draw is done and we know who's playing who and when.
Spanish Primera Liga side Atletico Madrid secured their place in the Champions League group stage after sealing a 5-2 aggregate win over 10-man Panathinaikos.
If this summer's transfer window is any indication, we can look forward to one of the most exciting European seasons in decades. With the three most expensive transfers in the history of the game recently made for amounts previously unimaginable, the stakes are higher than ever.
Big-spending Spanish giants Real Madrid have confirmed that France forward Karim Benzema will join on a six-year contract.
Lyon have accepted an offer of approximately 35 million euros ($50m) from Real Madrid for 21-year-old French international striker Karim Benzema.
Lyon's Brazilian playmaker Juninho has completed his 2.5m euros ($3.47m) transfer to Qatari champions Al-Garrafa -- a record fee for the country.
The summer transfer market is a few weeks away from opening and already the signs are that the global financial crisis is forcing clubs to rethink their annual spending.
Bordeaux clinched the French league title with a 1-0 win over Caen on a dramatic final day of the season.
Inter Milan opened a 10-point gap on city rivals AC Milan with a 2-0 win over Lazio in the San Siro on Saturday night.
Defending champion Lyon stayed ahead in the tight French title race with a 3-1 victory over Le Mans with star striker Karim Benzema scoring twice.
Seven-time reigning champions Lyon went back to the top of the French first division with a 2-0 home win over Sochaux on Sunday.
Toulouse striker Andre-Pierre Gignac has been handed his first call-up to the France squad for their two World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania.
Thierry Henry scored twice as Barcelona booked their place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League with a 5-2 second leg victory against Lyon at the Nou Camp.
Thierry Henry snatched Champions League favorites Barcelona a crucial away goal in a 1-1 Champions League draw against Lyon at Stade Gerland.
Argentine coach Diego Maradona has urged Carlos Tevez to quit Manchester United at the end of the season and head for Italy.
With the European seasons just about at the halfway mark, there seems to be one overriding theme. Every one of the big boys (except Barcelona) is generally stinking it up. Some more so, some less so, admittedly.
Lyon were held to a scoreless draw by Marseille on Sunday but kept their three-point lead at the top of the French league.
Miroslav Klose scored two goals as Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich beat Lyon 3-2 in France and finished top of Group F of the Champions League.
Seven-time defending champions Lyon struggled to a goalless draw at home to lowly Valenciennes on Saturday, badly missing injured star striker Karim Benzema.
Paris Saint Germain inflicted only Lyon's second league defeat of the season as a goal from Ludovic Giuly proved enough to beat the defending champions 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.
Karim Benzema has set his sights on a move away from seven-times French champions Lyon at the end of the current season.
Seven-time defending champions Lyon stayed four points clear of chasers Marseille with a slender 1-0 win at Monaco on Saturday night.
Midfielder Juninho and defender Anthony Reveillere scored to give Lyon a 2-0 win over Steaua Bucharest to take them to the top of Champions League Group F on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich ignored their poor Bundesliga form to secure a convincing 3-0 win over Fiorentina in Tuesday's Champions League match in Munich to take control of Group F.
Seven-time defending French champions Lyon crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Rennes on Sunday as Mickael Pagis grabbed a hat-trick.
Ze Roberto's second half goal earned Bayern Munich a 1-1 draw against French giants Lyon to keep Juergen Klinsmann's side top of Group F in the Champions League.
The draw for the Champions League group stages has become a bigger and bigger event in recent seasons and this year's ceremony proved no different.
Seven-time defending champions Lyon beat Grenoble 2-0 on Saturday with goals from Jean Makoun and Karim Benzema to share the lead in the French league standings with Marseille.
France coach Raymond Domenech has opted for youth over experience with veteran goalkeeper Gregory Coupet left out of a 20-man squad for the friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg on August 20.
Normal service was resumed after the first round of matches in the French league as seven-times defending champions Lyon thrashed Toulouse 3-0 to top the early standings.
It's been a slow summer in the Premier League, with no England in Euro 2008 and a transfer market that has been moving slower than 92-year-old Great Uncle Limey after several hours at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Probably something to do with the tightening finances in the football world and the soccernomics issues we wrote about last time around.
French champions Lyon have confirmed the sale of veteran international goalkeeper Gregory Coupet to Atletico Madrid.
Lyon have named Claude Puel as their new coach after the former Monaco midfield player signed a four-year deal with the seven-time defending French champions.
Listed below are complete squad lists for the 16 finalists at Euro 2008.
France coach Raymond Domenech omitted striker David Trezeguet from his provisional squad for next month's European Championship finals on Sunday.
Lyon romped to a seventh successive French League title as a 3-1 win at Auxerre saw them hold off the challenge of Bordeaux who were held 2-2 at relegated Lens.
Patrick Mueller has been named in Switzerland's provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2008, despite not having played an official match all season.
You have to search high and low for a surprise in this season's European league campaigns, which look set to go down as the most predictable in years.
High-flyers Bordeaux have been dumped out of the French Cup at the quarterfinal stage, losing 4-3 on penalties to Ligue Two side Sedan after the match ended in a goalless draw.
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