Upside: The luck of the champions

Their Words

"It’s what they call the luck of the champions. When it’s come to the crunch things have always gone our way: against Paraguay in the World Cup, Italy at EURO 2008, Portugal a few months ago and against Croatia in the same tournament too. We’ve had luck. Of course we have. But we’ve also got a competitive streak, and that’s helped us make the most of it." Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez

The Radar

  1. Dempsey's equalizer.
  2. Altidore's hat-trick.
  3. Cup of Nations.
  4. Philadelphia's player moves.
  5. New York's coach.

Ten Stories

Galaxy is ready to open camp, but will Landon Donovan be there? - from The LA Times' Kevin Baxter: "But that's only a feeling."

Major League Soccer’s player personnel system becomes a little more transparent - from Philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald: And they discussed how youth players progress through a club's academy en route to the senior team.

MLS SuperDraft: How 2013 went, by the numbers - from MLSsoccer.com: California led the way with 4 players

Fifa president Sepp Blatter's new hard line on racism wins cautious approval from anti-discrimination campaigner - from The Telegraph: “There has been enough talking without decisive action."

Will 2013 be Mexico’s year in the Copa Libertadores? - from Goal.com's Tom Marshall: In sum, the club means business.

Playing the long game - from Soccerex's Frank Dunne: But the road to profit can be a long and risky one.

Atlético Madrid's facelift is complete. It's time to take them seriously - from The Guardian's Sid Lowe: Hang on a minute, which gap?

David Moyes' dilemma... take the Chelsea cheque or fight on at fragile Everton? - from The Independent's Sam Wallace: Everton are the exception to the rule.

The Boy Who Fell To Earth - from In Bed With Maradona: The following season Lentini continued his ascent towards Serie A superstar.

Match Of The Past Special: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - from Two Hundred Percent: we thought we’d bring you some matches played on pitches covered with a thick layer of snow from down the years....

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