With less than two weeks away from what begs to be an epic season in European football, I am still trying to recover from a historical summer transfer market.
The usual suspects continued to stock pile world class talent, throwing obscene amounts of money at anyone willing to do business, as the gap between the big name clubs and the clubs struggling to keep up grows.
Real Madrid splashed out a record 228 million pounds on the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Raul Albiol, Alvaro Negredo, Alvaro Arbeloa, Esteban Granero, and newly acquired Xabi Alonso. Hailed as the new Galacticos, the Bernabeu garuantees to showcase great football this year. how i envy rosen for bein in madrid next year.
As mouth watering as Ronaldo and Kaka playing along side eachother sounds, the real excitement remains in the Barclays Premeir League. Manchester City has put its money where its mouth is and went on their own version of a Madrid spendig spree by signing the likes of Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure from Arsenal, and in an incredible deal were able to land Carlos Tevez from their city rivals, Manchester United.
Which four teams then will win the coveted champions league spots? Chelsea look stronger than usual, with Yuri Zhirkov and Jose Quaresma joining an already proven team. Liverpool lost Alonso but gained Glenn Johnson to sure up liverpools right back problems. Arsenal are still young but are over due for a trophy, and a maturing midfield look to have given new hope to the gunners. The red half of manchester comes in as title favorites having won lasts year league title, but will lack goals having lost ronaldo and for some shocking reason signed Michael Owen for the year. With Van Der Sar out for 8 weeks, look for United to start the season very slow. Personally, Ben Foster should be given the chance, considering England need a goalie for South Africa 2010. Man city can easily sneak into the top four if things go their way, but a top 6 finish is still impressive for the blue half of Manchester.