Fantasy Football News

Juventus XI: How my favorite players would line up!

Growing up a Juventus supporter has had its many benefits from watching club captains lift one trophy after another to players excelling and winning individual awards such as the Ballon d’Or- earned once each by Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane and Pavel Nedved between 1993 and 2003.

Unfortunately, football- just like almost anything in life- is cyclical. As a fan, I’ve witnessed the highs of the mid 1990s till 2003 as well as the lows starting with Serie B in 2006 followed by the struggles upon returning to Serie A (prior to the successful era ushered by Andrea Agnelli, coach Antonio Conte, star midfielder Andrea Pirlo and others…)

During the peak years of Serie A and amid Juve’s great run in the mid-90s, there were moments of great joy such as winning the first Scudetto in nine years in 1994/95 followed by the Champions League triumph in 1995/96, but there were also some extremely disappointing lows such as losing the Champions League final in two successive years in 1997 and 1998. The losses to BVB (Dortmund) and Real Madrid were quite painful.

Born out of all the joy and misery, a fan builds a connection with the squad and players- even if through watching matches on TV, or reading about the club and players in magazines and newspapers (90s didn’t have social media and certainly the internet wasn’t as readily accessible and lacked the intense coverage of football) and so forth.

Below is a list of my favorite XI from my life-time as a supporter. It is purely based on sentiment:

1) Gianluigi Buffon: Even before joining Juventus, Italy and Juve legend Buffon made a name for himself at Parma. Buffon kept a clean sheet in his first start against Milan whilst dealing with legends such as Roberto Baggio and George Weah.

Buffon’s legacy was not just winning the World Cup in 2006, winning the most Coppa Italia trophies, breaking individual records, or lifting one Scudetto after another, but rather his willingness to sacrifice for the team as seen in 2006 when he could have gone just about anywhere but decided to go down with the club to help bring back the club from Serie B (despite being the best goalkeeper in the world).


Buffon was also a great symbol not just for Juve and Italy but also for football and athletes in general. Too many words can be used to describe this legend- hard work, focus, humility, loyalty and passion for the game are but a few labels to describe him.

2) Giorgio Chiellini: I remember Chiellini joining the club and initially serving as a left-back. One thing about Chiellini has not changed: he was always willing to put his well-being at risk for the sake of the club. He played as if every game was his last one and often reacted to goal-saving tackles with such great joy as if he was making his first decisive tackle.

During Euro 2008, Chiellini stood out in my opinion as Italy’s wall and potentially most critical player. He looked unbreakable against France and Spain. Thus, it was fitting when he achieved his greatest triumph with the national team during another European championship in 2021 (Euro 2020).

Chiellini’s longevity, willingness to sacrifice, loyalty & humbleness are all great traits- notably ones he also shared with the great Buffon. Chiellini had several memorable moments whether in a Juve or Azzurri shirt. He will retire as one of the best center-backs in Juve’s and football history.

3) Paolo Montero: The Uruguayan simply tormented opponents- they were frightened to play against Montero. The downside to all this is the fact he received 16 Red cards in Serie A alone! Montero formed an impenetrable partnership with another club legend in Ciro Ferrara. Coaching icon Marcello Lippi relied on the duo to build a strong foundation for his success while at the helm in Turin.

4) Moreno Torricelli: It is unlikely many would have Torricelli as part of their XI but this is all about opinion and sentiment. Geppetto, as he was referred to by Roberto Baggio, was a carpenter too and perhaps that played a role in turning Moreno into this hungry, eager, fiery and dedicated player. However, Torricelli could be relied on to play the full 90 minutes and more as he was not one who would do a “Montero” and earn a red.

For those who measure success only by trophies, Moreno went on to help Juve play in three consecutive Champions League finals (including winning the 1996 final) not to mention winning the UEFA Cup in 1993 (and sadly losing another final in 1995 against Parma despite his assist on Gianluca Vialli’s remarkable volley). He also helped Juve win a first Scudetto since 1986!

5) Edgar Davids: The great Lippi would go on to refer to him as his “one man engine room“ and Davids was certainly worthy of that label. The Dutchman helped Juve win three league titles while also contributing to the club reaching two Champions League finals- 1998 and 2003- only for Juve to lose both in heart-breaking fashion. Davids, like most of the names on this XI, was very tenacious and combative yet he was also skillful enough to be able to carry the ball, dribble, pass, assist, shoot and score. Indeed, Davids was exactly as advertised by Lippi!

6) Andrea Pirlo: Pirlo left Juve as legend on the field- his tears following the 1-3 defeat to Barcelona serving as a reminder that behind all this confidence and calmness on the ball, there still was a human being who suffered from the burden of losing an important match.

Without Pirlo, Juve would not have dominated Serie A the way they did. The Bianconeri may not have won the league if Pirlo had not joined the club following his departure from Milan. Pirlo would go on to be named Serie A Footballer of the Year for three consecutive years while wearing the famous black & white jersey. His influence went beyond free-kicks, assists and goals to encompass dictating games, proving to be an example for others- particularly Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio- on top of his role as a silent leader.

7) Zinedine Zidane: Before Pirlo, Juve had Zidane. They were different yet they perhaps had more in common than not. Both were more of the silent leaders on the pitch. Both were midfielders and were extremely talented. They were able to retain possession, score from set-pieces and so forth.

Both won the World Cup once. Zidane would single-handedly crush opponents in the Champions League, most notably his majestic performance against Ajax in that semi-final, yet he would fail in the final against BVB in 1997 and again against Real Madrid in 1998. He would lift the Ballon d’or in 1998 whilst still at Juve.

8) Pavel Nedved: The former Bianconeri star, nicknamed Furia Ceca, edged this one over two of my other favorites- most recently Marchisio and in the past Mauro Camoranesi.

Along with Zidane and the great Baggio, Nedved is another player in my Juve XI who would go on to win a Ballon d’Or while wearing the beloved black & white shirt. Nedved was versatile and could do damage with either foot. He helped Juve reach the Champions League final in 2003 only to miss it due to a yellow card in the semi-final! Sadly, Juve could not lift the trophy without their suspended star. Nedved was also another loyal star who went down to Serie B. He did win more trophies with Lazio, but he made some of his biggest contributions whilst wearing the Bianconeri colors- particularly that fascinating Champions League run in 2003.

9) Alessandro Del Piero: Del Piero probably holds most of the individual records as a Juve player but what made him special were two important traits: loyalty and his ability to adapt.

Del Piero- just as the great Buffon (and the unknown Chiellini back then)- dropped with the team to Serie B. He resisted offers and remained loyal to the Bianconeri cause.


What made Del Piero most special though was his ability to tailor his game to the changes and development in football but above all his severe injury in the late 1990s. Del Piero was emerging as one of the best in the world during the mid 1990s yet sadly that injury would derail him and would cost him about three years- the year he was injured 1999 followed up by two more seasons before he was able to return to his “new” best.

As one can see, several of the XI I’ve chosen are represented by the great designs of so do not hesitate to visit the site and pick up some wonderful Juve designs- it is guaranteed to bring up memories.

10) Roberto Baggio: Back in the 1990s, at least for me, international football still mattered. My friends and I would look forward to national team matches whenever they were penciled in on the year’s calendar.

Perhaps the best Italian player since 1990, Baggio would define World Cup 1994 almost from start to finish. He was subbed-off during that precious 1-0 win over Norway. He would follow that by carrying Italy past Nigeria, Spain and Bulgaria. He would suffer an injury prior to the final against Brazil. Baggio would go on to miss a penalty during the shoot-out in the final, the one that most fans remember though in reality he was not the only one to miss a penalty-kick for the Azzurri.

Baggio had the goal of the tournament during Italy 1990 while he left a positive impression when he came on as a substitute during World Cup 1998. On the club level, Baggio’s best years were with Juve and he won the Ballon d’Or in 1993. He helped Juve win a domestic double during the 1994/95 season but some fans may not know he was the top scorer in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup competition during the 1990/91 season.

He was praised by many players and singled out as one of the best players to have as a teammate.

11) Fabrizio Ravanelli: This was a simple decision at the end since Ravanelli, aka Penna Bianca, scored in the Champions League final against Ajax in 1996 to help Juve lift the precious Big Ears trophy!

Ravanelli made other great contributions, including being top-scorer in Coppa Italia during the 1994/95 season and more importantly helping Juve win their first Scudetto since 1986.

On an individual level, the White Feather scored all 5 goals in that memorable 5-1 win over CSKA Sofia in the UEFA Cup competition in 1994. It was going to be a tough call between him and a couple of my other favorites- his teammate Gianluca Vialli and a more recent ex-Juve star Carlos Tevez but Ravanelli edged this comfortably at the end.


He also formed a unique and lethal attacking trident with Baggio (followed by Del Piero) and Vialli- a trio that combined talent, hard work and physical prowess. Ravanelli also had the cool nickname Penna Bianca (the White Feather in English), and obviously Ravanelli topped it all off with the all important goal in the Champions League final against Ajax to give him the edge over Vialli and Tevez.

Furthermore, Ravanelli had one more trick up his sleeve to put this three-way challenge with Vialli and Tevez beyond their reach: his goal celebrations! I recall growing up imitating his goal celebrations while playing with my friends. In simple terms, Fabrizio was a great mainstay for me due to his goal against Ajax, but also the bond a young fan creates with his football heroes due to acts that transcend the game.

Baggio did it with his feet and magic, Del Piero with his love for the club and many goals while Ravanelli did so with his goal celebrations and impactful contributions on multiple fronts- winning the domestic double in 94/95 and then lifting the all important Big Ears in 1996.

Obviously I would have no one other than the iconic Lippi lead my favorite Bianconeri XI. He helped rebuild Juve after several years- nine to be exact- without a league title. He helped orchestrate Juve’s drive in Europe with the club reaching three consecutive Champions League finals- winning the first one in 1996.

Lippi would also go on to have a second successful stint with the club. His legendary status would be cemented even further after he brilliantly guided Italy to a triumph in World Cup 2006 against all odds.

Football Fans Should Watch Chelsea In The 2021/22 Season

Around the world, football fans are celebrating the return of the Premier League. The 2021/22 campaign kicked off on August 13th, with the newly-promoted Brentford versus Arsenal. With every new season comes the chance to place wagers on matches and, of course, try to beat your friends at Fantasy Premier League (FPL). Maybe you’re doing both this year. Either way, we suggest watching Chelsea, and here’s why.

Overall Optimism

There’s a feeling of optimism surrounding Chelsea this season: the Blues are entering the campaign on the back of winning the Champions League and the Super Cup. Therefore, the Chelsea players have the advantage of a winning mentality from the outset, especially Jorginho, who also has the additional talisman of football betting odds at 14/1 to win the Ballon d’Or after adding a third title to his summer tally: Euro 2020. According to the football betting tips, Chelsea’s title odds have shortened to 16/5 and they’re the second-favourites, as it stands.

Granted, much of this optimism surrounding Chelsea comes from the London club’s recent signing of Belgian Romelu Lukaku. In the striker’s two seasons at Inter Milan, he scored a whopping 64 goals in 95 appearances and pundits like Chris Sutton believe Lukaku’s influence might be enough to nick the Premier League title from City.

Chelsea Players to Pick Up On Your Fantasy Team

Edouard Mendy

French goalkeeper Edouard Mendy impressed last season, keeping 16 clean sheets. The 29-year-old has both impressive agility and reaction time, two skills that placed him at number 77 on this season’s FPL draft ranking. In fantasy, it’s tempting to always go for the hard-hitters: for instance, players like Harry Kane or Mo Salah, who you know will come through on the goal-scoring front. That said, keeping clean sheets is just as important. Mendy is a Chelsea player who can do this consistently.


As mentioned, Jorginho has had a great summer that’s consisted of winning three competitions. The wins under his wings will definitely have him fired up to take Chelsea to victory in their 2021/22 Premier League campaign. Jorginho, who has an FPL draft ranking of 87, is also Chelsea’s penalty taker, which in FPL is considered an asset.

In the 2020/21 season, Chelsea received ten penalties and scored eight, and so, even if Jorginho doesn’t score from open play, if Chelsea is awarded a penalty, you know it’ll be likely that the ball will meet the back of the net.

Kai Havertz

When Chelsea signed Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen, he was expected to do great things. Under Frank Lampard, that wasn’t the case, with the 22-year-old only producing three assists and one goal in the first 19 Gameweeks. However, the German was visibly boosted by the arrival of Thomas Tuchel midway through the 2020/21 season, scoring three goals and producing two assists in seven starts under the new head coach. As such, many are forecasting that as Havertz continues to build the momentum he was gaining at the end of last season, he could be a big-hitter in this campaign.

Everyone has their way of watching the Premier League, whether it’s betting on matches or playing in a fantasy league. Whatever it is, the fact remains the same: Chelsea will be making waves in 2021/22.

Copa America Final: Messi vs Neymar?

Bitter rivals Argentina & Brazil will face-off today with the Copa America title a stake. It will be a reunion of sorts for former teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Argentina superstar and the Brazilian attacker helped Barcelona win the Champions League in 2015, a 3-1 victory over Italian giants Juventus.

Today Neymar will stand in the way of Messi’s dream of winning his first-ever senior title with his country. Messi won the FIFA U-20 World Cup with Argentina as well as the Olympic gold medal in 2008. However, he has lost multiples finals with Argentina on the senior level, including the World Cup final in Brazil 2014 against Germany.

Will this be his first trophy with Argentina? On Paper, Brazil have a more balanced XI while Argentina rely heavily on Messi who has already scored 4 goals and provided 4 assists (per some it is 5 assists). He is the leader in both individual categories but surely he is willing to give up on individual accolades if it meant Argentina would lift the trophy over Brazil.

Messi only won the Copa del Rey during the 2020/21 season, as Barca finished third in the league with Atletico Madrid winning the league title. On the European scene, Barca were a huge disappointment again. For Fantasy Football fans, Messi topped the charts after scoring 30 goals and providing 9 assists in La Liga during the 20/21 campaign. Messi finished with 130 EFL Fantasy Football Points ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Unsurprisingly, Messi also finished as the best Fantasy Football Player in the best Fantasy La Liga game at ahead of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. To cap off his dominance on the individual level in the top Spanish Fantasy Football Game, Messi did not only finish with the most points but also ended up with the highest value and was owned by most fantasy football managers at 33.4%.

All the above will not matter unless Messi can deliver the Copa America to Argentina! The question is whether he can do it when he faces a home side with a better, deeper squad and filled with key players in almost every position. Brazil is not just Neymar while Argentina rely heavily on Messi’s contributions. Will anyone else step up for Argentina? Perhaps PSG’s Ángel Di María? If he does, then maybe Argentina will have a chance because Brazil’s focus will surely be on limiting what Messi can do.

Messi, Salah, Kane, Ronaldo & Oblak finish atop Fantasy Player rankings

The 2020/21 season finished with some familiar names on top of the Fantasy Player rankings with Lionel Messi in first place followed by Liverpool & Egypt star Mohamed Salah while Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jan Oblak rounded up the first five spots.

Messi: Barcelona superstar Messi does not need an introduction. Despite Barca not winning the league again (2020/21 to Atletico Madrid and that’s after giving way in the title race during the 2019/20 season to bitter rivals Real Madrid), Messi still managed to score 30 league goals and provide 9 assists in 33 matches as well as 2 additional league appearances as a substitute. Barca & Messi did lift the Copa del Rey.

Salah: Liverpool’s Salah had a very good 2020/21 season with 22 goals and 5 assists in the Premier League, however, his club did not have a good campaign so he perhaps did not receive the praise some of his performances deserved. Liverpool did end up making the Champions League so maybe next season will be a fresh & better one for Salah and his teammates. He ended up with 122 Fantasy Football Points helped by the fact his position (as not a striker) earned him extra points from clean sheets…

Kane: Harry had perhaps his best season overall despite a disappointing campaign by Tottenham. Kane ended up with a remarkable tally of 14 assists in the Premier League- the most not just in England’s PL but also ahead of anyone from the Spanish & Italian leagues. Kane also ended up with 23 league goals to finish with 119 Fantasy Football Points- just two behind Salah. As a strike, Kane did not earn any points for clean sheets. As a great consolation, Kane finished top Fantasy Football Player in our sister site’s rankings:

Ronaldo: The Portuguese superstar finished the 2020/21 season with 29 goals and 3 assists (started in 31 Serie A matches and had another 2 appearances as a substitute). If we count only the English, Italian and Spanish leagues then only Messi scored more goals! The two seem to be in competition even when not in the same league. CR7 and Messi were also drawn in the same group in the Champions League. Neither superstar won the league title, but, like Messi, Ronaldo also won the domestic cup helping Juventus lift the Coppa Italia. CR7 finished with 117 EFL Fantasy Points. Ronaldo finished in 2nd place in player rankings. Visit the best Fantasy Serie A game & check the Player stats here

Oblak: Finally the only non-attacking player to finish in the top 5 was Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper Oblak. He was a key player in the club’s successful season which ended up with winning the Spanish La Liga. Oblak kept an impressive tally of 18 clean sheets and only conceded 25 goals in the Spanish League. Without Oblak, it could be said that Atletico would have failed to win the all-important La Liga title ahead of giants Real Madrid (Barcelona finished in 3rd place).

When did Fantasy Football begin and what is its future?

Fantasy sports as a whole are hugely popular across the whole world. The USA has the largest number of active players involved in fantasy sports leagues with grid-iron and baseball taking up most of the action. In Europe, football is the most popular of the fantasy sports available, and in India, perhaps not surprisingly, it is cricket.

In 2018 there were nearly 60 million fantasy sports players in the US but this number dropped in 2019 going into 2020 as sports events and leagues were suspended and canceled. Now, as the pandemic restrictions are eased in some regions and countries, a type of normality is returning to the sporting world, and with it, to fantasy sports leagues too.

When you consider the popularity of fantasy sports, it is interesting to see how fantasy football came about, and also to wonder where it will head in the future.

How did fantasy sports begin?

There is a school of thought that says the first instance of a fantasy sport was back in 1951 with baseball. Dick Seitz introduced a board game called American Professional Baseball Association to the American market. Every year players could buy a new pack of cards containing the stats for the ball-players previous season.

Flash forward to 1980 and the first fantasy baseball league was formed in a Manhattan restaurant called Le Rotisserie Francais. This is why you might hear the names rotisserie sports or rotisserie baseball sometimes.

It was in 1962 though, that most people agree the first true fantasy sports league was started. A part-owner of the Oakland Raiders, along with a group of like-minded individuals formed the rather unlikely named Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.

This set the stage for numerous other rotisserie or fantasy sports to follow including hockey, cricket, tennis, golf, basketball, and formula one. Although in the US fantasy football refers to grid-iron, in Europe and the United Kingdom, fantasy football means something else, and it is the biggest ‘rotisserie’ sport there is.

How did fantasy football begin in Europe?

Fantasy football was not a long time in coming after its US cousin, grid-iron. In 1971, Bernie Donnelly, a retired economics teacher, invented fantasy football one Saturday in August.

Like many football fans, Donnelly was looking for something to do during the summer break. As many football fans understand, this time of the year means no football and any betting activity has to involve other sports. These days with the advent of the internet, anyone can go online and bet on a sport somewhere else in the world or play in a live casino if they are bored. But, not so in 1971.

It wasn’t until the mid-’80s that one Riccardo Albini brought his vision of fantasy football to the world. What happened after was Fantasy Football League in the ’90s with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner followed by the UK newspapers getting in on the act.

How did the game spread?

In the UK, there was the aforementioned TV show but the national newspapers also got in on the act. The Telegraph, The Sun, and others all started to run their fantasy football leagues.

Then, of course, came the internet. This changed everything and made playing fantasy football or other sports far easier. Leagues were set up online and as interest grew so did the cash prizes. Over the years and through recent history you can see the rise of betting in football, and FF has allowed another dimension.

One of the reasons that fantasy grid-iron took off was that it allowed fans to have an extra level of involvement in the game. Sports betting also lets fans feel more engaged, and therefore so does fantasy football.

When you consider the popularity of the sport across the world, the amount of people who like to gamble, and how easy it is to access the internet, it is not hard to see how fantasy football has spread and become so popular.

Where do fantasy football and other sports go from here?

There are still many untapped markets for fantasy sports. Although 70% of players enjoy free games, fantasy sports are now a multi-billion dollar industry. In the US alone it took nearly $3 billion in 2019 which was one of the worst years for some time. The industry saw a worldwide revenue of nearly $8 billion so imagine how big this will grow when countries such as India join in.

Fantasy sports are now so big that there are official bodies such as the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association to oversee the interests of its participants.

Those untapped markets and emerging countries may turn out to be the biggest fantasy sports fans of the lot. India had 20 million fantasy sports players in 2017 and is predicted to become the largest market in the world with 100 million players joining.

Online casinos will also help increase the popularity of fantasy football in the future. Nearly all online casinos have a sportsbook or an area where players can bet on football. Nowadays they are branching out from slot machines and poker to virtual sports and fantasy leagues too.

Fantasy football is likely to continue to grow as more people discover that they can play online in leagues and also join up through their favorite casino. The obvious benefit of this is that an online casino can provide fantasy football, sports bets, and other entertainment between games such as poker or blackjack.


Fantasy football may have started out from a baseball board game back in the 1950s but it is hugely popular in its own right. There are European fantasy football leagues, leagues run in workplaces, ones in casinos, and of course the official Fantasy Premier League.

If you want to start playing FF then you can find many ways to join and learn many tips to become better in fantasy football too. The future of fantasy football looks strong and as the pandemic hopefully recedes, football as a whole will return to normal giving fans the chance to enjoy live action as well as the ‘rotisserie’ version.

Will Italy go all the way in Euro 2020?

Some are highly critical of Italy and keep mentioning the Italians have so far had an easy path- Turkey, Switzerland and Wales proving weak opponents. However, the Austrians thoroughly tested the Azzurri with a physical and straightforward approach in the Round of 16.

The Italians ended up reaching the quarter-final of Euro 2020 largely thanks to the super substitutions by coach Roberto Mancini. Juventus rising star Federico Chiesa and Atalanta’s Matteo Pessina proved the difference with each scoring a goal in the 2-1 win for the Italians.

While the Azzurri did not get tested in the group stage matches, Austria did put up a strong fight and in fact had the better of the 2nd half against the Italians. VAR saved Italy when canceling that Austrian goal for offside, but credit Mancini and his men for showing up during extra-time.

Chiesa’s goal was exquisite and a clear proof not just of his skills but also the fact he has been stepping up in big matches for both Juventus and Italy. Chiesa scored for Juve against Milan in Serie A and delivered the goals versus Porto (in both legs of the Round of 16 in the Champions League) not to mention his winner against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia final.

For nostalgia lovers Chiesa scored Italy’s first against Austria at Wembley some 25 years after his father Enrico scored a goal for the Italians- also on English soil at Liverpool’s Anfield- against the Czechs. It is worth noting this the first father and son to end up scoring a goal for their country in a Euro tournament.

Chiesa, the son, had a great season with the Bianconeri helping Juve finish in the top four to make the Champions League and his winner secured the Coppa Italia as mentioned above. Chiesa’s work ethic is also reminiscent of that of his father. The father Enrico worked hard while making his name particularly at Sampdoria, Parma and then Fiorentina.

For all the Italian fantasy football managers out there, do not forget to check out the most popular and the most challenging Fantasy Serie A game here: and remember you can invite your family and friends to compete against you…

As for the Azzurri, next up is a tough contest against one from Kevin de Bruyne’s Belgium and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. CR7 will surely want to end his Euro career on a high. Who is brave enough to bet against Ronaldo scoring more goals? The Portuguese superstar had 29 league goals for Juve during the 2021/21 season. It is also worth noting that CR7 ended up being the best Fantasy Serie A player in EFL’s 2020/21 season.

So all Italian eyes are likely focused on Belgium-Portugal to see who the next opponent will be… CR7 or Kevin de Bruyne?

The contenders for the Euro 2020 Golden Boot

Euro 2020 is in full swing, and while there’s been no real change when it comes to the outright favorites – for both winning the tournament, and in the race for the Golden Boot – we have seen plenty of shocks and surprises during the most of the rounds in the group stages.

So, with that in mind, let’s look away from the Euro 2020 top scorer odds for the moment, and see who’s leading the way when it comes to winning the individual accolade.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The GOAT scored a brace as defending champions Portugal beat Hungary, following an early scare in their opening match. The Portuguese captain and talisman made history, becoming the first player to score in five different editions of the tournament – a record that extends back to Euro 2004. Ronaldo also broke the record of goals scored at European Championships – previously held by Michel Platini – with his two goals in Budapest taking his tally to 11.

Despite the tough test (and heavy loss) against Germany (in Munich), CR7 did manage another brace in Euro 2020 against France (in Budapest) in his final game in the ‘Group of Death’… Ronaldo stands a good chance of increasing his tally in the race for the Golden Boot – and is inching towards surpassing the all-time record set by Iran’s Ali Daei.

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian has always been among the favorites for the top scorer award, and got off to a flying start – also notching a brace in their opening game, as Belgium cruised to a 3-0 victory over Russia. The goals looked like they’ll continue as the Red Devils faced Denmark and Finland in their remaining group matches but Lukaku only added 1 more goal to his tally.

Keep in mind, Lukaku has carried on from his excellent domestic form, which saw him finish second to the great Ronaldo in the Serie A top goal scorer charts – scoring 24 goals as Inter Milan won the Scudetto for the first time in a decade.

Patrik Schick

Maybe a dark horse in terms of a Golden Boot contender, but even at this early stage of proceedings, we already have a worthy nomination for Goal of the Tournament.

Schick was clinical in the Czech Republic’s opening game against Scotland – with his second goal coming from the halfway line as he chipped goalkeeper David Marshall. While the 25-year-old scored just nine league goals for Bayer Leverkusen last season, he’s got off to a perfect start at the Euros. He did add one more goal to his tally in the final two group matches.

With so many players off the mark with a solitary goal, who else could challenge? Italy’s Ciro Immobile scored the second goal against Turkey- his first goal for Italy at a major tournament. Lorenzo Insigne also got on the scoresheet in that same match. Italy comfortably dispatched Switzerland in their second game and victory would see them qualify for the knockout stage, with Wales left to play before resting most of the starters in the 1-0 win over Wales.

A surprise name to the Dutch team selection, Wout Weghorst continued his excellent domestic form to score in Netherlands’ thrilling encounter against Ukraine. The 28-year-old scored in their warm-up game versus Georgia and earned his seventh cap in that Euro 2020 clash. He scored 20 goals last season for Wolfsburg.

The worst value Bets in football

With football matches taking place every day in leagues around the world, there are opportunities to bet on matches at pretty much any time of the day. Many punters put a lot of research into their bets and use their knowledge of the game, teams and players to pick out bets that they think have a good chance of coming in. However, other than backing a selection that you think will win, you should also take into account whether or not your bet has value.

What Is Value In Betting?

Let’s say that West Brom were playing Barcelona. The majority of us would think that Barcelona would win this match 99% of the time which is a reasonable expectation. So, does that mean that if you were backing one team to win, you should bet on Barca? That should depend on the odds that you were offered.

If a bookie was offering odds of 1 million/1 on West Brom to win, despite you thinking that they’ll lose, there is obviously value in that bet as the odds imply that West Brom will only win the match 1 in every 1,000,001 times.

Another example would be betting on the toss of a coin. There is a 50% chance that it will land on heads and 50% that it will land on tails. Therefore, the true odds of either outcome is evens (2.0). If you were offered odds above evens, the bet would have value and if you were offered odds below evens, the bet wouldn’t have value.

Bookmakers apply a margin to the odds that they offer. For example, if a bookie was offering odds on the toss of a coin, they may offer odds of 1.9 which is around a 5% margin. They apply these margins so that they are able to make a profit regardless of the outcome of an event. Bets on sporting events are a little trickier to determine whether or not they have value as the true odds of an outcome are based on stats and a lot of other data unlike the toss of a coin where it’s mathematically sound to state that each outcome has a 50% chance of occurring. Nevertheless, a margin is applied to whatever the bookmaker determines to be the true odds.

Below, we will take a look at a few of the worst value bets in football betting markets.

One way that you can add value to your betting is via bookmaker offers. The list of free bets from which bookie shows bookies that offer incentives for placing bets. By qualifying for these free bets, you can give yourself additional chances of winning which increases the overall value of your betting activity.

Bet Builders

Bet Builders are at the top of the Worst Value Bets list. They are offered by several bookmakers now and often go under various names such as ‘Request A Bets’ or ‘YourOdds’.

These are basically accumulator bets where all selections are on the same match. For example, ‘Harry Kane to score first, Over 2.5 goals to be scored, Tottenham to receive the most corners & Mo Salah to be carded’.

As stated earlier, bookies apply margins to all betting markets. As Bet Builders contain selections from multiple markets, these margins are combined to give a much larger margin which means more profit for the bookie and less value for the punter.

Also, with Bet Builders, bookies find it much harder to balance their books to ensure that they make a profit regardless of the result. Because of this, they apply a greater margin overall to the bet which again, decreases the bets value.


Accumulators are one of the most popular football bets. Many of us place an Acca on the weekends matches at what sometimes looks like good odds. However, similar to Bet Builders, the bookies margin on each selection is combined with each selection that is added to the Acca. The more selections you add, the less value the bet has.

This is why some bookies offer bonuses for winning accas with accas with more selections getting bigger bonuses. This isn’t because the bookmaker is being overly generous to customers but just that they are taking more value away from the customer with the bigger the accumulator is and so can afford to give some back and still lock in a healthy profit.

Half Time / Full Time

Half Time / Full Time bets are when you bet on which team will be winning at HT and which will be winning at the final whistle. The often high odds on this football betting market can be attractive but they are generally very bad value.

If you compare the odds for the HT/FT market of what a bookmaker offers and the odds available on a betting exchange, you’ll more often than not find a huge difference. Betting exchange odds are generally considered to be close to the true odds given that they are set by the market as no margins are applied.

All change at the top in Europe: Juve, Real Madrid & Inter lose their coaches

Now that all the European leagues have finished and the trophies have been handed out and all the confetti from the winners’ celebrations has been cleared away, you’d think there’d be a short break where we could all get our breathe back. Yet a few managers at some of Europe’s top clubs have had other ideas and decided now was the perfect time to create even more drama. How did they create this drama? Well, they all decided that now was the ideal time to fall out with their owners and walk away from their jobs.

Heavy-hitters Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan have all waved goodbye to their managers in the last few days. Plus, as reported on Sky Sports, there are many in the know saying that Mauricio Pochettino at P.S.G. is deeply unhappy and could be on his way out.

It’s now created a merry-go-round of in-goings and outgoings at some of Europe’s elite clubs. So now with many top jobs vacant, and many top managers available to fill those vacancies, the football rumour mill has gone into overdrive with tales of who’s going there or who’s going where.


It was a real surprise last year when Juventus decided to make Andrea Pirlo their manager. Pirlo had been one of the coolest looking midfielders to ever play the game and could ping the ball around the pitch with a seemingly effortless accuracy. He was a true legend of ‘Zebre’. Yet, he’d never even managed a team before he was given one of the biggest jobs in the whole of football. 

Predictably it didn’t go as well as the Juventus back-staff had hoped and Pirlo was recently let go. ‘The Old Lady’ didn’t wait long though, and have secured their old manager, Massimiliano Allegri on a four-year contract. Only time will tell if it will it be a happy reunion for the two.

Real Madrid

It has been a weird season for Real Madrid, with them always seemingly just on the edge of disaster, and yet they still managed to get to the semi-finals of the Champions League and take the La Liga race to the last day, where they were narrowly pipped at the post by great rivals Atletico Madrid.

However, a good example of how far the club have fallen this year is that when Spain compete at the postponed Euro 2020 this summer, it will be the first time in history that no player from ‘Los Blancos’ will be in the squad. It was no surprise then, that Madrid and their manager, Zinedine Zidane, split up a few days ago.

So, will the now unemployed Zidane take one of the other top vacancies? There’s talk that he wants the French national job, but with current boss Didier Deschamps being in the good books since that 2018 World Cup win, it would take France having a turgid tournament for him to get it. That’s not something that looks that likely to happen though, with the best betting sites having them priced as the favourites at 9/2.

It’s always a relief to know that if you are betting on sport, you’re getting the greatest odds and sign-up offers and that’s where AsiaBet comes in. They’ve also got a handy guide so you can find value in the football betting market, meaning that they might help you find a true dark horse to back in the Euro’s.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan have had a fantastic season in 2020/21. As was reported here in Euro Fantasy League, they managed to win their first Serie A title since 2010. You’d think that it would be happy times then for the winning manger, Antonio Conte, but nope. In true Conte style he has instead fallen out with the board at Inter over the lack of funds available and has washed his hands of the club, walking away.

Pundits now reckon he could be a shoe-in for the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job, but many are disputing this, saying that Spurs don’t have the transfer funds available for Conte, who’s a known heavy-spender. Maybe if Pochettino does leave P.S.G. and goes back to Spurs, then Conte could slot in at the Paris club, as there’s no doubt that he’d have bags of cash to chuck around at players there. However it does play out, it’s all change at the top in Europe.

The best Fantasy Serie A Game!

Fans of Italian football and supporters of clubs such as Milan, Juventus, Atalanta and other clubs including league champions Inter can create, compete and challenge their friends at the most popular Fantasy Serie A game for free.

For several years now, has led the way as the most competitive and popular Italian fantasy football game. The 2020/21 season saw Inter’s Romelu Lukaku finish as the top ranked fantasy football player and he was followed by Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lukaku was a key player as Inter finally won the Scudetto. As for Juve, CR7 was influential in driving the club to finish in the top four and to secure a Champions League berth. It was not an empty season for Cristiano because he was able to win the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will remain with the Bianconeri for the 2021/22 season.

For now, fans will be enjoying both Euro 2020 (though it is being played in 2021) as well as the Copa America. Keep an eye on the exciting and challenging season ahead if you are an Italian fantasy football fan. Check out the stats for the best Fantasy Serie A football players here and remember to invite your friends for a fun challenge!