The Lead

Current ‘it man’ Ibrahimovic continues to amaze after scoring an acrobatic overhead kick on Wednesday against his English opponents.

When England manager Roy Hodgson was asked by journalists this week if England had a talisman equal to Ibrahimovic, he mentioned Wayne Rooney.

“Rooney is a top-class player…We have to hope he can produce top performances and I believe in Wayne Rooney very strongly, as of course do Manchester United.”

But even Hodgson’s isn’t naive enough to believe that Rooney can single-handedly win them matches. Rooney’s international experience has been disappointing to say the very least. His first real debut came at the age of 18 during Euro 2004. He concluded the tournament with four impressive goals and was hailed by many as a soccer prodigy…the next Zidane, Ronaldo or Maradona.

Unfortunately, he failed to reproduce his stellar performance at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. While he did finally break his goalless streak in major international tournaments at Euro 2012, it just wasn’t enough from a player with such high expectations and abilities.

Although Hodgson is aware of both Rooney and his team’s shortcomings, it’s fair to say that England shouldn’t rely on one player (which Hodgson understands and does point out). Rooney is key to a successful team, but he’s only part of the puzzle and problem.

So while England continue to have faith in Rooney, and they rightly do, it’s important to find the real cause or causes of England’s failure on the international level.

Canada

Kevin Duarte reflects on the Montreal Impact season that was.

England

AVB hopes Adebayor will secure him a win against Arsenal this weekend.

Hodgsons says it’s important for England to find their own version of Ibrahimovic.

Mancini says City won’t sign any more players including Suarez.

Italy

Expect Pogba back in the line-up for Juventus on Saturday.

Berlusconi discusses Milan with the media.

La Liga

Barcelona’s Sanchez out for a month due to injury.

Pedro saddened to hear Spain and Barcelona aren’t exciting to watch.

Germany

Robben ruled out for next two games because of a muscle tear.

A look back at the Bundesliga in the 1960s and the rise of the English-German soccer animosity.

Hoffenheim midfielder Vukcevic out of coma.

Bit and Bobs

Beckham‘s agents deny a move to the land down under.

The funnier side of Mancini as he wears mask to press conference.

Must hear commentary on Ibrahimovic’s goal from around the globe.