Can you taste it? The Champions League and Europa League competitions have already begun, while minor leagues across Europe have also started to slowly tick over again. And with friendly matches taking place over all four corners of the world, the 2009/10 season is on the verge of kicking off in style.
Some however will be wishing that the long summer days draw out just a little bit longer though, so that crowds will have a chance to forget some of the horror shows which have been on display over the last seven days.
If Ben Foster has serious ambitions of replacing Edwin van der Sar as the long-term Manchester United keeper then the youngster must work harder at cutting out the unforced errors from his game. Having been sidelined for several months since undergoing thumb surgery in May, Foster returned to action against the Malaysian XI in the Premier League champions first pre-season match of the new year. But his return to the field was far from spectacular as the custodian failed horribly in an attempt to clear his lines, missing the ball completely, and as a result he cost his side a goal.
(Ben Foster’s air-kick can be seen here.)
And then there was Club America striker Salvador Cabanas, who had the unfortunate luck of being the person to miss an open goal after his Mexican outfit had torn through the Inter Milan team in style.
To be fair to the number 10, the centre-forward had played a crucial role in building the attack in the first place having collected the initial pass upfield and interchanging a series of one-twos en route to goal. But, having done all the had work and with the net finally at his mercy, poor Cabanas developed an unfortunate case of two left feet.
Unceremoniously and embarrassingly, Cabanas screwed his effort miserably wide.
Onto the list, where we can happily report its been a golden week for super-strikes.
Unstoppable efforts from distance have been crashing in the net all over the globe, accounting for goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. On the slightly more cultured side of the list are a pair of classy strikes at positions 6 and 8.
That leaves a brilliant lob at number 9, a pair of exceptional overhead-volleys at goals 7 and 10, and a brilliant Marco van Basten-esque volley at number 11.
As always, all we ask is that you sit back and enjoy!
1. Eric Hassli (FC Zurich v Young Boys Bern, July 14, 2009)
2. Marcelinho Paraiba (Coritiba v Gremio, July 15, 2009)
3. Alecko Eskandarian (New York Red Bulls v LA Galaxy, July 16, 2009)
4. Landon Donovan (New York Red Bulls v LA Galaxy, July 16, 2009)
5. Tonis Vanna (Brondby v Tallinna FC Flora, July 16, 2009)
6. Zequinha (Olhanense v Anderlecht, July 17, 2009)
7. Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (Kawasaki Frontale v Vissel Kobe, July 18, 2009)
8. Nacer Barazite (Barnet v Arsenal, July 18, 2009) (pictured)
9. Amri Yahyah (Malaysian XI v Manchester United, July 19, 2009)
10. Celso Borges (Guadeloupe v Costa Rica, July 19, 2009)
11. Emir Bajrami (Djurgarden v Elfsborg, July 19, 2009) (0.15 minutes in)