Soccer tracker

Keep up with European pro soccer with this handy footie follower.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA, pronounced "you-a-fa") is Europe's pro soccer governing body. It coordinates national leagues and international tournaments and championships, among other activities. The UEFA Informer is a free Windows Gadget that tracks UEFA football teams, matches, scores, fixtures, standings, and leagues in real time and delivers them to a customizable display that sits in the Windows desktop sidebar. It tracks all UEFA competitions and national leagues for some 51 countries, including Europe's "major leagues," the English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian domestic leagues.

This tiny gadget is a mere 106K in size. The "installation process" involves clicking on the extracted file, then the software's display appears and automatically updates with the latest results (for example, Champions League Round of 16 match results). A menu lets you select different groups in the round, or switch to a different league, such as a domestic league or World Cup competition. An arrow at the bottom expands to give full information for fixtures and match results in the selected league or division. There's the usual complement of Windows Gadget controls, including an Options menu that's also accessible by right-clicking the UEFA Informer's body. Under the Options, you can select which national leagues to view, add teams, and control the auto-update feature. Windows Gadgets are supposed to be simple and useful enough to deserve a spot on busy desktops. For soccer fans, the UEFA Informer scores the go-ahead.

The UEFA Informer is freeware and is compatible with Windows Vista and 7.

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