Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ronaldo Stunner: I'm Joining Madrid

The longest transfer saga of the summer is apparently in its closing stages.

Crisitiano Ronaldo has blatantly said that he is going to join Real Madrid this summer. Spainish newspaper 'AS' has quoted Ronaldo as saying, "Everything is fine. Next week I will return to England and tell them [Manchester United] that my only desire is to play for Real Madrid and that I will not negotiate."

Ronaldo is currently recuperating in Portugal after having undergone a surgery.

According to reports the talented winger will hold a meeting with Sir Alex and the owners of Manchester United next Tuesday, to tell them he wants out.

Should he arrive at the Bernabéu, it will be interesting to see how he will be received, it is said that the players are tired of rumors of his arrival. Some players like Gago and Higuain have reportedly said they have no problem with Ronaldo's arrival, while others like Sneijder aren't really too keen.

So what do you think? Will Ronaldo be a help or a hindrance to Madrid? I personally am of the opinion that he is by far more important to Manchester United than he will be for Real Madrid.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pick Your Barca Starting XI

With Barcelona's squad near completion( I say near completion because of the uncertainty of Eto'o's future) it's time to pick who you think should be the starting XI, and what formation should be used. If you want, include a striker who could possibly replace Eto'o if he leaves.

Squad Members:

Victor Valdes, Jorquera, Pinto

Abidal, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Cáceres, Sylvinho, Milito, Marquez

Xavi, Iniesta, Yaya Toure, Keita, Hleb, Crosas

Messi, Eto'o, Henry, Bojan, Gudjohnsen

My Starting XI and Formation{4-1-3-2}

--------------------------------------Yaya Toure-------------------------

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tevez To Become England's Record Breaking Signing

According to reports Manchester United will pay Media Sports Investment, the Kia Joorabchian firm that owns Tevez's rights a record fee of around 32 million euros to gain full ownership of the player.

Tevez along with Javier Mascherano were both brought to West Ham by the firm in a third-party move. West Ham was subsequently fined by the Premier League 5.5 million euros for not disclosing the details of the players' contracts. The Premier League FA has also stated that this will be the last time that a player is allowed to join a Premier League club under a third-party agreement.

Tevez moved to Manchester United on a two-year loan deal which runs out next summer. Manchester had the option of closing a permanent deal for the player, but has opted to wait despite the player's appeal for a permanent deal.

Now that talks have reopened with MSI, a fee has been agreed that will surpass that of the 30.6 million euros that Chelsea payed Milan in 2006 to bring Shevchenko to Stanford Bridge, making Tevez the most expensive player in English history.

I believe the fee is correct because Tevez is easily the best player in the Premier League currently. I strongly believe that if he wasn't being used so sparingly by Sir Alex that he would have easily surpassed Ronaldo's goal tally. Tevez scored 19 goals while starting the majority of his games on the bench, scoring more than Wayne Rooney who started, justifying my reason why he should be starting.

It is yet to be seen if Manchester will pay the fee this summer or when Tevez's loan deal runs out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Barca Latest!

Finally! Oleguer Presas has been sold. To me his sale has been long overdue due to the many defensive arrivals this summer and Oleguer's clumsy tendencies. Oleguer never looked to me like a defender who was up to Barca's standards and I'm glad to see him go.

According to reports Ajax and Barcelona have agreed to a transfer fee of 3 million euros for the player, and if the Amsterdam club qualifies for the Champions League in one of the next three seasons, an extra 2.25 million will be paid. Oleguer is the Dutch club's fourth singing of the summer.

In other news Eto'o is being linked with a move to Lyon that includes Benzema coming to Barca in a swap deal. Lyon president, Jean Michel Aulas is apparently very keen on bringing the Cameroon international to France, as the club is looking to strengthen their attacking options ahead of the Champions League. However this sounds like just another rumor, as Benzema is a prized possession at Lyon, but who knows, Eto'o is more prolific than the Algerian-Kabyle descendant, and Lyon as well as Barca could be tempted.

To cap off my post, I just want to give some hope to the Barca fans out there like myself, who want to see Eto'o stay at the Nou Camp. After Barca's thrashing of yet another Scottish side, this time running out victorious over Dundee United 5-1 in their second preseaon match, where Messi scored a hat-trick, President Joan Laporta was full of praise for Eto'o, commending him for his attitude and for just being a great player. When asked by the media if Eto'o would stay, the president sunned the question and raced away in a hurry according to reports. Seems like Laporta might be having second thoughts about offloading Eto'o, but only time will tell what the future holds.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Maniche Apologizes: Wants To Stay With Atletico

Atletico Madrid midfielder Maniche, who was told by the club that his services were no longer needed, due to disagreements with coach Javier Aguirre and a few of his teammates, has now publicly apologized for his behavior and expressed his desire to stay at the club.

Maniche was loaned out to Inter during the January transfer window because of his conduct but didn't really impress at the San Siro.

Now back at Atletico Madrid the player has admitted his mistakes and wishes to fight hard for his place at the club.

Atletico Madrid took the last Champions League spot in Spain, and will be challenging for top honors in both La Liga and Europe.

I myself was wondering why Maniche was loaned out to Inter because he played relatively well in the team. Now that he has admitted his mistakes, I believe he will be a valuable player to Atletico, as he will bring much needed experience as he has won the Champions League before with Porto back in 2004.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mutu Going Nowhere - Fiorentina

Adrian Mutu who's future has been quite uncertain over the duration of this summer transfer window, was linked this week with a move to Roma.

Roma made a bid for the player in the region of 20 million euros, and Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino had publicly stated that his club might be open to the move, due to the money at hand and Mutu's age.

However Fiorentina has made an official announcement today on stating: "President of ACF Fiorentina Andrea Della Valle communicates that, referring to the offer made by AS Roma, Adrian Mutu is and will remain a Fiorentina player."

This comes as a surprise to many as people thought Mutu was destined to a Roma move. It is believed that coach Cesare Prandelli is behind the motion to keep the player, as they both know each other well and Mutu is a key part of his current squad.

Barca Ready With Fresh Trezeguet Bid

Pep Guardiola is said to be a fan of David Trezeguet and subsequently the Frenchman has emerged as Barca's top target.

Barcelona was linked with Turin player earlier during the transfer season, but seemed to drop their interest due to Juventus' reluctance to sell the man who scored 20 goals last season and finished second of the top scorers in Italy.

Fresh reports have emerged that Barca is still interested in the player, and are ready to offer a fee in the region of 25 million euros.

Juventus could be tempted by such an offer because of Trezeguet's age, 30, and because of the striking options available with Del Piero, Amauri, Iaquinta and Giovinco.

Trezeguet has said that his desire to stay with the Old Lady and win something with the club he has been a player for since 2000. However it has been said that he has contacted good friend Thierry Henry, and asked him about Spanish football and life in the country.

With Eto'o still at Barcelona though, it's hard to see Barca making a move for Trezeguet. Let's wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eto'o Wage Demands Hindering Move : Madrid Want Him

Samuel Eto'o having been told that he is not in new coach, Pep Guardiola's plans is finding it difficult to exit from the Nou Camp.

Due to Eto'o's high wage demands to interested parties, said to be in the region 8.5 to 10 million euros, and Barca's valuation of the star of about 30 million euros, Eto'o is finding it very difficult to move on.

Questions have been arising about how serious Barca really is about letting the Cameroon international go, because of their high asking price for the player.

Eto'o has made it no secret that his preference is to stay at the Catalan club, and really is making no effort to leave for any club which he has no interest in joining.

Pep too has also recently said that finding a new striker is not an urgent matter because of the options available too him, including Eto'o.

Now Real Madrid, who Eto'o played for during his youth years is being once again linked with the versatile striker. Madrid coach Bernd Schuster, is said to be keen on brining Eto'o to the capital as a backup should Van Nistelroy or Raul get injured.

However due to Eto'o being very pro-Barca, and his high profile as a striker I personally don't see him playing as backup to anyone, therefore I deem this move as highly unlikely.

I, like many Barca fans, am clinging on to hope, and praying for an Eto'o stay.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sebastian Giovinco: The Talk Of The Town

Young Sebastian Giovinco is regarded as one of Europe's top young talents, and is tipped to be a star in the near future.

Having recently returned to Juventus after spending last season on loan to Empoli, there has been some disputes over the renewal of his contract between the player and the club.

Premier League clubs Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are all said to have their antennas up, and are keeping tabs on the situation, with hopes of bringing the player to England.

Arsene Wenger, who is known for his interest in young talent, is said to be lining up a bid for Giovinco next summer along with Italian Under-21 team-mate Claudio Marchisio.

Juve is said to be willing to sell both players to Arsenal, provided that they include Robin Van Persie in the deal. Van Persie was linked in a shock transfer over the weekend to the Turin club, and is highly valued in the eyes of the current Juventus management team.

Here's Giovinco in action:

Barca Set To Offer 25 Million Euros For Drogba

Barcelona are apparently ready to step up their chase for Didier Drogba, and are set to offer Chelsea 25 million euros for the powerful Ivorian.

Drogba is said to be unsettled at the Bridge and keen on a move ever since the departure of Jose Mourinho from Chelsea. Reports yesterday suggested that Drogba had agreed to personal terms with Barca, on a contract that would bring him to the Nou Camp for 3 years.

Of course money is not an issue for Chelsea and they can offer Drogba an improved contract to see him stay at the club, but at 30, Drogba's ambition is most likely to try his trade in either Spain or Italy.

Due to Pep Guardiola's interest in the star, the player's heart seems set on a move to La Liga. Luiz Felipe Scolari has publicly stated that he would like Drogba to stay at Chelsea, but it is rumored that if a suitable replacement is found he will let the striker leave.

With Eto'o out of favor at Barca, if I were Chelsea I would accept a swap deal. Eto'o is younger and even better than Drogba, a deal with both players going opposite directions in my opinion is as good as it gets for Chelsea.

If Drogba does leave, he will follow Claude Makelele through the exit door as Paris St Germain reached a deal for the retired French International yesterday.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ronaldinho Fails To Sweet-Talk Seedorf Into Giving Him The Number 10 Jersey

Ronaldinho who is known throughout the world for his infamous number 10 jersey, because of all the special moments he shared at Barca in the jersey, has failed to convince Clarence Seedorf to hand over the number at Mialn.

Ronaldinho has instead opted out of choosing the next closet number, the number 11 jersey, left available due to Alberto Gilardino's departure to Fiorentina and has chosen the number 80 jersey.

The rationale behind him choosing the number, is because it was the year in which he was born, 1980. It is still to be seen if the company that manages the Gaucho's image will change their name for 'R10' to 'R80'.

Seedorf had publicly stated that Ronaldinho was not needed at Milan before the player singed for the club, probably due to questions in his mind as to where he would play. However new reports had suggested that Ronaldinho and the player had since settled things, with Ronaldinho stating that he always dreamed of playing alongside the Dutchman, but with Seedorf refusing to hand over his jersey questions will arise in regards to the relationship between the two.

Who Should Barca Sign? Adebayor, Berbatov or Drogba

Reports suggest that Barca are close to signing Didier Drogba from Chelsea. Drogba has pulled out of Chelsea's pre-season tour to the Far East due injury, and Barca are said to continue their interest by making a solid offer for the Ivorian. Drogba is said to be unsettled and looking for a way out of Chelsea within the next 10 days.

Barca are also said to be interested in Dimitar Berbatov and a possible swap deal could be on the cards with Rafa Marquez moving Tottenham.

Then there's Emmanuel Adebayor, who Barca have apparently lost interest in due to Arsenal unwillingness to sell the player. However with Samuel Eto'o likely to be sold in the coming weeks, Barca could use the funds to offer more for the player and tempt Arsenal to sell.

Personally I think Drogba would be a good signing, he is a crunch-time striker, he almost always scores when it's most important, however I don't know if he would fit into the Barca system, because Barca plays a completely different style to that of Chelsea. Dimitar Berbatov on the other hand I could definitely picture in the Barca system because of his delicate touch and skillful finishes. Adebayor too, I think would fit well as Arsenal plays a similar style to that of Barca.

So who do you think would be the perfect replacement if or when Eto'o leaves?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tribute To Barca!!!

With a new era about to take place at Barcelona, I think it's only fitting to pay tribute to the Barca of the last era, where Ronaldinho, Eto'o, Deco, Giuly and Larrson formed the most fearsome attacking partnership anywhere in Europe.
Take a look back with me at Barca's memorable Champions League triumph in the 05/06 season, from the group stages all the way to the final in France, at the Stade de France, where Barca reigned victorious over Arseanl with a 2 - 1 victory.
Though many of our stars are gone, the pass brings hope for the future and a sign of new things to come, it's now all up to Messi, Henry, Bojan, and new signings Dani Alves, Pique, Keita, and Caceres. FORCA BARCA!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Transfer Season A Lot Like Dating

Some people may see this article title and might be saying, what is this guy talking about, the transfer season a lot like dating? I know it sounds kind of crazy but just think about it for a second.
Liken the current clubs of the players to that of their current girlfriends, they have a great relationship their services are needed etc. but the transfer season(dating season or summer) comes and many players see another girl who's offering them more, maybe she's got the whole package, a beautiful smile and a nice figure (money), and she's oh so tempting to those players who focus only on the physical, or what she has to offer. Ronaldo is a perfect example of this player, with his current transfer saga with Real Madrid. Of course you know his current girlfriend(Manchester United) doesn't want to let him go, she's bossy, and more likely than not, he has no choice but to stay with her.
However there are different types of players in this game, there are players who look pass what a girl has to offer, they see her for what she is, and is attracted by her values, her character what she stands for and how he can make her a better person. He doesn't let looks be the motivating factor of his decision in choosing a new spouse or date. This kind of player is like Ronaldinho, who moved to Milan this week. I mean the brother had options, women were offering him the world(Manchester City with their lucrative offer), yet he choose the one he was most comfortable with, the one he had a love for, even though she didn't have much to offer.( Milan with their significantly lower deal and no Champions League football)
Then there is the player who is never satisfied, he has a problem with every girl he comes across, I don't even know if to call him picky, but I think he's something of a gigolo. He gets fed up with his current girl and often doesn't stay in a relationship for too long, he's always threating to leave her and often does. Anybody got a clue as to which player I'm talking about? Yip! Nicolas Anelka. Throughout this guy's career, he has played for 8 different clubs in the space of 10 years, subsequently earning himself the nickname "Le Sulk" or the Sulk. He recently signed for Chelsea and has already threatened to leave, because he wasn't getting much playing time under recently fired manager, Avram Grant.
So there you have it, the transfer season is a lot like dating. Players look for the girls who can keep them satisfied, weather it's what she's offering(money), or how much time she's giving the player(playing time), these are just some of the factors that influence a player's decision or quest for a new girl(club).
Can you think of any more players to fit the three descriptions I mentioned?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Deco and Dinho Gone: Should Eto'o Follow?

With Deco now at Chelsea and Ronaldinho having justed signed for AC Milan, should Eto'o follow his former teammates through the exit door? Or should he stay and fight for his place, even though being told he's not wanted by Barcelona.

For a player of Eto'o's caliber, there are many top clubs across Europe to choose from, however due to his high wage demands a move is proving difficult. The latest news on the Cameroon international is that he was offered a deal worth around 40 million euros from an Uzbekistan club, to play in the Asian Champions League for 3 to 6 months.

Eto'o has been reported to have done nothing to push himself away from the Catalan club , even after having been told by Pep Guardiola that he, Deco and Ronaldinho were no longer wanted.

I don't know what are your views are, but Eto'o is one of the best strikers in the world, and I think Barca are making a big mistake by forcing him out of the club. Suitable replacements have been mentioned, the most interesting to me is that of Dimitar Berbatov, but even though Berbatov is an excellent replacement, Eto'o is the better of the two.

So what do you think should Eto'o pack his bags?

Baptista Close To Roma Switch

Julio Baptista, who has been told that he is not in coach Bernd Schuster's plans, is apparently close to a Roma switch.
The club has been in the hunt for a top class striker, one who could possibly partner Francesco Totti upfront. The likes of Adrian Mutu, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Roman Pavluchenko, and Baptista were all mentioned, but it appears Baptista is the most realistic choice.
Former Roma stars Aldair and Toninho Cerezo, and the player's, agent have encouraged the move, and recent reports in the Italian press indicate that the transfer is soon to take place, as both parties want each other.
Baptista’s agent, Herminio Menendez is currently on business in China, and as soon as he returns, the transfer should take place swiftly. Reports earlier this week suggested that Roma made a bid of around 15 million euros for "The Beast".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Barca Interested In Berbatov

Barcelona is still in the hunt for a new striker having told Samuel Eto'o that his services are no longer needed at the club. Eto'o has been shockingly linked to a move to a club in Uzbekistan, where they are said to offer him a huge contract, worth around 40 million euros to play for 3 to 6 months in the Asian Champions League.

Barca were originally after Adebayor, but Arsenal has become stubborn and has valued the player at about 36 million euros, a fee which the Catalan club is not prepared to meet. So with Adebayor out of the picture, it seems that Barca has set their sights on signing Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham.

I have always been a fan of Berbatov since his move to the Premier League. He quickly emerged as one of the top strikers in England for his strength and delicate touch of the ball. I think he would be a good replacement for Eto'o, though I would hate to see the Cameroon international leave.

Berbatov is valued at around 25 million euros, a fee Barca wouldn't have any problems paying.

Though Berbatov is thought to be keen to move to Manchester United, it is believed he would welcome a move to the Nou Camp, and Juande Ramos could very well welcome the offer in order to snub his rivals.

Barca Prepares Shocking Move For Robinho

Fresh off me having so much praise for Robinho in my last post, reports have suggested that Barcelona are ready to bring in the unsettled Madrid player.

Joan Laporta is desperate to get the fans back on his side after loosing the popular vote in the recent vote of no confidence against him and his board. Laporta and his team are now willing to spend big on a high profile player with the funds they have just received from Ronaldinho's move to Milan.

The names they have shortlisted include David Villa, Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Frédéric Kanouté, Carlos Tévez and Robinho. Of all these names, Barcelona seems to be most interested in Robinho as Pep Guardiola has made it know to Laporta, that if he could sign anyone right now it would be Robinho.

However they are questions as to how unsettled Robinho is, Calderon, Madrid's president, recently declared that Robinho is happy at the club and they will start giving the player the affection that he deserves. Calderon also went on to value the player well above 47.5 million pounds.

As a Barca fan I would love to see Robinho in a Barcelona jersey, but how willing would Madrid be to sell one of their stars to their direct rival. Though it has happened in the past, I find it highly unlikely.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Should Madrid Swap Robinho For Ronaldo?

This rumor is particularly nothing new, it has been said that Madrid are willing to include Robinho in the deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
My view on this rumor, is that Real Madrid is stupid for wanting to bring Ronaldo to the La Liga in the first place. Although they can make a great deal of money from the player, Ronaldo in my opinion is not a good player. I apologize to all you Ronaldo fans out there but this guy is all lip and no action.
Ronaldo has been boastful, making stupid comments like "I'm the best", and even though he had a great season at Manchester, in which he scored a total of 31 league goals, he still fails to show up in big matches, and the Champions League semi-final and final where he missed penalties in both games is proof enough.
If Madrid were to swap Robinho for Ronaldo it would be a great lost to them. Robinho is a better player than Ronaldo, Yes! I said it. When Robinho first started playing at Madrid he was a lot like Ronaldo, selfish! He liked to keep the ball too much and not pass to open teammates which in tern hurt his team, just like Ronaldo with Portugal at Euro 2008. Robinho however changed his game using his speed and skill to find space for his teammates and of course he bangs in his chances when they come. Robinho is one of the main reasons Madrid are current La Liga champions, especially for his performances in the first half of the season.
I guess my biggest problem with Cristiano Ronaldo, is that he's not a team player, his selfishness hurts his team, and the style of play in Spain entails critical passes and technical finishing, the likes of which I haven't seen Ronaldo do. How often have you seen Ronaldo pass a ball that splits the defense in two?
Robinho wants to remain at Mardid, but he has stated that if the club wants to include him in a swap deal, he will buy out the remainder of his contract and move elsewhere, possibly Chelsea. Believe me guys Robinho would be a bigger hit at Chelsea than Ronaldo would be at Madrid, I would put money on it. So with all this said, my opinion on the matter is, Madrid should not swap Robinho for Ronaldo, as Robinho is the better player.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Official: Ronaldinho signs for Milan

Finally! The speculation around Ronaldinho's future has ended as Milan has officially announced that they have signed the two-time World Player Of the Year.
The official statement reads: "AC Milan and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of Ronaldinho. "Tomorrow, the player will be in Milan for the medical ,and to sign the contract which will tie him to Milan until June 30th 2011."
I am personally excited about this transfer. As a Barca fan, I just want to say thanks to Ronaldinho for making me a Barca fan in the first place. He along with the likes of Eto'o, Deco and Ronaldinho played the best football anywhere, and really taught me what beautiful soccer is all about.
Milan will be even more thrilling to watch next season, the prospect of him linking with Kaka, Pato, Pirlo, and Seedorf is just mind boggling, especially with Kaka. With his help Milan should be back to Champions League soccer by next season and they are sure to win many titles in the near future.
Much love to Guacho, Barca fans will miss you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

In Your Opnion, Which League Is The Best In Europe?

Okay this a very heated discussion and I know many people who blow up over the issue, so I'll just throw this out there to get your views.

For me the I rank the top 6 leagues in Europe as follows:
1) La Liga - Spain
2) Serie A - Italy
3) Premier League - England
4) Portuguese Liga - Portugal
5) Eredivisie - Holland
6) Ligue 1 - France

Okay I will justify my reason for saying Spain has the best League. The La Liga is very competitive, unlike England you cannot choose a winner out of four specific clubs. Middle order teams break into the top 4 four every season and teams who you would think are destined to perform are sometimes relegated. The technicality of the league is on another level, and teams are beaten largely based on who makes a mistake first. Another reason why I say La Liga is the best league is because the best players play in the league or want to do so. The biggest stars from around the globe are always drawn to the league, Henry is an example with his recent move to Barcelona and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo, who has openly expressed his desire to join Real Madrid. Moreover the league produces the hottest young talent through their youth teams, the likes of Fernando Torres, Messi, Bojan Krikic, Giovanni Dos Santos, David Villa, David Silva and Sergio Ramos have all been raised in the youth ranks of clubs in Spain.

I could go on and on giving reasons why I believe La Liga is the best league but you go ahead and voice your opinion, I'm eager to hear your comments.

Benfica Close To Aimar

To the shock of many Real Zaragoza was relegated last season to the Spanish second division, despite having the likes of Diego Milito, Sergio Garcia and Pablo Aimar in their lineup. This just goes to show how competitive La Liga is and that the power balance within the league is spread quite evenly, unlike the English Premier League where you can choose a winner out of four clubs even before the season starts.
Benfica coach, Quique Flores has been tracking Aimar for sometime, and now the club is ready to recruit the Argentine international following the retirement of Rui Costa. Costa ironically is currently Benfica's sporting director and is trying to wrap up the deal.
According to reports, Aimar is to undergo a medical at the club today as Zargoza will only agree on the player's departure, after having received the transfer money from Benfica.
If the deal does go through Aimar will become Benfica's fourth signing of the summer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Are Clubs Wrong For Denying Their Players Permission To Play At The Olympics?

Many international stars are being denied permission by their various clubs to participate at this year's Olympic games. Ronaldinho(Barcelona), Diego(Werder Bremen), Babel(Liverpool)and Kaka(AC Milan), just to name a few, have all been told by their respective clubs, that they do not have permission to play at this year's Olympics.
This just brings me back to the question of how important international football is, when a club can deny a player from playing for his country.
Obviously playing for one's country is very important for these players, as many of them are gutted when not selected, they value it highly and see it as a great honor.
However clubs in my opinion do have an argument, they invested in these players and are hardly ever compensated when a player is injured on international duty.
So what do you think? Is it wrong for clubs to deny players from playing at the Olympics for their country? Does club come first? Or does country come first? What are your thoughts?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

AC Milan Close To Ronaldinho, Drops Adebayor Interest

AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, has claimed that he has withdrawn interest in Adebayor, and is currently focused on securing the services of the top players at Milan, beginning with Kaka.
Kaka has been targeted by Chelsea since the appointment of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and Galliani is said to be willing to make sacrifices to ensure the player stays at Milan, which means they are likely not to sign Adebayor this summer.
Ronaldinho, who is currently being disloyal to Barcelona, by insisting that he will play at this year's Olympics, is said to be almost back to his best. This according to Brazilian national team fitness coach, Paulo Paixao, who is currently supervising Ronaldinho's recovery. Speaking of Ronaldinho in an interview yesterday, he said, "He is very happy and motivated," "He has rediscovered his joy, and is once again the Ronaldinho we all knew." "He has been very cooperative in the work we are doing to improve his physical form, and take him back to his best." "Even though he has been idle for a long time, he may already be in top shape by the 22nd of July."
Ronaldinho's defiance and his desire to play at the Olympics despite Barcelona not wanting him to go, insists that the player has made up his mind and probably doesn't even consider himself a Barca player anymore. Barca has been rumored to be responsible for the player's lack of form, due to their ill treatment of the former World Player of the Year.
A transfer fee of around 15 million euros is believed to have been agreed between AC Milan and Barcelona, with Ronaldinho being paid 6.5 million euros annually.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Needed Relief!!!! As Nasri Completes Arsenal Move

Highly rated French youngster, Samir Nasri has completed a move to Arsenal from Olympique Marseille. The two clubs were said to be in talks over the transfer of the player for sometime now, and after about a month of finalizing things Arsenal, has completed the deal.
This news comes as sweet relief to many Arsenal fans, as the club's players just seem to keep leaving or are rumored to leave. Alas, a gifted player who can ease some of the dismay of loosing Flamini, Hleb and possibly Adebayor.
Personally I destine Nasri for greatness at Arsenal as he fits this team perfectly. Their style of play and his style are one and he will florish at the Emirates, provided someone doesn't break his foot like Eduardo.
Arsenal are believed to have paid Marseille a transfer fee in the region of 14 million euros.

Casillas For Golden Ball : Discussion

With brilliant performances in the La Liga and Euro 2008, Iker Casillas has emerged as the favorite to win this year's Ballon D’Or.
Casillas won the award for top Liga goalkeeper this season, having conceded 32 goals in 36 matches with Real Madrid. Also with his key role in seeing Spain win Euro 2008, after he put in a breathtaking performances, with special notice to the quarterfinal penalty shootout against Italy, in which he stopped spot kicks from both De Rossi and Di Natale, Casillas has outdone himself.
Cristiano Ronaldo was thought to be the favorite for the award, after having scored 42 goals in all competitions this season with Manchester United. However due to his inability to perform in big matches and his poor Euro 2008 form, he has dropped somewhat down the list.
If you ask me I believe Casillas deserves the award, he showed that he is the best goalkeeper in Europe, if not the world right now, and he has been for sometime now. So what do you think? Does he deserve the award?

Eto'o, Ronaldinho Staying?

With both Ronaldinho and Eto'o out of Pep Guadiola's plans, they were said to be destined on their way out. However due to their high wage demands many clubs have lost or are loosing interest in both these players.
Eto'o is actually in no hurry to leave the Nou Camp and is said to be keen on staying, despite being practically told to find a new club. Eto'o is still currently on holiday, and is said to sit with the officials, to see what they have to say when he returns next week for pre-season training.
Ronaldinho on the other hand has drawn much attention from AC Milan. The club is having a long transfer saga with the player, and the latest news is that owner, Silvio Berlusconi has said that Barcelona is still asking too much for the player. Apparently anything in excess of 20 million euros is too much, as Milan is still trying to sign Adebayor from Arsenal, which is said to cost them around 30 million euros. This just makes me ponder. I wonder if they are trying to sign both Ronaldinho and Adebayor but I highly doubt it, especially after Milan's vice-president Adriano Galliani ruled out a double swoop.
So what does this all mean? It just means that Barcelona fans could possibly get to see two of the best players in the team, stay at the club. I am not a fan of Pep's idea to sell Eto'o and Ronaldinho. He should and eventually will, sit with both players and see what are their ambitions. Eto'o without a doubt in my mind wants to stay, and Ronaldinho though said to be keen on a move to Milan, will only move if the right offer is made. As a fan of both these players, I'm still hopeful that at least one of them will stay. Given the chance, I'm confident that they will perform and win more titles for Barca.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ronaldo Agrees With Sepp Blatter

Following reports of Fifa President, Sepp Blatter's comments of Manchester United practicing modern day slavery in the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who wants to leave Old Trafford this summer for Real Madrid. Ronald has been said to have agreed with Blatter's comments.
Blatter's comments were made because United are said to be so keen to keep the player, that they would even drop him to the reserves rather than sell him for his disloyalty.
The interview in which Ronaldo stated these comments, are set to be aired this evening at 2000 BST on Portuguese station TVI.
Blatter is right and Ronaldo is right, I'm a fan of neither of these teams but United is being rather unreasonable. If a player has a desire to leave a club, which he has won practically every competition there is to win and given all that he can, why not respect his wishes to move on. After all he's given Manchester United everything. Don't you think?

Adebayor To Milan Finally?

The transfer that has been getting the most hype in the media for sometime now, is none other than the possible move of Emmanuel Adebayor to a new club. To the surprise of many, Adebayor has drawn the most attention this transfer season, and even though he managed to finish second in the goal scoring charts of the EPL, this comes as a shock to many.
AC Milan and Barcelona are the two main clubs who have been after the Togolese hitman since the beginning of the transfer window. But it was always thought that the player was more keen on a move to the San Siro.
Arsene Wenger, a manger who never likes to loose his stars, was insisting that the player would stay, but later dismissed these comments by stating that the club will have to sell its top players every season, in order to pay for their new stadium at the Emirates.
Adebayor is apparently keen on more money, having stated that he will play like Henry when he is payed like Henry, and Arsenal were said to be keen to give the player one more chance by doubling his current pay.
However new rumors have surfaced through the Italian press that the Rosserneri and Arsenal have agreed a fee for Adebayor, having received word from Arsenal that they are ready to sell. According to the report, Milan will pay 30 million euros for Adebayor and include France Under-21 international Yoann Gourcuff in the deal.
Gorcuff is said to have been one of the highly rated young talents throughout Europe, who joined Milan in 2006. However having failed to impress at Milan, the midfielder was loaned out to Bordeaux for next season. Wenger is said to be fond of the player and would welcome the deal.
Milan general manager, Adriano Galliani, is said to be hoping to wrap up the deal by next Wednesday, the 16th of July and although Adebayor will move immediately, it said that Arsenal won't get Yoann Gourcuff until his loan spell with Bordeaux ends in June 2009.
Adebayor will be the third player to move away from the Emirates this season if the deal does pull through, but I'm just curious, what does this all mean for Arsenal and their title hopes for next season? With Flamini already at AC Milan, Hleb said to complete a medical at Barcelona soon and now Adebayor on his way out, this can't be good for the club. And it doesn't help their stability at all. Besides scrambling to find new players, when these new players do arrive, how productive will Arsenal be. My only thought is that if Arsenal do manage to win the Premier League next season, Arsene Wenger is one hell of a manager.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Barcelona, Arsenal Agree Hleb Deal

Aleksandr Hleb's future has been somewhat very uncertain over the past months, as he was an unsettled Arsenal player, trophyless, coming of age and wanting a new challenge.
Reports had stated that Hleb had agreed personal terms with Barcelona earlier in the transfer season, however a deal did not materialize, as the clubs had not yet agreed a transfer fee for the player. However reports today indicate that the clubs have agreed on a deal for the Beloriussian, and he will now fly to Barcelona, to perform a medical and sign for the club.
With this news Ronaldinho is more likely than not to leave, as Hleb has been tipped as his replacement on the left side of the team. There's really no replacement for Ronaldinho but the club has to take action in case he leaves.
This news also decreases the likelihood of Andrei Arshavin arriving at the Nou Camp this season, as his club has rejected two bids from Barcelona for him, stating that the offers weren't enough.
With club president, Joan Laporta pulling through the vote of no confidence by a very narrow margin, as 60% of the club members with voting rights voted against him, but 65% were needed for an election to be held, trasnfers activities were able to continue as usual and thus, a deal has been agreed for Hleb.
This will reunite two former Gunners, Henry and Hleb, and it is yet to be seen if the two can strike a successful partnership, as it is said they didn't play well together while at the Emirates.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Inter has Lampard Approach Rejected

The speculation has been on going for weeks now, with a huge air of uncertainty concerning Frank Lampard's future.
Jose Mourinho, former Chelsea boss and new coach of Inter Milan, is very keen to bring Lampard to the San Siro, as he is in the hunt for a top class midfielder. It was thought that the two would almost certainly be reunited at the start of the season, as they were reports that the clubs had agreed a fee for the player, and that Lampard had landed in Italy to complete a medical.
However Chelsea has officially denied these claims in a statement that reads:
"Chelsea Football Club can confirm it has received an official approach from Internazionale to discuss the possible transfer of Frank Lampard. Contrary to reports no financial offer was made. Chelsea FC has informed Inter this morning (Tuesday, July 8) that we will not enter into any discussions regarding the transfer of Frank Lampard."
Inter are still very keen on getting the player, and Jose Mourinho has informed the club that he wants to sign Lampard by next Wednesday, when all the players will be back for pre-season training. However with Chelsea's official statement, the only way the player can move is if he hands in a request to be transfered.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Javier Saviola For Sale!

I don't get it why Javier Saviola can't find a permanent club. Is it his small stature? And the desire of clubs these days to buy tall center forwards like the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Adriano, Adebayor, and Roman Pavlyuchenko, because it definitely can't be his attitude.
Saviola is one of those strikers who although small, is very gifted and he finds the back of the net almost every time he's given the opportunity to play. Arguably his best performances in recent times, was when he was on loan with Sevilla in the 2005-2006 season, as he was a key figure in their Uefa Cup triumph. Maybe Saviola should have taken a pay cut and signed for Sevilla, his career probably would be in better shape than it is now.
However now a Real Madrid player, after being sold by Barcelona last season as he did not fit into Frank Rijkarrd's plans, he still finds it difficult to to hold down a secure position, and now Madrid's coach Bernd Schuster has instructed the board to find Saviola a new club.
Juventus, Fiorentina and Napoli are all said to be interested in the player, however they may be discouraged by his high wage demands as he is payed €3m-per-season at Madrid.
Saviola apparently is only prepared to spend one more season on the bench at Madrid and refuses to lower his wage demands, thus forcing the club to find him potential buyers. So with that said maybe it is the player's attitude, but I doubt it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Joan Laporta's Future at Barcelona at Stake

Today, Barcelona's 118,528 members with voting rights will decide if current president, Joan Laporta and his board will continue their reign at the Nou Camp or step down.
Fans have mixed feeling on whether Laporta should step down or stay, as it is rumored that the futures of Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho will be determined by this vote. It is said that if Laporta maintains his position, Ronaldinho and Eto'o will leave, and if he is voted out, they will stay. AC Milan is hoping for a Laporta win, so they could possibly bring Ronaldinho to the San Siro.
For this motion of censure to take place it is required that 10% of the club's associates vote and that 2/3 of all votes are gathered. If the vote proves successful Laporta and his board will immediately resign and a temporary commision led by Xavier Sala i Martín will take over, until elections are held.
I was at first against this vote, but now that FCBarcelona has made all the necessary signings of the summer, Alves, Keita, Pique, and Martín Cáceres, I believe Laporta should be voted out. The intention of he and his board to sell our best attacking players, Ronaldinho and Eto'o, doesn't go well with me, as Barca does not need Adebayor or any other striker. For me the main issues with the team was a lack of discipline and their defense, and now that we have made defensive signings, new coach Pep Guardiola should just focus on gelling the team together.
Laporta has done well during his period as president, as the club has managed back to back league titles and the Champions League under his rule. Also the club has been profitable for the fifth consecutive year, massing a profit of 10.1 million last season. However much of his success is attributed to the man trying to take his position, Sandro Rosell. Rosell was vice president of the club during those successful seasons but departed due to differences with Laporta. After his departure the club's success has dropped dramatically, thus causing Rosell to jump at the opportunity and force the vote of no confidence against Laporta. Rosell is also said to be the man responsible for bringing Ronaldinho to Barcelona in the first place.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ronaldinho to AC Milan Declares Agent

With Ronaldinho still unsettled at Barcelona, his future is still yet to be decided. However recent word from the player's agent and brother, Roberto De Assis, has declared that there is an 80-90 % chance that Ronaldinho, will be at the San Siro next season having claimed that everything is in place.
Ronaldinho's Brazilian teammate Ricardo Kaka, did state earlier that Ronaldinho would love the opportunity to play at the club. Though he will most likely have to take a pay cut in wages as Milan can't compete with Barca in that aspect, I believe he is drawn to Milan because of his Brazilian companions who play there, the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka, Serginho and Alexander Pato.
Ronaldinho was thought to be keen on a move to Chelsea, to join former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who just ended his term as Portugal's national coach at Euro 2008. However Chelsea apparently dropped their interest due to Ronadinho's current form as the player looked overweight, in a recent charity match in Venezuela, and subsequently has been labeled Gordinho meaning "Little Fat One".
Milan has not dropped their interest however and it is believed that the club vice president, Adriano Galliani, is making the trip to Barcelona this weekend to negotiate the move.
I strongly believe that Ronaldinho will bounce back and return to form, and even though he looked overweight in the match in Venezuela, he scored twice and still showed his dazzling skills. A move to Milan could definitely revive his career and trust me on this one folks, he's still the best and he'll prove it next season. You judge for yourself, the pictures above were taken on the 2nd and 3rd of this month, in China as Ronaldinho is on tour there.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ronadinho Charity Match in Venezuela Clips

Here's some clips of Ronaldinho recently, in a charity match against Lionel Messi in Venezuela. Clearly Ronnie still has his skills but definitely needs to work on his fitness.

Arshavin to Barcelona or Chelsea?

Andrei Arshavin, is still in the hunt for a new club after two spectacular performances at this year's Euro 2008, which has seen him receive interest from various clubs, including Barcelona, Arsenal and now Chelsea.
Arshavin is interested in a move to Barcelona, the club he has been a fan of since he was a boy, but new reports suggest that Chelsea have now entered the race for the player, and rightly so.
I stated in one of my earlier post that Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner, being Russian, should bring in at least one of the talented countrymen of his, who were on display at Euro 2008. Recent reports suggest that Abramovich has indicated to coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, that he must include at least one Russian player in his plans. So what are Scolari's options? Yuri Zhirkov(defender), Konstantin Zyryanov(midfielder),Roman Pavlyuchenko(striker),and Andrei Arshavin(striker), all of which have been named in the 23 man, Team of the Tournament at Euro 2008.
Zenit has clearly stated that they do not intend to sell Arshavin, and that they will sit with the player and his agent to determine his intentions. Maybe they think Arshavin wants more money, but genuinely I believe the player wants to show his talent abroad, he's stated it for weeks now.
Barcelona could very well loose Arshavin to Chelsea, as they are running out of time, with the vote of no confidence against Joan Laporta, current Barcelona club president, and his board taking place on July 6th. It is believed that Barca has made one last bid before this date in hopes of signing the player. If Laporta is voted out of office, new elections will be held, transfer activity will cease and Chelsea could very well get their man.

Spain tops FIFA World Rankings

After their Euro 2008 triumph, Spain has emerged as world number one on the Fifa world rankings. The top 10 are as follows:

1) Spain - up 3 places
2) Italy - up 1 place
3) Germany - up 2 places
4) Brazil - down 2 places
5) Netherlands - up 5 places
6) Argentina - down 5 places
7) Croatia - up 8 places
8) Czech Republic - down 2 places
9) Portugal - up 2 places
10) France - down 3 places

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mourinho after Xavi

Reports out of Italy and Spain, have suggested that new boss of Inter Milan, Jose Mourinho is after the player of Euro 2008, Xavi Hernandez.
Inter Milan seemed keen on bringing Frank Lampard to the San Siro, however it now appears that Lampard will only be making the switch until his contract at Chelsea runs out in 2009.
Inter are in the hunt for a top notch center midfielder, and Mourinho apparently has indicated to club owner, Massimo Moratti to make a move for Xavi. This is not the first time that Mourinho has tried to sign Xavi, as he also made an unscuccesful bid for the player, when he was manager of Chelsea two years ago.
My guess is he will be unsuccessful at landing Xavi once again. Xavi is a very important player at Barcelona and there's no way I see them selling him now, especially after his performance at Euro 2008. Speaking on receiving the best player award at Euro 2008, Xavi said that the award was big recognition for him and that it gives him more confidence than anything else, to achieve more next season with his squad. He also said that the award will not improve his role at Barcelona, as he is already valued.
Xavi is a committed Barcelona player and given the important role he has within the team, Inter Milan will be unsuccessful at landing him, no matter how much money they offer. Reports also suggest that Manchester United and Liverpool are also pondering moves for the 28-year-old.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Euro 2008 Final Comments

I know I'm two days late and I should have written this earlier, but better late than never. I just want to say I throughly enjoyed Euro 2008. Before this competition I really wasn't a big fan of International soccer as I see it somewhat secondary to club football in several aspects. However this tournament was great, and what could possibly be better than playing for your national team.
I want to congratulate, Spain for winning, I said from the beginning of the competition that they were my favorite European team, and they proved why I like them so much. Their passes and timed runs were brilliant and I have to give a round of applause to their defense, who many people questioned since the beginning. It was good to see them end a 44 year period in which they acquired no trophies, and I have to commend Fernando Torres for that brilliant goal he scored to secure victory and the title. He was rather disappointing throughout the tournament and I was just elated to see him seal the deal.
I have to also say well done to Xavi, who played excellent all tournament and was voted Castrol Player of the Tournament. He dominated and dictated the Spanish midfield throughout the tournament, showed his maturity as a player and leader and thus he really deserved this award.
Uefa also named its Team of the Tournament which is dominated by Spain, the 23 players include: Casillas, Buffon, Van der Sar, Marchena, Puyol, Bosingwa, Pepe, Lahm, Zhirkov, Senna, Xavi, Zyryanov, Modric, Altintop, Fabregás, Iniesta, Ballack, Podolski, Sneijder, Villa, Torres, Arshavin, Pavlyuchenko.
If you look at the list you will see there is no Cristiano Ronaldo and rightly so. I am very critical of Ronaldo as I don't think he deserves to be called the best in the world just yet, even though he has won the Champions League. He is constantly a no show against big teams, missed two penalties, one in the Champions League semi-final and the other in the final, which almost cost his team the title, and he didn't show up against Germany in the Euro quarter-final. Until Ronaldo becomes unselfish in character and play, I believe he is not deserving of the award. His lack of ability to pass in the manner that Xavi did, cost Portugal dearly and hence my reason for why he's not on Uefa's 23 man list.
Once again, congrats to Euro 2008 winners, Xavi and Spain, they played the best football known to man and are worthy champions. Viva Espana!

Latest On Ronaldinho & Eto'o

The futures of both Ronaldinho and Eto'o are still quite uncertain, and we still don't know what will become of the two. Deco joined Chelsea yesterday, and these two could follow him shortly through the exit door.
Ronaldinho spoke today on his future, and said that if Chelsea made an offer for him he would relish the chance to rejoin his former coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, who he has a great relatonship with, as they have known each other for quite sometime, and have won the World Cup together. However he remains loyal to Barca and has stated that he is still a Barca player, and that any transfer involving him, will be taken care of by his brother and agent, Roberto De Assis. He said that he has not yet returned to Barcelona to speak with the club, and that he is not concerned currently on where he will be playing next season, as his thoughts are consumed with his recovery. Ronaldinho also stated that he is currently very focused and getting in shape for the upcoming Olympics, as he gears up to play for his native Brazil.
Eto'o on the other hand hasn't said anything recently, but did say earlier that he will not be forced into a decision on his future, until he has spoken to the club. New reports suggest that Barca is ready to offer Eto'o to Juventus in exchange for David Trezeguet, and that Juve would welcome the offer if Barca made it official.
The transfers of these players are just a waiting game, your guess is as good as mine. I truly believe that both Eto'o and Ronaldinho will decide, after they have sat down with the club to discuss the issue.
Ronaldinho doesn't appear to be too bothered with his future, as he knows he still has a contract with Barcelona, and he can easily find another club to pay his salary. Ronaldinho's transfer will most likely be decided by his brother, as it is said agents act according to how a move will benefit them. Eto'o's situation on the other hand is just baffling to me, yes, David Trezeguet is a good striker and he is in form, but his playing days are less than Eto'o's and I personally believe, Eto'o is the better of the two. For Juventus that's a hell of a deal, if I were them I would gladly accept the swap.


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