Archive for the ‘BUNDESLIGA’ Category

FORBES: MANCHESTER UNITED IS WORLD’S RICHEST CLUB

July 22, 2010

FORBES: MANCHESTER UNITED IS WORLD’S RICHEST CLUB

Manchester United, amid constant reports of debt and disorder, is still the most valuable franchise in all of sports.

Financial publishing and media company, Forbes released its annual list of the world’s most valuable teams this week, with the English Premier League club Manchester United st the top of the list, valued at $1.84 billion.

United seems to have a stranglehold on the top spot of a list dominated by the National Football League, who place all 32 franchises in the top 50.

The success of Manchester United, financially, seems at odds with the clubs appearance of instability.  The struggles of United’s American owners, the Glazer family, are well documented in the soccer world. Vocal fan movements, such as the Green and Gold movement, demanding the family sell the club, are large and well supported. (more…)

JULY 22 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 22, 2010

JULY 22 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

SHAKHTAR SIGN EDUARDO FROM ARSENAL

Shakhtar Donetsk have signed striker Eduardo from Arsenal.

The Croatia international, who suffered a career-threatening broken leg in 2008 and never found his way back to a regular position at Arsenal, signed for the Ukraine Champions for $9 million.

“FC Shakhtar have signed a Brazilian-born Croatian forward Eduardo Da Silva from Arsenal London on a 4-year contract being anticipated by all the international media.” The club website said. “Within the nearest time the newcomer will be introduced to Ukrainian media representatives as well as to the Pitmen fans.”

The 27-year-old leaves the Gunners having scored 20 goals in 67 appearances for the Gunners.

“We wanted to buy Eduardo before he moved to Arsenal.” Shakhtar boss Mircea Lucescu said. “Not everything went his way last season, but he is still a player of very high quality, a real marksman. Yes, he had a serious injury, we are aware of the risk, but at the same time we realize he can give a lot to Shakhtar. We expect a lot from Eduardo.”

LIVERPOOL SIGN DANNY WILSON

Scotland U19 international Danny Wilson has signed for Liverpool after passing a medical.

The 18-year-old defender comes to Anfield from Scottish Premier League Champions Rangers on a three-year deal worth as much as $7.5 million depending on results.

(more…)

JULY 20 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 19, 2010

JULY 20 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

LIVERPOOL SIGN JOE COLE

Joe Cole has picked Liverpool over Tottenham and Arsenal.

The out-of-contract England international has settled his personal wage demands with the Anfield club and, barring a medical, will sign a four-year contract with the club in the next 48 hours.

Reds boss Roy Hodgson has been attempting to prevent Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard from bolting to other clubs and the Cole signing will certainly help convince the current the existing Liverpool players that the new boss has designs of returning to the Champions League.

Though out of contract, Cole’s arrival will cross over with Yosssi Benayoun who is heading to Stamford Bridge, though Liverpool stands to gain $7.5 million swap.

The extra cash will help as Hodgson is facing the exit’s of Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua, the former Fulham manager will be looking for a left back as soon as possible.

WERDER BREMEN TRYING TO LOCK DOWN OZIL

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are still trying to work a deal out with sensation Mesut Ozil, but the giants of European football are waiting in the wings to snap up the German international.

Bremen are hoping to lock the World Cup Golden Ball nominee in spite of the fact that could sell the player for a fee in the range of  $26 million to Europe’s elite clubs.

The club have been trying to secure a new deal for the 21-year-old

“We were trying to find a solution on a new contract with Mesut Ozil up until the start of the World Cup, but we couldn’t,” Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs told German paper Kreiszeitung. “In the meantime we made good progress and were confident that we could fill in the final blanks with the right figures. We had our ideas but we have not been able to bring this to an end. We are not angry, no way. We intend to keep on trying.”

(more…)

US-MEXICO PLAYER TRANSFER NEWS

July 18, 2010

US, MEXICO PLAYER TRANSFER NEWS

US PLAYER REPORT

  • Everton captain Phil Neville told reporters this weekend that he knows L.A. star Landon Donovan wants to return to Everton.
  • US Team captain Carlos Bocanegra moved was sold from Rennes of Ligue 1 fellow French side Saint-Etienne.
  • According to the BBC, former Chicago Fire head coach Bob Bradley will sign an extension to stay on as head coach of the US national team.
  • Jozy Altidore is in high demand.  The latest clubs showing interest in legendary Dutch side Ajax and Turkish side Besiktas. Altidore’s current club Villareal has said they are entertaining offers for the 20-year-old American striker. Since then a myriad of European clubs from shown an interest. From Serie A sides Napoli and Palermo to Glasgow Celtic of the Scottish Premier League.
  • The sale of Michael Bradley from Bundesliga side Borussia Moenchengladbach to Everton has gained steam, according to the Express. Newly promoted Premier League side Blackpool is also rumored to be interested.
  • AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu has been targeted as Celtic’s back-up plan if the Glasgow super club can’t sign former England international Sol Campbell. Gooch has resisted all offers to be moved from the San Siro, longing for an opportunity to play in Serie A. He is even playing for free this season as a sign he wants to prove himself at Europe’s highest level. “He is adamant about staying at AC Milan,” Onyewu’s agent, Lyle Yorks, told the MLS website. “I’m really not even listening when something comes in anymore.” That doesn’t seem to stop the rumors surrounding the 28-year-old defender.
  • US midfielder Jermaine White may be pricing himself out of the reach of many clubs that could and would use him. After a trial with the Chicago Fire, Chicago (more…)

JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

July 15, 2010

LUKAS PODOLSKI HAS PROVEN HE HAS THE STONES

JULY 15 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

CHELSEA’S AFRICAN PAIR READY FOR PREMIER LEAGUE RETURN

Chelsea’s African duo Michael Essien and Jon Obi Mikel are set to return to Stamford Bridge after long injuries that kept both out of the World Cup.

Nigeria’s Mikel and Ghana’s Essien both had time during the World Cup to return to fitness and now look set to join the club for Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixture August 14.

“There should be no problem whatsoever,” Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins told soccernet. “Mikel is slightly in advance of Michael Essien but they are both working very well indeed.

“They have been working double sessions for the last week and we will get them really firing before the season starts.”

AC MILAN IN FOR PODOLSKI, BUT ONLY IF…

AC Milan will splash to cash to but German striker Lukas Podolski, but only if they can first find a buyer for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, preferably to a Premier League club.

The 1 FC Koln striker has come back into vogue after a successful run in the World Cup, and Milan have sized up the 25-year-old who is a more versatile player than Huntelaar, being able to play as a more conventional forward. Nothing however will move the Rossoneri to approach unless they have cah in hand for Huntelaar.

“Podolski will arrive only if one condition is met and that is the transfer of Huntelaar to the (English) Premier League, which would then open a few paths from a financial standpoint.” Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport 24.

BAYERN LOOKING FOR VAN DER WIEL

Bayern Munich have approached Dutch side Ajax regarding Gregory van der Wiel.

(more…)

JULY 14 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 14, 2010

JULY 14 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

RED BULLS FINALLY LAND THIERRY HENRY

The New York Red Bulls have made the worst kept secret in soccer a reality today by announcing the signing of France international Thierry Henry as a designated player.

Without question, Henry becomes the most decorated player to ever take the field in the 14 year history of Major League Soccer. Capped 123 times for France, Henry has a resume that includes World Cup, European Championship and Champions League titles, in addition to a number of domestic championships and scoring titles.

The highest profile signing for the league since David Beckham’s arrival, the former Arsenal striker will hope to revitalize a Red Bull attack that includes co-designated player Colombian Juan Pablo Angel.

The 32-year-old Henry will likely play his first match July 22nd against Tottenham Hotspur in the New York Football Challenge.

The announcement was made Thursday as the day marks the opening of the Major League Soccer transfer window, and Henry is expected to be the first of many designated players brought into the league under the new policies that allow for as many as three designated players per team.

Other signings ready to sign officially on Thursday include Spanish forward Mista who has signed with Toronto FC, Swiss international Blaise Nkufo who has signed to Seattle Sounders from Dutch Champions FC Twente, Branko Boskovich will join DC United and Venezuela’s all-time leading scorer Giancarlo Maldonado has signed with Chivas USA on a loan from Mexican side Atlante..

REDKNAPP EXTENDS SPURS STAY

Tottenham Hotspur have locked up manager Harry Redknapp through 2013.

The 63-year-old manager guided the White Hart Lane club to it’s first Champions League berth last season, and has been rewarded with a three year extension.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy reacted to big money offers from .

(more…)

JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

July 13, 2010

JULY 13 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW NOTES AND RUMORS

UNITED IN FOR BALOTELLI?

The Agent for Italian striker Mario Balotelli has confirmed that red sides of Manchester is interested in the 19-year-old’s services.

Inter Milan still has the player under wraps for three more seasons but for the proposed $50million price tag, the club could be persuaded to let him go, according to the players agent Mino Raiola who is heading to England to begin negotiations.

“The interest of Manchester for Balotelli is concrete and both clubs have confirmed it,” Raiola told Calcio Mercato. “The player is clearly happy to be followed by [Manchester United coach Sir Alex] Ferguson.”

The petulant striker clashed with then Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho, but new manager Rafael Benitez wants to meet and evaluate the player before letting him go.

“I want to speak to him and get to know him better as a person.” Benitez said. “All the quality players are important to me. But I need to see him, get to know him and see how he works.”

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti thinks that Manchester United would be an ideal fit for the Italian sensation.

“They are a team with great tradition, which helps that type of player,” he told Sky Sport24. “Here, the environment is different and I think a player with his character could find it better than in Italy. It’s difficult to find a player so young with his quality, and England has a lack of players at that level.”

Ancelotti mentioned he would be happy to coach a player like Balotelli.

BAYERN WON’T BREAK THE BANK FOR LEFT BACK

Chief executive officer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says that Bayern Munich will not sign Fabio Coentrao or Michel Bastos this summer, even though the team is in need of a left back.

(more…)

JULY 12 – DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

July 12, 2010

JULY 12 – DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER TRANSFER WINDOW OPENS ON THURSDAY

The MLS transfer window opens this Thursday July 15, and in addition to a certain high profile signing being announced in New York, Seattle’s Blaise Nkufo, DC United’s Branko Boskovic, Chivas USA’s Giancarlo Maldonado and Toronto FC’s Mista will also become official members of their respective teams.

Here is the lowdown on who is coming, who is rumored to follow and (tear) who is just not an option.

RED BULLS SET TO NAME THIERRY HENRY ON THURSDAY

The New York Red Bulls have lined up a press conference to announce their second designated player on Thursday.

Though no names have been mentioned the signing will come as a surprise to no one and is widely considered the worst kept secret in the game.

(more…)

JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 12, 2010

JULY 12 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

FABREGAS HAPPY TO STAY AT ARSENAL

Cesc Fabregas has been hinting at a move to Barcelona all summer , but he seems to have changed his tune regarding his current club Arsenal.

The Spanish international has called his North London side a “world-class club” and suggested he is ready to stay put for the coming season.

“All I can say is that this World Cup victory is for all the Arsenal players and fans. They are a world-class club.” the 23-year-old told reporters after Spains World Cup Triumph. “I had a text message of congratulations from Arsene Wenger. He said I deserve it. I just think this is for everyone at Arsenal who helped me get to where I am now. I am an Arsenal player and proud to be.”

Fabregas had previously made no secret about his desire to move to Barcelona for the coming campaign, the club he loved as a kid and managed by his boyhood hero Pepp Guardiola.

STUTTGART DENY MADRID BID FOR KHEDIRA

Rumors of German international Sami Khedira moving to Real madrid from Bundesliga side Stuttgart have yet to become reality, according to club director Jochen Schneider.

“We have no offer. That is based only on speculation in Spanish sport newspapers,” Schneider told Bild. “And after his holiday we will sit down together and see whether we can extend his contract beyond 2011.”

(more…)

JULY 9 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 9, 2010

JULY 9 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

GOLDEN BALL FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

The greatest players of the 2010 World Cup are all up for the prestigious Golden Ball Award. The title goes to the most valuable player of the tournament.

Finalists Spain lead all teams with three different nominees, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Xavi head the list, all three play their club football at Barcelona.

Spain’s rivals in the final, the Netherlands contibute Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben to the ten-man shortlist.

Tournament semi-finalists Germany contribute two to the list in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Oezil and Diego Forlan is the lone representative from Uruguay.

(more…)

OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

July 8, 2010

OVER THERE… UPDATES ON NORTH AMERICAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE

BOB BRADLEY LINKED WITH VACANT FULHAM POST

US national Team Manager Bob Bradley is on a short list of candidates to take over the Fulham manager position vacated by recently named Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson.

Bradley, who is in discussions with US Soccer regarding his future, is in contention with Swede Sven Goran Eriksson and Croatian Slaven Bilic.

Glenn Hoddle, Mark Hughes, Tony Mowbray, Alan Curbishley and Gianfranco Zola, according to reports out of England, have all been eliminated from contention.

For his part Bradley is focused on his post-World Cup discussions with US Soccer.

“I think we’re in the midst of all of that,” Bradley told the Washington Post about the discussions. “Whenever there has been a four-year effort on both sides there is a little time that’s needed to look at things, to talk to some different people, to assess options and I’ve had some different conversations, one with Sunil Gulati and one with [U.S. soccer secretary general] Dan Flynn, so I think we’re moving through that period and we’ll see where it gets everybody.”

GOOCH WON’T BE MOVED FROM MILAN

US International Oguchi Onyewu is staying at AC Milan, no matter what.

(more…)

JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

July 8, 2010

JULY 8 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

OZIL NOT GOING ANYWHERE, SAYS BREMAN

Interest in Werder Breman’s midfield maestro Mesut Ozil is at a fever-pitch across Europe. A situation that can only get more sensational with Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs claiming that no one in the World Cup has performed better than the German International, but Allofs was not putting his prize talent, who has a year left on his contract at Breman, in the shop window.

“Transfer income is one of our main income sources,” Allofs told German paper Bild. “But we also have to think about our sporting goals. We have the Champions League preliminaries coming up and we need a good team to be successful in Europe,”

“Mesut’s current contract runs until 2011 and we’re keen to extend his stay at the club. However, we’re not planning to cash in on him if he refuses to ink a new deal. We could decide to keep him until his contract expires.

“We’d rather not see him leave on a free transfer next year, but it’s definitely an option. Mesut is going nowhere for now.”

That is not stopping the giants of European football from making the attempt to snatch the 21-year-old. Ozil is being saught by Inter (more…)

TUESDAY’S SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 29, 2010

Something to Cheer About at Eastlands

TUESDAY’S SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEW, NOTES AND RUMORS

MANCHESTER CITY SPENDING SPREE LOOMING

It is getting increasingly difficult for Manchester City fans to get a handle on all the signings that MAY take place at Eastlands, as there are so many and some contradict each other.

The most recent is the long rumored signing of Yaya Toure as part of a $100 million spending spree that also includes David Silva and Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko.

Toure’s move to City, which will put him on the same club as his brother Kolo, was all but confirmed by the Barcelona website.

“In the case of Toure,” the statement read “[Barcelona director-general Joan] Oliver has recognized an understanding between the club interested in the midfielder, Manchester City, and Barca, but the transfer cannot be made official yet.”

Silva is reported to be joining Toure in the midfield on the blue side of Manchester this season. The Spanish international, currently (more…)

JUNE 26-SHORT CORNERS:SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 26, 2010

Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

JUNE 26 – SHORT CORNERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

BALLACK RETURNS TO LEVERKUSEN

Michael Ballack has returned to his former club, Bayer Leverkusen, on a two-year contract.

The German International is returning to his old Bundesliga side, with whom he reached the Champions League final in 2002.

“With my transfer to Bayer Leverkusen a circle is complete. I had a beautiful and successful time here, on which I like to look back on a lot,” Ballack told the club’s website. “That was a factor in my decision.”

“But above all the good sporting potential of this young and attractive team were persuasive.

“I am especially looking forward to the great fans, who naturally have been key in my decision to return to Bayer.”

Rudi Völller, Bayer sporting director, is excited to see what a player of Ballack’s experience can bring to such a young side.

“With Michael Ballack our team is getting an enormous boost in quality,” he said. “Especially our many young players will benefit from his abilities and his experience.

“We did everything to convince Michael. That his preference was for Bayer despite our limited financial possibilities in comparison to the competition, shows his emotional attachment to the club.”

ALLEGRI TAKES HELM AT MILAN

AC Milan confirmed Massimiliano Allegri as their new manager replacing Leonardo who quit after just one season in charge at the San Siro.

Allegri, who has signed a two-year contract with Milan, comes from a Cagliari club he had great success with, but was released after a disagreement with the club in April.

(more…)

JUNE 21 – SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 21, 2010

JUNE 21 – SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

CHERUNDOLO AGREES TO HANNOVER EXTESION

US International Steve Cherundolo, a free agent who has been linked with teams from Serie A to Major League Soccer after the World Cup concludes, has agreed to a contract extension at Bundesliga side Hannover 96.

Hannover were eager to sign the right back to a two-year extension which will keep Cherundolo at the club through 2012.

The clubs official website broke the news that Cherundolo verbally agreed to the two-year extension with a one-year option that will keep him at the club he has played at for 11 years, his entire professional career.

ARSENAL SHOPPING FOR DEFENDERS

Arsenal is still pursuing Lorient centre back Laurent Koscielny despite having a $12 million bid turned down by the Ligue 1 side.

(more…)

JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 18, 2010

JUNE 18 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

The 2010-11 Premier League fixture list has been released and the opening weekend features some very intriguing big-club battles.

Newcastle United will have a harsh welcome back to the Premier League when the travel to Old Trafford to battle Manchester United.

Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was hoping for a little easier of a start.

“It’s a tough start for us, we would have preferred a home game to kick the season off but you take what you get.” He told Soccernet. “We can take heart and confidence from the 1-1 draw we earned at Old Trafford two years ago on the opening day of the 2008-09 season. Villa at home the following (more…)

JUNE 17 – SHORT CORNERS: SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 17, 2010

JUNE 17 – SHORT CORNERS: SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

REAL MADRID TO OFFER $162 MILLION FOR ROONEY, GERRARD

The Galacticos look poised to return to the European scene if reports regarding a double swoop for Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard are to be believed.

Gerrard has been targeted by Jose Mourinho’s side after a particularly frustrating season at Liverpool which saw the Anfield club finished in seventh place and thus well out of a Champions League spot.

A report in the Daily Star, however, asserts that Real are now also contemplating a move for Manchester United star Wayne Rooney. Mourinho admitted he would like to coach Rooney, and president Florentino Perez is prepared to make his dream come true. It is believed Madrid would (more…)

JUNE 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 15, 2010

JUNE 16 – SHORT CORNERS: INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

RAFA BACKS DALGLISH FOR LIVERPOOL

Rafa Benitez may be gone from Liverpool, but he has an opinion on who his replacement should be.

The newly installed Inter Milan boss thinks former Liverpool star Kenny Dalglish should succeed him at Anfield when he spoke to the Italian media in his first press conference at Inter.

“I think they should look at Kenny Dalglish,” Benitez said. “He is the best man for the job. The owners should listen to the fans because they are unhappy.

“No one knows the club better than Dalglish, and he wants the job and in my opinion he should get it.”

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is the bookmaker favorite to get the Liverpool job, though former England manager and current Ivory Coast manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has also throw his hat in the ring.

ALCARAZ IMPRESSES NEW BOSS

Antolin Alcaraz had a big day on Monday, it’s no surprise he said that the day was “the most beautiful day of my life.”

He signed for his new club Wigan Athletic of the Premier League and scored a World Cup goal in front of his new club manager.

(more…)

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

June 14, 2010

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 14 : INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS NOTES AND RUMORS

AL FAYED CONFIDENT HODGSON WILL STAY AT FULHAM

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed is sure Roy Hodgson will decide to remain at Craven Cottage if Liverpool is indeed targeting the 62-year-old manager as Rafa Benitez’s successor at Anfield.

Hodgson is the odds on favorite to replace Benitez having enjoyed a tremendous season by steering Fulham to the Europa League final, last month.

Hodgson has enjoyed a successful run at Fulham since taking the reigns at Craven Cottage in January 2007, and has the unwavering support of his chairman.

(more…)

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 7 – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 7, 2010

SHORT CORNERS – JUNE 7 – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

INJURIES PLAGUE WORLD CUP

It was a black weekend in many World Cup camps as Rio Ferdinand, Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Andrea Pirlo were all injured a week before the start of the World Cup.

More than just ‘big names’ some of the players that went down over the weekend were key to their teams success and will not be easily replaced

Ferdinand who was to be captain for England and a staple on the backline, suffered a knee ligament injury in training and will join David Beckham in the VIP box to watch the opening match with the United States June 12. Ferdinand has already been rep[laced in the squad by Michael Dawson.

Arguably the best striker in the world, Ivory Coast’s Drogba dislocated his elbow in a friendly against Japan on Friday. Coming off his best season ever, the Chelsea striker was the key element and talisman for the Elephants as they prepared for a tough Group G battle against Brazil, (more…)