Archive for the ‘SERIE A’ Category

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August 15, 2010

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SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR: UPDATED 7-25-2010

July 25, 2010

SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR: UPDATED 7-25-2010

ROSTER UPDATES

CLICK HERE FOR… MANCHESTER UNITED & CELTIC ROSTERS

CLICK HERE FOR… TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR & MANCHESTER CITY ROSTERS

CLICK HERE FOR… REAL MADRID PRELIMINARY ROSTER

TV UPDATES

Fox Soccer Channel has picked up the August 5th FC Dallas v Inter Milan match from Pizza Hut Park, which kicks off at 9pm ET.

FOX SOCCER CHANNEL FRIENDLY MATCHESALL TIMES EASTERN

July 21 – Celtic v Sporting CP, Fenway Park, Boston MA, 8pm

July 22 – NEW YORK FOOTBALL CHALLENGE – New York Red Bulls v Tottenham Hotspur, Red Bull Arena, Harrison NJ 8pm

July 23 – NEW YORK FOOTBALL CHALLENGE – Manchester City v Sporting Lisbon, Red Bull Arena, Harrison NJ 8pm

July 25 – NEW YORK FOOTBALL CHALLENGE – Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting Lisbon, Red Bull Arena, Harrison NJ 1pm

July 25 – NEW YORK FOOTBALL CHALLENGE – New York Red Bull v Manchester City, Red Bull Arena, Harrison NJ 3:30pm

July 25 – Manchester United v Kansas City Wizards, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City MO 6pm

August 5 – FC Dallas v Inter Milan, Pizza Hut Park, Frisco TX 9pm

August 7 – LA Galaxy v Real Madrid – Rose Bowl, Pasadena CA 10:30pm

ESPN2 FRIENDLY MATCHES

July 28 – MLS All-Star’s v Manchester United, Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX 8:30pm

COMPLETE SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR

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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…)

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 17: DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

July 17, 2010

UPDATED: DESIGNATED PLAYER WATCH

FIRE SIGN DP – MEXICAN INTERNATIONAL NERY CASTILLO

The Chicago Fire have announced the Designated Player signing of  Mexican International Nery Castillo who has been negotiating with Greek side Olympiacos, where he played from 2000-2007.

The 26-year-old Castillo, who played at Manchester City in 2008 as part of a loan deal; with his then club Shakhtar Donetsk, is a much more versatile player than Blanco.  Castillo can play up front, on the wing or can play an attacking role out of the midfield.

Castillo may be the answer to the Fire’s problems in terms of attack, but one can only hope that Carlos de los Cabos and Frank Klopas now turn their sights toward some defensive help.

The designated player announcement was made Saturday between Games 1 and 2 of the SuperLiga double header at Toyota Park.

RSL’S CHECKETTS HELPS RONALDINHO RUMOR STAY ALIVE

Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checkett’s has intimated that a DP signing may be headed to Los Angeles.

Checketts told radio listeners on KALL 10 Sports that he expected another big designated player signing in the league sooon, but quick assuaged people of the notion that it was a potential RSL signing.

(more…)

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

July 16, 2010

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

MANCINI: MAN CITY MUST SPEND TO WIN

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is not ashamed of his clubs spending spree, quite the contrary, the Italian believes the only way to win trophies is to spend big.

City has already spent $91 million this summer on David Silva, Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng but clearly there is room for more changes at Eastlands as Mancini is still on the prowl for at least a striker and a defender to firm up the side.

Mancini admits that spending money on big-name players is the difference between most football clubs and Europe’s elite teams.

“Of course we have spent a lot of money this summer,” Mancini told The Mirror. “Everyone can see that is the case, but all the teams who have won the Premier League, or La Liga or Serie A in recent years have spent a lot of money. This is not a new thing.”

The City boss is quick to deny that spending money on new players means ignoring the Academy players trying to crack the first team.

“It is hard to win trophies if you do not invest in areas where you can improve. We are absolutely committed to the Academy and to developing our own talent. It is important that they know there is a path to the first team for them. We are working hard towards the kick-off on August 14 and everyone here has the chance to be in the squad that day.”

New City owner Sheikh Mansour has spent over $400 million in less than two years to put the Blue side of Manchester on par with the biggest clubs in Europe.

UNITED TO LOCK UP ROONEY FOR FIVE YEARS?

Wayne Rooney looks set to become the highest paid player in Manchester United history, according to the Mirror.

(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…)

SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR: UPDATED 7-5-2010

July 5, 2010

CLICK HERE FOR THE UP TO THE MINUTE SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR

PDL SIDE VENTURA COUNTY FUSION TO TAKE ON CRUZ AZUL & PORTSMOUTH

Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion have scheduled two high-profile International Friendlies for July. The amateur side, based between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara California has locked in Mexican giants Cruz Azul and English League Championship club Portsmouth.

Ventura County currently sit in third place with 16 points in the PDL’s Southwest Division and were recently eliminated from their first ever US Open Cup.

Cruz Azul, who will also be in the Los Angeles area to take on Mexico City rival Club America at the Rose Bowl ten days later, will be entertained by the Fusion on July 1st at Ventura College. Tickets are $8.

Recently relegated from the Premier League, Portsmouth FC will battle the Fusion at Oxnard College on July 17. Tickets are $15.

Portsmouth also has pre-season matches scheduled against Club America in San Diego and Canadian side FC Edmonton before moving to the East Coast to take on DC United.

CLUB AMERICA TO PLAY JUVENTUS & CRUZ AZUL IN ADDITION TO MAN CITY AND PORTSMOUTH

Mexican super club Club America continues to schedule pre-season fixtures in North America, recently adding Juventus and Cruz Azul to their busy calendar.

Juventus will play America in the 90,000 seat Dallas Cowboys Stadium on July 18. The legendary Serie A side was in North America last month to wind down their 2009-10 campaign and will return to this side of the Atlantic to prepare for their 2010-11 season,

The ‘Clasico Joven’ is coming to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California this summer as the Mexico City derby between Club America and Cruz Azul, will take place there on July 10, the day before the 2010 World Cup Final.

The ‘Young Classic’ will be transplanted to the Los Angeles area to be contested in front on 90,000+ ex-patriot Mexicans and air on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

America has already scheduled a July 14 match against English side Portsmouth in San Diego and a July 28 match against Manchester City in Atlanta.

UPDATES ARE IN BOLD

ALL TIMES EASTERN

(more…)

SUMMER FRIENDLY UPDATE:REAL MADRID TO PLAY GALAXY AT ROSE BOWL

June 30, 2010

SUMMER FRIENDLY UPDATE:REAL MADRID TO PLAY GALAXY AT ROSE BOWL

The Los Angeles Galaxy have scheduled an August 7 match against Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California to replace the previously scheduled friendly against European Champions Inter Milan.

No reasons were given as to why the Inter Milan game is no longer going ahead as scheduled, but according to the Galaxy website, both the LA club and the Italian powerhouse agreed to reschedule for a later date.

Madrid, now helmed by Jose Mourinho is one of the most decorated teams in the history of the sport, dominating the early years of the European Cup, now known as the Champions League.

Los Galacticos played the Galaxy in 2005 at the Home Depot Center winning 2-0, but this match is scheduled for the venerable Rose Bowl.

The match will be the Galaxy’s first at the 88-year-old stadium since last August when they were defeated by the Catalan giants Barcelona. The Galaxy were based at the Rose Bowl from their inaugural year in 1996 through the opening of the Home Depot Center in 2002 Major League Soccer debuted in 1996. The 92,000 seat venue, which will also see Cruz Azul take on Club America this summer, has hosted a World Cup Final, Women’s World Cup Final, a Gold Medal Olympic Match in addition to many Super Bowls and college football championships.

CLICK HERE FOR UP TO THE MINUTE SUMMER FRIENDLY CALENDAR AND NEWS

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…)

MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

June 28, 2010

MONDAY SHORT CORNERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCCER NEWS, NOTES AND RUMORS

FABIANO LOOKS TO MAN U AND MILAN

Luis Fabiano has already netted twice for Brazil in the 2010 World Cup, but the Seville striker has made it known he is looking to leave Sevilla for a big club with a chance at some silverware, and he wants it all to happen rather quickly.

“As soon as the World Cup is over I will make a quick decision on my future – and while it is going on I hope Sevilla can open discussions.” Fabiano told the Daily Star Sunday. “I have enjoyed my time here but I now need to be at a giant.”

“I have a real chance of winning a World Cup here in South Africa, and that is what I must stay focused on even though I know my future has to be sorted soon. I have made it clear that I will not be signing a new contract with Sevilla and at 29 I now need to join a club where I can start challenging for the highest honors from the first season.

“The choice will come down to Manchester United and AC Milan. That is the sort of team I want to be signing for, one of the true giants of Europe. I think the way Manchester United play football is very attractive, I must be honest and say Premier League football attracts me and also the way Manchester United play football attracts me.”

“You think about being Wayne Rooney’s strike partner and that is very attractive for any striker. I think the style of Premier League football suits me and I think I could score goals and be very successful there. Their coach is a winner, their players are winners and they are one of the few teams in Europe challenging for the top honors season after season.”

The Brazilian also made clear the type of club he won’t be playing for.

“I have heard Tottenham Hotspur made an inquiry about me but, with all respect, that is not somewhere I am going to be able to win the Premier League (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…)

JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS, World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

June 25, 2010

JULY 25 – SHORT CORNERS

World Soccer News, Notes and Rumors

MEXICAN PLAYERS ON THE MOVE TO EUROPE?
Mexican winger Pablo Barrera is on the wish list of both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

The attention by the Premier League clubs is so great that a deal with Serie A side Lazio was rejected by the 23-year-old, in order to learn more about the interest of the English sides.

The Roman club attempted to sign Barrera on a one-year loan from Mexican club UNAM Pumas with the option of making the deal permanent for a bargain $4.48 million.

Tottenham like Barrera’s versatility, as the player who can be used on either flank as well as up top.

Manchester United are also said to have been intrigued by Barrera’s performances in the Mexican League having scored 12 goals in 28 league games over the last year, as well as his super-sub role at the World Cup for Mexico.

“I hope I can go abroad to play in a traditional club in Europe, but first I want to do well in the World Cup,” he told Super Deporte.

“I like football in Spain … the Italian, English, I like various styles of the game. I aspire to that, I want to be in a good team, that’s all I want.”

(more…)