Good morning all. Today is the big day for Champions League fans as Manchester United faces Barcelona in a winner-take-all semifinal second leg today.
I will be writing about that match shortly. For now, here are some soccer news tidbits to get the day started:
Brazil to tour United States, play Canada in Seattle
The Brazilian national team will play matches against Canada and Venezuela in the United States this summer. Brazil will face Canada in Seattle on May 31 before playing Venezuela in Boston (well, Foxboro) on June 6 as part of preparations for World Cup qualifying. This is great news for the Canadian national team, which has been starving for just these kinds of matches. Brazil will also play at Gillette Stadium for the second straight year after playing Mexico in a friendly last summer.
Barcelona sets Ronaldinho price at 40M Euros
Barcelona president Joan LaPorte doesn’t believe in bargains, at least not in selling off top players at bargain prices. LaPorte has stated that he won’t sell Ronaldinho for anything less than 40 million Euros. Is that a reasonable price tag or is LaPorte simply trying to send the message that Ronaldinho is not for sale? AC Milan is certainly interested, but with all its other needs could Milan really afford to splurge that much on a player who isn’t even necessarily a need?
Blatter wants Spain to bid on 2018 World Cup
FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated that Spain should bid to host of the 2018 World Cup, a pronouncement that had to go over really well in England. Spain last hosted the World Cup in 1982 and Blatter believes the time is right for Spain to have it again. Apparently the fact that England hasn’t hosted since 1966 didn’t fill Blatter with as much sentiment. Don’t get me wrong, I would love the World Cup in Spain, and Spain would get my vote before England, but you always have to wonder what Blatter has working when he makes these random statements.
Things get worse for injury-hit Ronaldo
Remember when Brazilian forward Ronaldo injured his knee again playing for AC Milan a while back? Did you think to yourself that things just couldn’t get any worse for him?
A story has surfaced claiming that Ronaldo was being extorted by a transvestite hooker who tried to blackmail him after an incident at a motel. It seems that Ronaldo met three call girls at a club in Brazil he thought were female and took them to a motel, only to realize the three were, in fact, transvestites. He tried paying them to leave, but one tried to extort money from Ronaldo.
What else can be said? I’m at a loss for words.
Sven’s Man City days over?
Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson’s days at City could be over. At least his agent thinks so. Man City owner Thaksin Shinawatra isn’t happy with the club’s late-season free fall and appears ready to drop the hammer? Would it be a fair dismissal? One season doesn’t seem like a long time to really establish a team. I also wonder who Shinawatra would have in mind as a replacement.