Good morning everybody. Today marks the first day in the first full week of August, a month that could be the busiest of the year in the soccer world. From the Olympics to European seasons beginning to World Cup qualifying getting underway, there will be plenty to discuss in the coming days and weeks.
For those of you who may have missed it, I posted the answers to half of the long lost Q&A session on Sunday. Look for the rest either today or tomorrow.
There was plenty of activity this past weekend and some major news to get to so let’s gets started:
Sneijder suffers major knee injury
Real Madrid looks set to lose Dutch midfield star Wesley Sneijder for up to six months after Sneijder suffered a major knee injury during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the Emirates Cup on Sunday. Sneijder was injured by a challenge from Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby.
Sneijder’s injury will likely put more pressure on the Spanish champions to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, with reports suggesting that Ronaldo will ask Manchester United to sell him when he returns to England this week.
At the very least, Sneijder’s injury appears to have helped speed up the acquisition of Dutch midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart from Hamburg while the delays in landing Ronaldo are likely the reason Real Madrid has yet to finalize a deal to sell Robinho to Chelsea. Robinho has apparently told Real Madrid he wants to leave.
Drogba to miss first two EPL matches
Didier Drogba will miss the first and possibly second games of the EPL season as he recovers from a knee injury. The injury leaves Chelsea painfully thin at forward, with Salomon Kalou away at the Olympics.
Could this speed up the Blues’ chase for Robinho? That’s entirely possible, but you still get the feeling that Robinho won’t leave Real Madrid until Cristiano Ronaldo goes there, a feeling that seems even more likely after Wesley Sneijder’s knee injury.
Here’s my question. Can anybody else really believe that Roman Abramovich hasn’t had Chelsea buy one of Russia’s Euro stars, Andrei Arshavin or Roman Pavlyuchenko? Count me among the stunned that this happened happen yet, and given the club’s need for forward help, I think one of them still may wind up at Stamford Bridge.
Messi to wear Barcelona’s 10 shirt
Were you worried that you were going to have to throw away your Ronaldinho Barcelona jersey after his transfer to AC Milan? Don’t fret, you can just have Ronaldinho’s name removed and replace it with MESSI. The club has revealed that Messi will sport the famed No. 10 shirt during the upcoming season after wearing No. 19 since joining Barca’s senior team.
Deco jersey owners can relax as well. Dani Alves will wear Deco’s old No. 20, and if Alves puts Dani on the back of his jersey fans may even be able to save money on lettering (okay, maybe not.)
And for those of you who missed it, Samuel Eto’o netted a pair of goals to lead Barcelona to a 5-2 exhibition victory against Chivas de Guadalajara at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday night.
Malaysian league boots foreigners
Those of you who think there are too many foreign players in MLS (and there are some) will take heart in the news out of Malaysia, where the country’s domestic league has banned foreign players. Concerns about the development of Malaysian players, as well as the shaky financial state of the league, led to the decision.
That’s all for now. What do you think of Real Madrid’s situation? Does the loss of Sneijder mean the Spaniards have to break the bank to get Cristiano Ronaldo? Can Van Der Vaart pick up the slack? Will Chelsea be able to start well with only Anelka up top?
Share your thoughts below.