International Soccer

European Ticker: Madrid eyeing Carvalho, Ballack pessimistic about Germany and more

Ricardo Carvalho 1 (Getty Images)


Real Madrid has made a habit of trying to sign the world's top defenders in an effort to field a stout defense, and the club's latest target is Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.

After receiving the news that street fighter Pepe would be out six months with ruptured ligaments in his right knee, Madrid has set its sights on Carvalho as a replacement, and hope to land the Portuguese international in the winter transfer window. Madrid attempted to sign Carvalho from FC Porto in 2004, but Chelsea outbid the Spanish giants.

In addition the lofty bid that is sure to be offered, Madrid are also willing to offer striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who could provide depth for Chelsea, who will likely lose forwards Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou to international duty in January for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Here are some more stories to help get you through the day:

Ballack downplays Germany's chances

Michael Ballack is the unquestioned leader of the German national team, but the Chelsea midfielder does not believe Germany is capable of winning the World Cup next year.

Ballack has downplayed Germany's chances of lifting the World Cup trophy in South Africa, stating the Germans lack consistency and that their performances in friendlies have left for much to be desired.

While Ballack may be feeling pessimistic about his national team's chances, the Germans finished without a loss in its World Cup qualifying group and are favored to get out of Group D, where they will play Serbia, Australia and Ghana.

Larsson lands coaching job

If you were wondering who was going to be the next star player to turn coach, look no further than former Barcelona and Sweden forward Henrik Larrson.

Larsson landed the head coaching gig of Swedish second division club Landskrona Bois on Monday. Larsson, who signed a one-year deal with the club, told reporters he was flattered by the offer and is eager to tackle his first coaching assigment.

Larsson and Landskrona Bois begin their 2010 season in April.

Gattuso extends contract with Milan

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has ended any speculation about his future with the club by signing a new contract that will keep him with the "Rossoneri" until 2012. Gattuso had recently been linked with a move to the Premier League, but the 31-year-old's new contract could see him retire with AC Milan.


Should Chelsea accept Madrid's offer for Carvalho? Are you as pessimistic as Ballack about Germany's chances next year? Think Larsson will succeed in his first coaching role? Happy to see Gattuso stay with Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

  • OmarVizquel

    Freddy Adu’s on the bench tonight. Sometimes I think either (a) he’s basically not that good, or (b) there’s been some kind of world-wide managerial collusion against playing him.


  • Austin

    he just needs confidence…..i dont know when his contract is up with Benfica, but if it is not soon i think sending him out on loan back to MLS would be great for Adu’s development


  • patrick

    Really Austin? You think confidence is his issue? Can’t say i agree. He may not have confidence, but thats not why he isn’t seeing time. He isn’t seeing time because he cant play defense (combination of size and disinterest) and he doesn’t really fit a position. He’d be a great And-1 type of soccer player, but he just doesnt have combination of size and skill. Plus, he’s kinda slow


  • jonk

    I guess it’s good he at least made the bench. Kamani Hill didn’t manage that for Guimares.


  • K Bone

    Yeah, I don’t think United needs a 31 year-old midfielder past his prime. I definitely would have loved to have him about three or four years ago, but now I don’t see what he could offer on a regular basis…


  • fischy

    Clearly, Ballack has looked at the schedule and expects Germany to meet the USA in the Round of 16. He has seen the future and he knows the National Mannschaft will bet their rears kicked by the USA!!!


  • ec

    Madrid should go after Alex instead, he’s younger and less valued by Chelsea. I think he’s better than Carvalho, but that isn’t the most popular opinion.


  • Matt

    He’d cost an awful lot more because if his age. Not really sure I agree with you that he is less valued by Chelsea. They’re sure as hell not going to give him away to Real Madrid for peanuts.


  • MikeyG

    Germany has a chance to win the whole thing. This is a stronger team than the one that made the final in ’02. Marin and Ozil in the middle with Ballack and Hitzy is an extremely underrated midfield. Maybe only Spain can top that…

    Klose is always good up top. Keissling and Helmes are stepping up along with Podolski always in the running for Man of the Match honors.

    Gomez is overrated and a big vagina in the final third.


  • Tetsuo

    Well I see Germany are getting ready for the beating of their life against the us! USA 3-0 Germany yes 3 goals by Donovan haha


  • niccollo

    im sorry Ruud to chelsea and back in the premier league?? hmmmm… this could be interesting. i wonder if he will spit on saf when they match up again in the reverse fixture


  • Blokhin

    looks like Fredy got 26 minutes off the bench for Belenenses… too bad it was Fredy and not Freddy…

    we keep hoping for Adu to magically transform his career, but in reality he’s been sliding backwards for 3 years…

    from showing a spark in the brief Benfica appearances to wasting away at Monaco, to now riding the pine at a mediocre Portuguese side…

    His next move is more likely to be to some mid-table Finnish team than to a respectable league- so sad…


  • Isaac

    Wait, where did you hear Ruud to Chelsea?

    THat’d be a great transfer and all but don’t Chelsea have enough strikers? I mean seriously Blues! HOOK THE USA UP WITH SOME STRIKERS.

    But seriously what kind of playing time is Van Nistelrooy, one of my fave strikers, going to get for Chelsea? Would he really just go there for substitute minutes?

    Or is he planning to end his career in the Prem?


  • madmax

    Where Netherlands, England, and Spain have under achieved at WC, Germany always seems to over-achieve. In 2006 with home field help and a favorable group they took 3rd I believe. But for 2010 I’m with Ballack, they may not get out of the first round.


  • Tim From Texas

    I can see the headlines now; “USA Dominates Germany Like Its 1945!”, with Landy, Jermaine Jones, Micheal Bradley, and Steve Cherundolo leading the way! ::Sigh:: One can only dream.


  • Tim From Texas

    I’m saying this now and mark my words; Australia is going to surprise the s**t out of everyone’s asses.


  • Kyle

    Alex may younger, but definitely not better. There aren’t too many all around central defenders that can read the game like Carvalho out there. I could see the Carvalho deal to Real Madrid happening though because Chelsea have Belletti, Zhirkov, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole and Bosingwa aka a lot of depth and they could use another striker with the players they’ll be losing next month. Anyways, Pepe’s injury is such a huge blow to both Madrid and Portugal. Hope he gets better before the World Cup.


  • El Caifan

    You’re right Ives. I was playing Street Fighter IV and I had to beat Pepe before I got to the last boss. Homeboy was tough!!!!


  • Karol

    overachieve…underachieve…these words don`t even exist in the German language. In the end you get what you deserve.


  • Chris in Belfast

    Were this hypothetical to occur, could we realistically call that Karma? Would we be allowed to laugh?


  • Brian

    I have this theory…maybe Adu was never as good as he was hyped to be and is another victim of media’s over-expectations of the Next Big Thing. When Nike has you making commercials with Pele at age 16 it’s hard to live up to. That being said, I hope I’m wrong and he has a great career.


  • Senad

    Yes, Michael Ballack is a great leader, but i strongly believe that germany can win the world cup. They are very capable, but they are going to have a tough time against the US, Spain, and Brazil.


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