European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Japan's Kagawa breaks foot, Ajax sets Suarez deadline and more

Kagawa (Getty Images)


Japan will be severely short-handed in Saturday's Asian Cup final against Australia after offensive catalyst Shinji Kagawa was ruled out of the match with a broken foot.

Kagawa, a star for Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund, was injured in the Samurai Blue's dramatic Asian Cup victory over South Korea. It is unclear how much time he will have to miss for Dortmund, which holds an 11-point lead over second-place Bayer Leverkusen through 19 matches.

Kagawa has scored two goals in the tournament so far for Japan, both of which came in the quarterfinal victory over host Qatar.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Liverpool has been informed by Ajax Amsterdam that it has until Saturday to meet the club's financial demands for the services of Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez.

Liverpool previously had a £12.8 million bid rejected, as Ajax is holding firm at its £21 million price tag. Suarez, who earned notoriety at the World Cup for his goal-scoring exploits and intentional handball in the quarterfinals against Ghana, has been linked to a move to Liverpool for the duration of the transfer window.


Barcelona star Lionel Messi was punished by the Spanish Football Federation for his actions after scoring a goal in a victory over Racing Santander over the weekend.

Messi dedicated the goal to his mother, who was celebrating her birthday the day of the match. After scoring, he lifted up his jersey and showed an undershirt with the words "Happy Birthday mami!" written on it. Although he wasn't booked during the match, he will receive a yellow card anyway in addition to a fine of up to €3,000.


Manchester United fullback Rafael will miss the Red Devil's FA Cup fourth-round match with Southampton this weekend after suffering a concussion in Tuesday's victory over Blackpool.

Rafael picked up the injury on a collision with Marlon Harewood and had to be stretchered off the field before going to the hospital for X-rays.


Fulham has secured Chelsea and French U-20 winger Gael Kakuta on loan for the rest of the season.

West Ham shipped out Switzerland midfielder Valon Behrami to Fiorentina and signed Middleborough midfielder Gary O'Neil.

Emmanuel Adebayor passed his physical, paving the way for the completion of his loan from Manchester City to Real Madrid.


Who do you see winning the Asian Cup? Do you think Suarez will eventually end up at Liverpool? Agree with the punishment for Messi? Do you see Southampton springing the upset over Manchester United? What do you make of the transfer news?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Warren

    Liverpool’s owners are trying to temper expectations that they are just another newbie owner whose interest in a player immediately inflates transfer prices and wages.

    Ajax on the other hand seems to be sending opposite message, that they want inflated bids or no bids.

    My forecast: no deal

    So question is what is Liverpool’s plan B…


  • fan of soccer living in Baton Rouge

    Didn’t he have a shirt that said
    “100 goals” a few years ago to celebrate his 100th league goal? I remember he revealed it or so. He wasn’t fine then I don’t believe. Seems odd to crackdown on him over this.


  • Cletus Bugsley

    If I was Messi, I’d give serious consideration to moving on to another league. WTF? Talk about draconian.


  • fan of soccer living in Baton Rouge

    Sucks for that dude. He was 1 of the biggest shock players of the season. Hope to see more Asian players moving to Europe. Especially Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai. Those guys need to get a move on.


  • Annelid Gustator

    I can see what they’re doing, though–if the rules have since changed so that *all* behavior like that is prohibited, they don’t get put in the position of deciding what messages are ok (like “free tibet” or whatever).


  • Tim M.

    Kagawa was a welcome element in the attack for Japan, but despite his club form he’s yet to establish himself as a main player for Japan. Keisuke Honda, Nagatomo and Co. will win the cup just fine.


  • johnnycougar

    Hard to get less than zero. He hasn’t played since coming on in the 86th minute on Jan. 4th, and hasn’t even dressed since Jan. 8th.


  • fan of soccer living in Baton Rouge

    how does his spend his days then? Is he just hanging out? Making a movie? Dating a few WAG;s?


  • William the Terror

    West Ham ships out midfielder Valon Behrami because they have the services of the mighty goal-scoring midfield stud, Jonathan Spector. Go Yanks abroad.

    (okay, so maybe there a wee bit of hyperbole here)


  • patrick

    its similar in any league, and any sport. Can’t do that stuff in NBA, or MLB, or the EPL. Hell, even the MLS fined Petke back in the dya when he had his sCrime of the centure shirt or whatever it was. If you remove your shirt, (which I assume he did) it’s an automatic yellow anyway.


  • ...

    He didn’t remove his shirt, he just lifted it up. He was fined for displaying a message; La Liga does not allow undershirt messages, end of sentence (doesn’t matter what the message is). I don’t think that’s true of other leagues though. Fabregas did the same exact thing earlier this year, lifted but did not remove his shirt to show the same exact message (feliz cumple mami) and I don’t think he got carded or fined.

    And comparing Petke’s “crime of the centure/revenge is coming” shirt to Messi’s “happy birthday mom” shirt is a bit silly, don’t you think?


  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    They need to raise their level of play first. There’s a reason no one on the Thai national team plays in the EPL.


  • Manny F

    He should….its time to prove himself in a more competitive league like the EPL. I love La Liga but there is really no defending in Spain. I want to see him score those easy goals he score against Arsenal or Chelsea after playing against an Everton, Sunderland, or Bolton.


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