European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Liverpool close in on Rodgers, Balotelli warns racists & more

RodgersDalglish (Getty Images)

It would appear that Brendan Rodgers is Liverpool's man after all. 

According to reports out of England, the young Swansea City coach will become Kenny Dalglish's replacement in the Liverpool coaches box less than two weeks after reportedly turning down an interview request from the club.

Rodgers, 39, guided Swansea City to promotion in 2010-11 and kept the club in the top flight this past season with an 11th-place finish. The BBC is reporting that Rodgers, who was a part of Jose Mourinho's coaching tree at Chelsea, will sign a three-year deal with Liverpool, and he will be confirmed by the club as its new manager within the next day.

Here are a few more stories to help get you to USA-Brazil:


Mario Balotelli has been the victim of on-field racism before, and with worries of potential incidents ahead of Euro 2012 in Ukraine and Poland, the mercurial Manchester City striker has some pointed words for any fans with wild ideas ahead of next month's tournament.

"I will not accept racism at all," Balotelli said. "It's unacceptable. If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to jail, because I will kill them."

Balotelli was most recently racially abused during a Europa League match against Porto, where the Portugal side's fans actions caused the club to be fined.


American midfielder Sacha Kljestan is coming off the best season of his career at Anderlecht, but he'll have to impress a new coach during the preseason to reaffirm his place in the Belgian champions' lineup. 

Ariel Jacobs has stepped down and made way for John van den Brom, who is coming to Anderlecht from Dutch side Vitesse. Van den Brom inherits a team that will participate in the UEFA Champions League after winning its 31st domestic championship.


England midfielder Frank Lampard hurt his thigh at training on Wednesday, putting his availability for the European championship in question.

Lampard will undergo tests on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury after pulling up lame in practice as England prepares for a tune-up friendly against Belgium — and one of Lampard's soon-to-be-teammates Eden Hazard — on Saturday.


Paul Scholes' return from retirement was not a few-month rental after all.

The veteran Manchester United midfielder put pen to paper on a one-year deal to extend his time on the field with the Red Devils through next summer. Scholes came out of retirement in January with an injury crisis hitting United hard in the midfield, and he resumed his high level of play, finishing in third in the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year voting.


What do you think of the potential hire for Liverpool? Do you hope everyone heeds Balotelli's warning, for his sake? Think the new hire at Anderlecht will have any impact on Kljestan? Can England succeed without Lampard? Think Scholes has a good year left in him?

Share your thoughts below. 

  • Michael F

    You hate to see any player get hurt before a big tournament. If Lampard can’t go, who replaces him?


  • Mike

    Two things:

    1. Balotelli. Ha.

    2. Scholes finished third in voting for EPL player of the year? Was the panel his brother, cousin, dad and best friend?


  • Matty K

    My thoughts too! Only because Balotelli is stupid AND crazy enough to do it.


  • Eric

    How stupid is Balotelli? Don’t you think that saying something like this would fuel the racists even more?


  • nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper"

    Don’t you think that he is gonna back up his words?

    He will do it. His rep/vanity/pride is on the line. He cares about thos things much more than football.

    I can’t believe Prandelli is actually taking him especially after he publicly criticized his immaturity and lack of sense.


  • Steve C

    I pray no one ever accidentally drops their banana anywhere near “Crazy” Mario.


  • Dylan B T

    y’all should check out the piece the BBC recently did on racism and football violence in Poland and Ukraine. It’s called Stadiums of Hate and I watched it on youtube yesterday. Crazy stuff.


  • HoboMike

    Big win for Hodgson, as now the English media won’t pressure him to start both Lampard and Gerrard in midfield, which has worked…..never.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    You guys are totally missing the boat here. Balotelli realizes that unless the players take the lead on fixing racism in football, it won’t get done. UEFA, FIFA, ect. have done nothing to put the smack down on clubs and fans that cross the line.

    Balotelli is smarter that he’s being given credit for. The big question is, will the rest of his team, and the other teams also, back him up? I hope so


  • Steve C

    That documentary is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever seen. lol. Pure sensationalism. At about 2:25 of the video, they show a map of Europe, they put the Czech Republic where Austria is, and vice versa…. they also listed “Yugoslavia,” a country that hasn’t actually existed in 10+ years.


  • david allen

    Spot on timmytwoshoezzz! Mario is the man…. You can’t gt away with that racist SH.. in the U.S. You would get your head taken off!


  • Amazed

    Amazing. This is by the most intelligent response I’ve read on SBI comments section. Ever. Which, unfortunately, didn’t have to be that intelligent. But with that backhanded compliment, bravo, spot on, and great comment.


  • Shane

    If Balotelli wasnt such a jerk, I bet his teammates and other teams would back him up, but since he is a jerk, who knows. Despite what I think of him, I’m still glad he said this. And if someone does do something racist to him, I hope he keeps his word. If he is going to blow his career for something, which he has already been doing, it might as well be for a worthy cause.


  • K Bone

    It would be Jordan Henderson. Yes, he’s a player that would actually make the Euros these days. God help England…


  • mr coolio

    You can call it sensationalism if you want but Europe is definitely ages behind the US when it comes to racial issues. A few errors in the piece doesn’t discredit that they have serious racial issues. That’s why FIFA’s slogan is Say No to Racism, because countries like Poland and Ukraine have huge racial issues. There is no denying that.


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