European Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Drogba, Anelka may be sold; Spurs denied for Damiao & more

DrogbaAnelka (Getty Images)

It has been far from smooth sailing for former Chelsea teammates Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in their foray into Chinese soccer.

With their club, Shanghai Shenhua, sitting in 10th place in China's top flight comes word that the pair may have to be offloaded because of financial issues and a conflict among shareholders, according to reports out of China.

The ownership tussle affects the club's players in that their wages won't be able to be paid in full unless chairman Zhu Jun's demands to have a greater say in the club's operations are met. Drogba and Anelka are each said to be making more than $300,000 a week and would have to be among the casualties in order for the club to survive financially, should Jun make good on his treat to pull his money from the table.  

Here are a few more stories to get your day going:


Tottenham's wishes to land Olympic golden boot winner Leandro Damiao before the close of the summer transfer window will go unfulfilled. 

Spurs were turned down by Internacaional for the 23-year-old Damiao, a player the club had hoped to bring in to boost its front line after the acquisition of Emmanuel Adebayor.

"He is an Internacional player until December," Internacional vice president Luciano Davi told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte. "Their offer wasn't relevant and we are not interested in selling him. Tottenham came to us but their offer didn't match our valuation of him. Leandro Damiao is a national team striker and we have to value that."


If Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna are to overturn their one-goal deficit in the final qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, they'll have to do so in front of an empty stadium.

Rapid and opponent PAOK Salonika were both hit with a suspended one-year ban on European play by UEFA for fan violence that escalated prior the first leg of their playoff tie in Greece. The suspended ban is in effect for three years so the winner will continue on to the group stage, but any other incidents would cause the ban to go into effect immediately, according to Reuters.

In addition to the ban, Rapid were hit with a €75,000 fine and must play one European game without fans, while PAOK was fined €150,000 and must play their next three European games behind closed doors.


Kaka's return to AC Milan won't be happening, according to the club's vice president.

Adriano Galliani reportedly said that the risks involved with signing Kaka for Real Madrid's asking price and the player's wage demands are too much for the club to consider bringing back the veteran Brazilian midfielder.

Kaka, 30, had his best years as a professional with AC Milan, where he played from 2003-2009. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award and Ballon d'Or in 2007 but has largely been an afterthought at Madrid, where he has yet to play a minute this season.


Surprised that Anelka and Drogba's move to China may not end up working out? Where would you want to see them end up if they were sold? Disappointed that Damiao won't be signing with Tottenham? What do you make of UEFA's punishments for Rapid Vienna and PAOK? Did you want to see Kaka return to Milan?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Rlw2020

    Pass on Anelka, id take Drogba at half of what he makes there. Glad to hearchina is working out…not


  • rigoberto

    As long as we’re wishing, I hope that no Leandro means they make a move for Dempsey at Spurs.


  • david m

    All these reports about Dempsey going to Sunderland — didn’t realize Sunderland was in the Champions League.


  • ET

    This is why MLS, spend carefully, because clubs can go bankrupt. In China Basketball rules, soccerwill take sometime, yet they kept spending.


  • wides

    It seemed like such a good idea at the time … LOL

    Teams throwing around absolutely sick money, now everything in shambles.


  • steve-o

    China’s loss, our gain! Get Drogba please!!!! whatever team he goes to, i’ll watch every game.


  • VADCUfan

    Saragosa was his best man at his wedding. I don’t know if Nagamura is friends with him or not.


  • sWo

    So why was Drogba signed then? Really makes his agent look dumb too.

    Leandro Damiao is an assclown. He can put the ball in the net sometimes, sure but the frantic running around after a goal and pointing to the sky (he likes clouds?) when it was a game tying goal and they still had to go on to WIN reminds me of what that shite player Bisquets did against Chelsea in a game Barca LOST.

    Spurs need to bid for Hulk, a guy with a self given nickname who plays 110% for his teammates.

    Also Ronaldinho to Fire in January which will pave way for his buddy Kaka in July to join him here.


  • steve-o

    Ok, I got the plan:
    (1) Rebrand Chivas as LA Aztecs now
    (2) Drogba and Anelka to new LA team
    (3) Kaka and Ronaldinho to Cosmos in 2014
    (4) Lampard to LA to replace Beckham in 2014.

    I’m so excited with all the possibilities. I’m going to make these changes in my FIFA12 game.


  • solles

    So Chinese clubs are having trouble keeping up with those salaries.

    Who would have predicted that one. /sarcasm


  • 2tone

    Who didn’t see this coming!

    This is why MLS is in sound financial footing for the most part.


  • soccerhorn

    Don’t forget diving. The Chinese love diving. Which, come to think of it, would come in handy if they ever get good at soccer.


  • Thomas_Payne

    Why in the world does everybody in America want all these broken down, old, has-beens to come to the MLS? What is this, some sort of Saudi-esque retirement league? No. Pass on the old players who are a good five years plus past their prime and let’s look to the future. We need more players like Fredy Montero. Young, talented, and exciting to watch.


  • soccerhorn

    The MLS is on reasonably sound financial footing because they’re not signing guys like Kaka, Drogba, Ronaldhino, or Anelka to those ludicrous contracts. $300,000 per WEEK! That’s more than most MLS guys make in a season. Sure, they’re better players, but they’d bankrupt the league in a year at those salaries.


  • dgoshilla

    Didn’t Drogba single handedly win the Champions League last year? If that’s broken down…


  • Old School

    “Why in the world does everybody in America want all these broken down, old, has-beens…”

    I stopped reading immediately after that for the very reason Dgoshilla just provided.


  • Thomas_Payne

    Two points….

    #1: it could be argued that Messi single handedly lost the Champions League last year

    #2: don’t know how many good years the Ivorian Bulldozer has left in him…my point is not that these players are bad, but that the MLS should not gain a reputation as a haven for stars in the twilight of their careers. Good example in Tim Cahill who have his best years on Merseyside.


  • louis z

    single handedly would be a strech. he didn’t have a good season but came alive during the champions. I’m not a fan of players that fake injury every time they touch the ball after being ahead. If he was that good, don’t you think Chelsea would have tried to keep him?


  • Joel

    No one wants MLS to become a retirement league for European superstars, but it’s good for young players to play with experienced veterans. Besides, if Drogba came to MLS, he would be the best striker in the league by some distance (with all respect to Thierry Henry and Wondo).


  • DJ777

    good ones.

    I wish San Jose would change their name to the BayArea quakes instead of San Jose.

    it would encompass the whole area.


  • dennis

    UMMM….because the sport is still trying to grow in the USA and a lot of casual soccer fans wont watch a televised match that features a bunch of guys playing who they dont know.
    thats why


  • steve-o

    Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? Why is there always a debate of euro has-beens vs. rising youth? Why not have some teams with one and some with the others or both. I prefer diversity in the league with many different types of players from different regions of the world. Although you didn’t make the point, I would agree with many others that american youth players should play more – at least 1 starter per team or something.


  • abc

    No, San Jose is the most populous city in the bay area, it has the most rich people in the area, and the most big companies.

    But San Francisco should have its own MLS team, this market could easily support both, the two cities are fairly far apart.


  • ViC El Paso Texas

    its USA, if TMZ and other gossip magazines and Tv shows make money out of gossip and dont bankrupt. Then why can we have our own lindsay lohan as Anelka, brad pit is our beckam, mylie cirus is our henry and the list goes on. MLS can sure make money just like TMZ does with celebrities, but MLS would use soccer celebrities instead.


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