Thursday Kickoff: Controversy brewing at Real Madrid, Sao Paulo wins in Libertadores, and more

Thursday Kickoff: Controversy brewing at Real Madrid, Sao Paulo wins in Libertadores, and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Controversy brewing at Real Madrid, Sao Paulo wins in Libertadores, and more

BY DAN KARELL

Real Madrid captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos have declared a fiery ultimatum to club President Florentino Perez on the matter of manager Jose Mourinho, according to Spanish publication Marca.

In the scathing report, the captains have declared that Perez must either sack Mourinho, or else many of the squad will hand in their transfer requests. This all reportedly occurred during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, prior to Real Madrid’s trip to Valencia for their 1-1 Copa Del Rey match.

Perez, Casillas and Ramos have all come out today refuting the report, calling it a lie.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

FIVE-STAR SAO PAULO RUNS WILD IN COPA LIBERTADORES

Sao Paulo began their Copa Libertadores campaign in style, demolishing Bolivar of Bolivia 5-0 last night in Sao Paulo.

Former Brazilian national team star Luis Fabiano scored two of his teams three goals in the first half, before his side added two more in the second, one a penalty kick from Brazilian legend, and starting goalkeeper, Rogerio Ceni.

In the other Copa Libertadores action last night, 2008 Libertadores champion LDU Quito took down Gremio in Ecuador by a score of 1-0. Midfielder Carlos Feraud scored the lone goal for the Ecuadorian club in the 75th minute, giving Quito the advantage heading into next week’s second leg.

The final two matches of the first-leg of the first stage will be tonight, as Deportes Tolima of Colombia host’s Universidad Cesar Vallejo, and Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting hosts neighboring rivals Olympia of Paraguay.

SPANISH CLUBS TOP FOOTBALL MONEY LEAGUE

In Deloitte’s yearly list which ranks clubs based on their revenue from last season, Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona sit top the latest rankings of richest clubs in the world.

Madrid made a reported €512 million last year, followed by Barcelona with €483 million. Manchester United (€395.9m), Bayern Munich (€368.4m), and Chelsea (€322.6m) round out the top five.

Despite their recent drop in the standings, Liverpool FC still made €232.2 million last year, good for 9th best in the world.

CHILE, COLOMBIA WIN IN SOUTH AMERICAN YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP

Chile put on a masterful performance yesterday in the South American Youth Championship’s final stage, beating Ecuador 4-1, with a couple of highlight reel goals. Chilean forward Nicolas Castillo opened the scoring with a delightful chip over the keeper, while teammate Felipe Mora scored a terrific curling free-kick for Chile’s fourth goal on the day.

Meanwhile Colombia took care of Uruguay by a score of 1-0, putting them in pole position to be one of four South American qualifiers to the U-20 World Cup later this year. With three games remaining, Colombia can qualify by the end of the next game if they win, and Paraguay records a win or draw in their next match against Equador.

In the other South American U-20’s match yesterday, Peru tied Paraguay 1-1. Paraguay’s Junior Alonso tied up the score in the 82nd minute after Peru’s Miguel Araujo took the lead in the 28th minute.

QUICK KICKS

Ethopia’s football association has been fined $10,000 for crowd trouble during their 1-1 draw against Zambia on Monday. (REPORT)

Palermo have acquired forward Mauro Boselli from Wigan on loan until the end of the season. (REPORT)

French forward Yoan Gouffran has officially signed for Newcastle, joining on a four-and-a-half year contract. (REPORT)

Argentina has announced their squad for their February 6 friendly against Sweden in the brand new Friends Arena. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Are Mourinho’s days at Real Madrid numbered? Do you see Luis Fabiano making a return to Europe at some point? Are you surprised about the numbers reported in Deloitte’s football money league?

Share your thoughts below.

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