Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan; Corinthians exact revenge on Club Tijuana in Libertadores; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan; Corinthians exact revenge on Club Tijuana in Libertadores; and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan; Corinthians exact revenge on Club Tijuana in Libertadores; and more

Sepp Blatter 3 (Getty Images)

BY DAN KARELL

FIFA President Sepp Blatter spoke of his displeasure at the potential European Championships scheduled for 2020, with multiple host cities in countries all over Europe.

According to the German publication Kicker, Blatter spoke with UEFA President Michel Platini, advising him against moving the Euro’s out of a single country. Blatter referred to an incident with former leader of Libya, Muammar Gadaffi, who had wanted a Pan-African Cup in that style, but Blatter had advised the now deceased Gafaffi against that idea.

Blatter stated, in his simplest terms, that taking a competition like the European Championships away from a single host would destroy the “heart and sole” of the tournament.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

CORINTHIANS EXACT REVENGE ON TIJUANA IN SAO PAULO

Playing in their home stadium, Corinthians of Brazil enacted their revenge against Mexican champions Tijuana, defeating Xolos 3-0 on Wednesday night.

The Timão scored their first goal in the 27th minute, when former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato finished off Renato Augusto’s blast that hit the crossbar twice. Nine minutes later, forward Paolo Guerrero added a second goal, making life even harder for the visiting Mexican side. The ball again was played down the right wing, and Xolos, missing left back Edgar Castillo due to injury, were unable to stop a cross from getting into the center of the box, where Guerrero one-timed a shot into the net.

A third was scored in the 82nd minute by Paulinho to put the game away. The Brazilian midfielder headed in from close range, and finishing off an important win for the defending champions, and pushing the Sao Paulo club into second place of Group 5.

Across the continent, Atletico Miniero of Brazil defeated Bolivian side The Strongest 2-1 guaranteeing the former a place in the knockout round, Paraguayan club Olimpia defeated Deportivo Lara of Venezuela 5-1, and Toluca of Mexico tied Barcelona Guayaquil of Ecuador 0-0.

NIKE TO SPONSOR AS ROMA

AS Roma’s new American owners have pulled off a coup, signing Nike to a ten-year contract to be the official supplier of apparel and equipment for the Italian club.

The deal, which won’t begin until the 2014-2015 season, has been rumored to be in the works ever since James Palotta and a group of American investors bought the team in 2011. The new contract will replace the club’s current one with Kappa.

Roma currently sit in seventh place in Serie A, just four points behind fourth place, and a Champions League position.

DRAXLER RECALLED TO NATIONAL TEAM

On Thursday afternoon, German National Team manager Joachim Low released his 23-man roster for upcoming internationals against Kazakhstan on March 22 and 26, which included FC Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler.

The 19-year-old has been in scintillating form at the club level, and earns his place in the national team for the first time since November of last year. Also of note, Mats Hummels and Miroslav Klose were dropped from the squad, as both are dealing with injuries, and Stephan Kiesling was not called into the squad.

Despite missing Arsenal’s match at Bayern Munich, Lukas Podolski has been included in the team.

QUICK KICKS

Mexico national team goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, currently at AC Ajaccio, is preparing to move to another European club this summer. (REPORT)

Forward Michael Bridges, formerly of Sunderland and Leeds United, has signed a one-year contract extension to stay with the Newcastle Jets in the A-League. (REPORT)

Lucas Moura of Paris Saint-Germain has suffered a sprained ankle, and is facing the possibility of being ruled out for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid have reportedly said that teams will have to cost up €55 million for forward Radamel Falcao, but if Real Madrid want him, nothing less than €75 million will suffice. (REPORT)

Anzi Makhachkala manager Guus Hiddink is interested in a return to the Premier League, alerting Chelsea to his availability. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Blatter’s sentiment? See Roma’s international footprint improving with the Nike deal? Do you believe Draxler will start either match?

Share your thoughts below.

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