By JUSTIN FERGUSON
Before kickoff on Tuesday, Mexican U-20s head coach Sergio Almaguer said it would take his players’ “game of their lives” to defeat Spain at the World Cup.
And for almost three-quarters of the match, it looked like Mexico was going to pull off the shock win.
But in the 74th minute, Real Madrid youngster Derik gave his squad new life with an equalizer. Sixteen minutes later, his teammate Jese completed the late comeback with a shot that took a favorable deflection and past FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.
Spain’s 2-1 win over Mexico, who struck first in the second minute with a wonderful volley from Arutro Gonzalez, put the European power into the quarterfinals for the fifth time in the last six installments of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The young Spanish squad will face Uruguay, who defeated Nigeria 2-1 on a late penalty conversion by Nicolas Lopez.
Here are some more stories to wrap up your Tuesday:
PSG AND CHELSEA RACE TO SIGN CAVANI
The race for one of this summer’s most coveted transfer targets got even more heated on Tuesday.
Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea both approached Napoli on Tuesday to discuss a transfer for Edinson Cavani. Reports emerged early in the day that PSG had submitted a £43 million ($65.2 million) offer for the talented Uruguayan forward.
However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis denied the existence of a bid from the Ligue 1 giants and said he was sticking to his previous asking price for Cavani.
“Napoli is a very rich club and we comply with financial fair play,” Laurentiis told Sky Sports News. “We don’t need to sell any of our players. If someone wants to buy Cavani, they must pay 63 million euros ($82 million), net. Not one euro less than 63 million euros.”
The 26-year-old Cavani joined Napoli in 2010 and has 78 goals in 104 caps for the Italian club. He scored three goals in the recent Confederations Cup, including both Uruguay goals in the semifinal against Italy.
KAKA WANTS TO STAY AT REAL MADRID
While some players take advantage of a coaching change to make a move, one veteran midfielder says he wants to stay put at Real Madrid.
Kaka dismissed talk of leaving Real to return to his old club Sao Paolo or any other rumored destination on Tuesday, saying he wants to play for former manager Carlo Ancelotti at the Bernabeu.
“I intend to stay at Real Madrid,” Kaka said. “I am still under contract with Real Madrid. There’s a new manager and once he gets to work, we’ll sit down and exchange ideas.”
The 31-year-old midfielder, who played for Ancelotti at AC Milan, also spoke about his hopes to play for the host nation at next year’s World Cup. Kaka was not a part of the recent Confederations Cup-winning Selecao, but manager Luiz Felipe Scolari told him that the door was still open for a return to the national team.
MANCHESTER UNITED “VERY CLOSE” TO THIAGO SIGNING
Although a club official has likened Manchester United negotiation talks with Barcelona midfielder Thiago to ones with Wesley Sneijder, reports indicate there might be a happier ending for the Red Devils than the result of the Sneijder saga.
A deal bringing the Under-21 European champion to Manchester United is said to be “very close” as a result of recent talks.
One of the main issues with the recent negotiations has been the Spanish midfielder’s request for a clause that would allow him to leave the club at a set fee if he did not reach a certain amount of appearances—a similar clause to the one that he currently has at Barcelona. Thiago has cited the experience of friend Giovani Dos Santos at Tottenham as a reason for his request.
However, reports indicate the talks are turning positive for both sides. One reason behind the progress in talks could be his salary, which United would reportedly triple in order to bring him to Old Trafford.
Players in the UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues will undergo blood tests as part of the federation’s new anti-doping policy. (REPORT)
Veteran defender Kolo Toure has completed a free transfer from Manchester City to Liverpool. (REPORT)
Marc Muniesa, a 21-year-old Spanish defender from Barcelona, has signed with Stoke City. (REPORT)
Eintracht Frankfurt has signed forward Joselu, formerly of Real Madrid’s B squad, to a one-year loan deal from fellow Bundesliga club Hoffenheim. (REPORT)
Former Three Lions manager Steve McClaren is returning to England as a coach under Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers. (REPORT)
Championship side Bournemouth made headlines Tuesday when it announced an upcoming friendly against Real Madrid. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Surprised at Spain’s struggles with Mexico today? See Cavani leaving Napoli? How do you see Kaka fitting in under former manager Ancelotti?
Share your thoughts below.