By DAN KARELL
A serious knee injury has robbed the 2014 World Cup of another star player.
The Netherland’s World Cup hopes took a huge hit on Monday with news that AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Roma’s 1-0 defeat at Napoli. The medical report from Roma says that the 24-year-old may have also damaged his meniscus. He’s set to undergo surgery in the next few days.
Since moving to Roma last July from PSV Eindhoven, Strootman had been a regular starter for a club that was for a while atop Serie A. Last year, Netherlands National Team head coach Louis Van Gaal even said that Strootman was the only player guaranteed to start for the Netherlands in the World Cup.
Following his move, Strootman has played in 29 matches for Roma in all competitions, scoring six goals. He also played in nine of the Netherlands ten World Cup qualifying matches.
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BAYERN MUNICH’S ULI HOENESS ADMITS TO TAX EVASION
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness could find himself in prison after admitting to massive tax evasion.
On the first day of his trial in a Munich state court, Hoeness and his attorney admitted to tax fraud of €18.5 million ($25.66 million), a number much higher than what the prosecutor had originally alleged. Hoeness reportedly did not disclose earnings on income that he kept in an undisclosed Swiss bank account.
Hoeness turned himself in to authorities early in 2013. After three more days of hearings, a verdict is expected on Thursday. If found guilty, Hoeness could serve up to ten years in prison.
‘‘I evaded taxes,’’ Hoeness told the court, according to the AP. ‘‘I’m aware that reporting myself doesn’t change anything. I deeply regret my wrongdoing. I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed.’’
Despite going to trial, the Bayern Munich board have allowed Hoeness to continue acting as the club’s president, a position he’s held since 2009.
MAN UNITED ON ALERT FOR KROOS
Toni Kroos’ latest comments have caught English Premier League clubs by storm.
The German international midfielder, who has been strongly linked for the past few months with a move to Manchester United, said at a press conference on Monday that “it’s no secret” he could move to the Premier League in the future. Kroos and his club Bayern Munich are currently at a contractual impasse, with his current deal set to end in June 2015.
“No decision has been made (on my future),” Kroos told reporters. “It is no secret the Premier League is a possibility. “I’ve heard that people have written that I might go to England. But there’s nothing new from my point of view. The situation is that I don’t have any agreement right at the moment at Bayern. On the other side there is no agreement in place anywhere.”
Kroos was the Man of the Match the last time Bayern faced Arsenal at the Emirates, bossing the midfield and scoring a terrific goal on a first-time shot from outside of the box. Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola has gone on record saying he hopes the club can hold on to Kroos.
On-loan Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina could return to Liverpool at the end of the season, with two years left on his contract. (REPORT)
Man United and Borussia Dortmund are battling to sign Cagliari and Italy National Team defender Davide Astori. (REPORT)
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois has a verbal agreement with Real Madrid to move to the Bernabeu in the summer. (REPORT)
Borussia Mönchengladbach have found a replacement for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, signing FC Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer on a deal through June 2019. (REPORT)
What do you think of these developments? Think the Netherlands could miss the knockout round of the World Cup without Strootman? Do you see Hoeness going to prison?
Share your thoughts below.