Monday Kickoff: Barcelona target Reus; Sponsors joining in FIFA protest; and more

Monday Kickoff: Barcelona target Reus; Sponsors joining in FIFA protest; and more

World Cup 2014

Monday Kickoff: Barcelona target Reus; Sponsors joining in FIFA protest; and more

Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

Marco Reus may not be going to Brazil, but the German star may be headed to another of soccer’s most sacred areas this summer: Barcelona.

The Catalan club have reportedly verbally agreed on personal terms with the Borussia Dortmund star, but now are forced to face the tall task of convincing the German club to sell.

Barcelona have made an initial offer of €35 million, but convincing BVB to let go of Reus will be no easy feat due to the departure of striker Robert Lewandowski. The club will certainly be looking to hold on to Reus, who had 23 goals and 23 assists for the club in their 2013-14 campaign.

However, BVB’s ambitions may not be enough to keep their 25-year-old star, who reportedly is interested in moving to a bigger and more competitive league after becoming disenchanted with the Bayern Munich-dominated Bundesliga.

Here are some more news and notes to start off your Monday morning:

SPONSORS JOIN AGAINST FIFA FOR QATAR 2022

If FIFA are going to elect to address the situation with the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it looks like it will be at the behest of those who pad their wallets.

Several sponsors, including Adidas, BP and Budweiser, have called on soccer’s governing body to handle the corruption associated with the 2022 tournament. These sponsors, who pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the association with the World Cup, have become fearful of the effect of associating their brand with the alleged corruption that has seen Qatar awarded the tournament.

“We are concerned about the situation and are monitoring developments,” said Anheuser-Busch. “We expect FIFA to take all necessary steps to address the issue.”

“The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners,” added Adidas, which has agreed to sponsor FIFA until 2030, extending a relationship dating back to 1970.

Former U.S. prosecutor Michael Garcia is expected to report to FIFA towards the end of the World Cup and soccer officials have stated that Qatar could be stripped of the tournament if corruption is found.

SAO PAULO SUBWAY STRIKE CONTINUES

With kickoff for the upcoming World Cup just days away, the people of Brazil have demonstrated that they find certain things more important than the upcoming tournament.

Sao Paulo metro workers continued their strike Monday and were met by riot police and tear gas for their efforts. The group of protesters, numbering roughly 300 Monday, are striking for a 12.2 percent salary increase.

The protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the already traffic-congested city of Sao Paulo. However, despite the potential lack of transportation for the tournament’s upcoming kickoff, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has stated that she will not allow violent protests to affect the World Cup.

The government is expected to deploy thousands of additional police to make sure tournament games run as smoothly as possible.

FRANCE ROUTS JAMAICA 8-0

There are few better ways to build momentum heading into a World Cup than battering your opponent by an 8-0 scoreline.

That is exactly what France did Sunday when they took on Jamaica behind goals from Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi, Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.

The French jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime before exploding for five second half goals in what turned out to be a dominant effort. The French were impressive, especially due to this week’s loss of star winger Franck Ribery.

France will now look towards Group E, where they will face Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland in the upcoming World Cup.

CHIVAS USA’S MINDA HEADING TO WORLD CUP

Major League Soccer is expected to be well-represented in the upcoming World Cup, with players such as Clint Dempsey, Tim Cahill, Roy Miller and Boniek Garcia all heading to Brazil to represent their home nation. The slew of MLS representatives have now been joined by one more late-addition: Chivas USA’s Oswaldo Minda.

The Chivas USA midfielder was called up to the Ecuador World Cup squad Sunday as a replacement for the injured Segundo Castillo after Castillo failed to fully recover from a ligament injury in his right knee that occurred during a friendly with Mexico on May 31.

The 30-year-old Minda, who was in the team’s original 30 man squad before the cut to 23, has started eight games for Chivas USA in 2014.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich forward Mario Mandzukic said that he will leave the club this summer due to Pep Guardiola’s tactics and style of play. (REPORT)

David Beckham has reportedly offered David Moyes the manager job of Beckham’s Miami MLS franchise when the team officially joins the league. (REPORT)

Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick for Italy as a reserve-laden lineup took out Fluminense, 5-3, in a World Cup tune-up. (REPORT)

Hoffenheim forward Joselu is set to move to Hanover 96 for a €5 million transfer fee. (REPORT)

Queens Park Rangers are considering signing former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand this summer. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Reus moving to Barcelona this summer? Think that FIFA could be pressured into moving the World Cup away from Qatar? Do you see the Sao Paulo metro protests continuing?

Share your thoughts below.

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