Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
After spending the last four seasons with Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso is set to move from one Champions League-winning powerhouse to another.
The Spanish midfielder has been confirmed as Bayern Munich’s latest addition, as the World Cup winner joins the German side on a two year deal. Alonso will join Spanish teammate Pepe Reina among the Bavarian heavyweight’s summer signings.
“We believe it is necessary [to sign Alonso] for our team, to meet the requirements of our fans and the club as a whole,” said board director for sport Matthias Sammer. “It was a purely sporting decision to help us immediately and raise our quality. Alonso’s constitution means he is capable of playing at the very highest level for at least another two years. We’re optimistic, and our squad will be in very, very good shape.”
Alonso, a member of the 2010 World Cup and 2008 Euro champions, announced his international retirement earlier this week.
Here are some more of Friday’s news and notes to kick off your morning:
CAMBIASSO JOINS PREMIER LEAGUE SIDE LEICESTER CITY
For years, Esteban Cambiasso has been at the heart of an Inter Milan side that has achieved as much as any team in Europe. However, the Argentine is now set to embark a new challenge as his career enters its final stages.
The 34-year-old midfielder has joined Premier League side Leicester City on a one-year deal after seeing his contract with Inter end over the summer.
“The Argentine free agent is one of the most decorated players in the modern game and joins the Foxes after a trophy-laden 10-year spell with Italian giants Internazionale in Serie A, and will wear the squad number 19,” the club said in a statement announcing the signing.
“A former Real Madrid, Independiente and River Plate star, Cambiasso is considered one of the most talented midfielders of his generation, and having already won titles in Spain and Italy, is now ready to test himself in the Barclays Premier League.”
Cambiasso, who has been capped 52 times by Argentina, has been a part of La Liga and Champions League-winning sides, as well five Scudetto-winning Inter teams.
FALCAO RECALLED TO COLOMBIA FOR BRAZIL FRIENDLY
Radamel Falcao was forced to sit on the sideline as James Rodriguez and the rest of his Colombian teammates captivated fans all over the world with an impressive World Cup performance. Now, after finally overcoming his injury woes, Falcao is set to rejoin his national side.
The Monaco striker is one of 24 players who have been called up for Colombia’s Sept. 5 friendly with Brazil in Miami. The two South American powerhouses last played at this summer’s World Cup in a meeting that saw Brazil advance to the tournament’s semifinal with a 2-1 victory.
Falcao will be joined by mainstays Rodriguez, Jackson Martinez and David Ospina, as well as Philadelphia Union defender Carlos Valdes.
DEL PIERO FACING CRITICISM FOR INDIA MOVE
After spending the last two seasons with Australian side Sydney FC, Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero is set to make his next stop in India. However, the plans of the former Juventus star are facing their fair share of scrutiny.
Del Piero is set to join the Indian Super League’s Delhi Dynamos on a short-term contract. The move to India has become a hot topic in Del Piero’s native Italy, due to political controversy between the two nations regarding the captivity of two Italian military personnel, who are being held on suspicion of the murders of two local fisherman.
“He doesn’t need the money or the fame,” said politician Giorgia Meloni. “He’s already an undisputed symbol of Italian football and a world football icon. If he were to make a stand on this matter, it would certainly not fall on deaf ears and it could be an important signal to the Indian government and the international community.”
For his part, Del Piero has stated his awareness of the current situation between the two nations, and has stated his desires to avoid becoming a political tool.
“I know that my decision to go and play in India has raised a bit of perplexity in view of the relations between Italy and India, in view of the two [Italian military] being held there,” he said. “As an Italian, like all of my compatriots, I am not unaffected by the issue regarding our [Italian Military] and I hope that there will be a positive outcome for them very soon.
“Considering I do not think I am the only Italian to have work relations with India, I know exactly what it is that I am doing, but I also know that I will have a bigger impact on the media,” Del Piero continued. “But I accept the responsibility my role entails. I am satisfied with my choice. I’m not going to a hostile country and the last thing I want is to be used [for political purposes] and for sport to be used to divide rather than uniting.”
Newly-revealed Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia is looking forward to returning to Roma as a result of the Champions League draw. (REPORT)
Boca Juniors have fired coach Carlos Bianchi following the team’s third loss in four games. (REPORT)
Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa is reportedly close making a move back to Borussia Dortmund. (REPORT)
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is set to sign a two-year extension with the club. (REPORT)
Leeds United had sacked manager David Hockaday after just six games in charge. (REPORT)
Who do you think has been Bayern’s best signing this summer? How will Cambiasso handle the Premier League? How would Colombia have done at the World Cup with Falcao? How much can Del Piero accomplish for Indian soccer?
Share your thoughts below.