It was an interesting weekend in the soccer world to say the least.
From the New England Revolution’s flight to remember, to the big fan brawl at the Columbus Crew-West Ham friendly, there was plenty of off-field activity to talk about. Fortunately, there was also some on-field stuff to talk about as well, including the completion of SuperLiga group play and the MLS schedule, which finished with five ties (yes, all five games this week finished tied).
Here are some tidbits from Europe to get your day going:
Chelsea denies making Kaka bid
One of the more shocking stories to emerge this weekend was Chelsea’s reported record-setting bid for AC Milan star Kaka. Chelsea has denied making the bid while Milan insists that no bid exists.
Admit it, you were hoping the deal would happen. Having Kaka in the Premier League would have been very intriguing, while it would also have been interesting to watch AC Milan spend the record transfer fee.
Makelele to PSG
When Claude Makelele left Real Madrid for Chelsea five years ago, it was seen as the start of the demise of the ‘Galacticos’ and also marked the rise to prominence of Chelsea. Those weren’t coincidences.
Now Makalele, one of the world’s best defensive midfielders of the past decade, is returning to France to play for Paris St. Germain. Not a bad few days for PSG, which added Ludovic Giuly on Friday.
As for Chelsea, the move wasn’t a real surprise, not with Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel in the fold.
German clubs balk at Olympic call-ups
Just when you thought FIFA had cleared things up regarding whether clubs had to release age-eligible player for the Olympics comes the latest from Germany. Apparently, the German federation and the Germany Bundesliga are trying to prevent some top players from going. They key word is ‘trying’ because Rafinha and Diego appear headed to Olympic training camp in direct defiance of orders from their clubs.
So what in the world is going on? It seems that while FIFA did instruct clubs to release all age-eligible players, FIFA did not make any formal mandate. It seems to have been more of a stern suggestion. It remains unclear whether FIFA can or will take the next step and issue an officially binding mandate that forces teams to release age-eligible players for the Olympics. What’s interesting is that other leagues such as the EPL and Serie A haven’t had such public objections to Olympic call-ups.
I’ll be back soon with some MLS-related posts so be sure to check back in throughout the day. For now, share your thoughts on these stories in the comments section below.