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Morning Ticker: Messi stays in China, Ronaldo stays at Man United and Villa closes in on fullbacks


Good morning all. The Olympics are in full swing and there will be stories galore to discuss, both from China and throughout the European and other international markets.

I will provide my take on the USA-Japan match (after I get some sleep). For now, here are some stories to get your day going:

Messi plays, will stay at Olympics

Argentine star Lionel Messi started for the Argentine Olympic team in its opening Olympic match against Ivory Coast after being allowed to stay by his club team, FC Barcelona.

Barcelona reached an agreement with Messi sometime in the late hours after Barcelona’s 6-2 triumph against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

Messi and Brazilians Diego and Rafinha all played on Wednesday, a day after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that their clubs did not have to recognize their call-ups to their respective Olympic teams.

Ronaldo looking to mend fences at Man U

After finally confirming that he is staying with Manchester United, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is no working on some fence-mending after months of speculation surrounding a potential move to Real Madrid. Ronaldo, who is still sidelined after having ankle surgery, revealed that Manchester United’s succesful 2007/2008 campaign is what led him to consider the new challenge of playing for Real Madrid.

"I never wanted to leave against Manchester United’s will and I am going to say something here that I’ve never told anybody, Ronaldo said in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Publico. "If we hadn’t been European champions I probably wouldn’t have even thought about going to Madrid.

But after we’d won the Champions League I felt that in five years I had helped win everything there was to win. We’d won the Premier League twice and I’d won a host of individual awards, including the best goalscorer in the Premier League, Champions League and in Europe. So I felt that maybe I needed a new challenge."

Villa signs fullbacks Shorey and Young

Aston Villa looks close to addressing needs at both fullback positions after making bids for Middlesbrough right back Luke Young and Reading left back Nicky Shorey.

The signings would help bolster a Villa defense dealing with the loss of Dutch defender Wilfred Bouma to injury and departure of Swedish fullback Olof Mellberg to Juventus, but also likely puts to rest the rumors of Villa’s interest in American defender Frank Simek, who had been linked to Aston Villa.

Still no new word on the lengthy Brett Favre-like soap opera between Liverpool and Gareth Barry, but Villa looks to be strengthening the team regardless of what may come from the Barry situation.

What do you think of these stories? Surprised that Barcelona let Messi stay in China? (probably not) Happy to see Cristiano Ronaldo stay with Manchester United? Upset that Real Madrid couldn’t make the deal happen? Sad to see Simek miss out on a big EPL move?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ives,

    Sorry about that. You should know by now everytime I post I use hyperbole!

    Plus, I have to keep up my reputation as a Whiny Hammers fan!

  2. Hey Ives,

    Just read this on a peruvian website but looks like Nolberto Solano signed with greek team Larissa FC for two years. I guess he is not coming to LA Galaxy now.

  3. Danny, you do realize I was operating on one hour of sleep before I posted that and promptly passed out right? I do regret not touchin on Ljungberg but there are only so many hours in the day. I’ll get to your boys soon enough.

  4. Not that Manchester is great but the weather in Madrid is “three months of summer, nine months of hell.” It’s pretty miserable, as the city sits on a high mesa in the middle of the country. Madrid’s only reason for existing is that it’s central, so the Spanish monarchs could mobilize the army to put down rebellions pretty much anywhere in the country. Coastal Spain is great, but Madrid is nobody’s cup of tea (unless you’re a bedouin).

  5. Mark, I have to disagree. Convey has been excellent all preseason and has started every game at left wing. Hunt never started except in one game that was like 48 hours after the game convey played. Hunt started in the Villa game in Shorey’s spot because of the anticipated transfer. None of this has anything to do with Murty who’s back up is Liam Rosseiner (sp?)

  6. @Beckster: Convey is only starting ahead of Hunt at left-wing because Murty is injured, and we only have Rosenior as a full-back.

    When Murty it fit, I think Hunt will take Convey’s spot, unless Convey can find the form of 3 seasons ago.

  7. Hey Ives, when can we expect an update on Johann Smith that was alluded to in the Q and A?


    Faithful Reader USvsIreland

  8. Slightly offended as a Hammers fan that Freddie’s exit and Behrami’s signings were not covered.

    Just Sayin’.


  9. I saw Ronaldo and Villa in the headline, and I thought we were talking about the chubby one and the sought-after player from Valencia…

  10. I don’t think signing Young means that Villa aren’t still looking for another RB. They still only have 1 and with hopes to advance far in the UEFA Cup, Carling Cup and FA Cup they’ll need someone to provide cover for Young. It could be a good opportunity for a young fullback to ease his way into the top flight. That said, I haven’t seen anything regarding Simek to Villa lately.

  11. Reading will miss Shorey a lot but great news for Freidel who will have a top left back in place. Good news for Convey as Stephen Hunt will now have to play at left back and Bobby’s starting at left wing seems to be secure.

  12. Seriously, Andy, you hit the nail on the head. Let’s see…live in Manchester or Madrid. Hey, I’ve never been to either but I can still say that is a no-brainer.

  13. Why can’t Ronaldo just be genuine? He needs to be honest… Manchester’s weather sucks and he does not like living there. They are better than Real I think, he has to know that. He misses the sun because it shines in Manchester like 70 days out of the year…that has to take a toll on a golden boy.

  14. Just weird that Sir Alex and Ronaldo each only talke about him being a Man Utd player “this season” and not for the remainder of his contract which is 3 or 4 years left. Right? What do you think Ives, did Man Utd say stay this year and you can go next year?


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