Top Stories

Mid-Day Ticker: Puyol cleared for Madrid match, Sunderland’s crisis and more

Puyol (Reuters Pictures)

When Barcelona meets Real Madrid Wednesday afternoon for the third time in a span of less than two weeks it will have a major defensive reinforcement.

Captain Carles Puyol has been included in the squad for Barcelona's UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg with Madrid.

Puyol, who had been on the sidelines for an extended spell only to get re-injured upon his return in the April 16 Clasico, has been cleared to return from a muscle strain. Defender Gabriel Milito, who was injured in the Copa del Rey final, will also be included on the matchday roster, although fullback Maxwell (groin injury) will not be available.

Here are a few more items from around the soccer world:


Sunderland forwards Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck are expected to miss the remainder of the season after both suffered hamstring injuries in the club's win over Wigan Athletic over the weekend.

The only healthy pure striker on the roster is 18-year-old Ryan Noble, and manager Steve Bruce may have to partner the out-of-position Steed Malbranque and Stephane Sessegnon up top for the club's match against Fulham this weekend.


The Czech Republic and Peru national teams will not withdraw from the Kirin Cup in Japan, a tournament scheduled to take place in June.

The Czechs have games lined up against Peru on June 4 and Japan on June 7, and team authorities have been told that there is no risk in terms of the current nuclear plant leakage that has taken place in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged a portion of the country.


Long-rumored MLS transfer target Roberto Carlos scored his first goal with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala on Monday, converting a penalty kick in the club's 2-2 draw with Dynamo Moscow.

Craig Whyte has moved closer to taking over at Rangers, where he would replace majority shareholder Sir David Murray.


Do you think Puyol's return tilts the scales in Barcelona's favor? How do you see Sunderland faring considering its forward situation? Do you still think Roberto Carlos will come to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. To me, Puyol has always looked like the guy with the white, windowless van that has free candy written on the side of it.


Leave a Comment