Top Stories

Friday Kickoff: Neymar not for sale, Schelotto’s club relegated and more

Neymar (Reuters Pictures)

As up-and-coming Brazilian star Neymar gets set for one of the more important summers of his career, his club has come out and said he is not for sale.

Despite Santos attracting lucrative offers from some of the biggest clubs in the world for its star forward, club president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira said in a statement that "In light of continuous speculation in the national and international press about the future of our player, I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar is non-negotiable."

Neymar, 19, helped guide Santos to the Copa Libertadores championship and is expected to play a big role in Brazil's quest for a Copa America crown. Brazil opens its tournament against Venezuela on Sunday.

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday going:


Guillermo Barros Schelotto's playing career came to an end in an unfitting way, as his Gimnasia La Plata was relegated from Argentina's top flight.

The 38-year-old former Columbus Crew Designated Player and MLS MVP retired after the match, in which Gimnasia tied San Martin, 1-1. San Martin took the first leg of their tie, 1-0, forcing Gimnasia to suffer the same fate as River Plate — relegation to the Nacional B.


No Clint Dempsey, no problem.

Fulham coasted past NSI Runavik, 3-0, in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League first-round qualifier at Craven Cottage on Thursday without Dempsey in the lineup.

Damien Duff, Danny Murphy and Andrew Johnson scored the goals for Fulham, which gave Martin Jol a victory in his debut as team manager.

The club will look to hold onto its aggregate lead in next Thursday's away leg.


All Nuno Gomes-to-MLS speculation can end for the time being. The veteran Portuguese striker will remain in Portugal after signing with Sporting Braga on a free transfer from Benfica on Thursday,

Gomes, 34, joins Braga on a one-year deal after an extended run with Benfica.


Germany joined France atop Group A of the FIFA Women's World Cup by beating Nigeria on Thursday, 1-0, and clinching a place in the quarterfinals.

The two European nations will battle for quarterfinal positioning in their group-stage finale. France holds the goal-differential tiebreaker, but Germany can claim first place in the group with a head-to-head victory.

Canada and Nigeria, meanwhile, will play each other in a meaningless finale before their tournament runs come to an end.


Do you really think Santos won't sell Neymar? What's your favorite Schelotto memory? Think Fulham goes on another deep Europa League run this season? Think Nuno Gomes would be a good fit in MLS? Who do you see winning the Germany-France WWC match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. “In light of continuous speculation in the national and international press about the future of our player, I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar will require at least one additional decimal place beyond previous offers, possibly two.”

  2. 40% of Neymar’s rights belong to investors (DSI, also known as “Sonda Group”). Since Santos is playing the club’s final in Tokyo against Barcelona in December, it’s likely that they will wait until the winter transfer window opens and only then sell his rights for the price that is right, about 50 million euros.

  3. either Madrid or Barca…sadly, nobody else. Glad he is staying for now. Like we need Donovan, Brazil needs Neymar. He’ll be making plenty of money…

  4. “I feel obliged to communicate the departure of Neymar is non-negotiable.”

    Translation can be a bit dicey, but this is very ambiguous language, in English anyways. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will not let him go. It could just mean that they will not get into negotiations. If someone meets the team’s demand — in this case the contractual $50 million — then Santos might have a different response. They cold be telling the public that they are not selling him, but they could just as easily be signaling potential buyers that there is a set, non-negotiable demand.

  5. Lots of fitness, decent fundamentals, improved shooting technique, but not a lot of creativity.

    I see an awful lot of long balls– even from the Brazilians.

    But maybe things will get more interesting in the knock out stages.

    I’m waiting for Barjamaj to step up for the Germans. Marta’s being wasted on the wing. Why is everyone so afraid of the diamond formation these days? It’s way more exciting to watch than hopeful long balls down the wings.

  6. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought Neymar has a buy-out clause in his contract with Santos, something in the neighborhood of $50 million. Anyone know anything about this?

  7. Just came across a forum post (so take it for what it’s worth) that says he plays in the Polish youth system.

  8. I don’t know. I’ve seen most of them, and while some have been “eh,” others have been entertaining. Australia-Brazil was good, as was Germany-Canada (which may have been due to the 70,000+ German fans creating a good atmosphere).

  9. WIU’s website lists his hometown as Gurnee, Illinois and says he went to Warren Township High School in Gurnee. That’s the only thing I can find so far that hints at his nationality. His parents’ names are Wiktor and Ewa, so it’s a safe bet they are immigrants. Doesn’t say where Oskar was born.

  10. Anyone know if oscar gastecki is american? He’s from western illinois university and just signed with dortmond…

  11. Other news: Anyone know anything about the 20 year old Oscar Gasteki that Dortmund signed from Western Illinois University?

  12. i’ll stir the hornet’s nest so to speak. i’ve tried to watch a few of the women’s world cup games…’s just bad soccer for the most part.

  13. In terms of comparision, I’ve thought Robinho’s skill set was extremely similiar with Neymar, too.

    I just hope his general attitude isn’t, otherwise it’s going to be a European adventure never seeing the full potential of his talents, ala Robinho.

  14. Love the name. Nomar was my fav growing up. One summer I visited my grandma and she saved a Globe poster of Mo Vaughn and I was like “they didn’t have one of Nomar?” I wanted to play SS for the Sox not fat 1B. Sorry, end of story time.

  15. Idk if winning Serie A and featuring steadily in the National side constitutes a failed career, but he did have a rough patch from those Madrid to City days.

    I think the problem is more with going to massive clubs with astronomical expectations. One or 2 missed chances, one or two lame performances, and you find yourself benched, loaned out, or sold for scrap. It may serve these guys better to move to a non-elite club first, but one still respectable enough to make a UCL run. Best of both worlds without the insane pressure IMO. But the allure of the glory is great.

    I’m personally all for his staying home. Pay back the club that put him out, refine those skills, prove your longevity, and arrive in Europe perhaps with a Libertadores, Club WC, Copa America, and WC2014 trophy already under your belt, around 22-23 yrs old? That would be badass.

  16. Brazil’s economy means that Brazilian teams no longer need to sell their players at the first bid. They can wait a few years and enjoy the fruits of their labor. I think it’s a good thing, sometimes players get sold too soon and it ruins their career, like robinho.

  17. Really surprised Neymar’s staying put but it appears to be for all the right reasons.

    I don’t think he’s physically built for the EPL and is lacking maturity for Europe in general, at this stage.

    Another year or two will serve him greatly just in terms of becoming a man, imo, to combine with his obvious unique skills.

  18. I think Santos sells Neymar, but they are giving themselves time to let him play in Copa America and drive the price up even more.


Leave a Comment