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Friday Kickoff: PSG makes massive offer for Ronaldo; Cruz Azul dominate Santos Laguna in Torreon; and more

RonaldoCelebratesGoal1-Malaga (Getty)


Real Madrid might end up with Carlo Ancelotti managing their club next season, but it could come at a high price.

According to a report out of France, Ancelotti’s current club, Paris Saint-Germain, have said that they will entertain offers for the Italian manager if Real Madrid allow PSG to submit an offer for Cristiano Ronaldo. The report says that the PSG Qatari ownership would be willing to give Madrid a $128.8 million transfer fee along with a contract to Ronaldo for just over $23 million per season.

The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu due to his issues with the club last fall when he wouldn’t celebrate, and also his resistance to sign an extension to his current contract, which goes through 2015.

The Portuguese international has continued his stellar form since moving to the Spanish capital, scoring 34 goals in 34 matches in La Liga this season. In all competitions Ronaldo has scored 55 goals. He has a chance to win his second Copa Del Rey on Friday, in a one-off match against city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday started:


Cruz Azul recorded a commanding 3-0 victory on the road on Thursday over Santos Laguna in the Liga MX Playoffs, taking a massive advantage back to Mexico City for the second-leg on Sunday.

Arguably the hottest team in Mexican soccer right now, Cruz Azul got on the scoreboard in just the third minute, when Gerardo Flores headed in a free kick from teammate Christian Gimenez to give the visitors an early lead at the Estadio Corona in Torreon.

La Maquina doubled their lead in the 25th minute, when on a counter attack, Gimenez found forward Javier Orozco on the left side of the box. Orozco choose to cross across the face of goal, with former West Ham midfielder Pablo Barrera arriving at the scene to slam the ball home from 18 yards out.

Santos Laguna added to their misery in the 89th minute when defender Rafael Figueroa put the ball into his own goal from about 25 yards out, after pressure from Cruz Azul substitute Alejandro Vela.


Barcelona representatives continue to negotiate with Brazilian club Santos for the transfer of much-sought after forward Neymar.

Santos have put a valuation of $77 million (€60 million) on the 21-year-old Brazilian international, but Barcelona are currently only willing to spend about $64 million on a transfer fee, according to reports in Spain.

The Spanish club is expected to sell off some players to raise some more cash for the deal, as forward David Villa, midfielder Giovani Dos Santos, and attacker Bojan were among those named in the report that are on their way out of Catalonia.

Neymar has said himself he prefers to leave after the World Cup in 2014, but Barcelona are trying to sign him before Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, or any other team can get their hands on the talented youngster and raise the transfer price even more.


The quarterfinal round of the Copa Libertadores is set after two teams gained entry from the round of 16 on Thursday night.

Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe scored a 1-0 victory over Brazilian club Gremio at their home stadium in Bogota, Colombia. Following a 2-1 scoreline in Gremio’s advantage from the first leg, Santa Fe needed just one goal to advance on away goals.

Taking the entire team on his shoulders, forward Wilmer Medina showed off his flair and creativity by playing a one-two pass with a teammate, then dribbling through two defenders before slotting home in the 80th minute, just before another Gremio defender could arrive.

In the other match on Thursday, Paraguayan side Olimpia defeated Argentine club Tigre, 2-0, in Asuncion, to win the overall tie 3-2. Olimpia Fredy Bareiro scored on the volley with his left foot in the 52nd minute to take the lead for his side, and then Olimpia got a bit of luck as a goalmouth scramble off a corner kick lead to an unfortunate own goal by Tigre defender Norberto Paparatto.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is well known for bring in many of his countrymen to London, and it seems that the club are close to bringing in a new Frenchman.

Following in the footsteps of Thierry Henry and Olivier Giroud could be Auxerre forward Yaya Sanogo. One of the more exciting prospects in French football, Sanogo scored nine goals in 11 matches for his club, which dropped into the second division in France this season after suffering relegation.

The 20-year-old is reportedly close to signing at the Emirates, with Wenger saying himself that talks are at an advanced stage. The Arsenal boss admitted though that he is very confident of wrapping up the deal. Sanogo’s contract is up at the end of the season, and the France U21 player is likely to be leaving the club on a free transfer.

The 6 foot 3 inch tall striker has battled multiple leg breaks in the last couple of years of his career, forcing him to make just 18 appearances in the last three seasons.


Schalke FC and former Germany defender Christoph Metzelder has announced his retirement at the age of 32. (REPORT)

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has earned a recall to the French National Team ahead of friendlies in South America against Brazil and Uruguay. (REPORT)

The FA has announced a minimum five-match ban for instances of racism or homophobic abuse from players. (REPORT)

Didier Drogba has been left off Ivory Coast’s squad for a couple of big World Cup qualifiers this June. (REPORT)


What do you make of these reports? Do you see PSG acquiring Ronaldo? Impressed with Cruz Azul’s performance? Do you see Barcelona coughing up that kind of money for Neymar? Do you see Sanogo being successful in the Premier League?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Not a huge PSG fan, but bully for them demanding respect from Madrid like that. They performed admirably in UCL this year. I wonder how RM will respond. In all of this, I wonder where CR sees life after Madrid.

    I wish Barcelona would stop all of this with Neymar. That’s a lot of money to spend on a player that’s not been anywhere near Europe. Not making the point that European football is automatically better than anywhere else, it’s more to do with the process of integration, especially on a continent in the midst of a bona fide depression. There’s absolutely no guarantee that his technique will translate to La Liga, and what a waste of everyone’s money and time that would be.

    • I agree that Neymar is a huge gamble in the sporting sense (he could turn out to be great or could turn out to be a total bust), but the revenue from his jersey sales is likely offset a large portion of the transfer so Barca might think it is worth rolling the dice. However, Barca would be better served by focusing their efforts and funds on getting a couple of quality CBs and a new starting keeper. Bringing Neymar alone will not solve the problems with their suspect defense.

  2. Too bad the Santos Cruz Azul game was not televeised, at least not on my Comcast, last night.
    Forlan to MLS would be great. At 33 he’s still got some gas left in the tank.

    • It was on Univision, comcast should carry that, (445 DTV).

      Cruz Azul was really good. Corona in net was perfect and Pablo Barrera looked like a national teamer again. Herc Gomez didnt do anything great (besides rock a sacha kljestian stash) but the loss was more on Quintero (COL), Lugo (MEX) and Baloy (PAN)

      Sticking with my pick of Monterrray vs Cruz Azul final.

  3. Ronaldo would have to force that move and I doubt he would see PSG as a step up. He has a chance to become a Real Madrid luminary on the level of Di Stefano, and there is something to that.

    • It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but greed often overrides logic. $23MM per year salary (OK minus 60% ? tax) is a lot of cabbage. This could tell us something about Ronaldo – does he want to be a soccer great or just another overly rich man (not that he’ll be poor as a soccer great).

      • Usually those salaries you see in the french league are after tax, so in reality his salary is like 40 mil.

      • Good thing the 75% tax was scrapped.

        I wonder if CR was grandfathered in under the Spanish law where players didn’t pay taxes.

    • I think Ronaldo stays for a few reasons:

      1) If he leaves Madrid he’s basically conceding that Messi is the best in the World. (If he goes anywhere other than Spain his goals scored will decline and most likely be less than Messi)

      2) Barca is close to panic mode and I think he smells blood (at the very least a chance to win some trophies from Barca)

      3) Madrid (like Barca, Man U, and very few others) create Legends

      4) No safety net if he goes to France (will be expected to win everything), as in Spain he can always say he went up against Messi, Xavi, and Inesta

      • Well, I think the one place he could eventually go is a return to ManU, since it is the first club and all. Otherwise, I agree it would be essentially ceding place of pride to Messi, and I don’t think Ronaldo’s ego will let him do that, which is not a shot at Ronaldo, most tremendous players are fired by a tremendous ego.

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