Top Stories

Wednesday Kickoff: Monaco set to break the bank for Ronaldo; AFA bans away fans after supporter death; and more

CristianoRonaldo1-AtleticodeMadrid (Getty)


AS Monaco just can’t get enough.

After spending more than $172 million on the transfers for Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho, and James Rodriguez, the newly promoted Ligue 1 club is ready to spend some serious cash, offering Real Madrid nearly $133 million (€100m) for talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, according to a report in England.

If that price isn’t crazy enough, the report states that Monaco plans to make Ronaldo the best-paid player in the world, with a contract worth more than $26.5 million per season, putting him up with the likes of American sports stars like Kobe Bryant, Tony Romo, and Felix Hernandez.

Monaco is said to be keeping an eye on Ronaldo as he has yet to sign a new contract with Real Madrid, though there are conflicting reports on what he wants in his future. Some in Spain have said that it’s only a matter of time before he signs a new and improved deal this summer, while others say that he will see out his contract in the Spanish capital and leave on a free transfer in 2015.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:


In a stunning development, the Argentina Football Association (AFA) has banned away fans from attending matches following the death of a supporter on Monday.

During a match at the Estadio Unico, the home of Estudiantes de La Plata, a fan from the visiting side, Lanus, was killed after clashes between away supporters and local police. According to reports in Argentina, the fighting started in the middle of the match and saw numerous fans leave their seats in the stadium and head outside. The match was eventually abandoned at halftime.

In response to the incident, Buenos Aires police had announced that away fans wouldn’t be allowed in stadiums in the city, with the AFA making the ban nationwide. There have been over 70 football supporters killed in Argentina since 2000.


As if the four Ballon D’or trophies in a row weren’t enough proof, Lionel Messi can add another title to his virtual cabinet. Bloomberg’s top player in Europe.

Bloomberg Sports, a three-year-old division of the American financial information giant, has taken an analytical approach to ranking the top 50 soccer players in Europe. The list measures difficult-to-quantify statistics such as efficiency in tackling, ability to keep possession of the ball, and contributing toward the team’s offensive output (explained here)

Messi has taken the top spot in Bloomberg Sports rankings with a score of 91.25, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery in the list. Ribery is one of five Bayern Munich players ranked among the top 50 in Europe.

Here’s the full list of the top 50 players in Europe, ranked by Bloomberg Sports.


Andre Villas-Boas could end up playing a part in the Champions League next season.

The Tottenham manager, who narrowly missed out on next year’s Champions League with a fifth-place finish in the English Premier League, is on the short list from Paris Saint-Germain to take over the club when, inevitably, Carlo Ancelotti leaves for Real Madrid, according to reports in England.

The Spurs boss has not had the easiest of times in England, making it just nine months with Chelsea before being sacked, and taking over a Spurs side and failing to guide them back to the Champions League for the first time since 2010-2011. If Villas-Boas stays at Spurs this season, it will be the first time in his managerial career that he has lasted more than one season at a club.

Villas-Boas is seen as a “safety” pick by the PSG Qatari-based ownership if they fail to get any of their top choices to become manager.


Spain winger Jesus Navas officially completed his move to Manchester City on Tuesday. (REPORT)

FIFA has announced that the Under-20 World Cup will go on this month despite protests against the government that are dominating the local headlines. (REPORT)

Barcelona defender/midfielder Javier Mascherano was sent off during Argentina’s match against Ecuador for kicking the driver of a medical cart. (REPORT)

Israel departed the European Under-21 Championship that they are hosting with a high, defeating England, 1-0, in Jerusalem. (REPORT)

Italy’s 94th minute equalizer earned them top spot in the U-21 Championship Group A as they drew, 1-1, with Norway. (REPORT)


What do you make of these reports? Do you believe the Ronaldo to Monaco report? Do you agree with the AFA’s decision to ban away fans? Do you believe Messi is the best player in Europe?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. ronaldo not leaving until he breaks the remaining scoring records passing Raul and the other guy, excuse my knowledge of not knowing who the other guy is

    • he has a couple of guys:

      1. Raul…323
      2. Di Stefano…305
      3. Santillana…289
      4. Puskas…242
      5. Hugo Sanchez…208
      6. Ronaldo…201

      however, he has the best ratio out of them all, 1.01 goals/game. Puskas is the next highest at 0.92. Both Raul and Santillana were under 0.50 while Hugo and Di Stefano were around 0.75.

  2. Ronaldo is way better/more valuable to his sport than Romo, Hernandez, ARod, Kobe and other jokers who make that much at their sports. Easily one of the top 5 athletes in all sports right now

  3. A couple of things:

    1. PSG ain’t signing whatever his name is in England to manage this team. Yesterday the rumor was Hiddink since he was in Paris, today it’s AVB and tomorrow who knows-maybe one of us. I just hope my club signs a good manager in the very near future. Course if the Leonardo appeal works out then poof he’ll manage the club – al la Conte did with Juventus last year. Personally, I wish the club were able to sign Diego Simeone.

    2. What is it with people slamming Monaco? Real Madrid paid €93.9 million for Ronaldo, so €100 Million ain’t so nutty. His annual salary around €12 million/year. Hell, many of us are still trying to figure out how Real Madrid can actually afford to pay him, let alone fund that original transfer. They have a history of some shady ass accounting practices. Monaco actually has the money and yep the tax rate in the Kingdom is pretty damn good, who in their right mind wouldn’t take advantage of it? If it were an EPL club many would be praising or at the very least have more favorable things to say but since it’s not an EPL side and more so a French side then it’s just downright bad. Give the team credit for at least spending the money (take note Arsenal).

    CR7-IMO won’t go because he makes too much money from being in Champions League. His brand can’t nor should it take that hit. If Monaco qualifies for C1 next year then he should do it-IMO.

    • Technically, Monaco is a principality, not a kingdom, for what it’s worth. And Real can pay him because they’re one of the highest grossing clubs in the world, with access to dirt cheap credit from Banco Santander. 650 m euros in revenue goes a long way. And they still posted an operating income of 150 m euros before taxes, transfers and depreciation. I’d say they can spend fifty million this year without this sale.

  4. AVB is going no where and these big money clubs need to learn to start respecting the rest of the damn world and not talk about managers/players on contract elsewhere

      • Well – this does raise a question for me. Why do some people post a question like that on a blog and why do some people try to use the internet to answer the question for themselves?

      • This is a good question. Definitely a case to be made here for behavioral studies.

        But I will say, in the context of the situation, I tend to not focus on that aspect and agree with Nate Dollars above. It was a simple, innocent question. Why do the majority of posters feel the need to be aggressive or “make a statement” with their comments? I understand these blogs are here for debate, but there are responses that are simply unnecessary. A non-demeaning answer would have sufficed (thank you Steevens).

      • I’m certainly never one to say, “Go Google it” but I’m a bit at a loss the person declined from doing so.

        It almost comes off as trolling because of how much information is available with the same amount of effort it took to post the question.

        On the other hand, my biggest confusion of this entire article: Tony Romo being mentioned with the likes of Bryant and Ronaldo.

        It still baffles me that guy fell into so much money, for doing so little.

      • Jerry Jones continually doing his best to keep the Cowboys relevant in the discussion of sports and finance.

        – 2nd Most Valuable Franchise in the World (according to Forbes 2011)
        – Cowboys stadium (1.25 billion)
        – And…. Tony Romo?!

      • You’re not wrong…but none of that justifies Tony Romo’s paycheck.

        We’re not talking dollars and cents here with market values…I’m just talking common sense.

        The guy is garbage but then again, so is the state of the Cowboys, too.

        All headlines, no substance.

      • that’s a decent question; i was only making the point that travis could have responded like our friend Steevens, instead of like, well, travis.

      • Ok nate. I’m at a loss as to why someone would either not take the time to google a name for themselves or possibly try to put down another sport by demonstrating that said star player was not worth knowing or was somehow insignificant.
        I see it all the time when the world wide leader posts an article about soccer. non soccer people like to post and demean soccer by saying things like Messi, who’s that? I guess Im just confused as to why you would ask such a silly question without having an agenda.

    • That was my first question when I read the article which made the answer that much more obvious since MLB is the American sport/league I care the least about. Regardless, how can they afford to spend this kind of money? What happened to FFP?

    • how do you figure? No reason they can’t join ranks with PSG and make two power clubs in France, like there are currently two power clubs in Spain.

    • have you seen that place? with the money they have they could easily turn it into a strong team. it’ll be hard because we all know how buying teams can go. but the club has all the tools to succeed. look at who they have already signed.

    • You must not remember when they played in a UCL final in 2004. The same club that Javier Saviola, Thierry Henry, Fernando Morientes, Emmanuel Adebayor, Fabien Barthez, Yaya Toure and Patrice Evra, to name a few, have suited up for. And like bryan said, as if there wasn’t enough money there already, now the club is bankrolled by a multi-billionaire.

  5. I believe that would make Ronaldo the highest paid player in the world, because aren’t the contracts in Europe typically after taxes, and the ones in the US are pre-tax.


Leave a Comment