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Mid-Day Ticker: Vilanova steps down as Barcelona coach; Benteke signs Villa extension; and more

TitoVilanova2 (Getty)


Barcelona’s wild summer just took another unexpected turn.

The club announced a press conference for 8:30pm local time (2:30pm ET), with rumors surrounding the club that they will announce the resignation of manager Tito Vilanova. Reports out of Spain have stated that Vilanova, who missed chunks of last season due to receiving cancer treatment, has had another relapse of the disease.

In the meantime, Barcelona are expected to announce assistant coach Joan “Rubi” Francesc Ferrer to be the interim manager as the club gets their preseason underway.

If the reports are true, it would mean that Barcelona will have a new manager for the second year in a row.

Here are some more stories from around the world:


Just days after submitting a transfer request to leave Aston Villa, Christian Benteke has had a change of heart.

The Belgian international forward agreed to a new contract on Friday, one that will tie him to Villa Park through 2017. The 22-year-old was one of the breakout stars last season in the English Premier League, scoring 19 times in 34 matches.

“I spoke with the Manager when I returned to training and we had a good talk,” Benteke said on Aston Villa’s website. “I am very happy to be back here in Birmingham and at Aston Villa, and to sign a new contract. This is a great Club and it has given me a lot. Now I have to give back to my teammates and the fans who have always been right behind me.”

Benteke was rumored to want a move to Chelsea or Tottenham after submitting his transfer request. He joined Villa last summer for £7 million ($10.7 million) from Genk in Belgium.


Fans who are planning on traveling to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup will have to dig deep into their pockets if they want to watch matches live in the stadium.

FIFA announced on Friday their World Cup ticket pricing scheme, which leaves non-Brazilians on the hook for anywhere between $90-$175 for every group stage match outside the opening match. Brazilian nationals will be able to buy discounted tickets, with students and seniors over 60-years old paying as little as $20 to watch games live.

Until all 12 stadiums set for use at the World Cup are finished, FIFA cannot allocate their tickets because they have to know exactly how many seats are available. They’re hopeful that all the stadiums will be finished by December of this year.

Tickets for the World Cup will go on-sale on August 20. A random draw will determine who gets tickets if the amount requested is above capacity. FIFA has also announced they will set aside 450,000 tickets for for corporate sponsors.


Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina. (REPORT)

FIFA have sanctioned and fined Equatorial Guinea CHF42,000 ($46,700) for fielding Emilio Nsue in two World Cup qualifying matches, as well as forcing Equatorial Guinea to forfeit the matches. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of AS Roma defender Marquinhos. (REPORT)



What do you think of these reports? Who do you see taking over at Barcelona? Do you believe Benteke should have stayed with Villa? Do you believe FIFA’s prices are too high?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Huge news for Villa, the odds of them staying up just jumped dramatically.

    Hope Tito gets better, that is tough news.

  2. I lived and from Spain and a high percentage of the spanish population smoke cigs. Very sad to see and not saying thats what caused his cancer but just saying.

    • Factually speaking… Spain has an average to below average consumption of tobacco. Germany, France, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal all have higher rates of smoking among adults.

      And they aren’t even close to Russia–70% of males smoke.

    • But I do agree that it seems like it. I studied in Spain for a semester and college-age people will ignore you in many cases if you don’t smoke.

      Granted it’s not even close to what I went through in France where I think I was smoking by simply opening my mouth.

    • Luckily, smoking has been banned in most public places, including most bars, in France and Spain now. Completely different (and better) experience than when I lived there.


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