Monday Kickoff: Buffon offers no sympathy to Totti; Sterling responds to critics; and more

Monday Kickoff: Buffon offers no sympathy to Totti; Sterling responds to critics; and more

European Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Buffon offers no sympathy to Totti; Sterling responds to critics; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Just days after Roma’s Francesco Totti made comments suggesting Juventus fixes matches, Gianluigi Buffon has offered no sympathy for his longtime international teammate.

Totti said that Juventus “‘should have their own league” following his side’s 3-2 loss to the defending champions last weekend. However, Buffon made it clear that he did not support Totti’s statements.

“Did I feel for Totti after Juve-Roma? I didn’t feel for him,” Buffon said. “I’m not interested in controversy when the game is over.

“Throughout my career I’ve won a lot, but I’ve also lost a lot. I finished third, fourth, and then seventh for two consecutive years, but I don’t think you’ve ever seen Buffon doing interviews in which he railed against someone or made inferences which aren’t good for anyone or for the image of our game.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:

STERLING HITS BACK AT CRITICS

As one of the sport’s best young talents, Raheem Sterling is already expected to make an impact every time he steps on the field despite his relative inexperience. However, the 19-year-old’s biggest critics are not pointing toward his performance on the field, but rather his decision to stay off it.

England manager Roy Hodgson revealed that Sterling, who has made six appearances for Liverpool this season, complained of fatigue ahead of Saturday’s matchup with Estonia. Despite drawing the praises of former England stars Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand, Sterling’s decision was criticized by fans, especially through social media.

After retweeting a few of his biggest naysayers, Sterling, who eventually entered the game in the second half, posted a tweet that read, in part, “Excuse me for being human.”

Hodgson predicted that Sterling would be ready to go when Liverpool face Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

“I’m convinced he’ll have a week now when he goes back to Liverpool,” Hodgson said, “they’ll sort him out and come Sunday, you’ll see him flying around.”

HODGSON UNCONCERNED BY WELBECK INJURY

The Arsenal injury crisis nearly claimed another member Sunday in Danny Welbeck, who limped off the field in England’s victory over Estonia. However, manager Roy Hodgson insists that there is little to fear.

Despite suffering an ankle injury that saw the Arsenal star head straight to the dressing room, Hodgson insists that the injury was not as bad as originally feared.

“I think he just rolled it slightly,” Hodgson said, “but the doctors are not concerned about it all.”

Arsenal are already without as many as 11 players heading into this weekend’s game against Hull City, including Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, and Aaron Ramsey.

QUICK KICKS

Victor Valdes’s agent dismissed a report that stated the former Barcelona goalkeeper had turned down a trial with Liverpool. (REPORT)

Police say 30 Romanians were detained for throwing firecrackers and smokebombs in their national team’s clash with Hungary. (REPORT)

Atletico de Kolkata defeated Mumbai City, 3-0, in the debut of the newly formed Indian Super League. (REPORT)

19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has revealed that he is preparing to join Roma. (REPORT)

What do you think about Buffon’s comments? How should clubs and national teams handle the exhaustion of young players? How can Arsenal cope with all of the team’s current injuries?

Share your thoughts below.

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