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Friday Kickoff: Torres close to Atletico return; Ronaldinho set to report to training; and more

FernandoTorresChelsea1-UCLAtleticoMadrid2014 (Getty)


Fernando Torres is set to try to reignite his career back where it all started.

The Spanish forward is reportedly close to a return to boyhood club Atletico Madrid, where the 30-year-old spent his youth days and first six years of his career.

Torres has spent the final months of 2014 with AC Milan, but has scored just one goal. The forward is now reportedly set to return to Madrid next week after the club agreed with Chelsea to take Torres on-loan until his contract expires in 2016.

Alessio Cerci is set to head to Milan as part of the deal, which will also see Torres  take a major paycut.

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


Ronaldinho has heeded warnings to return to training.

The Brazilian superstar is set to return to Queretaro’s preseason scheduling after the 34-year-old skipped out on the first few weeks of training, leading club president Joaquin Beltran to issue Ronaldinho an ultimatum.

Ronaldinho joined Queretaro in September and scored three goals in nine games as the club failed to make the playoffs.


Following a series of disciplinary incidents at this past summer’s World Cup, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari have been excluded by the Ghana national team.

The duo, who are joined by fellow snub Michael Essien, have been left off the Black Stars roster for the upcoming African Nations Cup which runs from Jan. 17 to Feb. 8. Essein comes as a surprise exclusion due to his prior history with Grant, who previously managed the midfielder at Chelsea.

Boateng and Muntari were both given indefinite suspensions during the World Cup and were left off by new manager Avram Grant, who stated that “players that will not be disciplined cannot be in the team”.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fire forward David Accam and Houston Dynamo fullback Samuel Inkoom have both been named to the 31-man provisional squad, which will be trimmed to 23 players for the tournament.

Here’s a closer look at Ghana’s full provisional roster:

Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Mirandes, Spain), Adams Stephen (Aduana Stars), Fatau Dauda (AshGold) and Ernest Sowah (Don Bosco, DR Congo)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), John Boye (Erciyesspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), Awal Mohammed (Maritzburg, South Africa), Kwabena Adusei (Mpumalanga Black Aces, South Africa), Baba Rahman (Augsburg, Germany), Gyimah Edwin (Mpumalanga Black Aces, South Africa), Samuel Inkoom (Houston Dynamo, USA), Daniel Amartey, (FC Copenhagen, Denmark)

Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Krasnodar, Russia), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Parma, Italy), Solomon Asante (T.P. Mazembe, DR Congo), Christian Atsu (Everton, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Celtic, Scotland), Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille, France), Alfred Duncan (Sampdoria, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Adu Kofi (Malmo, Sweden), Ibrahim Moro (AIK Stockholm, Sweden)

Strikers: Jordan Ayew (Lorient, France), Abdul-Majeed Waris (Trabzonspor, Turkey), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Kwesi Appiah (Cambridge United, England) and David Accam (Chicago Fire, USA).

What do you think of a potential Torres-Atletico reunion? How will Ronaldinho fare following a preseason with Queretaro? Who do you see as favorites at the upcoming AFCON?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m surprised no MLS team was after Torres as a DP, for teams like Portland, galaxy, nycfc, red bull and Orlando, he could of been an instant hit in MLS.
    Also, I know people out there are waiting for me to mention ronaldinho, but he is going back to his ligaMX team 🙂 but i do see in ronaldinho in NASL next year.
    Happy holidays and a happy new year 🙂
    Let’s hope for a better MLS league with better rules .

    • Totally agreed! Torres has lost all his self confidence since he joined Chelsea years ago. MLS maybe a good place for him to pick up confidence and his scoring touch once again.

  2. This should shock no one.

    NYCFC is and always be Man City lite.

    The only was this could be more humiliating for MLS would be if Don Garber were brought on the field during a Man City home game, stripped naked and spabked as the crowd throws rotten tomatoes at him.

    For shame, Don Garber, for shame.

      • Now, now, you know the Yankees have traded away all their prospects…

        Best thing is gonna be watching El Jeffe Garber try to spin this as a positive. That would be worth the price of a ticket for sure,

  3. The news is out all over the UK that the Lampard loan is extended. Pellegrini stating that the reason Lampard was signed all along was for cover for when Toure is gone in Jan and Feb.

    • This should not be a surprise. The mothership taking care of the larger business interest first. NYCFC should get something in the deal though. Cash, young talent in the interim, etc. I get not letting him go from City right now, just not for free.


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