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Tuesday Kickoff: Real Madrid could sack Ancelotti; Pulido scores debut goal in Greece; and more

CarloAncelottiRealMadrid1-AthleticBilbao2015 (Getty)


Based on recent results this season, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is firmly on the hot seat.

Reports out of Spain state that Real Madrid are considering sacking Ancelotti in the summer, as the team has conceded the La Liga lead last weekend to arch-rival Barcelona and city-rival Atletico Madrid knocked La Real out of the Copa Del Rey in January.

Part of the reasoning behind the potential sacking is the lack of cohesion between the forward trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo, affectionately called “BBC.” The three haven’t scored from the run of play for three games and they’ve struggled to play with one another, as the three come from teams where they were the key players.

In addition, injuries to Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, and Toni Kroos have decimated the top quality of Real Madrid, and fans are seeing that Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi are not yet ready to play at the highest club level.

Ahead of Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League encounter with Schalke 04, Ancelotti backed the BBC trio to star against the German club.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:


Alan Pulido’s nearly year-long nightmare came to an end in thrilling fashion on Monday evening.

After FIFA approved a provisional transfer pass for Pulido to join Greek Superleague club Levadiakos, Pulido made his starting debut on Monday and scored the game-winning goal. It was Pulido’s first game action since June 7, 2014, when he came off the bench for the Mexican National Team in a pre-World Cup friendly match against Portugal.

In the 55th minute, a cross from the right met the rising head of Pulido in the box, redirecting the ball in for Levadiakos’ second goal. Pulido was unfortunately stretchered off later in the game with a left-foot injury.

Pulido had been locked in a contract dispute with his former Mexican club Tigres UANL, and hadn’t been part of the squad since last summer, putting him and his career in limbo. Even after the Court for Arbitration and Sport ruled in favor of Tigres, FIFA overruled them and allowed Pulido to complete his free transfer move to Levadiakos, where he signed an 18 month contract last January.


Theo Zwanzinger made sure to leave a few parting shots at FIFA and Qatar as his time with the organization comes to an end in May.

Zwanzinger reiterated his desire to see Qatar lose the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, which has been bursting with allegations of corruption and abuse and overwork of migrant workers, who are building the stadiums.

“The best solution would be not to play in Qatar and to rectify this wrong awarding,” Zwanzinger told radio station Bayern 2. “But that can only happen if the report provides sufficient clues that the awarding broke Fifa ethics rules.

As we noted above, this isn’t the first time that Zwanzinger has called for FIFA to strip the World Cup from Qatar. Last September, Zwanzinger said he believed that FIFA would not let the 2022 World Cup take place in Qatar, and in another interview in October, he again called for Qatar to lose the World Cup.

Instead, it looks as though it’s full steam ahead for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to take place in November/December 2022.

Zwanzinger is set to leave the FIFA ExCo this May, and will likely be replaced by German FA president Wolfgang Niersbach.


Queretaro are considering having Ronaldinho come off the bench, as the Brazilian maestro is struggling with his fitness. (REPORT)

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has admitted that he does not like Mauro Icardi’s off the field behavior, claiming it’s one of the reasons Icardi hasn’t been called up recently. (REPORT)

Netherlands FA president and FIFA presidential candidate Michael Van Praag believes Europe should have only one strong candidate instead of two. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani admitted he could move back to Napoli some day, but only if owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is not in charge. (REPORT)

The parking lot of Brasilia’s Estadio Mane Garrincha is being used as a bus depot in order to help raise funds for the stadium. (REPORT)

Gremio have signed Uruguyan international Cristian Rodriguez. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you see Real Madrid sacking Ancelotti this summer? Would you agree with that decision? Do you think Pulido can work his way back into the El Tri picture for this summer?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Frightening realities of the modern game. Changing managers has become something super-elite clubs do for lack of a better idea. For a club like RM, “doing what you did yesterday” — even if that means winning the Champions League — doesn’t work these days. It makes the brand static by keeping it out of the headlines.

    Honestly stuff like this makes me want to lie down for fear of stabbing myself.

  2. Struggles…. hmm….

    They have scored 75 goals (1 less than Barce who happened to score 6 at the weekend) and they have a +51 goal difference… They sit only one point back from Barce in the table and have a 2-0 aggregate lead going into their home portion of the tie with Schalke in the CL…

    It must be hard to be a Galacticos supporter with all these struggles…

    • that’s all true, but they have been (comparably) awful lately. remember, their real competition is not getafe or even sevilla, but barca, bayern, chelsea, etc. i still think they’ll breeze by schalke, but they really need to step it up if they’re going to meet expectations.

      and as for your last line, it’s all relative. sunderland fans don’t want to hear about man u’s “struggles”, and barnet fans think sunderland fans are adorable about fearing “the drop”.

      • i don’t want to use the term “anti-climax”, because i don’t think it’s accurate, but i do think that madrid had built this “La Décima” idea up so much that it became an obsession. and now that they have it, they realize that it’s just one title after all. it’s in the past, so it’s not relevant anymore.

      • for sure…some fans will never be happy and Madrid have a lot of those types. it’s just sad that the executives can’t even be level headed. firing Ancelotti would be an awful, kneejerk reaction.

  3. Free Chicharito!!!
    Seriously, as much as we all laughed when he went to Madrid the guy scores goals. Not giving him or the rest of the bench regular minutes while the team struggles it’s going to be Ancelotti’s undoing

    • I read somewhere that there are only two teams in the league that use their bench less than Madrid. Of course Real’s bench is worth more than most La Liga teams.

    • i would tend to agree with you–he’s a preternatural goalscorer–but he’s been pretty awful at madrid, for whatever reason. 4 goals in 19 games is not enough when you’re at real madrid, especially if you can’t play as a central provider (which benzema does well).

      and i do agree that ancelotti’s (lack of) rotation is hurting them, but the time to give the bench more minutes is not “while the team struggles” but last autumn when madrid were soaring–sure they might have risked losing more points, but at least the second string wouldn’t be completely out of form when you desperately need them.

      • 4 in 19 is not an accurate measure. He’s only played like 400 minutes total or something like that.

      • closer to 600, but fair enough. it’s also fair to say that, in most of his appearances (half his goals were one game), he hasn’t looked remotely dangerous.

    • he simply isn’t good enough and the papers in Madrid consistently say this. even Gab Marcotti made a note of this on ESPNFC. i thought this was slightly harsh but they see him in training every day.

      Chicharito has had chances, but hasn’t looked that great as a whole. i like the guy, but i don’t think he has the quality to be Benz’s replacement. Benz, for all the flak he gets, has been great for us. if Madrid is going to seriously consider dropping Benz, which they shouldn’t, Chicharito isn’t gonna cut it.

      as for not using our bench…think about these injuries:

      Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe, Modric, Khedira, Jese, Coentrao, James, Bale, CR, Varane, etc. have all been held out for extended periods this year due to injury. Ancelotti has used ALL 22 first team players as well as Castilla players like Raúl de Tomás, Javi Muñoz, Medrán, and Diego Llorente.

    • Real Madrid has to be the best/worst job in football. Sure, you get to coach many of the best players in the world but unless you win every trophy every season, you’re sacked. And of course that’s impossible since most years there are other clubs with just as much money and players just as good as you have.

    • it’s insane it’s even under consideration. i’ll be very mad if we sack him. this guy has been great for Madrid. instead of these reports of him being in the hot seat, i’d like to see the club back him! let him know a bad spell isn’t the end of the world for him given his accomplishments.

      beside…who would we hire?!

      • also, Benz, CR, and Bale had great cohesion prior to this bad spell. so this idea they are incapable of turning it around is mind boggling. they have scored a combined 72 goals this season, all competitions!

        for comparison, Neymar/Messi/Suarez have scored 80 goals in all competitions. Robben/Ribéry/Müller/Lewandowski? 56 goals, all competitions. Oscar/Rémy/Willian/Cesc/Costa/Hazard/Drogba? 57 goals, all competitions. Silva/Agüero/Džeko? 39 goals, all competitions.

      • You really don’t know Real. Carlo wasn’t hired to compete. He was hired to win every competition every time and he was given the resources to do so. Getting bounced from the Copa del Rey, humiliated by Atletico and losing the lead they had on Barcelona, all within the last couple of months is more than enough reason to get fired from Madrid. He might not like it but I’m sure Ancelotti knew this when he took the job and when you have the squad Madrid does no excuse is enough to not win everything you play.

      • There are other teams with the same resources and therefore winning every competition every time is a ludicrous standard. You aren’t going to beat the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich “every time.” It just isn’t going to happen.

      • i absolutely know Real as i have followed them for a very long time. probably the only European team i actually care about. got sucked in long ago and it’s stuck.

        i did not say i am SURPRISED to read this. because this is CLASSIC Real Madrid. what i’m saying, as a fan, is that i was hoping Ancelotti’s record would speak for itself and that a bad run would not result in rash decisions. firing him, IMO, is an insane “fix” to the current form of the team. especially given the number of injuries we have had.

        yes, getting bounced by Atleti was bad. not even beating them ONCE is embarrassing. and yes, i am furious we gave up what was going to be a 10 point lead in La Liga and are now a point behind.

        that all said, Ancelotti is still the best option out there. one could easily argue the four best managers are Pep, Jose, Carlo, and Jogi. two of those guys are not available for hire, one was our last coach, and the other we already have. so who?

        if we go on to lose La Liga in embarrassing fashion and crash out of the CL, maybe these talks can be considered. but i don’t think that is going to happen and until it does, talk of sacking him is premature, IMO.

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