Soccer Wiretap

Cristiano Ronaldo Left Out Of Portugal's XI For Switzerland Match

Dec 6, 2022 12:40 PM

Portugal has dropped Cristiano Ronaldo for their Round of 16 match against Switzerland. 

Manager Fernando Santos previously said he "really didn't like" Ronaldo's reaction to being substituted against South Korea.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Portugal, World Cup

Oliver Bierhoff Steps Down As Germany's Managing Director

Dec 5, 2022 9:04 PM

Oliver Bierhoff has stepped down as managing director of Germany's national teams and academy.

The German federation said on Monday that Bierhoff agreed to prematurely end his contract. It was due to run through the 2024 European Championship.

"Bierhoff has done a great job," federation president Bernd Neuendorf said in a statement. "Even if the last tournaments fell short of the sporting goals, he stands for great moments. His work will always be associated with the World Cup success in Brazil."


Tags: Germany, World Cup

FIFA Reconsidering Three-Team Groups For 2026 World Cup

Dec 5, 2022 11:16 AM

FIFA could abandon their plans for three-team groups for the 2026 World Cup.

The tournament will be expanded from 32 to 48 teams, which will force organizers to create a new format.

The top-two teams from each group would advance to a round of 32. But this would mean the two teams in the final group fixture could play out a specific result to send both teams through at the expense of the team not playing.

"This is not decided," Arsene Wenger said. "but it will be 16 groups of three, 12 groups of four, or two sides of six groups of four -- like you organise two 24 teams.

"I will not be able to decide that, it will be decided by the FIFA [council], and I think it will be done in the next year."

Dale Johnson/ESPN

Tags: World Cup

Pele Had COVID Before Hospitalization

Dec 5, 2022 11:15 AM

Pele had COVID-19 and a heart rate below normal before being hospitalized last Tuesday.

"About three weeks ago he got Covid," Kely Nascimento said to Brazilian TV. "He is vaccinated, with all the vaccines, but because of the cancer medication, the chemotherapy, which is fragile, he got a lung infection. That's why he went to the hospital, because of the lung infection.

"It's serious because of his age and because he is being treated for cancer."


Raheem Sterling Returns To England After Home Invasion

Dec 5, 2022 11:13 AM

Raheem Sterling returned to England after his house was the target of an armed robbery.

Sterling held talks with manager Gareth Southgate on the morning of the game after learning his Surrey home was broken into on Saturday evening.

Police in the English county of Surrey near London said in a statement that they were investigating "a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead."

The statement said police were contacted Saturday night "after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen."

"No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing," police said.

No return date to Qatar has been set for Sterling.

James Olley/ESPN

Tags: Chelsea, England

Netherlands Has Multiple Players With Flu Symptoms

Dec 2, 2022 10:45 AM

Louis van Goal revealed that several members of his squad are dealing with flu symptoms on the eve of their round of 16 match against the United States. 

When asked how many players were affected and for the names of those who were ill, Van Gaal told NOS: "We are not going to elaborate on that. But if it goes around in the group, it is worrying."

Tom Hamilton/ESPN

Tags: Netherlands, World Cup

Roberto Martinez Confirms He's Out As Belgium Manager

Dec 1, 2022 4:58 PM

Roberto Martinez has confirmed he will leave his post as manager of Belgium.

Belgium was eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage following a 0-0 draw with Croatia. 

"My situation is very clear. This is the end for me," Martinez told a news conference.

"Whatever the result of this tournament, I took the decision before the World Cup. It's all about long term. Since 2018, I could have taken many jobs. I don't resign, it's just ending like this."


Tags: Belgium, Misc Rumor

Pele Remains Hospitalized, Diagnosed With Bronchopneumonia

Dec 1, 2022 4:57 PM

Pelé was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia after new tests on Thursday at Albert Einstein Hospital, sources told ESPN Brasil.

Pelé was initially hospitalised on Tuesday in Sao Paulo to regulate the medication in his fight against a colon tumor, his daughter Kely Nascimento said. 

Pelé had a tumor removed from his colon in September 2021 and has since been in and out of the hospital for treatment on a regular basis.


Tags: Brazil

Germany Eliminated From World Cup, Japan Wins Group E

Dec 1, 2022 4:21 PM

Germany has been eliminated from the World Cup following Spain's 2-1 loss to Japan.

At one point in the second half when Costa Rica went up on Germany 2-1, both Germany and Spain were set to go out. But a pair of late goals from Kai Havertz for Germany allowed Spain to advance. The Germans needed at least a tie from Spain in order to advance instead of Japan.

Japan wins Group E with their victories over Spain and Germany.

Germany was similarly eliminated in the group stage in 2018.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: World Cup

Tata Martino Ends Tenure As Mexico Manager

Dec 1, 2022 12:32 PM

Tata Martino has left his role as manager of Mexico following their exit from the 2022 World Cup in the group stage.

Mexico defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 in their final group match, but Poland advanced due to a goal differential edge.

In a news conference after the game, Martino said his contract had ended following Mexico's elimination.

"I am the first responsible for this terrible disappointment and frustration that we have," Martino said. "As the person in charge, it causes a lot of sadness, I fully assume responsibility for this great failure.

"My contract ended as soon as the referee blew the final whistle and there is nothing more to be done."

Cesar Hernandez/ESPN

Tags: Mexico, Misc Rumor

Spain Won't Try To Finish 2nd To Avoid Brazil In Quarters

Sid Lowe/The Guardian

Cristiano Ronaldo Offered $360M Contract By Al-Nassr

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Christian Pulisic Injured Scoring Match Winner Against Iran


Qatari Official Estimates Between 400-500 Worker Deaths


Lionel Messi Hasn't Agreed To Deal With Inter Miami

Julien Laurens/ESPN

Gregg Berhalter: We're Chipping Away At Improving USMNT Reputation

Andrew Keh/New York Times

Neymar Could Miss Remainder Of Group Stage With Ankle Injury

Pedro Ivo Almeida, Thiago Cara/ESPN

Glazers Announce They're Willing To Sell Manchester United

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Harry Kane To Undergo Ankle Scan

James Olley/ESPN

Cristiano Ronaldo, United Mutually Agree To Terminate Contract

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Giovanni Reyna '100 Percent' Healthy Despite Not Playing Opener

Jeff Carlisle, Kyle Bonagura/ESPN

Karim Benzema Ruled Out Of World Cup With Thigh Injury

Julien Laurens/ESPN

United Seek Termination Of Cristiano Ronaldo's Contract

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Amazon Releasing Doc On Lionel Messi's Final Year With Barcelona

Sam Marsden/ESPN

City Disputes Cristiano Ronaldo's Assertion Move Was 'Close'

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Liverpool, Juventus Monitoring Availability Of Chelsea's Mason Mount

Jacob Steinberg/The Guardian

Gianni Infantino To Serve Third Four-Year Term As FIFA President


Erik Ten Hag Doesn't Want Cristiano Ronaldo To Play For United Again

Rob Dawson/ESPN

United Furious With Cristiano Ronaldo After Interview

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Real Madrid-Liverpool Headline Champions League Round Of 16