Soccer Wiretap

Landon Donovan: MLS Will Be Up There With NBA And NFL

Feb 15, 2019 5:30 PM

Landon Donovan believes that MLS will rival the NBA and NFL in popularity.

"Finally, Major League Soccer is very close to the others. I believe that, now, baseball, in my country, is for the older generation. Young people don't watch much baseball. American football [NFL] also has issues with security and health. Basketball [NBA] is in a good phase, but MLS is really growing. In five, 10, 15 years, I believe we will be the third, second or first sport in the country. [That it costs] $300m means everything -- because, if companies or people with money are paying a lot, this tells you business is good and that the league is growing," said Donovan.

Donovan recently came out retirement to sign with the San Diego Sockers.

ESPN

Tags: IQ

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Juventus Will Use Aaron Ramsey In Right Position, Says Club Director

Feb 15, 2019 5:27 PM

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici stated that Arsenal never played Aaron Ramsey in his correct position.

"Ramsey is a player who, in my opinion, has never found his position, because he has never played as a 'mezzala' in a three, which is his role. He's more technical, he's a final ball man, he has a nose for the goal. He is a different player from what we've got, we don't have someone like him in our squad."

Ramsey's move to Juventus makes him the highest-paid British football player in the world.

ESPN

Tags: Juventus, Arsenal, IQ

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Diego Simeone: Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata Are Compatible

Feb 15, 2019 5:22 PM

Diego Simeone was eager to have Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata in the same lineup.

"There is no question that Morata and Costa are compatible, in a solid, structured team," said Simeone, although there are questions of a tactical fit between Costa, Morata, and Antoine Griezmann in his 442 system.

Simeone said his Atleti side needs Costa's energy.

"Costa is a beast, he's raring to go, he's ambitious and as everyone knows, he's a warrior. We hope he can release what he has inside, we badly need it."

ESPN

Tags: Atlético Madrid, IQ

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Barcelona Extends Ernesto Valverde's Contract Through 2020

Feb 15, 2019 12:58 PM

Ernesto Valverde received a 1-year contract extension through 2020.

Valverde also has an option to extend the contract through 2021.

"I am really happy. I'm grateful that the club value what I am doing. They offered me the chance to continue and I am delighted to extend my contract. The intentions of clubs and coaches when deals are signed are always the best. The ides is to continue with the best intentions, but we know how football is, everything is dictated by results. There's always an uncertainty and we know how whimsical the game we're involved in can be. I feel really comfortable working here, with the backing of the board. I'm really comfortable with the team, with the players. I know how big the club is and it's a really exciting challenge to coach here and to work with these players. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, a lot of games to win and a lot of trophies that we want to get our hands on," said Valverde.

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Terms Agreement

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Serie A Clubs Spend $144.6 Million Over Winter Window

Feb 14, 2019 5:50 PM

Serie A sides spent a total of $144.6 million over the winter transfer window, a 459% increase from last season's $25.9 million total.

English clubs spent $178.2 million, a decrease of 65% from last winter.

Clubs around the world spent a total of $1.09 billion on 3716 international transfers in January.

ESPN

Tags: Official Transfer

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Edwin Van Der Sar: Frenkie De Jong Is Like Isco, Eden Hazard

Feb 14, 2019 5:47 PM

Edwin van der Saar compared Frenkie de Jong to Isco and Eden Hazard.

 “He reminds me a bit of Isco at Real Madrid, that low centre of gravity, and Eden Hazard, with the way he dribbles and tries to beat people, as Frenkie does but in midfield," said the Ajax director.

He then stated how pride in de Jong's move to Barcelona.

 “You want to build as strong a team as possible and that’s better if the team stays together but we are in a smaller league, we know there are bigger clubs than Ajax. The fact that a player like Frenkie goes to Barcelona is also due to the support he received from the trainers and the other people here, which makes us proud.”


Football Oranje

Tags: Ajax, Barcelona, IQ

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Gareth Bale Faces Potentially Lengthy Ban For Gesture To Atleti Fans

Feb 14, 2019 3:39 PM

Gareth Bale faces a potential ban between four to 12 matches for his gesture towards Atletico Madrid supporters.

La Liga have referred the incident to the competition committee of the Spanish federation [RFEF].

"In the 73rd minute of the game, after scoring his team's third goal, Real Madrid player Gareth Bale, who had been booed by the local fans, celebrated by raising his right hand close to his head, in a provocative gesture to the supporters, then in a gesture of possible obscene and derogatory meaning doubled his arm while cutting across the middle of it with his other hand," the La Liga statement read.

ESPN

Tags: Real Madrid

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Don Garber Signs Five-Year Extension With MLS Through 2023

Feb 14, 2019 3:35 PM

Don Garber has agreed to a five-year extension to remain commissioner of Major League Soccer through the end of the 2023 season. Garber's most recent contract was set to expire at the end of 2018.

The new deal will also see Garber continue in his role as CEO of Soccer United Marketing.

Garber, 61, was first named commissioner of MLS on Aug. 4, 1999, taking over for Doug Logan.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

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Diego Simeone Signs New Atletico Madrid Contract Through 2022

Feb 14, 2019 12:03 PM

Diego Simeone renewed his Atletico Madrid contract through the 2022 season.

Simeone's previous deal ran through June 30th, 2020.

Simeone, after 8 seasons with the club, is the longest serving manager in La Liga. He's won 8 trophies with Atleti.

ESPN

Tags: Atlético Madrid, Terms Agreement

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Sergio Ramos Admits He Received Yellow Card On Purpose

Feb 13, 2019 9:12 PM

Sergio Ramos admitted that he got his 89th-minute yellow card on purpose to sit out Real Madrid's second leg against Ajax.

"Looking at the result, I'd be lying if I said I didn't force [the booking]. It is not to underestimate the opponent nor to think that the series is over, but in football you have to make tough decisions," said Ramos.

Ramos was fined in 2010 for purposely getting a yellow card in the group stages of the Champions League.  

Goal

Tags: Real Madrid, Ajax, UEFA Champions League

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Angel Di Maria: I Only Had Problems With Louis Van Gaal
Di Maria yelled at the Old Trafford crowd following PSG's opening goal.

Charlotte Duncker/Manchester Evening News

Santiago Solari: Real Madrid Suffered Against Ajax Before Goal
Solari praised Asensio for managing his performance on and off the ball.

Santiago Siguero/MARCA

Julian Draxler: Pogba Red Card Gives PSG Big Advantage
Pogba received two yellow cards and will miss the second leg match against PSG.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian Football

Declan Rice To Play For England
Rice had played 3 friendly matches with Ireland.

The Guardian Football

Inter Strip Mauro Icardi Of Captaincy
Samir Handanovic was named the new captain of the club.

BBC Sport

Chelsea Not Currently Considering Firing Maurizio Sarri
Qualification for the Champions League is the primary objective for Chelsea.

Liam Twomey/ESPN

Eden Hazard: Maurzio Sarri Plays 'My Philosophy Of Football'
Eden Hazard sees Maurizio Sarri's style of football as aligned with his own.

Liam Twomey/ESPN

United Spent $515M During Jose Mourinho's Tenure On His Choices
Jose Mourinho argued consistently that United have failed to keep up with the "financial and strategic" support offered his rivals.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Gigi Buffon On Win Over United: We Made It Seem Easy
PSG defeated Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg.

Football Italia

Tite Looking To Pair Neymar, Vinicius For 2019 Copa America
Vinicius is set to earn his first senior international cap in March.

Carlos Forjanes/AS

Josep Maria Bartomeu: 3 La Liga Games Played Outside Of Spain
Bartomeu added that the games should be split between America, Asia, and the Middle East.

AS

Real Madrid, Barcelona To Battle Over Luka Jovic
The 21-year-old Jovic has scored 14 times in the Bundesliga this season.

AS

Thomas Hitzlsperger Appointed As Sporting Director At Stuttgart
Stuttgart are currently in the relegation zone.

BBC Sport

Marcelo Prepared To Leave Real Madrid
Marcelo has been targeted by opposing teams during his recent poor run of play.

ESPN

Rafa Benitez Says Miguel Almiron Mentally Ready For Premier League
Newcastle broke their transfer record in signing Almiron from Atlanta United.

Louise Taylor/The Guardian

Aaron Ramsey Signs With Juventus, Is Highest-Paid British Player
Ramsey will join Juventus on a free transfer this summer.

Mark Dobson/The Guardian

Maurizio Sarri Reportedly Has One Month To Save Job
Sarri must reportedly get past Malmo in the Europa League to save his job.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Thomas Tuchel: Attacking Football Is In PSG's DNA
PSG will be without Neymar and Edinson Cavani against Manchester United.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Frank Lampard On Chelsea: My Job Is At Derby County
Maurizio Sarri has reportedly been given one month to improve Chelsea's results.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Paul Scholes Named Oldham Athletic Manager
Oldham Athletic represents Scholes' first permanent managerial position.

The Guardian