Soccer Wiretap

Cristiano Ronaldo Named FIFA World Player Of The Year

Oct 23, 2017 8:13 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the Fifa World Player of the Year while Zinedine Zidane was named Best Coach.

Ronaldo also won the award in 2016.

Ronaldo received 43.16% of the total vote, reflecting a year in which he won a Champions League and La Liga double with Real Madrid.

Ronaldo was asked how much longer he can continue his current level of greatness.

“I don’t know, I just enjoy the moment, the moment is great. I feel happy, I’m 32 and have won best player in the world and I’m so glad. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. I just try to focus on the moment.”

Nick Ames/The Guardian

Tags: Real Madrid, Personal Award

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Everton Fires Ronald Koeman As Manager

Oct 23, 2017 9:14 AM

Everton has fired Ronald Koeman as manager following their 5-2 defeat by Arsenal. The loss was Everton's seventh in 11 matches in all competitions.

Koeman signed a £6 million per season contract in June of 2016 and led Everton to a seventh place finish last season.

David Unsworth, the under-23s coach, is likely to take charge of the Carabao Cup tie at Chelsea on Wednesday.

A club statement read: “Everton can confirm that Ronald Koeman has left the club. Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.”

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Tags: Everton, Misc Rumor

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Spurs Set Premier League Attendance Record Against Liverpool

Oct 22, 2017 6:24 PM

Tottenham Hotspur broke a 10-year-old Premier League attendance record by drawing 80,827 fans at Wembley for their match against Liverpool.

Spurs fell just short of the Premier League record for both last weekend's 1-0 win over Bournemouth (73,502) and the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea (73,587) in their first league match at Wembley in August, when tickets were on restricted general sale.

Liverpool fans made up 3,100 of those in attendance for Sunday's match.

The previous record came in 2007 at Old Trafford when Manchester United played Blackburn in front of 76,098 fans.

Dan Kilpatrick/ESPN

Tags: Tottenham Hotspur

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Jurgen Klopp Wants To Create Situation For Philippe Coutinho To Stay

Oct 22, 2017 10:20 AM

Jurgen Klopp wants to create an environment to entice Philippe Coutinho to remain with Liverpool.

Klopp stressed there is no deal in place for Coutinho to leave Liverpool for Barcelona in December.

"I've no clue. We will see. We don't talk about things like this," he said. "Can you imagine what it would be like if I said, 'Yes, we have an agreement?'

"In this moment, the 100 percent truth is that nobody thinks about this. We don't talk about it, why should we? In both cases it would not make sense -- no, there is no agreement, yes, there is an agreement. It is not important in the moment. We have other moments when we have to talk about these things but not in October."

Klopp added: "In general, as a club, we have to still create a situation where players want to be part of it with all they have.

"In this moment, we have this. Nobody thinks about January, nobody thinks of June or July. Everyone wants to be part of this but there will come transfer windows and we will see what happens."

Glenn Price/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Liverpool, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Eric Wynalda Promises Changes To MLS In USSF Presidency Platform

Oct 22, 2017 10:17 AM

Eric Wynalda will run for the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Wynalda told ESPN FC on Saturday that he's "a firm believer" in promotion and relegation and would like to move MLS to the European season calendar.

Wynalda will run against Boston attorney Steve Gans and amateur league director Paul Lapointe. Incumbent Sunil Gulati is also expected to run.

"One important part of this is I'm not running against Sunil Gulati, I'm running for soccer," Wynalda said. "I have sat back and watched for way too many years and wondered why. I have taken time recently to really figure out why. Why is it the way it is? And I'm going to fix it."

Wynalda said "changing the culture is the key." 

The MLS currently runs from March through December.

"If we're going to create a signature final for example, we cannot have an MLS Cup in December up against the start of basketball, college football and the NFL," he said. "We've got to figure where that little window is to maybe get people to pay attention."

ESPN

Tags: United States

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Barcelona Preparing Lifetime Contract Offer To Lionel Messi

Oct 21, 2017 10:28 PM

Barcelona are preparing a lifetime contract offer to Lionel Messi.

Messi allegedly agreed upon a new deal in July but he's yet to officially sign the contract.

"Messi signed a four-year deal in June, but the club will offer him a lifetime contract," Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau said at Barca's annual general meeting on Saturday. "The idea is for Leo, who has been here since he was little, to stay here for life because he is an icon. After his playing days we want him to continue to be linked to the club."

Messi's deal expires in 2018.

Messi joined Barcelona at the age of 13.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Misc Rumor

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Neymar Revealed Barcelona Exit Plan At Lionel Messi's Wedding

Oct 21, 2017 10:12 AM

Neymar told Xavi at Lionel Messi's wedding on June 30th that he wanted to leave Barcelona.

Neymar ultimately left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain on a €222 million transfer on June 30th.

"Neymar had the really big decision of himself to decide his future and he decided to go to Paris Saint-Germain," Xavi told the BBC World Service.

"He said to us at Messi's wedding that he wanted to change, he wanted to change the club. I said to him but why? He said: 'I'm not happy in Barcelona and I prefer to go out, to have a new experience in Europe, in Paris Saint-German.' And finally, that was his decision. We must respect it."

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Could Return From ACL In December

Oct 20, 2017 12:09 PM

Jose Mourinho believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return in December.

Ibrahimovic is recovering from a torn ACL.

Mourinho said: “Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control. He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

Ibrahimovic re-signed with United in the summer.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United, Injury

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Mesut Ozil Confident Of Transfer To Manchester United

Oct 20, 2017 11:11 AM

Mesut Ozil is so confident he will be sold to Manchester United that he's reportedly already begun to talk about it with his Arsenal teammates.

Ozil joined Arsenal in 2013 from Real Madrid where he previously played for Jose Mourinho.

Ozil's contract with Arsenal expires this summer. Ozil’s representatives have been asking for £350,000-a-week to sign a new deal with Arsenal.

John Cross/Mirror

Tags: Arsenal, Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Real Madrid Didn't Want To Break Up BBC For Kylian Mbappe

Oct 20, 2017 11:07 AM

While Kylian Mbappe was strongly linked to a transfer to Real Madrid, the club decided not to pursue it due to their reluctance to sell one of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema.

Real Madrid has won three out of the past four Champions League titles with the BBC playing a central role.

Real Madrid could have perhaps been a better position to pursue Mbappe in 2018 if Monaco decided to wait one more year to sell Mbappe.

Monaco ultimately decided to sell Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

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Kylian Mbappe Preferred Transfer To Barcelona
Barcelona turned down an opportunity to sign Kylian Mbappe.

Samuel Marsden/ESPN

Claudio Reyna: US Soccer Far Too Arrogant
Claudio Reyna also believes the U.S. is doing a poor job taking on best practices abroad.

ESPN

Landon Donovan Considering Run For President Of US Soccer Federation
Landon Donovan has been asked by a number of respected figures in American soccer to contemplate running.

Grant Wahl/Sports Illustrated

United, Spurs, Villa Weighing Offers For 15-Year-Old Keeper
Mikolaj Bieganski is regarded as one of the best young keepers in the world at the age of 15.

Peter O'Rourke/ESPN

Antonio Conte Laments Chelsea's Lack Of Squad Depth
Antonio Conte raised the issue with Chelsea's hierarchy over the summer.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Edinson Cavani Not Worried About Being Friends With Neymar
Edinson Cavani said that it is more important to be "professional on the pitch" than "to all be friends."

Jonathan Johnson/ESPN

Kevin De Bruyne Not Rushing Extension Talks With City
Kevin De Bruyne currently earns 115,000 per week and his contract runs until 2021.

The Guardian

Sam Allardyce Interested In USMNT Managerial Job
Sam Allardyce has cited his year in Florida as being a major influence on his managerial career after being impressed by the country's approach to sport, both physically and psychologically.

Mark Ogden/ESPN

Leicester City Fires Craig Shakespeare
Leicester fell to the bottom three following their draw on Monday against West Bromwich Albion.

The Guardian

Real Madrid Reached Out To Mauricio Pochettino Before Hiring Zidane
Mauricio Pochettino was called and told to hold off on signing a new contract with Spurs.

Robbie Dunne/As.com

Italy-Sweden Headline World Cup Playoff Draws
Denmark will play Ireland, and Croatia is matched up against Greece.

The Guardian

United, City Interested In Espanyol Left-Back Aaron Martin
Aaron Martin has a 40 million release clause with Espanyol.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

USMNT Considering Laurent Blanc For Manager Job
Laurent Blanc managed France for three seasons before becoming manager of Paris Saint-Germain.

Rob Usry/Stars And Stripes FC

Columbus Crew Will Relocate To Austin If Unable To Move Downtown
Austin is the biggest city in the United States without a major professional sports franchise.

Grant Wahl/Sports Illustrated

Jose Mourinho Seeking Raise From $20M Per Year Contract
Jose Mourinho is nearly halfway through with the three-year deal he signed with United before the 16-17 season.

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Dejan Lovren Accuses Romelu Lukaku Of Striking Him On Purpose
Romelu Lukaku appeared to catch Dejan Lovren in the head with his boot after a tackle during the first half.

Glenn Price/ESPN

Luka Modric Impressed By Spurs' Progress
Luka Modric played for Spurs between 2008 until 2012.

Dermot Corrigan/ESPN

Jose Mourinho Doesn't Expect To Finish Career With United
Jose Mourinho also openly talked about his interest in Paris Saint-Germain and said the club is building "something special."

ESPN

Arsene Wenger: It Will Be Difficult For Arsenal To Catch City
Arsenal lost to Watford 2-1 to fall nine points behind Manchester City after eight matches.

Mattias Karen/ESPN

Hertha Berlin Takes Knee Before Match In Support Of NFL Players
Hertha Berlin's starting XI took a knee and linked arms on the pitch while the coaching staff, officials and substitutes took a knee off it.

The Guardian