February 2019 - Soccer Wiretap

Sergio Ramos Receives 2-Match Champions League Ban

Feb 28, 2019 7:18 PM

Sergio Ramos received a 2-match Champions League ban for admitting he intentionally received a yellow card against Ajax.

Ramos will miss the second-leg match against Ajax, and the first-leg of Real Madrid's quarterfinals match if they move on.

"It was a dangerous counter-attack in the 88th minute in an open game in the elimination stage of the competition which is why I said that I'd be lying if I said I didn't know that I could be punished. I knew that I had no choice and that's what I meant when I said that in football you must make complicated decisions. If I wanted to force the suspension then I'd have done it in the group stage," explained Ramos.


Tags: Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League

Jorge Valdano: Vinicius Can Learn From Raul

Feb 28, 2019 6:36 PM

Jorge Valdano stated that Vinicius can learn how to finish by modeling himself after Raul.

"When Raul was at the same age as Vinicius, we spent days correcting his finishing. The goal was clear and that's what I'd do with Vinicius. He will improve, but he needs to start looking up," said Valdano, who was instrumental in shaping Raul's career.

Valdano added that the side still miss Ronaldo.

"Real Madrid have been characterised for years by their attacking efficiency. However, this came when they had a player who scored goals with tremendous ease. That guy is no longer there, Barcelona have an elite forward line and Los Blancos don't anymore."


Tags: Real Madrid, IQ

Mauro Icardi Out Of Inter Squad Versus Cagliari

Feb 28, 2019 6:32 PM

Mauro Icardi remains out of Inter's lineup against Cagliari as he renegotiates his contract.

He will be replaced by 19-year-old Facundo Colidio.

Colidio, who joined from Boca Juniors in 2017, scored 5 goals in the UEFA Youth League.

Football Italia

Tags: Internazionale, Misc Rumor

Bernd Schuster: Raphael Varane Is A Shadow Of What He Was

Feb 28, 2019 1:53 PM

Former Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster criticized Toni Kroos and Raphael Varane following Real Madrid's 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semifinals.

"That midfield couldn't even win against Girona's. Kroos is now a diesel tractor," said Schuster of Kroos.

The former manager also attacked Varane's positioning.

"He's a shadow of what he was. He was always badly positioned."


Tags: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Game Recap

Claudio Ranieri Fired By Fulham After 16 Matches

Feb 28, 2019 1:50 PM

Fulham sacked Claudio Ranieri following their 2-0 loss to Southampton.

In his 16 matches in charge, Fulham won 3, drew 3, and lost 10.

The side are currently 10 points from safety. Scott Parker will take charge on an interim basis.

David Hytner/The Guardian

Tags: Fulham, IQ

Manchester City Agrees To 10-Year, $864M Kit Deal With Puma

Feb 28, 2019 8:39 AM

Manchester City have agreed to the second biggest kit deal in Premier League history, announcing a long-term deal with Puma.

The deal will be worth approximately £650 million over 10 years ($864 million).

City's Puma deal replaces their deal with Nike worth £20 million per year.

Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva already have individual deals with Puma.

City will become the biggest club in the their portfolio and Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden says that Pep Guardiola's style of play had an impact on their decision to go with the English side.

"There's no doubt from a global point of view that the Premier League has the biggest international impact so if you have the best club they will be the most important club," he said.

"I think the fans globally like to see interesting and attacking football and City and Pep have that image.

"A lot of it has to do with the history of these guys coming from Barcelona and Pep as a personality is a positive thing. But I think that you look at the players -- it's going to be a brand leader of course."

Jonathan Smith/ESPN

Tags: Manchester City

Ernesto Valverde: Barcelona Did Not Play A 'Well-Rounded Game'

Feb 27, 2019 7:09 PM

Ernesto Valverde criticized Barcelona's performance against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinals, despite a 3-0 win in Madrid.

"They were better in the first half and we lacked offensive intent which we can't do in the game. We lost the ball in bad areas and it could have cost us a goal. It was not a well-rounded game from us, I have to admit. Today we scored three goals but didn't have many chances. Other times, it is the other way around," said Valverde.

The manager praised Luis Suarez's performance. 

"Suarez is a goalscorer who is always there. He's aggressive and ambitious, always seeking the goal and was very impressive again." 


Tags: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Game Recap

Maurizio Sarri: Dropping Kepa Was 'A Message'

Feb 27, 2019 7:01 PM

Maurizio Sarri stated that dropping Kepa Arrizabalaga for Chelsea's 2-0 win over Tottenham was a message to the rest of the side.

"It's a choice. It's a message for my group that we are a group and not 25 players," said Sarri following the match.

Kepa, who was fined a week's wages for refusing to be subbed off against Manchester City over the weekend, was replaced by Willy Caballero. 


Tags: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Game Recap

Manchester City Investigated For Jadon Sancho Signing

Feb 27, 2019 6:57 PM

The FA are investigating Manchester City for a payment made to Jadon Sancho's agent when he signed from Watford in 2015.

Der Spiegel claims that City made Emeka Obasi a "scouting contract" of over $250,000 to help facilitate the move. Sancho was 14-years-old at the time of the move, though players cannot be represented by an agent until they're 16.

City paid Watford just under $200,000 to Sancho. 

Jamie Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester City, Watford, Transfer Rumor

U.S. Soccer Invites 10 South American Sides For New Tourney

Feb 27, 2019 2:50 PM

U.S. Soccer plans to create a summer international tournament for the Western Hemisphere starting in 2020 to rival the European Championship. They aim to play the tournament every four years

They invited 10 South American sides to compliment the 16-team tournament. 

South American sides would receive more than $200 million in guarantees, as well as a $11 million bonus for the title-winner. 

Roger Gonzalez/CBS Sports

Tags: United States, IQ

Premier League Champ Has Had French Player Every Year Since 1999
Liverpool is attempting to become the first team to win the Premier League in two decades without a French player.

Jaime Candil/As.com

Sergio Ramos Charged With Deliberate Booking
Sergio Ramos could receive a two-match ban.


Jozy Altidore To Sign Extension With Toronto FC Through 2022
Jozy Altidore's current deal is set to expire at the end of this season.

Jeff Carlisle/ESPN

Kepa Arrizabalaga Fined One Week's Wages For Refusing To Come Off
Kepa Arrizabalaga will lose approximately £190,000 with the fine.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Leicester City To Hire Brendan Rodgers As Manager
Leicester had identified Brendan Rodgers as their No. 1 target to replace Claude Puel several months ago.

Stuart James/The Guardian

Jose Mourinho Hopes To Get New Manager Job In Summer
Jose Mourinho was fired by Manchester United in December.


Jurgen Klopp After United Draw: Liverpool Must Adapt
Klopp observed that opponents are playing much more defensively against Liverpool.

Andy Hunter/The Guardian

Maurizio Sarri: Kepa Situation Is 'A Big Misunderstanding'
Arrizabalaga refused to be subbed off in the final minutes of their loss to Manchester City in penalties.

BBC Sport

Nemanja Matic Could Be Out One Month With Muscle Injury
Nemanja Matic has not missed a league game since the 1-1 draw with Wolves in September.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Leicester City Fires Claude Puel, Hope To Hire Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers is currently manager of Celtic.

Paul Doyle/The Guardian

Mauricio Pochettino: Tottenham Are No Longer A Title Contender
Pochettino admitted that he would likely be charged by the FA following his post-match outburst.

Paul Wilson/The Guardian

Miguel Almiron Creates 6 Chances In First Newcastle Start
Almiron created the most chances by a Newcastle player since last season.


PSG, Barcelona To Battle Over Nicolas Pepe
Pepe has contributed to over 62% of Lille's goals this season.

Benjamin Barkworth/Everything Barca

Transfer Market For MLS Youth Players 'About To Break Open'
Bayern Munich has recently looked at MLS academies in purchasing Chris Richards and Alphonso Davies.

Will Parchman/The Athletic

Chelsea Could Hire Steve Holland As Interim Manager
Steve Holland is currently assistant manager of England, taking the job in 2017 after an eight-year tenure with Chelsea.

Dominic Fifield/The Guardian

Chelsea Receives Two-Transfer Window Ban By FIFA
FIFA has found Chelsea guilty of a serious and systemic breach of rules dealing with foreign players under the age of 18.

David Hytner/The Guardian

PSG Name Accor As New Kit Sponsor
Accor replaces Fly Emirates as PSG's principle shirt sponsor.


Jose Mourinho To Analyze El Clasico For BeIn Sport
Mourinho analyzed a match between Arsenal and Chelsea last month for BeIn Sport.


Andrea Pirlo: Juventus 'Didn't Want To Play' Atletico Madrid
Pirlo criticized the passive play of his former side in their 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid.

Alejandro Cañas/As

Real Madrid Tracking Benfica's Jota
Real Madrid are said to be interested in Benfica teammates Jota and Joao Felix.

Marco Ruiz/As