March 2023 - Soccer Wiretap

Lionel Messi Named Best FIFA Men's Player

Feb 28, 2023 10:39 AM

Lionel Messi was named Best FIFA Men's Player at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

"It's amazing. It was a tremendous year and it is an honor for me to be here tonight and win this award," said Messi, who sat next to Kylian Mbappe throughout the ceremony at the Salle Pleyel.

Monday's award was Messi's second FIFA The Best title, his first coming in 2019. He has also won a record seven Ballon d'Or awards.

"I want to express my thanks to [coach Lionel] Scaloni and my teammates; without them I would not be here," Messi added.

"I achieved a dream I had been hoping for so long and finally I achieved it. It's a dream for any player; very few people can achieve that and I was lucky enough to do so."


Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Personal Award

Achraf Hakimi Investigated Over Alleged Rape

Feb 28, 2023 10:35 AM

Achraf Hakimi is being investigated over an alleged rape at his home in a suburb of Paris last Saturday. 

The woman reported the incident at a police station on Sunday but did not file charges.

Hakimi was part of the Morocco team that finished fourth in the World Cup in Qatar.

AFP said the public prosecutor’s office handling the case declined to comment but complained to AFP that “information already made public” in the media “undermined the necessary investigations to find out the truth.”

The Guardian

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain

Manchester United Wins Carabao Cup, First Trophy Since 2017

Feb 26, 2023 4:30 PM

Manchester United defeated Newcastle United 2-0 to win the Carabao Cup, their first major trophy since the 2017 Europa League.

Casemiro scored in 33 minute and United extended their lead six minutes later due to a Sven Botman own goal.

"It has been an amazing period, first trophy of the season, but we want more -- it is not enough for this club, we want more and we need more because our standards demand more," Bruno Fernandes said.

"For me it was about winning trophies and finally we did it. I am satisfied but I want more. I want much more."


Tags: Manchester United

Sergio Ramos Retires From International Soccer

Feb 23, 2023 2:50 PM

Sergio Ramos retires from international soccer after he was informed by Luis de la Fuente he wouldn't be part of their plans.

Ramos made 180 appearances for his country, more than anyone else for the Spanish men's national team, scoring 23 goals and winning the 2010 World Cup as well as back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

"I received a call from the current head coach who informed I am not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or whatever I do in my career," Ramos posted on social media.

"With a heavy heart, it is the end of a road which I hoped would end with a better taste or on a part with we achieve with La Roja.

"I honestly believe this journey deserved to end at my choosing or because my performances were not at a level worthy of the national team -- not due to a question of age or other reasons."

Sam Marsden/ESPN

Tags: Paris Saint-Germain, Spain, Misc Rumor

United Will Not Spend Big On Summer Transfers

Feb 22, 2023 10:26 AM

Manchester United are not planning a massive spend on transfers this summer, even if the Qatar takeover bid is successful.

Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani made his offer to buy the club public on Friday with the promise to "return United to its former glories both on and off the pitch."

United spent more than £200 million to bolster Erik ten Hag's squad last summer but were restricted to three loan signings in the January window.

Dropping out of the Champions League and a lack of significant player departures has meant United are keeping a close eye on FFP compliance.

Rob Dawson/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Leeds Hopes To Sign Ilias Akhomach Away From Barcelona

Feb 20, 2023 10:45 AM

Leeds United hope to convince Barcelona winger Ilias Akhomach to leave the club.

Ilias is out of contract in June as he has been unable to agree to terms with Barcelona.

Leeds' interest is being led by sporting director Victor Orta, who knows the Spanish market well.

Sam Marsden, Moises Llorens/ESPN

Tags: Barcelona, Leeds United, Misc Rumor, Transfer Rumor

Alejandro Garnacho Agrees To Five-Year Extension With United

Feb 20, 2023 10:44 AM

Alejandro Garnacho has reached an agreement in principle with Manchester United to sign a new five-year deal.

The new deal will see his salary adjusted according to his new status in Erik ten Hag's squad due to the progress he has made since making his first team debut last April.

His salary will progressively increase as his role in the team grows.

Moises Llorens/ESPN

Tags: Manchester United, Misc Rumor, Signing

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani Submits $4.82B Bid For United

Feb 17, 2023 5:27 PM

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani has submitted a £4 billion ($4.82 billion) bid for Manchester United.

The bid from Sheikh al-Thani, via his Nine Two Foundation, came before Friday’s 10pm “soft” deadline for all potential buyers to lodge their opening offers for the club. 

Thani is the son of Qatar’s former prime minister. He is understood to have become a United fan in 1992, the reason for the name of the Nine Two Foundation.

Jaime Jackson/The Guardian

Tags: Manchester United

Lionel Messi, PSG Continue Extension Talks As Barca Return Ruled Out

Feb 17, 2023 3:06 PM

Lionel Messi's father, Jorge Messi, said it is unlikely his son returns to play for Barcelona again.

Messi left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021 due to his longtime club's financial problems.

Messi is in talks to sign a contract extension with PSG, with his current deal set to end in June. Messi has agreed in principle to remain with PSG, but an acceptable offer has yet to be presented.

The new deal could be a straight one-year extension or one year with an option for a further 12 months.

Julien Laurens/ESPN

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

Elon Musk Considering Bid For Manchester United

Feb 14, 2023 3:46 PM

Elon Musk is considering putting in a bid to buy Manchester United. Musk claims he grew up as a fan of the club.

The Glazer family is seeking $7.3 billion for a full takeover, but are open to a partial sale as well.

Bloomberg recently confirmed that a consortium of Qatari investors are set to make an offerfor the club with assistance from the Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

Doug Greenberg/FrontOfficeSports

Tags: Manchester United, Legal

Southampton In Talks With Jesse March

Ben Fisher/The Guardian

Real Madrid Targeting Dusan Vlahovic, Richarlison

Alex Kirkland, Rodrigo Faez/ESPN

Hugo Lloris Out At Least Six Weeks With Knee Injury

Julien Laurens/ESPN

Chelsea Optimistic Of Extension With Thiago Silva

James Olley/ESPN

City Charged By Premier League For FFP Breach Across Nine Seasons

Rob Dawson/ESPN