Archive for the ‘Ronaldihno’ Category

Arena: You Want Beckham? I Want Ronaldinho

February 6, 2009

The Italian media is still full of speculation on whether AC Milan will be able to acquire the LA Galaxy’s David Beckham. The difference now is that the smoke is starting to clear as reality sets in on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to La Gazetta Dello Sport, Posh and Becks are already sizing up a new home in Milan, the Villa Mozart, while Galaxy coach Bruce Arena seems resigned to accepting any outcome, being quoted on the team’s website stating: “whatever happens, happens.”

But Arena is also quoted in La Gazetta quipping that: “Milan wants Beckham? I want Ronaldinho and Messi.” It can’t be easy for Arena, who has taken the reigns of the league’s most disappointing club, only to watch its two best players run off to Europe for a better deal. Donovan, I can understand since he has given the league and club several good years plus he has so some unfinished business in Europe.

Beckham, on the other hand, has not even been with the Galaxy eight months, let alone played for anything close to eight months. The league and the club pushed all the chips on the table for him last year so his flaking to Milan can’t make it easy for league execs and Galaxy fans (who probably thought they’d finally be sticking it to Chivas this year).

As you probably know by now, I’d be happy for MLS to unload his huge salary since every indication is that he lacks commitment to his team and the league. Maybe they can use some of that money to buy Heath Pearce this summer and bring in other exciting, talented players who actually want to be there.

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Summer Transfer Season: Far From Over

July 13, 2008

This summer we’ve already seen some major trades at a number of big clubs but some of the biggest deals have yet to be made. Where will Arsenal’s now discount priced Emmanuel Adebayor end up? Will Zenith St Petersburg’s Russian phenom Andrei Arshavin be sold or is he about to be priced out of the market? Will Cristiano Ronaldo go to Real Madrid or stay at Manchester United? What about Chelseas’s bid for AC Milan’s Kaka? First, let’s take a look at the top five spenders so far this year:

1. FC Barcelona €77.5 million
2. Fiorentina €50.3 million
3. Olympique Lyon €45.200.000
4. Tottenham Hotspur €39 million
5. Liverpool €32.1 million

When you consider the huge sums which have been discussed for Kaka (€94 million), Ronaldo (€100 million), and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (€65 million) – you’ll know immediately that the transfer season is just getting started. You’ll also note that you don’t see Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Inter Milan on this list (to name a few). My experience tells me that Fiorentina, Lyon, and Tottenham are pretty much set while Barcelona and Liverpool may still pick up a player or two. The truly big spenders this year have yet to draw from their war chest so you can expect this list to change. There are still quite a few top players up for grabs and plenty of deep pocketed teams available to bid for them.

Another point to consider is that not all transfer deadlines are created equal. The French League, which does not have the financial bidding power of some others, ends its transfer period on August 17th. So, if Americans Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, or any other players are headed for Ligue 1, we’ll know it by then.

The clash of the titans will occur in the coming weeks as the deadline approaches on August 31st for Italy’s Serie A, the Spanish Primera, and the English Premier League (and others). For each big player sold to another club, they’ll need to replace them so the domino effect can also tip which way a club is moving. For example, Britain’s Sunday Express reports that Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is looking hard at Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho as a replacement for Frank Lampard (who is a likely transfer to Inter Milan). So, when you see Stamford Bridge making a strong move for Moutinho, you can expect that Lamps will be packing his bags for Inter.

In the meantime, with so much cash flying around, we won’t get a true sense of where the big teams stand until the dust settles on September 1st – which also happens to be the Champion’s League roster deadline.

Transfer Facts and Rumors on Americans Abroad:

– According to Corriere Dello Sport, Gabriel Enzo Ferrari of Sampdoria reserves has been loaned o Perugia of Serie C1 (3rd division).

– Vincenzo Bernardo of SSC Napoli is still waiting to see if he will be loaned to a Serie B team or if he’ll stay onboard in the reserve (primavera) side.

– In an article for Tutto Mercato, Francesco Letizia recommended that Bologna pursue American defender Oguchi Onyewu, figuring he was just the type of physical presence they’ll need in central defense. Bologna has yet to express interest in Onyewu but has looked into acquiring Freddy Adu.

Ronaldinho: Getting His Mojo Back

July 13, 2008


Over a year ago in a column for Soccer Times, I recall noting that the great players like Ronaldinho were starting to burn out due to a non-stop season of club, European, and international matches – not to mention the promotional tours that reduce any off time to recharge. In Ronnie’s case, we watched him degrade over time until it reached a point where some said he had “fallen out of love with football.”

This summer, he apprears to be getting his mojo (and fitness) back under the supervision of Brazilian national team fitness coach Paulo Paixao. This week, Paixao spoke about the superstar who is currently working to get ready to play in the Olympics – something his club (Barcelona) is not happy about.

“He is very happy and motivated.” “He has rediscovered his joy, and is once again the Ronaldinho we all knew.”

“He has been very cooperative in the work we are doing to improve his physical form, and take him back to his best.”

Ronaldinho is aiming to represent Brazil in the Olympics (as an overage player), motivated it seems to prove something to both Barcelona and Brazil boss Dunga who has left him off the national team roster. If Ronnie plays in the Olympics, it means he’ll miss club’s Champions League qualifiers at a time when Lionel Messi will also be unavailable to the Catalan side.

All the while, speculation continues about whether Ronaldihno will transfer to AC Milan, Manchester City, or remain at Barcelona. Regarless, a Brazil side led by a healthy and motivated Ronaldihno will be sure to make the Olympic soccer tournament more enjoyable for fans, but less so for opposing teams.

Ronaldihno To Man City? Don’t Hold Your Breath

July 4, 2008

There is a reason they call this the silly season. Brazilian superstar Ronaldihno, currently with FC Barcelona, has been linked with AC Milan, the LA Galaxy (which no one took seriously), Chelsea, and now Manchester City is being mentioned. AC Milan boss Silvio Berlusconi is ready to sell the family silver for Ronnie and only one club can probably outbid him, Chelsea. He does does not fit their style, a lesson they should have learned from the purchase of Michael Ballack. Its doubtful Manchester City can come up with the $40-50 million transfer fee and still have resources left to meet his salary demands. So, look for Ronnie to be wearing black and red this fall.

Ronaldihno in Talks with LA Galaxy? Doubtful

July 3, 2008


The Spanish sports daily Sport is reporting that the LA Galaxy have made an offer to Barcelona to buy Brazilian star Ronaldihno for a 3-5 year deal paying nearly $30 million (18 million Euros) per year. With $48 million being the minimum transfer fee Barcelona would accept, its hard ti imagine MLS could outbid the deep pocketed AC Milan, which has been pursuing Ronaldihno for the last year. Even if it did, they would have a difficult time justifying sending him to the LA Galaxy, where truckloads of money are already being spent on David Beckham. If anywhere, a player like him would go to New York.

According to Sport, Ronnie’s agent (and brother), Roberto de Assis, will be meeting with Galaxy officials in Houston in the next few days. Since MLS negotiates player contracts, this statement smells fishy. Thus, the whole rumor is hardly plausible and only seems intended to put upward pressure on the pay package AC Milan has on offer.