Real’s New No. 10
Real’s New No. 10
Photo: Getty Images
The eagle has landed!
Juan Mata arrived at Manchester United’s training complex via chartered helicopter Saturday morning for his medical, which will finalize the club’s most expensive transfer ever at $61 million.
And obviously, everyone is really happy about it:
— Man Utd Vines (@ManUtdVines)January 25, 2014
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)January 25, 2014
— David De Gea (@D_DeGea)January 25, 2014
David de Gea didn’t waste any time getting a swipe in. He was a bit nicer when he actually greeted his new teammate for the first time.
Gif via @BeautifullyRed
LAUDERHILL, Fla. – In the middle of a hectic period destined to alter his professional future, Michael Bradley found a few moments to contact a person keenly interested in his decision to move from AS Roma to Toronto FC: United States coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
Bradley said he reached out to Klinsmann recently to chat about his impending $10 million transfer to MLS and explain why he decided to swap Serie A for MLS at the start of a World Cup year.
“He and I spoke at the end of last week,” Bradley told FOX Soccer in a phone interview after his unveiling in Toronto on Monday. “We had a good conversation. He and I have always had an honest relationship. I wanted to him to hear from me what I was thinking and how I was sizing everything up. It was a good conversation.”
The reasons behind the transfer — a thought process Bradley detailed here yesterday — matter far less than its impact on preparing for the World Cup at this stage. The lingering concerns about regular playing time at Roma ended once he agreed to terms with TFC. Now Bradley must simply use the next few months to hone his fitness and obtain his match sharpness before the delegation departs for Brazil.
MLS will not match the tactical and technical demands usually found in the upper reaches of Serie A, but its exacting and rigorous fare will test Bradley in a different fashion. He must navigate through those requirements with the pressure of an expectant public and the weight of a lucrative deal upon his shoulders. The difficulty of the task and the heap of the responsibility for its success or failure poses a considerable challenge, according to Bradley.
“At the end of the day, Jürgen wants guys who aren’t afraid to take risks, who aren’t afraid to put themselves on the line and challenge themselves to be better players, to take more responsibility, to be better leaders,” Bradley said. “That’s what I’m doing in Toronto.”
Several of his international teammates face the same challenges with their MLS sides. Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez committed their futures to LA Galaxy last year. Clint Dempsey signed in Seattle. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi stayed the course with Sporting Kansas City. Other players — including potential addition Maurice Edu (linked with a Stateside move by ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman on Tuesday) and recent returnee Michael Parkhurst — now see the league as a viable alternative to plying their trade overseas.
Bradley joined that group when he signed for Toronto FC, but he does not speak for it. Nor does anyone else. This trend place MLS in an awkward position (begrudging respect after World Cup success, vicious excoriation in the wake of failure) without capturing the individual reasons why each of those players made their particular choices to cast their lot at home, Bradley said.
“I’ve always said, at the end of the day, everybody has to make their own decisions,” Bradley said. “Even when I went to Europe and people asked, I always said everybody has to decide what is important to them, what challenges them, what motivates them. I think it’s important, still, for guys in the national team to have and have had the experience of playing in Europe. But, at the same time, guys who choose to play in MLS and challenge themselves by taking big roles here, I think that’s just as important.”
It may or may not represent the ideal path in Klinsmann’s estimation, but it is the route Bradley and several of his peers have chosen. They must now find a way to make it work for them as they spend the next few months preparing for their journey to Brazil.
Photo provided by The Associated Press.
It takes just 60 seconds (or 63 if you’re a stickler and count the intro) to fully realize just how global — and expensive — soccer has become.
This incredible video takes 113 years of player transfers and puts them in one easily digestible timeline.
If set to music, this video would start its crescendo right around the mid-90s, as the transfer market continues to explode. Take just 10 years in either direction on the timeline from 1995.
In 1985-86, there were 283 players from 62 countries that transferred for a total of €2.89 million. A decade later, those numbers jump to 1,151 players, 97 countries and €195.15 million. In 2005-06, 6,739 players from 147 countries transferred for a whopping €1,005.96 million.
From there, the numbers only continue to grow. It really is amazing how sweeping the game is. And for those that want to continue to explore, the makers of this video, Eyeseedata.com, have a bevy of interactive maps to play around with.
So long, productivity!
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
Southampton fans, you might want to look away.
When the Saints sold a relatively unknown teenager named Gareth Bale to Tottenham in 2007, there was a sell-on clause in his transfer that guaranteed Southampton a 25% stake in any future transfer fee for the Welsh player. After Real Madrid dished out a reported world record fee of $132 million, that would seem like fantastic news to Saints fans.
Unfortunately, just a year after selling Bale to Spurs, Southampton found themselves short on cash and chose to waive the clause in place for a lump sum of roughly $4 million plus a young goalkeeping prospect named Tommy Forecast (he’s never been heard from again). Not quite the estimated $33 million they would have netted this weekend.
Of course, nobody could’ve foreseen Bale to garner a world record transfer fee just five years after leaving St Mary’s, but just knowing this minor detail will be sure to cause Southampton fans some grief today!
(H/T The Mirror)
Transfer Deadline Day excites us with shocking last-minute signings and an endless supply of outrageous rumors that dominate our Twitter feeds. But the best part of all the madness? That would be fans sabotaging Sky Sports live reports.
As is tradition, an army of Sky Sports News reporters have been stationed at club grounds across England and beyond for the coverage of the closing of the transfer window, and, as always, Premier League fans have relished the opportunity to make a mockery of themselves on live television.
We’ll update you as soon as more and more of these videos inevitably come to light. Come on everyone, surely we can do better than the two fans mimicking Joe Hart’s famous underpants dance?!
To provide some inspiration, let’s recall this all-time classic from this year’s winter transfer window:
It wasn’t too long ago we we were all glued to our laptops, refreshing our twitter feeds like crazy, during the whole “Is Clint Dempsey returning to MLS” thing. Remember that? Yeah, that was fun.
In the past two days, fans over in England embarked on a similar social media “manhunt,” this time involving Anzhi star midfielder Willian, who’s been strongly linked with both Liverpool and Tottenham. The difference? Willian inadvertently started the rumors himself after he “followed” a few players from both clubs:
Williian didn’t just add his fellow Brazilians at Tottenham (Paulinho and Sandro) and Liverpool (Lucas Leiva and Coutinho). Manchester United’s Rafael was added as well. Maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe Willian just wanted to be pals with some future Premier League mates. Or perhaps he was just trying to throw us all off? Was Manchester United joining the sweepstakes?
See what the whole #DempseyWatch thing has done to us?
Adding more logs to the fire, a photo emerged on Twitter this morning showing Willian at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 1. The pic, posted by twitter user @CFCCath, has since been deleted, but the damage had already been done.
This was the original text of the tweet that accompanied the picture above:
"My mate captured Willian en route to liverpool at term 1 LHR! pic.twitter.com/zQ0rsMKDP2"
Mate getting grief and on tott & liverpool pages-have got 100 more followers ***-have had 2 take it down- was taken today-he’s en route 2tot— CFC Cathy (@CFCCath)
As was the case with Dempsey a few weeks ago, nobody at the time really knew which way he was headed from Heathrow, or if London was indeed his final destination, but twitter once again foreshadowed what was to come, because now it looks pretty certain that Willian will be unveiled at Tottenham today.
Pictures of the Brazilian arriving at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel ahead of his Tottenham medical emerged on The Daily Mail just hours after that fateful tweet:
Willian will supposedly cost Spurs around $47M, and if the deal goes through, it could also signal the end of another transfer saga: that of Gareth Bale. According to several reports, the deal for Bale to Real Madrid could be finalized very soon.
So far, though, no pictures of Bale arriving in Madrid on Twitter. Stay tuned.
With all the ongoing talk regarding Gareth Bale and a potential record breaking transfer to Real Madrid, one could be forgiven for assuming that Bale’s career has been permanently moving upwards. However, things weren’t always this bright for the young Welshman, evidenced by this photo making the rounds this morning.
Photo via: Football Babble
Way back in 2009, Gareth Bale was struggling. A persistent string of reoccurring injuries and an inability to break into Tottenham’s first team had many questioning whether he had much of a career at all. So bad were his first two years with Spurs, that many expected Bale to be shipped out during the Winter transfer window for a cut-rate price of £3m.
Fast forward just four years, and Bale is valued at around £86m.
How quickly things can change!
Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be heavily linked with a return to Manchester United, while Wayne Rooney is said to be wanting to leave Old Trafford. So what’s the answer? A swap, of course.
That is the theory being pushed in one of Sunday morning’s newspapers. Among many other transfer lines, there is also plenty on Luis Suarez’s future and the possibility of an offer from Manchester City.
For all the headlines, check out Paper Chase.
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