Wednesday Kickoff: Goetze staying put, Messi to miss Copa del Rey match & more

Goetze (Getty Images)

Borussia Dortmund has one of the world's up-and-coming stars in its grasp, and the defending Bundesliga champions aren't planning on letting him go. 

Dortmund plans to keep 19-year-old playmaker Mario Goetze for at least another season despite major transfer interest, the club's sporting director said to German media. Goetze's current contract lasts through 2014, and he has found his way to the wishlist of big clubs across Europe.

Goetze has scored five goals this season, and his combination of pace, vision and skill have made him one of the world's brightest young players. He was voted as Europe's best Under-21 player last year, becoming the first German to win the Golden Boy award since its inception in 2003.

Here are a few more stories to get your Wednesday going:

MESSI, VALDES OUT FOR BARCELONA

Barcelona's quest for more even more silverware continues on Wednesday, but the club will be without two of its starters — and the world's best player — as it tries to take make headway in the Copa del Rey.

Flulike symptoms will keep Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Victor Valdes from playing in the first leg of Barcelona's Round of 16 bout with Osasuna.

The match is the home leg for Barcelona, which would face a quarterfinal clash with Real Madrid if both make it past this round. Madrid did its part Tuesday with a first-leg, 3-2 victory over Malaga.

NEYMAR'S SALARY FORCES SANTOS TO MAKE CUTS 

Brazilian star Neymar has been quite the asset for Santos, which won the Copa Libertadores and earned a place at the FIFA Club World Cup while riding the 19-year-old forward.

As it turns out, he comes at quite a cost.

Santos has been forced to shut down its women's team and futsal team in order to afford Neymar's wages, according to Spanish outlet Marca. The club has repeatedly turned away suitors such as Barcelona and Real Madrid for Neymar's services, insisting that it plans to keep him for the duration of his contract, which runs through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Neymar makes around a reported $20 million a year in both wages and sponsorship deals.

WALES TO PLAY SPEED MEMORIAL

Wales' friendly against Costa Rica on Feb. 29 will double as a Gary Speed memorial match, the Welsh FA announced on Wednedsay.

The match will be Wales' first since Speed's death in November and it has added significance — it was against Costa Rica that Speed earned his first cap back in 1990. Speed went on to appear for Wales 84 more times before becoming manager in 2010.

"This will be an opportunity to celebrate the life and achievements of a great servant to Welsh football both as a player and as a manager," the Welsh FA said in a statement.

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Think Dortmund's is doing the right thing by holding on to Goetze? Do you see Barcelona having any problems without Messi and Valdes? What do you make of Santos' sacrifice? 

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Goetze staying put, Messi to miss Copa del Rey match & more

  1. US Nats says:

    Any idea if Everton’s match today will be televised (FSC?) or am I relegated to finding a feed online?

    Maybe ESPN3? Wishful thinking, probably.

  2. ACS says:

    I think it is just on Fox Soccer Plus

  3. Grubbsbl says:

    If you get FSP it is televised. I would imagine that means feeds for most people.

  4. Mr. Angel says:

    Fox Soccer Plus

  5. US Nats says:

    Ah, guess I won’t be seeing this match then.

  6. downright citizen says:

    “Bottom line: he is the biggest hit among TV, sports, women, and everything in between. Santos doesn’t want to lose him because of that, and Neymar doesn’t want to go to Europe where he could be in a potentially better team (as we saw the embarrassing match of Santos vs Barcelona) because he likes the “fame” he has over in Brazil. Santos then, does everything to keep him there, even if the budget isn’t as big as some european teams….outcome: let’s destroy the women’s team to pay neymar. I would be furious if I were them…”

    I can’t believe they’d be willing to do that! I’d love to hear what the women’s team has to say about Neymar. He loves the fame but is not willing to take a pay cut, at the expense of the entire women’s and futsal programs?! One would think if he loves the club so much he’d be willing to renegotiate his contract in order to save it. Neymar is a prima donna loser.

  7. Aaron in StL says:

    Can’t imagine the expenses of the two cut programs would total much more than $3-4 mil tops. But as long as Neymar (what a 19 year old?) is financially safe that’s all that matters. A man of the people, he is not. Socrates would be flipping in his grave.

  8. Par for the Course says:

    You’d decline a pay raise at your job?

    honest you are not.

  9. strider says:

    Goetze is a star already and will be a great addition to any team. I doubt Dortmond can hang on to him much longer, even if he just goes to Bayern. BUT, with his ability, he could easily end up at Man U, Real, or Barca. The question is, when will he be wanting/willing to go. He would certainly want to be sure of playing time and even though he is impressing at Dortmond that doesn’t mean he’ll step into a starting spot in La Liga or EPL. I’m sure he’ll go for big $$ though! I’ve seen Dortmond play several times this year and have always been impressed with the kid.

  10. strider says:

    On a side note, its nice to see a team with a jersey (the Goetze photo) that isn’t just like everyone elses.

  11. Louis Z says:

    your hypothesis may not be correct since Neymar signed his latest contract before Santos was dismantled by Barcelona, so he had no idea how good/bad he was going to do against an European side.

  12. Alex says:

    Mario Goetze is by far one of my favorite players. Its makes me feel like poop that we’re the same age but he is an absolutely wonderful player. He could easily crack any of the big teams. I’m disappointed Dortmund was knocked out of the Champions League already because they are a fun team to watch.

  13. RK says:

    Let’s see…Marca, Real Madrid’s mouthpiece, is making this assertion about Neymar, RM’s #1 target? Okie dokie.

  14. 99>1 says:

    Par for the Course – believe it or not many many many people out there would turn down a pay raise if meant others would lose their jobs. In fact many people have been accepting pay decreases when maintaining their current pay would result in the loss of jobs o others in their companies. The idea of taking a ridiculous salary at the expense of other’s jobs is….if you don’t get it this soccer blog is not the place to get in to it.

  15. bryan says:

    if that is true about Neymar, i think that is pretty lame.

  16. SilverRey says:

    It wasn’t Neymar’s fault he never saw the ball in the final. He did get off one good shot the one time he actually was in a position to do something positive. I was super impressed with him in the semifinal…