Tuesday Kickoff: Del Bosque signs Spain extension, Balotelli wants to stay & more

DelBosque (Reuters Pictures)

Vicente Del Bosque will attempt to supply evidence for those opposed to coaches going through a second World Cup cycle that success can indeed be achieved under those circumstances.

The Spanish national team manager reportedly signed a contract extension that will have him in charge of La Furia Roja through the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. His current deal was set to expire after this summer's European championship.

Del Bosque, a former Real Madrid standout player and manager, took the reins for the Spanish national team from Luis Aragones after its triumph at the 2008 European championship, and he managed the team to the 2010 FIFA World Cup title, the first in Spain's history.

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

BALOTELLI INSISTS ON STAYING PUT

There's something about being a Manchester City striker that brings out the transfer drama.

After a six-month saga that ended with Carlos Tevez returning to the club after an almost certain departure, mercurial striker Mario Balotelli is now claiming that he won't be going anywhere this summer and that he wants to stay put with the Premier League club despite rampant speculation that he has worn out his welcome in Manchester.

Balotelli has been the subject to various bouts of discipline and mischief this season, so much so that City boss Roberto Mancini claimed he would not play Balotelli again this season before softening his stance.

The strongest link for Balotelli had been to Inter Milan, whose president, Massimo Moratti, played down transfer speculation last week.

"I'm at City, and I have no intention of changing shirt," Balotelli told Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Moratti always speaks well of me. I enjoy it, he has known me since I was 15. I thank him for that, but I am now at Manchester City and I see no other possibilities."

WIGAN INCH CLOSER TO SAFETY

Wigan Athletic appears headed for another season in England's top flight, and they're getting it done the hard way.  

Back-to-back goals in the opening minutes by Franco di Santo and Jordi Gomez were enough to give Wigan a surprise 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates and three gigantic points in hopes of staving off relegation.

The win comes on the heels of a mid-week victory over Manchester United, as the Latics have now won four of their last five matches to move to 16th place, three clear of Queens Park Rangers and five clear of Bolton, who have to games in hand but sit at the top of the drop zone ahead of Blackburn and Wolves.

WILSHERE RULED OUT OF EURO 2012, OLYMPICS

Jack Wilshere's comeback from an ankle injury never came this season, and as a result, he has been ruled out of England's squad for Euro 2012.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took it a step further, saying that the oft-injured 20-year-old would not play for Team Great Britain in the Olympics, either, even though that tournament begins three weeks after Euro 2012 is completed.

"He is not ready to practice today or next week. He makes progress, but slow progress,'' Wenger said. "What is for sure is he will not be ready for the end of the season and not for the Euros.

"The Olympics would be the worst idea for him. When a guy has not played for a year, he needs a good preparation and a slow preparation after to start the season. It is not I do not want him to go to the Olympics, it is just that now he has other priorities than that.''

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Think it makes sense for Del Bosque to stay on for Spain? Still think Balotelli is a goner this summer? Impressed with Wigan's late charge? Think Wilshere will ever get to reach his potential?

Share your thoughts below.

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4 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Del Bosque signs Spain extension, Balotelli wants to stay & more

  1. K Bone says:

    Think Wilshere will ever reach his potential? What does that have to do with being injured seriously for a year? He’s only 20 years old and before his injury he had a great year at Arsenal and made the all EPL team. Perhaps what you meant was, can Wilshere regain his form after this injury? Seeing as he’s 20, I say yes…

  2. biff says:

    Also big news today for the Bundesliga, with Sky TV signing a deal that will increase annual payouts to Bundesliga teams to 628 million euros from the current 414 million euros.

  3. DanO says:

    Wigan’s revival has given Tim Ream and Stu Holden that sinking feeling…

  4. Andy says:

    Bolton is fine with 2 games in hand. It is QPR with that sinking feeling…