Friday Kickoff: Giggs given Olympic green light; Spurs, Barca tangle for Bale & more

Giggs (Reuters Pictures)

Manchester United might not be letting Javier Hernandez participate in this summer's Olympics, but the club is reportedly all aboard the Ryan-Giggs-for-Team-Great-Britain bandwagon. 

The Red Devils have given the 38-year-old Welshman the green light to play for Team GB this summer. According to the BBC, United told the FA that TGB coach Stuart Pearce cannot call upon any over-age player aside from Giggs for this summer's tournament. This comes a day after the club denied Hernandez a place on the Mexican Olympic team.

Should Giggs, who retired from international soccer in 2007, be selected, he could be reunited on the field with Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, his United teammate from 1993-2003. Both are thought to be on the current 80-man shortlist that will be narrowed down in the coming weeks.

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

REDKNAPP SHOOTS DOWN BALE-TO-BARCA

There is no lack of interest around the world for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, but despite reported rampant interest from Barcelona, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp says that no deal will be done and that Bale is not going anywhere.

Reports from Spain on Friday said that Barcelona is prepared to offer €40 million to Tottenham for Bale. Redknapp was not so sure.

"I wouldn't think there's a slightest bit of truth in that," Redknapp told reporters. "Not a chance I wouldn't have thought." 

SANTOS LAGUNA, TIGRES PLAY TO SEMIFINAL DRAW

Both semifinals in the Mexican liguilla will head to the second leg with teams tied, as Santos Laguna and Tigres UANL played to a 1-1 draw Thursday night. 

Jorge Estrada scored the opener for Santos in the 61st minute, followed by Lucas Lobos' equalizer seven minutes later. Herculez Gomez came off the bench in the 74th minute for Santos, who hold the slight edge on away goals heading into Sunday's second leg at Estadio Corona. 

Monterrey and Club America will play their second leg on Saturday after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.

SMALLING OUT FOR EURO 2012

England will have to do without the services of Manchester United defender Chris Smalling this summer, as he picked up a groin injury in the club's win over Swansea City last Sunday, one that Sir Alex Ferguson classified as "a bad injury."

The 22-year-old Smalling was thought to be a lock for the England roster, but he'll force manager Roy Hodgson to come up with another name in defense.

ENRIQUE QUITS ROMA 

Luis Enrique will be stepping down from his post as Roma manager at the end of this season. 

Enrique reportedly reached his decision last month but was asked to stay on through the remainder of the campaign by the club's president. In his one season at the helm, Enrique failed to guide Roma to European competition, as the club sits in seventh place and can do no better with one game remaining.

Reports from earlier this month suggested that ousted Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas would be taking over as Roma's coach next season. Former Roma and current Catania coach Vincenzo Montella is also thought to be a leading candidate.

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Do you hope to see Giggs play in the Olympics? Think Bale would succeed at Barcelona? Which teams do you see advancing to the Mexican final? Is Smalling a big loss for England's Euro side? Who should take over at Roma?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Euro 2012, European Soccer, Mexican Soccer, Olympic Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Giggs given Olympic green light; Spurs, Barca tangle for Bale & more

  1. NE Matt says:

    Hey look, a Whitbread sighting!

  2. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Isn’t “80-man shortlist” an oxymoron?

  3. Illmatic74 says:

    Why is Barcelona after Bale? I thought they were going to sign Alba?

  4. steve says:

    Giggs and Beckham – together again! Please make it happen!

    Also, I hope Gomez is chosen for the camp – he’s our best super sub.

  5. span16 says:

    Barca needs a big target forward not a winger.

    Team GB will go down in flames with or without Giggs. I wonder if Gary Lineker is on the “shortlist” too.

    Roma…anybody who will encourage them to buy Michael Bradley and then play him alongside DeRossi in the midfield. :)

  6. Rory says:

    I’m very excited that Beckham and Giggs will get to disapoint their national team fans again!

  7. JL says:

    So I don’t pay attention much to the Olympics, but why is it there is a Team Great Britain this year? Is it for all sports, or just soccer?

  8. James says:

    I think Chicharito should just show up for Mexico and play. Force United to make fools out of themselves over it. Of course that would take some cahonas on his part and a willingness to end his career at Man U. He would be a national hero though and can always find another team.

  9. Gnarls says:

    Add Scholes too. Make it a trifecta.

  10. Dank says:

    He would replace the departing Abidal at left back. Definitely a need for them.

  11. Dinho says:

    Not out of the question….

  12. Dinho says:

    Is this a serious comment? I hope not.

  13. James says:

    Why not?

  14. Gnarls says:

    I would like to see it. Would be a great near-retirement gift for three Man U and England legends.

  15. Gnarls says:

    Just remembered Giggs is Welsh. You get the point though.

  16. RICK says:

    Easy for you to say.

    It’s not your money and your career.