Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

BY DAN KARELL

The long drawn out transfer of Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder is nearly finished, as Turkish club Galatasaray announced on their club website last night that Sneijder and the club had agreed upon personal terms.

The transfer, for a reported £8 million, will become official upon completion of a medical today in Istanbul. The Holland international has not played a competitive match since the end of September due to a contract dispute with Inter.

Now, Sneijder gets a chance to play Champions League football with Galatasaray. His new team will take on FC Schalke in the Round-of-16.

Here are some more stories to get your Monday started

FERGUSON AND WENGER RUE REFEREE DECISIONS

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger both criticized the decisions of referees Simon Beck, and Martin Atkinson, respectively, after the close of their Premier League matches yesterday.

The controversy surrounds a penalty not given in the 62nd minute of the United match vs. Tottenham at White Hart Lane, as Spurs defender Steven Caulker made contact with Wayne Rooney in the box. Assistant referee Beck waved the play on, much to the disgust of Rooney and Ferguson.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin was in the middle of a strong challenge that was not called, with Juan Mata scoring the opening goal for Chelsea soon after. Not too long after, Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was adjudged to have tripped Blues midfielder Ramires in the box, which lead to Chelsea’s second goal. Wenger was critical of both decisions, even going as far as to say the latter was simulation.

FOUR GOAL THRILLER HIGHLIGHTS DAY TWO OF AFCON

After an opening day with no goals, the floodgates opened, with the first match of the day seeing a 2-2 draw between favorites Ghana and darkhorses Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by a 1-0 win by Mali over Niger.

In the first match, Ghana took a two-goal advantage on the match, after goals on both sides of the half, a 40th minute finish from Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, followed by a 49th minute header from Kwadwo Asamoah. But DRC refused to give in, and as we see so often in football, a 2-0 lead is never safe.

Tresor Mputu cut the deficit in half with a cool finish in the 53rd, and then a Dieumerci Mbokani penalty kick goal completed the comeback for the Leopards.

In the second match, former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita snatched an 84th minute winner for his nation, giving them three points and a seat atop Group B.

Today there is action in Group C, as defending champions Zambia faces Ethiopia, followed by Nigeria against Burkina Faso.

XOLOS, AMERICA, AND TIGRES STILL PERFECT

Week three of the Liga MX clausura has come and gone, but Club Tijuana, Club America, and Tigres UANL have kept on their winning ways.

The Xolos, defending Liga MX champions, have continued their good form, beating Pumas 2-1 over the weekend, while America took down Atlante 4-0, and Tigres dispatched Atlas 1-0.

Meanwhile, the financially struggling Chivas sit 13th in the league table, with just two points from three matches.

QUICK KICKS

Queens Park Rangers forward Djibril Cisse has been loaned to Qatar side Al-Gharafa until the end of the season. (REPORT)

Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado has revealed there is a massive rift in the Bernabeu dressing room between the manager and the players. (REPORT)

A friendly between Lionel Messi’s former club Newell’s Old Boys and rivals Rosario Central has been suspended due to fan violence with police. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Sneijder is making the right decision to go to Galatasaray? Are Wenger and Ferguson correct in thinking the referee’s made key mistakes during their respective matches? How much longer do you see Xolos going before their first loss?

Share your thoughts below.

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15 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

  1. Original Aaron says:

    Would rather Sneijder came to MLS…

  2. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    Wenger should stop wining about the refs and start looking at the pathetic bodies he has on his bench. When your potential subs are Arshavin, Frimpong, Ramsey, Santons, Jenkinson, and Koscielny, you should be fired for even thinking you can consider yourself a “big” club

  3. Josh D says:

    Shocked Sneijder went to Turkey. It just shows he’s a greedy money maker before he’s a proper soccer player. Sad.

    • Stephen says:

      Yeah, sad that guys who’s peak earning years are at best 10-15 years want as much money as possible for being elite players. /sarcasm

      • Josh D says:

        Right. Because the guy making almost $400k a week needs to worry about only having 10 years left on top. Then a career earning millions as a TV pundit, manager, or professional product endorser.

        Give me a break.

        • franco says:

          Yes because a post athletic career earning millions as a TV pundit, manager or professional product endorser is guaranteed.
          Plus earning 400k a week means you shouldn’t seek as much money as you can while you are able to. Ya know, cos you obviously wouldn’t seek as much money as possible in whatever line of work you’re in.

          Rrright!

    • biff says:

      I was puzzled by this move also, and felt it was misguided. But there are right now as I type news reports of Sneijder’s arrival in Turkey and he is being greeted like a king. Lot of people turned up at the airport and mobbed him like a rock star. He also will be playing in Champions League in a couple of weeks against Jermaine Jones and Schalke. Hey, and let’s not forget, he will have the honor of playing against Mo Edu of Bursaspor…

      We shall see how this develops.

      • Josh D says:

        All foreign players are treated like that. Jozy was. The soccer culture in Turkey is great, but the level of play is not and albeit they are in the CL so are other teams that have no chance of competing.

      • kevin says:

        Sooooo true. Weird that Edu had that kinda celebration. Bradley? Maybe. Dempsey? Sure. But crazy all that for Edu

    • dikranovich says:

      milan is an ok city. big soccer teams, but nothing of cultural significance, unless you consider fashion cultural. istanbul on the other hand, is a world class city, just dont take a taxi ride on a full stomach, or if you scare easily.

  4. marlon says:

    No mention of the Central American Cup?