Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan; Corinthians exact revenge on Club Tijuana in Libertadores; and more

Sepp Blatter 3 (Getty Images)

BY DAN KARELL

FIFA President Sepp Blatter spoke of his displeasure at the potential European Championships scheduled for 2020, with multiple host cities in countries all over Europe.

According to the German publication Kicker, Blatter spoke with UEFA President Michel Platini, advising him against moving the Euro’s out of a single country. Blatter referred to an incident with former leader of Libya, Muammar Gadaffi, who had wanted a Pan-African Cup in that style, but Blatter had advised the now deceased Gafaffi against that idea.

Blatter stated, in his simplest terms, that taking a competition like the European Championships away from a single host would destroy the “heart and sole” of the tournament.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

CORINTHIANS EXACT REVENGE ON TIJUANA IN SAO PAULO

Playing in their home stadium, Corinthians of Brazil enacted their revenge against Mexican champions Tijuana, defeating Xolos 3-0 on Wednesday night.

The Timão scored their first goal in the 27th minute, when former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato finished off Renato Augusto’s blast that hit the crossbar twice. Nine minutes later, forward Paolo Guerrero added a second goal, making life even harder for the visiting Mexican side. The ball again was played down the right wing, and Xolos, missing left back Edgar Castillo due to injury, were unable to stop a cross from getting into the center of the box, where Guerrero one-timed a shot into the net.

A third was scored in the 82nd minute by Paulinho to put the game away. The Brazilian midfielder headed in from close range, and finishing off an important win for the defending champions, and pushing the Sao Paulo club into second place of Group 5.

Across the continent, Atletico Miniero of Brazil defeated Bolivian side The Strongest 2-1 guaranteeing the former a place in the knockout round, Paraguayan club Olimpia defeated Deportivo Lara of Venezuela 5-1, and Toluca of Mexico tied Barcelona Guayaquil of Ecuador 0-0.

NIKE TO SPONSOR AS ROMA

AS Roma’s new American owners have pulled off a coup, signing Nike to a ten-year contract to be the official supplier of apparel and equipment for the Italian club.

The deal, which won’t begin until the 2014-2015 season, has been rumored to be in the works ever since James Palotta and a group of American investors bought the team in 2011. The new contract will replace the club’s current one with Kappa.

Roma currently sit in seventh place in Serie A, just four points behind fourth place, and a Champions League position.

DRAXLER RECALLED TO NATIONAL TEAM

On Thursday afternoon, German National Team manager Joachim Low released his 23-man roster for upcoming internationals against Kazakhstan on March 22 and 26, which included FC Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler.

The 19-year-old has been in scintillating form at the club level, and earns his place in the national team for the first time since November of last year. Also of note, Mats Hummels and Miroslav Klose were dropped from the squad, as both are dealing with injuries, and Stephan Kiesling was not called into the squad.

Despite missing Arsenal’s match at Bayern Munich, Lukas Podolski has been included in the team.

QUICK KICKS

Mexico national team goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, currently at AC Ajaccio, is preparing to move to another European club this summer. (REPORT)

Forward Michael Bridges, formerly of Sunderland and Leeds United, has signed a one-year contract extension to stay with the Newcastle Jets in the A-League. (REPORT)

Lucas Moura of Paris Saint-Germain has suffered a sprained ankle, and is facing the possibility of being ruled out for the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid have reportedly said that teams will have to cost up €55 million for forward Radamel Falcao, but if Real Madrid want him, nothing less than €75 million will suffice. (REPORT)

Anzi Makhachkala manager Guus Hiddink is interested in a return to the Premier League, alerting Chelsea to his availability. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Blatter’s sentiment? See Roma’s international footprint improving with the Nike deal? Do you believe Draxler will start either match?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Blatter against Euro 2020 plan; Corinthians exact revenge on Club Tijuana in Libertadores; and more

  1. fischy says:

    You can always resole the tournament.

    Very fishy.

  2. shane says:

    Dont agree with Blatter, as usual. Involving more than one country will only increase the excitment and interest in the event. Not everyone in Europe is football mad but when the event is in your country you care. He’s probably afraid the bribery leverage would be reduced in the pan-european format.

    • Mojo44 says:

      My first thought as well, who will grease the palms in this format.

    • Starla says:

      Fans in Europe universally hate this idea of playing in the biggest 16 cities across the continent. Plastic modern football.

    • Felix says:

      I don’t agree with Blatter often, but I don’t like this new pan-Euro tourney neither. It cheapens the whole experience to me. To be in one nation (which is generally the size of a state here) where the entire continent is fixated on you for that small window intensifies the atmosphere and the feel of the tournament.
      I understand what Platini is trying to do, and on paper, it seems cuddly and nice, but I think in execution it will take away from the majesty and intensity of the tournament.
      The only think I can say about the new plan is you won’t get the white elephant stadiums.

      • Kevin_Amold says:

        I always feel like if my opinion coincides with Blatter’s, then I might want to reconsider it. This is one of those occasions, but I think I still believe that hosting in a country is preferable to a bunch of cities across many countries.

  3. yikes says:

    is Miroslav Klose the greatest international striker? Dudes’ stats for Germany are way better than his club stats. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a real good striker, perhaps underrated but he’s more of a goal every 3 games as opposed to a Henry/Van Nistlerooy/Ronaldo who are a goal every 2 games.

    • Josh D says:

      It’s the same with Podolski who always performs for Germany, but seldom does for his club.

      • biff says:

        Hmmm. Not sure, Josh D, whether that is true anymore. Poldi has not done much in a German shirt for a long time. I would not be surprised if he does not make the trip to Brazil next summer.

  4. ARN says:

    it’s good to see more CONCACAF players moving to Europe and getting time with bigger clubs even if some are our rivals :D

  5. segahs says:

    I don’t like the concept of staging some many games in multiple countries. Doomed to fail.

    I’d like to see Euro 2020 in Turkey or maybe shared with the Balkan countries or maybe Scotland/Ireland/Wales or even Sweden/Denmark/Norway.

    it’s good to share and get smaller nations a better chance to host.

  6. segahs says:

    Look at the balls on Atletico Madrid. Only players like Messi or Ronaldo are worthy of 60-80 million euro price tags. I can’t name more than 10 that are even worth 30 million.

    in fact where do they even get the price tag for these players? why was Dempsey worth 2 million pounds in 2007 and Brek Shea worth the same amount in 2013? Is it not likely that an American will ever have a price tag of 10 million?

    • Alex says:

      Villareal paid that much for Altidore.

    • Josh D says:

      Falcao has been the best out and out striker for two years now (Messi is a second striker, Ronaldo is a winged-forward before people throw their names out there). His goal scoring speaks for himself and he’d be worth every penny. 27 goals in 28 appearances this season, 50 and 36 last season, which was his first in La Liga.

      I always like they are jacking the price up for Real. They are arch rivals, players shouldn’t get sold to the enemy.

      Also keep an eye out for Jackson Martinez, another Colombian goal machine.

    • ld says:

      well your first problem is u r comparing dempsey and shea with ronaldo and messi…no wonder u cant understand since u apparently live in your own alternate reality

  7. brian says:

    Is that dudes name really “the timao”

  8. wides says:

    Unfortunately, AS Roma is 7 points behind AC Milan in 3rd place, which is the last Champions League spot for Serie A. Germany took Italy’s place as the 3rd best league in Europe this year for UCL qualifying purposes. Germany gets 4 spots, Italy only 3.

    But still hoping Roma can climb back up there!

  9. NickGas says:

    So Draxler did not have an American father?

  10. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think the US could do worse than Hiddink, who in addition to his coaching CV — proven stuff, not pro-Klinsi religion — also had NASL playing experience.

    But the rumor is he’s headed back to CFC for a second stint.

  11. yikes says:

    whats Germany’s feeling about the US scouting potential players. Chandler, Johnson, Williams, Boyd and the even younger guys. are we seen as a threat?

    • Josh D says:

      I don’t think they mind as those players aren’t good enough to break their 23, hence why they sign for us. Boyd could eventually, he has a high ceiling, but Boyd also plays for the US out of pride.

      Jones had his chances with Germany, but his attitude got him frozen out.

      I think Johnson is someone they could regret losing and Brooks would be as well.

  12. Beto says:

    Sepp advising people on the topic of not losing one’s soul… HAHA!

    Good for Athletico, playing hard ball with their rich neighbors.

  13. RK says:

    Like Poland/Ukraine, Sepp?

    • Starla says:

      This article doesn’t tell the full story. Platini’s criticized vision isn’t about co-hosting like Ukraine/Poland or Belgium/Holland in the past. It’s about having the tournament in major cities across Europe. Eg 2 games in London, 2 in Paris, 2 in Berlin, 2 in Moscow, 2 in Madrid etc.

  14. Travis in Miami says:

    Why is it a coup that Roma signed deal with Nike?

  15. Charles says:

    I don’t even care if Blatter is right or wrong….just shut up Sepp. Forever.

    ps I notice he didn’t take anyone up on the offer for a free MLS game. Big shock, probably asked for a slush fund appearance fee.