Wednesday Kickoff: Prandelli could leave Italy post after World Cup; Ronaldo upset with Özil sale; and more

CesarePrandelliItalyNT1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Cesare Prandelli, who lead Italy to second-place at the 2012 European Championships, could leave his managerial post with the Italian National Team following the 2014 World Cup, according to reports in Italy.

The 56-year-old head coach has been in charge of a rejuvenated Italy side, one that also finished in third-place at the Confederations Cup this summer, but he could be off to a new challenge come July, 2014. Prandelli took charge of Italy after Marcello Lippi’s failure at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Italian Football Federation has already begun a preliminary search for the next manager, with reports tipping AC Milan manager Max Allegri to take over following the Brazil World Cup.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

REAL MADRID PLAYERS SPEAK OUT AFTER ÖZIL TRANSFER

While there was plenty of euphoria in Madrid surrounding the acquisition of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, many of the players expressed shock on Tuesday and Wednesday about the loss of Mesut Özil.

The German international completed a deadline day transfer to Arsenal for $66 million, helping recoup nearly half of the money spent by Real Madrid for Bale. However, Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly upset in training with the Portuguese National Team upon hearing the news of Özil’s departure.

“Özil leaving is very bad news for me,” Ronaldo told Spanish publication AS. “He was the player that best understood my movement towards goal.”

In addition, two of Real Madrid’s Spanish National Team players, Sergio Ramos and Isco, both expressed surprise with the decision to sell off one of Madrid’s best players.

“Mesut is a different kind of player,” Ramos told Marca. “If it were up to me, he would be one of the last ones to go.”

Said Isco to Marca: “”The truth is that I’m surprised about Özil, and even more so after he said last week that he would be staying. We all know Özil – he’s got a lot of quality, a player that can really turn a game round.”

QUICK KICKS

Crystal Palace head coach Ian Holloway has been handed a two-match ban for improper conduct by the FA. (REPORT)

Carlton Cole is nearing a return to West Ham after leaving the club two months ago. (REPORT)

Barcelona has agreed a deal with Brazilian club Santos worth a reported €7.9 million for thee players, in order to receive first priority on them. If the Spanish club doesn’t sign them, they will have their money refunded. (REPORT)

Manchester United did make a third signing this summer, bringing in Swiss Under-18 international Saidy Janko from FC Zurich. (REPORT)

Enrique Meza is the newest manager at Mexican side Pachuca. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Prandelli leaving the Italy job after the World Cup? Who do you see potentially replacing him? Do you agree with the Real Madrid player’s comments?

Share your thoughts below.

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33 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Prandelli could leave Italy post after World Cup; Ronaldo upset with Özil sale; and more

  1. PD says:

    So… Ronaldo back to Man United, straight switch for Rooney?

    I’d be OK with that.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      So…Ronaldo to Arsenal to reunite with Ozil? I can live with that,,,,

      • Matt B. says:

        I really doubt Ronaldo would come to any team other than Manchester in the Premier League

        • Drewbles says:

          Because the draw to play for David Moyes and a side that failed to match rivals’ spending and will most likely not win the league is so great?

          • DUDEEROO says:

            LOL! Nobody wants to play for Moyes. ManU likely finishes 5th or worse. SAF was a masterclass to get every ounce from a team of lesser players. Now, they will not have the SAF motivation and won’t make it. Loss at Liverpool is first step down from their pedestal.

  2. stpauljosh says:

    Wenger got a pretty hearty last laugh on so many people.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Kickoff: Prandelli could leave Italy post after World Cup; Ronaldo upset with Özil sale; and more | halftimesoccer.com

  4. Hunt Daddy says:

    Did anyone else see where Nasri said he would be open to a move to MLS in the future?

    • Ian says:

      Was it a genuine interest in MLS, or the boiler plate “Yes, I can see myself in American in the future”?

      • bryan says:

        “Clearly, economic reality stops me from thinking about playing at OM right now. In the future, I don’t know yet. I would like to discover the MLS. I love American culture.”

        • Increase says:

          Pay me and I will come?

          Sounds reasonable coming from Nasri.

          He was kicked off the French team for bad behavior, I can see how money would be his primary motivator.

  5. SoundersOff says:

    “Özil leaving is very bad news for me,” Ronaldo told Spanish publication AS. “He was the player that best understood my movement towards goal.”

    Translation: He was the only guy that put up with my selfish shoot-from-anywhere mentality. What do I do now?

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Well, you know, some guys you want shooting from anywhere. I think Ronaldo qualifies. This isn’t Kenny Cooper we’re tlalking about…

    • bryan says:

      well, also the fact that Ozil assisted on 27 of his goals. more than any single player has in his career. Giggs had 16.

    • Josh says:

      And give credit where credit is due: Ronaldo may be by all accounts a “diva,” but he knows that it takes a good midfielder to command defensive attention AND deliver passes into spaces where he has scoring chances.

  6. Jared says:

    Coach of insert country name here ________ will be leaving post after World Cup. Doesn’t that go for pretty much every team in the world?

  7. Uwotm8 says:

    Why is this news?

  8. patrick says:

    i take immense pleasure in watching RM players mope about losing one of their best… It’s funny what being on the other side of the equation will do. I’m sure they felt no remorse about the Tottenham players losing bale, or Man U losing Ronaldo, or any of the other countless players/teams they’ve ransacked.

    I don’t begrudge them their transfers, it’s just funny to see them getting salty about losing one of their own, as if that is unimaginable.

  9. Mike says:

    I love Ian Holloway…he’s so refreshing and honest. One reason I was pulling for Blackpool a few years ago and while I’ll be pulling for CP this year to stay up.

  10. bryan says:

    i’m really happy to see everyone upset about losing Ozil. maybe RM and Ozil will come out with some info that says Ozil preferred Arsenal, but i don’t think that is the case. i’m glad Perez is hearing it from everyone right now.

    • bryan says:

      well, it looks like Ozil thought he didn’t have the trust of Ancelotti. even if Ancelotti ends up doing well, this really bugs me.

      • SoundersOff says:

        Who knew that Ozil was apparently the glue that held the locker room together?

        Surprise! I’m your new coach, Carlo… boom.

    • biff says:

      hey, bryan, as a Madrid fan you should an interesting piece on Ozil’s move on g dot com written by Ben Hayward. I usually like this guy, he seems pretty independent and all, but this piece was different, basically outlined why Madrid did the right thing to get rid of Ozil. One part of the article claimed that Ozil had demanded that his salary be lifted to the level of Ronaldo and I don’t believe that at all.

  11. dan says:

    selling Ozil is almost as stupid as Mourinho not playing Mata. Seriously Jose is a moron

  12. BCC says:

    Will be interesting to see if Ronaldo’s disappointment proves to be yet another reason that he will not extend his contract with RM.

    Selling Ozil was an awful decision. The only explanations I can think of are that 1) he does not seem capable of lasting 90 minutes and 2) Isco is great player. Neither satisfies.

    • bryan says:

      well, luckily it sounds like CR is getting his contract. in fact, one of the reasons they couldn’t give Ozil the money he wanted was because of CR’s contract. so CR can complain, but his new contract demands are at least in some part at fault.

      either way, it sucks but the article Biff mentioned had some good points. sounds like Ancelotti didn’t like Ozil’s attitude either.