Monday Kickoff: Boca defeats River; Prandelli open to Totti World Cup call; and more

EmmanuelGigliottiBocaJuniors2-RiverPlate (AP)

By DAN KARELL

Boca Juniors are one of the hottest sides in the past few weeks in Argentina and even playing in their rival’s stadium wasn’t going to change that.

Forward Emmanuel Gigliotti scored his third goal in two games as Boca topped River, 1-0, at the Estadio Monumental, taking another SuperClasico win back home with them. Boca haven’t conceded in their last four matches and now stand in third place in the Argentine league standings with 19 points.

In the 23rd minute, Boca Juniors forward Juan Martinez drifted out wide and was able to play a ball into the middle of the box on the ground. Gigliotti was the quickest to react, beating stud River defender Eder Alvarez Balanta and finishing what would be the only goal of the match.

River pushed and pushed the rest of the match to find an equalizer and hit the post on two occasions, but Boca Juniors goalkeeper Agustin Orion performed plenty of heroics to keep a clean sheet. The match was played without any visiting supporters in the stadium after  the Argentina FA made a new rule to help curb hooliganism in soccer culture. Juan Roman Riquelme also went off injured in the second half for Boca Juniors with a knee injury but following the match the Argentine legend downplayed the injury.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your Monday:

TOTTI ON ITALY RADAR

One of the key reasons for AS Roma’s hot start to their Serie A campaign has been the play of Il Capitano, Francesco Totti.

The 37-year-old trequarista has been in stellar form for the only club he’s known, zipping passes around the pitch, linking play between the midfield and forward, as well as scoring three goals and adding six assists. Totti’s play has had fans and media alike clamoring for him to return to the Italian National Team, and it’s an idea that head coach Cesare Prandelli is open to.

Players with great talent like Francesco, like Parma’s Antonio Cassano, are always under observation,” the Prandelli told La Repubblica in Italy. “We’ll evaluate Totti a month before the World Cup. But a Totti like this is a player to talk about, to reflect upon, it is a fantastic Totti.

“If the World Cup was today then I would absolutely call him up, there is no doubt about that.”

QUICK KICKS

Guiseppe Rossi has been called back into the Italian National Team squad after two years away with injuries. (REPORT)

Spain have called up Swansea City forward Michu as an injury replacement for David Villa. (REPORT)

Real Madrid defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso is continuing his rehab at a quick pace and could be available for the club’s next league game on October 19 against Malaga. (REPORT)

Manchester United are set to offer talented youngster Adnan Januzaj a new contract worth more than $5 million per season. (REPORT)

UEFA President Michel Platini is interested in inviting nations outside of UEFA to take part in the 2020 European Championships, in the same manner that CONMEBOL invites Mexico and another non-CONMEBOL nation for each Copa America. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Boca’s victory? Do you believe calling up Totti is a good idea for Italy? Do you see UEFA inviting other nations to the European Championships?

Share your thoughts below.

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17 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Boca defeats River; Prandelli open to Totti World Cup call; and more

  1. James says:

    I think its ridiculous to have outside countries for the Euros. its already cluttered with the additional European teams invited.

  2. Sly says:

    Pogba allowed to go on a free to JUVENTUS then due to that error Januzaj is being offer a half a million per season. Not saying Moyes is panicking but jesus hes panicking.

    The kid is good but for an academy graduate in their first year of playing full team ball, even for a major prospect the going rate is 20k a week, not 60k. How much is Sterling on? 15k and hes already had a full england call up. If 60k is what 18yr olds who have a few good games get arsenals wage bill must be frightening.

  3. ManicMessiah says:

    I understand they don’t want this to be another Paul Pogba, and he had admittedly a very good game in which he scored two well taken goals against the last place team in the league, but he’s getting a contract which would make him the highest paid player in probably more than half the teams in the league.

    He was the most dynamic player in terms of movement and fluidity of his positioning against Sunderland, but I’m sure Moyes will curb that in quite a hurry.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Is that true? I didn’t think Premier League salaries were so low. I know Tim Ream was getting a million dollars a year to ride the bench for a mid-level Championship team so I’d be surprised if $500,000 was the highest salary on a lot of Premier League teams but I have to admit I’m not that familiar with the wages paid in that league.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Tim Ream was starting almost every match when Bolton were still in the EPL. $1mil is a pretty modest sum for an EPL starter.

        Yeah, he rode the bench all last season, but he’s starting again this one and–per reports–doing well at LB. One of their few bright spots.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Oh nevermind. This article says $500,000 a year but it should say $5,000,000. That’s more like the salary levels I thought they had in the Premier League.

    • SaboCM says:

      I’m pretty sure a guy making 500,000 a season wouldn’t make him the highest paid player in more than half the teams. Maybe that’s true in MLS (and yes i’m accounting for the fact the above is talking in pounds & not dollars)…which i don’t think it is given many teams have DPs.

      But I agree, I think losing Pogba burned them so they want to avoid that again by overpaying. Regardless, paying a young kid that type of money isn’t going to burn a hole in their pockets.

    • Josh D says:

      You pay a guy $5M a year now, or you pay a club $50M for him in two years, plus you’re now paying him $100k a week so he agrees on personal terms. When you’ve developed a kid like this for so long, you do so anticipating he’ll join the men’s team. This is how you build a club. It’s why MLS pushes academies. It makes financial sense.

      We (United) have recently given up Rossi, Pique, and Pogba, all starters and all elite players. Imagine our team with those three. Now Januzaj, at 18 and in his first starting game, drags his team to victory, a team that also had such attacking talents as Rooney and van Persie. You don’t let that ability and confidence go.

    • Joamiq says:

      60k/wk is, sadly, pretty much a market salary for a young player with his level of talent and potential. He could get that at a lot of places.

  4. biff says:

    Well, Dan, I guess mathematics is not one of your strong points…

    • manicmessiah says:

      To be fair, the value of the contract is more than 500k per year. It just happens to be a lot more.

    • Joamiq says:

      Maybe Dan’s sources are telling him the contract is only for 9 weeks out of each year…

  5. RK says:

    David Villa is out because of arthritis?

    Glad to see Rossi get in form; who knows, maybe he can make it to Brazil.

  6. ThatKidNandez says:

    Sunderland are looking at Gus Poyet to coach for Sunderland. The coach will be announced within 24 hours. VERBEEK FOR SUNDERLAND

    • Joamiq says:

      For some reason, I have the feeling that Poyet would actually be a good appointment for Sunderland and for Altidore. I think he’d want to get Jozy more support and service from the midfield (as opposed to, say, benching him).