Friday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger set for ankle surgery; Costa called up for Spain friendlies; and more

BastianSchweinsteigerBayernMunich1-FCSchalke (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s injury issues just wont go away.

The Bayern Munich and German National Team star is set to undergo surgery on his ailing right ankle, despite having an operation on the ankle last June. Schweinsteiger has started a number of times for Bayern this season in all competitions but he’s been hampered by increasing pain recently.

“I’ve repeatedly felt severe pain over the last few weeks,” Schweinsteiger said in a club statement. “I tried my best to keep going, but I’ve now come to a point where an operation can no longer be avoided. After the operation, I hope I’ll be able to play again completely free of pain.“

There is no timetable for a return for the 29-year-old, but at the least it rules him out of Germany’s next two friendly matches. Schweinsteiger recently won his 100th cap in a 5-3 victory over Sweden.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday started:

COSTA INCLUDED IN SPAIN SQUAD FOR FRIENDLIES

Diego Costa could make his Spain debut when they face Equatorial Guinea on November 16.

The 25-year-old Brazilian born star for Atletico Madrid was included on Vicente Del Bosque’s list of 23 players for two friendly matches in Africa. Following the friendly match against Equatorial Guinea, Spain will travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, to face the South African National Team.

Costa was the subject of an international tug-of-war in the last few months because he’s chosen to play for Spain in the future, despite having played for Brazil as recently as last May in two friendly matches. This season, Costa has been absolutely on fire in place of Radamel Falcao for Atletico, scoring 16 goals so far in all competitions.

SCHALKE KEEPING TABS ON CASILLAS

Following the latest defeat in the Champions League, FC Schalke is considering some new goalkeeper options as starting goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand is in a poor run of form.

According to reports in Germany, Schalke are looking at domestic possibilities such as Fabian Giefer of Fortuna Dusseldorf on a free transfer or Germany youth international Kevin Trapp of Eintracht Frankfurt for €6 million, but one possibility is Real Madrid and Spanish National Team star Iker Casillas.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper lost his regular place in the Real Madrid side in the middle of last season under Jose Mourinho and his presence on the bench during league matches has continued under Carlo Ancelotti’s reign. While Casillas reiterated his stance that he’d prefer to stay, Schalke are just keeping an eye on the situation in case he changes his mind and wants to move on loan somewhere for six months ahead of the World Cup.

QUICK KICKS

Arsenal are reportedly discussing a surprising move to sign Manchester United and Mexico National Teal forward Javier Hernandez as cover for Olivier Giroud in January. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller has received his first ever call up to the German National Team for friendlies against Italy and England. (REPORT)

Chelsea, having just faced FC Schalke 04 in the Champions League on Wednesday, are interested in signing Schalke youngster Max Meyer for €15 million, though he has a release clause of €18 million. (REPORT)

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey lead the Wales squad for a friendly match on November 16 against Finland. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Schweinsteiger returning before the end of the year? Do you see Costa scoring for Spain in his debut? Do you believe Casillas would move to Schalke?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Schweinsteiger set for ankle surgery; Costa called up for Spain friendlies; and more

  1. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Can we all agree that the situations in which Brazilians play for (fill in the blank European country) are totally different from (and less respectable than) the ones in which the sons of soldiers play for us?

    • Boyd says:

      Not necessarily.
      Costa spent a good part of his developmental years in Spain. He left Brazil as a nobody and became world class in Spain under Spanish coaches. Up to certain degree he’s a product of Spanish football.
      German-American players only connection to American football is being the illegitimate son of an American serviceman and not until they got rejected by Germany did they decide to become “Americans” never having kicked a soccer ball in the US.

      The fact that Costa picked Spain instead of World Cup favorite Brazil tells me he actually feels more connected to Spain than to Brazil in a football sense.

      • Increase says:

        Oh so they have to be illegitimate? I didn’t notice that was mandatory.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        Actually while Costa does have ties to Spain growing up there since the age of 16….he did it (switching to Spain) AFTER he got “snubbed”

        And yes I agree with Increase, way to generalize and seem like a judgmental tool saying that all our players who are dual citizens from German are illegitimate children.

      • bryan says:

        illegitimate!?!?

      • OPMG says:

        Please stop with the product of (country) soccer. That makes no difference whatsoever when talking about citizenship. Costa blossoming in Spain is irrelevant to this discussion.

      • Gruden says:

        Illegitimate?

        F^ck you.

    • nato says:

      agreed

      FIFA is ridiculous.

      to me you should play for the nation you were born in or raised in.

      but I can understand playing for the nation of your parents, but 1 player shouldn’t be able to play for any country just because his grandparents are from there.

      the kid at Man United has like 5-6 possibilities of a call-up from multiple nations. Makes no sense. 1 should have no more than 3.

      if you’re born in Peru to an Irish American father and a Lebanese mom and you’re raised in Australia, I can understand you having a blend of cultures and not sure who to represent. but I’d imagine the simplest answer is to represent where you lived the longest. 10 or 15 years in 1 country should more or less be what u call HOME.

      i just think it’s ridiculous players can suddenly represent a country after 5 years in the country or because they married a local. Costa is good enough for Brazil. He just wants less competition.

      • Increase says:

        Dunno about that…. Brazil is thin on actual strikers right now. Fred and Jo are not the most intense of competition. I think he would have been the only European based striker in the big 4 leagues.

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        Yeah, remember when the Togolese national team had five Brazilians in the starting lineup? I’m sure they all decided they identified more with Togo than with Brazil after their (brief) stays in the former country.

  2. Travis says:

    Chicharito would not be good cover for Giroud, he does not play well as a solo striker which is the primary system that Arsenal uses. They certainly need cover at that position but he is not he answer.

    • Patrick says:

      Couldn’t disagree more. Giroud has been excellent getting on the end of crosses and inside the 18….. Guess what Chicharito does best? Yup, those two things.

      • Travis says:

        Giroud is also a critical part of the link up play, his touch is a seriously underrated feature of his game. He is featured in a lot of build ups by holding the ball up around midfield. Chichartio is a true poacher who is great in the 18 (normally, hes been awful this year)

    • bryan says:

      huh? he thrives on good service and chemistry with his team. he doesn’t create anything himself, but his movement gets him into spots to score…so long as his teammates have good chemistry with him. i think at Arsenal he would get much better service.

      • Travis says:

        Not sure if you watch much Arsenal but Giroud does a lot more than just thrive off chances others have created. The last couple of strikers Arsenal have heavily featured all were good finishers but could also distribute to start attacks at midfield after holding it up initially.

  3. ManicMessiah says:

    I remember when the Italian and Brazilian national teams were playing tug of war over Amauri.