Tuesday Kickoff: Puyol to leave Barcelona; FA charges Pardew; and more

CarlesPuyolBarcelona2-Almeria2014 (AP)

By DAN KARELL

It’s the end of an era at FC Barcelona.

Captain Carles Puyol, a feature in the side from his debut in 1999 through now, announced at a press conference on Tuesday that he’ll be leaving the Catalan club at season’s end. Puyol didn’t take any questions at the press conference and didn’t state whether he would be retiring or not, just that he had agreed to rescind the final two years of his contract this summer.

Reports in Spain recently linked Puyol with a move to the USA, though it’s unlikely for the Spanish international to garner a Designated Player-level salary considering his age and injury history.

The 35-year-old defender joined Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia as a 17-year-old and has been with the club ever since, making nearly 400 appearances in all competitions. Known for his shaggy, unkept hair, Puyol was considered the heart of Barcelona and was a key player on their resurgence in Europe in the past ten years.

Since early 2013, Puyol has struggled to overcome a series of knee injuries, starting just ten La Liga games since then.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:

PARDEW CHARGED WITH IMPROPER CONDUCT BY FA

Alan Pardew could very well be done for the season.

After being sent to the stands for headbutting Hull City midfielder David Meyler and accepting a fine of £100,000 from Newcastle, the FA charged Pardew with improper conduct. Reports in England speculate that Pardew could be banned for ten or more games for his actions.

Pardew has until Thursday evening to appeal, though he’s reportedly said he will accept any punishment from the FA.

RAMSEY SET FOR A BIG RAISE

Aaron Ramsey’s impressive performances this season have earned him a raise.

The Arsenal midfielder is reportedly set to double his salary after agreeing a new five-year contract with Arsenal, worth more than £100,000 per week. The deal would make Ramsey the second-highest earner on the team behind Mesut Özil.

After an inconsistent 2012/2013 campaign playing mostly out of position, Ramsey took a huge step forward in his development this year, scoring 13 goals in all competitions before suffering a thigh injury during the Christmas period.

Since then, Ramsey has been sidelined but is expected to return to full training by the end of the month.

QUICK KICKS

FIFA will advise players at all 32 nations at the World Cup how to respond if they’re approached by match fixers. (REPORT)

Tomas Rosicky and Per Mertesacker have signed new long-term Arsenal contracts. (REPORT)

Speaking of Arsenal, Inter Milan are linked with signing German forward Lukas Podolski. (REPORT)

AS Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has been banned for three matches for punching Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi. (REPORT)

Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal has made the late addition of Rafael Van Der Vaart to the Holland squad for their friendly match against France. (REPORT)

Liverpool announced that they lost £50 million over the last fiscal year. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Can’t believe that Puyol is leaving Barcelona? Do you see him coming to the U.S.? Do you think that Pardew could be suspended for the season?

Share your thoughts below.

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21 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Puyol to leave Barcelona; FA charges Pardew; and more

  1. cabrito says:

    “FIFA will advise players at all 32 nations at the World Cup how to respond if they’re approached by match fixers”

    -I’m guessing the approach the 32 nations are to take is different than the approach that FIFA takes when a potential host nation wants to “fix” who’s awarded the World Cup?

  2. Reid says:

    I would rather an MLS team waste money by signing Stu then this washed up old fart

    • midwest ref says:

      Stu limped off again in a reserve match after 20 minutes . . . .

    • Maykol says:

      That washed up guy would probably own most MLS forwards. And as many injuries as he gets, would probably still see way more of the field than stu

      • Reid says:

        Own them how… playing backgammon while recovering from injury x. Whatever team picks him up will have to get another trainer on the staff just to deal with his problems.
        If you want to bring him on as a player/coach then maybe you have something but player/injury problem …. i’ll pass

        • Maykol says:

          I would l

        • Maykol says:

          I would love for puyol to come to MLS as long as hes not a DP. And even through all injuries he stills hangs against the teams he plays against in La Liga, so i dont think MLS would be too much of a problem for him

          • Ian says:

            He’s 35. MLS has mostly moved away from signing players of his age. I hope he does not show up in MLS.

  3. midwest ref says:

    No the first time De Rossi has thrown a punch in a game, am I right, am I right?

  4. Brain Guy says:

    Pardew’s actions were bizarre and indefensible, but ten games? I know you can’t have managers interfering with players, but it wasn’t a truly violent act. Stupid, unprofessional, dangerous, sanctionable — yes. But ten games? Wow. That’s more than a quarter of a season, and the rest of Newcastle’s games.

    And no, I’m not a Newcastle supporter.

    • midwest ref says:

      Pardew is a coach (or manager, whatever they are called). He should be held to a higher standard than a player, and if not by FIFA, than by the league, which the EPL is doing.

      And this is not Pardew’s first occassion where he has acted improperly. He may not have struck anyone in the past, but he has gone off the boil before.

      • Brain Guy says:

        Fair enough. I know coaches/managers can’t be allowed even to approach what some players do on the field. And I don’t know Pardew’s history. But a ten-game suspension is what Suarez got for *biting* somebody. Again, I’m not defending him in any way, but rather wondering out loud about the proper punishment.

      • Brain Guy says:

        I may have to backpedal here after reading some accounts of Pardew’s past transgressions. His calm and contrite post-match demeanor may have fooled me.

    • biff says:

      Pardew is a disgrace to the game and has a long history of improper conduct and it is way past time for the FA to draw a line. Let’s not forget the game against Man City a few weeks ago where he called Pelligrino a “f****** old c***”. And after that game Pardew was publicly apologizing and asking for forgiveness and vowing that he would change his ways and a few weeks later he head-butts an opposition player. A 10-game ban sounds about right, plus he deserves a huge fine in addition to the fine levied by Newcastle.

      link to youtube.com

  5. RK says:

    I can’t believe that Barca hasn’t focused more on replacing Puyol.

    • Gerard D. says:

      Why would they? They have a solid group of young centerbacks in Bartra and Montoya to complement Mascherano and Pique.

  6. CS says:

    With Puyol gone, Franck Ribéry is officially the ugliest guy in professional football.