Wednesday Kickoff: Dortmund find Lewandowski replacement; Iniesta approaches 500 games; and more

AdrianRamosHerthaBerlin1 (dpa)

By DAN KARELL

Borussia Dortmund have found a replacement for the outgoing Robert Lewandowski.

After months of rumors, Dortmund confirmed on Wednesday that they’ve agreed a deal to sign Hertha Berlin forward Adrian Ramos, with the Colombian international signing a four-year contract beginning in July. Both clubs didn’t disclose the transfer fee but reports in the German media state the fee is anywhere from €8-10 million.

“Adrian Ramos is an excellent footballer and one of the top strikers in Germany. He fits perfectly the profile of player we want at Borussia Dortmund,” Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said in a statement.

Ramos, 28, has scored 32 goals and assisted on 18 others in 89 Bundesliga matches since he joined Hertha in 2009 for a reported €1.4 million. Ramos was a big part of Hertha’s promotion campaign last year. This season, Ramos has scored 16 goals and added seven assists.

Speaking to SportBild, Zorc said that the club will sign two strikers this summer, leaving speculation open for who the next signing could be.

Here are some more stories to start your Wednesday:

INIESTA TO MAKE 500TH APPEARANCE

When Andres Iniesta takes the field at the Vicente Calderon this evening, it will mark another record in his record-setting career.

Tonight’s expected start for Iniesta will be his 500th official appearance for Barcelona, a mark matched by only four other players in the club’s history. Three of Iniesta’s teammates sit ahead of him on the all-time appearance list: Xavi Hernandez in the top spot with 716, Carles Puyol in second with 593, and Victor Valdes in fourth with 535.

Iniesta made his Barcelona debut as an 18-year-old under manager Louis Van Gaal in the 2002/2003 season. Since then, he’s scored 50 goals and won an amazing 21 titles, including three UEFA Champions League trophies.

CERRO PORTEÑO, VELEZ FINISH AS GROUP LEADERS, LANUS SURVIVE PAST O’HIGGINS

Drama reigned supreme as the final round of group stage play in the Copa Libertadores began on Tuesday evening.

Paraguayan club Cerro Porteño won a wild 3-2 match over Colombia’s Deportivo Cali to win Group 3 and finish Cali’s Libertadores run. Cerro though may have thought they were in for another defeat when Cristian Marrugo put Cali up 1-0 with ease in the 12th minute. Cerro leveled the score in the 37th minute though when a shot on goal was deflected in by Cali’s Luis Payares to give the home side some hope of advancing.

Just prior to halftime, former Spanish National Team forward Dani Guiza took advantage of confusion in the box and slotted home to give Cerro the lead. Cali tied the score in the 61st minute when Carlos Rivas fired home from the top of the box but a 80th minute penalty kick goal from Julio Dos Santos gave Cerro the deserved victory.

Elsewhere in Copa Libertadores action, Argentine side Velez Sarsfield won Group 1 behind a 1-0 victory against last-place Universitario of Peru, Argentina’s Lanus used a scoreless draw on the road to edge on to the knockout stages past Chilean side O’Higgins, and Bolivia’s The Strongest shocked Brazilian side Atletico Paranaense with a 2-1 victory to move on to the next round.

QUICK KICKS

Around 50 workers have gone on strike at the Curitiba World Cup stadium over unpaid wages. (REPORT)

Olympique Marseille have confirmed that they are in contact with Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa to be the team’s next manager. (REPORT)

Manchester United winger Nani could be set for a summer move away from Old Trafford despite signing a new five-year deal last fall. (REPORT)

Miroslav Klose’s World Cup hopes to represent Germany are in serious doubt after picking up a left thigh injury that will keep him out for one month. (REPORT)

Manchester City defender Micah Richards is on his way out of the club after making just ten starts in the past two years. (REPORT)

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What do you think of this news? Do you see Ramos succeeding at Lewandowski’s level at Dortmund? Who else do you see Dortmund signing? Do you think Iniesta can pass Xavi someday?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Dortmund find Lewandowski replacement; Iniesta approaches 500 games; and more

  1. Hussman says:

    So disappointed Jozy is not Lewandowsky’s replacement at Dortmund.

    • fifawitz1313 says:

      I know, biff really got my hopes up that it was a possibility.

    • arsenal says:

      No top level team, who is always competing for the league title, Champions league, and in a top five league is going to purchase a striker who can’t score, constantly loses headers despite his size, and can hardly put a shot on net. I’m not hating, but its how this season is. I think he made a poor choice, and if he had offers for the French league he should have went there. Its a league more suited to his style, I think, and can be more entertaining than the EPL. I hope he gets sorted out before the world cup.

      • B says:

        I think they were being sarcastic. Maybe.

        • Increase0 says:

          Biff said he could replace Julian Schieber. Who is the “back up”.
          He is terrible.(3 goals in 33 games for Dortmund. All they do is make chances.)

          So while I agree that Jozy was never going to Dortmund. Biff wasn’t total mental.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          yeah, “Hussman” only ever comments about jozy; usually mocking remarks. he’s obsessed.

  2. Deutschbag says:

    Huge Hertha fan. Sorry to see him go.

    Ramos was always good, but he made a giant leap forward the last 18months.
    Some guys just figure things out a little later in life.
    Ramos figured it out.

    Dortmund will remain dangerous.
    Hertha needs to start using some of that KKR money

    (No. Jozy was never going play striker for Dortmund)

    • Increase0 says:

      But can Jozy play for Hertha? Everyone knew Ramos was gone. The Dortmund talk was a bit silly but I see Hertha as viable. They have low expectations and need a striker. They might have over preformed a bit this year but as far as I know Ramos is the only major player leaving. A GOOD world cup could get a him a shot.

  3. reignman says:

    Ramos is a stud, I was hoping that Arsenal might make a run at him but always knew Dortmund had their eye on him. If he continues to develop like he has the last two years he could become a real force

    • Increase0 says:

      Ya, Ramos does goals and assists. I bet Dortmund pick up a young striker to play backup. I think Ramos isn’t exactly young.

  4. hmm says:

    How good was Lewandowski at Dortmund?

  5. John says:

    If he is out for a month, then how is it a problem?

    • EspinDOHla says:

      +1

      Klose always performs well for Die Mannschaft. If he is only out for a month and is ready to go mid-May, I think he is in Brazil.

  6. slowleftarm says:

    Clicked this article expecting to see a picture of Jozy. So disappointed. Can’t believe I listened to Biff.

  7. biff says:

    I still have full faith in Jozy despite his misery at Sunderland and think he is better than Julian Schieber, Dortmund’s current back-up striker. But there is talk Dortmund is monitoring Romelu Lukaku, who would be awesome for Dortmund. Would love to see that move.

    • SBI TroII says:

      Jozy doesn’t fit into what Jürgen Klopp likes to do with his high press. Lewandowski has a fantastic work rate and is the prototype of what he’s looking for

    • Nate Dollars says:

      damn, lukaku and ramos would be pretty crazy. would they ever play together, or does dortmund always stick with one up top?

  8. Prettypenguin says:

    Dammit! Both my teams lost or didn’t advance. Still, lots of love for La U y BvB.

  9. Brain Guy says:

    Sad to read that Klose’s hopes picked up a thigh injury. That’s how the sentence reads, anyway.