Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto’o, Ba; and more

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid goes down injured and has to be substituted

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Real Madrid won’t gamble with Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-term health this weekend.

Ahead of their La Liga tie against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters at a press conference that Ronaldo would be rested for Saturday’s match, as he heals a lingering knee injury. Ronaldo came off in the 80th minute of Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund last Wednesday and left the field with a noticeable limp.

“We’re going to give Cristiano a rest, he’s weary,” Ancelotti said. “We’re doing this to avoid any risks. There are a lot of important games ahead of us and we prefer him to sit this one out. He can train tomorrow and Sunday to be ready for Tuesday’s game.

“On Tuesday he’ll have fresh legs and will be able to get over the niggles he has from all the games. It’s just to give him a few days to recover.”

Ronaldo has already played 41 times in all competitions for Real Madrid this season in addition to six more matches for Portugal since last summer.

Here are some more stories to kick off your weekend:

MOURINHO CONTEMPLATING PURGE OF FORWARDS

Chelsea’s front line could have a completely different look next season.

In the fallout from Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, a number of reports in England are pointing to manager Jose Mourinho cleaning-house of Chelsea’s forward depth this summer, with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o, and on-loan forward Romelo Lukaku being let go.

In exchange, Chelsea would have enough money to be able to go after Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa and Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, two players who have been linked with Chelsea in the past few weeks.

At a press conference on Friday, Mourinho said that he believes Torres still has a future at the club but Mourinho expects more from the Spanish international.

ARSENAL BOOSTED WITH RAMSEY’S RETURN

For the first time in three months, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey will be part of the game day squad.

Following three months on the sidelines with a thigh injury, Ramsey has been included in the Arsenal squad ahead of their key match against Everton on Sunday. It’s not known yet whether the Wales international will start but he’s expected to be available for selection.

“Having someone like Ramsey, who can help the team be successful, is very important,” Wenger told reporters in at a press conference. “He has worked very hard in training [but] what he lacks is competition.”

Ramsey last played for Arsenal on Dec. 26 in a 3-1 victory at West Ham, when he went off with his original thigh injury. Since then, he’s suffered a number of setbacks but looks finally set to put those problems behind him.

QUICK KICKS

A labor official in Sao Paulo, Brazil told a local newspaper that safety inspectors have been “looking the other way” to allow the Arena Corinthians to be finished in time for the start of the World Cup. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is set to miss out on this Saturday’s match against Southampton as he returns to match fitness. (REPORT)

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has taken a job at the Harvard Business School. (REPORT)

Barcelona’s Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta, submitted his resignation to the club on Wednesday but it was rejected. (REPORT)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed the transfer ban on Barcelona, claiming that because they broke the rules, they deserve the punishment. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Real Madrid is right to rest Ronaldo? Do you see Chelsea selling their entire forward line? Do you expect Ramsey to start against Everton?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Ronaldo to be rested; Mourinho could sell Torres, Eto’o, Ba; and more

  1. The Imperative Voice says:

    The Lukaku loans have befuddled me, he generally outscores the people retained in Chelsea, 17 last season for WBA, 12 for Everton this year. Why don’t we get rid of the expensive wastes, keep the young talent, and add on top of that marquee people? This is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Bears noting that the same process ran off Sturridge and boy does that look like a mistake now.

    • Kodi says:

      I agree 100%. Lukaku is only 20. He has the build that Jose prefers in a striker. Additionally, he’ll be getting lots of minutes/experience at the WC with Benteke injured. I really hope they keep him.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I thought it made sense last year but was surprised to see him go out again this year. Surely he’ll play a big role for Chelsea next season, no?

    • nato says:

      Huge clubs like Chelsea, PSG, Man City want BIG NAMES. No matter how many goals Lukaku scored. He’s not a big name like Eto’o or Torres despite both being washed up. They sell trillions of jerseys over the past decade and can help sell out venues abroad.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Once upon a time this was Eto’o’s problem too, When he 22 and considering a move to Liverpool from Mallorca in 2003, he was asked about David Beckham:

        “Beckham is prettier than me but I’m a better player. He has a bigger name but everyone will know about me in a couple of years. ”

        If the guy keeps scoring, he will be big.

  2. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Torres is still good enough for MLS.

    • 407 says:

      Eto’o, too. Both would work well in the current version of MLS.

      • bryan says:

        i’d expect both to be heavily linked with MLS. they would be good additions to the league. Eto’o makes just shy of $11M a season while Torres makes just over $23M a season. they certainly won’t be cheap.

        • nato says:

          Torres will retire in Spain with his hometown club-A Madrid

          Eto’o can probably be given 6 million to play in MLS for 3 years

          These guys know they cant get 10 million a year. They’re not worth it. Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Messi could probably get 16 million a year or more if u include bonuses, jersey/ticket sales

          • bryan says:

            i’m sure he’ll end up in Spain, but i wouldn’t be surprised to see any MLS rumors.

            and yes, both aren’t going to get anywhere near their current deals, especially Torres, but it would still be expensive. Torres has a market value of “$26M,” so he’ll still have a big salary. Defoe was bought for $10M and makes $8M/year. Torres would get that much, IMO. he scored 22 goals in the 2012-2013 season and 9 this season. Defoe scored 16 and 10 in the same seasons. (goals are across all competitions)

            • argh says:

              you are correct, at the very least Torres will sell tons of jerseys and have tons of ladies come to the game.

  3. reignman says:

    Not sure how Mourinho expects to raise enough money by selling those four strikers to buy Costa and Mandzukic. Atletico will want more for Costa than all four of those are worth. The only one of those worth more than like 5 mil is Lukaku. Mandzukic could maybe be had for cheap with Lewa coming into Bayern.

    • Increase0 says:

      I don’t know that Mario will go… Bayern would want at least 2 proper strikers. But its Pep so who can tell what he is thinking.

      • reignman says:

        Mario may want the guarantee of more playing time than he is likely to get with Lewa there though. Also isn’t Pizzarro still there? I know he isn’t amazing anymore but he’s competent.

  4. Alex says:

    I think Ronaldo’s knee is something to keep an eye out…may not be 100 percent this summer

    • Lorenzo says:

      As much as I would like any thing that could go our way to go our way for this summer’s world cup, I just don’t feel right hoping that one of the best players to grace the game misses out on the world cup during him peak. But you’re right, something to keep an eye on.

  5. NAsL to el paso tx says:

    eto, torres, casillas, Howard, ronaldinho, ibra, lampard, to MLS after world cup 2014. make it happen MLS :-):-)
    that would be epic but I repeat, MLS teams need to show denver, dallas, san Jose, dc, Portland, Houston as Dp destinations as well. Give them tours or send them videos of different markets.

    • nato says:

      agreed. I think many people who are critical of the USA see Texas in negative lights but I imagine those footballers going there would love to adapt to the city.

      • Increase0 says:

        Dallas I think is happy with their cheap young guys.(hurray for bonus cap space.) The new teams will get someone. I bet its Kaka but Torres would be good on say Portland. They would like a striker that can pass right?

    • bryan says:

      it certainly helps that we’ll have a new 2nd LA team too. Ibra just interviewed with the NY Times, in which he admitted to being childish with the whole Gooch thing, but he also said he wouldn’t leave for MLS quite yet. but NYCFC should be thinking about him for 2015 anyway.

    • jesus says:

      eto could happen, howard will most likely go to mls, and a slight chance for lampard
      you must be stupid if you think casillas would leave madrid, hes gonna retire there ibras to good for mls and dihno possibly

  6. Fredo says:

    Shut it, Wenger. Barca will win appeal.

    • reignman says:

      Based on what exactly? They broke FIFA rules and are being punished for it. Please do not compare the Chelsea situation from a couple years ago either, completely different situations.

  7. nato says:

    goodbye Torres. You were the first soccer player I looked up to when i started following the PL back in 07. No one can ever take away that 07-08 season and u scoring the goal to win Spain the Eurocop.

    Return to Atletico and retire a HERO. You’re still only 30

  8. Jack Del says:

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed the transfer ban on Barcelona, claiming that because they broke the rules, they deserve the punishment. (REPORT)

    ====

    Wait, for real? This from the guy who swooped in and took advantage of Spanish laws to steal Fabregas from Barcelona using legal loopholes that allowed them to offer way more money? REALLY?