Monday Kickoff: Barcelona target Reus; Sponsors joining in FIFA protest; and more

Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

Marco Reus may not be going to Brazil, but the German star may be headed to another of soccer’s most sacred areas this summer: Barcelona.

The Catalan club have reportedly verbally agreed on personal terms with the Borussia Dortmund star, but now are forced to face the tall task of convincing the German club to sell.

Barcelona have made an initial offer of €35 million, but convincing BVB to let go of Reus will be no easy feat due to the departure of striker Robert Lewandowski. The club will certainly be looking to hold on to Reus, who had 23 goals and 23 assists for the club in their 2013-14 campaign.

However, BVB’s ambitions may not be enough to keep their 25-year-old star, who reportedly is interested in moving to a bigger and more competitive league after becoming disenchanted with the Bayern Munich-dominated Bundesliga.

Here are some more news and notes to start off your Monday morning:

SPONSORS JOIN AGAINST FIFA FOR QATAR 2022

If FIFA are going to elect to address the situation with the 2022 Qatar World Cup, it looks like it will be at the behest of those who pad their wallets.

Several sponsors, including Adidas, BP and Budweiser, have called on soccer’s governing body to handle the corruption associated with the 2022 tournament. These sponsors, who pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the association with the World Cup, have become fearful of the effect of associating their brand with the alleged corruption that has seen Qatar awarded the tournament.

“We are concerned about the situation and are monitoring developments,” said Anheuser-Busch. “We expect FIFA to take all necessary steps to address the issue.”

“The negative tenor of the public debate around FIFA at the moment is neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners,” added Adidas, which has agreed to sponsor FIFA until 2030, extending a relationship dating back to 1970.

Former U.S. prosecutor Michael Garcia is expected to report to FIFA towards the end of the World Cup and soccer officials have stated that Qatar could be stripped of the tournament if corruption is found.

SAO PAULO SUBWAY STRIKE CONTINUES

With kickoff for the upcoming World Cup just days away, the people of Brazil have demonstrated that they find certain things more important than the upcoming tournament.

Sao Paulo metro workers continued their strike Monday and were met by riot police and tear gas for their efforts. The group of protesters, numbering roughly 300 Monday, are striking for a 12.2 percent salary increase.

The protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the already traffic-congested city of Sao Paulo. However, despite the potential lack of transportation for the tournament’s upcoming kickoff, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has stated that she will not allow violent protests to affect the World Cup.

The government is expected to deploy thousands of additional police to make sure tournament games run as smoothly as possible.

FRANCE ROUTS JAMAICA 8-0

There are few better ways to build momentum heading into a World Cup than battering your opponent by an 8-0 scoreline.

That is exactly what France did Sunday when they took on Jamaica behind goals from Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi, Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.

The French jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime before exploding for five second half goals in what turned out to be a dominant effort. The French were impressive, especially due to this week’s loss of star winger Franck Ribery.

France will now look towards Group E, where they will face Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland in the upcoming World Cup.

CHIVAS USA’S MINDA HEADING TO WORLD CUP

Major League Soccer is expected to be well-represented in the upcoming World Cup, with players such as Clint Dempsey, Tim Cahill, Roy Miller and Boniek Garcia all heading to Brazil to represent their home nation. The slew of MLS representatives have now been joined by one more late-addition: Chivas USA’s Oswaldo Minda.

The Chivas USA midfielder was called up to the Ecuador World Cup squad Sunday as a replacement for the injured Segundo Castillo after Castillo failed to fully recover from a ligament injury in his right knee that occurred during a friendly with Mexico on May 31.

The 30-year-old Minda, who was in the team’s original 30 man squad before the cut to 23, has started eight games for Chivas USA in 2014.

QUICK KICKS

Bayern Munich forward Mario Mandzukic said that he will leave the club this summer due to Pep Guardiola’s tactics and style of play. (REPORT)

David Beckham has reportedly offered David Moyes the manager job of Beckham’s Miami MLS franchise when the team officially joins the league. (REPORT)

Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick for Italy as a reserve-laden lineup took out Fluminense, 5-3, in a World Cup tune-up. (REPORT)

Hoffenheim forward Joselu is set to move to Hanover 96 for a €5 million transfer fee. (REPORT)

Queens Park Rangers are considering signing former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand this summer. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Reus moving to Barcelona this summer? Think that FIFA could be pressured into moving the World Cup away from Qatar? Do you see the Sao Paulo metro protests continuing?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Barcelona target Reus; Sponsors joining in FIFA protest; and more

  1. froboy says:

    The strike was ruled illegal by the Ministry of Labor, the Union is being fined in the ballpark of $220,000 a day they maintain the strike, will be interesting to see how they resolve it. SP is an impossible city with the metro, without it, no one will get to the game.

  2. Reboot says:

    Kevin Griezmann?

    “Garcia is expected a report?”

    Not your best go Ryan Tomlich.

  3. Andy says:

    Don’t blame Reus wanting to leave the Bundesliga. As a fan of the Bundesliga, it is a shame to see Bayern becoming too dominant.

    • twosevenstreet says:

      The issue is that teams constantly sell their best players to Bayern.

      This is why I think MLS will be a top League within 10 years. There is competitive balance because of the salary cap…. UEFA would be wise to force a continent wide salary cap

      • John says:

        Some guys move to big teams for less money. It’s the chance of being part of a legendary club. Bayern will always get the best players from the Bundesliga no matter what.

      • Brett says:

        Salary cap isn’t a great idea, but I would support a baseball/basketball style “luxury tax” that gets paid back into the league coffers and factors into the shared revenue for the next season.

        That way at least those teams that sell their best players because they can’t make competitive offers reap some benefit, maybe even use that extra spending money to bring along a few prospects and raise the level of play for those bottomfeeders.

        A salary cap will create parity but lower the overall standard of play and foment discontent among players who feel their earning potential is unfairly limited.

        • Increase says:

          Oh, actually a Luxury tax isn’t a bad idea. It lets teams spend big while setting a soft limit on spending. I wouldn’t do it on Salary though. Do it on transfers.

          Like say any team that spends more than $40 million in a transfer window pays a 1 time $10 million transfer fee.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I don’t blame Reus for wanting to leave, but it is laughable if he thinks that “moving to a bigger and more competitive league [than] the Bayern Munich-dominated Bundesliga” means going to La Liga. Well, okay: two is technically more than one.

      (And don’t anyone point to Atletico winning the league last season: they are being dismantled before next season—and Dortmund won the Bundesliga recently too.)

  4. hmm says:

    8-0 FRANCE you’re fooling no 1

    Honduras will beat u

  5. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Before anyone sings a bunch of praise on France for beating Jamaica 8-0… realize that Jamaica played exactly 2 players that took part in their qualifying match against the US almost 1 year ago…. this was a very weak Jamaica side that was flown in for a send off confidence boosting whipping.

  6. away goals says:

    The cynic in me assumes fifa’s partners care less about the corruption and more about competing with the nfl come winter 2022. Or would it be winter 2021?

    • iggy says:

      Think global not local. The NFL is not the first, second, or third thing on the mind of the sponsors.

      Besides, with time differences, really only the 1PM games would be in competition.

    • Tru Dat says:

      That’s pretty cynical. I think Adidas has very little care about the NFL…and by “very little” I mean absolutely none.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      The cynic in me notices that none of these sponsors made a peep about the 1,200 dead slave laborers, but now they’re all bent out of shape over bribery. “Human life is one thing, but money is precious!”

  7. Nate says:

    “The French were impressive, especially due to this week’s loss of star winger Franck Ribery.”

    That’s not very nice. Maybe you meant “despite”?

  8. bryan says:

    don’t do it Reus, don’t do it!

    nice to see sponsors piling on the pressure. at some point this is going to hit critical mass. my guess is immediately after the World Cup. i do find it a bit funny Budweiser is one of the sponsors speaking out given their strong arm, with FIFA’s help, to the Brazilian government regarding no beer in stadiums for 2014.

    but not that surprising either given Qatar doesn’t exactly have liberal alcohol laws themselves…