Tuesday Kickoff: Rodriguez completes move to Real Madrid; Dunga to be next Brazil coach; and more

James Rodriguez of Columbia celebrates scoring a goal after making it 2-0

By DAN KARELL

Arguably the World Cup’s most exciting player is heading to Madrid.

Real Madrid welcomed with open arms their latest “galactico” signing, securing AS Monaco and Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez on a six-year contract. The transfer fee was undisclosed by Real Madrid but reports in Spain believe the fee to be in the region of 75 million euros ($101 million).

The 23-year-old completed his physical in Madrid on Tuesday morning and will be presented to media and fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium Tuesday evening.

Rodriguez captured the hearts and eyes of the world with tremendous performances at the 2014 World Cup, leading Colombia in its first trip to the quarterfinals and nearly defeating Brazil. James won the tournament’s Golden Boot with six goals and two assists, scoring in all five games he played.

Rodriguez joins Toni Kroos as Real Madrid’s two summer transfer signings so far, with more expected before the start of the season.

Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:

DUNGA TO RETURN AS BRAZIL COACH

After briefly flirting with the idea of hiring a foreign manager, Brazil’s FA is moving forward with another familiar face.

Former Brazil player and coach Dunga is set to be introduced today as the new manager of the national team, according to reports in Brazil. Dunga won a World Cup with Brazil in 1994 and was capped 91 times as a player before leading the Selecao from 2006 through the 2010 World Cup.

Since his firing following the World Cup in South Africa, Dunga has only held one coaching job, taking over former club Internacional from December 2012 to October 2013. He was fired after a poor string of results.

In his first spell as Brazil coach, Dunga was in charge of 60 games, winning 42, drawing 12, and losing six. Dunga replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari, who led Brazil to a Confederations Cup title but was also present for Brazil’s capitulation in the World Cup semifinals and third-place game on home soil.

QUICK KICKS

Michael Garcia’s ethics report into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has been delayed until September. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp has ruled out selling either Mats Hummels or Marco Reus this summer. (REPORT)

English FA president Greg Dyke said that England won’t bid on a World Cup or any FIFA international tournament as long as Sepp Blatter remains in charge. (REPORT)

Serbia is set to hire Dick Advocaat ahead of the 2016 UEFA European Championship qualification campaign. (REPORT)

Tottenham is keeping a close eye on Real Sociedad midfielder Antoine Griezmann. (REPORT)

Thiago has signed a new two-year contract with Atletico Madrid, spurning offers in England. (REPORT)

Fiorentina are nearing the signing of Argentine defender Jose Maria Basanta. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Rodriguez fitting into Real Madrid’s lineup? Do you feel they’ll have to sell someone else to afford his transfer fee? What do you think of Brazil going back to Dunga as coach?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Rodriguez completes move to Real Madrid; Dunga to be next Brazil coach; and more

  1. Bean says:

    This doesn’t leave much room for Isco to shine, and Alonso looked too good last season to sell. Madrid has a stacked midfield, though I do expect Di Maria to leave. PSG, or even Liverpool would be a good fit for him. There were some rumors of a loan deal to Liverpool for Isco as well.

    • RK says:

      Yeah, here we go again. Instead of sticking with what they’ve got, they have to go out and buy the newest shiny thing.

    • bryan says:

      yeah, unfortunately i think this means Isco is on his way out. Xabi or Khedira will start along with two of James, Modric, and Kroos.

  2. Colonel Angus says:

    Brazil’s response to their poor performance in the WC is to rehire Dunga? SMH.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Exactly. Dunga* is who Brazil need on the FIELD, not as a manager.

      Brazilians have the mentality that their Seleção is a collection of gods that needs only the right mystical coach-god to fulfill their ultimate destiny. They don’t look at their roster objectively, identify its weaknesses, and bring in a coach who will heartlessly—even disrespectfully, if needed—put players in their place, fill the gaps, and drop any sacred idols who aren’t part of the bigger picture.
      _________
      * Obviously “1994 Dunga,” not Dunga today; i.e., a leader who would have gotten in his team’s faces against Netherlands in 2010 and forced them to keep their cool instead of lose it and thus lose to an inferior side. And in 2014 would have kept things organized to at least make it a contest against Germany. And kept them from balling their eyes out over Group Stage victories. Etc.

      • JCC says:

        It’s not really any of that. It has more to do with the CBF being extremely corrupt, and hiring someone that’s not going to rock the boat to how things are done. Almost everyone in Brazil’s media was calling for a foreign coach in order to change how Brazilian soccer is run.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          It really is all of that. Pop quiz: how many foreign head coaches has Brazil hired over the past 80 years? Brazil’s media has always been talking about hiring a foreign coach because that shocking headline creates buzz—but notice that my comment referred to “Brazilians,” not “the Brazilian media.”

          Btw, this will mark the 8th time that the CBF has rehired a former manager. Two managers have been hired thrice! (I don’t know how that compares to other national teams.)

          • JCC says:

            Brazilians would be fine with a foreign coach. I’m not denying the CBF only hires Brazilian coaches, my argument is, that it’s not because of pressure from the Brazilian public, it has everything to do with the fact that bringing a foreigner in will stir nothing but trouble for the guys in the CBF who aren’t interested in reforming or restructuring their FA, as long as they get paid. The fact that the Brazilian Serie A has some of the lowest attended games in Latin America despite having more disposable income in their history is a testament to the fact that most Brazilians feel apathetic to the state of the sport in their country. The people want change but they won’t get it unless the CBF in current form is rebuilt and reformed for the ground up.

      • Neeskens13 says:

        Dunga was Brazil’s coach in 2010 for the game against Holland. I guess his “get-in-their-face” strategy didn’t work so well that day.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          That’s my point: Dunga on the field is not the same as Dunga on the sideline with a clipboard in his hands.

          • Neeskens13 says:

            You should read Tim Vickery’s article on the ESPN website. It makes for an interesting read on Dunga’s appointment.

          • GW says:

            When was the last time you saw a national team manager on the sidelines during a game with a clipboard in their hands?

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Figure of speech, GW.

              • GW says:

                Figure of speech or not the image of Dunga breaking a clipboard over the head of Marcelo or David Luiz is worth thinking about,

                I’m not sure you could call Filipao an easy rider but following him up with Dunga seems, to say the least, odd.

      • Tom Higgins says:

        This comment is so profound and so dam funny. Tears fill my eyes
        and i felt like “balling my eyes out” …Your a classic.

    • beto says:

      You would think that the largest footballing nation would have more than 2 coaches to choose from..

  3. Brain Guy says:

    There must have been a delay in the whitewash delivery to FIFA.

  4. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Sometimes an FA has trouble reading the signs. But sometimes they have trouble reading a forty foot high billboard surrounded by spot lights. This is Brazils response? Holy crud….

  5. cformusic says:

    lol at Dunga..CBF needs a total rehaul..its so weird as a soccer fan of any nation to see a weak Brazil..its a shame really

  6. beto says:

    Never said this before.. Good for the English FA don’t waste your cash on Sepp

    US is taking a strong stance too, we know they want it here but we won’t give them a dollar until their is improvements in the bidding process.

    • John says:

      By the time the bidding for the next World Cup or Euro starts, Blatter will be dead anyway. This is more symbolic than anything.

    • Adi in Oregon says:

      beto, Blatter now has a chance to be a hero to England AND the rest of the world by moving the 2018 WC from dictator Putin’s Russia to England (an alternate is to switch it to the US which would be a real soccer kick in Putin’s macho groin)!

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Beasley?

  8. FRANK says:

    TELL US ABOUT YELDIN
    HES NEXT STAR

  9. espada says:

    Maybe the CBF want Dunga to help reshape their defense and organization? Not sure if this will work out for their 2018 hopes, though.