Bon diá! Villarreal began training yesterday. Afterward, our new acqusition César met the press, stating his willingness to help the Villarreal side however he can, and Coach Juan Carlos Garrido also spoke and emphasized the team's determination to be even better this year. (If you click on the links you can see the new training jerseys for coach and keeper--the outfield players' are like the coach's but with reversed colors. After last year's great training jersey, these are decidedly unimpressive, sorry to say).
The topic of transfers (of course) came up and Garrido said he hopes the team will add a player even if no one leaves, and he'll be happy if that's the case. (Villarreal and Sevilla are both being linked with Colombian international Hugo Rodallega, currently at Wigan). And if it happens that there is a move out, then there will be additions.
Of course the big player in the news is Giuseppe Rossi. I must confess I'm getting a little tired of reports that are simply misleading. For example, this one, published today, still has Barcelona among the teams chasing Beppe. Uh, were you asleep the entire month of June?
And of course the Italian press, which can make a headline from nothing to start with, has now taken Sr. Roig's comments, published July 7 in AS, and placed them in a context where it appears they've been made today and addressed directly to Juventus. Since Sr. Roig has also gone on record earlier this month as saying that the longer teams wait to come in for our stars, the higher a price they will pay, he might indeed feel this way, but the way in which they have been used is misleading, made even more so since in the past half-hour it's been picked up by Goal.com and given the headline "Roig invites Juventus to make a move" which is patently untrue. (As for that matter was yesterday's EPM article, since it's clear no offer has been made by Juve to Villarreal at this point).
Rossi of course has said nothing about any special interest in Juventus, and even his agent has said only that Juventus is like an "attractive lady that needs to visit the beauty parlor" (sorry, I couldn't find the article where he said this again) inasmuch as the club has a nice history but has struggled recently. So I'm really not expecting anything to happen. But who knows.
Now, the Juan Carlos confusion. Last week we mentioned Zaragoza as a potential loan destination for our keeper Juan Carlos, picking up a report from a Villarreal fans' website in Spain. Within a day or two we were asked how Zaragoza could pay €2.5m for him when they were in bankruptcy, which seemed an odd question given that the original report mentioned no terms and everyone knows Villarreal prefer to loan him for a year anyhow.
Well, the answer may have surfaced: Tim Stannard's article on Spanish teams in bankruptcy mentions Zaragoza offering €2.5m for a Real Madrid winger, Juan Carlos (whom he calls Carlo in the article). So it's not our Juan Carlos after all. We had a similar problem this year when someone confused Giuseppe Rossi and Daniele De Rossi, as I recall. Ah well.
Other things of potential interest:
Remember that Fener narrowly won the Turkish league; might UEFA banish them from the CL as a result of this investigation?
The USA defeats Brazil in the quarterfinals in a controversial game (ref issues once again, surprise, surprise). Check out the video, dicey penalty kick decisions, strange red card, potential offside goal and all, but don't miss the pass that resulted in the tying USA goal with the final kick--well, header, actually--of extra time. Borja Valero would be proud of that one.
Mexico defeated Uruguay 2-0 to win the U-17 World Cup; here are some names we may see in a few years in Europe or in the World Cup proper. Mexico is turning out great young players year after year.
Football is often a reflection of the society in which it's played, which can be both good and bad. Here, a report on an African national team trying to get its act together, in a country trying to do the same thing. Enjoy!