Any time Germany comes up against Italy something tasty will be served up for our viewing pleasure and Bayern Munich versus Juventus certainly tops the menu in my book. Both teams are romping away with their domestic titles so no distractions can be offered up as excuses when the dust finally settles.
Bayern feels like the team on a mission for a number of reasons. Last year they lost in the final on their own patch to Chelsea and that still brings a sick lump to their throats. Coach, Juup Heynckes will be leaving the club at the end of the season and craves holding the cup with big ears one more time while the players know that this team will probably start fragmenting when Pep Guardiola takes the reins.
On their day the Germans look unstoppable however a bad day at the office against Arsenal has led some to believe that their mystique maybe a little more fragile than previously thought. The number of match winners within the squad though makes the third favorite tag justifiable.
Two time Champions, Juventus, have quietly gone about their business and almost silently made it to this point of the competition. In Andrea Pirlo they have a magician and the former AC Milan man knows what it feels like to lift this trophy. The Italian international has been reborn in Turin and if Toni Kroos fails to stop the supply line Juventus could steal a goal in Munich and you just know at home the bolt will close the door.
Juventus have been quiet for a number of years since the 2006 betting scandal, they’re now back and they’re making noise. Will it be enough…?
Ex-Guatemalan soccer chief pleads guilty in FIFA bribe case
Brayan Jimenez pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. It’s unclear when he’ll be sentenced.
The 62-year-old Jimenez is among 40 people from around the world charged in a FIFA bribery scandal over lucrative broadcasting rights.
Prosecutors say Jimenez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Florida-based sports marketing company. They say in exchange for the money Jimenez awarded the company media marketing rights to the Guatemalan soccer team’s World Cup qualifying matches in 2018 and 2022.
Jimenez’s attorneys haven’t returned a message seeking comment on his guilty plea.
D.C. United acquires Igboananike from Fire in trade
After recently trading for New York City FC forward Patrick Mullins and New York Red Bulls midfielder Lloyd Sam, D.C. has completed a trade for Chicago Fire attacker Kennedy Igboananike in exchange for target allocation money and a third-round draft selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
In over a season-and-a-half in MLS with the Fire, Igboananike notched 11 goals and four assists in 49 matches. The Nigerian forward is a Designated Player, and is due to make over $900,000, according to the MLS Players’ Union website.
While the Blues have maintained their position that Costa isn’t for sale, Atletico looks to boost its already strong offense with the 27-year-old Spaniard. Diego Simeone’s group already features talented attacking duo Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres.
During his previous stint in La Liga, Costa netted 56 goals across all competitions in two seasons with the Rojiblancos.
Chelsea is reportedly pursuing former striker Romelu Lukaku after signing Belgian Michy Batshuayi this summer. Antonio Conte’s side also features young forward Bertrand Traore, who has made a strong impression during the preseason.
Manchester City has made a final push for Everton defender John Stones, and has set its last offer at $52 million. Last month, the Citizens made the same exact bid for the 22-year-old, which was rejected by Everton.