Gareth Bale has enjoyed the season of his life for Tottenham Hotspur and is the front-runner for the prestigious Player’s Player of the Year award. With the ballots out and his peers voting, it seems that his only serious contender for the award is former, north London rival and Red Devil top goal scorer, Robin van Persie.
As a player, individual awards are nice on the shelf but quickly forgotten when compared to medals, just ask RVP, who moved to Manchester to quench that desire. A move that increasingly looks like paying off with a Premier League title.
Bale 23, who is six years younger than the Dutchman has that same type of hunger and is quickly coming to the realization that while Tottenham is a great club to play for, the chances of consistent silverware are remote unless you can count on the occasional cup run.
With the campaign in the final stretch, the rumors on where he may begin next season are heating up. Real Madrid has been offered as a possible destination however players from the British Isles that have succeeded on the continent, can all but be counted on one hand. If Bale is to move, it’ll be to a Premiership rival and Manchester United have become favorites to gain his signature.
Tottenham have been quick to attached an exorbitant sum of money on their crown jewel according to the Express asking for an eye watering 70 million pounds which would make Bale the 2nd most expensive player ever after Cristiano Ronaldo should such a transfer come about.
If Bale continues his sizzling form and takes Spurs to Europa League glory and qualification to next year’s Uefa Champions League, expect that number to keep growing.
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Mexican sides UANL Tigres and Pachuca are quarterfinalists, while Panamanian side Arabe Unido and Costa Rican stalwarts Saprissa advanced as well.
The field’s eighth team will be set after the 10 p.m. ET matchup between Honduras Progreso and Mexico’s UNAM.
The Whitecaps are the No. 1 seed, and could well match-up with the Red Bulls if there is a winner between UNAM and Honduras Progreso. If Honduras Progreso advances via draw, the Hondurans will be the No. 8 seed.
NEW YORK (AP) A Florida businessman pleaded guilty in New York to conspiracy charges Thursday in a scheme to pay bribes to high-ranking soccer officials in exchange for media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments and matches.
Aaron Davidson, 45, entered the plea in Brooklyn federal court. Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen was set for April 24, when Davidson could face decades in prison. As part of his plea, he agreed to forfeit more than a half-million dollars.
Davidson was arrested last year in the FIFA probe after prosecutors said soccer officials accepted $150 million in bribes over a 24-year period in exchange for rigging bids for lucrative marketing rights. Davidson ran a Miami-based marketing firm. He was arrested along with more than a dozen other people in a case prosecuted in the United States on the grounds that illegal payments used U.S. banks and those involved conducted meetings in the United States.
Prosecutors said Davidson negotiated and agreed to make bribe payments totaling more than $14 million, executing multiple criminal schemes including the agreement to pay bribes to a high-ranking official of FIFA, CONCACAF, the Caribbean Football Union and one of FIFA’s national member associations.
“To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan for example is almost the same or the same as if you go to New York. For the fans it’s no problem but we should see. It’s a European competition so let’s think about it.”
Given the preseason matches played in the United States, China, and Australia, it makes sense to stage an important UEFA match outside Europe. Those first two countries especially aim to become power players in the game, and certainly it would benefit UEFA to showcase its absolute finest (if only as a reminder).
We don’t get to see entire first teams playing the game in earnest when friendlies hit U.S. soil, and the successful Copa America showed UEFA that CONMEBOL and CONCACAF trust the States with critical matches.
Selfishly, of course we want this. And selfishly, of course Europe wants to keep it. Their fans wouldn’t necessarily want to take an incredibly expensive trip to see a UCL final.