Unrest continues at Real Madrid, as Mourinho and star names squabble

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All is not well at the Santiago Bernabeu.

In an unprecedented step the Spanish giants cancelled their usual Friday pre-match press conference, in a bid to stop further controversy spreading between Jose Mourinho and his players.

During recent press conferences, Mourinho has criticized Iker Casillas and Pepe as other Real Madrid stars have called for the in-fighting to stop.

“Perhaps now is the moment to say enough, to move on from the controversies with the boss, with Iker, with Pepe,” Real defender Sergio Ramos, told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Thursday. “Let’s leave behind the controversy and the individual egos and focus on the union of the team which is fundamental, and without which success is impossible.”

Mourinho’s reign at Real has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. And the Portuguese manager has hardly moved to dispel rumors of an impending move back to England to manage Chelsea. “”I know in England I am loved. I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one.”

He would be a popular choice with fans, players and the media if he was to return to Chelsea. But would Real Madrid miss him? Nope.

The fact of the matter is; fans booed Mourinho’s name when it was announced on Wednesday night during the 6-2 win over Malaga. He has wrangled and upset the ancient hierarchy at Real and now he is publicly criticizing players and causing divisions in his squad. He is creating an incredible mess. One that someone else is likely to clean up.

He has one more year left on his deal after this season. But he won’t stay. He can’t stay. Can he?

Mourinho aimed for Champions League success with Real, he has failed. Despite going out agonizingly in the semifinals in the past two years, it wasn’t quite good enough.

Madrid will buy more star players, hand over the reigns to another talented manager and most likely watch it all unravel once more as the monster egos that exist at the club collide. Mourinho wants out. Madrid want him out.

Come on Mr. Abramovich, just announce Mourinho as the new Chelsea manager before he ruins one of Europe’s finest soccer institutions…oh, wait. That’s part of the plan? In that case, he’s doing well. As they say, ‘keep calm and carry on, Jose.’ Or something like that.

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

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Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

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Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

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Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.