Official: Jose Mourinho to leave Real Madrid

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What’s been coming for a long time is now official.  Jose Mourinho’s three-year tenure at Real Madrid has a finish line.  He will leave the Spanish giants at the end of the season.

Madrid’s president Florentino Perez confirmed in a press conference today, “The time is right to bring our relationship to an end. Nobody has been sacked, it is a mutual agreement.”  Perez also added a token of appreciation, saying, “On behalf of the directors, I would like to thank Jose Mourinho for his hard work over the last three years.”

Mourinho will remain in charge for the club’s final two Primera Division matches against Osasuna and Real Sociedad.

Because the “Special One” has mutually agreed to terminate the contract, he is forgoing the €20 million ($26 million) compensation clause in the event he was sacked.  The club also forgoes a clause of the same amount paid to them in the case Mourinho left for another club.

Perez said that Mourinho leaves without any pre-contract agreement currently in place with another club.  He has been heavily linked with a return to English giants Chelsea, where he managed for a successful yet tumultuous 2 seasons.

Linked with Madrid to replace him has been the likes of PSG head Carlo Ancelotti, although the French champions have recently said they will not agree to release Ancelotti from his contract there.  Current lame duck Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has also been in the mix.

Mourinho called this season at Real Madrid the “worst of his career” thanks to their finishing second in the Primera Division standings, being knocked out of the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund in the semifinals, and most recently losing to Atletico Madrid in the finals of the Copa Del Rey, during which Mourinho was sent off.  Real did win the Supercopa de Espana this year, which pits the previous season’s champions against the previous season’s league cup champions, much like the Community Shield of the Premier League.

“Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings

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With eight games gone and 30 to go in the Premier League, now is the time that those preseason predictions start to get revised and new knee-jerk picks are made.

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Stats.com have run the numbers through their “super computer” — how big is this thing? To me, it’s the size of several rooms… — and the intriguing table will surprise many.

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Manchester City will win the title, pipping Arsenal to the crown, while Manchester United will finish in third and Chelsea will recover to finish fourth. At the bottom, only Bournemouth will be relegated out of the newly promoted teams, while it is looking bleak for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

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Do you agree with the findings of Stats.com?

Click on this link via talkSPORT to see the points tally for each team, as it promises to be a tight race for the title and against relegation.

Predicted final Premier League table

1- Manchester City
2- Arsenal
3 – Manchester United
4- Chelsea
5- Liverpool
6- Tottenham Hotspur
7- Everton
8- Southampton
9- Crystal Palace
10- West Ham United
11- Swansea City
12- Stoke City
13- Leicester City
14 – West Bromwich Albion
15- Newcastle United
16- Norwich City
17- Watford
18- Bournemouth
19- Aston Villa
20- Sunderland

After defying quit calls, Blatter mediates between FAs

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ZURICH (AP) After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at soccer’s governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations on Tuesday.

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Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told The Associated Press: “Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humor.”

According to Rajoub, Blatter ruled at Tuesday’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s federation that a decision to force the Palestinians to play a World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue was “invalid.”

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FIFA’s World Cup committee initially ordered the Oct. 13 game to be relocated from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan after the first leg was played in Riyadh.

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Rajoub says FIFA has now agreed to postpone the fixture until a resolution is found.