Manchester City FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League

Which Americans have advanced deep in Champions League?

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There has been one American in UEFA’s Champions League final. Probably. Depending a bit on how you look at it, that is.

There has yet to be a full U.S. international in the Champions League final, but Borussia Dortmund’s Nevin Subotić now becomes the first American to play in the championship match of the globe’s grandest club tournament.

Subotic, whose family is Serbian, moved to the United States in 1999, settling into Salt Lake City.

They soon relocated to Bradenton, Fla., where Subotic’s sister attended the Bollettieri Tennis Academy.  He was spotted there by U.S. Soccer staffers, eventually played for the U.S. under-17 team and the U.S. under-20s and then … well, there’s a lot of fouled water under that bridge. Let’s just say it didn’t work out, he chose to play for Serbia and not everyone on our side of the soccer world is all that happy about it.

Point is, the big and nimble center back was eligible to play for the United States national team; today, he’s in the worldwide UEFA spotlight.

So … no U.S. internationals have appeared in a UCL final. One did appear in a Champions League semifinal, however:

That was DaMarcus Beasley, who was with PSV in 2005 when the Dutch club could not quite squeeze by Italian power AC Milan in the UEFA semis.

PSV lost the first leg at the San Siro, 2–0. The Dutch club won 3-1 at the Philips Stadion but failed to advance due to the away goals rule.

He remains the highest scoring American player in UEFA Champions League history – and will probably hold that title for a while, seeing as Clint Dempsey’s Spurs missed out on their attempts to get into Europe’s top competition for the 2013-14 season.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

[ MORE: Klinsmann sends Johnson home ]

Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT future ]

Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?