Barcelona haven’t had the best of seasons. Out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals thanks to those upstarts Atlético Madrid. Nearly out of the title race thanks, again, to Atleti. Absolutely out of the Copa del Rey after a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
Barca’s performances in recent seasons, combined with their successful history in general, has led to a culture of expectation around the club. The criticism from both the media and the fans often grows harsher and harsher which each perceived “failure” by the team.
Dani Alves has been a particular target for those wishing to vent about Barcelona’s disappointing season. The Brazilian joined Barcelona in 2008, with the club shelling out the highest transfer fee ever paid for a defender. Six years on, rumors are that Barcelona are ready for the 31-year-old to move on – and that he has, in fact, already agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain.
While Alves won’t confirm whether he’s off to Paris, he has made it extremely clear that he will not stay at Barcelona unless the atmosphere surrounding the club changes drastically:
It takes a lot to get to Barcelona, and whoever it hurts I am part of the history of this club. I need energy, it is what moves me, I am a happy person. I have always been like that, but when the results not being as people expected there have to be shots fired, and I feel fired at. If you begin to feel the energy is negative, then things do not flow. If this energy does not change, for sure I will leave because it takes a lot out of you. For me to stay this summer the energy would have to change.
It’s certainly sounding as though next season’s Barcelona will be out another familiar face…
PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.
The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.
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Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.
The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.
The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.
Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.
The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.
The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.
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The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.
Here’s Real’s announcement:
Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.
Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…
[ MORE: Full 2016-17 PL season reviews ]
The 2016-17 Premier League season is over but you can vote for your favorite goal of the campaign up until June 1.
Simply click on the video above to watch the contenders compiled by Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, and then you can vote by clicking here.
MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.
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The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.
Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.
Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.
Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.
Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.