Drogba

Didier Drogba confirms Galatasaray exit, could he return to England?

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Chelsea legend Didier Drogba confirmed via Instagram that he will be leaving Turkish giants Galatasaray at the expiry of his contract this summer.

With his exit in mind, could the ageless Ivorian make a return to the Premier League?

The 36-year-old clearly still have plenty of love for his former club Chelsea, with Drogba claiming he was the “luckiest man in the Champions League” upon learning his Galatasaray would match up with the Blues in the competition.

Reports have indicated that Jose Mourinho could be interested in returning Drogba to the place he wont the Champions League in 2012, but that would likely be contingent on a number of things falling into place.

It is true that Chelsea are starving for striker help. However, with Diego Costa rumored to be on his way to Stamford Bridge, and both Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o already in place, there is simply no roster room for Drogba unless one of the incumbents were to leave.

However, there still could be plenty of places Drogba could land in the Premier League, given his experience and knowledge of the league, which can’t be underestimated.

With the following being pure speculation, Tottenham could use a striker of Drogba’s caliber, with Roberto Soldado having an underwhelming first season and Emmanuel Adebayor a bit overwhelmed with his workload towards the end of the season.

Arsenal would be glad to have Drogba’s services to back up Olivier Giroud, with the squad starving for depth up front.  Everton could surely use him if Romelu Lukaku were to depart.

Even Liverpool could be a conceivable destination for the striker.  Despite the overwhelming success Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge found this season, next year’s journey in the Champions League could test their depth and the pair have little behind them up front.  Sturridge carried the team throughout Suarez’s early suspension, but could he do so again in a busier season?

The speculation is interesting and fun to imagine where Drogba could find himself playing, but with the striker bagging 15 goals in a Galatasaray shirt this past season, he clearly still has plenty to offer even at his advanced age.  He would likely no longer be the feature striker, but slid into an already established attack, he could return to being a deadly force in the English top flight.

If he were to find himself outside of England, it’s conceivable he would look for another challenge to add to his resume, and maybe his former club could open up a door at Atletico Madrid were Chelsea to successfully pry Diego Costa from the La Liga champions.

Finally, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to see him try out the United States, and there’s no question Major League Soccer would welcome him with open arms.

Where do you see Drogba ending up at the start of next season?

Bayern’s Vidal says “ugly” Atletico not deserved UCL finalists

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Juanfran of Atletico Madrid and Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich argue during the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Bayern Muenchen at Vincente Calderon on April 27, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.

Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.

They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.

The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.

Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.

[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]

Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.

Europa League preview: Liverpool, Shakhtar look to overcome Spanish foes

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - APRIL 28:  Cedric Bakambu of Villarreal is watched by the Liverpool defence during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.

[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]

Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0

Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.

[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]

Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw 

Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Men in Blazers podcast: Celebrating Leicester’s title with Arlo White

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In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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European police say Russian mafia infiltrating soccer clubs

LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 04:  Sporting Lisbon fans celebrate after their team score a goal during the Portuguese Liga match between Sporting Lisbon and Uniao Leiria at the Alvalade XXI Stadium on November 4, 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.

[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]

Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.

Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.

Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.