Super Mario could be heading back to England this summer.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday in the UK, Mario Balotelli’s time at AC Milan could be up and a move back to the Premier League is likely after the fiery forward is said to be sick and tired of the racist abuse hurled at him in Serie A.
Plus, he apparently realizes that life as PL superstar wasn’t all that bad, after all.
Balotelli, 23, left Manchester City in January 2013 after helping the Citizens to win the PL title but his wacky antics on and off the pitch all became a bit too much for everyone at the Etihad Stadium.
However with both Arsenal and Liverpool on the hunt for attackers to boost their squads for an assault on the Champions League next season, Balotelli’s big-game experience could be crucial. If you manage to massage his ego, Balotelli showed in his second season at City that he can be a real handful. He scored 17 goals in 32 games and proved he’s an absolute menace… when he wants to be.
The Italian international suits English soccer as his pace and power are perfect for the PL and if he’s handled correctly — that’s difficult to do after stunts such as setting off fireworks from his bathroom, handing out money to homeless people, being allergic to grass and many other issues — he could be an absolute bargain with Milan ready to offload him and they can’t offer him European soccer next season after they finished seventh this season. Despite their struggles, Balotelli has banged in 30 goals in 54 games for AC over the last two seasons and will be at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, strutting his stuff with his usual panache.
Do Arsenal or Liverpool need Balotelli?
Liverpool could certainly use depth up top because if either Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez get injured for a long period of time then stand-ins such as Iago Aspas could struggle massively. As for Arsenal, they have Olivier Giroud and then youngster Yaya Sanogo who occupy the top two spots on their depth chart of strikers. For so long Arsene Wenger has been urged to go out and buy a top quality striker. Is Balotelli the right man for the Gunners? His direct style of play is certainly something very different to what they are used to and I’m not sure I can see Wenger putting up with Balotelli’s antics for too long.
Both PL teams need to buy a striker this summer to be successful domestically and in Europa next season, but is Balotelli the man they will go for?
John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.
That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.
Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.
The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.
Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.
Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.
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The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.
The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.
Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.
According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.
The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”
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“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”
Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.
The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.
This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.
The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.
But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.
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And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.
Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.
Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:
“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.
“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”