Co-ownership in Italian soccer is about to come to an end

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Italy’s Serie A is a handful of big teams followed by a collection of scavengers living off the pickings. At least, if you looked at the squad lists of teams that make up the middle of bottom of the league’s table, that would be a reasonable conclusion, considering the large numbers of players from Italy’s big clubs that litter those rosters. Be it via loan, co-ownership, or through academy products, the influence of Juventus, Milan, and Inter Milan can at times dominate squads of many of the division’s other clubs.

According to Giancarlo Abete, however, one means of exerting that influence is going to disappear. Co-ownership, which the Italian soccer federation president identifies as an “atypical” problem compared to the rest of Europe, is going the way of the dinosaur. The practice will be banned by the FIGC.

From Reuters:

“From the next transfer window onwards, the co-ownership of players will no longer be possible,” Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete said on the organisation’s website.

“This has been questioned many times by public opinion and it is also evident that it is atypical compared to the rest of Europe,” he added.

Co-ownership, usually with both clubs own a 50 percent stake in a player, serves a number of different purposes in Italy, but often it gives the bigger club what’s essentially a right of refusal on a player. In the case of 19-year-old Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi, who scored 16 goals this season, Juventus’s ownership stake gives the Old Lady a get the talented prospect back.

In most cases, the difference between a loan deal with an option to buy and a co-ownership deal is either semantic or procedural, depending on how you look at it. Same goes for a  straight sale with a buy-back clause. As of now, however, Serie A is taking away one of those procedures.

Now, if Italy’s big clubs are going to sprinkle their players throughout the league, they’re just going to have to do it like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and other clubs: Put a buy-back clause in the deal. Sure, the function’s the same, allowing the bigger team to pull back talent at any time, but at least it’s not co-ownership.

Juan Carlos Osorio to become new Mexico boss

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Mexico looks to have found a new manager in Juan Carlos Osorio.

Osorio, who had stints managing in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, was most recently coaching in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

However, the Brazilian club released a statement today that Osorio had decided to step down from his position in order to take the Mexico job.

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Following Miguel Herrera’s firing in July, Ricardo Ferretti was named interim manager of El Tri, and will coach the side in Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against the United States. However, Ferretti has stated he will not stay with Mexico past that match, and will return to Liga MX, where he serves as manager of Tigres UANL.

Osorio had recently been linked with the Mexico job, but said he would take his time in making a decision.

His only other exposure to Mexican football came during a short stint in Liga MX managing Puebla. He lasted just seven matches before resigning and returning to manage in his native Colombia.

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He was in line to take charge of the Honduras national team in 2011, but he was unable to get out of the contract with the Colombian team he was managing at the time.

There has been no official confirmation of the hiring from the Mexican Federation.

Benzema and Benitez in a war of words at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Rafael Benitez (R) of Real Madrid CF gives instructions to his player Karim Benzema (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Malaga CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his eight appearances for Real Madrid this season, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga.

Despite being in great form, Benzema has continuously been substituted by manager Rafa Benitez, which has upset the French striker.

Benzema opened the scoring for Real in the Madrid derby over the weekend, but was taken off in the 77th minute. Atletico would go on to score minutes later as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Speaking after the game, Benzema said he was “fed up” with being taken off, but will continue to work to help his team.

Substitutions are what the coach decides, I’m just there to help my teammates.

It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always subtituted. He took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.

It’s true that the electronic board always shows the No.9. Ask Benitez why that is.

When told about Benzema’s comments, Benitez said he made the change for tactical reasons, as Real was in the lead and he replaced the striker with a more defensive-minded player in midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

I needed to give the team some balance at that point in the game. I’m a huge fan of Benzema. If I were Karim, I’d also be angry at being taken off when I thought I was playing well and was on a great run of form.

What I’d do if I were Karim is score more goals so that next time I don’t have to be taken off and can say, ‘Hey, here I am.’

Benitez’s response comes off as a backhanded compliment, asking Benzema to “score more goals,” despite the player leading La Liga in scoring. In fact, Benzema has averaged a goal every 84 minutes this season, an incredible strike rate.

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Over the summer, Benzema was linked with a move away from Real Madrid, but he constantly denied the rumors and said he never thought about leaving the club, which he called the best in the world. Just a few matches into the new season, there may be some trouble in paradise.