FIFA have blocked Barcelona’s plans to unveil new signing Luis Suárez to a packed crowd at the Camp Nou. While serving out his ban for biting, the club may not introduce him in such a manner.
FIFA’s head of media Delia Fischer told a news conference:
The ban relates to all football-related activity. He cannot be in a football-related public event irrespective of the venue. He cannot even be involved in a football-related charity event.
Suárez’s move from Liverpool, for a fee estimated at around $128m, is to be completed in the next few days. The last high-profile signing, Neymar, was unveiled in front of 90,000 Barcelona fans at the Camp Nou last June. Suárez, meanwhile, may be introduced in a ceremony at the city’s L’Auditori building.
The forward scored 33 goals in 34 games for Liverpool last season, which is precisely why Barcelona are willing to put up with all these headaches. Earlier today, we learned about reports that Suárez would see his salary docked should he bite yet another player. Now, the club are having to rearrange ceremonies meant to show off just how fantastic their new signing is.
Then again, Barcelona may be a bit desperate. By their standards, they had a bit of an off year last season. After winning La Liga four of the past five years, they came in second last season. Real Madrid pipped them to the Copa del Rey title. Atlético Madrid knocked them out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals (and took the title, for goodness sake).
Barcelona need to do something to get themselves back into winning ways. They’ve chosen Suárez, despite his four-month ban from all soccer-related activities. But will this signing continue to backfire?
The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
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The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.
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In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.
Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.
The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.
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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.
With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.
Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:
What a special moment in my professional life!
Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.
I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.
Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.
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While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.