If you think Julian Green snubbing Germany is bad, this is a hundred times more alarming.
It seems winning the World Cup wasn’t enough for the German national team to convince 18-year-old rising star Donis Avdijaj to stick with his birth country, as the up-and-coming striker has reportedly chosen instead to play for Albania.
Playing for Schalke’s youth side, Avdijaj has an incredible $65 million release clause, which is $6 million more than club-mate Julian Draxler’s.
With Draxler and 19-year-old Max Meyer, Schalke has an insane youth setup, but the national side couldn’t capitalize.
Big news this morning. Schalke wunderkind Donis Avdijaj has rejected an approach from the DFB to play for Germany and will play for Albania.
Avdijaj has played for the German youth side, and has an insane scoring record across his club youth career, bagging 79 goals in 87 appearances. Last season alone, he bagged 54 goals and 16 assists in just 45 matches for club and country at the youth level, a simply stunning tally.
Before signing his new contract with the release clause in March, it was reported that Liverpool was interested in Avdijaj, but likely the new deal has held them off at least for the time being.
Germany will be fine without him, but the miss is big, especially since his other two options were European minnows Albania and Kosovo. Fair play to the kid, who clearly put his feelings of national identity and/or a desire for playing time over the big name team.
The Albanian press has tabbed Avdijaj as the next Thomas Muller, despite being only seven years younger than the German striker.
The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.
My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.
2018 MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)
Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.
Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:
“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”
Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.
Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.