Those following the Argentina football saga will now trace the path of federation leader Armando Perez across Europe as he seeks guidance and forgiveness from his country’s best.
Along the way, he’ll try to convince some high-profile coaches to give their nation’s top job consideration, and some superstars not to quit the squad.
It’s difficult to believe Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino or Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone would leave their UEFA Champions League campaigns to join a floundering unit that may not have Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and any number of quality Argentine stars.
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While the headlines around the globe claim Perez wants Pochettino or Simeone to take over for resigned coach Tata Martino, courtesy of a La Nacion report, could either newly-extended coach possibly leave their cushy gigs simply out of national pride (for a federation widely considered a total mess).
On Thursday, reports emerged that Argentina was willing to “share” Simeone with Atleti, and that’s something that could set a standard throughout the world. If a federation had trusted pieces in place to identify and monitor talent, a big name coach could — theoretically — deal tactically in the same international break windows as his players come together. AS says that the same deal would be possible for Pochettino and Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli.
There are a lot of plusses and minuses for the idea, but having a Simeone behind the bench would add lustre to international friendlies let alone competitions like the World Cup. Clubs would be hard-wired against the idea, but imagine Man City’s Pep Guardiola also leading Spain or Zinedine Zidane leading France and Real Madrid.
As for Messi, Perez also is hoping to convince the world’s best player to quash his retirement from international football, something that would surely lead to stability from the rest of the team. At least in this regard, let’s hope Perez is a smooth talker.
Maybe Zinedine Zidane ought to rethink his stance on Gareth Bale?
Of course it’s just preseason, but the on-the-market Real Match forward subbed into Tuesday’s match in Maryland on Tuesday and spearheaded a comeback 2-2 draw against Arsenal.
Real won in penalties, as all International Champions Cup matches must have a winner.
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Real was down a man after 10 minutes when Nacho Fernandez handled a ball on the goal line, and Arsenal also went down a man when Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his second yellow of the contest in the 40th minute.
Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty, then set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a goal 14 minutes later as the Gunners handled their business early.
The chemistry between two remains very real.
Real started new boys Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic in addition to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos.
Bale came in for Hazard at halftime and poked a 57th minute rebound home and Marcelo set up Marco Asensio two minutes later to complete the comeback.
Asensio, sadly, would only last a few more minutes, needing to be stretchered off with injury.
Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.
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PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel
Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.
Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.
Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.
The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen
Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET
Those tired of seeing Harry Maguire‘s name in the headlines, hoping his transfer saga had concluded with weekend reports that Manchester United agreed to a fee with Leicester City, well, they are going to be sorely disappointed.
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Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers credited Maguire for his professionalism — the center back scored in a friendly win on Tuesday — and said that the club’s vice chairman Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha has not received a fitting bid for the 26 year old’s services.
From The Leicester Mercury:
“There’s no big pressure to sell any player. If a player does leave Leicester City, then the player would need to be met because we have a top-level player, coveted by top-level clubs and I respect that,” Rodgers said. “Harry is on a long contract here and there’s been no valuation or near to that which would make Top have a look.”
Look, we’ve still got a few weeks until the close of the window, and every supporter has a target they want their club to acquire and some have some assets they hope stay in the same shirt at the deadline.
The Maguire story is getting a bit tedious now. He wants to go to Manchester United, but Rodgers is happy to keep him at Leicester. Maguire’s not the player who will quit on the club if he’s not sold, and Leicester’s hope of landing a replacement will dip as the deadline draws nearer and clubs like Burnley (James Tarkowski) realize their replacements options have been lessened by the wait.
Vincent Janssen‘s less-than-ideal tenure with Tottenham Hotspur has come to its end, and he’s moving his way to this side of the Atlantic.
Liga MX side Monterrey has agreed to buy Janssen, Spurs announced Tuesday. The deal is for a reported $8 million.
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The Dutchman turned 25 this summer. He played just 42 times for Spurs after arriving from AZ Alkmaar for around $25 million in 2016, scoring six times, but did manage five goals and four assists in a half-year loan to Fenerbahce in 2017-18.
Janssen saw his time with the Netherlands national team peter out during his tenure at Spurs. After a red-hot start, he has not been capped since 2017. Janssen has seven goals in 17 caps.
His time at Spurs cannot be labeled as anything but a gigantic bust, but Janssen is still pretty young and has a chance to recapture his career momentum.
And he looks pretty happy about it.