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Jorge Sampaoli resigns as Santos boss

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Brazilian club Santos confirmed Tuesday evening that manager Jorge Sampaoli has resigned as boss.

Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America in charge of Chile but could not recreate that success with the Argentinian national team, signed on with Santos a year ago and guided them to a second-place finish in the Brazilian top flight, 16 points behind runaway champions Flamengo. His contract had another year, expiring in the winter of 2020, but with reports of offers from multiple clubs, he has stepped down.

The most widely reported destination is fellow Brazilian club Palmeiras, whom many believe Sampaoli has already entered talks with. He has also been linked with Argentinian club Racing, and his name has cropped up on occasion with the Arsenal vacancy, although that seems like a longshot. It was said in late October that Sampaoli had an offer from an unnamed La Liga club, but those rumors have cooled.

His reason for leaving Santos after just one successful season in charge is unconfirmed, but rumors are circulating that Sampaoli had incredibly ambitious transfer plans for the offseason, and when club president Jose Carlos Peres could not guarantee his support, the relationship became strained.

The 2019 season was mostly successful for Sampaoli at Santos, finishing second in the league table, but the secondary competitions were somewhat disappointing. They received a tough first-round draw in the Copa Sudamericana, falling to River Plate on away goals. They were also ousted from the Copa do Brasil in the Round of 16, falling 2-1 to an Atletico Minero side that finished 13th in the league table.

Sampaoli gives pay back to Santos until players are paid

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SAO PAULO (AP) Santos coach Jorge Sampaoli has given his pay back to the Brazilian club until his players get paid.

The Argentine says the club should pay every worker on the same day.

Brazilian media say Santos has not paid its players since the beginning of February. Club executives pledged to solve the problem in early March, but that did not happen.

Sampaoli, a former coach of Argentina’s national team, also criticized the club’s executives.

After an impressive start to the season, Santos has failed to win its last three matches in the Sao Paulo state championship. The team lost to Botafogo 4-0 on Wednesday.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Crowd trouble mars Santos-Independiente Copa Libertadores match

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Frustration overtook the common sense of some Santos fans, leading to a Copa Libertadores match last night ending before full time.

With fans of the famed Brazilian club throwing flares on the field and rioting in the stands, referee Julio Bascunan called the match late in the second half between Santos and Independiente of Argentina, giving the Argentine side a 3-0 aggregate win in the Copa Libertadores Round of 16.

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Much of the frustration from the Santos supporters came after CONMEBOL ruled that Santos used an ineligible player, Carlos Sanchez. Sanchez received a red card in a Copa Sudamericana match in 2015, and hadn’t served that suspension in South America between then and now. Although the first leg in Argentina finished 0-0, Independiente was awarded a 3-0 win due to Santos’ error.

Santos’ defeat leaves just Gremio as a non-Argentine side on their side of the knockout round bracket. Atletico Tucuman, who only qualified for the Copa Libertadores for making it to the Copa Argentina final (the club finished 15th in the Argentine league last season), incredibly defeated recent Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Nacional, 2-1 on aggregate.

Real Madrid sign Brazilian teenage sensation Rodrygo

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Real Madrid have won three-straight European cups but they aren’t resting on their laurels.

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The Spanish giants have signed Brazilian teenage sensation Rodrygo, with the 17-year-old to join them next summer from Santos.

It has been reported that Real will pay $52 million for the Brazil U-20 international.

Rodrygo is dubbed as a star of the future for Brazil and he recently scored a nine-minute hat trick in Brazil’s top-flight for the same club which produced Pele and Neymar in the past.

It’s safe to say Real think the Santos star will follow in his footsteps.

In a brief statement on their website, Real had the following to say about signing Rodrygo.

“Real Madrid C. F. and Santos Futebol Clube have agreed that Rodrygo Goes will play his football at Real Madrid when he reaches the legal age requirement. Although the player would be able to play for our club as of January 2019, the agreement in place sets out that he will join the squad in July of that year.”

The battle for the best talent across the globe continues for the likes of Real, Barcelona and elite clubs across Europe and Rodrygo certainly falls into that category.

This signing follows on from Real forking out $53 million for 16-year-old Brazilian star Vinicius Junior from Flamengo last year, plus Norwegian sensation Martin Odegaard as there is an obvious policy to stockpile top young talent whenever they can.

VIDEO: Teenager Rodrygo scores amazing hat trick

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Santos have a new teenage sensation up front.

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With the likes of Pele and Neymar making their name at the Brazilian club in the past, Rodrygo is following in their footsteps.

The 17-year-old scored a hat trick in just nine minutes in the first half of their 5-2 win against Vitoria on Sunday in the Brazilian top-flight.

Not bad…

Take a look at the video below to see the teenage sensation in action. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the Brazil U-17 international is sold to Europe for big bucks.

Remember the name: Rodrygo.