Mere indhold efter annoncen
Balanta estaría en la mira de Barça

BUENOS AIRES -- Los medios catalanes publicaron una lista de posibles refuerzos para Barcelona en el próximo mercado de pases, a mitad de temporada. Según estos diarios, las prioridades de Gerardo Martino para reforzar el equipo serían un defensor central y un centro delantero. Entre los defensores, el favorito es el colombiano Éder Álvarez Balanta, central zurdo de River Plate.

Según el diario Sport el fichaje de un defensor central está pendiente de la evolución de Carles Puyol, el emblema de Barcelona que está cerca de recibir el alta médica tras recuperarse de una lesión. Si el capitán culé vuelve en buena forma, ese sería el refuerzo para el equipo. Pero sí, por sus problemas físicos, no puede jugar con continuidad el club podría contratar a un defensor en el mercado invernal de Europa.

En la carpeta de defensores, el favorito para el cuerpo técnico y los directivos, afirma el mismo diario, es el colombiano de 20 años Éder Álvarez Balanta, central zurdo de River Plate. Según la prensa catalana, Barcelona sigue de cerca sus pasos. Lo describen como el "pilar de la defensa del equipo argentino y probable salvador de la economía del club". "Su presidente, Daniel Pasarella, tiene la intención de vender a un grupo inversor el 70 por ciento de los derechos del futbolista (River ostenta ahora el 80 por ciento y la familia del jugador, el 20), una decisión que, de concretarse, supondría que el precio del jugador no bajaría de los 5,5 millones de euros", agregan.

Sobre el ataque, Barcelona intentaría reforzarse con un "delantero rematador, un nueve más puro". El perfil que pretende Martino, dice Sport es muy definido: "se buscará a un delantero contrastado, con experiencia, especialista en el juego aéreo y capaz de asumir un rol secundario. Se valorará especialmente su habilidad para rematar al primer toque, más allá de sus cualidades físicas (aunque el Tata insistirá en contar con un jugador de envergadura, que pueda suplir las carencias físicas de la plantilla, especialmente evidentes a la hora de defender saques de esquina o faltas laterales). Y por supuesto, el Barça buscará un delantero asequible desde el punto de vista económico".

Los nombres para cumplir con esas características son varios: Aritz Adurz, del Ahtletic de Bilbao, Imanol Agirretxe, de la Real Sociedad, Graziano Pellè, goleador de la Liga holandesa con el Feyenoord de Ronald Koeman, Artem Dzyuba, artillero de la Liga rusa, cedido por Spartak de Moscú al Rostov o el paraguayo Oscar Cardozo, de Benfica, que ya estuvo a las órdenes de Martino en la selección de ese país. En una segunda línea, dice el diario, aparecerían otros nombres como Huntelaar (Schalke 04), Kiesling (Leverkusen) o Cvitanich (Niza), todos "jugadores veteranos o de perfil más bajo que aceptarían sin problemas un papel más secundario en el Barça"
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Social poet captures the beautiful game

Posted by Roger Bennett

International breaks can be filled with despair. A grating pause in the breathless narrative of the domestic leagues we follow like junkies week to week; an agonizing reminder the World Cup is still 246 days away.

There can be few more productive ways to fill that yawning chasm than by grabbing hold of a copy of the recently re-released classic football history, Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Uruguayan gem, Eduardo Galeano. The man who was hailed by The Atlantic as "one of Latin America´s fiercest voices of social conscience" may seem an unlikely candidate to author one of the most animated, concise histories of the evolution of football, World Cup to World Cup. Yet, as a self-described "beggar for good soccer," Galeano has said he felt compelled to craft a volume which would enable "fans of reading to lose their fear of soccer and fans of soccer to lose their fear of books."

I was first handed a copy of the slender volume in London back in 2003. To this day, I have read nothing like it. Galeano analyzes the history of the game with passion bordering on giddiness, contained only by a commitment to brevity that propels the reader through history at Arjen Robben-esque pace. Yet it is his raconteur´s eye for a story, melded with a poet´s acute insight into human nature which make this book such a classic. The writing is always evocative and playful, whether Galeano is summarizing the careers of Johan Cruyff ("he did everything they asked of him, and nothing they ordered him"), Maradona ("he played, he won, he peed, he lost") or the harrowing injustice of Argentina´s military junta using the 1978 World Cup for propaganda purposes ("a few miles beyond (the stadium) prisoners were being thrown alive from aeroplanes into the sea.")

Even as Galeano revels in both heroes and villains, wonder-goals and epic moments of breathtaking human perfection. He reserves room to delight in the absurdities of the game, as when he recounts the story of Chile’s 1962 World Cup campaign in which they elected to eat the stereotypical national food of each opponent pre-game, believing it would increase their chance of victory. To beat Switzerland, they ate cheese, were fuelled by pasta to conquer Italy, and took Smirnoff shots to upset the Soviets before coming unstuck in a semi-final against Brazil. As Galeano notes, Chile "gobbled down spaghetti, chocolate, and vodka, but choked on the coffee".

The recently released volume has been updated to include the 2010 World Cup in which "Uruguayans were given a reason to die of something other than boredom" as they agonized over Luis Suarez´s Ghana handball, which he generously terms an act of "patriotic lunacy." I recently jumped at the chance to catch up with the 73-year old with the aid of a translator and discussed the depth of his obsession with the sport, the lessons of a life lived largely in exile, and the source of Uruguay´s footballing over-achievement.

Bennett: What made you -- a high-culture writer who is now the Uruguayan poet laureate -- write a book about soccer, which is generally considered low-culture?

Galeano: My book´s origin story comes from my inability of playing soccer. I play very badly, and so I tried doing with my hand, through writing, what I could not achieve with my legs on the field.

Bennett: You are a man whose politics have caused him to be driven from Uruguay, in 1973, after a military coup, and then from Argentina, after yet another coup, before arriving in post-Franco Spain. Did exposure to those three very passionate yet different footballing cultures impact your appreciation of the game and inform your unique perspective?

Galeano: I´m attracted to soccer´s capacity for beauty. When well played, the game is a dance with a ball. Even though professional soccer has become more about business and less about the game itself, I still believe football is a party for the legs that play it and for the eyes that watch it. I wrote the book without any bias. A lot of leftists think it is soccer´s fault that people don´t think, while most rightists are convinced that soccer is a proof that people think with their feet.

Bennett: You have written some of the most socially impactful works in South American literature. Was football easier to write about than Memory of Fire or is the exertion exactly the same?

Galeano: Being exiled was ultimately a very fruitful experience, even though it was painful at first. I learned many different ways to play and to live, and learned to appreciate soccer as a fountain of cultural identity. I wrote and rewrote every page multiple times. My teacher, Juan Carlos Onetti, a Uruguayan novelist, taught me that the only words that deserve to exist are words that are better than silence. Writing is a marvelous adventure and very labor-intensive: those words run away and try to escape. They are very difficult to capture.

Bennett: What were you hoping to achieve with your poetic telling that had not been captured by more traditional football histories?

Galeano: I felt it was important to tell unknown stories that have become invisible to those who hate soccer, because they do not appreciate what they ignore. I wanted to reclaim some of the game´s more noble gestures. For example, in the past, players did not celebrate goals so they wouldn´t humiliate their opponent, and would conclude the game by embracing those they had defeated.

Bennett: I love your description of German poacher, Gerd Muller as a "Stumpy Tub". Of which of your footballing descriptions are you most proud?

Galeano: My definition of Maradona: he keeps the ball tied to his feet. My definition of Messi: he keeps the ball inside his shoe, which is scientifically unexplainable, but this is why his rivals can´t keep up with him.

Bennett: In the 18 years since you have written this, football has changed radically. How do you feel about those changes? Have any of them been for the better?

Galeano: What I like least about soccer is that it is becoming more of a financial enterprise than a sport. The pleasure of playing is being replaced by the need to win. I was horrified to see some games broadcast in television, where everything is reduced to a dance of numbers -- all that seems important is the price of each player and experts have confused value and price. A player is traded as if he plays on a field called Wall Street. Tell me how much you cost and I´ll tell you how much you are worth.

Bennett: Uruguay has a fearsome footballing tradition but its population of 3.4 million makes it roughly the size of Connecticut. How would you explain to Americans what it is about your nation that has contributed to their success?

Galeano: Perhaps it´s because all our babies are born crying "GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!" and they play football before learning how to walk. They are trained both by God and the Devil.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Excitement amidst the rhetoric at Mexico´s camp

MEXICO CITY – At this point, it´s hard to come up with a wide array of interesting, original quotes from the Mexican national team players and staff just a few days before their showdown with Panama. Part of that is our fault, too. The October 11th showdown with the Central Americans has been the only topic within CONCACAF circles since Mexico dropped another 2-0 decision against the United States a month ago.

Questions and commentaries regarding Panama have been hurled ad nauseum at Mexico players for a month now, and last Monday and Tuesday, microphones have been picking up little more than the things they´ve been since mid-September. "We know what the stakes are," said defender Hugo Ayala on Tuesday, nodding along to a reporter´s question about the importance of Friday´s match.

"Fortunately, it´s still on us whether we want to be there [in Brazil 2014] or not. The team is confident, we´re committed and we just have to pull through for fans and ourselves," he continued. Not ten seconds later, goalkeeper Jesus Corona chimed in. "We know that if we win on Friday our destiny is in our hands. We put ourselves in this situation, but we´re still in control. The team is absolutely aware of the stakes, and we´re committed."

Even the newest member of the team, manager Victor Manuel Vucetich, seemed worn down by the standard questionnaire, rarely venturing outside of the predetermined script. "Our players have worked very hard, we´ve done well to take advantage of this allotted time and God only knows we want to be there [in Brazil 2014], we´re all very confident and committed," he told reporters at the CAR, Mexico´s specialized training ground in Mexico City.

Clichéd statements are one thing, but fans hoping to see El Tri pull out a competent performance would, at this point, be pleasantly surprised instead of expectant. In the midst of one of Mexico´s worst qualifying runs in its history, a win against Panama would virtually lock Mexico into at least a playoff date with New Zealand. It is also their last chance to notch a win at the Estadio Azteca after failing to do so against Jamaica, Costa Rica, the United States and Honduras.

Sensing blood in the water, and trying to draw away from their shoddy performances as well, Panama has elected to play mind games. Manager Julio Dely Valdes made headlines last week when he asked if the Estadio Azteca would play Mexico´s national anthem or Argentina´s, in reference to the three Argentine-born players Vucetich had originally selected (Tigres midfielder Damian Alvarez dropped out due to injury).

Even then, and separating the more than competent campaigns that the United States and Costa Rica have parlayed into World Cup berths, Mexico and Panama have to believe that everything, including third place and a direct qualifying spot, are up for grabs. Honduras has been leaking oil all over the road, and a loss against Costa Rica, a team that stifled them many times before, could make the final CONCACAF qualifier on Tuesday all the more interesting.

Before focusing on that, or even the New Zealand series, however, Mexico must (and admittedly has done a good job in this regard) focus on Panama and the opportunity that the Estadio Azteca will give them on Friday. Watching them a good 30 minutes before they delivered their scripted answers to the array of cameras and microphones, members of the press were generally surprised to the ambience on the pitch:
Excitement, happiness, focus, and yes, commitment.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Costa Rica wants to top Hexagonal table

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Despite having already qualified for next year’s World Cup finals, Costa Rica is not treating its last two qualifiers like friendlies.

In fact, head coach Jorge Luis Pinto is sending the message to his players that this is not the time for rest and relaxation. The objective continues to be the same: to win and finish in first place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal.

“The idea of these matches serving as warm-ups for the World Cup has never entered my mind,” said Pinto. “They are qualifiers and we will take them with all the seriousness that that a qualifying match deserves.”

Currently, Costa Rica is second in the final-round table with 15 points, just one behind the United States. Up next for the Ticos is Friday’s difficult test away to Honduras, before closing out the qualifying schedule at home against Mexico on October 15. It will be a great challenge, but Pinto believes that with hard work, the team can reach its goal.

“Our intention is to finish first in the region, above everyone else,” affirmed the Colombian. “We know that these games will be difficult and hard because the opponents are in need of points, but we are going to do our things like we have always done, with the only objective being to go for first place.”

For Pinto, the process of analyzing players to compete at Brazil 2014 starts immediately. There have not been many personnel changes during the Hexagonal, but the 60-year-old maintains that the opportunity for others to earn a place in the side is always available.

“This list is a continuation of what we’ve been doing, but that is not to say that we have closed the doors on it,” Pinto noted. “In the next several months we will continue observing players, to see if there is a possibility of someone coming into into the group that we already have.”
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Trinidad names squad for New Zealand friendly

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago -- Trinidad & Tobago head coach Stephen Hart named a 22-man roster on Monday for an October 15 international friendly against visiting New Zealand at Hasely Crawford Stadium. It will be the first-ever meeting between the sides.

Captained by Stoke City forward Kenwyne Jones, the squad includes two newcomers in San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Cordell Cato and Central FC forward Rundell Winchester.

“The objective of the squad is to continue with experimentation but of course you always have to have a balanced squad,” Hart told TTFA Media. “Playing at home is an exciting prospect for all the players. A number of them have recounted to me when last they played at home so you can feel that sense of excitement.”

The Soca Warriors, who progressed to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals, have not played in Port of Spain since a 3-2 loss to Finland on January 22, 2012.

(International Friendly: October 15, 2013, home v New Zealand)

GOALKEEPERS: Jan Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillips (Point Fortin Civic Centre)

DEFENDERS: Radanfah Abu Bakr (FC Vostok/Kazakhstan), Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen/Belgium), Aubrey David (Caledonia AIA), Curtis Gonzales (Defence Force), Justin Hoyte (Middlesbrough/England), Carlyle Mitchell (Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada), Mekeil Williams (DIRECTV W Connection)

MIDFIELDERS: Andre Boucaud (Notts County/England), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Kevan George (Columbus Crew/USA), Ataullah Guerra (RoPs/Finland), Hughtun Hector (Song Lam Nghe/Vietnam), Khaleem Hyland (Racing Genk/Belgium), Marcus Joseph (Point Fortin Civic Centre), Kevin Molino (Orlando City/USA), Densill Theobald (Caledonia AIA)

FORWARDS: Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City/England), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava/Slovakia), Willis Plaza (no club), Rundell Winchester (Central FC)
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Sabella has reshuffle for forthcoming World Cup Qualifiers

Argentina Coach, Alejandro Sabella is planning two very different sides for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers with Peru and Uruguay. With qualification already confirmed but several first team players injured, including Captain, Lionel Messi, there is a chance for a number of fringe players to stake a claim for a place in next summer’s squad.

Alejandro Sabella’s most recent squad already included a couple of interesting talking points, with the inclusion of Mauro Icardi and the calls up for Argentine based players, Leandro Somoza and Gabriel Mercado. However, as the squad prepare for the double header at the training centre in Ezeiza, it appears that many will play a part in, at least, one of the fixtures.

With Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain both missing through injury, Sabella will be without his potent attacking threat but with the absence of Javier Macherano and Fernando Gago, the midfield will also need tinkering.

It seems, Sabella will go with his strongest possible lineup for Friday night’s game with Peru in El Monumental. Sergio Aguero will be partnered with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacios in attack. Palacios was the man who replaced Higuain against Paraguay when he last missed out thorough injury.

In midfield, Sabella will turn to his direct replacements for Macherano and Gago, namely, Valencia’s, Ever Banega and Lazio’s, Lucas Biglia. Supposedly, Angel Di Maria will keep his place in this midfield trio.

One area which is back to full fitness is the defence and Sabella will deploy his first choice pairing in the game against Peru. Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernandez both return from suspension and full-back, Marcos Rojo has recovered from the injury that kept him out. All are expected to play on Friday night.

The interesting game could be on Tuesday when Argentina make the short trip to Montevideo to face Uruguay. Sabella is wary of playing too many first team players because he does not want anyone picking up any suspensions in the event they were sent off in the final Qualifying fixture.

The Clásico del Río de La Plata has the potential to be a heated affair, particularly, as Uruguay still have a lot to play for, in terms of World Cup Qualification. With this in mind, changes are expected and the likes of debutant, Mauro Icardi, Erik Lamela, Fabricio Coloccini and some of the Argentine based players are likely to get the nod.

For these players it could be one of the last chances to firmly place themselves on Sabella’s list for Brazil.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Racing closing in on Merlo

Racing Club appear to be moving towards the familiar face of Reinaldo ‘Mostaza’ Merlo in their search for a new manager. Some internal disagreements within the club need to be ironed out as it seems Deputy Treasurer, Adrian Fernandez is not in favour of Merlo’s return. However, the word coming out of the Cilindro de Avellaneda is that it is almost done.

Following the departure of Carlos Ischia after just 5 games in charge and with Racing in the midst of their worst start to a season, it is a crucial phase in the club’s administration. The appointment of Ischia was a mess and so there is even more pressure to ensure that the correct decision is made this time.

Once again, there are several names being mentioned but now one has risen to the surface and is someone very well known to the football club and its fans.

In 2001, Merlo ensured his place in Racing’s history when he coached the team to the Apertura title, ending a 35 year wait for one of Argentina’s biggest clubs. This obviously keeps him in the highest regard at Racing but after his less successful spell in 2006 some parties are cool on the idea.

In Fernandez’s view, Merlo does not meet the criteria that he is looking for. A younger manager was initially what Racing were looking for but after the failures of Luis Zubeldia, perhaps this is not the route for Racing to go down.

Fernandez, it is said, favours the appointment of Osvaldo ‘Ossie’ Ardiles who despite living in London is open to the idea. However, President Victor Blanco is looking to calm the growing discontent in the stands by bringing back Merlo.

One discussed possibility is current Caretaker boss, Ignacio Gonzalez staying in charge until the end of the current season in December (This is apparently, dependent on victory this Sunday against Estudiantes). Then before the start of the Torneo Final, Racing could move for Julio Cesar Falcioni or Gustavo Alfaro.

The appointment is still up in the air at present but one fact remains: Reinaldo ‘Mostaza’ Merlo is keen on a return. After his meeting with club officials, the 63-year-old said, ”It makes me very happy to have been noticed. Racing is the club that gave me glory. Hopefully all ends well . If they want me to lead on Sunday, no problem.”
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Blanco: "Merlo es el de más chances"

BUENOS AIRES -- El presidente de Racing, Víctor Blanco, reconoció que Reinaldo Merlo "es el técnico con más chances de asumir" el cargo de entrenador que dejó vacante Carlos Ischia luego de la derrota ante Atlético Rafaela por 1-0 el domingo pasado.

"Mostaza Merlo es el técnico con más chances para asumir", declaró el miércoles el máximo responsable de la entidad albiceleste.

En la misma línea, Blanco sostuvo que Merlo, campeón como DT con Racing en el Torneo Apertura 2001, "es del riñón" del club, a la vez que aseguró que "es una persona con experiencia que puede manejar el vestuario".

Merlo, de 59 años, condujo los destinos del primer equipo académico en dos ciclos (2001-2002 y 2006-2007) y es uno de los últimos ídolos de la hinchada por haber sido el técnico que logró sacar campeón a la Academia luego de 35 años sin títulos.

No obstante, el máximo directivo de la institución de Avellaneda, aclaró que "muchos técnicos están entusiasmados" con la posibilidad de tomar la posta dejada por Ischia.

Al respecto, Blanco declaró que "no hay muchos técnicos para elegir" ya que "la gran mayoría está trabajando" actualmente en diferentes clubes.

"No podemos elegir a un técnico para proyectar. Tenemos que sumar puntos", agregó.

Por otra parte, el titular académico hizo mención al presente institucional por el que atraviesa el club luego de la crisis que derivó en las renuncias de Gastón Cogorno y Rodolfo Molina, ex presidente y vicepresidente racinguistas.

"No pasó por mi cabeza llamar a elecciones. Pero si no rindo, es posible. No me aferro a nada", declaró Blanco en el programa `Identidad Racinguista`.

Además, el empresario hotelero se mostró esperanzado con el nuevo panorama dirigencial que se vive actualmente en el club. "Los integrantes de la Comisión Directiva están alineados para sacar a Racing adelante", explicó.

Por último, dio a entender que desde la dirigencia del club se analizará con tranquilidad la elección del nuevo DT, motivo por el que Ignacio González, actual entrenador interino, dirigirá al equipo ante Estudiantes de La Plata, el próximo domingo, desde las 16, en cancha de Quilmes.

"Es muy probable que Nacho González dirija el equipo contra Estudiantes", concluyó Blanco.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:
Cahais: "Al DT lo elegirán dirigentes"

BUENOS AIRES -- El defensor de Racing Club, Matías Cahais, manifestó el miércoles que al entrenador de La Academia, "lo elegirán los dirigentes, nosotros nos tenemos que dedicar a entrenar y a ganar los domingos".

En conferencia de prensa, luego del entrenamiento matutino, Cahais sostuvo que, los jugadores "somos responsables de este momento y nos tenemos que hacer cargo, no hay excusas".

"Nosotros somos jugadores de fútbol y tenemos que dedicarnos a entrenar, a jugar los domingos y a ganar los partidos, nos contratan para eso y no para elegir un técnico", expresó el defensor.

"Si alguien pregunta se dará una opinión, pero aunque ganemos todos los partidos no estamos en condición de elegir un técnico, para eso están los dirigentes", agregó.

"Hay que trabajar, entrenarse y dejar todo los fines de semana para de sacar esta situación adelante, más allá del entrenador que venga", concluyó.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA:

Barovero: "Cerca de ser buen equipo"

BUENOS AIRES -- El arquero Marcelo Barovero, uno de los mejores jugadores de River en la segunda mitad del año, reconoció que están por debajo del nivel de Newell´s, el líder del torneo Inicial al que enfrentará el próximo domingo, aunque remarcó que nota un "crecimiento en el juego" del equipo, aún en la caída ante Boca.

Consultado sobre qué puntaje le pondría al juego de River frente a la suposición de que Newell´s juega para diez puntos, Barovero respondió: "Seis, siete puntos. Estamos a un pasito de ser un buen equipo en el sentido de que uno se aferra a lo que propone dentro de la cancha. Ultimamente hemos tenido buenos resultados y eso nos da tranquilidad".

"Este equipo hace que los arqueros rivales sean protagonistas. Ojalá que podamos conseguir la contundencia que necesitamos para despegar", dijo Barovero en diálogo con un canal deportivo.

Barovero reconoció que ante Boca sufrieron "una derrota dura", al tiempo que destacó que la posibilidad de ganar la Copa Sudamericana les "genera mucho entusiasmo".

River está en los cuartos de final de la Sudamericana y a fin de mes enfrentará a Lanús en el choque de ida en busca de un lugar en las semifinales.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo MENGÃO TRI DA AMÈRICA: