Milan’s Gazetta dello Sport is today dominated by Juventus and the securing of their second Scudetto in two years. It is the clubs 31st league title if you include the two revoked in 2005 and 2006 following the Calciopoli match fixing scandal, which you probably shouldn’t. With the title won the paper reports it is now time for the club to hit the market, Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain the priority, thought to be available for around 25 million euros.
The paper also reports a possible return to Turin for Zlatan, however, dividing the fans opinion, with the Curva Sud section of the ground yesterday let its feeling be known with numerous chanted insults being directed at the Swede; ‘mercenary’ perhaps the least offensive.
The game itself it seems was a pretty drab affair with only one goal separating the sides. It came from a Vidal penalty who has been in fine form this season and alongside Paul Pogba, the two have spearheaded Juve’s season. It would not be a perfect ending for Pogba however, as the former Manchester United midfielder was sent off late in the game for spitting at Palermo’s Aronica. It is coach Antonio Conte’s second consecutive league title with the Old Lady and reports suggest he intends to stay on as coach for the time being.
Over in Milan, the paper reports Silvio’s daughter and member of the AC board Barbara Berlusconi as pretty much saying Milan coach Allegri’s future is dependent on whether the Rossoneri can achieve Champions League football for next year. That isn’t exactly how the quotes read, but it might as well be. Given the clubs poor form this season it might be that not even 3rd spot can save him. Milan took just seven points from their opening eight games this season…
On Saturday French newspaper L’equipe focused on the on-going dispute between the Fédération française de football (FFF) and Russian Billionaire and AS Monaco chairman Dimitry Robolovlev. The dispute started as a result of new laws requiring all clubs playing in the French league to have headquarters on French soil. For this reason it is hard to see the new regulation as having any other target other than the Monegasque club. However, when considering the reasons behind the new rules they seem fair enough. For example, following the 19th Century agreement between Monaco and France, foreign players plying their trade at Monaco are not required to pay income tax while French players at the club pay very little in national insurance. The FFF aim to remove this inconsistency by June of next year. However, Robolovlev has insisted he and the club will do everything in its power to fight the legislation.
L’equipe focuses on fresh reports that the FFF have demanded 200 million euros from the Russian as a settlement to the dispute. For me, the geo-political location of a club should not have any bearing on how much it can pay its players in comparison to the rest, especially at a time when financial fair play seeks to iron out the inequalities already seen in football.
Paris Saint-Germain’s title charge was slowed down last night as they drew 1-1 with 12th place Valenciennes. The result leaves the Parc des Princes club seven points clear of 2nd place Marseille at the top of Ligue 1. L’equipe has taken the angle that celebrations were halted by the sending off of Thiago Silva, who reportedly pushed referee Castro. By highlighting footballing director Leonardo’s complaints about the referee, the tired performance of PSG is overlooked. PSG face a tricky trip to Lyon next weekend. However, a win will see them crowned champions.
I was considering introducing ‘Beckham-cam’ to keep track of the veteran England man’s time in the French capital however after remembering he is currently serving a suspension it will have to wait.
Over in Spain and Marca has taken various shots at Mourinho this morning. The top headline reads ‘Ronaldo: Real’s real ‘Special One’’ and also an article titled ‘Mourinho vs. Mourinho’ that attacks the Real manager’s ego. Oscar Campillo, comparing Mou to Del Bosque writes:
How could anyone expect him to attend the FIFA Ballon d’Or Awards and sit next to a bum like Del Bosque, who only works for one month of the year, what a complete outrage! It is just pure coincidence that Del Bosque won Real’s last two Champions Leagues, two league titles, the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Intercontinental Cup, all in the space of just four years with a much more unbalanced team than the current one.
Moreover, Marca makes note of a frankly, quite funny, Pepsi campaign that compares Mourinho to Guardiola. Something along the lines of Mou-No/Pep-Si… find it here http://tinyurl.com/d5q2tos
Catalan’s La Vanguardia presents a more calculated response to the apparent rift between the coach and players at Real. Dealing only with what we have seen, the article uses Pepe’s public defence of Iker Casillas, calling for Jose to show the goalkeeper more respect stating that ‘Iker is an institution, both at Real Madrid and in Spain,’ to argue that come the end of the season it is either the players or the manager, President Perez, you decide…
La Vanguardia focuses primarily on the impact of Leo Messi who started Barca’s game against Real Betis on the bench but came on with an almost instant contribution to put the Camp Nou club 3-2 up. He then received a precise Xavi pass at the near post to slot home, putting the game beyond reach for Betis. Personally, I hate the phrase ‘one man team’ but it was remarkable the way Barcelona’s confidence grew after he was introduced.
In Germany Bild this morning added to the excitement surrounding that all German Champions League final at Wembley. As we know the two German clubs played each other this weekend in what was a pretty meaningless game, it finished 1-1. However, in perhaps the only talking point of the game tensions flared following the dismissal of Bayern defender Rafinha for elbowing BVB’s Jacub Blaszczykowski. This lead to Klopp and Bayern sporting director and former Dortmund coach Mattias Sammer locking horns on the touchline. If this should occur in a meaningless game then what does the final hold in store?
Also prominent in Bild is the undecided future of Uli Hoeness, the former manager, president and current Chief Supervisor of Bayern. It became known recently that Hoeness had been arrested on the 20th of April and subsequently released on bail for 5 million euros; he had been charged with tax evasion. The board, given the job of deciding his fate will meet today for the first time. However, it is reported in Spiegel that Hoeness will announce his intention to resign after the Champions League, today. Whatever happens, it doesn’t look likely he will be at Bayern past May.
And that’s my round-up of some of the European papers for this week.
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