It’s been a busy transfer period over the summer and football action is now well underway, but that doesn’t mean there’s still a lot more going on in the footballing world. What have we seen in the news? Free agents moving, talks of retirement and of course, David Beckham.
Bad luck for David Beckham as the proposed stadium site for his MLS franchise has been found to be contaminated with arsenic, more than twice the legal limit. As part of a £1bn development, there are plans for a stadium, shopping mall, hotel and public park, but the potential for this has now reached a major hurdle. The environmental firm EE&G found barium and lead levels also exceed legal limits, and the long-term exposure to arsenic can lead to dire health conditions. Perhaps Beckham shouldn’t have chosen an old waste site to build on then.
The quibble that Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba had in the match against Wolves at Molineux didn’t end well. First up, two professionals for one of the most famous football clubs argued in front of a worldwide audience. Then Pogba missed. Subsequently, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjær tore into them like naughty schoolkids before handing over future spot-kick duties to Rashford. It’s going to be fun in the changing room.
Franck Ribery has gone down as a legend at Bayern Munich. But like any other player who continues into his late 30s, fitness, health and playing time all decline. Despite his niggling injuries, Ribery has managed to secure a move to Fiorentina on a two-year contract. Sure, it was on a free transfer after being let go by Bayern, but the Viola will surely benefit from the experience that he brings. After all, nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal, a UEFA Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup are a testament to his skills. Let’s see if he’s match fit enough.
After being released by Everton, 34-year old defender, Ashley Williams has been left out of the Wales squad for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan. It’s a sad turn of events for the Wales Captain, especially as he’s been capped 86 times and led Wales to the semi-finals in Euro 2016. Hopefully, he’ll find a new lease of life now he’s set to join Bristol City.
The football console game war between PES and FIFA is ongoing. PES get the rights to Juventus. FIFA get the Bundesliga. But next year it’s Konami’s time to shine after securing the rights to Euro 2020. Not just the licensing, but also an esports competition. The soaring popularity of esports, which sees the best computer gamers battle it out against each other, has brought an entirely new sporting vertical. It even comes with its own betting action as fans wager on the latest esports favourites. The Euro 2020 esports event will see national sides from across Europe competing before the top 16 teams take part in a live event in London.
Fernando Torres made a huge impact during his time at Liverpool, following on from a blistering career at Atletico Madrid. It might have only been a small splash in the pond during his Chelsea career. Spells at A.C Milan and Atletico Madrid were followed by a position at Japanese club Sagan Tosu. And the match against Vissel Kobe will be his last. As this video interview reveals, Torres says he has “won the respect of world football”. Just maybe not the Chelsea fans.
Speaking of retirement, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he could stop playing the great game as soon as next year. He has also said he could play into his 40s, a la Ryan Giggs, but who knows? With 28 goals in 43 games, he helped Juventus win another Serie A title. He’s won the Ballon d’Or five times. He’s smashed records. He definitely has got the respect of world football, so it’d be sad to see him hang up the boots. But other than a World Cup trophy, what else is there for him?
Let’s end it with a bit of bizarre news, courtesy of ex-QPR manager Ian Holloway. He blames the European Union for the new Premier League handball rule. It’s been criticised as of late, especially during the disallowed goal in the Manchester City–Tottenham match. And according to Holloway, Brexit needs to happen fast so “they can’t tell us how to do our own game”. The game might be continuing to advance, but sometimes people’s opinions don’t.