International News - Issue 190




Ronaldo Wins Ballon d’Or. Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world's best footballer for the second time on Monday, preventing his great rival Lionel Messi from winning the award for a fifth year in a row. Argentine Messi and Frenchman Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich were the other candidates for the prize, officially known as the Fifa Ballon d'Or. Jupp Heynckes, now retired, was named coach of the year for the first time after his Bayern Munich team won an unprecedented Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble. - Full Story via The New Age Online

Struggling Serie A giants AC Milan sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri on Monday, a day after a 4-3 league defeat to league newcomers Sassuolo. Milan are 11th in Serie A, 30 points behind leaders Juventus and 20 behind Napoli who occupy the third and last qualifying spot for the Champions League. A statement on www.acmilan.it stated: “For the second successive season Allegri's side has struggled to keep pace on the domestic front as Juventus, Roma and Napoli lay early claim to Serie A's three allocated places in the Champions League." Sunday's defeat to Sassuolo, who scored four goals thanks to 19-year-old sensation Domenico Berardi, appeared to seal Allegri's fate. - Full Story via Fox Sports

Fulham's Bryan Ruiz has opted to join PSV Eindhoven on loan. The Costa Rican, 28, had offers from Real Betis and Celta Vigo but travelled to Holland on Sunday for talks with PSV’S sporting director. He is due to undergo a medical on Monday ahead of completing a deal that will cost the Dutch side £1m for the rest of the season. Ruiz has just one goal this season and has found himself in and out of the team. Fulham hope to press ahead with a deal for Ravel Morrison from West Ham this week. - Full Story via Daily Mail

Manchester United have sent Wayne Rooney for some warm-weather training in a desperate attempt to get him fit for the 19 January trip to Chelsea. The manager David Moyes confirmed both Rooney and his strike partner Robin van Persie will miss last Saturday's Premier League encounter with Swansea at Old Trafford. Moyes said Van Persie would still be absent for "a little while" with a long-standing thigh injury but he is hoping Rooney will respond to the better temperatures. - Full Story via The Guardian 

Former Aston Villa favourite and Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger has made public that he is gay. In an interview with Berlin-based newspaper Die Zeit, the 31-year-old, who retired from professional football four months ago, declared that he wanted to come out so as to bring progress to the discussion of homosexuality in professional sport. Hitzlsperger played for multiple clubs in both the Premier League and the Bundesliga, as well as enjoying a spell at Lazio in Serie A. - Full Story via Independent

Jose Mourinho believes Chelsea are starting to see the best of Fernando Torres because the striker knows the Blues won’t be adding any new forwards to their squad during the January window. The Spanish striker scored in his second successive Premier League match as Mourinho’s men strolled to a 2-0 win at Hull last Saturday. The Chelsea boss has questioned his misfiring strikeforce on several occasions this season but maintains no new forwards will be joining the club before the summer – a fact he believes is benefiting Torres. - Full Story via Metro

Arsene Wenger says the return of Olivier Giroud can convince doubters that Arsenal don’t need to spend big-money in the transfer window. The Frenchman had missed the Gunners’ last two games through injury, but was back for Monday’s trip to Aston Villa and got on the scoresheet. Giroud’s return couldn’t be timelier for Wenger, who has lost Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott to injury in the last fortnight, and the Gunners boss believes his fellow countryman can prove to be just as effective as a big-money signing. - Full Story via Metro

Chelsea are on the verge of resigning Nemanja Matic from Benfica for £21million just three years after letting him leave Stamford Bridge. The midfielder, 26, was used as a makeweight in the deal to bring David Luiz to West London in 2011 but has blossomed in Portugal and Blues boss Jose Mourinho sees him as an ideal candidate to fill one of the two deeper roles in his midfield. Matic apparently told Benfica at the weekend that he wanted to leave and, according to reports in Portugal, he will now jet in to London this week to finalise a move. - Full Story via Metro

Former Arsenal striker Eduardo says he would be interested in returning to the club during the transfer window. The 30-year-old, who scored 21 goals in a three year spell with the Gunners, departed in 2010 and has since been playing his football for Shakhtar Donetsk. However, amid growing rumours that he is planning to quit them this month, Eduardo says he would be interested in going back to the Emirates Stadium. - Full Story via Metro

Alan Pardew may be facing a rap from the Football Association after being caught launching a foul-mouthed volley at Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini. The Newcastle manager, 52, was seen on camera mouthing ‘f****** old c***’ at Pellegrini, 60, after an altercation on the touchline following Cheick Tiote’s controversially disallowed goal. With the Magpies trailing to an early Edin Dzeko goal, Pardew was furious that Tiote’s ferocious first-half strike was ruled out due to an inactive Toon player standing in an offside position. - Full Story via Metro

Inter Milan admit Chelsea target Fredy Guarin has had his head turned by attention from abroad, and will likely leave the club this January. The Columbian midfielder has been heavily linked with a £14million move to the Blues, while Southampton have also been accredited with a firm interest. Now Inter president Erick Thohir admits keeping the 27-year-old has become increasingly difficult for the Serie A side. - Full Story via Metro

Carlo Ancelotti has conceded Real Madrid made a big error allowing Mesut Ozil to leave for Arsenal. The German has played a key role in the Gunners impressive season, turning Arsene Wenger’s men from top-four chasers into genuine title contenders since his club-record £42.5milllion switch in September. At the time many questioned the wisdom of allowing a player of Ozil’s abilities to leave the Bernabeu, including Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and several other members of the Real squad. - Full Story via Metro 

Jose Mourinho has announced that he wants to stay at Chelsea until he retires from football. The Portuguese manager is enjoying his second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge and does not envisage leaving to take control of another club. Mourinho is dedicated to winning trophies for the Blues and owner Roman Abramovich and is happy to live in London as it suits his family. - Full Story via Metro

Manchester United are set to cut their losses and offload flop midfielder Anderson to Fiorentina. The Old Trafford outfit are desperate to get the midfielder off their wage bill and boss David Moyes is prepared to take a hefty loss on the player who Sir Alex Ferguson paid a whopping £27million for in 2007. United have been touting the 25-year-old around Europe since the summer but few clubs have been prepared to take a gamble on the player who has suffered a series of injuries during his time in England. - Full Story via Metro

Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri will be out for up to eight weeks after he was injured in their 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday. The France international suffered a partially ruptured knee ligament after a challenge with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa at St James' Park. The initial fear was that he may be ruled out long-term, possibly even for the rest of the domestic season and the World Cup. But he is now expected to be back in action by mid-March, with the player himself breaking the news via social media. - Full Story via Sky Sports

Manchester United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel has blasted the club's senior players, claiming a number of them aren’t up to the job. United have been battling since former coach Sir Alex Ferguson retired, sitting seventh on the Premier League table and being sent packing by Swansea in the FA Cup Third Round. The retired Schmeichel believes that a number of players need to catch a wake-up or leave the club and get replaced by youngsters that are hungry for success. - Full Story via Kickoff

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini were named the Premier League's player and manager of the month for December respectively. Suarez plundered 10 goals last month, including a stunning four-goal haul against Norwich City on December 4. The Uruguayan's efforts helped the Reds top the standings on Christmas Day, although they slipped to fifth by New Year's Eve. Pellegrini, meanwhile, guided the Citizens to an unbeaten run of six wins from seven games in the voting period, leaving the side within a point of leaders Arsenal. - Full Story via Kickoff

Nigeria Under-17 national striker Musa Yahaya is wanted by both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City according to media reports. When Nigeria won the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in November the 16-year-old was one of the star performers at the tournament. City look most likely to land the youngster as they have been strongly linked to signing his international teammates Chidiebere Nwakali and Kelechi Iheanacho even though reports have surfaced that Spurs are also chasing the players signature. - Full Story via Kickoff 

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe will join Major League Soccer side Toronto FC at the end of February, Spurs have announced. The north Londoners confirmed the news on their official Twitter feed in a message, which said: "We have reached agreement with Toronto FC for the transfer of Jermain Defoe to the MLS side, with effect from February 28, 2014." Spurs coach Tim Sherwood added: "This is a great opportunity for Jermain and he feels it is one that he wishes to pursue." The 31-year-old Defoe, who has 55 caps for England, is fifth on Spurs' all-time leading goalscorers list, netting 142 times in two spells with the club. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bayern Munich will pay R1.3-million as they subsidise their fans’ tickets for the UEFA Champions League last 16 match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. The Bavarian giants, the current European champions, travel to London for the first leg and have been allocated 2 974 tickets for the match. And, as a way of thanking their fans for the loyal support, Bayern have announced they will carry almost half the costs of all their tickets. - Full Story via Kickoff

Norwich City have signed Jonas Gutierrez on loan from Newcastle until the end of the season. The winger becomes Chris Hughton's first signing of the January transfer window, and will stay at Carrow Road until June 30. Gutierrez, who has 22 caps for Argentina, has fallen down the pecking order at Newcastle in recent seasons, finding himself usurped by the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran. “I’m happy to be here," said the 30-year-old. "It’s an opportunity for me to get back in the game and to try and do my best for the team. - Full Story via Mirror Football