• Premier League: - Will David Moyes succeed at Man Utd. Is Manuel Pellegrini ready for the limelight?
  • La Liga: - Tito Vilanova is fighting for his life, is Tata Martino the right fit as his succesor?
  • Serie A: - Napoli have begun their assault on the scudetto. Will Rafa Benitez's Spanish project succeed in Italy?
  • European Football: - Can Pep Guardiola implant his identity on a club that are already European Champs?
  • World Football: - Brazil is waiting for next Summer. Can they finally defeat the ghosts of Brazil 1954?

World Football on The Ball is Flat: here ...

Spanish Football on The Ball is Flat: here ...

Italian Football on The Ball is Flat: here ...

English Football on The Ball is Flat: here ...

sorry that It's been a week since I've written an article, but truth be known, it has been a slow week for new news. Most of what is happening now, is stuff we have already talked about as far as transfers are concerned, or they are rumors, Juicy but mostly unfounded.
In fact the one real big transfer that was made official this week was James Rodriguez to Real Madrid, for 90 million Euro.
Just this evening, there has been Word that Roma is working on a deal to bring Cagliari defender Davide Astori to the giallorossi. This would probably signal the end of Benatia's stint at Roma.
Alvaro Morata hurt his MCL in his 2nd practice at Juventus and will miss the next 2 months. This leads to speculation that Juve are talking to former Barcelona Inter and Anzhi striker Samuel Eto o
Juve has also acquired Peryera from Udinese.
Roma Milan and Inter are all over in the US preparing for their participation in the Guiness Cup, which starts tommorow night with Milan playing Olympiacos in New York on Friday Roma will play Manchester United in Boston and on Saturday Inter will face Real Madrid in Berkley.
In other football related news, Argentine star Lionel Messi landed here in Naples today. No don't be afraid Barca fans, he is here fora publicity campaign. and a vacation in Sorrento Amalfi Positano. coincidently Messi wasn't the only VIP to arrive here in Naples today. NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio is also here on a vacation to visit family.
Anyway back to football, Man City striker Alvaro Negredo fractured a metatarsal and will miss a good portion of the premier league season. This has lead Man City to be forced, by a BPL rule, to put Javi Garcia on the market. apparently in England there is a rule that limits the  number of foreign players for each club. (could not happen if they were a member of the EU).
The Club most interested in Garcia is Napoli, who it has also been rumored are still trying to acquire Liverpool defender David Agger. Oh and while we are talking BPL, and by extension England, National team Captain Steven Gerrard has retired from international Competition after something in the neighborhood of 114 caps over 14 seasons. He Becomes the 2nd World Cup team Captain to announce his retirement from International competition, Following Phillip Lahm of the Champion Germany squad.
Argentine defender Besanta who had been playing in Mexico has reportedly signed with AC Fiorentina
Gene Gallucci

Mario Goetz went from BORUSSIA DORTMUND to BAYERN MUNICH

The City of Rome's building department, today rejected AS Roma's project for their new stadium, as it was presented. according to multiple sources, the reason given was that infrastructure, in the proposed construction area, would cost 270 million Euro and AS Roma would only put in 50 of that 270 Million. city says stadium was supposed to be privately owned by AS Roma so they are responsible for all expenses. in construction including infrastructure. Roma answered, we don't have 270 million Euro for infrastructure. City says PROJECT REJECTED

Gene Gallucci
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Transfer news, Tony Kross moves to Real Madrid
Mario Goetz from Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund
Michu from Swansea City to Napoli(Miguel Perez Cuesta)
Reports that Christoph Kramer has agreed to join Napoli
Evra has agreed to stay at Juve after speaking to Allegri.
Iturbe 1st practice at Roma,

Speaking of AS Roma, and all their acquisitions, they will have to pay the Piper, according to IL SOLE 24 ORE (ITALY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL) the Giallorossi will be forced to sell defender Benatia and Possibly attacker Alessandro Florenzi, to get out from under a sea of red ink, and avoid Uefa sanctions that possibly would go as light as a 60 million Euro fine, or as heavy as exclusion from UCL and would at least mean a limitation to 21 players as opposed to the 25 on a conventional Uefa list. Some sources also say that the 2nd possible sale could be Adem Liajic

For all AC Milan fans Stefan El Sharaawy returned to the pitch and scored 2 goals in Milan fvirst game action of the preseason. vs Renate a Lega pro club

Gene Gallucci

Juan Manuel Iturbe, Argentine attacker previously rumored to have been heading to Juventus, took a detour from Hellas Verona, and has instead signed a 4-year 6.4 million Euro contract with AS Roma.pending a physical which he is undergoing as I write.
Napoli have finalized the deal for Swansea City striker Miguel Perez Cuesta known as Michu Total cost 7.5 million Euro to Swansea, and reportedly 1.25 million Euro a year for 4 years to Michu. The deal is expected to be announced officially tommorow. The Spaniard is expected to be at the training ground in Dimaro in time to meet up wuth his new teammates when they also arrive tomorrow.

Gene Gallucci

Max Allegri was named head coach at Juventus today, He takes over for Antonio Conte who resigned last night. Allegri gets the Juve job after coaching stints at Sassuolo, while they were in Lega Pro, Cagliari , where he is best remembered for being Allesandro Matri's first serie A coach.(Matri scored 23 goals for Allegri in 2010) Moved on to AC Milan in 2010-2011 where he won Milan's last scudetto and now takes over Juventus. after having been rumored to have been considered for 1st, The Tottenham bench in EPL, then most recently, the Italian National team. A spot where Conte seems destined to end up

Gene Gallucci

BREAKING NEWS As we speak Antonio Conte has resigned as coach of Juventus, My assumption is that this is a prelude to him being given the national team job in August. Not that I didn't expect this, After all, anything he would have done with Juve from now on, Short of winning Champions League, would be considered an abject failure. How much better can you do than 102 of a possible 114 points in a season. The next natural question is, Who gets the Juventus job. My money is on Former Lazio, Inter, Manchester City and Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini. more as details come in
Gene Gallucci

Diego Costa officially signs a 5-year deal at Chelsea leaves Atletico Madrid to join Mourinho's bunch in London. Napoli president Aurelio DeLaurentiis confirms interest in German Midfielder Christoph Kramer, but says final decision is up to coach Rafa Benitez. Dutch defender Daryl Janmaat reported signed with Newcastle Patrice Evra goes to Juventus. meanwhile, Fabio Quagliarella is about to move cross-town to Torino Dutch defender Ron Vlaar, who might well be remebered most for having had his PK, the 1st in the sequence, stopped by Argentine GK Romero in the recent WC semifinal, has drawn plenty of interest from AC Milan.

Happenings, WC Champion Germany landed in Berlin this morning with the world cup in tow, Captain Phillipe Lahm was the 1st off the plane, lifting the trophy high above his head.

Felipe Scolari officially steps down as Brazil Manager. much expected after the 1-7 debacle vs Germany

I have a couple of questions that need to be answered regarding the Final. 1) HOW DOES NICOLA RIZZOLLI EARN THE DESIGNATION AS REFEREE. He is easily the worst Ref in Italy, but more importantly, HE either DOESN'T KNOW or DOESN'T PAY ATTENTION TO the Fifa rulebook.
In which universe is Neuer the German goalkeeper, allowed to touch the ball with his hand outside the box???? and contemporarily commit an obvious foul on Gonzalo Higuain, which should have given a direct red card to Neuer and a PK to Argentina. Rizzolli cost Argentina the World Cup.
That said however, I have many questions about Alejandro Sabella's game management. What game was he watching??? Sees Ezequiel Lavezzi causing havoc, cutting through the German defense, like a knife through butter for the entire 1st half. So what does he do??? They come out for the 2nd half, He substitutes Lavezzi with Sergio Aguero. and By the way, WHERE ON EARTH WAS LIONEL MESSI???? after the group stage, He disappeared. I thought he would show up last night, But again he was among the missing. In my humble opinion, If anyone ever compares him to DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA again, they should be banned from writing or commentating about soccer because of incompetence. Argentina's best player throughout the tournament was Javier Mascherano, had they won he would have been given the golden ball for the tournament. An Award that Messi DID NOT DESERVE and from the looks of it, was embarrassed, if not ashamed, to accept.
That said, Germany didn't win the trophy for what they did on the field, they won because Joachim Low was a college professor, in his coaching. Substitutions were impeccable and Sabella did not know how to counteract them.Germany capitalized on the 1 real chance they had in 120 minutes and Argentina, (putting aside horrible ref and bad coach) didn't convert any of the myriad of opportunities that they had.
Congratulations to Germany see you all in Russia 2018. PS BASTIEN SCWEINSTIEGER IS A WARRIOR AND KUDOS TO HIM
Gene Gallucci

Yes where there is smoke, there is fire. According to sources, Seattle Sounders defender Deandre Yedlin who played for team USA in Brazil, has drawn interest from none less than 3 top clubs in Serie A Sources say that Napoli Roma and Inter are all interested, all 3 however have a significant obstacle to overcome in order to bring the American here to Italy. Clubs in Serie A are only allowed 2 slots each for players who are not EU citizens. Reports have it that Napoli have offered the most money, with Roma and Inter waiting to see what happens. Sources tell me that Aurelio DeLaurentiis
representatives have been authorized to negotiate with the Sounders on a deal to bring Yedlin here to Italy and park him with another Serie A club or just allow him to finish the season in MLS and bring him over in January.
this would be made possible, by the fact that, 1 of Napoli's 2 non EU slots will be opened in October, when Jorghino becomes an Italian citizen. Apparently Seattle has only asked 2.5 million euro for Yedlin.
Reports linking Yedlin to Roma, probably stem from the fact of Roma's American ownership. However recently, sources have reported that Mehdi Benatia, who had been rumored on his way to Manchester City, will be back at Roma. Also reports of Roma's interest in former Napoli defender Hugo Armando Campagnaro .
Inter's possible interest in Yedlin would come from Erick Thohir's connection to the MLS. Being the owner of DC United. However I don't think coach Mazzarri is looking for defenders, It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. I will say I fully expect Yedlin here in Italy at some point in the not to distant future.

Gene Gallucci TBIF

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