Photo by ISIPhotos.com
BY DAN KARELL
Barring a stunning change of heart, Robert Lewandowski will no longer be a Borussia Dortmund player after June 30, 2014.
BVB Sporting Director Michael Zorc announced the news on Thursday that the club would not offer the Polish international forward a contract extension, signing the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich to begin a bidding war. As Lewandowski’s contract does not run out until the end of next season, Zorc made it clear that nothing less than €30 million would be enough to let the 24-year-old leave this summer.
Lewandowski has been a revelation for Dortmund the last two seasons, scoring 22 goals in last year’s title-winning season, and so far 14 goals and four assists in the current campaign.
Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:
EL TRI U-20’S QUALIFY FOR WORLD CUP
Mexico’s U-20 squad needed to win on Wednesday night to qualify for the U-20 World Cup, due to take place in July in Turkey.
El Tri did that, and more, with a convincing 4-0 victory over Jamaica in front of nearly 40,000 fans. Four different players scored for Mexico, who will look to build on their third-place finish in the 2011 edition of the U-20 World Cup.
The core of the team currently competing at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship was on Mexico’s U-17 World Cup winning squad in 2011, giving them plenty of high pressure experience to lean on in when El Tri travels to Turkey this summer. Mexico next play El Salvador in the semi-finals on Friday.
HUTH ACCEPTS THREE-MATCH BAN
Stoke City defender Robert Huth has decided against appealing the FA’s charge of violent conduct, accepting a three-match ban for his actions during Fulham’s 1-0 victory over Stoke City last Saturday.
During the match, Huth appeared to elbow Fulham defender Philippe Senderos, a play that was missed by the officials on the pitch, but caught on the cameras and reviewed by the FA following the match.
The German native will now miss the upcoming matches against West Ham, Newcastle, and West Bromwich Albion. It’s the second three-match suspension for Huth since moving to Stoke City in 2009.
Huth’s pending suspension could pave the way for Geoff Cameron to see some playing time at centerback for Stoke, a position he has yet to play for the Potters despite being a starting centerback for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
BOCA JUNIORS AND CORINTHIANS WIN IN LIBERTADORES PLAY
Argentine power Boca Juniors got back to their winning ways on Wednesday night, beating a struggling Barcelona of Ecuador team 2-1, in the Estadio Monumental in Guayaquil.
Following a scoreless first half, Boca scored twice in five minutes. The first came off a corner kick in the 59th minute, when Guillermo Burdisso headed down a corner kick right to the path of the oncoming Juan Martinez, who finished calmly to give the Argentinians the lead. It was expanded to two in the 63rd minute, when a free-kick taken by Nicolas Colazo was flicked into the back of the net by Claudio Perez.
Barcelona would score a penalty kick goal in the 93rd minute off the foot of Michael Arroyo, but the referee’s whistle would blow moments later, dooming the home side to defeat. Next week’s matches will see Boca Juniors take on Nacional of Uruguay and Barcelona facing Toluca of Mexico.
In Brazil, former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato scored Corinthians second goal in a 2-0 victory Colombian side Millonarios, featuring former Seattle Sounder Fredy Montero. The match was played in front of just four spectators, who managed to make their way into the Estadio do Pacaembu despite a ban from CONMEBOL against spectators for the next two months. Former Bayern Munich forward Paolo Guerrero scored the game-winning goal for Corinthians.
Also in action on Wednesday night, Brazil’s Fluminense defeated Huachipato of Chile 2-1, and Chilean side Deportes Iquique recorded their first ever Copa Libertadores win with a 2-0 victory over Emelec of Ecuador.
Lazio has announced they will appeal a two-match stadium ban in the Europa League from UEFA, after being fined for racist acts from the fans on the third occasion this season. (REPORT)
The board that was formerly in charge of Scottish football club Rangers has been fined £250,000, but the club will not lose any of their titles won during the time in question. (REPORT)
Brazilian club Santos are currently putting together a new contract for star forward Neymar that could keep him in Brazil past 2014, when his current contract ends. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Lewandowski leaving Dortmund this summer? Do you think Mexico has a chance to win the U-20 World Cup this summer? Do you believe Robert Huth’s punishment was appropriate?
Share your thoughts below.