BY DAN KARELL
FC Barcelona received some much needed good news on Tuesday, when President Sandro Rosell announced that manager Tito Vilanova could return to the club full time by the end of this month.
Vilanova has been in New York since January, recovering from cancer treatment for the second time in his life. The Catalonian was initially diagnosed in December, though he returned to the bench just after the New Year, only to leave once more to finish his rehabilitation.
While he’s been gone, Barcelona has dropped successive matches to Real Madrid, and finished their season head-to-head matchup with their arch rivals in La Liga without a win. Caretaker manager Jordi Roura has stated his desire to move back to his assistant role once Vilanova returns.
Despite the club’s recent drop in form, Barcelona are still top of La Liga by eleven points, with 12 matches to go.
Here are some other stories to get your Tuesday started:
RODWELL SUFFERS ANOTHER INJURY SETBACK
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini got three points from Monday’s victory over Aston Villa, but lost Jack Rodwell to yet another hamstring injury, when the young midfielder limped off the field in the 24th minute.
According to reports, it’s Rodwell’s ninth hamstring injury in the last 20 months, and this specific one will leave him off the pitch for up to a month. The 21-year-old Englishman has made just 11 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions since signing from Everton last summer. When on the pitch, Rodwell has played well in his defensive midfield role, including a superb effort in late February against Chelsea.
The injury is more bad news for Manchester City, who are still trying to catch up to Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. City currently sit 12 points behind the United, with ten matches remaining.
“WE AREN’T THE FAVORITES” ADMITS PIRLO
Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo has reminded his squad how important it is to take Celtic seriously, ahead of their second leg matchup against Celtic on Wednesday.
Pirlo recalled how his AC Milan side held a three goal lead over Liverpool at halftime of the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, before letting it all away, and eventually losing the match on penalty kicks. He conceded that the Italian team let their foot off the pedal, and that his current squad must not do that.
Juventus won the first leg against Celtic 3-0 in Celtic Park, leading most in the media to write off the Scottish team’s chances, but Pirlo won’t be taking them lightly. The veteran midfielder even admitted that Juventus aren’t the favorites to win the competition, so it’s important to win every game they can, and not get ahead of themselves.
Borussia Dortmund have named Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko as one of three players they’d like to sign this summer (REPORT)
Italian side Napoli has been fined €20,000 for crowd trouble caused by supporters during last Friday’s 1-1 draw against Juventus. (REPORT)
Eintracht Frankfurt manager Armin Veh, who has guided his side into fourth-place in the Bundesliga, is linked with a move to Schalke 04 for next season. (REPORT)
Sao Paulo forward Osvaldo could be handed a shock debut for the Brazilian national team when they face either Italy or Russia later this month. (REPORT)
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be the first tournament to offer seats to fans who struggle with obesity. (REPORT)
Sudan forfeited a victory over Zambia in a World Cup qualifying match after fielding an ineligible player, with the Court of Arbitration of Sport finally ruling on the matter. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Think Jordi Roura was a good replacement while Vilanova was gone? Should Mancini shut down Rodwell for the rest of the season? Do you see Celtic giving Juventus a game in Turin?
Share your thoughts below.