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Article:Around The Globe In a Soccer Ball

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Okay, so Euro 2008 is almost upon us but their is plenty of soccer news making the rounds all over the world. Some can be termed as rumours, some have been clarified and many more allegations surface. So lets start with the people behind the teams.

  • Sven Goran Erikkson who was sacked by Manchester City has taken up the job of coaching the Mexican National side. This was a bit of a shock to me as it was the last place I thought Sven would work.
  • So Manchester City were looking for a capable manager to fill Sven's shoes and who did they bring in?, none other than Blackburn's former boss, Mark Hughes. Can he please Shinawatra, something that Eriksson was incapable of doing. Hughes has been given 40-50 million pounds to spend and Shinawatra wants a top 6 finish next season.
  • Inter Milan reached the Italian Cup Final and won the Scudetto for the third consecutive year and yet they sacked Mancini to bring in loud mouthed Jose Mourinho. The way I see it is this- Inter Milan have to win the League and the Italian cup and also the Champions League or Mourinho would have fared no better than Mancini. A very tall order if you ask me. However, it will be very interesting to see Mourinho's signings as he has targeted many of the Chelsea big names.
  • The debate about a new Chelsea Manager rages on. The latest is that Roma boss Luciano Spaletti has joined countryman Ancelotti in turning down the offer.
  • Blackburn are now without a manager and have asked Paul Ince to take the role.
Now we go on to some transfer news. 
  • How can I start this section without Christiano Ronaldo who has accepted that he wants to play for Madrid and that 150,000 pounds a week after tax along with many other benefits, was too good to turn down. However in an effort to fund this transfer, Real Madrid are offloading three big names from their roster which will fetch them about 35 million pounds. Robinho, Baptista and Soldado.
  • Barcelona have joined the race to sign Ronaldo as well.
  • Liverpool will unveil Andrea Dossena, their second signing of the summer.
  • Juventus have agreed to the terms by Xavi Alonso but have to fix a fee with the reds who want 16 million for him as compared to the 14.5 million being offered.
  • Alexander Hleb is a step closer to joining Barcelona as Mourinho's appointment at Inter dettered him from the San Siro.

And last but not least- Portuguese Champions, Porto, have been thrown out of the Champions League for the next two years after allegations of bribing referees in the 2003-04 season.The allegations relate to Porto's 2-0 win against Estrela da Amadora and their 0-0 draw with Beira Mar. Porto won the 2003-04 league title under Mourinho, who has not been named in any of the allegations. This was also the year Porto won the Champions League. Last month Porto were found guilty and charged 150,000 euros and docked 6 points. They didnt appeal the points being docked as they had a comfortable lead in the league. However, club President, Jorge Pinto Da Costa has said he will appeal this ban.

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