I was, and still am, very surprised when Inter got priced out of the race for Sanchez(totally demolishing my transfer predictions), and even more so when Gian Piero Gasperini was hired. Not that he’s a bad coach, but Inter had publicly chased Ancelotti, Bielsa, Capello, Hiddink, Mihailovic, and Villas Boas. At least three of those refusals were also huge surprise, as was, let’s face it, Leonardo decision to leave Inter, not to go to Chelsea or Man-U, but PSG in France. Going back even farther, how did Inter collapse to Schalke 04? Why do Eto’o and Sneijder want to leave? I could go on. Introducing the fall of Inter…
Pele advising Neymar to join Madrid, only emphasizes recent events tilting the scales in Real’s favor. In fact, if I were Neymar, I would be annoyed at Pele’s constant advise. He’s not famous for giving good advice, either. And after Pele told Neymar to stop diving, Neymar’s not likely to listen. Maradona’s response that night was also overrated: he now claims not to have made the quotes about Pele and Neymar. Neymar meanwhile praised both Maradona and Messi, surely embarrassing Pele.
Three most likely River Plate conspiracies:
1. The referee favors them (this one will certainly happen at last unconsciously, in the pressure cooker that is the Monumental)
2. River go down, then AFA changes the rules (a year in the 2nd division wouldn’t be bad for them, and they are likely to go down: they need to win by two, but have scored two goals in a league game only twice all season. River also have three key players suspended. We might even see a Boca-River superclasico in the 2nd division.
3. Grondonda, head of the AFA, is angry at Passarella for his comments about Grondonda, and it is River which get hurt. This is Diego Maradona’s prediction. (Diego is a former Boca player; River have not won since those comments were made.)
In between games, there has still been plenty of action. Most notably, it looks like fans will be allowed to watch live in the stadium. The River team didn’t spend any time at home, instead going to the outside of Buenos Aires where the coach isn’t running practice. There will be a press conference next week explaining why the previous administration is to blame, and 2,000 police in the stadium. Erik Lamela’s suspension, even with the punch on Wednesday, continues to get delayed. Fans stormed the Monumental demanding the resignation of Passarella.
But first comes the Gold Cup final. Five thoughts on U.S.A.-Mexico will be coming tomorrow.