Here at The18, we typically steer clear of transfer rumor nonsense fueled by nothing more than the strange fancies of dubious websites because we’re not hacks. That’s why our award-winning staff is so often likened to German dachshunds with regards to the transfer market — we sniff out the nonsense and we piss on it.
This is dumb, but in some ways, Sergi Roberto is simply too good. He’s too intelligent, too tactically aware and too adaptable. The likes of Pep Guardiola, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde never complained, but it’s also made the 25-year-old something of an unknown quality outside of those who watch FC Barcelona play week in, week out.
FC Porto manager Sergio Conceicao’s search for the right formation and personnel in both the Primeira Liga and Champions League has led to Mexican international Jesus “Tecatito” Corona being handed less minutes than he’d probably like, but the 24-year-old winger was handed a start against Pacos de Ferreira on Saturday and certainly gave his manager something to think about with a flawless 75-minute display that included a goal and an assist.
Hirving “Chucky” Lozano signed with PSV Eindhoven last June looking to cement his growing reputation in Europe and follow in the footsteps of players like Arjen Robben, Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum — all former PSV talents that honed their skills there before moving to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Speculation over the future of FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta was emphatically squashed Friday with the signing of a lifetime contract, keeping the Spanish international at the club for the remainder of his playing career and ostensibly into a non-playing capacity after retirement.
I gotta say, today was turning into a pretty standard Thursday.
Amid strong interest from clubs in Major League Soccer, it was with a view towards the 2018 World Cup that Andres Guardado decided to join Real Betis and continue pushing himself at the highest level in La Liga. After three starts for the Seville-based club, it’s apparent that the 30-year-old made the right decision. This is obviously his level.
FIFA has approved Sofia Huerta’s request for a one-time change of national association, switching her allegiance from Mexico to the United States after appearing competitively for El Tri at the U-20 level. Huerta was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, and currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL.
There’s an immediate hot take available here that I just can’t commit myself to: the departure of Neymar from Barcelona has had an uplifting effect on 33-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, and El Ilusionista is about to enjoy the consummate season because of a mixture of peak footballing intelligence and a proverbial unchaining on the left-hand side of Barca’s midfield.