Ronaldinho threatens to quit
Striker Ronaldinho has threatened to quit his club Flamengo unless he receives more than US$2 million in unpaid wages, his agent and brother Roberto de Assis claimed on Thursday. “I want to reach agreement and then he can compete in the Copa Libertadores, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” de Assis told the newspaper Extra ahead of the Jan. 25 tie against Bolivian side Real Potosi. Three-quarters of Ronaldinho’s salary is covered by marketing group Traffic, who have not paid in five months, amounting to US$2.05 million. “Someone has to take that on, they have to pay. We’ve been waiting for five months now. They [Flamengo and Traffic] have to reach agreement, but that seems difficult to me. Five months have gone by and there has been nothing,” de Assis said.
Reds’ Gerrard extends stay
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is to stay at Anfield after signing a contract extension with the Premier League club. Local hero Gerrard, 31, has been a one-club man throughout his career and the England midfielder told liverpoolfc.tv on Thursday: “I’m very happy. It’s a very proud day for myself and my family.” The deal, the terms of which have not been made public, was announced less than a day after Gerrard scored the only goal in the Reds’ League Cup semi-final first-leg win at Manchester City. “This is the club I love and is the club I have supported since I was a young boy,” Gerrard said. “I am living the dream as the captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Amoros named new coach
Former France defender Manuel Amoros was on Thursday named new coach of Benin, replacing Edme Codjo, who had been in charge since August last year. Amoros will be assisted by fellow Frenchman Nicolas Philibert, a Benin sports ministry official said, adding that the former France captain and Comoros coach was expected in Cotonou yesterday to sign a two-year deal. The 49-year-old Amoros, who won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, played 82 times for France and was voted the best young player of the 1982 World Cup.
Alex’s exit won’t be cheap
Chelsea are determined Brazilian defender Alex won’t leave in a cut-price deal as west London rivals QPR try to make him the first signing of the Mark Hughes era at Loftus Road. Andre Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, confirmed on Thursday an offer had been made for Alex, with QPR understood to be the interested club. It has been reported that QPR made an intial ￡3 million (US$4.6 million) offer for Alex, but Chelsea are understood to want more for the 29-year-old.
Argentina friendly set
Brazil are to play five international friendlies in the first six months of this year, including games against archrivals Argentina and Mexico. Mano Menezes’ team will also play Denmark (in Germany) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (in Switzerland), the Brazilian soccer federation said on Thursday. A US tour sees Brazil play the US national side on either May 30 or May 31, FC Dallas on June 3 and the New York Red Bulls six days later. Those games will be played by a team made up of players aged under 23 years as part of the build-up to the July 27-Aug. 12 London Olympics.