Skipper Puyol to quit Barca
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol announced on Tuesday that he will leave the club at the end of the season after a hugely successful 15-year career at the Camp Nou. The 35-year-old, who did not reveal whether he would continue playing elsewhere, has been plagued by injuries over the last couple of seasons and has undergone three knee operations. “At the end of the season I will leave FC Barcelona. The club are aware of this and we are in agreement,” Puyol said. “We will rescind the final two years of my contract that were still to run.” Puyol signed a new deal with the club in January last year, but admitted in June that he would not stay if injuries continued to prevent him from playing a significant part on the field. Having featured just 10 times this season in all competitions, he said it was time for a new challenge in a less physically demanding environment. “After the last two operations it has been difficult for me to recover the level I need to be able to continue here, more than I expected and more than surgeons said. That is why I have taken this decision,” he said.
Stuttgart back Schneider
Bundesliga strugglers VfB Stuttgart confirmed on Tuesday that coach Thomas Schneider would remain in charge for at least one more match, despite a club record run of eight consecutive league defeats. “The board has decided to continue working with Thomas Schneider and the advisory board are 100 percent behind this decision,” Stuttgart president Bernd Wahler said in a statement. Schneider, who only took charge of Stuttgart in August last year after predecessor Bruno Labbadia was fired, will be on the bench for Saturday’s home game against bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig. German media had reported on Tuesday that he was set to be fired in the wake of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, but Stuttgart director of sport Fredi Bobic and Wahler had fought to keep Schneider in a board meeting on Monday. Stuttgart are 15th in the table, outside the relegation places only on goal-difference.
Government to control club
The government will take control of first-division club Gallos Blancos de Queretaro, whose owner is the chief executive of a company at the center of a money-laundering probe involving Citigroup’s Mexican subsidiary, a high-ranking government official said on Tuesday. The authorities are investigating oil services company Oceanografia after Citigroup said on Friday last week that it had discovered at least US$400 million in fraudulent loans at its Mexican subsidiary, Banamex. The chief executive of Oceanografia is the owner of Queretaro. “Queretaro will be taken control of, I’m not sure when, but it will be taken control of,” the official said.
Peru hire Pablo Bengoechea
Pablo Bengoechea was named Peru national coach on Tuesday on a short-term contract after experienced Argentine Marcelo Bielsa declined the Peruvian Football Federation’s offer. The 49-year-old — a stylish midfielder capped 43 times by Uruguay — signed a contract that runs until December, but is likely to be extended to the Copa America in Chile next year. Bengoechea, who played most of his club soccer in South America apart from a five-year stint in Spain with Sevilla, knows the Peru setup well as he was assistant to compatriot Sergio Markarian during the unsuccessful qualifying campaign for this year’s World Cup finals.