Gerardo Martino’s time in charge of Barcelona saw him being unable on securing any major trophies with the Spanish club and even though he had originally signed a 2 year long contract with Barcelona, the Argentinean coach was removed from his position in the club in 10 months.
Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League after playing against Athletic Madrid and losing 2-1 and they failed on winning the League title and had to settle with a 2nd place position.
Real Madrid defeated Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and all of these factors are some of the main reasons on why Martino’s time in charge of Barcelona was cut so short.
Even with all of those recent disappointing results and matches involving Gerardo Martino and Barcelona, the Argentine coach will have a meeting with the president of Paraguay Horacio Cartes as he is going to be offered with a chance to coach the national Paraguay football team.
A few weeks ago it was confirmed that Marcelo Bielsa turned down the chance to coach the Paraguayan national football team as he had already set his mind on coaching Olympique de Marseille.
Paraguay Football Association (APF) vice-president Alejandro Dominguez revealed to reporters that Bielsa did not agree to coach the nation.
“Yesterday morning Bielsa called me to communicate that he was dismissing the possibility of leading the Paraguayan national team,” Dominguez told Radio Monumental.
The position has now been offered to Gerardo Martino with a series of meetings and discussions expected to take place in the next few weeks. Martino coached and led the Paraguayan coach through the 2010 World Cup where they managed on reaching the quarterfinals until they suffered a loss against Spain.
Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has stated that his club team, Malaga, were unfortunate not to come away with a point from the recent match against Real Sociedad. After going through a lot of financial troubles in recent years, Malaga are slowly rebuilding and looking to get out of the relegation dogfight.
They are currently just one place above the relegation zone with only three points separating them from it. A point would have been extremely good in these circumstances, but they were able to get only a 1-0 defeat against their Champions league places chasing opponents.
Real Sociedad are only four points below the final Champions league qualifying places. Even though this was a home match, Malaga were unable to take point. Santa Cruz, though, feels that his team deserved a point for the effort that they put into the match. Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela scored the only goal of the match in the 10th minute after an assist from José Ángel. Even though Real Sociedad were able to play this victory, it was Malaga who created the much opportunities in the match. They had eight shots on target compared to only two from the away team.
Santa Cruz says that Malaga would have won the match on any other day given the dominance they had in the encounter.
“It never sits well with us when we lose a game, particularly when we could have taken advantage of a slow start and the goal opportunities we had in the first half.
However I think we were unlucky, and the rival keeper was extremely fortunate to save a number of promising shots at goal. We lacked a bit of confidence when it came to goal chances, but I think on the whole we performed well. I hope we learn from this game and start every match now with more intensity,” said Santa Cruz.
Paraguay are reportedly in talks with former Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni about taking charge of their national team. The Italian is currently out of work after leaving the Ireland job a few months ago.
It has been reported that the national team is currently dissatisfied with the work done by Victor Genes. He has largely been inconsistent during his spell as the Paraguay manager, which is forcing the nation to take proper steps in order to do well in the next World Cup qualifying campaign. They failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014 despite this competition being held in South America.
Paraguay are no strangers to appoint Italian managers after Cesare Maldini was in charge of them almost a decade ago. Maldini managed to get them to the World Cup 2002. Genes is coming under a lot of pressure especially after a poor World Cup qualifying in which they finished bottom of the group. They could manage only 12 points from the 16 matches. Despite being 74 years old, Trapattoni is thought to have set to his friends and family that he has no intention of retiring from management just yet.
Trapattoni was replaced by former Leicester City manager Martin O’Neill, who has also been accompanied by Robbie Keane. Trapattoni’s time at Ireland has been met with a lot of criticism in recent months after the team failed to qualify for the World Cup, but they did manage to make an appearance at the Euro 2012.
Even then, he failed to win over the supporters since Ireland were knocked out of the tournament after not managing a single victory in the group stages. The embarrassing defeats against the likes of Spain also counted against Trapattoni, as he was finally relieved of his duties a few months ago.
Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has said that former Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini is one of the coolest men in football. Pellegrini recently took over as the manager of Manchester city – Santa Cruz’ former club. He has come over from Malaga after doing a stellar job with the Spanish club with limited resources.
He managed to almost get them into the semifinals of the Champions League only to be beaten by Borussia Dortmund with a controversial goal last season. City have not been out of the headlines under Pellegrini, as they have been struggling in the league.
Despite qualifying for the last 16 stage of the Champions league for the first time, Pellegrini is under pressure due to poor away form in the domestic competitions. Santa Cruz, though, is under the opinion that Pellegrini will be able to rectify this sooner rather than later because he is one of the most patient in football. City will be taking on Chelsea in an away match, which is expected to spell more troubles for the former champions. Santa Cruz reckons that City will be able to get a result against their title rivals due to the calmness surrounding Pellegrini.
“He’s a qualified engineer, an educated man and someone with a huge amount of patience. He will never rush into a decision. He will do his homework, consider all his options before deciding what to do. He came to me before joining City and asked about the dressing room. He takes a lot of care when it comes to making sure how healthy the dressing room is. His greatest strength is remaining relaxed and calm. His best quality is this, dealing with so many big stars,” said Santa Cruz.
The Paraguayan striker made the permanent move away from Manchester City in the summer after a few loan spells.
Paraguay, who sit bottom of the World Cup qualifying table in South America, managed a comfortable 4-0 victory over Bolivia to give hopes that the team will be able to improve in the forthcoming years.
Paraguay have no chance of qualifying for the World Cup after having taken just 11 points from the 14 matches so far. Only five teams can qualify for the World Cup out of the nine from the South American continent. Even though they managed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, they have been very disappointing in the last few years.
This led to the Paraguay Football Association changing managers twice, but they have been improving constantly under the new management of Victor Genes. He has been trying to utilise a squad that has both experience and youth. The likes of Roque Santa Cruz, who are now one of the most experienced in the squad, managed to score in both of the recent matches. The 4-0 win over Bolivia was followed by a 5-2 defeat against Argentina. Ahead of the match with Argentina, Santa Cruz said that Paraguay were not going to be afraid of attacking the top team in South American qualification right now.
Argentina currently leading the table with 29 points compared to the 26 points of Colombia in the second place. “Argentina as always goes on to win and we as local will do the same. It will not be a party to wait and see what will they do. Depart to seek, will be a grudge match,” said the former Manchester city and Bayern Munich striker. As a result of the two goals against Argentina, Paraguay have scored seven goals in the last two matches, which is a major improvement following the arrival of the new manager only recently.
Paraguay striker Oscar Cardozo is set to complete a move away from Portuguese football in the near future according to his agent. The Benfica striker has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer, but it appears that an agreement is close.
Cardozo has been linked with several Premier league clubs including Manchester City in the last few weeks. However, he now looks set to complete a move to Turkish football after Fenerbahce are leading the race to sign the 29-year-old according to his agent. Turkish football has been attracting big names in the last few years.
The likes of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder have come to the league during this period. Cardozo could be the next big name to arrive. The player has great experience of playing in the Champions League, while he has come close to getting Benfica win the domestic league on several occasions. The striker moved to Benfica in 2007 and he has made more than 160 appearances during this period. He has proven to be one of the best goal scorers in Europe during this period as well with 105 goals. He has also represented the national team since 2006 scoring nine goals in the 46 appearances.
“The negotiations between the two clubs are going well and the agreement is practically closed. There are only a few details to be resolved. His signing could come at any time,” said his agent in a recent interview. Cardiff City have also been linked with a move for the striker. The newly promoted club, though, will find it difficult to offer the wages quoted by competing clubs like Fenerbahce and Manchester City. They, however, will be able to offer him the prospect of regular first-team football. Paraguay look unlikely to make it into the 2014 World Cup.
It is understood that Brazilian club Santos are looking at the possibility of bringing Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz back to South America in the summer. The Manchester city striker is currently playing for the Spanish club Malaga.
However, he is out of contract with the Premier league outfit at the end of the season, thus making him free to join any club of his wish. Even though he has indicated that he is extremely happy at Malaga, the financial restrictions of the Spanish club mean that he is unlikely to be signed on a permanent basis.
The 31-year-old has played for the likes of Bayern Munich and Blackburn Rovers in a stellar career, but he could be set for return to his home continent. Santos have an array of attacking talent including 21-year-old Neymar, who has been billed as the best young talent in the world. However, the club thought to be considering the arrival of a new striker in order to compensate for the expected loss of Neymar in the summer. Santa Cruz has not only been linked with Santos, but the likes of Botafogo have also been linked with the 31-year-old.
Santos already have three foreign players in their squad, and Brazilian clubs are allowed to field only this number of players at any given moment. This may prove to be a stumbling block in a potential move to Santos. Santa Cruz has been one of the main reasons in an excellent season for Malaga in which they have almost qualified for the Champions League semifinals only to the knockout by German club Borussia Dortmund in the final few minutes of the match. The club are currently sixth in the la Liga table outside the possible European spots.
Santa Cruz has made 28 appearances and scored eight goals for the Spanish club this season.
Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz has said that he expects Malaga to qualify for the Champions League semifinals against all the odds.
At the start of the season, not many would have expected Malaga to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition ahead of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. However, they have reached this stage and they will be playing against German club Borussia Dortmund. This will be one of the toughest matches for the Spanish club given that Dortmund have proved that they are capable of beating the best.
Despite being in a group containing Real Madrid and Manchester City, Dortmund were able to qualify for the latter stages of the competition. Due to the fact that they also do not have any commitments on the league – after losing the title to Bayern Munich, they will be shifting their entire focus on the European competition. This coupled with the fact that the second leg is at Dortmund means that not many are giving Malaga a chance to progress to the semifinals. Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has achieved this feat before with yet another small team in the form of Villarreal.
Former City striker Santa Cruz has been one of the reasons for Malaga’s impressive form this season. “Football is a beautiful sport. When you think everything is not possible, then something happens. I think we have the players, and we also have the ambience in the team, to go there and play a great game and qualify. The thing is to see that everything is possible there,” said the Paraguayan in a recent interview. Santa Cruz has made 26 appearances for Malaga this season. He has scored six goals in these matches, as the team sit sixth in the table below the likes of Real Sociedad and Valencia.
The Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz has revealed that he will not be returning to Manchester City at the end of his current loan spell with Malaga. The former Blackburn Rovers and Bayern Munich striker is currently on loan at the Spanish club till the end of the season.
However, he has ruled out the possibility of returning to Manchester City in the future. Santa Cruz has also pointed to the fact that his contract with the club expires in June, thus making him a free agent. Santa Cruz has been one of the best players for Malaga this season.
Despite selling a number of the players during the summer transfer window, Malaga have been able to compete for a Champions League qualification spot mainly due to the goals from the Paraguayan. He has said that he has no grudges about not making the grade at City due to the different factors at the club. Santa Cruz was one of the first high-profile signings for the club during the reign of Mark Hughes. He was brought to the club for around £ 17 million, but upon the arrival of Roberto Mancini, he fell out of favour. Santa Cruz, though, has said that the arrival of several big-name players meant that his position cannot be criticised.
“At City I had an excellent relationship with each of the coaches that I had – Mark Hughes first and Roberto Mancini later – as well as with the club. Mancini was honest with me and I don’t blame anyone. They made big investments and I wasn’t able to play much, but there is no blame. During my season at Manchester City I was not 100 per cent fit, like I am now. But I am not going to go back there,” said Roque Santa Cruz.
The Paraguayan footballer Lucas Barrios, who is regarded as one of the country’s best talents, has said that there is a possibility of leaving the Chinese league in favour of the English Premier league.
The player is currently with the Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, but he has recently revealed that he thinks his future might be elsewhere due to the interest from various clubs like Manchester city and Arsenal. The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the finest strikers from Paraguay. He rose to fame during his spell with the German club Borussia Dortmund when he was one of the feared strikers in Europe.
During the period from 2009 to 2012, the player was almost irreplaceable for the German club Borussia Dortmund. His agent has recently revealed that he is looking for a move away from the Asian continent. This has alerted the clubs like Manchester city and Arsenal, who are on the lookout for a striker capable of putting the ball in the back of the net. Despite signing the players like Lukas Podolski in the summer, Arsenal have found it tough to replace Robin van Persie. Hence, they are expected to sell the likes of Marouane Chamakh and bring in Lucas Barrios.
“My agent is going to China to discuss my future with the Guangzhou Evergrande board. I am happy that clubs in Italy, England and Germany are tracking me and I want to play there,” said the player in a recent review given to skysports. The Chinese club is one of the richest in the world. Their star player Dario Conca is reportedly on a contract worth around £ 200,000 per week, while Lucas Barrios is also closer to that pay packet. However, he is looking to play the rest of his career in a top league against the best players.