Rhaudeman Santiago Signs with France’s FC Lyon

Rhaudeman Santiago will be kickin’ it in France…

The 26-year-old soccer player, the cousin of Paris Saint-Germainforward Neymar, has signed with FC Lyon, who compete in the French sixth division.

Rhaudeman Santiago aka Rhau

Santiago — known as “Rhau” — went to the Santos academy, like Neymar, and plays on the left wing.

Rhau, who has already arrived in Lyon via Paris, has mostly played in lower leagues in Brazil before joining FC Lyon, who are the third oldest club in France as they were formed in 1893.

FC Lyon are a non-professional club, which is renowned in the area as a very good grassroots club with a lot of their young players then signing for top academies.

Lionel Messi: The World’s Highest Paid Latino Celebrity

Lionel Messi isn’t just making goals… He’s makin’ some serious bank…

Forbes magazine has released its list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities, with the 32-year-old Argentine professional footballer coming in at No. 5 with $104 million, making his the highest-paid Latino celebrity in the world.

Lionel Messi

Messi has been awarded both FIFA‘s Player of the Year and the European Golden Shoe for top scorer on the continent a record six times. His 438 goals, including 36 hat tricks for Barcelona, is a club and La Liga record.

Neymarcomes in at No. 7…

The 28-year-old Brazilian professional footballer, who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team, had reported earnings of $95.5 million.

Jennifer Lopez is the highest-paid Latina celebrity on Forbes’ list.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar,one of the more popular celebrities when it comes to endorsements, had earnings of $47.5 million. She has deals with VersaceDSWQuay sunglasses and her own fragrances.

The multi-hyphenate also produced and starred in the 2019 film Hustlers.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has made Forbes’ list for the first time…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican Broadway star had reported earnings of $45.5 million.

The Hamilton creator and star added to his haul from the Broadway hit in February when Walt Disney paid $75 million for the rights to air the filmed version of his Founding Father musical. 

Other Latino/a celebrities making the list include Howie Dorough (along with his fellow Backstreet Boys), Sofia VergaraRobert Trujillo (along with his fellow Metallica band mates), Rafael Nadal and Canelo Alvarez.

Here’s a look at the Latino/as making this year’s list:

No. 5 Lionel Messi, $104 million
No. 7 Neymar, $95.5 million
No. 56 Jennifer Lopez, $47.5 million 
No. 62 Lin-Manuel Miranda, $45.5 million
No. 64 Backstreet Boys, $45 million
No. 71 Sofia Vergara, $43 million
No. 78 Metallica, $40.5 million
No. 80 Rafael Nadal, $40 million
No. 91 Canelo Alvarez, $37 million

Mauro Icardi Signs Permanent Four-Year Deal with Paris Saint-Germain

Mauro Icardi is making things permanent…

The 27-year-old Argentine professional Inter Milan soccer player, who plays the Argentina national team, has signed a permanent four-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

Mauro Icardi

Icardi spent the 2019-20 season in the French capital on loan and the Ligue 1 champions have taken their option to sign him permanently, keeping him in Paris until 2024.

The deal would be worth €50 million euros plus €7m euros in potential add-ons, which is significantly less than the €70m release clause included in his loan agreement, according to ESPN.

Inter Milan recognized that due to the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, it was fair to lower their asking price. Inter Milan have long wanted to sell the striker, who joined the Nerazzurri seven years ago from Sampdoria.

In a statement on Inter Milan’s website, the club thanked the striker for his contribution to the team during the six seasons he spent with them.

Icardi made his mark on PSG last season, making 31 appearances in the 2019-20 season. He scored 20 goals and provided 4 assists on the team’s road to picking up the Ligue 1 title.

PSG had a 12 point lead on nearest rivals Marseille when the league was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Formiga Signs One-Year Contract Extension with Paris Saint-Germain’s Women’s Side

Formiga is staying in the game…

The 42-year-old Brazilian footballerwill extend her professional career into a 27th season after signing a one-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain‘s women’s side.

Formiga

Formigais the French side’s vice-captain and is now tied to the club until the summer of 2021.

Formiga – whose full name is Miraildes Maciel Mota– has been in Paris since January of 2017 when she joined from Sao Jose.

She scored four goals en route to winning the 2018 Coupe de Franceand has made 77 PSGappearances. She set the record for the oldest female scorer in European competition at 41 years and 193 days when she found the net in a 7-0 rout of Sporting Bragain the Champions Leagueround-of-16 first leg in September 2019.

In 2015, Formiga became the oldest scorer at a women’s World Cupwhen she netted at the age of 37 years, three months and six days.

She broke another record in France last summer when she played in her seventh World Cup– 24 years after the first of her 195 caps, in which she has scored 29 goals.

Formiga was also a Copa Americawinner with Brazil in 2018 and has made six Olympic appearances with the aim of retiring from the professional game after the rearranged 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

PSG were second to Lyon in the table, three points behind and due to host the leaders next, when football was brought to a global standstill by the coronavirus.

Although the French Football Federationhave since announced that the 2019-20 season has been brought to premature end, Lyon have not yet been officially crowned champions for a record 14th time.

Gio Reyna to Join US Men’s National Soccer Team

Gio Reynais movin’ on up…

United States manager Gregg Berhalter has confirmed that the 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player and Borussia Dortmund midfielder will be called up to the senior team for the March international window.

Gio Reyna

Earlier, Reyna was named to a 50-man provisional roster for the Olympicqualifying tournament, which spans beyond the March international window. But Berhalter, speaking at a reporters’ roundtable during MLS Media Day, stated that Dortmund wouldn’t allow Reyna to be released for the Olympic qualifying tournament, and that his performances warranted getting called up to the full team.

Reyna, the son of former U.S. internationalClaudio Reynalast week became the youngest American to play in Champions League at 17 years and 97 dayswith an impressive performance that included an assist in BVB‘s 2-1 home victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

“We want our younger players performing and playing at a high level, and [Reyna] is doing that,” said Berhalter. “And as a result of him doing that he gets an opportunity with the first team.”

Reyna has made immense strides this season, even as the U.S.Under-17team exited the group stage at the FIFA U17 World Cuplast fall. Berhalter chalked that up to Reyna finding a rhythm within the Dortmund team. The previous season Reyna had to wait until he received his European passport before he could begin playing official games for the club at youth level.

“It was a very choppy year for him in terms of his development,” said Berhalter. “And I think we saw some of that at the U17 [World Cup]. You could tell he didn’t have rhythm.

This year Reyna has had more of an opportunity to settle in and rise through the ranks of the team.

“You can see [Reyna] has rhythm now and he has a good understanding of what the team wants to do. And they’re using him in a way where you know they’re not asking him to take full responsibility in terms of he doesn’t have to carry a team. He’s playing a role, and he’s executing his role.”

The result has been that Reyna’s qualities have shown through.

“[Reyna’s] position when he gets the ball in the pocket, his awareness to turn and his efficiency when he’s turning his excellent,” said Berhalter. “He doesn’t waste any touches turning, he turns right away. The second thing is his ball security under pressure is phenomenal.”

Now Berhalter must try to figure out Reyna’s best position, although he concedes it’s a nice dilemma to face.

“I can see [Reyna] playing as a winger. I can see him playing potentially as a No. 10 and a 4-3-3,” said Berhalter. “He can play a number of different positions. I like him being able to affect the game on the offensive side, similar to Christian[Pulisic]. They’ve been using him on the left. He can also play on the right so I think he gives you flexibility.”

Gio Reyna Becomes Youngest American to Play in the Champions League

Gio Reyna’s name has been etched in the soccer history books…

The 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player made his Champions League debut on Tuesday for Borussia Dortmund against Paris Saint-Germain, becoming the youngest American to play in Champions League at 17 years and 97 days.

Gio Reyna

Reyna was promoted to the Dortmund senior squad in January after only having joined the club’s academy in the summer of 2019 and has since gained game time in every match. 

A member of the U.S. squad at last year’s Under-17 World Cup, Reyna made his senior team debut for Dortmund on January 18 in a Bundesliga match at Augsburg.

Reyna had already scored in Dortmund’s German Cupdefeat at Werder Bremenearlier this month, but was instrumental for his side on Tuesday as he set up Erling Haaland’s second goal in a 2-1 first-leg win over PSG.

At 17 years, 3 months. 5 days, Reyna bettered the mark for youngest American set by Gedion Zelalemwhen he played for Arsenalat 17 years, 317 days old. Chelsea star Christian Pulisicwas four days shy of his 18th birthday when he made his Champions League debut while with Dortmund in a group phase opener at Legia Warsawin 2016. Pulisic started and assisted on Dortmund’s fifth goal in a 6-0 win.

His father, USMNTgreat Claudio Reyna, appeared in eight Champions League group phase matches for Glasgow Rangersin 1999 and 2000 and also scored a key goal in a Champions League qualifier in 1999 against UEFA Cupchampion Parma. Claudio scored eight goals in 112 appearances for the U.S. from 1994 to 2006, appearing in three World Cups. Gio Reyna’s mother, Danielle Egan Reyna, scored one goal in six appearances for the U.S. women’s side in 2003.

Speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s match, Gio Reyna said he was proud the team got such an important victory and of his assist to Haaland for the winner, only two minutes after Neymar levelled the score.

“A lot of emotions are going through my head right now,” he said. “To get my Champions League debut against Paris was a dream come true for me. To get an assist was even better.

“We knew Paris are such a good team. And the result is the most important thing. The way we fought as a team was so impressive,” he said. “Our work ethic and our will to win games really showed tonight.”

“It’s a super pass from Reyna,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favresaid of the ball that set up Haaland’s goal. “He plays it in brilliantly. He orients the ball very, very quickly.

FC Barcelona Stepping Up Efforts to Bring Neymar Back Into the Fold

Will Neymar return to Spain?

Futbol Club Barcelona will reportedly step up the team’s efforts to sign the 27-year-old Brazilian professional footballer next summer, according to ESPN.

Neymar

The Barca hierarchy believes that Neymar is the natural replacement for Lionel Messi. The club believe it’ll be easier to bring Neymar back to Camp Nouonce Messi is gone, given that Neymar has already played there and there aren’t too many players at his level.

The Brazil international retains a good relationship with Barca despite his acrimonious exit to Paris Saint-Germainfor a world-record €222 million fee.

Mundo Deportivo‘s front page earlier this week said Barca will attempt to sign the forward depending on his performances during the second half of the season, when PSG will look to finally win the Champions League.

Neymar has a tense relationship with the French champions, who refused to let him join Barca last summer despite the club’s best efforts.

PSG’s owners continue to make things difficult for Barca, which could go to FIFAto decide a fee, given the player has been at the club for three years and has no release clause.

Real Madrid Phenom Rodrygo Makes History with Hat-Trick Against Galatasaray

Rodrygo is proving age is but a number while making history…

The 18-year-old Brazilian soccer player and Real Madrid forward scored a blistering hat-trick as his team pummeled Galatasaray 6-0 at home on Wednesday to take a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.

Rodrygo

Rodrygo put the 13-times European champions ahead in the fourth minute by turning two defenders in the area and firing into the bottom corner to score for the first time in Europe’s elite competition.

Rodrygo struck again in the seventh by nodding home a cross from compatriot Marcelo, completing the fastest double in Champions League history.

Real Madrid didn’t ease off after their rampant start and extended their lead in the 13th minute with a typically cheeky ‘Panenka‘ penalty from captain Sergio Ramos.

Karim Benzema netted their fourth on the stroke of halftime, knocking the ball into the net after another thrilling piece of play from Rodrygo.

Benzema struck again from close range in the second half to move on to 50 Champions League goals for his club, moving ahead of Real great Alfredo Di Stefano as the Spanish side’s third top scorer in Europe’s top competition.

But the night belonged to Rodrygo, who rounded off a dream home European debut at the Santiago Bernabeuby completing his treble in added time, racing towards goal and exchanging passes with Benzema before tapping into the net.

Rodrygo, who became the second-youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League after Real great Raul, was serenaded by the home crowd.

“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true,” Rodrygo said. “I’m so happy, it has been a joyous night but I must try and stay calm.”

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised the youngster’s performance.

“When he has the chance to play, he plays well and he’s done it again,” Zidane said. “It doesn’t surprise me, we all know the quality he has. He came here to do what he’s doing. This is just the beginning. Let’s hope he carries on like this. We need to stay calm with him.”

Real Madrid, who picked up only one point from their first two games in the competition, are second in Group A with seven points from four matches.

Their next opponents Paris Saint-Germain are at the top with 12, with Club Brugge third on two and Galatasaray bottom on one.

Victory over PSG, who have reached the last 16, would send Real Madrid into the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Paris Saint-Germain Signs Goalkeeper Keylor Navas from Real Madrid

Keylor Navasis headed to the City of Light

Paris Saint-Germain has completed the signing of the 32-year-old Costa Rican professional footballer and goalkeeper from Real Madrid on a permanent basis with Alphonse Areola moving in the opposite direction.

Keylor Navas

Navas established himself as the Spanish giants’ first-choice goalkeeper after his arrival in 2014 from Levanteand helped Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions Leaguetitles between 2016 and 2018.

Navas said in a tweet: “If God changes our plan it is because he has something better in mind. I hope to begin a new path and make history with PSG.”

Navas also won the La LigaSupercopa de Espana, two UEFA Super Cupsand three FIFA Club World Cuptitles but has since fallen to second in the pecking order behind Thibaut Courtois.

He joins PSG as No. 1 ahead of Sergio Rico and fellow summer signing Marcin Bulka — a move that ends years of uncertainty over the goalkeeping hierarchy.

Navas, who underwent his medical in Spain, should debut for the French champions at home to Strasbourg in Ligue 1 after the international break.

He’ll also immediately come up against his former employers Madrid in the opening match of PSG’s Champions League Group A campaign at Parc des Princes.

Areola moves to the Bernabeu on a one-year loan deal with no option to purchase.

Ander Herrera & Manchester United Still Trying to Finalize New Deal While Other Teams Circle

Ander Herrera’s popularity is on the rise while he attempts to finalize a deal with his current team… 

The 29-year-old Spanish professional soccer star and Manchester United are facing a race against time to find an agreement to keep the midfielder at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season, according to ESPN FC.

Ander Herrera

Both parties are keen to agree a new contract that would see Herrera stay at United but, according to sources, there’s still a significant gap to be bridged before a deal is sealed.

Meanwhile, ESPN FCreports that Paris Saint-GermainArsenalJuventusInter Milanand Barcelona are among the clubs ready to sign Herrera on a free transfer if fresh terms are not agreed upon.

If the stand-off continues, Herrera will officially become a free agent on June 30.

Herrera would like to remain at United, but so far the club, who also want him to stay, have refused to meet his demands and a compromise is yet to be found.

There is a willingness of both sides to come to an agreement but there is also an acknowledgement that the clock is ticking and Herrera may soon be forced to seriously consider other options — especially with some of Europe’s biggest clubs circling.

Herrera is closing in on 200 games for United since arriving from Athletic Bilbaoin a £29 million deal in 2014. He was named player of year in 2017 and has played a key role in the revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the Norwegian’s appointment as caretaker manager in December.