Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira Signs Permanent Contract with Barcelona’s Under-19 Team

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira is making things permanent…

The 18-year-old Brazilian footballer, the son of former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, has signed a permanent contract with Barcelona‘s under-19 team, the Catalan club has announced.

Joao Mendes de Assis MoreiraMendes had been training with Barca‘s Juvenil A side, pending a decision on whether to hand him a deal.

Following a successful trial, Barca have now taken up an option to extend Mendes’ stay. He signed a contract on Thursday alongside academy director Jose Ramon Alexanco.

Mendes’ contract will reportedly run until summer next year, when the forward would exit the U19 age bracket. Sources added the club will assess whether to offer an extended deal after his initial contract expires.

The teenager had been playing for Cruzeiro since he was 14 but rescinded his contract with the Brazilian side at the end of last year.

He is a left-footed forward who can play across the front line, with his career being overseen by his uncle, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also played an active role in Ronaldinho’s playing career.

Mendes’ move to Barcelona will allow Ronaldinho to spend more time back in the city where he spent five years as a player, from 2003-08.

Ronaldinho, 42, has already been in Barcelona while his son has been on trial at Camp Nou and he turned out in Gerard Pique‘s Kings League last weekend.

The 2002 World Cup winner played for Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos‘ team in the seven-a-side competition, but could not stop them falling to a penalty shootout defeat.

During his time as a Barca player, Ronaldinho scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for the club, helping them win the Champions League in 2006 and two LaLiga titles.

Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are among his other former sides in Europe, while he played for Gremio, Flamengo, Atletico Mineiro and Fluminense in Brazil and for Queretaro in Mexico. He retired as a player in 2015.

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira On Trial with Barcelona’s U19 Team

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira is one step close to following in his father’s footsteps…

The 17-year-old Brazilian soccer player, the son of former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, is currently on trial with Barcelona‘s U19 team, according to ESPN.

Joao Mendes de Assis MoreiraMendes is training with Barca‘s Juvenil A side pending a decision on whether to hand him a permanent contract.

The teenager has been playing for Cruzeiro since he was 14 but recently rescinded his contract with the Brazilian side.

Mendes, who has been joined in Barcelona by several members of his family, is a left-footed forward who can play across the front line.

His career is currently being overseen by his uncle, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also played an active role in Ronaldinho’s playing career.

The source asked for “patience,” explaining that there is no rush to take a decision and that it needs to be remembered that it takes time to adapt to a new country coming over from South America.

Ronaldinho spent five years at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008 and his time at the club is remembered fondly in the city.

He scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for Barca, helping them win the Champions League in 2006 and two LaLiga titles.

Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are among his other former clubs, while he was also a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002. He retired as a player in 2015.

His son is now training with Barca’s U19 team, who are coached by Oscar Lopez and assistant Javier Saviola, the former Argentina striker who played alongside Ronaldinho.

Thiago Silva Hints at Future AC Milan Coaching Job, But Not Before Clarifying Chelsea Future

Thiago Silva is hinting at future coaching career…

The 38-year-old Brazilian professional footballer has said he would consider managing AC Milan one day. But right now he’s more concerned about his Chelsea future.

Thiago SilvaSilva’s contract expires at the end of the season and it is unclear whether Silva will be offered the chance to extend his stay after moving to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.

Silva previously spent three years at AC Milan between 2009 and 2012, where he won one Serie A title and an Italian Super Cup.

Speaking on Monday ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash against the Rossoneri, the centerback was asked about a possible return to San Siro and said: “I can tell you that I already made my history here at AC Milan, so I believe this is not the case at the moment.

“If it could happen at any case, it would have been before me joining Chelsea. But I don’t know about the future. Who knows what will happen in the future, we’ll have to see. But I am very happy now to be at Chelsea, a very big club, great professionals. In the future, we will see. Maybe the coach? Who knows?”

New head coach Graham Potter suggested “the decision is Thiago’s” over whether he signs a new deal with Chelsea. Potter has started the Brazil international in three of his four matches since succeeding Thomas Tuchel as head coach.

“It is probably not the right time to talk about new contracts,” Silva added. “What I can tell you is that the most important thing for me now is to continue playing at a high level and helping the team achieve the best possible results.

“For sure there will be the time where we need to talk. It could be before the World Cup or after the World Cup.

“Of course I need to know whether I will have a new contract with Chelsea, also for my family arrangements. It is not easy if I don’t have a new contract — I will have to decide what to do. I must involve my family. This is an important decision and so we will see what will happen.”

Potter also revealed that N’Golo Kante has suffered a fresh setback in his bid to recover from a hamstring problem and will miss Tuesday’s game against Milan.

Kante has not featured since the Blues’ 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on August 14.

“[On] N’Golo, we’re just waiting,” Potter said. “He had a reaction in training. So we’re just waiting for the news of that.

“It’s not ideal. It’s disappointing for him and us, but we have to wait and see the extent of it and go from there.”

Kante’s fitness is also a concern for France ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 20 and will see Didier Deschamps‘ defending champions compete against Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Alexandre Pato Signs One-Year Contract to Remain at Orlando City

Alexandre Pato is staying in the Sunshine State…

The 32-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and Orlando City forward has signed a one-year contract for the 2022 season, according to the club.

Alexandre Pato

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed by the team for Pato, who joined Orlando last February but injured his right knee in the 2021 season opener against Atlanta United.

Pato was limited to just four appearances last season due to the injury.

“Pato’s ability is proven and we know the untapped potential in what he can bring to our team,” Orlando general manager Luiz Muzzi said in a statement.

“He’s been working hard to return to top form and we’re looking forward to him having an impactful year for the club. We’re excited for him to return and play an important role both on the field and in the locker room this season.”

The striker has scored 160 goals in 398 games during previous spells at AC MilanChelseaVillarreal and Sao Paulo.

Ronaldo Buys Controlling Stake in His Former ‘Cruzeiro’ Club

Ronaldo is official a club owner…

The 45-year-old Brazilian retired soccer player, who played for Real Madrid and Brazil’s national team, has bought a controlling stake in his former club Cruzeiro.

Ronaldo  Ronaldo, who played for Cruzeiro as a teenager in the early 1990s before going on to become one of the most successful center forwards in soccer history, finalized the deal with the help of Brazilian investment bank XP.

The transaction, which was done through Ronaldo’s Tara Sports company and is still subject to what the bank called “a series of conditions,” sees Ronaldo invest 400 million reais ($70 million) in the Belo Horizonte club, which has spent two years in Brazil’s second division.

“I am so happy to have concluded this operation,” Ronaldo said in a video posted by the Cruzeiro president, adding, while holding one of the club’s blue shirts, that he wants to “give back to Cruzeiro and take them where they deserve to be.”

“We have a lot of hard to work to do. There’s nothing to celebrate yet but we bring a lot of hard work and the ambition to make Cruzeiro great again.”

He wrote on Instagram: “It’s my turn to try and open doors for the team. Not as a hero. Not with superpowers to single-handedly change reality. But with immense responsibility. With intelligent and sustainable management for medium- and long-term growth.”

“I don’t have all the answers to the questions that I ask myself and I possibly won’t have all the answers to the questions that you will ask me,” he wrote in an open letter to fans.

“What I do know is that the kid who learnt at Cruzeiro that dreams can come true today makes me believe that it is possible to rescue the club from its crisis.”

It is the second foray into management for the former PSV Eindhoven, InternazionaleAC MilanBarcelona and Corinthians striker. Ronaldo bought a 51% stake in Spanish club Real Valladolid in 2018.

Neither he nor Cruzeiro provided any significant details but XP said in a statement “it seeks to help the Brazilian football industry with professionalisation, capitalization and opening new opportunities.”

Ronaldo posted a blue heart and a fox — the Cruzeiro mascot — on Twitter, and a club spokesperson confirmed the deal.

Cruzeiro also told the fans they were “phenomenal”, in a reference to Ronaldo’s nickname as a player, “Ronaldo Fenomeno”.

The deal comes a few months after the Brazilian Congress sanctioned a law allowing football clubs, historically fan-owned and closed off to outside investors, to become businesses.

“This is the first bit of business in a relevant new front for the investment banking market in Brazil, the country of football,” said Jose Berenguer, CEO of Banco XP.

“I have no doubt this is transformational in the history of Brazilian sport. We will have clubs that are stronger, with the capacity for global investment. Brazilian football will never be the same again.”

Orlando City SC Sign Alexandre Pato on a One-Year Deal

Alexandre Pato will be kickin’ it up in Central Florida…

The 31-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and former AC Milan forward is set to join Orlando City SC, according to ESPN.

Alexandre Pato

The Lions teased the signing with a pair of Tweets on Friday containing a picture of a duck. (Pato means “duck” in Portuguese.) An announcement could come as soon as this weekend.

Sources say Pato has signed a one-year deal and will not be a Designated Player.

His salary will be brought down with General Allocation Money and includes an option for an additional year. Orlando recently sent striker Daryl Dike on loan to English Championship side Barnsley.

The Mane Land were among the first outlets who reported the Pato deal.

Pato’s lengthy club career includes stints at AC Milan, Chelsea and Villarreal, as well several Brazilian teams and Chinese club Tianjin Tianhai. He was most recently on the books of Sao Paulo, his second stint with the club, and one where he scored nine goals in 35 league and cup appearances. But he has been without a team since he and Sao Paulo reached an agreement in August of 2020 to terminate his contract.

His most successful spell at club level came with AC Milan, where he played from 2007-13. In that time he scored 63 goals in 140 league and cup appearances, and helped the side to a Serie A title in 2010-11 and the Supercoppa Italiana in 2011.

Pato is an ex-Brazil international, scoring 10 goals in 27 appearances, the last of which came in 2013.

Pato is the latest Brazilian star to join Orlando, the club where ex-Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka played from 2014-17. There are currently four other Brazilians currently on the team’s roster in Junior Urso, RuanAntonio Carlos and Matteus Aias.

Robinho Returning to Santos for Just Above Brazil’s Minimum Wage Rate

Robinho isn’t afraid to earn a lot less to play for his boyhood club…

The 36-year-old Brazilian professional footballer and former Manchester City forward has signed a five-month contract with former club Santos, and he’ll earn $271 (R$1.500) a month, which is just above the country’s minimum wage.

Robinho

Robinho re-joined his boyhood club for a third stint as a free agent, having left Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir shortly after helping them win their first Super Lig title last season.

“I will play for a minimum wage, but the most important thing is to be here,” Robinho told the club’s official website.

“I am well physically and mentally, obviously there is still a little bit of rhythm [missing], but that over time we will gradually evolve.”

Robinho, who shot to fame after making his professional debut with Santos in 2002, went on to play for Real Madrid, City and AC Milan, among other clubs.

He won two national championships, two Paulista tournaments and the Brazilian Cup in his previous two spells with Santos.

“I have many fond memories here,” Robinho added. “The fans can be certain that I will give my best to help Santos FC on and off the pitch.

Santos FC is going through a difficult financial time. So this is the time for those who can do something. I want to help the club that always gave me everything. Santos FC has already done a lot for me and this return is still little.”

Santos are going through financial difficulties and could soon face a transfer ban from FIFA over unpaid debts.

Chilean club Huachipato are demanding Santos to complete the $3.4m deal over the signing of Venezuelan striker Jefferson Soteldo, while Colombian outfit Atletico Nacional claim they are still owed $774,000 from the sale of defender Felipe Aguilar.

Thiago Silva Agrees to Two-Year Deal with Chelsea F.C.

Thiago Silva is switching sides

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional footballer will sign a two-year deal for Chelsea F.C. this week after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.

Thiago Silva

The PSG captain’s contract at the French club ran out at the end of the previous campaign, but he played all the Champions League knockout matches — including in the team’s 1-0 final defeat to Bayern Munich — but was not offered a new deal after eight years at the Parc des Princes.

Silva has agreed to personal terms with Chelsea, although minor details are still left to sort out. He’ll reportedly have his medical on Thursday ahead of his official signing.

The big attraction for Chelsea is they won’t have to pay a transfer fee for the former AC Milan defender.

Silva feels he can still play at the top European level for three or four years. He wanted a two-year deal and Chelsea were happy to offer it him.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel wanted to keep him in Paris but sporting director Leonardo was against it.

Silva had also been offered a two-year deal by Fiorentina, but has opted to join Chelsea rather than return to Serie A.

Lola Ponce to Perform for AC Milan & Roc Nation’s Virtual Live Tribute Concert

Lola Ponceis honoring Italy’s frontliners…

Italian soccer club AC Milan and Roc Nation have joined forces to stage a virtual live event on Sunday, featuring the 37-year-old Argentine-Italian singer/songwriter and actress.

Lola Ponce

Headlined by Alicia Keys, the concert will pay tribute to workers fighting the coronaviruspandemic in Italy and beyond.

Funds raised through the event will benefit global humanitarian aid organization Direct Reliefand AC Milan’s philanthropic foundation.

Viewers will be able to donate via the “From Milan with Love” fundraising site and AC Milan’s Facebook page.

The hour-long tribute is scheduled for Sunday at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) and will be hosted by Grammy-winning producer DJ Khaled and Italian TV presenter Diletta Leotta.

In addition to Ponce and Keys, other performers include Kelly RowlandRobin ThickeGavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor of Bush, and Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons.

“This crisis has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us, but the contribution that these key workers have made is humbling, inspiring and will never be forgotten,” Milan chief executive Ivan Gazid is said. “The participation of such an amazing array of talent in this event will provide a fitting tribute to them and I hope will help to spread a message of hope and optimism during this difficult period.”

Milan’s last Serie Agame was on March 8 before the league was suspended.

More than 27,000 people are known to have died from coronavirus in Italy. However, the number of daily new cases of COVID-19, as well as the fatalities, have steadily declined, and the country is set to ease lockdown measures on Monday, allowing individuals to practice sport outdoors.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in Talks to Transfer to LA Galaxy

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez may be heading to a new galaxy…

The LA Galaxyare in talks with the 31-year-old Mexican professional footballer, who plays as a striker for Spanish club Sevillaand the Mexico national team.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez,

A Galaxy spokesperson told ESPN that the club continues to speak to Hernandez and Sevilla about a transfer. A report from Marcastated that Sevilla is willing to part with Hernandez for a $10 million transfer fee, which would be a Galaxy record, but the Galaxy spokesperson said no deal was in place, nor was one imminent.

Galaxy general manager Dennis Te Kloese told the Los Angeles Times about the possible acquisition of Hernandez, adding: “I think he could be good for us. We’ll give it a serious try.”

Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals, is in his first season with Sevilla after moving last summer from West Ham Unitedfor $8.7 million, but he has found playing time hard to come by. Hernandez has made just 15 league and cup appearances, scoring three goals.

The Mexico legend would be tabbed to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who, after scoring 31 league and playoff goals last season, departed the club and eventually signed for AC Milan

Given his Mexico roots, Hernandez figures to be a massive box office draw, should he sign with the Galaxy.

After breaking in with Liga MXside Chivasin 2006 and spending four years with the club, Hernandez has spent the bulk of his career in Europe, suiting up for the likes of Manchester UnitedReal MadridBayer Leverkusen, West Ham and eventually Sevilla.

At club level, Hernandez has scored 156 goals in 424 club appearances. He was on two Premier League-winning sides with Manchester United in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and he won the 2006 Apertura with Chivas.

At international level, he has been part of three World Cupsquads with Mexico, making 109 appearances.