Several European Soccer Clubs Vying for Brazilian Wonderkid Endrick

He’s still a teenager, but Endrick could be playing soccer in Europe soon…

Paris Saint-Germain has made a €45 million offer for the 16-year-old Palmeiras teenager, but the Brazilian team swiftly dismissed the proposal for the forward, according to ESPN Brazil sources.

Endrick, In a meeting with the player’s agents, the Ligue 1 champions said they were willing to extend the negotiations and meet the player’s release clause of €60 million, sources said.

PSG has been in contact with Endrick’s family for some time and have enlisted their Brazilian forward Neymar to reach out to him. The French giants are confident of getting a deal over the line, sources added.

Chelsea is another team that have been following Endrick’s development and showed interest in matching the €60 million price for the Brazilian wonderkid.

Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea has hosted the player and his family at the club’s training ground, with the Blues’ Brazilian defender Thiago Silva invited to meet his compatriot and convince him to move to London.

People close to Endrick tell ESPN that the final decision will rest with the player and that his dream is to play in the Premier League.

“I don’t pay attention to rumors, I know that to play in Europe, I have to perform well here,” Endrick said this week to the French website So Foot.

“I watch the Champions League, the Premier League, LaLiga, the French championship, the Bundesliga. I look to learn from these stars and see what I can imitate, but I don’t have a favorite club.”

Sources told ESPN that Real Madrid and Barcelona also showed interest in acquiring Endrick and may intensify their pursuits in the coming days.

Endrick could only go to Europe in 2024 when he turns 18. His contract with the Brazilian champions runs until 2025.

Since his debut with Palmeiras on October 6, Endrick has scored three goals and provided one assist in six matches, helping the Sao Paulo team win the 2022 Brasileirao title.

Aged 16 years, three months and four days, he became the youngest goal-scorer in Palmeiras history when scoring twice against Athletico Paranaense on October 25.

Bayer Leverkusen Considering Xabi Alonso for Manager Role

Xabi Alonso may be headed to Germany…

Bayer Leverkusen is considering firing current manager Gerardo Seoane and looking to appoint the 40-year-old Spanish football manager and former professional player as his replacement, according to ESPN.

Xabi AlonsoSeoane will be in charge for Leverkusen’s Champions League Group B game with FC Porto on Tuesday, but his future is uncertain after a poor start to the Bundesliga season with the club sitting 17th after picking up five points from eight games.

Alonso has been out of work since leaving Real Sociedad B in May after a successful three years in charge.

Sources told ESPN that he would welcome the challenge of turning around Leverkusen’s season.

Seoane managed Leverkusen to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga in his debut campaign last year, qualifying for the Champions League, but they have struggled so far this season.

Sources told ESPN that Alonso has emerged as a leading candidate to replace Seoane over the last week.

Germany’s Sport1 reported that Leverkusen had contacted Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by Chelsea last month, but the former Borussia Dortmund coach turned down the approach.

Alonso is highly rated as a managerial prospect. He starred as a player for Real SociedadLiverpoolReal Madrid and Bayern Munich before retiring in 2017.

He began his coaching career with Real Madrid’s academy before taking over Sociedad’s B team in 2019, leading them to promotion to the Second Division in 2021 for the first time in 60 years before departing this summer.

Sociedad had been keen to keep him on board as a potential future first-team manager, but the performance of Imanol Alguacil in the role meant that was not an option in the short-term, and Alonso preferred to seek a new opportunity.

Erik Lamela Wins FIFA’s Puskas Award

Erik Lamela is celebrating his award-winning rabona

The 29-year-old Argentine professional footballer, who plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for La Liga club Sevilla and the Argentina national team, has won this year’s Puskas Award.

Erik Lamela

Lamela earned the award for his “rabona” for Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski equaled Cristiano Ronaldo‘s FIFA The Best record when he won the award for a second time on Monday.

The Bayern Munich forward retained his FIFA The Best award following an incredible campaign in which he scored a Bundesliga record 41 goals, fighting off competition from Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel claimed the Manager of the Year award following success in the Champions League in 2021.

Chelsea and Senegal‘s Edouard Mendy won the Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Denmark team and staff won the Fair Play award following their reaction to Christian Eriksen‘s cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. Denmark and Finland fans also received the Best Fan award for their spontaneous unified chanting in support of Eriksen after he was taken off the pitch.

The award was first handed out in its present guise in 2016, after FIFA ended their five-year partnership with the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo, who was given a special award for breaking the international men’s goal scoring record in 2021, won back-to-back awards in the first two years.

Meanwhile, Messi and part-Brazilian player Jorginho were named to the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI team.

FIFA FIFPro Men’s World XI
Gianluigi Donnarumma – Paris Saint-Germain, Italy
David Alaba – Real Madrid, Austria
Ruben Dias – Manchester City, Portugal
Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus, Italy
Jorginho – Chelsea, Italy
N’Golo Kante – Chelsea, France
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City, Belgium
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United, Portugal
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund, Norway
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich, Poland
Lionel Messi – Paris Saint-Germain, Argentina

Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas won the women’s award.

FC Dallas Star Ricardo Pepi Completes $20 Million Move to FC Augsburg

It’s official… Ricardo Pepi is headed to Alemania

The 18-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, a forward for FC Dallas and the United States international team, has completed a move to Bundesliga side FC Augsburg.

Ricardo Pepi ESPN previously reported that Pepi was set to move to Augsburg in a deal worth $20 million plus add-ons, the most for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer (MLS) history.

Sources said Dallas will also receive a 10% sell-on percentage for any future moves.

“Moving to Europe after the conclusion of the MLS season was my dream,” Pepi said in a statement Monday. “I believe FC Augsburg and the Bundesliga will prove the perfect settings for me to gain match practice at the top level as a youngster.

“The efforts the FCA club officials put in to sign me were really impressive. As a result, I felt right away that FCA was the right club for me. I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and I want to integrate into the team as quickly as possible. I can hardly wait to get going!”

Pepi enjoyed a remarkable year in 2021 that resulted in his first call-up to the U.S. national team in September. He recorded a goal and two assists in his international debut against Honduras and now has three goals in seven appearances for his country.

Pepi scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances this season for Dallas.

FC Augsburg are embroiled in a relegation battle in Germany’s top flight, sitting in 15th place on 18 points after 17 games.

“We are delighted that Ricardo has decided to join Augsburg despite interest from a number of top clubs around the world,” Augsburg executive Stefan Reuter said.

“We were able to provide him with a clear sporting plan for his future development that convinced him to come here. We are certain that he will continue to improve here in Augsburg and that we’ll have a lot of fun together over the coming years.”

FC Dallas Reportedly Transferring Ricardo Pepi to Augsburg for Club-Record Fee

Ricardo Pepi is thisclose to a lucrative deal to play in Germany…

The 18-year-old Mexican American professional soccer player, an FC Dallas and United States international forward, is close to finalizing a deal with Bundesliga side FC Augsburg, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Pepi

The sources said that if the deal is completed, the transfer fee would be in the neighborhood of $20 million plus add-ons, with a 10% sell-on percentage going to Dallas in any future moves.

The base transfer fee would be the highest for a homegrown player in Major League Soccer history.

Alphonso Davies‘ move from the Vancouver Whitecaps to Bayern Munich was in excess of that number, but that included incentives.

Pepi’s arrival in Augsburg would see him bolster an attack in desperate need of goals. Augsburg is in 15th place, just above the relegation zone. Its haul of 17 goals in 17 games is tied for the fourth-worst mark in the Bundesliga as it headed into the winter break.

Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg were thought to be the frontrunners to land Pepi, but now it appears that Augsburg have won the race to sign the American.

Pepi has seen his reputation and form skyrocket in the last 12 months. He scored 13 goals in 31 league appearances this season for Dallas. That resulted in a call-up to the U.S. men’s team where he scored three goals — all in World Cup qualifiers — in seven appearances.

All told, Pepi has scored 16 goals in 57 league and playoff appearances for Dallas.

Lionel Messi Wins Record-Extending Seventh Ballon d’Or

It’s Lucky No. 7 for Lionel Messi

The 34-year-old Argentine professional footballer and Paris Saint-Germain forward has been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time in a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

Lionel Messi

Messi, who led Argentina to Copa America success in Brazil in July for their first major trophy since 1993, spent the majority of 2020 at Barcelona before his 21-year stay at the club ended when he left as a free agent in August and joined PSG soon after.

He now has two more Ballon d’Or awards than Manchester United‘s Cristiano Ronaldo, whose tally of five is two more than anyone else.

Messi added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 trophies with the announcement on Monday.

“It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key,” Messi said. “It is a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.

“I don’t know if it’s the best year of my life, I’ve had a long career, but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism.”

Messi beat 29 other nominees for the award, including Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who was the favorite for last year’s prize before it was cancelled because of the lack of football during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Lewandowski was nominated for the award again this year after he broke late Bayern legend Gerd Muller‘s single-season Bundesliga goal record in May after he netted 41 league times last season, as well as winning the European Golden Shoe.

Although Lewandowski didn’t win the night’s biggest prize, he was named Striker of the Year at the ceremony and finished second to Messi on the final ballot.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho was also tipped for the award after winning last season’s Champions League with his club side before playing a crucial part in Italy’s triumph at Euro 2020.

 

Liverpool‘s Mohamed SalahReal Madrid‘s Karim Benzema and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were also nominated for the award.

AC Milan‘s Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was also a finalist for the Ballon d’Or best player, was named Goalkeeper of the Year.

Chelsea, whose men won the UEFA Champions League in 2021 and saw their women’s side win the Women’s Super League, were named Team of the Year, with managers Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes accepting the award remotely because of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Ballon d’Or is awarded annually by France Football, with FIFA‘s The Best a separate honor handed out every year — Messi won that award for the first time in 2020.

Barca midfielder Pedri won the Kopa Trophy as Europe’s best young player, which comes just a week after he claimed the Golden Boy award.

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Giovanni Reyna Named U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Player of the Year

Giovanni Reyna is the (young) man of the hour…

The 18-year-old half-Argentine American soccer player, a midfielder for Borussia Dortmund, has been voted U.S. Soccer‘s Young Male Player of the Year for 2020.

Giovanni Reyna 

Reyna burst onto the international scene with the German giants in 2020 and capped the year by making his first appearance for the United States in a 0-0 draw with Wales back in November.

The former NYCFC product received 79% of the vote and follows Sergino Dest, Alex Mendez, Josh Sargent and Christian Pulisic as the most recent winners of the award.

He also joins USMNT greats Landon Donovan (2000), Jozy Altidore (2006), and Michael Bradley (2007) on the list of honorees.

The award was first given out in 1998 when Josh Wolff took home the prize.

Reyna has made 39 appearances over all competitions in 2020, producing five goals and seven assists.

He has played in all 13 league games for Dortmund in the 2020-21 season, adding three goals and four assists. Reyna has also been a standout in the Champions League this campaign, appearing in all six matches thus far while starting in four.

Giovanni Reyna Signs New Long-Term Contract with Borussia Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna isn’t going anywhere…

The 18-year-old half-Argentine American soccer player and U.S. Men’s National Team international has signed a new long-term contract with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund until 2025.

Giovanni Reyna 

Reyna, who made his USMNT debut earlier this week against Wales, is regarded as one of the most promising talents in the Bundesliga.

Sources told ESPN there was interest in Reyna from the Premier League and La Liga, but he was focused solely on continuing his career with Dortmund.

BVB are a big club that can challenge for titles and are in all the important competitions,” Reyna said. “Young players in particular have the chance to develop here.

“I have already learned a lot in Dortmund and I want to learn a lot more in future. I look forward to being with BVB in the long term.”

Reyna signed an initial three-year deal when he agreed to join Dortmund from MLS side New York City in November 2018. He arrived at BVB in July 2019 and went on to make his debut in February 2020.

He has been an ever-present this season, making 12 appearances for Dortmund, scoring twice, and contributing five assists.

“It’s a great thing for Borussia Dortmund to have a player like Gio, he has a lot of potential,” coach Lucien Favre said at a pre-match news conference on Friday. “If he continues like this, then he’ll be an extremely important player for BVB throughout the future.”

Sporting director Michael Zorc added: “Gio’s development in recent months has been incredible. He will definitely be an important part of Borussia Dortmund’s sporting future.

“I am personally very pleased that he has decided to extend his contract with BVB in the long term with complete conviction.”

Reyna is part of Borussia’s highly rated bunch of young attackers along with Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.

https://twitter.com/BlackYellow/status/1329755248106344449

Reyna’s debut for the USMNT was due to happen earlier this year, but the fixture schedule was interrupted due to COVID-19. Reyna has now followed in father Claudio Reyna‘s footsteps in playing for the USMNT.

Giovanni Reyna Scores First Bundesliga Goal in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 Win Against Borussia Monchengladbach

It’s a big first for Giovanni Reyna

The 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player scored his first Bundesliga goal in Borussia Dortmund‘s 3-0 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Giovanni Reyna

The U.S. youth international, who scored on his season debut in the DFB-Pokal at Duisburg on Monday, got the start in his side’s league opener at the Signal Iduna Park and marked the occasion with a strike in the 35th minute to open the scoring.

Reyna, who’s the youngest American to appear in a Bundesliga game, raced onto a diagonal pass from Jude Bellingham inside the box and fired across goalkeeper Yann Sommer and inside the far post for the milestone goal.

Speaking after the game, Reyna, who also won a penalty for the second Dortmund goal, said he was pleased to help secure a win and said scoring and assisting goals was what he expects of himself this season.

“To try and help the team in any way possible,” he said of his role. “I think that I am ready to take on a bigger role and I think you’ve seen that in the first few games I started. It’s gonna be a tough season with a lot of games. It’s really about how I can help the team and score goals and give assists.”

At 17 years, 311 days old, Reyna is the second-youngest American scorer in the German top flight, trailing only Christian Pulisic, who scored aged 17 years and 211 days in 2016.

The former NYCFC youth product now has two goals and two assists in all competitions since joining Dortmund in July 2019.

Borussia Dortmund Hoping to Keep Gio Reyna for a Long Time

Gio Reyna’s a wanted teenager…

Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc has said the club wants to keep the 17-year-old part-Argentine American soccer player at the club for “as long as possible.”

Giovanni Reyna

Reyna provided an assist as he made his first start for Dortmundagainst RB Leipzig on Saturday, in what was his 17th competitive appearance for the club.

He scored his first goal in a 3-2 defeat at Bremen in the German Cup in February. 

Reyna is under a youth contract until 2021, but Dortmund wants to sign him to a long-term deal once he turns 18 in November.

“Our coach, Lucien Favre, and I agree that he has a big future ahead of him,” Zorc told a news conference ahead of their final Bundesliga game of the season against Hoffenheim.

“He is still a minor, but we are in very positive talks to, once he turns in 18, keep him at the club for as long as possible.”

Reyna joined Dortmund in the summer of 2019 and spent the first half of the season with the club’s under-19 squad. He was promoted to the senior team during the winter break and has stood out as an impact substitute.

“I believe that Gio is aware of the development he has taken here. First, in the academy and then under Lucien,” Zorc said. “It’s an absolute success story and we want to continue writing it.”

Following a difficult first half of the season, Dortmund coach Favre came under pressure and his future beyond the end of this campaign had come in for serious question.

But the winter transfers of Erling Haaland and Emre Can, as well as Reyna’s promotion, have increased BVB‘s point tally from 30 points in the first 17 games to 39 from 16 matches in the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Zorc confirmed on Thursday that Dortmund will go into the new season with Favre, who is under contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2021.