Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Futures of Barca Fantasticos Ronaldinho, Henry and Eto'o in doubt
by Paul Kennedy, April 23rd, 2008 6:45AM



[IN THE SPOTLIGHT] Barcelona's semifinal series against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, which begins Wednesday (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, live, 2:30 pm ET) in Barcelona, will go a long way toward deciding the makeup of the team going forward. Barca touted its "Four Fantasticos" -- Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi -- but its domestic troubles are so severe that three of them -- Ronaldinho, Henry and Eto'o -- are rumored to possibly be leaving Barcelona.

RONALDINHO. There has been persistent talk of the Brazilian's imminent move to AC Milan, but the Italian club's vice president, Adriano Galliani, downplayed talk that a deal could be struck with Barcelona.

"I don't know if a deal will be done," said Galliani Monday after talks with Barcelona on a transfer fee stalled. "We have to operate within the framework of market conditions. If it happens, great, if not we'll change our objectives."

Milan is rumored to have an agreement with Ronaldinho's brother and agent, Roberto de Assis, on a contract.

"I've never said we are close to Barcelona," said Galliani. "It's one thing to be close to Ronaldinho, quite another to be close to the club."

If a deal with Milan falls through, there are other suitors. Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City all could open talks on a deal.

Chances of leaving: 90 percent.

THIERRY HENRY. The Frenchman's first season at the Camp Nou could be his last.

Barcelona's decision to pay $32 million for Henry is viewed to have been a mistake by many in Barca circles.

He was coming off an injury-riddled season at Arsenal and has never regained the form that made him the only player to win the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year three times.

Lingering back problems and family issues -- he recently divorced, leaving his 2-year-old daughter with his ex-wife in London -- are to blame for his lackluster showing.

Chances of leaving: 50 percent.

SAMUEL ETO'O. The 27-year-old Cameroonian's comments critical of the situation at Barcelona after its 0-0 tie with Espanyol last weekend has fueled talk that Tottenham is in the hunt for the Cameroonian international, whose contract at Barca extends two more years.

An Eto'o move would only be possible if Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov -- as expected -- left White Hart Lane.

Eto'o joined Barca from Mallorca in 2000 in a $38 million transfer and has scored 77 goals in 105 La Liga games.

He downplayed the talk of his move from Barca, saying his comments to a children's group were simply the truth. If Barca doesn't win a major title this season or next, he doesn't see how he could stay.

"What I said was," Eto' said, "that I would not feel comfortable playing in a team that signed me to score goals and to win, and I don't manage it. I would not be able to look the fans in the face."

Chances of leaving: 20 percent.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: A most unfortunate own goal by van Persie     
The Netherlands' 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic that knocked the Dutch out of the 2016 ...
TV Report: USA-Mexico draws FS1 record for men's soccer    
The USA-Mexico overtime game for the Concacaf Cup averaged 1,561,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1, setting ...
TV Report: Fox will air eight more Bundesliga games    
Fox will air eight live Bundesliga games on Saturdays in 2016, beginning Jan. 30 and going ...
USA-Costa Rica: Klinsmann sends Johnson packing    
The biggest loss in the tenure of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has not triggered any immediate ...
MLS Executive of the Year Manning joins TFC    
Bill Manning, the two-time Major League Soccer Executive of the Year, has been named president of ...
What They're Saying: Bill Manning    
"From an outsider's perspective -- and I remember telling this to the [MLSE] board -- for ...
Atlanta United joins Development Academy     
The youth program of Atlanta United, which begins MLS play in 2017, will join the U.S. ...
Video Pick: SKC's Nemeth scores twice in Euro qualifier    
After scoring MLS's Goal of The Week with a terrific solo strike against Portland, Sporting Kansas ...
U.S. Olympic hopefuls in must-win clash with Canada     
Having squandered a chance to clinch a berth at the 2016 Olympics when it fell, 2-0, ...
Crowd Count: Top 20 U.S. soccer crowds (2015)    
The crowd of 93,723 fans for the USA-Mexico game at the Rose Bowl was the largest ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives