Real deal

Carlo Ancelotti was been appointed as Real Madrid’s coach, succeeding Jose Mourinho after weeks of speculation. He has agreed a three-year contract and will be unveiled on Wednesday.

Ancelotti’s first task will be to fumigate the club of the residual stench left behind by his predecessor. Even the decades-long patronage of fascist leader General Franco did not have quite such a detrimental impact on the club’s reputation as as the toxic three-year reign of Mourinho.

The signing ends weeks of negotiations between Madrid and PSG.

Madrid said Ancelotti has been ”elected best coach in all leagues where he has coached: Italy, England and France.”

He led Chelsea, the club Mourinho now coaches, to the Premier League title and FA Cup in 2010, and had his most successful tenure atMilan, where he coached it to two Champions League titles in 2003 and 2007, and the Serie A title in 2004.

As a player, Ancelotti won the European Cup for Milan in 1989 and 1990.

Blanc canvass

As Ancelotti departs Paris Saint-Germain, in comes former French national team coach Laurent Blanc.

Former France captain Blanc’s arrival at PSG was announced at almost exactly the same time as Ancelotti’s appointment at Real.

“Paris Saint-Germain is delighted to announce the appointment of Laurent Blanc as coach for the next two years,” read a PSG statement.

“The board of Paris Saint-Germain has given Laurent Blanc the mission to build on last season and to continue the club’s ascendency towards the summits of the European game.

Blanc will have players such as Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Brazil captain Thiago Silva at his disposal at the Parc des Princes. The pair were part of a 200 million euros outlay by the club’s owners, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). There is plenty more where that came from as Blanc is expected to convert a squad assembled at huge expense into a major European force.

Blanc has been out of work since stepping down as France coach after Euro 2012.

Late night poker

The Spanish Football Federation have denied reports from Brazil that several players had money stolen from their hotel rooms after playing a late night game of strip poker.

It was initially reported on Thursday that six players had money stolen from their hotel rooms in Recife while they were playing in their Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay.

However reports emerged from Brazil on Monday that the robbery had occurred after the Uruguay match, and had followed a late night party at the Spanish team hotel.

Globo Esporte claim that according to hotel employees, a band played until 1am before leaving, with five women joining five players and one member of Spain’s backroom staff in a game of strip poker.

The players then allegedly retired to their bedrooms with the women, only to wake up in the morning with their money gone and the women nowhere to be seen

The Spanish Football Federation have moved quickly to dismiss the story, and have published a statement on their website.

It reads: “The Royal Spanish Football Federation denies the facts distributed by a Brazilian media that undermine the good name of the Spanish football team and the reputation and professionalism of his players.

“Six of the team players were the subject of a robbery at the team hotel in Recife during the course of the match Spain-Uruguay corresponding to the Confederations Cup. That fact was reported in due course to the Brazilian police.

“The complaint does not involve any attacks against the organizing committee nor against FIFA, much less against a country like Brazil, which has hosted the Spanish national team with open arms. Such circumstances could have happened anywhere in the world, including Spain.

“Subsequently, have shed a number of aspersions on our players, the RFEF rejects and repudiates entirely, deeply, because they damage the honor of their players and their families and friends.

“This fact will not in any way disrupt the Spanish team sports performance, yes awakens the indignation of the Royal Federation because only intended to harm, free and good name of the Spanish team players have shown for many years his good work, professionalism and exemplary.”

Business as usual

Another day, another scandal. Such is life in Italy where today the offices of 41 clubs across Serie A, Serie B and Lega Pro have been raided by the Guarda di Finanza (Finance Guard).

The police raids are part of an investigation into a number of illegal activities including money laundering and tax evasion, or as they say in Italy, a typical day at the office

Out of 20 Serie A clubs, only Bologna and Cagliari escaped the prosecutor of Naples’ quest into possible criminal conspiracy, international tax evasion, invoicing falsification and money laundering.

Inter president Massimo Moratti has played down the severity of a police raid on Inter’s headquarters as part of an investigation into money laundering and tax evasion.

“It was not a raid, but an acquisition of documents,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I am very calm about it. We will try to understand better [what the police are looking for].”

The financial police have confirmed that 12 player agents are part of the investigation.

The Naples prosecutor revealed that several foreign teams are part of the probe, too, but refused to disclose the names of any non-Italian clubs.

The current investigation comes just two years after the Calcio scommesse match fixing scandal and seven years after Calciopoli in which several clubs were found guilty of attempting to procure favourable treatment from selected referees.

Goal of the day

Ryu Seung-Woo cuts onto his right foot and lashes home from the edge of the penalty area in South Korea’s 2-2 draw with Portugal at the Under-20 World Cup.

Quote of the day

“I don’t know what Mourinho does. I know what I do: I always want to win, without crossing the line of sportsmanship. It’s true that I get on better with some coaches than others and I align myself with those that don’t value winning at any cost.”

Out of sight, but not out of mind. New Napoli boss Rafa Benitez can’t resist making a dig at his old rival Jose Mourinho.

Korea opportunities

The Iranian Football Federation (IFF) has made an official complaint to FIFA against the South Korean football association following the aftermath of last Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier in South Korea, which saw celebrating Iranian players being pelted with bottles by Korean fans, following their 1-0 victory.

Video footage following the final whistle shows the Iranian players coming under a shower of missiles from Korean fans as they moved to one corner of the pitch to acknowledge their fans, located in the upper tier of the Ulsan stadium.

Defender Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh went down injured as he was hit on the head by a bottle of water. According to the IFF, South Korean coaching staff threw punches at reserve keeper Sosha Makani.

Meanwhile, whilst some South Korean fans expressed shame, elements of the local media blamed the angry scenes on the Iranians, as Iran’s Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz was seen making provocative gestures towards the South Korean bench at the end of the game, The Iranians were accused of ‘goading fans with their excessive victory celebrations.

The build-up to the match had been acrimonious, with South Korea’s coach Choi (for whom this was his last match in charge), promising to “make life painful” for Iran and Son Heung-Min saying that Iran’s captain Javad Nekounam would be crying “tears of blood”.

Over priced

Edinson Cavani feels Napoli’s 63 million euros asking price is too high amid strong interest from several of Europe’s bigger clubs and is eager to open talks with the club to resolve his future.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insisted last week that the 26-year-old will only be allowed to leave if an interested club meets his buyout clause, but Cavani does not believe he is worth 63million euros.

Anyone who has watched him play at this year’s Confederations Cup would attest to that.

“I don’t think I’m worth 63m euros. I will have to talk to De Laurentiis about it. I owe a lot to Napoli and I want to leave through the front door if I move on,”  a candid Cavani told Marca. “I am feeling very good at Napoli, but it all depends on the club. We will have to wait and see what options I have. What I want to do is sit down face-to-face with the club president and decide my future together.

“Real (Madrid) are one of the best clubs in the world, but there is no deal yet. When you’re a kid, you dream about playing at a team like Madrid or Barcelona, but right now I’m at Napoli and I’m very proud to be there.  If I leave one day, I’ll be ready to move to a bigger club. We’ll see.”

The Uruguay international already demanded showdown talks with De Laurentiis on Monday following the Napoli president’s comments that he expects the striker to make up his mind before July 20.

Stating the obvious

Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman thinks that the absence of a player of Lionel Messi’s calibre could make life difficult for new Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola.

“At Barcelona, Pep had Lionel Messi in his team, who could single-handedly decide matches,” Koeman was quoted as saying by De Telegraaf. “In my opinion, Bayern Munich do not have a similar player.”

However, Koeman still thinks the Bavarians have plenty of quality, even without a player like Messi.

“He has inherited a fantastic team and then Bayern are also able to sign an amazing player like Mario Gotze. The players at his availability should not be the problem.”

As one would expect from a team that won the treble last season.

Koeman played alongside Guardiola at Barcelona from 1990 until 1995 and his former teammate’s success as a coach does not come as a surprise to the Dutchman.

“It’s only logical that he became a coach. I didn’t see it right away, because he was still in the early stages of his career when we played together. But he had fantastic qualities as a footballer. He had superb vision, was a real teamplayer and was always thinking about tactics.”

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