Newsy Shorts for May 2022—part 2

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe

Kylian stays

Kylian Mbappe, the Best-player-in-the-world-in-waiting, chose to stay at PSG and extend his contract to three years rather than move to Real Madrid, a club with which he had already reached a previous understanding. La Liga, acting on behalf of their current champions—but still remaining mum about Barcelona’s ability to buy players while under disciplinary constraints for abusing FIFA’s Financial Fair Play rules—filed an official complaint about PSG abusing FFP.

Man City Champions

Manchester City won the English Premier League title by one point over Liverpool and did so in dramatic form as they came back to score three goals in five minutes turning a 0-2 deficit at home to Aston Villa into an improbable win, while their opponents were closing their season at Anfield by beating Wolves 3-1. Speaking to Sky Sports after their win, Pep Guardiola, Man City’s manager said: “We are legends. When you win the Premier League four times in five seasons it’s because these guys are so, so special. We will be remembered.” Kevin De Bruyne, the heart and soul of the City’s team, and the architect of the winning goal in their comeback (see his reaction time to get the ball ahead of four surrounding Villa defenders and then feed Ilkay Gundogan a perfect pass for the win), was deservedly named the League’s Player of the Season.

AC Milan Champions

With an emphatic 3-0 win over Sassuolo, AC Milan won their first title in eleven years beating city Rivals Inter by two points. Meanwhile Juventus, sixteen points off the pace, just made Champions League play.

Man-U

Manchester United qualified for the Europa League despite losing 0-1 away to Crystal Palace on their last match of the season. Pointedly, Cristiano Ronaldo (hip flexor injury) and Paul Pogba (still recovering from his injury suffered playing against Liverpool) were absent from the stadium. Incoming coach, Erik ten Hag, was in the stands to witness his team’s performance.

World Cup Referees

FIFA has announced their slate of World Cup referees for the winter 2022 tourney in Qatar. Yet, FIFA have moved their deadline to announce the 2026 World Cup host cities from last year to this, and from this spring to June 16, with a press conference scheduled to take place in New York City and at a time to be determined.

Big Potential Transfers

Erling Haalan is headed for Manchester City for the next five years with a post-second-year buyout clause, set at a fee of $160M.

Gabriel Jesus is looking for a Premier League transfer from Manchester City in expectation that striker minutes will be in short supply with the arrival of Haalan.

Robert Lewandowski is rumored to be interested in leaving Bayern Munich for

Paul Pogba, leaving Manchester United, is rumored to be interested in a return to Juventus with the caveat that if Zinedine Zidane takes over at PSG the Paris team might also become an option.

Frenkie de Jong, is the number one transfer target for Man-U’s new coach Ter Hag. Though Barcelona coach, Xavi, does not want to part with him de Jong may be enticed by a better salary and a larger role in his former coach’s new digs.

Paulo Dybala is leaving Juventus and rumors have him linked with the Premiership, particularly Tottenham Hotspur.

Angel di Maria is leaving PSG and is rumored to be looking at Italy or the USA with Juventus a top possibility.

Early odds to win the 2022 World Cup

* Brazil +500

* France +550

* England +600

* Spain +750

* Germany +1000

* Argentina +1,100

* Belgium +1,100

* Portugal +1,200

* Netherlands +1,400

* Denmark +2,800

Source:

sportsbettingdime.com

* Brazil +500

* England +650

* France +650

* Spain +800

* Argentina +1,000

* Germany +1,100

* Belgium +1,400

* Netherlands +1,400

* Portugal +1,400

* Denmark +1,400

Source:

oddschecker.com

* Brazil +500

* England +650

* France +650

* Spain +800

* Argentina +900

* Germany +1,100

* Belgium +1,200

* Portugal +1,200

* Netherlands +1,200

* Denmark +2,800

Source:

Vegas Insider

Note that each oddsmaker has the same ten teams on their “favorites to win World Cup 2022” list with but a few changes beginning at number five. Brazil is everyone’s favorite, if by just a bit over France, but England a top three contender? With Spain an up and comer seeking a reputation, Germany a settled quantity desperate for redemption, Argentina trying to show everyone the Copa America result was deserved, Portugal boasting its most talented squad ever if with a coach who simply cannot accept or rely on his team’s offensive prowess, and Belgium boasting its greatest yet trophyless generation, we have quite a few quality contenders with an extra motivational axe to grind.

If you add to this that the draw will likely result in nearly all of these top contenders advancing from the Group of 16 and you have the makings of a great World Cup.

 

Photo: 119335656 / Kylian Mbappe © Vladyslav Moskovenko | Dreamstime.com

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