World Football Gossip Roundup: Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Balotelli, Jurgen Klopp
Cristiano Ronaldo is sad no more.
Several months after admitting to unhappiness at Real Madrid, the Portuguese superstar now says he's had a change of heart. What's behind the turnaround? That story leads this Wednesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup.
Inside, we also have news on a racism controversy involving a Berlusconi and a Balotelli at AC Milan, Champions League match-fixing, UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, Robert Lewandowski's future and Chelsea's search for a full-time manager.
Keep reading for all the details.
Cristiano Ronaldo Not Sad Anymore
Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he is no longer unhappy at Real Madrid (via ESPN FC).
Ronaldo, 27, said in September that he was "sad" for "professional" reasons (via Yahoo! Sports). During a radio interview with AS on Wednesday, Ronaldo said that had changed in recent months.
"Yes, something has changed because I am doing what I like, which is playing football, and I feel very good on the field and with my team-mates," Ronaldo said. "Maybe I have also changed my way of thinking and being. At this moment I feel better than I did then."
AC Milan in Mario Balotelli Racism Controversy?
Paolo Berlusconi, the younger brother of AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi, has sparked a racism controversy with a statement about Italian forward Mario Balotelli (via The Independent).
Speaking at a political meeting in Monza, Paolo Berlusconi reportedly called Balotelli the club's "negretto di famiglia." The Independent translated the comment as "the family's little n*****."
Debrecen Keeper Was Asked to Fix Liverpool Game; Says He Declined
Hungarian club Debrecen have confirmed that UEFA has questioned goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic over allegations of match-fixing from a UEFA Champions League game against Liverpool in 2009. Poleksic has denied any involvement in match-fixing (via The Guardian).
Europol announced on Monday that two Champions League matches were being investigated for match-fixing, with one having been played in England. The Liverpool-Debrecen match from 2009 has been widely reported as the match in question.
Debrecen admitted Poleksic drew a suspension in 2010 for failing to report inquiries from match-fixers.
Poleksic said: "We lost 1-0 at Liverpool and I played a good game. I made lots of saves: a one-on-one against Albert Riera, one from Fernando Torres, one from Steven Gerrard. I remember it all. How can anyone say I threw the game?"
Manchester City 'Confident' of Avoiding FFP Punishment
Manchester City believe they will not be punished under UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules despite a recent warning from European football's governing body (via Manchester Evening News).
UEFA warned City and Paris Saint-Germain earlier this week that they will not be able to "cheat" the regulations via sponsorship deals with firms closely connected to the clubs' owners.
According to the report, City cut losses in half last year and surpassed £200 million in revenue for the first time.
The new rules are scheduled to take effect for the 2014-15 season. Violators could face expulsion from European competition.
Borussia Dortmund Dismiss Robert Lewandowski-to-Bayern Munich Rumors
Lewandowski, a 24-year-old Polish forward, has been linked with a move to the Bundesliga leaders. His contract expires in 2014, and Dortmund say they will not deny a transfer request if he makes one.
"It's just a bubble of speculation," Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke said. "There is absolutely zero substance in the reports, there's is not even a primary source—that really gets on my nerves."
Watzke added: "The fact is, Robert has a contract with us until 2014 and we want to extend that."
Chelsea Again Targeting Borussia Dortmund Manager Jurgen Klopp?
Chelsea are again targeting Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Klopp, 45, has managed Dortmund since 2008. He has led the team to the last two Bundesliga titles and the German Cup last season.
Chelsea reportedly showed interest in Klopp last season, but Klopp declined. He is under contract until 2016.
Rafa Benitez currently serves as Chelsea's interim manager following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo last November. Chelsea's other targets include Everton's David Moyes and Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini, according to the Telegraph.