World Football Gossip: Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham, Brazil Shirt-Swapping

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 30, 2013

World Football Gossip: Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham, Brazil Shirt-Swapping

0 of 6

    Rio Ferdinand continues to dominate the football headlines after his withdrawal from the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

    David Beckham could be in line for some good news from Paris Saint-Germain, while Manchester United have been linked with a Barcelona player.

    The continuing saga of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and Chelsea rumbles on, and why are Brazilian team Uniao Barbarense getting "shirty"?

    Read on to find out more. 

Rio Ferdinand

1 of 6

    Rio Ferdinand's withdrawal from the England squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers is a story which appears to have no end.

    The Manchester United defender withdrew from his first squad since 2011 due to medical issues, but his decision to work as a television analyst in Qatar for the San Marino match drew stinging criticism from England fans.

    But the Football Against Racism group in Europe lodged a complaint with FIFA over the supporters' chants in San Marino during England's 8-0 win (via BBC Sport).

    Now, however, the Football Association says there is no evidence of discriminatory chanting, according to a report in The Sun.

David Beckham

2 of 6

    Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti believes midfielder David Beckham merits another 12-month contract with the Ligue 1 club, according to The Sun.

    The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star joined the French giants in January on a deal until the end of the current season.

    But former Chelsea and AC Milan boss Ancelotti is convinced the 37-year-old deserves a full year with PSG next season.

Manchester United

3 of 6

    Manchester United are set to target Thiago Alcantara this summer after the player's father admitted the midfielder's chances of establishing himself as a first-team regular at Barcelona were limited, according to the Daily Mail.

    The 21-year-old, who was the subject of a £15 million bid by United in 2011 (via The Mirror), has found first-team opportunities limited at Camp Nou.

    Now the Spain international is looking for a way out at Barca to boost his hopes of playing for his country at the 2014 World Cup Finals, according to his father, former Brazil international Mazinho.

Radamel Falcao

4 of 6

    Chelsea have edged ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, says the Daily Star.

    The Stamford Bridge club have been long-term admirers of the Colombia international and could use former Atletico forward Fernando Torres as a makeweight in a £40 million deal, claims the newspaper.

    But Chelsea's interest seems to have been running as long as human life itself, and we will probably only discover Falcao's next destination when he actually signs his next contract.

Brazil Shirt Swap

5 of 6

    Shirt-swapping has become second nature in the global game, but one Brazilian club has taken things a little too far, according to a Reuters story (via Yahoo.com).

    Uniao Barbarense were under the cosh during their Paulista match against Linense and came up with a cunning ruse to bamboozle the opposition during the interval.

    Barbarense midfielder Britto swapped his No. 7 shirt for a No. 5 at halftime, the same number as teammate Rafael Silva.

    The referee only noticed that the two players had the same shirt numbers after 26 minutes of the second period and ordered Britto to switch.

    Barbarense won the match 3-2 and Britto ended up in the No. 17 shirt for his team.

Holger Badstuber

6 of 6

    Hamburg are planning an audacious bid to sign Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber on a season-long loan, according to a report in Bild (via soccernews.com).

    The Germany international is recovering from a serious knee ligament injury, sustained against Borussia Dortmund in December (Bundesliga.com), and is not expected to play again this season.

    Badstuber, 24, had established himself as a regular with Bayern and Germany before his injury.