Sports Burst - All Hail President Pique!

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by Tim Stannard

 

Pique declares that old board had to go for Barcelona to progress - 'you can't have a transitional year.'

 

While others somewhere in the world - Sports Burst can't imagine where - might be prematurely declaring themselves winners in a presidential poll, long before the counting is over, Gerard Pique has gone one better. Two better, in actual fact. 

On Wednesday night, the Barcelona defender pretty much declared himself winner of an election that he hasn't entered and hasn't taken place yet. Now that's how to get things done. 

 

The election itself is to find out the next president of Barcelona, after the recent big cheese resigned to trigger a new poll potentially in January. Pique has expressed his interest in the roll in the future - the footballer is already running a multi-media empire and segments of world tennis - and made it very clear on Wednesday that any future club president will need to get through himself. As well as is running mate, Lionel Messi. 

Speaking after Barcelona's 2-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev that gives Barca three wins from three in the Champions League group stages, Pique delivered his own State of the Union speech in his position as temporary president during a Barcelona power vacuum. 

"There's a process of change that was necessary," declared Pique, "we have needed to turn things around. There was an obvious trend of things getting worse every year."

 

For that change to happen the old rulers had to go. "You can't have a transitional year at Barcelona," declared the Spaniard.

Barcelona now take on Real Betis on Saturday at 10AM ET on beIN SPORTS under the careful stewardship of President Pique and Vice President Messi, the two goal-scorers from Wednesday's win. 

The Sports Burst live show will look back at Wednesday's action in the Champions League and if Pique should simply be put in charge of Barcelona. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and XTRA channel at 12PM ET. 

 

 

League-leading Thomas Tuchel dismisses firing suggestion from PSG 

 

Currently, PSG are just a few weeks off reaching the Champions League final and winning a domestic quadruple of trophies. 

The team is also at the top of the Ligue 1 standings and still alive and kicking in the Champions League despite having to play much of this season without a combination of Neymar, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria. Or even without all four. 

 

Despite this, Thomas Tuchel is under pressure at PSG, especially after a 2-1 loss at RB Leipzig that can largely be attributed to his (non-injured) players missing chances in the first half and two getting sent off in the game. 

One of the reasons for doubts over the German's immediate future is a fractured relationship with the club's sporting director, Leonardo, the figure who could jettison Tuchel from the club. 

 

"It's the life of a trainer in Paris, it's never enough, I don't have any problem," sighed the PSG manager after the game. 

That life now means rustling up a fit forward line - currently Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Neymar are injured - to take on Rennes this weekend in one of the stand-out games of the French season so far. That match is live on beIN SPORTS from 2:30PM ET on Saturday

 

 

Favorites crash out of Copa Sudamericana

 

There was a Jurassic Park-style stampede of big beasts being squished in the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday night on beIN SPORTS with Sao Paolo, Atletico Nacional and Penarol all crashing out of the contest after a series of epic second-round, second-leg matches.

 

Sao Paulo came a cropper in a wild match against Lanus that ended 4-3 to the Brazilians on the night but left the tie at 6-6 to the opposition, who prevailed on away goals. 

 

Thursday night's action sees Independiente, another giant of South America trying to avoid the same fate in a clash against Atletico Tucuman on beIN SPORTS Spanish at 7:30PM ET, just one of six Copa Sudamericana games across the beIN SPORTS network on Thursday.