By Tim Stannard
Thierry Henry faces the chop with France betrayal
Thierry Henry has so far kept a fairly low profile on the Belgium bench in his role as assistant to Head Coach, Roberto Martinez. That strategy is now firmly out the window.
If the Frenchman could wear some kind of attraction-deflecting stealth suit over the next 48-hours then that would be the preferred option as Henry is on the brink of committing high treason, an act according to Sports Burst’s limited knowledge of anything is still punishable by a visit to the guillotine at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Henry won a World Cup and European Championship with France in 1998 and 2000 respectively but will be doing everything possible to make sure that France do not make it a second World Cup victory in Tuesday’s semifinal clash. “We loved each other so much,” sighed the front cover of Monday’s L’Equipe referencing a beloved French vintage movie and the fact that the man sitting on the French bench in Saint Petersburg is none other than Didier Deschamps, the captain of the side that won the World Cup in 1998. This is all so…French. "It's going to be weird,” admitted Kylian Mbappe.
While English fans continue to trash IKEA stores or risk life and limb jumping off high objects on Monday, Martinez and Deschamps will be donning black turtle necks, drawing on some Gitanes, swigging absinth while attending to the media and discussing the philosophical debate of how Thierry Henry will be able to not celebrate, but celebrate at the same time should Belgium defeat France.
CR-EXIT talks continue while Ronaldo is on a boat
On to the other big story of the week aside from the winding-down World Cup: CR-EXIT. Cristiano Ronaldo is happily being pictured with his top off on vacation while all kinds of lawyers and bean-counters continue to work out how it will be possible to move this footballing and marketing behemoth out of Real Madrid and to Juventus.
The lull in hard news has been filled in leading figures opining on the move and there are none so grand than former Juve boss, Marcello Lippi, who predicts that the arrival of CR7 will bring others to the Old Lady – “he’ll also attract other champions.”
Leading Italian agent, Beppe Bozzo, is claiming that the fact the fact that neither Real Madrid nor Juventus have denied that a move is afoot, then CR-EXIT will take place, but patience will be required - “this is why I’m convinced that, at this point, everyone has gone so far in that they can no longer pull back out.”
Torreira in town for Arsenal medical
Right. While this mega-deal works its way through football’s digestive system, Monday is expected to produce some big announcements. Uruguay midfielder, Lucas Torreira, is expected in London to have his medical with Arsenal and sign a $30 million deal from Sampdoria before setting off on vacation after his World Cup exploits. On the other side of London, West Ham are putting together final touches to bring in Jack Wilshire from Arsenal and also Ukraine forward, Andriy Yarmolenko.
Oh…and PSG has reportedly – so say Mundo Deportivo - made a $250 million bid to Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho to cover Neymar moving to Real Madrid. But no…just no. Not going there unless the news ticker gets really desperate over the next few weeks.
And BREAKING NEWS! – Luis Enrique has just been announced as the new coach of the Spanish national team. Good luck with that project Mr Blue Sky!
Wimbledon enjoys Manic Monday
Manic Monday is the name given by those wacky English to the action in Wimbledon today, and it sort of makes sense as every player still left in the tournament will be playing.
Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic are the big-hitters in the round of 16 with all eight ties being played. Over in the women’s bracket, Serena Williams is the only American left standing after quite the cull of seeds in the first round. The seven-times Champion will be in action against Evgeniya Rodina.
The Wimbledon organizers have also dismissed the idea of changing the time of the men’s final on Sunday due to the possibility of it clashing with the World Cup final, although the two events are due to start two hours apart.
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The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. Sports Burst is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.