Osvaldo kicked out of Italy squad

AS Roma forward Pablo Osvaldo has been axed from Italy’s squad for the Confederations Cup in Brazil following his tantrum in last Sunday’s Italian Cup final, the country’s soccer federation (FIGC) said on Tuesday.

Osvaldo, joint third top scorer in Serie A this season with 16 goals, had been included in a 31-man squad for last week’s training camp before becoming the latest victim of coach Cesare Prandelli’s strict code of ethics.

FIGC president Giancarlo Abete told the ANSA news agency: “All decisions are made by Prandelli and the spirit of the ethics code, which ensures respectful behaviour in the Italian team, is well-known.”

Television cameras caught Osvaldo apparently insulting Roma coach Aurelio Andreazzoli at the end of last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by local rivals Lazio. He was left out of the starting line-up and brought on as a substitute for the last 15 minutes.

Sobbing Atanasov may get ditched by Slavia

Bulgarian club Slavia Sofia plan to offload a player who cried after they denied Levski Sofia the title by holding them to a 1-1 draw on the final day of the season, Slavia president Ventseslav Stefanov said.

Levski seemed certain to win a 27th league title on May 25 but, in a dramatic finale, defender Dimitar Vezalov scored a bizarre own goal 16 minutes from time while rivals Ludogorets beat Montana to lift the trophy for a second straight year.

“One of our players was crying in the dressing room after Levski failed to win the title,” Stefanov told a news conference. “No doubt, he will not be part of Slavia anymore.”
Stefanov gave a strong hint he was talking about midfielder Dimo Atanasov when revealing the player was a product of local club Pavlikeni’s youth academy and reportedly a Levski fan.

Lottery millionaire splurges on defender

»Norway’s record lottery winner has splashed some of his prize money on a 25 percent share of a soccer defender so that his struggling local club can hold on to the player.

Yngvar Borgesen, who recently won more than 102 million Norwegian crowns on the Eurojackpot lottery, put up 2.5 million crowns so that Odd Grenland could keep promising defender Fredrik Semb Berge, according to newspaper Verdens Gang.

“I sat and thought about what I could do locally, and the answer was Odd. They have a good profile and mean a lot for thelocal community,” Borgesen told the newspaper.
The player told Verdens Gang: “He's a very nice guy who thought it was good to help, so I think this is positive. It means that Odd can get more money for me and that they don't have to sell me at any price.”

Newspaper alert for Swansea’s Laudrup

Ajax Amsterdam placed an advertisement in a Dutch newspaper on Friday asking Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup to attend court in a dispute over an unpaid tax bill.

The advertisement serves notice to Laudrup of a court date in Amsterdam on Aug 29 where the club are seeking to recover money from their former player.
The legal notice in the Het Parool newspaper says Laudrup has no known address in the Netherlands.

Ajax are seeking a sum of three million euros ($3.92 million) from the former Denmark international in a tax case stretching back 15 years, Dutch media said.

It follows a long standing investigation into the transfers of Laudrup and the Georgian striker Shota Arveladze to Ajax in 1997 and allegations of irregular payments to the pair.

I’m no drug dealer, thunders striker Balotelli

Italy and AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has hit out at the “incredible lies” of a mafia informant who accused the former Manchester City player of being a drug dealer.

Mafia informant Armando De Rosa told judicial investigators that Balotelli three years ago dealt illegal substances in Scampia, a notorious open-air drugs market on the northern edge of Naples.

Balotelli, in Bologna for Friday’s friendly between Italy and San Marino, was livid about the accusations after initially laughing off the claims on his Twitter account.

“In the beginning we joked about it but then I got angry and took it as an insult,” he said.