Sunday Territorian 18 May 2014
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54 SPORT SUNDAY MAY 18 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 With Cup at stake, ref will whistle to Spanish tune WITH a name like Ricardo Vico de la Rosa you would expect him to be cheering on Spain when the reigning champions play Australia in the World Cup finals in Brazil on June 24. And thats exactly what the Darwin soccer referee plans to do when his country of birth tackles the Socceroos in their Pool B match in Curitiba. Born in Granada, in southern Spain, de la Rosa, his partner Mar and daughter Sofia, left their homeland for New Zealand 3 years ago. They moved to Darwin six months ago when Mar got a job as a civil engineer. Vico de la Rosa, a podiatric nurse by profession, has been studying to improve his English and refereeing NorZone Premier League matches in that time. But he will be concentrating on the worlds biggest single sporting tournament when it kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 13. I am confident we can win again, de la Rosa said as he proudly wore his countrys famous playing strip and talked up the chances of La Roja. He believes home nation Brazil are deservedly the tournament favourites but he is wary of the talents of Chile in Pool B which also features The Netherlands. De la Rosa has quickly settled in to refereeing in the local league with his experience in charge of lower leagues in Spain proving advantageous. I have been in charge of eight middles so far in Darwin, said the 40-year-old, who has been refereeing for 11 years. While his English may be limited, he knows when he blows his whistle or waves his flag as an assistant referee people understand him. Darwin referee Ricardo Vico de la Rosa, from Spain, will be supporting his country of birth against Australia at the World Cup in Brazil Picture: HELEN ORR By DOUG BOOTH SOCCER City pay price for cheating ENGLISH Premier League winner Manchester City and French champion Paris SaintGermain were fined $A82 million by UEFA yesterday and ordered to limit their Champions League squads to 21 players next season for breaching the bodys financial fair play (FFP) rules. In the first series of sanctions handed down by UEFA over its new regulations meant to curb overspending by wealthy owners, nine clubs in all were handed punishments but those given to City and PSG were by far the heaviest. City said they will accept the sanctions and will not appeal, but insisted that the club has a fundamental disagreement with UEFA about its interpretations of the FFP regulations on players purchased before 2010. The fines given to City and PSG are the heaviest ever imposed by UEFA. But UEFA said 40 million euros will be returned to the clubs if they fulfil their obligations over the next two years. Those obligations include limiting the deficits to 10 million euros in the financial year ending in 2015 for City, with PSG allowed a deficit of 30 million euros for that period before being obligated to break even by 2016. City said it expects to break even by the end of 2014. UEFA said both clubs have agreed to significantly limit their spending in the transfer market over the next two years. However, City said it is allowed to spend 60 million euros, plus whatever it earns for selling players, in this summers transfer window. It said the UEFA sanction will have no material impact on ... planned transfer activity. The reduced Champions League squads may not have much impact, either. Teams are ordinarily allowed 25-man squads for the competition, but few ever use 25. City and PSG both used 21 players on the field this past season, not counting unused substitutes. The FFP rules require clubs who play in the Champions League and Europa League to balance their finances, and are meant to curb huge investments by owners and excessive spending on transfers. The sanctions were handed down five years after UEFA President Michel Platini launched the program to tackle cheating by overspending. Expulsion from next seasons Champions League or Europa League was billed as the harshest punishment available. Other clubs to have failed FFP were Galatasaray, Trabzonspor and Bursaspor from Turkey, Russian sides Zenit St Petersburg, Anzhi Makhachkala and Rubin Kazan, as well as Levski Sofia from Bulgaria. Those were handed fines ranging from 200,000 euros for Galatasaray, Trabzonspor, Levski and Bursaspor to 12 million euros for Zenit. Man City and PSG tried to balance their finances with inflated sponsorship deals linked to their owners in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, respectively. Messi set to rake in a fortune LIONEL Messi is about to get a big raise, with reports saying the Barcelona forward is set to make about $34 million a year. The Argentina international has agreed to the terms of a new contract with Barcelona that could give him $27 million for each season. Combined with other performance-backed incentives, the 26-year-old Messi is expected to make millions more every year. Barcelona did not release details of the deal, but called it an agreement to adjust the terms in the contract binding Leo Messi to the club. Messi, who is expected to sign the restructured deal in the coming days, already has a contract with the Spanish champions through the 2017-18 season, making a reported $22 million a season. He also has a buyout clause of $343 million. Messi is seven goals shy of becoming the Spanish leagues highest leading scorer. He has scored 354 goals at Barcelona, including five straight seasons of at least 40. The four-time Ballon dOr winner has scored 28 league goals this season. Everything he does well also rubs off on us and makes us better, Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino said. Meanwhile, Celta Vigo coach Luis Enrique is leaving the Spanish league club amid speculation that he will take over at Barcelona next season. Barcelona can retain its Spanish league title with a win against Atletico Madrid overnight, but even that possibility does not seem to be enough to secure the future of current coach Gerardo Martino. Recalled Troisi grabbing his Socceroos lifeline with glee AFTER a two-year exile from the Socceroos, coach Ange Postecoglou has James Troisi back in from the cold and the playmaker feels he has the Xfactor needed to remain there. Troisi made his Socceroos debut in 2008 but really looked like becoming a permanent fixture in the side in 2011 when he was lighting up the Turkish top flight at Kayserispor. But the calls inexplicably stopped coming from Australias then coach Holger Osieck. The 25-year-old Melbourne Victory star said he still has no idea why that was. I cant answer that ques tion, he said at the Socceroos training camp yesterday I really dont know. For me, it was really disappointing. I was doing well in Turkey and just wasnt getting the call-up for whatever reason. Then, having secured a dream move to Italian giants Juventus, he was sent to fellow Serie A club Atalanta, where the games also dried up. Postecoglou, who was then coaching the Victory, convinced him to make a loan move to the ALeague and it paid off. Under the watchful gaze of the Socceroos mentor, Troisi scored 15 goals and made seven assists in his 35 games to break back into the national fold. But with 30-man prelimi nary World Cup squad still to be trimmed to 23, Troisi knows his job isnt done yet. He gave me a call in Italy and told me to come back, and I think it was the right decision, Troisi said. I know he likes me but Ive still got to do what I have to do in this short period of time. He was at pretty much every single game of ours so he knows what I can do, and I just want to continue that form. Troisi is one of 13 midfielders in the 30-man group but has proven a valuable asset to Postecoglous preferred attacking style. Troisi feels he has what it takes to stand out from the crowd and get the opportunity in Brazil to add to his nine caps. By ANGELA HABASHY SOCCER
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