The Champions League semifinal between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea gets an early start. Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois is on-loan to the club from Chelsea, creating an interesting situation. In exchange for a fee of reportedly €3m per game, Atletico Madrid are free to play their starting goalkeeper. Not so fast, however, with UEFA handing down a ruling that says Atletico Madrid don't have to pay anything. Chelsea "will comply with the rules."
Also in Friday's soccer news roundup, everybody has an opinion on the Champions League semifinal draw.
"It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as UEFA is concerned. Furthermore, any attempt to enforce such a provision would be a clear violation of both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and would therefore be sanctioned accordingly." UEFA's official statement on the Thibault Courtois situation.
- The semifinals are set for the Champions League and Europa League.
- The FA Cup semifinals on Saturday and Sunday.
- Liverpool tries to make space at the top of the Premier League table.
- Toronto and New York missing designated players.
- The fight for playoff spots in Liga MX.
Bedoya hopes Ligue 1 boosts World Cup dream - from ESPN FC's Alex Labidou: His club manager, Michel Der Zakarian, called the midfielder "technically excellent."
Giancarlo Gonzalez steps right into role of leader - from The Columbus Dispatch's Adam Jardy: "He comes in as a new signing, keeps his head down and works hard."
Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone's side are stern test for Chelsea - from BBC Sport's Andy West: And now, Simeone is carving a new career as one of the game's hottest managerial properties....
Champions League semi-finals: Who will emerge from two titanic battles? - from The Guardian's Michael Cox: Perhaps the question is whether Guardiola chooses to maximise his side's physical advantage in midfield.
Tottenham job has been a baptism of fire, admits Tim Sherwood - from The Evening Standard's Mark Bryans: "Any day in management is a learning curve," he said.
The FA Cup must adapt in order to retain its magic - from Backpage Football's Nathaniel Shaughnessy: There are two major things wrong with the competition, the first of which is the obvious – replays.
Der Klassiker Is Back: Do You Care? - from Bundesliga Fanatic's Travis Timmons: But the narrative is drained.
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