Inter Milan star Welsey Sneijder passed out halftime in their Serie A match against Brescia on Saturday and was later diagnosed with anaemia.
Sneijder helped guide Inter to the Treble last season and then steered Holland to the World Cup final.
But the 26-year-old playmaker’s sterling efforts for club and country have left him exhausted.
He said: “I started to shake and felt pain in my entire body. In the changing room I got sick and passed out briefly.
“My heart and blood pressure were checked immediately. Later I traveled to the Netherlands for a second opinion.
Pienaar, who left the country two days ago after an extended holiday following the World Cup has been under the radar of new Inter coach Rafael Benitez, who is believed to instructed Inter president Massimo Moratti to contact the Blues with a view to signing Pienaar.
Pienaar had an impressive run last season where he was also voted Everton’s player of the season. That performance got the attention of a number of major clubs including Liverpool. The player has yet to reach an agreement on a new deal at Goodison and David Moyes is keen to avoid the type of ongoing saga that saw Jolean Lescott leave the club in acrimonious circumstances last season.
Rumours even go as far as to suggest that Beckham may buy out the remainder of his contract at the Home Depot Center in order to secure a move to the Rossoneri.
The England midfielder is due to rejoin LA Galaxy in March after his loan deal is completed at Milan, but the 33-year-old has made such an impact in his first few games that the San Siro management are desperate to keep him in Milan.
The former England captain scored his first goal for AC Milan last week and would see the move as an ideal route back into the England squad under Fabio Capello.
“I can’t say what will happen. My contract says that I’ll be here until March. We’ll have to see,” said Beckham after Sunday’s 4-1 win at Bologna. “At the moment I’m enjoying this experience. I’m at one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti and owner Silvio Berlusconi are both hopeful that Beckham will make the decision to move to Italy on a permanant basis.
Ancelotti promised “no pressure will be made” on the player but confirmed: “Our desire is that he continues with us.”
He added: “When March 9 comes and he returns to America that will sadden us because of the help he is giving his team in terms of quality of play and balance.”
David Beckham is still not sure about his long-term future after he made his debut on Sunday when AC milan drew 2 – 2 against Roma.
The 33-year-old, who is on-loan at Milan for two months from the Los Angeles Galaxy, is due to return to the United States in March when the new Major League Soccer season kicks off.
However, when asked about his commitments Beckham’s response appeared to leave room for interpretation: ”The contract and the agreement is that I go back to LA on March 8th or 9th so I’m going to enjoy it up to then and we’ll see,” said Beckham.
There has been suggestion that if Beckham’s loan is deemed a success he could return to the San Siro next January as he tries to keep match-fit and part of England manager Fabio Capello’s plans ahead of the 2012 World Cup.
However, other observers, notably former Galaxy general manager Alxei Lalas who signed Beckham on a five-year contract in 2007, believe that if Beckham settles at Milan he could cut short his time in LA in favour of a permanent move to Italy .
After the game against Roma Beckham admitted to being was pleasantly ”surprised” that Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti had given him a start.
”I feel very good, very strong, a lot stronger than I thought I was going to feel,” Beckham said. ”I had fun out there. I was surprised to have started the game but I am happy. Playing out there is what I love doing and I enjoyed it.
Team of the week
Special mentions all round for European teams. Aston Villa held off Arsenal and almost got the result before an equaliser with 2 seconds of stoppage time remaining. Atletico Madrid were in destructive mood beating Barcelona convincingly and Everton overcame a tricky Portsmouth team to presently occupy the final English champions league spot ahead of Liverpool.
The team of the week for me though would have to be Napoli. The little Italian club made famous by the brilliant Maradona. Whilst beating a team 1-0 is nothing earth shattering, the fact that the team beaten was Inter Milan makes the story a little more fairy-tale like. Inter had not lost once in the league all season and were flying very high in Italy, almost untouchable. Napoli fought hard and were deserved winners of the weekly accolade.
Player of the week
Argentina is a football barracks, spitting young talent out on a daily basis. This week the only 19 year old Argentine on the pitch in the Barcelona game was Sergio Aguero. The youngster has been attracting praise for sometime now and on Saturday he took the fight to Barca. He scored the first goal, set the second up, won the penalty for the third and Scored and Excellent fourth. He commented
“My favourite was the second goal when I gave Maxi a good pass that he put away very well. It was a nice move and Maxi needed this goal. It turned the game and gave us a 2-1 lead just before halftime. I think it was the key moment.”
An Excellent display against no ordinary team, Ladies and Gentleman, Sergio Aguero.
Moment of the week
Special mention to Ronaldinho for scoring a cracking overhead goal. Lets hope that the troubled genius can start finding those moments of brilliance again.
Not for the first time this year a young Arsenal side have found themselves on the brink of losing vital ground in the premiership title race and not for the first time they respond emphatically. Nicklas Bendtner was able to snatch a late goal and keep the gunners at the top of the league. We have 10 games left in the Premiership and six points separating an extremely talented top three.
Manager of the week
Brazilian starlet Robinho played his first 29 seconds of competitive football before scoring his first goal following an injury induced spell on the sidelines. Berndt Schuster will have smiled secretly as the young talent went on to seal the game with a delightful chip to round the game off 3-2 to Real Madrid. It was a game of high emotion as studs and fists were flying at all times and the timing of the substitution was spot on. He might have dodged the post match press conference but the Real coach will breathe a little easier knowing that Barca are currently back to 5 points off the pace.
Still to come
This week sees the second league of the first knockout stage in the champions league, expect the usual drama and make sure you make yourself available for the vital showdowns happening.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
TIME Home Away STAGE VENUE
21:45 SA AC Milan v Arsenal Round of 16 Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
21:45 SA Barcelona v Celtic Round of 16 Estadio Camp Nou
21:45 SA Sevilla FC v Fenerbahce Round of 16 Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
21:45 SA Man Utd v Lyon Round of 16 Old Trafford
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
TIME Home Away STAGE VENUE
21:45 SA FC Porto v Schalke 04 Round of 16 Estadio do Dragao
21:45 SA Real Madrid v Roma Round of 16 Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
21:45 SA Chelsea v Olympiacos Round of 16 Stamford Bridge
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
TIME Home Away STAGE
21:45 SA Inter Milan v Liverpool Round of 16
(Image credit : Getty)
The interest in young Alex “the duck” Pato was high in the pre-season. The 18 year old was raising awareness all around Europe. Fast forward 6 months and the arguments have now evolved to whether he is the most promising signing of the year.
Pato is quality, the youngster scored on debut, and has gone on to deliver in ways that bely his age. The Rossaneri were languishing midtable in the pre Kaka, Ronaldo, Pato era. Their performances were below average and their collective talent was never looking anywhere near as threatening as it should have, failing to win at home all season.
It has been 3 weeks since the youngster turned 18 and thus allowing him to make his awaited debut. In the last 3 weeks Milan have beaten all comers and Pato has been the star, Illustrating that further with his quality strike against Fiorentina on Sunday night and at times outshining current player of the year Kaka! Too many times before we have heard about the next “Maradonna” or “Ronaldinho” only to be let down. Pato is looking hungry, hungry to succeed and hungry to help his Milan side shine and he is not the next anybody. Although it is way too soon to say this he is promising to recreate history right now
Milan are a side like no other at this time. Although their league position falsifies the amount of experience in the squad. They have a near endless supply of priceless knowledge. Pato had many options and when you step back and look at his club selection, The duck might have found a pond well worth swimming in.
(image credit : alrage.net)