AC Milan have strongly denied that Ronaldinho and Thiago Silva are up for sale after renewed media speculation in Italy yesterday that they could be sold. Silvio Berlusconi, the Milan owner and the Italian president, has been adamant that Ronaldinho, 30, will not only see out the last year of his contract this coming season but also stay at the club for the rest of his career.
However, problems with the Brazilian's fitness have reignited speculation about a move for the waning talent, with the Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy said to be interested. "AC Milan confirm yet again that Ronaldinho and Thiago Silva are absolutely not for sale," the Serie A club said in a statement. Reports had said Milan would try to recruit fellow Brazilian Robinho, on loan at Santos from Manchester City, if Ronaldinho, the former World Player of the Year, departed.
Defender Thiago Silva is still being linked to Real Madrid. In Germany, Louis van Gaal, the Bayern Munich coach, said yesterday that star winger Arjen Robben should not have been allowed to play at the World Cup for the Holland because he was not fully fit. Robben reported to Bayern's preseason training camp with a torn left hamstring, the same injury he picked up before the World Cup. Van Gaal said the Dutch team's coach and doctor failed to protect Robben and allowed him to play despite the injury. Robben missed the first two games but then played every match, including the 1-0 extra-time loss to Spain in the final.
"Every player wants to play a World Cup. He'll do anything to be make it happen," Van Gaal said. "That's why we have a coach and a doctor, to protect the player. It's the job of a coach and very much so of the doctor - and it wasn't done. "I called Robben several times during the World Cup and warned him," said Van Gaal, who is also Dutch. Van Gaal said Robben had fluid drained from his hamstring every two days at the World Cup.
The doctor who performed surgery on Kaka's knee says the Real Madrid midfielder put his career at risk by playing for Brazil at the World Cup. Dr Marc Martens, who performed the arthroscopic surgery on Kaka's left knee, says the forward played through the pain in South Africa with a nagging injury that soon became "unbearably painful." Martens told Spanish newspaper Marca that Kaka said he was in pain during knockout stage matches against Chile and Holland. Kaka's career could have been over if not for the timely operation on Thursday, according to Martens. A routine pre-season check by Real doctors discovered the problem, which will sideline Kaka for three to four months.
Spanish government lawyers will appeal a ruling by a judge in Alicante that denied access to taped conversations and other evidence that appeared to suggest promoted Primera Liga club Hercules were involved in match fixing. The evidence was collected as part of a separate investigation and the judge in Alicante ruled it should not be released. Hercules, who deny any wrongdoing, were promoted to Spain's top flight following more than a decade in the second division.
The club said in a statement on Thursday on their website that suggestions the goalkeeper of rival club Cordoba had been paid to throw a match in May which Hercules won 4-0 were wholly false. * Agencies