RONALD Koeman will be the new manager of Barcelona, says club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.The 57-year-old, who is currently in charge of the Netherlands, is set to join the La Liga runners-up this week.Speaking on Tuesday night, Bartomeu said: “Koeman is the one we’ve chosen. If nothing goes wrong he will be the head coach next season.”Former Netherlands and Barca defender Koeman flew to Barcelona on Tuesday to finalise a deal with the club.There have been rumours that the team’s star Lionel Messi could leave but Bartomeu said: “Messi wants to end his career at Barca, he has said that many times.“I have spoken with Koeman and the pillar of our project is Messi.“He has a contract until 2021, I speak a lot with Leo and more regularly with his father.“He is number one in the world. There is no doubt that in Koeman’s new project you can count on Messi.”But the president added that the club would have to sell players.“There is money but Covid-19 has reduced income so we have to reduce payroll to be able to bring in new footballers,” he said.Koeman, who played for the Catalan giants between 1989 and 1995 and helped them to four league titles and the European Cup, has a contract with the Dutch FA which runs until the 2022 World Cup.Earlier on Tuesday, when the former Barca player was asked if he wanted to return as manager, he said: “I’d like to, but it’ll only be confirmed once I’ve signed the deal.“Until then, I cannot say any more about it – even though I’d like to.”Barcelona parted company with sporting director Eric Abidal on Tuesday, one day after relieving head coach Quique Setien of his duties.The dismissals come after the club’s humiliating 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last eight on Friday.Meanwhile, Barca’s German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 28, will be sidelined for 10 weeks after an operation on his right knee.(BBC Sport.
The Wisconsin Badgers welcomed the No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex Friday night to kick off Big Ten conference play. For the Badgers, it was a chance at revenge after the Buckeyes ended their season in the Big Ten Tournament first round last season.The Badgers (3-2-4) were in prime position to pull off the victory, and headed into the 80th minute with a slim 2-1 lead. Were it not for an Ohio State 84th minute goal, however, Wisconsin would’ve walked out with a much different result than the 2-2 draw that came to be.In the first ten minutes of play, Wisconsin dominated possession. The Badgers collected four corner kicks in the first 17 minutes of play compared to Ohio State’s one, but could not take advantage.Women’s soccer: Badgers gaining momentum after consecutive shutout victoriesAfter a convincing 2-0 triumph over Loyola University Chicago Monday night, the University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team has won Read…Despite the Badgers controlling the ball early in the game, the Buckeyes broke the tie in the 20th minute when Lindsay Agnew snuck a shot past Badgers’ goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Agnew diced through the Wisconsin defense and was able to beat Clem far post.The Buckeyes continued to press and amassed five corner kicks alongside three shots by the end of the half.Wisconsin responded shortly after halftime and regained momentum when they finally delivered an equalizer in the 49th minute courtesy of Micaela Powers. Powers sent a long, driving shot from the right sideline that confused Ohio State’s defenders and goalie, all seemed to think the ball was the other’s responsiblity. However before they could react, the score was notted up at 1-1.Two minutes later, the Badgers found themselves with the lead in minute 52 on a header from Rose Lavelle assisted by Powers. The goal was Lavelle’s first of the season.“It’s definitely a relief,” Lavelle said. “It’s kind of been a weight on my shoulders, but it’s nice to get it out of the way. Hopefully more will come in the rest of the season.”Wisconsin would have a chance to ice the game with fifteen minutes remaining when Steph Fabry launched a shot that sailed just over the crossbar. The missed opportunity would prove to be costly.The back to back goals by the Badgers in the second half gave strong momentum that almost brought them the victory. Powers said the offensive surge gave the team a new level of belief in themselves.“We had a lot of momentum,” Powers said. “We kept a belief that we could score and that we could win. Knowing that we were winning 2-1 is great for us to know that we can play with any Big Ten team.”Women’s soccer: Redemption on team’s mind after heartbreak of 2015Between Sept. 20 and Oct. 24, 2015, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team did not lose a game. After tying once Read…Possession in the second half heavily favored the Badgers until the final ten minutes. In the 83rd minute, Ohio State sent in a dangerous corner kick that ended in a shot back post which had to be denied by a diving Clem. Two minutes later though, the Buckeyes tied the game on a goal by Nikki Walts by beating Clem on the far post off a cross.By the end of regulation, Wisconsin outshot Ohio State 13-6 and bested the Buckeyes in shots on goal 5-4. Neither team could muster much of a scoring opportunity in overtime with each side only getting one shot and the Badgers getting a long shot on goal in a last second attempt and the end of the first overtime.Out of nine games this season, Wisconsin has played five overtime games, all of which have gone into double overtime. Wisconsin head coach Paula Wilkins said that these types of games help the team in the end.“I think it makes us mentally strong,” Wilkins said. “I think we’re learning. Hopefully we don’t have to see anymore, but if we do, I think we’re pretty confident that we can pull out a result.”The tie behind them, Wisconsin will now focus on hosting Penn St. Sunday at 1 p.m. at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex.