Transfer Tracker: Major Moves Across Europe

The summer transfer window in most major leagues across Europe is open until Aug. 31, and after a World Cup in which some players raised their individual stock, the club landscape overseas is in for a major shift.

All of the major moves across Europe:

Jefferson Montero to Swansea City
Former Club: Morelia
Montero, Ecuador's 24-year-old World Cup winger, is off to the Premier League on a four-year deal after spending the last two years in Liga MX with Morelia. Montero started all three of Ecuador's group games in Brazil and adds an element of attacking pace to Swansea, which has made six summer signings thus far.
Serge Aurier to Paris SAINT-Germain (Loan)
Former Club: Toulouse
Aurier rose to prominence during the World Cup with his play at right back for the Ivory Coast, assisting on a pair of goals against Japan. He had reportedly been on Arsenal's radar, and he joins two-time defending Ligue 1 champion PSG on a loan for the season with an option to buy.
James Rodriguez to Real Madrid
Former Club: Monaco
The long-rumored move for the World Cup star is official. James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid's embarrassment of riches on a reported €80 million deal, a summer after moving from Porto to Monaco for €45 million. His World Cup-best six goals made him a worldwide phenomenon this summer, and he becomes the latest rising star to join the 10-time European champions.
Jeremy Mathieu to Barcelona
Former Club: Valencia
The Spanish power has added a needed boost to its back line, agreeing to terms with the 30-year-old French left back/center back on a four-year deal. Barcelona has also set his buyout clause at an astounding €50 million, given his age and status. He moves to Camp Nou from fellow Spanish contender Valencia.
Bojan Krkic to Stoke City
Former Club: Barcelona
The 23-year-old forward is off to Stoke on a four-year deal, leaving the club where he climbed through the youth ranks and became the club's La Masia academy's all-time leading scorer before joining the first team in 2007. He was on loan with Dutch champion Ajax last season.
Patrice Evra to Juventus
Former Club: Manchester United
The veteran French left back is on the move from Old Trafford to the reigning three-time Serie A champions, signing a two-year deal with Juve. He's the second longtime United defender to move to Italy, following Nemanja Vidic's move to Inter Milan.
Alvaro Morata to Juventus
Former Club: Real Madrid
Morata, 21, is on the move from the reigning UEFA Champions League winner, joining the Italian champions on a five-year deal. He fetched a reported transfer fee of €20 million, and reports say Real Madrid has the right to reacquire the forward at a fixed price after two and three seasons.
Toni Kroos to Real Madrid
Former Club: Bayern Munich
The World Cup-winning German central midfielder leaves one power for another, linking up with the reigning UEFA Champions League winners and joining international teammate Sami Khedira. Reports have the move at €20 million.
Rio Ferdinand to Queens Park Rangers
Former Club: Manchester United
The former England and Manchester United center back switches clubs on a free transfer, staying in the Premier League at age 35. He is signed on a one-year deal and claimed to have chosen the Rs despite having more lucrative offers elsewhere.
Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal
Former Club: Newcastle
France's 28-year-old World Cup right back joins the Gunners on an unspecified "long-term" deal to boost the club's back line. Various reports have the move in the £10-12 million range.
Michu to Napoli (Loan)
Former Club: Swansea City
The Swans' star Spanish forward will spend the season on loan in Serie A, with Napoli maintaining the option to buy him outright. After a star-caliber 2012-13, Michu endured an injury-riddled 2013-14 campaign.
Filipe Luis to Chelsea
Former Club: Atletico Madrid
Passed over for Brazil's World Cup team, Filipe Luis was one of the premier fullbacks in the world last season and provides a natural replacement for departed left back Ashley Cole and a complement to right back Cesar Azpilicueta. Reports have the move at £20 million.
Juan Iturbe to Roma
Former Club: Hellas Verona
The highly sought-after 21-year-old Argentine winger joins Roma on a five-year deal after a reported transfer fee of €22 million. Iturbe, who has been dubbed "The new Lionel Messi," has reportedly been on the radars of teams such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal ever since his days at Porto.
Luis Suarez to Barcelona
Former Club: Liverpool
The much-maligned Suarez can't play until late October while serving his FIFA ban for biting a third opponent, but he led the Premier League with 31 goals last season and gives the Blaugrana a true No. 9. Barcelona triggered his reported £70 million buyout clause to secure the move.
Enner Valencia to West Ham
Former Club: Pachuca
Valencia, who scored the most goals in Mexico's 2014 Clausura campaign, boosted his value in Ecuador's build-up to the World Cup and then even more in Brazil, scoring three goals in the group stage. Reports have the move at £12 million.
Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal
Former Club: Barcelona
The Chilean forward is set for a starring role with Arsene Wenger's Gunners after scoring 21 goals in all competitions for Barcelona. His move reportedly cost Arsenal £35 million.
Ashley Cole to Roma
Former Club: Chelsea
It's a period of grand change for the 33-year-old Cole, who retired from England after being left off of the World Cup roster and is headed to a new club after eight years roaming the left flank and locking down opposing attackers at Stamford Bridge (and 16 in London, going back to his Arsenal days). He moves to Roma on a two-year deal after a free transfer.
Diego Costa to Chelsea
Former Club: Atletico Madrid
The Rojiblancos can add Costa to the line of star forwards who have headed elsewhere for a big payday, following Fernando Torres, Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero. He's signed on a five-year deal, with reports putting the transfer at £32 million.
Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona
Former Club: Sevilla
After helping Sevilla to the Europa League championship, Rakitic, the 26-year-old Croatian international central midfielder, climbs Spain's hierarchy to join the Blaugrana. He's signed on a five-year deal after a transfer that reportedly cost €18 million, and he steps in for the departed Cesc Fabregas.
Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea
Former Club: Barcelona
Fabregas returns to London, where he starred for Arsenal prior to his move to Barcelona. Fabregas fills a central midfield void left behind by Frank Lampard, moving on a reported £27 million deal.
Luke Shaw to Manchester United
Former Club: Southampton
The 19-year-old left back is a rising star on the England national team and is fresh off making his World Cup debut. Was widely touted as one of the best defenders in the Premier League last season and moves on a £30 million transfer fee.
Claudio Bravo to Barcelona
Former Club: Real Sociedad
Bravo, Chile's World Cup goalkeeper, becomes Barcelona's second offseason goalkeeping signing, joining Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The 31-year-old will fight for first-team minutes under new manager Luis Enrique, and he joins the club on a four-year deal after a reported €9 million transfer.
Ander Herrera to Manchester United
Former Club: Athletic Bilbao
After a long courtship, United finally landed the highly rated 24-year-old Spanish midfielder after he paid his own £29 million buyout clause. He's signed on a four-year deal.
David Luiz to Paris Saint-Germain
Former Club: Chelsea
The wild-haired Brazilian international is the most expensive defensive purchase in soccer history after completing a £50 million move to the two-time reigning French champions and signing a five-year deal. With PSG, he'll be paired with international center back partner Thiago Silva.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona
Former Club: Borussia Monchengladbach
Barcelona's goalkeeping void left behind by Victor Valdes' departure is to be filled by ter Stegen, the 22-year-old German international who moves to Camp Nou on a five-year deal. Barcelona paid €12 million to pry him from the Bundesliga, and the club promptly set his buyout clause at €80 million.

Source: ESPN, The Guardian, Fox Media, Associate Press
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Carles Puyol: Goodbye To A Great Captain

Carles Puyol is calling it quits after a 15-year career with Barcelona and they bid him adieu with a wonderful video. But more importantly, it opens with a shot of a 14-year-old Puyol in 1994 with tremendous hair in an all-denim outfit.

When Puyol made his debut for Barcelona, they were the defending La Liga champions, but Puyol did not win a trophy in his first five years with the senior team.

In 2004, it all changed, both for Puyol and Barcelona. He was handed the captain's armband and that season they captured the league. The following season, they won it again and also won the Champions League. It was the start of a dynasty at Barcelona and while there were bigger starts - Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi often stole headlines - there was always the long haired captain at the back.

Over 15 years, when Barcelona went from a struggling club to the darling of the world to obnoxious dominators, Puyol was the constant and even when the club's superior attitude turned some off, the captain was still beloved. Amazingly, this happened despite Puyol being the ultimate embodiment of Barcelona, a La Masia product who was the ultimate "More Than A Club" man.

The 36-year-old Puyol made 100 appearances for Spain, winning the 2010 World Cup following the European Championship in 2008. Puyol said his best memory was after beating Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final, when he handed the captain's armband to teammate Eric Abidal so he could lift the European Cup first. Abidal had been battling liver cancer.

On a club full of superstars and big names, Puyol was the man at Barcelona.

Goodbye, Carles. We will miss you, and your hair.

Source: Associate Press, FC Barcelona
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2014 UCL: It's a Madrid Derby final

Jose Mourinho's Champions League semifinal misfortune struck for a fourth consecutive year, as Atletico Madrid beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to earn a final place in Lisbon against neighbor Real Madrid. It will be the first time two teams from the same city have competed in a European cup final. Here is what caught our eye from Wednesday's result in London.

There was not quite the fanfare surrounding the return of Tiago Mendes to Stamford Bridge that we saw in the round of 16 when Didier Drogba returned with Galatasaray, but the effect was altogether more decisive. Atletico fans concerned about the suspension of Gabi, so important to the midfield this season, needed not to have worried; Tiago was a steady presence in the center of the field, and his vision set up the visitors' first and third goals, with floated cross-field passes releasing right back Juanfran behind Eden Hazard on both occasions.

Tiago was a Premier League winner under Mourinho in 2004-05 and spoke before the game of the similarities between his ex-boss and Diego Simeone, for whom every decision paid off perfectly in London - from the call to start Adrian Lopez, the first goalscorer, ahead of Raul Garcia, and to restore Arda Turan, scorer of the third, to the team. "When you think of both you immediately see not just the figure of a coach, but of a leader. These are two very similar teams and two coaches who know exactly what they are playing for. Mou puts himself inside your head. Simeone instils an idea in you too," Tiago told El Pais last week.

If it was a clash between the two coaches, there was only one winner. Mourinho, it might be said, was even panicked into making a substitution too early, bringing on Samuel Eto'o at 1-1 with 40 minutes still to play. Was he chasing the game too early? It was Eto'o who conceded the second-half penalty which as good as killed the contest.

A word on the penalty scorer, too: Diego Costa gave John Terry a bruising encounter in Madrid and, though he had little to feed on here, it was the same story. If this was a job interview for a role at Chelsea next season, Costa passed with flying colors: he has the physique, power, and eye for goal that reminiscent of Drogba in his pomp - just the type of player, in fact, that would fit perfectly into a Mourinho side. He also showed impressive composure with a nerve-wracking penalty.

Fernando Torres' opening goal did not change too much for Atletico, which, penalties aside, always needed an away goal to progress. That its goal came so soon after Chelsea's summed up the story of the day in London, where subway strikes left fans relying on buses, just a few days after Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers accused Mourinho of parking "two buses" in front of its goal in last week's win at Anfield. So we waited two hours and six minutes for one goal between these teams, then two came in seven minutes.

Adrian's equalizer was a huge turning point, coming one minute before the halftime break and requiring Mourinho to push for a second goal. It could have been avoided too, coming as the result of a series of defensive errors, starting with Hazard losing Juanfran at the far post, Terry and Ashley Cole failing to cut out the cross, and Adrian with the time to hit the ball into the ground and see it canon into the top corner. Adrian's selection was another perfect decision from Simeone: he provided more pace on the counter than Raul Garcia, but also has a a habit of making it count in the big games, as he was fantastic in the win over Barcelona in the last round. The fact that he had gone 21 games without a goal? No problem.

Thibaut Courtois, playing his first game at Stamford Bridge, nearly three years after signing for Chelsea, also reacted smartly to a John Terry header soon after the goal, and the more Chelsea pushed, the more secure Courtois looked. He did need the post to save him from a David Luiz header. But when Mourinho looks back at the game, he will know that the loss of concentration just before halftime changed this tie.

No one would dare admit it, but you would imagine Real Madrid would rather have faced Chelsea than its local rival in the final in Lisbon. Since Simeone came to Atletico Madrid, one of his greatest achievements has been to end his team's curse against Real Madrid: a run of 25 games and 14 years without a win. That came in the Copa del Rey final last season - ironically when Mourinho was coaching the side - and since then, Atletico has beaten Madrid at the Bernabeu (1-0, Diego Costa) and drawn 2-2 at Estadio Vicente Calderon. In between there was a Copa del Rey semifinal that Real Madrid won 5-0 on aggregate.

Despite that, Simeone is proving himself a master of the cup competitions, winning the Europa League and European Super Cup (against Chelsea) as well as the Copa del Rey. His Atletico side is unbeaten in Europe this season and has only conceded six goals in 12 games. Will it be able to keep a clean sheet against Real Madrid, and the might of its Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale combination?

We have just over three weeks to find out, but if the story of this European season is that counterattack has overtaken possession-based play as the dominant tactic, then this final will continue that narrative.

Source: Associated Press, Fox Sports, The Guardian
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R.I.P. Tito Vilanova (1968-2014)

It seems that sometimes being a fan of Real Madrid or Barcelona requires you to spend as much time hating the rival club as you do supporting your own. It's kind of natural, after all, the two sides have been fierce rivals both on and off the pitch for decades and will be that way for decades to come. "Haterz gon' hate" as the kids like to say.

However, there are always moments when fans of both clubs, and clubs all over the world, put away our petty rivalries for a moment of solidarity and unfortunately today is such a day. Tito Vilanova, the fine manager who led Barcelona to a league title in his one season managing Barcelona, has succumbed to parotid gland cancer and passed away today at age 45. Slated to start the 2013-2014 season as manager of the club, he stepped away shortly prior to the season's beginning as he felt that he could not fulfill his duties while at the same time going through cancer treatment.

Vilanova, a Barca man through and through, came up through the Barca youth academy and played for their B team (among others). He eventually joined the club as an assistant coach in 2007 before getting his breakthrough as manager in the 2012-2013 season as he led his team to a marvelous domestic season and a deep run into the Champions League.

Of course, all that is secondary to the good man he was and the unfortunate circumstances of his stepping down from his position. Cancer is a brutal thing. Just when there was hope that Tito's battle might be a winning one, this unfortunate news broke and we will all rally behind Barca through this tough period in their club's history no matter where allegiances lie.

Our deepest condolences and support to Tito's family and the entire FC Barcelona organization. Fan lines do not exist today.
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