Sports

Many football stars still without club as season goes on

Free agents able to make way to US or Canada in a few days as deadline for North American countries is Thursday, Oct. 29

Can Erozden   | 28.10.2020
Many football stars still without club as season goes on

ANKARA

Several football stars, including Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato, Italian forward Mario Balotelli, and Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic, could not find a club to play in the 2020-21 season.

In addition to Pato, Balotelli, and Mandzukic, Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge are the other free agents.

The European summer transfer window for the 2020/21 season was closed early October. The same period has ended for England on Oct. 16.

However, the free agents are able to make their ways to US or Canada in a few days as the deadline for the North American countries is Thursday, Oct. 29.

If they skip it, they should wait for the next transfer window, which is the 2021 winter.

Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, and Spain will open their winter transfer window in February 2021, England will do on Jan. 31.


Ex-Milan player Pato out of contract since August

Pato, 31, was an AC Milan forward in 2007-2013 but left the Italian team for Brazil's Corinthians.

Then he played for Sao Paulo of Brazil, English club Chelsea, Spain's Villarreal, and China's Tianjin Tianhai.

Pato was the Italian champion with AC Milan in 2011.

He also won the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup with the Brazilian national team.

Last season, he was at Sao Paulo but became a free agent on Aug. 21.

Pato scored 158 club goals in 393 appearances.


2010 Champions League winner Balotelli without club

Italian national Balotelli was one of the most talented players of his generation.

During his football career, he played for Inter Milan and arch rivals AC Milan, England's Manchester City, and Liverpool, and also for French clubs Nice and Olympique Marseille.

The 30-year-old last played for Italy's Brescia until his leave on July 1.

Balotelli was the 2012 English champion with Manchester City as the club waited for this title for 44 years.

Separately, he won the 2010 UEFA Champions League with Inter.

Balotelli netted 161 club goals in 398 matches.


Croatian star Mandzukic seeking deal

The 2018 FIFA World Cup silver medalist Mandzukic has been looking a football club to play since this summer.

Croatian forward Mandzukic, 34, left Qatari club Al-Duhail on July 5 for a new challenge in his career.

Mandzukic was one of the leading strikers in Europe as he previously played for German clubs Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich, Spain's Atletico Madrid, and Italian powerhouse Juventus.

In January, he left Juventus to join Qatar's Al-Duhail as the Gulf countries are one of the best destinations for players who want to make more money before retirement from the game.

Mandzukic has so far scored 197 club goals in 497 appearances.

He played for Bayern Munich in 2012-2014 to win the 2013 Champions League title.

With the help of Mandzukic, the Croatian national team had silver medal in the Russia 2018, losing the final 4-2 to France in Moscow.

In the 2018 final, Mandzukic scored an own goal and a goal in the same match.


English duo Wilshere, Sturridge among free agents

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Wilshere from England and his compatriot Sturridge, a former Chelsea and Liverpool forward, are seeking a club to play the game.

Wilshere, 28, came from Arsenal's youth setup to have 198 appearances for the London club's senior team.

He was a West Ham United midfielder in 2018-2020 but the English international left the Hammers on Oct. 5.

Playing in the center of the park, Wilshere tallied 17 goals and 38 assists in 270 club appearances.

Sturridge last played for Turkey's Trabzonspor but left the Black Sea club in March.

He won two UEFA Champions League titles, 2012 with Chelsea and 2019 with Liverpool.

Sturridge also helped Chelsea bag the 2010 English Premier League title.

The 31-year-old scored 118 goals in 328 club appearances.

Sturridge was a Manchester City player before his move to Chelsea in 2009.

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