It's an exciting week ahead as the second week of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League kicks off, along with Premier League and Serie A action.
BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish police entered Barcelona's stadium on Monday in a search and seize operation. The club said authorities were at the team's headquarters but did not provide any more detail. Spanish media said the operation was related to last year's “Barçagate,” in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of the club and then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year amid fallout from the controversy surrounding Lionel Messi. The club has been mired in political turmoil and debt prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The operation comes less than a week before presidential elections are to be held at the club. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Juventus slipped 10 points off the title pace as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hellas Verona before leaders Inter thumped Genoa 3-0. Andrea Pirlo’s side have a game in hand over their rivals, but the champions' stranglehold of the Serie A title is under serious threat as they endure their worst league season in nine years. Juve have picked up 46 points, their lowest total after 23 rounds since 2011-12.
RENNES, France — Rennes coach Julien Stephan has stepped down from this position following a poor run of results this year. The French league team thanked Stephan for all the “exceptional results” secured with the club. Stephan took over as Rennes head coach in 2018. He led the Brittany side to a stunning victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2019 French Cup final. He also helped the team qualify for the Champions League group stage for the first time last season. But Rennes slumped to a fourth consecutive loss in all competitions last week and has won only one game in 2021. The Associated Press