Posts Tagged ‘Lionel Messi’

Lionel Messi weds Antonella Roccuzzo June 30

Related imageArgentina and Barcelona football superstar Lionel Messi is to marry his long term partner and mother of his two children, Antonella Roccuzzo, in their hometown of Rosario on June 30th.

“The wedding will be held in Rosario, Argentina, on June 30,” Messi’s personal communications agency 6Pointer said.

The ceremony between the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and his childhood sweetheart is to be held at Rosario cathedral and many of Messi’s Barcelona teammates are expected, chief amongst them the couple’s closest friends, Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and his wife Sofia Balbi.

Messi turns 30 on June 24 and Roccuzzo is 29 and the pair have been living together for nine years and have two children, four-year-old Thiago and baby Mateo.

Fifa lift Messi’s 4 Argentina match ban

Messi's four-game Argentina ban and fine rescinded after FIFA appeal

The Barcelona forward sat out a damaging World Cup qualifying defeat to Bolivia, but is free to rejoin his country’s quest to reach Russia 2018

Lionel Messi’s four-match ban for allegedly insulting an official in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Chile has been rescinded by FIFA following an appeal.

The Barcelona forward had been banned from playing in their subsequent qualifier against Bolivia, which the World Cup 2014 finalists lost.

“The FIFA Appeal Committee has upheld the appeal lodged by the Argentinian Football Association, on behalf of the player Lionel Messi, against the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, lifting the sanctions imposed on him as a result,” FIFA said in a statement on Friday.

“Following a hearing which took place in Zurich on 4 May 2017, the Appeal Committee has set aside the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on March 28 2017, which, in application of art. 77 a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), had found Lionel Messi guilty of infringing art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.

 

Barca will continue to fight for La Liga title -Messi

Image result for Lionel MessiFormer World footballer of the year, Lionel Messi on Monday hailed Barcelona’s dramatic 3-2 Clasico victory over arch-rivals Real Madrid as an “important step” in the race for the La Liga title, AFP reports.

Messi’s last-gasp goal marked his 500th for Barcelona and blew the La Liga title race wide open at Real Madrid on Sunday.

Victory takes Barca top of the table thanks to their better head-to-head record with both sides locked on 75 points, but Madrid have a game in hand.

“We went to the Bernabeu to win and to continue to fight for La Liga,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said on his Facebook page.

“There is still a long way to go, but we left with the joy of having taken an important step,” added Messi, the top scorer in La Liga with 31 goals, alongside a photo of himself celebrating one of his goals.

Barcelona are bidding for a third straight La Liga and Spanish Cup double. They play Alaves in the Cup final on May 27.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid’s La Liga title credentials will be put to the test on Wednesday as a tough week continues with a tricky trip to Deportivo La Coruna.

This season the Galician side’s Riazor Stadium has proven an unhappy hunting ground for top clubs.

Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Valencia have all been held to draws there, while Barcelona succumbed to a shock 2-1 defeat last month as the battle by Pepe Mel’s side to avoid the drop gathered pace.

After losing a dramatic Clasico  with the last kick of the game – a result that sees the Catalans move ahead at the top of the table because of their superior head-to-head record – Madrid know they cannot afford defeat as they bid to lift their first La Liga title for five years.

Coach Zinedine Zidane insisted that, while they might currently sit second, the fact that Madrid have played one game fewer means they still control their own destiny.

“Nothing changes, we still have things in our own hands and we are only thinking about Wednesday’s game,” Zidane said.

“It (the Clasico) was not about deciding who wins La Liga. A win, loss or draw means that nothing changes. We are disappointed as overall we did not deserve to lose, but football is like that. We do not have too much time to wallow and have to get over it.”

ULC: Barcelona makes history, becomes first team in history to up turn 4 goals

Barcelona complete greatest comeback in Champions League history

Barca are the first side in Champions League and European Cup history to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit, after defeating PSG 6-1 on Wednesday.

Barcelona made Champions League history on Wednesday, overcoming a four-goal first-leg deficit against PSG to advance to the quarter-finals.

Luis Enrique’s side were the first in Champions League and European Cup history to rally back from four down after the opening match.

Sergi Roberto was the hero for Barca, scoring in the 94th minute to complete what many viewed as an unrealistic feat before the match began.

Neymar had a double, while Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez also found the net for Barcelona. PSG’s Layvin Kurzawa was credited with an own goal.

Football: UEFA Champions League 2016/2017 Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 Results

2016-10-19_21-54-57

It was happiness for Futbol Club Barcelona , Arsenal Club due to brillant performances of  Lionel Messi and Mesut Ozil.

Both were the stars of the night as Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi dropped to the bench for the first time this season in Arsenal’s 6-0 win over Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
A second half hat-trick from Mesut Ozil and earlier strikes from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent the Gunners top of Group A ahead of Paris Saint-Germain who defeated FC Basel.
The London-based outfit extended their winning streak to seven successive wins in all competitions, since their 4-3 loss to Liverpool in their first game of the season.
And Iwobi, 20, who has started in all games for the Gunners when fit but made way for Oxlade Chamberlain in the starting line-up, replaced Alexis Sanchez in the 73rd minute.
At the Camp Nou, Kelechi Iheanacho watched from the sidelines, not even on the bench, as Manchester City were outclassed by Barcelona 4-0.
Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick in the encounter as ten-man Manchester City lost for the second time this season.
Neymar scored a brilliant individual fourth for Barcelona after earlier missing a penalty.
See full result below:
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN  3-0 FC BASEL
ARSENAL 6-0 LUDOGORETS
DYNAMO KYIV 0-2 BENFICA
NAPOLI 2-3 BESIKTAS
FUTBOL CLUB BARCELONA 4-0MANCHESTER CITY
CELTIC 0-2 BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH

Why Messi returned to Argentina football team

Lionel Messi has sensationally returned to Argentine National team after holding talks with new coach Edgardo Bauza. Messi, 29, who is Argentina’s all-time leading scorer with 55 goals in 113 appearances, quit after Argentina’s Copa America final defeat by Chile in June in which he cried and told media reporters after the match that he had decided to retire. But in a statement reported by media in Argentina, the Barcelona striker said he made the U-turn for the “love of the country” and “to help from within”.

“A lot of things went through my mind on the night of the final and I gave serious thought to quitting, but my love for my country and this shirt is too great. We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside.”

“A lot of things went through my head the day of the last final and I seriously thought about quitting, but I love this country and this shirt too much. I thank all the people who want me to keep playing with Argentina, I hope we can soon deliver them some joy.”

Messi on Friday was named in Argentina’s squad for the next set of International friendlies alongside  Manchester City trio Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Nicolas Otamendi and Manchester United pair Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo.

Football: Chile beat Argentina to win another Copa América in penalty

This was to have been the match that sealed Lionel Messi’s legacy. The one that silenced the doubters, that killed off the question mark hanging over his greatness, that gave him his place in the pantheon next to Diego Maradona and showed he could achieve the same success with Argentina that has become so staggeringly routine at club level. Instead, it became The Night Messi Missed.

Goalless after 120 minutes, a game that during the first half looked on course to be decided by over-zealous officiating instead had to be settled by penalties. This wasn’t the first time the stomach-churning lottery of spot kicks has been needed to separate Argentina and Chile, of course. Last year, it was the heroics of Claudio Bravo and Alexis Sánchez’s ice-cool Panenka that clinched the Copa América for La Roja.

This time, with Chile shooting first, a save by Sergio Romero to thwart Arturo Vidal handed Argentina the early advantage. Messi stepped forward. After a game in which he’d been consistently excellent but struggled to apply the finishing touch, destiny surely awaited. He appeared calm. There were no deep breaths, no tics to betray nerves. The run-up was clinical, short and confident. But the shot was blasted high over the bar. High over the bar, and well into the stands. Once again at an international tournament, Messi had missed. The agony was written all over his face.

What followed from there seemed almost inevitable, given the way everything about this match had been set up as the final, coronating chapter in the saga of young Leo: the two sides traded successful spot kicks, then Bravo – that man again – saved Lucas Biglia’s effort. Francisco Silva, brought on late during extra-time for Sánchez, proved a perfect proxy for the hero of the 2015 shootout. He shot hard; Romero dived the wrong way; the Copa was Chile’s once again.

As jubilation broke out on the Chilean bench and among the swatch of red behind the goal, Messi slumped to the ground, stunned. After the bitter consolation, in a losing cause, of the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot, here again we witnessed the cruel spectacle of this generation’s greatest player stumbling with the finish line in sight. But take nothing away from Chile; at times they have been exceptional in this tournament, no more so than when thrashing a highly fancied Mexico side 7-0 in the quarter-finals. If the GOAT is to be a loser, would that it be to a team of Chile’s quality.

On a perfect summer’s night, under clear skies and with the wind blowing fair and mineral off the industrial lagoons of New Jersey, a boisterous but friendly crowd took their seats early and the stadium was full by the time play got under way. But if the fans were well behaved, the players soon revealed themselves to be anything but. The spectators had come expecting a feast of attacking football – the high press and relentless movement of Chile versus the effortless mastery of Messi and friends. When these two teams met in the group stages, they tore at each other with vicious intensity from the opening minute, but the selections here hinted, perhaps, at a more tempered, cautious encounter.

Chile were unchanged from their comfortable victory over Colombia in the semis, but Tata Martino, perhaps mindful that La Roja have vaulted onto a new plane of attacking intensity as the tournament has progressed, made room for Lucas Biglia next to Javier Mascherano and Ever Banega – a more defensive-minded midfield trio than we’ve seen from the Albiceleste in this tournament. Ángel Di María, meanwhile, returned and slotted into the place left behind after Ezequiel Lavezzi’s injury during the semi-final victory over the US.

We knew it would be intense, but what we got for the first 45 minutes was something closer to straightforward violence. A wild lunge from Marcelo Diaz on Messi at the quarter-hour mark set the tone, and from there the teams went at each other with brutal, percussive, at times reckless physicality. Even when they weren’t flying into challenges, players seemed intent on causing themselves harm: Chile’s street warrior Sánchez, darting down the left flank with customary all-or-nothing intensity, rolled awkwardly on his ankle within the first five minutes, while Gary Medel had a particularly unfortunate encounter with the left upright on 20 minutes after racing to clear a goalbound Gonzalo Higuain chip.

Moments of quality were rare, and by the half-hour mark, with seemingly every challenge threatening to boil over into a major diplomatic incident, referee Heber Lopes appeared to be on the verge of losing control. But Lopes has shown himself to be unafraid to reach into his pocket this tournament, and he soon had the opportunity to burnish his growing reputation as world football’s enforcer-in-chief. Diaz appeared to do little more than get beaten for pace when the masterly Messi va-voomed past him on the edge of the area, but the resulting collision justified a second yellow, in Lopes’s eyes, and Chile found themselves down to 10 men. Diaz’s first booking was uncontroversial, but this felt harsh.

A red card is always a shame but doubly so when it comes less than half an hour into a showpiece final between two of the world’s most thrilling attacking ensembles. Perhaps Lopes rued the decision to hand Diaz a second yellow because a few minutes later, he evened things up by sending Marcos Rojo off for a challenge on Vidal. The Argentinian defender appeared to gather the ball as he scythed through Vidal, though things looked much worse when viewed at normal speed. Either way, it was another harsh decision.

The sniping, the elbowing, the arguing all continued once the teams returned for the second half. Neither side appeared able to get into rhythm; passes went astray, play became congealed around the centre circle, and the game’s attacking aristocrats struggled to rise above the fray. For a brief period it seemed Nicolas Otamendi would emerge as the game’s dominant figure. Gradually, however, Chile began to assert their control through the middle of the park; having one less Argentinian defender to deal with opened the channels up and it wasn’t long before the front triangle of Sánchez, Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz was working its magic.

Argentina, meanwhile, saw their output dwindle to a handful of forward darts by Messi and the occasional remonstration with Lopes for going longer than 10 minutes without producing a straight red. Martino hauled off the largely ineffectual Di María and replaced Higuain, who had spurned a couple of decent half-chances around the hour mark, with Sergio Agüero – not a bad option to have off the bench. The game began to open up; Vargas shot straight at Romero from a tight angle after a bobbing, jagging run down the right, while Agüero, put through clean on goal after Messi drew three defenders, snatched a golden late chance horribly wide. Messi appeared frustrated; this was not the way his night was supposed to go. But nothing he tried was working; a long-range shot as the clocked ticked down to extra time summed it all up, the maestro well off target with the final ball after a typically magnetic 50-yard run. Was he trying too hard?

Both sets of players appeared physically destroyed as the game headed to extra time, but there was no let-up in the intensity once they reconvened on the pitch. If anything, the game got better. First Vargas headed weakly at Romero, then Claudio Bravo pulled off a superb, balletic, swan-diving save to push a looping header from Agüero over the bar. Chile came back at Argentina, Argentina came back at Chile. At one moment Argentina looked the side more likely to score, the next they were a nervous defensive wreck. There was no notion of playing for the shootout, no question of leaving the result to chance. After a turgid, ugly first half, suddenly we had the game we’d wanted all along.

There was just one thing missing: a goal. Thirty breathless, desperate minutes later, it came down to penalties. Chile, who looked ragged and there for the taking in the final 10 minutes of extra-time, showed their nervelessness when it mattered most. Having been crowned champions of South America last year, they now take their place as the best team in the western hemisphere.

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