Lionel Mercy To Wed Girlfriend In Rosario

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 30, the Argentina striker revealed on Thursday.

“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.

Messi Wins Golden Boot

The Spanish La Liga season ended in disappointment for Barcelona but there was still some individual recognition for Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid saw off Malaga 2-0 on the final day to end Barca’s hopes of a final day miracle.

Luis Enrique’s men appeared to be set for a shock defeat against Eibar too, but fought back to win 4-2.

Messi scored twice late on, making it 37 La Liga goals for the season to take the Pichichi Trophy.

He finishes eight ahead of teammate Luis Suarez and 12 clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

It is the first time Messi has won the Spanish golden boot in four seasons.

His tally will also be enough to claim the European Golden Shoe ahead of Bas Dost and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, who both finished the season with 31 in the Bundesliga.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane took the Premier League prize with 29 after a stunning final week of the campaign.

Messi could have had four on the final day but missed a penalty and a gilt-edged chance at the Nou Camp after Eibar went 2-0 up.

He finally found the net from the spot to complete the turnaround before wrapping it up in added time.

The Argentine now has a staggering 53 goals in 51 games this term and will hope to add to his tally in the Copa del Rey final against Alaves.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi ‘Best Player in the History of the Game’ – Luis Enrique

Lionel Messi produced another outrageous performance as Barcelona beat Real Madrid to move top of La Liga, scoring his 500th goal for the club in stoppage time to seal a 3-2 win.

Casemiro had opened the scoring for Madrid, but Messi equalised soon after, starting and finishing a move which left the home side’s defence dazzled.

Ivan Rakitic then edged Barca ahead before Sergio Ramos was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Messi.

Ten-man Madrid got themselves back on level terms through substitute James Rodriguez, though, setting the stage for another historic Messi moment.

“Messi even makes a difference when he’s at home having dinner,” Barca coach Luis Enrique told beIN Sports after the game.

“He is the best player in the history of the game, and I have seen a lot of football and a lot of videos. He makes the difference and it’s a huge pleasure for all Cules to have him identify as one of us.”

Asked in a news conference afterwards if Messi was the sole difference in the game, Luis Enrique added: “Of course — that’s why he plays for Barca.

“Messi’s our best player. Just imagine, his 500th goal coming here, a winner in the 92nd minute at the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s very nice for Leo and it’s nice for everyone associated with Barca.

“He allowed us to have superiority in midfield, we wanted him on ball as often as possible. It was more difficult in the middle with lots of bodies in there, but he managed to do it for the first goal. It went as we’d hoped.”The winning goal came with the last kick of the game and was the result of a surging run from Sergi Roberto — the hero against Paris Saint-Germain — from the right-back position into the final third.

“Sergi Roberto’s run was bestial in the last minute,” Luis Enrique wanted to point out. “Not just technically, but physically. There was good play from Andre [Gomes], too, and then the assist from Jordi [Alba], and a great goal from Leo.”

In the rush to praise Messi after the final whistle, there was a tweet from teammate Rafinha saying “I played with him” and midfielder Ivan Rakitic was also asked about the Argentine’s brilliance.

“Messi cannot surprise anyone,” the Croatian midfielder told reporters. “You can put him anywhere and he can hurt teams. We are really happy for the victory and for him, because we need him.”

The win means there is still all to play for for Barcelona. They were knocked out of the Champions League in midweek by Juventus and defeat in Madrid would have left them with a mountain to climb in La Liga.

Instead, the three points take them top — although they have played a game more than Madrid — and they also have a Copa del Rey final against Alaves to come in May.

“This season feels like five [seasons],” Luis Enrique said of his side’s up and down form. “So many things have happened: good things, not so good things, things I’ve already forgotten.

“Madrid’s second goal was a huge blow, but the players came back with their last breath. It was the happy ending we all wanted and I’m delighted with the performance, with how they battled until the last second.

“We are top now, but Madrid still have that game in hand. It will be tight and it will go right down to the wire, but we got the result we came here for.”

Messi Wins Clasico For Barca Against Real Madrid

Thus breathing new life into a Liga title race that had appeared dead by claiming a dramatic, last-gasp 3-2 victory in one of the greatest games this incredible rivalry has ever seen.

Indeed, many Madrid fans had come to the ground expecting to bury Barcelona. Avoiding defeat would all but seal the title and deal a fatal blow to a Blaugrana side seemingly on the way out after their comprehensive Champions League elimination at the hands of Juventus. Remarkably, even Messi was being written off.

The Argentine had come into the game without a goal in his previous six matches against Real Madrid. This unprecedented drought was viewed by some as evidence that Messi was no longer the phenomenon of old – in spite of the fact that no player has scored more goals in all competitions across Europe’s top five leagues.

When it comes to appraising the talents of Messi and Ronaldo in the modern era, it seems that they are only as good as their last game, and whereas Ronaldo had fired Real into the last four of the Champions League with a hat-trick against Bayern, Messi had drawn a blank in Barca’s midweek draw with Juventus.

Luis Enrique was even asked in his pre-game press conference if it was time for his No.10 to shine again. “I think it’s time for FC Barcelona to show their full potential,” the Barca boss replied. “We shouldn’t focus on just Messi or anyone else.”

Real did focus on Messi, though, seemingly intent on nullifying his influence by any means necessary. Casemiro was booked just 13 minutes in for cynically scything the 29-year-old down after being embarrassed by Messi’s quick feet in the middle of the park.

Marcelo, meanwhile, left the Clasico’s all-time record goalscorer prone on the Bernabeu turf with blood pouring out of his mouth with a careless elbow to the face.

Messi would have his revenge, though, retaliating not with aggression but artistry, bravely refusing to stop running at his rivals. He made five dribbles in the first half alone; the rest of the players on the pitch managed two between them.

He was felled twice more by Casemiro before the break, twice more he picked himself up off the ground and continued to carry the fight to Real.

Thirty-three minutes in, he finally lost his Brazilian tormentor for the first time and capitalised in scintillating fashion. He took a pass from Rakitic in his stride to glide past Luka Modric before then leaving Dani Carvajal swinging at thin air as he slotted the ball coolly past Keylor Navas to level the game.

Messi has involved again as Barca took the lead with 17 minutes to go. The Argentina captain found his path to goal blocked – legally, for once – but Rakitic picked up the pieces and unleashed a thunderous strike that left the brilliant Navas with no chance.

When Sergio Ramos was rightly shown a straight red card for throwing himself into a disgusting two-footed lunge at Messi just four minutes later, the game appeared to be up for Real. However, the 10 men incredibly drew level when substitute James Rodriguez turned in Marcelo’s cross.

Messi wasn’t done, though. With just 13 seconds of injury time to go, he timed his arrival into the area to perfection before driving home Jordi Alba’s pull-back to silence the Santiago Bernabeu. Bloody, battered and still sporting a black eye from a bruising encounter with Juve, he celebrated by showing them his jersey as a reminder that he remains the King of the Clasico.

They thought his reign was over. They were wrong. Barca may be in decline but Messi most certainly is not. As former Madrid boss, Fabio Capello exclaimed in a Bernabeu commentary box after Messi waltzed through to score the equaliser: “He’s still the genius of football.

 

Source: Goal.com

Bercelona’s Victory Over Sevilla

Barcelona only needed an eight-minute span in the first half of its match with Sevilla on Wednesday to pretty much secure all three points. In those eight magical minutes, Barca scored three times, with Lionel Messi grabbing two of them.

From 0-0 in the 24th to 3-0 less than 10 minutes later…

Suarez bicycle kick in the 25th minute got the barca their first goal of the match
Neymar, Suarez and Messi combine for the second on 28 minutes and Messi strikes again in the 33rd minute with a rocket shot off a loose ball in the box.

Messi Ban Biased – Barcelona

Barcelona have condemned Fifa’s decision to impose a four-match international ban on striker Lionel Messi for verbally abusing a match official in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Chile last week.

Messi was dealt the suspension and a fine of 10 000 Swiss francs ($10 069.48) by Fifa’s disciplinary panel and is due to miss three more of Argentina’s remaining four World Cup qualifiers after sitting out Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Bolivia.

“FC Barcelona expresses its surprise and indignation at the decision by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee to suspend Leo Messi following the Fifa World Cup qualifying fixture between Argentina and Chile,” the club said.

“The club considers the four-match suspension imposed on the Argentine player to be unfair and totally disproportionate.

“Finally, FC Barcelona wishes to reiterate its support for Leo Messi, an exemplary player in terms of conduct, both on and off the pitch.”

The 29-year-old Messi will also miss Argentina’s games away to Uruguay and home to Venezuela and Peru. The five-times world player of the year will be eligible again for the country’s last World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on October 10.

Argentina are fifth in their World Cup qualifying group, a point behind the automatic qualification spots.

The top four qualify directly for the World Cup in Russia next year and the fifth-placed side go into a playoff against a team from Oceania for another place in the global showpiece event.

 

Source: Super sport

Messi Makes It Easier To Win – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has claimed that having Lionel Messi in your team, makes winning matches easier but insisted that the team is greater than any individual.

Messi has won five Bqallon d’Or awards and a staggering 26 trophies at Barcelona, including four Champions League titles.

Mourinho believes the Argentina captain makes all the difference.

“First of all it’s about individual players. Just to give you an example, Messi won the Champions League with three different managers,” he said in an interview with BT Sport.

“I think it’s easier to win with him, than against him. I am a football manager. I know that sometimes people think that the individual is more important than the team.

“But when I feel that it is time for me to take a permanent holiday – I still think that the team is more important than anything.”

Messi, Neymar Star As Barca Stroll Past Getafe In Preparation For Arsenal

Lionel Messi scored, provided three assists and missed a penalty as Barcelona pressed home their advantage at the top of La Liga with a 6-0 thrashing of Getafe on Saturday.

Juan Rodriguez’s own goal opened the scoring before Messi saw his penalty saved by Vicente Guaita, teed up Munir El Haddadi and Neymar and smashed home his 36th goal of the season all before half-time.

Neymar and Arda Turan rounded off the scoring to seal Barca’s 12th straight La Liga win after the break.

A 37th consecutive game without defeat opens up an 11-point lead on second-placed Atletico, who host Deportivo la Coruna later on Saturday.

Real Madrid are now 15 points adrift of Barca in third ahead of their trip to Las Palmas on Sunday.

An eighth defeat in nine games leaves Getafe just a point above the relegation zone.

The European champions weren’t even at full strength as coach Luis Enrique left Luis Suarez on the bench ahead of Barca’s return to Champions League action against Arsenal on Wednesday.

Yet, the hosts still only took seven minutes to break the deadlock as Jordi Alba’s driven cross towards Messi was scooped into the far corner of his own net by Rodriguez.

Barca’s one fallibility this season was exposed moments later when Neymar was chopped down by Emiliano Velzquez inside the area.

Messi took responsiblity, but for the ninth time in 20 spot-kicks Barca failed to convert as Guaita dived to his left to turn the five-time World Player of the Year’s effort to safety.

Guaita’s intervention kept Getafe in the game for just a further nine minutes as Messi directed Andres Iniesta’s through ball onto El Haddadi’s head for the second.

Gerard Pique then hit the bar as Getafe failed to contain the waves of Barca attack.

Neymar’s display had been under scrutiny after he took advantage of being suspended for last weekend’s 4-0 win at Eibar to fly back to Brazil to celebrate his sister’s birthday.

Yet, the break seemed to do the 24-year-old good as he raced onto a brilliant Messi pass to slot home his first goal in four games.

Messi then took out his frustration at not netting from the spot to rifle home the fourth from outside the box five minutes before half-time.

The pattern continued after the break with Messi in generous mood with another clinical through ball for Neymar to sweep home his 25th goal of the season.

And Turan added a sixth just before the hour mark with an acrobatic overhead kick which left Guaita flatfooted.

Iniesta was rested for the final half hour ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the Camp Nou, despite Barca holding a commanding 2-0 first-leg lead.

Yet, Suarez didn’t get the chance to further his case in the battle with Cristiano Ronaldo to be La Liga’s top scorer as he remained on the bench for the full 90 minutes.