Ronaldo And I Can Never Be Friends – Messi

Lionel Messi believes he and Cristiano Ronaldo will never share a close friendship because they do not get to spend enough time together to build the required bond.

The Barcelona and Real Madrid stalwarts have shared a formidable rivalry throughout their La Liga careers and have collected myriad individual honours between them.

But while Messi claims the alleged enmity is very much created by the media, he also admits the pair are unlikely to ever consider one another friends, if only because they rarely get the time to speak.

He said, “I don’t know if we will be. Friendship is built through spending time together and getting to know each other.

“We have no relationship, mainly because we only see each other at awards ceremonies and that’s the only time we speak.

“Everything is fine, but our lives don’t cross over very often.”

Both Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the footballing sphere for the last decade and have shared the last nine Ballon d’Or awards (Messi 5, Ronaldo 4) – the Portuguese is currently heavy favourite to equal the standings for 2017.

But with both of them now into their 30s, Messi believes a new generation of players will soon take their places at the top and backs team-mate Luis Suarez, former Barcelona companion Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain sensation Kylian Mbappe to challenge for the coveted golden ball in the near future.

He said, “There are many great players around today who can win the Ballon d’Or. In recent years, there have just been two, but now players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Luis Suarez can compete for that award.”

( DailyMail)

Messi Extends Barca Contract With Three Years

Lionel Messi finally put pen to paper on Saturday to extend his contract with Barcelona until 2021, the club announced, making official an agreement reached in July. The Spanish giants had announced in the summer that Messi, 30, had committed his future to the club but the Argentine had not signed the new deal.

With his previous contract set to expire in 2018, Messi could have left Barca for free next summer had he not extended his deal.

“FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi signed on Saturday morning a new contract that will keep the Argentinian superstar at the club through the 2020/21 season,” read a club statement. “The buyout clause was set at 700 million euros ($835 million).”

The steep rise in the five-time World Player of the Year’s buyout clause from 300 million euros in his previous contract is designed to avoid any repeat of Paris Saint-Germain’s capture of Neymar from Barcelona by paying the Brazilian’s 222 million euro buyout clause in August.

Pressure has been mounting on beleaguered Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu to get Messi to put pen to paper.

Bartomeu was heavily criticised for his role in Neymar’s departure and a haphazard search for replacements in the final weeks of the transfer window.

However, Bartomeu saw off a vote of no confidence measure launched by disgruntled fans thanks to Barca’s fantastic start to the season, in large part inspired by Messi’s form.

And Bartomeu now has the image he craved of a smiling Messi tying the remainder of his peak years to the club.

Messi’s 30 trophies are along with teammate Andres Iniesta the most in Barca’s history, including eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.

The diminutive Argentine, who joined Barca at the age of 13, has also smashed 523 goals in 602 games to become the Catalans’ all-time top goalscorer.

News of Messi’s renewal also comes as a huge boost to the La Liga leaders ahead of Sunday’s top of the table clash at Valencia (1945GMT).

Barca lead a revitalised Valencia by four points, with both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid a further six points adrift, thanks to a club record start of 11 wins and one draw from 12 games.

Lionel Messi Withdraws From WCQ Friendly With Nigeria

The Barcelona, and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi steps down and will not be on parade at the Krasnodar Stadium, Krasnodar, venue of the pre-World Cup friendly between Argentina and Nigeria on Tuesday, November 14.

According to news report, the manager of the two-time world champions Jorge Sampaoli has opted not to field his skipper against the Super Eagles.

And it has been suggested that the striker will only feature against World Cup hosts Russia at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow on November 11.

This same scenario happened in the Albiceleste’s last international friendlies against Brazil (June 9) and Singapore (June 13), when Messi went the distance against the Seleção but was omitted from the match day squad against the Asians.

Across all levels, Lionel Messi has faced the Nigerian national teams five times in the past and has scored six goals, including four against the Super Eagles.

Meanwhile, VfB Stuttgart left-back Emiliano Insúa was handed a late call-up by manager Sampaoli on Tuesday, as replacement for the injured AC Milan star Lucas Biglia, who suffers from an inflammation in the patellar tendon of his left knee.

“I Would Love To Play Against The Eagles In Russia 2018” – Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi the Barcelona superstar has reportedly picked a match against the Super Eagles of Nigeria as one of his favourites in the 2018 World Cup.

Messi who was superb in Argentina’s win against Ecuador which gave the South Americans the World Cup ticket was said to be looking forward to his country to face Nigeria in Russia.

He picked up an interest in the super Eagles play and would like to play a match with the Nigerian team.

Messi was reported according to National Helm that a game against Nigeria was among his favourites games.

Portugal, Argentina Make It Safely To World Cup

The possibility of a World Cup without Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi turned out to be a false alarm, yet next year’s tournament will still have a major absentee after the United States’ extraordinary failure to qualify on Tuesday.

Panama, meanwhile, showed it is perfectly possible for small nations to qualify without expanding the finals to 48 teams, which is planned for the 2026 edition, as they joined Iceland in reaching the tournament for the first time.

South American champions Chile, like African counterparts Cameroon, missed out on a ticket to Russia – and, bizarrely, their elimination was the result of a successful protest made to Fifa about opponents fielding an ineligible player.

Twenty-three of the 32 finalists have now been decided while the remainder will be settled in November with four European playoffs, two intercontinental playoffs and the final round of African qualifiers, where three groups are still open.

Brazil, who will be making their 21st World Cup appearance, remain the only ever-present side at the finals and had qualified long before Tuesday’s drama.

Ronaldo and Messi, who have won Fifa’s World Player of the Year award between them since 2008, went into the final group matches uncertain of whether they would take part next year.

Those fears were allayed as Messi’s hat-trick led Argentina to a 3-1 win at high altitude in Ecuador to ensure their place and Portugal made it with a 2-0 win over Switzerland.

The US, one of Fifa’s most important members in commercial terms, were not so lucky as a shock 2-1 defeat in Trinidad and Tobago, combined with wins for Panama and Honduras, ended their run of seven successive finals appearances.

The Netherlands, semifinalists in 2014 and runners-up in 2010, will also miss out while four-time champions Italy, who last failed to qualify in 1958, face a two-leg playoff in November.

The impact of the U.S’s absence will be felt at broadcasters Fox, who take over coverage of the World Cup from ESPN starting with the 2018 tournament and a host of sponsors, such as Nike, who had been hoping for plenty of World Cup exposure.

SMALLER NATIONS

Panama’s first-ever qualification for the finals prompted President Juan Carlos Varela to declare a national holiday, describing it on Twitter as a “historic day for the country”.

But their 2-1 win over Costa Rica also highlighted global soccer body Fifa’s surprising decision not to use goal-line technology in the qualifiers, as the ball did not appear to fully cross the line for their first goal.

Panama’s success also strengthened the hand of those who argue that the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams is not necessary to allow more smaller countries to take part.

On Monday, Iceland, with a population of less than 350 000, became the smallest nation ever to qualify for the finals while Cape Verde, with a population of 550 000, are still in contention for one of the African places.

A bigger World Cup may also devalue the qualifying competition, particularly in South America where two points separated five teams battling for two direct places and a playoff spot before Tuesday’s enthralling finale.

An evening of unremitting tension ended with Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia joining Brazil in Russia, while Peru’s 1-1 draw was enough to land them in fifth place – the playoff spot – and continue dreaming of a first appearance since 1982.

Peru sneaked ahead of Chile on goal difference after their southern neighbours lost 3-0 to Brazil and dropped to sixth. They were also indebted to Venezuela who stopped Paraguay from taking the playoff spot with a shock 1-0 win in Asuncion.

Earlier in the competition, Chile got an extra two points after protesting that Bolivia fielded an ineligible player – Paraguay-born Nelson Cabrera – during a 0-0 draw in Santiago.

Fifa agreed and awarded them a 3-0 walkover win – but then did the same for Peru who lost 2-0 to Bolivia and therefore gained three extra points, compared to Chile’s two.

That extra point proved decisive on Tuesday.

Make Or Break For Messi And Argentina

The Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Argentina will be fighting for their World Cup live on Tuesday as the South American heavyweights take on Ecuador aiming to avoid a humiliating failure to qualify for next year’s finals in Russia.

With the sight of the football, the world will turn to Quito’s Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa to see if the once unthinkable prospect of a World Cup without Messi is to become a stunning reality.

The two-time World Cup winners head into the final round of South American qualifiers in sixth place, outside the top four positions which grant automatic qualification and trailing fifth-placed Peru, who occupy the playoff spot, on goal difference.

Yet with only two points separating third-placed Chile (26 points) with seventh-placed Paraguay (24), any number of permutations are possible.

Argentina can simplify the equation for their nervous fans, however, if they manage to take all three points in Quito on Tuesday.

A victory would guarantee they finish no worse than fifth place, putting them into a two-legged play-off against New Zealand they would be expected to win.

But winning in the thin air of Quito, which is 2,850 metres (9,350 feet) above sea level, may be easier said than done.

The Argentinians have an abysmal record in away games against Ecuador, with their last victory in Quito coming in 2001.

Since then in World Cup qualifying games, they have been beaten twice, in 2005 and 2009, before scraping a 1-1 draw in 2013.

Barcelona star Messi also has a record of struggling in games at altitude, vomiting on the pitch during a draw in the rarefied air of Bolivia four years ago.

‘A catastrophe’
The 30-year-old five-time Ballon D’Or winner also heads into the game knowing that next year’s finals in Russia may be his final chance to emulate Diego Maradona by winning a World Cup.

“A World Cup without Argentina and without Messi would be a catastrophe,” Argentina’s 1978 World Cup hero Mario Kempes said this week.

“The only ones who would be happy if Messi doesn’t go to the World Cup would be Maradona fans.”

The 2014 World Cup finalists face their moment of truth after a series of uninspiring performances that has left the footballing world scratching its head at how a squad bristling with so much attacking talent has found scoring so difficult.

Despite being able to call upon Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria throughout the campaign, Argentina has only scored 16 times in 17 games.

Last Thursday’s 0-0 stalemate with Peru in Buenos Aires was Argentina’s third consecutive draw. The Albiceleste have now scored only once in their last four qualifying games.

For some Argentines, the troubles of the national team have been a long time coming. Sergio Batista, a member of the 1986 World Cup-winning team, was scathing in his assessment.

“Argentina is all at sea. But this didn’t happen recently. It’s the end of a movie I’ve been watching for 10 years,” Batista said.

“I believe in projects and planning, but in our football, there’s nothing. Seven managers in 10 years? And three in a single qualifying campaign? It wouldn’t happen anywhere else.”

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Chile could seal their qualification with victory over Brazil in Sao Paulo. Brazil has already qualified for the finals and is guaranteed top spot.

Uruguay meanwhile needs only take a point in their home qualifier against already-eliminated Bolivia to be certain of progressing.

One of the most high-stakes games comes in Lima, where Peru will aim to qualify for their first World Cup finals since 1982 when they take on Colombia.

Colombia were moments from qualifying for the World Cup last Thursday before two last-gasp goals from Paraguay turned a 1-0 win into a 2-1 defeat.

That win kept Paraguay’s qualification bid alive and a home win over Venezuela on Tuesday could see them seal their place to Russia depending on results elsewhere.

 

 

 

Source: The Guardian

Real Star Feels More Superior Than Messi

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo can’t see Barcelona rival Leo Messi succeeding in the Premier League.

Messi is being linked with a world record €400m move to Manchester City today as his new contract remains unsigned.

And Don Balon says Ronaldo thinks the Barcelona star would struggle to handle life in England’s top flight.

Ronaldo views himself as the superior player because of what he achieved during his time at Manchester United.

Indeed, he feels Messi has had it easy at Barcelona.

He came through the club’s famous La Masia academy and has always had a team full of stars around him.

 

 

Messi Ease Bartomeu Tension, Demolish Juventus

 Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona president hailed Lionel Messi as the best player of all-time as the Argentine raised the mood at the crisis-ridden Catalan giants with a double in a 3-0 thrashing of Juventus to start their Champions League campaign.

Lionel Messi also set up Barca’s second, scored by Ivan Rakitic, as Barca exacted revenge for their 3-0 quarter-final defeat by Juventus in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.

Bartomeu has faced repeated calls for his resignation after Neymar’s world record move to Paris Saint-Germain last month and Barca’s bungled attempts to replace the Brazilian in the transfer market.

Moreover, Messi is yet to sign an extension to his contract, which is due to expire in June, despite Bartomeu’s insistence that an agreement in principle has been reached with the player.

“Leo Messi is unique, he is the best player in the history of football and he has shown that again in the Champions League,” Bartomeu told Spanish TV station MEGA.

“He shows us in every game, that is why he is the best.”

Messi has also led Barca to a perfect start in La Liga after three games, to open up an early four-point lead over rivals Real Madrid.

And Bartomeu claimed Barca’s start to the season was the reason for the club’s members to reject a vote of no confidence motion against him launched by a former presidential candidate Augusti Benedito.

“The vote of no confidence is something that a member is trying to get off the ground,” added Bartomeu.

“He is within his right to do so, but I don’t think there are the extraordinary conditions for such a motion.

“There is no sporting crisis because we have started the project with Ernesto Valverde very well. Economically the club is in rude health with a record turnover.”

Valverde has suffered plenty at the hands of Messi in his coaching career at Espanyol, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao before being given the reigns at the Camp Nou.

And he admitted it is far easier being on the same side as the five-time World Player of the Year after his first taste of Champions League action as Barca boss.

“I have suffered many times playing against Messi and now I have the luck to have him on my side,” said Valverde.

“We know that when he gets the ball anything can happen. Today he opened up the game in one moment where no one saw the gap and he found it.”

Valverde has already experienced the ups and downs of his new role just over a month into the season as his reign started with a 5-1 thrashing by Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup before a run of four straight victories.

“In football when you lose it seems like you are never going to win and when you win that you will always win,” Valverde added, warning against complacency.

“Inside the club, we need to maintain calm because we know how difficult every game is.”

Bartomeu To Share Monaco Flight With Messi

Josep Maria Bartomeu Barcelona president will share a club flight with Lionel Messi this morning to Monaco.

Barca is sending a major delegation to the Champions League group draw, with Bartomeu and Messi both due to attend. Messi will attend the ceremony after being nominated for the Best Player in Europe last season.

It will be a rare chance for Bartomeu and Messi to speak face-to-face, reports Sport, after a difficult summer market for the club.

Messi has made it clear via third parties he’s unhappy with their work in the transfer window.

It’s suggested the pair will also discuss a date for when Messi finally signs the new contract he agreed over a month ago.

 

Lionel Messi Buys Luxury Hotel For 30m Euros With New Barcelona Contract

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has purchased a four-star-hotel in a beach town close to the Catalonian city.

The Argentine has bought the luxury hotel, which has 77 rooms, for 30million euros (£26.01m), according to Spanish newspaper Expansion.

The hotel, which boasts a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea and stunning views, is situated close to the beach and seafront promenade of Sitges, 40km from Barcelona.

Recently renamed MiM and built in 2013, prices at the hotel range from 250 euros to 300 euros per night.

The Barcelona forward has recently established a new company for investment in hotels and apartments under the name of Rosotel. According to expansion, Messi is president and his brother Rodrigo is sole administrator.

Messi follows rival Cristiano Ronaldo in purchasing hotels – the Real Madrid star owns four hotels in a £54million investment.

Lionel Messi Buys Luxury Hotel

Lionel Messi Buys Luxury Hotel

Lionel Messi Buys Luxury Hotel

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.