Viewer's guide for this year's World Cup in Qatar
One of the most eagerly anticipated World Cups in memory — as much for off-the-field reasons as those on it — is just around the corner in Qatar and excitement is building after the qualification period was wrapped. The tournament starts on Nov. 21 and the final is set for Dec. 18.news.yahoo.com
Messi: 'No doubt' that Benzema deserves to win Ballon d'Or
According to Lionel Messi, there is “no doubt” that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema deserves to win his first Ballon d’Or award this year. Messi has won a record seven Ballon d'Or awards as the world's best player, but saw his new club Paris Saint-Germain eliminated by Madrid in the round of 16 of the Champions League this year — after Benzema scored a hat trick in the second half of the return leg. Benzema netted another four goals against Chelsea in the quarterfinals and three against Manchester City in the semifinals — including the decisive penalty in extra time of the second leg — before Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0 in the final on Saturday.news.yahoo.com
Brazil, Argentina look like World Cup contenders again
Brazil is about to overtake top spot in the FIFA rankings and Argentina hasn't lost a single match in 1,000 days. It's clear the two South American soccer powers have more than just Neymar and Lionel Messi going for them as they head to the World Cup in Qatar hoping to end 20 years of European domination. Brazil has already broken the points record in South American qualifying with 45, six points ahead of second-place Argentina — even before the two meet for a final game that was suspended last year.news.yahoo.com
Lionel Messi ponders future after Argentina beats Venezuela
Lionel Messi says he will reconsider his future in soccer later this year but said it's likely “many things will change" after the World Cup in November and December in Qatar. Messi's comments came after Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 on Friday in the remaining match of the penultimate round of South American World Cup qualifying.news.yahoo.com
Messi in, Neymar out of Argentina vs Brazil in WC qualifying
Lionel Messi will play for Argentina when they face Brazil on Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier missing Neymar because of left thigh pains. Messi, who has been bothered by a knee injury, will play in San Juan in a match that could earn the team a spot in next year’s World Cup, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said Monday.news.yahoo.com
Argentina, Brazil meet in qualifying with eyes on Qatar
Brazil is already the first South American team to secure a direct spot in next year's World Cup. Second-place Argentina is nearly there, too. Anyone thinking Tuesday's qualifying match between the teams will not be decisive hasn't considered how much pride will be at stake in the region's superclasico.news.yahoo.com
Argentina wins; Brazil draws in World Cup qualifiers
Lionel Messi was among the scorers as Argentina beat rival Uruguay 3-0 on Sunday, hours after Brazil's run of consecutive wins in South American World Cup qualifying ended in a 0-0 draw with Colombia. Brazil leads the qualifying competition with 28 points from nine wins and the draw, six points clear of second-place Argentina after 10 matches. Brazil's tally so far would have been enough to qualify for all World Cups directly since 2002.news.yahoo.com
Messi record: he's top South American international scorer
Argentine star Lionel Messi became the top international goal scorer in South American history on Thursday, overtaking Brazil's Pelé. The 34-year-old netted all the goals at Argentina's 3-0 win against Bolivia in World Cup qualifying, and now has 79 for the national team. Messi scored his goals in 153 caps for Argentina, while Pelé netted his 77 in 92 official matches for Brazil.news.yahoo.com
World Cup champ speaks on Afghanistan team rescue
Julie Foudy, a two-time World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, speaks about the international effort to evacuate members of Afghanistan's girls national soccer team and their families over fears of reprisal by the Taliban. (Sept. 1)news.yahoo.com
Messi era begins as PSG beats Reims; Mbappe scores 2
The Lionel Messi era has begun at Paris Saint-Germain, without a goal for the Argentine superstar but plenty of adulation and fanfare. Messi made his debut for PSG on Sunday after coming off the bench midway through the second half in a 2-0 win at Reims in the French league. Messi replaced his friend and former Barcelona teammate Neymar in the 66th minute and they shared a hug.news.yahoo.com
Israeli club calls off match with Barcelona over Jerusalem
The owner of Israel's Beitar soccer club says he has called off a friendly match with Barcelona over its refusal to hold the event in contested Jerusalem. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, annexed it in a move not recognized internationally, and considers the entire city its capital. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and the city's status is one of the thorniest issues in the decades-long conflict.news.yahoo.com
Uruguay wins and puts Chile in Brazil's way at Copa America
Uruguay beat Paraguay 1-0 on Monday to finish second in Group A and move into a Copa America quarterfinal against Colombia. The result also left Chile to face defending champion and host Brazil in the next stage. Edinson Cavani scored from the penalty spot in the 21st minute for the only goal of the match at the Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.news.yahoo.com
Quarterfinal streak ends as Messi, Ronaldo both eliminated
Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 2005. Ronaldo has won five Champions League titles in his career. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)Back before iPhones, Twitter and Instagram even existed, there was Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo — or both — in the Champions League quarterfinals. Ronaldo has won five Champions League titles — one with Manchester United and the rest with Real Madrid, including three straight from 2016-18. The two have even met in the final, with Messi and Barcelona beating Ronaldo and Man United 2-0 in 2009.
PSG draws 1-1 with wasteful Barcelona to reach CL quarters
(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain withstood early pressure from a much-improved but wasteful Barcelona side to draw 1-1 on Wednesday and reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Neymar and Messi tormented PSG that night, but there was to be no reply this time. Navas then tipped Sergino Dest’s drive onto the crossbar as Barcelona opened PSG up with its passing and movement. Incessant pressure led to a penalty for Barcelona, again following a VAR check, when Kurzawa was adjudged to have impeded Griezmann. With that miss, some of the belief seemed to sap from Barcelona and the second half was more even.
Police detain former Barcelona officials in search operation
Spanish police detained several people after raiding Barcelona's stadium in a search and seize operation related to an investigation into club officials. 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. They were taken to a police station for interrogation, Spanish media said, and police also went to Bartomeu’s house searching for evidence. Court officials said a judge ordered the search and seize operation but the detentions had been made at the discretion of the police agents involved. Barcelona had denied accusations that it hired — and overpaid — a company to make negative comments about its own players and opponents on social media in order to boost the image of senior club officials.
Big loss to PSG a reality check for Barcelona
But the struggles were far from over for Barcelona, which went on to lose 4-1 in the first leg of the round of 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday. The team looked beaten and bruised after the home loss on Tuesday, with players and coach Ronald Koeman conceding that Barcelona wasn’t up to the task against a better PSG team and admitting that things have to change. PSG, meanwhile, has added top players and has come closer and closer to breaking through with the European title. AdThe Catalan club has made it to the Champions League quarterfinals 13 straight times, last being stopped in the round of 16 in 2007. It was PSG that looked like the big European powerhouse, and it seems that it felt that way for Barcelona players as well.
Gender pay gap exists in all careers, including sports
MIAMI, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The gender pay gap exists in all careers, including in sports. Male athletes in basketball, golf, soccer, baseball and tennis made anywhere from 15 percent to 100 percent more than female athletes. Now, one young woman is working to change that. She’s a mentor with a message and is working to change how women, from grade school to the pros, are treated on the playing field. And that made her question how other female athletes dealt with gender discrimination and the pay gap.
Barcelona's turmoil deepens after Messi contract leak
Its problems off the field are far from over, though, with the club now trying to show it is fully behind Lionel Messi after the embarrassing leaking of his contract. But the club's focus was on trying to find out how — and why — Messi’s 555-million-euro ($673 million) contract ended up being disclosed. “If someone from the club leaked this, that person can’t have a future in this club.”AdThe El Mundo newspaper gained access to the contract that Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017. Laporta said he messaged Messi to encourage him and tell him not to worry about the leaking of his contract. AdThe Catalan club struggled at the start of the season but has improved recently.
AP Interview: Pedri brings back brilliance to Barça midfield
Barcelona will play the final after defeating Real Sociedad 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 1-1. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)BARCELONA – It’s no coincidence that Pedri González conjures up those flashes of exquisite playmaking brilliance that Barcelona fans have been longing for since the days of Andrés Iniesta. Like Iniesta, Pedri is silky smooth with the ball on his feet, with his dribbling and passing in tight spaces. Pedri has scored three goals this season, but it is his passing and footwork with the ball that has set him apart. Twice this season, Pedri has produced no-look flicks with the back of his heel to roll the ball behind to set up Lionel Messi for goals.
Report: Messi’s contract worth up to 555 million euros
(AP Photo/Joan Monfort)MADRID – Lionel Messi’s most recent contract with Barcelona is worth up to 555 million euros ($673 million) over four seasons, the El Mundo newspaper reported on Sunday. The Spanish daily said it had access to the document Messi signed with the Catalan club in 2017, which included fixed incomes and variables that could reach nearly 138 million euros ($167 million) each season. The newspaper said it is the most expensive contract ever agreed with an athlete in any sport. The report said the 33-year-old player has already secured more than 510 million euros ($619 million) of the total. The newspaper also detailed how Messi rewarded the club over the years, having helped it win more than 30 titles.
Lionel Messi suspended 2 matches for hitting opponent
Barcelona's Lionel Messi during the Spanish Supercopa final soccer match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at La Cartuja stadium in Seville, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)Lionel Messi avoided a tougher sanction and was suspended for only two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final. The Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee did not deem the incident to be too serious and applied a less severe penalty. Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him. Messi will miss Barcelona's matches against third-division club Cornellà in the Copa del Rey and against Elche in the Spanish league.
Messi floats future US move, immediate Barça plans unclear
“I am going to wait until the end of the season (to decide),” the 33-year-old Messi told private Spanish station La Sexta. The club said no, and Messi backed down saying that he could not take his club to court. “Let the best candidate win,” Messi said. The interview with Spanish journalist Jordi Évole was recorded recently and aired hours after Barcelona announced that Messi would miss Tuesday's Spanish league game against Eibar due to an unspecified ankle injury. Messi has helped Barcelona win four Champions League and 10 Spanish league titles since his debut in 2004.
Players walk off in protest against alleged racism in CL
(AP Photo/Francois Mori)In a powerful protest against alleged racism, players from Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir walked off the field during a Champions League game on Tuesday and didn’t return after a match official was accused of using insulting language about a Black coach. It sparked a commotion in the technical area that led to Webo being sent off by the referee. UEFA said it would “thoroughly investigate” the incident, while stating the match would restart with a different fourth official inside an empty Parc des Princes stadium. PSG’s players will return to their stadium knowing they have already qualified for the knockout stage. Ronaldo converted spot kicks for Juventus in either half, after briefly embracing with Messi before kickoff when the pair also exchanged a few words.
AP Interview: Sergiño Dest says 'it is my time' at Barcelona
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)BARCELONA – Amid the turmoil at Barcelona, United States defender Sergiño Dest has found his patch to flourish. The former Ajax player arrived in the aftermath of Barcelona’s devastating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August. Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman immediately put him to work filling in for injured fullbacks on both sides of the team’s defense. So that is why I chose Barça,” Dest said about becoming the first American player to sign for Barcelona’s senior club in early October. “I just worry about the team, and making sure we win the league and the Champions League,” Dest said.
Ronaldo in doubt for Messi's visit to Juventus
Some talking points ahead of the second round of games in the Champions League:NO RONALDO VS. MESSI? The highly anticipated matchup of Cristiano Ronaldo against Lionel Messi likely won’t happen because Ronaldo has the coronavirus. Alvaro Morata replaced Ronaldo against Dynamo Kyiv last week and scored twice in a 2-0 win. Eden Hazard was added to the Madrid squad and could make his season debut after nursing a muscle injury. Diego Simeone's side was thrashed 4-0 by defending champion Bayern Munich and next hosts Salzburg in Group A on Tuesday.
Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout
Another trip to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. In a heavyweight contest on the opening night of the group stage, United reproduced its stunning exploits from the 2018-19 competition by beating PSG away thanks to Rashford's 87th-minute strike in a 2-1 win on Tuesday. YOUNGSTERS SHINEMessi now has 116 goals in the Champions League, and extended his run of scoring at least one goal in the competition in 16 consecutive seasons. Messi and Ronaldo — two players who have been at the top of the world game for more than a decade — are in the same Champions League group for the first time and are set to meet next week when Juventus hosts Barca. AMERICAN PRESENCEU.S. national team goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is one of a record 10 Americans eligible for the group stage with various clubs.
AP Interview: Barça VP says Messi never was for sale
His buyout clause stands at an untouchable 700 million euros ($828 million), but he could have likely fetched a hefty price if Barcelona had been willing to listen to offers. “We think it would be good for him to finish his career with the club,” Moix said. It fell 203 million euros ($240 million) short, according to the club’s annual financial report presented by Moix last week, due to the coronavirus. Young defender Jean-Claire Todibo was loaned to Benfica for 2 million euros ($2.3 million). According to Moix, it also saved 30 million euros ($35 million euros) in salaries Barcelona would not have to pay this campaign.
Revamped Barcelona starts new season with spotlight on Messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, centre, in action during the pre-season friendly soccer match between Barcelona and Girona at the Johan Cruyff Stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)MADRID – Lionel Messi will be there when Barcelona starts its season on Sunday, just as he has been for the last two decades. After all, never before had Messi told the club that he wanted to leave, and never before had Messi been forced to stay. Some of those questions may start being answered on Sunday when Barcelona opens its Spanish league season against Villarreal at the Camp Nou. The result thrust Barcelona into one of its worst crises ever, and led Messi to make public his desire to leave.
Barcelona fans relieved after Messi says he will stay
BARCELONA Barcelona fans breathed a collective sigh of relief a day after Lionel Messi said he would wait a year in his desire to seek success elsewhere. Argentine great Messi announced Friday that, despite having told the club he wanted to leave, he would see out the last season on his contract. The 33-year-old forward said he would stay because he wanted to avoid the ugly possibility of going to court to seek his release. Hes Staying was splashed over a huge photo of Messi on the front page of Barcelonas daily Sport on Saturday. It hurt me when people started to doubt my love for this club, Messi said.
Waiting for Messi, Barcelona still reeling after 8-2 loss
A worker holds a shirt with the name of Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi at a F.C Barcelona store in Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Barcelona is banking on a face-to-face meeting with Lionel Messi to try to convince him to stay. Talks with Messis father-agent are expected this week in Barcelona but the club also hopes to sit down with the player himself. Messi invoked a clause that allowed him to leave for free at the end of the season, but Barcelona said the clause expired in June. But so far no word from Messi on anything, and as he keeps quiet, Barcelona keeps reeling.
Staying with Barcelona not completely ruled out by Messi
A poster with the face of Barcelona soccer player Lionel Messi is displayed at a F.C. Barcelona is banking on a face-to-face meeting with Lionel Messi to try to convince him to stay. Jorge Messi had said upon arriving in Barcelona on Wednesday that he saw it difficult for his son to keep playing for Barcelona. Barcelona said it wanted Messi to stay until the end of his contract in June 2021. Neither part made concessions in Wednesdays meeting in Barcelona, with Jorge Messi confirming that his son wanted to leave and Barcelona reaffirming that it will not accept his transfer request.
World soccer power Argentina set to face Mexico in San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO - South American and world soccer power Argentina will make its first-ever appearance in San Antonio later this year when it takes on Mexico in a friendly match at the Alamodome. La Albiceleste has played Mexico 30 times. Argentina is one of, if not the highest-profile international soccer team to play in San Antonio. Argentina has won two FIFA World Cups in its storied history and featured several of the world's best players over the years. Over the years, San Antonio has evolved into a regular stop for the Mexican National Team U.S. Tour.