Video Ranking: five / five
Online video Rating: 5 / 5
Athletic Bilbao will be taking on Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the league match this weekend. Ahead of the match, Lionel Messi has come under increasing criticism for his below par performances in the last three outings for Barcelona. The Catalan club have lost the last three matches and as a result of also effectively out of three different competitions. The disastrous week for the club has been compounded by the reports about Messi being unhappy at the club. The 26-year-old has been regarded as the world’s best player for several years now.
He has now gone more than four matches without scoring, which is the worst run of form he has endured since 2011. More than scoring, his performances on the pitch have attracted a lot of criticism. This started in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Messi famously covered just a kilometre more than the goalkeeper Pinto. Manager Gerardo Martino had come to his rescue by saying that the club wanted to make Messi have less influence on the ball so that he does not become a target for the opposition.
Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde has also said that the criticism for Messi in the last few matches has been over the top.
“The thing is that Messi is asked to pull a rabbit out of the hat every game, when he is the most marked man of all, and that’s hard. He is not enjoying the form he had before, but he can unbalance a match at any time,” said the Bilbao manager. The 3-1 win over Real Betis is the only win Barcelona have got in the last five matches. Failure to win against Bilbao at home will effectively ended the slim title hopes that they have at the moment.
Online video Rating: 4 / 5
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Online video Ranking: four / 5
While it might be true that Barcelona has one of the most potent attacking forces in all of Europe which is leaded then who other than the 4 times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, the same cannot be said for their defence which has been a topic of criticism throughout these modern times.
The lack of options that Martino has at his disposal has even forced Adriano on being placed as a makeshift defender and even though Bartra and Montoya have been playing rather well in the Spanish league, it comes into doubt if they can perform accordingly when the Champions League arrives and they will have to play against some of the best squads in Europe.
It is no surprise why Barcelona is still in search of someone that can truly fit in the gap that was left by Puyol. Pique can be considered to be the best defender that Martino has at his disposal but even he has shown signs of inconsistency.
Chelsea’s David Luiz is a player that has been in superb form and has the qualities of not only being deployed a centre back but can also blast upfront with his quick sprints and deliver powerful shots upfront.
The Brazilian is wanted not only by Barcelona but also PSG who are looking for someone that can replace Alex as he is expected to leave the French club at the end of current season. PSG is willing to offer €21 million for the Brazilian defender of Chelsea and this means that Barcelona will have to make an improved offer if they even want to compete and have a chance on signing David Luiz from the Premier League.
Movie Score: four / 5
Video Ranking: 5 / 5
Following the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup draw, Messi received backlash by Iranians as his facebook account received a number of comments concerning the Argentinean super-star. Some made fun of the fact that Messi means “of copper” in Persian.
“Messi, you are made of copper. Even if you were out of gold, you could not do a damn thing” against Iran, said one commentator.
Not all of them were negative feedback or comments regarding the Barcelona player as some of them even apologized for what their fellow comrades did.
“As an Iranian, I want to apologize to you. Iranian people are not like that at all,” said Ali, in a post in English’’.
Argentina was placed together with Nigeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran in Group F. It is a group that Lionel Messi’s side are expected to finish at the top without having many problems. After hearing about their opponents, the reaction in Iran was mixed as some Iranians were happy to face tough competition ahead of them but others not so much.
The Brazilian model Fernanda Lima was one of the presenters in charge of making the draw and she was also a target for the Iranians as controversy emerged with the attire she was wearing.
Women of the Islamic Republic are obliged by law to cover their hair most parts of their body and every time Fernanda Lima appeared in the live broadcast, the footage was cut. Some Iranians, meanwhile, created a page on Facebook entitled “Iranians Apologise to Fernanda Lima & Leo Messi”, which has so far attracted nearly 20,000 fans.