FIFA AWARD – FLAWED VOTING PROCESS?

With the FIFA Best Player award naming Mohammed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric as the finalists this year, there have been more murmurs as to the voting process employed. Lionel Messi missed out for the first time in a decade on a podium finish in any best players’ award.

Barcelona were almost unbeaten in the La Liga. They made it a domestic double by lifting the Copa del Rey. Messi scored the most in the league and was a huge figure for the Catalan club as always. He helped the national team of Argentina make the finals in Russia with an incredible hat trick in the last game. However, the shocking loss to AS Roma in the Champions League and then the disappointment at the World Cup increased the scrutiny of Messi.
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Carlos Tevez on Argentina

Former Manchester United and Argentina striker Carlos Tevez said that he is disappointed with the elimination of Argentina at the World Cup and said that the team did not deserve to go further. He said that the team has struggled at times during games and that they were disappointing.

He believes that changes need to be made at the top of the football federation if the team is to improve. He said that Argentina needs to rethink their football development program and make sure that they improve their detection of young players.
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Real Betis Keeper Hails Lionel Messi

The goalkeeper of La Liga side Real Betis, Antonio Adan, has hailed Barcelona star Lionel Messi after their clash in the league. Adan is a former Real Madrid man, Barcelona’s main rival, but he had to set all that aside in awe of the Argentine.

According to Adan, the five time Ballon d’Or winner makes football better. The diminutive soccer star was spectacular when Barca played Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarinon Sunday. He grabbed a brace and an assist to help the Catalan giants continue their strong run in the league. Barcelona are now 11 points adrift in the league with the 5-0 victory. Messi was in stunning form in the second half after a slow start. Read more »

MESSI PREFERS COUTINHO TO DEMBELE UPFRONT

Barcelona star Lionel Messi reportedly wants Philippe Coutinho to join the attack upfront rather than Ousmane Dembele. The former Liverpool star has been unveiled to the public following the record signing. He is expected to resume work when he recovers from his slight injury but reports in the Nou Camp say Messi wants the Brazilian ahead of Dembele.

Coach Ernesto Valverde would have to decide which players to field as the team expand. He now has one of the most potent, if not the most, attacking arsenals in football. Diario Gol is reporting that the Argentine star wants Coutinho to pair with him and Luis Suarez when he is fit after playing alongside Dembele in the Levante clash.
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THE END OF THE RELEASE CLAUSE MYTH

There has been a long held myth on release clauses in professional football. As modern football continues to surprise us, this myth seems to have lost its revered relevance in contract talks. Neymar’s move from Barcelona to PSG affected football in so any ways. It doubled the cost of star players and moved the game closer to the £1 billion player mark that a few analysts have predicted.

Clubs no longer have the buyout fee protection in deals with players as there are numerous sources or tricks competitors can employ in funding such expensive transfers. Barcelona are still far from learning their lessons, going by revelations that their star player Lionel Messi would still have a far lesser expected release clause when he agrees to extend his deal with the club.
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WHY DID MESSI’S NEW DEAL TAKE SO LONG?

There has been all sorts of speculation over the future of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. The pressure steadily mounted as the Argentina international could agree terms with clubs outside of Spain with eight months left on his deal. After 17 years at the Camp Nou, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could discuss a potential move in six weeks.

Eventually, the club and the player – and his team – eventually reached an agreement. Barca had earlier announced that the contract was done and that Messi’s father has signed. However, without the player’s signature it was all void. Read more »

BARCELONA SIGN PAULINHO FOR €40 MILLION

La Liga giant Barcelona have added their interest, Brazil international Paulinho, to their ranksthis summer.


The deal is reportedly worth €40 million as the Catalan side find replacement for Neymar. Neymar left the club in a world record move to French side Paris St Germain for €222 million. The 25-year old was one of the three major attackers at the club, the other being Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, before he exited.

Paulinho, 29, has played at Corinthians and Tottenham Hotspur before he moved to China to play for Guangzhou Evergrande. He flopped in the Premier League at White Hart Lane but found better form in China. He is set to have his medical in Spain on Thursday with him likely to complete the deal on the same day.

The midfielder re-established himself in the Brazilian national team following the appointment of Tite as the coach in 2016. The manager gave him opportunities as he did well in the Far East and he impressed in the South American World Cup qualifiers. He was part of the team that won the Confederations Cup in 2013 and has netted nine times in 41 international fixtures. Read more »

VALVERDE HAPPY TO HAVE MESSI

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says he is happy to have his star player Lionel Messi in the team.


He says having the Argentine superstar is way better than having to make plans on how to stop him if he were to feature against a rival side.

Valverde lost his three battles against Barcelona when he was with Athletic Bilbao last term. The Catalan side defeated Bilbao in two legs before seeing them off in the Copa Del Rey in January courtesy of a Messi free kick winner. The same Copa America finalist scored goals against Valverde’s Basque side in the 2015 Copa Del Rey.

“Of course Messi is a unique player and he will have a role whereby he can play in any position and play well. Regardless of how we start the game, he will end up in defined positions. It’s a feeling of relief. When you’re sitting on the opposition bench you see that you’re lacking the players it takes to stop him,” the coach said Read more »

MESSI ADVISING NEW COACH ON SIGNINGS

Lionel Messi is advising new Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde on potential signings, according to reports.


Messi has appealed that the coach get new legs into the team but that they have to be world class in their roles.

He asked that Valverde look at signings like Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinhp or top-rated midfielder Marco Verratti. The former Bilbao manager was only confirmed few days back. He is set to overhaul the team in the pre-season.

Don Balon claims Messi is adding pressure on the manager to quickly settle down to business. Manchester City shocked everyone when they quickly completed the deal for AS Monaco star Bernardo Silva. The deal cost £43 million, with City offering the player £175,000 per week for five years. Pep Guardiola has started rebuilding the City team after clearing out five over-30 players recently. Read more »

Paulo Dybala Speaks about His Relationship with Lionel Messi

Juventus star Paulo Dybala claims that he does not have the greatest relationship with Lionel Messi.


The former is regarded as the next great thing in the world football. It persuaded Juventus to pay €33 million for his services from Palermo. Dybala has been going through an extraordinary campaign with Juventus so much so that he has already been regarded as the successor for Messi. Both Argentines met each other in the Champions League quarter-finals, as Barcelona made the trip to Turin in order to play against Juventus. However, the game ended in a bad mood for one of the Argentines, as Lionel Messi’s Barcelona suffered a 3-0 defeat.

Messi was unable to have any influence on the game while he watched 23-year-oldDybala dominate the game by scoring two goals.Dybala had an extraordinary 90 minutes which showed that he was certainly going to improve even further. After the game, the 23-year-old spoke about his relationship – or the lack of it – with Lionel Messi. Read more »