Lionel Messi leads Barcelona back to the top of the standings…
The 32-year-old Argentine soccer star hit a sensational late goal on Sunday to give Barcelona FC a 1-0 win against rival Atletico Madrid, as the team reclaimed the top spot in La Liga from Real Madrid.
Messi, playing his 701st game for Barca, settled a pulsating and tense encounter in the 86th minute, galloping down the right wing before cutting inside and playing a one-two with Luis Suarez before guiding the ball into the bottom corner.
It was Messi’s first goal against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and gave his side their first win over their rivals at the ground in three attempts after successive draws in the last two seasons.
“Whenever you have a game like this which is really tight and really tough, being able to count on Messi is always an advantage,” said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.
The strike saw Barca return to the top of the standings with 31 points after 14 games, ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference, while Atletico were left in the sixth spot with 25 points, having played one match more than Barca and Real.
Both sides hit the woodwork and Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen also made two stunning saves, while Atletico felt that Gerard Pique should have been shown a second yellow card in the second half for a late tackle on Alvaro Morata.
Atletico were also fortunate not to have a player sent off when Vitolo slammed into Pique’s knee with a fierce challenge a few minutes later after picking up an earlier booking.
“We feel very hard done by,” said Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez. “We played superbly and Barcelona had hardly any chances but when Messi appears he is capable of doing anything and he made it look so easy, that’s why he is the best.”
Atletico had won only one of their previous six games in all competitions and looked intent on making an early statement as they came out pressing Barca high up the pitch and peppering their box with crosses.
Lionel Messi is sharing his life story with the world…
Matchday, a new behind the scenes documentary about Barcelona FC‘s 2018-19 season gives viewers access to exclusive never seen before footage, including a special look at the 32-year-old Argentine soccer star.
The documentary, narrated by Hollywood actor John Malkovich, offers a glimpse into the life of one of the world’s biggest soccer stars.
The documentary centers on eight key games from last season where Barcawon La Liga and reached the semifinals of the Champions League, where it was blown away by Liverpoolin one of the greatest comebacks in the history of European football.
There’s also footage from outside the locker room with cameras being allowed into the players’ homes including a barbecue at Luis Suarez‘s house where he’s joined by Messi and Jordi Alba.
Gerard Piqueis also featured, spending time with his family, while Ivan Rakiticshows off his culinary skills and Marc-Andre ter Stegentalks about designing his new home.
Last week, in front of an adoring home crowd at the Camp Nouin a Champions League match against German team Borussia Dortmund, Messi made it 700 appearances for Barca, games in which he’s contributed 613 goals and 237 assists.
Messi scored one and set up two others as Barca claimed top spot in Group F with a 3-1 win over Dortmund.
Barca is just the latest big soccer club to allow cameras into the club. Manchester Cityand Juventushave both been subjects of documentaries while a series on Tottenhamis currently being filmed by Amazon.
The series, which consists of eight 45-minute episodes, is being broadcast by Rakuten TV, with the documentary also being shown in Japan.
The 30-year-old Chilean professional footballerhas joined Inter Milan on a season-long loan from Manchester United, the clubs have announced.
Sanchez, who joined United from Arsenal in January 2018, struggled to find his best form at Old Traffordand, despite manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaerhaving backed Sanchez to come good, has returned to Serie Awith Inter Milan.
“We can confirm that Alexis Sanchez joins Inter Milan on loan until 30 June 2020. We wish @Alexis_Sanchez the best of luck in Italy,” United wrote in a Twitter post.
Sources told ESPN FC earlier this week that Manchester United had agreed to loan Sanchez for 10 months while contributing around £6 million of his £391,000-a-week salary. Inter are set to pay £9.46m of the 30-year-old’s wages plus a loan fee to United. The deal does not include an option to buy.
Sanchez will join up with Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku who left United for Inter this month in a deal reported to have cost the Serie A club around €80m ($89.15m).
Sanchez, who previously spent three seasons in Serie A with Udinese before moving to Barcelona, is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 43 goals.
“On behalf of the entire Nerazzurri family, we’d like to wish [Sanchez] a very warm welcome and the best of luck,” Inter said in a statement.
He arrives at San Siro as a replacement for Ivan Perisic, who signed for Bayern Munich.
Ander Herrera’s popularity is on the rise while he attempts to finalize a deal with his current team…
The 29-year-old Spanish professional soccer star and Manchester United are facing a race against time to find an agreement to keep the midfielder at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season, according to ESPN FC.
Both parties are keen to agree a new contract that would see Herrera stay at United but, according to sources, there’s still a significant gap to be bridged before a deal is sealed.
Meanwhile, ESPN FCreports that Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milanand Barcelona are among the clubs ready to sign Herrera on a free transfer if fresh terms are not agreed upon.
If the stand-off continues, Herrera will officially become a free agent on June 30.
Herrera would like to remain at United, but so far the club, who also want him to stay, have refused to meet his demands and a compromise is yet to be found.
There is a willingness of both sides to come to an agreement but there is also an acknowledgement that the clock is ticking and Herrera may soon be forced to seriously consider other options — especially with some of Europe’s biggest clubs circling.
Herrera is closing in on 200 games for United since arriving from Athletic Bilbaoin a £29 million deal in 2014. He was named player of year in 2017 and has played a key role in the revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the Norwegian’s appointment as caretaker manager in December.
Lionel Messiis kickin’ it to the top of the popularity charts…
The 31-year-old Argentine soccer star is the top-ranking Latino on ESPN’s World Fame 100 list, which identifies the most famous athletes in the world.
Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner who plays for the Spanish club BarcelonaFC and the Argentina national team, comes in at No. 3 on this year’s list, behind soccer rival Cristiano Ronaldo and NBAsuperstar LeBron James. It’s the same position Messi held last year.
The World Fame 100 ranks athletes based on their Google search score, their endorsement dollars and social media followers.
Nipping at Messi’s heels… Neymar.
The 27-year-old Brazilian soccer star, who plays for the Brazil national team and French club Paris Saint-Germain, comes in at No. 4, the same position he held in 2018.
Also earning a spot in the Top 10… Rafael Nadal.
The 32-year-old Spanish tennis star comes in at No. 8, two spots behind his rival Roger Federer. Nadal held the same ranking last year.
In all, Latino athletes took up 23 spots on the list, the majority of them international soccer players like Andres Iniesta (Spain), James Rodriguez (Colombia), Alexis Sanchez (Chile) and Javier Hernandez (Mexico).
Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarezis the sole Latino boxer on the list, at No. 68, while Puerto Rican basketball player Carmelo Anthony, at No. 65, is the only Latino basketball player to make the grade.
There are no Latina athletes on this year’s list, which features tennis sensation Serena Williams as the top female athlete at No. 17.
Here’s a look at the Latinos who made the World Fame 100:
Rank, Name, Sport, Country, Search Score, Endorsements, Social Stats No. 3, Lionel Messi, Soccer, Argentina, 54, $28m, 103.1 million No. 4, Neymar, Soccer, Brazil, 55, $19m, 107.2 million No. 8, Rafael Nadal, Tennis, Spain, 40, $29.3m, 15.6 million No. 27, Andres Iniesta, Soccer, Spain, 8, $2.2m, 26.7 million No. 29, James Rodriguez, Soccer, Colombia, 11, $4.8m, 40.5 million No. 36, Luis Suarez, Soccer, Uruguay, 6, $7.4m, 31.2 million No. 38, Sergio Ramos, Soccer, Spain, 13, $4m, 28.7 million No. 44, Marcelo Vieira, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $3.2m, 33.8 million No. 48, Radamel Falcao, Soccer, Brazil, 4, $4m, 16.9 million No. 52, Sergio Aguero, Soccer, Argentina, 1, $6m, 28.7 million No. 53, David De Gea, Soccer, Spain, 3, $7m, 11.8 million No. 55, Paulo Dybala, Soccer, Argentina, 4, $4.03m, 24.7 million No. 56, Dani Alves, Soccer, Brazil, 2, $8.75m, 21.5 million No. 61, Philippe Coutinho, Soccer, Brazil, 15, $3.1m, 19.3 million No. 62, David Luiz, Soccer, Brazil, 1, $1.3m, 24.9 million No. 65, Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, USA, 6, $7m, 9.1 million No. 66, Gerard Pique, Soccer, Spain, 5, $3.8m, 18.6 million No. 68, Canelo Alvarez, Boxing, Mexico, 44, $2.5m, 4 million No. 72, Alexis Sanchez, Soccer, Chile, 24, $3.8m, 9.6 million No. 79, Cesc Fabregas, Soccer, Spain, 1, $5m, 10.3 million No. 80, Gonzalo Higuain, Soccer, Argentina, 7, $6m, 6.8 million No. 81, Isco, Soccer, Spain, 2, $5m, 16.4 million No. 88, Javier Hernandez, Soccer, Mexico, 6, $9.9m, 5.1 million
The 23-year-old Colombian professional footballer has agreed to a deal with Barcelona FC.
Mina moves to the Camp Nou for a fee of €11.8 million, and the Colombian’s five-and-a-half-year contract includes a €100m release clause.
Barca had an option to sign Mina for €9m after the 2018 World Cup, but have decided to fast-track the transfer due to Javier Mascherano‘s pending move to Chinese Super League side Hebei Fortune.
As a result, they have had to pay Palmeiras €2.5m more than had originally been agreed for the deal to be completed this summer.
Mina arrives to provide competition for Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen in defense.
The Catalan club said in a statement: “He will bring a physical presence as his 1.95 metre frame suggests but he is also a quick, ball-playing defender. The Colombian, who is joining from Palmeiras, uses his aerial prowess to impose himself and score goals.”
Mina has won nine caps for Colombia, scoring three goals, and becomes the first-ever player from his homeland to represent Barcelona.
He joined Palmeiras in 2016 from Bogota-based Santa Fe, who are in line to receive a small windfall from the transfer.
Former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla says Mina is more than ready to take the leap to the Camp Nou, comparing him to former Barca and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram.
“Mina’s ready to play for Barcelona,” Asprilla said last month. “He already plays for Colombia, he’s good on the ball, quick and dominates in the air. He would adapt quickly and he has a lot of character. He reminds me of Thuram.”