Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira On Trial with Barcelona’s U19 Team

Joao Mendes de Assis Moreira is one step close to following in his father’s footsteps…

The 17-year-old Brazilian soccer player, the son of former Brazil forward Ronaldinho, is currently on trial with Barcelona‘s U19 team, according to ESPN.

Joao Mendes de Assis MoreiraMendes is training with Barca‘s Juvenil A side pending a decision on whether to hand him a permanent contract.

The teenager has been playing for Cruzeiro since he was 14 but recently rescinded his contract with the Brazilian side.

Mendes, who has been joined in Barcelona by several members of his family, is a left-footed forward who can play across the front line.

His career is currently being overseen by his uncle, Roberto de Assis Moreira, who also played an active role in Ronaldinho’s playing career.

The source asked for “patience,” explaining that there is no rush to take a decision and that it needs to be remembered that it takes time to adapt to a new country coming over from South America.

Ronaldinho spent five years at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2008 and his time at the club is remembered fondly in the city.

He scored 94 goals in 207 appearances for Barca, helping them win the Champions League in 2006 and two LaLiga titles.

Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are among his other former clubs, while he was also a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002. He retired as a player in 2015.

His son is now training with Barca’s U19 team, who are coached by Oscar Lopez and assistant Javier Saviola, the former Argentina striker who played alongside Ronaldinho.

Lionel Messi Helps Lead Argentina into World Cup Semifinals

Lionel Messi is one step closer to World Cup glory…

The 35-year-old Argentine soccer star converted his penalty in the shootout and goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez saved two attempts to give Argentina a dramatic 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Netherlands on Friday.

Lionel MessiIn the process the team claimed a spot in the World Cup semifinals after initially giving up a two-goal lead in a late collapse in regulation time.

The match finished 2-2 after extra time, with Messi scoring one goal and setting up another. The Netherlands equalized in the 11th minute of second-half stoppage time.

Messi provided a superb assist with a delicately threaded pass to defender Nahuel Molina who slotted past goalkeeper Andries Noppert to hand Argentina a first-half lead. The Paris Saint-Germain forward added Argentina’s second on 73 minutes with a well-taken penalty.

Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 73rd to make it 2-0 with his fourth goal of this year’s World Cup.

It took him to 10 goals in the World Cup, tied with Gabriel Batistuta for the most for Argentina, and 94 goals in total in his 169 international games.

“Argentina are among the four best in the world because we showed we know how to play every game with the same desire and the same intensity,” Messi said after advancing to the World Cup semifinal for the second time in his career.

“A lot of joy, a lot of happiness. We didn’t have to suffer and playing extra time or going to penalties. But we got through and it’s impressive.”

Wout Weghorst scored a header on 82 to claw one back for Netherlands to set up a tense end that repeatedly boiled over. Netherlands were handed a final lifeline with what looked to be the last kick of the match when midfielder Teun Koopmeiners stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the box before sliding a pass under the wall and slotted home by Weghorst.

Enzo Fernandez hit the post near the end of extra time and was the only Argentina player to fail to score in the shootout.

Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk and winger Steven Berghuis missed the side’s opening two penalties, while Argentina converted their first three before Fernandez missed their fourth. However, Lautaro Martinez stepped up and slotted home to secure a drama-filled victory and set up a semifinal clash with Croatia on Tuesday.

The loss for Netherlands eliminates them from the tournament, as well as signalling the end of head coach Louis van Gaal‘s third spell in charge. The 71-year-old coach, who is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, had already made clear ahead of the tournament this would be his last in charge.

Real Madrid Has Agreed to Sign Endrick on Five-Year Contract from Palmeiras

Things are about to get Real for Endrick

Real Madrid has agreed a deal to sign the 16-year-old Brazilian soccer wonderkid on a five-year contract from Palmeiras, according to ESPN.

Endrick,Sources said the transfer is worth €72 million, although Endrick will only be able to move to Madrid in 2024, when he turns 18. The deal will begin when the transfer window opens in July 2024, according to sources.

The official announcement depends on Endrick signing the contract and other details thought to be formalities, given both sides have reached an agreement on the terms of the transfer.

Endrick’s release clause was set at €60m, and sources said Real Madrid added €12m to that figure to ward off competition from other clubs and account for taxes.

Sources had told ESPN the forward was being pursued by Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, but the 14-time Champions League winners now appear to have won the race for his signature.

ESPN previously reported that Real Madrid were using a similar strategy to the one which helped them sign Vinicius Junior in 2017 to incorporate another young Brazilian into their squad.

Endrick only made his senior Palmeiras debut on October 6 but helped the Sao Paulo team win this year’s Brasileirao title and became the youngest goal scorer in the club’s history when he scored twice against Athletico Paranaense on October 25.

Lionel Messi Helps Lead Argentina Into the World Cup Quarterfinals

Lionel Messi has helped propel Argentina into the World Cup quarterfinals… 

In his 1,000th career match, the 35-year-old Argentine professional footballer scored the opening goal with a sublime effort on Saturday before Julian Alvarez scored in the second half to secure a 2-1 victory against Australia.

Lionel Messi,The win sets up a quarterfinal against the Netherlands.

“I am very happy for taking another step forward, achieving another objective,” Messi said. “It was a very strong and difficult match — we knew it was going to be this way.

“We didn’t have much time to rest up and we were concerned as we knew it was going to be a physical match and they were very strong. Luckily we found the goal and we were one goal ahead, and then two goals ahead.

“And then we had a setback with the goal — but that’s the World Cup for you, the matches are difficult and we got the win.”

Despite Argentina’s firepower, Australia managed to limit the early proceedings, keeping them uneventful with neither side exerting any dominance.

But the Socceroos‘ defense was breached on 35 minutes as Messi showed his undeniable quality to score his first-ever goal in the World Cup knockout stage.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward started the move with a darting run inside from the right wing — a quick exchange of passes landed him inside the box before he unleashed a left-footed curling shot past Mat Ryan.

“He [Messi] is incredible. One of the greatest ever,” Australia boss Graham Arnold said. “We really worked hard not to be in awe of him, because of the great player he is.

“But wow, he’s remarkable. I had the privilege of playing against Diego Maradona, and now coaching against Messi — they’re both wonderful players and Argentina should be so proud and happy to have players of that calibre.”

Buoyed by rapturous support, Argentina tightened their grip on a quarterfinal spot 12 minutes after half-time as Rodrigo De Paul pounced on a slack touch by Australia goalkeeper Ryan, allowing Alvarez to slot into a vacated net, doubling his side’s lead.

A triple substitution for Australia on 72 minutes signified a desperate last roll of the dice by manager Arnold and they were handed a lifeline when an own goal by Enzo Fernandez halved their deficit 13 minutes from time.

Craig Goodwin latched onto a loose ball outside the box and struck a fierce effort first-time, which took a huge deflection off Fernandez, fooling goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and hitting the back of the net.

With renewed optimism, Aziz Behich came close to leveling the game three minutes later as he embarked on a fantastic darting run, beating four Argentina defenders before eventually being thwarted by Lisandro Martinez in the box.

Despite their desire, a comeback didn’t materialize for Australia and manager Arnold was full of praise for their impressive run in the tournament.

“They’re extremely disappointed — it’s not every day you get to play the third-best nation in the word and play those types of players,” he said.

“I felt we did a good job. I wanted to say how proud I am of them and the sacrifices they’ve made through the campaign. Everyone said before we came here we were the worst Socceroo team ever and to qualify for a World Cup — but that’s gone now — we’ve done exceptionally well.”

Lionel Messi Reportedly In Talks to Join MLS’ Inter Miami

Lionel Messi may be playing Major League Soccer next season…

The 35-year-old Argentine professional footballer is reportedly close to an agreement with Inter Miami to join the team after the conclusion of the 2022-23 European season, according to the Sunday Times.

Lionel Messi Messi would be the highest-paid player in MLS history and also the highest-profile player to ever play in MLS.

Inter Miami is co-owned by David Beckham, the man who made waves in the 2000s when he came to MLS to play for LA Galaxy.

The Sunday Times also reports that Inter Miami is looking to recruit players who have played with Messi previously in Europe to join him in the United States.

Messi currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France’s Ligue 1 after playing most of his career at Barcelona. Messi established himself as one of the best players ever at Barcelona and has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards given to the best player in soccer.

Messi joined PSG ahead of the 2021-22 season after he couldn’t come to a contract agreement with Barcelona amidst the club’s financial issues. Messi scored 474 goals in 520 LaLiga appearances for Barcelona and tallied a staggering 96 goals over 69 appearances over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as Barcelona was one of the best squads modern soccer history.

Messi’s contract with PSG is up at the end of the season and a possible move to MLS has long been rumored. It’s unclear how much he’d actually play for Inter Miami after he would join the team in 2023. Major League Soccer’s schedule doesn’t match up with the schedule for major European club soccer. Combine the overlapping schedules with the 2022 World Cup and Messi would be facing over 14 straight months of soccer without a break if he joined Inter Miami as soon as PSG’s season was over and immediately featured in the squad.

Several European Soccer Clubs Vying for Brazilian Wonderkid Endrick

He’s still a teenager, but Endrick could be playing soccer in Europe soon…

Paris Saint-Germain has made a €45 million offer for the 16-year-old Palmeiras teenager, but the Brazilian team swiftly dismissed the proposal for the forward, according to ESPN Brazil sources.

Endrick, In a meeting with the player’s agents, the Ligue 1 champions said they were willing to extend the negotiations and meet the player’s release clause of €60 million, sources said.

PSG has been in contact with Endrick’s family for some time and have enlisted their Brazilian forward Neymar to reach out to him. The French giants are confident of getting a deal over the line, sources added.

Chelsea is another team that have been following Endrick’s development and showed interest in matching the €60 million price for the Brazilian wonderkid.

Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea has hosted the player and his family at the club’s training ground, with the Blues’ Brazilian defender Thiago Silva invited to meet his compatriot and convince him to move to London.

People close to Endrick tell ESPN that the final decision will rest with the player and that his dream is to play in the Premier League.

“I don’t pay attention to rumors, I know that to play in Europe, I have to perform well here,” Endrick said this week to the French website So Foot.

“I watch the Champions League, the Premier League, LaLiga, the French championship, the Bundesliga. I look to learn from these stars and see what I can imitate, but I don’t have a favorite club.”

Sources told ESPN that Real Madrid and Barcelona also showed interest in acquiring Endrick and may intensify their pursuits in the coming days.

Endrick could only go to Europe in 2024 when he turns 18. His contract with the Brazilian champions runs until 2025.

Since his debut with Palmeiras on October 6, Endrick has scored three goals and provided one assist in six matches, helping the Sao Paulo team win the 2022 Brasileirao title.

Aged 16 years, three months and four days, he became the youngest goal-scorer in Palmeiras history when scoring twice against Athletico Paranaense on October 25.

Thiago Silva Hints at Future AC Milan Coaching Job, But Not Before Clarifying Chelsea Future

Thiago Silva is hinting at future coaching career…

The 38-year-old Brazilian professional footballer has said he would consider managing AC Milan one day. But right now he’s more concerned about his Chelsea future.

Thiago SilvaSilva’s contract expires at the end of the season and it is unclear whether Silva will be offered the chance to extend his stay after moving to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.

Silva previously spent three years at AC Milan between 2009 and 2012, where he won one Serie A title and an Italian Super Cup.

Speaking on Monday ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League clash against the Rossoneri, the centerback was asked about a possible return to San Siro and said: “I can tell you that I already made my history here at AC Milan, so I believe this is not the case at the moment.

“If it could happen at any case, it would have been before me joining Chelsea. But I don’t know about the future. Who knows what will happen in the future, we’ll have to see. But I am very happy now to be at Chelsea, a very big club, great professionals. In the future, we will see. Maybe the coach? Who knows?”

New head coach Graham Potter suggested “the decision is Thiago’s” over whether he signs a new deal with Chelsea. Potter has started the Brazil international in three of his four matches since succeeding Thomas Tuchel as head coach.

“It is probably not the right time to talk about new contracts,” Silva added. “What I can tell you is that the most important thing for me now is to continue playing at a high level and helping the team achieve the best possible results.

“For sure there will be the time where we need to talk. It could be before the World Cup or after the World Cup.

“Of course I need to know whether I will have a new contract with Chelsea, also for my family arrangements. It is not easy if I don’t have a new contract — I will have to decide what to do. I must involve my family. This is an important decision and so we will see what will happen.”

Potter also revealed that N’Golo Kante has suffered a fresh setback in his bid to recover from a hamstring problem and will miss Tuesday’s game against Milan.

Kante has not featured since the Blues’ 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on August 14.

“[On] N’Golo, we’re just waiting,” Potter said. “He had a reaction in training. So we’re just waiting for the news of that.

“It’s not ideal. It’s disappointing for him and us, but we have to wait and see the extent of it and go from there.”

Kante’s fitness is also a concern for France ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 20 and will see Didier Deschamps‘ defending champions compete against Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Lionel Messi Makes Champions League History with Goal vs. Benfica

Lionel Messi has set yet another record…

The 35-year-old Argentine professional futbol star hit a sublime opening goal but Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 1-1 draw by Benfica in their Champions League clash at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi Messi opened the scoring midway through the first half after link-up play involving Kylian Mbappe and Neymar before a trademark curling left-foot finish from the edge of the box.

The goal meant Messi became the first player in Champions League history to score goals against 40 different opponents.

But the lead did not last long with Benfica hitting back in the 41st minute when an inviting in-swinging cross from Enzo Fernandez touched off PSG defender Danilo and into the net.

The result means PSG and Benfica remain level on points at the top of Group H after three matches. The two teams will meet again in Paris on Tuesday. Juventus sit in third on three points after they got their first win of the competition at point-less Maccabi Haifa.

Benfica had begun Wednesday’s encounter the better team, with their press disturbing PSG’s rhythm. On multiple occasions, Gianluigi Donnarumma was called into action to keep efforts from the home side at bay.

But a moment of brilliance from Messi looked to have turned the game on its head.

All three of PSG’s star attacking trio were involved. Messi drove in from the right and found Mbappe who laid it off to Neymar before the Brazilian put it back into Messi’s path for a sumptuous finish.

Messi has now scored in six successive games for club and country, the first time he has done so in nearly four years.

PSG looked set to take control but some less than resolute defending gave Benfica a chance to draw level. There was an element of fortune, too, about the equalizer as Fernandez’s cross appeared to miss the head of Goncalo Ramos before glancing off the chest of Danilo and beating Donnarumma.

The French champions came out for the second half with a renewed intensity and several times came close to going back in front. Neymar clipped the crossbar with a spectacular overhead kick while Achraf Hakimi and Mbappe both forced smart saves from Odysseas Vlachodimos in the Benfica goal.

But Donnarumma had to be alert to deny Rafa Silva from close range following a surging run in the final 10 minutes.

Messi was substituted in the 81th minute. PSG coach Christophe Galtier indicated that the change for Pablo Sarabia only took place because Messi was tired.

“He signaled that he wanted to come off. On the final sprint, he felt tired. He came off as he was tired and a fresher teammate was a much better option at that moment,” Galtier said to RMC Sport after the game.

Ultimately both sides are unlikely to be too disappointed with a point each.

Edinson Cavani to Join Valencia on Free Transfer

Edinson Cavani is headed to The Capital of the Turia

The 35-year-old Uruguayan professional footballer and former Manchester United striker will join Valencia on free transfer, the Spanish club has announced.

Edinson Cavani,The Uruguay team forward was available after his contract expired earlier in summer after spending the last two seasons at Old Trafford.

Cavani has agreed to sign a two-year contract and will be the reference up-front to Italian manager Gennaro Gattuso.

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker was at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium to see his new team’s loss to Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the Spanish league on Monday.

Valencia won the race to sign the veteran against Real Sociedad, who are still in the market looking for a replacement for Swedish forward Alexander Isak who was sold last week to Newcastle for a 70 million-euros transfer fee.

Cavani arrived on Monday afternoon to Valencia and talked to the local media before passing medical exams with club doctors and signing his new deal.

“I am happy to be here. I wanted to play in Spain and Valencia were willing to bet on me,” Cavani said.

“I like to be where I’m wanted, where I’m loved because you live off the strength of the fans and the club’s love.

“I talked to coach Gennaro Gattuso and Valencia have given me a lot of confidence, so I hope I can give them my best and leave a good image here.”

Cavani began his career at Danubio in Uruguay before making the jump to Europe in 2007, signing with Palermo.

After four seasons in Sicily, he left for Napoli where he scored 104 goals in 138 matches, being Seria A top-goalscorer in 2012-13.

In 2013 he was signed by Paris Saint-Germain where he played for seven seasons and became the top scorer in the club’s history.

He joined Manchester United in 2020, where he played for the last two seasons.

Barca Femeni Star Jennifer Hermoso Heading to Mexico’s Pachuca

Jennifer Hermoso is headed to Mexico…

Mexican club Pachuca have completed the signing of the 32-year-old Spanish professional soccer player and the 2021 FIFA’s The Best runner-up on a free transfer as she announced her departure from Barcelona.

Jennifer HermosoHermoso, who is Barca Femeni‘s all-time leading scorer with 174 goals, announced she is making the switch to Pachuca after turning down a contract extension at the Camp Nou.

“To have won everything with this jersey is something that I will take with me forever,” Hermoso said in a message posted to Instagram.

“To play in a sold-out stadium, to celebrate a goal at the Camp Nou and to lift high up our first Champions [League]… Now is time for a new adventure that fills me and that make me feel truly valued.”

Hermoso, who has scored a record 45 goals in 91 appearances for Spain, has been ruled out for Euro 2022 after sustaining ligament damage in her right knee and is expected to miss the start of the Liga MX Femenil season, which kicks off on July 12.

Hermoso has won seven league titles during her 18-year career, including five at Barca, who she initially played for between 2013 to 2017 and rejoined in 2019 from Atletico Madrid.

Hermoso was also a crucial part of Barca Femeni’s first European title when they won the Women’s Champions League in 2021.

She has also had spells at Paris Saint-Germain, Rayo Vallecano and Tyreso FF.