Rodrygo Helps Lead Real Madrid Past CP Cacereno in Copa del Rey Play

Rodrygo has helped Real Madrid notch an important win… 

A second-string Real Madrid side edged fourth-tier CP Cacereno 1-0 in the Copa del Rey last 32 with a late goal from the 21-year-old Brazilian professional footballer as they bid for their first triumph in the competition since 2014.

RodrygoReal Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti made nine changes to the team that won 2-0 at Real Valladolid on Friday, resting several key players including Karim Benzema and Vinícius Junior.

Real Madrid went into the break locked at 0-0 versus Cacereno, with a crowded stadium seeing little action in the opening period.

It took 69 minutes for Real to break the deadlock when Rodrygo eluded the Cacereno defence to get into the box where he elegantly placed his shot into the top-right corner.

The Santos youth product celebrated by honoring the late Pele, replicating his iconic punch in the air.

Cacereno mounted a late push to get an equalizer, but Real Madrid went into defensive mode and ran down the clock.

Lionel Messi Becomes Argentina’s All-Time Leading World Cup Goal Scorer

Lionel Messi is in company all his own…

The 35-year-old Argentine futbol star has become Argentina‘s all-time leading goal scorer, after scoring a penalty in the first half of Tuesday’s 3-0 victory in the semifinal against Croatia at this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Lionel MessiMessi overtook Gabriel Batistuta‘s previous record of 10 goals, which he scored at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Messi put Argentina ahead in the 34th minute from the penalty spot following a foul on Julian Alvarez by Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Messi’s 11 goals also tie him for sixth for most goals in the history of the men’s World Cup, with Sandor Kocsis and Jürgen Klinsmann. Only Miroslav Klose (16), Brazil’s Ronaldo (15), Gerd Muller (14), Just Fontaine (13) and Pele (12) are now ahead of him.

He is the oldest man to score five goals at a single World Cup and level with France’s Kylian Mbappe in the race for the Golden Boot.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward’s opener in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia in the round of 16 meant he surpassed Diego Maradona and Guillermo Stabile‘s World Cup goal tally of eight.

He then equalled Batistuta’s mark of 10 when he scored from the penalty spot in his side’s fiery quarterfinal encounter with the Netherlands, which Argentina eventually won on penalties after a stirring Dutch fightback for a 2-2 draw.

In the match against Croatia, Messi also tied the record for most appearances at the World Cup when he played for the 25th time for Argentina at soccer’s biggest tournament.

Lothar Matthaus of Germany previously held the record outright. Messi is playing in his fifth World Cup and he will have a chance to break the record in Sunday’s final.

Messi’s first World Cup goal came on his debut in 2006, as he scored after being substituted on to help his side to a 6-0 victory over Serbia and Montenegro.

Four years later, Messi failed to score in the entirety of the World Cup tournament in South Africa as an Argentina side managed by Maradona reached the quarterfinals but lost 4-0 against Germany.

The forward enjoyed a more fruitful 2014 tournament, scoring four times in Argentina’s first three games as he helped them to the final — where they were again beaten by Germany.

Messi scored just once at the 2018 World Cup but has netted four times in his side’s five matches at the tournament in Qatar this year.

Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer with 94 goals in 169 appearances for the national team since making his debut in 2005. Batistuta scored 54 times in 78 matches for Argentina.

Gavi Becomes One of the Youngest Goal Scorers in FIFA World Cup History

Gavi has kicked his way in to the World Cup history books…

The 18-year-old Spanish midfielder has become the third-youngest goal scorer in FIFA World Cup history and youngest since Brazil legend Pele in 1958 with his 74th-minute strike in a 7-0 win against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

GaviWhen he stepped on the field to start the game, the Barcelona prodigy also became the youngest player (18 years, 110 days) to appear for Spain in a major international tournament (World Cup or European Championship).

“I never dreamed to be here at this age,” Gavi said through an interpreter. “I’m so happy to be here. This is only one step. I need to keep going.”

Pele was aged 17 years, 249 days when he scored in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup final win over Sweden. He holds the record for the youngest to score in a World Cup when scoring 10 days earlier in the quarterfinals.

Mexico‘s Manuel Rosas is the second-youngest scorer, aged 18 years and 93 days when finding the net in the inaugural 1930 tournament.

Spain led 4-0 when a driving run from Alejandro Balde pierced the Costa Rica defense and after goalkeeper Keylor Navas’ partial clearance, Alvaro Morata found Gavi on a late-arriving run.

The teenager struck it with the outside of his right boot and it deflected in off the right post in what was one of the most impressive displays of skill in the tournament so far.

His overall contribution earned him FIFA‘s player of the match award.

“It was a great game. We started from the first minute to win this game and I’m really happy,” Gavi said. “Now I’m waiting for the next one. I’m really happy to win MVP but today we all did a really great game and I’m really happy for all of them.

“I know I’m the youngest in the team and I respect everyone, but on the field it’s different and I bring out my best. I’m proud to be in that podium.”

It was a historically dominant win for Spain, who didn’t allow a single shot and recorded the most passes (1,043) and highest possession percentage (81.3) in a World Cup match since at least 1966.

Spain’s victory was the most lopsided win at a World Cup since Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 in 2010.

Prime Video to Premiere Armando Bo’s FIFA Gate-Themed Docuseries “El Presidente: The Corruption Game” in November

Armando Bo’s look into how a Brazilian man wrestled control from Europe of the biggest sport on earth is headed to Prime Video.

Amazon will release the 43-year-old Argentine Oscar-winning screenwriter and film director’s Amazon Original El Presidente: The Corruption Game on November 4.

Armando Bo's Amazon Original El Presidente: The Corruption GameBo’s Latin American series focuses on João Havelange.

In a neat historical echo, backed by Bo’s About Entertainment, Narcos producer Gaumont TV, Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín’s Fabula and Argentine powerhouse Kapow, the second season in the El Presidente series saga of soccer business high jinks and low morals now looks set to become one of the biggest soccer titles released in the countdown to the greatest show on earth, the FIFA World Cup.

Whether FIFA will be entirely comfortable with it is another matter, if a trailer, shared in exclusivity with Variety, is anything to go by.

One of Iberseries’ biggest market premieres, El Presidente: The Corruption Game had its world premiere of its first two episodes on October 14 at this year’s reinvigorated Festival do Rio.

Season 1 turned on the feckless, sly, amoral but simpático Sergio Jadue, a Chilean small town soccer club supremo who’s elected president of Chile’s soccer association. The wrong man in the right place, a fish out of water, he rises in FIFA’s hierarchy, sparking FIFA Gate, a $150 million corruption scandal. Bo tells the story as ironic farce.

Now narrated by Jadue, The President: The Corruption Game teases out the human tragedy in a still arch comedy, which unspools on a far grander scale.

It takes on another extraordinary – but far more towering – figure, Brazil’s Havelange, FIFA president over 1974-98. A hulking giant with dashing blond looks, Havelange dedicated his life to serving Brazil – swimming in the 1936 Berlin Games, working as the vice-president of the Brazilian Sports Confederation from 1958 to 1973, when Brazil won three World Cups – and to serving himself from FIFA’s gravy train.

Glimpsed in the trailer, colorful scenes kick off El Presidente: The Corruption Game with Havelange fuming as Pele is literally kicked out of the first round of England’s 1966 Word Cup, Havelange, the son of a Belgian arms dealer, is outraged by a FIFA meeting where “third world” members are forced to sit in a different room from their European colleagues.

In 1974, as Johan Cruyff forged the modern game on-field, Havelange began to revolutionize its economics and reach – central events in the second season.

Seizing control of FIFA from Sir Stanley Rous, a neo-colonial buffer, over the next 24 years, he created soccer’s modern global business, powered by sponsorship and TV deals, while enlarging the World Cup to 32 teams and introducing a FIFA Women’s World Cup.

But Havelange did so at a tremendous cost, opening FIFA up to multi-million bribery and money laundering and losing his friends, family and honor when he fell into final total disgrace over the 2015-16 FIFA Gate at the age of 98.

El Presidente: The Corruption Game, a mixture of near doc recreation and self-declared fiction, begins with a doddery Havelange, now celebrating his 100th birthday. Only one guest accepts his invitation.

Much of this is caught in the fast-paced, extensive trailer. Havelange used Brazil’s stunning 1970 World Cup triumph to bid to become FIFA president. He is rebuffed by Europe’s still colonial FIFA members. “Even if Brazil wins 100 World Cups, decisions will never be made in the colonies,” FIFA general secretary Helmut Kässer tells him.

Havelange launches an extraordinary play for the votes of poor countries, winning them by his promises, backhanders and a tour of Africa with Pele.

“FIFA is entering the future,” Havelange announces in the trailer. Nobody transformed soccer more off the field more than he did. It wasn’t all for the better.

Lionel Messi Breaks Pele’s South American Men’s Record for International Career Goals

Lionel Messi continues making history…

The 34-year-old Argentine professional footballer has scored his 79th international career goal for Argentina, surpassing the South American men’s record held by Brazil legend Pele.

Lionel Messi

Messi scored all three goals in Argentina’s 3-0 win over Bolivia on Thursday in a World Cup qualifying match at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, giving him two more than Pele, who had 77 career goals in international play.

Messi trails Brazilian duo Marta (109) and Cristiane (96) for the overall record for most goals scored by any South American player at the international level.

Third on the men’s list is Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar, who has 69 international goals for Brazil.

“I was very nervous, I just wanted to enjoy the night. I waited a long time for this,” an emotional Messi said after the match. “We won the game [and] that was the most important thing and now we can celebrate.”

Three-time World Cup winner Pele remains in hospital due to surgery for a tumor on his colon on Monday, although the 80-year-old said the operation was a “great victory.”

Messi has had a memorable summer — changing clubs from Barcelona to PSG in August and winning his first senior international football title in July. He and La Albiceleste claimed the Copa America from Brazil in a 1-0 win at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.

After Thursday’s result, Messi danced with his teammates and showed off the Copa trophy to the 21,000 supporters present.

“It was a unique moment [to win the Copa America] because of where and how we obtained the title,” Messi said.

“There was no better way to do it and be able to celebrate the title now, it’s incredible. My mother, my brothers are here in the stands. They have suffered a lot … I’m very happy.”

Thursday’s game also came days after Argentina’s World Cup qualifying match against Brazil — their first rematch since the Copa final — was controversially suspended. Brazilian health authorities entered the pitch at Sao Paulo’s Corinthians Arena with the game in progress and accused four Argentina players of failing to follow Brazil’s COVID-19 protocols for entering the country.

With 26 goals in World Cup qualifying matches following his hat-trick against Bolivia, Messi also passes Uruguay star Luis Suarez — his former teammate at Barcelona — for most among CONMEBOL players.

With eight career goals vs. Bolivia in 11 games, it is Messi’s most against a single opponent while donning the Argentina shirt.

Messi is also his country’s men’s all-time leading scorer, having moved past Gabriel Batistuta (54 goals) in 2016. He is also Argentina’s most capped player, with Thursday’s match against Bolivia marking his 153rd international appearance.

Prior to the Copa America victory, Messi had lost four major finals with Argentina’s senior side. They were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and had lost in the final at the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

He had won the under-20 World Cup in 2005 and an Olympic gold medal with Argentina’s U23s in 2008.

Messi joined PSG over the summer on a shock free-agent move after two decades with Barcelona. Messi had been with Barcelona since 2001, joining the academy the year before.

Messi played 778 games at Barcelona, breaking Xavi Hernandez‘s appearance record in the 2020-21 season. In addition, he scored 672 goals, another club record, and helped Barca win, among other trophies, 10 La Liga titles and the Champions League on four occasions.

Lionel Messi Moves Past Pele to Become the New Leader in the Single Club Goal Tally

Lionel Messi has overtaken a legend…

The 33-year-old Argentine professional soccer star has surpassed Brazil’s legendary footballer Pele to become the player to score the most goals for a single club after taking his tally to 644 on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi

The record-breaking goal came in the second half of Barca‘s 3-0 win at Valladolid, with Messi taking the ball in stride off a nifty flick from Pedri for a finish into the corner of the net.

Pele struck 643 competitive goals for Santos during an 18-year stay with the Brazilian club. He left for the New York Cosmos in 1975 and until Messi’s goal, the record had stood ever since.

 

Gerd Muller came closest to matching Pele’s one-club goal-scoring feat. The former Germany international netted 565 times for Bayern Munich between 1964 and 1979. The top five is completed by Fernando Peyroteo (Sporting CP 1937-49, 544 goals) and Josef Bican (Slavia Prague 1950s, 534 goals).

 

“When I started to play football, I never thought I would break any record. Especially not the record held by Pele that I now hold,” Messi wrote on Instagram after Tuesday’s game. “I can only give thanks to everyone that has helped me throughout the years, my teammates, my family, my friends and everyone that supports me every day.”

 

The only other active player still in the top 10 is Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 450 goals for Real Madrid. The Juventus striker is 10th behind Jimmy McGrory (Celtic 1922-37, 522 goals), Jimmy Jones (Glenavon 1951-62, 517 goals), Uwe Seeler (Hamburg 1953-72, 507 goals) and Eusebio (Benfica 1961-75, 473 goals).

Messi’s Barcelona goals have been spread across 16 years in the club’s first team. He scored his first professional goal in 2005 against Albacete as a 17-year-old.

Along with Ronaldo, who played for Manchester United before Madrid and Juve, Messi has taken goal scoring to new heights over the past decade. Everyone else in the top 10 has been retired for at least 40 years.

Messi reached his zenith in the 2011-12 season, Pep Guardiola‘s final year in charge of Barcelona, when he scored 73 goals in all competitions. That tally was sandwiched in between 53 the previous season and 60 the season after.

The Argentina forward has scored more than 50 goals in a season on six occasions, including 58 in 2014-15 when he won his second Treble as a Barca player.

Messi replaced Cesar Rodriguez (232 goals) as Barca’s top scorer in 2012 and overtook Telmo Zarra (251 league goals) as the record scorer in La Liga in 2014.

In addition to his 644 goals with Barca’s senior side, he scored 11 goals for the C team and the B team as a teenager.

Brazil Unveils Statue of Pele to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of 1970 World Cup Win

Pele’s likeness will live on forever…

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has unveiled a statue of the 79-year-old futbol living legend at its headquarters, the first of a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the team’s third World Cup triumph.

Pele

Pele, who will be 80 in October and finds it difficult to walk, wasn’t present at the ceremony in the CBF’s museum but had been given a preview of the statue, which he declared “perfect.”

JairzinhoClodoaldo and Brito were among members of the 1970 team present at the ceremony along with Brazil coach Tite.

Pele Statue

The 1970 Brazil side, led by Pele and featuring names like GersonTostaoRivelinoand Carlos Alberto, is known as one of the greatest teams of all time. They won all seven of their matches in Mexico that June, culminating with a 4-1 over Italy in the final at the Aztec stadium.

The statue of Pele, dressed in the strip worn by the 1970 team, bears a close resemblance to the former Santos and New York Cosmosstriker.

Many of Pele’s recent appearances have been in a wheelchair as his health has slowly deteriorated.

His son Edinho said in an interview in February that the Brazil legend is depressed over his poor health and reluctant to leave the house because he cannot walk unaided.

Nicky Jam Becomes Hublot’s First Latin Music Ambassador

Nicky Jam is having a Hublot time…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American reggaetón star has joined Hublot’s ambassador club, as the brand’s first Latin music ambassador.

Nicky Jam

“It’s an immense privilege for me, as a real watch enthusiast, to become the ambassador for a Swiss watchmaking brand like Hublot,” Nicky Jam said in a statement. “In Latin America, Hublot is an absolute reference thanks to the technical quality and incomparable aesthetics of its watches.”

Nicky Jam joins a select group of Hublot “ambassadors” that includes Usain Bolt,Eli Manning and Floyd Mayweather.

Only two of the ambassadors Hublot has listed on its website are music artists: pianist Lang Langand Depeche Mode. And only two others have Latin American roots: soccer star Peléand Arturo Fuentecigars.

“Nicky is driven by a talent that has made him into a global star, with his hits getting the whole world dancing,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, in a statement. “A positive energy leading to success, a value shared by Hublot. And we will certainly commemorate this Football World Cupby celebrating with his music!”

Guadalupe was referring to the fact that the FIFA World Cupanthem “Give It Up!” is performed by Nicky Jam, with Will Smithand Kosovar singer Era Istrefi.

That song, however, is not the only Nicky Jam hit on Switzerland’s charts: “X,” his hit with J Balvin, landed in the country’s top 20.

Pele Teaming with Bunim/Murray Productions for Scripted TV Series Based on His Life

Pele is ready to shine a light on his legendary life…

The 76-year-old soccer legend and his manager Paul “PK” Kemsley are teaming with Bunim/Murray Productions for a scripted limited series based on the Brazilian fútbol star’s life.

Pele

The untitled program will focus on his life in New York while playing for the NASL’s New York Cosmos alongside other international footballers in the mid-1970s.

Considered arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, Pelé (née Edson Arantes do Nascimento) and Kemsley will executive produce the series with Bunim/Murray CEO Gil Goldschein and Jeff Jenkins, BMP’s Co-President of Entertainment & Development. No time frame for production has been announced.

“Growing up playing soccer competitively and now coaching my kids’ teams, I have always admired Pelé and aspired to share his story and approached PK about doing this series,” Goldschein said. “As soccer continues to gain legions of fans around the world, now is the right time to delve into and dramatize his story. Pelé’s talent, humility and charisma make him an outstanding role model, and we anticipate that this series will have mass global appeal.”

After joining Brazil’s national team at 16, Pelé led them to FIFA World Cup titles in 1958, 1962 and 1970. He was named World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics and Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee, Since retiring in 1977, Pelé has been a global ambassador for soccer and was named the Honorary President of the New York Cosmos in 2010.

“Bunim/Murray has an amazing track record for creating revolutionary TV shows, and it was clear to me that we share a passion for Pelé and soccer,” Kemsley said. “I have no doubt they will capture the magic that was New York City in the late ’70s and also honor the legacy of one of the greatest athletes this planet has ever known.”

Boneta to Star in Fox’s Comedy-Horror Series “Scream Queens”

Diego Boneta is a scream king…

The Mexican actor-singer has been cast as one of the male leads in Scream Queens, Fox’s comedy-horror series created by Glee creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

Diego Boneta

The project revolves around a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders.

Boneta is reportedly set to portray a bookish but handsome guy in the first installment of the anthology series slated for fall.

Boneta, who starred in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, joins an ensemble cast that includes Lea Michele, Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Nick Jonas, Keke Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Ariana Grande and Abigail Breslin.

Boneta will next be seen in CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, and the Imagine feature Pelé.