Tag Archives: Lionel Messi

Neymar told Barcelona teammates about exit at Messi’s wedding, says Xavi

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Neymar dropped the bombshell that he was leaving Barcelona for Paris St-Germain while he was attending Lionel Messi’s wedding this summer, his former teammate Xavi has revealed.

The Brazilian striker moved to PSG for a world record fee of £200 million last summer, in a saga that lasted most of the window. Neymar was at Barca for 4 years, two of those with Xavi, who moved to Qatari side Al Sadd in 2015.

But he chose to tell his then teammates about his impending departure at Messi’s wedding – nothing like pulling focus from the happy couple – in July, Xavi told the World Football Show on the BBC World Service.

“He said to us at Messi’s wedding that he wanted to change club,” Xavi said. “I said to him but why? He said ‘I am not happy in Barcelona, I prefer to leave, to have a new experience in Europe at PSG’ and finally he did, it was his decision, we must respect it.”

Harry Kane the only British name on 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist

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Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane is the only British player to make the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or – although plenty of other Premier League players have made the cut.

Kane has been in superb form in 2017, scoring 43 goals in 37 games for club and country, and has established himself as England’s number one striker.

But he is the only British name there. Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale – a fixture on the list in recent years – misses out after a season plagued by injury. Jamie Vardy, who made last year’s list, isn’t included after a mediocre year for Leicester City.

Perhaps one English player to be disappointed to miss out is Kane’s team-mate Dele Alli, who has had a stellar 12 months that have seen him establish himself as a star in the Premier League and an automatic pick for England.

But the Premier League is well-represented in the shortlist, with 6 players included. They are: Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane from Liverpool, Chelsea midfielders Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, Manchester United stopper David de Gea and Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

The favourites for the award are, as usual, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have shared the past 9 awards between them – Messi leads 5-4 – with Paris St-Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe also likely to be in contention.

The other nominees are: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Isco (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona).

Manchester City reportedly ready to make world record move for Lionel Messi if Barcelona deal stalls

Manchester City could mount a sensational world-record bid for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, if he doesn’t put pen to paper on a new contract at the Camp Nou.

In July, Barca officials announced that a deal to keep Messi at Barcelona until 2021 had been done. However, it seems that announcement jumped the gun as, three months on, the deal has not been signed and there are more than just a few formalities to be sorted out, according to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca.

Should talks not prove fruitful, Manchester City could come in with a bid. Marca reports a potential €400 million (£356.5 million) offer, which would dwarf the current world record £198 million Paris St-Germain paid to Barca in the summer for Neymar.

Unnamed sources close to City say that “serious conversations have been held with the footballer’s inner circle,” although this remains confirmed, Marca add.

However, it should be remembered that this report has appeared in Marca, which is associated with Barca’s great rivals, Real Madrid – so should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially with unnamed sources quoted. Likewise, it is known that Messi and his family are settled in Barcelona and he has not fallen out with the club in any way. In addition, the club are still saying that the deal is complete.

So, while this is speculation and just that, let’s just dream of what it would be like to have Messi in the Premier League.

Lionel Messi scores 300th goal at Camp Nou

Another day, another goalscoring feat by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi: this time, he has scored his 300th goal at the Camp Nou.

His 300th goal – which also completed his hat-trick – was scored against Eibar in a La Liga match last night (September 19). In all, Messi bagged 4 goals on the night as Barca ran riot, winning 6-1 against their mid-table counterparts.

Messi has now scored 301 goals at the Camp Nou, in 13 years – which is an average of more than 23 strikes per season. Most strikers (except for Christiano Ronaldo, obviously) would be happy to get 23 in just one season, home or away. But then Messi has never been ordinary.

The Argentinian has also scored 9 goals in his last 4 La Liga matches, which has helped Barca maintain their perfect start to the season – 15 points from 5 games with 17 goals scored. They are currently 5 points clear in the early table, but have played a game more than several of their rivals.

Manchester City considering world record bid for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi

Officials at Manchester City are considering making a bid for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in what would be a world record deal.

City officials have already met with Messi’s representatives to sound them out over the possibility of the Argentine moving to the Etihad, according to the Daily Record.

Any bid for Messi would have to break the world transfer record, set just a couple of weeks ago when Neymar left Barca for Paris St-Germain for £198 million. Messi is said to have a release clause in his contract of £275 million.

However, just a few weeks ago Barca officials had said that a new deal had been agreed with Messi that would see him earn €1 million per week. But Messi has yet to sign that deal, hence why City have sniffed an opportunity.

But Barca will be loathe to let their biggest star leave – especially after Neymar’s departure – and will no doubt redouble their efforts to get their most bankable asset to sign on the dotted line.

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s efforts to sign a replacement for Messi continue to be frustrated, with Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund still refusing to sell Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele respectively.