Lionel Messi’s recent comments hinted that his time at FC Barcelona may come to an end in the near future, and so when Javier Mascherano entered the press room Wednesday, he had to deal with a lot 0f Messi-related questions. “I’m not here to talk about Leo. I don’t think he has said anything odd. He said what all footballers think. In football – or in life – you can’t map out what will happen in six or seven years, because you don’t know.” More from El Jefecito after the jump.
The alarm bells are surely ringing now, and what every culé took for granted for the past eleven years has now come back to slap us in the face. Lionel Messi, who just celebrated his eleventh year at Barça, has hinted that he might leave the club in the future. Let me repeat that once again; Lionel Messi, a La Masia made phenomenon who grew up to raid all records in football and rewrite FC Barcelona’s history, is uncertain of his future at the club he gave everything to.
November the 16th has surely gone down as one of the most important dates in Barça’s rich history. On this day some 11 years ago, a certain Leo Messi was making his first team debut for FC Barcelona. It was a cold night in Oporto, during the friendly game between Porto and Barcelona on the occasion of the inauguration of the Estadio Dragão, when a 17-year-old Leo Messi came on for Fernando Navarro 74 minutes into the match.
“I will tell my grandchildren about when I won the Champions League, but most of all I will tell them that their grandfather used to play with Lionel Messi.” – Angel Di Maria
Source: Facebook/TeamMessi • Image: FIFA
FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi is used to breaking records during his extraordinary career. Wednesday in Amsterdam he equaled the all-time Champions League goalscoring record of 71, set by Raúl González (Real Madrid and Schalke 04). Messi needed only 90 matches (in eleven seasons), while Raúl set a record in 142. Now it is just a matter of time for Messi to break yet another record and set his own.
It’s been a rough period for FC Barcelona after losing two consecutive games in La Liga and falling out of top spot. However, the team reacted well against Ajax after winning for the first time a UCL game in Amsterdam, with two goals from Lionel Messi in each half which brought his total to 71 goals – equalling Raul Gonzalez’ Champions League record. The coach was all smiles in the post press conference on Wednesday night and admitted that he was relieved to have qualified to the next round of the Champions League with two games in hand. “It is important to have qualified with two games in hand. I’d like to stress the way the players behaved. I have no complaints about their attitude tonight.” More from the coach after the jump.
We culés know that Leo Messi is a great person, aside from being a truly great footballer, despite what some sections of the Spanish press want us to believe. On Tuesday morning, Leo Messi interrupted his superstar routine to make a dream come true for 30 ill children from all over the world, the dream of meeting the world’s number 1. Read more…
Finally, a nomination for poor Leo Messi. The Argentine, who had been inexplicably omitted from the nominees list for the best forwards in La Liga and the best South Americans of last season, has won the right to attend next Monday’s LFP awards gala after having one of his 28 league goals of last season nominated for the best goal award. The goal selected is Leo’s long-range free-kick against Almería at the Camp Nou.
The goals rivalling Messi’s belong to Villarreal’s Giovanni Dos Santos and to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The three best goals making the final list were selected by users online after a two-man committee made up of journalists Axel Torres and Maldini selected the best five.
Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr are enjoying a wonderful understanding between with each other and are at their peak going into El Clasico. The deadly duo have both scored at least one goal in the last five matches and will be hoping to continue their streak at the Bernabéu on Saturday. Each player has scored in La Liga against SD Eibar, Rayo Vallecano and Granada CF while also scoring in the UEFA Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain and AFC Ajax.
They not only scored with their clubs but also with their national sides with Neymar brilliantly scoring four goals against Japan and Messi netting two against Hong Kong. Overall, Neymar leads with ten goals, while Messi has nine with seven assists.
The last time FC Barcelona played at the Bernabéu was last year when the Catalans won 4-3 thanks to a hat-trick from the Argentinean.
Ever since the 3-0 win against Eibar where Lionel Messi showed his evergreen class on the field, there’s been talks around the Argentine refusing Luis Enrique’s orders to be subbed off. No matter how many times the coach has denied this story and that these stories are only mind games from the Madrid media ahead of Saturday’s clásico, it didn’t stop many football figures from criticising Leo. However, Tuesday’s Champions League encounter against Ajax proved that the coach was right after the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was subbed off after 65 minutes into the game. Messi made it even more clear after the match when he said, “Lots of things have been said, but when the boss needs to take me off, he takes me off, no problem.” More from Leo after the jump.
9+25+36+40+51+53+55+60+50+46+9 = 434. 1+8+17+16+38+47+53+73+60+41+7 = 361. 0+3+3+13+17+11+24+29+15+14+7 = 135. 434 games played, 361 goals scored, 135 assists given. 434, 361, 135. That’s Lionel Messi’s decade in the FC Barcelona first team by the numbers, for on this day, 10 years ago Messi officially took the pitch in blaugrana for the first time.
Had Newell’s Old Boys or another Argentine club committed to paying the medical expenses a young Messi critically needed, nothing would have been the same. Had Carles Rexach not fought against the majority at the club week after week and Joan Lacueva not personally paid for Messi’s treatment while the club foundered in disagreement before eventually signing the player on a napkin, nothing would have been the same. Anyone who has ever wished more from Messi, or even worse wished him elsewhere, should feel entirely ashamed. That Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini found his way to Barça is the most fortunate of occurrences a football fan could ever dream of. So feel lucky, feel appreciative, feel blessed and more you’ve been around to witness history unfold, that one day you can say you and I saw Leo Messi, the very best there ever was.
To relive the highlights of Messi’s 10 years, FC Barcelona have put together this excellent interactive timeline.
Dani Alves takes the headlines again reminding people of his worth and his aim to leave a lasting legacy in Barcelona before moving on with his career. The Brazilian right back arrived to Barça during Pep Guardiola’s reign in 2008, and since then he’s won two Champions Leagues, four league titles and many more trophies besides. Last week he made it clear that this was his last season wearing the Blaugrana shirt. But Alves wants to leave on a high. “My wish this year is to have a great year with Barça. I’d like to leave with the feeling that I’ve given everything for this club to continue to be great and continue to write pages of history,” he told La Vanguardia. More from Alves after the jump.
Javier Tebas, president of Spain’s LFP has confirmed that the league is looking into the possibility of paying tribute to FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi once he breaks Telmo Zarra’s all-time goalscorer record in la Liga. What makes the prospect even sweeter is that the Argentinean is only a hat-trick of goals away from breaking the Athletic Bilbao legend’s record. And with the clasico approaching, Tebas isn’t ruling out the possibility of having Messi’s tribute in the Santiago Bernabéu.What?? Read on…
Today’s news out of the court room in Gavà was not what Lionel Messi wanted. Despite recommendations from the tax authorities that Lionel himself had no understanding or say in his financial management, today the court rejected that notion which means Messi will stand trial for tax evasion. The worst case scenario would be a 21 million euro fine and a one year suspended prison sentence according to ESPNFC. Messi has five days to lodge an appeal against this decision. All the legal details below.
Lionel Messi spoke to the media on Thursday during the club’s new sponsor’s ‘Gillette’ presentation, and the Argentinean made it clear that he’s optimistic of the team’s options this season. “We’re working well in training and we are trying to carry that forward into the games. The team is growing and we are on the right track. There’s more to come once we take everything on board that the boss is asking of us.” Read More from Barça’s all time goalscorer after the jump.
FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke to L’Equipe ahead of tonight’s game against Paris Saint-Germain, and addressed the rumors that surrounded Lionel Messi leaving the Catalan club. “It’s not true,” he insisted. “Never have we had this type of discussion about Messi. In April or May I said that we would make radical changes, but with Messi as the leader.”
“He’s under contract for the next four years and it won’t be the last [contract] with Barça. He’s still young and ambitious. For us, he’s the best player in the history of football.”
The president, who took power last January, also denied any knowledge that the French giants were after the Argentine before UEFA’s financial fair play rules brought down the club’s pursuit. “I have no information that Messi might have spoken to PSG. We’re opponents on the pitch but also off it, with regard to sponsors and players.”
After a perfect performance from the team against Granada, Luis Enrique had nothing but praise for his players. “I thought we were intense, precise, ambitious, and solid on defence,” said the former Celta Vigo coach, “The players really did well tonight stopping the other team,” he said before adding, “This is the way to win.” More from the Barça boss after the jump.
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