Showing posts with label ARGENTINA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARGENTINA. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

#WC2018: Argentina is in ! Messi, Rojo rescue Argentina from humiliating early exit


Argentina, a team that looked like it had no chance of moving on from the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is back from the dead after securing a late 2-1 win over Nigeria, combined with a Croatia win over Iceland. Thanks to the two results, the South American giants finish second in Group D in what Lionel Messi and Argentina fans will remember as a small miracle. 
It wasn't a sharp showing from Argentina in a tournament where it has been very poor, but the team overcome a penalty kick equalizer from Nigeria to get a late winner from Marcos Rojo.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (AFP) — Marcus Rojo's stunning finish four minutes from time kept Lionel Messi and Argentina's World Cup hopes alive to see off Nigeria 2-1 on Tuesday and set up a last 16 meeting with France.

Messi's first goal of the tournament got the two-time winners off to a perfect start in Saint Petersburg, but Victor Moses's 51st minute penalty had Jorge Sampaoli's men headed for a humiliating group stage exit until Rojo's late intervention.

The Manchester United defender, who had escaped conceding a second Nigerian penalty moments earlier after a controversial VAR review, thundered home Gabriel Mercado's cross to send the under-fire Sampaoli running down the sidelines amid wild scenes of celebration.

Messi missed a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iceland and was largely bypassed in a 3-0 thrashing by Croatia that saw calls for Sampaoli to be sacked before their final group game.

However, Argentina avoided the abyss by the skin of their teeth to fight another day against the highly-fancied French in Kazan on Saturday.

Sampaoli made five changes from the Croatia game, with veterans of the Albiceleste's run to the final four years ago Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria returning, but it was the recall of Ever Banega in midfield that provided the launchpad for Messi.

The Sevilla playmaker was restored to bring some order to an Argentine midfield overrun by Croatia's Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric and proved his worth inside 15 minutes.


Banega's brilliant pass over the top of the Nigerian defence picked out Messi's run perfectly and, after cushioning the ball on his thigh, the five-time world player of the year erased the frustrations of his World Cup so far with an arrowed right-foot finish into the far corner.

Modric claimed Croatia "cut off Messi" in Nizhny Novgorod five nights ago, but he was back to close to his Barcelona best at the heart of all Argentina's best moves in a positive first 45 minutes.

Higuain just couldn't flick the ball beyond the onrushing Francis Uzoho from a defence splitting pass before Uzoho then tipped a Messi free-kick onto the post.

Argentina escaped just before the break when no penalty was given for Rojo's high challenge on Kelechi Iheanacho.

Nigeria felt that injustice was rectified just five minutes after the break, though, when this time Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir did point to the spot when Javier Mascherano tangled with Oghenekaro Etebo at a corner.

Moses confidently stepped up to send Franco Armani the wrong way on his international debut and Argentina back to square one.

Messi produced a magical performance in Argentina's final qualifier with a hat-trick in Ecuador just to get his country to Russia.

But he couldn't recreate those heroics as Nigerian defenders swarmed around him everytime he was hopefully shovelled the ball by Argentine team-mates.

There was further VAR controversy when Nigeria were denied a second penalty when Rojo headed onto his own arm before substitute Odion Ighalo fired wide.

Ighalo missed another glorious chance when he shot too close to Armani and Nigeria were made to pay for their profligacy from the most unlikely source.

Sergio Aguero had been thrown on from the bench to join Messi and Higuain in attack, but it was Rojo who produced a striker's finish on his weaker right foot to spark delirious scenes of celebration among the tens of thousands of Argentines in the stands.

Chief among them was legendary 1986 World Cup winning captain Diego Maradona who reacted by raising the middle finger of both hands in just his latest controversial moment as a spectator in Russia.

Monday, January 8, 2018

MESSI WELCOMES PHIL TO BARCELONA ! ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET FOR COUTINHO

The Argentine put on another super show as Ernesto Valverde's side returned to 4-3-3 and gave their new record signing a taste of what is to come.

Philippe Coutinho will have to wait for his Barcelona debut, but the Catalan club's record signing was given a glimpse of what is to come on Sunday.
The Brazilian completed a €160 million move to Barca from Liverpool on Saturday  and is expected to undergo a thorough medical examination on Monday, with a return to action later this month as he recovers from a minor injury.
The 25-year-old was not at Camp Nou as Barca beat Levante 3-0, but he will have been watching his new team on television - and he will have been impressed with what he saw.
Barca clicked quickly back into gear following the winter break, having rested most of their first-team players for the Copa del Rey clash away to Celta Vigo on Thursday night.
For this one, Ernesto Valverde picked a strong side, with Ousmane Dembele back in the line-up for his first start since September, alongside both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
It was Messi's link-up with Jordi Alba, an impressive feature of Barca's play this season, which brought the first goal as the Argentine attacker volleyed in off the post with a typically fine finish.

Messi broke the lines time and again with his passing, some of his deliveries delicious in their execution. He may be scoring at a slightly lower rate than in times gone by, but he is so complete these days and Coutinho must be purring at the prospect of playing alongside the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
A return to form for Suarez is also good news for Barca. The Uruguayan missed a clear chance in the first half as he smashed a shot onto the top of the bar when it appeared simpler to score, but later netted with an acrobatic effort to continue his recent improvement.
Suarez has now scored in six of his last seven league games for Barcelona (with eight goals in those matches), having only found the net in two of his previous seven. The South American striker, a former team-mate of Coutinho at Liverpool and also a friend of the Brazilian, looks likely to benefit from the arrival of Phil, as well as the return to 4-3-3 after Valverde's use of 4-4-2 while Dembele was out injured.

Dembele had his moments too and showed silky skills on occasions, while he also tested Levante's former Barca goalkeeper Oier Olazabal with a fierce drive from the edge of the area. At the age of 20, however, he is still not the finished article and will need time to reach his best after a lengthy layoff.


Coutinho is much more advanced at 25 and although he cannot play for Barca in the Champions League this season after already featuring for Liverpool in the competition, he will provide strength in depth and allow Valverde to rest Andres Iniesta in midfield in the second half of the campaign.
The Brazilian's arrival could also free Messi to spend more time further forward, just as he did on Sunday when he created havoc in the Levante area by evading several defenders before somehow managing to tee up Ivan Rakitic for a shot that sailed just wide.
And right at the end, more Messi magic in the box freed space for Paulinho to score a third as Barca picked up where they left off in La Liga following the winter break. The Blaugrana start 2018 in commanding form and Coutinho can only make them even stronger still.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#Don'tGoLeo - "Don't give up, Leo!" 100,000 fans sign up for Messi support rally

The Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires is the planned venue for a mass demonstration in favour of the captain staying on, after he retired following Copa America defeat
Fans of Lionel Messi in Argentina have called for a massive march in the centre of Buenos Aires to persuade their hero to carry on in the national team. 

Over 100,000 people have so far expressed interest in the rally, which has been publicised on Facebook and has as a venue the Obelisco monument. 

The Obelisco is traditionally where fans gather to celebrate titles for either local clubs or the national team, but those going on Saturday plan to protest against their captain's international retirement. 


"This Saturday June 2 at 6pm (10pm BST) we are all going to the Obelisco to show him our affection and our hopes he will continue wearing the Argentina shirt," the event page states. 
"Come on Messi, don't give up on us!!!"


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Messi: I would never play for another European club




Europe's top clubs need not bother with any bids for Barcelona's Lionel Messi, as the Argentinian has declared he wouldn't consider playing for any other team on the continent.


Messi, coming off his fifth Ballon d'Or win, told France Football he plans to stay at Barcelona for the rest of his career, but didn't rule out a move back home to his native Argentina to close out his career.
"I'd never play for another European club," said the 28-year-old, courtesy of Sky Sports

"Barcelona is my home and I want to retire here. However, it's possible I could end my career in Argentina. Anything could happen in the future, but I want to stay here."

Rumours have intimated that Messi could make the jump to the Premier League, specifically Manchester City, if and when former boss Pep Guardiola takes the bench there. 

Messi has also been linked with Inter Milan in the past, with former Argentina teammate Juan Sebastian Veron revealing that Messi had previously thought about joining the Nerazzurri.

A return to Newell's Old Boys - where Messi began his career as a youth before joining Barcelona as a 13-year-old - is also a possibility.

Right now, though, the reigning world player of the year is comfortable in familiar surroundings. He said he feels better than he had in previous years, putting any injury worries behind him.

"I had injuries in 2013 and 2014 that meant I wasn't at the top of my game, whereas now I am. I feel I'm back at the level I was at three or four seasons ago," he said.

"If another Ballon d'Or comes along then great, but if I don't win any more, it's no big deal."
TheScore​



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FIFA Ballon d'Or award Gala - Messi #5 and mesmerizing Photo Gallery



  • Lionel Messi claims fifth Ballon d'Or award after beating finalists Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to 2015 gong 
  • Barcelona star said: 'It's an incredibly special moment. It's more than anything I ever dreamed of as a kid'
  • Messi received 41.33 per cent of the votes, Ronaldo earned 27.76 per cent with Neymar amassing 7.86 per cent
  • Wendell Lira won the Puskas award for team goal of the year after finishing team move for Goianesia in Brazil
  • Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Catalan club to five titles 
  • USA's Carli Lloyd claimed the Women's Player of the Year award while Jill Ellis won the Coach of the Year gong 
















  • Lionel Messi crowned world's best player ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr - FIFA Ballon d'Or award 2015

    Lionel Messi moved brilliance to another level as he was presented with the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time in his extraordinary career.
    The greatest player of this generation was recognised by international captains, managers and journalists for his outstanding performances during 2015, when Barcelona became the first team to complete the treble of league, cup and Champions League for the second time.
    Messi’s performances were, at times, mesmerising and his highlights from the past 12 months include his goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, when he chipped Manuel Neuer from six yards, and his solo run against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final. 


    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Lionel Messi attacked by Malaga's Welington


    Barcelona dropped points for the first time this season with a 0-0 draw at Malaga. The night`s frustrations boiled over late in the match when Malaga defender Weligton squeezed Lionel Messi`s cheeks like a grandmother angered by a child`s cuteness and pushed his head away, prompting Messi to theatrically fall to the ground.

    Weligton was only shown a yellow card for the offense. According to AS, he said Messi called him a "son of a b****." Which seems like a phrase that would be tossed around a lot during a match.

    Surely Messi only called him that after politely inviting Weligton to play Legos with him later and having the Brazilian rudely decline by saying that Legos are stupid. Messi will let you say what you want about him, but disrespect Lego and he will call you out.

    via yahoo.com

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    Maradona clashes with German fans

    Immediately after Argentina's 4-0 quarterfinal loss to Germany on Saturday, Maradona was understandably upset. And according to Argentina's Diarios y Noticias, he let a group of German fans know it. A translation of their report:

    Argentina national team coach Diego Maradona had an altercation with German fans after the end of the match that marked the elimination of said team from the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

    Apparently upset over post game celebrations by fans located behind the Argentinean bench, Maradona approached and scolded them, until Dalma, one of his daughters, entered the field and contained him.



    It's a shame the man who has entertained us all over the last few weeks with his exuberance and delightful antics had to get involved in something like this. He would go on to say that this loss was "the most disappointing moment in my life" which shows just how devastated he must have been as he walked off the pitch and saw German fans in red and yellow wigs partying like it's Oktoberfest in July right behind him. A sad end for the most interesting man of the tournament. Or anywhere else.


    Sign reads: "Bye, Maradona" (I don't think they mean that sincerely.)



    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Maradona gives Argentina a painful punishment





    As tension builds ahead of the start of a tournament that's taken four years to finally get here, some managers are lashing out at the press, while others are moaning about how their country is never the favorite to win, but Maradona - for his madness and insanely expensive toilet seats - has decided to keep things fun.
    After a little training session intra-squad match, Maradona let the winning side fire shots at the losing side's rears and even bent over for a bit of punishment himself. Granted, this activity isn't terribly unusual and can be spotted at training grounds everywhere, but it's not the type of thing you typically see days before playing in the World Cup. 
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