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Messi

Messi awarded Golden Boot as Germany wins 2014 World Cup

July 14th, 2014

Lionel Messi was awarded the consolation prize of the Golden Boot for best player of the World Cup after he failed to achieve his dream of raising the trophy for Argentina last night.

After ending full time without a goal the match went to extra time, with some small flourishes during the match by Messi but he certainly was not at his best. As the countdown to the end of extra time ticked away it was starting to look as if the match would be decided on penalties, a cruel way to decide the competition.

However, seven minutes before the end Germany broke through to score while Argentina saw their opportunity slip away.

The last few minutes saw much stoppage and in the end a free kick for a foul on Messi during injury time was delayed for a couple of minutes. Messi had to simply wait for Bastian Schweinsteiger to receive treatment before what was going to be Argentina’s last chance to equalise and take it to penalties.

In the end though he shot over the crossbar and when the final whistle eventually blew it was an ecstatic Germany who had won the competition.


Messi & Mascherano through to World Cup final with Argentina

July 10th, 2014

Barça players Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano are through to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final after Argentina beat Holland on penalties last night.

Neither side looked to be particularly on form last night, although Messi had his occasional moments, and overall the match lacked the kind of spectacle you might have expected. After approaching the end of the second half it looked increasingly likely that the match would go to extra time and it was little surprise to end 0-0.

With neither side seriously threatening in extra time it was clear that it would take a good bit of luck for the match not to go to penalties. And here was where Argentina had a clear advantage, with the Dutch keeper having failed to stop a single penalty in his career. 16 out of 16 penalties had gone past him.

Vlaar went first for Holland, failing to put eh ball past Romero, followed by Messi who put Argentina ahead. Robben scored for the Netherlands, followed by Garay to put the Argentine squad ahead 2-1. Sneijder missed, while Aguero puit Argentina further ahead on 3-1. And then Kuyt and Rodríguez both scored to put Argentina into the final of the World Cup.

The Argentine squad faces Germany in the final in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.


Argentina and Messi through to World Cup semis

July 7th, 2014

Leo Messi and Argentina made it through to the semi-final stage of the 2014 World Cup after narrowly beating Belgium 1-0 on Saturday.

Argentina scored an early goal to go ahead in the eighth minute thanks to Gonzalo Higuaín, but despite Messi not scoring he started the play that resulted in the only goal of the match and was on form throughout the match.

Argentina faces The Netherlands next on Wednesday at 9pm BST at São Paulo, the first time the Argentine national squad has made the semi-finals in 24 years, when Maradona was with the squad.


Messi scores 2 against Nigeria

June 26th, 2014

Lionel Messi scored two first half goals in yesterday’s match against Nigeria, which the Argentine squad beat the Africans 3-2.

Messi scored the opener 3 minutes in, but immediately after Ahmed Musa equalised. Messi then put Argentina ahead in injury time prior to the break, with Musa again equalising within 2 minutes of the second half.

However, Marcos Rojo scored the decider at the 59 minute mark and Argentina end the group stage at the head of Group F on 9 points.

Argentina will play Switzerland in the second round on 1st July.


Last minute goal from Messi puts Argentina through to next round

June 23rd, 2014

An injury time goal from Lionel Messi ensured victory for Argentina and put them through to the next round of the World Cup.

Saturday saw the Argentine national squad face Iran, who played a solid game against the South Americans. Both Messi and Mascherano played the entire  minutes, with the latter making his 100th appearance for Argentina. The match looked to end in a goalless draw, with the Iranians at times looking dangerous, but a brilliant bit of play from Messi saw the only goal of the match and put Argentina at the top of Group F.

Argentina play their final group stage match on Wednesday against Nigeria, who drew against Iran and beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 and so lie in second place.

 


Messi goal helps Argentina to victory

June 16th, 2014

After Brazil’s opening match and Spain’s humiliation at the hands of the Dutch, last night saw Argentina take centre stage captained by Barça superstar Lionel Messi.

Despite often being considered the best player in the world, Messi is yet to make an impact on the World Cup. And despite admitting to nerves last night his move when it came resulted in a fantastic goal, only his second World Cup goal in nine matches, the last being in 2006!

Argentina went ahead against Bosnia and Herzegovina early on thanks to an own goal by Sead Kolašinac, with the Argentine side certainly lacking against a side that had never scored a World Cup goal. However, after the break and a change of formation, Argentina started to look far more comfortable and Gonzalo Higuain helped set up a spectacular goal for Messi 20 minutes into the second half.

With Argentina now looking more comfortable and with a two goal advantage things were looking far better. Five minutes from the end Vedad Ibišević closed the gap but Argentina held onto their lead to take three points to head Group F.

Argentina’s next match is against Iran on 21st June.

1-0 Kolašinac (min 3)
2-0 Messi (min 65)
2-1 Ibišević (min 85)


Messi signs improved Barça deal

May 20th, 2014

FC Barcelona has inked an improved deal with Lionel Messi that will secure he remains with the club for the foreseeable future. A provisional deal was agreed at the end of last week and finally signed yesterday.

Although details have not been released it is reported the contract will earn Messi the equivalent of £16.3 million a year, making him the best paid player in the world.

In exchange for the higher payout from Barça Messi has given up a proportion of his image rights, which will be paid to FC Barcelona instead.


Late goal from Getafe frustrates Barça

May 5th, 2014

Saturday afternoon saw a disappointing result for FC Barcelona after when a match that looked like it was in the bag resulted in a draw due to a last minute goal from Getafe. The first home match since the death of Tito Vilanova last month started off slowly, while the Getafe defence prevented anything happening when the Catalans did get things together.

Although Barça was denied from playing their normal flowing style, finally Alves and Messi got together for a decisive move. Messi started to move, passing to Alves who powered up the right hand side of the pitch, crossed to Messi who put the ball in the net. After 22 minutes the deadlock was broken and Barcelona ahead!

Barça’s lead lasted 14 minutes, until a free kick awarded against them resulted in the visitors equalising. And despite a good move by Alexis towards the end of the first half the break came with the two teams level.

The second half started with Barcelona looking in much better form that before the break and started creating problems for Getafe. Bringing on Cesc Fabregas in place of Mascherano 20 minutes in quickly yielded results, with Cesc starting a move that saw Alexis score Barcelona’s second goal of the afternoon.

However, time and time again as the minutes counted down Barça was unable to score again, despite being given space to do so. And then, well into injury time, just before the final whistle blew the visitors scored again to level with Barcelona.

1-0 Messi (min 22)
1-1 Lafita (min 36)
2-1 Alexis (min 68)
2-2 Lafita (min 93)


Barça stages comeback against Villarreal after going 2 goals down

April 28th, 2014

Sunday’s match was bound to be a tough one after the shock of Tito Vilanova’s death from cancer on Friday. The players knew him well, having worked with him since he was Pep Guardiola’s right hand man prior to taking over the top job himself, and as a product of the club’s youth programme himself, he was Barça through and through.

After a minute’s silence for their much respected former coach, FC Barcelona dominated from the start but despite high possession they were unable to break through to Villarreal defence. Messi looked like he might do something for the Catalans to no avail; and when the hosts got the chance they really went for it too.

However, just when the first half looked like it would end goalless a last minute counter attack from Villarreal resulted in them going into the break ahead.

Back on after the break things started unravelling further for Barça when the home side scored a second goal 10 minutes in and it started to look like their slender league hopes would be dashed completely. However, two own goals from Villarreal in the space of a quarter hour levelled the score, a huge piece of luck for Barcelona; the second was a fantastic header by Musacchio that he is unlikely to forget any time soon.

Now on an even keel it was down to Messi five minutes later to put Barça ahead and completely turned around the match from the disaster it had looked at one point.

1-0 Cani (min 45)
2-0 Manu Trigueros (min 54)
2-1 Gabriel (min 64)
2-2 Musacchio (min 77)
2-3 Messi (min 82)


Win against Athletic ends Barça losing streak

April 21st, 2014

Nothing much has seemed to go right for Barça of late, with FIFA’s transfer ban shortly preceding the club’s ejection from Champions League by Atletico Madrid and then the loss against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final last week. And then there are the league woes.

Athletic Bilbao are always a tough opponent and, standing fourth in the table, well up to strength this season. With Barça suffering three straight losses, Messi not performing lately and a number of players unavailable through injury last night’s match was always going to be tough. Messi did appear to have overcome at least some of his woes and appeared to have scored 18 minutes in. However, the ref ruled the goal offside and despite some chances the first half ended goalless.

It didn’t take long after the players came back on for the first goal of the match, when Aduriz scored for the Basque team four minutes in. The visitors looked to have scored a second soon after but, like Messi’s goal, it was ruled offside.

However, as Barcelona started to pile on the pressure things started to look better and finally, 25 minutes into the second half, Pedro scored the equaliser. Just two minutes later Messi blasted a free kick through the wall to put the Catalans ahead and seal three points.

0-1 Aduriz (min 49)
1-1 Pedro (min 71)
2-1 Messi (min 73)


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