Category Archives: Sport Today

Brazilian winger gets 8-game ban after going naked over 95th min goal. [Photo]


As funny as this all is, Emerson claimed that the only reason he chose to provoke Marica was because he had been abused by the club during their last few meetings.

What would you do if you scored the goal that defined your team’s season?

Let’s all say it together…

Take our clothes off and start a fight!


That’s the situation Sampaio Correa winger Emerson Carioca found himself in back in December, when he bagged a dramatic winner against Marica to send his team to the Carioca Championship, and he celebrated by taking off both his top and shorts to windmill his redacted towards a group of opposition players…

Emerson Corioca goes naked after scoring 95th goal | Noble Reporters Media | Adigun Michael Olamide | NoRM News

On-Pitch Brawl
Unsurprisingly, it trigged an on-pitch brawl, and as a punishment for the incident, Globo Esporte note that Emerson, who left to join Portuguesa soon after, was hit with an eight-match ban for his role in the whole thing.

As funny as this all is, Emerson claimed that the only reason he chose to provoke Marica was because he had been abused by the club during their last few meetings.


“Marica’s people have been slandering me for the past three matches I’ve played against them,” he said. “They’ve called me a slob, an alcoholic and a fat monkey. I was annoyed at what went on.”

Portuguesa have confirmed that they intend to appeal the ban, but in the meantime, Emerson offered an apology to Sampaio Correa and anyone he offended with his actions.

“I want to ask forgiveness from Sampaio Correa’s fans, my team-mates, and also Marica’s fans, players and everyone who loves football,” Emerson said. “I deeply regret what happened. I was strongly provoked in both matches.

“The people in the stands were swearing at me and giving me a lot of bulls**t, and I crossed the line. It was not premeditated.


“There was total emotion, I couldn’t handle the emotion. However, I was wrong. I hoped I would only be in my underwear!”

Wonder if we’ll see this celebration on FIFA 22?

Story Source: 90Min



Benzema in ‘trial snare’ over alleged sex tape black mail involvement


Benzema is alleged to have pressured Valbuena to pay blackmailers, who threatened to reveal an intimate video in which he was featured.

Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema, is set to face trial for his alleged involvement in blackmailing former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena in a “sex tape” scandal, the Versailles prosecutor’s office has confirmed.

He will stand trial on the charge of conspiracy to attempt blackmail, the prosecutor’s office said.

A date for the trial has yet to be set.


Benzema, 33, has been banned from the national team since November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal, despite consistent showings with Real Madrid.

The investigators who charged Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend that year to act as an intermediary and persuade Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena informed the police.



Juve: Suarez or Dzeko?

Juventus are evaluating whether to go for Edin Dzeko from Roma or Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.

According to Sky Sport Italia, new coach Andrea Pirlo wants a centre-forward and the race is down to just two very different names.

Dzeko already knows Serie A and would be a much cheaper option, but it’s reported he will meet with Roma directors tomorrow to discuss whether he intends to remain at the Stadio Olimpico or request a transfer.

On the other hand, Suarez is a world-renowned name with plenty of Champions League experience and could sell a lot of shirts.

The Uruguay international is negotiating a termination by mutual consent with Barcelona, who have already told him that he’s not part of their plans going forward.

There would be no transfer fee, but Suarez does command €12m per season wages, which would be a real weight on the Juventus finances.

Suarez is also a year younger than Dzeko and a more prestigious addition to the roster.

This report follows Spanish papers Sport and AS, who both claimed earlier today that Suarez was in negotiations with Juventus.

The Bianconeri seem to have given up on Arkadiusz Milik, put off by Napoli’s €50m asking price.

Instead, Roma see Milik as the ideal replacement should Dzeko leave this summer.


Barcelona sets bid for Sadio Mané

Sadio Mane is open to a move to Barcelona after wanting more than what his role at Liverpool currently offers, according to reports in Spain.

The Senegal international has become a fundamental figure at Anfield having helped the club win the Premier League and Champions League in the last two seasons by forming a devastating front three with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

However, Mundo Deportivo now claim that he is willing to link up with his former boss at Southampton, Ronald Koeman, at the Catalan giants after feeling his pursuit of individual honours at Anfield cannot be fulfilled.

Koeman and Mane spent two years together at St Mary’s, where the Dutchman helped mentor the striker who went on to score 25 goals in 75 games before earning his move to Liverpool.

The report states that Mane accepts he has won the respect of people having won trophies in England, but feels that he is not being given the individual respect he deserves after helping his side to their maiden Premier League title with his 18 league goals last season.

The Spanish outlet also adds that Mane feels that no matter how hard he works or how much commitment he shows, he believes the reward always goes to team-mate Salah or captain Jordan Henderson.

The report also adds that while Mane’s maintains a good relationship with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, it is not what it once was and is another factor in his decision to be open to a move to Barcelona, regardless of whether Lionel Messi stays or not.

Mane also reportedly sees this period as an excellent time to test himself in LaLiga as Barcelona’s transitional stage begins under Dutchman Koeman, having admired the club since the days of Ronaldinho.

However, the report acknowledges that Barcelona would have to pay £107m (€120m) to sign Mane, which is an amount they cannot afford having splashed out heavily on the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho in recent years.

Barcelona are keen to add a centre-forward to their ranks however with Koeman informing Luis Suarez in no uncertain terms that he is free to leave Barcelona this summer.

The Catalan giants have also been linked with a move for Lyon star, Memphis Depay, who admitted he could be open to leaving after the Ligue 1 side’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.


Two legends together; I can’t wait to see Messi and Ronaldo at Juve – Cuadrado

Two legends together. What are the chances of Lionel Messi joining up Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus? Juan Cuadrado says he cannot see it happening.

Juventus forward Juan Cuadrado cannot envisage unsettled Barcelona ace Lionel Messi joining up with Cristiano Ronaldo with the Serie A champions. Messi has sensationally told Barça he wants to leave the club, where the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has spent his entire professional career.

Messi won’t be joining Juventus
Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan have been most strongly linked with moves for the 33-year-old. Others have fantasised that Messi could join Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin to bring together the two best players of the modern day, but Cuadrado would be surprised if such a move happened.

“I can’t imagine it at all. The truth is that I just can’t see it happening,” he told ESPN Nexo on Thursday. “But then again, just like with Cristiano, many people did not believe it would happen and all of a sudden, he arrived.”

Juve are preparing for the 2020-21 campaign under new coach Andrea Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the helm earlier this month.

Pirlo settling into new role
Cuadrado, who has been at the club since 2015 and initially arrived on loan, said he still has to hold talks with Pirlo to discuss his future plans. “I haven-t had the opportunity to talk to him yet. When it is my turn I will surely tell him where I feel much more comfortable [playing],” he said. “Hopefully for his knowledge of the game and for what a great player he was, he can contribute to the team and that we can win many trophies together.”


Barcelona-Messi misunderstanding benefits Madrid really well

Real Madrid’s bitter rivals Barça are in turmoil, with their talisman requesting to leave, but Ramon Calderón does not think that is a good thing for Los Blancos.Barcelona’s on- and off-field woes cannot be seen as a positive for bitter rivals Real Madrid, according to the Spanish champions’ former president Ramon Calderon.Barcelona’s Messi affair bad for Madrid
The Catalan club are dealing with the fallout from a trophyless 2019-20 campaign that culminated in a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.Quique Setién has already been replaced as head coach by Ronald Koeman, and Ramon Planes was promoted to take over from Eric Abidal as first-team technical secretary.Barca were then rocked on Tuesday after all-time leading scorer and club icon Lionel Messi informed them of his intention to leave, with a number of others also expected to move on.However, Calderón insists the turmoil at Camp Nou could negatively impact Madrid in a wider sense and is hopeful Barca will soon return to their best.”It is important to have a team like Barcelona in our league, and for Real Madrid as well to have as a rival,” he told Stats Perform News. “It makes both teams better.”It used to happen with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi. The fact that both have been in those teams made them better players.”It encouraged them to improve themselves and win more trophies in order to beat the other. It is the same with Real Madrid and Barcelona.”The clubs are always in a competition. This is what should happen between those two clubs.”Calderon, who was president of Madrid between 2006 and 2009, added: “This time is not good for Barcelona, that’s clear.“So, what is not good for the rival, in theory is for good for the other. But I don’t like it. I never liked it when it happens to any team.”I have always said Barcelona is a very big team. It is not an enemy. I have always had a great relationship with the presidents and the board I met.”I was always well-treated there and I tried to do the same with the ones who came to our stadium. It is clear Barcelona is in a tough time, but hopefully they will overcome it.”It is not good to have such a big team [in a situation] like this and I am sure they will overcome the situation. And even if it is for good for Real Madrid in some aspects, I don’t like it.”I wish them to fix it and keep giving glory to Spanish football. I wish them to keep competing and winning titles, when they don’t face Real Madrid, obviously.”


Film actor ‘Black Panther’ dies

Chadwick Boseman, the actor who found fame as the star of “Black Panther” and who also portrayed pathbreaking Black figures such as Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, died on Friday.

He was 43, his publicist, Nicki Fioravante, told The Associated Press. A statement posted on Mr. Boseman’s Instagram account said the actor had been diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2016, which had progressed to Stage IV. It said he died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the statement said.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” the statement said. “From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”


Barcelona targets Depay and could make move any moment

Memphis Depay has given the clearest indication yet that he could be about to call time on his Lyon career.

The Dutchman returned to domestic action in blistering form on Friday night, as the Ligue 1 season recommenced with Lyon facing Dijon just nine days after their Champions League campaign ended.

And, after the match in which Depay rifled home a hat-trick and also forced an own-goal in a 4-1 victory, he admitted his future was still very much up in the air.

When quizzed on the talk of a transfer away, Depay told reporters: ‘I do not see the future, I do not know if I will do the full season here.

‘I have been here for four years, I became captain.

‘After you have to look at your career, there is no Champions League. At the moment I don’t know.’

The striker has been heavily linked with Barcelona in recent weeks, following the appointment of his fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman as new manager.

Koeman left his post as coach of the Holland national team, where he worked closely with Depay, in order to take on the role at the Nou Camp.

Koeman has inherited a crisis club and rapidly needs to turn things around, with Barca set for a mass clear-out this summer in order to rebuild.

Should Depay seal a transfer he could likely join a side without Lionel Messi, who has shocked the football world by admitting he finally wants to leave the club.

Depay has also been linked with German giants Borussia Dortmund, as a possible replacement for Manchester United target Jadon Sancho.


‘It has been a while since I see Messi Happy at Barcelona’ – Jeffren

Jeffren Suarez has called on Lionel Messi to move to a club where he can be happy.

The Argentine handed in a transfer request to Barcelona on Tuesday and has been linked with a move to a number of clubs outside of Spain.

“Messi is a big Barcelona fan – has been since he was young,” Jeffren told Radio MARCA.

“Something very big must have happened for him to want to leave the club of his life.

“It’s been two or three years that he hasn’t been laughing like before.

“He was always happy with his teammates and I haven’t seen that for some time.

“He must be fed up and I perfectly understand if he leaves for a club where he’s happy.”

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are one of the teams said to be interested in signing Messi this summer.

“They get on very well,” Jeffren said on the relationship between his former coach and teammate.

“I don’t know how [their relationship] ended up like because I left beforehand, but Messi rated Pep a lot and Guardiola knew that he had the best in history with him.”


Juventus Wants Messi and will start negotiations in no time

Juventus have sensationally entered the running to snap up irked Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, according to reports.The Turin giants will attempt to piece together a super-team centred around Messi and his historic challenger in the race to be named as the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.L’Equipe claim that a ‘discreet approach’ was made to Messi’s father, Jorge, to sound out the possibility of luring the 33-year-old to Turin.Messi remains locked in an unsavoury stand-off with the club he has represented for the whole of his career. He has asked his representatives to broker a meeting with the Barcelona board in an attempt to ‘avoid a war’ breaking out over his uncertain future.That meeting would be the first time both parties had come together since Messi shocked the football world by informing Barcelona this week that he wants to leave on a free transfer.The club, however, have shown no signs of budging from their steadfast refusal to entertain the prospect of their superstar walking away.Sportsmail understands Messi is firmly focused on a new challenge and wants his representatives to pave the way for his departure.It is this uncertainty that has placed several of Europe’s top clubs firmly on red alert, with Juventus believed to now be among them.The club are said to be hopeful of cutting their hefty wage bill this summer, but the arrival of Messi would underline their intention of becoming the top dogs of the continent once again.Andrea Piro was recently unveiled as Maurizio Sarri’s shock successor and, according to the report from France, has instantly set himself lofty ambitions with Messi at the forefront.The prospect of partnering the Argentinian icon and Ronaldo, who boast 11 Ballon d’Or gongs between them, would certainly allow Juventus to push towards finally winning the Champions League.Manchester City are still understood to be in pole position to snap up Messi should he leave Barcelona, with Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain also proving attractive propositions.But the process which would allow Messi to move to another club for the first time in his professional career still appears set to be drawn out for a while longer yet.His club insist an exit clause in his contract does not make him a free agent because the deadline passed in June for him to inform them about any wish to leave.The days after Messi’s bombshell admission have been marred by supporters storming the Nou Camp and loudly calling for the under-fire board to resign.


Neymar and Di Maria Calls Messi


There is serious interest in Lionel Messi from Paris Saint-Germain, so much so that Neymar and Angel Di Maria have been in touch with the Blaugrana captain.

Sporting director Leonardo has already met with the Argentine’s representatives to talk about the project in Paris.

For the moment, Messi would prefer to join Manchester City, but that’s not stopping PSG’s players from trying to convince him otherwise.

According to Le Parisien, Neymar and Di Maria have made contact with their good friend in an attempt to persuade him to move to the Parc des Princes.

The pair have played with Messi for club and country, and their presence in the PSG dressing room would make it easy for the forward to settle in should he move there.


Shocking: Barcelona refuses to hold meeting with Messi


In a change of tack, Lionel Messi is now willing to meet with Barcelona to find a solution regarding his future.

The Argentine had informed the club of his desire to leave, which still remains, via burofax on Tuesday.

According to El Periodico, Messi is asking for a meeting with the club as he continues to seek a move away.

The forward knows he can’t leave for free this summer, but he also doesn’t want any transfer to be held to his 700 million euro release clause.

However, Barcelona are not budging from their position – they will not sell unless his release clause is met – and are refusing to hold talks with their captain.


“Either it’s to renew [his contract] or there’s nothing to discuss,” the Catalan club are saying over the prospect of holding talks.

Therefore, either another club pays 700 million euros to sign Messi, or he sees out the remainder of his contract at the Camp Nou.

At the moment, there is a standoff between both parties, with no short-term solution in sight.

Barcelona are still going to try to convince Messi to stay, although the player hasn’t changed his mind over wanting to leave.

On Sunday, Messi will report for coronavirus testing at Barcelona before starting pre-season under Ronald Koeman on Monday.

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Messi’s departure will benefit Koeman greatly


Former Egyptian player Mido, who currently works as a football analyst and has his own TV show, believes that Messi leaving Barça will be in the new manager’s interests.

Former Egyptian player Ahmed Hossam Mido, who played for several European clubs including Ajax Amsterdam where he was coached by Barca’s new manager Ronald Koeman, said on his show that Koeman will be the one benefiting if it is the case that Lionel Messi leaves Barcelona.

Mido explained: “Koeman is one of the best coaches I have trained with and he has a very strong character, but he is going to face many difficulties if Messi stays.”


Koeman doesn’t want players with strong characters
“The best thing that could happen to Koeman is the potential departure of Messi. Koeman won’t be able to build his empire with Messi existing in the dressing room.

“Koeman was my coach for two and a half years and no matter how much time goes by, he is still unable to handle players with strong characters and he doesn’t want a player who has an opinion”, he added.

Many reports have claimed lately that Messi’s time at Barcelona is over, with the Argentine informing Barça’s board of his desire to leave Camp Nou.

Mido also mentioned that during his time at Ajax Keoman had so many problems with him as well as with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, he gave the Dutchman some credit by admitting that he is the most suitable option for the Catalans currently since he has Barça’s DNA.

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Just in: Leo Messi wants a general meeting with Barcelona


Lionel Messi has instructed his representatives to set up a meeting with Barcelona ‘to try and avoid a war’ with the club.

The 33-year old is determined to leave the club but wants to negotiate as amicable a departure as possible.

Despite his disillusionment with their sporting strategy, Messi still has a deep affection for the club and the city.

Fans, irate at their talisman’s decision, stormed the Camp Nou this week and amid ugly scenes were calling for the club’s board to resign. Political leaders have also been having their say on whether the brilliant Argentine can be persuaded to stay.

However, Sportsmail understands Messi is set on his decision, he wants a new challenge and wants his agents to instigate discussions over the best way for him to leave.


His agents have contacted Barcelona to underline their client’s wishes and that he wants his departure to be played out in a way ‘that avoids a war’. They are now awaiting a reply for when that meeting can be set.

Manchester City are considered Messi’s favoured choice but much will hinge on what Barca say in the meeting.

Despite a clause allowing Messi to leave for free, they are contesting that the date for him to inform the club of his wish had passed.

After his initial fax informing them of his desire to leave, Barca replied to say they were counting on him to go forward.

His will to leave is so strong though that he would still expect a compromise to be brokered over any transfer fee if he can’t leave on a free.

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Sevilla confirms signing Oscar Rodriguez


Sevilla have reached an agreement to sign Oscar Rodriguez from Real Madrid.

The midfielder will sign a five-year deal at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, with the final details of the transfer still to be ironed out.

According to Orgullo de Nervion, Sevilla will pay 13.5 million euros for 75 percent of the player’s economic rights, with 25 percent remaining with Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Leganes and will now be charged with replacing the departed Ever Banega at Sevilla.

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On hearing Messi is leaving, Madrid players celebrates


Real Madrid players have reportedly been left gobsmacked that football legend Lionel Messi is on the brink of leaving arch rivals Barcelona.

It is the news which has rocked football, with almost all football fans and pundits alike expecting Messi to end his career at the Nou Camp.

But after the Argentine personally notified Barca via burofax saying he wishes to leave the club, tongues in the football world have been set wagging – none more so than in the Real Madrid group Whatsapp chat.

According to ESPN, sources from within the club have revealed that the group chat used by players has been continuously whirring ever since Messi dropped the bombshell.

The Madrid senior ranks are reportedly ‘incredulous’ at the news, and are struggling to comprehend the possibility of facing Barca in the famous Clasico showdown without their talisman.

Such has been Messi’s long reign at the Nou Camp, not a single player from the current Madrid team have played in a Clasico without Messi being around.

Even club captain Sergio Ramos, who joined Madrid some 15 years ago, has still encounter Messi every time.


Madrid players are said to have discussed how Messi’s exit will impact their La Liga chances, given the side successfully reclaimed the Spanish title this season by finishing ahead of a Barca side which still boasted the Argentine maestro.

Messi is now heavily tipped to finally play in the Premier League, by reuniting with his former manager Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

City’s chances increased on Friday after it was reported that Paris Saint-Germain have been told by Messi’s father that the Barca captain wants to join City, despite interest from the French capital.

The news comes as a blow to several clubs who were interested in signing Messi this summer, which include Italian sides Inter Milan and Juventus.

Liverpool and Bayern Munich, meanwhile, had pulled themselves out of the running with Messi’s extortionate wages behind a key factor behind opting against a move.

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‘These numbers are too big for us’ -Klopp rules out signing Messi


Lionel Messi has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, yet Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that they could not consider a move for the Barcelona captain as he is out of their price range.

Nevertheless, the German stated that he would be happy to see Messi in the Premier League, even if it was for one of their title rivals.

“Who doesn’t want Messi in their team?” Klopp responded when asked if he would be interested in signing the 33-year-old.

“The numbers are not for us, but a good player, to be honest.

“For the Premier League, it would be great, but I am not sure the Premier League needs that boost.

“He’s never played in another league. Football is different here.

“I’d like to see it, but I’m not sure I will.”

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Klopp wants Messi in Liverpool


Jurgen Klopp says he would love to sign Lionel Messi for Liverpool, but the finances involved mean the Reds have “no chance” of landing the Barcelona superstar.

Messi remains at loggerheads with the club he has called home for almost 20 years, with a transfer demanded in the wake of what he sees as broken promises.

Barca were embarrassed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League earlier this month, and have now replaced manager Quique Setien with the former Southampton and Everton boss Ronald Koeman.

Messi is being hotly-tipped for a move to Manchester City this summer, and when quizzed over whether he would like to add him to his Liverpool squad Klopp responded as many would expect him to.

“Yeah, who doesn’t want Messi in their team?” said the Reds boss ahead of the Premier League champions’ Community Shield clash against Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday.

“But no chance. The numbers are absolutely not for us. But… good player to be honest!”

Klopp went even further and cast doubt on City’s move for the star, perhaps wondering if even they had the finances required to pull off the deal.

“It [signing Messi] will obviously help Man City and make it more difficult to beat them,” said Klopp.


“For the Premier League, it would be great, that would help, but I am not sure the Premier League needs that boost.

“He’s never played in another league. Football is different here. I’d like to see it. Not sure I will.”

Klopp was also quizzed on his plans in the transfer market with the Reds having only brought in Greek defender Kostas Tsimikas this summer.

“We bought players in already!” he said.

“Kostas, the kids are getting closer and look well. I don’t know what will happen.

“There is a long time to go until (the window shuts on) October 5th. We will deal with our situation like we always have. We will see how much we can or want to spend.”

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‘I want to win the next two Balon d’or and can only do it with you’ – Messi to Guardiola


Lionel Messi called his former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola to tell him he can only win the next two Ballon d’Or awards if he works under him at Manchester City.

That’s the verdict of Cristobal Soria, who exclusively revealed the details of the pair’s phone call.

“Here’s what happened,” he said, talking on the ‘El Chiringuito de Jugones’ programme.

“Last Tuesday, once Messi had decided to leave Barcelona, his first thought was Manchester City and to speak to Guardiola.

“The call happened, and Messi said to Pep: ‘I want to win the next two Ballon d’Or awards, and I can only do that with you.’

“This is the killer phrase that Messi used,” Soria said, repeating it twice.

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PSG and Manchester City are the obvious front-runners but Pep Guardiola’s side are arguably set up better to slot the Argentinean into the team.

Leo Messi’s announcement on Tuesday that his intention is to leave Barcelona had reverberations in Catalonia and further afield as clubs including Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and slightly more hopefully, Newell’s Old Boys, started to dream of adding the Camp Nou star to their ranks. Now the question is: which of those clubs would benefit most from the addition of the six-times Ballon d’Or winner, and where would Messi get the chance to showcase his talent to the best of his and his new club’s ability?

The Argentina captain has developed a very distinctive style of play and for many years Barcelona’s entire game plan has been molded to Messi’s needs. If and when he moves – unless it is to rejoin Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – he will find himself in a new league, with new teammates and a new coach, all of which will need to pull together to accommodate one of the world’s greatest-ever players.

The two front-runners for his signature, PSG and City, both have coaches in Thomas Tuchel and Guardiola who are well-known for their tactical diversity and both will be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of having Messi on their team sheet next season.


PSG: a magical front line of Messi, Mbappé and Neymar

Messi never really forgave the Barcelona board for losing Neymar to PSG and subsequently in Messi’s own words “not everything they could” to bring the Brazilian back last summer.

However, the addition of Messi to a front line already containing Neymar and Kylian Mbappé would seem to be an almost certain guarantee of success, Tuchel has adapated this season. The German tactician realized that throwing on as many forwards as possible isn’t going to blow every side in Europe away and it was a tactical switch that partly explains PSG’s run to the Champions League final. Instead of playing the “fantastic four” of Neymar, Mbappé, Ángel di María and Mauro Icardi, Tuchel sacrificed one of his prolific front four, Icardi, for an extra midfield player to reinforce the centre of the park and offer more protection to the defence. That player was Ander Herrera and the Spaniard thrived in the role, adding balance and a driving force from midfield. In the final against Bayern Munich, he was one of PSG’s best players.

Should Messi arrive in Paris, the temptation will be to return to the same mistakes of old. A forward line of Messi on the right, Neymar in the middle and Mbappé on the left is any coach’s dream but it would present its own problems given PSG’s current way of playing. Not only Icardi but also the influential Di María could both be benched to make way for Messi. Mbappé would also have to operate mostly through the middle with Messi a firm fixture in his favoured right wing position, or vie with Neymar for the left wing. Both Neymar and Mbappé prefer to operate nominally from that flank but either is comfortable in a more central position.

The other possibility top lay Di María behind the front three, but then PSG would find the same issues with balance and midfield control that have dogged them in the past.


Manchester City: a natural role in Guardiola’s side

However much Messi would like to be reunited with Neymar, Manchester City might be a better fit. No coach has ever got more out of Messi than Guardiola, who allowed him to operate nominally from the right but in a much more free role in order to pop up wherever he saw the best opportunity to attack the opposition defence. There are few better examples that Barça’s 6-2 drubbing of Real Madrid in the Bernabéu in 2009 when Guardiola deployed Messi as a false nine.

Guardiola can therefore adapt his team to suit the Argentinean, with the right flank very much up for grabs. This season it has been shared between Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, none of whom are likely to trouble Messi for a start with Guardiola on the bench.

The big question is how Messi would adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League and the frenetic end-to-end nature of many games. But there is little doubt that a front line of Messi, Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling would function from the off and Guardiola could choose to pair Messi and Kevin de Bruyne on the right, which would be a formidable weapon. Tactically speaking, there is no side in Europe currently set up to accommodate the Argentinean without a major shift in style or personnel.

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Inter wants Vidal on a ‘No Money’ transfer


Inter are targeting the capture of Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal on a free transfer.

The Catalans are desperate to raise money after being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Barcelona are holding out for a fee close to 15 million euros, La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Inter believe they can agree a deal for free.

Ronald Koeman informed Vidal that he didn’t consider him part of his plans for next season, and the 33-year-old is now keen to join Antonio Conte’s burgeoning project.

Inter aren’t the only club interested in Vidal but they have been tracking him the longest, and Conte is understood to see him as a key part of his group for next season.

Vidal is unlikely to be the only player leaving the Camp Nou in the coming weeks, as the Blaugrana continue their summer clear-out.

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Suarez have plenty of suitors to consider


Luis Suarez was one of the first Barcelona players to receive a call from Ronald Koeman to learn of his fate.

The Uruguayan was called last Tuesday and the Dutchman explained that he was not part of his plans for next season, which the forward had suspected before his phone rang.

Suarez wants to stay at the Camp Nou, but he knows that he has no shortage of suitors if he is to leave, from Juventus and Ajax to Leicester and MLS sides as well.

The Italian champions were one of the first to act on the news.

Some Italian media outlets put forward the idea of an exchange for Gonzalo Higuain, but that has been ruled out by Barcelona.


Ajax would also be open to their former player returning and sporting director Marc Overmars has expressed the club’s interest, although he did acknowledge that the chances were slim at the moment.

Leicester are another club interested, but they have just renewed Jamie Vardy for another three years, while David Beckham’s Inter Miami are leading the way in MLS.

Whatever happens, the 33-year-old will have plenty of options if he does walk out of the Camp Nou this summer.

He’ll leave as their third highest goalscorer in history, with two Golden Boots to his name and he ended the 2019/20 season with 21 goals in 36 appearances, even having to undergo knee surgery during the campaign.

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Shocking: Pellegrini blasts Koeman


New Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has been slammed by Manuel Pellegrini for the way he went about axing Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker was told by Koeman that he does not feature in his plans earlier this week and will be moved on.

Pellegrini, who has managed at Real Madrid and Manchester City during his career, believes Koeman showed a lack of respect to Suarez by informing him over the phone.

‘Personally, it does not seem correct,’ the current Real Betis boss told ESPN.

‘One, as a coach, must have the conviction and the frontality to speak face to face with the player and tell him that he will not continue to play.

‘I have had to do it many times and it hurts, but doing it by phone seems to me a lack of respect towards the coaches and the players.’

Suarez, now 33, spoke out for the first time since being cast aside by Koeman, writing on Instagram: ‘There are people using my name and saying things about me, people that I’ve had nothing to do with in years.

‘I’ll speak for myself when that time comes about.’

The former Liverpool forward, who scored 21 times last campaign, has been linked with moves to MLS side Inter Miami and former club Ajax this summer.

He was one of four players to be informed by Koeman that their futures at the club are over as the new boss continues his cull following their humiliating 8-2 Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich.


Suarez could be joined out of the door by Lionel Messi, who is pushing for a free move to Manchester City to reunite with former boss Pep Guardiola.

The duo were spotted leaving a restaurant together on Wednesday night for the first time since the Argentine handed in a transfer request via fax.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is said to have offered to step down from his role in a bid to change Messi’s mind about leaving, but the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has reportedly ignored his calls for face-to-face talks.

City want to sign Messi but it remains unclear whether or not the Argentina star can leave for free or if Barcelona would need to first accept an offer.

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