Lionel Messi left out from Copa America 2019 best XI after poor showing and controversial comments

Copa America 2019: Japan bow out after Ecuador draw

The Best XI of the recently concluded 2019 Copa America has just been named and all or most of the attention undoubtedly goes to Lionel Messi, who has been left out from the lineup thanks to a string of poor performances and some controversial comments that he had directed at the officials at the end of the tournament.

Copa America’s Best XI includes as many as five Brazilians, which is no surprise given the fact that it was Brazil who lifted the trophy – that too without conceding a single defeat throughout the competition. Finalists Peru have two entries in the eleven, while Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay have one entry each.

Check out the eleven right here:

As you can see, Everton Soares (Brazil), Paolo Guerrero (Peru) and James Rodriguez (Colombia) constitute the front-three of the Copa America Best XI, while Arturo Vidal (Chile), Leandro Paredes (Argentina) and Arthur (Brazil) line up in the midfield.

Thiago Silva (Brazil) and Jose Maria Gimenez (Uruguay) are the starting centre-backs, while Miguel Trauco (Peru) and Dani Alves (Brazil) have been named the full-backs in the eleven.

Brazil’s Alisson Becker, who also emerged as one of the best players in the tournament, has been made the unrivalled choice for goalkeeper in Copa America’s Best XI.

Meanwhile, Argentina and Barcelona legend Lionel Messi got snubbed from the eleven due to his poor showing in the competition. The 32-year-old played six matches for La Albiceleste in the 2019 edition of the tournament, but was able to score only one goal and record one assist. His only goal was a penalty against Paraguay in the group stage of the competition.

It is also being suggested that Messi’s controversial comments directed at the CONMEBOL officials may have played a role in his being left out of the Copa America XI. After the tournament, Messi lambasted the South American Football Federation and accused the organisation of being corrupted, while also ridiculing the refereeing standards used in the competition.

He had also alleged that Argentina’s exit from the tournament was caused due to the “crazy” refereeing in the semi-finals versus hosts Brazil.

Reports: PSG offer Neymar to Real Madrid amid looming Barcelona interest

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Earlier in March, it was reported that the 27-year-old will join Real Madrid and he even spoke of joining Los Blancos being a “dream” for him, in an interview with a Brazilian television. Later on, in June, various sources had said that Neymar will leave PSG and rejoin his former club Barcelona, who he called his “home” in another interview.

However, earlier last week, Neymar’s father dismissed all the transfer rumors related to his son and claimed that his son “will not leave PSG” in the summer.

And now, Marca reports that talks between Barcelona and PSG regarding the player have nearly reached an impasse, as a result of which the Parisians have now offered him to Real Madrid.

But according to the Spanish news agency, the management at Santiago Bernabeu is not keen to sign the attacker, given his recent disciplinary issues. In May, Neymar copped two three-match bans – one in the Ligue 1 and the other in the Champions League, for misbehaving with fans and match officials in two separate incidents.

Earlier, La Liga President Javier Tebas had also admitted that he was not glad at the prospect of Neymar returning to Spain.

“We always want to bring great players, but in the case of Neymar that behaviour is not good for the competition because, in the end, the news is if the player has done this or that. We have worked a lot in La Liga to maintain the values and we don’t want to change the image. Neymar can be a great player, but the behaviour is very important in the values we transmit in the competition. If the example he sets outside the field is not correct, I prefer that he doesn’t return to La Liga because he is not a good example,” he had said.

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Twitter trolls Lionel Messi as Alisson gets the better of him once again

Copa America 2019: Japan bow out after Ecuador draw

On Tuesday, 2nd July, hosts Brazil defeated Argentina 2-0 in the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa America and eliminated Lionel Messi and co. from the competition. Meanwhile, fans noticed an uncanny similarity between some of Messi’s recent counters with Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Between 2018 March and today, Lionel Messi faced Alisson five times, winning twice and losing thrice. On all the three occasions that Messi lost, his team was knocked out of an important competition and Alisson ended up keeping a clean sheet.

The first occasion was in 2018 April when AS Roma eliminated Barcelona from the Champions League 17-18 in the last-eight round. Alisson, who used to play for Roma then, kept a clean sheet as the Italian club registered a 3-0 victory and advanced on away goals after having tied the aggregate score at 4-4.

The next instance happened in 2019 May, when Alisson’s Liverpool knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League 18-19 in the semi-finals. Alisson kept a clean sheet once again as Liverpool won 4-0, leading by 4-3 on aggregate.

And now, Brazil has knocked Argentina out of the Copa America and Alisson’s clean sheet and goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino meant that the Canaries registered a 2-0 win.

Fans on Twitter promptly picked out the above observation and soon, talks about the Lionel Messi-Alisson Becker link became viral. Earlier during the game, the Brazilian shot-stopper had denied Messi who tried to score off a freekick and that added to the celebrations of Alisson’s supporters.

Check out the tweets right here:

Brazil will now play either of Chile or Peru in the finals of the 2019 Copa America, scheduled for Sunday, 7th July.

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Reports: Real Madrid star scouting houses in England ahead of potential Premier League move

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Real Madrid star midfielder Isco is so certain of a Premier League switch this summer, that he has already started scouting for houses in England, according to reports. He has also been linked to Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal this summer.

Isco had a mediocre outing in the La Liga last season and is likely to not be a part of Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane’s plans in the next season as well. The arrival of Eden Hazard and the apparent links between Los Blancos and midfielders like Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen has made it clear that Spaniard will no longer be a regular starter in the club, according to Diario Gol.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Arsenal are in search of options to reinforce their respective midfields as well and as reported by Diario Gol, Isco is one of their prime targets.

The former Malaga star is also linked to Manchester City as the Sky Blues’ boss Pep Guardiola apparently feels that Spaniard could become the perfect replacement to David Silva, who is due to leave the club at the end of the next season.

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Barcelona legend slams former club manager for criticizing Lionel Messi

Griezmann nutmegged TWICE in first Barca training session

Just a few days after former Barcelona manager Louis van Gaal criticized Lionel Messi for not being a ‘team player’, Barcelona legend Rivaldo has backed the Argentine, saying that individually brilliant players like him offer a huge boost to whichever team he plays for.

The Brazil legend took to Instagram and said that the likes of superstars Messi and Neymar are always team players and suggested that van Gaal probably does not like players that “detract from the coach”.

Check out his post below:

View this post on Instagram

@leomessi , @neymarjr e @cristiano são jogadores diferenciados e nem a equipe e o treinador sabem como eles fazem estas coisas de outro mundo, porém tem muitos treinadores que não gostam destes jogadores porque o treinador fica sem mérito e prefere falar que estes jogadores não jogam em equipe e que são bons individualmente. Como joguei por mais de 24 anos futebol sei muito bem que tem muitos treinadores que quando jogavam eram bem normais e outros nem jogadores foram. Hoje como treinadores, eles querem dizer que o seu time joga em equipe para eles terem o mérito de um ótimo treinador. Se você tem um jogador como Pelé, Johan Cruyff, Rivellino, Garrincha, Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Fenômeno, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Zidane, Romário, Kaká, Maradona, Zico, Mbappé, Figo, Stoichkov, Hagi etc, fica mais fácil porém não quer dizer que vá ser Campeão , e se você também tem uma Equipe que joga bem taticamente não quer dizer que vai ser Campeão. Eu prefiro os jogadores diferenciados pois futebol é alegria e todos gostam de algo diferente em campo. A equipe é sempre importante mas com certeza nela precisa ter jogadores diferenciados que farão algo a mais dentro de campo. fica a dica … #pentacampeão

A post shared by Rivaldo Ferreira (@rivaldooficial) on

Earlier this week, Louis van Gaal who formerly managed Manchester United as well, launched a scathing attack against Messi, saying that the Argentine talisman could take a page out of Liverpool star James Milner’s book and be a team player, rather than play the game for his own merit.

To which Rivaldo replied:

“Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are difference-making players and neither the team nor the coach knows how they do those otherworldly things,” he said, before adding: “But there are many coaches who do not like these players because they detract from the coach himself, so they prefer to talk about these players as if they do not know how to play as a team and they are good only individually.”

 

“I played football for more than 24 years and I know very well that many coaches were very average when they played and others were not players. Today, as coaches, they want their team to play as a team for them to have the merit of a great coach,” the former World Cup winner added.

 

“If you have a player like Pele, Johan Cruyff, Rivellino, Garrincha, Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Fenomeno, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Zidane, Romario, Kaka, Maradona, Zico, Mbappe, Figo, Stoichkov, Hagi, etc, it is easier. But it does not mean you are going to be champions. If you also have a team that does not play well tactically, it can mean that you are not going to be a champion.”

 

“I prefer difference-making players because football is joy and everyone likes something different. The team is always important, but you need to have different players who can do something more on the pitch,” he concluded.

Quotes via Goal.

Lionel Messi look-alike denies conning and sleeping with 23 women

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Iran resident Reza Parastesh, popularly known as the “Iranian Messi” for his uncanny resemblance to Lionel Messi, was recently accused of conning 23 women into sleeping with him by claiming that he was Messi himself. After the accusations went viral on social media, Parastesh denied the claims and said he is innocent.

On Tuesday, several news sources like Marca reported that Parastesh used his looks to his own advantage, by claiming that he is Messi to take advantage of some women. The Spanish news agency also claimed that he has duped a total of twenty-three women that way, so far.

As the story spread like wildfire, the 26-year-old was informed of the same and he has been trying to establish the claims as fake, since then. In an interview with Omasport, Parastesh himself confirmed that the news was fake.

“The news is spreading in the Muslim countries and it has been a disaster. I was severely harassed because it released the whole world on me. My family also harassed me, but the people’s attack was more influential,” Parastesh said.

The Tehran-based part-time model and graduate in Urban Engineering later released a video on his official Instagram page, claiming that he has not committed any crime:

“Hi friends, a piece of false news about me is trending on social media with regards to me sleeping with 23 women because they thought I was Lionel Messi. Please do not play with people’s reputation and credibility,” he requested, before adding:

 

“We are all aware of the fact that if it actually happened to anyone, there would be some complaints and it would lead to my prosecution. That would be a disaster and a calamity of international proportion. If this news was true, I would be in jail right now.”

 

“Do not believe it, it is not true. I am going to do everything to fight this legally and make sure my name is cleared,” he signed off.

Parashtesh’s rise to fame started two years ago when his father asked him to pose for a photo wearing Messi’s Barcelona shirt. The picture went viral and he got so popular that Instagram even had his account verified. Due to his similarity with the Argentine legend, the Iranian even cut his hair and grew his beard like him and these days, it is almost impossible to differentiate between both of them.

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Twitter explodes in laughter at fake Real Madrid tweet announcing signing of Ashley Young

Griezmann nutmegged TWICE in first Barca training session

A parody account of La Liga club Real Madrid released a fake tweet on Friday to announce the “official” signing of Ashley Young from Manchester United, only for Twitter users to erupt in unison.

The tweet went viral as well and surprisingly, a few users even believed the news.

The tweet was posted by Twitter user @RealMadridCFi and to their credit, it was a well-executed photoshop job that looks quite similar to Real Madrid’s recent, actually-official announcements of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and so on.

Take a look at the post below:

The tweet had garnered over 28,900 likes and 14,000 retweets by Saturday morning, with the numbers still expected to increase steadily over the day.

Upon close observation, one might be able to infer that it is, in fact, the two words “comunicado oficial” which followed the photo that actually led to fans initially believing that Real Madrid had actually gone ahead with the deal.

The above-mentioned phrase translates to “official statement” in English, and always precedes any new announcement made by the club, including change of personnel, new transfers, contract updates, and so on.

Some fans were easily deceived by the Spanish phrase and got so carried away that they even forgot to check the Twitter handle that posted the photo.

Soon enough, however, they released their folly and the Twitterverse was a laugh riot.

Replies to the original tweet included wholesome memes, trolls directed at Real Madrid, Manchester United, Ashley Young and the fans in general. There was also the occasional angry reaction from fans who still believed that the news was authentic.

Take a look at some of the best reactions down below:

Reports: Manchester United agree personal terms with next right back

Santo urges Wolves to add ‘quality’ to his squad ahead of transfer deadline

Reports suggest that Premier League giants Manchester United have finally gotten hold of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, after weeks of pursuing the youngster for his signature. The Red Devils have also apparently agreed on personal terms with the right-back player.

Metro reports that Palace finally agreed with Manchester United on a deal for Wan-Bissaka, after rejecting two of their previous bids. The first bid was for £40million while the second bid was for £50million, according to Metro.

The English news agency further adds that United’s third bid was for a reported £55million, which if Crystal Palace has accepted as claimed by the reports, will make Wan-Bissaka the most expensive English defender of all-time, trumping Kyle Walker who arrived at Manchester City from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2017 for a fee of £50million.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk will remain the most expensive Premier League defender ever, as other teams are yet to overtake the Reds’ bid of £75million for the former Southampton defender in 2018 January.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Wan-Bissaka is also set to be rewarded well by Manchester United, for agreeing to move to the Old Trafford. Metro claims that the new right-back will earn £80,000-a-week at the club, according to journalist Andy Mitten. The online publication further reveals that the youngster’s initial contract with the Red Devils will be charted for a period of three years.

Reports: Real Madrid want to sell loyal player against wishes of Sergio Ramos

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Reports suggest that La Liga giants Real Madrid are close to selling Nacho Fernadez, but Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos is not really happy with manager Zinedine Zidane’s and President Florentino Perez’ decision.

Don Balon reports that Ramos is very keen to make every effort in preventing Nacho’s sale and that the center-back feels that his Spanish compatriot is a very loyal player. Nacho has always been a Real Madrid player in his career, graduating into the senior team in 2011 after spending four years with the academy team.

Currently valued at just around €20million, Nacho is named in Real Madrid’s transfer list for the summer as Los Blancos look at other possible options at the center-back position, including Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Spanish news agency further reports that the footballer is likely to be sold to any club that meets Real Madrid demands as mentioned above. Serie A clubs AS Roma, AC Milan and Napoli have already shown interest in him, but none of these clubs have formally approached the Spaniards yet.

The 29-year-old did not feature much for The Merengues last season, playing in just 20 La Liga matches, five Copa del Rey games and five Champions League matches. He was mostly used as a substitute and rarely made it as a starter under Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and Zinedine Zidane.

Reports: Neymar finally breaks silence on PSG exit, wants to rejoin former club

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Brazil superstar Neymar Jr. has shockingly revealed that he does not want to play for PSG anymore. The forward reportedly regrets leaving his former club Barcelona and also spoke about wanting to rejoin the Spanish giants.

It is Mundo Deportivo that reports that Neymar met with PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi following the latter’s strongly-worded statements on the player in a recent interview with France Football.

“Nobody forced Neymar to sign here. I want the players to be prepared to defend the honour of this shirt and to get involved in all of the club’s plans,” Al-Khelaifi said in the interview, according to the news agency. He was visibly unhappy about Neymar’s absence at important moments during the previous season.

For instance, the 27-year-old was injured in January and immediately left for his home in Brazil and was unavailable to the club until April. By then, the Ligue 1 giants had exited the Champions League at the hands of Manchester United in the round-of-16.

The Spanish publication further reports that Al-Khelaifi’s statements left Neymar disappointed, causing him to meet with the club President. It is also being said that the Brazilian informed him that he does not want to play at the club any longer.

“I do not want to play more in PSG. I want to go back to my house, where I should have never left,” Neymar said, as claimed by Mundo Deportivo.

The news agency further establishes that Neymar was referring to none other than Barcelona when he made the above statement. The reports say that the player wants to rejoin the La Liga champions as he regrets leaving them in the first place, two seasons ago.

Neymar left Barcelona for PSG in the summer of 2017, for a world-record fee of €222million. He has since played 37 league matches for the French club, scoring 34 goals.

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Neymar denies accusations of rape to police, claims his relationship with the woman ‘was consensual’

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Paris Saint Germain footballer Neymar Jr. attended a hearing with Sao Paulo police on Thursday, 13 June after he was accused of rape by a Brazilian woman named Najila Trindade. The incident is said to have happened on May 15.

The Brazilian star who was injured during Brazil’s recent friendly game against Qatar, attended the hearing in a dark suit and leaning on crutches, as reported by Le Parisien. The hearing was arranged for Neymar to record his own statement regarding the accusation after Ms. Trindade recorded her own statement earlier last week.

According to Brazilian television network Globo TV, as quoted by L’Equipe, the footballer explained that he has not raped the woman and that the sexual relationship that existed between them was one of mutual consent. Neymar apparently added that it was Ms. Trindade who actually “asked to be spanked” by him.

RMC Sport reported that the 27-year-old then claimed that he left after Trindade slapped him during their second meeting – a part of which was revealed in a recent video released by the woman herself earlier this month.

The French publication further added that Neymar responded to journalists after his five-hour-long hearing. During his interview with the reporters, he apparently asked them to remain serene as “the truth will come out sooner or later”.

Meanwhile, the Sao Paulo police department has also reportedly filed a lawsuit against Ms. Trindade for allegedly defaming them in a television interview where she claimed that the police department was corrupted.

It was on June 1 that the initial allegations against Neymar were first brought to light. Neymar immediately denied her claims, after which she proceeded to reveal the messages exchanged between her and the player, to further add to her claims.

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Brazil police file complaint of slander against Neymar’s rape accuser Najila Trindade

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

According to the latest reports, Sao Paulo’s Police Department has filed a complaint of slander against Najila Trindade, the Brazilian woman who accused Paris Saint Germain star Neymar of rape.

Spanish news agency Marca reports that in her recent interview with a Brazilian television channel, Ms. Trindade apparently made several derogatory comments about the police department, which in turn infuriated them and forced them to file a formal complaint against the 26-year-old.

According to Marca, Trindade continued to stand by her previous accusations against the Brazilian footballer, after which she accused the police force of corruption, in an interview with SBT during the programme “Conexao Reporter”.

“The police are bought, aren’t they? Or am I crazy?” She was quoted as saying by the Spanish publication.

Later, on 12th June, Sao Paulo’s Police Department responded by releasing their own statement, which read thus:

“The honour of the police as an institution and that of the experts involved has been tarnished,” The statement further added that the Union of Police Commissioners of the State of Sao Paulo and the Association of Police Chiefs reject Trindade’s conjecture and that they are in solidarity with any victim of gender violence otherwise.

It was on 1 June that Neymar was initially accused of rape by the woman who is a model by profession. Later on the same day, Neymar came forward to claim that all the accusation made against him are false.

A week later, detailed text messages that revealed more on the situation emerged but the case was still set to be dropped following contradictory court statements made by Ms. Trindade.

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Reports: Barcelona to propose player plus €80 million deal for Neymar

Ramsey gives statement in Italian at first Juventus press conference

Word around the rumour mill is that Spanish giants Barcelona want Neymar back and that they are willing to offer Philippe Coutinho to Paris Saint Germain along with a transfer fee of €80million.

According to Diario Gol, Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is apparently astonished at arch-rivals Real Madrid’s progress in the transfer market. With two weeks, Los Blancos managed to make three high-profile summer signings – Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt, Eden Hazard from Chelsea and Ferland Mendy from Lyon.

The Spanish news agency further adds that Messi now wants Barcelona to make an equally important signing this summer. The Argentine reportedly wants PSG star Neymar to rejoin the Catalan side, after leaving them to join the Parisians in 2017.

Currently valued at around €220million, Neymar is one of the most expensive footballers of the world. But Barcelona hope to strike a deal for the Brazilian, by offering Coutinho and a transfer fee of in exchange for the Brazilian.

Neymar is currently injured and is not a part of the Brazil team getting ready to participate in the Copa America. It is estimated that his ruptured ligament will take at least four weeks to heal.

FOX Sports Asia probability ratings: 1/5; Barcelona are ready to offload Coutinho in the summer but it is unlikely that they will approach Neymar this summer. His recent disciplinary record that has also resulted in a three-match Champions League ban for next season, is one of the many reasons why Barcelona will not target him anytime soon.

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WATCH: Lionel Messi scores a brace as Argentina begin Copa America preparations in style

Copa America 2019: Japan bow out after Ecuador draw

On Friday, Lionel Messi’s Argentina began their preparations for the Copa America 2019 in terrific fashion, defeating Nicaragua 5-1 in an International Friendly held at San Juan, Argentina.

Messi himself was Argentina’s main hero on the game, scoring a quick-fire brace that gave his team a solid lead in the first-half before Lautaro Martinez added two more goals followed by Roberto Pereyra who scored their fifth of the day.

The Barcelona legend opened the scoring with a solo effort that involved dribbling past four defenders, in the 37th minute. A minute later, he added his second by rebounding a Sergio Aguero shot that was initially saved by Nicaragua goalkeeper Justo Lorente.

Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez then came off the bench and scored two goals within a space of ten minutes, in the second-half, His first goal came in the 63rd minute and the second goal came in the 73rd minute. Eight minutes later, Pereyra scored Argentina’s final goal of the day.

Nicaragua’s Juan Barrera netted a penalty in the first minute of injury time (90 + 1′) and that offered some consolation to the visitors.

Watch the game highlights, right here.

Coming up next for Argentina is their Copa America campaign, which they will begin by facing James Rodriguez’ Colombia in Salvador on June 15. Argentina were runners-up on both occasions when the tournament was conducted previously – 2015 and 2016 – they lost to Chile in both finals.

Lionel Messi famously retired from International Football after Argentina’s Copa America 2016 defeat, only to return the following year to help them qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. He removed himself from national duty once again – post their round-of-16 exit in Russia in 2018, but returned to the circuit in March with the hopes of winning an international title for his country.

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