ARGENTINEAN superstar Leo Messi isn’t wanted at Barcelona by a proportion of the Spanish club’s fans.
Two per cent of them to be exact.
Despite scoring a 220 league goals in 248 matches and helping Barcelona win more trophies than I’ve had hot dinners, a recent poll has shown that two per cent of Bracelona fans don’t want their star striker at the club.
Barca’s president Sandro Rosell: “In the club we do internal polling and there is two per cent who do not like Messi.
“I would like to know these two per cent.”
BARCELONA spelling B! Footballing legend Leo Messi has scored a spot in the Spanish language after a dictionary added a word in his honour.
The word, imessionante, means several things – either, the perfect way to play football or an unlimited ability to self-improve, or just a description of “the best player of all time”.
Unusually for Messi though, this honour is not a first – earlier this season Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it into the Swedish dictionary with the verb Zlataner, meaning “to dominate”.
FRANK Lampard, of England and Chelsea fame, thinks that the Three Lions can emulate the Blues’ against-the-odds style at Euro 2012.
Despite being on the back foot for the best part of five matches, Chelsea managed to overturn Napoli, favourites Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the final to scoop the Champions’ League trophy this season.
He said: “England can do what Chelsea have done.
“There are a lot of similarities, after all – new manager and key players missing through injury and suspension.
“At Chelsea we found all the adversity brought us even closer together. Yes, we had some luck along the way too. But the mental strength we showed and our refusal to accept defeat helped us overcome Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“I’m sure England can show the same mentality and attitude.”
England kick off their campaign against a resurgent France tomorrow.
STRANGE it should come in a season when by their own exacting standards Barcelona have unravelled somewhat – but tonight Lionel Messi set the all-time goalscoring record.
It has been on the cards for a while – and last season I thought it might be about to happen, with Messi then close to usurping legends like Dixie Dean.
But tonight, via the medium of Gary Lineker’s Twitter account, I heard the news.
Take it Gary: “With 3 goals tonight, Messi with 71 goals has more goals in one season than any player in any league, anywhere, any time ever!”
Since then, Messi added another in an undoing of Espanyol – taking his tally to 72 goals in a season.
Messi, I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again – Goaltastic salutes you.
QPR manager Mark Hughes snubbed a Premier League suggestion for his team to form a guard of honour for London rivals Chelsea on Sunday as an alternative to the cancelled pre-match handshake, he has revealed.
Hughes admitted his surprise at the guard of honour idea following Chelsea beating Barcelona over two legs to reach the Champions League final, saying: “They were looking for solutions for the game at the weekend and the Premier League were throwing things out there and said at one point that one alternative would be to form a guard of honour and clap Chelsea onto the pitch, and I’m thinking there is absolutely no chance of that happening.”
However the Premier League later denied the suggestion had been made, with a Premier League spokesman saying: “It was never under consideration. The board would never have suggested or agreed to it.”
COOL Chelsea, I salute you – that 1-0 win was a vintage performance against Barca.
I had suggested that without working every situation to their advantage Chelsea didn’t have much of a hope.
And yes, there was a lot of play-acting from one man (Drogba, I’m looking at you) – but apart from that it was a sturdy, unflustered, calculated effort that ultimately paid off.
So often teams look unsettled before a ball’s been kicked against the Barcelona steamroller, but with a smidge of luck on top in Barca fluffing their few chances, and Drogba taking his, the Blues confidence was not misplaced.
Now let’s see if the feat can be repeated as coolly in the Nou Camp…
FOOTBALL’S ‘dark arts’ are not often discussed openly – not as a genuine tactic, anyway.
But the footballing world seems almost united on the point that Chelsea, who tonight kick off a two legged affair with footballing juggernaut Barcelona, cannot prevail.
Not honestly, anyway.
As a result, a fair few pundits have suggested that instead of attempting to beat Barca on their own terms, Roberto Di Matteo’s team should not play fair.
Go in hard on key players, hang on to the ball as long as is humanly possibly, waste time, roll around on the floor like they’ve been shot, schythe down strikers when through on goal – do whatever it takes to disrupt Barca’s rhythm, and snatch a goal on the break.
Many have tried, many have failed – but many have tried to play them at football too, and we all know what happens then…
The question is, is a victory at any cost a worthwhile one? Should Chelsea actively cheat to beat Barcelona tonight and at Camp Nou?
Moral maze, aside, I’d like to see them try it.