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.”
POPE Francis cheered fellow Argentine Lionel Messi and other football stars as he led a rally of sorts at the Vatican for Argentina and Italy’s national teams ahead of a friendly match.
Francis, the first pontiff from Latin America, is an avid football fan who roots for the Saints of San Lorenzo back in Buenos Aires – so the spiritual leader arranged to meet stars including Andrea Pirlo and Messi in a a private audience in the Apostolic Palace ahead of Wednesday’s match, which is being played in tribute to the new pope.
One of Italy’s national team members, Mario Balotelli, who is black and has been the target of fans’ racism, was the only player to get private time with the pope. Francis and the striker spoke together in a small room off the sumptuous Clementine Hall where the audience was held.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said Balotelli looked “emotional” after their talk but that the player declined to say what he discussed with Francis.
Francis also dodged the question of whether he’d offer a papal blessing for his home country’s team. “It will really be a bit difficult for me to root, but luckily it’s a friendly match.”
ANOTHER Spurs match, another win dragged from the jaws of disappointment by Gareth Bale.
The Welsh flyer scored an exocet-like strike from range at the death tonight – after scoring earlier in the match – to see off a spirited West Ham away from home 3-2.
They now sit above London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in third place in the Premier League.
Is there any player this year that has single-handedly pulled their team up the table as Bale has done, and with such style as well?
It surely has echoes of Robin van Persie for Arsenal last season, and arguably Bale has more importance to Spurs than Van Persie to Man Utd, Messi to Barcelona, Ronaldo to Real Madrid etc.
Getting Champions League football will be one hell of an achievement for Andre Villas-Boas, given the strength of competition from the likes of Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool this season – but by god, keeping hold of Bale will be a bigger battle this Summer.
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”.
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.
THE votes are in, the results have been counted – granted, it’ didn’t take very long – and here are the results of the inaugral Goaltastic season survey.
A few names dominate the player of the year categories.
Domestically, it was a landslide for Robin van Persie, while worldwide, Lionel Messi destroyed the competition in the surveys takes as well as on the field.
The signing of the season however split the vote – with the names of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Newcastle’s Demba Ba and Spurs’ Scott Parker all topping the poll.
Most entertaining vote saw Mario Balotelli pipping City teammate David Silva and Gunner Robin van Persie, with the Dutchman also jointly topping success of the season, alongside Swansea City and Antonio Valencia of Manchester United.
Three teams were named as flops – winner Liverpool, followed by Aston Villa and Wolves.
And the answer to who would you like to see playing in the Premier League next season?
Santos’ Neymar and Messi were the favourites – altough an honourable mention must go to the answer Leeds United!
HAS anyone in the world outgunned Lionel Messi this year?
Is David Silva the best player in the Premier League?
Has Fernando Torres stunk out the beautiful game this year?
Has anyone been more entertaining than Mario Balotelli?
Goaltastic wants to know.
If you have a minute, and I promise it won’t take longer, then fill out our anonymous reader survey here – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VNBSH3T
Results will be published in due course…