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Suarez scores brace in Uruguay's 4-1 win over Mexico
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Suarez scores brace in Uruguay’s 4-1 win over Mexico

Houston (US), Sep 8: FC Barcelona forward Luis Suarez scored a brace in Uruguay’s 4-1 friendly win over Mexico at the NRG Stadium here.

While Suarez was the obvious standout for the South American squad, goalkeeper Fernando Muslera made equally important contributions in holding El Tri to just one goal, reports Efe news.

Uruguay opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Jose Gimenez emphatically headed home a corner kick from the right side by Jonathan Urretaviscaya.

The more than 50,000 spectators in attendance on Friday night then seemed to be in for a treat when Mexico scored the equalizer just four minutes later on a penalty conversion by forwarding Raul Jimenez.

But Suarez began taking over the game at the half-hour mark, first scoring on a remarkable free kick in the 31st minute and then completing his brace at the 40-minute mark with a risky Panenka-style penalty conversion.

The FC Barcelona superstar had won the penalty when he was taken down in the area by Mexican defender Jesus Angulo.

Uruguay added one more insurance goal in the 58th minute when midfielder Gaston Pereiro headed home a “rabona” pass from Suarez.

Mexico had several other chances to score but Muslera deflected away shots by Jimenez, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, and Victor Guzman.

The friendly was the first match for both teams since the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where Mexico was eliminated in the Round of 16 and Uruguay lost in the quarter-finals.

Mexico will next take on the United States in a friendly on Tuesday in Nashville, Tennessee, while Uruguay will travel to Japan for a game against the Samurai Blue in Saitama on October 16.

Won't pressurise Messi to return: AFA
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Won’t pressurise Messi to return: AFA

Buenos Aires, Sep 6: Claiming that Lionel Messi has given Argentina much more than he has received in return, Argentine Football Association (AFA) President Claudio Tapia said on Thursday that he will not put any pressure on the FC Barcelona star to return to the fold.

“We have to be thankful. He has done a lot for the national team and we have repaid him in the worst possible way,” Tapia was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.

Messi has taken an indefinite break from the Argentina squad after captaining them to the round-of-16.

Interim head coach Lionel Scaloni said Messi’s absence will be felt.

“We miss him. But we have to let him be, in peace. He has to enjoy his family, his life. We shall see what happens later,” he told TyC Sports.

“Once we have a project, a name (new full-time coach), we will see what Leo thinks.”

Messi is yet to win a major trophy with his country despite competing in five World Cups and eight Copa Americas.

The 31-year old has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since making his debut with Argentina in August 2005.

Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba, Barcelona
Luis Suarez says Barcelona would welcome Paul Pogba with open hands. Image Courtesy: Getty
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Paul Pogba will Always be Welcomed at Barcelona – Luis Suarez

Barcelona forward, Luis Suarez says France midfielder, Paul Pogba will always be welcome at the Spanish club. However, he also criticised Antoine Griezmann’s style of rejecting Barcelona in the 2018 summer transfer window.

Paul Pogba was linked highly with a move to Barcelona in the 2018 summer transfer window.

In the 2018 summer transfer window, Pogba was linked highly with Barcelona. But in the end, he stayed at Manchester United, as Jose Mourinho didn’t want to let the midfielder go.

However, Pogba’s linking to Barcelona doesn’t end so soon. And Suarez has said the doors are always open for Pogba at Camp Nou. Suarez told RAC1,

“Pogba’s an elite player who’s won everything. He has a lot of quality, and he’s one of the references at United. I think he would like to be competing for more than he is at the moment. He’s not a player that belongs to Barca, but he would always be welcome.”

Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba, Barcelona
Luis Suarez says Paul Pogba will be welcomed at Barcelona. Image Courtesy: Getty

Things started to get tougher for Paul Pogba at United after his relationship with Mourinho took a turn.

After the manager criticised the Frenchman in the summer, it was known that Pogba wanted to leave right after that.

 

Meanwhile, praising Paul Pogba, the former Liverpool striker revealed he was shocked after he heard Griezmann is not joining Barcelona.

“It was a surprise [that he stayed at Atletico] because of what he had said. But you have to respect his decision, which he made with his family. He earned everyone’s respect. There were some people saying I would leave if he came in, but I don’t know where that came from. If he came, he would have been well received because he’s an excellent player.”

According to the reports, Griezmann was all set to join the La Liga champions. But in the end, he decided to remain at Atletico Madrid, finally announcing his decision in a documentary called “The Decision.”

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I Didn’t Imagine Ronaldo Leaving Madrid Or Joining Juventus: Messi

FC Barcelona’s captain Lionel Messi feels with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo in Juventus, the Seria A champions are now favourites for the Champions League. However, Messi was shocked after heating the departure of Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

Messi was shocked to see the departure of his fellow rival.

Messi arch rival Ronaldo joined Juventus in the summer transfer window. In an interview with Catalunya Radio on Monday, Messi finally broke his silence to talk about the shock transfer.

The Argentine forward feels Real Madrid will be less good without Ronaldo, while Juventus are now top contenders for the Champions League.

The new Barcelona captain told Catalunya Radio:

“Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them less good and makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League.”

5 reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will make the best duo ever

When asked if he was shocked after the hearing the departure of Ronaldo, the player said:

“It surprised me [when he left]. I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus. There were a lot of teams that wanted him. It surprised me, but he has gone to a very good team.”

Meanwhile, Messi also talked about his side’s new signings in the summer transfer window. The skipper is excited to work with the new players in the squad.

“I didn’t know much about Arthur before [he joined], but he’s really similar to Xavi. He’s really safe and reliable [on the ball]. He has the style of a player that’s come through La Masia. He plays well over short distances, he doesn’t lose the ball… He’s got to grips really quickly with the team’s dynamic.”

Barcelona started their La Liga campaign with three wins a row and now are at the top of the table. Before the International break, they thrashed SD Huesca 8-2 at home with Messi scoring two goals.

Ivan Rakitic, FC Barcelona
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic is expected to sign a new deal with the club. Image Courtesy: Getty
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It’ll Arrive Soon But There’s No Rush – Ivan Rakitic Expects New Barcelona Deal

FC Barcelona midfielder, Ivan Rakitic is confident he will get a new contract after he decided to stay at the club. The Croatian also revealed he snubbed an offer to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2018 summer transfer window.

Rakitic expects for a new contract after the midfielder decided to stay at Camp Nou.

The midfielder was one of the targets for PSG this summer, as they look to strengthen their midfield. With FC Barcelona adding two more mid-fielders to their squad (Arthur and Arturo Vidal), it was likely for Rakitic to leave.

However, the Croatian star has decided to take on the challenge and keep playing for the La Liga champions. Rakic told The Sport,

“It’s something that I’ve already spoken to the club about, before and during the World Cup. t’ll arrive soon, but there’s no rush. I know that the club looks after its players well and I’m confident the ‘presi’ will call me soon.”

Ivan also revealed he was never close to trading La Liga for Ligue 1. However, he did consider an offer from PSG; he was always determined to stay at Camp Nou.

“I listened to my wife, and my heart and I realised that I’m very privileged to wear Barcelona’s shirt. To defend this badge is the greatest honour. There isn’t a team in the world who could give me more unless it’s money. My eldest child has been at their school for two years, and she has her friends. The youngest is about to start preschool. We’re very happy here, and in that regard, it was a very easy decision to make. I’m proud to continue at Barca.”

Ivan Rakitic, FC Barcelona
Ivan Rakitic expects to sign a new FC Barcelona deal.

However, FC Barcelona never pushed Rakitic into deciding something out of the track. He was never an unwanted member in the squad, and an offer from PSG didn’t change anything either.

“If that had been the case, then we would’ve talked. We’d need to see what was best for everyone and if the club had approached it that way, then maybe my reaction would’ve been different.”

Barcelona will play their 3rd La Liga game on Sunday against the newly promoted side, Huesca.

Paco Alcacer, Borussia Dortmund
DORTMUND, GERMANY - AUGUST 28: Paco Alcacer signs a new contract with Borussia Dortmund with Michael Zorc (sports director of Borussia Dortmund) at Dortmund on August 28, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund/Getty Images)
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Transfer Latest: FC Barcelona’s Paco Alcacer Joins Borrusia Dortmund on Loan

FC Barcelona forward, Paco Alcacer has joined Borrusia Dortmund on a season-long loan deal, confirmed on Tuesday.

Paco has moved to Dortmund on a season-long loan deal.

Paco couldn’t yet make a big name at the Camp Nou, as Luis Suarez is delivering top performances for FC Barcelona. However, as a backup striker, Paco still couldn’t prove his worth yet to earn more minutes. The player moved to FC Barcelona from Valencia in 2016 for €30 million.

Now, the La Liga champions have decided to send him on loan and get more playing minutes. They said in a club statement that BVB will pay €2 million (£1.8 million) for the loan deal and will also cover Alcacer’s wages. However, the German club has an option to buy the Spaniard permanently for €23 million (£21 million).

The 24-year old took until December of his first season with the Blaugrana to get his first goal. He could make only 14 La Liga starts in two full seasons.

Paco Alcacer, FC Barcelona
Paco Alcacer has joined Borussia Dortmund on loan from FC Barcelona. Image Courtesy: Getty

However, with Dortmund losing so many stars during the 2018 summer transfer window, Paco’s signing would be a boost for them. In the past, the player scored 13 goals and provided six assists in La Liga for Valencia in 2015-16. FC Barcelona released a statement on Tuesday regarding the transfer,

“Borussia Dortmund retains an option to buy the player for 23 million euros plus 5 million in variables and FC Barcelona retain the right to refuse that option. FC Barcelona will retain 5% of any future profit from the sale of the player by Borussia Dortmund to a third party.”

Paco came to Barcelona in the 2016/17 season. Since his debut against Alavés in the league, the striker played a total of 50 games for FC Barcelona. He played 37 games in LaLiga, seven in the Copa del Rey, five in the Champions League and one in the Spanish Super Cup.

Paul Pogba Manchester United
Paul Pogba talks about his life at Manchester United. Image Courtesy: Getty
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Barcelona Signing Paul Pogba Would ‘Make Us Happy’ – Gerard Pique

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has found it tough to get going once again this season. The player is failing to thrive under Jose Mourinho and this is impacting the club results.

Although he was one of the chief contributors for France at the World Cup, Manchester United are unable to get the best out of him. And this could leave the club with an option to sell him before the end of the transfer window. And FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has backed his club to sign Paul Pogba.

Barcelona Signing Paul Pogba Would 'Make Us Happy' - Gerard Pique 1
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

“I’m not too well-informed on what’s going on between [Pogba and Mourinho],” Pique said at an event on Monday. “He is a great player, that’s clear, and we will see in the future if he changes clubs.

“It would be good if he came [to Barcelona] and it would make us happy in the future, but we have to respect the fact he is a Manchester United player.”

The 25-year old was signed for a record €105 million back in 2016 by Manchester United. The fee is still a record in Premier League and was then the world record transfer fee for any player. However, Paul Pogba had failed to live up to the expectations of the fans under Jose Mourinho.

The duo found it tough to work together especially over the course of his second season. Jose Mourinho often benched him in favor of youngster Scott McTominay during the latter stages of last season. The relationship only seems to sour in recent weeks.

Barcelona – Long Time Admirers of Paul Pogba 

The Spanish giants first tried to sign Paul Pogba back in 2015. However their massive €80 million bid was rejected by Juventus. The Red Devils secured his signing the following season.

With Barcelona trying to fill the void left by Andres Iniesta, Paul Pogba would be a great addition to the current midfield. Although they signed Arthur Melo and Arturo Vidal this summer, Pogba would be the impact signing for the club.

Paul Pogba Manchester United
A fallout with manager Jose Mourinho could see Paul Pogba leave Old Trafford this season. Image Courtesy: Getty

With Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic on the wrong side of 30s, this could be Barcelona’s moment to seal a deal for Pogba. This would pair him perfectly with Phillipe Coutinho at Nou Camp for many years ahead.

Lionel Messi Barcelona
Barcelona has named Lionel Messi as their new captain. Image Courtesy: Getty
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We Will Do Everything to Bring UCL Back to the Camp Nou – Lionel Messi

New Barcelona captain Lionel Messi feels proud to lead the Spanish club, and he promised the fans that his side would do everything they can to bring the Champions League back to the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi gave the traditional captain’s address to the Camp Nou crowd on Wednesday.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Joan Gamper Trophy clash with Boca Juniors, Messi gave the traditional captain’s speech to the Camp Nou crowd. The Barcelona captain said,

“First of all, I want to say that for me it is a great pride to be the captain. I know what it means to be the captain of Barca, but I had great teachers like Puyol, Xavi and the great Andres, who we will miss this year.”

Lionel Messi also said the Champions League exit was too hard to digest. And their top priority in this season will be to bring back the Champions League at the Camp Nou.

“Regarding this year, I think we have set a platform to get excited, the signings that came will help us a lot to be better than we were.  Although last year we won La Liga and the Copa del Rey, we all got stung in the Champions League. We promise that we will do everything possible so that this beautiful cup returns to the Camp Nou again.”

We Will Do Everything to Bring UCL Back to the Camp Nou - Lionel Messi 2

The career of Messi as Barcelona’s captain couldn’t start better than this. He had already won his first title as captain after beating Sevilla 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup Final.

Lionel Messi has now 33 titles in his Barcelona career. It includes four Champions League wins, nine La Liga crowns and six Copa del Rey, as well as a record five Ballons d’Or’s.

Lionel Messi Argentina FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi unlikely to represent Argentina in 2018.
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Lionel Messi Steps Down from International Football Until Further Notice

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has decided to step down from international football until further notice, confirmed on Tuesday.

Messi is likely to play for Argentina again in 2019.

Before the FIFA World Cup 2018, in a press conference, Lionel Messi said his future with Argentina depends on the outcome of the World Cup. After their exit in the round of 16 against France, Messi didn’t speak about the same.

After one month, the Argentine captain finally broke his silence. He said he will not rejoin the Argentina national team this September for friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia and is unlikely to play again in what remains of 2018.

The interim manager, Lionel Scaloni informed he wouldn’t be available for the upcoming games in the United States and he didn’t confirm when he will play again for the national team or if he intends to come back for the 2019 Copa America.

The 31-year old Messi failed to live up to the expectations of the Argentine fans in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. He was heavily criticised for the failure of Argentina.

Jorge Sampoali, who was the coach during the World Cup also had too many expectations from Lionel Messi. As a result, all of his tactics were all around Messi, and it backfired the side.

Lionel Messi FC Barcelona
Lionel Messi

However, Messi is off to fresh start with his club Barcelona. He won his first trophy with the Spanish club as official captain after beating Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup.

Messi and Barcelona will take on Boca Juniors on Wednesday for the Joan Gamper trophy. His former Argentine team-mate Carlos Tevez also plays for Boca Juniors, and they are all set to clash against each other. Tevez said ahead of the friendly match,

“I think we should all leave him to make his own mind and make the decision that will make him happy. The best decision both for him and his family. Surely if he feels happy and decides to re-join the national team is because he has the support of his family and he wants to do it. If this isn’t the case, then it would be useless for him to stay and do something he has no motivation for.”

Paul Pogba, Barcelona
Paul Pogba could join Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona, hints the club President. Image Courtesy: Getty
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Barcelona President Denies to Rule out Paul Pogba Move

Barcelona President, Maria Bartomeu didn’t agree to talk anything about Paul Pogba, but he didn’t rule out the move and said anything could happen in the next 20 days.

Paul Pogba could be at Barcelona, hints club President

Following the 2-1 victory against Sevilla in the Super Copa final, Maria talked about the 2018 summer transfer window in the press conference. When asked about Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, he gave an answer which raised a lot of questions.

“I won’t speak of any names, we have respect for all clubs and there are 20 days left. We’ll see which players come out. We’re focused on the League, so it’s best to ask [Eric] Abidal, [Ramon] Planes or Pep Segura about players. There’s still time to do business.”

Barcelona has been very busy in the 2018 summer transfer window. Players like Andre Gomes has been sent on loan, while Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina have been sold to Everton. Andres Iniesta’s era also came to an end at the Camp Nou.

Paul Pogba, FC Barcelona
Paul Pogba to Barcelona is on the cards.

Barcelona has signed a few players too. The Spanish club has signed Malcom, Arthur Melo, Arthuro Vidal and Clement Lenglet so far. With the press conference of the Barcelona president, it suggests a lot of surprises might be still on the cards.

Meanwhile, when asked to the Barca’s manager if the team got the replacement of Andres Iniesta, Valverde said,

“We are never going to find another Andres Iniesta, that’s impossible because there is only one and he is in Japan. I don’t think about signings. I think about my team and preparing for the next match. That’s my plan, although everything is up in the air until the window closes.”

Barcelona’s La Liga campaign will begin on 19th August when they will take on Alaves at home.