To 50 … and beyond? Lionel Messi hits half-century mark for La Liga season

2 Comments

You’re taking this very personal. Tom, this is business and this man is taking it very, very personal.

So said Sonny Corleone to Tom Hagen as the jaw-wired Mike suggested the Turk and dirty police commissioner had to go. And if you squint and stare for long enough, Lionel Messi sure looks like a young Al Pacino (if a little more Tony Montana than Michael Corleone):

source:  source:

Of course, Mike eventually got his way, and today, Leo got his. Again.

With four goals in today’s Barcelona derby against Espanyol, Lionel Messi is now on 50 for the La Liga season, 72 in all-competitions.

In the three games since Barcelona was shown out of Champions League, Messi’s been as hyped as a movie drug lord protecting his last pile of coke. Taking all the talk about not stepping up against Chelsea and Real Madrid very personally, Messi’s scored nine times in the last seven days.

Here’s today’s insanity. For those wondering, “only” 10 of his Liga goals have come from the spot.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Pw1gSkYK3o]

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a 50th goal than recognizing the man who constructed the team around you. After converting his second penalty of the day, Messi runs over to thank Pep Guardiola (who looked thoroughly un-entertained on the first goal).

Also, note Messi’s eyes in the replay of the first penalty kick conversation. Right has his plant leg hits the ground, he looks up to see where the `keeper’s going.

If I tried that, I’d miss either miss the ball entirely or John Terry it, but any coach that wants me to take a penalty kick deserves what they get.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.

Celtic secures trophy treble, ends Scottish season unbeaten

Jeff Holmes/PA via AP
Leave a comment

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.

Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.

No China for Costa: It’ll be Chelsea or Atletico Madrid

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.

Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.

[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]

The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.

Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following:

More Messi wizardry leads Barca to Copa del Rey title (video)

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sometimes, a match recap needs just a couple keywords instead of paragraphs.

For example: Messi, Barcelona, Cup Final, the best.

The greatest player on Earth was at it again on Saturday, scoring a deft goal before assisting a Paco Alcacer offering as Barcelona won another Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win over Alaves on Saturday.

[ MORE: Pulisic, BVB win German Cup ]

It’s a third-straight Copa del Rey for the Blaugranas, their 29th crown in the tournament’s history. Barca has also lost 10 Copa finals, the last in 2014 against Real Madrid.

Here’s the goal:

And the pass: