Whenever Lionel Messi so much as heaves a sigh, the world sits up and takes notice. So when the Barcelona superstar started heaving more than just air, naturally he attracted plenty of attention.
Not even ten minutes had passed in the match in Bucharest on Wednesday evening when Messi stopped short, bent over and began vomiting – not the first time it’s happened to the Argentine. But the episode didn’t last long, with Leo soon back running around, trying his best to hamper the Romanian defense. Alas, he had little luck. Romania and Argentina played out a goalless draw, and most forgot about the match entirely.
But not fans of the superstar, or of Barcelona. Or fans hoping that Argentina makes a big run in this summer’s World Cup. Messi was throwing up. Something was up. And it wasn’t good.
Relax. “It’s no big deal; it’s happened to me before,” Messi said. The Argentina team doctor also stressed that there was nothing to worry about, that such reactions are common in sport: “One cause can be physical and/or mental strain. The change in time zones – jet lag – and changes in diet also take a toll. Sometimes when people change their eating habits, it can trigger intolerance, leading to nausea and vomiting.”
Messi himself had his own theory behind why he was once again ill on the pitch: “Sometimes I accelerate very fast and the change in air intake that involves causes me to heave. I felt completely fine at the end of the match.”
Barcelona are currently one point behind Real Madrid in the La Liga title race, edging Atlético Madrid by just two points. Saturday’s clash with Real Valladolid, currently in the relegation zone, likely doesn’t worry them much, but supporters will be hoping Messi holds it together when Manchester City pay a visit to Camp Nou for their Champions League clash midweek.
Despite Louis Van Gaal‘s future being questioned, United being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage in December and being six points off the top four with just 13 games of the current Premier League season to go, the strength of their results off the pitch continue to show just how successful a business they’ve become.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told investors that: “Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority – success on the pitch.”
Woodward has also vowed to continue United’s “strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy.”
Van Gaal, 64, will need a strong finish to the season on the pitch to help United to success and in turn improve those financial figures for next season. Failure to finish in the PL’s top four and qualify for the UCL will substantially impact United’s financial results next season, and the pressure remains on him and his players to claw back the deficit.
The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.
Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.
The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.
The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.
With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.
The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.
According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.
Alex Morgan's goal is believed to be the fastest goal scored in U.S. history. #13in13seconds. #USAvCRC, 1-0, 7'