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.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
WATCH: Lewandowski’s juggling stoppage time winner
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday