Carlos Tevez

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Crossroads: What if Tevez hadn’t saved West Ham?

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Carlos Tevez, the wonderful yet enigmatic Argentine striker, had put West Ham in a position to survive for another Premier League season at the end of the 2006-2007 season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

After scoring his first Premier League goal for West Ham on March 4 against Tottenham, Tevez reeled off five more goals in West Ham’s next nine games, which coincided with six wins to bring West Ham into safety. Heading into the final game of the season at Man United, West Ham only needed a draw against the eventual champions.

But what if West Ham collapsed at Old Trafford, and went down? What would it have done for both West Ham, and Tevez’s career?

Of course, we know that’s not what happened. Tevez scored just before halftime in one of his brilliant, me-against-the-world dribbles through five defenders and West Ham went on to win to secure safety.

Watch the latest episode of Crossroads above and check out all the previous episodes here.

Copa Libertadores final postponed at Boca Juniors request

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Boca Juniors have requested that the second leg of the Copa Libertadores Final be postponed again following Saturday’s chaotic day at El Monumental.

UPDATE: Boca’s request has been granted.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the match was delayed a few hours and eventually postponed to Sunday after River Plate fans attacked the Boca bus with tear gas, smashing windows which lead to a trip to the hospital for captain Pablo Perez.

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Glass was removed from Perez’s eye and face, and Carlos Tevez was among the players reportedly willing to forfeit rather than play on Sunday as several players took ill.

Here’s how Perez described his injury, via BeINSports.com:

“I’m feeling hurt,” he said. “This was supposed to be a party and it seemed more like a war. I’ve got an irked eye. They told me I have some injured spots in my eye. That could be caused by the glass splinters they got out from there.”

Yeah, we guess it could be caused by that!

Boca’s request for further postponement, presumably to a neutral venue, was made to CONMEBOL, noting the hostile atmosphere at the stadium and the potential for more fan violence.

The neutral venue seems remarkably unlikely given the first leg was played at Boca’s home, but the restoration of “equal terms” would make sense. Boca’s players simply are not as healthy as they were before the events.

FIFPro is backing Boca.

The game, tied at 2 after the first leg, is expected to kick off at 3 p.m. ET.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has been on the scene for all decisions.

Copa Libertadores second leg rescheduled after chaotic afternoon

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Common sense has prevailed after a chaotic day in Argentina, where the second leg of the Copa Libertadores between longtime rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate has been postponed.

A group of River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus en route to the match, and several Boca players needed medical treatment after tear gas invaded the vehicle.

[ MORE: Spurs beat Chelsea ]

Boca’s Pablo Perez needed medical treatment after getting glass in his eye, while several others were left sick to their stomach, and the match was initially postponed just a few hours.

Boca star Carlos Tevez admitted he could not believe the team would be forced to play, but planned on taking the field.

Reports claimed FIFA head Gianni Infantini told Boca it would forfeit the match if it did not take the field, but River did not want to play, either.

You can appreciate that the organizers would’ve feared what may happen outside the stadium if the match was suspended, but it also may’ve served to amplify the danger inside the venue as well.

The first leg was also suspended because of poor field conditions following a rain storm, and finished 2-2.

The final has now been set for 3 p.m. ET Sunday.

The entire day has been a black eye for FIFA and CONMEBOL, and every eye will be trained on how both organizations deal with Sunday’s events around and inside the stadium.

River Plate fans attack Boca Juniors bus, 2nd leg delayed (video)

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A number of Boca Juniors players have been reportedly exposed to tear gas after River Plate fans attacked the team bus as it arrived for the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between the legendary rivals.

[ MORE: Spurs beat Chelsea ]

The match was scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. ET, with Boca and River square at 2 after one leg, but now it has been delayed several hours (though there’s precedence to suggest that River may have to forfeit).

From The Independent:

South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) officials are currently meeting to discuss whether or not the final should go ahead, after reports that a number of Boca players – including Carlos Tevez – were taken unwell in the club’s dressing room following the attack.

CONMEBOL announced the final would be delayed three hours, though some reports say multiple Boca players have been transported to hospital.

If the match is not suspended, it would be stunning, but CONMEBOL is apparently insisting that the match must be staged on Saturday.

Footage before the match showed an adult strapping flares under the shirt of a child.

Tevez: It would be understandable if Messi retires from Argentina

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Lionel Messi’s unprecedented career as a professional has resulted in countless positive triumphs, however, how he is perceived on the international stage is much different than when it comes to the club game.

Argentina’s most recent falling out at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which saw the Albiceleste fall to eventual-winners France in the Round of 16, has raised more questions about Messi’s ability to deliver on the international stage.

Additionally, one can wonder whether he’ll ever play for the national team again.

Reports out of Argentina stated on Tuesday that Messi won’t take part in upcoming international fixtures against Guatemala and Colombia in the United States.

Former Argentina international and current Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez believes that some of the criticism from media and supporters has finally gotten to Messi, and that it’s “understandable” if the legendary attacker doesn’t return to the international game.

“It would be understandable if Messi doesn’t return to the national team,” Tevez told TyC Sports. “When you give and then you are criticised, it becomes very difficult. I’ve been through that and at times you don’t want to go [to the national team].”

With Messi and Co. falling out of the World Cup in the first knockout round this summer, the Barcelona goalscorer was targeted viciously for potentially selecting players to start in matches after a visible rift between manager Jorge Sampaoli and the squad occurred early in the competition.

Former Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov, who happens to be a close friend of Messi, says that simply is not the case though.

“That’s a lie that someone invented a while back,” Stoichkov told TyC Sports. “If that were the case, I would be the coach of Argentina because I’m Lionel’s friend. It’s a complete lie.

“A lot of people don’t know Messi. I know him very well and I can say that he never got involved in the construction of the national team. It’s all lies.”