Getty Images

Messi pens Neymar emotional goodbye letter


Neymar’s departure from Barcelona is making some of his teammates emotional, including star attacker Lionel Messi.

Neymar arrived at training early Wednesday to meet with his teammates and club officials and tell them he’s set to leave the club, with all signs pointing to Paris Saint-Germain as Neymar’s next destination.

Following Barcelona’s public announcement that Neymar would be leaving, subject to another club triggering his $263 million transfer fee, Messi wrote his good-byes on in a post on the social media app Instagram.

“It was a great pleasure to share all these years with you, my friend Neymar,” Messi wrote. “I wish you much luck in this new stage of your life. See you (later), I love you.”

Messi and Neymar formed a feared partnership over the past four years that led to two La Liga titles, three Copas Del Rey, one UEFA Champions League crown and a FIFA Club World Cup title.

Messi to extend contract with Barcelona until 2021

Getty Images
Leave a comment

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi will play out the best remaining years of his trophy-rich career at Barcelona.

The Spanish club said Wednesday that Messi had agreed a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the club through the 2020-21 season. By then, Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer will be 34 years old and finishing his 17th season with the club.

[ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule ]

Barcelona announced that Messi will sign the new deal “in the coming weeks” that will be good through June 30, 2021.

The contract extension comes as no surprise. Messi has repeatedly said he wanted to play the best years of his career at Barcelona, before perhaps making a return to his native Argentina that he left at 13 years old to come to Barcelona’s famed La Masia training academy.

But with his current contract set to expire at the end of the upcoming 2017-18 season, the club’s board, players, fans and new coach Ernesto Valverde can all breathe easier this summer knowing their star is staying put.

Barcelona released a statement in English calling Messi “the best player in history, who has played his full professional career at Barca and has led the team to an era of extraordinary success, the likes of which has never been seen in world football.”

[ MORE: Latest MLS standings ]

Since making his debut with Barcelona’s first team at age 17 in 2004, Messi has established himself as one of the best to ever play the game. He has won the FIFA world player of the year five times, and has become the Spanish league’s all-time leading scorer.

Messi, who turned 30 last month, has scored a club record 507 goals in 583 matches. His honors with the club include four Champions League trophies, eight Spanish league titles and five Copa del Rey titles.

The announcement comes five days after Messi married his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo, mother of their two sons.

Messi will now be expected to again lead a Barcelona side that has been eclipsed for the first time in more than a decade by fierce rival Real Madrid, which won both the Champions League and La Liga titles last season.

UEFA Champions League roundup: Messi hat trick, Man City postponed

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The first eight group stage matches are in the books around Europe, with Barcelona, Napoli, and Bayern Munich making statements of intent.

[ MORE: Man City, Gladbach postponed ]

One giant, Manchester City, wasn’t allowed that chance after a lightning storm forced the postponement of the Premier League side’s match with Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad Stadium.

Barcelona 7-0 Celtic

Neymar teed up Lionel Messi for a pair of first half goals, as Barcelona bounced back from its 2-1 loss to Alaves this weekend.

Messi scored again in the second half to complete his hat trick, while Luis Suarez nabbed a brace. Andres Iniesta and Neymar also scored.

The Blaugranas rarely need help to disassemble a team’s hopes, but Mousa Dembele‘s earned and missed penalty didn’t exactly buoy the Bhoys spirits on Tuesday.

Neymar buried a free kick just after halftime, and this one was in cruise control.

PSG 1-1 ArsenalRECAP

Edinson Cavani scored in the first minute and could’ve had a hat trick in the frame. Those misses combined with an outstanding second half from Arsenal backstop David Ospina stopped this one from being a blowout at the Parc des Princes. Alexis Sanchez nabbed a 78th minute rebound goal to give the Gunners a point.

Arsenal next hosts Basel two weeks from Wednesday, while PSG is off to Bulgaria to face Ludogorets on the same day.

Bayern Munich 5-0 Rostov

Thomas Muller scored in first half stoppage time to buttress the lead provided by Robert Lewandowski’s 28th minute penalty kick. Joshua Kimmich added a pair of second half goals, and Juan Bernat also netted as the Bavarians cruised to victory.

PSV 0-1 Atletico

Saul Niguez scored another fantastic UCL goal to give the returning finalists a lead, and PSV’s Mexican veteran Andres Guardado missed a penalty before halftime. There’s a bit of perceived karma there, as the call was controversial at best.

Benfica 1-1 Besiktas

Ex-Benfica man Talisca broke his former supporters’ hearts with a stoppage time goal to give the Turkish powers a point from Portugal. For the hosts, Argentine attacker Franco Cervi netted his first goal since arriving from Rosario Central.

Dynamo Kiev 1-2 Napoli

Arkadiusz Milik’s move from Ajax to Napoli is off to a fantastic start, as the Polish striker buried a pair of goals after Dynamo went ahead through Denys Garmash.

Basel 1-1 Ludogorets Razgrad

Cafu — no, not that Cafu — scored in the 45th minute to give the Bulgarian visitors a 1-0 lead at the break. Renato Steffen gave the Swiss hosts their point with a second-half equalizer.

Messi nets two goals as Barcelona downs Elche, 3-0

Leave a comment

Although Barcelona may not have won the significant championships last season, you can almost always count on Messi strutting his ability against weaker La Liga squads.

In Barcelona’s league opener vs. Elche CF, who else but the Argentine star tallied more than half of his team’s goals.

His first goal arrived in the 41st minute, as he made an excellent turn and run forward before blasting a low shot past goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton for the great finish. In the 63rd minute, he record his brace, speeding across the face of the net prior to sliding a brisk strike through a small opening between Elche defenders.

Eighteen-year-old Munir El Haddadi, replacing an injured Neymar, added a goal just after halftime, in between Messi’s two goals. Andres Iniesta also had a splendid opportunity when he smacked the iron on his left-footed endeavor in the 32nd minute.

Even though Javier Mascherano was sent off with a red card in the 44th minute, Elche couldn’t capitalized to keep the scoreline close, losing out to Barcelona’s might on both sides of the ball.

Behold in all its glory the trailer for the “Messi” docudrama

1 Comment

The story of Lionel Messi was surely going to one day become a biopic, what with his growth-hormone deficiency and meteoric set of skills, but did we see it coming this early in his playing career?

In what resembles a mix of after-school special, “The Sports Reporters” and an AND1 mixtape, we bring you the trailer for “Messi” thanks to the web site

It looks like that there are plenty of superstars talking about the Argentine striker in addition to playacting scenes from Messi’s life and highlights. Cruyff, Pique, Iniesta…. all there to talk about Messi.