Wizard Leo Messi does it again in 4-1 win over Real Betis - fut365
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Wizard Leo Messi does it again in 4-1 win over Real Betis

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I’d like to initiate this post making a disclaimer. Have you ever thought that we’re lucky to witness Lionel Messi playing? That we will be able to tell our children and future generations “Yeah, I saw Messi. No, he wasn’t from this planet.” Honestly… I’ve never seen anything like that on planet Earth. Messi is surely something else. He is capable of repeating magnificent performances without stopping to think about the size of the legacy that has already been built. Luck for those who live in Seville, who could witness two hat-tricks of the “Argentine” – is he really from this world?- in less than a month. He trashed Sevilla and then, Betis.

Messi scored three goals, and it could have been four, as the Wizard hit the post in the last moment of the game, and certainly, we are not talking about one of the 10 or 20 major performances of his career. Still, the Argentine lives a moment in which what he touches turns into gold. He opened the scoring at 18 in a brilliant curvy free-kick, straight to the top corner of Betis’ goalkeeper. World class goal from Messi.

He made it two on the verge of the break, at 47, in a genial touch of Suarez left the Argentine face to face with the goalkeeper. He obviously scored. 2-0 Barcelona. After the break, it was time for Luis Suarez to shine, as he scored the third for the Catalans in a beauty offensive run, driving forward through Betis’ defense, and delivering it to the back of the net. 3-0 Barcelona.

At the 82nd, Betis scored their consolation through Loren Moron, who received a pass in the edge of the area, and fired home a lovely finish into Ter Stergen’s corner. 3-1.

Three minutes later, Messi’s done it again, in a top class looping finish from distance, over the goalkeeper. The ball even touched the post before getting in. It seems it was everything calculated by the Argentine number 10. What. A. Goal. 4-1 Barcelona.

With the win, Messi overcame Xavi and now has 477 wins in official games with Barca shirt. This guy is the definition of a record. He has set the bar very high, it’s gonna take probably more than a century for anyone to get close to him and why not, Cristiano Ronaldo as well?

The defeat of Atletico Madrid to Athletic Bilbao allowed Barca to widen the gap to 10 points, with 10 games to go. The general impression is that the Catalans are going to get the title once more. Let’s see what’s gonna happen until the end of La Liga, but this was Messi’s night. No doubts.

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Liverpool initiate pre-season with a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers

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The European Champions are back in action! On this Thursday, Liverpool with mostly their reserves, made their first preseason friendly, ending up thrashing Tranmere Rovers 6-0.

The highlight of the match was young striker Rhian Brewster who showed up his “classic number nine” skills and scored twice in the small Prenton Park stadium in Merseyside. Nathaniel Clyne opened the scoring in the six minutes and Brewster scored at 38 and 45. With 11 changes in the second half, Liverpool scored three more through Curtis Jones, Divock Origi, and Bobby Duncan.

As expected, coach Jurgen Klopp used all 23 players at his disposal, among recently promoted youngsters and some reserves, as goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, midfielder Adam Lallana, striker Divock Origi and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who returned to the fields at the end of last season after a year recovering from a serious knee injury.

Among the holders of the last season, the Brazilian midfielder Fabinho and defender Joel Matip, who were called only in the second half, and midfielder James Milner, who played in the opening stages, were already in the first friendly.

At the end of the match, a good part of the supporters invaded the pitch to take pictures with the players. The most requested one was the UEFA Champions League hero, Divock Origi, who recently agreed his contract extension with the Reds. I’m excited to see Rhian Brewster in action for the main team. I also think that Jurgen Klopp needs to give some chances to Ryan Kent, and Harry Wilson to be at least backup pieces to this squad. It’s hard to say only based on a 6-0 win over Tranmere Rovers, but it’s undeniable that the Reds keep on fire. Will Liverpool and Klopp repeat last season, and maybe finally conquer the so dreamed Premier League this season? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!

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The Retirement of a Giant!

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Everything comes to an end… And on this Friday morning, notorious English striker Peter Crouch announced his retirement from football. At the age of 38, the 2.01m giant used his official Twitter account to inform fans of his decision.

The former Liverpool player said he got it all thanks to football and still made a point of thanking everyone who helped him out during his career in the sport.

“After much consideration this summer, I decided to retire from football. Our wonderful game gave me everything. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me to get there and to keep me for so long.” He wrote.

Crouch was revealed by Tottenham back in 1998 and had also played for clubs like QPR, Aston Villa, Norwich, Stoke City, and Burnley. However, a two-meter giant needed a club with his proportions… And he found everything he was looking for at Liverpool, as he played important roles, scored decisive goals, and even disputed a UEFA Champions League. Also, it was playing for the Reds that Crouch was called to defend England National Team back in the World Cups of 2006, and 2010.

“If you told me, when I was 17, that I would play in World Cups, reach a Champions League final, win the FA Cup and get 100 goals in the English Championship, I would not believe. It was absolutely a dream come true.” Added the player.

In his last season, Peter Crouch began playing in the second division, with the shirt of Stoke City. He then went to Burnley, where he played six games in the English Premier League and did not score goals. He’s a very nice guy, and almost everyone likes him. He’s always making fun of himself due to his big size, and even compare him to a giraffe. I’m pretty sure Liverpool fans will always remember him.

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Griezmann signs for Barcelona!

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Finally, the Griezmann conundrum is solved! After over a year of rumors and speculations, Barcelona announced today the signing of French striker Antoine Griezmann. The confirmation of the transfer occurred with the payment of the fine of 120 million euros to Atletico Madrid, held at the headquarters of the Spanish League.

In a statement, the Catalan team reported that Griezmann signed for five years, until June 30, 2024. Also, the Catalans have set a buyout clause in Griezmann’s contract of about 800 million euros.

Griezmann had the opportunity of joining the Catalans a year ago, but he opted for staying at Atleti. However, something made him change his mind up, as he joins Ernesto Valverde’s side. Griezmann will “steal” Philippe Coutinho’s number 7, as the Brazilian midfielder is currently numberless, and dignity-less as well at the Catalan club.

If Barcelona and Griezmann are happy, apparently the other side, Atletico, is not. The club from Madrid is arguing that Barça should pay 200 million euros instead of 120, as the agreement for the French player was sealed back in March when the fee to sign Griezmann was higher. Atletico is also complaining about the “Barça-way” of approaching their targets, as they seem to forget about etic values and fair play to the other clubs.

But let’s be honest… 120 million euros for Antoine Griezmann is such a joke. He’s a very good player, maybe he’s been world-class at his prime, but he is a merely good player nowadays. Not to mention average season last season with Atleti.

In my opinion, the Griezman arrival in Barcelona is one more problem for Ernesto Valverde to solve. He’s got into such a situation where he needs to figure out how to play Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, and maybe Neymar together at the same time. What a squad Barça is building up by the way. They’ve got everything to become the new “Galacticos” maybe? Yeah, who knows… Only time will say!

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