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Lionel Messi surpasses Pele's goalscoring record, leads Argentina to win in World Cup qualifiers

  • Sep 10, 2021
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Lionel Messi broke Brazil great Pele's South American goal scoring record with a hat-trick that helped Argentina beat Bolivia 3-0 in the World Cup qualifiers on Thursday. Messi became the best scorer in South American football history The 34-year-old scored 79 goals for Argentina, overtaking Pele's tally of 77. The Argentine captain opened the way for his team at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires in front of 20,000 lucky fans in the 14th minute. He moved the ball between the legs of a Bolivian defender and shot from outside the penalty area to the right of the goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. Once again he showed his technique to score the second in the 64th minute. Messi and forward Lautaro Martinez exchanged four quick passes to put the six-time Ballon D'Or winner in a magnificent position. He still had time to dribble past one defender before scoring. Messi completed his hat-trick in the 88th minute from close range after getting a rebound from Lampe. Also Read- LaLiga will not be weakened by Lionel Messi's exit, says ex-Real Madrid player Fernando MorientesArgentina now have 18 points in second place. Bolivia remains in ninth place with six. Brazil and Argentina will have one less competitive match after this international window since the Super Classic was suspended on Sunday. FIFA has yet to decide what will happen will the match, as it was stopped in a shocking way after Brazilian health officials tried to remove four Argentinian players for allegedly providing false information to authorities. The top four teams from the South American qualifiers earn direct spots in the World Cup finals in Qatar next year, and the fifth-place team will go into an intercontinental playoff. Previously, Uruguay beat Ecuador by 1-0 to move to third place in the table. Uruguay managed to get a last-minute home win against Ecuador, which was key to their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. The header by Gaston Pereiro in stoppage time allowed Uruguay to add 15 points and take Ecuador third on the table. The Ecuadorians still with 13 points, are in fourth place and they are also well positioned to go to Qatar next year. Colombia also clinched an important 3-1 home win over Chile in a magnificent performance from forward Miguel Borja. He scored the first from the spot in the 19th minute and added another one minute later. Chile reduced the gap in the 56th minute with Jean Menezes, but Luis Diaz added Colombia's last goal in the 74th minute. Also on Thursday, Paraguay beat Venezuela 2-1. The hosts scored with David Martínez and Alejandro Romero in the 7th and 46th minutes. The visitors scored their only goal in the 90th minute with John Chancellor. He posted on social media after the game: "I dreamed a lot about this day and thank God it came. "I have no words to thank you for all the love received. What a beautiful night, I really enjoyed it. Unforgettable."View this post on InstagramA post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)Also Read- Lionel Messi signs two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain after leaving BarcelonaAlso Read- Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time highest goalscorer in international football with brace against Ireland

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Lionel Messi Makes First PSG Start But Club Brugge Hold On For A Draw

  • Sep 16, 2021
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Lionel Messi failed to provide Paris St Germain with any sparkle as the Ligue 1 team's potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.In his debut with the French team, the Argentine forward managed to surpass him, but he was far from his brilliant best next to the disappointing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who set up Ander Herrera for PSG's first-half opener before being replaced injured after the break.Brugge, who levelled before halftime through Hans Vanaken, were more powerful and had the best chances against a PSG that lacks quality and defensive focus.The result left Paris Saint-Germain and Bruges two points behind Group A leaders Manchester City after the Premier League champions crushed RB Leipzig 6-3."We didn't play a fantastic game but to be fair we did enough to win, we deserved to win," said Herrera."Maybe they had opportunities at the beginning of the second half but I think we controlled the match, we had a lot of chances."Also Read- Lionel Messi surpasses Pele's goalscoring record, leads Argentina to win in World Cup qualifiersBrugge keeper Simon Mignolet disagreed."I didn't have a lot of work, I just pulled a couple of saves. We played as a compact side, it was the right approach," the Belgian said.With Messi, Neymar and Mbappe together on the pitch for the first time, PSG made a confident start but Brugge responded well.FULL-TIME: Club Brugge 1-1 @PSG_English The points are shared on Matchday 1 of the @ChampionsLeague. #UCL | #CLUPSG pic.twitter.com/P3EVbjqQxP— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 15, 2021Mbappe broke the left flank and his low cross was met by Herrera, and opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a low shot to score his fourth goal this season-his third goal in the last two games.Messi set up Mbappe, who went close in the 23rd minute with an angled shot that was deflected by Mignolet but PSG were lulled into a false sense of security.Also Read- LaLiga will not be weakened by Lionel Messi's exit, says ex-Real Madrid player Fernando Morientes

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Messi may return for PSG against Manchester City in UCL

  • Sep 28, 2021
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Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted that his star-studded squad is still under construction, on the eve of hosting Manchester City in their Group A match in Paris on Tuesday.Pochettino remained evasive about who is PSG first-choice goalkeeper and whether Keylor Navas or new signing Gianluigi Donnarumma will start against City.Up front, Pochettino expects Lionel Messi to return in attack as the Argentine shakes off a minor knee injury that sidelined him for two games. Messi's last Champions League goal for Barcelona came against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes in last season's last-16. He had a penalty saved in that game by Navas.Paris Saint-Germain opened their Champions League campaign with a disappointing 1-1 draw with Club Brugge two weeks ago.Also Read- Virat Kohli to quit RCB captaincy after the end of IPL 2021 season

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Champions League: Messi stars in PSG win over Manchester City, Liverpool see off Porto, Sheriff shock Madrid

  • Sep 29, 2021
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Lionel Messi scored his first Paris Saint-German goal in the French club's 2-0 win over visiting Manchester City while Luxembourg midfielder Sébastien Thill struck late for Sheriff to stun 13-time champion Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday. Messi, who joined PSG on a two-year contract after leaving Barcelona, found the top corner superbly in the second half to add to Idrissa Gueye's early first-half opener and put the capital club top of Group A on four points. Luis Suárez also struck late as his injury-time penalty gave Atlético Madrid a 2-1 win at 10-man AC Milan. Club Brügge and Liverpool also claimed away wins at Leipzig and Porto, respectively.Messi scores maiden goal for PSG After two games, City are third on three points after their first defeat in a group stage game since 2018 ended an 18-match unbeaten run, a point behind PSG and Club Brugge, who won 2-1 at RB Leipzig. Real Madrid slumped to a 2-1 defeat by Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League on Tuesday as the visitors pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history with a stunning 89th-minute strike from Sebastien Thill. Spanish champion Atlético were second best for long periods at Group B rival Milan. Luis Suarez's stoppage-time penalty and Antoine Griezmann's first goal since returning to Atletico Madrid earned the Spanish side a 2-1 victory over 10-man AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. On the other hand, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both struck twice and Sadio Mane once in a 5-1 drubbing of the Portuguese champions to seize control of Champions' League Group B.Also Read- Messi may return for PSG against Manchester City in UCL

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Italy's record 37-match unbeaten run ends with 1-2 defeat to Spain in Nations League

  • Oct 07, 2021
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Ferran Torres put Spain into the Nations League final on Wednesday with a brace in a 2-1 win that ended Italy's world record unbeaten run at 37 matches in front of their own fans. Torres struck twice in the first half to make sure that Luis Enrique's Spain won the Final Four clash at the San Siro in Milan, where they will face either France or Belgium in Sunday's final. Lorenzo Pellegrini pulled a goal back with seven minutes left but the European champions failed to complete what would have been a memorable comeback after a spirited second-half performance with 10 men. Italy, who beat Spain in the Euro 2020 semi-finals, had to play over half the match with one man fewer after Leonardo Bonucci was sent off in the 42nd minute for picking up a second yellow card for elbowing Sergio Busquets in the face during an aerial challenge. "The first half could have easily finished 1-1... It's a shame because we would have stayed with 11 men were it not for an error which you can't commit at this level," Italy coach Roberto Mancini told RAI. The match took place in a strange atmosphere, as AC Milan fans on the field provoked Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma during his return to the San Siro following his move to Paris Saint-Germain. Donnarumma, who is considered one of the world's best goalkeepers and won the Player of the Tournament award at the Euro, left Milan as a free agent in the summer and his departure left a bad taste in the mouth of supporters who loudly booed and whistled his every touch of the ball.Also Read- Harmanpreet Singh, Gurjit Kaur win best player awards as India sweep international hockey honours "It upset us, because it was Italy playing, it wasn't a club match. They could have put it to one side for one match," Mancini told reporters later. "Italy is Italy and I think it should come above everything else."Fans attack DonnarummaDonnarumma was barracked by the home fans both when he came out for the pre-match warm-up and when the teams were read out, with the boos and whistles loud enough to drown out the announcements over the stadium's speakers. He was even whistled by some home supporters on his first touch of the ball in the fourth minute although by that point others in the crowd had started to applaud him in an attempt to cover up the criticism. However boos persisted every time he got the ball and in one bizarre moment Bonucci took a goal kick, only to roll the ball a couple of metres to Donnarumma, who again had to try to block out a wave of anger from the stands. They clearly started to have an effect on his performance, first reacting sluggishly to Torres' flick which put Spain one goal ahead in the 17th minute. Only two minutes later, Donnarumma then fumbled an innocuous shot from Marcos Alonso onto the post and had to thank Bonucci for getting back in time to clear the ball off the line. After a period of Spain dominance, Italy responded and should have at least been level 10 minutes before the break, Federico Bernadeschi having a 34th-minute shot pushed onto the post before Lorenzo Insigne fluffed the easiest chance of the half. Emerson Palmieri was sent charging behind the right side of the Spanish defence and rolled a perfect low cross to the unmarked Insigne, who sliced wide a side-footed finish. However, the hosts' task was made much harder just before the break when Bonucci was sent off and Torres all but killed off their hopes of extending their record with his deft header from another Mikel Oyarzabal cross. Down to 10, Italy gave a good account of themselves and Pellegrini cut the deficit with seven minutes remaining largely thanks to Federico Chiesa. Juventus forward Chiesa nicked the ball after a Spanish corner was cleared and charged down the field unopposed before laying on the Roma midfielder to tap into an open goal which briefly gave Italy fans hope. World champions France takes on Belgium at Juventus' Allianz Stadium in Turin on Thursday.Also Read- Anshu Malik becomes first Indian woman to reach wrestling World Championships final

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Sunil Chhetri breaks Pele's record as India beat Maldives to enter SAFF Championships final

  • Oct 14, 2021
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India on Wednesday confirmed their place in the final match against Nepal after 3-1 victory over Maldives at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives. Manvir Singh’s opener was cancelled by Ali Ashfaq in the first half before Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the second half to confirm the spot for the Blue Tigers. Sunil Chhetri broke legendary football player Pele's record during the match against the Maldives in the ongoing 2021 SAFF Championship Pele had scored 77 goals for Brazil and Chhetri went past the Brazilian superstar when he scored a goal in the 62nd minute in the match against the Maldives. Chhetri further bettered his tally as he scored another one to have 79 international goals under his belt. The Indian captain is now the third-highest active international goalscorer. Lionel Messi (80) and Cristiano Ronaldo (115) are the two footballers who are ahead of Chhetri in the list of active international goalscorers. The Indian captain has also become the joint sixth-highest goalscorer in the world.123 Internationals 79 Goals @chetrisunil11 becomes the joint 6th highest goalscorer in the world! #INDMDV #SAFFChampionship2021 #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/Tg4UCTPAAE— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 13, 2021Although his team is going through a long lean phase, Chhetri's scoring prowess remains as good as ever, which is a testament to his consistency and dedication.A Wonderful Gesture Skipper @chetrisunil11 handed over his Man of the Match award to @apuiaralte45 for his brilliant performance today! #INDMDV #SAFFChampionship2021 #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/povTme0mZI— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 13, 2021Throughout his glorious journey, the deadly poacher from Delhi has played alongside former stars such as Bhaichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh in the national team, besides well-known international players in the ISL and I-League. Notwithstanding the occasional chatter around his age and his longevity, the Indian captain had said that he wanted to keep playing in top-flight and has not given his future any thought. India is undefeated in this edition, having drawn with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and then beating Nepal. The side will now look for its eight SAFF Championship title when it takes on first-time finalist Nepal in the final.Also Read- BCCI unveils Team India's new jersey ahead of T20 World Cup

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Cristiano Ronaldo stars in Manchester United comeback win over Atalanta

  • Oct 21, 2021
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Cristiano Ronaldo headed in an 81st-minute winner as Manchester United came from two goals down to beat Atalanta 3-2 in a pulsating Champions League Group F match at Old Trafford on Wednesday. After a poor performance in the first half, with Atalanta leading 2-0 in at the break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team turned the game and possibly their season around with a thunderous performance. The pressure was on Solskjaer after Saturday's 4-2 Premier League loss to Leicester Cit and he opted to drop Paul Pogba to the bench but there was little sign of improvement from that switch. Manchester United were disjointed and dispirited in the opening 45 minutes but raised their tempo and the volume from the Stretford End with a relentless push to victory that culminated in the Champions League's record scorer demonstrating his brilliance in front of goal yet again. Mario Pasalic put Atalanta ahead in the 15th minute, turning in Davide Zappacosta's low ball from close range and United, with just one win in their last five games in all competitions, looked drained of belief. It was no great surprise when the Italian team doubled their lead in the 29th minute with Merih Demiral rising at the near post to glance in an angled header from a Teun Koopmeiners corner. Fred and Marcus Rashford missed good chances for United before the break but the home side returned to the game in the 53rd minute. A clever ball from Bruno Fernandes allowed Rashford to cut in from the left and he picked his spot with a shot into the far corner. Scott McTominay struck the post after connecting with Christian Ronaldo cross but although United were pushing for a leveller, the Italians were still a threat and the hosts were thankful to keeper David De Gea for a superb double save to keep out a drive from Duvan Zapata and follow-up from Ruslan Malinovskyi. Cristiano Ronaldo in one word?#UCL pic.twitter.com/APwQcItPuh— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 20, 2021However, the pressure paid off for United when they drew level with Harry Maguire drilling the ball home at the back post after the static Atalanta defence failed to intercept a Fernandes ball across the box. Then came the winner as Luke Shaw whipped in a superb cross from the left and Ronaldo rose superbly, timing his jump and his header perfectly to power the ball past Musso. "I was right behind him. His leap, his timing, it was perfect right in the corner," Maguire said. "We see it day in, day out in training and in the goals he has scored throughout his career. He has come up with a massive goal for us again in the Champions League," he added. "We got the goals we needed and deserved and I think we deserved the win in the end. Yes, we made it difficult but it is a tremendous victory in the end." United leads the group after three games on six points with Atalanta and Villarreal two points behind.Also Read- Australia pacer James Pattinson retires from international cricket

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FIFA Rankings: India rise one spot to 106th, Belgium hold onto top position

  • Oct 22, 2021
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October 2021 was a busy month in international football, with qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, friendlies, and the final rounds of the UEFA Nations League all on the agenda. A total of 160 fixtures were played, the impact of which can be seen on the FIFA Rankings. Though their lead is now under threat, Belgium remains on top despite UEFA Nations League defeats to France (3rd, 1) and Italy (4th, 1). Among the top five, only Les Bleus and Gli Azzurri have improved their positions. India has also moved one spot ahead to the 106th position after the Sunil Chhetri-led side won the SAFF Championship. The Blue Tigers had defeated Nepal in the summit clash. Brazil remains in second place but are breathing down the neck of Belgium, just 12 points behind. England, meanwhile, dropped two places to fifth."A little further down, Spain's (7th, 1) progress at the expense of Portugal (8th, -1) is also noteworthy, as is that of Germany (12th, 2), who leapfrog USA (13th). Uruguay lost most ground among the top 20 by dropping three places to 15th," read an official FIFA statement. It is after that, however, where we find some of the most significant movers on this edition. Morocco (29th, 4), Russia (33rd, 4), Egypt (44th, 4), Saudi Arabia (49th, 7) and South Africa (66th, 7) all made strides on the back of two wins from two this month in Qatar 2022 qualifying. Two nations in the second half of the table fared even better, with New Zealand (111, 10) and Indonesia (165, 10) the joint-biggest movers this month, ahead of Central African Republic (115, 9) and Cambodia (170, 8).Also Read- IPL 2022: Ranveer Singh And Deepika Padukone To Bid For Two New IPL Teams- Reports

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Messi confirms he will 'return to Barcelona' after PSG stint

  • Nov 02, 2021
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Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will return to Barcelona with his family once his spell at Paris Saint-Germain ends, and he wants to help the LaLiga club in the role of technical director. The star admitted that he "misses everything" about the Catalan capital where he spent more than two decades. Messi ended a two-decade stay at the cash-strapped Spanish club, where he is their record scorer with 672 goals, in the off-season and messi transfer to psg on a two-year deal. "I don't know if that'll happen when my PSG contract is up. What's almost confirmed and certain is that we'll return to Barcelona to live and our lives will be there," Messi told Spanish outlet SPORT. "That's what my wife and I want. I don't know what'll happen when my PSG contract ends, but we'll go back to live in Barcelona."I've always said I'd love to be able to help the club do well in any way that I can be useful. I'd love to be a technical director at some point. "I don't know if that'll be at Barcelona or if it might work out differently. "If the option is there, I'd love to contribute again in any way that I can because it's the club that I love and I'd love it to keep doing well, growing and remain one of the best in the world." Messi was injured in Paris St Germain's 2-1 win over champion Lille on Friday, but coach Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful he will be available for this week's psg in champions league game at RB Leipzig.Also Read- T20 World Cup: How can India still hope to qualify for the semi final