Lionel Messi surprises young CanTeen heroes in Melbourne

Messi Group shot

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Two young people from adolescent cancer charity CanTeen received the shock of a lifetime on Wednesday, as they were greeted by a surprise visit from Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi at the City Football Academy in Melbourne.

Teenagers Georgia-Mae and Denis enjoyed an unforgettable day, receiving a special tour of the City Football Academy from Melbourne City FC CEO Scott Munn, before their afternoon took an unexpected twist.

Wearing their brand-new Argentina jerseys, the teenagers were gearing themselves up for a routine kickabout on City’s elite training pitch, where they were greeted by none other than five-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Messi.

Messi 2

The surprises didn’t stop there, with Messi presenting both teens with a brand-new pair of football boots, and signing their new jerseys.

For Georgia-Mae and Denis, spending time with the world’s best footballer was a deserved time-out. Georgia-Mae’s sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when Georgia was 11 and she has been supported by CanTeen ever since, becoming part of the leadership group and a mentor for other young people.

Denis’ mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 11. A huge football fan, he has grown up with CanTeen and is now part of their leadership group.

CanTeen is the Australian national support organisation for young people aged 12-24 living with cancer.

About CanTeen

We help young people cope with cancer in their family. Through CanTeen, they learn to explore and deal with their feelings about cancer, connect with other young people in the same boat and if they’ve been diagnosed themselves, we also provide specialist, youth-specific treatment teams.

To find out more, click here to visit CanTeen’s website.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Lionel Messi inspires Matildas’ ‘Mini’ to greatness

Westfield Matildas midfielder Katrina ‘Mini’ Gorry says she’s modeled her explosive game on Leo Messi. And the way the Matildas play makes it even easier for the diminutive playmaker to replicate the Barcelona and Argentina superstar’s game.

Australia’s women’s national team were the guests of honour at a special function in Sydney on Monday to celebrate last week’s qualification for the Rio Games.

A beaming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the team for being fabulous role models for young girls and boys.

Gorry revealed Messi has been one of her biggest role models in a burgeoning career that’s already seen the 23-year-old crowned Asian Player of the Year in 2014.

“Messi is an incredible player – the best in the world, and just seeing the way he moves on and off the ball is just incredible and something I hope to bring into my game eventually,” she said.

Messi has Suarez and Neymar to work his magic with. Gorry has Heyman, Simon, Kerr and Logarzo.

“He [Messi] picks players off and draws a lot of defenders in and finds a spare player and that’s something we always bring to our game. And I guess that’s a midfielder’s role to draw as many players in and release someone else.

“I’m getting more creative in that aspect of my game and my movement off the ball can improve. And with the balls we can put through we have lightning quick players like Barcelona and our strikers can make us look better than we are.

“We’re pretty lucky we have great players all over the pitch.”

Gorry netted a rare header in the Matildas’ fabulous opening win against tournament hosts Japan and sealed their passage to Rio with a long-range belter against DPR Korea.

While Gorry hasn’t seen Messi live she hopes to one day.

Though one female star has played against is the Japanese great Aya Miyama, who like Messi has influenced the Roar midfielder’s football.

Gorry said she learnt a lot from Australia’s heart-breaking loss to Japan in the 2014 Asian Cup final and analysed a lot of football to refine her game.

“After the Asian Cup a couple of years ago, having to mark [Aya] Miyama. Just here movement off the ball and just how smart she is on the ball,” Gorry added.

“I’ve found myself looking at her and just watching her game over and over.”

While many of her teammates will head back overseas in the coming days Gorry will remain with her Westfield W-League side Brisbane Roar to prepare for August’s showpiece sporting event.

“At the moment I’m just going to be staying home leading into the Olympics,” said Gorry.

“We’ll hopefully have a few camps here and a few games coming up so we can get together.

“We have quite a good set up at Brisbane Roar so I’ll be training with the youth boys and play with the girls against the boys.

“I’ll probably get a one-on-one coach and just work on technical stuff and stuff I can improve on.”

As for the nickname that has stuck with her throughout her career “Mini” insists she loves it.

“I do [love it]. It’s kind of stuck with me,” said Gorry. “My parents call me Mini now; it’s only Katrina if I’m in trouble so I like to stick with Mini.”

© 2015 Football Federation Australia ABN 28 106 478 068 | All Rights Reserved

Barcelona ace Messi scoops award in Dubai

Moni Mathews/Dubai
Filed on December 28, 2015 | Last updated on December 28, 2015 at 10.20 am
Barcelona player Lionel Messi during a Dubai International Sports Conference session on Sunday
(Reuters)

Barcelona adjudged Best Club of the Year at a glittering ceremony in Dubai

Barcelona star Lionel Messi clinched another award after winning the Best Player Award at the Globe Soccer Awards at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, on Sunday.

Barcelona was adjudged the Best Club of the Year.

“Obviously, I am very thrilled. But, full credit goes to my teammates at Barcelona and the club supporters and members,” Messi enthused.

“It’s difficult to choose a moment of my matches this year. Fabulous moment for the club and me now,” the Argentine star modestly said.

Earlier, die-hard fans waited anxiously for over three hours to get a glimpse of their favourite super-star – the one and only Messi – before the start of the 10th Dubai International Sports Conference (DISC).

All they wanted was to say hello to their dearest sports idol and they would not even have bothered to trouble Messi for an autograph on the script pads, soccer balls and T-shirts they carried in their backpacks.

Messi, a nominee for the Best Player of the year Award at the Globe Soccer Awards function later in the night, appeared briefly for a few minutes when the afternoon sessions of the DISC began, and a bigger dimension was given to the occasion when His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, joined the elite list of soccer dignitaries and shaikhs, again for a short while.

The Barcelona mega star and his club were the strong favourites to win the top awards in their categories among the various other honours and prizes on offer at the awards function at the same venue. Other football legends like Frank Lampard and Diego Maradona will also be present along with the elite panel of coaches, referees and senior administrators of the sport during the conference mainly themed ‘Challenges and Achievements’.

The two-day seminar opened in the morning where Michele Uva, general manager, Italian Football Federation and Umberto Gandini, director, AC Milan took the top table for the discussion on ‘Professional Football Club Model’ at the hall adjacent to the event’s main venue. During the pre-lunch discussion on ‘Football’s Future Challenges’, Gianni Infantino, secretary general Uefa; Josep Maria Bartomeu, president, FC Barcelona; and Prince Ali bin Hussein, president of the Jordanian Football Association and a candidate for the Fifa presidency elections next year, talked at length on the subject.

Bartomeu, said: “One hundred and sixteen years in existence to the mostly widely followed club in the world – this is a huge honour for us and we have been lucky to have had players of immense class and character to help us through the long journey. Right now the players we have form a wonderful combination, and in defeat and victory, we keep learning every day from our experiences.

“Barcelona was the club of Cruyff, of Ronaldinho, today it is the club of Messi, tomorrow it will be the club of Neymar who still has room to improve. We have 200 million fans who follow us from every part of the globe, who are connected to our social media. We must think about the future and we are continuing to invest in preparing young players, not only in Spain. We teach football and life, and in life you also learn from defeat. I see Capello and I remember that 4-0 AC Milan inflicted on us in Athens in a Champions League final. That match helped us, perhaps we are what we are today also because we lived through that horrible experience.

“This sport has given us the direction to move forward with a great amount of conviction that we can encourage the youth in their educational and sports careers. We give enough priorities in the allround character building process we have developed and keep improving at our academies in Spain and elsewhere.” Uva said: “Club licensing has many plus points, so the difficulties we may encounter are more or less fully neutralised in the long run. The European bodies looking after the sport’s various needs and regulations under the Uefa umbrella need to get all the clubs on a single stage despite the different cultural backgrounds. United we need to be and we need standardisation instead of each club going in different ways to achieve their goals. The focus has to be on proper technique and time proven methods to keep everyone in the ‘one family’ format.”

“The Asian and European outlooks may differ fundamentally sometimes but we can all get together to share our experiences for mutual benefit. The need has come in our global approach to set aside conflict and let Fifa play the motivator’s role,” said Gandini.

“The creation of a common base is the vital ingredient to get on to a higher gear for all of us to survive the tough moments and keep aside our own agenda aside, for the general good of the sport and the fraternity.”

The second day will open with the session for coaches which will be moderated by Michel Salgado, the former star of Real Madrid. Antonio Conte and Marc Wilmots, who will face each other in their opening match of the 2016 European Championships, will seek, together with Fabio Capello, to take apart their working models in order to offer a contribution to coaches from the Arab world. Three coaches with direct experience of leading national teams will be able to debate all the issues, including that of the international calendar and the limited enthusiasm of the professional sector for competitions which do not involve the clubs.

The fourth workshop will probably turn into an interview with the two players who are being celebrated in this edition of Globe Soccer for their respective careers and both of whom deserve to receive their Awards for this reason. Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard, who are now teammates at New York City, will explain their choice to end their football careers in the United States.

moni@khaleejtimes.com

 

Source : Khallej Times

Soccer legends and dignitaries converge in Dubai

Moni Mathews/Dubai
Filed on December 27, 2015 | Last updated on December 27, 2015 at 08.45 pm

Shaikh Mohammed, Messi attend opening Dubai International Sports Conference.

Die-hard soccer fans waited anxiously for over three hours to get a glimpse of their favourite super-star – the one and only Lionel Messi – before the start of the 10th Dubai International Sports Conference (DISC) at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, on Sunday afternoon.

All they wanted was to say hello to their dearest sports idol and they would not even have bothered to trouble Messi for an autograph on the script pads, soccer balls and T-shirts they carried in their backpacks.

Messi, a nominee for the Best Player of the year Award at the Globe Soccer Awards function later in the night, appeared briefly for a few minutes when the afternoon sessions of the DISC began, and a bigger dimension was given to the occasion when His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, joined the elite list of soccer dignitaries and shaikhs, again for a short while.

The Barcelona mega star and his club were the strong favourites to win the top awards in their categories among the various other honours and prizes on offer at the awards function at the same venue.

Other football legends like Frank Lampard and Diego Maradona will also be present along with the elite panel of coaches, referees and senior administrators of the sport during the conference mainly themed ‘Challenges and Achievements’.

The two-day seminar opened in the morning where Michele Uva, general manager, Italian Football Federation and Umberto Gandini, director, AC Milan took the top table for the discussion on ‘Professional Football Club Model’ at the hall adjacent to the event’s main venue.

During the pre-lunch discussion on ‘Football’s Future Challenges’, Gianni Infantino, secretary-general Uefa; Josep Maria Bartmeu, president, FC Barcelona; and Prince Ali bin Hussein, president of the Jordanian Football Association and a candidate for the Fifa presidency elections next year, talked at length on the subject.

Bartomeu, said: “One hundred and sixteen years in existence to the mostly widely followed club in the world – this is a huge honour for us and we have been lucky to have had players of immense class and character to help us through the long journey. Right now the players we have form a wonderful combination, and in defeat and victory, we keep learning every day from our experiences.

“This sport has given us the direction to move forward with a great amount of conviction that we can encourage the youth in their educational and sports careers. We give enough priorities in the allround character building process we have developed and keep improving at our academies in Spain and elsewhere.”

Uva said: “Club licensing has many plus points, so the difficulties we may encounter are more or less fully neutralised in the long run. The European bodies looking after the sport’s various needs and regulations under the Uefa umbrella need to get all the clubs on a single stage despite the different cultural backgrounds. United we need to be and we need standardisation instead of each club going in different ways to achieve their goals. The focus has to be on proper technique and time proven methods to keep everyone in the ‘one family’ format.”

“The Asian and European outlooks may differ fundamentally sometimes but we can all get together to share our experiences for mutual benefit. The need has come in our global approach to set aside conflict and let Fifa play the motivator’s role,” said Gandini.

“The creation of a common base is the vital ingredient to get on to a higher gear for all of us to survive the tough moments and keep aside our own agenda aside, for the general good of the sport and the fraternity.”

moni@khaleejtimes.com

Source :khaleejtimes.com

Matthew Ryan v Lionel Messi today In #LigaBBVA

Socceroo 'keeper Mat Ryan is likely to go head-to-head with superstar Barca Lionel Messi in La Liga this weekend.

Socceroo ‘keeper Mat Ryan is set for a daunting weekend in La Liga with his Valencia side set to take on Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

In what will be a huge thrill – and great challenge – for the Aussie gloveman, Barca come to the Mestalla on Sunday morning (AEDT) with Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in devastating form.

Ryan has only just regained his spot in Valencia’s starting side after a lengthy injury lay-off and he’ll look to make up for lost time, especially with new boss Gary Neville in the stands.

Neville has been appointed the new Valencia boss and will be at the game, although he doesn’t officially take charge until Sunday.
So interim head coach Voro and Gary’s brother Phil Neville will hold the fort for the game against Luis Enrique’s side after guiding Los Che to a 3-1 Copa del Rey win over Barakaldo on Wednesday.

It will be a massive test for Valencia, who sit ninth after seeing previous coach Nuno Espirito Santo resign last week.

They face a Barca side sitting top of the pile, four points clear of Atletico Madrid and a further two ahead of rivals Real Madrid, who they defeated 4-0 last month as part of a run that has seen them win their last seven matches in all competitions.

Those games have seen last season’s treble winners score an astonishing 28 goals while conceding just two, form which does not bode well for a Valencia outfit who have only beaten their opponents once in their last 16 attempts in La Liga.

“We thought for this week it is best for me not to be on the bench against Barcelona,” Neville said.

“They [the players] needed to prepare for such an important game consistently with those who were already there. Out of respect for the players it is best for me to start against Lyon [in the UEFA Champions League on Dec 9].

“I had several meetings with players, coaches, doctors – but at this stage it is important not to give a message that can undermine their attention from the important match against Barcelona, so I will leave them to one side now.”

 

Barca star Suarez is the league’s second top goalscorer on 12 – behind only team-mate Neymar on 14 – and he is keen for his in-form side not to rest on their laurels despite having breathing space at the top of the table.

“There is enough quality in this squad to win new titles,” Suarez said this week.

“It would be very nice to repeat the treble, but we now have some very important games and then the Club World Cup, which we all want to win.

“It is great to get a six-point gap to Madrid, but Atletico are within four and they are very strong opponents.

“It is still too early to say who the candidates are to win the league. Last year we also had a bad time and then we went on to win the treble.”

Defender Jeremy Mathieu (thigh) is likely to be missing for the visitors after injuring his thigh in the Copa win over Villanovense.

Renato Maurício Prado comenta a falibilidade do gênero humano

 

O meio do futebol anda de tal forma tomado pela corrupção que as notícias da bola rolando começam a perder considerável espaço para o noticiário policial, envolvendo prisões e suspensões de dirigentes; falcatruas de empresários e agentes e, mais recentemente, até ameaças à liberdade de supercraques e ídolos consagrados mundialmente, como o argentino Lionel Messi e o brasileiro Neymar (ambos, com seus respectivos pais, como cúmplices, acusados de milionárias fraudes ao Fisco).

Em horas como esta, me recordo sempre do saudoso Evandro Carlos de Andrade, diretor de jornalismo do GLOBO, durante décadas, e principal responsável pela transformação e consolidação do jornal da família Marinho. Lembro-me dele porque, toda vez que surgia alguma notícia, de malfeitos (para usar, propositalmente, uma palavra da moda da nossa política), traições ou crimes bárbaros, envolvendo pessoas até então tidas como sérias e de caráter ilibado, Evandro balançava a cabeça, esboçava um sorriso irônico e repetia, com ar professoral:

– O gênero humano não falha!

Em tal afirmação havia, obviamente, um desalentador quê de desencanto com a humanidade. Uma certeza de que o chamado “homo sapiens”, podendo (ou seja, tendo acesso aos meios e acreditando que não será punido), sempre usará a sua “sapiência” para levar algum tipo de vantagem, ainda que isto contrarie a ética, os princípios básicos de honestidade, as leis, os bons costumes e prejudique os seus semelhantes.

É exatamente este tipo de “vale-tudo” que se tem visto no mundo da bola (e também da nossa política…). Gente que posava de guardião da moralidade, não tinha um tostão, agora está podre de rica e parece não se satisfazer nunca. Seres inebriados pelo poder e pela volúpia de roubar mais e mais, embora, na maioria dos casos, já nem precisem disso.

Que sentido faz jogadores bilionários como Lionel Messi e Neymar tentarem driblar o fisco, quando, mesmo que pagassem todas as suas vultosas obrigações, seguiriam podres de ricos, graças a um dinheiro (importante dizer), no caso deles, ganho honestamente com talento e suor? Chega a ser burrice se sujar por isso. Aposto que nem eles, nem seus pais serão presos, porque, na hora H, pagarão as multas que forem necessárias, pois têm dinheiro de sobra para tanto. Mas precisavam passar por este vexame? Era muito mais negócio agir corretamente. Mas aí, parece até que estou ouvindo a voz do meu antigo chefe:

– O gênero humano não falha…

A máxima se aplica até com maior propriedade aos cartolas, pelo nível cultural mais elevado da maior parte dos envolvidos. Pois estão inúmeros deles, emporcalhados por sucessivas descobertas de subornos, propinas, desvios de dinheiro etc. Olhando para Joseph Blatter (e inúmeros outros como ele), fico me perguntando: haverá hoje em dia na Fifa, na Uefa (vide Michel Platini), na nossa CBF, etc, alguém que não siga esta vergonhosa escola?

Ainda não sou tão fatalista quanto o Evandro (insisto em acreditar na existência de muita gente correta, honesta e de bons princípios) mas, confesso, a cada dia sinto diminuir a minha fé e a abrangência desta turma do bem. Principalmente em países, como o Brasil, e universos, como o futebol, onde há muito tempo reina a quase completa impunidade, com toda a sorte de safadezas e baixarias, nos ambientes em que rola muita grana.

Ah, o infalível (na pior acepção do termo) gênero humano…

 

Renato Maurício Prado – O GLOBO – 09 de outubro de 2015

Renato Maurício Prado comenta que Lionel Messi nunca será tão bom quanto Diego Maradona

Incomparável

Lionel Messi que me perdoe mas, com suas apagadas atuações com a camisa da Argentina, jamais se equiparará a Diego Maradona.

Renato Maurício Prado – O GLOBO – 07 de julho de 2015