Messi had no choice but to stay at Barca due to 'bad advice'

The Argentina star was determined to leave but ultimately reversed his decision to avoid a legal battle with the club Lionel Messi was left with no choice but to reverse his decision to quit Barcelona due to bad advice from his father and agent Jorge, according to former Real Madrid player Hugo Sanchez. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner sent shockwaves through the football world last week by informing Barca of his intention to leave. However, La Liga disputed Messi’s claim that he could leave on a free transfer courtesy of a clause in his contract, meaning…

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Messi tells Barcelona he's leaving: live updates and reactions

Leo Messi has sent a certified letter to Barcelona, communicating his intention to leave the club. The player intends to take advantage of a clause in his contact that allows him to unilaterally break the contract at the end of each season. Messi believes he can still break his contract with Barcelona Barcelona had understood that this clause expired at the end of each 31 May, meaning that the contract had automatically renewed for another year. However Messi’s lawyers argue that the season within the meaning of the clause did…

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Japan's First Olympic Badminton Gold Winner Akaya Takahashi Retires

Ayaka Takahashi, who won Japan’s first ever badminton Olympic gold with her doubles partner in Rio 2016, has retired conceding she no longer has the “inner fire” to compete. “After winning the gold medal in Rio, I’d been struggling to maintain morale,” she confessed at an online press conference this week. Despite training hard with Matsutomo, she said she had struggled with “records that were not satisfying enough in 2019, the suspension of tournaments, and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics”. “I doubt if my inner fire and body will…

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PSG fans fear Neymar could miss Champions League final after swapping shirts with beaten RB Leipzig opponent

The Brazil forward may face disciplinary action from UEFA after flouting health and safety recommendations brought in to guard against Covid-19. Paris Saint-Germain fans fear Neymar could miss the Champions League final after he swapped shirts with an opponent after Tuesday night’s victory against RB Leipzig. The Brazilian superstar was seen swapping shirts with Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg at the full-time whistle in Lisbon. While this is a common tradition in football, UEFA currently advises against it as part of its attempts to guard against the spread of coronavirus. European football’s governing body introduced…

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If Messi decides to leave, we have to change Barcelona's name

Former Barcelona and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has joked that the Catalans will have to change their name should Lionel Messi depart the club. The 33-year-old La Masia graduate, who is the most prolific player in the Blaugrana’s history, played for a full 90 minutes as they lost 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last Friday. It was Barca’s biggest European defeat in history and their heaviest loss since 1946. It was also the first time since the 2005-06 season that neither Messi nor Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo made it to the semi-finals. This has fuelled speculation on Messi’s…

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National rugby teams to focus on next year's challenge

KUALA LUMPUR: tournaments this year. MR honorary secretary Amrul Hazarin Hamidon said the Asian body’s decision did not come as a surprise considering that the Covid-19 pandemic has yet to subside. The cancelled Asian-level tournaments are the Asia Rugby Championship (15s), Asia Sevens Series, Asia Under-19 15s Championship and the Asia Rugby Under-20 Sevens. “I think it was better to cancel rather than postpone because then we would have to think about playing on later dates,” said Amrul on Sunday. “We will now focus on preparing for the 2021 season.…

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Foreign attachments: Good for coaches, bad for players

MALAYSIA should not send their youth footballers for attachments with clubs overseas as it would be a waste of time and at the expense of their education. This was stated by former Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD) technical director Lim Teong Kim on the issue of football development in the country. He said while it is good for coaches to be attached with foreign clubs, it won’t work for youth players. “If you talk about sending coaches for attachments, that’s alright. Just like what we did with QPR, we sent five…

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Muscles first for Mun Yee

The national divers will be back at the pool next Monday but four-time Olympian Leong Mun Yee will not be heading for the water – she will be at the gym first. For her, it’s all about building the foundation for what will is going to be a challenging final year of her illustrious career. “I lost muscle mass without proper training and will need to gain it back before doing proper diving. I have been waiting for the green light to get back to training. “I have been out…

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India's legendary Olympic hockey hero Singh dies at 95

Balbir Singh, who won three Olympic hockey golds for India and became one his country’s biggest sporting heroes, has died at the age of 95, his family said Monday. Singh was in teams that won the Olympic title in London in 1948 and Helsinki in 1952 and led the side that won in Melbourne in 1956. His five goals in the 6-1 defeat of the Netherlands in 1952 remain a record for an Olympic final. India beat the former colonial power Great Britain 4-0 in the 1948 final which came…

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Former shining star Ee Wei set to return to national fold

Promising doubles shuttler Toh Ee Wei, who quit the national team in January last year, is set to return to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) fold. However, the 19-year-old, who won the girls’ doubles silver medal with Pearly Tan Koong Le at the World Junior Championships in Canada in 2018, will have to wait until the full resumption of the national team’s training, expected to be in July. Ee Wei had earlier accepted the BAM’s invitation to rejoin them in March but the return had to be deferred due…

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