Rumour Has It: Neymar contacts Barca star Messi over PSG move

By Sports Desk February 16, 2021

With Lionel Messi's future far from certain at the end of the season, his former team-mate Neymar has apparently reached out to the Barcelona captain about a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Brazilian superstar Neymar played alongside the six-time Ballon d'Or winner for four LaLiga seasons between 2013 and 2017, before sealing a world-record transfer to Ligue 1 giants

It is understood Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are ready to make a play to bring Messi to the Premier League, but Mauricio Pochettino's PSG appear to be taking the direct approach.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR PUTS IN A CALL TO MESSI

Lionel Messi's contract at his boyhood club expires in the off-season, less than a year after the Barcelona superstar sensationally tried to leave Camp Nou but found his exit plans blocked.

According to L'Equipe, Neymar – who is set to miss the Champions League trip to the Barcelona on Tuesday – has put in a call to convince Messi to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi will lead out Barca in the first leg of the last-16 tie, having stated he will wait until the end of the current campaign before making a decision on where he will play in 2021-2022.

ROUND-UP

- PSG star Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay put this off-season but is not planning on extending his current contract, which expires in 2022, claims ESPN.

Liverpool are looking for defensive reinforcements and they are monitoring Aston Villa's England Under-21 international Ezri Konsa, according to The Athletic.

- Bayern Munich's free-agent defender David Alaba has already agreed to join Real Madrid at season's end, reports Fabrizio Romano.

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  • Deschamps remains calm despite France's Euro 2024 struggles Deschamps remains calm despite France's Euro 2024 struggles

    Didier Deschamps says he is not frustrated since their "first objective is achieved" after a 1-1 draw with Poland in their final Euro 2024 group game.

    Kylian Mbappe netted his first goal at the European Championships from the penalty spot, but Les Bleus were denied all three points by Robert Lewandowski, who also netted from 12 yards on the second attempt.

    While France's place in the knockout stage was confirmed pre-match, after a win over Austria and a goalless draw with the Netherlands, Deschamps' side needed to win to top the group.

    Instead, they finished second behind Austria, who got an impressive 3-2 victory over the Netherlands in the other group game.

    They will now face the runners-up of the tightly contested Group E in the last 16, and though France have not hit the heights they are capable of so far, Deschamps remains calm.

    "I'm not frustrated," he told TF1. "The goal was to take first place, but we had to win.

    "From the moment we don't win, we have to accept it. We did what we had to do, we had opportunities. We have to appreciate what we did.

    "The first objective is achieved even if we don't have the place we wanted. We could have done better in terms of efficiency, even if the goalkeeper made some good saves. We weren't able to take cover."

    France have scored just twice so far in the tournament, with Mbappe the first Frenchman to hit the back of the net after Maximilian Wober's own goal sealed their win over Austria.

    Unlike his head coach, Adrien Rabiot bemoaned the team's struggle to finish their chances as they failed to see out the victory.

    "The evening was frustrating, we didn't do enough to win tonight," the midfielder said. "We had everything between our feet, and we didn't do enough.

    "The goalkeeper was good, we had a good opposition, but we have to do much better to score, we still have this problem of efficiency. We have not achieved the objective of first place."

  • Cayon Rockets, Bath United and Village Superstars among winners in goal-filled match week 15 in SKNFA Premier League Cayon Rockets, Bath United and Village Superstars among winners in goal-filled match week 15 in SKNFA Premier League

    It was a goal fest in the NBGC Premier League on the weekend with a total of 26 goals scored among the five matches on the cards.

    The Premier League moved to the NBGC Technical Center on Friday June 21, when Azul Cayon Rockets crushed demoted Trafalgar Southstars 5-0.

    The goals came from Devontay Carty in the 24th minute, Vinceroy Nelson in the 31st minute, Evansroy Barnes one minute before halftime, Jahmarli Connor in the 63rd minute and Shaqkeem Butler six minutes later.

    After the match, Coach Anthony Nets Isaac of Cayon said he is satisfied with the win, though he was hoping to score more goals in the event goal difference plays a role in the playoff positions.

    “At training and coming to the game, we decided we had to get at least seven to eight goals. Because remember the second-place team, which is (Old Road) have been scoring goals regularly, and they are way ahead in goals. But for us to catch up, depending on how the table stand, we want to be there when it comes to goal averages...we didn't get the amount that we wanted, but we're satisfied still,” Isaac said.

    Manager of Trafalgar Southstars, Akins Phillip said with his team relegated to Division 1, he is aiming for his team to earn some points before the end of the season.

    “The plan for the rest of the season is to try and get some points. We can't leave without getting at least three or six points. We're going to try our best,” Phillip said.

    On Saturday June 22, DBSKN St. Peters FC, edged Honda Newtown United 3-2, to maintain their spot in the Final Four playoff race.

    St. Peters took the lead in the sixth minute through Devion Harvey before, eight minutes into the second half, Jabari Isaac equalized for Newtown.

    Shaquille Barzey and Dionis Stephens scored in the 62nd and 68th minutes, respectively, to put St. peters up 3-1 before Shamar Powell gave Newtown hope of a comeback with eight minutes to go.

    In Saturday’s second game, S.L Horsfords St. Paul’s United came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with MFCR Old Road United Jets.

    Goals from Tiquanny Williams in the 34th minute and Geovanni Lake four minutes later gave Old Road a 2-0 lead going into the halftime interval.

    Keithroy Freeman cut the lead in half for St. Paul’s in the 67th minute before Petrez Williams secured a point for his side in the 90th minute.

    Captain of Old Road Jets Nequan Browne explained that the team lost concentration and managed the game poorly which led to them giving up the 2-0 lead.

    “We lost concentration in the game. Time management was a problem with us. We should have managed the ball better, move it around better, instead of playing into St. Paul's hands. I just feel like the inexperience of the team, maybe took a toll on us. But we will regroup and come again,” Browne said.

    Jamal Jeffers, goalkeeper for St. Paul’s spoke to his team’s resilience, which spurred them to walkway with a point from a losing position.

    “A lot of fans know it and the community of St. Paul's knows that St. Paul don't go out without a fight. Many times, we have been in this position but we kept our cool. We concede two early goals but regardless, that's how football goes. We just have to keep calm, we just have to continue playing. Coach talked to us; we made some tactical changes and came out and played a way better second half and we managed to get away with a draw,” he said.

    On Sunday June 23, Tropical Blossom Hotsprings Bath United made its claim for a spot in the playoffs when they defeated SKELEC Garden Hotspurs 2-1.

    Spurs took the lead in the 23rd minute though a Justin Claxton own goal before Aljay Newton equalized for Bath two minutes later.

    Bath’s winning goal came from Jeremy Richards six minutes into the second half.

    Richards was very satisfied with the performance of his teammates and the result of the match.

    “I think we've had a desire to come and perform as a team. We have some goals to meet for the season and that has been our main focus. So, it was an important three points...and we move forward,” Richards said.

    Spurs Coach George “Yellowman” Isaac said he is doing his best to motivate the players as they are facing the unprecedented situation of relegation from the premier league.

    “That's a hard one, but I try my best every day to motivate these players every day in training. To work hard, to play hard, because the position we in, we’ve got to make sure we come out, but it’s just getting harder and harder,” Isaac said.

    The final match of the weekend was an exciting nine goal thriller as defending champions Rams Village Superstars came from 1-0 down to win 5-4 against Conaree.

    Village went up 3-1 at half time, with a brace by the league’s leading goal scorer Kimaree Rogers in the 23rd and 36th minutes and a goal from Dahjal Kelly in the 33rd minute in response to a 20th minute strike from Conaree’s Errol O’Loughlin.

    Caaja Burnham made it 4-1 in the second half in the 58th minute, but O’Loughlin led the Conaree fightback, rounding out his hat trick in the 70th and 74th minutes.

    Samani Williams, however, extended Village’s lead in the 80th minute but Conaree, not to be outdone, scored a 4th goal in the 7th minute of stoppage time before the match ended 5-4.

    Coach Stephen Clarke of Village said the win was a show of the heart and grit of his team, but they must do a better job defensively.

    “Certain parts of how we play, especially in the first half, the chances we created, moments on the ball; it's been missing for quite a while. With that said though, giving up four goals, it was, I must say, uncalled for. We didn't see out the game,” Clarke commented.

    Assistant Coach of Conaree Sven Korte, said despite the loss, he is proud of his players.

    “I'm proud of my team. They've given everything. Congratulations to Rams Village Superstars. Great performance; the win is okay, because overall I think pass accuracy, speed of players, and bridging the midfield was definitely in their favor,” he said.

    The NBGC Premier League is on a break this week due to the St. Kitts Music Festival, but the teams return to action in the first weekend of July at the NBGC Technical Center.


     

     

     

     

     

  • Netherlands 2-3 Austria: Sabitzer strike ensures group win in five-goal thriller Netherlands 2-3 Austria: Sabitzer strike ensures group win in five-goal thriller

    Marcel Sabitzer's stunning effort ensured Austria finished as winners of Euro 2024 Group D following an enthralling encounter against the Netherlands in Berlin. 

    Ronald Koeman's side twice came from behind thanks to goals from Cody Gakpo and Memphis Depay, but the Austria captain had the final say on Tuesday.

    Austria opened the scoring in the sixth minute as Donyell Malen's attempt to cut out Alexander Prass' cross ended up in his own net. 

    Malen almost atoned for his earlier error but could only scuff his shot wide of Patrick Pentz's far post. 

    But it took the Oranje just 71 seconds to restore parity after the break as Xavi Simons laid the ball off for Gakpo to curl home his 11th international goal. 

    However, the Dutch joy was short-lived as Austria retook the lead 12 minutes later when Florian Grillitsch found Romano Schmid, who headed in, despite the best efforts of Stefan de Vrij on the line. 

    Depay's stunning effort levelled proceedings once more, with the goal given after a VAR check, with referee Ivan Kruzliak initially disallowing it for offside.

    But the decider came 10 minutes from time, with captain Sabitzer picked out by Christoph Baumgartner before firing the ball high into the Netherlands net, with the Dutch condemned to third place and a possible meeting with England.

    Data Debrief: Sabitzer marks record-equalling Austria appearance in style

    Sabitzer made his 10th major tournament (World Cup/Euros) appearance in Berlin, with the five previous players to reach 10 such appearances for Austria all doing so in the early 1980s.

    Austria have now scored their most goals at the Euros (six) and most in a major tournament (World Cup/Euros) since the 1978 World Cup (seven). 

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