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I was surprised Ronaldo left Madrid —Messi

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Lionel Messi has admitted he was surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real Madrid and join Juventus.
Messi also believes the transfer will leave Madrid worse off and says Juve are now among the clear favourites to win this season’s Champions League
Ronaldo swapped Spain for Italy in a deal worth 100 million euros ($117 million) in July, after securing a third consecutive European crown, and his fourth in five years with Real.
But Messi, who missed out on a three-man shortlist for FIFA’s world player of the year award on Monday, feels the balance may have shifted following the 33-year-old’s exit.
“I was surprised, I didn’t imagine him leaving Madrid or that he would go to Juve because there was talk of many clubs (interested). The truth is I was very surprised but Juve are also a very good team,” Messi told Catalunya Radio.
“Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad but it’s obvious the departure of Ronaldo makes them less strong while Juve have become a clear favourite for the Champions League.
“They already had a good team and now they also have Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Madrid’s dominance in Europe has made failure even harder to swallow for Barcelona, whose shock defeat by Roma in April meant crashing out in the quarter-finals for a third consecutive season.
Even winning both La Liga and the Copa del Rey last term for a domestic double was not enough to extinguish the disappointment.
“It’s time to win the Champions League,” Messi said. “We’ve been knocked out in the quarter-finals three seasons in a row and maybe the last one was the worst of all because of the result and how the match was played.

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STUNNER! Atletico Madrid Alerted As Liverpool Consider Selling Captain Henderson

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Liverpool

Liverpool are prepared to SELL captain Jordan Henderson this summer, it has been revealed.

 

The Athletic reports Henderson is considered a Liverpool legend and the club have publicised that they made an offer of a new deal which could see him end his playing career on Merseyside.

 

But they have made no headway during initial negotiations over an extension, opening the door to Henderson departing. His contract currently runs to 2023.

 

A new contract for Henderson is not seen as a major priority by sporting director Michael Edwards. The situation is described as ‘complicated and sensitive’.

 

Atletico Madrid are also monitoring Henderson and the Liverpool captain would be keen to join forces with Luis Suarez once again.

The 34-year-old fired Atletico to La Liga glory last season and the pair remain good friends from their three-year spell together at Anfield.

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HE’S DONE IT: Messi Wins Copa America With Argentina

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MESSI

Lionel Messi ended his wait for a first major international title as Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa America final in Rio’s Maracana stadium.

 

Messi, 34, dropped to the ground in joy at the full-time whistle and was swiftly mobbed by his team-mates, before being hurled in the air in celebration, as he finally claimed top-level honours with his country in his 10th major tournament.

 

He also helped end Argentina’s 28-year spell since they last won the competition and was named player of the tournament after his four goals in the competition.

 

Angel di Maria proved the matchwinner with his superb lob, after taking down Rodrigo de Paul‘s lofted pass.

 

Messi had a chance to sign off the win but slipped with the goal at his mercy, in what would have been the perfect finale for the Argentine captain.

 

Defending champions Brazil were disappointing, with their only chances of note coming when Richarlison and Gabriel Barbosa forced saves from Emi Martinez.

 

In a contrast of emotions, Messi’s opposite number 10 and former Barcelona team-mate Neymar sank to his knees in tears at the final whistle, as his own personal pursuit of international success continues, having missed Brazil’s 2019 Copa win through injury.

 

The pair, who played together at the Nou Camp between 2013 and 2017 before the Brazilian’s move to Paris St-Germain, embraced in a long-lasting hug while they waited for the trophy ceremony.

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Argentina v Brazil: Sports Diary For July 10 To Aug 6

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ARGENTINA VS BRAZIL

AFP Sports Diary for July 10 to August 6:

Saturday, July 10

FOOTBALL: Euro 2020: rest day (tournament ends July 11)

FOOTBALL: Copa America: Final – Brazil v Argentina, Rio

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage begins (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 14: 184km from Carcassonne to Quillan (race ends July 18)

TENNIS: ATP and WTA at Wimbledon (ends July 11)

 

CRICKET: England v Pakistan at Lord’s, 2nd ODI; Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, one-off Test, Harare (until July 11); West Indies v Australia at Gros Islet, 2nd T20I (night)

GOLF: USPGA John Deere Classic at Deere Run, Illinois (until July 11); EPGA at Scottish Open at North Berwick (until July 11); USLPGA at Sylvania, Ohio (until July 11)

RUGBY UNION: New Zealand v Fiji, Ireland v United States, Wales v Argentina; Sharks v British and Irish Lions, Pretoria; England v Canada

Sunday, July 11

FOOTBALL: Euro 2020: final – England v Italy, Wembley

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 15: 191.5km over the Pyrenees from Ceret into Andorra (race ends July 18)

CRICKET: West Indies v Australia, 3rd T20, Gros Islet

Tuesday, July 13

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1); UEFA Champions League, 1st qualifying round, 2nd leg

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 16: 169km from Pas de Case to Saint-Gaudens (race ends July 18)

CRICKET: England v Pakistan at Birmingham, 3rd ODI; Ireland v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Dublin

ATHLETICS: Diamond League at London

TENNIS: ATP at Hamburg, Bastad and Newport; WTA at Prague, Lausanne and Budapest (tournaments end July 18)

RUGBY UNION: South Africa A v British and Irish Lions, Cape Town

CRICKET: West Indies v Australia, 4th T20, Gros Islet

Thursday, July 15

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 18: The last day in the mountains is 130km from Pau to Luz Ardiden (race ends July 18)

TENNIS: ATP at Hamburg, Bastad and Newport; WTA at Prague, Lausanne and Budapest (tournaments end July 18)

RALLYING: Estonia Rally (ends July 18)

 

GOLF: USPGA and EPGA at British Open, St George’s (major) (until July 18); USPGA at Kentucky (until July 18), USLPGA at Michigan (until July 17),

Friday, July 16

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 19: 207km from Mourenx to Libourne (race ends July 18)

CRICKET: England v Pakistan at Nottingham, 1st T20I; Ireland v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Dublin; Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Harare; West Indies v Australia, 5th T20, Gros Islet

TENNIS: ATP at Hamburg, Bastad and Newport; WTA at Prague, Lausanne and Budapest (tournaments end July 18)

RALLYING: Estonia Rally (ends July 18)

 

GOLF: USPGA and EPGA at British Open, St George’s (major) (until July 18); USPGA at Kentucky (until July 18), USLPGA at Michigan (until July 17)

Saturday, July 17

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, stage 20: Libourne to St Emilion, 30.8km time-trial (race ends July 18)

TENNIS: ATP at Hamburg, Bastad and Newport; WTA at Prague, Lausanne and Budapest (tournaments end July 18)

RALLYING: Estonia Rally (ends July 18)

GOLF: USPGA and EPGA at British Open, St George’s (major) (until July 18); USPGA at Kentucky (until July 18), USLPGA at Michigan (ends)

RUGBY UNION: Stormers v British and Irish Lions, Cape Town; Australia v France, Brisbane; New Zealand v Fiji, Wales v Argentina

Sunday, July 18

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

CYCLING: Tour de France, 21st and final stage: Chatou to Paris, 108.4km

TENNIS: ATP at Hamburg, Bastad and Newport; WTA at Prague, Lausanne and Budapest (end)

RALLYING: Estonia Rally (ends)

GOLF: USPGA and EPGA at British Open, St George’s (major) USPGA at Kentucky (end)

 

CRICKET: Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Harare; Sri Lanka v India at Colombo, 3rd ODI; England v Pakistan at Leeds, 2nd T20I

FORMULA ONE: British Grand Prix, Silverstone

Monday, July 19

CRICKET: Ireland v South Africa at Malahide, 1st T20I

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

Tuesday, July 20

CRICKET: England v Pakistan at Manchester, 3rd T20I; West Indies v Australia at Bridgetown, 1st ODI; Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Harare

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1); UEFA Champions League, 2nd qualifying round, 1st leg

Wednesday, July 21

CRICKET: Sri Lanka v India at Colombo, 1st T20I

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1); UEFA Champions League, 2nd qualifying round, 1st leg

 

Thursday, July 22

CRICKET: Ireland v South Africa at Belfast, 2nd T20I; West Indies v Australia at Bridgetown, 2nd ODI

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

GOLF: EPGA at Cazoo Open, Celtic Manor; USPGA at 3M Open, Blaine; LPGA at Evian Championship, Evian, France (until July 25)

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

Friday, July 23

OLYMPIC GAMES: TOKYO (UNTIL AUG 8)

CRICKET: Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st T20, Harare; Sri Lanka v India at Colombo, 2nd T20I

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

GOLF: EPGA at Cazoo Open, Celtic Manor; USPGA at 3M Open, Blaine; LPGA at Evian Championship, Evian, France (until July 25)

FOOTBALL: CONCACAF Gold Cup (tournament ends August 1)

Saturday, July 24

OLYMPIC GAMES: TOKYO (UNTIL AUG 8)

TENNIS: ATP at Los Cabos, Umag, Gstaad; WTA at Palermo and Gdynia (end July 25)

 

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