Messi named as new Barca captain

first_imgLionel Messi has been named as the new captain of Barcelona following Andres Iniesta’s departure from Camp Nou.The Argentina international, who already wears the armband for his country, takes over from Iniesta following his move to Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.Messi has skippered the Blaugrana on numerous occasions before having been the official vice-captain since 2015, but will now lead the Liga champions out on a permanent basis. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Sergio Busquets takes over as vice-captain while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto have joined the four-man leadership team, with the quartet all having come through La Masia before graduating to the first-team.Messi will be hopeful of lifting his first trophy as captain on Sunday as Ernesto Valverde’s side take on Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa.And with silverware having again evaded his grasp at international level during the World Cup, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be keen to be lifting more trophies over the next 12 months.Barca lost just one match on their way to winning La Liga last term, and kick off the new season against Alaves on August 18.The Catalan outfit also won the Copa del Rey last season, but Messi, in particular, was left disappointed as they crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage to Roma.Valverde has moved to bolster his squad in a bid to secure more titles, with Malcom, Arthur, Clement Lenglet and Arturo Vidal all now forming part of the dressing room which Messi will be leading for the foreseeable future.last_img read more

Video: Drogba scores stunning 40-yard free kick

first_imgDidier Drogba scored a ridiculous 40-yard free kick to lead Phoenix Rising to the club’s first ever playoff win.Phoenix topped Portland Timbers II 3-0 on Friday night in the first round of the USL postseason.It was Drogba’s stunning set piece that opened the scoring in the 28th minute, giving Phoenix the first-half advantage at home. Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Stationed well away from goal, the former Chelsea star unleashed a rocket of a free kick that smashed off the goalkeeper and in to give Phoenix the 1-0 lead.Drogba ended up playing 71 minutes before being substituted out of the match for Gladson Awako as Phoenix held on for the victory in what could have been Drogba’s final match with the club. lol….this is why we’re winning.#UpRising pic.twitter.com/e2iSOP8rsD— (x)-Phoenix Rising FC (@PHXRisingFC) October 20, 2018The 40-year-old Ivorian star joined the club as a player and part owner in 2017 following a year-and-a-half stint with the Montreal Impact as the club looked to push on as an MLS expansion candidate.He scored 10 goals in 14 games in his debut season before scoring five goals in nine games this campaign.The forward is in what he says is his last season before retirement as he looks to lead the club through the USL postseason to close his career.”I think, in many ways, life is taking me back to where I started. To a time before people knew me,” he recently wrote ahead of the playoffs.”It wasn’t that long ago that I was a young kid, walking around in France. No one recognized me. No one knew who I was.”And now, when I look around the locker room at my teammates, that’s who I see. Young versions of myself. I was once them.”I joke with people that they need to give me the cup, so I can retire in peace,” he added. “And that if I don’t get it, I’ll come back.”But the truth is, this is my last season. And now the playoffs are here. That cup that (Berke Bakay, the Governor of Rising FC) texted me a photo of years ago is within sight.”Maybe we win. Maybe we don’t. God will decide that.”Next up for Drogba and Phoenix is a match against Sacramento Republic or Swope Park Rangers.last_img read more

RAAM participant Samarth wants to promote endurance sports

first_imgNagpur, Jun 27 (PTI) Amit Samarth, who along with Armyman Srinivas Gokulnath became the first Indians to complete the worlds toughest endurance cycling race yesterday, said the human body has an amazing capacity to do anything, which needs to be explored by all.”The human body has an amazing capacity to do anything. It is important for everyone to explore this potential in them,” Samarth, a qualified doctor specialising in public health, told PTI from the US today.He also said he wants to use his victory to drive and promote sports in his hometown Nagpur and Central India.”The entire purpose of participating in the RAAM was to promote sports in Nagpur and Central India by creating a success story,” he said without elaborating on the plans.Samarth and Lt Col Srinivas Gokulnath created history yesterday by becoming the first Indians to finish the over 4,900-km Race Across America (RAAM), the worlds toughest cycle race that covers the entire width of the US from the west coast to the east.”I am experiencing a feeling of achievement and also a feeling of emptiness (emanating from lack of purpose) as the tournament has concluded. I have been pursuing a very serious schedule of training from last year. I practised 1,500 kms per week. It was a very hard race,” is how Samrath describes the race.Among the nine men who finished, Gokulnath stood 7th, while Samarth was right on his heels at 8th, finishing the race in 11 days and 21 hrs. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.advertisementUnlike a stage race like the famed Tour de France, the clock is constantly ticking at RAAM, and the riders have to pedal over 400 km a day to finish the race in the stipulated 12 days. They can rest for only a couple of hours a day at best; extreme fatigue, sleeplessness and hallucinations are not uncommon.Starting from temperate climes on the Pacific Coast, the RAAM enters the furnace-like Mojave Desert, passes through arid Arizona, cold mountain passes in Colorado, windy plains in central America, and finally the Appalachian Mountains, test the riders before they reach the Atlantic coast on the east.In its over three-decade history, only three Indians had attempted RAAM solo, but no one could finish.This was Samarths maiden RAAM attempt. He has done schooling from Nagpur and his MBBS from IGGMCH, Nagpur. He later did his Post-Graduation in Public Health from John Hopkins University, in the US.Samarth is a regular at many endurance events, and has completed several Ironman triathlons and marathons. PTI CLS AA BEN NRB BASlast_img read more