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Barca Losing Hope on Neymar

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Despite scoring three incredible goals in two recent matches for FC Barcelona who are in the US on pre-season tour, the silence of Neymar concerning his future is increasingly become a great concern to the management of the Catalan club.

Sports Village Square recalls that Neymar has been at the centre of the biggest transfer controversy since 2006 when both Manchester United and Chelsea were at war over the signing of Nigeria’s Mikel Obi.

French Ligue 1 side, Paris Saint-Germain has offered to pay the staggering $254.7 million release clause in astounding $254.7 million release clause in Neymar’s contract with FC Barcelona.

His silence on the matter has become a grave concern to the management of Barcelona who feared that the player could force an exit to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.  ​

According to the UK Telegraph, quoting Daily Sport, a Barcelona based newspaper, sources inside FC Barcelona are growing increasingly worried that Neymar’s lack of commitment to the club – both publicly and privately – is a major sign that he’s preparing to make the switch to the Paris.

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The winning goal he scored against Manchester United on Wednesday in the United States may just be his last for the club as sources in Paris Saint-Germain are maintaining that it is just a couple of days for Neymar to complete the switch.

The Catalan Daily Sport claims that the Brazilian’s teammates are growing ever more pessimistic about his continued status as a Barcelona player, with their sources admitting: “Neymar is talking to everyone but is not given any sign about what his final decision might be.”

Meanwhile, French newspaper, L’Equipe reported that PSG are growing impatient with the saga, telling Neymar that they want to be given a final decision on his future by next week as they prepare to fight to regain their Ligue 1 title from Monaco – while AS carry French reports claiming that a five-year deal has already been agreed between player and club.

The Catalan Daily Sport, also revealed that Barcelona were aware of PSG’s move for Neymar weeks before talk of the transfer went public, but chose not to intervene and talk to the 25-year-old until he returned to the club for pre-season training.

That delay gave the French side time to worm their way into his plans, with talks at an ‘advanced stage’ by the time anybody from the Catalan club had the chance to speak to the man who they still consider the future of their club.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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La Liga

Napkin used by Barcelona to sign Messi sold for nearly $1 million

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A signed and framed napkin on which soccer club Barcelona promised to sign a 13-year-old Lionel Messi is displayed at the Bonhams auction house in London, Britain May 8, 2024. REUTERS/Will Russell/File Photo

The napkin on which Barcelona promised to sign Lionel Messi when he was a 13-year-old has been sold for 762,400 pounds ($969,000, auction house Bonhams said on Friday.

The napkin was signed in December, 2000 by Barca’s former sporting director Carles Rexach and transfer advisor Josep Minguella along with Argentine agent Horacio Gaggioli over lunch at a tennis club.

Messi became one of Barcelona’s greatest players, winning over 30 trophies and leaving the Catalan club as their all-time leading scorer with 672 goals.

He also won a record eight Ballon d’Or awards for the world’s best player and led Argentina to the World Cup crown in 2022. Messi now plays for U.S. club Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.

“Yes, it’s a paper napkin, but it’s the famous napkin that was at the inception of Lionel Messi’s career,” Ian Ehling, the head of fine books and manuscripts at Bonhams New York, said in a statement.

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“It changed the life of Messi, the future of FC Barcelona, and was instrumental in giving some of the most glorious moments of football to billions of fans around the globe.”

-Reuters

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La Liga

Racially Abused Senegalese Goalkeeper Speaks Out After Abandoned Spanish Match –

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Racially Abused Senegalese Goalkeeper Speaks Out After Abandoned Spanish Match -

Senegalese goalkeeper Cheikh Sarr has heard racial slurs directed at him from the stands before, but when a fan allegedly approached just to racially insult him during a Spanish third-tier league game last Saturday, he decided he’d had enough.

“I grabbed him and asked why he was insulting me. My attitude was not aggressive, I just wanted to ask him why,” the 23-year-old told reporters on Tuesday of the incident in Sestao, a working-class town in northern Spain, which led to the game being abandoned.

“Other times it could be seen as something playful or a joke. However, this was not the case on Saturday, as it was something horrible and I could not stop myself. It was a very sad and ugly thing what they were saying,” he added.

The match between Sarr’s Rayo Majadahonda and Sestao River Club was suspended in the 84th minute after the altercation first led to Sarr being expelled by the referee, who was too far to hear the alleged insults, and then his team mates leaving the pitch in protest.

Racism in sport has been a hot topic in Spain, especially after Real Madrid’s Brazil winger Vinicius Jr, who has suffered from several incidents of racist abuse and is part of a campaign against racism, last year called LaLiga and Spain racist.

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On Saturday, he spoke out in support of those affected on social media again, citing “three despicable cases of racism” on that day alone, including Sarr’s.

Sevilla’s Argentina defender Marcos Acuna and coaching staff were also the target of “racist and xenophobic insults” from fans in a LaLiga game at Getafe, the club said.

Sarr said he was thankful that Vinicius had tagged him on social media showing support.

“If more players said no to racism like he does, they (racists) wouldn’t have the power they have now,” he said.

Reuters

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Sex-convict, Alves Spends First Day Of Provisional Freedom With All-night Party –

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Former Barcelona star, Brazilian Dani Alves, who was provisionally released from prison after over a year in prison celebrated his temporary reprieve with an all-night party.

Although his release from prison was temporary, after he was convicted and faces a 4-and-a-half-year prison sentence, Italian newspaper,  Corriere dello Sport reported that the Brazilian organized a noisy party to celebrate his father’s birthday.

The newspaper indicated that Alves held this party last Tuesday, and continued until five in the morning in the presence of family and friends, to celebrate his father on the one hand, and also to enjoy his freedom on the other hand after spending a long period behind bars.

The camera of the Spanish “Telefónico” network was following the steps of the legend of the oldest Brazilian player to participate in the World Cup, until he arrived at his home, located 25 minutes from downtown Barcelona.

The first thing Alves did after arriving at his home was to order a large amount of “burgers” for dinner, the first meal that the former right-back ate after his release from the “Brian 2” prison in Barcelona.

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According to several Spanish media outlets, Alves distributed his belongings  such as clothes and a small fan to the prisoners who had been by his side for more than 430 days,

Alves, 40, was accused of raping a woman in a nightclub, and was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison last February, before a decision was issued for his conditional release

 

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