The God's Given Lionel Messi - messilegend

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Messi-ah in Great Great Form!


Messi to win second consecutive FIFA World Footballer of the Year! with Rooney comes in second :)

Messi to sink Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabeu!!!

Messi to win second successive Champions League with Barcelona! :D

Messi to win La Liga league with Barcelona for second year in a row!!


Messi to guide Argentina to their first World Cup title in 24 years!!!!!

One-man scoring machine

Next up for the Lionel Messi show - Osasuna.

Messi has been a one-man scoring act with his second hat trick inside eight days keeping Barcelona in the Spanish league race as the defending champions kept pace with Real Madrid on top of the standings with 68 points.

Messi leads Spain with 25 league goals and has 34 in all competitions after notching his fifth career hat trick in Sunday's 4-2 win at Zaragoza. His form has inspired suggestions that the 22-year-old is on course to becoming one of the all-time greats, alongside the likes of his Argentina coach Diego Maradona.

Coach Pep Guardiola said he'd run out of superlatives to describe Messi.

"He's so good that it's impossible for him not to be so involved in so much of the play," Guardiola said. "He's been one of the chosen ones for some time now."

The biggest question for Wednesday's opponent Osasuna is how to stop Messi after his dominating performance at La Romareda, where even the home fans were out of their seats.

Messi scored with his head before a highlight reel run that he called one of his greatest and added the second with a defender who he left on the turf with his quick feet tugging on his shorts. He took his third from a quickly taken shot that curled past goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.

"I have no doubt that you can compare him (to Maradona) and that he's even better. He's so young and he has a fabulous future ahead," defender Daniel Alves said. "Let's hope he keeps on like this."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta called Messi the best player in the history of football, even if Messi hasn't been able to carry over that form into international play with Argentina.

"I don't know what the secret with Messi here is," Guardiola said. "I know that at Barca he's comfortable and that he's also the one who most wants to triumph with Argentina."

While Barcelona shines with Messi, the form of Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo appears less inspired.
Madrid had to rally to beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 on Saturday.

Ronaldo has scored 15 league goals but the team is out of the Champions League and the league title is its only focus. It next plays in a derby match against Spanish capital neighbor Getafe on Thursday.

The contrast between the two teams is underlined by the behavior of their top players. Ronaldo has argued with teammate Xabi Alonso over penalty duties this year, while Messi let struggling striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic take Sunday's.

"What matters to me are trophies at the group level," Messi said. "The league and the Champions League are more important awards than individual ones."

Meanwhile, Sevilla will be without winger Jesus Nava (ankle) for up to four weeks and Diego Capel (leg) for at least 10 days as it prepares for Tuesday's game against last-placed Xerez.

Xerez has won two straight to give the team hope in its battle to avoid the drop although it is still eight points back of 17th-placed Zaragoza. Sevilla is winless in six with two straight losses to slump to fifth in the standings.

Valencia is without a number of injured regulars for Wednesday's game against Malaga as it looks to consolidate third place. Valencia is four points clear of Mallorca, which plays bottom-of-the-table Racing Santander. - AP

Video link: Messi sinks Zaragoza

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Messi Fires Barca into QF of Champions League

Playing at his magical best, Messi collected a ball from Yaya Toure in the 13th minute and ran at the Stuttgart defense before firing a 20-meter, left-footed shot into the top corner of the net.

"He was so decisive," Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said of Messi. "Every great has a tendency to influence his team, like (Michael) Jordan with the Bulls. He's the best. We wouldn't trade him for anybody."

Barcelona, Bordeaux into Champions League last 8

LONDON (AP): Inspired by the brilliance of Lionel Messi's two goals, defending champion Barcelona beat Stuttgart 4-0 on Wednesday to power into the Champions League quarterfinals as Bordeaux defeated Olympiakos 2-1 to also advance.

Pedro Rodriguez and Bojan Krkic also hit the target as Barcelona went through 5-1 on aggregate despite missing injured midfielder Xavi Hernandez.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Bordeaux scored a goal in the fifth minute from a bending free kick by Yoann Gourcuff. Kostas Mitroglou replied for Olympiakos with a long-range drive but Marouane Chamakh added an acrobatic headed goal for a 3-1 overall victory.

Barcelona and Bordeaux join Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Lyon, Inter Milan and CSKA Moscow in the last eight.

The draws for the quarterfinals and semifinals will take place on Friday at UEFA headquarters at Nyon in Switzerland.

Three English clubs have made it to the semifinals in the past two seasons, but only Manchester United and Arsenal have survived to the last eight this time. With no seeding system to keep them apart, they could be drawn to face each other. The same applies to French clubs Lyon and Bordeaux.

Inter Milan is trying to win the title for the first time since 1965 and is coached by Jose Mourinho, who won it with FC Porto in 2004 and knocked out his former club Chelsea on Tuesday. Arsenal, Lyon, Bordeaux and CSKA have never won the competition.

Even without Xavi, who was out with a calf injury, Barcelona had too much talent for Stuttgart at Camp Nou.

Playing at his magical best, Messi collected a ball from Yaya Toure in the 13th minute and ran at the Stuttgart defense before firing a 20-meter, left-footed shot into the top corner of the net.

"He was so decisive," Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said of Messi. "Every great has a tendency to influence his team, like (Michael) Jordan with the Bulls. He's the best. We wouldn't trade him for anybody."

Pedro added the second in the 22nd minute when he tapped in a low cross from Toure in a move started by Messi.

Messi made it 3-0 in the 60th when he turned a defender just outside the area and fired a low shot past goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

The Argentina star, who scored three times against Valencia in the Spanish league on Sunday, should have had another hat trick in the 86th minute when he dribbled past three men but rolled the ball wide of goal.

"His ability is incredible when you consider his age," Stuttgart coach Christian Gross said of the 22-year-old Messi. "I think it's fair to compare him to (Diego) Maradona."

Began added the fourth with his first touch in the 89th minute after receiving a pass from fellow substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

While Mess's dribbling and shooting mesmerized his opponents in Barcelona, Bordeaux's big weapon was Gourcuff's spectacular free kicks.

From wide on the left in the fifth minute, he curled his shot over the goalkeeper and in off the inside of the far post. Gourcuff also hit the bar and post with a near identical free kick in the final minute of the first half.

Olympiakos' Matt Derbyshire put the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.

The English striker was sent off in the 60th minute after his second yellow card.

Despite being down to 10 men, the Greek champions hit back and substitute Kostas Mitroglou equalized on the night with a powerful right-footed shot in the 64th minute. The game became 10 against 10 when Bordeaux's Alou Diarra was sent off for a lunging tackle five minutes later.

That meant a second goal for Olympiakos would have put the Greek club through on away goals. But Chamakh jumped highest to head home a leftwing cross in the 89th minute, tumbling over his opponent as the ball flew into the net.

Bordeaux has now reached the last eight of European football's most prestigious club tournament for the first time since 1988.

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc said that having two teams in the last eight was a sign of a revival in domestic French football.

"You can think that because of the teams now qualified for the Champions League quarterfinals, and those doing well in the Europa League, that this proves that French football is in good shape," Blanc said.

"But to confirm this we will have to see how this develops over time to see if this can happen again, and to see how regularly French teams get through to the quarterfinals."

In Tuesday's games, Inter won 1-0 at Chelsea to advance 3-1 overall and CSKA reached the quarterfinals for the first time by beating Sevilla 2-1 and 3-2 on aggregate.