Football - International football rating Footballtop en Messi Became the Highest Paid Football Player in the World <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/7257/1121_0.png" width="620" height="349" alt="1121_0.png" /></p> <p>The famous sports newspaper L’Équipe has put Lionel Messi at the top of the list of the 10 players participating in European championships and having the highest salaries last week. His annual salary is more than 125 million euros per year. Let’s remember how his career started. But first, try your luck and <a href="">find a bride</a> who also loves football.</p> <h3>2003-2004</h3> <p>The only drawback for Leo in the first year of training in the Spanish club was the lack of a family: his mother, sister, and brothers were forced to return to Rosario. His father remained with Leo, but the longing of the city where his happy childhood passed in the circle of a large Argentine family didn’t leave him. But his passion for football outweighed all the difficulties: new country, lack of language, difficulty in communication, fear that his illness wouldn’t allow him to fulfill his dream of playing football. Messi overcame all this thanks to his persistent nature. Three years later, he made his debut in the youth team in a friendly match with Porto, and a year later, he played in the official match with Espanyol. In 2004, the guy earned already 10 thousand dollars a week – he was only 17 years old. By this time, he had already completed the treatment, thanks to which his skills had increased significantly. The club’s shareholders were pleased that they were not mistaken by spending the <a href="" rel="nofollow">money</a> on him.</p> <h3>2005-2014</h3> <p>On the day of his 18th birthday, a new contract was signed with him, allowing Leo to become the highest paid footballer among young players. He earned 1 million 200 thousand dollars in 2005. And just three months later, Lionel was named the top sportsman of the youth world championship, which affected his income: the amount was doubled. After a couple of years, the club’s board of directors re-reviewed his contract and doubled his salary, and a year later, the income of a 21-year-old player approached $8 million. The terms of his contract were corrected several more times, and a significant change occurred in 2014 when the club management offers him $20 million. The deal was called unprecedented in world football at that time. Shareholders could afford it because the club became the leader among other football clubs. In 2010, he became the owner of the Golden Ball. Ten years later, the income of Leo was four times more than <span class="caps">US</span> President Obama.</p> <h3>2015-since now</h3> <p>Last year, Leo earned $104 million. Western media write that he beat the record of the highest-paid players in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo was the only person Messi couldn’t outdo in earnings. Real Madrid paid Ronaldo five million more. However, the situation has changed very soon: the media revised the ratings and counted the dollars in the accounts of the participants of the 2018 World Cup. In the new ranking, the Portuguese lost in price last year. The eternal confrontation of two famous football players was followed by their fans with interest. Messi scored his 100th goal with Barcelona, and in January 2018, the 400th ball from Messi got into the gate of the Espanyol team. Of course, it brought additional income because he started receiving offers for cooperation with sports campaigns. The deal with Barcelona was concluded until 2021. Together with the team, he made it one of the most successful clubs: Barcelona won the <a href="" rel="nofollow">Spanish</a> championship eight times, won the National Cup five times, won the Champions League four times. By the way, the contract established 700 million euros of compensation for the forward. No wonder that Messi earns more than the rest of the footballers having such success.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 27 Feb 2019 17:18:14 +0000 John Cage 639901 at Copa America 2015 final: Live Broadcast (watch videos online 04/07/2015) <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><a href=""><img src="" width="100%" align="center" /></a></p> <p><strong><em>Let alone the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal, the little maestro has never won a major tournament with his national team. Can he break the spell in Copa America final?</em></strong></p> <p>Chile has been the most controversial team throughout the tournament. Arturo Vidal was detained for drunk driving and crashing his red Ferrari, but went on playing for his side. Gonzalo Jara performed a dirty trick on Edinson Cavani in the quartefinal and was banned for the rest of the tournament. Chile got 7 points in a relatively easy group with a goal difference of 10-3, but in play-off they only started to score after some of the opposing players got marching orders. The emotional Chileans are desperate to win their home tournament, but Argentina are definitely not a piece of cake.</p> <p><a href="">Argentina</a> started slow sharing points with Paraguay, but notched Uruguay and Jamaica to reach play-off stage. In the last eight David Ospina had to work hard to pull the team through penalty shootout versus Colombia. It was the semifinal against Paraguay that proved their ambition to win the tournament. 6-1 thumping and brilliant display from most players, including Lionel Messi.</p> <p>Bookmakers trust in Argentina with 1.5 odds.</p> <p><strong>Copa America 2015<br /> Final<br /> 4.07.2015. Santiago. Estadio Nacional stadium. Kick-off 22.00 (<span class="caps">CET</span>)</strong></p> <p>Chile - Argentina</p> </div></div></div> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:37:50 +0000 Leon Smolski 423677 at World Cup final preview: Germany vs Argentina <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/49272/2014/maska_0.jpg" width="625" height="370" alt="maska_0.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><em>A guide to the most important match of the last four years from FootballTop</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Road to the final</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Germany</a></strong> crushed Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal 4-0 at the start of the tournament as <a href="">Thomas Mueller</a> scoring a hat-trick. A modest 2-2 draw with Ghana followed. In the last group match Germany beat Juergen Klinsmann’s <span class="caps">USA</span> and finished at the top of the group.</p> <p>Two narrow victories in play-off followed. In the last 16 it took Die Mannschaft 120 minutes to make it past stubborn Algeria. In the quarters Joachim Low outwitted talented, but vulnerable France. That victory looked so casual that <strong>Manuel Neuer’s</strong> saves did not look as impressive as they were. And then came the glorious annihilation of the host nation, Brazil. In the match that will be a benchmark of football books Germany netted seven goals past reckless Brazil. They were way superior to their opponents and eased through to the final. </p> <p>Throughout the tournament Argentina have been making exactly the amount of efforts required to win games, impressed defensively, but lacked inspiration in front despite the presence of the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and other brilliant players. Alejandro Sabella’s men beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1, Iran 1-0, Nigeria 3-2, Switzerland 1-0, Belgium 1-0 and ousted Netherlands in penalty shootout to reach the dream match.</p> <p><strong>Teams</strong></p> <p><strong>Angel Di Maria</strong>, who completed a record 12 shots against Switzerland, was injured during the Belgium match and will likely miss the crucial game. Germany’s only trouble is reserve player <strong>Shkodran Mustafi</strong>. </p> <p><strong>Talk</strong></p> <p>Germany manager <strong>Joachim Low</strong>: <em>“I have no fear whatsoever. We think we can tap into our potential and, if we impose our game, we will win.<br /> “This team is not only Messi; that would be a mistake. Of course, he can decide a match, but they are much more organised.”</em></p> <p>Argentina manager <strong>Alejandro Sabella</strong> called his players for concentration:<br /><em>“We have to be concentrated. We have to occupy the spaces quickly. We don’t have to take risks with the ball in zones where we can’t. Because Germany are a powerful team both physically and tactically, with a lot of character. This is why they, along with Brazil and Italy, have more titles than anyone else, as well as playing more finals than anyone.”</em></p> <p><strong>History</strong></p> <p>The teams have met many times, but Germany won the most important one, the 1990 final and the last one in South Africa four years ago, thrashing Argentina by 4-0.</p> <p><strong>Provisional squads</strong></p> <p><strong>Germany:</strong> Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Hummels, Hoewedes, Kroos, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Scuerrle, Mueller.</p> <p><strong>Argentina:</strong> Romero, Rojo, Garay, Demichelis, Zabaleta, Mascherano, Biglia, Perez, Messi, Aguero, Higuain.</p> <p>Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli will serve the final.</p> <p><em>photo:</em></p> </div></div></div> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 11:51:47 +0000 Leon Smolski 286401 at World Cup. Group F. Leo Messi shines again as Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/450677976-440x266.jpg" width="594" height="346" alt="450677976-440x266.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">Lionel Messi</a> nets a brace as Argentina complete a perfect record in the group.</strong></p> <p>Barcelona star man fired home just three minutes after the starting whistle, but Ahmed Musa responded just a minute later. Messi then put Argentina in front from a free kick in the added time. Musa equalized again soon after restart, but Marcos Rojo scored a winner on 50 minutes. Nigeria put in attractive performance and attacked all the way till the end of the match, but still suffered a defeat. However, they are through to the round of 16 as Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Iran to win their first World Cup match in history.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:08:08 +0000 Leon Smolski 277736 at World Cup. Lionel Messi scores as Argentina beat Bosnia and Herzegovina <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/messi-tambah-gol.jpg" width="700" height="393" alt="messi-tambah-gol.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">Argentina</a> get a narrow win over World Cup rookies Bosnia and Herzegovina.</strong></p> <p>Argentina went in front as early as three minutes from the starting whistle courtesy of an own goal from Sead Kolašinac. However, the Balkan team looked part and never gave up facing the South American stars. Still, a trademark curling effort from Lionel Messi on 65 minutes proved The Albiceleste’s ambitions in Brazil. Bosnia managed to pull one back six minutes from time through Vedad Ibišević. Group rivals Iran and Nigeria play on Monday.</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:46:14 +0000 Leon Smolski 273327 at Top 4 matches to see this weekend: FA Cup final and more <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><strong>With most of European championships all but over, there are still plenty intriguing matches to see in the upcoming weekend. Here is a short guide to the best fixtures.</strong></p> <p><strong><u><a href="">Arsenal</a> vs Hull City</u></strong><br /> An epic final for Arsene Wenger as he bids for the first trophy since 2005. The Gunners are starving for glory and will be over-motivated on Saturday night. They have no serious injury concerns and could field the strongest side but for long-time absentee Theo Walcott. Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny spoke ahead of the clash:</p> <p><em>“We want to win this trophy. The fans and all the people who love this club have waited a long time. When you play a final the most important thing is to win.<br /> “I hope if we win the cup there will be less pressure and hopefully we can continue to play with our philosophy to help us win more trophies.”</em></p> <p>However, the main task is to escape underestimating Steve Bruce’s squad after the images of a parade bus emerged several days earlier.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/large_bus-arsenal1.jpg" width="512" height="697" alt="large_bus-arsenal1.jpg" /></p> <p>Hull City captain Curtis Davies conceded The Tigers are eager to cause an upset in London:</p> <p><em>“It’s about doing the work on the training ground. We have 22 players now that know what to do and we need to know our jobs and we hope we can do our jobs and beat Arsenal and cause an upset.”</em></p> <p><strong><u>Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich</u></strong><br /> The two German giants that took the top two places in 2013/2014 Bundesliga, face each other once again, this time in the final of <span class="caps">DFB</span> Pokal, or, simply, the German Cup. Pep Guardiola can win his third title during his first year in Bavaria, while Juergen Klopp might add the title to the Super Cup he had won back in August. Robert Lewandowski could play against his next employers for the last time. However, both clubs have a handful of injury concerns which could sideline a lot of leaders. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Mandzukic, Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus are among them.<br /><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/bayern-munich-vs-borussia-dortmund-german-dfb-pokal.jpg" width="655" height="383" alt="bayern-munich-vs-borussia-dortmund-german-dfb-pokal.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><u>Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid</u></strong><br /> 90 minutes at Camp Nou that will tell the champions of 2013/2014 La Liga. Both sides have lost points in the last two games and left it late to decide the winner. Diego Simeone’s side only need a point to clinch the title for the first time since 1996, while Barcelona will be boosted by a new Lionel Messi contract that will tie him to the club and see the Argentine earn an estimated €20m a year.Gerard Pique and Victor Valdes are the only players missing for the hosts, while the Colchoneros will be able to field the strongest side.<br /><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/barcelona-vs-atletico-madrid-1024x674.jpg" width="594" height="396" alt="barcelona-vs-atletico-madrid-1024x674.jpg" /></p> <p><strong><u>Juventus vs Cagliari</u></strong><br /> It is not that we don’t know the champions of Serie A or see some special derby. However, the the Old Lady, that failed in all other competitions this season, can set a benchmark by reaching an inredible 100 points at the end of the season. 102 in case of a victory. Unmotivated Cagliari, safe from relegation, do not seem as a serious obstacle for Antionio Conte and his players.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/pa-conte19739522_1.jpg" width="594" height="396" alt="pa-conte19739522_1.jpg" /></p> </div></div></div> Fri, 16 May 2014 14:40:21 +0000 Leon Smolski 265144 at Gareth Bale wins his first trophy after scoring a late winner in Copa del Rey final <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><strong><a href="">Gareth Bale</a> was a hero in Copa del Rey final as he netted a late stunning winner in a 2-1 victory for the capital club.</strong></p> <p>Cristiano Ronaldo missed out in the final through injury and watched from the stands as Angel Di Maria scored after just 11 minutes. Barcelona then enjoyed vast share of possession, but failed to penetrate in the box with Lionel Messi having another night to forget. It was Marc Bartra who levelled the score with a header on 68 minutes, but Gareth Bale killed the game off with a stunning solo effort minutes before time. The Welshman won his first ever title and the first one in Real Madrid shirt.</p> <p>Barcelona have had a slump in form and effectively lost all three competitions in just one week. They were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, all but lost the Spanish title after a loss to Granada and were beaten by arch-rivals Real in the Cup.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:06:46 +0000 Leon Smolski 257897 at Top 10 richest football players <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/tumblr_mrdz2xofab1sx6krro1_500.gif" width="500" height="281" alt="tumblr_mrdz2xofab1sx6krro1_500.gif" align="center" /><br /><strong></strong><br /> David Beckham, who has been at the top of the list for many seasons, finished his playing career last year and stepped down as a king of wealthy footballers. Vive le Roi!</p> <h3>10. <a href="">Thierry Henry</a> — €57m</h3> <p>The French forward turned 36 now. He has earned his fortune through contracts with Nike, Renault and Gillette. While playing for Barcelona, Henry was earning €5,6m. After transferring to <strong><a href="">New York Red Bulls</a></strong> in 2010, he became the best best paid player in <strong><a href=""><span class="caps">MLS</span></a></strong>, above David Beckham. He earns €3,2m including bonuses. Thierry also represents <span class="caps">PUMA</span> and Red Bull. The Frenchman possesses a house in London, worth €6,8m and €11,1m apartments in New York.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/article-1384800-0bf495c100000578-596_634x374.jpg" width="634" height="374" alt="article-1384800-0bf495c100000578-596_634x374.jpg" align="center" /><br /><strong></strong></p> <h3>9. Gianluigi Buffon — €63m</h3> <p>The Italy national team skipper has been successful in business away from football field: Gigi bought out 56% of Zucchi, Italian textile producer. Zucchi shares rose by almost 107% last December, making Buffon earn €19,5m in the space of just one month, more than in four years with Juventus (his wages are €4,5m). Juve contract runs out in the summer 2015, and the club are set to cut down on his wages. Besides, Buffon has a personal agreement with <span class="caps">PUMA</span>.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/campagna-aucap-zucchi-2_br.jpg" width="50%" alt="campagna-aucap-zucchi-2_br.jpg" align="center" /></p> <h3>8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic — €69m</h3> <p>Zlatan turned his name in a brand, acquired a 500 hectare island just outside Stockholm and became the first football player to sell autobiography via mobile apps. This guy definitely dares to Zlatan.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/tumblr_m69ohfrjvm1qh6m1oo1_500.jpg" width="500" height="332" alt="tumblr_m69ohfrjvm1qh6m1oo1_500.jpg" align="center" /><br /><strong><em>Zlatan’s island</em></strong></p> <p>Even after failing to qualify for the World Cup, Zlatan remains a top marketing target for various companies with Nike and Xbox among the main ones. He has real estates in Milan, Paris, New York, Stockholm, Malmo and a small Swedish ski resort, Are. He even had his postmark emitted in Sweden. Zlatan earn around €15m a season at Paris Saint-Germain.</p> <h3>7. Ronaldinho — €78m</h3> <p>Ronny knocked up a fortune after winning the 2002 World Cup. In a year he signed a deal with Barcelona, two years later won Ballon <span class="caps">D’O</span>r. After leaving for <span class="caps">AC</span> Milan, Ronaldinho was earning €6,2m a year plus €1,1m in bonuses. Ronaldinho still represents Nike. Atletico Mineiro put him on a €2,7m a year contract, and Ronaldinho payed back with helping them win Copa Libertadores for the first time in history. In 2013 he was named South America player of the year. Ronaldinho has real estate in Greece, Brazil, Barcelona, Florida and lake Como.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/2a._ronaldinho028.jpg" width="70%" alt="2a._ronaldinho028.jpg" align="center" /><br /><strong></strong></p> <h3>6. Neymar family — €80m</h3> <p>Still at Santos, Neymar earned around €20m/year courtesy of advertising agreements: Nike, Panasonic, Heliar (batteries), Volkswagen, Claro (mobile operator), Santander, Guarana Antarctica (soft drink), Red Bull and Unilever.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/neymar-e-a-publicidade-mais-sucesso-em-comerciais-do-que-com-a-camisa-da.png" width="300" height="371" alt="neymar-e-a-publicidade-mais-sucesso-em-comerciais-do-que-com-a-camisa-da.png" align="center" /></p> <p>One of the most misterious transfers in football history happened last summer. It is still unclear who and how much paid and received for Brazilian whiz, but the deal has already cost job to Barcelona president Sandro Rosell. Official site of <span class="caps">FC</span> Barcelona stated Neymar got €10m assignment allowance and a five-year contract with annual wages of €8,8m. The player’s parents received a ‘compensation’ of €40m.</p> <p>Barcelona does not possess his image rights as Neymar cooperates with Doyen Global investment fund, who use his name and image outside Brazil. Blaugrana forward has real estate in Sao Paulo and a €5m yacht.</p> <h3>5. Kaka — €82m</h3> <p>Kaka stays in the top 10 despite not going for the best financial opportunities at times. He refused to stay with Real Madrid for another two years, earning €9m/year wages in order to join <span class="caps">AC</span> Milan and become a regular in the squad for €4m, and even refused to take his wages while being injured shortly after rejoining the Italian club. Earlier on Kaka denied an offer from Manchester City that would make him a top-earning player in the world, getting Arsene Wenger’s praise for not running for the big dollar. Classy stuff from the Brazilian.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/3977898693_fb09267fb9.jpg" width="248" height="334" alt="3977898693_fb09267fb9.jpg" align="center" /></p> <p>Despite failing to impress at Real Madrid, Kaka is still popular with global brands, such as Adidas, <span class="caps">EA</span> Sports, Sony and Armani.</p> <h3>4. Wayne Rooney — €84m</h3> <p>Rooney has rocketed into the top after signing an immense new £300k a week contract with Manchester United. He will get no less than €95m in five years playing football alone. His marketing abilities are not so enthusiastic. Coca-Cola terminated partnership with Wazza after reports suggesting he had commited adultery. <span class="caps">EA</span> Sports were just as harsh.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/be8jby7cqaadbbc.jpg" width="60%" alt="be8jby7cqaadbbc.jpg" align="center" /></p> <p>Rooney starred in Nike and Samsung campaigns, which saw him get €4m , and signed a 5-year deal with Harper Collins publishing house that promises him around €6m.</p> <h3>3. Samuel Eto’o — €85m</h3> <p>Two years with Anji made the Cameroonian one of the richest sportsmen outside North America and the top-earning football player. Unprecedented €20m a season and rumours about lavish life in Russia accompanied the striker. But he was generous, too. Having qualified for the 2010 World Cup, Samuel presented a €33,000 watch to every single Cameroon player.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/etoo_1.jpg" width="630" height="332" alt="etoo_1.jpg" align="center" /></p> <p>He signed a one-year contract with Chelsea worth €5m, and a partnership with <span class="caps">PUMA</span>, worth the same amount. Besides, Samuel advertises a car manufacturer Ford and John Richmond apparel. He has a fine collection of automobiles, worth an estimated €5m.</p> <h3>2. Lionel Messi — €146m</h3> <p>The Argentine wizard gave away the Balon <span class="caps">D’O</span>r and the top-earning football player tag to Cristiano Ronaldo. Back in 2012 he signed a 6-year deal with Barcelona, worth €15m a year. However, former president Sandro Rosell claimed his wages could be subject for a further raise.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/fifa-pack-art-bale-xbox.png" width="30%" alt="fifa-pack-art-bale-xbox.png" align="center" /></p> <p>A long-term contract with Adidas brings Leo around €2m annually. He became the second sportsman after David Beckham to launch his own Adidas line. Messi partners Kobe Bryant in Turkish Airlines commercials, advertises <span class="caps">EA</span> Sports, makes part of Samsung’s Galaxy 11 team and has a contract with Gatorade. He has recently followed the steps of Thierry Henry and Tiger Woods in Gillette advertizing campaign.</p> <p>Lionel has estates in Barcelona and Rosario. Ferrari F430 Spider and Audi R8 are among his cars.</p> <h3>1. Cristiano Ronaldo — €148m</h3> <p>Last September <span class="caps">CR</span>7 penned a new, 17m-a-year deal with Real Madrid. Nike pays him €6m a year. Armani, Castrol Edge, Jacob <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Co, Herbalife, Banco Espirito Santo and <span class="caps">KFC</span> also boast partnership with the Portuguese.</p> <p>Last year Cristiano launched his own underwear brand. Together with his sister he owns a <span class="caps">CR</span>7 boutique in Madeira. His own museum is open on his native island. The player has estates in Madrid, Lisbon and Madeira.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/12596/800x1202xcristiano-ronaldo-cr7-global-launch-001.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.oi1ohjc6hx.jpg" width="50%" alt="800x1202xcristiano-ronaldo-cr7-global-launch-001.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.oi1ohjc6hx.jpg" align="center" /></p> <p><em>photo:, Getty Images, <span class="caps">AP</span>,</em></p> <blockquote><p><strong><em>Read also:</em></strong><br /><strong><a href="">Top 10 best kits for 2014 World Cup</a></strong></p> </blockquote></div></div></div> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:56:39 +0000 Leon Smolski 248665 at Champions League: Manchester City out of the tournament despite improved performance <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><strong><a href=""><strong>Barcelona</strong></a> knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League amid appalling performance from French referee Stéphane Lannoy.</strong></p> <p><strong>Manchester City</strong> needed to overturn a two-goal deficit at Camp Nou, but should have been 0-2 down early in the first half had not the referee flagged away Joleon Lescott’s foul on Lionel Messi in the box. Minutes later Barcelona scored a legitimate goal that did not stand as the linesman raised his flag. Both clubs had several chances to open the scoring in the first half, but it was not until 67 minutes when Lionel Messi used Lescott’s mistake to tap home. City introduced Dzeko, Negredo and Navas in an attempt to take something from a trip to Spain but were denied a clear penalty as Gerard Pique knocked down the Bosnian forward in the box. Infuriated City players rushed to argue with the referee and Pablo Zabaleta, who could hardly keep himself calm, received a red card. However, 10-man visitors managed to score a late goal through Vincent Kompany, only to see Dani Alves hit back in injury time to give the Catalan side another victory and place in the last eight.</p> <p><strong>Paris Saint-Germain</strong> were cruising after the first leg 4-0 victory and conceded from Sidney Sam as early as 6 minutes into the game. The hosts could have lost the home match but for numerous saves from Salvatore Sirigu, including the penalty one. Marquinhos and Ezequiel Lavezzi netted for <span class="caps">PSG</span> to make it 6-1 on aggregate.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 09:52:01 +0000 Leon Smolski 248569 at UEFA Champions League: Barcelona beat Manchester City, PSG thrash Bayer Leverkusen <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><strong>Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona made huge steps to the last eight round qualification with victories in Leverkusen and Manchester respectively.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona</strong></u></p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/category_image_update_img.jpg" width="594" height="356" alt="category_image_update_img.jpg" /><br /> The clash that had been anticipated for months as had been dubbed as one of the most intriguing matches in the history of Champions League ended somehow prosaically with <span class="caps">FC</span> Barcelona all but securing their place in quarterfinals. <a href=""><strong>Manuel Pellegrini</strong></a> preferred to choose defensive tactics but gave too much control away to the Catalan side letting them lead the game from the very start. Still, neither side created many goal-scoring chances in the first half. It was on 53 minutes that Jesus Navas lost he ball in the centre of the pitch and allowed Sergio Busquets to provide Lionel Messi with a long pass that saw the Argentine player run towards Joe Hart. Martin Demichelis had little to do but knock the forward down and get his marching orders. However, apart from reducing the Citizens to 10 men, the referee awarded the visitors with a penalty kick, despite the replays suggesting the foul had occured outside the box. Lionel Messi scored from the spot which was his first goal in England. Being one man down City struggled to get any posession over the ball, but managed to make several dangerous attacks. Barcelona felt quite comfortable controlling the game and scored the second goal one minute before time courtesy of Daniel Alves’ effort. All in all, Gerardo Martino’s mission at Etihad was complete and it’s hard to tell if there is anything that would stop them from progressing to the next round.</p> <p><strong><u>Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 <span class="caps">PSG</span></u></strong></p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/imce/20033/zlatan_ibrahimovic_2826964b.jpg" width="594" height="396" alt="zlatan_ibrahimovic_2826964b.jpg" /><br /> Laurent Blanc’s team looked favorites in the tie against Germany’s third outfit Bayer. However, the first leg in Leverkusen proved the clubs are simply not playing in the same league. The French side were 3-0 up before half-time courtesy of Blaise Matuidi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker scored from the spot before making a stunning cannon strike from just outside the box. Emir Spahic was sent off for the second bookable offense early in the second half and Yohan Cabaye added a late goal to complete a 4-0 thrashing. Paris Saint-Germain have now all but secured participation in the last eight.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:41:50 +0000 Leon Smolski 243619 at Goalogram. Follow instagrams of clubs and players @footballtop <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Goalogram. Follow instagrams of clubs and players @footballtop" /></p> <p><strong><em>Best clubs and players on Instagram - follow them using out new service, Goalogram</em></strong></p> <p> presents a new service that will help football fans follow their clubs and favorite players instantly.</p> <p>What do your favorite players do? How do they relax? How do they train? What do their new boots look like?</p> <p>At <strong><u><a href="">Goalogram</a></u></strong> page you can find all the images directly from the players and clubs. They are all sorted by countries for your convenience. The service has just started and will be developing on daily basis.</p> <p>You don’t need to browse through entire Instagram to find the real accounts, trying to tell them from fake ones. You can find all best official football instagrams here on FootballTop.</p> <p>Join our new service and enjoy!</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:29:52 +0000 Leon Smolski 236510 at Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon D'Or <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon D&amp;#039;Or" /></p> <p><strong><a href=""><strong>Cristiano Ronaldo</strong></a> won his second Ballon <span class="caps">D’O</span>r award finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery in the vote.</strong></p> <p>The Portuguese said upon receiving the prize: <em><strong>“First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my team mates with the club and the national team.<br /> “Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.<br /> “Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level, I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved.”</strong></em></p> <p>Cristiano, who had been accompanied by his son and girlfriend Irina Shayk, promised to keep on working to come back one year later.</p> <p><strong>Jupp Heynckes</strong> was named the coach of the year ahead of Juergen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson.</p> <p><strong>Nadine Angerer</strong> became the best player in women’s football.</p> <p><strong>Zlatan Ibrahimovic</strong> received the Puskas Award for his wonder strike for Sweden in a friendly match against England.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 08:24:59 +0000 Leon Smolski 233864 at FIFA brought out the shortlist for Ballon d'Or <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="FIFA brought out the shortlist for Ballon d&amp;#039;Or" /></p> <p><strong><a href="">Gareth Bale</a> made it into the shortlist of Ballon d’Or 2013 contenders along with favorites Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery. Five players from the Premier League, namely Eden Hazard, Robin van Persie, Yaya Toure, Mesut Ozil and Luis Suarez have also been nominated. Bayern Munich, who won all possible tournaments last season, have the largest representation with Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the pot.</strong></p> <p>The list is set to be cut to three contenders and the final ceremony will take place on 13 January 2014 in Zurich.</p> <p><u>A complete shortlist:</u><br /> Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris St-Germain), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St-Germain), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Robin Van Persie (Manchester United), Xavi (Barcelona).</p> <p><u>Here is a shortlist of 10 best managers:</u><br /> Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid <span class="caps">CF</span>), Rafael Benítez (Napoli), Antonio Conte (Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United’s former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Bayern Munich’s former coach), Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Jose Mourinho (Chelsea), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil), Arsene Wenger (Arsenal).</p> <p><em>Photo: <span class="caps">L’E</span>quipe</em></p> </div></div></div> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:46:09 +0000 Leon Smolski 221226 at Chelsea on fire but Arsenal lose in Champions League <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Chelsea on fire but Arsenal lose in Champions League" /></p> <p><strong>Borussia Dortmund beat Arsenal at Emirates to join them at the top of the group along with Napoli.</strong></p> <p><strong>Group E</strong><br /> Schalke were well-beaten by an organized counter-attacking Jose Mourinho’s system as Fernando Torres scored twice and Eden Hazard added his late strike at Veltins-Arena. The two clubs are now level on points at the top of the group. Steaua and Basel shared a draw in Bucarest.</p> <p><em>Steaua Bucarest 1-1 Basel<br /> Schalke 04 0-3 Chelsea</em></p> <p><strong>Group F</strong><br /><a href="">Henrikh Mkhitaryan</a> and Olivier Giroud netted in the first half after mutual defending mistakes. The hosts were pushing for three points but Robert Lewandowski’s late strike denied their efforts and saw Dortmund get to the top of the group along with the Gunners and Napoli who were too strong for Marseille.</p> <p><em>Arsenal 1-2 Borussia Dortmund<br /> Olympique Marseille 1-2 Napoli</em></p> <p><strong>Group G</strong><br /> Hector Herrera was sent off early into the game and Zenit managed to clinch the victory against 10-man Porto courtesy of Kerzhakov late header. Atletico Madrid have all but qualified after running 5 points clear at the top of the group. Diego Costa and Raúl García scored for Colchoneros in Vienna as they outclassed Austria 3-0.</p> <p><em>Porto 0-1 Zenit St. Petersburg<br /> Austria Wien 0-3 Atletico Madrid vs </em></p> <p><strong>Group H</strong><br /> Lionel Messi scored in his first full-fledged apperance after the injury break to equalize against Milan. Robinho opened the scoring in 9 minutes after hapless miscommunication between centre backs Mascherano and Pique. Celtic revived their chances of progression after a hard-fought win over Ajax in Glasgow.</p> <p><em>Celtic 2-1 Ajax<br /> Milan 1-1 Barcelona</em></p> </div></div></div> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:07:51 +0000 Leon Smolski 220074 at Chelsea beaten by Basel and other Champions League results <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" alt="Chelsea beaten by Basel and other Champions League results" /></p> <p>Chelsea suffered a shock defeat against <a href="">Basel</a> at Stamford Bridge. It is the club’s second blow in a week after conceding to Everton in the Premier League.</p> <p><strong>Group E</strong><br /> Two late goals from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller denied Oscar’s strike in the first half to shock Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho has not won since August 21 when his team overcame Aston Villa. Schalke 04 eased past Steaua courtesy of Uchida, Boateng and Draxler shots.</p> <p>Schalke 04 3-0 Steaua Bucarest<br /> Chelsea 1-2 Basel</p> <p><strong>Group F</strong><br /> Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey goals helped Arsenal beat Olympique Marseille at Stade Velodrome. Napoli overcame 10-man Borussia Dortmund. In the dying time of the first half Roman Weidenfeller was sent off for handball outside the box and the visitors struggled for the second half. Gonzalo Higuain and Lorenzo Insigne got on the scoresheet while an own goal from Zuniga was all Dortmund could do on the night.</p> <p><em>Olympique Marseille 1-2 Arsenal<br /> Napoli 2-1 Borussia Dortmund</em></p> <p><strong>Group G</strong><br /> The only goal from Lucho Gonzalez was enough for Porto to beat Austria. Atletico Madrid were too strong for Zenit St. Petersburg and won comfortably. Miranda, Turan and Leo Baptistao scored for the Colchoneros while the visitors responded with a powerful strike from Hulk.</p> <p><em>Austria Wien 0-1 Porto<br /> Atletico Madrid 3-1 Zenit St. Petersburg</em></p> <p><strong>Group H</strong><br /> Lionel Messi provided another brilliant performance and scored a hat-trick for Barcelona. Gerard Pique netted a header to complete a 4-0 victory over Ajax. Milan could only break Celtic’s defence in the 82nd minute courtesy of Izaguirre own goal. Muntari added his goal four minutes before time.</p> <p><em>Milan 2-0 Celtic<br /> Barcelona 4-0 Ajax</em></p> </div></div></div> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:55:48 +0000 HolaMexico 213171 at Barcelona Messi denies accusations of tax fraud <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Barcelona Messi denies accusations of tax fraud" /></p> <p>Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi released a statement, denying accusations of tax fraud, following reports that Spanish taxation body are probing allegations that he and his father deceived the state by underreporting £3.4 million.</p> <p>According to the media reports the 25-year-old Argentinian forward and his father Jorge Horacio, were suspected of filling fraudulent tax returns between 2007 and 2009</p> <p><a href="">Messi</a> refused to admit he defrauded the state in a statement issued on his official Facebook page. It read: We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities.</p> <p>“We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement.</p> <p>“We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation.”</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:40:46 +0000 Basil Naumov 195635 at Messi to feature in Argentina’s qualifier against Colombia <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" alt="Messi to feature in Argentina’s qualifier against Colombia" /></p> <p><strong><em>Argentina superstar Lionel Messi returned to full fitness ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia.</em></strong></p> <p><a href="">Messi</a> has been given green light by Barcelona, after being assessed by medical staff as to whether he is fit enough to take part in the game against Colombia. It is to be recalled that Messi has missed the end of La Liga season with a hamstring injury however Barcelona official Twitter feed reported he “had received medical discharge”.</p> <p>Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has been hopeful as regards Messi’s availability for the forthcoming game, saying, though, he is not inclined to risk the player if he is not fir enough. He said: “I think his leg is well. He looks fast to me, but we have to analyse his inactivity. We do not need to take unnecessary risks.”</p> <p>Argentina could make a significant step forward on their way of securing World Cup automatic qualification with a win over Colombia. They are currently four points ahead of their closest rivals Ecuador and 5 points ahead of Colombia.</p> </div></div></div> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 12:41:47 +0000 Basil Naumov 190369 at Vilanova defends his decision to bench Messi for the clash against Bayern <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" alt="Vilanova defends his decision to bench Messi for the clash against Bayern " /></p> <p><strong><em>Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova insists his decision to drop superstar Lionel Messi from the squad for the Champions’ League second leg was right.</em></strong></p> <p>Messi was able to shake off a hamstring injury to feature in Barcelona 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. However he was left out of the first <span class="caps">XI</span> for the game against mighty Bayern Munich, which German giants won by 3-0 as Vilanova feared the Argentine could aggravate his injury.</p> <p><a href="">Vilanova</a> said: “Leo played in Bilbao on Saturday because he felt better. He imprinted a change on the team but at the end of the game he felt some strange sensations. He trained this week, but he didn’t feel right. He is an explosive player and there was a risk he could tear his hamstring, so he couldn’t help the team in these conditions.”</p> <p>The Spaniard has also dismissed the speculations that Barcelona is too reliant on their talismanic forward, saying Barca is able to perform well without him. All these years when we have played without Leo we have won games by small margins, but this year in the league we have won games 5-0 and 3-0 without him on the pitch. When you have a player that is so good, it is normal that you notice it. If Bayern had been without Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben they would not be at this level.”</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 02 May 2013 08:38:27 +0000 Basil Naumov 147794 at Messi, Xavi believe it is all to play for in their tie against Bayern <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" width="615" alt="Messi, Xavi believe it is all to play for in their tie against Bayern" /></p> <p><strong><em>Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi revealed he was fit and healthy in their Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern and promised to help his side bounce back from devastating defeat at Allainz Arena.</em></strong></p> <p>The Spanish giants were dismantled 4-0 by excellent German side and have a mountain to climb in their second leg at Camp Nou to qualify. <a href="">Messi </a>was a marginal figure at Allianz Arena, as if he had not returned to his full fitness after recovering from a hamstring problem. However the Argentinian wizard dismissed the rumours of him being unfit by stating: “I felt good. I was well enough to play. We have to lift ourselves for the second leg and La Liga. We will bounce back. They were a lot stronger than us, physically superior. It is a pity what happened but we have to move on.”</p> <p>Barca playmaker <a href="">Xavi</a> also stays confident Barca has a chance of progressing into the Champions League final, should they return to their best. He said: “We are Barca and we have got to try to get to the final. We need to play a great game but we know at the same time that it is practically impossible.”</p> <p>Xavi also believes the Germans deserved the credit for producing quite an outstanding performance. He said: “They were quicker than us and it was like a siege. We expected it to be like this. They are very strong physically and they were better than us. When you make mistakes in the Champions League, you pay the price. They were stronger than us. I do not know why we did not attack well. They have extraordinary players like (Arjen) Robben and they just found it too easy to get past us.”</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 08:28:22 +0000 Basil Naumov 141941 at Xavi expects Messi to feature against Bayern Munich <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><img src="" alt="Xavi expects Messi to feature against Bayern Munich" /></p> <p><strong><em>Barcelona’s midfielder Xavi Hernandez revealed he expects superstar Lionel Messi to be fit enough to take part in the forthcoming Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich.</em></strong></p> <p><a href="">Messi</a> has been on the sidelines since the Champions League quarter-final second leg 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain due to a hamstring injury. He has missed previous three La Liga games, including Saturday’s clash against Levante.</p> <p><a href="">Xavi</a> admitted Messi is an integral part of Bacelona side, stating: “He’s very important for our attack and you could see we missed him in our last few games. I am sure he will be at his best so we can again see what an awesome player he is. It’s important to have him in our ranks and it will have an influence on Bayern Munich if he plays.”</p> <p>Barcelona are chasing their third Champions League trophy in five seasons. Midfielder continued: “We’ll attack, we don’t know how to play any other way and we need away goals, this is a strong opponent, but I think we are coming to Munich at the right time. Ball possession will be crucial, we know we are at our strongest when we keep the ball.</p> <p>“It’s a 50:50 match, they are German champions, in their cup final and have reached the semi-finals without problems, which couldn’t always be said for us. We will try and dominate the game so we can take a lead back to Barcelona,” he added.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 23 Apr 2013 08:27:27 +0000 Basil Naumov 141072 at