Messi: I almost quit Barca in 2017

first_imgRelatedPosts Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Messi wins court case against cycling company over logo Lionel Messi has spent 18 long and successful years with his beloved Barcelona, winning everything there is to win in world football.But it emerged last year that his remarkable spell at the Catalan giants could have been cut short in 2017. The 32-year-old admitted that he wanted to quit the club while being embroiled in a tax row with the Spanish government.The Argentinian was originally given a 21 month prison sentence for tax fraud after Messi and his father, Jorge, were found guilty of defrauding Spain of €4.1 million between 2007 and 2009.The sentence was eventually reduced to a €252,000 fine and in a recent interview with RAC1, Messi spoke about wanting to leave Spain because of how he was “mistreated”.“At that time, with the mess of the treasury, I wanted to leave, not for wanting to leave Barca but wanting to leave Spain.” he said.“‘I felt that I was being very mistreated and I didn’t want to stay here. I never had an official offer because because everyone knew my idea to stay here.” As Messi pointed out, the five time Ballon d’Or winner received no offers elsewhere and ended up staying at the Nou Camp, so it is a case of ‘what could have been’ for the forward.He spoke further about the tax fraud case during the interview.“It was very difficult for me and my family because people don’t know much about what’s going on.” he said.“The truth is that it was hard for everything that happened but it is better that my children were small and did not know.”Messi confirmed that he now wants to stay with Barcelona until the end of his career. “Today my idea and that of my family is to end here.” he told RAC1.“Especially first because of how I am in the club, how I feel in the club, then because of the familiar, for how good we are in this city, for my children, for not changing my friendships and I don’t want it broken because I had to live it on my personal level.”Tags: FC BarcelonaLionel Messilast_img read more

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Coach of the Decade

first_imgHead coach Bo Ryan has led the men\’s basketball team to the Big Dance every year since he started.[/media-credit]When Dick Bennett retired in 2001, UW needed to find a coach who could build on the success of the Final Four run the Badgers enjoyed to start the decade. Wisconsin needed to find a coach who could keep UW in the field of 65 and at the top of the Big Ten.The eventual choice was Bo Ryan, and he has done all that and more.Ryan came to UW with a swing offense and a passion for team defense, two attributes that allowed him to win four national championships at the Division-III level. But everyone in Madison still wondered if his style would work in the Big Ten.In his first season, Ryan and his players put all the wondering to rest as UW shared the Big Ten title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In the next seven years under Ryan, the Badgers won two more Big Ten titles and have never been absent from the NCAA Tournament.Ryan has been the model of consistency here at UW.The Badgers have never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten standings with him at the helm, a remarkable feat for a basketball program that was never seen as a perennial powerhouse. His remarkable .707 conference winning percentage is a mark that ranks first all-time among Big Ten coaches ahead of Bobby Knight, who ranks second.Each year, regardless of the names on his depth chart, Ryan has found ways to win.We have seen great players come through this program, but we have come to learn it’s never about the individuals with Ryan running the show. It’s his core principles that carry over and breed success each year.In 2007, after stars Alando Tucker and Kammron Taylor graduated, not much was expected from UW. They went on to win a conference championship.In 2008, after Brian Butch and Michael Flowers left, UW was once again counted out. Under the direction of Ryan, the Badgers proved the doubters wrong once again, advancing to the second round of the tournament.With Ryan as head coach, players progress and improve, and that has made his teams competitive year after year. He preaches discipline and toughness, and those characteristics alone have always given his team a chance to win.But more importantly, he’s found talent that fits his system, and it’s a system that has made UW one of the most consistent college basketball programs in the country.Honorable mentions: Mark Johnson, Barry Alvarez, Mike Eaves, Pete WaiteSelecting one coach from the many excellent choices at the University of Wisconsin was tough, and in the end, it came down to Ryan and Johnson. From there, the sheer amount of competition in men’s basketball compared to women’s hockey gives Ryan the edge.last_img read more

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Nigeria, Ghana continue dominance in World T20 qualifier

first_imgNigeria continued their fine form on day two of the ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier A, as they saw off The Gambia by 55 runs, at the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval in Lagos on Sunday.The Nigerians again batted first, and they piled on the runs, eventually notching a formidable 176 for five in their 20 overs. The star for the home side was Ademola Onikoyi, who blazed an undefeated 75 off just 55 balls. There were two massive sixes and nine fours in the free-spirited knock, as the number three took Nigeria to a place of comfort. Skipper Chimezie Onwuzulike continued his fine form, with a quick-fire 34 off just 18 balls.The total was always going to be a massive test for The Gambia, who had lost their opening match to Ghana by 58 runs. They again breached the 100 mark, thanks in main to a belligerent knock of 29 off just 16 balls by PA Hassan Faye. He struck three sixes for good measure.Nigeria sit top of the standings, but they are joined by their neighbours, Ghana, who also made it two from two matches on Sunday. The Black Sticks were pushed by Sierra Leone after they to batted first and racked up a total of 140 for eight. Simon Ateak was the mainstay, striking a composed 57 off 42 balls.In response, Sierra Leone were feisty, but the required rate of seven an over proved beyond their developing top-order. Lansana Lamin kept them interested with 28 off 25 deliveries, but he needed help from the other end.Ultimately, Ghana prevailed by 31 runs, but the fact that Sierra Leone made it beyond 100 was due to some ill-discipline with the ball, which saw 13 extras conceded – including nine wides. Ghana will want to iron out some of those frailties ahead of their clash against Nigeria, as those two will clearly battle it out for bragging rights this week. The action resumes tomorrow with Sierra Leone and The Gambia in the morning, followed by the Yellow Greens and Black Sticks in the afternoon. The fixtures and more information for the tournament can be accessed here https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-t20/Points Table Team PlayedWonLostTiedNo Result PointsNRRNigeria22 00023,337 Ghana2200 022,250Sierra Leone202000-2,778The Gambia202000-2,825 Fixtures: Tuesday 17th April 9 30am Gambia vs Sierra Leone 1:50pm Nigeria vs Ghana Wednesday 18th April 9:30am Gambia vs Ghana 1:50pm Sierra Leone vs Nigeria Thursday 19th April Reserve Day Friday 20th April 9:30am Ghana vs Sierra Leone 1:50pm Nigeria vs Gambia Saturday 21st April 9:30am Sierra Leone vs Gambia 1:50pm Ghana vs Nigerialast_img read more

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