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Signing Coutinho Will Make Neymar Stay In Barca

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Man of the moment in the summer transfer market has asked FC Barcelona to sign on his age-long pal since their youth days in Brazil, Philippe Coutinho if they want him to stay in the club and ignore the world record transfer fee that Paris Saint Germain are ready to pay on him.

Already, FC Barcelona are tracking Coutinho who is certain to keep Neymar happy in the club.

According to British tabloid, Metro, Barca have had to make a host of promises to Neymar in order to keep him at the club’

Defender, Gerard Pique remarked on Sunday night that the Neymar has been successfully persuaded to stay.
The 25-year-old suddenly became embroiled in one of the summer’s most unexpected transfer sagas, with Paris Saint-Germain seemingly prepared to activate his €222m (£199m) release clause as manager Unai Emery spoke of a need to sign ‘one of the best players in the world’.

But according to various reports in Spain, Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez spoke with the PSG target for several hours to convince him of his importance at Camp Nou, before Pique confirmed the U-turn with a simple message on Instagram: ‘He stays.’

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Another publication, Sport,  claims that Barca went on a major charm offensive, beginning with new boss Ernesto Valverde who underlined Neymar’s importance as a key player, before the rest of the dressing room got in on the act.

Messi and Suarez insisted that he is just as integral a part of the famed ‘MSN’ attack as they are, while Pique reminded him of what it means to play for Barcelona and the legendary status he can acquire if he continues with the club.

mActions speak louder than words, though, and Messi relinquished free-kick duties in their pre-season win over Juventus at the weekend to show Neymar that he can share the spotlight, with the Brazilian likely to take more set-pieces in the future.

Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo reports that, while Barca will not offer Neymar a new deal after only signing an extension last year, they are prepared to convince him of his importance another way: by signing his favourite players.

One of the biggest draws for Neymar about joining PSG was the abundance of Brazilians already in the French capital, including his good friend Dani Alves and former Brazil skipper Thiago Silva.

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As a result, Barca want to bolster their ranks with a few Brazilians of their own and will target two friends and compatriots of Neymar to keep him happy and settled in Catalonia: Former Tottenham flop Paulinho and, even more importantly, Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

 

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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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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