By Tim Stannard
1) Messi-rage after weather dares to delay diva’s flight
Did Leo Messi get all uppity and showbiz? Jealous at being upstaged by Ronaldo’s mic-throwing stroke of genius? Finally casting off that humble boyband image? Or simply getting old and experiencing air travel in the USA?
Apparently the Argentinean forward was blaming the Argentinean Football Federation (AFA) in an uppity Instagram post for a delay in his flight from Houston to New Jersey for Sunday’s Copa America final. The AFA point out that bad weather was the cause, rather than any kind of sinister plot and that travel schedules are organized by the Copa America eggheads anyway. Is little Leo the new teacup-throwing Paris Hilton? Oh, and happy 29th birthday Leo! One year nearer 30. And that might explain the reason for his grumbling mood.
An apparently happier version of Messi claims that he is still having fun when going out on the pitch, although a possible third final failure in a row against a robust Chile on Sunday might change that tune soon enough.
2) Ronaldo told that he is not center of Portugal’s world
In what will certainly be news to Cristiano Ronaldo himself, Portugal manager Fernando Santos has said that not everything revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo. Just the sun and planets and anyone who says anything different will be burned at the stake like a middle-aged heretic.
Ronaldo has also spoken too and says that he expects no more surprises at Euro 2016. So that means Portugal are getting knocked out by Croatia then in the last 16 round.
3) Brexit result casts doubts on EPL integrity
Looks like future David De Gea’s and a host of other Premier League players are suddenly going to be quite cheap. The UK referendum result which ended being an insane decision to leave the EU could see players of member states such as Spain and France unable to play in the EPL if visas are required in the near future. The current Manchester United goalkeeper is just one of those who would not have been able to play in England due to current work permit rules from non-EU citizens. A sidebar to a largely depressing situation.
The Premier League has issued a statement in reaction to the result and it is very much a case of wait-and-see.
Iceland coach, Lars Lagerback, has said that England players will be unaffected by the results of the vote in Monday’s match – on the grounds that footballers are unaffected by anything aside from their bank balances, perhaps – but the Swede does hope to cause another kind of European exit in the country’s last 16 clash with England.
Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini has also been talking Brexit. And the Italy stopper is someone who will know a thing or two about it, being in possession of a degree in Business and Economics. “I think the biggest concern is the domino effect that it could cause. Another concern is that it could lead to a referendum in other states too and will impact the economy,” warned the Juventus defender.
4) Wenger respects Vardy Arsenal snub as Hiddink eyes Russian return
Arsene Wenger has said nice things about Jamie Vardy. The Arsenal coach says that he understands the player’s reported decision to turn down the chance of a move to the London club to stay at Arsenal. “You have to respect that,” noted Wenger.
Guus Hiddink, freed from Chelsea duties is now tempted by another return to an old haunt by leading Russia into the 2018 World Cup, after a disastrous Euro 2016 saw the current coach, Leonid Slutsky, announcing his departure.
5) Novak dodges Roge in Wimbledon draw
The chances of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic facing each other in the Wimbledon final have been ruled out with both players featuring in the same side of the draw which was made on Friday.
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