Sports Burst - Is Coutinho the New Messi?


By Tim Stannard

A U-turn with Coutinho could see the Brazilian becoming the new Messi at Barca


It's getting complicated keeping track of life of Barcelona. At first, the club was spending four years trying and largely failing to find the new Neymar after the Brazilian left for PSG in 2017. 

In fact, the whole process takes 'failing'' to whole new levels with the club dropping $429 million on Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann in increasingly desperate attempts to replace a player who brought in $244.2 million. 

Coutinho was a particularly unfortunate purchase considering the cost. The transfer revenue helped Liverpool to fund a Premier League and Champions League win, while the forward was loaned out to Bayern Munich to contribute to the German side win the Bundesliga and Champions League. 

The pricey purchase added to Barcelona's now $1.6 billion debt and spiraling wage bill. A lengthy knee injury forced Coutinho to miss much of last season and make him a no-go as a potential sale this summer. And that contributed to Lionel Messi leaving for PSG. The circle of doom. 

In quite the turnaround for Coutinho's fortunes, though, the Brazilian could be switching from being the New Neymar to the New Messi with the player being offered the number '10' jersey, according to Mundo Deportivo. It's an offer that the player might want to refuse considering his unintentional role in Barcelona's demise and disgruntled fans returning to the Camp Nou. 

Meanwhile, Messi continues to train with Neymar The Original ahead of PSG's next Ligue 1 game at Brest that is live on beIN SPORTS on Friday from 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT. 


Ronaldo is very disappointed in all of us


Apparently, Sports Burst owes Cristiano Ronaldo an apology with the Portuguese pouter waking up in quite the uppity mood on Wednesday. In fact, we all probably do. 

A day of transfer talk on Tuesday surrounding the future of CR7 even had Carlo Ancelotti using the medium of Twitter to advise that Real Madrid were not interested in Ronaldo returning to the club. Hence, the Juventus man has issued quite the treatise on social media declaring that he "can't allow people to keep playing around with my name."

While not saying 'no' to leaving Juventus, Ronaldo used a step ladder to mount a very high horse to complain that "the frivolous way that my future is covered in the media is disrespectful to all the clubs involved in these rumors, as well as to their players and staff.

Sorry. Not sorry. 

Messi at PSG + CR7 at Juventus:
The Next Phase. It's on!💥

Who will score more this season? 🤔

➡️ Catch Brest vs. PSG on Friday on beIN SPORTS at 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT.

— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) August 17, 2021


Lyon set for locker room clear out


Psycho Drama? Qu'est-ce que c'est?

With apologies to the Talking Heads, Sports Burst is dropping in on Lyon where L'Equipe's front cover today is describing a rapidly unravelling situation at the Ligue 1 club this week. A disastrous start to the season, particularly in a 3-0 loss to Angers, sees new coach Peter Bosz reportedly launching a late summer locker room clear out. 

It is starting with Brazilian defender, Marcelo, who had a performance so bad at the weekend, he might have his contract terminated and could end up with prized asset, Houssem Aouar, being moved on as well, with the French international having previous for in-house rebellion. 

Find out how the 'psycho-drama' develops on Sunday as Lyon host Clermont Foot in front of very upset home fans on Sunday at 7AM ET / 4AM PT. 

Palmeiras continue Brazil power play


Coutinho...Marcelo...there's definitely time to squeeze more Brazilian soccer news into today's Sports Burst with the country trying to jam seven teams the final fours of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. 

So far it's two out of two as the quarterfinals wrap up. To be fair, the Palmeiras vs. Sao Paulo match up was a given for a Brazil victory but in quite the power play, the reigning champions stomped on their rivals with a 3-0 win to take a 4-1 aggregate victory into the semis. A Copa Sudamericana match-up between Bragantino and Rosario Central saw the Brazilians prevailing in the second leg to go through to the next round.