Sports Burst - Messi: The Incredible Sulk?

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by Tim Howard

 

More bad news for Barcelona ahead of season defining match against Villarreal 

 

Crisis whack-a-mole is all the rage at Barcelona this week.

First, there was the fundamental failure to win games of soccer - key in the title race with Barcelona only managing three draws in the past four games.

 

Up next, the feeling that one of the cows that Quique Setien was watching when he was called up to be offered the Barcelona job would have been a better fit on the bench. "Rosy! One hoof stamp for Griezmann starting, two for Ansu Fati."

Then, there has been the whole Griezmann business with the Frenchman's entourage descending on the Camp Nou offices next week to enquire why their client is being publicly insulted with a lack of playing time. 

 

On Thursday, Dani Carvajal majestically flopped to the ground to give Real Madrid a scrappy win over Getafe and a four-point lead over Barcelona in the standings.

Later that night, Spanish radio station, Cadena SER, ran a timely report - for Madridista listeners - that Lionel Messi's people had stopped negotiations on a contract extension past the end of the current deal in 2021. 

The reports were not confirmed by anyone, but the crux of the reasoning is that an upset Messi wants to rethink his future, such is his current funk with the Barca board. The player might hold off a year and potentially become a key component of next year's presidential elections, with Messi almost becoming a running mate of a candidate, who would then be guaranteed a win.

In between all of this, Barcelona's players have to prepare for a Super Sunday on beIN SPORTS with Real Madrid traveling to take on Athletic Bilbao and Barca visiting the very in-form Villarreal.  

The Sports Burst live show will be looking back at last night's Madrid win and then forward to a sizzling Sunday of action. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and beIN XTRA channel at 12PM ET. 

 

 

Mallorca face mission impossible at Atletico 

 

Friday sees a brand new round in LaLiga - it's 34 for those able to keep up - with five games left for each team. 

 

Atletico Madrid are kicking things off. The Rojiblancos are in third and needing a victory to keep a hold on that spot from a challenging Sevilla

Reality is not that rosy for Mallorca, a team third-from-bottom in the standings and five points from safety. Coverage begins at 3:30PM ET on beIN SPORTS. 

 

 

Bayern Munich go in-Sane with $54 million signing 

 

A transfer that has been on the cards for a good year now has finally been completed with Bayern Munich snatching German forward, Leroy Sane, from Manchester City. The 24-year-old joins on a five-year deal in a move reportedly worth $54 million for City. 

 

"Our goal is to gather the best German players at FC Bayern and the signing of Leroy emphasizes this goal," intoned Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The move happens on the eve of the German Cup Final which sees Bayern taking on Bayer Leverkusen, who has a player also potentially on the cusp of a move with Liverpool and Manchester United both reportedly scouting the club's Jamaican winger, Leon Bailey, who scored five Bundesliga goals this season. 

 

 

Formula 1 starts new season in Austria 

 

Another major global sport dusted itself off on Friday and got back to an iso-bubble, no-hugging existence with Formula 1 starting practice for the first GP of the season. 

 

That GP is taking place in Austria and will be the first of eight races planned in Europe, before reaching out to the rest of the world to find suitable venues.