Sports Burst - Messi's Cup Of Love

Reuters

 

by Tim Stannard

 

LaLiga returns with day 2 of its miracle marathon as Barcelona prepares for its Mallorca matchup 

 

Unlike most soccer stars who would gladly stream every single moment of their daily life - really looking at you Alvaro Morata with your VPDA obsession - Lionel Messi sensibly prefers to keep himself to himself.

If the Argentinean is secretly attending birthday parties or BBQ's during lockdowns with 200 unmasked guests, noone is going to find out from him. That's not suggesting he is, of course. 

It feels like once a month, a social media type has to turn up at his house for a quick shot of Messi doing some kind of mundane day-to-day activity to fulfill a contractual obligation before being shooed out of the door. 

 

With Barcelona just a day away from returning to action, Messi has popped up on Instagram with the help of some sponsors to announce what suspiciously feels like a hasty plan from a marketing manager that he will be going for a new trophy this season as well as the LaLiga title. "The most important trophy of all is to bring happiness to everyone."

Quique Setien, for one, will disagree with that as the most important cup of all is the LaLiga trophy as if Barcelona do not win it, he'll be back to cow-watching by August. 

 

The Sports Burst live show will look ahead to Saturday's return to action from Barcelona with its Mallorca matchup. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page or beIN XTRA channel at 12PM ET / 9AM PT. 

 

 

Valencia need invigorating win in city derby against Levante

 

The show will also be looking ahead to a double date with destiny in LaLiga on Friday.

Sevilla's win over Betis on Thursday sees one game down and another 109 to go to complete the current campaign.

 

Matchup number two sees Granada hosting a Getafe side that has very real ambitions for winning a Champions League place this season. Coverage of that match gets underway at 1PM ET / 10AM PT and is followed by the match of the day on the planet - the Valencia derby. 

 

The home side are in Mestalla, hosting Levante and hoping for a considerably better finish to the season than the start with Valencia stuck in seventh place, four points off the top four which is where they really need to be. 

 

 

Turkish Super Lig returns with its own hotshot Norwegian 

 

Sports Burst's soccer diary is somewhat out of date. 

Turkey were due to be playing Italy in the opening day of the 2020 European Championships today. So, that's not happening.

 

Turkey will still be represented in the day's sporting notices but instead through the Super Lig returning to action to play out the remaining eight rounds. 

And there's quite the title race going on with four teams realistically up for it, and only Galatasaray being amongst the traditional titanic trio in the running.

Current league leaders, Trabzonspor are at Goeztepe today fuelled by the goals of their own Norwegian super striker, Alexander Sorloth, who has bagged 19 so far this season. That match is live, live, live at 2PM ET / 11AM PT on beIN SPORTS XTRA and you can watch it for free, free, free!

 

LaLiga SmartBank also resumes - Spain's second tier - with three games on beIN SPORTS CONNECT including US player, Shaq Moore, in action for Tenerife against Fuenlabrada. 

 

 

Coppa Italia gets go ahead a day before scheduled game

 

Italy are continuing to restart soccer in its own special way. 

The Coppa Italia semifinal clash between Juventus and Milan was scheduled a couple of weeks ago to kick off on Friday. However, the Spanish Prime Minister only gave the go-ahead on Thursday. 

 

Friday's match is a second leg affair with the scores tied at 1-1 from the first leg held back in February. Serie A starts up again on 20th June.  

One of those players in action is the center of a transfer rumor. That player is former Real Madrid leftback, Theo Hernandez, who is currently with Milan but apparently wanted by PSG as a replacement for the departing Lavyin Kurzawa.

 

 

NBA tries to ease players' concerns over Orlando isolation

 

A few bumps have formed in the road ahead for NBA's return in Orlando at the end of July. 

All seemed to be going smoothly with the NBA and Players Union working together, but there has reportedly been pushback from some of the athletes over the length of time that would be required to be in a bubble environment to play out the rest of the season. For some, in could be up to three months. 

The NBA has been noting that only four teams will be required to be in Orlando for over 67 days as the playoffs are completed, with 14 of the 22 teams done and dusted after 53 days from arriving in Florida. 

 

 

Golf adapts to the sound of silence

 

Golf is trying out the breezy slacks of its new normal with the PGA Tour having resumed on Thursday with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth Texas. 

The sport which is not normally built on racaus crowds aside from the majors is getting used to supporter-less courses, and the players are apparently not getting the pep in the step they would normally have. 

 

"It felt like kind of a practice round out there, same kind of energy," admitted US Open champion, Gary Woodland. 

Justin Rose and Harold Varner III - an 'old normal'  golf name to be sure - are tied at the top of the leaderboard.