By Tim Stannard
Super Mario declares Messi ultimate winner after Champions League double against Liverpool
First off, step away from the keyboards - it's Mario Balotelli suggesting that Messi is completely better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Not Sports Burst. "Please don't compare him to Juve's number 7 again," huffed Super Mario on Instagram on Wednesday night.
The Italian also has Twitter, so it is possible to engage with him in a pleasant and respectful manner in the best social media traditions, should you happen to disagree with the Marseille player's opinion.
Balotelli: 'Please, for the sake of football, don't ever compare Messi to the #7 of Juventus.' 👀 [ig: mb459] pic.twitter.com/f7njHyXPVj— amadí (@amadoit__) May 1, 2019
However, Balotelli is simply summing up yet another dose of global praise for Leo Messi after Wednesday night's 3-0 victory for Barcelona against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinal first-leg.
While the Argentinean was not dominating in the tussle, the footballer was certainly decisive, especially after curling in a free-kick to probably put Barcelona in the final barring a PSG-style disaster at Anfield next week.
That's certainly the vibe from the Barcelona papers on Thursday with Sport yelling 'Delirium!' from its front page and Mundo Deportivo declaring the victory to be a 'giant step.'
Sports Burst's live show will be all over this performance as well as revealing the opponents of the MLS All Star game this summer. And it's a very special guest in the house in the form of Diego Forlan!
Yep, Diego Forlan!
Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook at 12PM ET / 9AM PT.
The race for the most middling team in Europe heats up
From the pinnacle of soccer perfection...from the heights of the beautiful game...the finest players on the planet...to the Europa League.
Yep, the hunt to find Europe's most second-rate side is now down to the crucial final-four stages and the continent's big cheeses are serving up a competition that wouldn't have any valid meaning whatsoever aside from the fact that winning it enables entry to a proper tournament.
Arsenal takes on Valencia in a first-leg semifinal today. The same Arsenal that has lost four out of its last five Premier League games in a late-season charge off a cliff. The visitors are Valencia - sixth in La Liga having lost three of its last league games, including a 1-0 home defeat to Eibar at the weekend. The biggest hook in this game is that Arsenal boss, Unai Emery, used to coach Valencia. That's it.
Number two semifinal? Eintracht Frankfurt taking on Chelsea. The Bundesliga outfit lies fourth in its domestic standings with just two points from the last nine. However, there is a chance to see its in-demand striker, Luka Jovic, rather than pretending to have witnessed the footballing skills of the Serbian apparently wanted by everyone this summer.
Chelsea? Two points from nine in the Premier League and only in fourth due to everyone else being even more incompetent that Maurizio Sarri's sorry outfit.
Go Europa League!
While Sports Burst is admittedly a tad 'snitty' - that's a word apparently - our Facebook live show, Post to Post, will be a lot more forgiving in wrapping up the day's action. It all gets underway at 5:30PM ET / 2:30PM PT.
Price named for Eriksen move to Real Madrid
TRANSFER TRACKER TIME!
Something pleasant to warm the cockles after all that Europa League talk.
Let's start in the realm of theory which means it could technically be true, which is good enough for Sports Burst. The potentially made-up story from Wednesday that Christian Eriksen has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid has been upped by AS, a day later.
Reportedly - stretching the word's meaning to breaking point - Tottenham will want $112 million for the player, whose contract runs out in 2020. That sounds like a very affordable figure for a bargain bin raid on London that could also include Eden Hazard.
Manchester United apparently have money to burn this summer - and some might be set on fire with the import of a couple of players from the Portuguese league.
🗣 @BernardoCSilva on Bruno Fernandes:— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) April 30, 2019
“Bruno is a great player, he has made a fantastic season with many goals and assists...
He has the leading numbers and we’ll see what happens at the end of the season. A player who can play in other championships.” 👀
[via @ojogo] pic.twitter.com/aVIqAnwpnv
Those players in question are Benfica's Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes of Sporting which would cost upwards of $150 million combined. Potentially the amount that United would get for the sale of Paul Pogba? Curiouser and curiouser.