Edinson Cavani Reveals Heated Exchange With Lionel Messi Amid Rumours of Bust-Up

PSG’s Edinson Cavani has admitted ?heated words were exchanged with Lionel Messi during Uruguay’s game with Argentina on Monday amid claims that the pair almost traded blows on the pitch. 

The two superstar forwards squared up to each other during a less than friendly 2-2 draw in Tel Aviv. At the time, Uruguay were leading through a Cavani goal but tensions boiled over when a tackle by Uruguay’s Matías Vecino incensed Messi.

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Cavani, in defence of his teammate, came face to face with Messi and it is reported the duo were close to sharing more than just verbals. 

Spanish newspaper, ?Olé, told that Cavani allegedly asked: “Do you want to fight?” Messi is said to have replied: “Whenever you want, whenever you want.”

As it were, no trouble ensued and ?Barcelona’s Luis Suarez acted as peacemaker, splitting the pair up before the situation could escalate any further.

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But despite the supposed explosive nature of the bust-up, post-match, Cavani played down the altercation as handbags and claimed it wasn’t anything unusual.

“Yes, that’s football,” he told reporters, as reported by ?Goal.com. “That’s what the Clasico matches [between Argentina and Uruguay] are like. That’s football.”

The game itself was action-packed, with? Messi salvaging the draw in the dying moments to further aggravate the already riled Cavani. 

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Uruguay led at half-time after the ?PSG man’s 34th-minute close-range effort but Sergio Aguero bagged the equaliser just after the hour mark.

The ?Manchester City marksman headed home Messi’s free-kick to draw his side level. However, the lead didn’t last long and Uruguay soon regained the upper hand. 

Luis Suarez’s free-kick arrowed into the top corner to make it 2-1 but it would be Lionel Messi who’d have the final word.  

Uruguay defender Martin Cáceres was adjudged to have handled in the box in the fourth minute of added time, offering Messi a chance from the spot.

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Unlike in his previous game with Brazil where he missed from 12 yards, Messi made no mistake, coolly dispatching the penalty to save his side from defeat. 

It was the last international fixture for both teams before the South American World Cup qualifiers kick off in March.

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West Ham Were ‘One Document Away’ From Signing Barcelona Star Ansu Fati

?Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati was apparently only ‘one document away’ from signing for West Ham in the summer.

The 17-year-old has since managed to break into Barca’s first team, scoring two goals and providing one assist in ten games so far this campaign.

Fati’s emergence as one of the world’s top talents has been one of the stories of the season, but he was close to signing for the Hammers when Barca stalled over handing him a new contract.

Ansu Fati

?Bleacher Report cite a source saying a deal for Fati to move to London Stadium was agreed, but an issue regarding his Spanish passport meant that the transfer fell through.

“West Ham knew about Ansu’s situation and his family were keen to make the move to London, which can be a huge lure,” the source said. “The deal was agreed quickly with West Ham and the family, the player was happy and he had not signed his deal with Barcelona, meaning they were helpless to stop him.

“We were told the passport was not an issue but they didn’t have it and it just did not progress quickly, which allowed ?Barcelona the time to step in, and with the truncated transfer window in England, the pressure was on.

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“It emerged that Ansu’s Spanish passport would not come through until after August, and that stopped the deal in its tracks. But it was that close – a piece of paperwork stopped West Ham from landing him.”

Fati moved to Spain from Guinea-Bissau when he was six and joined Sevilla’s academy, before eventually moving to Barcelona in 2012. A rampant rise through the youth system saw him come to the attention of scouts and first team boss Ernesto Valverde, being fast-tracked into the senior setup and playing a key role for La Blaugrana so far this season.

Meanwhile, West Ham’s lack of quality and depth in wide areas has hindered their progress under Manuel Pellegrini, and Fati could have been the solution to their problems in that area.

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Women Footballers in Spain Suspend Strike After Breakthrough in Negotiations

?Women footballers in Spain’s top flight have temporarily suspended their strike over minimum pay and rights as a deal with the government appears to be getting closer.

After roughly 13 months of failed talks, almost 200 players representing all 16 Primera Iberdrola clubs voted in favour of going on strike. As a result, all eight fixtures on the weekend were postponed as players refused to take to the field.


However, the Association of Women’s players (AFE) has now provided an update on the situation, revealing, as quoted by BBC Sport: “After the success of the strike, an agreement has been reached to work on the proposal.”

?Sky Sports build on this and claim that the ministry for employment ‘guaranteed’ players a minimum salary of €16,000 per year (£13,700), as well as full-time contracts. Because of this offer, the players have halted the strike and will now work until 20 December. 

“AFE wishes to state that the majority of the players think the offer made by the ministry for employment is positive and our association has told them we are ready to accept it,” the AFE continued.

Prior to this agreement, the president of the players’ union David Aganzo ?stated that 18 meetings were held without a suitable deal being offered and reiterated the importance of footballers having a ‘decent agreement to recognise their labour rights’.


A video was recently published on social media by the AFE supporting the strike, which included Athletic Bilbao’s Ainhoa Tirapu and Silvia Meseguer of ?Atletico Madrid.

Tirapu spoke directly at the camera, saying: We are the same as you, we are workers. It’s the time, the time to make history.”

Despite the events that have unfolded and the length of time that it has taken, it appears as though progress is being made in regard to pay and labour rights. 

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Ivan Rakiti? Given Final Decision on January Exit as Barcelona Look to Sell Midfielder

?Barcelona are hoping to sell Ivan Rakiti? once the January transfer window opens, but will ultimate leave the decision to the midfielder.

After impressing in his first five seasons at Camp Nou, the Croat found himself out of favour in the summer, with both Inter and Atletico Madrid thought to be amongst a long list of suitors.

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La Blaugrana tried to help engineer a move away from the club before the 2019/20 season began, but were unable to agree a deal for his transfer.

Rakiti? ?recently admitted he was ‘sad’ in Catalonia, having tumbled down the pecking order. He made at least 30 ?La Liga appearances in every season with ?Barça until the current campaign, in which he has started only one match.

He will, however, be given the final say about where his future lies, after sporting director Eric Abidal admitted (via Mundo D?epo?rtivo) that the pair have already been transparent with each other about Rakiti?’s future.

I will speak to Ivan, although I have always spoken to him,” he said. “But, we have to be transparent – between what the coach thinks, what we think as a club, explain to him what the plan is, and also have his feedback on a sporting level.

Abidal went on to acknowledge the player’s concerns, saying: “Of course he feels sad, because he is not playing much, just like every player who isn’t playing. It’s true that he’s a player with a lot more charisma than others, who has played a lot at a high level.

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“But, for me nothing changes the situation with Rakiti? or any other player, because the problem is the [lack of] minutes he is playing.”

Though it’s clear Barcelona are eager to get the playmaker off their books, they ?rejected a €15m bid for his services from an unknown ?Premier League club in early November.

Despite his struggles this term, Rakiti? has suggested he could continue representing Ernesto Valverde’s side for the remainder of the season, claiming he is ?’determined’ to fight his way back into contention.


For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter

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Spain 5-0 Romania: Report, Ratings & Reaction as La Furia Roja Secure Top Seeding in Style

A rampant Spain side guaranteed themselves a top seeding for Euro 2020 with a comfortable 5-0 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday night.

The hosts looked in the mood right from the off and had a Jose Gaya goal ruled out for a foul before Alvaro Morata and Santi Cazorla went close.

Fabian Ruiz then opened the scoring on just seven minutes with his first international goal after Ciprian Tatarusanu couldn’t keep out Dani Carvajal’s stinging drive.

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Despite being thoroughly outplayed, Romania then had a chance to equalise when Reading striker George Puscas fired straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga after an Inigo Martinez mistake. The visitors also saw a decent shout for a penalty turned down before the floodgates opened.

Gerard Moreno netted his first of the night by delicately heading in the majestic Santi Cazorla’s cross before finishing off a sumptuous team move to add his second and Spain’s third. 

Things then went from bad to worse for Romania as Adrian Rus diverted the Villareal forward’s cross into his own net to make it 4-0 before half time. Spain then coasted through the second half before substitute Mikel Oyazarbal rounded off the scoring in injury time.

Here’s 90min’s review of the game.


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Key Talking Point

While the ability of Spain’s world class midfield to continually create chances against any team is not in question, whether they have an equally talented centre forward to finish them has been more of a contentious issue.

Robert Moreno has not been afraid to try different options in the role throughout his short tenure in charge but he’s thus far failed to find a player willing to take the role by the scruff of the neck.

Alvaro Morata has filled the position for most of this qualifying campaign, but still does not look clinical enough to win a tournament while Rodrigo is not really a natural striker. Paco Alcacer is only a bit part player at Borussia Dortmund, and Diego Costa and Iago Aspas may well have missed the boat on the international stage.

However, in Gerard Moreno they may well have just found the man they were looking for. At 27 years old, he may have come slightly late to the international stage – but he is more than making up for lost time and has been involved in six goals in his three international caps so far.

The Villarreal forward also has eight goals in 13 games in La Liga this season, and with Santi Cazorla, Fabian Ruiz, Sergio Busquets, Saul Niguez, Dani Ceballos and many, many more all competing to create chances for the Spain side, you would back him to get many more in the coming matches.

Robert Moreno may have found the missing piece of the jigsaw in his namesake ahead of Euro 2020 next summer. If Gerard continues this form, Spain will definitely be among the favourites.


Player Ratings

Alvaro Morata,Santi Cazorla,Saul Niguez

Starting XI: Kepa (7); Carvajal (6), Ramos (7), Martinez (5), Gaya (7); Busquets (6), Fabian (7), Saul (6); Moreno (8), Morata (6), Cazorla (9*)
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?Substitutes: Oyarzabal (6), Albiol (6), Alcacer (N/A)


STAR PLAYER – 

Nicolae Stanciu,Santi Cazorla

At 34 years of age, Santi Cazorla is the Peter Pan of football. The little magician pulled the strings from the right wing, getting an assist for Moreno’s first, and generally running the game before going off in the 68th minute.

He almost scored a wonderful goal as well, chopping back onto his right foot after feinting to shoot on his left, before curling onto the bar from just inside the box.

After two years out injured it would have been easy to write off the former Arsenal man, but his comeback since rejoining Villarreal last summer has been stunning.

He is – fitness permitting – nailed on to get a seat on the plane for Euro 2020, and with the Gunners’ current midfield woes, fans will be asking what might have been.


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Player Ratings

Starting XI: Tatarusanu (4); Benzar (5), Rus (3), Nedelcearu (4), Tosca (5); Baluta (5), Marin (6); Hagi (6), Stanciu (6), Coman (5); Puscas (4)

Substitutes: Mirita (5), Cicaldau (5), Nistor (5)


Looking Ahead

Spain will now look ahead to November 30 when they find out which nations they’ll be sharing Group E with at Euro 2020. 

They will go into the draw as a top seed, and therefore will most likely avoid a tough group. Following the draw, the RFEF (Spanish FA) will start looking for suitable opponents to play in friendlies which will be announced in due course.

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