Barcelona Striker Luis Suarez Insists Former Teammate Neymar Will Not Join Real Madrid

?Barcelona star Luis Suarez has dismissed the rumours linking Neymar with a move to Real Madrid, claiming he knows the player well enough to know he wouldn’t disrespect the Blaugrana.

Neymar’s time in Paris Saint-Germain has been fruitful so far in terms of scoring goals and registering assists, but it has also been dogged by reports that he is rubbing people up the wrong way with his ego and diva demands.

FC Barcelona - Training & Press Conference

It has supposedly led to a dressing room lacking harmony, and reports have tried to link the Brazilian with a move away from the Parc des Princes despite only joining in the summer for a world record £198m fee, but his ex-teammate and close friend Suarez doesn’t see it happening.

He said, as quoted by ?Marca: “Honestly, I don’t see it. I know what Neymar is like and the admiration he had for Barcelona and his teammates. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid.”

Athletic Club v Real Madrid - La Liga

Over at the Bernabeu, los Blancos have been struggling this season, and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been way off the pace in La Liga, and Gareth Bale’s injury problems continue, which is why some publications have tried to push the Neymar to Madrid speculation.

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Things have died down at PSG of late after stories of unrest between Neymar and Edinson Cavani and manager Unai Emery, and the French side are sitting pretty at the top of Ligue 1 despite losing to Strasbourg on Saturday.

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Pep Guardiola Admits Man City’s Proposed Move for Lionel Messi Was ‘Never Going to Happen’

?Pep Guardiola has said that Lionel Messi putting pen to paper on his new deal at Barcelona a week ago was fairly obvious and that a deal to bring him to the Etihad was never going to happen.

Manchester City, not for the first time since their takeover back in 2008, had been linked with the Argentine superstar and recent reports had claimed the club had offered him a monster signing on bonus of £88m, and a £44m annual salary – but his former manager denied any truth in the rumours.

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol  - Liga BBVA

Up until signing his new deal at the Nou Camp, Messi was at risk of leaving the club for nothing at the end of the current season, but Guardiola revealed that despite that, the club never really stood a chance of bringing him to the Premier League.

He said: “Leo Messi signed a contract one week ago. It was never going to happen.”

It is understood that Guardiola didn’t believe a deal for Messi would be possible given the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s love for the club and thus, an official approach was never made.

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It looks for all the world like the superstar will see out the rest of his career with the Blaugrana now, with his new deal taking him up until 2021.

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Former Barcelona Coach Compares Messi to ‘a God’ & Lavishes Praise on Legendary Iniesta

?Former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has heaped praise on both Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta upon his return to the Camp Nou. 

Nowadays, Rijkaard is enjoying his retirement, having announced back in December 2016 that he no longer wishes to pursue a position in management. 

The Dutchman enjoyed a successful five years with Barcelona, winning both the Champions League (2005/06) and La Liga twice (2004/05, 2005/06). Rijkaard’s biggest achievement however, was quite possibly handing a 17-year-old Lionel Messi his debut 13 years ago. 

13 years later and a lot has changed for Riijkard, but his admiration for Messi has not.

“Now I am a family man and I am happy to have seen another Barcelona game,” the Dutchman told Marca, as he returned to watch Barcelona’s 2-2 home draw to Celta Vigo last Saturday, a game in which Messi scored. 

 “He [Messi] is a god for everyone.”

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Since his debut back in 2004, the record five-time Ballon d’Or winner has gone on to become one of the world’s greatest ever players.

Despite turning 30 in the summer, Messi remains invaluable not only to to Rijkaard but to Barcelona. Having signed a new contract – which includes a £616m buyout clause – Barcelona have managed to keep their prized asset for the foreseeable future. 

Rijkaard also saved praise for another of his former players: “and also you have to give considerable praise to Andres Iniesta.” 

Like Messi, Iniesta signed a new ‘lifetime’ contract with Barcelona back in October, guaranteeing that the Spaniard will finish his career where it started. 

Iniesta too was handed the opportunity to play regular football by Riijkard and, like the Argentinian, he was instrumental during Riijkard’s successful reign as Barcelona manager 

Rijkaard confirmed that he keeps an eye on all his former players, adding: “I continue to watch all the players from afar, they have had great careers.”

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Picking the Best Potential Barcelona Lineup to Face Sporting CP on Tuesday Evening

?Barcelona face Sporting CP in the final matchday of the Champions League group stages on Tuesday evening at the Camp Nou. 

The Catalan giants will be looking to go the whole six games unbeaten, as they face the Portuguese side who still have a chance of climbing into the second qualifying spot ahead of Juventus depending on their result.

Here is how Ernesto Valverde could line his Barcelona side up on Tuesday.

Goalkeeper

  • Ter Stegen

    Ter Stegen1

The German goalkeeper has only conceded once in the group stages and will see out the final game as Valverde attempts to remain unbeaten.?

Defence

  • Semedo

    Semedo2

  • Vermaelen

    Vermaelen25

  • Piqué

    Piqué3

  • Jordi Alba

    Jordi Alba18

Celta Vigo took a point off Barcelona on Saturday but the majority of the defence is set to remain intact.

Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique have formed a solid partnership with one another for the Spanish side both domestically and in Europe, however, the former’s injury means that Thomas Vermaelen will step in.

Jordi Alba has been a first-team regular for several years now and despite Barca already secured a spot in the last 16, Alba is likely to start. Sergi Roberto played against Celta Vigo on Saturday but Nelson Semedo is set to return to bring pace in the right full-back spot.

Midfield

  • Paulinho

    Paulinho15

  • Rakitic

    Rakitic4

  • Busquets

    Busquets5

  • Iniesta

    Iniesta8

?The midfield looks to remain unchanged from their 2-2 draw at the weekend. 

Sergio Busquets will be given the role of holding midfield with Ivan Rakitic alongside side him. Andres Iniesta has only got one goal and an assist to his name this season in all competitions and will be looking to provide the balls through to the forward men of Messi and Suarez.

Paulinho is likely to be rewarded with another start after a string of impressive performances since his arrival from China to Spain.

Forwards

  • Suárez

    Suárez9

  • Messi

    Messi10

Group D hasn’t seen many goals scored from all of the sides, and Barcelona are only the second highest scorers, behind their opponents on Tuesday, Sporting. 

However, Suarez and Messi will be coming into this game on Tuesday confident after the pair scored one each against Celta Vigo to earn themselves a disappointing draw, leaving them five points clear at the top.

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Legend Hernan Crespo Shows ‘Club Loyalty’ in Striker Selection for Argentina’s World Cup Mission

?Hernan Crespo is recognised as an Argentine legend having made 65 appearances for his country over twelve years and scoring 35 goals. 

After having a tremendous playing career which saw him ply his trade in Italy with Parma, Lazio, AC Milan and Inter and England with Chelsea, he has now retired.

Recently, when he appeared on Argentinian TV show ‘Podemos Hablar’, he was asked to share his opinion on the Mauro Icardi vs Gonzalo Higuain issue concerning which of the two strikers should be included in the Argentinian national team that will travel to Russia next summer for the FIFA World Cup.

FC Internazionale v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A

Reported via sempreinter.com, Crespo tried to remain diplomatic in his response, but his answer reflected his club loyalty. 

The striker explained: “Mauro and Gonzalo are two different kind of players and the same goes for Agüero. If I had to choose only two attackers for our national team I would go with Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala who are two incredible players.”

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A

Argentina have numerous and frightening attacking options, which most other countries competing in next summer’s tournament would look upon with envy. Crespo continued: 

“If I had to choose between Icardi and Higuain I would make my decision based on being an Inter fan. However, the two of them could also play together up front and in any case they could both profit by working together.”


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Regardless of which forwards Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli selects, it is unlikely that goal scoring should be a problem for La Albiceleste; they will be a formidable force and one of the favourites to win the competition

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