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Messi will inspires US next generation players – Beckham



Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham talked to CNN about his latest star signing and revealed that he’s been working to get Lionel Messi on his Major League Soccer (MLS) team since 2019.

“The moment that Leo went on TV and announced … that he was coming to Miami, that was an emotional moment,” Beckham, sitting next to fellow Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas, said in an interview with CNN en Español on Tuesday.

The Argentine’s move to Inter Miami has been one of the hottest topics throughout soccer’s summer transfer window, and on Saturday, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner officially signed for the Florida club. The 2022 World Cup winner is under contract with the club until the end of the 2025 MLS season.

“Our dream with this club was always to bring the greatest players in. As owners, I think the owners of a sports team, you always want to bring in the greatest players,” English football great Beckham explained.

“Does it always happen? No. For us, it’s happened … We always felt that it was possible, but when we started the conversations, obviously, Leo was under contract and playing for another team, so, again, we had to be patient. But I think at the end of the day, patience is what we’ve needed through this whole process.”

Beckham later went on to say, “Someone like Leo, we’re talking about a player who lifted the World Cup last year. We’re talking about one of the greatest players – if not the greatest player – to ever play this game.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United star Beckham said that it was important to bring a player with “the right values, the right morals” to the Florida club.

“We saw Leo out in Miami. You know, surprise, surprise, Leo goes (out) for dinner. Surprise, surprise, Leo does his own grocery shopping. But that is why people love him. And that is what represents our club.” He added: “On the field, we all know what Leo is going to do on the field. But off the field, he will represent our club in the right way, and that’s what we’ve always dreamed of.”

Beckham later added: “When you see a player who has done everything he has in the game and he continues to be hungry, he continues to want to win. He’s at the stage of his career where he has made a decision to come to the MLS, to come to America, to come to Miami, to come to Inter Miami to win. He’s not come here for a holiday. He’s not come here to do anything other than win and inspire the next generation of soccer players here in this country.”

The 36-year-old Messi is expected to make his Inter Miami debut on July 21 against LIGA MX side Cruz Azul in the opening match of the Leagues Cup.

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They still bully me after 14 years – Aiyegbeni on missing tap-in for Nigeria




Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has cried out over the bullying he suffers in the hands of Nigerians over the goal he missed 13 to 14 years ago.

Nigerian football fanatics are finding it difficult to forget the events of June 22, 2010 when Aiyegbeni missed a tap-in during a World Cup game between Nigeria and South Korea.

The miss came when Nigeria was trailing the Koreans 2-1 in their final Group A match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, South Africa.

The ‘Yak’ would later score from the penalty spot but Super Eagles fans were, at the time, unable to move past the unbelievable miss.

In a recent interview, the video was shared on social media platform, X, and he cried out that he is still getting messages from angry fans who are demanding an explanation of how he missed the tap-in with the goalkeeper and defenders out of the way.

“I still get messages from people. Different messages. I remember one was sending a message last week and he was like ‘how do you explain that goal missed to you daughter Kayla’ he mentioned my daughter’s name ‘Kayla’. I was like 13 to 14 years ago and people still think about that,” he said.

“I got a message today and someone was like ‘you’re the worst Super Eagles striker’ because of that particular goal I missed. They never think about all the other goals I’ve scored.

“They never think about when I scored goals in Sudan when nobody thought we’d qualify for Korea Japan 2002. We went to Sudan. Nobody ever thought we’d qualify because the weather there was crazy. If we get a draw or lose we’re out.

“There I scored 2 goals. Julius Aghahowa scored one and Jay Jay Okocha, ‘pa Jay’ scored another one. We won 4-0. That gave us the ticket and went to Korea-Japan 2000.

“But people in Nigeria never speak about how I made them qualify but didn’t go to the World Cup. I was shocked. I played 99.9% of every game to qualify Nigeria for Japan/Korea and I was dropped.”

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Inter Miami making Messi work too hard – Coach, Martino




Inter Miami are expecting too much work from their Argentine star Lionel Messi, coach Gerardo Martino said on Friday, ahead of the team’s Florida derby clash with Orlando City.

Miami are unbeaten in their opening two games, with a home win over Real Salt Lake followed by a draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

But with a busy run of fixtures for club and country coming up for Messi this month, Martino says the team need to find a way to reduce the eight-times Ballon d’Or winner’s workload.

“I feel that in these last two matches, he has expended too much energy, and that is also my responsibility to make sure the team operates in a way that we can use him in the best way,” Martino told reporters.

Messi has been playing in a relatively free role, behind former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, often floating deep to find the ball and then seeking to drive his team up the field.

It was Messi’s stoppage time goal that earned Miami a point at the Galaxy but Martino says the performance took a lot out of the 36-year-old.

“I’ve been discussing some things with him and what concerns me the most is the day-to-day and how he is recovering game by game. I feel that in these first two matches, we have relied on him too much, which has caused him significant fatigue in both games,” he said.

The former Argentina and Mexico national team coach said the team have to re-find a way to provide Messi service closer to goal.

“In the Leagues Cup game against Orlando (last season), he often found the ball in the final quarter of the field and was able to finish the play, he scored from inside the area. That’s what we need to get back to, the team finding him to make plays and sometimes finding him for the finishes,” he said.

Miami are hoping their latest Argentine signing, midfielder Federico Redondo will have his paperwork resolved in order to make his debut on Saturday.


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Lagos FA Cup Kicks Off With No Sponsor, 80 Clubs Eye Star Prize




Chairman Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, Ogboni Fouad Oki says this year’s Lagos State Challenge Cup popularly known as Lagos FA Cup would go ahead without sponsor.

The much awaited Lagos FA Cup would kick off on Saturday 2 March 2024 across the designated centers.

No fewer than 80 clubs are expected to participate in this year’s edition.

Although Winners Golden Bet, a well known Betting Company has been sponsoring the Lagos FA Cup more than six years, but the company is not part of this year’s edition which gives football stakeholders a lot of concerns.

Oki explained that he is not disturbed that no company or individual has partnered with the association for FA Cup but remained optimistic that the competition would get a sponsor before it gets to the quarter final stage.

“I am not too bothered about the sponsorship of the competition.If you look at the country presently, many companies are still struggling to survive but i want to assure the participating teams and football fans before the tournament reaches quarter final, sponsor would surely come.

“We the organising committee are still working on the possibility to get one or two sponsors on board.Like i said i am not really worried and the most important things is that the competition would kick off on Saturday,”he said.

The Lagos FA boss expressed satisfaction with the number of teams that are participating in this year’s edition.

He disclosed that the state has largest number of entries among the states in the country and charged the teams that would represent the the state to do well in the Federation Cup and possibly win the trophy.

“Lagos has number of entries compare to other states that have less than 10 teams in their state’s FA Cup.If we have such numbers of teams registered and i expect any team that would represent Lagos should make us proud and bring the Federation Cup back to the state,”he said.

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