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Messi announces 2022 World Cup will be his last

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Messi announces 2022 World Cup will be his last

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar next month will be the last of Lionel Messi‘s storied career.

The 35-year-old Argentina star, who will play in his fifth World Cup, is still seeking his first title at the showpiece tournament (which begins on Nov. 20 this year) and admitted he feels nervous ahead of his last appearance on world football’s biggest stage.

“There’s some anxiety and nerves at the same time. It is the last one,” Messi said in an interview with Star Plus.

It is the first time the Paris Saint-Germain striker has spoken openly about his future after the tournament, with Messi having not said definitively whether he would retire from the national team after Qatar.

Argentina, who are unbeaten in their past 35 competitive matches, will arrive at the World Cup with their confidence high after winning the 2021 Copa America final against hosts Brazil, which Messi believes was a turning point for his team after several near misses.

“In a World Cup, anything can happen. All the matches are very tough. The favourites don’t always end up winning,” Messi said. “I don’t know if we’re the favourites, but Argentina is always a candidate because of its history. Now even more so because of the moment we’re in, but we are not the favourites. I think there are other teams that are above us.”

Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986. The team will open the tournament on Nov. 22 against Saudi Arabia in Group C before facing Mexico and Poland.

“I feel good, physically,” Messi said. “I had a good preseason this year, which I wasn’t able to do the year before [when he moved from Barca to PSG]. It was key to starting off better, as I did, with a lot of mental focus and eagerness.”

Messi’s record with Argentina stands in stark contrast to his success at club level. Argentina came close to ending their long trophy drought on three occasions but were beaten by Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and by Chile in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals.

“I have been playing with the national team for a long time now,” Messi said. “There have been spectacular moments, like in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but we didn’t win and were criticised for not being champions.

“We did everything right until the finals.”

Messi said he was heading to Qatar with a positive outlook as the elder statesman in a team full of young talent, while also still relishing Argentina’s massive Copa America win last year.

“It’s been very hard, but in 2019 a new group with many young people came and won the Copa America. That helped us a lot,” Messi added. “I couldn’t believe it, can’t explain it. It’s one of the goals I needed to wrap everything up. It was very important for me to win something with the national team, if not that monkey was always going to be on my back, all those lost finals.”

“I would’ve liked to have enjoyed it with the people of Argentina. It’s crazy how they experienced it, the aftermath. They’re crazy over the team, excited. That’s why it’s good to turn it down, we’re going to fight against anybody, but we don’t think we’re the champions. We think we’re just going to walk over anybody, but it’s not like that. The first game is key.”

“My love of the Argentinean people is unconditional. I’m very grateful to have experienced and enjoyed everything I have. It was very special.”

Argentina face the United Arab Emirates in their final warm-up in November before beginning group play in Qatar.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this story.

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‘He’s a Disgrace to Mexico’: Canelo Alvarez Shredded Into Pieces by Fans Despite Honest Apology to Lionel Messi For Violent Threats

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‘He’s a Disgrace to Mexico’: Canelo Alvarez Shredded Into Pieces by Fans Despite Honest Apology to Lionel Messi For Violent Threats

The rising soccer fever stemming from the FIFA World Cub 2022, also saw a lot of drama revolving around it. And the recent Mexico vs Argentina match was a testament to the same. Pound-for-pound superstar Canelo Alvarez gave way to controversy for threatening football legend, Lionel Messi, after Argentina’s post-victory celebration. However, Alvarez recently took to social media to apologize for his statements.

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Mexico faced Argentina at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. It was a stressful match for Argentina, as it was the last chance for them to prove their mettle in the 2022 World Cup, after previously losing to Saudi Arabia.

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A goal each from Messi and Enzo Fernandez saved the day for Argentina. The victory, in turn, lifted the spirits of both the players and fans. Moreover, a video was later released showing the Argentinian team celebrating in their locker room.

Nov 5, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant (not pictured) at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This video however did not sit well with Alvarez. He alleged that he saw Messi cleaning the floor and his shoe with the Mexican flag and jersey. Alvarez further went on to threaten the soccer icon. He did not even hesitate to ask Messi to pray for his safety from bodily harm.

However, Alvarez later took to Twitter to issue an official apology to Messi and the people of Argentina. He mentioned that he got carried away by his love and passion for his country.

Alvarez further went on to wish both teams success in the World Cup.

Canelo Alvarez evokes a response from fans after his apology

Fans were quick to respond after Canelo Alvarez issued an apology. In fact, they also took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the same.

I massively respect this actually. People can say sht on emotion & then double down & refuse to back down because of pride. Well done Canelo, that was classy

— Chris Andre Boxing (@BetBoxing) November 30, 2022

User @BetBoxing was quick to appreciate Alvarez for his apology. And also mentioned that what he did was a class act.

Messi won without acknowledging him. Not even one word LMAO

— charles (@Charlesbcgc) November 30, 2022

To be fair messi probably doesn’t even know who he is

— Chris Drinkwater (@cddrinkwater) November 30, 2022

Meanwhile, a few fans pointed out that Messi did not react to the threats. But, user @cddrinkwater felt that it might be because Messi is unaware of who Alvarez is.

He’s a disgrace to Mexico, Messi prob got Bivol to have a word with him or something 🤣

— Sergio Kamos📿 (@Kamzillaa17) November 30, 2022

User @Kamzilla17 did not mince words while calling Alvarez a disgrace to Mexico. Moreover, he joined other fans in stating that Dmitry Bivol might have had a hand in the apology.

On the other hand, user @AaaronnSTFC felt that footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a hand in Alvarez’s apology.

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While another user hilariously mentioned that Alvarez saw Mike Tyson wearing a Messi shirt.

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WATCH THIS STORY – Five fighters who have the best chance of beating Canelo Alvarez 

What are your thoughts on Alvarez’s apology? Do share in the comments below.

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Messi’s World Cup dreams remain intact after a win for Argentina over Poland

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Messi’s World Cup dreams remain intact after a win for Argentina over Poland

Lionel Messi’s sporting legacy did not hinge on the result of Wednesday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Poland.

But his dreams of winning a World Cup, and achieving what he himself called the “impossible dream,” hung in the balance.

Argentina took the field at Stadium 974 in Doha for their final match of group play needing a win, or a draw and some help, to advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup. With everything to play for, and in front of a crowd that provided the feel of a home match for Argentina, Messi and company finally broke through in the second half, punching their ticket to the round of 16 with an impressive 2-0 victory over Poland.

As the match wound down, the focus shifted from whether Messi and Argentina would advance, to whether Poland themselves – who entered the final day of group play atop the group – would survive.

Messi himself had an early chance in the 11th minute from a tough angle, but his shot was deflected behind goal by Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny for a corner. Poland would eventually clear, keeping the match level.

Argentina would have another tremendous chance in the 28th minute:

Szczensy managed to block a shot off the right foot of Julian Alvarez, but the rebound settled at the feet of Marcos Acuna, whose own attempt went just.

They kept the pressure on, and in the 33rd minute Angel Di Maria curled in a beautiful ball on a corner, forcing Szczensy to react and punch the ball over:

As you can see, even Szczensy appreciated Di Maria’s attempt at the Olimpico.

The Polish keeper would not appreciate what happened moments later. On a ball into the box, Szczensy came off the line to try and punch the ball away before Messi could get to it, and made contact with Messi’s face. After a review, Argentina was awarded a penalty.

And with the eyes of the world on him, along with the hopes of the nation, Messi stepped to the spot.

Only to be denied:

Here is another look at the effort from the Polish keeper, who read it right and then used his massive frame to deny Messi:

But Argentina kept the pressure on, keeping Poland on their heels and forcing Szczensy to make save after save. And by the time the whistle blew for halftime, Argentina had 14 shots to their credit, and Szczensy had made nine saves, including the penalty kick.

Yet the match was scoreless.

The story of the second half would be whether the one-way traffic of the match would finally result in a goal from Argentina, or if Szczensy and Poland could withstand the pressure, and perhaps counter with a goal of their own.

We got the mere seconds into the second half:

Argentina finally broke through off the first touch from Alexis Mac Allister, after the cross played back into the box from Nahuel Molina.

It was Mac Allister’s first goal for Argentina in international play.

The goal also put some pressure on Poland, and their own chances for advancing into the round of 16. Poland could advance even with a loss, but suddenly the result between Mexico and Saudi Arabia came into focus. Mexico scored twice early in the second half, pulling them level in the group with Poland on four points each.

Meaning the margin in both games could be decisive, with goal differential between Poland and Mexico the first tiebreaker, and goals scored the second.

So when Alvarez scored in the 68th minute, it was time to panic on the Polish bench. The goal from Alvarez meant that Poland and Mexico were level not just on goal differential, but also goals scored.

Which would bring the next tiebreaker into play, the FIFA “fair play points” calculus, into view. Poland, having been shown just four yellow cards during group play, held that advantage over Mexico, who had seen seven.

But another goal from either Mexico, or Argentina, would change that. As would a red card for either Mexico or Poland. Those also seemed like the only likely options, as Poland lacked any attacking capabilities throughout the match with Argentina. Messi and company continued to dominate possession and the flow of play, and even quick chances at counters failed to materialize for Poland.

In the 78th minute, Grzegorz Krychowiak received a yellow card for Poland, bringing that potential tiebreaker even closer, and reducing Poland’s margins for error that much more.

As the match moved into the 81st minute, Argentina seemed to dial back the pressure a bit, and settled for controlling the ball and the pace, rather than pushing forward as they had been for the first 80 minutes of play.

Argentina did have a fantastic chance at another goal in the 86th minute, when Poland gave the ball away in their own end. Lautaro Martínez won the race to the ball and put another shot towards goal for Argentina, but the ball rolled wide of the goal, keeping Poland alive:

Six minutes of stoppage time were added, meaning that Poland needed to hang on for a little longer, while hoping things remained as they were between Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Argentina had two incredible chances during stoppage time, the first of which required a header off the line to keep Poland alive:

Finally the final whistle blew, and it was time for Poland to sit and watch the match between Mexico and Saudi Arabia, and hope for good news.

Poland got that good news, as Saudi Arabia scored in stoppage time, giving Poland the edge on goal differential over Mexico.

You could almost hear the sighs of relief form the Polish bench, over the still-present roar of Argentina’s fans.

While the chaotic finish to both matches might be the story of the day, the bigger picture is Messi, and his dreams of a World Cup remaining intact after a difficult start in the loss to Saudi Arabia. With the victory from Argentina – and the win for Mexico – Argentina advances as the winners of the group, avoiding a meeting with France in the round of 16.

And Messi’s visions of an impossible dream survive for a few more nights, at least.

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Canelo Alvarez apologizes to Lionel Messi, Argentina over attacks: ‘I got carried away by the passion’

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Canelo Alvarez apologizes to Lionel Messi, Argentina over attacks: ‘I got carried away by the passion’


Canelo Alvarez is sorry.

The boxing champion has issued an apology to soccer star Lionel Messi, as well as the nation of Argentina, following multiple threats and accusations on Twitter in recent days.

On Sunday, Canelo accused Messi of disrespecting Mexico after a video surfaced where Messi was seen taking off his cleats, and Messi’s foot appears to make contact with a Mexico jersey that was on the floor of their locker room after their 2-0 win over Mexico in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Canelo says he got carried by the emotions and was clearly in the wrong.

“These last few days I got carried away by the passion and love I feel for my country and made comments that were out of place, for which I want to apologize to Messi and the people of Argentina,” Canelo wrote Wednesday on Twitter. “Every day we learn something new, and this time it was my turn.

“I wish both teams much success in their matches today, and here we will continue supporting Mexico until the end.”

Estos últimos días me dejé llevar por la pasión y el amor que siento por mi país e hice comentarios que estuvieron fuera de lugar por lo que quiero disculparme con Messi y la gente de Argentina. Todos los días aprendemos algo nuevo y esta vez me tocó a mí.

— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 30, 2022

Les deseo mucho éxito a ambas selecciones en sus partidos de hoy y aquí seguiremos apoyando a México hasta el final 🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽

— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 30, 2022

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