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58 minutes ago, DarknessandHope said:

Not a Messi issue but what do you think @LeoGetz

Police entered Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium on Monday in a search and seize operation; police say a number of arrests were made; the operation comes less than a week before the club's presidential elections take place

Results on the pitch haven't been very good lately, but this is something many Barça fans are celebrating like a trophy!

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1 minute ago, LeoGetz said:

Results on the pitch haven't been very good lately, but this is something many Barça fans are celebrating like a trophy!

Do you have any idea of  what they were looking for and may have seized?

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15 minutes ago, DarknessandHope said:

Does seem like it would not be a felony but maybe this is more for show?

Maybe "Barçagate" is only the tip of the iceberg. I could also imagine these crooks funneling club money into their own pockets.

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4 minutes ago, LeoGetz said:

Maybe "Barçagate" is only the tip of the iceberg. I could also imagine these crooks funneling club money into their own pockets.

What do you think Messi's reaction will be to all the issues going on with the club now? Will he stay if the "right" president is elected or will he leave?

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6 minutes ago, DarknessandHope said:

What do you think Messi's reaction will be to all the issues going on with the club now? Will he stay if the "right" president is elected or will he leave?

I don't think this will influence his decision. The new president (probably Joan Laporta) will have a good chance of convincing him to stay. There's also a lot of history there. Laporta was president when Messi broke into the first team. And as far as I have heard, they always had a great relationship.

I could understand if Messi wants to leave and play his last years with a team that can compete for the CL. But it would be a shame. He belongs in that shirt. And ending his career where he started it would do more for his legacy in the long run than another CL trophy for another team.

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3 minutes ago, LeoGetz said:

He belongs in that shirt. And ending his career where he started it would do more for his legacy in the long run than another CL trophy for another team.

The other side to that story is look what happened in Tampa Bay this year, with Tom Brady? Brady winning was always because of Belichick now it's because of Brady? 

Apples v Oranges I don't know?  

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2 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

The other side to that story is look what happened in Tampa Bay this year, with Tom Brady? Brady winning was always because of Belichick now it's because of Brady? 

Apples v Oranges I don't know?  

Good point. I just think that Messi has already proven that he was the X-factor in these great Barça teams. Pep, Xavi, Iniesta, Neymar or Suarez surely helped, but without him they would have never become THAT good. As a fan, part of me would love him to go to City and tear up the Premier League and shut up the last of his doubters. But I'm afraid with 34 he's not in the necessary physical shape anymore. And if he ends up being only good and not sensational, people will say: See, I always knew he wouldn't cut it in England.

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Former president Josep Maria Bartomeu was among four ex-Barcelona officials arrested on Monday, according to widespread reports in Spain, as the club's Nou Camp offices were also raided by Catalan police.

Current chief executive Oscar Grau, ex-director of legal services Gomez Ponti, and advisor to the president Jaume Masferrer were the other three detained by Mossos d'Esquadra, the force confirmed to Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

The operation is in connection with last year's 'Barcagate', in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players, who were critical of the club and Bartomeu.

Barcelona had denied accusations that they hired and overpaid a company to make negative comments about their own players and opponents on social media in order to boost the image of senior officials. The company was accused of using fake social media accounts to discredit opposition figures when they expressed views that went against the club.

Some of the figures supposedly included players such as Lionel Messi - who was unhappy and unsettled at Barcelona at the time - defender Gerard Pique, as well as former head coach Pep Guardiola. The club later released an independent audit report showing that there had been no wrongdoing.

Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year amid fallout from the controversy surrounding Messi and ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, which are to be held in less than a week's time.

Presidential candidate Joan Laporta also confirmed the arrest of Bartomeu on Monday and said the day's events would cause "enormous harm to the image of our club

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Joan Laporta elected Barcelona president for second time; 58-year-old wins with more than 54 per cent of vote; Laporta to hold role until 2026; Victor Font recorded just short of 30 per cent of vote while Toni Freixa earned just over eight per cent

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Font would have been my first choice. But it's great to see Laporta back. I remember seeing him dancing and singing at Bruce's Barcelona shows in 2008. 

I hope he has learned from his mistakes during his first term.

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, dr winston oboogie said:

Good goal, but that last defender was a cross between stones and maguire, what was he "not" doing ?

True, but that's what he's been doing for 15 years now - making defenders look stupid. 

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  • 2 months later...

Lionel Messi and Barcelona have reached an agreement for the forward to sign a new five-year deal, according to ESPN. 

The 34-year-old was a free agent after his contract at Barcelona expired. 

Manchester City and PSG had been linked with a move. 

Messi has been focusing on winning the Copa America with Argentina, but it has now been claimed he has agreed to halve his £500,000-a-week wages in order to stay at Barcelona.

Spanish outlet SPORT report that the forward will remain at Barca until he is 39 and understands the club's financial situation has required a wage decrease.

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Spanish football expert Euan McTear tells Sky Sports News why there has been a delay to Lionel Messi committing his future at the Barcelona, and the possible repercussions of the new five-year contract...

"The reason it's a five-year deal is that it is likely that Messi will play the next two years but it's a longer deal so that he stays linked to the club as an ambassador but the talk is he might go to MLS after two years while still being paid by the club. 

"It's a way for Barcelona to spread out the payment over five years. That's part of the reason he's been able to take such a massive cut of around 50 per cent.

"Barca still have more work to do. Messi has been convinced to stay on for a while now but one of the reasons why they've not been able to register him so far is down to La Liga regulations. They have very strict financial control rules, where you cannot register new players until you've met their guidelines.

"They need to clear a lot of salary off their books and they're still working to do that. It's why there's been reports they might make a swap deal with Saul Niguez at Atletico Madrid and Antoine Griezmann. It would partly free up Griezmann's high wages to then pay Messi."

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Inexplicable, how such a big club, with almost a billion in revenue, can be so deep in the hole. Former president Bartomeu and his gang must be the most inept football directors in the history of the game. Ruining a club/business to such extent, should actually be a criminal offence.

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I just wish he had played one season for any English club so all the doubters would just shut up. Have this argument all the time at home with my brother n cousin who both prefer Ronaldo and say Messi never played in the toughest or most physical league. But then as Leogatz has mentioned earlier, at his age if he did not play at his level it would give them more ammo. Never mind the fact that he has run circles around English sides in the past. Another thing which I get to hear is that Messi had a great team with him unlike Maradona who single handedly made Napoli a great team. 

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17 hours ago, balboa08 said:

I just wish he had played one season for any English club so all the doubters would just shut up. Have this argument all the time at home with my brother n cousin who both prefer Ronaldo and say Messi never played in the toughest or most physical league. But then as Leogatz has mentioned earlier, at his age if he did not play at his level it would give them more ammo. Never mind the fact that he has run circles around English sides in the past. Another thing which I get to hear is that Messi had a great team with him unlike Maradona who single handedly made Napoli a great team. 

And if he'd go to City or Chelsea and win the EPL they'd say he only won it because he joined a great team. They will always find something.

And that Maradona didn't have great teams is a myth. The Argentina side of 1986 wasn't flashy, but they were tough as coffin nails. Same for Napoli. Careca, Carnevale,... Those weren't scrubs. Really don't wanna downplay Maradona's achievments, but stats-wise, Messi's worst year of his career was still better than Maradona's best.

Sure Messi had great players around him. But he made very good teams exceptional. First they said he only won because of Xavi and Iniesta. Then Xavi stopped so they said he won only because he had Iniesta. Then Iniesta stopped and Messi still won titles. Then it was Neymar. And once Neymar left he still won back to back league titles and the Golden Boot. He has been dragging an aging, average at best Barça to titles and CL semi finals. And now he's 34, and while he can't produce magic as frequently as he used to, he probably is still the best player in the world. No other player in Europe has more goals and assists in the calender year 2021. He now he even guided Argentina to their first title since 1993! He's a football phenomenon like we haven't seen so far.

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  • 1 month later...

@LeoGetz and all the other Messi admirers - no less an authority than The Economist says so ;)

Goals make up only half of his value, but his scoring was more impactful than that of other greats

AUG 14TH 2021

1348866531_ScreenShot2021-08-19at15_39_21.thumb.png.f4ebb105b97c1f41ee66773040e3682f.png

266386483_ScreenShot2021-08-19at15_40_15.thumb.png.1c189c222abb4860f492be38f47a2763.png

Simply the best
By the numbers, Lionel Messi is European football’s best scorer ever

Football’s most fruitful partnership has ended in tears. On August 8th a weeping Lionel Messi said he was leaving Barcelona, the club he joined when he was just 13. The Argentine forward has scored a record 474 goals in La Liga, Spain’s top league. His teams have won ten La Liga titles and four Europe-wide Champions League trophies.

Listen to this story - https://www.economist.com/media-assets/audio/081 Graphic detail - Football-ff09102307ea02ef707f34aee73669d2.mp3

Mr Messi offered to slash his salary in order to stay. But Barcelona is deep in debt, and pays 95% of its revenue in wages. La Liga has set a ceiling of 70%, forcing the club to let him go. On August 10th he joined Paris Saint-Germain (psg), a rich French team.

Now 34, Mr Messi may not even be psg’s top scorer next season. But the only question about his peak in 2009-19 is whether it was the greatest ever. Although historical comparisons are tricky in football, the best available data suggest that it was.

Mr Messi’s standing relative to his contemporaries can be analysed reliably. Today, the location and result of every shot, dribble, pass and tackle are tracked. ku Leuven, a university, and SciSports, an analytics firm, have built a system to measure how each action affects a team’s odds of scoring, by comparing where the ball was before and after a player touched it.

In 2012-20, their model reckons that Mr Messi would have boosted an average team’s scoring margin by 1.77 goals per match. Cristiano Ronaldo, his old rival at Real Madrid, came a distant second at 1.43.

Comparing Mr Messi with past greats is harder. The only data available for all European leagues before 2000 are goals scored and match results. And not all goals are created equal: scoring rates fell sharply from 1950 to 1970, and goals are easier to come by in weaker leagues.

To level the playing field, we devised an exchange rate called the Modern-Equivalent Soccer Scoring Index (messi). For each season in each league, it uses the average number of goals per match and team strength—as measured by the Elo system, which rates clubs based on their results and the quality of their opponents—to estimate how many goals players would have scored under different conditions. For example, in the 1960s Eusébio played in a weak, high-scoring Portuguese league. His goals are worth 37% less than those in La Liga in 2004-21. By contrast, Diego Maradona faced stout Italian defences, making his goals worth 5% more than the modern baseline. (We excluded penalties, which pad some strikers’ stats more than others’.)

After these tweaks, the diminutive Mr Messi stands head and shoulders above the competition. At his best, he averaged one goal per 90 minutes. Mr Ronaldo reached 0.9; greats from earlier eras were below 0.8.

These rankings are far from perfect. They underrate players like Maradona and Johan Cruyff, who were as much creators as finishers. And they cannot capture the value of defenders like Franz Beckenbauer.

Even among strikers, important data are missing. Ferenc Puskas’s latter years roughly match Mr Messi’s recent seasons. Unfortunately, Elo ratings do not exist for the post-war Hungarian leagues that the young Puskas dominated. Nor are they available for Brazil or America, where Pelé, widely seen as the greatest player of the 20th century, played club football.

What is certain, based on modern analytics, is that only half of Mr Messi’s value comes from shots at goal. He is also an extraordinary dribbler and passer. This suggests that even the prolific Puskas and Pelé may not have been his equal.■

Sources: PlaymakerStats.com; ClubElo.com; KU Leuven; SciSports; The Economist

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Thanks @JimCT

very interesting numbers. Nothing that surprises me but nice to see them illustrated like this. I have always said that he's the most complete player ever. He excels in every aspect of the offensive game. Many say CR is the better goal-scorer, yet Messi scores more with less attempts. Many say he needed Xavi and Iniesta, yet Messi had more assists and created more chances than both of them combined. For several years in a row he finished La Liga with the most goals, assists and chances created. He can dictate the pace of games, can orchestrate and we don't have to talk about his dribbling skills. I once saw a stat about goals scored after dribbling one, two, three or more players. Messi was head and shoulders above everybody else in football history.

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