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Ronaldo was magical against Atletico – I was surprised!: Messi

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London: Lionel Messi had another night to remember for Barcelona , scoring twice and adding two assists as Barcelona rolled past Lyon 5-1 in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 showdown to book their place in the quarter-finals.

The win saw Barcelona make it 30 Champions League games at Camp Nou unbeaten, the best home run of ay team, but it was Tuesday’s results that proved shocking the Spanish side’s star man, Lionel Messi.

Barcelona will be joined in the last eight by Premier League sides Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, along with Dutch outfit Ajax and Portuguese club Porto.

 

But it was the inclusion of Serie A side Juventus that saw the Argentina captain shocked.

Juve slipped past Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s second leg, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring two headers and a penalty to see the Italian club overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss and leaving the Barca star to marvel at the exploits of his former Real Madrid rival.

“Cristiano and Juventus were awesome,” he told Movistar + following Wednesday’s win over Lyon. “It was a big surprise because I thought Atletico would be stronger.

“But Juventus overcame them and Cristiano had a magical night with three goals.”

Messi and Barcelona must now wait until Friday’s draw to see who they will face in the quarter-finals, but the 31-year-old doesn’t see a preferred opponent in the last eight.

“All rivals are difficult, we can’t choose,” he said. “We have to wait for the draw and see who will be our rival.

“City, Juventus, Ajax, all are really good. Liverpool have offensive success and they showed at Munich. All of them will be complicated.”

Messi’s star showing saw his club through against Lyon, but the forward remained somewhat unhappy to have seen the Spanish giants lapse in the match after seemingly taking control.


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Women’s football team better than men’s, says Chhetri

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New Delhi: The FIFA ranking says so and India football captain Sunil Chhetri too has no qualms in conceding that the national women’s team is better than the men’s side. The men’s team is currently ranked 103rd out of 211 countries, after being in the top-100 last year. The women’s side is currently 62nd out of 152 nations.

Chhetri, the poster boy of Indian football with second-most goals among active international players, praised the national women’s team for its fifth consecutive SAFF title win. “Extremely proud of all of you. I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri said.

The women’s team will feature in Round 2 of the Olympics qualifiers, which kick off in Mandalay in Myanmar on April 3.

 
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I will be first one to hang my boots when time comes: Yuvraj on retirement

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Mumbai: Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing future has been a topic of discussion for some years now but the player said he would be the first one to bid adieu when he felt that his time is up.

Out of national team’s scheme of things for good, Yuvraj has had a poor track record in the IPL but started on a bright note with a half-century for his latest franchise Mumbai Indians.

“When the time comes, I will be the first one to hang my boots,” Yuvraj told the media after MI’s 37-run defeat against Delhi Capitals in the IPL opener.

 

However, India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup hero did admit that at times he felt indecisive about carrying on.

“The last two years, have been up and down (for me). And I could not decide on what to do,” said the 37-year-old.

Yuvraj said when on introspection, he found that he is still enjoying the game just as he did as an U-16 cricketer not thinking about national team selection.

“The main thing for me was why I played the game when I started off. I played the game because I enjoyed playing cricket. When I enjoyed playing cricket, I was not playing for India. I was playing for U-14s and U-16s. So till the time, I enjoy playing cricket, I am going to play.”

The veteran left-hander spoke to Sachin Tendulkar, who could relate with his situation as to how he felt when he was at the business end of his career.

“I have been speaking to Sachin (Tendulkar) as well and he has gone through that time when he was 37-38-39 (and how he felt). Talking to him makes things easier for me. And I am just playing because I enjoy playing cricket pretty much,” he signed off.

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Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid job : Mourinho

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London: Jose Mourinho has said that he believes Zinedine Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid managerial position.

Zidane was re-appointed as Madrid’s head coach earlier this month, just 10 months after he had resigned from the same position.

After Solari’s dismissal, many tipped Mourinho to return to the Santiago Bernabeu after he had been sacked as Manchester United boss in December.

 

Mourinho was Madrid’s manager from 2010 to 2013, but the Blancos instead opted to bring back three-time Champions League winner Zidane.

And Mourinho himself has now said that the Blancos made the right call, adding that the Frenchman is just getting started in his managerial career despite what he has already achieved.

“I do not think we can talk about a career for him yet,” Mourinho said of Zidane on Canal Plus.

“But in a very short time, he did what no one had done before, that is winning three consecutive Champions Leagues”.

“Now he is starting a new step in his career. He has to build a team, he has to make choices, buy players, sell them. He has to train them, give them his philosophy of play.

“I think he’s probably the best person for this club.”

Mourinho has not been shy about his desire to return to club management, and said this week he has already turned down a number of job offers.

The Portuguese said that he’s growing more eager to return every day.

“Day after day, I miss training. I’m not going to hide it,” Mourinho said.

“There’s something going on in my head, winning a fifth league and a new Champions League with a third club.”

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