Argentina Beat Australia, Reach World Cup Quarter-Finals

Argentina’s forward #10 Lionel Messi (C) fights for the ball with Australia’s defender #05 Fran Karacic (L) and Australia’s defender #04 Kye Rowles during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Argentina and Australia at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 3, 2022. (Photo by Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP)

 

Argentina moved into the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Australia which set up a last-eight clash with the Netherlands.

Lionel Messi scored his first ever goal in a World Cup knockout round tie in the 35th minute and Julian Alvarez added Argentina’s second just before the hour mark.

Australia pulled one back with a late own goal.

AFP

Argentina, Netherlands Eye Quarters As World Cup Last 16 Kicks Off

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring for Argentina against Mexico. Twitter/FIFA WORLD CUP

 

Australia take on Lionel Messi’s Argentina in a David v Goliath World Cup showdown while the United States look to ambush the Netherlands as the World Cup knockout rounds get under way on Saturday.

After a group stage full of twists and turns, the business end of the tournament kicks off with 16 teams dreaming of plotting a path to the final in Doha on December 18.

The USA and the Netherlands open the second round at the Khalifa Stadium on Saturday, with the Americans aiming to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002.

Coach Gregg Berhalter’s USA squad booked their spot in the last 16 with a 1-0 win over Iran to secure second place in Group B behind England.

While the Dutch possess the greater historical pedigree, reaching three previous World Cup finals, the USA head into the knockout rounds brimming with confidence.

Cody Gakpo celebrates goal for Netherlands against Qatar. Twitter/FIFA WORLD CUP

“It’s a great opportunity, but it’s not something that we’re going into it thinking it’s an honour,” Berhalter said.

“We deserve to be in the position we’re in.”

The US face a Dutch team who finished first in Group A ahead of Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar without really showing their best form.

The Netherlands’ veteran coach Louis van Gaal is wary of the threat posed by the energetic Americans, describing Berhalter’s team as one of the best in the tournament.

“They have an excellent team, I would say even one of the best teams,” said Van Gaal.

“It’ll be a tough match but it’s nothing we can’t overcome. We also have a good team.”

In Saturday’s other knockout game, South American giants Argentina face an Australia side who confounded all expectations by getting out of a Group D that included defending champions France, Denmark and Tunisia.

AFP

Saudi Arabia Declare National Holiday After Shock Win Over Argentina

 Saudi Arabia's goalkeeper #21 Mohammed Al-Owais (L) celebrates with teammembers at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)
Saudi Arabia’s goalkeeper #21 Mohammed Al-Owais (L) celebrates with teammembers at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)

 

Saudi King Salman has declared a national holiday after the football team’s stunning World Cup win on Tuesday over Argentina, state media reported.

The 86-year-old monarch “orders that tomorrow, Wednesday, be a holiday for all employees in the public and private sectors, as well as male and female students at all educational levels”, the Al-Ekhbariya channel said on Twitter.

The move comes in the middle of final exams in the Gulf nation, indicating that they will have to be rescheduled.

The Saudi Green Falcons bounced back from conceding an early Lionel Messi penalty to produce one of the greatest World Cup shocks thanks to a Saleh Al-Shehri equaliser and a sublime Salem Al-Dawsari winner at the Lusail Stadium in Doha.

Celebrations erupted throughout the capital Riyadh after the final whistle blew, with fans forming impromptu dance circles and waving the sword-emblazoned national flag from the windows of speeding cars.

Al-Ekhbariya posted pictures of King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, celebrating after watching the game with a group that included energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Turki al-Sheikh, an adviser at the Royal Court and head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, announced on Twitter that admission fees would be waived at major theme parks and entertainment centres in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Few could have predicted that Herve Renard’s Green Falcons, ranked 51st in the world, would topple the twice-world champions led by the feted Messi, who has seven Ballons d’Or to his name.

The team’s next match is on Saturday against Poland.

Argentina Fans In Qatar Give Messi Noisy Backing

Argentina’s fans cheer in front of the FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha on November 7, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

 

An advanced guard of Argentina football fans chanted their certainty that Lionel Messi’s last World Cup will end in success Monday ahead of the Latin American side becoming the first to set up their base camp in Qatar.

Scores of fans gathered at the World Cup countdown clock on Doha’s seafront chanting Messi’s name and waving flags, 13 days before the tournament starts, as bemused police watched the mounting football fever in the Gulf state.

Many went to the clock to welcome Matías Villarroel, Silvio Gatti, Leandro Blanco and Lucas Ledezma who cycled 10,500 kilometers (6,500 miles) across Africa to reach Doha on Monday. But Messi was on the minds of the riders and the other fans.

“The dream behind cycling this whole route is that Argentina will win the World Cup and that Leo will lift the trophy on December 18,” said Blanco.

While Argentina won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, Messi, one of the greatest players ever, has only been a losing finalist, in 2014.

“The emotion we feel here is immense, we spent six months cycling through Africa and the Middle East, to be here in Doha today and for this party.”

“We have a lot of faith and a lot of hope, that’s why we have done all this craziness, so we are starting to live this beautiful World Cup here in Qatar.”

Around them fans in Argentina’s blue and white shirts chanting a traditional refrain taunting traditional rivals England. “If you don’t jump up and down you are English,” they shouted.

A first group of Argentine technical staff and football federation officials was due to arrive in Doha early Tuesday to set up the team base at Doha university.

Some of their fans came to work in Qatar months ago hoping to raise money to be able to see Messi and the national team.

“Messi’s last World Cup, I’m a bit upset but confident that the national team is going to do its best and that with a bit of luck we will be holding the trophy in a month’s time,” said s Caillava, 22, who travelled to Qatar to work.

Marco, who only gave one name, said he would be working at the FIFA fan festival in Doha. “We are expecting a party for Messi’s last World Cup, so it’s the one we are going to enjoy the most. This team is the most prepared so, it’s where the team is the most prepared, so this is going to be unique.”

Argentina, unbeaten in 35 games since 2019, start in Group C against Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.

AFP

Maradona’s ‘Hand Of God’ Ball To Go Up For Auction Of Up To $3.4m

View of a football with an image of late Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona during a homage on the first anniversary of his death, in Montevideo, on November 25, 2021.
Dante Fernandez / AFP

 

The ball that Diego Maradona used to score his infamous “Hand of God” World Cup goal for Argentina against England in 1986 will go under the hammer next month and could fetch up to £3 million.

Bidding will start on November 16 but prospective buyers can register online from October 28, London-based Graham Budd Auctions said, adding it anticipates the ball to sell for £2.5-£3 million (up to $3.4 million).

“With the history surrounding the ball, we are expecting this lot to be hugely popular when it comes up for auction,” Graham Budd, chair of the auction house, said in a statement.

The 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England saw a heated build-up because of political tensions following the Falklands war and came to be defined by two contrasting goals scored by the late Maradona.

READ ALSO: Saka Earns Win For Arsenal At Bodo/Glimt In Europa League

For the first one, Maradona ran into the box, rose with England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net.

He later said the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God”.

The second came just four minutes later as Maradona sped past five English defenders and Shilton to score the “Goal of the Century”, according to a 2002 FIFA poll.

Argentina won the grudge match 2-1 after referee Ali Bin Nasser let Maradona’s controversial first goal stand, and the team went on to win the World Cup.

“This ball is part of international football history, it feels like the right time to be sharing it with the world,” said Bin Nasser, the owner of the ball.

In May, the jersey Maradona wore in the quarter-final sold at auction for nearly $9.3 million, more than twice the value predicted by Sotheby’s.

But the record-setting sale for sports memorabilia worn on the field was surpassed in September when basketball legend Michael Jordan’s 1998 NBA finals jersey sold for $10.1 million.

Maradona died aged 60 of heart failure in November 2020.

AFP

One Dead In Unrest At Argentina Soccer Match

Fans of Gimnasia y Esgrima react after the police threw tear gas outside the Juan Carmelo Zerillo stadium and entered the field during the Argentine Professional Football League Tournament 2022 match between Gimnasia y Egrima and Boca Juniors in La Plata, Argentina, on October 6, 2022. (Photo by ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP)

 

One person died Thursday when violent clashes near a soccer match outside Buenos Aires between Boca Juniors and Gimnasia y Esgrima spilled into the stadium and onto the pitch, authorities said.

Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas outside the Carmelo Zerillo stadium in La Plata, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Argentina’s capital as they attempted to stop fans from pushing into the already crowded venue.

The unrest continued inside, where shocked spectators were seen squeezing through fencing to escape the violence and get onto the field.

“I can confirm that there is one person dead. This person died of cardiac arrest,” said Sergio Berni, security minister of Buenos Aires province, where the Argentina league first division match took place.

The game was suspended after nine minutes until further notice “due to lack of (security) guarantees,” referee Hernan Mastrangelo said, minutes after the players and technical staff left the pitch for the dressing rooms.

READ ALSO: Deadly Strikes Batter Ukraine City Of Zaporizhzhia

“It affected all of us on the field,” he added. “The air became unbreathable. The situation got out of control and there were no security guarantees.”

Authorities at San Martin hospital in La Plata confirmed the death of a 57-year-old man due to cardiac arrest as he was being transferred from the stadium to the hospital.

Several fans, including children being led or carried by adults, rushed to get out of the stands and onto the pitch, where people were seen sitting or lying down apparently recovering from tear gas exposure.

The match came at a critical point in the Argentine top-flight league, with four rounds to go and Gimnasia playing its last chance to secure the title at home, while Boca was looking for a win to return to the premier division.

“What was going to be a party ends in this. It hurts us all what happened, it is tremendous and we regret it,” Boca Juniors manager Hugo Ibarra told reporters.

The deadly violence came five days after a stampede in Indonesia prompted by police firing tear gas inside a packed stadium left at least 131 people dead, including 32 children.

AFP

Man Arrested For Attempted Shooting Of Argentina Vice President 

In this photo released by Telam news agency, a man points a gun at Argentina’s Vice-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as she arrives at her residence in Buenos Aires on September 1, 2022. (Photo by TELAM / AFP) /

 

A man attempted to shoot Argentine Vice President Cristina Kirchner near her home in Buenos Aires on Thursday, a shocking incident that prompted a wave of sympathy from Latin American leaders.

“Cristina remains alive, because, for a reason that has not yet been technically confirmed, the gun which contained five bullets did not fire despite the trigger having been pulled,” Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez said in an address to the nation.

“This is the most serious event that has happened since we restored democracy” in 1983, Fernandez said.

Footage of the incident showed the man pointing a handgun at close range at Kirchner, who was the country’s leader from 2007 to 2015 and is now facing corruption charges.

The incident took place in Buenos Aires’ upscale Recoleta neighborhood.

“I saw this arm come up over my shoulder behind me with a gun, and with people around me, he was subdued,” a supporter of Kirchner, who did not give his name, told AFP.

Security Minister Anibal Fernandez said a suspect had been arrested on Thursday night but investigators still needed to examine the crime scene and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Local media reported that the suspect was a 35-year-old Brazilian national.

President Fernandez declared Friday a public holiday to allow people to “express themselves in defense of the life of democracy and in solidarity with our vice president.”

READ ALSO: Five Things On Brazil’s Voting Machines

‘Solidarity’ 

Several well-known Latin American politicians voiced support for Kirchner, 69, after the failed attack.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a strong Kirchner ally, tweeted his support Thursday night.

“We send our solidarity to Vice President Cristina Kirchner in the face of the attack against her life,” he wrote.

“We strenuously reject this act that sought to destabilize the peace of the brotherly Argentine people. The great homeland is with you, comrade!”

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric also tweeted out support to Kirchner and the Argentine people.

“The assassination attempt… deserves the repudiation and condemnation of the entire continent,” he said. “The path will always be the debate of ideas and dialogue, never weapons or violence.”

Bolivian President Luis Arce also expressed his support for Kirchner.

Within the country, opposition party Together for Change condemned the attempted attack on Kirchner and called for a full investigation.

“My absolute repudiation of the attack suffered by Cristina Kirchner, who fortunately was not injured,” tweeted opposition leader Mauricio Macri, who was president after Kirchner.

“This very serious act requires an immediate and deep investigation by prosecutors and security forces.”

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s former president now locked in a fierce election battle, also slammed Kirchner’s attacker as “a fascist criminal who does not know how to respect differences and diversity.”

Court Case 

Kirchner, a lawyer by training who succeeded her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, as president, stands accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her political stronghold of Patagonia.

Government prosecutors have accused her of defrauding the state out of an estimated $1 billion and are seeking a prison sentence of 12 years and a lifetime ban from politics.

Hundreds of activists have gathered in recent days in front of her home to protest the claims.

“Nothing, absolutely nothing that they have said was proven,” Kirchner said last week.

The verdict in her case is expected at the end of the year.

She is president of the country’s Senate and enjoys parliamentary immunity, granting her some legal protection.

Even if convicted she would not go to prison unless her sentence was ratified by the country’s Supreme Court, or if she loses her Senate seat at the next elections at the end of 2023.

AFP

Argentina To Prepare For World Cup In Abu Dhabi

Argentina’s striker Paulo Dybala (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during the ‘Finalissima’ International friendly football match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Argentina will be based in Abu Dhabi as they prepare for this year’s World Cup finals in Qatar after the Argentina Football Association (AFA) entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).

The two-time World Cup winners will play friendlies in Abu Dhabi as part of their preparatons for what is likely to be superstar Lionel Messi’s final chance to win the trophy — he will be 35 by the time the tournament kicks off.

Messi came closest to lifting it when Argentina lost to Germany in the 2014 final in Brazil.

“After months of joint-work exchanges, ADSC together with the AFA, a long-term agreement has been consolidated,” read a statement by the ADSC.

“Abu Dhabi will host the Argentine national team preparing camp for the 2022 World Cup, which will include friendly matches in November.

“As part of Argentina’s collaboration with the UAE, the SuperCopa Argentina finals will be played for four consecutive years in Abu Dhabi starting from this January 2023 until the year 2026.

“The Argentine Football Association thus becomes the first federation in Latin America to export a high global impact sporting event to the Middle East region.”

Argentina have been drawn in Group C opening their campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22 before facing Mexico (November 26) and rounding off their group matches against Poland November 30).

The quadrennial global football showpiece gets underway on November 21 and runs till December 18.

Messi Steals Show As Argentina Beat Italy In Finalissima


Argentina’s striker Lionel Messi lifts the trophy as Argentina’s players celebrate on the pitch after their victory in the ‘Finalissima’ International friendly football match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Lionel Messi stole the show as Copa America holders Argentina powered to a 3-0 win against European champions Italy in the Finalissima at Wembley on Wednesday.

Inspired by the peerless Messi, Argentina raced into a two-goal lead in the first half of the prestigious friendly thanks to strikes from Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.

Paulo Dybala capped Argentina’s rout, but after a disappointing season with Paris Saint-Germain by his sky-high standards, it was the sight of Messi back to his imperious best that took the spotlight.

The 34-year-old’s eye-catching display featured two assists and was worthy of his rare appearance at one of football’s great cathedrals.

It was another memorable moment for Argentina, who have qualified for this year’s World Cup as they extend the golden afterglow from the victory over Brazil that ended their 28-year wait to win the Copa America in 2021.

Argentina were already established as one of the leading contenders to win the World Cup and defeating Italy was another statement of intent from La Albiceleste, who are now unbeaten in 32 matches.

If Messi can play at this level in Qatar, Lionel Scaloni’s side will be a force to be reckoned with as they chase a first World Cup title since 1986.

READ ALSOPogba To Leave Manchester United

For Italy, it was a disappointing return to Wembley 11 months after they beat England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.

Roberto Mancini’s team have gone into a steep decline since that memorable triumph.

They failed to qualify for the World Cup after suffering a humiliating loss to North Macedonia in their play-off semi-final.

Mancini admitted the Finalissima represented the “end of a cycle” for his European champions.

After the World Cup failure, Mancini is transitioning to a younger generation, with the forthcoming Nations League matches against Germany, England, and Hungary his real focus.

Mancini’s overhaul effectively started at half-time when Italy said farewell to 117-cap skipper Giorgio Chiellini, who was substituted in his final game before international retirement.

 Messi Masterpiece 


Argentina’s striker Lionel Messi waves to supporters as Argentina’s players celebrate on the pitch after their victory in the ‘Finalissima’ International friendly football match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2022.  Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

This was only the third Finalissima contest between the respective champions of Europe and South America and the first since Diego Maradona’s Argentina beat Denmark in 1993.

Fittingly, Messi — the heir to the legendary Maradona — used the occasion to remind the world of his astonishing talents.

The 80,000 sell-out crowd created a colourful backdrop for Messi’s mastery, with Argentina’s raucous fans turning the north London suburb of Brent into Buenos Aires for one ear-splitting evening.

Every touch from Messi lifted the decibel levels and moments after his shot was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, the forward played a key role as Argentina took the lead in the 28th minute.

Messi worked his magic on the touchline, showing tremendous strength to hold off Giovanni Di Lorenzo before unfurling a precise low cross to Martinez, who applied the finishing touch from close-range.

Italy argued that the goal should have been disallowed for a foul in the build-up, but their protests were in vain.

With tempers still running high, Leonardo Bonucci was booked after leaving Messi writhing in pain with a flailing arm that caught him in the face.

Di Maria exacted revenge on Messi’s behalf in first-half stoppage-time.

Martinez drove forward with bullish tenacity and slipped a perfectly weighted pass to Di Maria, with the PSG forward producing a finish to match the approach play as he clipped a cool finish over Donnarumma.

Di Maria almost struck again on the hour, but his curler was brilliantly tipped over by Donnarumma as it fizzed towards the far corner.

Messi robbed Jorginho and embarked on a mesmerising run that finished with a save from Donnarumma.

Messi’s name echoed around the stands as Argentina’s fans paid tribute to their idol’s latest masterpiece.

Dybala’s clinical strike in stoppage-time came via a deft Messi pass as the maestro provided one final flourish.

AFP

Maradona Shirt Auction Opens With Bid Of $5m

File photo of Argentine legend, Maradona. Credit: AFP

 

An auction of the jersey worn by Diego Maradona when he scored twice against England in the 1986 World Cup, including the infamous “hand of God” goal, kicked off Wednesday with a bid of over $5 million.

Sotheby’s is selling the blue number 10 Argentina shirt in an online sale that runs until May 4.

A few hours after bidding opened, the site showed that the first offer of £4 million ($5.2 million) — matching the low end of the auction house’s pre-sale estimate — had been registered.

That would set a new record price for a football jersey at auction.

The record for a game-worn shirt from any sport is $5.6 million, set in 2019 for a jersey Babe Ruth wore while on the New York Yankees.

Maradona’s daughter cast doubt on the sale earlier this month when she claimed that the shirt put up for auction had been the one her father wore in the goalless first half, not the second when he scored his two goals.

Sotheby’s insists they have the right shirt, though.

It had been owned since the end of the controversial encounter by opposing midfielder Steve Hodge, who swapped his jersey with Maradona after England lost 2-1.

Hodge, whose autobiography is titled “The man with Maradona’s shirt,” has for the past 20 years loaned the jersey to be on public display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

 

 

The quarter-final showdown became etched in football folklore for Maradona’s two goals — one notorious and one sublime — in Mexico City’s seething Aztec Stadium.

The first came shortly after half-time when Hodge, on the edge of the England penalty area, intercepted a pass and flicked the ball back towards goal.

Maradona, running into the box, rose with England’s goalkeeper Peter Shilton and punched the ball into the net. He later said the goal had been scored “a little with the head of Maradona, a little with the hand of God.”

Soon after, Maradona left five English defenders in his wake before gliding past Shilton and slotting home for a strike that was voted “Goal of the Century” in a 2002 FIFA poll.

Argentina went on to win the final and Maradona, who died from a heart attack in 2020, became worshipped in his home country.

AFP

‘World’s Worst Team’ Which Wanted To Sign Messi Ready To Win


Brazil’s Ibis players are seen at the Arena Pernambuco’s dressing room before their football match against Sport Recife in Recife, Brazil, on March 16, 2022.  LEO CALDAS / AFP

 

Their mascot is named “Little Defeat”. Their fans “protest” when they win. But after a notorious losing streak that earned them the nickname “the world’s worst football team”, Brazilian minnows Ibis are ready for victory.

Based in the city of Paulista in northeastern Brazil, Ibis Sport Club rose to infamy in the 1980s for going three years, 11 months and 26 days without winning a match.

But the regional club, who play in the Pernambuco state championship, have responded to decades of derision with good-natured humor, turning their mocking nickname into a badge of pride — and what is turning out to be a powerful brand.

With their penchant for self-deprecating tweets and Instagram posts that go viral, Ibis have drawn worldwide attention, including from Swedish online gambling firm Betsson, which signed the most lucrative sponsorship deal in the club’s 84-year history last June.

READ ALSO: Barcelona’s ‘Doors Are Open’ To Messi – Xavi

Now, flush with cash, the eternal losers are starting to do the unthinkable: win.

“Let’s leave our history as ‘the world’s worst team’ to the 1980s when Ibis really were the worst in the world. We’re not anymore — though we use it for marketing, so people know us,” said club president and passionate fan Ozir Ramos Junior.

Losers or not, Ibis have shown a knack for building their brand in the social media age.

When Lionel Messi left Barcelona last August, Ibis offered to sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner — on condition he not score “too many goals” or win a championship.

In the event, the Argentine superstar went to Paris Saint-Germain — whom Ibis now compare themselves to, given that neither team have had any luck winning the Champions League.

Lovable Losers 

“We’re known all over the planet as the worst in the world. But let’s not mix that up with our professional side. We’ve got highly competent people,” Ramos told AFP.

The sponsorship deal with Betsson has allowed Ibis to upgrade their sporting infrastructure and pay actual salaries to their footballers, who formerly played out of “love for the jersey”, Ramos said.

Last season, the club won promotion from the Pernambuco second division to the state’s top-flight league for the first time in 21 years.

The championship is the gateway to Serie D, the bottom rung of Brazil’s national league system — though Ibis, returning to form, have struggled for results, and risk being relegated again.

It is only a temporary setback, says coach Paulo Jesse.

“Today, we only work with winners. We’re going to ditch our reputation as the worst in the world,” said the coach, a school security guard in his day job.

Ibis have certainly come a long way since their worst ignominy, when they went from July 20, 1980, to June 17, 1984, without winning a match — racking up 48 losses and six draws, with 25 goals for and 225 against.

The losing streak was so bad sports magazine Placar wrote a profile of the club, declaring them “the worst team in Brazil” — a nickname that soon became more famous than the club’s official one, the Black Birds.

Ibis claim they even hold a Guinness record for the world’s worst losing streak — though there is no register of that.

Universal Appeal

Israel Leal, author of a book on the team, says Ibis have universal appeal.

“Ibis is resistence. It’s like any one of us who’s going through a bad time and then starts fighting to win,” he said.

“For many years the club did nothing but lose, and now they’re winning.”

Owner Ramos says Ibis have a way of conquering people’s hearts.

Among fans who support Pernambuco’s most popular sides, Nautico and Sport Recife, “Ibis are everyone’s second-favorite team”, he said.

Even the club’s best-loved legends tend to be everyman stars, such as Mauro Shampoo, a barber with a massive mane of hair who played as a midfielder for Ibis in the late 1980s.

He claims to have scored one goal, in an 8-1 loss to Ferroviario do Recife.

But there is no record of it.

The club president at the time said it was actually an own goal.

AFP

Messi Absent As PSG Suffer Worst Defeat Of The Season

Monaco’s French forward Wissam Ben Yedder (unseen) celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at the Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II) in the Principality of Monaco on March 20, 2022. CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP

 

Paris Saint-Germain were beaten 3-0 at Monaco on Sunday after a Wissam Ben Yedder double strike, as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were both booked in a feisty Ligue 1 encounter. It was the club’s worst defeat this season.

PSG remain 15 points clear of second-placed Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 after the fourth league defeat of the season for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who have been shaken since being dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Nice can close the gap to 12 points if they beat Marseille in Sunday’s late Ligue 1 game.

Monaco captain Ben Yedder is now Ligue 1’s top scorer with 18 goals after his 25th-minute tap-in from a rebound, and an 84th-minute penalty.

Ben Yedder also helped in the build-up for German striker Kevin Volland’s goal for Monaco, making it 2-0 on 68 minutes in what was the real turning point of the game as PSG began to chase.

Mbappe and Neymar started for PSG and had a string of opportunities as the visitors enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.

READ ALSO: Barcelona’s ‘Doors Are Open’ To Messi – Xavi

Monaco’s German forward Kevin Volland (C) celebrates with Monaco’s French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni (C-R) after scoring the second goal during the French L1 football match between AS Monaco and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at the Louis II Stadium (Stade Louis II) in the Principality of Monaco on March 20, 2022. Valery HACHE / AFP

 

Mbappe said the bitterness of the Champions League defeat earlier this month was still felt at the club.

“We could win 8-0 and nobody would care, they’d just be thinking about the Champions League,” he said.

“We need to remain professional, think of our families,” said Mbappe, who was full of praise for his old club.

“They are a great team, playing in European competition,” said the 23-year-old.

PSG captain Marquinhos described the defeat as a wake-up call.

“If we carry on like that the title will be in danger. We have been warned,” he said.

“We came here to win and have fun, but that was a catastrophe.”

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said it was time his players picked themselves up.

“On a sporting level, that was shameful. We have to get over the disappointment of being eliminated from the Champions League,” the Argentine said.

Monaco’s Belgian coach Philippe Clement can also thank his goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel, who made important saves from Mbappe, Neymar, and the marauding Moroccan Achraf Hakimi.

AFP