Messi strike shows value to Argentina
Friday 08 August 2008
Another fine Messi. After all of the fuss about his call-up for national service on the Olympic front in China, Lionel Messi made a fine job of finishing the opportunity that put Argentina on their way to victory in their opening game in Shanghai yesterday.
The Barcelona forward scored with a neatly clipped left-footed finish two minutes before half-time in the Group A contest against Ivory Coast. He also teed up an 85th-minute goal for Lautaro Acosta that clinched a 2-1 win for the defending champions. All this less than 24 hours after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Barcelona, Schalke and Werder Bremen could recall their players from the Games.
Barcelona confirmed they would not be exercising that right after Messi expressed his desire to remain with his countrymen in China, and after the Argentina Football Association agreed to fund an expensive insurance plan that would pay the Catalan club substantial compensation in the event of their prized asset being injured.
Schalke and Werder also allowed Brazilians Rafinha and Diego to stay in China. Both played in a 1-0 win against Belgium yesterday.
Fifa said it was "surprised and disappointed" by the CAS decision, football's world governing body having ruled that clubs must release players aged 23 or under if a nation requested them.
The court ruled there was "no specific decision of the Fifa executive committee establishing the obligation for the clubs to release players under 23 for this tournament".
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga