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FIFA helped Messi, Argentina win 2022 FIFA World Cup – Lugano claims

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FIFA helped Messi, Argentina win 2022 FIFA World Cup – Lugano claims

Former Uruguayan international, Diego Lugano, has claimed that FIFA helped Lionel Messi and Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Messi, 35, won the Golden Ball of the tournament after scoring seven goals and registering three assists.

Argentina, meanwhile, was awarded five penalties during the World Cup tournament, four of which Messi converted.

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However, Lugano believes that Argentina was helped by FIFA due to Messi’s global popularity.

“That they [FIFA] gave him [Messi] help is no doubt. Argentina had its merit but of the 5 penalties, 4 I think no one has any doubt that they were not,” Lugano told Futnbl por Carve TiaDiaria, Lugano.

“They were totally forced, that is the reality. But that’s to the credit of Messi, who moves a lot worldwide.”

He added, “You see [Mike] Tyson in the Messi shirt, you see Tiger Woods, you see Roger Federer. Do you think that FIFA does not see that and it does not work for them? The merit of Messi and later also the merit of Argentina, who knew how to take advantage of that.”

FIFA helped Messi, Argentina win 2022 FIFA World Cup – Lugano claims

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Djokovic in perfect place after crashing Alcaraz’s party

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NOVAK Djokovic

Djokovic in perfect place after crashing Alcaraz’s party

NOVAK Djokovic was in a perfect place on Friday after his much-awaited French Open semi-final clash against a cramping Carlos Alacaraz ended in abrupt fashion.

The result left him with a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam title within touching distance.

The highly-anticipated contest between the world number one and the two-time Roland Garros champion was suddenly effectively over after two high-octane sets.

“Obviously this was a big win today under the circumstances that were obviously a little bit strange, especially in the third and fourth (sets).

“But a win is a win,” Djokovic told a press conference after his 46th semi-final at a major.

On Sunday, he will face last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud of Norway looking to also become the first man to win each Grand Slam at least three times.

Being at the foot of the winner’s platform in Paris is enough for Djokovic, who will start Sunday’s showdown as the overwhelming favourite.

“I put myself in another really ideal position to win a Grand Slam.

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“That’s basically what still drives me when I wake up in the morning and think about the season and think about things I want to achieve,” he said.

“I’m thinking really just to win another Grand Slam title here on Sunday, and I’m so close.

“I know it. I know the feeling. I’ve had this feeling quite a few times in my career.

“So, I know how I need to handle myself, my emotions, my day tomorrow, and after tomorrow, and to approach the finals in the best possible way.”

It will be Djokovic’s 34th Grand Slam final.

Even if he struggled against Stefanos Tsitsipas in 2021 to claim his second title in Paris and that he will be under tremendous pressure, the Serbian knows he will start with a slight advantage.

“Pressure is always on my shoulders. So, it’s not going to be different. But it’s part of my sport, part of my life.

“I will play someone that already has been in a Grand Slam finals, Casper Ruud. He played in finals but has never won a title,” he said.

“But again, experience is on my side. But does it win matches? I don’t think so.

“I just have to recover well, be prepared for another long battle, and, you know, after the finals, if I win, let’s talk about history.”

Djokovic in perfect place after crashing Alcaraz’s party

(Reuters/NAN)

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Osimhen ranked most valuable African footballer

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Osimhen ranked most valuable African footballer

Super Eagles and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, is currently the most valuable African footballer in the world.

Osimhen was listed amongst the top 100 most valuable footballers in the world at the moment by the CIES Football Observatory.

The CIES report disclosed that the list was put together using a statistical model that was developed exclusively by them.

Osimhen, who became a hero in Naples after he inspired Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years, is valued at €77.3 million. The valuation ranked the 24-year-old 40th in the world, making him the highest-ranked African in the top 100.

With the valuation, he beats Liverpool and Egypt’s superstar Mohamed Salah, who is valued at €61.2 million.

Two other Africans on the list, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi and Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus, are valued at €53.7 million and €53.5 million respectively.

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland is ranked as the most valuable footballer at the moment based on transfer values.

Haaland led his club to domestic success in England and he has an estimated value of €245.5m.

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Fiorentina player struck by object thrown from West Ham fans

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Fiorentina player struck by object thrown from West Ham fans

The 2022/2023 Europa Conference League final match on Wednesday was stopped briefly after West Ham United fans threw objects towards Fiorentina’s players.

Plastic pint glasses were hurled from the West Ham end throughout the first half of the match at the Eden Arena in Prague.

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Referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande eventually halted play after Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was hit by another missile as he went to take a corner-kick shortly before half-time.

Biraghi had suffered a cut to the back of his head and required treatment and a bandage.

A message over the PA system urged supporters to stop throwing objects on to the pitch and to respect the players, before play eventually resumed with the score still 0-0.

The match later ended 2-1 in favour of West Ham, after a late goal by Jarrod Bowen.

Fiorentina player struck by object thrown from West Ham fans

(dpa/NAN)

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