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From Bathtub to Brilliance: Messi and Yamal’s Incredible Soccer Journey”

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From Bathtub to Brilliance: Messi and Yamal's Incredible Soccer Journey"

In a remarkable twist of fate that reads like a Hollywood script, soccer icons Lionel Messi and Lamine Yamal have both etched their names in the annals of football history this week, 16 years after their paths first crossed in an heartwarming photoshoot.

The 36-year-old Messi, fresh from leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022, has once again demonstrated his enduring class by propelling his nation into the Copa America final with a 2-0 victory over Canada. The maestro’s first goal of the tournament served as a poignant reminder of his undiminished prowess.

Meanwhile, the prodigious Yamal, a mere 16 years of age, has become the youngest goal-scorer in European Championship history, finding the net in Spain’s 2-0 triumph against France.

The teenage sensation, who turns 17 on the eve of the final, has set the football world abuzz with his precocious talent.

Messi and Yamal as a Baby

Messi and Yamal as a Baby

But it’s the resurfaced images from 2007 that have captured the imagination of fans worldwide. These touching photographs, taken by AP freelance photographer Joan Monfort, show a 20-year-old Messi cradling baby Yamal and even helping to bathe the infant in a plastic tub at Barcelona’s Camp Nou.

The images were part of a UNICEF charity calendar, with Yamal’s family winning a raffle to participate. Monfort recalls the shy Messi’s initial awkwardness, noting, “He didn’t even know how to hold him at first.”

Fast forward to 2024, and both players are now shining for their respective national teams, having honed their skills at FC Barcelona. Yamal’s father recently shared one of these nostalgic images on Instagram, captioning it “the beginning of two greats.”

As Messi continues to cement his legacy and Yamal embarks on what promises to be a stellar career, these photographs serve as a poignant reminder of soccer’s ability to weave together destinies and create truly extraordinary narratives.

 

Source: Adapted from CBS News 

 

 

 

 

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Ndidi Set to Rejoin Leicester City

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Wilfred Ndidi, the Nigeria international midfielder, is reportedly on the verge of signing a new contract with Leicester City, according to Footmercato.

Ndidi, who left Leicester City as a free agent at the end of last season, has become one of the most sought-after players in the transfer market. The midfielder attracted interest from several top clubs, including Barcelona, Sevilla, Juventus, and Everton.

 

During his last season with the Foxes, Ndidi played a pivotal role in their return to the EPL, contributing four goals, five assists, and maintaining an 82% pass accuracy across 32 league appearances. His defensive prowess combined with his ability to progress the ball has made him a valuable asset.

 

“Wilfred Ndidi had all the makings of a good deal for OM, OL, and AS Monaco,” Footmercato wrote. “At the end of his contract with Leicester, the 27-year-old Nigerian international midfielder was inclined to discover a new environment and opened the door wide to Ligue 1. Despite discussions with the clubs mentioned above, the man with 57 caps for the Super Eagles is not expected to cross the Channel this summer and for good reason.”

According to Footmercato, Ndidi has reached an agreement with Leicester for a contract extension. This is welcome news for the Foxes, who will retain a player with seven and a half years of experience at the club.

While there has been no official announcement from the club or Ndidi’s camp, the player is expected to remain in England. Everton has shown serious interest in signing Ndidi as a replacement for Amadou Onana, who is heavily linked with a move away from Goodison Park.

 

Source :punchng.

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Barcelona Rejects Staggering €250 Million Offer for Lamine Yamal Ahead of Euro 2024

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Barcelona Rejects Staggering €250 Million Offer for Lamine Yamal Ahead of Euro 2024

In a stunning move, FC Barcelona has reportedly turned down a monumental €250 million offer for their rising star, Lamine Yamal, ahead of the 2024 European Championship.

This decisive action underscores the club’s unwavering commitment to the young talent, who has been making headlines in Germany with his historic performance for Spain.

Yamal, who recently became the youngest player to score in a Euro tournament with his pivotal goal in Spain’s semi-final victory over France, has been a standout figure in this year’s competition. The bid, which was allegedly received before the tournament commenced, was immediately dismissed by Barcelona’s management, emphasizing Yamal’s untouchable status.

According to EFE, the offer was so substantial that it could have easily swayed many clubs, but Barcelona’s director of football, Deco, did not even consider it. The club’s firm stance highlights their long-term plans for the prodigious teenager, ensuring he remains integral to their future.

 

Who Made the Offer?

While the specific club behind the offer remains unnamed, previous rumors have hinted at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) being the potential suitor. PSG has a history of eyeing top-tier talents and was speculated to be ready to invest heavily in securing Yamal’s signature.

Barcelona’s Commitment to Yamal

Barcelona’s president, Joan Laporta, has previously disclosed that the club rejected a €200 million bid for Yamal. This latest offer, exceeding that amount, reaffirms the club’s steadfast commitment to nurturing and retaining their homegrown talent.

Laporta has consistently emphasized that Barcelona has a long-term agreement in place with Yamal, ensuring that the young star’s future lies firmly with the Catalan giants.

This development comes as Yamal continues to dazzle on the international stage, reinforcing Barcelona’s decision to keep him as a cornerstone of their squad for years to come.

 

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Manchester United Close to Signing Bologna Striker Joshua Zirkzee in £34 Million Deal

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Manchester United Close to Signing Bologna Striker Joshua Zirkzee in £34 Million Deal

Manchester United is on the brink of finalizing a deal for Bologna’s prolific striker, Joshua Zirkzee. According to ESPN sources, the English club has already reached a broad agreement regarding payments to Zirkzee’s representatives, with the next step being to seal the deal with Bologna.

The 23-year-old Dutch forward’s contract includes a release clause of £34 million ($43.5 million), which is valid until August. However, Manchester United may attempt to negotiate a different arrangement.

Zirkzee, who has also drawn interest from AC Milan, is currently with the Netherlands squad as they prepare for their Euro 2024 semifinal against England in Dortmund on Wednesday.

United prioritized Zirkzee as their top striker target after evaluating Lille’s Jonathan David and Brentford’s Ivan Toney. Chelsea has also shown interest in David, who has one year left on his Lille contract and is available for around £25 million.

Joshua Zirkzee had an outstanding season with Bologna, netting 12 goals and playing a crucial role in helping the team secure a fifth-place finish in Serie A, qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the modern era.

 

 

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