A Look At LaLiga Stars’ Hobbies

LaLiga stars’ hobbies include video games, sports cars, golf, horse-racing, poker and surfing

When not training or playing games, LaLiga’s biggest names all have their own favourite ways to unwind and relax – whether at home, in the garden or on their travels.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi not only features in many football video games, he also regularly plays them himself. The eight-time LaLiga winner has told interviewers he likes to relax by gaming with friends, and has even gone online anonymously to challenge strangers over the internet.

Less competitively, the Argentine has also been seen playing a Barca v Real Madrid ‘Clasico’ against his five year old son Thiago, although we never learned who controlled which side.

Over at Real Madrid, galactico Cristiano Ronaldo is an avid collector of expensive sports cars, with the garage at his house outside the Spanish capital home to a Lamborghini Aventador, Rolls-Royce Ghost, McLaren MP4-12C Spider, Ferrari F12, and two Bugattis – a Chiron and Veyron.

Three-time LaLiga topscorer Ronaldo also likes to share his hobby with his family, having bought his mother a silver Porsche Boxster as a Christmas present a few years back.

Many footballers around the world enjoy a round of golf in their spare time, but few are into the sport quite as much as Ronaldo’s teammate Gareth Bale. Bale is an excellent player with a handicap of just six, and close friend of 2017 US Masters winner and lifelong Madrid fan Sergio Garcia.

The Wales international even recently hired a professional company to recreate three of the ball and stick game’s most famous holes – full size – in the back garden of his family home.

Across the ‘derbi’ divide, Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann is a keen horse-racing fan, and part-owner of a prize-winning thoroughbred. Griezmann inherited his passion for the ‘sport of kings’ from his father, and regularly updates his fans via social media of the progress of his stable.

Their three year old colt ‘Tornibush’ won its first race last November in France, with jockey Franck Blondel imitating the owner’s goal celebration as he dismounted afterwards.

Meanwhile, Messi’s teammate Gerard Pique likes to relax by playing cards during his free time, and the Catalan centre-back has compared the risks involved in high-stakes poker to the challenge of keeping out LaLiga’s top forwards on the pitch.

The Spain international is a serious player who has competed in professional tournaments, with a highest finish of fifth in a world championship event in the Catalan capital in August 2017.

More active is the past-time preferred by Athletic Bilbao centre-forward Aritz Aduriz, an all-rounder who in his youth excelled at other sports including cross-country skiing and snowboarding.


Surfing is now his second love [after] football of course], having learned to ride the waves as a teenager on Bilbao’s La Zurriola beach.
The veteran still visits renowned surfing spots along the Basque coast such as Zarautz and Biarritz, while he has also taken his board on holidays to Costa Rica and California.

 

How #TheBest Went Down

In a glittering ceremony that saw a galaxy of footballing stars descend on a venue renowned for mixing British royalty with the bright lights of the entertainment industry, the new kings and queens of football were crowned at The Best FIFA Football Awards™ in London.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane were awarded the leading honours for The Best FIFA Men’s Player and Men’s Coach respectively, with the Portuguese being named The Best for the second successive year.

Dutch duo Lieke Martens and Sarina Wiegman were rewarded as The Best FIFA Women’s Player and Women’s coach.

Despite approaching his 40th birthday, Gianluigi Buffon proved that age is just a number by being named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, with the Italian custodian on hand to pick up the inaugural award to celebrate the men between the sticks.

After picking up The Best FIFA Goalkeeper, it was no surprise that the Juve and Azzurri stopper was also named the top goalkeeper by his peers, in a FIFA FIFPro World11 dominated by Real Madrid players.

Cristiano Ronaldo was joined in the star-studded XI by club team-mates Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, with Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Neymar completing the dream team.

Fans from around the globe voted in their hundreds of thousands for the Puskás and FIFA Fan Awards, with Frenchman Olivier Giroud the ultimate winner for the former thanks to his superb ‘scorpion kick’ goal scored for Arsenal against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League. 

Celtic supporters scooped the second Fan Award, thanks to their stunning 360-degree card tribute to the ‘Lisbon Lions’.

In an evening sprinkled by show business, with star of small and large screen Idris Elba hosting proceedings, it was a true story fit for Hollywood that saw the FIFA Fair Play Award handed to Francis Kone.

The Togolese forward saved the life of an opponent by administering on-pitch first aid after a collision – the fourth time he had saved a player’s life on the football pitch.

The Best, in full
Men’s Player: Cristiano Ronaldo
Women’s Player: Lieke Martens
Men’s Coach: Zinedine Zidane
Women’s Coach: Sarina Wiegman
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon
Puskás Award: Olivier Giroud
Fan Award: Celtic supporters
Fair Play Award: Francis Kone

World11: Gianluigi Buffon; Dani Alves, Leonardo Bonucci, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar.

Story by FIFA

What You Need To Know About Messi’s Upcoming Wedding

Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi is set to marry his fiancée Antonella Roccuzzo on June 30 in what will be the wedding of the decade that they have dominated football with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is definitely not invited though some of us have started planning on how to get to Argentina.

CR7s

The Barcelona forward will tie the knot in the suburb of Arroyo Seco in the pair’s hometown of Rosario in north-eastern Argentina.

Messi and Roccuzzo have been together for almost a decade and they will marry just a few days after the forward celebrates his 30th birthday.

Messi and Kids

They will also have a second ceremony in for 600 guests at the ‘9 reinas’ restaurant in Barcelona, according to reports.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has not been invited to Lionel Messi’s wedding after a personal problem between Shakira and the Argentine’s wife-to-be, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais

The issue between the pair reportedly stems from a problem Messi’s fiancee, Antonella Roccuzzo, has with how Pique began his relationship with pop star Shakira.

Pique

Roccuzzo was close friends with the Spaniard’s former girlfriend Nuria Tomas and was unhappy with how the couple ended the relationship.

Messi has decided to do what Xavi did when he married Nuria Cunillera and not invite members of the club’s board to the wedding. 

Messi Xavi

It is understood he also took the decision to avoid any conflict between former Barcelona presidents Joan Laporta and Sandro Rosell.

It will take place at the Hotel Pullman in the city centre of Rosario, where nearly all of the 250 rooms have been booked for their guests to stay over.

It remains a secret as to who exactly is on the list of invitees, although it has been confirmed that all 21 of the other Barcelona first team squad members have received an invitation.

Sergio Aguero’s partner, La Princesita Karina, is also rumoured to be in line for a short performance.

What does one buy someone who earned around £62 million last year? Apparently, the correct answer is nothing.

Instead of asking for material gifts, the couple are requesting donations to his charity, the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports children in health care, education, and sport.

Rumors have swirled about the details of the wedding, and there have been numerous reported changes to the arrangements.

Messi cup

Local wedding planners Farina-Pavia confirmed they had been hired to organize the event, but said they had signed a confidentiality agreement not to talk about it.

Messi has reportedly requested that the wedding feast be made up of local specialities such as “empanada” pasties, “locro” stew and typical Argentina roast meat.

Authorities insist that security will not be a problem, even though Rosario is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Argentina.

The City Center complex is next to one of the city’s roughest districts.

A local government source told AFP the Messi family had asked that “the wedding not affect the daily life of the city or the traffic.”

Argentina media reported that Messi’s own security team will take care of his security.

Rosario newspaper La Capital said the bride would wear a dress by Spanish designer Rosa Clara.

See you there!

 

Here are the 10 best ever Panenkas

10.Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal vs Burnley, 2017
This is due to the circumstances this penalty was taken in. Arsenal almost won the match by the end of regular time but Burnley were awarded a penalty leaving the Gunners’ hopes of going top position hanging on the balance.

Arsenals-Alexis-Sanchez-scores-their-second-goal-from-the-penalty-spot

  1. Ronaldinho, PSG v Benfica, 2002

But of course everyone loved to see Gaucho do one of his football cheekiest skills.

RONALDINHO - Football - Paris saint germain / Marseille- L1 - 26.10.2002 - Foot - PSG / OM- hauteur attitude  joie

  1. Thierry Henry, Arsenal v Newcastle, 2003

Arsenal were drawing 2-2 with Newcastle in the early part of their infamous Invincibles season but Henry won the match in beautifully impudent style.

The ball went exactly where Shay Given had been standing seconds beforehand.

Thierry-Henry-Arsenal-v-Newcastle-2003-penalty

  1. Sebastian Abreu, Uruguay v Ghana, 2010

The decisive penalty in a World Cup quarter-final shoot-out is a hell of a time to pull out a Panenka.

Uruguay-v-Ghana-2010-FIFA-World-Cup-Quarter-Finals

  1. Sergio Ramos, Spain v Portugal, 2012

Doubly brilliant because Ramos is a defender, and thus shouldn’t have even been thinking about trying something so outrageous. Remember this was during a European Championship semi-final shoot-out.

Portugal-v-Spain-UEFA-EURO-2012-Semi-Final

  1. Alexis Sanchez, Chile v Argentina, 2015

It was far from the best execution – this effort virtually dribbled over the line – but this was a Panenka TO WIN THE COPA AMERICA.

2A3C818200000578-0-image-a-49_1436050385983

 

  1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona v Getafe, 2015

“The execution was the best I’ve ever seen – not too powerful, central, good elevation,” Said Antonin Panenka – the man who invented the technique

FC-Barcelona-v-Getafe-CF-La-Liga

  1. Zinedine Zidane, France vs Italy, 2006

The setting? The World Cup Final, the best player in the world (Zidane), the best goalkeeper in the world (Buffon).

The technique? Flirting with disaster by chipping it in OFF THE BAR, and making every football on Earth hold their breath as the ball only just bounces over the line.

The result? Footballing perfection.

zidane-penalty-2006-world-cup

  1. Andrea Pirlo, Italy vs England, 2012

The coolest man in football, scoring the coolest goal imaginable.

England-v-Italy-UEFA-EURO-2012-Quarter-Final

  1. Antonin Panenka, Czechoslovakia vs West Germany, 1976

By definition, the original – the daring, innovative penalty in the 1976 European Championship final after which all future chipped spot-kicks would be named – has to be the best.

PAY-Soccer-UEFA-European-Championships-1976-Czechoslovakia-v-West-Germany-Crvena-Zvezda-Stadium

 

 

Ronaldo named best player, Liverpool fans honored

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best player at the inaugural Best Fifa Football Awards in Zurich.

Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri was named best men’s coach while ex-Germany boss Silvia Neid won the female coach award. 

ran

Public voting on FIFA.com also decided the most beautiful goal of the season, with Mohd Faiz Subri taking the FIFA Puskas Award 2016 trophy back home to Malaysia. 

puskas

Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters were chosen by other football fans from around the world and received the inaugural FIFA Fan Award for their unified singing of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in memory of those involved in the Hillsborough disaster. 

c1v0j10xeaiuojx

 

The team of the year
The votes from over 45,000 players around the world decided the FIFA FIFpro World11, the football players’ own selection of the dream team of 2016. Here is the line-up:

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo
Midfielders: Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Andres Iniesta
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo

Paying tribute
Atlético Nacional were chosen by a panel of football experts as the deserving recipients of the FIFA Fair Play Award 2016. The Colombian club displayed humanity and compassion in face of the tragic plane crash that befell Chapecoense – the Brazilian club they were to face in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, and to whom, they insisted that the cup be given.

Key statistics:
The individual winners of The Best FIFA Football Awards 2016 were determined through a combined voting process, in which 50% of the decision was based on the votes of captains and head coaches from national teams all around the globe. The other 50% was split between an online public ballot of football fans and votes by a select group of media representatives from all around the world.

best

The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo: 34.54% of total votes
Lionel Messi: 26.42% of total votes
Antoine Greizmann: 7.53% of total votes

The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016: Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd: 20.68% of total votes
Marta: 16.60% of total votes
Melanie Behringer: 12.34% of total votes

The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2016: Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri: 22.6% of total votes
Zinédine Zidane: 16.56% of total votes
Fernando Santos: 16.24% of total votes

The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2016: Silvia Neid

Silvia Neid: 29.99% of total votes
Jill Ellis: 16.68% of total votes
Pia Sundhage: 16.47% of total votes

The voting procedure for each of the awards was supervised and monitored by the independent observer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.

And the details from the awards decided by public voting:

The FIFA Puskás Award 2016: Mohd Faiz Subri

Mohd Faiz Subri: 59.46% of total votes
Marlone: 22.86% of total votes
Daniuska Rodriguez: 10.01% of total votes
Others: 7.68% of total votes

FIFA Fan Award 2016Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters

Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool supporters: 45.92% of total votes
Iceland supporters: 31.37% of total votes
ADO Den Haag supporters: 22.71% of total votes

Messi wonder goal secures Barcelona a point

It took a sublime free kick from Lionel Messi to salvage a deserved point for Barcelona against Villareal on Sunday as as the game crept into stoppage time. 

Nicola Sansone fired the hosts ahead, a low angled finish after ex-Chelsea loan signing Alexandre Pato’s threaded pass.

Messi hit a post and Barca were denied a penalty when Bruno handled a shot by the Argentina forward, before Messi’s brilliant set-piece goal.

Barcelona are now five points behind Real Madrid in the La Liga title race, having played a game more, after they drew 1-1 with Villarreal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCj07Ljvk6c

Messi meets Afghan boy who became viral star

An Afghan boy who became an online hit after wearing a homemade shirt bearing Lionel Messi’s famous number 10 has finally met his hero.

A photograph of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi wearing the shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag went viral in January and ended with the boy receiving a signed shirt from the Barcelona striker.

viral

But now the pair have come face to face in Doha, according to Qatar’s World Cup organising committee.

Barcelona are in Qatar to play a friendly against Al Ahli.

messi1

“The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted the Supreme Committee on Tuesday. “The six-year old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”

Ahmadi, who comes from the Jaghori District, in the eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, was forced to flee the country to Pakistan in May.

-BBC

Neymar Could Face 2 Year Jail Term!

Barcelona forward Neymar may be going or jail..Or maybe not.

Spanish prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence for Barcelona forward Neymar along with a $10.6m fine for his part in a corruption case that surrounds his controversial move from Santos to Barcelona in 2013, a court filing said.

The case stems from a complaint by Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s transfer rights and alleges it received less money than it was entitled to from transfer fee.

Rosell resigned as the club’s president in 2014 for his role in the affair and testified in court in February alongside Bartomeu, Neymar and Neymar’s father.

The club struck a deal with prosecutors in June to settle a separate case and paid a £4.7million fine and avoided trial on charges of tax evasion over the transfer.

Barca thought they had brought the affair to a close when Judge Jose de la Mata archived the case in June, although Spain’s public prosecutor successfully overturned the ruling in September, allowing the case to proceed.

However, Neymar is unlikely to serve any prison time if he is convicted as, under Spanish law, any sentence of two years or under in duration can be suspended.

Neymar is not the only Barcelona player facing legal charges.

Lionel Messi, along with his father, was handed a 21-month jail sentence in July, after being found guilty of tax fraud.

The likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City – two of the few clubs who could afford Neymar’s large transfer fee and hefty wages – will no doubt be watching the case closely just in case the player gets sick of being called a criminal at Barcelona.

Lionel Messi Shows Off His Peculiar New Tatoo (Pics)

I hardly look at Lionel Messi’s leg when he’s playing, especially because of how good he plays, but now, it’s kind of hard not to notice.

The Barcelona star displayed his new tattoo with ink covering almost half of his left leg while training with Argentina.

Messi has been known to be a body art enthusiast and his left leg has had quit an evolution.

Messi’s first ink on his dominant leg came after his son Thiago was born in 2012, when the Barcelona star got his child’s name and hand prints tattooed on his calf. 

pic-1

Then came the flowers and wings added on to his son’s Thiago’s handprints and the ink began to cover most of his lower leg.

pic-2

Then, on Tuesday, Messi revealed a massive refurbishment of the whole piece. Thiago’s hands and Messi’s number are still there, but the rest of it is completely covered in black ink. 

pic-3

Looks pretty cool to me.

 

Lionel Messi Scores His 500th Goal For Barcelona

Lionel Messi has just crossed another Milestone in his career.

The 29-year-old netted Barcelona’s first in a 2-1 win over Sevilla. That took Messi to 500 in 592 games for the club, including friendlies, with 469 of those in official fixtures.

He is already the club’s all-time leading scorer 105 goals clear of second all-time top scorer Paulino Alcantara, who played for Barcelon between 1912 and 1927.

How incredible could he get! He makes it looks so easy, It’s almost like he’s got this goal-scoring thing down to a science.

The Argentine has now scored 320 goals in Spain’s top flight, to add to his 90 in the Champions League.

The rest of Messi’s official Barcelona goals have come in Spanish cup competitions, the Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup.

Check out Messi’s 500th goal below: