Messi fires back at Barca sporting director Abidal after jibe

first_img“Many players weren’t satisfied or working hard and there was also an internal communication problem,” said Abidal.”The relationship between the coach and the dressing room has always been good but there are things as an ex-player that I could smell. I told the club what I thought and we reached a decision (on Valverde).”Messi, however, hit back at Abidal in an Instagram post, circling an image of the sporting director’s quote.”Sincerely, I don’t like to do these things but I think that people have to be responsible for their jobs and own their decisions,” Messi wrote. “The players (are responsible) for what happens on the pitch and we are the first to admit when we haven’t been good. The heads of the sports department have to take their responsibilities too and above all own the decisions they make.”Finally I think that when you talk about players, you have to give names because if not, it makes everyone dirty and gives air to things that are said which are not true.”Abidal and Messi played together at Barcelona between 2007 and 2013, with the French defender returning to the club after retirement to become sporting director in June 2018.In his interview with Diario Sport, Abidal also said he thought Messi was happy at the club and a new contract for the Argentine talisman was currently being negotiated. Topics : Lionel Messi criticised Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal on Tuesday for saying many in the squad were not working hard under former coach Ernesto Valverde.Abidal and president Josep Maria Bartomeu sacked Valverde in January, replacing the coach with Quique Setien.Abidal, a former team mate of Messi, explained why Valverde was sacked despite the team being top of La Liga in an interview in Spanish newspaper Diario Sport.last_img read more

Big Ten Media Days: Wisconsin hockey picked as preseason favorite

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. — There could not have been a more perfect backdrop for the first Big Ten hockey Media Day.As the Minnesota Wild practiced rows below, the coaches and players from the six member schools — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State — got acquainted with one another and spoke to the media about the upcoming inaugural season.Between mingling and interviews, players and coaches alike stepped out from the small array of tables set up in the Xcel Energy Center (site of the Big Ten Tournament come March) concourse to look over a Wild practice that boasted a few alums from several veteran schools including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.The coaches started the day with a round of press conferences and before long a common theme arose: the new division is an exciting change and the exposure it will provide via the Big Ten brand is only going to help the sport.“This is spreading our brand, the Big Ten brand for all of our schools across the country,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said, referring to the Big Ten Network. “You get into so many new markets, and I think that’s going to be a real win down the line too, even for recruiting.”And while many current or longstanding college hockey fans are finding it difficult to embrace the change, the coaches are confident that those begrudging feelings will disappear as Big Ten Hockey becomes the new norm over the next season.Wisconsin picked as preseason favoriteWhile each team certainly wants to make a splash in the inaugural season, Wisconsin will have to do so with a large target pinned squarely on its back.The Badgers return the most veteran roster of any team in the conference with nine seniors and seven juniors returning. The only early NHL departure the Badgers lost was center Brenden Woods who would have been a junior, one head coach Mike Eaves admits was a little bit of a shock.“Every young person that comes to your program has a different agenda, background, goals,” Eaves said. “For different reasons, each boy decided they wanted to stay for one year, to build their role, physically, mentally, emotionally. It’s something that we really don’t control.”This season will be the first time in several years Eaves’ has coached a veteran team. Senior and 2013-14 captain Frankie Simonelli said he and his teammates never talked about staying together the way they have — especially as winger Michael Mersch was one of the few expected to leave after last season — it was just something that happened individually.“It’s all personal decisions,” Simonelli said. “For each guy it’s different. … For our senior class, the guys thought it was the right decision to stay and hopefully we all get rewarded for it.As a result, Wisconsin will return 91 of its 112 goals from last season which amounts to 81.3 percent of its offense.After what can only be described as a chaotic season in 2012-13, going from a 1-7-2 start to Broadmoor Trophy Champions and a short-lived trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers hope to learn from last year’s lessons and simply keep rolling through this year.“Looking at what we did last year, taking what we learned throughout the year and bringing it with us this year will be exciting,” Simonelli said.Not only will the Badgers carry over life lessons from last season, but also some impressive stats that only add to the threat they pose the rest of the Big Ten.Most notably, sophomore forward Nic Kerdiles — who is expected to move to center this season — ended last season on a four-game goal streak and a 12-game point streak, both of which are still active. After missing the first ten games of the season due to a suspension, Kerdiles finished the season with 33 points in 32 games played.Mersch returns as the Badgers leading goal-scorer with 23 goals, a mark that also ranks him as the second-leading returning goal-scorer in the nation. Mersch was also UW’s points leader last season with 36.Winger Tyler Barnes returns as the Badgers second-leading goal-scorer with 15 tallies on the season. Barnes ended the year on a streak of his own with 17 points in the last 14 games.Wisconsin also returns its starting center, Mark Zengerle. The senior needs just six more points to become the highest-scoring player under Eaves. He currently has 118 career points.While all this offense certainly sits well with Eaves & Co., Wisconsin returns a pair of netminders who will continue to battle each other for the starting spot, just as they’ve done the previous two years. Junior Joel Rumpel boasted a .929 save percentage last season and a 1.96 goals-against average which ranked second in Wisconsin history. Fellow junior Landon Peterson was right on his tail with a .926 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average, ranking third in UW history.“They come in every day and they push each other,” Eaves said. “It’s a competitive situation every day in practices, and I think that’s what makes them better.”One new wrinkle: the shootoutNot only will fans get to enjoy watching the Big Ten opponents clash on the rink, but the conference is also introducing shootouts to help create a greater divide in points in the standings.“From the aspect of a fan, I think it’s tremendous,” Eaves said. “In the game of ice hockey now people get excited about, well in the old days fights, goals and shootouts. I mean, at the end of the game they’re all standing, watching it. I think it really appeals to the public.”last_img read more

Man City smash Premier League points record

first_imgCity’s Danilo and Bernardo Silva netted either side of a Leonardo Ulloa effort for Brighton in the first half and Fernandinho scored a third in the second half.Yaya Toure was given the chance to bid farewell to the Etihad Stadium as he was named in Manchester City’s side for their home clash.The Ivorian midfielder left the pitch to a huge ovation with five minutes to go.The veteran midfielder is leaving the club at the end of the season and was handed the captaincy as the champions planned a night of tributes.Toure, 34, has won three Premier League titles and four domestic cups during his eight seasons at City.His outing was his first Premier League start of the season with his previous nine appearances having come off the bench.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City players celebrating their title win with manager Pep GuardiolaMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 9 – Manchester City smashed Premier League records for points earned, goals scored and number of wins with Wednesday’s 3-1 victory against Brighton.City’s win takes them to 97 points with a game to go, eclipsing Chelsea’s previous mark of 95 points set in 2004/05. City have scored 105 goals and won 31 matches so far.last_img read more

Suburban facade hides double lives, police say

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Court documents outline a steamy tale of racy Web ads and rave online reviews over sultry afternoon trysts arranged by the elderly ex-grocer for his younger ex-wife – a Doris Day lookalike billed as “Brieanne: The Ultimate Courtesan” – as well as other women from Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. It was in June that deputies received a tip from an anonymous informant worried that Weiss, a registered Realtor, was performing “prostitution services” at her Thousand Oaks home while her 11- and 13-year-old children visited on weekends, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed by Ventura County sheriff’s vice detective John Wright. “The (citizen informant) is concerned because the prostitution activity is occurring while the children are in the home,” Wright wrote. The informant stated that Weiss, 6 feet tall with shoulder-length blond hair, had been doing business as “Brieanne” since February at Fawcett’s home, according to the affidavit. But while neighbors recalled the minivan motorist as the put-together lady who would sometimes complain about her ex, detectives described a woman who advertised her services on the popular Web site or while posed seductively on a bed in a photo posted on her own Web site. THOUSAND OAKS – She was a tall blond mom with a license to sell real estate. He was her distinguished ex-husband with the words “Equal Justice” affixed to his Canoga Park paralegal business, family yacht and the license plate of his Jaguar. But behind their suburban facade, prosecutors allege, the duo ran a Web-based prostitution ring that operated in their upscale homes in Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills and their yacht in Marina del Rey. Bonnie Lee Weiss, 49, and Craig Riley Fawcett, 74, were arrested Jan. 12 on suspicion of pimping and conspiracy to solicit prostitution and jailed with bail set at $50,000 each. “These people weren’t exactly discreet,” said an official close to a six-month investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They were advertising on the Internet.” “The cost for a 60-minute session with her is listed as $350,” Wright said of the nearly 50-year-old Weiss. According to the affidavit, a sign next to one of her racy Internet ads, when enlarged by detectives, depicted a certificate of appreciation from a “Giants” sports team entitled “Great Team Mom.” Records also said Weiss, a former resident of Van Nuys and Encino, married Fawcett in 1980 when she was 23, he 48, and divorced him five years later. She was hired by a real estate broker in Sherman Oaks, who fired her last week because she never came to work. Records indicate Fawcett has listed involvement in numerous businesses in the San Fernando Valley, including Big Tool Inc., and currently operates Equal Justice legal services in Canoga Park. During their nearly six-month surveillance, deputies described Fawcett as the go-between for Weiss and three other suspected prostitutes – including a 56-year-old woman from Newport Beach – during a string of afternoon engagements with middle-aged men. In December, a judge issued search warrants for Fawcett’s and Weiss’ homes and the yacht in Marina del Rey known as Equal Justice. During Dec. 20 searches, deputies seized $2,550 in Weiss’ bedroom, as well as craigslist ads, nude pictures of Weiss and $1,150 at Fawcett’s home, plus computers and other evidence. Neighbors described Fawcett as a gregarious man with a yellow Labrador named Scooby who lived with his adult daughter in a large mock Tudor and who often talked of flying off carrier decks as a young Navy pilot, or of setting sail for Catalina Island and sites unknown aboard his yacht. “I’m in total shock,” said Joe, 59, who lives across the street from Fawcett and declined to give his last name, of the 6-foot-2-inch ex-Navy pilot who once ran a grocery store in the Sierra foothills. “He was the type of neighbor I never would want to leave. “People used to come to his home all the time, but I figured (they) were part of his business.” Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more