Network for Good is happy to partner with Kimbia to extend the reach of Give Local America, a nation-wide giving day that marks the 100-year milestone of community foundations in the United States.This national online giving event will take on May 6, 2014. Give Local America is expected to be the largest online giving day ever held on a single platform. Giving days help nonprofits connect with new donors in an easy and efficient way. Give Local America uses the power and pride of local communities to tie it all together. Want to find out more and get involved? To sign up, visit www.givelocalamerica.org, find your city, and follow the easy registration process.
1. What is my goal?Without a goal, your ad campaign will mean nothing and you will be simply throwing money away (and trust me, Facebook doesn’t mind taking it). A reasonable goal could be an increase in email signups from your website. When you create your ad, this will be called the “advertising objective” – it’s what you want people to do when they encounter your ad. Cody suggests (and I agree) that you pick a goal much more in depth than simple clicks to your website. Do you want to measure “website conversions”, which means that when people visit your website, they take an action and “convert”?A successful “conversion” could be signing up for your email newsletter, subscribing to your blog, or making an online donation. 3. Can I afford it? Much has been written recently about the changes in Facebook’s algorithm and its pay-to-play philosophy.Many nonprofits who spent years or months building up an engaged online community on the biggest social network are now seeing a dramatic decline in the number of fans they are able to reach with each post.If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering if Facebook Ads will help your nonprofit reach more fans and get more bang for your Facebook buck.At the recent Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in Boston, Cody Damon of Media Cause provided some insightful advice on whether or not a nonprofit should jump into the Facebook Ads ocean.Before you sit down and purchase a Facebook Ad for your nonprofit, ask yourself these three vital questions: 2. Can I measure it?Whatever the objective, make sure that you can measure it. Just saying “raising awareness for my nonprofit” may not be enough, unless you have specific benchmarks in place to measure your progress.You need to know what success looks like. What will happen if your Facebook Ad is successful? What will have changed? Clients frequently ask me about the price of Facebook Ads. Unlike traditional newspaper ads or billboards, there is no set price for a Facebook Ad.You can set your daily budget, or “lifetime” budget, and you will need to choose a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click bid). You only pay for the impressions or clicks that your ad receives, and if they are targeted well, this can be very effective.If this all seems like Greek to you, you are probably not ready to run a Facebook Ad without outside help. Facebook has a great help center on their website, and there are many firms and consultants who can help you set it up and run it.General best practices for your Facebook Ad:It must be eye-catching and well-written. Do not use your logo and call it “Come to our website!”It must have a photo. For all ads, the best size image to upload is 1200×627 pixels,The photo cannot contain more than 20% text.If it directs to an outside website, it should direct to a specific landing page, rather than just the main home page of your website.For more on using Facebook Ads to build your online community and engage with your fans, read these great posts by Jon Loomer, John Haydon, Nancy Schwartz and David Serfaty.Julia Campbell works with nonprofits to help them raise money online, conquer social media, and become content experts. Her blog on nonprofit marketing is at www.jcsocialmarketing.com
Crunch time!Can it be…Labor Day weekend is really behind us? 2014 is in the home stretch and that means it is crunch time for nonprofits.In fact, 30% of the projected $300 billion in total annual donations to charities are made in December — and 10%, or $30 billion, come during the year’s last 48 hours. (Source: NY Post, December 2013)For most nonprofits, it’s make or break time. And for donors, whether they are motivated by making an impact or by the tax year, December underlines the urgency of giving.Countdown to #GivingTuesdayThe movement that has changed the December giving season since 2012 is #GivingTuesday. It started with a simple idea – to be a counterpoint to the consumerism of Black Friday and CyberMonday. From a couple hundred nonprofits in 2012, #GivingTuesday has grown into an international day of giving with organizations and donors around the globe joining the movement.Traditionally, year-end givers to nonprofits are loyal supporters or those with personal ties to an organization. Now, nonprofits can harness the energy of #GivingTuesday to engage new donors, and to extend and amplify the giving season. We know first hand. Last year we led BMoregivesMore, the campaign to make Baltimore the most generous city in America on #GivingTuesday. Nonprofits that participated in BMoreGivesMore reported that between 20% and 60% of donors on that day were new. And more than 80% who shared their results said that they had a comparable or better December overall!13 Tuesdays to go: We’re here for you.Despite all the excitement and opportunity of #GivingTuesday, your team has a full plate planning for year-end already. So how do you capitalize on #GivingTuesday?Network for Good is launching N4G Gives, a national campaign to launch the giving season on #GivingTuesday.Beginning this week, we’re offering a combination of free and client-only resources to get your team ready. We’re arming ALL nonprofits with the tools, tactics, training and motivation to make this your best December ever.And for Network for Good clients, we’ll also be offering:• Two great platforms: • DonateNow – your customized online giving page to maximize donor conversion• GiveCorps – a cutting-edge giving platform that offers donors a superior online giving experience, plus crowdfunding and peer-to-peer.• Exclusive toolkits, expert webinars, specialized coaching, and communications resources• Matching funds to make your gifts go further• Visibility with Network for Good donors What’s the first step? Start by downloading our comprehensive Giving Days eBook. According to nonprofit thought leader Beth Kanter, it’s a “terrific, free eBook with lots of tips and planning templates to help your organization decide whether to participate.”Then every Tuesday, we’ll bring you new resources to get ready for #GivingTuesday.It’s time to plan for your best December ever!Ready to get started? Our team can help you get your site ready for #GivingTuesday. Set up a time talk with a fundraising consultant today and get a free demo.
Still tracking your donors through five different versions of Excel spreadsheets, endless email chains, and Post-It notes? Let’s be real: you need a better way to manage your individual donors.A donor management system will save you time and will help you be a smarter fundraiser. Not sure how this works? Here are the top 14 ways a donor management system will help you this year:Raise more money by targeting donors. Smart donor management allows you to easily create dynamic lists and develop targeted campaigns to donors based on giving history, average gift amount, and more.Eliminate repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks by automating standard processes and workflows. Free up your staff to focus on building relationships instead of administrative tasks.Track campaign results in real time. Spend less time (and money) on tracking results from your campaigns and more time planning your next one.Remove the need to sift through multiple spreadsheets and applications to find donor data. Once you move to a donor management system, it’s all in one place and accessible online so you can look up information anywhere.Know how you are progressing towards your December goals. Online fundraising data flows into your donor database to automatically update charts and reports giving you a clearer picture of how close you are to achieving your fundraising goals.Understand your donors and their behaviors. Storing detailed information like donation, volunteer, event attendance, demographics, and participation information will help you better understand what you donors want from your organization (and what they don’t want).Share information between staff and volunteers. A donor database will help you avoid confusion and have everyone operating off the same information. No more searching through an inbox to find the latest version, it’s all stored in one place and updated in real time.Check donor information on the go. Take your filing cabinet with you by having mobile access to view and enter notes right after you make a donor visit.Retain your year-end donors and build stronger relationships. A great donor management system will send automatic thank you emails for donations and reminder emails for pledges that are yet to be fulfilled.Get the most from all your tools with seamless integration. Connect email marketing, donation forms, and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns so every bit of data is stored in one place.Keep donor relationships strong even when staff turnover happens. Notes are stored in a donor record so when a new staff member starts, all communication history is at their fingertips.Allow staff and volunteers to see only what they need to see. Control access to constituent information by setting permissions to records and data fields.Track incoming funds and pledges. View progress in a dashboard format that is board meeting ready.Remove the need for IT resources to hold your hand every step of the way. A good donor management system should be easy to set up and maintain by development staff. You shouldn’t have to wait on IT support to do your job.With the right donor management, smarter fundraising tools, and a solid campaign plan, you’ll be all set to raise more this year—and for years to come.
Former Barcelona attacker Malcom insists that he was perfectly happy at Camp Nou despite moving to Zenit in the summer after failing to nail down a starting spot in Spain.The 22-year-old winger was sold to the Russian Premier League club for a fee of €40 million (£36.5m/$44.5m), plus €5 million (£4.6m/$5.6m) in add-ons, having become expendable to the squad following the signing of Antoine Griezmann.Despite only making 24 appearances and scoring four goals for the Spanish giants, the Brazilian has no qualms about the effort he put in at Barca and says he is ready to move on in Saint Petersburg. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “I’ve always tried my best, because in a club like Barcelona you have to be always ready. And everytime I was called to play I gave my maximum,” Malcom told Goal in an exclusive interview.”Football is like this, you have to grab your chances. Zenit made a great effort to hire me and they made a very good proposition.”I was very happy at Barcelona and I’m sure I will be happy here at Zenit.”Malcom’s start to life at Zenit hasn’t been smooth, with a section of the club’s supporters questioning his recruitment because of his skin colour.His Zenit journey hasn’t been positive on the pitch either, with a hip injury keeping him out of Saturday’s game against Akhmat Grozny after making two second-half substitute appearances versus Krasnodor and Dinamo Moscow.However, he remembers a moment from his time at Barcelona fondly – when he struck against Real Madrid in Copa del Rey semi-final first leg – with a goal that will stick in Blaugrana supporters’ minds.”When you score important goals you leave your mark in the supporters’ memories. I’ve always worked hard to play well and to help my team, and that’s the way to build a career,” Malcom said. “You have to show all the sweat and dedication for the supporters to respect you. Of course, playing well is important, but the dedication also counts.”Malcom also revealed his admiration for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, showering him in praise after his experiences alongside the Argentine legend.”Messi is an exceptional player, a great person, great team-mate and a very good person. He respects everyone, we got on very well. He’s world class and deserves all his success,” he said.Malcom’s Zenit, who are currently top of the league, travel to face FC Ufa on Saturday before preparing for a match against rivals Spartak Moscow on September 1.
Romelu Lukaku admits he and Jose Mourinho “bump heads” at times, but considers his former Chelsea and Manchester United manager to be “my guy” after eventually earning his trust.That was not always the case for the Belgian striker, with a Portuguese coach moving him out of Stamford Bridge on loan to West Brom and Everton.Lukaku did not always agree with the decisions being taken with his best interests in mind, but did enough to convince Mourinho that he was worth £75 million ($91m) when moving to Old Trafford in 2017. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? A return to west London was on the cards that summer before the Red Devils swooped in, with Lukaku telling the LightHarted podcast: “I was gone, I was going to Chelsea.“I was looking for an apartment, an apartment for my mum to stay in close to the practice facility, so I don’t have to drive too far. And then Man U came.“At Man U everybody was… I felt the trust more, where everybody wanted me to be there and that’s the true story.“People say ‘Yeah, my agent [Mino Raiola]’ and stuff like that – my former agent at the time – he did his job, he got the best opportunity for me, but the people wanted me the most and that was Man U. Everybody was wanting me. There was no doubting.“They came and they told me – I was in New York – I get a phone call from this number and I’m like, ‘Who’s this?’ Pick up, Jose Mourinho. ‘Rom, how are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up, boss?’“’I’m gonna get you back, we’re gonna pay £75m plus £15m in bonuses by next week, so I expect you in LA. So go and do your s*** in LA and I’ll see you after [in pre-season]’. I felt the dude was lying, like ‘I’ll see you’.“Then the next thing I know, I wake up and had to go back to Everton on the July 7 and July 6, I wake up in the morning and I see they’ve agreed the deal, so I’m like, ‘Man! They came in hard!’”A move to Manchester saw Lukaku reunited with a coach who had previously overlooked him.The 26-year-old was, however, to become a leading man for Mourinho during his time at United.The pair were to endure the odd difference of opinion at times – with the Red Devils disappointed to see a star frontman rule himself out of contention for a starting berth in the 2018 FA Cup final – but a positive working relationship was enjoyed on the whole.Lukaku added on linking back up with Mourinho: “When [I was at United], I remember we were in Moscow two years ago, we played CSKA, I told him, “Yo man, I wanted to kill your arse so bad” and we laughed about it. “Me and Jose our relationship is… everybody has their own personal relationship with him, but me and him we bump heads.“We bump heads, but I love him as a man. I think he loves me as a man, but we bump heads all the time. All the time. He might be picking on me, but then I’ll be picking on him. But he’s my guy, for sure, he’s my guy.”Both Lukaku and Mourinho have now severed ties with United, with the latter still looking for work after being sacked in December 2018 while the former has signed for Serie A giants Inter.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says he would like to see Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar return to La Liga champions Barcelona.The Brazilian forward wants to leave PSG and has been linked with a move back to Barca, two years on from his world-record €222 million (£200m/$246m) transfer.Real Madrid have also emerged as a possible destination for Neymar before the transfer window shuts on September 2, but Blaugrana centre-half Pique would be happy if the 27-year-old returned to Camp Nou. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “Of course we’d like him to come back,” Pique told “La 1” of Television Espanola.”But it’s something we can’t control. We’ll leave it in the hands of those who decide [these things] and from there we’ll see in a few days.”Neymar – who missed the Copa America due to an ankle injury – is yet to feature for Ligue 1 champions PSG this season amid the ongoing speculation over his future.The Brazilian forward was targeted by PSG fans during the home clash against Nimes on August 11, with banners criticising him for wanting to leave the French capital . “He’s thought a lot about everything and he’s done everything right,” Pique added.Barcelona remain confident they will eventually secure a deal for their former star after face-to-face talks with PSG progressed positively in Paris on Tuesday.The La Liga champions made an offer comprising of €160 million (£144m/$177m) plus bonuses for the Brazilian, to be paid in three instalments in order to keep in line with Financial Fair Play.However, PSG are keen on involving Barca full-back Nelson Semedo in the exchange, along with a fee of €100m (£90m/$111m) coming from the Catalan club.Barcelona would prefer to not part with any of their current squad members, but are optimistic a deal could be imminent within a matter of hours rather than days.Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – who have won two of their opening three Ligue 1 games in 2019-20.
Mauro Icardi will not be joining Monaco, the Inter striker’s wife and agent Wanda Nara has insisted.Argentina international Icardi has been linked with a switch to the Ligue 1 outfit after being told he can leave San Siro this summer.Leonardo Jardim’s side are reportedly seeking a successor to Radamel Falcao, who has been linked with Turkish club Galatasaray. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Free agent Daniel Sturridge, who left Liverpool at the end of his contract in June, is also reportedly a target for the French club.Icardi, however, will not be moving to the French Riveria before the transfer window closes on September 2.”He will not go to Monaco,” Nara said simply to TyC Sports.Even with a move to Monaco being ruled out, Icardi is still likely to be on the move before the transfer deadline.His relationship with the club broke down last February when he was dropped by then coach Luciano Spalletti and stripped of his captaincy amid reports of contractual disputes between himself, the club and Wanda Nara.He returned to action before the end of the season, but Inter have made it clear that he no longer features in their plans under new boss Antonio Conte.The 26-year-old didn’t travel with the rest of the Inter squad for their pre-season tour of Asia last month, instead returning to the club’s training base on his own.Icardi even had his number 9 shirt taken off him, with new €80 million (£74m/$90m) signing Romelu Lukaku designated that squad number ahead of the new campaign.Serie A champions Juventus have been the side most frequently linked with a move for Icardi as they seek further firepower to compliment five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.However, that move currently looks unlikely with Juve boss Maurizio Sarri claiming he already has too many players in his squad, with as many as six needing to be sold before the transfer deadline.Those thoughts were echoed by Juve defender Giorgio Chiellini, who claimed a move for Icardi would be “fantasy football” given the number of attacking options already at the club’s disposal this season.
Liverpool have recorded 12 successive Premier League victories for the first time, with Mohamed Salah helping to lift them to new heights in a 3-1 win over Arsenal.The Egyptian frontman bagged a brace in a convincing success over the Gunners on their home turf.Joel Matip opened the scoring for the Reds at Anfield, allowing the hosts to relax a little. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Salah then calmed any nerves when firing an unstoppable penalty into the top corner.He put the finishing touches to another impressive performance from Liverpool against favoured opponents when stroking a fine solo effort past Bernd Leno.The Gunners did get one back through substitute Lucas Torreira, but they never threatened to ruin the Reds’ day.Klopp’s men have been an unstoppable force in this calendar year, stretching back to their first outing of 2019.No Premier League defeats have been suffered by Liverpool since January 3, with that setback against Manchester City their only one in 2018-19.They ended their title bid last season with nine straight wins and have carried that form into the current campaign.A faultless start has been made to 2019-20, with 12 points taken from three fixtures.That is enough to boast the only 100 per cent record in the English top-flight, with Klopp’s men looking to bring a 30-year wait for title glory to a close.12 – @LFC have won 12 consecutive Premier League games, their best-ever winning streak in the competition – it has also equalled their longest winning run in league competition (12 between April-October 1990 under Kenny Dalglish). Victorious. pic.twitter.com/8EEVCIII0J— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 24, 2019They are emulating the achievements of the last Reds side to claim the crown.A 12-match winning run matches the club’s all-time record, set by a side managed by Kenny Dalglish between April and October 1990.The challenge now is to raise the bar even further.Norwich, Southampton and Arsenal have been seen off so far, with maximum points secured despite being yet to keep a clean sheet.Klopp will want to see that issue addressed and another win collected when Liverpool take in their final outing before the international break.His team are set to be back out on the road next weekend, with a trip to Burnley set to be taken in. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Nicolas Pepe already has Premier League defences running scared, according to Arsenal legend Nwankwo Kanu.The Ivory Coast international arrived at the Emirates during the summer, signing from Ligue 1 side Lille in a club-record £72 million ($89m) deal.And the 24-year-old winger has already proved to be a real handful in his early appearances for the Gunners, averaging 3.8 dribbles per game, more than any other attacker in the English top flight. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream He also became the first player in 50 Premier League matches to dribble past Virgil van Dijk when he skipped past the Liverpool centre-back during his full debut at Anfield.So it’s been a good start to life in north London for Pepe, who started alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the first time during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham immediately before the international break.And Kanu – who won two Premier League titles during his five-year stay with the Gunners between 1999 and 2004 – has already seen enough to know that Pepe will be a huge hit at his former club.”He’s a good player,” the Nigeria legend told Goal . “He’s got fast feet and I think he can unlock teams. He can score and he can assist.“The league here is totally different from every other league so it takes time for somebody coming in to perform the way they have for their other clubs. But I think he will do well for us because now he is getting more game time and I believe he will complement the other two strikers.”Kanu added: “If you watch him you can see he is a really good footballer and his feet are very quick. He is going to score goals and he is going to play well.”I believe that teams are already afraid of him after a few games. They are scared of what he can do and what he can offer. He’s a very good addition.”Despite his impressive early-season form, there has been some criticism levelled at Pepe for his finishing.He scored 23 times for Lille last season but has yet to find the net for Arsenal, despite having some good opportunities.Against Liverpool he had a great chance to open the scoring after a thrilling solo run, only to shoot tamely at goalkeeper Adrian.He also blazed an opportunity high and wide late on in the north London derby, with the score locked at 2-2.But Pepe’s form in front of goal is no concern to Kanu, who scored 44 times in 197 appearances for the Gunners.”As a striker you want to create chances,” said the 43-year-old. “If you keep missing them it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to keep creating the chances because the goals will definitely come.”People have to understand that he [Pepe] has come from a different country, everything is new. He has new team-mates and the coach will definitely want him to play different. All this counts.”But a good footballer is always a good footballer. He will get much better and he will score goals for us. He brings us something different to the other two strikers.”I want to just tell him to keep doing what he is doing.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi will make his return from suspension in November, insists head coach Lionel Scaloni.Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football in August for accusing South America’s governing body CONMEBOL of “corruption” during the Copa America.After being controversially sent off in Argentina’s third-place play-off win over Chile in July, Messi did not appear to collect his medal and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner later explained that he did not want to “be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa”. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Messi also blasted the officiating at the competition following Argentina’s semi-final loss to hosts Brazil, before then suggesting referees and the VAR would favour Tite’s men against Peru in the final, which the Selecao won 3-1.The Argentina skipper has missed friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany, and he will sit out Sunday’s clash with Ecuador ahead of next month’s return. Asked about Messi, Scaloni told reporters: “Messi is not here due to suspension.”Sergio Aguero is not here because he’s been carrying a problem and has not been training 100 per cent with his club.”Surely both will be here next month.”Argentina are coming off a 2-2 draw away to Germany on Wednesday – a game in which Scaloni’s men overturned a two-goal deficit in the second half.Scaloni has already named his line-up for the match against Ecuador, with Agustin Marchesin, Juan Foyth, German Pezzella, Walter Kannemann, Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Gonzalez, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lucas Ocampos, Lucas Alario and Lautaro Martinez all starting.”The idea is to play with attacking players. With players that get to the penalty area,” Scaloni said.”We believe that this is the right way. We take decisions thinking about what is best for the team.”Scaloni recently hailed Paulo Dybala and Martinez as the future of the Argentina national team . Argentina are undefeated since their loss to Brazil in the Copa America semi-final having claimed wins over Chile and Mexico during that period. La Albiceleste are scheduled to take on Paraguay in a friendly next month with all eyes now set to be on whether Messi does make his national team return.
Lionel Messi has faced plenty of talented defenders during his time at Barcelona, but Liverpool centre-half Virgil van Dijk has earned special praise from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as they prepare to do battle for the 2019 award.The Netherlands international crossed paths with a mercurial Argentine forward at the semi-final stage of last season’s Champions League.It appeared as though Messi would have the last laugh in that battle as he netted a stunning free-kick as part of a 3-0 first leg triumph for Barca – his 600th goal for the Blaugrana. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career A remarkable contest was, however, to be turned on its head at Anfield, with Liverpool surging to a 4-0 victory on home soil and a place in the final – which they would go on to win.Van Dijk played an important part in keeping Messi and Co. quiet on Merseyside, with an all-time great acknowledging that the £75 million ($96m) man is the ultimate performer in his chosen position.Messi told Marca of Van Dijk: “He is a defender who knows how to judge his timing and wait for the right moment to challenge or jockey [the attacker].“He is very fast and big, but he has a lot of agility for his height.“He is fast because of his great stride, and he is impressive both in defence and attack because he scores lots of goals.”Van Dijk is not the only Dutch star to have caught Messi’s eye, though, with the South American now working alongside one at Camp Nou.Frenkie de Jong completed a move from Ajax to Barcelona over the summer, with the 22-year-old midfielder considered to have settled quickly in new surroundings.Messi added: “It has been easy for him to adapt to the team because he came from a similar philosophy at Ajax.“He grew up with the same idea and the same way of playing, although there he did not have much to play as an anterior [slightly further ahead in midfield than the holding midfielder].“As a pivot [or holding midfielder] he feels more comfortable, but he has adapted well.“He likes to have the ball, play short passes, play passes between the lines, and he has a very fast and strong stride. He is a very complete footballer.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Major League Soccer announced on Monday that Sacramento has been given an expansion team, becoming the league’s 29th club.Sacramento Republic FC will begin play in MLS in 2022, putting a successful end to their pursuit of an MLS club that began when the team began play in the USL in 2014.As part of the expansion progress, Sacramento will build a $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer-specific stadium in the downtown Railyards District. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “Major League Soccer continues to grow throughout North America and we are so proud to welcome Sacramento as our newest team,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “For many years, soccer fans in Sacramento have passionately supported Republic FC and shown that the club deserves to be competing at the highest level.”Thanks to the determined efforts and commitment of new owners Ron Burkle and Matt Alvarez along with the leadership of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento will join MLS with a world-class soccer stadium that will transform the sport in California’s capital.”Burkle, owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, is the club’s lead investor while Alvarez, an entertainment producer, and Sacramento Kings investor Kevin Nagle are also involved in the ownership group. Nagle has been with the club since 2014.“Sacramento’s selection by Major League Soccer for an expansion team is a victory to be celebrated by everyone in our community,” said Burkle. “This has been a true team effort between the amazing soccer fans of the Sacramento region along with Mayor Steinberg and City Council, our partners and corporate leaders.”We are proud to be part of the team that Kevin Nagle put together, which is made even stronger by an incredibly committed local ownership group. The relationship between Sacramento and our club already is a special one, and I’m committed to deepening that connection for years to come.”A total of 24 teams competed in MLS in 2019, the first season for expansion side FC Cincinnati. Next season, the league will feature the debuts of two new clubs, with Inter Miami and Nashville SC joining play to take the total to 26 teams.Austin FC will then join the league and begin play in 2021 with a new team in St. Louis set to join alongside Sacramento one year later.In April, the league announced plans to expand to 30 teams, with the likes of Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Raleigh and Detroit among the contenders for that final spot.