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Lionel Messi is breaking records left and right in the Spanish league

Lionel Messi is breaking records left and right in the Spanish league written

Lionel Messi is now the leading goalscorer in European Champions League history after he scored a hat trick for his team, Barcelona in its 4-0 win against the Apoel Nicosia. Raul, a former Real Mandrid forward held the leading goal scorer record in the Champions League with 71 goals but now Messi has scored 74 goals in this league.

How long it to Messi to break the record

Messi has scored the goals after only 91 appearances in the league. Raul who previously held the record, had scored 71 goals after appearing for 142 times in the Champions League. However, the player was unlikely to continue holding this record after Christiano Ronaldo and Messi had rewritten the history books. Messi started the night in the same position with Raul but after 38 minutes, he broke the record and then added other two goals for a later good measure. The player is now sitting three goals clear of Ronaldo who hopefully will feature for Real Madrid against the Swiss Side Barsei on Wednesday. messi

Considering that Lionel Messi is 27, this latest landmark is one of several he has reached in the most recent years. This great Barcelona player and whose future in the club is questionable did hit the news headlines last weekend after he scored another hat trick in a 5-1 win against Sevilla. The 251 Spanish League goals record of Telmo Zarra had stood for 59 years and it would only take a brave man to bet against the Messi’s remaining longer. Messi will possibly extend his 253 goals record in coming years and still extend the record he has set in the Champions League.

Total goals

In all competitions, Messi has scored 369 goals for Barcelona and also registered 91 times during an amazing 2012 and this was after beating Gerd Muller, the former best of 85 in the calendar year. The 2011-12 campaign was among his most successful after he scored 68 goals – 50 of them coming in only 37 league games and having used his left foot to score 44 of the goals and his head to score one of the goals.

Messi, who has also won the honored Ballon d’Or four times between the year 2009 and 2012, appeared in 21 consecutive matches in the league which helped him score against the many clubs in the top Spanish league fight. With Barcelona safely through to the competition’s next stage and following a poor campaign last year, hopefully, Messi will inspire the team to the Champions League glory.

Liverpool’s former player Luis Suarez who scored his first goal after joining Barcelona is among the men who are eager to assist Messi attain this. In Cyprus Suarez scored the team’s opening goal while Messi took over and scored three goals to secure their win. Barcelona is now sitting one point behind the Paris Saint-Germain which won their match against Ajax, 3-1 to remain at the top.

Messi is not the only striker from Argentina who hit a hat trick on Wednesday. Sergio Arguero also scored three goals for Manchester City enabling them to defeat Bayern Munich 3-2. The team trailed 2-1 to the 10 men Bayern Munich but within the last five minutes Aguero managed to score twice and kept his team’s hopes for qualification alive. Bayern which has already passed through the knockout stage suffered the nightmare start after Mehdi Benatia was dispatched due to a professional foul on Sergio Aguero.

The future of soccer in the United States

The future of soccer in the United States

Soccer game growth in the US is now starting to blossom. For many decades, this game has been eclipsed by some other games such as the American football, baseball, basketball, hockey and golf. But finally, this game is becoming a major sport in the United States. The following is the journey that has led to what is now US soccer.

Over the last one year, the US men’s and women’s national teams have had both good and bad times. In February, the Men’s team experienced iconic victory over the Euro runner up Italy while the women’s team defeated Brazil in World Cup quarterfinals in one of the most exciting World Cup games ever. In the same year, Mexico humiliated the Men’s team in the Gold Cup and Japan defeated the women’s team in penalties in one of the emotionally crushing world cup defeats. Despite the many lows, US soccer is experiencing growth and improvements. As a result, the Americans are now at a generational turning point. crew-crowd

Why the American soccer will change

• The American soccer fans are not ok with any losses to mediocre side Ever since USMNT re-emerged on world scene with their qualification for the world cup in 1990, the American team fans have understood that the road to becoming a quality team is a long one. Having understood this, they are not willing to sit back and rationalize the defeat of their team. They are now expecting wins and they won’t accept complacency on their coaches’ side or the soccer administrators. A good example would be the pressure they exerted on the US Soccer President Sunil Gulati to replace the former head coach Bob Bradley after the soccer team’s bad performance in the last Gold cup.

• There is a fight for the soul of American soccer The push for a more attractive style in the US football teams is one of the biggest moves that USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann and USWNT coach Pia Sundhage has implemented. On the women’s side, the US has utilized various formations to emphasize on more possession oriented play styles. Jurgen Klinsmann has tried the same on the men’s side. He has managed to push all levels of men’s program to implement the preferred 4-3-3. Including in the lopsided defeat to Brazilians, fans realized the improvements in the team.

• The youth movement is at its best In the past, it was rare for Americans to play in Europe. But today, the number of Americans playing abroad has highly increased and the American football fans can hardly keep track of them. However, the American players who were looked down upon by the European managers are now offered chances in many leagues around the world. Furthermore, there are scouts from different parts of the world in the country looking for the best young talents.

• Soccer in the country has maintained its high growth Contrary to what happened some years ago, more people including the non-soccer fans are tuning in to watch matches. Youth participation is also increasing and with a highly growing base of players to select from, the quality may also improve. The training in the country has also been improving from groups of well meaning parent coaches to professionally trained coaches most of whom participated in fairly competitive games themselves. Most Major League Soccer stadiums in the country are also soccer specific and more fans will now tune in for the big international tournaments. Even though this might seem like small steps in American Soccer growth, they are helping the country to become better each and every day and soon it will be able to compete with the football giants.

The history of soccer in the United States

The American soccer has come a long way with the Oneidas of Boston being the first soccer club in the country which was formed by Gerritt Miller Smith in the year 1862. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed in the year 1904 and one year later on 1st April 1905 Harvard University and Haverford College engaged in a first modern day Intercollegiate Soccer match. The Fords lost the match.

In 1921, American Professional Soccer League (ASPL) was started to help develop the young talented American players train for 1933 FIFA World Cup. In the World Cup results that year, the American team was the third. Later in 1950, Joe Gaetjens scored a goal which helped the US team win over England in the World Cup held in Brazil. The results of this match were 1-0. Including today, this is acknowledged to be the largest upset in the American soccer history even though there have been other underdog stories in the last 60 years.

In 1961, FIFA recognized the Confederation of North Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) – the soccer governing body in America. Due to this catalyst, some teams like Mexico, the United States and some other countries in the Central and Northern America desired to be contenders in the world stage.

The 1994 World Cup, which was held in the United States is said to have been one of the most successful World Cup tournaments in its history. Over 3.5 million people attended the matches and this broke the history of attendees by around 1 million previously held in Italy in just four years. For the first time, US managed to get out of the group stage in 64 years only but lost their round-of-16-match to the eventual champions: Brazil. But in Ontario California, Landon Donovan – a 12 year old – watched and also dreamt of the future.

In 2002, the US shocked the entire world after it made it to the World Cup quarter finals before they lost their match to Germany. They had won their match against Portugal, 3-2, along the way and a match against Mexico in the round-of-16-matchup. In the most recent history of the American history, in the last 2 World Cups, with help of some players such as Landon, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Michael Beasley, Tim Howard, Jozy Howard and many other talented players, the US has managed to get out of the most difficult groups. And without forgetting that the country may take gold in the Word Cup with Jurgen Kinsmann, the newly appointed coach for USMNT.

Where will America be from here? Nobody will really tell, but with the talent in their youth system in the Major League Soccer and in the top leagues around the world, America has a brighter growth of soccer. The support of soccer in the country may help the teams grow to higher heights.

Crucial Facts show that USMNT must Replace their Manager Jurgen Klinsmann in order to Progress

pGIuRKASLosing out to Jamaica and Panama was pretty embarrassing, and a number of fans projected their dissenting voices demanding that Jurgen Klinsmann be fired. Nevertheless, some are on the contrary and want Klinsmann to remain as the head coach of United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). While the opponents complain that Klinsmann has brought nothing but misery to the USMNT, the proponents are for the view that he has done a lot of good things, and even go further to point out how he has flourished in the most recent World Cup. Going by their arguments and views, it is safe to suggest that both of these groups are right.  

When penning down his contract and agreeing on different terms, U.S. soccer president Sunali Gulati agreed to make Klinsmann both the head coach and technical director of USMNT. As if that was not enough, Klinsmann was allowed to have a say in the operation of under-17 and under-20 national teams. Considering the immensity of his powers, Jurgen Klinsmann was able to create a new under-23 national team as well as influence how the Development Academy system operates. To be honest, all of these roles are too huge for one person, no matter how perfect someone is or seems to be.  

During his appointment, Klinsmann was to manage the senior national team, and before meeting Jamaica, he made it clear that one of his top priorities in the 2015 summer was to win the Gold cup. However, we can confidently say Klinsmann is not walking the talk, not after fielding a team in a formation they had not played in since February 2015. Of course, Jamaicans beat the U.S. in that match and this is what he said after the match-“the luck was not with us and maybe we were not clinical enough to put it in there”. To me, that is a scapegoat. Surely, how do you expect a team to be clinical when they are playing in a formation they are not familiar with?  

Passing combination, rhythm wise, and effort wise; everything was there,” says Klinsmann after the 2-1 loss to Jamaica. “That was a lot of good stuff we saw out there; only that we could not put something in,” he adds. Well, this was not all about luck because in real sense, you cannot expect luck to come to your side when you put together an unbalanced roster and spend the group stage experimenting with personnel. Despite all the laments and complaints, it is fair to demand that head coach Klinsmann be judged by the team’s overall quality and performance rather than their results. After all, fluke losses happen to everyone, including experienced and celebrated managers.  

Nevertheless, even the overall performance is not encouraging either. Looking at the USMNT performance in the World Cup, they were totally outplayed by Ghana and needed miracle goalkeeping from Tim Howard and bad finishing from the Black Stars (Ghana) to win the match. Despite outplaying Portugal, USMNT gave up a 95th minute equalizer because he (Klinsmann) decided to abruptly change the compact back four to a crowded back five late in the game, thereby, bringing in a lot of pressure, which gave Portugal a stunning chance to sneak a goal. Against Germany, the team had little to do. And in their round of 16 match against Belgium, they needed good goalkeeping and magical saves from Howard to escape the historic and somewhat embarrassing exit. That match was probably the most lopsided game of the entire World Cup after the Brazil-Germany one (which was undoubtedly the first in that category).  

We note from the analysis that USMNT was only good in one match (against Portugal), which, unfortunately, was also tainted by a bad coaching decision that directly resulted in dropping two crucial points. If we are to judge Klinsmann on results then World Cup was definitely a job well done. But if we are to judge him on overall quality and performance then we can say confidently that his tenure has experienced more than a few shaky moments. Back-to-back bad finishes against Jamaica and Guatemala in the third round of World Cup qualifying brought the United States at the brink of not even making the Hex. Ideally, they needed a 90th minute magic goal to see off Antigua and Barbuda. While their barren draw at Estadio Azteca is quite motivating, Costa Rica and Jamaica achieved the same result away to Mexico, while Honduras recorded a win.  

Therefore, going by these facts, it is really hard to defend USMNT’s current head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Perhaps the time has come for the U.S. to try something new under someone new. After all, nothing is as good as change.        

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