LIONEL Messi’s self-esteem seems to have been affected by negative criticisms over his recent form, according to his Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino. The four-time world footballer of the year, scored his first league goal from open play since September, with a brace in Barca’s 4-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday, February 9.
Martino said: “Those that are negative do not realise they are affecting his pride.” When you do that to the best player in the world, this is what happens. “The Argentine forward has had an injury-hit season, and was side-lined for two months with a hamstring problem. Upon returning, he failed to score in his first three games before finding the net in the 3-2 home defeat by Valencia at the start of February.
“Leo never goes missing; he is one of the few players in the world that in a few seconds or in a few metres can turn a game. He does it all the time and he did it again against Sevilla,” added team-mate Andres Iniesta.
Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga with the win – leading on goal difference from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Robbers Target Lewandowski’s Porsche Car
ROBERT Lewandowski hasn’t been the most popular man in Dortmund since announcing his summer move to Bayern Munich — and now someone has taken direct action to stop him getting there. The Polish striker woke up on Monday morning to find the wheels on his Porsche Cayenne GTS replaced by bricks. The crime taking place right on the driveway of his home in the Schuren area of Dortmund.
A set of replacement winter tyres for the Cayenne will cost Lewandowski in the region of £2,000 but the thieves also damaged the car’s under body by the way they stacked the bricks, meaning more extensive repairs are required. A new Porsche Cayenne GTS costs about £70,000.
The 25-year-old, who will move to the Allianz Arena after completing the season with Dortmund, had scored twice in their 5-1 win at Werder Bremen on Friday night, February 7, taking his season’s tally to 18 goals in 29 games.
It’s not the first time Lewandowki’s home has been targeted by criminals, his property was burgled just before Christmas in 2012. Understandably, Lewandowski has not had a smooth time since announcing his departure on a free transfer. He has been jeered by his own fans and was this month accused of assault by a 17-year-old fan. The supporter claimed that he was hit by Lewandowski outside the striker’s home after he shouted he ‘earns too much money’ and swore at him. The fan later dropped the charges.
David Weir Bids for Seventh London Marathon Win
PARALYMPIC champion, David Weir, will bid for a record seventh London Marathon wheelchair-race title on 13 April. The Briton, 34, equalled Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record of six race wins in 2012. However, in 2013, he only finished fifth and also took a partial break from the sport. After missing last year’s IPC World Championships in France, Weir says his hunger for the sport has returned. “I needed to take the pressure off after the intensity of 2012, and I think I made the right choice to have an easier year,” said the six-time Paralympic gold medallist. “I’m not getting any younger.
“I’ve got that hunger back now, and I’ve been training really hard again because I still have the desire to overtake Tanni’s record. I promised last year I wouldn’t stop until I’ve done it, and now I’m fired up to win again.” Weir’s main rival is likely to be Switzerland’s Marcel Hug, who won five gold medals at the IPC World Championships, including the marathon, and followed that up with victory in New York. And the 2010 London champion, Josh Cassidy from Canada and nine-time Boston Marathon winner Ernst van Dyk, from South Africa, will also challenge.
The main wheelchair races will again form part of the IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup, an event for para-athletes. The World Cup this year features seven races in all, including a new men’s wheelchair contest for racers in the T51 and T52 categories, while Paralympic T42 200m champion Richard Whitehead will compete in the leg amputee race.
— Feb. 24, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT