In recognition of Lionel Messi breaking Barcelona’s all-time goal scoring record last week, Argentina’s most popular daily sports newspaper, Olé, changed its name for a day. Last Wednesday’s issue was published under the name Culé, a reference to the traditional nickname for Barcelona’s supporters, in homage to the Argentina skipper and his achievements in Catalonia. The front page was filled with a photo of Messi and a message from the paper’s editor praising his milestone at the club.
The hosts for the next two Copa América have been announced, with Chile staging the competition in 2015 and Brazil in 2019 – not the other way around as originally planned. The agreement between the two countries was made as Brazil continues to receive criticism for its slow preparations for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup. The country is also hosting the 2016 Olympics and so another competition in between was considered a bad idea. The Copa América host is rotated alphabetically between the 10 competing South American nations. Chile last hosted the tournament in 1991.
Estudiantes went top of the Argentine Clausura after winning 2-1 at Argentinos Juniors – and they are now the only remaining unbeaten team in the league. Early leaders Tigre suffered a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal de Sarandí and Apertura winners Boca Juniors drew 2-2 with Lanus in the game of the weekend. Velez could have shared the lead at the top of the table with the La Plata club but squandered the opportunity, losing to Newell’s Old Boys on Monday night. Estudiantes legend Juan Sebastian Verón is set to retire at the end of this season and while there is a long way to go yet, it appears his team are on the way to giving him the perfect send off.
Vanderlei Luxemburgo, the most successful manager in the history of Brazil’s Série A, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. The former Real Madrid manager and current Gremio coach, was running for office in his local constituency and has been convicted of falsifying documents. However, Luxemburgo may yet avoid prison, instead paying a hefty fine and carrying out community service.
Arguments between officials and players have unfortunately become more and more commonplace in football, and it is undoubtedly one thing that everyone would like to see less of. Now, it appears that a Brazilian first-division match may have unwittingly provided a new solution to the problem. Caxias striker Vanderlei was bitten on the back of the leg by a police dog as a policeman stepped in to protect the linesman that he and his team-mates were berating. The player received treatment and he was eventually able to continue, perhaps now he will think twice before abusing the officials.
This week’s goal of the week was Boca Junior’s opener in their 2-2 draw with Lanus. The strike by Pablo Mouche from wide on the right hand side of the penalty area was probably meant to be a cross but no doubt the player will claim he deliberately curled the ball left-footed perfectly into the far corner of the goal.
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