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entines arrival in Barcelona "in

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    January 17, 2018 12:21 PM +0330

    BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messis hamstring injury has hurt more than just a muscle in the Argentines right leg, and its still smarting. . The Barcelona forward scored 60 goals in all competitions this season, enough to ensure the team wins the Spanish league title yet again. But with Messi struggling to recover from the injury he picked up in the Champions League quarterfinals in April, Barcelona was eliminated from that competition in the semifinals. And last weekend, Messi re-aggravated the injury and is now likely to miss the last three games of the Spanish season. "Hes the No. 1, perhaps the best in history," Barcelona defender Jordi Alba said Tuesday before stating what seems to be the obvious. "On many occasions, we depend on him." The 25-year-old Messi won his fourth straight player of the year award this season, and has scored an amazing 133 goals over the last two campaigns. But without the Argentine on the field, Barcelona is just not the same team that has won two of the last four Champions League titles. Most teams would consider the Spanish league title a resounding triumph, but Messi and his Barcelona teammates expect more after winning 14 of a possible 19 trophies in recent years. "We set the bar so high that now you win the league its like you havent won anything," Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez said Wednesday. "We had won so much and yet we still have to value (this title). There is a lot of pressure. If you dont win the Champions League its like you havent won anything." This "Messi-dependence" surely is a disease any other club in the world would love to contract. But with Messi hurt against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals, Barcelona could not find the sure scoring threat it needed. It even seemed that Barcelona didnt believe it could win without him. And it didnt, losing 3-0 in the second leg after the 4-0 rout in the first. Unless he returns for Barcelonas season finale against Malaga on the first weekend in June, Messi will end this season with a league-leading 46 goals -- four short of his own record of 50 from last season. He also scored eight more in the Champions League, four in the Copa del Rey, and two in the Spanish Super Cup. Last season, Messi scored 73 goals to break the previous European club record of 67 goals set by Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller in 1972-73. Even so, the Argentina star was reduced to tears when Barcelona somehow lost to Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals. This year, Barcelona was obliterated by Bayern, and that historic 7-0 scoreline makes a big difference for a team which for the first time in five years wont start next season as the favourite in Europes top-tier competition. Not, that is, unless it makes some major changes to its aging squad. Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova insists he will maintain the teams core and that its humbling Champions League exit wont change his plans for the off-season. Yet Barcelona has players that may not be physically able to execute the pressing defence that underlies its famed ball-control and passing game. Captain Carles Puyol is 35 and Eric Abidal, whose contract is up in June, is 33 and only recently returned from a liver transplant. Fellow defenders Dani Alves will be 30 and Javier Mascherano 29 by the start of next season, while the injury-prone Adriano is 28. Midfielder Xavi Hernandez, the heart of Barcelonas passing attack, is 33, striker David Villa is 31, and midfielder Andres Iniesta recently turned 29. "A season when you win the league is always a good one," Vilanova said, looking on the bright side before turning to the seasons big disappointment. "We regret not being able to compete better in the semifinals of the Champions League. Next season will be even more difficult, but well try to be there again." . Arsenal failed to take full advantage of its main rivals stumbles on Saturday as substitute Gerard Deulofeu levelled with a hard shot from a tight angle in the 84th minute to give Everton a deserved point. Ahead of a crucial fortnight that will see them play against Napoli in the Champions League, Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal leads by five points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea. Air Max 90 Tutte Nere . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. Barcelona has agreed terms with a relatively unknown Argentine league coach, Gerardo Martino, to follow in the footsteps of two of European footballs most successful coaches. According to a club statement on Tuesday, Martino will be given a two-year contract. He will replace Tito Vilanova, who in turn succeeded Pep Guardiola. Vilanova began as Guardiolas assistant, providing the tactical know-how that helped his then boss forge one of the best teams in the history of the sport -- winning 14 of a possible 19 titles from 2008-2012, including two Champions League trophies. During Vilanovas single season in charge, he led Barcelona to the Spanish league title with a record-tying 100 points. He stepped down as Barcelona coach last week following a recurrence of throat cancer. Despite having no experience coaching a European club, the 50-year-old Martino received backing from Barcelona star Lionel Messi before the clubs sporting director travelled to Buenos Aires to negotiate the deal. Messi spoke glowingly of Martino, better known in Argentina by the nickname "Tata." "I like Tata Martino," Messi said recently. "He is a great coach," adding that "his teams play well and we all respect him." Martino acknowledged Messis influence in landing the job. "I have no doubt that Jorge (Messis father) and Lionel have had importance," Martino said at a news conference in Rosario, Argentina. "They surely have spoken with the club officials. Surely they were asked their opinion." The club praised Martino on its website for "his clear commitment to the passing game" and the attacking style that have become Barcelonas on-field trademark. However, in a poll published Tuesday by the Catalan regions leading newspaper, La Vanguardia, under the banner "Do you approve of Tata Martino signing?" 58 per cent of readers answered "no" and only 32 per cent approved. Adidas Zx 750 Prezzi Scontati. Ten per cent of the 1,000 people polled had no opinion. Barcelona said it will specify plans for the Argentines arrival in Barcelona "in the coming hours." Martino is expected to travel from Argentina to sign a contract and be presented officially to the club. Martino played as a midfielder from 1980-1996, including a short spell in 1991 at Spanish club Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He also led Paraguay to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time, in 2010. Martino is due to arrive with his assistant from coaching Newells Old Boys last season, Jorge Pautasso, fitness coach Elvio Paulo Rosso and coach Adrian Coria, who once was in charge of Messi at the Argentine club. Barcelona says Martino will become the fourth Argentine to coach the club, after Helenio Herrera (1958-60, 1980 and 1980-81), Roque Olsen (1965-67), and Cesar Luis Menotti (1983-84). Barcelona is due to travel to Germany on Wednesday for a preseason friendly match against Bayern Munich -- which is now coached by Guardiola -- but Martino is not going to be able to accompany the squad, the club said. In what he called an "open letter" released Tuesday, Vilanova said his doctors had advised him to give up coaching, but said he would not be leaving the club altogether. "I will continue to be very close and will carry on working at this club that I love so much on other tasks within the area of sports," said Vilanova without specifying any further. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '