Mexit?!? Is Messi really retiring? Iceland beat England? Brexit, Part II

By Michelle Kaufman

Sitting here on a Monday afternoon, wondering: Is Iceland REALLY beating England 2-1 in a Euro 2016 knockout game? Whaaaaaat? Iceland? A nation of 330,000 (would rank 58th among US Cities) is beating a nation of 51 million? WOW! Some clever Iceland fans were shown carrying a banner that read: "Brexit, Volume 2!"

Speaking of exits....

Was I hearing things, or did Lionel Messi say late last night that he is retiring from the Argentine national team? Apparently, that is what he was contemplating as he sat all alone on the bench, staring ahead, after Chile's dramatic penalty shootout win in the Copa America Centenario final. Messi, who rarely misses in penalty kick shootouts, missed Argentina's first attempt against Chile, and hid his face inside his world-famous No. 10 jersey. Three major finals in a row -- 2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America, 2016 Copa America Centenario -- and no trophy for La Albiceleste.

The five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, 29, has won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish club Barcelona. But his only major title in an Argentina shirt is Olympic gold at the 2008 Games.

This is what he told reporters after the loss to Chile:

"For me, the national team is over. I've done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.

"It's been four finals, I tried.

"It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over.

"I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, then for everyone.

"I think there's a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.

"It's very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back."

Do you think he's serious? You think he's played his last game in an Argentina shirt? VOTE HERE...

 

 

Time will tell if it was just emotions talking, or if he'll follow through.

If he does, it would be a crying shame. Despite criticism from dissatisfied Argentine fans, Messi is, quite simply, the best player in the world right now. He scored five goals in this Copa America Centenario, including a brilliant free kick in the 4-0 semifinal win over the United States. That goal was No. 55 for him, giving him the all-time record over Gabriel Batistuta.

The debate about Who is Argentina's Best Player of All Time will continue. Many say Diego Maradona because he was able to win a World Cup. Messi, despite all his individual and club accolades, has not been able to bring home trophies for his country. And, for that, he clearly feels awful. He feels far worse than any of the fans who have been vilifying him, that's for sure.

Maybe his threat of retirement will make Argentine fans appreciate him more. Some newspaper covers indicated as much Monday:

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Meanwhile, other players said they hope he reconsiders.

Argentina and Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero said: "I think he spoke while he was heated, because a beautiful opportunity escaped us," said Romero. "I can't imagine a national team without Messi."

Sergio Aguero hinted others may follow Messi's lead.

"There are several players who are evaluating not continuing with the national team. It is the worst defeat ever, worse than the two other finals. So the thinking is it might be time to make room for other players."

Argentine newspaper La Nacion wrote that Aguero, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuaín also may retire.

If anybody should be criticized for Argentina's losses in recent big games, it should be Higuaín, who blew a 1v1 chance against Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo Sunday night, and also missed a chance against Germany at the 2014 World Cup final and a penalty kick against Chile last summer.

But for now, all the talk is about Messi and his possible "Mexit"

 


  

 

 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CONCACAF Wrap-Up

Good news: The United States can win a road game in qualifying.

But it wasn't easy. It took a Ricardo Clark goal in the 62nd minute for the Americans to down Trinidad & Tobago 1-0. Now, they essentially need one point in the final two matches in ensure their sixth straight World Cup berth.

Why? They stand alone in first place of the final round hex after a low-scoring night.

A Rudis Corrales goal in stoppage time Costa Rica 1-0 and kept El Salvador's faint hopes alive, while Mexico used a PK to down Honduras by the same score.

New standings: USA 16 points, Mexico 15, Honduras 13, Costa Rica 12, El Salvador 8, Trinidad & Tobago 5.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Team D.A. Soccer Camp Redux

We're all about helping out our friends at Total Futbol, so when college buddy and local sports radio host Damon Amendolara needed an extra set of hands at his free soccer camp Saturday, you know we were there.

Great event, even with the monsoon that blew through.

Miami FC showed up in a big way, with current and past players Walter Ramirez, Reinier Alcantara, Nicky Torres, Danny Vasquez and Eric Vasquez dropping some knowledge on the two dozen or so kiddos at Rooftop Soccer in Brickell.

Special kudos to D.A. and FC PR dude Ignacio Rodriguez for pulling it all together.

Here are some pics from the event.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

WQAM'S 'D.A.' hosting free summer camp

We're all about helping out our friends at Total Futbol, and there's no bigger friend than Damon Amendolara of WQAM-560 AM.

D.A.'s hosting a free, one-day soccer camp on July 25, in partnership with Miami FC and Brickell Soccer Rooftop.

Complete information about the event is available at TheDAShow.com, but here are a few of the highlights:

It's for kids, ages 6-14, held on the Brickell Rooftop fields. Anyone who signs up their son/daughter by the end of the day, they get two free tickets to a Miami FC game of their choice. Email here to register.

Oh yeah, and I'm going to be a "Special Guest Counselor." Dunno if that's an incentive or not...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Many parents choosing camps over vacations

Cruises or camps?

For many soccer moms and dads across South Florida, the choice is clear: Their limited disposable income is going to their kids' athletic development, at the expense of costly vacations.

A survey of several of the area's biggest soccer camps show that, despite one of the worst economic climates in the past seven decades, enrollment in local soccer camps remains strong.

Want more?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009