Connect with us

Sports

Messi, Beckham Booed After Superstar Sits Out Hong Kong Friendly

Published

on

Lionel Messi and David Beckham were booed on Sunday after the Argentina superstar sat out Inter Miami’s pre-season friendly in Hong Kong.

The World Cup-winning captain, who has a hamstring strain, stayed rooted to the bench throughout the 4-1 friendly win against a Hong Kong select XI.

It brought a show of anger from the near-capacity crowd of 38,323 who had paid upwards of 1,000 Hong Kong dollars ($125) to see their hero, and in many cases a lot more.

Advertisement

Halfway through the second-half, chants of “We want Messi” rose around the Hong Kong Stadium from fans desperate to see the greatest footballer of his generation in the much-hyped exhibition game.

The booing became louder during the last 10 minutes when it became clear that the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner would not make even the briefest of cameos.

READ ALSO: Last Surviving Player Of 1958 World Cup Final, Hamrin, Is Dead

The jeers rose to a crescendo at the final whistle after former Liverpool and Barcelona striker Luis Suarez also failed to take to the pitch because of a knee injury.

Advertisement

Miami co-owner Beckham was drowned out by booing as he tried to thank the crowd “for their incredible support” while fans signalled their anger with thumbs-down gestures.

“We understand the disappointment of the fans for the absence of Leo (Messi) and Luis Suarez,” Miami coach Gerardo Martino told reporters, explaining the club’s medical team had taken the decision after an assessment on Sunday morning.

“We understand a lot of fans are very disappointed and we ask for their forgiveness.

“We wish we could have sent Leo and Luis on for at least a while but the risk was too big.”

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Messi Not The GOAT – Spain Coach, De La Fuente

The 36-year-old Messi played just six minutes in Miami’s last match, in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, and now faces a race against time to be fit for the new MLS season which starts on February 21.

‘Messi mania’ –

It was a bitter end to days of Hong Kong “Messi mania” in the lead-up to the match.

Advertisement

Tens of thousands turned up just to watch him train on Saturday, where he did little more than jog and stretch.

The team hotel was besieged by hundreds of fans trying to glimpse their hero, and a traditional junk boat was cruising around Victoria harbour with Messi’s face plastered across sails.

Messi shirts had been flying off the shelves after tickets for the match sold out in an hour when they went on sale in December.

Miami’s starting line-up featured neither of their other former Barcelona stars, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Messi’s Six World Cup Shirts Sell For $7.8m

Robert Taylor opened the scoring for the MLS side in the 40th minute with a delightful right-foot curling shot from the left-hand edge of the box.

Two minutes later Hong Kong’s Henri Anier laced a left-foot finish home to make it 1-1.

Miami regained the lead after half-time when Lawson Sunderland found the target from close range and Leonardo Campana increased the lead in the 56th minute.

Advertisement

Busquets and Alba finally made an appearance from the bench after 62 minutes to a smattering of cheers before Ryan Sailor rounded off the scoring for Miami in the 85th minute with a glancing header.

It was Miami’s first win in five matches on their globe-trotting pre-season tour.

They now move on to Japan for a friendly against Vissel Kobe on Wednesday before flying back to the United States.

AFP

Advertisement

Advertisement
Comments

Sports

5 Highest Paid Female Footballers In The World

Published

on

Women’s football has seen significant growth over the past decade, yet its financial landscape still pales in comparison to the men’s game.

While TV rights deals and spectator interest generate far more revenue in men’s football, women’s soccer is gradually attracting more attention and funding.

Cristiano Ronaldo, per Forbes, was the highest-paid footballer in 2023, earning an astonishing annual salary of over €200 million at Al-Nassr. In contrast, the women’s game, though growing, lags behind financially. Ronaldo’s earnings dwarf those of the highest-paid female footballer, Alex Morgan, whose salary is $0.8 million per year. Nevertheless, Morgan’s total annual income reaches $7.1 million when including her $6.3 million in off-field revenue, per Statista’s 2023 report.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Two For Robbery, Rape In Anambra

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas is the second highest-paid player in women’s football, surpassing Megan Rapinoe following the American’s retirement in 2023.

Highest Paid Female Footballers in the World

Here are the top five highest-paid female footballers, combining on-field and off-field earnings:

Advertisement

Alex Morgan
Club: San Diego Wave
Total Annual Earnings: $7.1m

One of the most recognizable figures in women’s football, Morgan is a prolific forward known for her speed, skill, and scoring ability. She has played a pivotal role in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s success, including World Cup victories.

READ ALSO: Japa: Shortage Of Bricklayers, Roofers, Carpenters Hits UK

Alexia Putellas
Club: Barcelona
Total Annual Earnings: $4m

Advertisement

A highly skilled midfielder, Putellas has won multiple titles with Barcelona and has been named the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner twice. She is known for her vision, passing, and leadership on the field.

Trinity Rodman
Club: Washington Spirit
Total Annual Earnings: $2.3m

The daughter of NBA legend Dennis Rodman, Trinity has made a name for herself as a dynamic forward. Her speed, creativity, and goal-scoring prowess have quickly established her as one of the rising stars in women’s football.

Crystal Dunn
Club: Gotham FC
Total Annual Earnings: $2m

Advertisement

A versatile player capable of playing in multiple positions, Dunn is known for her defensive solidity and attacking contributions. She has been a key player for both club and country, showcasing her adaptability and consistency.

Sophia Smith
Club: Portland Thorns
Total Annual Earnings: $2m

A young and talented forward, Smith has quickly become a standout player for Portland Thorns and the U.S. Women’s National Team. Her pace, technical skills, and goal-scoring ability make her one of the most promising talents in women’s football.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Sports

Knocks For Osimhen After Finidi George Outburst

Published

on

Following Victor Osimhen’s outburst on social media, reactions from fans have been pouring in, with many criticizing the Napoli striker for his comments against Finidi George.

Finidi, who is said to have also resigned as the head coach of the Super Eagles on Saturday (although the NFF is yet to confirm), was quoted to have said he can’t beg Osimhen to play for the national team after the player withdrew from their last two 2026 World Cup qualifiers due to injury.

The striker was said to have been ruled out by a four-week injury and was replaced by Enugu Rangers defender, Kenneth Igboke.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: VIDEO: ‘Eni kure, Ogun kill anyone who doubts my commitment’, Victor Osimhen fumes over non-appearance for Super Eagles

But following the Super Eagles wobbling performances against South Africa and Benin Republic, the narrative of Osimhen’s absence changed as the online medium reported that Finidi used Osimhen’s absence as a poser for the players’ bad attitude towards the national team when he and the Nigeria Football Federation chiefs met with the Sports Minister, John Enoh in Abuja on Wednesday.

Osimhen, who was apparently infuriated by the comments in a live Instagram video on Saturday, said he had lost respect for Finidi and opened up on the circumstances that led to his withdrawal from the Super Eagles last two World Cup qualifiers, adding that Finidi was adequately briefed by him and his doctor.

Jason, using the handle @zieecity, dismissed Osimhen’s actions, stating, “Let him get out, who’s he? As a professional footballer you don’t release a live video swearing and saying nonsense. No player is bigger than the team.”

Advertisement

READ ALSO:Super Eagles: Osimhen Swipe At Finidi George Over Resignation

Kinq Kudos expressed his disapproval of Osimhen’s approach, saying, “I don’t like Finidi’s style of coaching but Osimhen is not supposed to handle this issue like this. He could have done this on a podcast or interview if he truly wants to address it.”

Ore Eva defended Osimhen, stating, “For years that Osimhen has been on the team, he’s never spoken against any coach. Finidi must have really been terrible.”

Iyke, with the username @drackfel, accused Osimhen of disrespect, commenting, “Osimhen feels he’s richer and bigger than Finidi so he has no right to be in charge of him. It wouldn’t happen if the coach was a white man. He wouldn’t make such comments publicly if one of his managers at Napoli did the same thing. Shame.”

Advertisement

READ ALSO: 10 Health Tips To Take Against Cholera

Uchenna, with the username @RichDakvng, called out Osimhen’s disrespect, saying, “Anyone that doesn’t see disrespect in this speech is a big hypocrite! When Sancho called out his manager, they said Sancho is disrespectful.”

Uche Mark emphasized that players like Finidi caused Osimhen’s failure, “This is why Finidi did not succeed. Disrespect, just look at how he’s talking to someone old enough to be his dad. They’re calling you Osimhen, your head is swelling. Have you played up to half of what Finidi played? You’re my Edo brother but I don’t support you on this.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Sports

Super Eagles: NFF Reacts To Finidi George’s Resignation

Published

on

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, says he is unaware embattled Super Eagles coach, Finidi George, has tendered his resignation.

This comes amid reports online that the coach resigned after the NFF announced Thursday that it would hire an “expatriate technical adviser” for the Eagles, following their dismal performances in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

The Eagles have managed just three points from a possible 12, and sit fifth in the six-team Group C, which has put their qualification hopes in jeopardy.

Advertisement

The Eagles dismal outings drew the ire of the country’s football-crazy populace, who are still smarting from the disappointment of the team’s non-qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Native Doctor To Death For Kidnapping In Akwa Ibom

Mixed reactions trailed the NFF’s announcement on Thursday, with some followers of the team calling on the federation’s board members and Finidi to tender their resignations.

According to reports , Finidi is livid that the NFF leadership met with the sports minister two days ago, but failed to mention that players reported late to the camp and that they (NFF) did nothing to mobilise Nigerians in Ivory Coast to support the Eagles in last Monday’s match with Benin Republic.

Advertisement

The reports added that Finidi, who’s overseen just two Eagles games since he took charge in April, resigned from his post Tuesday (today) morning.

However, when our correspondent sent a WhatsApp message to Gusau to confirm if Finidi had resigned, he replied, “Not yet aware.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending