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TIME TO SELL MESSI?

Former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff is regarded as one of the legends in the game. He has said that Barcelona should now consider selling Argentine ace Lionel Messi after securing the signature of Santos striker Neymar for around £ 50 million. The highly rated Brazilian striker has joined Barcelona ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea, who were also in the hunt for his signature. The 21-year-old is clearly the future of Barcelona. Lionel Messi is at the peak of his powers at 26 years of age, but Cruyff thinks that this is probably right time for Barcelona to sell the Argentine star.

He is of the opinion that the presence of Neymar will certainly cause some tension within the squad, which can be avoided by the sale of Messi. It remains to be seen if this suggestion will actually take place because Messi is regarded as the best player in the world. He has won the last four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards to prove this aspect. It also remains to be seen at any club can afford Messi, who has a release clause of £ 200 million in his contract. Due to Neymar’s style of play, it will be difficult to accommodate both him and Messi in the same team according to Cruyff.

“With Neymar on board, I would have planned for the possibility of selling Messi. Some would agree with me and others would not. Neymar’s arrival could cause problems. Just look at free kicks for example. Neymar is very good at taking them. And Messi has already shown he is great, too. Who’s going to take them. Or the fact that Neymar and Barcelona are with Nike while Leo is with Adidas. These are situations that could cause problems,” said Cruyff to the Spanish daily Marca.

CLOSE FINISH

The Dutch league is probably one of the closest in terms of the title race across Europe. At least three teams like Ajax, PSV, and Feyenoord are battling out for the title with only a handful of matches remaining. Ajax, though, gained a superior advantage in the battle for the title by managing to beat one of their main rivals – PSV Eindhoven – 3-2 in a recent match between the two clubs. Ajax legend Johan Cruyff has praised Ajax for this brilliant victory. Cruyff left the Ajax board a few years ago after falling out with the board over differences about how the club should be run.

However, he has revealed that Ajax will always remain close to his heart. He expects Ajax now to go on and win the title after establishing a five point lead at the top of the table. As a result of the defeat, PSV are now level on points with Feyenoord on the table. These two clubs are now expected to battle for the Champions league positions. Only the league winner qualifiers for the Champions League automatically, while the remaining two teams have to go through a play-offs. Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven are the major challenges for the second spot, while Vitesse also remain in with a shout.

“They were set up to be offensively stronger and that boosted their chances of victory. I thought that was very positive to see. Ajax did not look at what the other team was doing, but played the game to win. The remaining four league games are therefore primarily a matter of being professional,” said Johan Cruyff, who spent a few months at Mexican club as an advisor. However, he was sacked from his advisory role only recently. He is regarded as a legend at Ajax and Barcelona.

LAUDRUP SIGNS NEW DEAL

The Swansea manager Michael Laudrup recently signed a new long-term deal with the club after being linked with several major clubs over the last few months. He managed to get Swansea to the first major trophy in their history after winning the League Cup recently.

He took over from Brendan Rodgers in the summer, and he was expected to have a difficult time helping the club stay in the Premier league in their second season. However, he has been exceeding these expectations so far. The former Barcelona midfielder has credited the influence of the Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff as the reason behind his success of late. Continue reading