'Football will never be the same': Messi speaks on return to action after Covid-19 chaos

Lionel Messi says football “will never be the same” as the Barcelona star discussed his impending return to action in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Spain’s La Liga resumes on June 11 after an enforced three-month absence.

As with other major leagues restarting in the likes of Germany, England and Italy, football in Spain will initially look very different to what has gone before.

Matches will be played on a daily basis behind closed doors as La Liga scrambles to complete the season, while precautionary health measures will be in place wherever possible.

Also on rt.com

© Corbis via Getty Images
Lionel Messi says coronavirus break could BENEFIT players as Barcelona captain says he is raring to go after lockdown

Messi said all of that will make it a “strange” situation for footballers – just as with anyone affected in broader society.

“Football, like life in general, I think will never be the same,” Messi told El Pais, in comments also shared on the Barcelona website

“The return to training, competitions and what was previously done in a normal way, now will have to be started again, but progressively.

“It will be a strange situation for us and for anyone who has to change their usual working dynamics. 

“A lot of people have had a really bad time because this situation has affected them in some way, as happened to all those who lost their family and friends and couldn’t even barely say goodbye to them,” the Argentine star added.  

Also on rt.com

Antoine Griezmann & Frenkie De Jong in Barcelona masks © Twitter / FCBarcelona
‘They’ve made a pandemic into business’: Barcelona BLASTED for selling $20 face masks as fans accuse club of cashing in on COVID

When La Liga resumes Barcelona will find themselves top of the table by two points from main rivals Real Madrid, although Messi suggested that the return of football would not help ease the suffering of what has happened as a result of Covid-19.   

“There can be nothing worse than losing the people you love the most, that creates enormous frustration for me and seems to me the most unfair thing of all,” the six-time Ballon d’Or winner said. 

“[We’ll remember the pandemic] with a feeling of grief and frustration for those who suffered the most due to the loss of their loved ones. And also with infinite thanks to all the people who fought to fight the virus from health centers.” 

Messi and Barcelona have suffered tumultuous times in recent months for reasons outside the coronavirus crisis.

The Nou Camp captain was involved in a public spat with sporting director and former teammate Eric Abidal over the sacking of manager Ernesto Valverde, before embarrassing accusations emerged that figures in the club hierarchy had run a social media campaign to tarnish the reputation of figures including Messi.  

Also on rt.com

Getty / Tom Clayton
Messi hits out at Barca board as players AGREE to 70% wage reduction so club staff won’t face pay cut

The club denied the claims, but Messi spoke out again when a deal was reached for players to cut pay due to the pandemic, accusing the board of handling the situation poorly.   

The forward then suggested that Barca had no chance of winning the Champions League playing the way they have been under new manager Quique Setien – prompting the coach to assert that he would not change the way he sets his team up. 

Also on rt.com

Lionel Messi | Quique Setien © Reuters
‘It’s how I coach’: Barcelona boss insists style will NOT change despite Messi’s warning that Champions League win is ‘impossible’

Source: NEWS

Moscow Strongly Condemns Use of Riot Control Weapons Against Reporters by US Police

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moscow views the deliberate spraying of a tear substance by Minneapolis police at the face of a RIA Novosti correspondent as a manifestation of unjustified brutality, and considers the use of riot control weapons by US law enforcement officers against journalists to be unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.
Source: http://sputniknews.com

Trump won’t mobilize US federal troops to quell George Floyd riots for now – National security advisor

The US president will not invoke federal authority over the National Guard as of yet, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien has said. The decision to call in the troops rests with states’ governors, he added.

“We’re not going to federalize the Guard at this time,” Robert O’Brien said, as quoted by Reuters.

Governors and mayors will remain in charge of making law enforcement decisions amid the ongoing mayhem over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.

Also on rt.com

George Floyd's uncle Selwyn Jones ©  RT; © AFP / Facebook / Darnella Frazier
‘Like posing after a big game kill’: Uncle of George Floyd tells RT about watching cops brutalize his nephew

President Donald Trump has previously warned that state and city authorities should employ tougher tactics while dealing with the nationwide riots. Otherwise, the federal government will use the “unlimited power of our military” and make “many arrests.”

“Federalizing” means placing National Guard members – sometimes called citizen-soldiers – under the operational command of the Pentagon and the commander-in-chief, with an active-duty military officer assuming the chain of command. 

The US National Guard was previously federalized for the purposes of Washington’s interventions abroad, including the 2003 Iraq War and the invasion of Afghanistan. At home, the scheme was also used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina back in 2005.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Source: NEWS

Sucker punch: UFC fighter Spike Carlyle gets DROPPED after turning back on opponent & mistakenly thinking round was over (VIDEO)

There is one primary rule which governs mixed martial arts: protect yourself at all times – but that’s something ‘Alpha Ginger’ Spike Carlyle was reminded of at the UFC event in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Towards the end of the first round in Carlyle’s bout with Billy Quarantillo inside the UFC Apex facility, Carlyle appeared to hear what he thought was the bell to signal the end of the frame – but misjudged the situation by a few seconds.

The American fighter, who was pounding on Quarantillo from top position, stood up and began walking to his corner, only for Quarantillo to get up and follow him, landing a clubbing blow from behind which sent Carlyle to the canvas.

The fight ultimately went the distance with Quarantillo being awarded the judges’ decision, but Carlyle took to Twitter soon after his first UFC defeat to say that the main motivation of his career is to entertain fight fans, and said that he will take this defeat on the chin – figuratively and literally.

Win or Lose I come to entertain and that’s what I just did so y’all better build me a statue now,” he wrote on Twitter after the fight.

Carlyle has marked himself out as one of the UFC’s more colorful characters since making his debut with the company earlier this year.

The 27-year-old ‘Alpha Ginger’ will have to return to the drawing board as he attempts to get his title bid for featherweight supremacy back on track.

However, it stands to reason that when he next steps into the cage he would be advised to make sure he hears the bell to signal the end of a round before turning his back on his opponent. 

Lesson very much learned. 

Also on rt.com

UFC fighter Spike Carlyle (L) and facing off against opponent Billy Quarantillo. © Getty Images / Zuffa LLC | USA Today Sports
Deadly serious: UFC fighter Spike ‘Alpha Ginger’ Carlyle dons PLAGUE DOCTOR mask for novel weigh-in look

Source: NEWS

‘Buy my products bloody n***er’: Amazon busy removing racial slur from its marketplace after online outrage

As US cities are gripped by riots over the death of George Floyd, someone has apparently decided to move racial tensions online, replacing some product images with banners featuring racist abuse on Amazon’s UK website.

Users started to realize that something was wrong with the online shopping platform as they tried to search for Apple’s popular earbuds. As they typed ‘Airpods’ on Amazon, they found that pictures of some products were displaying racist messages.

Many took to Twitter to share screenshots and videos, expressing their fury over what they found. 

Despite users demanding that Amazon make a statement over the incident, the company has not issued any official explanation so far. It told Reuters that some “bad actor” was to blame for the images in question, which it is currently deleting.  

It is still not clear how the banners got onto the website, but some suspect that there may have been a security breach.

The rant comes as violent riots emerged in several major cities across the US. Protesters are demanding justice for Minnesotan George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died during an arrest attempt by a white officer earlier this week.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Source: NEWS

Russia’s to blame? MSM allegations that Moscow had a hand in US anti-police-brutality riots ‘entirely to be expected’

It’s completely predictable that politicians and news outlets are pointing the finger at Russia for riots across the US, analysts told RT, since blaming the Kremlin for everything inconvenient has become an American pastime.

Nationwide demonstrations against the death of George Floyd have descended into rioting and looting in many cities, creating chaos – as well as political opportunism. Efforts to scapegoat Russia for the crisis are par for the course, George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute told RT.

“It was entirely to be expected. I was wondering how long it would take the mainstream media to find a Russian angle. Of course, there’s not the slightest evidence for this, but that’s to be expected,” he noted.

According to Szamuely, America’s “liberal elite” has latched onto the idea that the Kremlin is lurking around every corner – a “habit” that took root after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.

The people who are presenting this whole ‘Russia is to blame’ narrative, they still haven’t got over 2016. It’s a replay of the same Trump-Russia collusion story for which there has been no evidence.

He predicted that the riots would ultimately end up helping US President Donald Trump politically, as more and more Americans demand a return to law and order. As such, Democrats are desperate to find some way of painting the mayhem as yet another sinister – and baseless – Trump-Russia conspiracy.

Political analyst and journalist Andre Vltchek took the view that the US establishment is also eager to cover up its own double standards when it comes to lecturing the rest of the world about human rights.

“The US is ready to impose sanctions on China over Hong Kong, over its treatment of protesters, which is much milder than what we see right now in Minneapolis and other parts of the United States,” he told RT.

Also on rt.com

A man gestures as he confronts National Guard members in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020 © Reuters / Carlos Barria
Minneapolis riots are PUTIN’S PLAN, ‘Russiagate’ thought-peddlers warn

Although news coverage initially downplayed the extent of the destruction caused by the riots and looting, media outlets, pundits and officials have started to change gear. During an appearance on CNN, National Urban League President and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial speculated that the ongoing unrest in Minneapolis was being fueled by Russian agents.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, who cryptically suggested that his state was being undermined by some kind of foreign influence. This theory has taken root among political pundits and news anchors alike, though they have thus far failed to substantiate their claims with any evidence.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Source: NEWS