Some of those strikes – such as his Champions League free-kick against Liverpool and his Puskas-nominated lob against Real Betis – have been typical of the Argentine magician’s brilliance.
If you’re near a sports channel on a TV screen then it can often be hard to avoid clips of Messi’s genius, such is their volume – and that apparently proved to be the case as Messi hit the gym on a mid-season break in his hometown, Rosario.
A tweet by social media user Valen Jure has gone viral after it depicted Messi pounding a treadmill while watching his own goals on a TV in front of him.
“I went to the gym and found Messi watching Messi’s goals,” the accompanying text read.
Messi, 32, is back in his homeland while La Liga is on a winter break, although he is due to report back for training early in the New Year.
Barcelona ended 2019 two points clear of great rivals Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, with Sevilla a further three points back.
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And while defending their La Liga title will be important to Ernesto Valverde’s men, they will also be targeting the Champions League after their semi-final second-leg heartache against Liverpool last season.
Messi has won four Champions League crowns with Barca, but the last of those came in 2015.
Barcelona will face Napoli in the last 16 of the competition in February, but before that Messi and Co. will be hoping to hit the ground running in their first game back in the derby against Espanyol on January 4.
New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian state of West Bengal’s governor has stirred up a hornet’s nest after recalling the controversial Lord Curzon, a Viceroy of India under British rule who was responsible for partitioning Bengal. The partition separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.
BERLIN (Sputnik) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised the signing of a long-awaited Russian-Ukrainian pact on gas transit to Europe as a sign of the European Union’s energy security.
The price of gold has just climbed to its highest level since 25 September and many investors are looking to the bullion as a safe bet for their 2020 portfolios amid falling dollar prices.
James Comey was fired by Trump in 2017 due to his handling of investigations that affected the 2016 presidential elections, which was criticised both by Democrats and Republicans.
In news that may read like something out of a low-budget B-movie from a bygone era, it has emerged that the disgraced former chairman of Nissan Carlos Ghosn managed to escape Japan by hiding in a musical instrument case.
The audacious escape was reportedly carried out with the help of a group who posed as musicians, who were due to perform at a function held in Ghosn’s Tokyo home, according to Lebanon’s MTV.
They then left the residence after the requisite time had passed. But unbeknownst to the Japanese authorities guarding the former executive, he had slipped past the security cordon hidden a musical instrument case. He then fled the country via a local airport.
The former executive stands accused of underreporting his income and pinning his personal financial losses on Nissan. He posted bail of $9 million in April and was kept under house arrest in Tokyo, during which time he was forbidden from communicating with his wife for seven months as part of his bail conditions.
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By the time anyone was aware that the former head of Nissan-Renault alliance had fled house arrest in Japan Tuesday, he was already in Beirut and had reportedly met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who afforded him a security detail for his own protection.
“I am now in Lebanon and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged Japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied,” Ghosn said in a statement on Tuesday.
MTV reported that Ghosn entered Lebanon using his French passport, despite his lawyer’s claims to have all three of the executive’s passports, in accordance with his bail conditions. Ghosn holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship and, while he enjoys widespread support in Lebanon, it is unclear whether he will remain there as the situation unfolds.
Junichiro Hironaka, Ghosn’s lawyer, said his client’s actions were “inexcusable,” and questioned how and why he would do this to his own legal team.
Questions remain about how Ghosn managed to obtain his passport and how he could slip past airport security to board a private plane to Turkey and then on to Lebanon. The unlikely nature of Ghosn’s escape brought a smile to many online commentators.
Carlos Ghosn revived the fortunes of two struggling global auto makers via a bureaucratically hectic Franco-Japanese alliance, but his legacy will be that he spent months training to contort to himself fit inside the case for a giant double bass; the perfect getaway
President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for bombing a coalition base and orchestrating the storming of the US Embassy in Baghdad, as Iraqis rage at American airstrikes on militias in the country.
“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” the president tweeted on Tuesday. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible.”
Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!
A rocket attack on a coalition base near Kirkuk last week killed one American contractor and wounded several US troops. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the US blamed the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, and struck back on Sunday. The retaliatory airstrikes pounded three Kataib Hezbollah targets in Qaim, western Iraq, and two in Syria. At least 25 fighters were killed in the airstrikes, the militia group has claimed.
The strikes were condemned by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who called them a violation of sovereignty and threatened “grave consequences.” Tehran called them an “act of terrorism,” while a number of Shia clerics and militia leaders joined in the condemnation.
As official denunciations flowed in, dozens of protesters stormed the heavily fortified US Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, chanting “death to America” and waving Hezbollah flags. Fire was seen in one part of the compound, and gunfire was reported at the scene. The US envoy to Iraq, Matthew H. Tueller, was evacuated from the area, Reuters reported.
Iran has denied ordering attacks on US troops in Iraq, and is not known to be behind the embassy protests.
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In criticizing the US airstrikes, Mahdi accused Washington of acting out its own anti-Iran agenda on Iraqi soil. The country’s National Security Council added that policing its military bases is the sole responsibility of the Iraqi armed forces, not the US.
Controlling militias like Kataib Hezbollah and its allies in the ‘Popular Mobilization Forces’ has proven difficult for Mahdi’s government though. Officially sanctioned to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) forces in 2014, elements of these militia groups have resisted being brought under the Iraqi military’s command, leaving Mahdi condemning both the militias’ actions and the US’ response.
Though Mahdi urged protesters to stay away from the embassy, Trump added on Tuesday that “we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!”
An Australian fire crew battling intense flames in New South Wales recorded the heart-thumping moment their truck was overrun by the oncoming blaze, surrounding them in a veritable hellscape.
The team were driving near the South Coast town of Nowra, according to Fire and Rescue NSW, when they had to simply shelter inside their vehicle as the fire raged around them, showering the truck in sparks and surrounding them with flames.
Some of the team scramble to press heat-shielding protective blankets against the windows as the already tough conditions around them deteriorate rapidly.
The crew from Fire and Rescue NSW Station 509 Wyoming recorded this video showing the moment their truck was overrun by the bushfire burning South of Nowra. The crew was forced to shelter in their truck as the fire front passed through. #NSWFires#ProtectTheIrreplaceablepic.twitter.com/Hb0yVrefi9
Fire and Rescue NSW said the crew were not harmed in the incident.
Australia is in the midst of an intense fire crises, with blazes in every single one of its states. In Victoria, thousands of people have fled to beaches or into boats to escape encroaching fires, after the flames cut off evacuation routes.
News that French President Emmanuel Macron plans to give his country’s greatest honor to the city of London has not gone down well among his fellow citizens, who have been left wondering what Napoleon would make of it.
Le Figaro reports that the Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit, will be conferred on London during France’s ‘year of de Gaulle’ in 2020, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of former president and French Resistance leader Charles de Gaulle. He lived in exile in the British capital during the Nazi occupation of France in the Second World War.
However, the revelation has received a far from warm welcome in France, with reactions ranging from wondering what on earth Macron is thinking, to what Napoleon – who started the Legion of Honor in 1802 – would make of such an award for his old foe.
“Macron would do well to reread the history of France,” one person posted online in response.
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“The clearance sale of our Legion of Honor continues,” another said. “Mr Macron continues to destroy the French heritage.”
Another person wondered “is it April 1st already?”
The question as to who should get the honor seemed totally irrelevant to other people, who said the president should focus his attention on resolving the ongoing strikes against French pension reform, rather than such trivial matters.
“Is there nothing more serious and more urgent to deal with than getting up one morning and saying to yourself ‘what if I give the Legion of Honor to the City of London?’. For example, could he not speed up discussions on pension reform,” one said.
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Macron has yet to reach a resolution with unions over the strikes, which began in early December against his government’s proposed overhaul of the French system. Unions have pledged to step up their protests, which have crippled the transport system for weeks already, in the New Year.