The LaLiga season has now entered the endgame – the last couple of games that will ultimately decide the champion of Spain and with them still trailing behind their arch-rivals, Barcelona are hoping that Granada can beat Real Madrid and keep their hopes and dreams for the crown alive.
At least that’s what Sport are saying on today’s cover with a title ‘Trust in Granada‘. They say the Catalans still believe it’s possible for Los Blancos to lose some of their remaining games, including the one against Villarreal that awaits after this fixture.
After all, Zinedine Zidane only has Karim Benzema for this game and the French forward is the only one who can help him get past his opponent. They also dedicated a small section of their cover to a collapsing Espanyol who have already been officially relegated to the Segunda Division.
Even though the focus is largely on Madrid’s fixture and Barcelona’s hope that Granada can indeed beat Real, Mundo Deportivo have gone in a slightly different direction. Lionel Messi is gracing their cover as they say ‘Magic Messi‘.
This, of course, has to do with two things. First, Messi’s new record of tallying both 20 goals and 20 assists in a single season, the first player to do so since Thierry Henry did it almost 20 years ago. They say the Argentine is evolving even at the age of 33.
And secondly, the outlet claims that Messi’s new position on the pitch has given Barcelona a brand new dynamic in attack, which has also enabled him more space and options to do his usual magic.
However, he has also played every minute and every second of every game since the return of football and he obviously needs some rest. But with the title on the line, when can Barcelona afford to give him a break?
Just in: Neymar’s entourage confirms renewal with PSG as he ‘likes the project’
Fabrizio Romano has broken huge news as part of Neymar’s contract situation with Paris Saint-Germain, which all but officially announces that the Brazilian will be staying in France, contrary to what has been reported recently. The report suggests that that he will sign his extension soon, which is bound to include a massive UCL bonus.
Neymar’s entourage have confirmed his decision to stay with the Paris outfit in conversation with France Football, saying, “Neymar wants to stay at PSG. He sees that the club is growing. He likes the project.”
Neymar is expected to sign soon his new contract with Paris Saint-Germain until June 2026, huge UCL bonus confirmed too. His entourage just announced to France Football: “Neymar wants to stay at PSG. He sees that the club is growing. He likes the project”. 🇧🇷 #PSG https://t.co/LMnrpctSkx— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 12, 2021
PSG have, in fact, actually enjoyed success in Europe in the recent past. They reached the Champions League final last season, crumbling only to the unstoppable Bayern Munich by a mere one goal to nil. Since then, they have fired Thomas Tuchel, and hired Mauricio Pochettino, who inspired an incredible victory against Bayern in this season’s Champions League quarters. Spearheaded by Neymar and Mbappe, the capital-side hit the defending champions for three goals, conceding two.
Despite their lead in the UCL, they do not have a stronghold on the trophy with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, and Real Madrid still in the running. It becomes a lot more problematic when you realise their situation in Ligue 1.
PSG look far from comfortable in the league, which is a shocker to say the least. As it stands, Pochettino’s mean are in second place with 66 points, three adrift of Lille who top the table with one of the most impressive defensive records in Europe.
A season without either of the big trophies might force Neymar to have a change of mind, with the Barcelona project looking much more comprehensive under Joan Laporta. In fact, the new President might look at the Brazilian as the key that will allow Lionel Messi to stay at the club. We do the same rumours annually, so it is only fair if any of these ‘confirmations’ are turned on their head in the coming weeks.