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Watch: Elche goalkeeper was surprised when Messi asked for his shirt

Aaryan Parasnis

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s Wednesday night clash against Elche in La Liga ended on a rather humorous note. Elche’s goalkeeper Edgar Badia asked Lionel Messi for his shirt at the end of the game and the Argentine duly obliged. Badia however, seemed fairly shocked when Messi asked for the keeper’s shirt in return.

Messi has been a portrait of modesty and humility throughout his career and yesterday was another fine example. Badia assumed that the superstar wouldn’t want his shirt in return, seemingly forgetting the Barcelona captain’s respectful nature.

Lionel Messi was the star of the show once again as Barcelona dispatched Elche at the Camp Nou. The 33-year-old was in stunning form, scoring two very well taken goals in a 3-0 win. With his brace, Messi now has 18 goals this season, opening up a two goal advantage atop the La Liga scoring charts over Luis Suarez.

Barcelona limited the visitors to just one shot on target throughout the match. It was a crucial win for the Blaugrana since they now have almost zero margin for error in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid for top spot in the league. Their draw against Cadiz over the weekend hampered their chances of closing the gap.

Elche meanwhile are still sitting precariously in the drop zone albeit with a game in hand over Huesca and Real Valladolid. Though the defeat to Barcelona is another setback, Badia will certainly have a memory that he will carry from the match throughout his life. Both Barcelona and Elche however, face must-win games in their season ahead.

It was the great César Luis Menotti who once said that "to be a footballer means being a privileged interpreter of the feelings and dreams of many, many people". This quote has stuck with me since my childhood when football first caught my attention. My interest in football developed from a hobby to an emotion embedded into every fibre of my being. Football and Barça became my life. I spend every waking moment thinking about football and my sentimentality towards FC Barcelona is a catalyst. The world's most popular sport is a universal language that unites everyone who loves it and, to me, writing about football is being able to transmit that language in my own way.

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Report: Barcelona accept defeat in pursuit of Inter Milan striker

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Photo by Andrea Staccioli via Imago

According to reports from Corriere della Sera (relayed by SempreInter), Barcelona have now given up on their pursuit of Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season upfront with Romelu Lukaku, and he is a hot prospect in Europe. He has several skills that make him suited to a team like Barça, who have been chasing him for over a year now.

Inter were initially demanding northwards of €100m for the striker before the start of the 20/21 season. With their financial struggles, the Catalan club were unable to cope with their demands. However, the rumours linking Martinez to Barça did not die down in the months that followed. This is due to the Blaugrana’s dire need for a striker.

The Garnet and the Blue have been considering several options, with the Argentinian striker being only one out of a talented bunch including Aguero, Depay, Haaland, and more. Martinez was hotly tipped to join Barça, apparently wanting a union with his fellow Argentine teammate Lionel Messi.

However, with Inter’s meteoric rise to success, and Martinez’ key role in the team, it seems that he is no longer going to leave the club. The Milan based club is head and shoulders above all other teams in the Serie A, and look set to win their first title in eleven years.

The Argentine forward has played a huge part in Inter’s incredible campaign, scoring fifteen and assisting five in 30 matches this league campaign.

Antonio Conte has done a brilliant job with Inter, and he has also developed Martinez into a phenomenal striker; one who can both score goals as well as drop deep and create the play. With his immense pairing with Lukaku and the inevitable success of Inter, it seems impossible that a transfer is on the card for the young striker any time soon.

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