latest who plays? gameday cracker silverware Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Di Maria struggled to deal with the physical demands of European football initially “Then the 2008 Olympics changed my whole life. Argentina called me to play for the team even though I wasn’t starting for Benfica.“I will never forget that. That tournament gave me the opportunity to play with Leo Messi, the extra-terrestrial, the genius.“It was the most fun I’ve ever had playing football. All I had to do was run into space.“I would start running, and the ball would arrive at my feet. Like magic. “Leo’s eyes don’t work like your eyes and my eyes work.“They look side to side, like a human. But he’s also able to see the world from above, like a bird. I don’t understand how it’s possible.” 3 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Messi and Di Maria have remained firm friends ever since The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 He added: “You have to understand, I was 20 years old, and not even playing for Benfica.“My family was separated, I was at a moment of hopelessness before Argentina called me for that tournament.“In just two years, I won a gold medal, I started playing for Benfica, and then I got transferred to Real Madrid.”Argentina are still in with a chance of qualifying for the last-16 of this year’s tournament in Russia, despite being battered by Croatia in their last game.However, defeat against Nigeria will mean the squad will be returning to Buenos Aires far earlier than anticipated. Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Popular Football news How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence 3 RANKED Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update smart causal England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won predicted Lionel Messi has revealed how playing with ‘extra-terrestrial’ Lionel Messi at the Beijing Olympics changed his life.The Paris Saint-Germain star, who was relatively unknown at Benfica at the time, was a surprise call-up to the 2008 squad alongside the Barcelona star. 3 revealed And, in an interview with The Player’s Tribune, Di Maria revealed it was ‘the most fun’ he has ever had on the football pitch.“When I got to Benfica, at age 19, I barely played for two seasons,” he said.“My father gave up his job to move to Portugal with me, and he had to be separated by an ocean from my mother.“There were nights when I heard him on the phone with my mom, and he was crying because he missed her so much. “At times, it seemed like a huge mistake. I wasn’t starting, and I wanted to quit and go back home. How Man United could line up for Newcastle clash – will Pogba start? Having moved from his native Argentina to Portugal with his father, Di Maria struggled to make an impact in the Primeira Liga.Originally deemed too small, he came back ahead of the 2008/09 season with a renewed sense of confidence.Just two years later, he was seen as one of the brightest young talents in the world and became Jose Mourinho’s first signing as Real Madrid boss.And it all came from that magical summer playing alongside Messi. Angel Di Maria scores in the 2008 Gold Medal final for Argentina
Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen on Thursday clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.The Uttarakhand shuttler, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Wednesday, defeated second seed Zvonimir 18-21, 21-12, 21-17 in a 57-minute match. He had beaten Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratna 21-19, 21-14 in the semi-finals on Wednesday.Former world Junior No. 1 was recently sent to train under former All England champion Peter Gade, who is currently the head coach of French national team.Lakshya had earlier reached the finals of Senior National championship in February.”It is a creditable achievement for Lakshya. He is still a junior but he has been able to win tournaments and that is a good sign. We had sent five players on a 10-day training trip with the French national team. He trained under the great Peter Gade and it has benefitted him,” coach Vimal Kumar told PTI.”He had a good tournament. He beat the top seed Sam Parsons in the first round. He won the junior National and also was finalist at Senior Nationals this year and it gave him a lot of confidence to beat top players like HS Prannoy. So I feel if groomed properly, he does have a great future,” Kumar said.Asked what are the upcoming tourneys that Lakshya would be playing, Vimal said: “He is concentrating on his strength. We have former national champion Sayali Gokhale attached to him and she travels with him.advertisement”In two months time, he will be playing Vietnam Grand Prix and then it would be junior World championship,” he added.Last year, the Indian had won the India International Series and clinched a bronze at the CPB Badminton and Sports Science Training Center in Thailand.