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Messi statue ‘decapitated’ in Argentina

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BUENOS AIRES: Argentine superstar Lionel Messi’s statue here was broke into two pieces when vandals attacked it on Tuesday, leaving the sculpture of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner without its head or torso.

“The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left it without its top half,” the Buenos Aires city government said in a statement.

The vandalised sculpture of Argentinian football player Lionel Messi is pictured at the "walk of fame" in Buenos Aires on January 10, 2017. Vandals in Buenos Aires destroyed a statue of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, leaving the sculpture of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner without its head or torso on Tuesday.  / AFP PHOTO / Leo RAMIREZ

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Sculpted out of black marble, the statue of the soccer star was erected last June just after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile, after which the 29-year-old Messi announced his international retirement.

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According to local media, the monument is far from the first to be targeted in the area with that of former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini stripped of its racquet not long ago.

Tributes to Messi as well as the likes of basketball star Manu Ginobili, four-time tennis Grand Slam winner Guillermo Vilas and Formula One great Juan Manuel Fangio are all located along the Buenos Aires “walk of fame”.

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Security reviewed ahead of Chinese Embassy XI vs. KP-XI Football match!

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ABBOTABAD: Pakistan-based Chinese security team has toady inspected security arrangements ahead of the first-ever exhibition football match between DG Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-XI and the Chinese Embassy-XI scheduled to be held here at Kunj Football Stadium on Saturday 28th of April.

Following thorough inspection Chinese Counselor in Pakistan, Chen Wei, has expressed satisfaction over the arrangements. 

According to details the Chinese Embassy team will be led by the political counselor Jiang Han while Malik Ejaz Ahmad will be the captain of KP-XI team.

 

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Football: Raheem Sterling craves for more after Man City Premier League win!

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LONDON: Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling says he is hungry to win the Premier League again, warning the champions against complacency as they chase more glory.

Pep Guardiola’s men were confirmed as champions with five matches still to play on Sunday when Manchester United were beaten by West Brom.

“This is my first Premier League title so who cares how you win it, whether it was on the pitch or on my sofa, I’m just delighted to win the title,” said the England international.

“It’s been a dream ever since I was a kid growing up playing football with my mates and winning it means everything. 

“It’s important we don’t get complacent though. It’s amazing to win it, but now it’s about the next one.”

The England international, who joined City from Liverpool in 2015, has progressed rapidly this season and Guardiola said at the weekend the 23-year-old could become one of the best players in the world. Sterling, who has scored 22 goals, 17 in the Premier League, is relishing the opportunity to work with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss. “It’s all about the basics with him.

He pushes you to be better at the small things and that improves your performance,” said Sterling.

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Monte Carlo Masters: Djokovic saves ten match points in real battle!

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MONTE CARLO (Principality of Monaco): Novak Djokovic said it was great to deal with the emotions of a real battle again, after saving ten match points to beat Borna Coric at the Monte Carlo Masters here today, while Rafael Nadal made a “positive” return to the ATP Tour by thrashing Aljaz Bedene.

Djokovic, playing only his fourth tournament since Wimbledon last July after struggling with a right elbow injury, overcame some late nerves to win 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 in the second-round clash.

“It was a real battle. I mean, I could have won the match earlier definitely, but it was great to deal with these kind of emotions again,” said the 12-time Grand Slam champion.

Djokovic is working with long-time former coach Marian Vajda for the first time in almost a year after splitting from Andre Agassi, and the 30-year-old has looked rejuvenated in Monaco after early exits in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Serbian will next face Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem with a possible quarter-final against defending champion Nadal, who plays Karen Khachanov in the last 16 on Thursday, up for grabs.

But Djokovic insisted he wasn’t looking past the clash with Thiem, a French Open semi-finalist in each of the last two years. “It’s disrespectful towards Dominic and Dominic’s tennis…

To think about and talk about potentially a match-up with Nadal,” Djokovic added. “Last year in Roland Garros he beat me in straight sets. He’s definitely (a) top-three player in the world on clay.”

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