Femi SolajaWhile millions of FC Barcelona fans worldwide are yet to come to terms with the team’s quarter final exit from the UEFA Champions League last Tuesday, Argentina’s football fans and media are delighted with the fate that befell the Catalan side.They reasoned that the painful exit of the former champions from the competition will enabled their recuperating super star and five-time Ballon Dor winner, Lionel Messi recovers fully and be ready to face Nigeria and other foes at the World Cup in Russia beginning June 12.Argentina is hoping Messi would be fresh enough to lead them to the World Cup glory.A prominent newspaper Ole wrote that ‘Fatigued, Messi didn’t show up for Barcelona and they suffered a historic elimination against Roma. He will reach Russia with less stress on his body but with the disappointment of missing the final rounds of the Champions League.’ “Perhaps the most important thing is that he can definitively recover from his hamstring problem, which doesn’t allow him to play normally,” he paper stated in its editorial.Another major media, Clarin, said that “national team needed Leo out of the Champions League. He was playing on the verge of a muscle injury and now we must prioritise his physical state over that of the soul.”For La Nacion: “It can do his body good to lighten the load in the face of the World Cup. But this slap doesn’t help the footballing prestige of Messi, or Barcelona. As many of their successes and disappointments are also his. Beyond saving energy, these defeats are unsettling.“(Jorge)Sampaoli won’t be worried as he believes Messi’s competitive genes will keep him out of harm’s way. Messi is obsessed with Russia and that voracity won’t be stopped by a surprise elimination,” the medium noted.With Barcelona’s Champions League elimination, Messi will now resort to managing his playing time for the club to ensure they get the needed seven more points to rap up Laliga glory and concentrate on the final match against Sevilla in the Copa Del Rey which comes up this Saturday in Madrid.It is expected that after next weekend final in the Spanish FA, the mercurial players will play less for the team and be focused to shine at the World Cup finals which probably might be his last.For now only three foes including Nigeria are confirmed to play the South American nation in the group stage of the tournament and Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr, is already hoping that Argentina wins its first two games and thus excuse Messi from the final group match against his team.“If Argentina wins its first two games, Messi may not want to play against us, that’s another possibility,” Rohr was quoted by www.fcbarcelonalive.com.With this calculation, the Super Eagles coach hopes that Argentina will tame Iceland in the opening match and win again against Croatia in the second game before facing Nigeria in the last group tie.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
I was never an athlete — I think most sports writers would admit to that — but unlike most others of my kind, I also wasn’t always the biggest sports fan.In reality, when I was very young, I just wanted to be a writer. Probably write some books. You know, try to make a living with words, somehow.There’s no reason I should want to be a writer — no one person in particular inspired me to start doing this and there’s obviously not a whole bunch of money to be made.Actually, let’s back up one second. There wasn’t one person, but probably one thing.Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., The Washington Post was a staple of my morning routine since I was in elementary school. I wasn’t a hoops junkie or anything yet, but I was a reader and I wasn’t going to read the news, style or business sections. Sports made more sense. I learned to love sports just as much because of what I read as what I saw.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOf course rooting for teams was fun — even when I realized that there was no chance the Eagles or Nationals would ever win a title — but the stories were fun.And that’s why this year’s Syracuse season, in all of its beautiful imperfection, was perfect.How many years do you get to say you saw one of the best shots in SU history, Jim Boeheim’s only ejection and a 25-0 start? Every time you looked up, there was some new story seemingly more unbelievable than the last.In the middle of it all, I had a chance to go back to where it all started for myself. The Orange’s trip to Maryland will probably just be remembered as a throwaway road game in a wild, wild season, but that was where I grew up and fell in love with basketball. The 2002 Terrapins were the only championship team I ever rooted for. My family has had tickets since the Comcast Center opened. I know C.J. Fair enjoyed playing in front of his friends and family, and I like to think I felt at least a little bit the same.For the first time, my childhood and my future totally collided. UMD made me love college basketball — the greatest game — and now I was in College Park getting to watch it, and of course write about it, as a job.But suddenly, on March 22, I looked up and it was all over. Dayton stunned Syracuse. My time at The Daily Orange didn’t end on that night, but it felt like it did. I never viewed myself a Syracuse fan, but it was sad to see that team’s run — and, more selfishly, my own run — end in Buffalo. It was like the end of a good book that you never want to stop reading.This summer, I’ll be back at home. I’ll be in Maryland for as long of a stretch of time as I’ve had in years. And every morning, when I sit down at the kitchen table, The Washington Post will be sitting right there. For some reason my parents still subscribe — I like to think it’s because I’m a newspaper guy. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it’s not about the paper where the story was told, but the ones who made sure I was getting to take them all in.David Wilson was a staff writer at The Daily Orange where his column will no longer appear. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @DBWilson2.-30- Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 28, 2014 at 12:56 am
University of Wisconsin softball pitcher Kirsten Stevens was awarded Big Ten Pitcher of the Week for the first time in her career at University of Wisconsin.Monday marked the second consecutive week the Badgers softball team bullpen has been recognized with Big Ten weekly honors.Stevens provided solid innings from the mound for the Badgers (12-2) all weekend at the 2017 Sheraton Invitational tournament held in Fort Myers, Florida at Florida Gulf Coast University’s home campus.Softball: Badgers face lesser foes in Florida at Sheraton InvitationalAs February winds down, 16 games remain until Big Ten play begins for the University of Wisconsin softball team. For these next Read…The senior bagged two wins during the weekend showing by the red hot Badgers, both of which were shutouts. Stevens controlled both games from the pitch for Wisconsin, defeating Florida International University 5-0 and Hofstra 4-0 in her two starts. The Badgers pitching core has been a staple in the team’s best start in program history. Freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Menz improved her season record to 7-2 in the Badgers latest win over Rutgers in the Sheraton Invitational tournament Sunday. In the 5-1 Wisconsin win, Menz sent three batters back to the dugout on strikeouts. The Badgers 4-0 win over Hofstra gave Stevens her third shutout of the season in part of her new career-high, 11-strikeout performance against Hofstra. Stevens led the Badgers to their third shutout of the year over FIU after recording five strikeouts.Softball: Wisconsin concludes successful weekend in Florida with some hardwareThe University of Wisconsin softball team concluded an incredibly successful tournament in Florida over the weekend with an overall record of Read…Wisconsin’s offense had an impressive performance as well, tying the team’s season-high of 11 hits against the Scarlet Knights. Junior Kelsey Jenkins went a perfect 3-for-3 at bat for the second time this season.Stevens has managed a stingy 0.28 ERA on the season to date. Stevens is also limiting opposing batters to a mere .172 batting average overall, while notching 32 K’s in only five games.She is the 15th Badger pitcher to receive the weekly honor from the Big Ten, and the first Wisconsin pitcher since former Badger and current volunteer assistant coach Taylor-Paige Stewart received the award back in 2014.