Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi is reportedly planning to cut short his time at FC Barcelona and eventually join Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. This comes after Messi was suspended for two weeks for travelling to the Kingdom without PSG’s Qatari owners’ permission.
End of Project Messi
Messi had hoped to stay at PSG beyond the end of the current season. However, with recent events, the situation has changed drastically. Given his incredible record with FC Barcelona and PSG, Messi’s potential move to Al-Hilal would undoubtedly shake the football world.
While Messi’s priority remains to play in Europe, transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano reported that Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal has offered the Argentine superstar a bumper contract with a record-breaking salary worth €400 million per year. The potential deal will lead to Messi surpassing his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns €223 million per year at Al Nassr.
Hindrance to Messi’s Barcelona return
There is strong speculation that Messi may return to his former club, FC Barcelona. However, the club is facing difficulties in shedding the €200 million ($220 million) required from their wage bill to make the deal viable. Despite this challenge, Barcelona is trying to convince La Liga that they have a workable plan to make the numbers work for a potential deal with Messi.
Consequences of Messi’s Suspension
Messi’s suspension was imposed because he went to fulfill his duties as a tourism ambassador. The Argentine will also be docked two weeks’ pay, which Forbes’ recently-published list of the World’s 10 Highest-Paid Athletes 2023 estimated to be around $2.5 million. As a result, Messi will miss games against Troyes and Ajaccio.
In addition, PSG has reportedly cancelled a contract renewal offer to Messi, whose current agreement at the Parc des Princes expires on June 30. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be free to negotiate with other clubs starting in January 2023.
PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Rs.451 Crore International Cricket Stadium In Varanasi
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi on September 23rd (Saturday). The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Sunil Gavaskar were also present for the ceremony. The Prime Minister also went on to present an Indian team jersey to Tendulkar.
The state government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has remitted a whopping ₹121 crore for the purpose of land acquisition, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shall put in ₹330 crore from their side for the iconic stadium’s construction. Some of the notable features that the stadium would have are trishul-shaped floodlights, drum-shaped media center, and crescent moon-shaped roof.
Meanwhile, the stone-laying ceremony witnessed some of the most top figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice-President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah. This will also be the third international stadium in Uttar Pradesh, with Kanpur and Lucknow already having one.
“The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium” – Narendra Modi
Speaking at the ceremony, Modi stated that sports are no longer prohibited by the elders, unlike before, as it acts as an incentive in several ways. He said, as quoted by The Indian Express:
“This stadium in the city of ‘Mahadev’ will be dedicated to ‘Mahadev’ himself. The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium in Kashi. There was a time when parents used to scold their children for playing sports, but that is no longer true. When sports infrastructure is built in an area, it acts as an incentive not just for young sporting talent but also spurs the local economy.”
The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 30000 and the construction of the same is likely to finish by December 2025.
Legends Including Sachin Tendulkar And Ravi Shastri Leave For Varanasi For Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony For New International Stadium In UP
Legendary Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar on Saturday headed for Varanasi for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the international cricket stadium in Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the International Cricket Stadium in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Saturday afternoon.
The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has spent Rs 121 crores on land acquisition for the construction of the International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi. Moreover, the BCCI will spend Rs 330 crores on the stadium’s construction.
The former India head coach Shashti on Saturday took to social media ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, and wrote in a post, “Varanasi bound. Great to be amongst Greats and colleagues for Mumbai and India. Just a few international runs and wickets there. Pic of a lifetime. Gr8 memories.”
The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with designs developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights, ghat steps-based seating, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators.
Veteran players like Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Shastri, Vengsarkar will be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Uttar Pradesh to have its 3rd international stadium:
The event will also have the presence of key figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah, the release stated. Furthermore, many veteran players are expected to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony. After Kanpur and Lucknow, this will be Uttar Pradesh’s third international cricket stadium.
IND vs AUS: ‘Always Well Looked After And Well Protected’ As David Warner Feeling ‘Great’ To Be Back In India
The Australian cricket team has landed in India ahead of what will be their final dress rehearsal for the 2023 World Cup. Veteran Australian opener David Warner took to his official Instagram handle and expressed their gratefulness at landing in India. He also thanked GMR Aerocity for making their transit easy.
Warner will be one of the few players most in focus ahead of the ODI series, especially due to his inconsistency in the preceding rubber against South Africa. The left-hander made only two fifty-plus scores in five innings and threw away starts consistently.
The five-time World Champions will be keen to get back in the groove after missing an opportunity to win the series in South Africa despite a 2-0 lead. The middle-order batters, including Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis will be under pressure for consistently failing against the Proteas. With Steve Smith back in the side and Australia set to field a full-strength attack, they should be in a good stead.
The 36-year-old took to his Instagram handle and wrote:
“Always great to be welcomed back to india. We are always well looked after and well protected. Thanks so much. @gmraerocity always makes our transits so easy.”
Australia won the three-game ODI series in India earlier this year:
Pat Cummins and co. should draw confidence from their success against the Men in Blue in their backyard earlier this year under the captaincy of Steve Smith. Nevertheless, India are an in-form team, having won the Asia Cup 2023.
However, the men’s team’s chief selector Chief selector Ajit Agarkar has announced resting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs. KL Rahul will captain India in Mohali and Indore,
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