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Tuesday,19-January-2021

International

I am in my best form since I arrived in Paris: Neymar

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Paris St. Germain forward Neymar issued a warning ahead of the return of UEFA Champions League as the Brazilian claimed he is currently in his best form since joining the Ligue 1 side from Barcelona in 2017.

Neymar’s stint in Paris has been marred with injuries and controversies since his 200 million pound deal. Speculations around his future at the club hasn’t helped his cause either as he has been linked with a move back to Camp Nou for a while now.

But with Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu saying the climate is not right to spend multi-million pounds on Neymar, it seems the Brazilian is looking to mend relationship with his current employers and fans.

“During these three years I have acquired a lot of knowledge,” Neymar told PSG’s official website. “I have lived through happy moments and difficult ones, especially when the injuries didn’t allow me to play.

“With the help of my teammates, I was able to overcome them and focus on what really matters, our performances on the field which translate into titles,” he added.

Neymar also said his and the club’s goal is to end their Champions League drought. They face Italian side Atalanta in the quarter-finals and are touted as one of the teams to win the competition this season.

“Our fans, the club and all fans can see the fight of our team in any game. I am in my best form since I arrived in Paris, the team is like a family,” he said.

“We want to win the Champions League title. We will fight because we have never been so close.”

UEFA had earlier announced that remaining second leg Round of 16 matches will be played in Turin, Manchester, Munich and Barcelona respectively on August 7 and 8.

The quarter-finals will be played in Lisbon between August 12-15 followed by semi-finals on August 18-19. The final will be played at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon on August 23.

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India breach Fortress Gabba, first to beat Australia at the venue in 32 years

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India on Tuesday became the first team to beat Australia at The Gabba in over 32 years when they defeated the hosts by three wickets in the fourth and final Test and clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.

Chasing 328, India achieved the target in 97 overs with Rishabh Pant remaining unbeaten on 89. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara also scored 91 and 56 runs respectively.

West Indies were the last one to beat Australia at what is considered a fortress for the Australian team.

In all, Australia had won 40 out of the 62 games they played at the venue prior to this match, losing just eight.

Four of those losses have come against England while three came against West Indies, the last of which was in 1988. One came against New Zealand.

India have played seven matches, losing five, drawing one and winning the one in the ongoing series.

This is also the first time Australia have not won at The Gabba since 2012.

Back in November 2012, they had drawn against South Africa. Following that draw, they beat England (twice), India, New Zealand, Pakistan (twice) and Sri Lanka.

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‘Will be available to play’ for Pak once Misbah and Co. leave: Mohammad Amir

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Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir has made it clear that he would be available to play for Pakistan again only once the current support staff led by head coach Misbah-ul-Haq “leaves”.

Having already retired from Tests, Amir had last month bid adieu to international cricket alleging that that he had been “mentally tortured” and that he didn’t want to continue playing under the current Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management.

“I would like to clarify that yes I will be available for Pakistan only once this management leaves. So please stop spreading fake news just to sell your story,” the 28-year-old said in a tweet on Monday.

“I don’t think I can play cricket under this management. I am leaving cricket, for now. I am being mentally tortured. I cannot handle it. I have seen it enough from 2010-2015. I have to repeatedly hear that PCB invested a lot in me. However it is not the case,” Amir had said in December last year while announcing his retirement from international cricket.

He was part of the Pakistan squad that won the T20 World Cup in 2009 and was also part of the squad that won the Champions Trophy in 2017.

However, Amir’s career faced a downward spiral when he was banned for five years for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal during the tour of England.

After serving his five-year ban, he returned to international cricket in 2015 and made his Test return in 2016. Amir, in 2018, called time on his Test career to focus entirely on white-ball cricket.

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Lionel Messi shown first red card of Barcelona career

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Star striker Lionel Messi was handed his first-ever red card of his Barcelona career during their 2-3 defeat against Athletic Club in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The incident happened in extra time of Sunday’s game when Messi was handed the red card for violent conduct against Athletic forward Asier Villalibre, reports goal.com.

It was the first red card the Argentine has ever received as a Barcelona player, coming in his 753rd appearance for the club.

Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored the first goal of the match, putting Barcelona ahead in the 40th minute. However, the lead lasted for just two minutes as Oscar de Marcos netted an equalizer for Athletic.

Griezmann then again put Barca in the lead in the 70th minute. However, Athletic club’s Asier Villalibre levelled the score in the 90th minute before Inaki Williams scored the winning goal three minutes later.

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