Daily Archives: October 9, 2015


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Messi heading to testify in court back on 2013.

A court in Spain has ruled that Argentina and Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi and his father should stand trial on tax fraud charges.

Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding Spain of more than €4m (£3.1m; $5m). They deny any wrongdoing.

The judge in charge of the case rejected the request by prosecutors to drop the charges against the Barca playmaker.

Lawyers who were acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

Beyond his 20 million Euro per-year salary, Messi’s source of income includes his image rights which are tied to contracts with major companies such as Danone, Adidas and Pepsi-Cola.

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoided paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay in 2007-09.

El Pais newspaper reported earlier that Messi’s lawyers had argued ” Messinever devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts.

‘Corrective payment’

Messi and his father had made a voluntary €5m “corrective payment” – equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest – previously in August 2013.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing.

No date has been set for the trial of the 28-year-old footballer – the four-time World Player of the Year and one of the richest athletes in the world.

In June, the high court in Barcelona ruled that Messi should not be granted immunity for not knowing what was happening with his finances, which were being managed in part by his father.

RUGBY WORLD CUP: Scotland vs Samoa, Ireland vs France

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Scotland vs Samoa: Match not about me, Vern Cotter says


Cotter does not believe that Saturday’s match is a defining moment for him as coach.

Vern Cotter has dismissed suggestions that Saturday’s match against Samoa is a moment that defines him as Scotland head coach.

The national side will qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals should they beat Samoa.

Nonetheless, Cotter, who has been in the job for 15 months, is downplaying the significance of the match.

“I’m sure you can make a story of it if you’d like to,” Cotter told the presses.

“But it’s not about me. It’s about us as a group enjoying this situation.

“It’s a game that we’ve worked ourselves to get to and we know what it means. We’re enjoying the position we are in and we want to put in a good performance this weekend.

“The group has a strong desire to do well and qualify. I think we’ll see that will and determination come Saturday.”

Scotland, second behind Pool B winners South Africa and two points ahead of Japan, have made seven changes to the starting line-up from the defeat by South Africa last Saturday with Finn Russell and John Hardie returning to fly-half and open-side flanker, respectively.

Ireland v France: Kearney ready for massive World Cup match


Kearney: “France are a very different animal.”

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney expects France to be more formidable on Sunday than they did in the Six Nations in February, when Ireland ran out 18-1.

The nations will meet to decide who will top Rugby World Cup Pool D and try to avoid being pitted against reigning champions New Zealand in the quarter finals.

“We realise that France are a very different animal at Rugby World Cups – they are fitter, stronger and better conditioned. They look like a very different side to the one we faced six months ago.”


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Djokovic breezes past Zhang Ze and moves forward to the quarter finals in the China Open tournament

Novak Djokovic drew level with Jimmy Connors for the second-longest unbeaten record at an ATP Tour event by beating Chinese wild card Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-1 on Thursday to improve to 26-0 at the China Open.

Now, he only trails behind Nadal’s 31-0 start at the French Open from 2005 to 2009.

The tennis ace had already won five titles at the China Open for the past six years excluding 2011 when he did not play in the tournament.

Djokovic said that the conditions in China suits his game as he advances into the quarter finals.

“I feel very pleasant playing on the center court,” he said. “I guess as I keep coming back each year with that positive record, obviously gives me more confidence knowing that I played so well in the past on this court.”

Meanwhile, third seed Rafael Nadal also gets into the quarter finals by beating Vasek Popisil in round two of the China Open.

The 29-year-old Spaniard gave a much-improved performance and won 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to set up a quarter-final against American Jack Sock on Friday.

“Obviously I improved from yesterday,” said Nadal, who lost serve four times against China’s Wu Di in round one.

“Every victory gives me opportunities to keep practicing the things that I need to practice.”

“Practicing outside of the competition is very important, but at the end you have to compete well. Every match is an opportunity for me.”


Nadal: “”Every victory gives me opportunities to keep practicing the things that I need to practice.”

Ancelotti: Ronaldo will end career with Madrid

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Carlo Ancelotti worked with Ronaldo in Real Madrid for almost 2 years.

Despite being linked to Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, former manager Ancelotti believes that a move for Ronaldo is unlikely.

“He etched his name into the record books at Real Madrid the other day when he equaled Raul’s goalscoring record,” Ancelotti told Le Parisien.

‘I cannot imagine him leaving Real Madrid. I think he will stay at Madrid until the end of his career. Everybody at the club loves him.’

When asked if Ronaldo would join PSG, Ancelotti replied “I don’t know.”

He also added a tidbit regarding his departure from the Spanish giants, conceding the he “knew what he was getting into”.

“At Madrid, when you don’t win [a trophy], you’re fired. It’s not normal but I knew what could happen when I signed for Madrid,” he added.

“Those were two great years but they decided to change the coach. Now I think about finding a new club.”

Ronaldo has 10 goals in 10 appearance for Real and Portugal this season, including two in Real’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Swedish club Malmo.

Those goals saw the 30-year-old tie the club record 323 goals set by Raul but will have to wait until after the international break to take the record outright after failing to score in his side’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Sunday.