Monthly Archives: April 2018

Lionel Messi: Argentinian ace registers himself as trademark

Published by:

Lionel Messi has won a seven-year fight to be able to trademark his name in an European court.

His original application had been challenged by the Spanish cycling brand, Massi, which argued that the names were too similar and would cause confusion — but the EU’s General Court ruled that the footballer was too well known for confusion to arise.

The ruling comes days after France Football magazine reported Mr Messi had overtaken Cristiano Ronaldo as the highest earner in football, with an income of €126m (£108m) compared to Ronaldo’s €94m.

Messi’s application to trademark his name was made to the European Union Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) in 2011, but the court ruled against the footballer, saying the names were similar, because their dominant elements, “consisting of the terms ‘Massi’ and ‘Messi’, are almost identical visually and phonetically”.

EUIPO said that only some people would be aware the two were different.

But the General Court, the EU’s second highest court, disagreed.

It said on Thursday: “The football player’s fame counteracts the visual and phonetic similarities” with Massi.”

“Mr Messi is, in fact, a well-known public figure who can be seen on television and who is regularly discussed on television or on the radio,” the court added.

Widely considered one of the world’s greatest soccer players, Messi, 30, scored his 600th professional goal last month and is the all-time highest scorer for both FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not play for Sweden in Russian World Cup

Published by:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be coming out of retirement to play for Sweden at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The LA Galaxy star, 36, said recently he would attend the tournament albeit excluding in what capacity he would be.

However, Swedish FA chief Lars Richt said: “I talked to Zlatan on Tuesday. He announced he did not change his mind about the national team — it is no.”

Ibrahimovic had already retired from international football after Euro 2016.

The Swede, who also played for Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan, scored 62 goals in 116 games for his country, and appeared at World Cups in 2002 and 2006.

Despite a knee injury plaguing his final season at Manchester United, he showed that he still had form by netting a brilliant strike and a subsequent winner in his LA Galaxy debut last month after joining the Major League Soccer side in March.

Sweden had qualified for Russia 2018 without him, beating Italy in a play-off to secure their qualification.

It will be the team’s first World Cup since 2006 after missing out on the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.

Mohamed Salah shines with two goals and two assists against Roma

Published by:

A Mohamed Salah masterclass helped Liverpool take control of their Champions League semi-final — but two late Roma away goals gave the Italian giants a glimmer of hope for the second leg.

Liverpool repeatedly breached the visitors’ high defensive line and scored five times in the opening 68 minutes at a raucous Anfield.

Salah, 25, scored twice and assisted two other goals. He curled his first into the top corner from the edge of the box — and then clipped the ball over Alisson for a second.

The Egyptian International then ran down the right and squared for Sadio Mane to make it 3-0 — before doing the same to set up Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool then became only the second team to score five goals in a Champions League semi-final match when Firmino headed in James Milner’s corner.

With his side leading 5-0, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp took off Salah — and Roma gave themselves a chance for next week’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico.

Edin Dzeko lashed home from Radja Nainggolan’s pass, before Diego Perotti put a penalty into the top right corner after Milner handled Nainggolan’s shot.

Roma need only look to the last round for inspiration — they lost the first leg in Barcelona 4-1 before winning 3-0 in Italy to progress on away goals.

A repeat of the latter scoreline this time would take them into the final against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

Man in critical condition from Liverpool-Roma pre-match assault

Published by:

Two men from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was left in a critical condition when he was attacked before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final match against Roma.

Police and paramedics were called to the Albert pub shortly before the first leg match kicked off, where they found the victim, believed to be a 53-year-old man from Ireland, who had suffered a head injury.

Merseyside police said the men arrested were aged 25 and 26 and one of them was apprehended inside the ground. They were among nine men, aged between 20 and 43 years, arrested on suspicion of various offences, including affray, actual bodily harm and possession of offensive weapons, among others.

Officers appealed for witnesses of the incident in which the 53-year-old was injured to come forward. They said forensic examination had been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage from the area would be reviewed. Police believed that the victim was in Liverpool with his brother for the match.

“Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.”

“The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game. I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation.”

Such video footage does appear to exist, with clips posted to Twitter showing clashes between supporters with ambulances in attendance, and suggestions that a group of Roma fans had used belts as weapons.