Tag Archives: jersey

Gattuso continues wait for first win after Milan lose away to Rijeka

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AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso says the club’s “shirt deserves respect” after a “burning defeat” by Rijeka as his team concluded their Europa League group stage fixtures with a loss.

Gattuso, 39, has previously managed Sion, Palermo, OFI Crete, Pisa and Milan’s youth team, but was especially unhappy with £33m summer signing Andre Silva, who has yet to score in Serie A.

“He struggled. He looked like a foreign object in the team,” said the former Italian national. “When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan’s shirt you have to do more.”

Already assured of top spot in Group D, Gattuso made changes, for only his second game in charge, with their Europa League last-32 slot already guaranteed — but he was not impressed.

AC Milan failed to put a single shot on target, with midfielder Manuel Locatelli set to miss the first leg of the round of 32 after picking up a booking.

“I was expecting more, this was a pretty poor show,” he said. “We need to turn things around and a change in mentality. We need more intensity and desire and all these things weren’t there.”

“We needed a win as a morale booster. Sunday’s (Serie A) match against Bologna is now even more important and we can’t make any mistakes.”

Croatian side Rijeka, who were already eliminated, won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jakov Puljic and Mario Gavranovic.

Puljic gave the hosts the lead in the seventh minute by curling in a free kick out of the reach of goalkeeper Marco Storari, while Gavranovic bundled the ball over the line from six yards early in the second half.

“I take full responsibility for the choices I made,” said Gattuso. “I would make them again as we have to play important games every three days. We tried to give some playing time to those who needed it.

“This is how things have been going lately, unfortunately, we concede at the first opportunity. The boys gave it all, trying to play differently, but it wasn’t enough.”

Lionel Messi meets Afghan boy with homemade plastic jersey

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Murtaza Ahmadi, an Afghan boy who became an internet sensation after being photographed in a homemade replica of Lionel Messi’s famous football strip, has finally come face-to-face with his idol.

Pictures had emerged on January this year of the then five-year-old wearing a blue-and-white striped plastic bag to emulate the colours of the Argentinian team.

On the back of the bag was scrawled Messi’s name and shirt number.

The pictures went viral and, after “Messi’s biggest fan” was identified and tracked down to Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province, efforts were made to bring Murtaza and the Barcelona star together.

A video tweeted by the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar shows the Argentinian forward scooping up Murtaza, now six, and posing for photographers in a meeting arranged through the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

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Murtaza Ahmadi meeting his idol, Lionel Messi.

“The image the world wanted to see,” tweeted the Supreme Committee on Tuesday. “The six-year-old boy who dreamed of meeting his hero, #Messi, finally comes true.”

Murtaza and Messi met in Doha and the boy walked out on to the pitch with Messi on Tuesday night when Barcelona play Al-Ahli.

The boy’s unexpected fame has not been entirely welcome. After receiving constant telephone threats, the family was eventually forced to flee to Quetta in neighbouring Pakistan.

Murtaza’s father, Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, said he feared that his son would be kidnapped. The family first travelled to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, but could not settle there because of the high cost of living. They later moved to Quetta.

“I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son’s life as well as the lives of the rest of the family,” he said in May.

Despite the upheaval, he added at the time: “Murtaza hopes that one day he would be able to meet his hero, Messi.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Porugal friendly win

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Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Porugal friendly win

Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani scored for Portugal in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgium in Leiria.

Portugal took control as Nani broke down the left flank and curled in a right-foot shot past Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois. Ronaldo then got his first goal in four international games 5 minutes before the break with the glancing header.

A 36th-minute effort from Dries Mertens was Belgium’s first shot on goal.

After half-time Romelu Lukaku retaliated for his team, which seemed lackluster at times. Heading home a cross from his brother Jordan, Portugal held on despite subbing in a weaker side.

Portugal – who are grouped with Iceland, Hungary and Austria in the Euros were inspired by the elusive Ronaldo, who teased Belgium with his trickery and pace.

The game was originally slated to be held at the the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. However, security concerns arose following the airport and subway attacks in Belgium, and the game was moved to central Portugal.

Belgian players had worn special jerseys during warm-up in remembrance of the victims.

Belgium players donned a special jersey during warm-up in remembrance of Brussel attack victims

Belgium players donned a special jersey during warm-up in remembrance of Brussel attack victims