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Topics - Scarlet

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Messi is the heartthrob for soccer fans across the world, and similarly, he is also the most admired player across soccer fraternity. Just few weeks back, all-time Brazilian great Pele compared his teammate Neymar with Messi and said he is even better than the Argentinean, and now, Liverpool’s defender Jose Enrique is marking a similar comparison between his teammate Suarez with that of Messi. Obviously, it has become a fashion these days to make a comparison with Messi whether someone actually deserves it or not, but Enrique bases his assessment on the performance of Uruguayan footballer. Notably, Suarez is the leading goal scorer for Liverpool this season taking all competitions together; he is leading by 20 goals from second highest goal scorer Steven Gerrard. Even in EPL, he has maximum number of 21 goals this season. According to Enrique, Suarez is a nightmare for defenders across the world; perhaps the ways he has shattered the defense of his opponents this season clearly signals how dangerous striker he could be for his club. Enrique put his view about 26-year old Liverpool striker on club’s official website that reads as:

“I tell [Luis] all the time that he always does the same thing - he tries to do nutmegs. It's always 'megs, 'megs, 'megs. And you just know that he is going to do it but you can't stop him," Enrique told Liverpoolfc.com.

“When you know someone, you can know what they are going to do but he's still a very difficult player to train against.

“He scores so many goals in training. It's like with Messi - everyone says he is going to cut inside all the time. And you know that he is going to do this but you can't stop him from cutting inside and scoring goals. With Luis [and nutmegs] it's the same. Of course there are some differences between the two players.

“Luis is a great all-round striker but it's not just about the goals, it's about what he gives to the team - it's about his personality and his attitude.

“He's the same in training as what you see in games. He gives 100 per cent all the time. He never misses training and, touch wood, he has not been injured so far.

“Everyone wants to win - my character is that I don't like to lose at anything - but with Luis, when he loses the ball; he knows exactly how to press again.

“It's amazing, of course, how he scores goals and some of the goals he has scored have been incredible.”

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Every game of sports requires stamina that could enable a player play well in extreme playing conditions, and soccer is no exception where many players have recently accepted taking caffeine pills ahead of their crucial matches. Now, another shocking revelation has been made by none other than FIFA medical chief: Michel D'Hooghe, who said that Anti-inflammatory medicines (which reduce the pain when body tires up) are a bigger threat for players than doping. He said on Monday that increasing trend among players, especially young ones, is ruining their career coz they don’t realize how badly anti-inflammatory medicines can affect their body. At the moment, any player taking a banned substance, steroid or otherwise, can be detected by a dope test, but anti-inflammatory medicine test is nowhere in FIFA list of banned substance hence it emerges as a bigger threat than ever in recent times. The first time when anti-inflammatory medicines abuse exposed was during 2010 South Africa world cup where FIFA came to know how widely these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are being used by players around the world. Later, under-17 world cup in Maxico further revealed rising trend of taking these medicines among young players than experienced ones.

According to D'Hooghe, a team had 21 players using them out of 23 before 2010 world cup, which itself tells a lot about its uses. Back in 2006, the average percentage of players taking anti-inflammatory medicines was just 26% which surged to 34.6% in 2010, and as per preliminary estimates, this figure could go beyond 50% by the time Brazil World Cup goes on the floor. D'Hooghe talked about this epidemic in an interview recently where he said, “The most worrying aspect is that we see the problem moving ever more into the youth categories. Doping is not our biggest problem. The anti-inflammatories are our biggest problem. The medicine gives you less pain, but you worsen the situation because pain is a warning. It is an alarm bell. At a certain point, some players start thinking they cannot play without taking the pills.”

He also said next year world’s medical conference in Marrakesh, Morocco will the biggest platform to discuss about this problem where 208 national federations’ top medical officials will impart, and hopefully, they will issue an advisory there which could be the starting guidelines for including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines under FIFA’s list of ban substances.

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Barcelona fans would surely be not happy with the way Barca has performed in the last few weeks, especially its two straight defeats from its arch rival Real Madrid. Many say Barca is missing its ace coach who is being treated for his throat cancer back in the US while some insiders blame lack of serious affords from Camp Nou club to regain its supreme position. Though, it is still leading La Liga by 11 points from second place holder Atletico who has played an equal number of matches until now. When others were blaming Barca’a will power to triumph back, no one was buying, and now one of the most trustable players is saying similar comments about his club, and that is none other than Lionel Messi who is apparently taking their recent defeats more seriously than others. According to him, Barca’s recent debacles were caused by its lack of striking force that could crush the opponent’s defense something for which they are known for. Barca next few La Liga matches could be high scoring for it where it can enhance its leading margin along with getting a boost of confidence they have lost via their last few defeats. They are going to clash with bottom place holder Deportivo on coming Saturday at Nou Camp where they would surely be eyeing on a clean sweep.

Messi recently participated in a promotional event here at Barcelona where he talked about Barca’s last few failures, he said, “It's obvious that we need to give a bit more. We know what the problems were in the defeats, it's something we have talked about in the dressing room and it has to stay there.  We have been losing recently and we know what we have to do to change. A key match is coming when we can react and make that change.”

“It has affected us a great deal and I think it has taken its toll when we have been out on the pitch,” he further added.

"But this is a strong dressing room and we cannot lay the blame there.  Coming from behind is what we all want. We know it will be difficult but we have faith. If they could do it to us there we can do it here. We know that if they score it will make things harder and that Milan has some very good players but we have our chances.”


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