The biggest news from Monday’s presentation in Miami was that the city had been officially named the site of Major League Soccer’s 25th team, but a close second was Argentina and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi appearing in a 15-second video clip to say hi, congratulations and commit his future to David Beckham, Miami and
Dismayed over Virgil van Dijk’s decision to join Liverpool, Manchester City have gone and broken their own club transfer record (the $77 million paid to Wolfsburg for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015) by signing La Liga’s most promising young defender, 23-year-old center back Aymeric Laporte, from Athletic Bilbao for $80 million.
After weeks of speculation linking Mexican international Miguel Layun with La Liga side Real Betis — where international compatriot Andres Guardado currently plays — derby rival Sevilla has announced the capture of the 29-year-old right back on loan with an option to buy in the summer, pending a medical scheduled for Tuesday.
Ajax played at FC Utrecht on Sunday in the Eredivisie, a scoreless draw that was relatively unremarkable — except for the exploits of one Lukas Görtler. Utrecht’s German striker Görtler was sent off for a second yellow card, despite having been substituted off the pitch more than 30 minutes prior.
In November of 2016, months after signing a one-year contract with Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic outlined his vision of one-upping Napoleon by accomplishing what the Emperor of the French could not: "I can see myself conquering the U.S. as I have with Europe. Lots of people stay in one place throughout their career, but I’ve travelled around like Napoleon, and conquered every new country where I’ve sat foot.
Philippe Coutinho was given his first start for Barcelona vs Alaves on Sunday. It wasn’t until he was subbed off that the Blaugrana really got going, rallying late for a 2-1 victory thanks to some Messi magic at Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi scored on a gorgeous free kick in the 84th minute to secure all three points for Barcelona, which trailed for most of the match after an early Alavés goal. It was another moment of joy from the Argentine maestro, who had a first-half free kick touched onto the post but came through with the match on the line.
Arsenal didn’t play this weekend, which is probably a good thing for Gunners fans. The team was already knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest in the third round, meaning Gooners can’t even take pleasure in Tottenham having to replay Newport County. But the curl on this Arsenal youth goal almost makes up for not having a match to watch this weekend.
Manchester City winger Leroy Sané is one of the most exciting young players in the world, with the pace, dribbling and finishing to terrify any defense. He could be a breakout star for Germany at the 2018 World Cup, assuming he doesn’t break his leg first. Joe Bennett’s Leroy Sané tackle looked like it might have caused serious damage to the German on Sunday and the German national team’s Twitter account stood up for its player.
As usual, every other Premier League club is playing for second in the transfer market, behind the big spenders at Manchester City. The Citizens made the signing of the January window Saturday when they picked up Mix Diskerud — a.k.a. Nordic Messi, a.k.a. Which One Is Mix Diskerud And Which One Is Brek Shea Again — from New York City FC.