Lionel Messi’s Barcelona era is unequalled, says Ernesto Valverde | Sky Sports
Messi scored three superb goals to record his 51st career hat-trick in a 4-1 win that helped Barca open up a 10-point lead at the top of LaLiga. After Messi’s final strike, a brilliant chip from the edge of the box which went in off the underside of the bar, the home fans at the Benito Villamarin Stadium rose as one to hail the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Lionel Messi routinely delivers magic for Barcelona, but his third goal vs. Betis was interstellar | ESPN
Here are three sentences whose words do no justice to the majesty of their content: In the depths of a molecular cloud, a star is born. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Lionel Messi chipped Pau Lopez in Barcelona’s 4-1 win at Real Betis on Sunday.
Messi’s eternal youth | Marca
Messi, in turn, was as stunned by the crowd as they were by him. He had never been received by an opposition’s support like that before. There are no adjectives left to describe Messi. They have all been used. New words need to be invented specifically for him. Every time you watch him play, you see him pull a rabbit out of the hat, you see something you had never seen before.
Philippe Coutinho at a crossroads as he struggles at Barcelona | Sky Sports
Unfortunately for him, it did not work out that way. While Lionel Messi lit up the Benito Villamarin stadium with his stunning hat-trick, Coutinho was a mere spectator, watching on from the bench until he replaced Luis Suarez in the 89th minute. There were tactical factors at play, of course, but Coutinho’s omission still felt typical of his season so far.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen out to prove he’s world’s best | DW
In the past two seasons, Marc-Andre ter Stegen has elevated his standing in the football world as Barcelona’s number one. Plaudits followed, but he’s still fighting to usurp Manuel Neuer as Germany’s starting goalkeeper.
Arsenal consider sending Denis Suarez back to Barcelona | Football Espana
Arsenal are set to cut short the loan deal of Denis Suarez and send him back to Barcelona two months ahead of schedule, say reports. The 25-year-old joined the North London side in a temporary loan deal until the end of the season in January, but he has failed to make an impact in the English game.
Juventus to meet with De Ligt’s agent in Holland | Marca
Matthijs de Ligt’s agent Mino Raiola and Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici will meet on Sunday to discuss the player’s potential move to Italy. The Old Lady are interested in the Dutch defender, who has also attracted interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich.