Lionel Messi scored twice for Argentina as they warmed up for their Copa America campaign with a 5-1 win over Nicaragua. The Barcelona captain bagged a first-half double before being taken off at half-time.
Jordi Cruyff has offered his opinion on Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt who has been linked with a move to Barcelona. He said: “He has grown in a style that is very close to Barcelona’s. Given Barcelona and the Netherlands will always have that special connection for many reasons. He’s a special player, as he’s 19 years old and I don’t see so many players of his level at his age. He has a huge potential and he will have a spectacular future.”
The manager’s job at Barcelona is one of the most stable in Europe. The club have used just six managers since 2003 (Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova, Tato Martino, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde) and none of the men in charge have been sacked. Real Madrid have used 15 managers in the same timeframe, while Inter Milan have had a whopping 16.
Joan Laporta has had a pop at Barcelona’s style of play and the current sporting policy at the club. He said: “[Barcelona] are distancing themselves from the style of football that Johan [Cruyff] invented. He is the father of this style that has made Barcelona winners and we have just had a season where the team and the club moved away from that style. There is no defined policy, there is no project and La Masia has been abandoned. It is worrying and there has to be a change of course as soon as possible.”
Midfielder Marten de Roon has been talking about just what it is like to play alongside Frenkie de Jong. He said: “It makes it easier because he makes the spaces; he takes the players with him. He always waits one more second to play the ball so somebody else has to make a decision if he comes closer to you. With him, I have a little bit more time to play.”