Messi inspires win over Napoli but Barca will need more vs Bayern

Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Napoli at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on August 8, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Lionel Messi scored a brilliant solo goal as Barcelona saw off Napoli on Sunday but they are likely to need something even more special from their captain to beat Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.

Messi’s weaving run and finish came between an early Clement Lenglet header and a Luis Suarez penalty, also won by Messi, as Barca stormed into a 3-0 lead in the first half at Camp Nou.

But Lorenzo Insigne gave Napoli hope just before the interval and an unconvincing second period from Barcelona left them hanging on for a 3-1 win on the night, 4-2 on aggregate.

“A second goal would have given them a feeling of euphoria that can hurt you,” said Barca coach Quique Setien.

“It’s normal to get a little nervous.”

In winning the penalty, Messi took a heavy kick from Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and needed treatment.

“It was a heavy knock,” said Setien. “It will have to be treated but I don’t think there is a problem.”

After finishing five points behind Real Madrid in La Liga, Barca resumed in the Champions League with doubts hanging over the form of the team and the future of their coach.

Setien said on Friday he had not considered resigning but failure in Europe, after a turbulent domestic campaign, would likely take the decision out of his hands.

Victory against Napoli eases the pressure but the performance will not inspire confidence, even with Messi seemingly rejuvenated after three weeks rest.

Napoli, whose own league season only finished last weekend,

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Chieffy Caligdong recalls tremendous pressure playing for PH Azkals

Caligdong hero for the Azkals again. Photo from AFF Suzuki Cup website.

MANILA, Philippines—National athletes deal with tremendous pressure when wearing the Philippine colors, but for Chieffy Caligdong there was much more.

Caligdong was the face of homegrown players who suited for the Philippine Azkals during the late 2000s and early 2010s, which was an added source of pressure for the prolific striker.

In an interview with the Crossover Podcast, Caligdong said that he always walked with high regard for himself as he was not only playing for the Philippines he was also the role model of a younger generation who plans to one day become an Azkal.

“There was so much pressure because you have to be on a high level every time you play, every time you train and you have to be at your best during competitions,” said Caligdong in English.

“Of course, my attitude when I’m out in public and with my club should be at a high standard because I’m a role model. People will look at my attitude or at me and see if I’ve changed.”

Caligdong, who is now the head coach of the Ontario Development League Boys under-15 team in Canada, wore the no.13 shirt for the Azkals with pride as he shared the field with the likes of Phil and James Younghusband, Aly Borromeo, and Juani Guirado.

His play on the field, which saw him net 16 international goals, and off-the-field character eventually earned Caligdong the Azkals’ captaincy.

“The pressure was always there even in training so you have to be consistently at the top of your game,” said Caligdong. “I never let pressure get the best of me.”

Maintaining that high standard, however, will take a toll on anyone and Caligdong was not an exception.

He admitted that he was

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Sprint king Usain Bolt says ‘didn’t get fair chance’ in football

Fifa 98’s retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt controls the ball during an exhibition football match between France’s 1998 World Cup’s French football national team and FIFA 98 composed with former international players, to mark the 20th anniversary of France’s 1998 World Cup victory, on June 12, 2018 at the U Arena in Nanterre, near Paris. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Sprint legend Usain Bolt Thursday claimed he wasn’t given “a fair chance” to prove himself in Australia’s A-League after a failed attempt to become a professional footballer.

The Jamaican, an eight-time Olympic champion, tried out with the Central Coast Mariners in 2018 after quitting athletics, hoping to fulfil a childhood dream to become a soccer player.

His quest garnered worldwide attention, which intensified when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.

But his abilities were questioned, notably by former Ireland striker Andy Keogh who said he had a “touch like a trampoline”, and contract talks failed.

Bolt told Australia’s Channel Nine television network: “I think I didn’t get a fair chance.

“I didn’t do it how I wanted to do it, but it’s something I think I would’ve been good at,” he added.

“But it’s just one of those things you miss out on and just have to move on.”

Bolt, the 100m and 200m world record holder, had previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway.

Asked if he had any regrets about his attempted career shift, he replied: “I do think about it sometimes that it didn’t work out the way that I wanted it to, because football is something that I love.

“The fact that it didn’t work out I do think about it, but as I said, it’s one of those things you’ve got to move past.”

Earlier this year, Bolt

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