"Luckily the nationality of the best player in the world is Argentinian" - Jorge Sampaoli praises Lionel Messi

David Cooper 11/10/2017
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Argentina captain Lionel Messi

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli said his side cannot totally rely on Lionel Messi as his team swept aside Ecuador 3-1 to qualify for the World Cup.

Messi scored a hat-trick as the club recovered from an early Ecuador strike to claim all three points and a place in Russia.

Speaking after the result, Sampaoli said his squad “should help (Messi) to be in the World Cup” and that Argentina “took a big step ahead”.

He said: “They won the game with authority. (The opposition) scored a goal and we did not despair.

“Today luckily the nationality of the best player in the world is Argentinian.

“We must be sure everything does not depend on Leo (Messi) (but) today he brought his great ability.

“I told the group: Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi.

“We should help him be in a the World Cup.”

The goal in the opening minute for Ecuador – when Romario Ibarra struck – did not faze the Argentian side, Sampaoli said.

“I think the game became complicated in terms of planning. It became more difficult because Ecuador scored in the opening minute.

“But we, as a group, had the ability to appreciate the match lasts 90 minutes.”

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Real Madrid losing trust in Gareth Bale and could sell to Man United for right price

David Cooper 11/10/2017
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Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale

The transfer window may not open again until January 1 2018 but that hasn’t put an end to plenty of speculation throughout Europe.

Here, we take a look at the big stories dominating the headlines.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

GARETH BALE

Real Madrid will sell Gareth Bale but only if they can recoup a significant portion of the €100million they paid for the 28-year-old, according to El Confidencial.

Injury problems have plagued his career in Spain and there is a feeling Zinedine Zidane can no longer trust the Wales international.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Man United are perpetually linked with a move for Bale but Madrid president Florentino Perez has always blocked his exit given his world-record move to the Bernabeu was his brainchild.

However, he’s an expensive asset to own when not fit and Perez could finally be convinced to sell up if the right price arrives.

HIRVING LOZANO

Arsenal are exploring the possibility of signing PSV winger Hirving Lozano.

According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners sent chief scout Steve Rowley to watch him in action and despite only joining Eindhoven in the summer could be available for £20million.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Always be wary of signing from the Eredivisie but the Mexico international has been on fire for both club and country so far this season so it’s no surprise to see the big clubs circling.

Man City are also said to be keeping tabs so Arsenal could well face competition if they intend on progressing from the scouting process.

Eindhoven's Hirving Lozano celebrates scoring earlier this season

Eindhoven’s Hirving Lozano celebrates scoring earlier this season

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Saudi citizen makes incredible gesture to one-legged Egypt fan who went viral after Congo win

Alex Rea 10/10/2017
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Egypt players celebrate after victory over the Congo

A generous Saudi national has stunningly offered the one-legged Egypt fan who went viral for his wild celebration following his country’s World Cup qualification the opportunity to see them in Russia.

As well as the pledge to pay for travel, tickets, accommodation and food, Monther Al Sheikh Mubarak also promised to pay all the costs for Mahmoud Abdo’s implementation of a prosthetic leg.

Abdo became an overnight sensation across the globe after he flung himself into the air and danced with delight after Mohamed Salah’s 95th minute penalty in the 2-1 win over Congo sealed progression to their first World Cup since 1990.

Egyptian fan Ahmed Hammad sparked the generous offer after he tweeted (translated from Arabic): “By Allah this man deserves a prosthetic and a trip to Moscow to support the team.”

Monther Al Sheikh Mubarak replied: “And also plane tickets, residence cost and food if he wishes. “Let him choose any centre in Egypt and I’ll cover the cost [for the prosthetic]”.

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