Lionel Messi's absence for Argentina is a pity for football, says Neymar

Sport360 staff 08:20 16/10/2018
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Brazil forward Neymar said he hopes Lionel Messi will return to play for Argentina one day as it is a “pity” he is not involved with the international squad at present.

Messi, who captained Argentina at the World Cup this summer in Russia, has taken an indefinite break from the Albiceleste.

Neymar believes the absence of his former Barcelona team-mate is a significant blow for spectators around the world, but the 26-year-old feels it gives Brazil a better chance of victory in Jeddah.

“For those who love football, having Messi out of a game like this is bad. But for us it’s good,” Neymar said.

“It’s a pity for football.

“We never underestimate Argentina’s quality, the players they have in their squad.

“Argentina have Dybala, who is a player that I really like, so we have to be switched on.

“It’s a very difficult game. We will have to do our job and it’s always good to play them. There are no favourites.”

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Sergio Ramos wants the people of Spain to believe in Luis Enrique's team

Sport360 staff 08:08 16/10/2018
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Sergio Ramos hopes the people of Spain can believe in the international team following their 3-2 defeat to England in Seville on Monday.

England scored three goals in a stunning first-half before surviving a barrage of pressure in the second period, with substitute Paco Alcacer and captain Ramos scoring to cut the deficit for Spain.

It was La Furia Roja’s first home defeat to England in 31 years, ending Luis Enrique’s unbeaten start to life as manager following his appointment in July.

Speaking after the match, Ramos told Teledeporte: “England are a world-class opponent and they have very dangerous players.

“We had as many minutes to score three goals as they had and the positive thing was the reaction of the team.

“The beauty of football is that it gives us the opportunity to turn things around. We forgot the first half and, in the end, the positive is our reaction.

“I have to thank this city, which is great to play in, and they leave you in awe so it is a shame we couldn’t respond for them. I hope people can believe in this group.”

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Luis Enrique frustrated by Spain's first-half performance against England

Sport360 staff 07:58 16/10/2018
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Luis Enrique slammed his Spain side after they suffered a 3-2 defeat to England, claiming it would have been normal to “kill” his players after their first-half display rather than stick with his trusted starting XI.

Raheem Sterling scored twice as England delivered one of their finest victories of the modern era.

Marcus Rashford was the other scorer in a stunning opening 45 minutes, which witnessed Spain conceding three on home soil for the first time in their history.

Paco Alcacer headed in before the hour to spark hopes of a comeback but England were home and dry by the time Sergio Ramos scored in the 98th minute, and former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique did not hold back with his criticism.

“The first half, atrocious, it has to be recognised. We arrived late pressing, the first goal killed us,” said Enrique.

“We made so many individual errors. It’s bad to say it, but it was a miracle in the break.

“The normal thing would have been to kill the players, but I reinforced them, and didn’t change any of them.

“With 2-0, sitting back and coming out on the break, England are dangerous. A group with two World Cup semi-finalists is not easy.

“Now we continue to depend on ourselves, we have to go to Croatia and win (to win the group).

“I said great teams have suffered. We forced the opposition back, and it’s a shame we didn’t score earlier because we would have done the 3-3 and the comeback in the Villamarin.”

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