LA Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic slammed Major League Soccer’s playoff system and the referees. He believes the structure does not encourage a winning mentality.
The Galaxy will play Wayne Rooney and D.C. United on Sunday. Ibrahimovic will start after missing the previous match against Atlanta due to yellow-card accumulation.
“I think the system is s***, but that’s the way it is. Because you talk about mentality, for me, mentality is every day. Training, the way you train is the way you play game. The results in every game is important. But here, you come in seventh place, you make playoffs, you win. So how do you create that mentality to be on your toes 24 hours? Is very difficult.”
Lionel Messi has been suspended from playing international football or three months following a rant against officiating at the Copa America.
The Barcelona and Argentina captain said his side had suffered “corruption” at the tournament in Brazil after being sent off in a third-place playoff.
South American football confederation CONMEBOL also handed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner a 50,000 dollar (£41,000) fine.
The ban means La Albiceleste will be without Messi for friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany.
The Barcelona star was dismissed in the Copa America following a confrontation with former Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel, who was also shown a red card.
Messi appeared to have been hard done by, with Chile defender Medel appearing to push his head towards the Argentina playmaker as they squared up, chest to chest.
📹 [OTRO] | Leo Messi warming up for the new season with some intense beach tennis! pic.twitter.com/3CItjBVMq6— Barça Times Media (@BarcaTimesClips) August 2, 2019
The Argentina captain suggested he had been singled out following his comments over the “crazy” officiating in the wake of their 2-0 semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
“We don’t need to be part of the corruption that we’ve suffered at this tournament,” Messi said, as quoted by Spanish media outlet AS.
“Medel is always right at the limit. With a yellow that would have been the end of it for both of us, but well, maybe what I said recently had an impact.
“What’s important is that the team finished well in the tournament. Maybe this was ordered and I ended up suffering because of what I said.”
In the aftermath, CONMEBOL said a “fundamental pillar of fair play is to accept the results with loyalty and respect”.
Although it did not mention Messi by name, the statement issued at the time said: “The same goes for refereeing decisions, which are human and will always be improvable.”
Provided by PA Media
Osian Roberts has stepped down as assistant coach of Wales to become technical director at the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.
Roberts, who also leaves his position as technical director of the Football Association of Wales Trust, worked as assistant to Gary Speed, Chris Coleman and current national team boss Ryan Giggs.
The 54-year-old was part of the backroom team which guided the Dragons to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and was interviewed for the manager’s job prior to the appointment of Giggs in January 2018.
He was initially appointed technical director of the FAW Trust in 2007 before joining Speed’s coaching staff in 2010.
“The FAW would like to thank Osian for his commitment to Welsh football over the past 12 years and wish him well in his future endeavours,” read a statement from the Welsh FA.