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July 2020
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Missing Mayor found dead in north Seoul        Heavy rain hits scenic central Japan, more damage in south        Bikru bloodbath mastermind Vikas Dubey nabbed in MP town        NIA to probe gold smuggling case, ex-Consulate woman employee moves HC for anticipatory bail        Kerala reports biggest daily spike of 339 infections,COVID-19 tally crosses 6,500 mark        Holder wins early battle with Stokes as Windies take control        Ganguly announces cancellation of Asia Cup in September        We have asked every state to adopt one sport: Rijiju        Rupee slips 9 paise to 75.02 against USD        ICICI Bank to raise up to Rs 15,000 crore to bolster capital base        Trump threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen        Pak PM urges world community to share info on COVID-19 strategies as tally rises to 239,225        Enhancing global cooperation need of the hour to effectively tackle COVID-19: Prez        Kanpur encounter: 2 policemen held for 'tipping off' gangster Vikas Dubey about police action        CBSE should explain rationale behind dropping certain chapters from curriculum: Sisodia        301 test positive in Kerala,COVID-19 tally crosses 6,000 mark        Dhoni turns 39, wishes pour in from all corners        New era for cricket as England-West Indies series begins        India''s COVID-19 tally, fatality rate per million population lowest in world: Govt        Rahul asks why no mention of Galwan Valley in MEA statement on talks        
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Sports News
Messi takes leadership in his stride to clinch sixth Ballon d'Or
 
Madrid: Lionel Messi won a record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday after another sublime year for the Argentinian, whose familiar brilliance remained undimmed even through difficult times for club and country.

Despite Barcelona's collapse at the end of last season and Argentina losing to Brazil in the semi-finals of the Copa America, Messi's genius was ever-present in 2019, for which he now stands alone in the history of the game's most prestigious individual prize.

Four years after his last Ballon d'Or, Messi pulled clear of the five next to the name of Cristiano Ronaldo, and now owns twice as many as Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten.

In 54 appearances this year, Messi has managed an astonishing 46 goals and 17 assists while for Barca alone he hit 41 goals and 15 assists in 44 matches, which included seven doubles and three hat-tricks.

"It's like he is extra-terrestrial," said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde in March.

"Every time he gets the ball something extraordinary seems to happen."

Messi's first season as club captain brought a third consecutive La Liga title and he scored the winner in the game that clinched it, a 1-0 victory over Levante.

He also claimed his sixth Pichichi Trophy as the division's top scorer, with 36 goals in 34 matches.

But Barcelona unravelled as their 3-0 advantage over Liverpool -- to which Messi contributed a brace -- went up in smoke at Anfield and the club crashed out in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

They were then beaten by Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey, when Messi's tap-in proved a consolation, but it was his voice that spoke loudest in defence of coach Valverde, whose survival owed much to the support of his captain.

Messi had led the way on the pitch too, particularly during the run-in when he scored 16 goals in 12 games as Barcelona put together a relentless winning streak.

"This league has one person's name on it," wrote Diario Sport.

- 50th career hat-trick -

=========================

He scored his 50th career hat-trick in a 4-2 win at Sevilla and in April, another hat-trick began with a free-kick into the top corner and ended with a sweeping chip from the edge of the area that was so good even the Real Betis fans felt compelled to applaud.

When asked about their reaction, Messi said: "To be honest I don't remember anything like that."

His goal was nominated in the FIFA Puskas Award's 10-long shortlist.

"I have not seen any player like Messi in the history of football," said Betis coach Quique Setien.

"His goal was something you do playing Playstation."

After finishing the Champions League as top scorer with 12 goals and collecting his sixth Golden Shoe for a record third consecutive year, Messi joined up with Argentina for the Copa America, a tournament that kickstarted a frustrating three months for the 32-year-old.

Messi was sent off against Chile in the third-place play-off and his comments about the refereeing drew him a three-month suspension from international football.

A return to Barcelona should have offered some respite but Messi suffered a calf injury on the first day of pre-season before a thigh strain meant he would not begin playing regularly again until October.

Yet he made up for lost time by scoring six goals in five games and then a hat-trick against Celta Vigo, this time a treble made up of set-pieces, two from free-kicks and one a penalty.

It was his 34th hat-trick in La Liga, equalling Ronaldo's record in the Spanish top flight.

Free-kicks have become an increasingly potent weapon for Messi and his improvement is more evidence of a player still adding to his skill-set in what can be assumed will be his twilight years.

"It's clear that when games are close we have the advantage of having the best player in the world and the best free-kick taker in the world," said Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Another milestone came at the end of November when his goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund coincided with his 700th appearance for Barcelona. On Sunday, he scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona insist they have plans for coping with Messi's dreaded retirement but the truth is their number 10 will be irreplaceable.

He has unfulfilled ambitions too, including another Champions League crown, not to mention an elusive major trophy with Argentina. Despite it all, Messi is not finished yet.


Holder wins early battle with Stokes as Windies take control
Ganguly announces cancellation of Asia Cup in September
We have asked every state to adopt one sport: Rijiju
Dhoni turns 39, wishes pour in from all corners
New era for cricket as England-West Indies series begins
New Zealand offers to host IPL after UAE and Sri Lanka: BCCI Official By Bharat Sharma
Stokes is a bit like Kohli, he will turn out to be an excellent captain: Hussain
Having Warner in team is like having Floyd Mayweather: Justin Langer
Forgot count of how many team meetings were held to discuss Tendulkar: Hussain
We stay clear of engagement with Kohli as it brings out the best in him: Hazlewood
There was environment of fear in Pakistan team during 2019 WC: Inzamam
Liverpool thrashed 4-0 by Man City in 1st game as champions
Younis once held a knife to my throat when I offered him advice: Flower
Swiss soccer player positive after Serbia visit
Messi scores 700th goal, Barcelona held 2-2 by Atl tico
Baseball's minor leagues cancel 2020 seasons
Wisden name Ravindra Jadeja as India?s ''Most Valuable Test Player'' of 21st century
Six Pak players, including Hafeez, test negative for COVID-19; to join squad in England
India''s Nitin Menon becomes youngest umpire to enter ICC Elite Panel
Ian Botham claims had COVID-19 in Jan, but mistook it for ''bad flu''
KERALA NEWS
Kerala reports biggest daily spike of 339 infections,COVID-19 tally crosses 6,500 mark
 Thiruvananthapuram: With COVID19 cases continuing to spiral, Kerala on Thursday recorded the biggest  
Kerala reports 272 fresh cases; 68 infected through contact
Will take appropriate decision at appropriate time:Jose K Mani
Kerala reports 131 new COVID cases, 75 recoveries, 2,112 patients under treatment
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Missing Mayor found dead in north Seoul
 Seoul: The Mayor of this South Korean capital was found dead at Bugaksan mountain here on Thursday,
Heavy rain hits scenic central Japan, more damage in south
Trump threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen
Pak PM urges world community to share info on COVID-19 strategies as tally rises to 239,225
NATIONAL NEWS
Bikru bloodbath mastermind Vikas Dubey nabbed in MP town
 Ujjain: History-sheeter Vikas Dubey ? the prime accused for whom Uttar Pradesh Police had launched a
Enhancing global cooperation need of the hour to effectively tackle COVID-19: Prez
Kanpur encounter: 2 policemen held for 'tipping off' gangster Vikas Dubey about police action
CBSE should explain rationale behind dropping certain chapters from curriculum: Sisodia
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