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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar says Lionel Messi better as teammate than rival

Brazil striker Neymar said he prefers to be lined up alongside Lionel Messi rather than against him.

Brazil striker Neymar said he prefers to be lined up alongside Lionel Messi rather than against him, but "will do everything it takes to win" when the two meet as Brazil and Argentina face off in the third CONMEBOL 2018 World Cup qualifying fixture.

Five-time champions Brazil will open their World Cup qualifying campaign away against Copa America holders Chile, followed...

 By Ian Holyman

Lionel Messi dressed 'like he were going to a zoo' - Gabon political party

Luis Enrique admits he's not happy about the extent of Barcelona's travelling as they begin their tour of the United States, although he insists it's good to visit new places.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique says that the club's new signings will have to wait until January to play, because of Barca's transfer ban.
Lionel Messi meets Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba (right).

Gabon's political opposition have accused Lionel Messi of showing a "lack of respect for standards and principles" after the Barcelona star met the African nation's president wearing denim shorts and a T-shirt.

Messi, 28, jetted into Gabon earlier this week on the first leg of a five-day visit to Africa, and met President Ali Bongo Ondimba in relaxed clothing.

A statement from the Union du Peuple Gabonais (UPG) party read: "The messiah of football arrived in Gabon like he were going to a zoo: dirty,...

Brazil-Argentina friendly in San Francisco called off over FIFA scandal

David Luiz, right, and Sergio Aguero battle for the ball in last year's Superclassic friendly in Beijing.

SAO PAULO -- A friendly between Brazil and Argentina planned in the United States in September has been canceled as part of the fallout from the investigation into alleged corruption involving FIFA.

The head of the company handling logistics for the Argentine national team told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the match has been called off as the two Argentine businessmen who own Full Play, a sports marketing company which had rights for the friendly, remain under house arrest in Argentina after...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Argentina, Valencia great Pablo Aimar retires at age 35

Former Argentina and Valencia midfielder Pablo Aimar has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 35.

The veteran playmaker, who had been playing in his home country with River Plate, announced his plans after coach Marcelo Gallardo left him off the team's next Copa Libertadores match.

Aimar had seen action for River only twice this season due to chronic ankle problems. Valencia bid him farewell via Twitter, saying: "One of the players most admired by Valencia fans, Pablo...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Argentina must not 'coddle' Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona says

The ESPN FC crew react to Lionel Messi's inability to win silverware with Argentina, but Steve Nicol disagrees with the entire argument with the added pressure on Messi.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop responds to your tweets in response to his comments that Lionel Messi may not be the best ever if he does not win any silverware with Argentina.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop believes Lionel Messi looks nothing like his Barcelona self when he throws on the Argentina kit, but Steve Nicol explains Messi is only missing winning a final.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno explains Lionel Messi experiences immense scrutiny because he does not have a signature moment with Argentina yet.

Diego Maradona said it is time to stop coddling Lionel Messi after the Barcelona star finished Copa America with one goal in six games. 

"It's logical to fall, it is easy," Maradona told Argentine daily Ole. "We have the best player in the world, one who can go and score four goals on Real Sociedad and then he comes here and doesn't score at all. You would say, but man, are you Argentine or Swedish? We need to stop busting on the folks who say that we should baby Messi. Messi needs to be treated...