With Lionel Messi turning 30 on Saturday, Michael Hincks looks at 30 incredible stats to celebrate the Barcelona and Argentina forward.
The number 30
As Messi turns 30, it’s only apt we start with that very number, which can be traced back to his Barcelona debut on October 16, 2004.
Messi’s shirt bore said digits as he came on to make his first appearance for the senior side with eight minutes to go in a La Liga match at city rivals Espanyol.
Deco off, Messi on
The man Messi replaced to make his Barcelona debut was former Portugal international Deco, who was a player at the top of his game in 2004, having joined Barca after winning the Champions League with Porto and helping Portugal to the final of the Euros.
May 1, 2005
Seven and a half months after making his debut, Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona in a Liga match against Albacete at the Nou Camp – he became the youngest player to do so for the club in a league game (since beaten by Bojan Krkic).
The goal was every bit as sublime as we would come to expect as he effortlessly chipped the ball over the ‘keeper following Ronaldinho’s scooped assist.
Messi mounted the shoulders of his Brazilian team-mate in celebration – the Nou Camp knew they had a star in the making.
Gone in 90 seconds
Aged 18, Messi made his international debut in August 2005. It lasted 90 seconds. “It was not like I had dreamed it would be,” he said, somewhat unsurprisingly, after the game.
Having received the ball for the first time after coming on in the second half against Hungary, Messi was fouled by Vilmos Vanczak and immediately retaliated, earning himself a straight red card.
It remains the only time Messi has seen red for club or country.
Messi’s trophy room (no cabinet would be big enough) even features an Olympic medal, after Argentina battled to gold at Beijing 2008. Messi netted twice in the tournament, while it was Angel Di Maria who scored the only goal in their gold-medal game against Nigeria.
60-year-old record – broken
Messi’s brilliance means many of Barcelona’s past legends have been displaced in record books.
In March 2012, the Argentine broke their 60-year-old goalscoring record held by Cesar Rodriguez, who played in the 1940s and 1950s, when netting his 233rd goal for Barcelona in a 5-3 win over La Liga rivals Granada.
Guinness World Record
2012 proved to be some year for Messi in terms of individual records. His tally of 91 calendar goals saw him topple the long-standing world record of 85, held by Gerd Muller.
Muller, who set the benchmark in 1972, told Sport1.de: “My record stood for 40 years – 85 goals in 60 games – and now the best player in the world has broken it, and I’m delighted for him. He is an incredible player, gigantic.”
King of the world, five times
How could we ignore Messi’s five Ballon d’Or awards? The Argentine took home the crown from 2009 till 2012 and once again in 2015.
Every World XI since ’07
Messi has featured in every FIFA FIFPro World XI team since 2007 – that first side saw him feature alongside the likes of John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Didier Drogba, while the most recent XI contained team-mates Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo – who has also been ever-present since 2007.
One trophy-less season
Messi’s only trophy-less season with Barcelona came in 2007/08. The club finished third in La Liga, while they were knocked out of the semis in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
A trophy-less 2007/08 was followed by a fruitful 2008/09 campaign, with Barcelona becoming the first Spanish side to claim La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League glory in one season. Messi netted 38 times that season, while he went on to score 58 goals when they repeated the feat in 2014/15 – in what was Luis Enrique’s first of three seasons in charge at the Nou Camp.
30 trophies and counting
To date, Messi has won 30 trophies with Barcelona. Iniesta joins him on that number having played for the senior side since 2002.
Four final losses with Argentina
For all of Messi’s success with Barcelona, many have noted his failure at international level when it comes to major tournaments. The only cloud hanging over Messi’s legacy is that he has failed to lift a trophy with his country, having tasted defeat in one World Cup final (2014) and three Copa America finals (2007, 2015, 2016).
One international U-turn (and presidential plea)
The last of those final losses came against Chile in the 2016 Copa America. It all got too much for Messi, who retired from international duty afterwards, having missed a penalty in the decisive shootout.
The announcement caused a hullabaloo in Argentina. President Mauricio Macri even called Messi – whom he dubbed a “gift from God” – urging him to reconsider. Messi reversed his decision just a month later.
One global brand
Messi has appeared on the front cover of both Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA video games, while he also featured in adverts for Adidas, Pepsi and Turkish Airlines – to name but three. The endorsements mean Messi has featured prominently in Forbes’ annual list of the highest-paid athletes – most recently coming fourth in 2017, having earned $53m (£41.5m) in salary/winnings and a further $27m (£21m) from sponsorship.
565 in 701
Back to football. The second half of our stat-pack will marvel at Messi’s goalscoring record – which stands at 565 goals in 701 games for club and country. 507 of those have come for the Catalan giants from 583 appearances, while his international record reads as 58 goals in 118 games.
Now let’s break down that tally of 565…
50-up in 2011/12
Messi became the first player ever to score 50 La Liga goals in one season, back in 2011/12.
However, he was powerless to prevent Real from storming to the title that year, with Jose Mourinho’s side finishing nine points clear of their great rivals.
Messi’s most fruitful season came at a ratio of 1.217 goals per game in 2011/12.
On top of his 50 league goals, he netted in the Champions League, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to take this overall tally to 73 goals in 60 games – an all-time record across the major European leagues.
349 La Liga goals, and counting
No player has more La Liga goals than Messi. He broke Telmo Zarra’s all-time record when notching his 252nd goal against Sevilla in 2015.
Now on 349, Messi is 64 goals clear of Ronaldo (285), who moved to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009.
Messi has scored 74 times from the spot for club and country and missed 20. That means 13.1% of his career goals have been penalties. It also makes for a 77.5% conversion rate from 12 yards out.
82% with his left
Messi’s left peg has tucked away 462 goals throughout his career – 82% of his total strikes. Meanwhile, 77 goals have come from his right foot, 24 with his head – two have gone down as ‘other’.
One ‘Hand of God’
One of Messi’s goals which falls in the ‘other’ category is his controversial handball goal against Espanyol in 2007. Many had started to compare Messi with Diego Maradona in terms of quality, but the fact that he emulated the legendary Argentine – whose famous ‘Hand of God’ steered Argentina past England at the 1986 World Cup – proved he could be just as deceitful.
Simply the chest
The second goal to fall under ‘other’ is Messi’s chested goal against Estudiantes in the 2009 Club World Cup final. Barcelona won 2-1 thanks to his improvised winner in the 110th minute – that was also the only goal Messi has scored in extra time.
The late show
Messi has scored 141 goals from the 76th minute up to full-time. Here’s a look at that injury-time winner from El Clasico earlier this year…
88 outside the box
No stranger to a screamer, Messi has netted 88 of his 565 goals from outside the box, meaning 477 have come from inside the penalty area.
40+ since 2008/09
For club and country, Messi has scored more than 40 goals every season since the 2008/09 campaign. He’s showing no sign of slowing down, with his most recent tally of 57 ranking as his joint-fourth best season in front of goal.
The tormentor of Sevilla
Messi has scored more than 20 goals against six different Spanish opponents, but no side have let in more than Sevilla. At a rate of 0.97 goals per game, Messi has found the net 29 times against Sevilla – six more than he has achieved against Real.
4 x 4
Messi has scored four goals in a game on four occasions. Three of those times came in La Liga, against Valencia (Feb 2012), Espanyol (May 2012) and Osasuna (Jan 2013), while he also achieved the feat against Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final second leg back in 2010.
Messi became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League game when Barcelona humiliated Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 in the last-16 second leg, back in 2012.
“His class is just extraordinary, there’s no discussion,” said Leverkusen boss Robin Dutt at the time. “Without Messi, Barca are the best team and with him, they are in another galaxy.”
Two pairs of Golden Shoes
Messi’s 37-goal haul in the league this season saw him claim the European Golden Shoe for a fourth time, having done so in 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2012/13. That equals Ronaldo’s feat, while Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid 2008/09) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool 2013/14, Barcelona 2015/16) are the only two players to have also taken home the Golden Shoe in the past decade.
The controversies surrounding Etisalat Nigeria’s indebtedness to a consortium of 13 banks deepened on Thursday with the telecoms firm insisting that it had repaid about 42 per cent of the $1.2bn loan, while some of the banks involved in the transaction maintained that it had “only paid $58.9m.”
Sources privy to the series of meetings between Etisalat and the banks, said that the $58.9m was just 10 per cent of the total sum owed the consortium by the telecommunications company.
“As of today, we can categorically state that the outstanding loan sum to the consortium stands at $227m and N113bn, a total of about $574m if the naira portion is converted to US dollars. This, in essence, means almost half of the original loan of $1.2bn has been repaid. Etisalat continued to service the loan up until February 2017, when discussions with the banks regarding the repayment restructuring commenced.”
One of the bank officials said, “Etisalat has over $600m debt due to creditors, distributors and vendors like Huawei Technologies and IHS.
“Rather than map out a plan to pay the 90 per cent that is remaining of its debt to the consortium of banks, it asked the banks to stand still and write it off as a bad debt after it paid $58.9m.”
However, Dikko told one of our correspondents that the firm had paid about $574m, which was known to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the regulator of the telecoms industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission, adding, “That’s the figure we have in our books and which we reported to the regulators.”
However, the bank officials dismissed reports that the lenders had taken over the running of Etisalat operations.
One of the sources explained, “That can’t be true, because there is no legal takeover, neither has there been any operational takeover.
“For you to legally take over a company, you have to go through the courts and the Corporate Affairs Commission; and for you to take over operationally, there has to be a change of management structure. But none of these has happened.
“The banks, at the last meeting with the Etisalat management, made it clear that they were not interested in taking over Etisalat and they would never be interested. What they want is nothing but their money in full and the full interest charges.”
The officials also stated that the banks had been fair to the telecoms company by making the payment plan flexible.
“They reduced the debt burden by between 20 and 30 per cent. The banks also agreed that they would ask for discounted rate on the interest rate by six per cent, to cushion the effect. They banks also asked them to pay over an eight-year period,” the source added.
Dikko also denied reports that the management of Etisalat Nigeria was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission following a petition to “the Federal Government asking that Etisalat be investigated” on how the funds from the syndicated loans were utilised.
He stated, “Etisalat wishes to categorically affirm, for the avoidance of doubt, that the reports are patently false and most unfortunate considering the damage such misleading information can have not only on our business, but indeed on the telecommunications industry and the country as a whole.
“Concerned parties have access to our books and do not require an investigation into how the loan sum was utilised. All of the infrastructure investment and services for which the loan was secured were paid through our banks and these are verifiable.
“It will be recalled that the $1.2bn loan, a medium-term seven-year facility, was obtained by Etisalat Nigeria for the purpose of expanding its network and improving the quality of service on its network. The economic downturn of 2015 and sharp devaluations of the naira negatively impacted on the dollar-denominated loan by driving up the loan value, thus prompting Etisalat to request a loan restructuring from the consortium of banks.”
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has finally offset its indebtedness of N450bn to the Federation Account.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, confirmed the development at a media briefing shortly after the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The corporation had failed to remit the money despite persistent pressure mounted by the then Chairman of FAAC and former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola.
While the NNPC had claimed that it was insolvent, and as such, did not have the resources to settle the debt, Babalola had maintained that the fund must be remitted.
The wrangling led to the redeployment of the minister to the Ministry of Special Duties, a development that led to his resignation in 2011.
However, after much pressure by state governors, the corporation agreed to a monthly repayment plan of N6.33bn from September 2011.
Speaking after this month’s FAAC meeting held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja, Dutse said, “As regards the NNPC repayment, the figure is zero because the NNPC has finished making the payment that they are supposed to make.”
He said the committee shared the sum of N462.4bn among the three tiers of government as statutory allocation for the month of May.
The amount was N46.6bn higher than what was shared in April.
Dutse said, “The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N317.6bn. There is also a proposed distribution of N64.8bn, being the exchange rate differentials.
“Therefore, the total revenue distributable for the current month, including Value Added Tax of N79.9bn, is N462.3bn.”
He added that the government generated N159.9bn as minerals revenue, which was a reduction of N17.7bn from the N177.7bn generated in April.
The permanent secretary added that after deducting the cost of collection for the revenue generating agencies, the Federal Government got N147.7bn; the states, N74.9bn; and local government councils, N57.8bn.
In addition, he said the sum of N20.5bn was given to the oil producing states based on the 13 per cent derivation principle.
On the balance in the Excess Crude Account, Dutse stated that it currently stood at $2.303bn.
After several tumultuous months that culminated in a shareholder revolt, Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of the ride-hailing giant Uber.
Kalanick, who helped found Uber in 2009 and established it as Silicon Valley’s highest flying start-up, will stay on Uber’s board of directors, a company official confirmed. He was asked to resign in a letter from five major shareholders.
The resignation comes after a series of bruising scandals that arose from the company’s famously hard-charging workplace culture, which many say is a reflection of Kalanick himself.
The controversies include a slew of executive departures and sexual harassment allegations that have raised concerns about the company’s ability to recruit female talent. In addition, the company has come under fire for using tactics to evade law enforcement and it is facing off against Google in a major trade secrets lawsuit.
The company also admitted to short-changing New York City drivers of tens of millions of dollars in pay over the last two and a half years.
Kalanick is also facing a personal tragedy: His mother died suddenly in a boating accident in May.
In a statement published by the New York Times, which first reported the resignation, Kalanick said: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”
The surprise resignation comes a week after Kalanick agreed to take an indefinite leave of absence, a move the board stressed was the chief executive’s choice. That week, Emil Michael, the company’s senior vice president and a close Kalanick ally, was also pressured to leave.
The exit also comes amid the company’s search for a chief operating officer, a second in command who could take the reins from Kalanick. The COO role is one of many executive positions that remain unfilled, leaving questions about who will run Uber in Kalanick’s absence.
At least 14 other top executives have also left Uber this year, including its head of communications, Rachel Whetsone, and its senior vice president of engineering, Amit Singhal. The company, valued by investors at $69 billion, also does not have a chief financial officer.
While Uber has been embroiled in controversy over the last eight years — the company has been taken to task time and again for its treatment of drivers and its battles with rivals and regulators — the controversies entered a new phase early this year, with a viral blog post written by a former female Uber engineer named Susan Fowler.
Fowler described a workplace where lines were regularly crossed and boorish behavior was tolerated. She said her boss propositioned her on her first day at work. When she complained to the company’s human resources department, she wrote, the incident was played down, and she was encouraged to switch departments. In another incident, she alleged that all of the team’s male engineers were given leather jackets as a company perk, but the female engineers were not because there were too few of them to qualify for a bulk discount.
Until now, Uber’s aggressive culture was celebrated and emulated across Silicon Valley, while its excesses were largely dismissed as the cost of “disrupting” the hyper-competitive transportation industry. The term disruption itself, emblematic of a Silicon Valley firm that uses digital chops and a fast-moving, rule-breaking approach to challenge entrenched industries has become synonymous with Uber.
Creedit Washington Post
Etisalat Nigeria is now set to change its ownership structure after talks with banks to restructure its $1.2bn loan failed.
In a statement on Tuesday, Etisalat Nigeria confirmed the development and said it had commenced the restructuring with changes to its shareholding.
The statement, signed by the Vice-President, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, did not give details of the new shareholding structure and the likely trading name.
Dikko said discussions were still ongoing regarding other issues such as the trading name during the transition phase.
Etisalat Group, the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria, on Tuesday announced the changes to Etisalat Nigeria’s shareholding in a letter filed to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
UAE’s Etisalat (Etisalat Group), with a 45 per cent stake in the Nigerian arm, also said it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee byJune 23, after negotiations failed, Reuters reported.
It added it was carrying the stake at nil value.
The Emerging Markets Telecommunication Services Limited, also known as Etisalat Nigeria, has up to June 23, 2017 to complete the transfer of 100 per cent of the company’s shares in Etisalat Nigeria to the United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal representative of the consortium of 13 banks.
Dikko said the management was continuing to run the business after the shareholding changes and that there were contractual and regulator issues to be finalised.
The Nigerian industry regulators had tried to prevent lenders placing the telecom firm into receivership to avoid a wider debt crisis and agreed with banks to pursue a default deal.
But banks, under pressure to avoid loan-loss provisions, have been pushing to finalise restructuring before half-yearly audits this month.
A consortium of banks, led by Access Bank PLC and other Nigerian and foreign banks, has taken over the management of Etisalat Nigeria, effective June 15.
The takeover followed the collapse of the effort by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services, EMTS, promoted by-one time Chairman, United Bank for Africa, UBA, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, to reach agreement with the banks on debt restructuring plan in the protracted $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) debt impasse.
However, EMTS Holding BV, established in the Netherlands, has up to June 23 to complete the transfer of 100 percent of the company’s shares in Etisalat to the United Capital Trustees Limited, the legal representative of the consortium of banks.
Etisalat Group, the parent company of Etisalat Nigeria, announced the takeover on Tuesday in a filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.
The filing, with reference number Ho/GCFO/152/85, and dated June 20, 2017 signed by Etisalat Group Chief Financial Officber, Serkan Okandan, said efforts by EMTS to restructure the repayment of the syndicated loan by a consortium of banks to Etisalat Nigeria collapsed.
“Further to our announcement dated 12 February, 2017, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC, “Etisalat Group” would like to inform you that Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited “EMTS” (“the company), established in Nigeria and an associate of Etisalat Group with effective ownership of 45% and 25% ordinary and preference shares respectively, defaulted on a facility agreement with a syndicate of Nigerian banks (“EMTS Lenders”).
“Subsequently, discussions between EMTS and the EMTS Lenders did not produce an agreement on a debt restructuring plan.
“Accordingly, the Company received a default and security Enforcement Notice on 9 June 2017 requesting EMTS Holding BV (EMTS BV) established in the Netherlands, and through which Etisalat Group holds its interest in the company) requiring EMTS BV to transfer 100% of its shares in the company to the United Capital Trustees Limited (the Security Trustee”) of the EMTS Lenders by 15 June 2017.
“Subsequently the EMTS Lenders extended the deadline for the share transfer to 5.00 pm Lagos time on 23 June 2017,” the filing said.
Etisalat has been under pressure since 2016, following the demand notice for the recovery of a $1.72 billion (about N541.8 billion) loan facility it obtained from a consortium of banks in 2015.
The loan, which involved a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was for the mobile telephone operator to finance a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.
Unable to meet its debt servicing obligations agreed since 2016, the consortium, prodded by their foreign partners, threatened to take over the company and its assets across the country.
But the intervention of the telecom sector regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and its financial sector counterpart, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, persuaded the banks to rethink their threat and give Etisalat a chance to renegotiate the loan’s repayment schedule.
Late last week, PREMIUM TIMES reported exclusively that Etisalat was sinking deeper into trouble, with Mubadala, its majority shareholder, representing Etisalat of UAE, on the verge of pulling out following irreconcilable differences concerning the loan issue.
The list of the lenders include:
1. Zenith Bank
2. GT Bank
3. First Bank
5. Fidelity Bank
6. Access Bank,
9. Stanbic IBTC Bank and
10. Union Bank.
Mr. Hopkins, who worked for M15 for 38 years as an operative, claims he was often used as an hitman by the agency, to discreetly assassinate individuals considered a threat to the domestic security of the United Kingdom.
Trained as both a mechanical engineer and munitions expert, Mr. Hopkins claims he also has extensive experience of less conventional methods of inflicting death and destruction, including chemicals and poisons.
The 80-year-old British man claims he was involved with MI5 assassinations between June 1973 and December 1999, during a period he says “the MI5 operated with less external oversight.” Hopkins says he was part of a cell of seven operatives who were trusted to carry out political assassinations across the UK. Most victims were politicians, activists, journalists and union leaders.
Diana’s death. On the one hand, Diana was “a beautiful, kind-hearted woman” who did not deserve to have her life cut short. But according to Mr. Hopkins, she was also placing the British Crown at risk:
He claims to feel “ambivalent” about Princess Diana’s death. On the one hand, Diana was “a beautiful, kind-hearted woman” who did not deserve to have her life cut short. But according to Mr. Hopkins, she was also placing the British Crown at risk:
“She knew too many Royal secrets. She had a huge grudge and she was going to go public with all sorts of wild claims. My boss told me she had to die – he’d received orders directly from Prince Phillios – and we had to make it look like an accident. I’d never killed a woman before, much less a princess, but I obeyed orders. I did it for Queen and country.”
The next stage of the high-level conspiracy involved the media, under tight Palace control, talking to each other to “square their stories, make sure everybody was on the same page. It was a well run operation.”
“British journalists all answer to editors who answer to oligarchs who all want knighthoods from the crime family at Buckingham Palace. There is no free press in Britain,” said Mr. Hopkins.
“We got away with murder.”
The 80-year-old, spending his final weeks at home, said he expects to be taken into custody following his admissions, but says “I can’t say that I care an awful lot.” Hopkins explained that any investigation into the affair would “take forever” and be “very complicated” because there are few written records around secret MI5 activities and “most of my colleagues are already dead“.
The most important witness in the case, Mr. Hopkin’s boss, died of a heart attack in “the early 2000s” and the alleged ringleader, Prince Philip, “will never be charged with anything, of course“
[d by a psychiatrist I’m sure he’d be diagnosed a psychopath. He has all the dark triad traits.”
Asked why he didn’t refuse the job, or expose the plot at the time, he explained “MI5 agents swear allegiance to the Crown, we can’t be impartial when it comes to the Royal family. At best I would have been done for treason, at worst Philip would have designed a grisly fate for me.”
Credit Your news wire.com