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I nearly left Barca in 2014, Lionel Messi reveals

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Messi

Barcelona’s Argentina forward, Lionel Messi, has admitted he nearly left the club when he was under investigation from the Spanish tax authorities.

The 32-year-old, however, insists now he intends to finish his career at the club.

In an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1, Messi also said he had expected Neymar to sign for Real Madrid last summer after Barca failed to strike an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty of defrauding Spain of 4.1 million euros in taxes between 2007 and 2009, for which they paid close to 10 million euros and Messi was handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence.

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Asked on Tuesday night if he had ever wanted to leave Barcelona, Messi said:

“In 2013-14, when I started having the tax problems, it was very difficult for me and my family.”

“My children were young and we had a very bad time. At that time, I had it in mind to leave, not because I wanted to leave Barca but because I wanted to leave Spain. I felt mistreated and I didn’t want to be here anymore.”

The 32-year-old’s current contract expires in 2021 and Messi believes extending his deal “will not be a problem”.

“Today it is clearer that my idea is to finish here,” Messi said.

“For now I am at the club, for what I feel, and for the family and the children and how settled we are in this city. I would not like to disrupt that.

“Of course anything can happen but in principle, the idea is to stay here.”

Messi began playing football aged six for Newell’s Old Boys, the Rosario club he supports in Argentina.

“I always dreamed of being able to play again for Newell’s and to have the experience of playing football in Argentina,” he said.

“But I have already told them that sometimes you have to think about what is best for your family.”

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Ancelotti opens up on injured Iwobi

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Carlo Ancelotti reportedly said he took Alex Iwobi off in Monday’s EPL clash against Leicester City as the Everton midfielder picked up a hamstring problem.

Iwobi was withdrawn at half-time, with youngster Anthony Gordon coming on to take his place.

The Nigerian had been quiet in the first 45 minutes but part of the reason for that may have been as he picked up an injury.

“I wanted to use some fresh legs for the game,” Ancelotti told Sky sports. “Iwobi had a little problem on his hamstring so I took him out and after that I put on fresh players for the end of the game.

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Usain Bolt introduces his daughter to the world in new adorable photos

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Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt has introduced his daughter to the world by sharing the first photos of the newborn as well as announcing her name.

The retired Olympic athlete welcomed his baby girl with longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett in May, and the couple have quietly enjoyed their bundle of joy over the past several weeks.

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In celebration of Kasi’s birthday, the pair decided to give the world its first glimpse of their daughter while revealing they have named her Olympia Lightning Bolt.

33-year-old Usain wrote in an Instagram post:

“I want to wish my gf @kasi.b a happy birthday and To let u know I am happy I get to spend ur special day with u. I want nothing but happiness for u and will continue to doing my best keeping a smile on ur face. ‘Now we have started a new chapter together with our daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt I look forward to what the future will bring for us but be reassured that I will be the ROCK for this family [sic].’ He added: ‘I Love you and happy 21th birthday.”

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Etebo doubtful for Villarreal clash

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Oghenekaro Etebo is in line to feature for Getafe in Wednesday’s LaLiga home fixture against Villarreal following his recent injury troubles.

Etebo has missed Getafe’s last two league games against Real Madrid and Osasuna due to muscle injury.

The 24-year-old last appearance for the Azulones came in the 2-1 home win against Real Sociedad late last month.

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The Nigeria international took the place of Cameroon’s Allan Nyom in the 68th minute of the encounter.

“Cabaco and Etebo are better off with their injuries. Tomorrow we will decide if they are ready to play the game,” Getafe manager Jose Bordalas told a news conference on Tuesday.

The combative who joined Getafe on loan in January has scored once in 10 league appearances since making the switch.

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Getafe, who occupies the sixth position in the table with 53 points from 34 matches must win the game to boost their chances of playing in Europe next season.

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