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What about La Masia? Fans ask as Barcelona plans to sign Griezmann, De Ligt

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La Masia

Spanish football giant, Barcelona’s plan to splash millions of euros on top players to join the team in the next season has attracted criticisms from football fans across the world.

While the club has already signed Ajax player Frenkie de Jong, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and De Jong’s Ajax team-mates Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek could also end up at Camp Nou at a very huge wage bill and this is irking fans of the club.

Speculations became rife on Tuesday that French player Griezmann, who had announced he will leave Atletico at the end of the season, will be joining Barca for a record signing fee of  €120million when his release clause drops from €200m on July 1.

The fans, who took to social media on Wednesday to react to the news of the planned signing of the new players, are accussing the Catalan club of abandoning young players from its football academy La Masia and ‘wasting’ too much money on ‘old players’.

The La Masia academy is famous for producing youngsters who became world class players after graduating into senior teams.

Some of the fans specifically made reference to the days when the club banked on young talents from its academy who graduated into the senior team and performed excellently for the club winning several trophies.

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La Masia has been in operation since 1979 and has graduated numerous footballers into Barcelona’s first team.

Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola, his assistant Mikel Arteta, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro Rodriguez, Victor Valdes, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi are few among the footballers who started their football career as youngsters at La Masia and went on to become great players, playing for Barcelona and other top clubs across Europe.

In their reactions, some of the football fans claimed Barcelona won more trophies when the team had more players from the La Masia academy.

 

See some of the reactions:

 

 

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Holyfield will fight Mike Tyson but on one condition…

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Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has said he is open to facing one-time rival Mike Tyson in a trilogy fight for charity on the condition that Tyson asks for the bout to be set up.

Tyson, 53, fought two epic bouts with Holyfield, 57, during their professional careers, including their controversial 1997 encounter in which Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear.

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‘Iron Mike’ had released several training videos in recent weeks fuelling speculation he could be returning to the ring, while Holyfield announced his return for a charity bout on Instagram earlier this month.

“If I ask him it’s almost like me being a bully saying I want to go against somebody I’ve beaten twice,” Holyfield told the BBC.

“I don’t want pressure on me that ‘you just want to fight Mike because you know you can beat him’.

“If he hits me I’m going to hit back. I’m going to be 58, he’ll be 54, you talk about being in good health and doing things the proper way that respects it. I don’t have no problem with it.”

Tyson, the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, retired after a loss to Kevin McBride in 2005, while Holyfield called time on his career nine years later.

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If they do return, they will be following in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in coming out of retirement for an exhibition fight.

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BKFC to offer ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson N20m to come out of retirement

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For some reason, there are people out there who think it’s a good idea to fight Mike Tyson. And at least one challenger is ready to put his money where the former champ’s fist might wind up.

“I think I know what we need to do to make this thing happen,” Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president David Feldman told Bleacher Report, which reported that the organization is set to offer Mike Tyson more than $20 million to come out of retirement.

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The 53-year-old Brooklyn native hasn’t fought in 15 years, but video or recent workouts showing Iron Mike training with the power and speed that once made him the most exciting fighter on Earth has renewed interest in what Tyson might be able to do now.

Tyson concluded one of those videos by throwing a barrage of hooks and uppercuts and saying “I’m back.”

Tyson’s rep told the Daily News on May 12 that the former champ is staying in shape, but has no matches lined up.

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The 5-foot-10, 240-pound bruiser said during an interview with rapper TI last month he might lace up the gloves for a good cause. The folks at BKFC trying to bait Tyson reportedly said they plan to sweeten their eight-figure offer to Tyson with charitable donations.

A boxing insider tells The News there have been at least four offers from fighters looking to challenge Tyson. Evander Holyfield, who beat Tyson twice before, said he’d like to get a piece of the fighter who famously bit off his ear in 1997, according to Reuters.

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The 57-year-old Holyfield told the BBC Tyson would have to ask for that fight because otherwise, it may look like he’s bullying Iron Mike, who’s 0-2 against him.

Tyson’s spokeswoman said she had no knowledge of an offer from BKFC.

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Former Serbian footballer commits suicide

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Miljan Mrdakovic

38-year-old former Serbian footballer, Miljan Mrdakovic has died after reportedly shooting himself in the head.

Miljan Mrdakovic is said to have struggled with depression and anxiety.

Local media report that the retired Partizan Belgrade, Anderlecht, and Gent striker took his own life in his rented Belgrade apartment over the weekend after saying “I can’t take this anymore.”

His heartbroken partner and singer, Ivana Stanic, told the media:

“We had an ideal relationship, everything was great.

“But he had problems, he liked to drink and I think that, in addition to the problems he had with depression, is the main reason why he did it.

“After the end of his career, he struggled to cope because football meant everything to him.

“He started working as an agent, but it is a job where sometimes you have work and earnings, sometimes you don’t. He was depressed and anxious.

“The day before the suicide he drank a little too much and I felt like something bad could happen. I calmed him down, dragged him to bed and we talked all night.

“When we woke up, he started drinking. I froze when I saw a gun next to him. I cried and asked him to put it away and I called his mother to talk to him.

“I asked him to come with me and went to the bathroom to get dressed. Every now and then I looked at what he was doing and then suddenly I heard a shot. I ran away from the apartment and called the paramedics.”

Mrdakovic played for twenty clubs across 10 countries including Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Isreal. He also played nine matches with Serbia U21s and three times for Serbia at the 2008 Olympics.

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Former club Maccabi Tel Aviv posted a statement, reading:

“Maccabi Tel Aviv is saddened to learn of the passing of the club’s former Serbian striker, Miljan Mrdakovic, who died in tragic circumstances on Friday in his native Belgrade, aged 38.

“Mrdakovic played for Maccabi in the 2006-07 season under then-coach Eli Cohen, and as a 24-year-old he made an immediate impression when in the opening round of the season he scored a spectacular goal against Beitar Jerusalem as he beat three defenders in a solo run that began in his own half before unleashing a powerful shot from the edge of the area.

“That season was his only campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv in which he scored eight goals and set up four others in 29 appearances. After leaving Maccabi he moved to Portugal.”

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