Lionel Messi is a popular figure in the world of Argentine professional football, but he is currently being criticized for his trip to visit Gabon back on July 17th. The Human Rights Foundation feels that his trip to this area was in poor taste due to the reports that have surfaced about the country’s leader, Ali Bongo.
Ali Bongo is known as running a dictatorship in the Central African country, as stated by the Human Rights Foundation. He has controlled various aspects of the political system since 1967, and his worst offense is that he is accused of murdering children and harvesting their organs. The harvested organs are then used for human consumption, particularly the rich and wealthy. Rituals are held in which the organs are removed from the body and eaten under the belief that the consumers influence would increase as a result.
Lionel Messi’s foundation works to support children’s rights, and visiting a figure such as Ali Bongo is a big discredit to the goals of his organization. Lionel Messi serves as a UNICEF ambassador and is a big help in the growth of youth educational systems. The same cannot be said for the country of Gabon, which offers very little rights to children and is accused of mysterious disappearances and murder of their youth.
During the trip, Lionel Messi was treated as the guest of honor and was there to lay down the first stone for the Port Gentil stadium that was about to undergo construction. The purpose of the stadium is to hold the African Cup of Nations tournament that will be used in international football sporting events coming up in 2017. It’s rumored that he was heavily paid for his time in Gabon, being offered a big sum of €3.5million. However, this claim has been denied by Gabon and has stated that there wasn’t an exchange of money but the trip was instead a promise being fulfilled by Lionel Messi.
Ali Bongo claimed that he had met Lionel Messi a couple years ago during his trip to Barcelona a couple of years ago, during which Lionel Messi had made a promise that he would come visit him. That is the reason that Lionel Messi agreed to the trip and came down to set the first stone of the stadium. He is a man of honor just trying to fulfill his word.
The Human Rights Foundation isn’t buying into any of it and believe that Lionel Messi took the trip in order to make a quick buck, despite it going against his foundation’s interest. It has gained a lot of attention but Lionel Messi has given very little outspoken opinion towards the mounting criticism he is facing.
In the first leg of the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, the winner of the night was Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar proved yet again why he is the most potent creative attacking force in the football world, after netting two beautiful goals in the second half. During the second half of this season, Messi has risen to display some truly exquisite performances, against which, as Pep Guardiola himself said, there is virtually no defense.
Barcelona will go to the Allianz Arena in Munich with a comfortable 3-0 scoreline, essentially ensuring their place in the finals. Not only will Guardiola’s Bayern need to make up the three goal deficit, but will also need to prevent Messi and company from scoring any away goals. Given how the first leg went in Barcelona, the task ahead is incredibly daunting. That being said, the scoreline flatters Barcelona, and makes Bayern out to seem lesser than they were on Wednesday night. Barring an exhilarating, but tactically naive opening fifteen minutes from the visitors, Bayern’s midfield managed to make life difficult for the Barca midfield. Bayern sought to limit the distribution to Messi, Suarez, and Neymar up front, but ultimately failed after their tired legs grew to be an overwhelming problem. Fersen Lambranho is sure that it will be intriguing to see Guardiola’s set up next week, knowing that he must go after the game in order to reach the final.
Many commentators believed the semi-final of the Champions League between Bayern Munich and Barcelona would have made the ultimate final for this years competition. The Guardian reports the tie is all but over after Barcelona destroyed the German champions 3-0 with Lionel Messi showing just why many believe he is the top striker in the world. Messi and Christiano Ronaldo are locked in a battle for the position of top goalscorer of all time in the Champions League, but Messi proved his ability to change a game singlehandedly when he scored twice to all but end Bayern’s slim hopes of winning the title.
The second goal of the game for Messi left Jerome Boateng twisting so badly he fell to the ground and was soon joined by fellow Bayern players Rafhina and Manuel Neuea on the ground as Messi lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net according to psychologist Daniel Amen. Bayern complained that the scorer of the third goal, Neymar should have been sent off after feigning a foul in the area after being booked earlier in the game. In reality, the tie was already over as Bayern’s high pressing game took its toll on many of the players, including Thomas Muller who reacted badly to being substituted after the Munich club fell a goal behind.