Messi maturing with age as he picks up fourth Golden Shoe

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi poses with his four Golden Shoe awards after receiving the 2017 European Golden Shoe honoring the year’s leading goalscorer during a ceremony at the Antigua Fabrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona on November 24, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 24 November 2017
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Messi maturing with age as he picks up fourth Golden Shoe

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi insisted he was getting better with age after receiving the European Golden Shoe award for the fourth time on Friday.
The 30-year-old Argentine won the prize for being the top scorer in Europe’s leading leagues last season after netting 37 times for Barcelona.
“I have always said that I don’t consider myself to be a striker, but I have been lucky enough to always score goals and win individual prizes,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said after being handed the trophy at a ceremony in Barcelona.
“As I have progressed off the field, I think I have also done so on the pitch.
“I have improved and added things to my game and I enjoy myself more and more every day as a player.”
Messi won the trophy ahead of Bas Dost, who scored 34 goals for Sporting Lisbon last season, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, on target 31 times for Borussia Dortmund.
Previously the winner in 2010, 2012 and 2013, Messi equals Cristiano Ronaldo in claiming a fourth Golden Shoe. The Real Madrid superstar was the winner in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Messi succeeds his Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez, the 2016 winner who handed over the trophy on Friday.
Messi is on top of the scorers’ charts in La Liga again this season, with 12 goals in 12 games.


France overpower Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup final

Updated 15 July 2018
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France overpower Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup final

  • France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium
  • Croatia fought hard for an hour but gradually ran out of steam after playing extra time in their three previous matches

MOSCOW: France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday to lift the trophy for the second time in 20 years.
The French, playing their third World Cup final, were made to sweat initially and were lucky to go ahead when Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic headed an Antoine Griezmann free kick into his own net in the 18th minute, the first own goal in a World Cup final.
Ivan Perisic levelled with a powerful shot 10 minutes later but the Croatia midfielder was then penalized for handball following a VAR review and Griezmann stepped up coolly to convert the 38th-minute penalty and put France 2-1 up.
Croatia fought hard for an hour but gradually ran out of steam after playing extra time in their three previous matches, and goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe gave France a three-goal cushion.
Mandzukic pounced on a mistake by France keeper Hugo Lloris to cut the deficit in the 69th minute, making it the highest-scoring final over 90 minutes in 60 years, but Croatia could not find the net again in their first World Cup final.