American investor John Textor became the main shareholder of French soccer club Lyon on Tuesday and immediately targeted the dominance of Qatar-funded rival Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon last won the French title in 2008 and has struggled to compete as PSG spent lavishly to win Ligue 1 in eight of the past 10 seasons.
GENEVA (AP) — UEFA cleared its own executive committee member Nasser al-Khelaifi of any punishment on Friday despite finding his club Paris Saint-Germain guilty of misconduct for confrontations with match officials after losing in the Champions League.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Dani Alves is leaving Barcelona for a second time, five months after the veteran Brazil right back returned to the Spanish club he helped lead to 23 titles.
The 39-year-old Alves played for Barcelona from 2008-16, winning the Champions League three times and six Spanish leagues among other trophies.
PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored five goals for Argentina for the first time in a 5-0 rout of Estonia in a friendly match in Spain on Sunday, becoming the fourth-highest scorer for a national team in men's soccer.
LONDON (AP) — Energized at Wembley by Lionel Messi's assists, Argentina's players threw their superstar teammate in the air after he inspired them to a second title in a year.
National team success is finally coming for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, late in his trophy-filled club career.
LONDON (AP) — The name “FIFA” can bring to mind images of the World Cup and soccer’s greatest players, like Pele, Zinedine Zidane or Lionel Messi.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — It's been a long, long season for Barcelona.
Lionel Messi left in tears before it started. Ronald Koeman was soon fired. The team dropped out of the Champions League and into the Europa League, and then couldn’t even come close to winning it.
The heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. A future Ballon d’Or winner. The man to lead Manchester City to that elusive Champions League title.
Erling Haaland is being depicted as these things — and many more — now that the striker is seemingly on his way to the English Premier League champions in a blockbuster move.
PARIS (AP) — Boos at halftime were replaced by raucous cheering at fulltime when Paris Saint-Germain clinched a record-tying 10th French league title after drawing with Lens 1-1 on Saturday.
Lionel Messi, in his first season with PSG, controlled a pass from Neymar before curling home from the edge of the box in the 68th minute to pacify frustrated PSG supporters.
PARIS (AP) — At 34, Lionel Messi has reinvented himself.
He’s no longer the prolific speedy winger of his Barcelona glory days. The Argentina star has lost a bit of pace but compensates with his vision and technique to still have an impact on the game.
Barcelona's European campaign has gone from bad to worse in its first season post Lionel Messi.
First the Spanish powerhouse was eliminated from the lucrative Champions League, and now it has been knocked out of the second-tier Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt.
Barcelona failed to win an away match in the Europa League for the first time after it was held 1-1 by 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Ferran Torres salvaged the draw in the second-tier European competition with an equalizer following a series of fluent passes around the box in the 66th minute.
MADRID (AP) — With a statement win against Sevilla, Barcelona showed it wasn't giving up yet in the fight for the Spanish league.
Barcelona’s revamped team under coach Xavi Hernández kept its momentum and moved into second place for the first time this season after beating Sevilla 1-0 at home on Sunday.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil is about to overtake top spot in the FIFA rankings and Argentina hasn't lost a single match in 1,000 days.
It's clear the two South American soccer powers have more than just Neymar and Lionel Messi going for them as they head to the World Cup in Qatar hoping to end 20 years of European domination.
From clapping to smiling to singing, Cristiano Ronaldo took a few moments to celebrate with his Portugal teammates after qualifying for what would be his record-tying fifth World Cup.
The highest scorer in men’s international soccer has never won the sport’s biggest prize, but he will get another chance this year in Qatar.
BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Lionel Messi says he will reconsider his future in soccer later this year but said it's likely “many things will change" after the World Cup in November and December in Qatar.
Messi's comments came after Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 on Friday in the remaining match of the penultimate round of South American World Cup qualifying.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil coach Tite and his players are doing their best to boost Neymar's morale after the striker's recent struggles at Paris Saint-Germain, where he has been booed by his own fans.
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona’s losing run against Real Madrid finally ended Sunday as the Catalan club enjoyed a stunning 4-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and showed its title hopes in the Spanish league may not be over yet.
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain's French league match at Monaco after experiencing flu-like symptoms over the past couple of days, his club said.
Messi, who joined Paris Saint-Germain last summer, has been struggling throughout his first season in the French league.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The last time that Real Madrid played Barcelona in the Spanish league, it brushed aside a team struggling to find its way after being orphaned by Lionel Messi.
Madrid's 2-1 win in October ignited ugly scenes of furious Barcelona fans banging Ronald Koeman’s car as the beleaguered coach sped away from Camp Nou.
PARIS (AP) — Lens defender Jonathan Clauss and Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku received their first call-ups to France's national team on Thursday.
Clauss and Nkunku were included in France coach Didier Deschamps' 23-man list of players for upcoming friendly matches.
PARIS (AP) — Record-breakers Neymar and Lionel Messi felt the heat from Paris Saint-Germain's angry fans following another Champions League humiliation, getting whistled every time they touched the ball during a 3-0 home win against Bordeaux on Sunday.
PARIS (AP) — The Ballon d’Or will now be awarded based on performances over the course of a regular European season, rather than a calendar year, France Football magazine said Friday.
A reduction in the number of voters was among other changes announced, with the goal of streamlining the process.
Lionel Messi stood frozen, stunned in the Santiago Bernabéu.
His right hand was on his hip. His left hand was holding his head. His eyes were closed.
It looked like he wanted the field to swallow him up.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's squad for the two final rounds of South American World Cup qualifying shows coach Lionel Scaloni could be thinking about the future without Lionel Messi.
Franco and Valentín Carboni, Alejandro Garnacho, Nicolás Paz, Tiago Geralnik and Luka Romero are playing in youth divisions of European clubs, but they were summoned by Argentina on Monday.
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Sébastien Haller can add to his scoring run in the Champions League when Ajax plays at Portuguese club Benifca in the opening leg of their round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.
Haller became the first man to score 10 goals in his first six games in Europe’s top-tier competition as Ajax stormed through the group stage by winning all of its matches.
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona is back in the second tier of European soccer after nearly two decades contending among the elite in the Champions League, a blow to its prestige and a further hit to its dire financial situation.
PARIS (AP) — When Kylian Mbappe took center stage again for Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League this week, it must have been a rather strange feeling for Neymar.
Returning from his latest injury, the world’s most expensive player was among the admirers as Mbappe slalomed through Real Madrid's tiring defense for yet another last-gasp winner.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Thursday:
Barcelona makes its first appearance in the second-tier Europa League after nearly two decades playing alongside the top European clubs in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
PARIS (AP) — After teammate Lionel Messi missed a penalty, Kylian Mbappe saved his team again by scoring a brilliant solo goal deep into stoppage time as Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Tuesday:
Three of the competition's top teams are in action in the first games in the last 16. The headline match of the round is Paris Saint-Germain versus Real Madrid, which sees Lionel Messi go up against the team he caused so much pain in the Spanish league with Barcelona.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid is hoping Karim Benzema will be fit to play in next week’s highly anticipated clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
That tasty Champions League round-of-16 tie in Paris on Tuesday will pit Madrid against the team of former nemesis Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, the player many in Spain hope will become Madrid's next star.
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona CEO Ferran Reverter resigned on Tuesday amid the club's negotiations for a new sponsorship deal with Spotify.
Barcelona said Reverter informed club president Joan Laporta he had to leave “for personal and family reasons.”
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona's revamped attack will host an Atlético Madrid side seeking to restore its once vaunted defense on Sunday in the Spanish league at Camp Nou.
Struggling to score since the exits of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann last summer, Barcelona went shopping during the January transfer window and brought in three forwards from the English Premier League.
PARIS (AP) — Nice coach Christophe Galtier outwitted Paris Saint-Germain again as his side won a tense penalty shootout 6-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the French Cup following a 0-0 away draw.
Holder PSG's bid for a record-extending 15th trophy and an eighth straight final fell short at Parc des Princes against visiting Galtier's expertly organized side.
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona's list of disappointments this season got longer Thursday with a loss to Athletic Bilbao in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona lost 3-2 in extra time to add to recent failures in the Spanish Super Cup and the Champions League.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — This season was supposed to be Diego Simeone’s chance to firmly establish Atlético Madrid as Spain’s top team and cap his incredibly successful decade as its coach.
While Barcelona lost Lionel Messi and Real Madrid had to replace coach Zinedine Zidane, Atlético strengthened its championship squad with the return of Antoine Griezmann and the signing of attacking players Rodrigo de Paul and Matheus Cunha.
Robert Lewandowski was voted the best men’s player in the world on Monday, retaining the FIFA award he won last year despite being left off the ballot paper filed by runner-up Lionel Messi.
The Bayern Munich forward overturned the result last month of the Ballon d’Or prize where he placed second behind Messi, who finally led Argentina to a senior title at the 2021 Copa América.
MADRID (AP) — The last time Barcelona faced Real Madrid, the team was still coping with the departure of Lionel Messi and one of its worst financial crises ever.
Ronald Koeman was still at the helm, and the Catalan club struggled on and off the field.
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Sunday:
Runaway league leader Paris Saint-Germain will be without Lionel Messi and several other players who had the coronavirus for the trip to face Lyon.
ZURICH (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo was left off the three-man shortlist Friday for FIFA’s best player award for 2021, with Mohamed Salah on it instead.
Six-time FIFA award winner Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are also candidates to win the award on Jan.
Lionel Messi is isolating at home in Argentina after being among four Paris Saint-Germain players announced Sunday as testing positive for the coronavirus ahead of the team's return to playing after a brief winter break.
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi is looking like his old self again.
After adapting slowly to his new club and league, the Argentina great finally delivered a complete performance in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt this week.
MUNICH (AP) — Barcelona will not play in the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first time in 18 years after a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday ensured the Catalan club was eliminated from European soccer's premier competition.
A look at what’s happening in the Champions League on Wednesday:
Barcelona enters its match at already qualified Bayern Munich facing the possibility of not advancing to the knockout stage for the first time in 18 seasons, which would be a hard blow for the struggling Catalan club in its first season without Lionel Messi in nearly two decades.
PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi both scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain punished Brugge 4-1 in their final Champions League group game on Tuesday.
PSG had already qualified for the knockout phase of Europe’s elite club tournament but did not sit back at the Parc des Princes.
Three red cards, on-field brawls, countless chances and a flurry of late goals. A wild, win-or-bust match in the Champions League between Porto and Atletico Madrid had it all on Tuesday.
In the end, it was Atletico celebrating a place in the last 16 of Europe’s top club competition with a 3-1 win, emerging from a three-way fight for qualification in the final round of group games.
A look at what's at stake in the final round of Champions League matches in the group stage, with five last-16 places up for grabs and three group winners still to be determined:
PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi won the men's Ballon d'Or for a record-extending seventh time on Monday, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and earning his first major international trophy with Argentina.