El Clasico will be played, says Barca president Bartomeu
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said on Thursday the El Clasico against Real Madrid next week will not be postponed again, amid renewed fears of unrest around the fixture. Protestors from the Catalan separatist movement, Democratic Tsunami, have called for a 'massive' protest outside Camp Nou, where Barcelona is due to play against Real Madrid in Spanish League on December 18. Spain's most prestigious fixture was originally scheduled for October 26 but had to be postponed following a wave of pro-independence demonstrations in the city. "I can say that the Clasico will be played, it will not be postponed again," Bartomeu said at a Christmas press event in Barcelona. "It is everyone's responsibility to ensure it goes ahead. We know that we live in a complicated period in Catalonia but that can be compatible with sport. Our stadium is a place for free expression, it always has been, and that is why we want to send out a message of normality and calm.”
Former Olympic champion Young injured in bus crash
Former Olympic 400m hurdles gold medallist Kevin Young was hospitalised after being involved in a bus crash in Wales, local media reported on Friday. American star Young, 53, who set a world record at the Barcelona Games in 1992 and won the world title at Stuttgart a year later, was among eight people injured when the vehicle collided with a bridge in Swansea, south Wales, the WalesOnline site reported. Young posted images on his Twitter account showing the bus roof severely damaged and cuts on the top of his head.
Argentine Lavezzi retires after ‘amazing' and lucrative career
Argentine international forward Ezequiel Lavezzi confirmed on Friday that he was retiring from playing at the age of 34, ending 'the most amazing phase life has given me'. Lavezzi played 51 times for Argentina and was in the starting lineup when it lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany. He played five seasons at Napoli and five at Paris Saint-Germain before finishing his career in Heibei Fortune in China where he was, when he arrived, the highest-paid player in the world. Lavezzi made his last appearance for Heibei on November 27, scoring as the team lost to champion Evergrande in the penultimate round of the season. Wikileaks revealed that when he moved from Paris to Heibei in February 2016 it was for an estimated salary of US$59mn over 23 months.
Neymar hits Barca with fresh lawsuit
Brazilian forward Neymar has filed a fresh lawsuit against Barcelona to demand some three million euros of unpaid wages from his previous stint at the Spanish club, a judicial source said on Friday. The lawsuit was filed 'a few weeks ago', the source said, confirming a report published in Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo which said the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player was suing the Catalan giants to collect '3.2 million euros (US$3.6mn) relating to his July 2017 salary'.