Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2014 Contents MADRID---Atletico Madrid isn t rul-
ing Diego Costa out of the Champions
League final yet despite the striker s
chances of playing looking slim.
Costa limped off early in Saturday s
1-1 draw at Barcelona that clinched
Atletico s first Spanish league title in
18 years, and the club said on Monday
the Brazilian born forward had suffered
a right hamstring injury that will be
Atletico plays city rival Real Madrid
in Saturday s final at Estadio do Sport,
where it could complete a historic dou-
ble and ensure the greatest season in
club history with a victory.
"The week has just started, there are
still some days until we have to decide.
It s still early," Simeone said on Monday
from the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
"I m convinced that this is not a game
to be played at 80 percent. He has to
be 100 percent to play."
Atletico returns to a European Cup
final for just the second time, and first
since it lost to Bayern Munich 40 years
ago in the only replay in the compe-
tition s history.
"We go there with an important
motivation after winning the league,"
Atletico midfielder Arda Turan looked
more likely to play in the final despite
also exiting against Barcelona with a
Striker Adrian Lopez looks the most
likely candidate to replace Costa should
he fail to recover in time. Adrian has
stepped in for Costa before, helping to
set up the winner in the quarterfinal
victory over Barcelona after the Spain
striker was ruled out because of a sim-
"He has a knack for goal, he has tal-
ent, he can score. He s played well in
the games we ve called on him for. He
can be a decisive player," Simeone said.
"If (Costa and Turan) are not available,
whoever is available will play." (AP)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Defining a Decade - Righting the Future
The University of Trinida
d and Tobago
UTT is an Agency of the
has signed a restructured contract
extension with Barcelona that
reportedly makes the Argentina
international the world s high-
est-paid football player.
Barcelona had originally
announced the deal on Friday and
says it was officially signed yes-
terday. The Catalan club says Messi
"was very motivated by the deal."
The 26-year-old Messi will earn
a reported US$27 million per sea-
son with further incentives able
to drive the deal up to US$34 mil-
lion per year until the contract
ends in 2017-18---surpassing Cris-
tiano Ronaldo s deal with Real
Madrid. Messi also has a buy-out
clause of $US43 million.
Messi s previous contract ran
through the 2017-18 season and
was worth a reported US$22 mil-
lion per season.
Messi s deal comes two days
after Barcelona lost its Spanish
league title to Atletico Madrid fol-
lowing a 1-1 draw between the
teams at its Camp Nou Stadium.
Messi pens restructured
Nani picked for Portugal's WC squad
Simeone won't rule Costa
out of Champions final
Barca hires new coach Enrique
BARCELONA---Barcelona hired Luis
Enrique as its new coach yesterday,
hoping the former player can help
restore the club s recent success fol-
lowing its first season in six years
without a major trophy.
Barcelona said on its Web site that
Enrique agreed to a two-year deal.
He will replace Argentine coach Ger-
ardo Martino, who stepped down on
Saturday immediately after the club
failed to defend its Spanish league title.
The 44-year-old Enrique is one of
the few players to have had successful
careers with both Real Madrid and
Barcelona, having left the former in
1996 to join its archrival. He stayed at
Barcelona until 2004.
He had been widely expected to be
appointed as the club s new coach after
stepping down from his position at
Celta last week, and will restore a line
of in-house managers most recently
continued by Pep Guaridola and Tito
Barcelona also said goalkeeper Marc-
Andre Ter Stegen is joining the club
from German side Borussia
Monchengladbach to replace Victor
Valdes, who is leaving on his own
In other moves, Barcelona said it
was bringing back forward Gerard
Deulofeu from Everton and midfiedler
Rafina Alcantara from Celta Vigo, after
both young talents were loaned out
last season to acquire playing experi-
LISBON---Nani has been included
in Portugal s World Cup squad despite
an injury-hit season during which he
made just 12 appearances for Man-
Portugal coach Paulo Bento yesterday
announced the 23-man squad he will
take to Brazil, with the main surprise
being the choice of Braga midfielder
Rafa, who has just one cap.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder William
Carvalho, regarded as one of Portugal s
promising newcomers, was also includ-
ed. He has made two appearances.
Bento said Cristiano Ronaldo, who
has recently had injury problems at
Real Madrid, will be assessed by the
Portuguese medical team after Satur-
day s Champions League final.
Most of the squad was due to gather
Wednesday. Portugal is to play three
warm-up matches before starting the
tournament in Group G against Ger-
many, Ghana and the US. (AP)
Diego Simeone...Atletico's coach
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