Fri, Feb 24, 2017 | updated 11:36 AM IST

Sevilla's Vitolo dubs Messi as `best player in history` post La Liga heroics

Updated: Nov 07, 2016 12:06 IST

Sevilla [Spain], Nov.7 (ANI): Sevilla forward Vitolo described Argentina star striker Lionel Messi as the best player ever to take to a football pitch after the latter guided Barcelona to a hard-fought 2-1 win in the La Liga clash between the two sides on Monday.

It was Sevilla who made the breakthrough first when Vitolo punished a defensive mistake from Sergi Roberto to put his side deservedly 1-0 ahead.

However, Messi levelled the scoring for the Spanish giants in the closing stages of the first half by netting his 27th goal against Sevilla before he set up striker Luis Saurez for the winner in the 61st minute of the match.

Reflecting on the clash, Vitolo said that although they tried hard to pressurize Messi in the first half of the match, the Argentine was on another level in the second half of the crucial La Liga clash.

"Messi was no surprise, he is the best player in history and he knows how to run a game. In the first half we pressured him well but in the second he made the difference," Vitolo was quoted as saying by goal.com.

In spite of the narrow defeat, the 27-year-old could not stop himself from speaking warm words for coach Jorge Sampaoli, who he credited with always seeking victory regardless of the opponent.

"Adapting to his ideas was only a matter of time. He wants to dominate games regardless of the opponent," he said

With the win, second-placed Barcelona have now narrowed the gap with leaders Real Madrid to two points heading into the international break.

Meanwhile, Sevilla are standing at fifth position, with six wins from 11 games they have played. (ANI)

Mirza-Strycova ease into Dubai Open semis

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 11:12 IST

Dubai [UAE], Feb.24 (ANI): Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her partner Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic booked their place in the semi-finals of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships following a straight-sets victory in their women's doubles clash here last evening.

Full Story >>

London [U.K], Feb. 24 (ANI): England swashbuckling opener Alex Hales, who has recovered from a hand fracture he sustained during the ODI series in India, could make a return to the side for the three-match series against West Indies beginning March 3 in Antigua.

Full Story >>

London [U.K], Feb.24 (ANI): Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has been sacked from his position, only nine months after leading the club to their maiden Premier League title in their 132-year history.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Feb. 23 (ANI): Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov has confirmed his intention to play at the 2017 Aegon Championship as preparation for Wimbledon.

Full Story >>

Melbourne [Australia], Feb. 23 (ANI): Making an extraordinary revelation, former South African skipper Kepler Wessels has said that he had suspicions of Hansie Cronje being involved in match-fixing long before he was eventually caught in 2000.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Australian opener Matt Renshaw, who retired hurt in the morning session on first day of the opening Test against India, on Thursday revealed that he had to use the bathroom and that's the reason he retired ill mid-way through his innings.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Indian pacer Umesh Yadav, who wrecked havoc on Australian batters to restrict the visitors on 256-9 at stumps on Day One of the opening Test, on Thursday insisted that he has been putting in a lot of hard work in the last six months and it is now paying off.

Full Story >>

Wellington [New Zealand], Feb. 23 (ANI): New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has heaped praise on veteran batsman Ross Taylor, saying he should be considered as one of their greats in the 50-over game.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Right-arm pacer Umesh Yadav came out with a splendid display of fast bowling to put India on top at the end of first day's play of the opening Test of the four-match series against Australia here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Chandigarh [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Olympic silver medalists-Belgiums' John-John Dohmen and retiring Netherlands star Naomi Van As on Thursday won the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) male and female Player of the Year (2016) awards in a star-studded Hockey Stars 2016 Awards ceremony in Chandigarh.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb.23 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has revealed that Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has still not informed the board about his retirement plans.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb.23 (ANI): Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar has said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) saved provisionally suspended cricketers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif from possible imprisonment over their alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Feb.23 (ANI): Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that he is in negotiations to face Pakistan-born British fighter Amir Khan, following weeks of conflicting reports about his next bout.

Full Story >>

Sevilla [Spain], Feb.23 (ANI): Jamie Vardy gave Leicester City an away goal and kept alive their hopes of making it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite a narrow 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Sevilla in the first leg of the last-16 tie here on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Valencia [Spain], Feb.23 (ANI): Two goals in the first nine minutes allowed Valencia record a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in their La Liga clash at Mestalla Stadium here last evening.

Full Story >>

Lucknow [India], Feb.23 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Wizards stormed into the semi- finals of the ongoing Hockey India League (HIL) after settling to a sensational 4-4 draw against Dabang Mumbai here at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium last evening.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): Australia have won the toss and asked India to bowl first in the opening Test of the four-match series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium here on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Pune [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): The much anticipated four-match Test series between India and Australia will begin today, here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Feb. 22 (ANI): World No. 2 Angelique Kerber defeated Monica Puig of Puerto Rican in straight sets in the round of 16 clash of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday to move a step closer to return to the number one ranking.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 22 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Wednesday announced that the first Gramin Khel Mahotsav will be held from 25th to 31st of next month in New Delhi.

Full Story >>