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‘Lionel Messi Has Given Maximum at FC Barcelona Post Transfer Saga’, Liverpool Not 'Selfish' With Youngsters, says Jurgen Klopp and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): FC Barcelona coach Koeman: Lionel Messi has given maximum since ending the transfer saga | Liverpool not 'selfish' with youngsters, says Jurgen Klopp after Rhian Brewster sale | Former Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger says he will return to club 'one day’ | Manchester United to start UEFA Champions League campaign at PSG, Liverpool FC travel at Ajax | CONMEBOL to change Copa Sudamericana format in 2021.
Lionel Messi FC Barcelona

On Thursday, Lionel Messi was imperious in FC Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo in the La Liga.

FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said Lionel Messi has been giving his best as a captain and has been the perfect role model since he decided to stay at the club this season. 

On Thursday, Messi was imperious in Barcelona’s game against Celta Vigo, which the Catalans won 3-0 despite playing the entirety of the second half with 10 men. 

“From day one Leo has trained and played well and has given the maximum for the club, for his team and for his teammates and I have had no complaints about him on any day,” Koeman said. “He proved himself once again the other day against Celta, he pulled his weight as a captain, he helped the team play the ball out from the back because it’s so important to keep the ball when you have one less player.

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“There’s no debate, for me he has always been the best player in the world, I thought that before from the outside and I think it even more now I’m working with him. He’s fully committed, he’s an example to everyone as a captain should be.”

Liverpool Not 'Selfish' 

Following Rhian Brewster’s record setting deal with Sheffield United, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has insisted the club is not selfish when it comes to youngsters, who are unable to enter the first team and therefore desire to continue their development elsewhere. 

The 20-year old striker has signed a five year contract with Sheffield for approximately £23.5 million ($30.39 million). Liverpool has been given a buy back option after three years. 

“If I'm selfish that never helps ... All the young boys need to know that we don't keep them here at all costs just so that we have a solution for one or two games a year. That is not how we work,” Klopp told reporters. “They need to take some steps in their development and sometimes we are the right place for them to take this development and sometimes we are not.”

“I need a player in the right place and at the right moment, so that means he is ready to fight but has all the tools to fight for the position that the squad gives him the opportunity to fight for.”

Brewster became a headline player for England after scoring eight goals at the U17 World Cup in India in 2017. However after undergoing ankle and knee surgery, his progress was limited last season with very little game time for his club. He was loaned to Swansea City and scored 11 goals in the Championship.

Wenger’s Arsenal Return

Former Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger has said that he will return to the club ‘one day’ two years after leaving the club. The 70-year old resigned from his position in May 2018 after 22 years where he won three Premier League titles along with seven FA Cups — the most by any manager in history. 

Although he has been invited back he thinks it was best for him to ‘cut off completely’ from the club after he left. 

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"I thought it's better to follow from a distance," he told the Times. "For 40 years I did only that every day in my life," he said. "[Now I am] making some sport. Visiting my family and friends. Holidays. Reading a lot. Enjoying life but in a sensible way, because I'm a little bit drilled by 30, 40 years of discipline, you know?"

Wenger said that after he left the club, it was ‘very lonely, very painful’ and added that he had no connections with the club anymore. He also revealed that he is not sure why he was not offered a role with the north London club and that if given the opportunity, he would have accepted it. 

"I always said I would still play a part in the club, but I could understand that at the start it's better that we take a complete distance," he said.

Man U to Begin vs PSG

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) will host Manchester United in the opening round of the Champions League group games, set to start on October 20. UEFA released the fixtures for the upcoming season yesterday.

The returning match will take place at Old Trafford on December 2, and the sides will face RB Leipzig and Istanbul Basaksehir in Group H.

Liverpool meanwhile will start its Group D campaign away to Ajax in Amsterdam on October 21.

Chelsea will host Europa League winners Sevilla on October 20 in the opening round and Manchester City beginning their latest attempt to win the Champions League for the first time at home to Porto. Barcelona and Juventus have been drawn in the same group and will play each other in the second round of fixtures at the end of this month. Holders Bayern Munich open their campaign against Atletico Madrid on October 22. Real Madrid play Shakhtar Donetsk in their opener on October 21.

UEFA will allow spectators to see Champions League and other competitions "at a maximum of 30 percent" of capacity.

Sudamericana Format

South America's second most prestigious club tournament, the Copa Sudamericana will have a new format next season introducing a group stage to accommodate more participants. The addition will increase the number of clubs in the competition from 44 to 56, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said.

The competition is their continental equivalent of the Europa League and will now have a qualifying round with eight groups of four teams. The change ensures that each of the CONMEBOL's 10 member nations has at least one team in the group stage. The top continental competition the Copa Libertadores will see no change in format.

“It will be more competitive and more representative,” the organization said in a statement.

Currently, the Copa Sudamericana is based on a knock out format. This year's tournament will commence later this month after a hiatus because of the pandemic. 

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