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Lionel Messi branding found on seized cocaine in Peru worth $85 million

Peru law enforcement units seized 1,417 kilos of cocaine with Lionel Messi branding with the player portrayed wearing the FC Barcelona shirt. That lot has an estimated worth of $85 million on the street and was to be shipped to Belgium. The flow of drugs to ports is believed to have risen as the new law passed in 2015 gave authorization to the military to shoot down any drug-smuggling aircraft in the jungle. "Most of the 1,288 packages of drugs were camouflaged as squid filets and had a label that said 'Messi' along with a picture of the Argentina player Lionel Messi wearing the shirt of the Spanish club Barcelona," a press release from the Peruvian National Police's Anti-drugs Office (Dirandro) stated. "There is no doubt that this is an international organisation,” the release stated. “And it is likely that the Mexican Sinaloa cartel is behind this thwarted shipment.”

Lacazette not agreed to join Atletico

Olympique Lyonnais striker Alexandre Lacazette has not agreed to join Atletico Madrid, reports Le Progres. Spanish radio station Cadena COPE reported the France international had agreed a summer switch to the Vicente Calderon after meeting Atleti chief executive in the Spanish capital. However, Lacazette’s agent, David Venditelli, has informed Le Progres that no such trip took place and that the coveted attacker has not agreed to move to the La Liga club. Lacazette has made 35 appearances during this season, scoring 29 goals.

Barcelona want to land Isco

Barcelona have devised a back-handed plan to land Isco from fierce rivals Real Madrid next year, reports RAC1. The 24-year-old, who has 16 months left to run of his contract at the Bernabeu, is yet to commit to a new deal with the reigning European champions. Barca are one of a number of clubs interested in the Spain international, although reports have claimed the player has a clause in his contract which prevents him from crossing the El Clasico divide. However, with Barca able to sign him once his contract expires, RAC1 claim Isco will be handed a €20m (£17.2m) signing-on fee if he runs his contract down and moves to the Camp Nou on a free in 2018.

Iniesta sees Verratti as successor at Barcelona

According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Juventus and Barcelona have joined clubs in the race to sign PSG playmaker Marco Verratti. The 24- year-old Italy international is one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe on the back of his stellar displays for PSG over the past few seasons. Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Monaco are all keen on Verratti, but they will face competition for his signature from Barca and Juve. Barca chiefs believe Verratti would be the ideal long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, who turns 33 this year, while Juve are willing to spend big to bolster their midfield ahead of next term.

Man Utd lead Liverpool in Gimenez race

Manchester United are leading Liverpool in the chase to sign Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez, reports AS. Both Premier League clubs want Gimenez to bolster their defence and they have informed the player’s representatives of their interest in his situation. Gimenez has slipped down the defensive pecking order at Atleti and wants to play more. The Uruguayan’s buyout clause is set at €45m. Note that Gimenez has made 19 appearances during this season.

TOP 5 Sportsmen who met sports legends in childhood and then became stars themselves

Almost every kid wishes to have a photo with a sports stars or get their autographs. Some of them, though, don't even imagine that they will become stars themselves in future. We collected the TOP 5 stories about those sportsmen who met renown sports stars in their childhood and then managed to climb to the top of the sports world themselves.  Michael Phelps and Joseph Schooling Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling, 21 years old currently, met his idol Michael Phelps in 2008. That was one of the happiest days in the kid's entire life. Being impressed with Phelps' success, Schooling devoted himself to swimming and started to train hard to become a professional swimmer himself. He couldn't even imagine then that one day he will take part in the Olympics. Moreover, as an irony of fate, Schooling beat Phelps in 100 m butterfly to win the gold medal. Days later, Phelps posted a picture with Schooling and wrote, "'What a race!! Congrats to @josephschooling !!! We've got an updated pic!! Best of luck bro!! I'll be watching!' Mateo Kovacic and Steven Gerrard A young Mateo Kovacic was serving as a ball boy in Croatia when Liverpool visited the country. After the game, Kovacic ran towards Steven Gerrard and wanted to shake the hand of a man, who was famous not only in England but around the world, too. Steven, however, didn't pay attention to the kid, breaking his heart, which left Mateo with tears. Later on, Mateo Kovacic became a professional player and joined Inter Milan. Playing for the Italian side, Kovacic has been identified as a potential Steven Gerrard replacement in 2015. However, Kovacic didn't join Liverpool and decided to make a move to Real Madrid where he still plays. Neymar and Robinho Football experts were predicting a bright future for a kid named Neymar. He was compared to Robinho with the style of play and with the skills he got. Years later, Robinho joined Santos first team and started to score dozens of goals. Neymar, by his side, experienced hard days in his career and decided to move back to his home country and play for Santos in 2010. It was then when the pair started doing some magic together. Moreover, they played for the Brazil national team too. Wesley Sneijder and Frank Rijkaard Sneijder was a little kid when he had the chance to take a picture with Ajax legend Frank Rijkaard who is considered as one of the best players in his generation. Years later, Sneijder became one of the leading players in Ajax himself, making Real Madrid spend big money on his transfer. He has successfully played not only for these two clubs but for Inter Milan and Galatasaray, apart from being one of the captains and most important players for the Netherlands national team. Daniel Carvajal and Alfredo di Stefano Real Madrid started to construct their new training ground in Valdebebas in the early 00's and officially opened it in 2005. As it usually happens with the construction of new facilities, the first stone was laid in an official ceremony, where many football stars of that time and the past were present, including Alfredo di Stefano, one of the best players in the game's history. He was responsible for laying the first stone along with a kid from club academy, Daniel Carvajal. They put a Real Madrid jersey under the stone and gave the start of the construction. Years past, and Daniel Carvajal climbed the ladder of club's academy. Now Daniel Carvajal is a regular started for Real Madrid main team, having won two Champions League titles with the club. Bonus: Mauro Icardi and Maxi Lopez This story is a little bit different from those presented above. Three people feature in this story instead of two: Maxi Lopez, Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara. Maxi Lopez was playing for Barcelona in mid 00's, and was famous in his home country, Argentina. A young Argentinian boy, named Mauro, had a chance to get an autograph from Maxi. The latter couldn't even imagine that years later they will become friends at first and enemies later on. Wanda Nara and Maxi Lopez were married when she met Icardi for the first time. Icardi and Lopez were friends and spent much time together. However, Nara was not indifferent to Icardi. Their relationship started with a little request from Wanda to buy a new Ipad from the US, which was only an excuse for getting in touch with Mauro, as it was revealed later. Since then, their relationship got closer and closer, and one day Wanda and Maxi decided to divorce, despite having three children. Now Wanda and Icardi are together. And not only in life, but in sports, too. Wanda is Icardi's agent and is one of the most powerful persons in Italy.

Juventus fullback on Real radar

Juventus fullback Alex Sandro is a target for Real Madrid. The La Liga side are seeking cover for Marcelo this summer and Sandro is under consideration. The Brazilian has shone for the Serie A titleholders this season, scoring two goals and boasting five assists. According to A Bola, Real and Chelsea are both eyeing Sandro, though face having to pay huge money to convince Juve to sell. The Bianconeri rate Sandro at €45 million. Note that Sandro has made 32 appearances during this season.  

Juventus and Real Madrid target will not move from his club

Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams insists he won't agitate for a move from San Mames. The youngster has been scouted by Liverpool and is aware of interest from Juventus and Real Madrid. "I'm very well with Athletic Bilbao, I'm proud to be part of this club, and I will not change," Williams told Cadena Cope. "Juventus and Real Madrid? They are big clubs, but why change when I am already in a great club like this?" The young attacker has also been linked with Liverpool this season.  

Josep Calavera on Barcelona radar

Barcelona are closing in on the signing of teenage midfielder Josep Calavera, reports Sport. The LaLiga champions have reached an agreement with Nastic, the 17-year-old’s current club, and the player himself has prioritised Barca’s interest above those of other LaLiga teams. Likened to current Barca star Sergio Busquets, Calavera is expected to link up with Barca’s reserve side Barca B once the deal is completed. Real Madrid and Valencia are believed to have shown an interest in Calavera too.

Juventus and Barcelona join the race for Verratti

Juventus and Barcelona are among five clubs in the race to sign PSG playmaker Marco Verratti, reports Il Corriere dello Sport. The Italy international, 24, is one of the most sought-after midfielders in Europe on the back of his stellar displays for PSG over the past few seasons. Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Monaco are all keen on Verratti, but they will face competition for his signature from Barca and Juve. Barca chiefs believe Verratti would be the ideal long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta, who turns 33 this year, while Juve are willing to spend big to bolster their midfield ahead of next term.
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