Argentina star Lionel Messi arrives in Riyadh ahead of Brazil clash

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday ahead of his team’s Superclasico de las Americas clash with Brazil in Riyadh on Friday. (Screenshot/Twitter)
Updated 14 November 2019

Argentina star Lionel Messi arrives in Riyadh ahead of Brazil clash

  • Barcelona legend is set to feature for “La Albiceleste” against the Brazilians
  • The 2018 Copa America champions Brazil beat their fierce rivals 1-0 in Jeddah last year

RIYADH: Argentina superstar Lionel Messi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday ahead of his team’s Superclasico de las Americas clash with Brazil in Riyadh on Friday.

The Barcelona legend is set to feature for “La Albiceleste” against the Brazilians, who can call upon Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Philippe Coutinho.

The match, being held at the King Saud University Stadium, is the second time in a year the two footballing giants have faced each other in the Kingdom.

The 2018 Copa America champions Brazil beat their fierce rivals 1-0 in Jeddah last year with a late Miranda goal — Messi was not available for selection for the match.

Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 at home in the semifinal of this year’s Copa America in July, a controversial match that left Messi complaining the hosts benefitted from favoritism.


Halep wins Dubai tiebreaker to secure 20th title

Updated 23 February 2020

Halep wins Dubai tiebreaker to secure 20th title

  • Wimbledon champion wins her second Dubai Championships title

DUBAI: Top-seeded Simona Halep won her 20th singles title after prevailing in a third-set tiebreaker to beat Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday.
No. 2-ranked Halep was 3-1 down in the third set. The Romanian broke to lead 6-5, but Rybakina’s powerful hitting forced the tiebreaker. Rybakina led 4-3 but Halep converted the only match point.
“It was amazing,” Halep said of the 2 1/2-hour final. “(Rybakina) fought till the end. She didn’t give up any balls. It was really tough mentally. The pressure was very high. But I want it badly, so that’s why I fought till the end.”
The Wimbledon champion won her second Dubai title.
Rybakina knocked out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in earlier rounds, and was playing her fourth final of the young WTA season. She’s lost three of them.
Rybakina is projected to rise two spots to a career-high No. 17 in Monday’s rankings update.
“She’s strong. She’s tall. She has power,” Halep said. “I think she’s really good to get into the top 10 very soon.”