Messi Honored with a Statue at South America’s Soccer HQ

Lionel Messi (L) from Argentina reacts in front of a statue of him during the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) Night of Stars celebration in Luque, Paraguay, 27 March 2023. (EPA)
Lionel Messi (L) from Argentina reacts in front of a statue of him during the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) Night of Stars celebration in Luque, Paraguay, 27 March 2023. (EPA)
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Messi Honored with a Statue at South America’s Soccer HQ

Lionel Messi (L) from Argentina reacts in front of a statue of him during the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) Night of Stars celebration in Luque, Paraguay, 27 March 2023. (EPA)
Lionel Messi (L) from Argentina reacts in front of a statue of him during the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) Night of Stars celebration in Luque, Paraguay, 27 March 2023. (EPA)

The tributes continue to pour in for Lionel Messi following Argentina's World Cup triumph.

South American soccer's governing body on Monday presented the 35-year-old Argentine star a with statue, which will be placed in the CONMEBOL museum next to those of legendary players Pelé and Diego Maradona.

Messi also received replicas of the World Cup and the Finalissima trophy, which Argentina won against Italy, during the ceremony before the Copa Libertadores draw.

His teammates and coach Lionel Scaloni received miniature trophies as well, including that of the 2021 Copa America lifted in Brazil.

“We are living a very special and beautiful moment, getting a lot of love,” Messi said during the tribute. “It was time for a South American team to win the World Cup again.”

Argentina beat Panama 2-0 on Thursday in Buenos Aires in its first international friendly since winning the World Cup title in Qatar last December.

Scaloni's team will face Curacao on Tuesday to celebrate with its fans in the countryside city of Santiago del Estero.



Steve Cooper Named Manager of Premier League Leicester City

Steve Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest last December but returns to the Premier League as Leicester manager. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Steve Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest last December but returns to the Premier League as Leicester manager. Paul ELLIS / AFP
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Steve Cooper Named Manager of Premier League Leicester City

Steve Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest last December but returns to the Premier League as Leicester manager. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Steve Cooper was sacked by Nottingham Forest last December but returns to the Premier League as Leicester manager. Paul ELLIS / AFP

Leicester City have appointed former Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper as their new manager, the newly promoted Premier League club said on Thursday.
"Leicester City Football Club can today confirm the appointment of Steve Cooper as our new First Team Manager ahead of the 2024/25 Premier League season. Steve, 44, has agreed a three-year contract," the club said in a statement.
Cooper fills the vacuum left by Enzo Maresca, who left for the vacant post at Chelsea earlier this month, AFP said.
Maresca, 44, had steered 2016 Premier League champions Leicester back to the Premier League after just one season in the Championship.
"We are delighted to welcome Steve to Leicester City," said Leicester City Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha in a statement.
"His vision for the team, including his ability to develop players and implement a dynamic style of play, is very much aligned with our aspirations for the Club.
"As a leader, he has the ability to build on the strong relationship that has been forged between our fans and our team, strengthening a bond that will be vital to us re-establishing the Club in the Premier League."
Cooper guided Forest to promotion in 2022 but was fired in December 2023 with the club deep in relegation trouble. They eventually remained in the Premier League under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
"I am really excited and proud to be appointed Leicester City's First Team Manager," said Welshman Cooper.
"This is a fantastic club with a rich history and passionate supporters.
"I am excited to work with such a talented squad and I'm looking forward to the challenge of achieving our shared ambitions in the Premier League."