"Basketball means the world to me for a long time, and now is the same. As I grow old, I know there are other things I need to pay attention to in life. Basketball is a sport and undertaking that I love, and I have put everything into it."
BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Lionel Messi said he hoped Argentina's 1-0 defeat of Ecuador in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday would provide some relief to Argentines suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
He admits to entering a new world as "it is a significant step from Formula two to one. We speak about a time difference of 11 to 12 seconds."
Ahead of the start of the first round, player Stuart Carrington and referee Andrew Barklam tested positive for COVID-19.
"I wasn't surprised by what Messi did because I know him well," Suarez said. "He knew the pain I was feeling. The way it was handled, as if I was being thrown out, is what hurts most. There were other ways to do it. They were six years and that's what bothered him [Messi] too. I see him as a friend and he knows how we suffered." Enditem
Gracia remains Valencia coach on Thursday morning, but for how long is still uncertain. Enditem
"I would like to see one more in midfield or up front," Schweinsteiger stressed. Fans can't identify with their national team anymore, he added.
Uruguay's next qualifier will be against Ecuador in Quito on Tuesday. Enditem
Ghana will play another friendly with 2022 World Cup host Qatar next Monday as part of their preparations. Enditem
"It was a very difficult race today as it was so cold and wet. I was feeling really strong today and wished for a bit better conditions, but this record gives me a lot of confidence."
"Seeing his dominance for so long, I don't think anyone - and especially me - thought I'd be anywhere near Michael's records. It's an incredible honour."