Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez cannot imagine Lionel Messi leaving the Catalan club, despite the Argentine forward stalling over a new contract with the La Liga champions.Xavi is Barca’s all-time appearance leader and was the heartbeat of the club’s midfield from 1998-2015, spending nine years in the first team alongside Messi, who made his debut in 2004. (Also read: Lionel Messi’s father negotiating son’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG)”I’m in contact with Messi and I think he’s happy and satisfied. He knows Barcelona is the best club in the world for him and I can’t see him in any other club,” Xavi, who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, told radio station Cope on Friday.Messi is Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer but has yet to commit to an extension on his current contract, which runs out in 2018. His buy-out clause is set at 250 million euros ($266.03 million).”I haven’t spoken to him about his new contract but if I was to bet, I wouldn’t expect Messi to go to another club. He could get more money elsewhere but I don’t think he is interested in just money, he is more concerned about stability,” Xavi added. (Also read: Copa del Rey: Barcelona held by Hercules, Real Madrid romp into last-16)Xavi won 25 major trophies with Barcelona, including eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues, before leaving for Al Sadd in 2015.The former Spain international, 36, plans on becoming a coach when he retires from playing, saying his ultimate aim was to take over at Barcelona.advertisementBarcelona trail arch rivals Real Madrid by six points following a shaky display in last week’s 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad and could drop nine points behind their arch rivals when they meet in the ‘Clasico’ on Saturday.”Perhaps Barca are under more pressure because of the points gap but Clasicos are unique games, you can be 20 points behind and have a brilliant game or vice versa. The display at Real Sociedad means nothing,” Xavi said.Barcelona have an almost full strength squad available against Real and welcome back captain Andres Iniesta after six weeks out with a knee injury.Xavi believes the return of his former midfield partner will be pivotal to Barca’s chances of winning the game.”Iniesta is a transcendent player for Barcelona,” he added.”They say that now the team is lacking control and thought. Well, Iniesta will bring that back.”($1 = 0.9398 euros)
West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic insists footballers are under far more pressure than many fans realise.The former Inter Milan striker came under fire from Stoke City fans after moving to West Ham last year.He was then vilified by the Hammers’ fans for a poor first half after the season before coming good to help save them from relegation.The Austria international has maintained that form this season with his five Premier League goals making him joint-third in the scoring charts. But he admitted to the scrutiny taking its toll.He said, according to Mirror:“It’s easy, from the outside to hammer people, hammer the players and say, ‘He didn’t do this well, he didn’t do that well.’”Report: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“But when you know the life of a footballer, you’ll cry, believe me! We don’t talk about money, you cry.”“Sometimes because there is so much pressure on you, you have to deal with this because a lot of players go, ‘I’m okay, no worries’ – it’s not right, “ but in the game, it’s affecting you.”Meanwhile, Arnautovic has revealed he would have become a businessman instead of a player if his dad had his way.The 29-year-old, who has since confounded his father’s expectations, also admits he can understand when supporters take their frustrations out on the West Ham team.Arnautovic explained: “There were a few occasions when my father told me that I have to go to this company to work, maybe to take a test to see if they’ll take me.“I got to the test and sat there and didn’t write anything, because I didn’t want to work there. I wanted to play football and wanted to make this my job.”
A three- day Bhakti Sangeet festival is being organised by Delhi Government to renew the message of unconditional love. The festival that opened yesterday (9 May) will be featuring 14 devotional singers of different genres. For people who love devotional music, this festival serves as a platform to look up to. The festival brings together a wide range of devotional singers who perform bhakti music in their own different cultural forms – be it through bhajans, vedic chanting, baul singing, or qawwali and sufiana kalams. Among the singers who will be participating in the festival are Hans Raj Hans, Shubha Mudgal, Mohammad Irshad and Aslam Sabri. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The opening day of the festival was attended by S K Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi as Chief Guest along with Rinku Dugga, Secretary, Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Govt of Delhi.Starting with a session of Rigveda chanting by K Vasedevan Namboothiri, A M Kesavan and K Madhavan Namboothiri, the event features the baul singing of Bengal by Parvathi Baul, Punjabi Sufi kalam by Hans Raj Hans, Sagun and Abhang bhakti traditions by Sanjeev Abhayankar, and the kalam of Bulle Shah by Mohammad Irshad over three days. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix’Music is an eternal natural component of human life. Even a baby who doesn’t speak responds to music beats. When you use this medium to express your unconditional love to your creator, the result can easily stir any soul. We are a nation of spirituality and we have multifarious ways of professing our love to God. Bhakti Sangeet is unique as it brings together all different genres of devotional music prevalent in India on one stage,’ says Prahlad Singh Tipania, folk singer from Madhya Pradesh who performs Kabir bhajans in the state’s Malwi folk style. On 10 May the festival will feature Buddhist Chanting (Bhutan), krishna bhakti by O. S. Arun and Kalaam Bulle Shah by Mohammad Irshad. The closing day (11 May) will feature Shubha Mudgal singing Nirgun bhakti, Prahlad Singh Tipania with his Kabir bhakti in Malwi folf traditions and Agnihotri Bandhu rendering Ram and Hanuman bhakti.In different regions and different cultures, people develop and nurture their own bhakti and sufi traditions. The festival brings together many such different genres of bhakti from different parts of the country. It was our bhakti and sufi saints who originally laid the foundation of our composite culture and this festival is an ode to them. Where: Nehru Park, Chankya Puri, When: On till 11 MayTiming: 6.30 pm onwards
To maintain the importance and to spread awareness about a folk form, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, released a publication and a set of DVDs providing a rich and spectacular repository of information on ‘Bhand Pather’, the celebrated folk theatre form Kashmir, at IGNCA in the national Capital. The publication titled, ‘An Illustrated Monograph of Bhand Pather, the Folk Theatre of Kashmir’, celebrates the Bhand folk theatre, which is among the five theatre forms mentioned in Bharatamuni’s Natyashastra. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The DVD contains 50 minutes of select portions of the Bhand Pather plays performed by Bhand Troupe from Kashmir. In Bhand Pather stories recalling the lives of sages or some contemporary real or fictional figures are enacted out. The storylines (or pathers) are often satirical, and farce is an essential component of these plays. In addition, the minister also released a set of four DVDs, containing four plays of Surabhi Theatre, namely Sri Krishnaleelalu, Bhakta Prahlad, Balanagamma and Maya Bazaar. Surabhi is the oldest institution of Family Theatre flourishing in Andhra Pradesh for the last 130 years. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“It is more important today to dwell on the heritage (virasat) that we will leave behind for the next generation rather than merely boasting of what we inherited,” observed Dr Sharma, while releasing the publication and DVDs.The minister also spoke of the vast and thoughtful mandate of the IGNCA and emphasised on the need to take its work to more and more people across the country. “There is a need to increase the outreach of the Centre, which celebrated its Silver Jubilee three years ago,” he noted.Those present on the occasion included Narendra Kumar Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture; and the other IGNCA Trustees — Dr Sonal Mansingh, Dr Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Nitin Chandrakant Desai, Dr K Arvinda Rao, Vasudeo Kamath, Dr Bharat Gupt, Dr M Seshan, Rathi Vinay Jha, Prof Nirmala Sharma, Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, Dr Saryu Doshi, Prasoon Joshi, Daya Prakash Sinha and Birad Rajaram Yajnik.
Kolkata: Sujit Bose, state Fire and Emergency Services minister (Independent Charge) inaugurated the 5th State Level Sports Cultural Meet for the inmates of social welfare homes at the complex of Sports Authority of India, Salt Lake.Siddiqualla Chowdhury, minister of state for Mass Education, Extension and Library Services department, Sambaran Banerjee, former cricketer, Mouma Das, Indian women table tennis player were present at the inaugural function. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalFifty social welfare homes across the state are categorised under state welfare homes, aided homes and sponsored homes. Destitute children within the age group of 6 to 18 years are taken care in these homes. As the state government bears the entire responsibility of food, lodging and education of the children hailing from marginally placed families, they are also encouraged to take part in athletic events for achieving a healthy student life. Starting from 2014, in the fifth version of the event, this year the two-day event is being organised in a grand manner. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedApart from hosting a sports competition among the inmates of child welfare homes, a cultural competition has also been scheduled. Around 900 children from 50 such institutions have been enlisted for the sports meet. In total, 32 events will be there in the Sports Meet that would include 100-metre dash, 200-metre run, high jump, long jump etc, arranged separately for boys and girls. Winners of each game will be felicitated with awards, while a talent hunt will be organised later only for the champions and the selected ones will get direct access to Sports Authority of India (SAI). On the first day of the event, a cultural meet will take place for these children. Dance, drama and drawing competitions will also be held as part of the programme.