'The best in the world' - Ja Reggae Boy goalkeeper Blake wanted clean sheet but honoured to play Messi, Argentina

By Sports Desk September 29, 2022

Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake admits to enjoying the encounter against top team Argentina and football great Lionel Messi, despite coming away on the other side of a 3-0 defeat.

After starting the game on the bench, Messi's introduction blew things wide open for La Albiceleste who had already taken a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s 13th-minute strike.

With only 10-minutes to go the Jamaicans seemed set to end their third straight encounter against the South Americans within a one-goal margin, but Messi had other ideas.

Blake initially foiled Messi twice but could not do much against the Paris Saint Germain midfielder’s blast from the top of the area in the 86th minute or his crafty free-kick three minutes later.

It’s a world-class team that’s the easiest way to put it.  It’s a different ballgame. The quality of play and the speed of play, everything is a different level. But I enjoyed every moment of it, and it was a great experience,” Blake told the Philadelphia Enquirer.

“He’s the best in the world,” Blake said in his assessment of Messi.

“I wish I was able to make those saves, but world-class players do world-class things. … it was definitely an honour and a moment I’ll cherish forever — not the moment that he scored, but being able to play against him and save a few of his shots.”

Related items

  • ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of  accusations made in explosive interview ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of accusations made in explosive interview

    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has refuted claims made in a recent interview by national player Leon Bailey and called for evidence in lieu of some of the explosive accusations levied against the organisation.

    In particular, the association took exception to a claim made by the player that suggested that the JFF had actively played a role in preventing his ability to travel abroad when he attempted to do so as a developing young player.

    “From I was 8 or 9 I have been getting 'fight' from the federation. They even tried to block me from going to Europe.  They linked up with the embassy to deny me a visa…the last time I went to Europe I had to fly to Cuba to get my visa,” Bailey told the Let’s Be Honest podcast.

    In addressing the issues, via a press release, the JFF expressed disappointment with many of the utterances made by the player and the manner in which the grievances were aired.

    Leon Bailey speaks out in explosive interview! The 25 y-o says JA football needs a proper system

    “It is unfortunate that Leon has apparently felt this way about the JFF, especially while playing for the Jamaica National team and not expressing it, and knowing his commitment to the program and country. He has indicated that the persons in the JFF, and by implication the JFF, has given him a fight and tried to block him from going to Europe by working through the Embassy…,” the release read.

    “This is quite unfortunate as the JFF has always seen Leon as an important member of the National team, and what he has said is baseless and is consistent with recent similar comments made, which we have called for evidence to be shared, either privately or publicly, so that we can act on it. To date, no such evidence has been shared. It is not credible to make anecdotal accusations without evidence, and by doing so seek to damage the reputation of individuals and the JFF as an organisation. We also find it impractical that a child between 8 and 12 years old would understand what the actions and motives of the JFF or any organisation would be, with any clear understanding as first-hand information,” it added.

    “In fact, by saying that the JFF has the capability to block an Embassy from issuing a visa, also implies that the Embassy is complicit with the JFF in acting, as he implies, in a “corrupt” manner. The JFF can assure everyone that we do not have the ability to influence a visa decision with any Embassy, and we would never seek to intervene in such a process.”

    The release went on to state that the matter had been referred to the team manager and coach for review.

     

     

  • ‘We have 10 days of hard cricket’ – WI skipper Brathwaite says discipline key to success against Aussies ‘We have 10 days of hard cricket’ – WI skipper Brathwaite says discipline key to success against Aussies

    West Indies Test captain Kraigg Brathwaite believes maintaining discipline will be crucial for the unit if they are to pose any type of challenge to Australia in the upcoming series.

    Despite a relatively solid year in the red ball format, the Windies will start as massive underdogs against the top-ranked Australians on Sunday.  In addition to the fact that West Indies has not secured a win against Australia at home since 1993 the team has won just games in the last 8 Test series.

    Having managed solid wins against England and Bangladesh in their last two series, however, Brathwaite will be hoping to spring a surprise.  For that, keeping focus will be crucial.

    “We have 10 days of hard Test cricket to play.  We know Australia are a very, very good team, especially at home.  So, the main thing for us is to focus on our discipline,” Brathwaite of the media on Tuesday.

    “When we are batting, we want to bat 100 overs plus, when we are bowling, we are looking to get 20 wickets.  So that obviously is to help the team win a game.  We know Australia is a superior team.  We have to play 10 days of hard cricket that’s the focus.”

    The West Indies will play Australia in two Test matches.  The first will bowl off in Perth on December 4th, followed by a trip to Adelaide from December 7th-12th.

  • Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double

    Marcus Rashford has "massive ambitions" with England after his double downed Wales and sent the Three Lions into the World Cup's knockout stage as Group B winners.

    Rashford took his goal tally in Qatar to three after a wonderful free-kick and brilliant individual effort helped Gareth Southgate's side book a last-16 data against Senegal with a 3-0 victory at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

    The forward, who became the first United player to score three times for the Three Lions at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, hopes his team-mates can carry their momentum into that clash on Sunday.

    "It's obviously a great feeling [to score two goals]," he told BBC Sport. "To be honest, we were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could've played a lot better.

    "The only way to bounce back from that is to have a good performance in your next game, and I thought we did that. The first half, we defended brilliantly, we didn't give them any opportunities.

    "It was just about us killing the game off really and taking the chances when they came.

    "I fancied [a free-kick] in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there, it's just about being calm and trying to execute what you've practised in training. They don't go in often, but I'm pleased that it went in today.

    "Moments like this - this is what I play football for - the biggest moments, the best moments. I'm really happy that we're going through to the next round.

    "Hopefully, we can build on this performance because I still have massive ambitions for this team, and I think we can play even better than what we've shown today."

    Player of the match Rashford was the subject of high praise from team-mate Jude Bellingham, who also highlighted Phil Foden after the Manchester City midfielder marked his first start at the finals with the second goal in Al Rayyan.

    "We've got lots of depth in those attacking areas and whoever comes on always seem to make an impact," the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said. 

    "Whether it's from the start or from the bench, the change of personnel doesn't really affect the style or performance of the team, which is quite rare. 

    "I'm so happy for [Marcus], what a performance - he was brilliant. When he gets the ball and he's got that freedom to take people on.

    "In a game like this, there's big pressure on a free-kick like that, and the way he's delivered is brilliant. He put us in a really good position for the rest of the match.

    "I'm [also] really happy for Phil. He's had quite a bit of pressure on him the last few days, given all the attention. But he's just shown today how good he is again.

    "What you saw in the first game was a really good attacking display. The second game, we defended our box really well and today, you got a mix of both.

    "The aim coming this game was to make sure we tie them both up, and we did. It was a good performance from us."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.