Tag: Barcelona

From Our CEO: Experience The World’s Best with Icons XP

One of the pivotal moments of my life happened in Barcelona. It was 2001 and I was drinking cheap cava in a hillside terrace bar overlooking the city. Dusk fell and the cityscape turned sparkly. I had a job I hated for a dotcom startup in London and I was on a football tour in the Catalan capital.

“Why don’t I just quit my job and come and live here? It’s got sun, sand and sexy football – what more could you want?” I asked.

Five months later I’d left everything behind to move to Barcelona to play, watch and teach people how to talk about football. Some of my friends were incredulous. They said: “You’re just going out there for the experience. Why would you do that?”

Fast forward to 2018. I’m reading an article written by the founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky. He’s talks about how his company have been able to create a trust platform, unlocking the spaces left vacant in people’s spare rooms and empty houses. Their next step, he explains is to create 100 million entrepreneurs, unlocking the potential not of spaces but of people. “We’re creating Airbnb experiences where people all over the world offer their talents, skills and knowledge to others to buy as they travel. Hidden city tours, salsa classes, art history lessons, Airbnb can use its trust platform to put consumers together with suppliers,” Chesky says.

Now, what that got to do with memorabilia?

Well, firstly, if we can bring memorabilia together with memories, we are tapping into what Generation XP want more than anything: stories to tell. At Icons, we have access to the world’s biggest superstar footballers and we can get to the world’s greatest sporting events. Hey, it’s why I do what I do.

So, this month we’re launching Icons XP with the tagline ‘Experience The World’s Best’. As with lots of these ideas, we start in Barcelona. Icons now have a private corporate box at Camp Nou. If you love Leo Messi, you can now buy Experience Memorabilia package from Icons.com and be our guests at his next game to see him play in the flesh. We were in the box for the Joan Gamper Trophy earlier in the year and the little magician we love so much scored right in front of us. Imagine watching El Clasico or a UEFA Champions League semi-final and seeing Leo, Luis Suarez or Philippe Coutinho doing something truly iconic? Maybe we can even get them to pop into the box after the match to say hello… we’re working on it.

Now wouldn’t that would be an iconic experience?

While it starts with Barcelona it most certainly does not end there. Icons are co-promoting a speaker tour that brings Manchester United legend Eric Cantona to London, Manchester and Ireland throughout October. Icons founder Edward Freedman worked with Eric at United and, in fact, Cantona was the first player he got to sign shirts, making him the very first on a long and ever expanding list of Icons. For Eric’s tour, Icons XP is offering VIP and VVIP tickets that allows fans to come backstage to meet Eric himself. When we did this two years ago a grown man fainted upon meeting Le God. That’s what it means to our customers.

Memories plus memorabilia. That has a nice ring to it, I think.

If we can bring fans closer to their heroes through events, tickets, boxes or meets and greets, we will. Our roster comprises the biggest names in sport and we have a reputation for running the best competitions and giveaways for money-can’t-buy prizes. If The FC Barcelona Experience and Eric Cantona Live work, we’ll expand, offering more and more experiences to our customers. Maybe we can even put together those experiences in cities around the world with Airbnb’s local experts. A Diego Maradona tour around Boca in Buenos Aires, for example. Maybe a Steven Gerrard framed memento from a trip to Anfield or a native New Yorker talking you through the iconic nights of Madison Square Gardens.

Icons XP is a new way to get closer to your heroes. And we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to you. See you in Barcelona soon.


  • FC Barcelona Experience Memorabilia packages are available for matches throughout FC Barcelona’s 2018/19 campaign, including the world-famous El Clasico derby plus crucial La Liga clashes, thrilling Copa Del Rey ties and, of course, those epic UEFA Champions League nights. Contact [email protected] for prices, match availability and further information.
  • Eric Cantona kicks off his UK speaker tour on October 24th with a show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. VIP and VVIP tickets are available for all dates. Click here for more information.


Behind the Signing: Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo sign for Icons!

Here at Icons.com, we are very lucky to get to work with the world’s best footballers. It’s something we’re immensely proud of and at our most recent signing session we added two new names to our unbeatable roster. So, here’s what happened when we met the legendary Brazilian duo of Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo.

The summer is a busy time of year in the world of football. Though there’s little to no action on the pitch, clubs across the country and around the world are hard at work signing players for the season ahead. But, on Friday July 14th, in a plush hotel in central London, Icons.com captured the signatures of the two summer recruits to beat them all. We signed Brazilian legends Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo.

Known the world over for their style and flair on the pitch, this iconic pair were two of the world’s very best players during the 90s and 00s. Meeting the duo for the first time was an eye-opening experience as we shared time between their duties at the Star Sixes tournament – a meeting of some of the greatest names in world football.

It was an early start for us all but by 9am we were buzzing to meet two absolute legends. First up: Roberto Carlos.

The signing happened very quickly, as we got word the former Real Madrid full-back was ready for action. Instructed to nip up to the 11th floor and join him in his room, our team – well-versed in the art of a speedy signing session – got things underway. As self-confessed kit nerds, seeing all sorts of historic shirts, boots, balls and photos was a sight to behold. But seeing them personally signed by a FIFA World Cup and three-time UEFA Champions League winner made it all the more exciting.

During this time, we reflected on what a great player Roberto Carlos was; a truly unique defender who lit up the game. How much would the powerful defender cost in 2017, we wonder? A stalwart of Real Madrid, Carlos still holds Los Blancos‘ record for appearances made by a foreign player. No mean feat when you consider the Galaticos that have passed through that great club.

After a few quick pictures with Roberto we were out the door ready and raring for the arrival of Rivaldo.

As we got the lift down to the lobby, former Liverpool, West Ham and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James stepped in to greet us. The legendary England shot stopper had a quick chat with our team and we wished him luck for the tournament. Luck that didn’t quite catch, mind, as an England team even featuring Steven Gerrard couldn’t win the tournament on home soil. We make it 51 years of hurt now…

Of course, our team are no strangers to footballing superstars but a day up close and personal with this many legends of the game was still one to relish. Topping it off: FC Barcelona and AC Milan hero Rivaldo.

A true gentleman, the 1999 Ballon d’Or winner breezed through our signing session with every bit of the class he brought to the football pitch. Still as lean and fit as ever, the legendary attacker gave great care and attention to the products he was signing – fastidiously dotting his i’s and paying particular regard to ensuring he signed with the correct squad number. We signature buffs loved that!

Adding his beautiful autograph to a superb collection of items, it was time for Rivaldo to be whisked away to face China at the nearby O2 Arena. Three-nil or four-nil for Brazil, we asked. It wouldn’t be that easy, he replied quite diplomatically.

It was 7-0.

 

For our full range of Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos signed products check out Icons.com now!

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ICYMI: Messi’s wedding, the two Ronnies and NUUUTS!

Here at Icons.com we like to keep a watchful eye over our superstar friends to see what they’re getting up to during the summer break. Let’s just say it’s been a huge fortnight for our two most popular Icons. In case you missed it…

Lionel Messi is now a married man, having tied the knot with his childhood sweetheart Antonella Roccuzzo. A hearty congratulations are in order from everyone at Icons HQ to a man with whom we’ve worked for over a decade. Despite our invite getting lost in the post, the wedding was a star-studded event with footballing A-list guests Gerard Pique, Sergio Aguero and Cesc Fabregas among the attendees. Now there’s a list of players that would make quite the five-a-side team – though it may mean Messi’s bride going between the sticks.

Not to be outdone by his Argentine rival, Cristiano Ronaldo had some big news of his own last week as he announced, via Instagram, the arrival of twins; a boy and girl. Should the pair grow up to be anything like their dad, Manchester United will surely be keen to snap them up on long-term contracts.

And if the thrill of newborns wasn’t quite enough excitement for Cristiano, the 32-year-old European champion had yet another reason to be smiling as his snap of the tiny tots racked up some 7.9 million likes (and counting), making it the second most popular Instagram photo of all time. We’re sure our favourite Portuguese superstar will be a great father to them both (good luck on him going easy on you in the back garden, kids).

Next we turn to a familiar face to take us away from weddings and babies and bring us back to the football pitch, as recent Icons signee Ronaldinho enjoyed a lovely return to Camp Nou in the blue and red of FC Barcelona. Playing in a legends game against Manchester United, our new friend was just as amazing and flamboyant as you would expect. The samba star executed an outrageous nutmeg on Jesper Blomqvist and, you have to trust us on this, it’s a must watch.

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⚽⚽ @FCBarcelona #BarçaLegends

A post shared by Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (@ronaldinho) on

But wait just a minute. If I were you, I’d keep my eyes fixed on Icons.com over the coming weeks as another legend who played in that very same game could be arriving soon. Here’s a hint: much like R10 himself, this Brazilian is much loved in Catalunya…

Lastly this week, we congratulate former England captain John Terry but not on his move to Aston Villa. We salute Mr Captain Leader Legend for his confident rendition of Ben E King’s classic Stand By Me which he belted out during his Villans initiation. Does he get top marks for his singing? No. Is it cheating that he got a guitarist to accompany him? Probably. Do we care? Absolutely not.


Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Ronaldinho signed items by visiting our dedicated R10 page…

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Memorabilia signed by Messi



Anatomy of An Icons Signing: Behind The Scenes With FOOTY.com

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Earlier this year we invited our friends from the football price comparison site FOOTY.com to come with us to a signing with one of the world’s best footballers. It just so happened that player was Barcelona‘s Argentinean superstar and global phenomenon Lionel Messi. From the FOOTY.com blog, here’s what Michael Lowdon thought of one our sessions with the world’s best…

As I drove down the A1 in torrential rain to FOOTY.com HQ, another wet day in the North East lay ahead. Or so I thought. By 10pm I was in Barcelona, enjoying a warm night, as the atmosphere of the UEFA Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid spilled out of the Nou Camp and onto the city’s streets. Our friends over at Icons.com had given us an invite to join them in the Catalan capital to get an insight into the workings of a player signing session. The player in question: Mr Lionel Messi.

Home of one of the best club sides in the history of the game, with arguably the greatest player to have kicked a football, the journey to the airport required regular pinching.

Being a frequent visitor to the Icons.com website, I was intrigued to see what goes on behind the scenes at a signing. After meeting Ali and Ben at Heathrow, the first task was to help with checking in of a number of packed suitcases, all of which were full to the brink with Messi memorabilia to be signed. From his latest adidas boot collection to a range of Barcelona and Argentina shirtsUEFA Champions League balls and glossy photo prints, the Icons team took a wide range of products ready for the Argentine’s penwork.

Once we had landed in Barcelona, the breathless Catalan commentary of the night’s match blared through the taxi’s radio, as we used our best broken Spanish to get the driver on our side. The hotel Icons put us up in was a stone’s throw away from the Camp Nou, meaning towards the end of journey the surrounding streets were filled with endless queues of mopeds, carrying relieved and joyous Cules late into the night. After more trolley pushing and the hotel bellboy’s help, we retired to the hotel bar, filled with the debate between fans. A quick night cap and a briefing for the next day’s signing rounded off a day which had started with a quiet, rainy morning in the office.

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FOOTY.com check out our signing photos – a key for authenticity

With signing day upon us, there was no time for a lie in and we were locked away in the hotel’s store room, preparing the cases and deciding what needed to be taken as a priority. It was the “less glamourous side of the signings” I was told, but as a Messi disciple and football merch geek I was like a pig in muck! Selections of football shirts and boots were asking to be jumped into and drooled over. Composed and professional, I managed to hide my excitement, just. As the deadline loomed, we met player liaison officer Jesus, Icons Founder Edward and CEO Dan outside of the Barcelona training ground and dissected Atleti’s defensive resilience, which would help them later progress to the semi final. Bumping into Pep’s superstar agent brother Pere Guardiola and a handful of other important figures, the team were escorted into the training centre to get the session underway.

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Messi is delighted to receive a shirt signed by fellow Icon Wayne Rooney

Having been signed to Icons for over a decade, making it one of his longest running commercial relationships, Messi knows what to expect when he’s faced with another Icons memorabilia signing session and he quickly got about his business. Icons exclusively produce the official Messi signed range as part of their license with the Argentine superstar. He breaks from the rhythm of signing to get his photo lifting a signed Wayne Rooney shirt that he’s received from the England captain, smiling with that grin we’ve come to recognise after more than 500 career goals.

The session draws to a close with Messi needed elsewhere – those five Ballon d’Ors won’t polish themselves you know. With yet another successful session in the bag, we retreat back to the hotel bar as the team celebrate. Messi is just one of a glittering list of current players which sign for Icons, including Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and many more. Not a bad forward line to have on your books! As the dust settles from the Messi signing, we relax with a meal in the shadow of La Sagrada Familia, unwinding as each Wolfsburg goal against Real Madrid raises a roar from the locals. We could get used to this!

Icons and FOOTY.com join the fans outside the Barcelona training ground

Icons and FOOTY.com join the fans outside the Barcelona training ground

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for FOOTY.com, but for Icons it’s simply another day at the office. They’ll do it all again before long, as they met Eric Cantona in Lisbon and Gareth Bale in Madrid before April comes to end. The team also reveal which players are on their radar to sign next, what affects their choice and whether the enigmatic Ronaldinho is within their grasp.

From logistically planned trolley runs to preparing products for smoother signings, it’s all in a day’s work, in the crazy job that is chasing footballers around the world. As FOOTY.com has come to realise, there’s a story behind every signing. We can’t thank Icons enough for inviting us along to their private signing session with the most in demand footballer on the planet. The care and effort they put into organising every aspect of the signing, from their planning, unrivalled authenticity they strive for and their relationships with players is something to be inspired by.

FOOTY.COM is the UK’s leading price comparison when it comes to everything football. We specialise in searching the web to bring you the best prices and biggest savings on products from boots to balls and everything in between. Shop with FOOTY.COM to pay less and play more!

Shop from our full range of official Lionel Messi signed items here.

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The Phenomenon Signs Again: Ronaldo Returns For Icons

 

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

All the best footballers have nicknames. Lionel Messi is “The Flea”, Diego Maradona “The Golden Boy”, while Sergio “Kun” Aguero is named after a Japanese cartoon character. Then there’s Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. He, rather aptly, is “The Phenomenon”. The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year was the star striker of a golden generation of Brazilian footballers who triumphed at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. And while those may have been the glory years for this outrageously talented number nine, wherever he went throughout his career – be it Internazionale or Real Madrid – Ronaldo just kept doing what he did best; scoring goals.

It’s exactly why the Brazilian has such a cult following even today, five years after his retirement from football. And because we at icons.com love bringing you products from the world’s greatest players, we made sure to get a wide range of fantastic items signed by The Phenomenon himself.

This, of course, is not the first time Icons have met with the now 39-year-old. We have, in fact, been working with Ronaldo for over thirteen years and since our last signing session, he’s been a busy man. A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and co-owner of North American Soccer League side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Ronaldo still finds time to travel the world watching football and was only too happy to chat away about the game he loves.

All throughout our session the former Galactico striker was in a high spirits, laughing and joking with our team as he signed our selection of shirts, photos, boots and balls.

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Adding his signature to a number of items that serve to chronicle his outstanding career at the very top of the sport, Ronaldo seemed to be moved by our selection of photos, recalling great goals in FIFA World Cups, astonishing performances in the UEFA Champions League and remarkable personal honours from a career spanning eighteen years. In fact, he seemed to like a number of items so much that he asked our team if he could take a few away for himself.

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With a handful of goodies to remember another thoroughly enjoyable and successful signing session, Ronaldo bid us farewell and left to enjoy more of his his favourite city, Madrid, a place in which he spent five great years tearing up La Liga with his Galactico team-mates. That left our team with the all-important task of delivering the excellent variety of exciting products to icons.com for you to enjoy. With more coming over the next few days, keep an eye for our full range of Ronaldo signed products and take it from us; these are not-to-be-missed products from a true legend of football.

For our full range of Ronaldo signed products check out icons.com now!

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Memorabilia signed by Ronaldo



Icons Weekend Football Preview: Cup Weekend In England; Messi and Ronaldo Both Travel

The Emirates FA Cup

It’s almost the weekend! And that means, as always, there’s a full card of top class football to look forward to. Football that involves our Icons doing what they do best – being iconic. So who’s playing where and when? With a run-down of what our friends are up to this weekend, it’s the Icons Weekend Football Preview

Don’t forget to let us know who you’ll be supporting by getting in touch with our social media team. Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let them know how your favourite Icon has gotten on over the course of the weekend. Let’s get started!

 

Arsenal vs Hull City

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud runs with the trophy after winning the English FA Cup final match against Hull City at Wembly Stadium in London on May 17, 2014. Aaron Ramsey scored an extra-time winner as Arsenal ended their nine-year trophy drought by coming from two goals down to beat Hull City 3-2 in a gripping FA Cup final. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK == NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

For Arsenal fans, this fixture will have a very familiar ring to it. The Gunners have now faced Hull City in the FA Cup in each of the last three seasons, notably beating the Tigers in the 2014 Wembley final to capture their first trophy in nine seasons. And after a successful defence of their crown last season, Arsene Wenger’s side have not been beaten in the Cup in three years. The French gaffer will oversee his 100th FA Cup match as Arsenal manager on Saturday afternoon and may look to fellow countryman Olivier Giroud to break down what is expected to be a stubborn Hull back-line.

Details: FA Cup, Emirates Stadium, Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 2 HD


Las Palmas vs Barcelona

Barcelona are in irresistible and record-breaking form right now, so any chance to watch them in action is one not to be missed. It’s a shame, then, that their Saturday afternoon clash at Las Palmas will not be on British television, as Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta and company look to extend their historic unbeaten run to 32 in all competitions. Messi became the first player in La Liga history to reach 300 league goals during their midweek win over Sporting Gijion – who’ll bet against him adding to that tally tomorrow?

Details: La Liga, Estadio Gran Canaria, Saturday 3pm


Bournemouth vs Everton

Everton v Aston Villa - Premier League

With the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley in the side, Everton have every right to believe they have the potential to win a Cup competition. But inconsistent form has dogged their season and now the FA Cup looks to be their last chance at salvaging a memorable campaign. A trip to the south coast to face Bournemouth, in front of the BBC camera crews, may not be the ideal environment for Roberto Martinez’s team but if Lukaku and Barkley can link up well, the Cherries will have serious issues, as on their day those two are nearly unstoppable.

Details: FA Cup, Vitality Stadium, Saturday 5:15pm, BBC One HD


Malaga vs Real Madrid

AS Roma v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

Buoyed by a important victory over AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night, Zinedine Zidane‘s Real Madrid travel to Malaga for a tricky La Liga clash. Cristiano Ronaldo‘s exceptional goal at the Stadio Olimpico showcased everything that’s mesmerising about his game. The speed, power and directness of his touchline sprint and rifled finish proved to be too much to handle for another of Europe’s top teams. But Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and company will need to be on their toes for this trip, as three points will be crucial in their pursuit of the title.

Details: La Liga, La Rosaleda, Sunday 3pm Sky Sports 3 HD


Chelsea vs Manchester City

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

The beauty of the FA Cup is that it can pit the Shrewsburys of the world against the Manchester Uniteds (see below) but the Cup is also good for a heavyweight contest or two. And that’s certainly the case here, as Sergio Aguero‘s Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea side who suffered their first defeat since Guus Hiddink took charge of the Blues. The hosts may see this competition as their last truly viable chance at silverware this term, with progress in the UEFA Champions League looking shaky after their loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

Details: FA Cup, Stamford Bridge, Sunday 4pm, BBC One HD


Shrewsbury Town vs Manchester United

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Losing star striker Wayne Rooney earlier this week was a big blow to Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United and a midweek defeat in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie with FC Midtjylland was far from ideal but the Red Devils have extensive experience of seeing off lower league opposition in the FA Cup – especially of late. Shrewsbury are the latest test for the Old Trafford side after Juan Mata‘s goal helped see off Derby County, who went the way of Sheffield United, Preston North End, Cambridge United and Yeovil Town. Can United add to that list with a moral-boosting victory on Monday night?

Details: FA Cup, New Meadow, Monday 7:45pm, BBC One HD


Who will you be watching this weekend? Let us know!

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Memorabilia signed by Messi



Why We Love Messi’s 300 La Liga Goals

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With the opening goal of FC Barcelona‘s 3-1 victory over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday evening, Lionel Messi became the first player in the history of La Liga to reach 300 league goals. So, to celebrate Messi’s landmark achievement, the staff of icons.com have picked their favourite of Messi’s now 301 goals in the Spanish topflight.

But, with over 300 efforts to choose from, it’s inevitable that we would leave out a number of amazing goals. So, let us know if we’ve left out your favourite goal by getting in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And don’t forget, we have a wide range of official Lionel Messi signed memorabilia available to buy on icons.com right now. So check it out and grab yourself a wonderful item from one of the greatest players in football history.


Goal Number 1 (vs Albacete, May 1st, 2005)

This is where it all began. Lionel Messi‘s very first goal for Barcelona was a classic. Sent clear by Ronaldinho, a 17-year-old Leo steadies himself, sizes up the onrushing goalkeeper and cooly lobs it into the back of the net to get off the mark in La Liga. Everything is perfect here, from Ronaldinho’s awesome dinked pass to the fact it seals the points for Barca in the dying seconds of a typical Camp Nou victory. Simply historic. – Alistair Hunter


Goal Number 78 (vs Real Zaragoza, March 21st, 2010)

Similar to his Copa del Rey goal against Getafe, this solo effort is just incredible. It’s a goal that reminded me of Diego Maradona’s against England because Messi has the ball for so long and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much skill and control in an individual effort. It’s also great because he shows tremendous strength to win the ball in the first place and then the quickness in his feet to take past that first opponent is magical. Superb stuff. – Edward Freedman


Goal Number 158 (vs Getafe, April 10th, 2012)

Has there ever been a midfielder-striker partnership as good as Andres Iniesta and Lionel MessiI think this goal, with the quality of the one-two between Andres and Leo, shows off what was and still is an incredible duo. The neat interplay between the two is amazing to watch, but then there’s the power of Messi’s finish. This is a goal of real style and class. – Ben Soley


Goal Number 276 (vs Almeria, April 8th, 2015)

If you rush to him, Messi dribbles past you. If you stay put, the Argentine magician does this. Defensively, there is not much more Almeria could do. But Messi makes top level footballers look like amateurs on a weekly basis. The nonchalance with which he impossibly bends the ball around well-placed defenders is something only one player on Earth could do. With a phenomenon like Messi you can’t really win. That’s why Messi is Messi and the rest just trail in his wake. – Jack O’Neill


Which of Messi’s La Liga goals is your favourite? Let us know by checking out this incredible video of all of his 301 La Liga goals.

Shop from our full range of official Lionel Messi signed items here.

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Memorabilia signed by Messi



Icons Weekend Football Preview: Barcelona Out To Extend Unbeaten Run; Aguero In Top Of The Table Clash

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It’s almost the weekend! And that means, as always, there’s a full card of top class football to look forward to. Football that involves our Icons doing what they do best – being iconic. So who’s playing where and when? With a run-down of what our friends are up to this weekend, it’s the Icons Weekend Football Preview

Don’t forget to let us know who you’ll be supporting by getting in touch with our social media team. Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let them know how your favourite Icon has gotten on over the course of the weekend. Let’s get started!

 

Sunderland vs Manchester United

Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (R) celebrates with Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on February 7, 2016. / AFP / Ian Kington / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata travel to Wearside to take on Premier League strugglers Sunderland this weekend and we’re confident that at least one of them will be on the scoresheet during Saturday’s early kick-off. Rooney has scored three goals in United’s last two matches against the Black Cats, while Mata has scored twice in their last three meetings. Louis van Gaal’s side will arrive at the Stadium of Light hoping to keep up their good form and a win here will keep the Red Devils in touch with the top four – at least two of whom are guaranteed to drop points on Sunday.

Details: Premier League, Stadium of Light, Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1 HD


Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

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Real Madrid have scored 19 goals in five games since Zinedine Zidane took charge and a whopping 16 in three home games at the Santiago Bernabeu and with Gareth Bale nearing a return to full fitness it’ll be down to Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez to continue the scoring in this deceptively tricky clash against sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao. Ronaldo will no doubt be in the mood, having picked up the Pichichi Trophy for finishing last season as the league’s top scorer during the weekend. How many will he and Real get this weekend?

Details: La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu, Saturday 3pm


Aston Villa vs Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool scores their first and equalising goal from a free-kick during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on February 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Philippe Coutinho scored a wonderful free-kick midweek as Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup against West Ham United but, despite defeat, Jurgen Klopp’s young side looked strong and can take plenty of positives into this match at bottom of the table Aston Villa. Klopp will look to Coutinho for more magic this weekend and the Kop boss was full of praise for his Brazilian star recently. “I don’t know many teams who he can’t play for,” Klopp said of Coutinho. We can’t think of many either!

Details: Premier League, Villa Park, Sunday 2:05pm, Sky Sports 1 HD


Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League

Two of the Premier League’s most deadly strikers will face off at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon as Harry Kane and his Tottenham side travel to face Sergio Aguero and Manchester City in this mouth-watering top of the table clash. Aguero has scored six in his last four league games and Kane is on form too, with four in his last four Premier League outings, so expect goals from this match – one that could go a long way in deciding where the Premier League trophy ends up come May.

Details: Premier League, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 4:15pm Sky Sports 1 HD


Barcelona vs Celta Vigo

Barcelona v Valencia - Copa del Rey Semi Final, First Leg

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona broke a club record on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey at Valencia. The draw not only sealed their place in history – with the team reaching a record 29 consecutive games unbeaten in all competitions – but also the final of the Copa. Superstars Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta were all rested for that game so we expect that foursome, fresh and on form, to come into this match against an overachieving Celta Vigo side eager to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Details: La Liga, Camp Nou, Sunday 7:30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD


Who will you be watching this weekend? Let us know!

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