MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 17:34:26| >> :60:480:480:

Henk ten Cate: 'Lionel Messi made deathbed promise to Tito Vilanova'

Former Barcelona assistant manager Henk ten Cate claims that Lionel Messi is still at the club because of a promise he made to Tito Vilanova shortly before his death.

Henk ten Cate has claimed that Lionel Messi is only staying at Barcelona due to a "deathbed" promise he made to former head coach Tito Vilanova.

Vilanova passed away last April after a long battle with cancer, and Ten Cate, who served as assistant to Frank Rijkaard at Camp Nou in the early stages of Messi's career, suggests that a promise between the two is keeping the Argentine at the club.

"As far as I know these problems started around two years ago. Messi is only at Barcelona because of a promise he made to Tito Vilanova on his deathbed," the former Barcelona coach told Der Telegraaf.

"However, I think a transfer would be in everyone's best interests because Leo has been with Barca quite a while and needs a new challenge."

Messi was linked with a move to the Premier League earlier this week after reportedly falling out with Luis Enrique.

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Luis Enrique Martinez faces the media during his official presentation as the new coach of FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on May 21, 2014
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
3Barcelona00000000
4CadizCadiz00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6AlavesAlaves00000000
7ElcheElche00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Getafe00000000
10Granada00000000
11Levante00000000
12Mallorca00000000
13Osasuna00000000
14Rayo Vallecano00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Real Sociedad00000000
18Sevilla00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000

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