Speculation surrounds Messi as FC Barcelona devolves into disarray

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On May 27, 2009, FC Barcelona, arguably the most iconic club in world soccer, beat Manchester United 2-0 to claim the UEFA Champions League title. Thousands of fans watching on a giant screen near the harbor went bonkers when Lionel Messi, then and now arguably the world’s most popular soccer star, vaulted his 5-foot-7 frame into the air to head home a 70th minute goal that sealed the win. People danced. People kissed. Beer was spilled everywhere

Fans poured into the streets after the match’s final whistle. In one plaza, a rock band played tribute songs to the team’s biggest stars. Running through cobblestoned streets to take it all in, a friend and I veered around small fires where revelers gathered to sing and chant. We grabbed one of the tennis ball-sized rubber orbs police fired to try to quell the hysteria Read more…

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