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Lionel Messi worthy of seventh Ballon d’Or victory, says Xavi

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said former team mate Lionel Messi deserved his Ballon d’Or win, describing the Argentine’s record-extending seventh victory as “total justice”.

Paris St Germain forward Messi, 34, beat Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea’s Jorginho to lift the prestigious award after winning the Copa America for the first time with Argentina in July.

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“I think it’s football justice. He is the best footballer in the world, and the best of all time. And he deserves this seventh award. No doubt about it,” Xavi said.

“We may think that maybe Lewandowski also deserved it, or other players, but this is the same debate every year… The moment they open the envelope and they say Messi won it, then it’s fair.”

Barcelona, seventh in LaLiga with 23 points, host fifth-placed Real Betis on Saturday.

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BBC halts ‘Top Gear’ filming after presenter Flintoff’s December crash


The BBC has abandoned filming of the latest series of motoring program “Top Gear” following an investigation into a December crash that injured former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, the British broadcaster said on Thursday.

Flintoff, 45, who quit cricket in 2010 and joined Top Gear as a host in 2019, was injured in a car crash during the filming of an episode in December and was said to be “lucky to be alive.”

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The Times newspaper reported, citing insiders, that Flintoff was quitting as co-presenter of “Top Gear,” one of BBC’s most successful shows. Flintoff co-hosted the show along with Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris.

“Under the circumstances, we feel it would be inappropriate to resume making series 34,” the BBC said, adding a decision on how best to continue would be made later this year.

The broadcaster said they have apologized to Flintoff, who is widely known for his heroics in the 2005 Ashes series against Australia, a highlight in his cricketing career that earned him cult status.

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s lawyer inquires about missing GoPro footage of ski crash


Gwyneth Paltrow’s attorneys asked the daughter of a man suing the actor-turned-lifestyle influencer over a 2016 ski collision about missing GoPro camera footage that they called “the most important piece of evidence” at trial Thursday.

Steve Owens, Paltrow’s attorney, asked one of the man’s daughters, Polly Grasham, about emails exchanged with her father about the mysterious footage and the possibility that the lawsuit was filed against Paltrow because she was famous.

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The GoPro footage has not been found or included as evidence for the trial.

“I’m famous … At what cost?” Terry Sanderson, the 76-year-old retired optometrist suing Paltrow, wrote in the subject line of an email to his family after the crash.

Sanderson is suing Paltrow for more than $300,000 in damages, claiming that she skied recklessly into him on a beginner run at Deer Valley Resort seven years ago, breaking his ribs and leaving him with a concussion. Paltrow has claimed Sanderson caused the crash and countersued for $1 and attorney fees.

Paltrow’s attorneys questioned whether Grasham and neuropsychologist Dr. Alina Fong could say with certainty that Sanderson’s downturn wasn’t a result of aging or documented, pre-crash conditions. They questioned Grasham about her father’s anger problems, divorces, and estranged relationship with another of his daughters, who is not testifying at trial.

Paltrow has previously called the lawsuit an attempt to exploit her fame and celebrity.

Owens probed Sanderson’s “obsession” with the case and whether he thought it was “cool” to collide with a celebrity like Paltrow, the Oscar-winning star of “Shakespeare in Love” and founder-CEO of the wellness company, Goop.

Sanderson is expected to testify Friday about the lasting effects of the crash. He has not been present in the courtroom while his doctors and experts have detailed his health problems.

Paltrow could be called to testify on Friday or early next week, when the eight-day trial continues.

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Ramadan food tips: 10 things to eat to prevent fatigue, stay energetic 


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk. The Islamic ritual can be challenging for many and may leave those practicing feeling less energized and weaker during the day.

To avoid feeling sluggish, it is important to consume nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy and prevent

dehydration.

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Here are 10 foods that can help you stay energized during Ramadan:

1. Dates: Dates are traditionally consumed to break the fast because they are an excellent source of energy, fiber, and essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. They also contain simple sugars that provide quick energy to the body.

A Saudi farmer displays dates to customers during Unaizah Season for Dates, at Unaizah city in Al-Qassim province, Saudi Arabia August 10, 2021.  (File photo: Reuters)

A Saudi farmer displays dates to customers during Unaizah Season for Dates, at Unaizah city in Al-Qassim province, Saudi Arabia August 10, 2021. (File photo: Reuters)

2. Whole grains: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats are high in complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy throughout the day. They also contain fiber, which slows down digestion, keeping you feeling full for longer.

3. Lentils: Lentils are a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy. They are also rich in iron, which is important for maintaining healthy blood levels.

4. Nuts: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, making them an ideal snack for sustained energy. They also contain important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

A bowl of cereal with toasted peanuts and banana chips, is displayed at the Kellogg's NYC cafe in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, U.S., June 29, 2016. (File photo: Reuters)

A bowl of cereal with toasted peanuts and banana chips, is displayed at the Kellogg's NYC cafe in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, U.S., June 29, 2016. (File photo: Reuters)

5. Yogurt: Yogurt is a good source of protein and calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones. It also contains probiotics, which can help to improve gut health and boost immunity.

6. Spinach: Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, making them an ideal food for sustained energy.

Fresh spinach displayed in a bowl. (Stock Image)

Fresh spinach displayed in a bowl. (Stock Image)

7. Chicken and fish: Lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and tofu are rich in amino acids, which are important for maintaining muscle mass and promoting healthy immune function. They also provide sustained energy throughout the day.

A whole roasted chicken is displayed. (Stock image)

A whole roasted chicken is displayed. (Stock image)

8. Bananas and other fruits: Fruits such as bananas, oranges, and apples are rich in natural sugars and fiber, making them an ideal food for quick energy. They also contain important vitamins and minerals that can help to boost immunity and prevent dehydration.

9. Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and Vitamin D. Enjoy them scrambled, boiled, or in an omelet with plenty of vegetables to ensure you will stay energized and fuller for longer.

Differently cooked eggs. (Stock Image)

Differently cooked eggs. (Stock Image)

10. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are rich in potassium, Vitamin A, C, and B6. Whether boiled, baked, or air fried, they can be an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates.

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