Radamel Falcao has defended Lionel Messi, saying he is held to unfair expectations but admitted it is cost of “being the best player in the world.”Messi had hoped to reverse a long trend of international heartbreak with Argentina at the 2019 Copa America after the nation lost in the finals to Chile in both 2015 and 2016.However, Argentina’s tournament got off to a poor start as they lost 2-0 to Colombia on the strength of goals from substitutes Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata, which consigned the Albiceleste to their first defeat in regulation in the Copa America since 2007. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Messi had a chance to put Argentina up when the game was still scoreless, but put a header in the area wide.Any time Argentina lose, Messi invariably comes in for criticism in some circles, but Falcao is convinced the star will find the net soon enough.He also believes Messi’s quality has made him a target for unfair criticism, suggesting he is subjected to moving targets for what is expected.”Messi was close to scoring against us, but he is sure to convert in the next couple of matches,” Falcao said after the Colombia victory.“If Messi scores a goal, people ask for two. If he scores a free-kick, they’ll say the wall wasn’t set up properly. If Argentina lose, it will be talked about like it was his fault.“That’s the price you pay for being the best player in the world.”Having defeated Argentina, and with an impressive roster that includes James Rodriguez, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Cuadrado, Zapata, as well as Falcao himself, might have some thinking the nation could go on to win their first Copa America since 2001.But Falcao has downplayed any talk of Colombia being one of the favourites, arguing the squad still has a long way to go before they can be considered complete.“We can’t think that we are favourites after beating Messi’s Argentina,” Falcao said. “A lot is missing. We are just starting and anything can happen. If you fall asleep here, you will lose.”Colombia will face tournament guests Qatar on Wednesday and close out Group B play on Sunday against Paraguay.
Lucknow: The by-polls on Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur Assembly seat is likely to witness a high profile contest as the BJP and SP are likely to field Jaya Prada and Dimple Yadav, respectively. The by-elections is necessitated after Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mohd Azam Khan was elected to the Lok Sabha. Khan, who held the seat for nine terms, defeated Jaya Prada to win the Rampur parliamentary seat. Hinting that Dimple Yadav may be the SP face in the seat, Khan told reporters that she would sweep the elections if she contests. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Sources in the BJP said that the party is likely to field Jaya Prada from Rampur. Last week, the actor-turned-politician visited Rampur and spent time interacting with party workers which fuelled speculations of her contesting the by-polls. The by-polls are likely to be announced in September. Eleven seats in the state fell vacant after the sitting MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha. The Hamirpur seat fell vacant after sitting BJP MLA Ashok Chandel was disqualified after his conviction in a murder case. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Dimple Yadav and Jaya Prada were said to be good friends when the later was in the SP. She had won the Rampur Lok Sabha seat in 2004 and 2009. However, she lost the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections which she contested on a BJP ticket. Dimple Yadav began her political career in 2009 when she lost a by-election in Ferozabad to Raj Babbar of the Congress. She later won the by-elections on the Kannauj seat unopposed and retained the seat in 2014. In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, she lost to the BJP’s Subrat Pathak by margin of around 12,000 votes.