Names In The News
Adidas unveiled the "Messi Gallery," a new pop-up exhibition in Barcelona dedicated to footballer LIONEL MESSI. The gallery features "a host of iconic memorabilia and exhibits" representing Messi’s entire career, including his four successive FIFA Ballon d’Or trophies from 2009 to 2012 (GULF TIMES, 3/16). ... Paris St. Germain Sporting Dir LEONARDO asked his TV presenter partner ANNA BILLÓ "to marry him live on air" after Friday's Champions League quarterfinal draw (GUARDIAN, 3/15). ... Real Madrid's CRISTIANO RONALDO has been "named the ambassador for the Bali-based Forum Peduli Mangrove or Mangrove Care Forum" (JAKARTA POST, 3/17). ... AEK Athens midfielder GIORGOS KATIDIS was "handed a life ban from all national teams" by Greece's football federation EPO on Sunday after he "appeared to give a Nazi salute to supporters during a match." Katidis denied he gave a Nazi salute. Katidis: "I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant." He said that he was simply "pointing at MICHALIS PAVLIS in the stands to dedicate the goal to his teammate as he continues to fight health problems" (REUTERS, 3/17). ... Tennis player VICTORIA AZARENKA's boyfriend, American musician and rapper REDFOO, has "entered the U.S. Open national playoffs in a bid to earn a spot" in the final Grand Slam of the year. Redfoo will play under his given name of STEFAN GORDY. He has entered the Northern California sectional qualifying tournament in Salinas from June 18-23 (REUTERS, 3/15). ... DAVID BECKHAM will "begin his role as ambassador for the Chinese Super League next week. Beckham will visit three cities in five days (AFP, 3/16). ... Asian Games medal winner HAFEZ HASSANI died at age of 65 on Friday. The super heavyweight weightlifter won the three medals in the 1974 Asian Games held in Tehran (TEHRAN TIMES, 3/16).
RACING NAMES: Former F1 and current German Touring Car Championship (DTM) driver RALF SCHUMACHER "has retired from DTM racing." The Mercedes DTM team "will replace" Schumacher with 18-year-old PASCAL WEHRLEIN (KURIER, 3/16). ... LUCIANO BACHETA will race in the AutoGP World Series in '13 after having joined Zele Racing. Bacheta earned himself a test drive with Williams F1 to gain more racing experience for a future in F1 (Zele).