Lionel Messi Signed World Cup Stub Hits Auction ... From '22 Final

Lionel Messi super fans can add a piece of awesome memorabilia to their collections -- an autographed ticket from Argentina's 2022 World Cup Final victory -- but they're gonna have to compete for it with their wallets on the auction block!!

TMZ Sports is told ... the signed hospitality stub from Messi's iconic showdown with France is part of Goldin's February Elite Auction, and the current bid has already surpassed $2,000.

The item features a Mint 9-graded Hancock in black ink from the G.O.A.T. himself, who led his home country to the thrilling 3-3 (4-2) win in penalty kicks.

We're told the ticket is as rare as it gets ... with just one other copy ever graded by PSA/DNA.

The ticket is something any Messi fan would salivate over ... especially considering the match locked up his first-ever World Cup win.

Messi had two goals in the contest ... which helped him secure Man of the Match honors and the Golden Ball award, presented to the tournament's best player.

The auction is currently live and will end on March 2 ... so there's plenty of time to check those couch cushions!!

Ashlyn Harris I'm No Cheater!!! Defends Sophia Bush Relationship

Ashlyn Harris has a lot to say to internet trolls about what was happening behind the scenes when she and Ali Krieger broke up, and she started dating Sophia Bush -- and she says there was absolutely no cheating.

The former soccer star says she's tried to remain silent about the details, but Saturday -- due to the rumors of infidelity, she decided to share it all. She says, "Let me be clear: I did not step out on my marriage. I was always faithful in my marriage, if not always totally happy. Like in many partnerships, there was work and therapy and processing done."

In her Instagram post, Ashlyn added the split was well planned out -- "We spent the entire summer working to tackle the separation and divorce steps outlined for us by our therapists, lawyers, and our shared agency."

Ashlyn says they were betrayed by someone who leaked their breakup news before they intended to go public at the end of Ali's soccer season.

As we previously reported, Ashlyn started dating Sophia less than a month after filing for divorce from Ali in September. Krieger and Harris married in late 2019 in Miami.

Ali seemed to fuel the rumor about infidelity being the reason for their split when she wrote on Instagram, "Preparing for playoffs while in my Beyoncé Lemonade era" -- and, of course, the "Lemonade" album chronicles Bey and Jay-Z's relationship issues after she discovered he cheated on her.


While video showed Ashlyn and Sophia seemingly getting flirty during a June event in Cannes -- Ashlyn's new revelation makes it seem like she and Ali were done at that point ... just not publicly.

She says she and Ali are now focused on co-parenting their 2 young children.

Ashlyn turned off the comments in her post -- in which she details her mental health struggles after getting flooded with cheating accusations and worse. She captioned it with a single black heart.

Neymar Pareja e hija fueron presuntos objetivos en un aterrador asalto

Un momento aterrador pasó la familia de la superestrella del fútbol Neymar. En la madrugada de este martes, tres hombres supuestamente irrumpieron en el condominio de su pareja Bruna Biancardi en Sao Paulo en un intento de atacarla a ella y a su bebé recién nacido.

Neymar y Bruna, que empezaron a salir en 2021, no estaban en casa en ese momento, según los medios locales, pero los padres de ella estaban presentes cuando los intrusos supuestamente entraron en la residencia.

Los informes afirman que dos hombres armados y otro sospechoso ataron a los padres de Bruna y procedieron a saquear la casa de la influencer, llevándose artículos de lujo como relojes, bolsos de diseño y joyas.

Según el diario R7, los sospechosos supuestamente buscaban a la hija de Neymar y Bruna, Mavie, que nació a principios de octubre. De hecho, el delantero del Al Hilal compartió el lunes una foto con su hija.

Afortunadamente, nadie resultó herido, y los vecinos se apresuraron a avisar a la seguridad durante el asalto a la vivienda.

Uno de los sospechosos, de 20 años, fue detenido durante el acto. Se cree que es vecino de Bruna y que utilizó su acceso al vecindario para permitir que los otros sospechosos entraran por la puerta.

Los otros dos sospechosos siguen libre, pero hasta ahora, uno ha sido identificado.

Neymar, que actualmente se está recuperando de una cirugía de rodilla izquierda después de romperse el ligamento cruzado anterior y el menisco durante un partido el mes pasado, emitió un breve comunicado sobre el "ataque que sufrieron los padres de Bru" diciendo: "Gracias a Dios todo el mundo está bien".

Neymar Partner, Newborn Allegedly Targeted ... In Scary Home Invasion

Terrifying moment for soccer superstar Neymar's family -- three men reportedly broke into his partner Bruna Biancardi's Sao Paulo condo early Tuesday morning in an attempt to target her and their newborn baby.

Neymar and Bruna -- who started dating in 2021 -- weren't home at the time, according to local outlets ... but her parents were present when the intruders allegedly entered the residence.

Reports state two armed men and another suspect tied up Bruna's parents and proceeded to ransack the influencer's place ... taking luxury items like watches, designer purses and jewelry.

According to R7 newspaper, the suspects were allegedly looking for Neymar and Bruna's baby girl Mavie -- who was born in early October. In fact, the Al Hilal striker shared a picture with his child on Monday.

Thankfully, no one was injured ... and neighbors were quick to notify security during the home invasion.

One of the suspects -- a 20-year-old -- was arrested during the act. It is believed he is Bruna's neighbor and used his access to the neighborhood to allow the other suspects in the gate.

The other two suspects are still on the loose ... but so far, one has been identified.

Neymar -- who is currently recovering from left knee surgery after rupturing his ACL and meniscus during a game last month -- released a brief statement about the "attack that Bru's parents suffered" ... saying, "Thank God everyone is fine."

Sophia Bush Seen for First Time Since New Relationship with USWNT's Ashlyn Harris

Sophia Bush is in a new relationship, but she's in no rush to talk about it ... staying quiet about things with recently divorced USWNT star Ashlyn Harris.

Sophia touched down at LAX Wednesday, just one day after news broke she and Harris were a new item. Sophia wasn't in the mood to talk -- avoiding answering about how she and Ashlyn met or what it's been like to get support from her estranged husband, Grant Hughes.

As we reported, Grant's been nothing but supportive of Sophia's new relationship -- just two months after Sophia filed for divorce.

In a statement to TMZ, a rep for Grant tells us, "Grant will always want the best for Sophia, and is supportive of all that makes her happy and fulfilled."

Sophia's not the only one who recently got divorced, Ashlyn and her wife Ali Krieger filed for divorce just last month after 4 years together ... they've got two young kids together.

Neither Sophia or Ashlyn have commented publicly on their new relationship.

Sophia Bush Es vista por primera vez desde su nueva relación con Ashlyn Harris

Sophia Bush está en una nueva relación, pero no tiene ningún apuro para hablar de ello, ya que ha mantenido en silencio respecto a las cosas entre ella y la estrella de la selección de fútbol de Estados Unidos, Ashlyn Harris, quien se divorció recientemente.

Sophia aterrizó en el aeropuerto de Los Ángeles el miércoles, justo un día después de la noticia de que ella y Harris estaban saliendo. Sophia no estaba de humor para hablar, evitando responder acerca de cómo se conocieron con Ashlyn o lo que ha significado recibir el apoyo de su marido separado, Grant Hughes.

Como informamos, Grant no ha hecho nada más que apoyar la nueva relación de Sophia, solo dos meses después de que ella solicitara el divorcio.

En una declaración a TMZ, un representante de Grant nos dijo: "Grant siempre querrá lo mejor para Sophia y apoya todo lo que la haga sentirse feliz y realizada."

Sophia no es la única que se ha divorciado recientemente, Ashlyn y su esposa Ali Krieger solicitaron el divorcio apenas el mes pasado después de 4 años juntas. Tienen además dos niños pequeños juntos.

Ni Sophia ni Ashlyn han comentado públicamente su nueva relación.

Luis Rubiales, Ex-Soccer Pres Must Stay Away From Hermoso Court Grants Restraining Order

A court in Spain has ordered Luis Rubiales to steer clear of Jenni Hermoso -- the player he kissed on the lips after the World Cup last month -- as the former soccer president is now under investigation for sexual assault.

Spain's High Court issued the ruling on Friday ... saying Rubiales must stay at least 200 meters away from the 33-year-old Spanish soccer player.

Prosecutors in the country recently launched an investigation into the ex-soccer federation president after Hermoso opted to lodge a formal complaint against Rubiales.

As part of the investigation, Luis was hauled in front of the judge for questioning, and that's when he was told he couldn't have any contact with his accuser.

Rubiales was on hand for this morning's hearing but did not speak with media, who assembled outside the National Court.

Hermoso's lawyer, however, did make a short statement.

"We maintain what we've said from the beginning. It was a nonconsensual kiss," Hermoso's attorney Carla Vall said.

"Thanks to the [images of the kiss], the entire world, the entire country, has been able to observe there was no type of consent. And we are going to prove that in the courtroom."

Of course, it all dates back to what should've been one of their happiest professional moments ... when Spain defeated England for their first World Cup title on August 20 in Sydney.

But, rather than being a joyous occasion, it turned into an international incident that ended with the players threatening to boycott, and the entire coaching staff either resigning or getting fired.

Rubiales, after initially indicating he would NOT step down from his post, ultimately decided to resign on September 10.

Spanish Soccer Prez Luis Rubiales Resigns ... After Kissing Scandal

Luis Rubiales is stepping down from his post as chief of Spanish soccer -- this after mounting pressure following his kissing scandal during the Women's World Cup.

The President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation -- who's had the job since 2018 -- just publicly announced he was resigning during an interview with Piers Morgan, who was asking if the backlash had grown too large to ignore.

Rubiales acknowledged his defiance was now starting to affect others and the organization at large, and that he was becoming a distraction ... so he's throwing in the towel.

He does maintain his innocence -- as he's done from the start -- but says trying to keep his position was turning out to be more trouble than it's worth. After a clip of the Piers sit-down was posted, he took to Twitter to confirm he'd passed the baton on to the acting Prez.

In his lengthy statement, Rubiales says he plans to defend himself/his honor in the continuing fallout. Of course, that seems to reference the criminal complaint the female soccer player herself, Jennifer Hermoso, filed with the Spanish authorities -- alleging sexual assault.

Spanish prosecutors have already said they're taking him to court to stand trial. If convicted, he faces a fine and/or up to 4 years in prison.


Rubiales apologized for the incident shortly after it happened -- saying he got swept up in the moment ... but later suggesting it was a consensual kiss, despite Hermoso saying otherwise.

He was eventually suspended, and the head coach of the team actually got fired for defending Rubiales -- in which he commended the fact Rubiales refused to quit. It's perhaps not that surprising ... the team had said they wouldn't take the field until he was gone.

A lesson learned ... don't kiss people without their consent. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Spain Women's Soccer Coach Jorge Vilda Fired ... Amid Rubiales Kiss Controversy

Jorge Vilda led his team to a World Cup title just over two weeks ago, but Spain's soccer coach is out of a job today ... as fallout from the Luis Rubiales kiss incident continues.

42-year-old Vilda was fired by the Spanish soccer federation on Tuesday, days after the coach applauded Rubiales for refusing to resign ... despite mounting pressure from within the country, and around the world.

Prior to getting the ax, Vilda -- who is an ally of Rubiales -- was the lone remaining member of the staff that beat England in the World Cup final on August 20 in Australia.

All of the other coaches, 11 in total, resigned in a show of support for Jenni Hermoso, who was kissed by Spain's soccer president during the postgame celebration following the championship-clinching game.

Of course, Rubiales was suspended by FIFA for 90 days ... as officials within Spain continue to investigate the incident.

It's hard to imagine a scenario where Rubiales returns ... the entire team has vowed not to play unless he is forced out.

As for Vilda, who took over control of the women's team in 2015, his tenure at the helm wasn't without controversy.

He barely survived a player-led revolt in September 2022, when many on his team accused the coach of treating them poorly, and demanded better working conditions. Vilda kept his job, but many of the unhappy players opted not to return for the World Cup.

Vilda has not yet addressed his firing.

Luis Rubiales, Spain Soccer Prez Mom Hospitalized After Food Strike ... In Support Of Son

The mom of Spain's embattled soccer president, Luis Rubiales, has reportedly been hospitalized after refusing to eat for a third straight day ... all in support of her son as he fights to save his job.

Angeles Bejar, Rubiales' mother, was admitted to Santa Ana hospital in the Motril area of Spain, according to the local parish priest, who told local outlets Luis' mom was feeling tired and stressed as a result of the hunger strike and the controversy involving her son.

Bejar locked herself in a nearby church days ago as a way to protest what she believes is the unfair treatment of Luis.

Of course, Rubiales is under fire for his actions in what should've been the happiest of moments ... when Spain won the Women's World Cup against England. Luis was seen kissing Jenni Hermoso, a soccer star on Spain's team, on the lips.

Despite an immediate backlash, Luis has refused to resign his position, despite Spain's entire soccer club vowing not to play if he remains president.

On Saturday, FIFA suspended Rubiales for 90 days ... but he could still lose his job.

Luis' mother, whose condition is unknown, clearly believes he is being railroaded.

Spain's Soccer Prez Luis Rubiales Suspended For 90 Days ... Over Unwanted Kiss

Spain's soccer honcho Luis Rubiales was just temporarily barred from participating in football events around the globe ... this after he planted an unwanted kiss on a player after his country won the World Cup last weekend.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee issued a statement Saturday, saying Rubiales was provisionally suspended from "all football-related activities at national and international level." His initial suspension is for 90 days, pending the results of an investigation launched on August 24.

Rubiales' troubles stem from an incident that occurred last Sunday after Spain beat England 1-0 to snag the FIFA Women's World Cup.

During the ensuing medal ceremony, Rubiales approached one of Spain's players, Jenni Hermoso, and gave her an unsolicited kiss, which was caught on camera.

He was also photographed carrying another player over his shoulder and grabbing his own crotch.

FIFA says Rubiales -- president of the Royal Spanish Soccer Federation -- might have violated rules pertaining to "offensive behavior and violations of the principles of fair play."

As for Rubiales' response, he initially apologized for his actions, but, after that didn't work, he turned defiant, refusing to step down from his post despite calls for him to do so. In fact, the women's soccer team threatened to go on strike if FIFA failed to suspend him.

Well, it seems they got their wish. Stay tuned for more. This one ain't over.

Spain's WWC Team Refusing To Play Again ... Until Luis Rubiales Resigns

Spain's Women's World Cup team is now refusing to suit up again ... until Luis Rubiales resigns over the kiss he planted on Jennifer Hermoso following the squad's big victory last Sunday.

The entire championship team issued the ultimatum on Friday morning ... saying in addition to Rubiales, it wants other team officials ousted as well.

The squad added that the kiss after Spain's World Cup win was "unacceptable" ... while condemning "behaviors that have violated the dignity of women."

The statement came just a couple hours after Rubiales emphatically told reporters that he had no plans to resign over the scandal. During his impassioned speech about staying in his place, he also insisted the kiss was consensual.

Hermoso, however, said in the team's statement Friday that she "at no time" consented to the full-lip kiss.

Several soccer stars have thrown their support behind Hermoso and the Spanish players amid all the drama ... including USA striker Alex Morgan, who said she was "disgusted" by Rubiales' actions.

"Winning a World Cup should be one of the best moments in these players' lives," Morgan tweeted, "but instead it's overshadowed by assault, misogyny, and failures by the Spanish federation."

"I stand by @Jennihermoso and the Spanish players."

Spain Soccer Prez Luis Rubiales Denies Resigning After Kiss Scandal


6:48 AM PT -- 8/25 -- Luis Rubiales is refuting reports of his resignation ... saying on Friday he isn't going anywhere, and insisting the kiss was consensual.


"Do you think this is so serious that I should go, after the best management in the history of Spanish football?" Rubiales said, according to reported translations. "Let me tell you -- I'm not going to resign. I'm not going to resign. I'm not going to resign."


Rubiales added his own take on the situation ... claiming the kiss was as innocent as if he were interacting with his daughters -- insisting he asked Jenni Hermoso's permission prior to planting his lips on her.


"These people are trying to assassinate me and I'm going to defend myself," Rubiales added. "The false feminists destroy people ... The press, in the majority, will keep killing me but I know the truth, and what my family and the people who love me think. The truth is the truth."


1:27 PM PT -- Rubiales is stepping down from his role as head of the Spanish soccer federation ... with multiple reports claiming the boss will resign on Friday following the backlash and investigation stemming from the kiss scandal.

Spain soccer boss Luis Rubiales is under FIFA investigation for planting an unwanted kiss on one of his players following the country's World Cup victory this week, the soccer governing body announced Thursday.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has informed Rubiales that it is opening disciplinary proceedings against him based on the events that occurred during the final," a statement released by FIFA read.

The international governing body went on to say Rubiales might've violated rules dictating "Offensive behavior and violations of the principles of fair play" for the unsolicited kiss of midfielder Jenni Hermoso after Spain's epic 1-0 win over England in the World Cup Final on August 20.

Rubiales, who is 46, has received widespread rebuke for his actions after the match. He was also photographed carrying a player over his shoulder and grabbing his crotch.

After initially acting defiant, Rubiales apologized, saying, "I made a mistake, for sure."

"I have to accept it. In a moment of such emotion, without any bad intention or bad faith, what happened, happened, in a very spontaneous way."

The soccer president added ... "I have to learn from this and understand that a president of an institution as important as the federation -- above all in ceremonies and that kind of thing -- should be more careful."

But, the apology wasn't enough for many, including the country's top politician, Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who called the apology "insufficient and inadequate."

FUTPRO, the union that represents Hermoso, the player who was kissed, released a statement on her behalf, saying "acts that should never go unpunished."

As for what will happen to Rubiales, FIFA won't say until the investigation is completed. However, they did offer a rebuke of his actions.

"FIFA reiterates its unwavering commitment to respecting the integrity of all individuals and strongly condemns any behavior to the contrary."

Despite FIFA's investigation still being underway, there's a chance Rubiales loses his job before the disciplinary committee concludes its work. There are mounting calls for Luis' job in Spain, and the Royal Spanish Football Federation is planning to meet Friday to discuss the controversy.

Originally Published -- 8/24 7:34 AM PT

Spain's Football Prez Apologizes For Kissing Player ... After Women's World Cup


9:06 AM PT -- 8/21 -- Luis Rubiales is sharing his regret over the kissing incident on Monday ... releasing a video apology for his actions.


"I made a mistake, for sure," Rubiales said in the clip. "I have to accept it. In a moment of such emotion, without any bad intention or bad faith, what happened, happened, in a very spontaneous way."


He continued ... "I have to learn from this and understand that a president of an institution as important as the federation -- above all in ceremonies and that kind of thing -- should be more careful."

Spain has taken home the gold in the Women's World Cup, but folks online are more focused on a super-cringe moment after the win ... when the country's football president planted a kiss on one of the players' lips.

The smooch went down Sunday, as the team received their gold medals after beating England in the final.

Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales was at the end of the line congratulating the athletes when he gave midfielder Jenni Hermoso a kiss squarely on her mouth.

It's a pretty awkward moment, especially because he grabbed the back of her head -- Hermoso admitted she wasn't a huge fan of what went down, but she's still defending him, saying it was a spontaneous, mutual gesture coming from all the post-win joy.

She's gone on to say his behavior with the team has been great, and they have a great relationship ... and is hoping fans will be putting the focus on the triumphant win instead.


Of course, folks online have been pointing at the kiss quite a bit, with many calling it completely inappropriate ... but Hermoso doesn't see it that way.

Originally Published -- 8/20 1:42 PM PT

U.S. Women's National Team Soccer Program Needs Big Changes ... Says Taylor Twellman


The U.S. Women's National Team is at a fork in the road after their incredibly disappointing World Cup, according to former soccer star-turned-analyst Taylor Twellman, who tells TMZ Sports the team has to make changes, or they'll be passed up by the world.

The ex-USMNT forward -- who played professionally from 2000 to 2010 -- didn't pull his punches when analyzing the USWNT's shocking loss to Sweden in Melbourne, Australia ... and their overall performance in the world's biggest soccer tournament.

"In this World Cup, technical, tactical -- they were completely outdone!" the 43-year-old said. "It was obvious."

Twellman continued, not mincing his words ... "They didn't score a goal in 238 minutes. You are the number one nation in the world, that's inexplicable. So now this is a watershed moment."

Of course, the team, tourney-betting favorites, were looking to make history by becoming the first country to win 3 World Cups in a row. Unfortunately for American fans, that didn't happen.

After beating Vietnam 3-0 (they were around 7 goal faves), the U.S. tied both Portugal and the Netherlands, barely squeaking into the knockout round of 16, before losing to Sweden on penalty kicks. The loss dashed any hopes of a third straight W.C. ... and sent the women on a flight headed back home.

Now, for how to fix things ... Twellman has an idea of what needs to be done.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I think top to bottom, the United States Federation on the women's side has to look at development, they have to look at the collegiate part of it, they have to look at the development within the professional leagues," Taylor said, continuing, "Are the professional leagues developing the players the right way? Is technique a huge part of it, or is it just about being bigger, faster, and stronger than the other countries? It's not gonna work anymore."

Twellman added ... "This women's World Cup has exposed the failure of the United States women to develop, and this generation I think did not carry on the mentality that winning comes first, everything else is secondary, and I think some of that criticism has been correct on that."

Of course, the mentality is precisely what U.S. soccer legend Carli Lloyd pointed out last week when she called out her former team for celebrating in the wake of another subpar performance.

"I really think it's telling that she brought it up because what we saw during the World Cup kind of backs Carli Lloyd's opinion," Twellman said.

Courtesy of Fox Sports

We also talked to Taylor, who is Apple's top soccer analyst, about Lionel Messi's amazing start with Inter Miami ... and just how far the team can go with the soccer immortal playing at this level.

"I get it, Lionel Messi and [Sergio] Busquets just showed up but this is the worst team in Major League Soccer regular season," Twellman said.


"I think they can get to the Final but I think the semifinal and final are gonna be the two most difficult games if they get passed the quarterfinals."

Carli Lloyd Rips USWNT For Celebrating ... After Draw In World Cup

Courtesy of Fox Sports

Carli Lloyd wasn't feeling all the smiling and dancing after the USWNT scored a draw vs. Portugal, narrowly advancing in the World Cup ... she called out her former team, saying they're fortunate they're not going home!

If you missed it, the U.S. Women's National Team faced Portugal early Tuesday morning, barely escaping with the 0-0 tie ... after Portugal's Ana Capeta's extra time kick nearly netted the game's first goal. Fortunately for the U.S., the ball deflected off the goalpost.

With the draw, the U.S. advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup ... and players were clearly happy, celebrating on the pitch.

The visual didn't sit right with Lloyd -- a 2x Olympic gold medalist and 2x World Cup winner -- who took a shot at the team after another uninspiring effort on the field.

"I have never witnessed," the 41-year-old said on FOX Soccer, "and just seeing these images for the first time at the desk – I have never witnessed something like that."

"There's a difference between being respectful of the fans and saying hello to your family, but to be dancing, to be smiling."

Lloyd continued calling out the USWNT, crediting the goalpost with saving the game for 'Merica.

"I mean the player of that match was the post. You are lucky to not be going home right now."

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski responded to Lloyd's comment, saying it was "insane" to question the mentality of the team.

But, Lloyd's not the only one who's questioning the USWNT ... and many fans have been none too pleased with the results on the field (3-0 win over Vietnam, draws vs. Netherlands and Portugal).

"People across America stayed up super late or woke up IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to watch yall play a half-hearted game, at best. You put more effort into your outfits and pre and post-game dance moves and than you did the actual game," one fan commented.

"You're letting down fans that are, and have been, dedicated to this team and it's honestly so disappointing. Get your focus where it needs to be and actually play like a team and a group we can be proud of, win or lose."

The USWNT returns to the pitch on August 6 in the round of 16 as they continue their quest for a historic, third straight World Cup victory.

Do that ... and we're sure Carli Lloyd will take the photos for you!

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