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What we learned about… Lionel Messi, Bob Dylan, Beth Mead and others in a week of festive lustre and losses

Lionel Messi with the World Cup. Photo by Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse/Shutterstock.
Lionel Messi with the World Cup. Photo by Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse/Shutterstock.

What we learned this week…

IF all the world’s a stage, then Lionel Messi played the part of destroyer-in-chief as he steered Argentina to an epic victory over France in the World Cup final in Qatar.

The South American maestro was the catalyst for his team seizing a 2-0 lead and seeming on course for an easy victory until a dramatic climax, with Kylian Mbappe notching a brace of goals, then sealing his hat-trick in the 3-3 draw, prior to penalties.

Argentina eventually triumphed to give Messi his first global prize in the most dramatic of circumstances. And he kissed the trophy like Casanova on a hot date.

HIS heroics were applauded by Sir Andy Murray, who was in Aberdeen to participate in the Battle of the Brits event with his brother Jamie at the P&J Live.

The 35-year-old three-time grand slam winner revealed that the achievements of other veteran performers such as Messi had acted as “motivation” to him and added: “He’s amazing, it’s terrific what he has done for so many years, and I was really happy for him that he was able to finally win the World Cup.”

Bob Dylan made a surprising admission about Coronation Street. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

IT’S Britain’s longest-running soap, but few people would have imagined that Bob Dylan is an avid fan of binge-watching Coronation Street.

Yet the 81-year-old American legend has admitted that he enjoys nothing better than sitting in front of the TV watching the latest plot twists from the The Rover’s Return.

He told the Wall Street Journal: “I recently binged Coronation Street, Father Brown, and some early [episodes of The] Twilight Zones,” and he loved them. “I know that they are old-fashioned, but they make me feel at home. I’m no fan of packaged programmes or news shows. I never watch anything foul-smelling or evil.”

RESIDENTS of a Highland village claimed that watching their good buddy Hamza Yassin win Strictly Come Dancing was “like winning the World Cup”.

The popular cameraman was crowned champion with dance partner Jowita Przystal on the BBC programme and was immediately feted by his many friends in the north.

The Sudan-born wildlife photographer has lived in Kilchoan, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, for 11 years, and has clearly made all the right moves to wow the locals.

Aonghas (Dubh) MacNeacail, crowned Bard at the Mod in Perth. Pic: Phil Hannah.

THERE was sadness at the death, aged 80, of poet Aonghas Dubh MacNeacail, who was regarded as one of the most important figures in Gaelic culture.

Mr MacNeacail won the prestigious Scottish Writer of the Year Stakis Prize with his third collection, Oideachadh Ceart (A Proper Schooling and other poems), in 1997.

Renowned playwright David Greig said: “[I’m] sad to hear of the passing of Aonghas ‘Dubh’ MacNeacail, great Scottish poet, loved bard of the Gaidhealtachd, splendid life force and promoter of the literature and lore of this country.”

TERRY Hall, the charismatic singer-songwriter with The Specials, also left us this week, aged just 63. As somebody who fought racism and tackled social issues in such smash hits as Ghost Town, he made an impression on so many people in the 1970s and 80s.

Elvis Costello said: “Terry’s voice was the perfect instrument for the true and necessary work of The Specials. That honesty is heard in so many of his songs in joy and sorrow.”

England’s Beth Mead scores her side’s first goal of the Euros – a winner against Austria. Image: PA.

ENGLAND footballer Beth Mead was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The striker starred at this summer’s Euro 2022 tournament, where she helped the Lionesses to glory at Wembley, bringing home England’s first major women’s football trophy.

Following a public vote, England cricket captain Ben Stokes, who previously won in 2019, was second and Perth’s Eve Muirhead, who led Team GB to curling gold at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, came third.

THE final remaining licences needed for Virgin Orbit to gain permission to blast off from Spaceport Cornwall have been issued by the UK space regulator.

The Civil Aviation Authority has granted the launch operator and range control licences, which have been signed off by the Transport Secretary.

A launch from Cornwall Airport Newquay is expected next month.

Scores of Belmont cinema-goers turned out to see It’s a Wonderful Life. Image: Cameron Roy.

MORE than 100 faithful Belmont Cinema fans gathered to preserve a Christmas tradition – despite the film palace they are campaigning to rescue being shut.

Save the Belmont Cinema group organised a special screening of the James Stewart classic It’s a Wonderful Life at Aberdeen University on Tuesday.

The group has been fighting for the future of the cherished venue after its parent charity went into administration in October, and hosted the screening.

MIRIAM Margoyles may be chat show gold, but revealed how she was put in her place when she met The Queen during British Book Week several years ago.

The inveterate chatterbox Margoyles tried to interrupt a conversation which the monarch was having with another guest and was told: “Be quiet”.

For once, it worked.