I didn’t want Suárez’s shirt or Messi’s shirt, I want yours because I think you’ll be the soccer player of the future. ” Daniele Massaro, Milan legend and player installed for evil in the imaginary of Barcelona since 4-0 of Athens in 1994, surprised everyone last August 2018 at the Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco when he predicted “a top player race” to Riqui Puig, a very small footballer (1.69 meters) from Matadepera who for many Barcelona players represents the symbol of the resistance and permanence of Barça DNA in times where, according to some sectors, it is being abandoned The essence of the Cruyffista game and the supremacy of talent.The promises of Quique Setién in his presentation (“I have shown that if those below push and win, they can play in the first team”), the transfer of Aleñá and the casualties of De Jong and, perhaps, Arthur the Sunday, in addition to the proximity of the Cup, they have generated a scenario now or never for one of La Masia’s latest hopes. Riqui Puig is a footballer who runs the risk of becoming an eternal promise because in August he will turn 21, has not debuted in any of the categories of the National Team and has only had sporadic appearances and nothing significant in the first team since it debuted on December 5, 2018 at the Camp Nou against Cultural Leonesa. Then he played a couple of league games in Huesca and Vigo when Barça already had LaLiga won. Despite the imposition of the voices that consider him a different player, with a high talent and the necessary gene to play for many years in Barça, Riqui Puig does not generate unanimity. Within the club there are also voices that doubt their football growth and consider that players with less marketing like Collado are at their level. Its integration in the costumes of Barça is also not a fairy tale. Some of his first appearances on social networks (he is active on Instagram) generated some crooked gesture in some sacred cow, which he believes should maintain a more discreet profile.Reference of the Barça Juvenil champion of the Youth League, and when 50 games have already been completed in Barça B, the coming months appear as a hinge moment in the career of this player of beautiful driving and acceleration that many compare with Iniesta. Despite the recommendation of a superior such as Patrick Kluivert, director of training football, Riqui Puig has closed in band to the possibility of a transfer. He feels that the only possible ecosystem to succeed is Barça and there he goes, for his chance.
ROME—After a 4-year investigation, a public prosecutor in Turin has delivered a withering indictment about a controversial stem cell therapy provided by the Stamina Foundation in Italy. The report, issued on Wednesday, describes Davide Vannoni, who introduced the treatment in Italy, as the head of a criminal organization that has defrauded about a thousand patients since 2006 by administering a dangerous and unapproved treatment in exchange for money.Prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello accuses 19 others as well; they include physicians, members of ethics committees, and directors at three public hospitals where Vannoni treated his patients, as well as the owner of a drug company, two foreign scientists, and the head of the Department of Research and Clinical Trials at AIFA, the Italian Medicines Agency.Vannoni has asked for up to €48,000 per treatment and €10,000 per year to store cells extracted from adults and children, the report says; his treatments exposed patients to serious risks, it concludes, including the risk of infection, severe bleeding, spinal cord injury, cancer, and ischemia. The report identifies a series of problems with the treatment. No preclinical and clinical studies were done, for instance; Vannoni’s team processed, handled, and injected cells under nonsterile conditions; and “bovine serum with no specified origin” was used as a culture medium. 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ScienceInsider could not reach Vannoni for comment. In the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Vannoni said that he had expected the charges but said they were unfounded. “I have the documents to prove it and I’ll defend my self; 180 civil judges have already proven us right” by ruling that patients have a right to get the treatment, the paper quoted him as saying.Vannoni, who has a degree in philosophy and was a psychology professor at the University of Udine, is now president of the Stamina Foundation in Turin. He rose to national fame in Italy in 2012, when a popular TV show named The Hyenas claimed that he had cured people of neurodegenerative diseases including ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, as well as several rare diseases affecting both adults and children. Soon, patients began seeking out the therapy.The treatments were administered at various locations. In 2011, Vannoni signed an agreement with the Spedali Civili Hospital in Brescia to treat 12 patients there. According to the report, some other patients were secretly treated at the Burlo Garofolo Hospital in Trieste. Vannoni also had patients treated in beauty centers in San Marino, a tiny republic surrounded by Italy, and even in the basement of a house in Turin, Guariniello writes.The 69-page report says Vannoni had a well-developed strategy that aimed to bypass the law on stem cell therapies, take the treatment to public hospitals, get the Italian government to pay for it, and expand the business around the world. In addition, he actively pushed patients to go to court to claim the right to be treated, the report says.Physicians at the hospital in Brescia were in the dark about the details of the treatment administered there; the report says they used to temporarily leave the lab because a Stamina Foundation biologist “had to add a secret ingredient to the stem cells” that supposedly helped the cells develop into neurons. “What the dossier claims is staggering,” says Michele De Luca, director of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari” in Modena, Italy. “It adds a sense of serious danger to the scientific inconsistency of the Stamina method which we were already aware of. We will wait, however, for justice to take its course.”The report may not be the end for Stamina’s treatment. Italy’s health minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, has already said that a scientific review of the method needs to proceed as planned.The review is the result of a political intervention. In 2012, AIFA and the National Transplant Center shut down Stamina’s activities after an inspection at the Brescia hospital found several serious problems with the lab and treatment. Following public protests, the Italian Parliament in May 2013 adopted a law ordering the government to design and fund a proper clinical trial of Stamina’s method. In September, however, a panel set up to investigate the method said there was no scientific basis for a trial. (The prosecutor’s report says that the documents Vannoni provided to the panel were produced by a medicine student who relied mainly on Wikipedia.)Vannoni successfully appealed the committee’s rejection in court, arguing that some of its members weren’t impartial. Lorenzin then nominated a new committee that is set to review the method soon. That panel could still propose a clinical study.But Amedeo Santosuosso, chair of the European Centre for Law, Science and New Technologies of the University of Pavia and a member of the first panel, hopes the saga will end before then. “At this point the minister should have the moral and political strength to take the right decision and put to a definitive end the whole story,” he says. “This is one of the darkest chapters in the history of medicine of this country.”