Stressed Messi enduring a World Cup of nightmares

first_imgAs an excited Diego Maradona twirled his shirt from the stands and thousands of Argentina fans bayed before kickoff against Croatia, Lionel Messi was seen rubbing his forehead in stress.He managed just 20 touches in the first half, the fewest of any Argentina player, and trudged off uncomfortably.Yet worse was to follow in Thursday’s second half of horror at Nizhny Novgorod as Croatia destroyed Messi’s team with three goals for Argentina’s worst group stage defeat in 60 years.About to turn 31 at the weekend, the Barcelona genius left the pitch looking lonely and broken after a game that may have ended his chances of ever winning a World Cup.Maradona, the 1986 World Cup winner whom Argentines constantly compare him to, went from waving a No. 10 Messi shirt to wiping tears out of his eyes, slumped in his seat.On social media, and among fans, the big debates over Messi – Is he as great as Maradona? Is he better than Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo? – flared up fast and savagely.“I’m ashamed of this shirt. Right now, I want to burn it. Where was Messi? Where were Argentina?” said Renzo Alvarez, 47, shouting angrily among a group of angry fans, all wearing Messi shirts and some sporting masks of his face.“We have come all this way, spent thousands of dollars we can ill afford, cheered them to the rafters, and they show no heart, no balls, for the nation. I simply can’t believe it.”Messi memes quickly sprung up on the internet.“Missing: Have you seen this man? Last seen, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Russia,” read one mockup of a Wild West poster with Messi’s bearded image.GOING HOME EARLY?Playing at his fourth World Cup, with the heartbreak of a 1-0 defeat against Germany in the 2014 final still raw, Messi and Argentina now face the shocking prospect of going out in the first stage unless remaining Group D results go their way.He has already resigned from international football once – after missing a penalty during a shootout against Chile in the 2016 Copa America final – but was persuaded back by pleas from fans, family, teammates and Maradona.But given he will turn 35 at the next World Cup, and is clearly creaking under the weight of expectation, most expect Messi to quit the international stage some time after Russia.On Thursday night, he was upstaged by Luka Modric, Croatia’s man-of-the-match playmaker and 32-year-old captain who played with joie de vivre and scored a stunning goal.By contrast, Messi barely figured, marked out of the game by an ultra-disciplined Croatia, unable to get a shot on goal, and only managing to thread telling passes on two or three occasions. As against Iceland in Argentina’s opening draw, when he missed a penalty, Messi trudged off silent and thunder-faced.“Leo is our heart and soul, but we couldn’t find him with the ball,” said manager Jorge Sampaoli, urging fans to turn their ire on him and not on Messi.Though it was Modric who showed him up on Thursday, the comparison that most hurts Messi is with his great La Liga rival Ronaldo. The Portuguese great has already won a major international trophy at the 2016 Euros and has begun his latest World Cup campaign at a canter with four goals in two games.Unless something extraordinary happens, Messi may soon be watching Ronaldo from outside Russia.last_img read more

Dismal freethrowing shooting dooms Meralco

first_imgChinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Coach Norman Black. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netChris Banchero may have won the game for Alaska, but for Meralco head coach Norman Black, poor free throw shooting spelled doom for the Bolts.Black was displeased with the Bolts after they missed 11 of their 16 attempts from the foul line in an 81-79 loss to the Alaska Aces Wednesday night.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter “To shoot 5-of-16 is not very professional, at least in the PBA level. It’s probably what cost us the game tonight,” Black told reporters.“We just have to get in the gym and make those foul shots. We’re number two in the league in free throw shooting so I didn’t expect us to shoot 30 percent,” added Black, whose team dropped to 2-2.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliMeralco was well on its way to a victory after Reynel Hugnatan scored on a breakaway layup for a 77-68 lead with only 2:43 left.But the Aces rallied and closed the game on a 13-2 blast to end the Bolts’ two-game run. “Tough loss. If you’re up by nine with four minutes to go, you should win the basketball game, but we missed a lot of foul shots tonight and didn’t make the plays when we needed it,” Black said.“Alaska made their three-point shots in the end to win the game, so we just got to go back in practice and get better.”With Meralco still ahead, 79-78, Banchero sank a triple from the right corner to give Alaska the lead with 15.1 seconds left and ultimately the victory.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PHcenter_img PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Senators to proceed with review of VFA We are young Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine EDITORS’ PICK As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise No Elite star in Blackwaterlast_img read more

For the 1st time in over 20 years, the annual Phillip Vanderhyden AIDS Walk…

first_imgDear Editor,This year will mark 30 years since AIDS was first detected in Guyana and indeed the country has made many strides in reducing the spread of this virus in all administrative regions. But alas, there is a sad note on this milestone and that is for the first time in over 20 years, the annual Phillip Vanderhyden AIDS Walk will not take place on the last Sunday in October.At the beginning of the heavily funded AIDS campaign, there were over 30 non-governmental organisations which were directly involved in the “AIDS fight” and Lifeline Counselling Services was one such organisation which also hosted the annual AIDS Walk in October.Unfortunately, the NGO has little or no presence in the Guyana Civil Society landscape and hence no AIDS Walk. This is disgraceful and totally unacceptable. Where are the founders of this organisation? Some moved on to greater fields and no doubt turned their ungrateful backs on an institution which was a bedrock of the HIV fight. Shame!On October 28, there will be no AIDS Walk and a community marginalised by AIDS and related stigma and discrimination will continue to live in despair as to “who will be there for them”?Thank you LIFELINE for your fight over the years. Hope you can make a great rebound soon.Regards,Brian Singhlast_img read more

Ateneo closes in on PBA D-League crown, gets back at CEU

first_imgAngelo Kouame backs up against a defender in the PBA D-League finals game on Thursday. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Ateneo took a decisive 2-1 series lead with a commanding 67-52 victory over Centro Escolar University in the 2019 PBA D-League finals Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Despite a 25-minute rain delay, the Blue Eagles were able to weather out any disturbance with BJ Andrade’s three-pointer giving Ateneo a 63-39 lead midway through the fourth.ADVERTISEMENT This was a huge bounce back victory for Ateneo after a shock 77-74 loss in Game 2 against the Scorpions, who fielded just eight players.“We wanted to play better defense because we went a little bit away from our defensive system last game,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “We wanted to get that back for today’s game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“The mental adjustment of course was coach Tab [Baldwin] always reminds us to be present each game and that we can’t look past this one.”Thirdy Ravena led Ateneo’s offense with 12 points with eight rebounds but struggled mightily on his shots hitting just 4-of-17 from the field. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends PLAY LIST 08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption Rio’s unsafe Olympic Park ordered closed by Brazilian judge Tony Mitchell relieved as NLEX keeps playoff hopes alive with breakthrough win View comments Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Angelo Kouame was big for the Blue Eagles with 10 points, seven rebounds, and nine blocks.Maodo Diouf led the Scorpions with 19 points and 20 rebounds.The Blue Eagles can claim the title on Game 4 Tuesday at the same venue.ADVERTISEMENT Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBNlast_img read more

Tim Duncan returning to Spurs as an assistant coach

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” Popovich said in the release.Duncan didn’t even get top billing in the announcement. That went to Will Hardy, who will be taking on an expanded role as one of the Spurs’ assistant coaches. Hardy has been with the Spurs since 2010, working his way up from the video room at first.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” Popovich said.The entirety of the Spurs’ description of Duncan in the release was this: “Duncan, a 1997 Wake Forest graduate, played 19 seasons with the Spurs before retiring in the summer of 2016.” No mention of his rings, his 15 All-Star nods, his three NBA Finals MVP awards, his two NBA MVP awards or anything else. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duncan retired from playing three years ago, but has worked at times with San Antonio’s post players. He has long been one of Popovich’s favorites, even going back to 1997 in the days leading up to San Antonio taking Duncan with the No. 1 overall pick in that year’s draft.Popovich went to the Virgin Islands before that draft to get to know Duncan, and was immediately sold.“We lived on the beach for a few days and we swam and we talked,” Popovich said at Duncan’s retirement ceremony. “From that moment I knew he was a special individual because he basically talked about everything but basketball. And we’ve been the recipients of that intelligence and that outlook on life since he’s walked in here.”Duncan’s hiring and Hardy’s expanded role will help the Spurs replace former assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, who left earlier this offseason for new jobs. Becky Hammon and Chip Engelland are also returning as Spurs assistants.ADVERTISEMENT Floyd Mayweather named ‘special advisor’ to China boxing team FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2015, file photo, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, left, talks with forward Tim Duncan (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in San Antonio. Duncan is back with the Spurs, this time as an assistant coach. Duncan won five championships in a 19-year career with the Spurs. Popovich, in a release distributed by the team, says “it is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor.” (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)Tim Duncan is back with the San Antonio Spurs, this time as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.Duncan, the Spurs’ all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots — and the only player to be on all five of San Antonio’s NBA championship teams — officially returned to the franchise Monday. The Spurs, per their usual style, made the announcement in a very understated way, not even putting Duncan’s name in the headline of the news release.ADVERTISEMENT Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Benefits of township living Sons Of Apollo releases new studio album ‘MMXX’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?center_img LOOK: LJ Reyes, Paolo Contis celebrate 1st birthday of baby Summer ‘Marawi hero’ is new commander of Army’s 1st Infantry Division MOST READ View comments Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists LATEST STORIES Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted MRT-3 files raps vs engineer who brought ammunition to stationlast_img read more

Former Fulham manager Magath defends Hangeland cheese therapy

first_img Former Fulham manager Felix Magath 1 Felix Magath has defended his spell in charge of Fulham and insists he still has something to offer to English football.The 61-year-old German was replaced by Kit Symons on Thursday with the Cottagers rooted to the foot of the Championship, with just one point from their first seven games.However Magath, who took over at Craven Cottage in February but could not prevent their relegation from the Premier League, told German news agency DPA: “I don’t have a guilty conscience.“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I am convinced that English football has something to learn from German qualities. Sadly they’re not that prepared to listen. I think I still have something to offer English football.”Magath’s methods have come under fierce criticism from former players, notably ex-captain Brede Hangeland who was once told by the veteran boss to treat a leg injury by rubbing cheese onto the sore area.But the former Bayern Munich coach insisted: “I merely suggested it could be worth trying the old wives’ tale of applying quark to the injured area. I would never tell a doctor what to do.”Symons’ first game in charge of Fulham ended in a 1-0 home defeat by Blackburn. They face League One Doncaster in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.last_img read more

It could happen again! Former Southampton star admits new exodus fears

first_imgFormer Southampton star Francis Benali fears the club could have another exodus on their hands in the summer following their impressive performances this term.Ronald Koeman has led a rebuilt Saints side to fifth in the Premier League, despite losing a host of key players in the summer, including Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw who joined Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.But with their excellent performances the south coast club continue to receive interest in their players and right-back Nathaniel Clyne is the latest have his future speculated on as Man United lurk.And Benali, who spent 16 years with Southampton, admits he is worried they could once again see several stars depart.“It would be a concern [that another exodus could occur],” he told the Weekend Sports Breakfast.“It will largely be dependent on where Southampton finish up at the end of the Premier League season but, in all honesty, there is always going to be that concern when you make leaps and strides to compete at the top of the table.“There is always going to be that speculation around players that are performing well and I wouldn’t expect that to be any difference come the end of the season.”last_img read more

The nightmare begins: Commuters urged to avoid I-5 gridlock

first_imgStill, Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said extra cars will be hitched to some trains and service is expected to be added into the midday hours between Via Princessa and Union stations. Overflow parking will be available at Hart Park, Saugus Speedway, Magic Mountain – at lots A1, A2, and A3 – and at 6th Street and San Fernando Road. Shuttle service will be available. “We’re telling everyone to wear comfortable shoes because commuters may have to stand and be prepared to wait,” Tyrrell said. “We’re asking people to be patient.” But Metrolink will be challenged to accommodate the influx of new riders. “They say there are 250,000 trips made through the Golden State Freeway, and that’s many more people than we can handle,” Tyrrell said. “We’re going to do our best. “We’re going to throw everything we can at it. But the best advice is for people to stay home.” The Antelope Valley Transit Authority also will be adjusting its bus routes. Route 785 will run earlier, departing from the Lancaster City Park at 3:15 a.m. and the Palmdale Transportation Center at 3:35 a.m. The buses that depart Lancaster at 5:55 a.m. and Palmdale at 6:15 a.m. will not run. Metrolink will honor Antelope Valley Transit Authority commuter passes on all of its Antelope Valley runs. Officials with Caltrans asked commuters heading to Santa Clarita from the Golden State Freeway to transition to the Antelope Valley Freeway, then continue onto State Route 138 to connect back to the Golden State. Those heading southbound on the Golden State should exit at Calgrove Boulevard and continue south onto The Old Road, which becomes San Fernando Road. Commuters can then continue south onto Sepulveda Boulevard to connect to the Golden State Freeway. Meanwhile, commuters on Sunday were trying to figure out ways to report to work today. Software engineer Phil Berlioz said he carpools from Valencia to work in Woodland Hills. “It’s looking pretty bad,” Berlioz said. “I wish we had a telecommute policy, but I guess I’m going to try my best to come to work. “I’m not so much worried about the next couple of days,” he said. “I’m worried they may close the tunnel for a couple of weeks.” Others from the San Fernando Valley say they may have to use creative ways to report for work in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I live in Canoga Park. Today was easy,” said Honorio Ortega, who works at Lily’s Cafe on Lyons Avenue in Newhall. His Sunday commute to work involved the San Diego Freeway, the Antelope Valley route, and The Old Road. “On Monday, it’s going to be much harder,” he said. (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Late Sunday afternoon, Caltrans officials opened the two-lane northbound I-5 truck route. The two-lane bypass is the only part of the freeway to escape damage in the Friday-night chain-reaction crash that shut down the Newhall Pass tunnel on the Golden State Freeway. But southbound I-5 truck lanes are expected to remain closed for a month, and traffic has clogged the region with many commutes that have taken twice as long as usual – or more. On Sunday, traffic crawled southbound on The Old Road, paralleling I-5. “There’s going to be no easy way to get to work,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. T.W. Lackey said. “Commuters have to find other routes and look at alternate modes of transportation. Metrolink’s a good bet.” But officials with Metrolink couldn’t promise a smooth commute, noting that parking at the three train stations in the Santa Clarita Valley – Newhall, Via Princessa and Santa Clarita stations – is limited and long waits can be expected for boarding. SANTA CLARITA – More than a quarter-million commuters will face their worst nightmare this morning: gridlock in the Newhall Pass. Traffic on streets and highways is expected to be bumper to bumper as a key section of the Golden State Freeway, also known as the I-5, will remain closed after the fiery chain reaction big-rig crash that claimed three lives over the weekend. California Department of Transportation crews worked through the weekend to be able to open southbound lanes for today, though officials cautioned commuters that they will be sharing the road with big rigs. Officials also encouraged drivers to consider alternative routes or public transportation. Bracing for back-to-work traffic, Metrolink officials said Sunday they would add additional train cars and routes to handle thousands of motorists who opt for public transit rather than face the congested roadways. last_img read more

Chinese group Fosun International complete £45million Wolves takeover

first_img Chinese group Fosun International have completed their £45million takeover at the Molineux 1 Chinese group Fosun International have completed their £45million takeover of Wolves, the club have announced. The Championship side have been up for sale since 2015 and Fosun will pump up to £30million into the club over the next two years as part of the deal.The investment group has links with super-agent Jorge Mendes who represents Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo and has stakes in travel agent Thomas Cook, among other interests.Fosun will have a football board of four people with Jeff Shi, who led the negotiations on behalf of Fosun, becoming the club’s representative. Sky Sun will join him with local businessmen John Bowater and John Gough remaining as non-executive board members.“We are delighted to have completed the deal to become the new owners of such a famous and historic club as Wolves,” said Shi.“Football is enjoying a huge growth in China and, of course, is England’s national sport. As part of our strategy, it makes perfect sense to buy a great football club.“Our goal is crystal clear: we will do our very best to help take Wolves back to the Premier League as soon as possible and to stay there. We believe the club and the fans belong at the top of English football and getting there is our first and top priority.”Chief executive Jez Moxey has been managing the club on a day-to-day basis but will leave in three months after overseeing the transition and Wolves are looking for his replacement.Former owner Steve Morgan bought Wolves for £10 from Sir Jack Hayward in 2007 with the promise of investing £30million into the club. He added: “It is the right time to be handing the baton on to someone else to take Wolves forward, and to that end I am delighted to have completed the transfer in ownership to Fosun International Group.“Leaving the right legacy is hugely important to me and I am delighted that as part of my deal with Fosun they have made a commitment to invest between £20-£30m over the next two years into the club.”The future of manager Kenny Jackett, who is currently in Ireland with the squad, is also in doubt.The 54-year-old is understood to have told the team earlier this month that the takeover was going ahead and he had been given no assurances over his future. Wolves finished last season 14th in the Championship, their second season back in the division after winning League One in 2014.last_img read more

Striker wanted by West Ham is going nowhere, insists agent

first_img1 Carlos Bacca The agent of West Ham target Carlos Bacca says his client wants to stay at AC Milan after rejecting offers from China. The Hammers tried and failed to lure the striker to East London in the summer but have continued to track him.Chinese Super League clubs have also been eyeing Bacca, with a number of teams keen to strengthen before their transfer window closes at the end of February.Tianjin Quanjian, who are coached by Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro, are one of those reportedly interested in the Colombian and they are ready to give him a huge pay rise.But now the 30-year-old’s agent, Sergio Barila, has revealed his client has no plans to leave the San Siro.“Carlos is very happy at Milan,” Barila told MilanNews. “The club and the coach (Vincenzo Montella) are satisfied with him.“In January, several European clubs were interested in him, but now several Chinese clubs have asked for information, and they’ve offered very lucrative contracts, a lot of money.“The message is that Carlos wants to stay at Milan, he’s not evaluating other situations.”last_img read more