Eden Hazard is the best Belgian player who plays outside Belgium for the third consecutive year. The end of Real Madrid has been imposed in the double vote for the ‘Golden Shoe’ (gold shoe), an award given by the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. The former Chelsea player started with an advantage, since he came out triumphantly from the first count, which always occurs in the month of June. However, its rugged start in the capital of Spain, injuries through, and the fantastic start to the season made by the City and Inter questioned which has been his third wound, after those achieved in 2017 and 2018, in his time as a star of Stamford Bridge. In the end, the great first half of the year played by Eden It has weighed more for the selection of journalists and Belgian football personalities in charge of casting votes. The 458 points accumulated by the Madrid player have surpassed the 348 of the citizen and at 248 of neroazzurro. Due to the injury, Hazard was unable to attend the ceremony and has intervened through a large screen, through which he has recognized the merits of his countrymen. Champion of the Europa League with Chelsea and best player of the competition, in addition to his outstanding work at the head of his team, which earned him being named ‘Red Devil of the Year’ at the end of last December. Decorations such as those slipped here caused the white set to break the bank for him this summer, fulfilling, in passing, the dream of a child of La Louvière: “When I started playing in the home garden it was always the club I supported,” he acknowledged recently. However, with the white team has failed to shine at the level that made him land in the Bernabéu. A single goal and 4 assists accumulated in the 13 games that the physical mishaps have allowed him to dispute they have left the white fan with honey on their lips. After a slow adaptation related to a relaxing holiday- “I will not hide it, in summer I took five kilos”-, began to show its true level, when the aforementioned mishaps have left him in the dry dock the last month of 2019. Case similar to the other boxer, a Romelu Lukaku who has been reborn in Inter Milan at the orders of Antonio Conte, as evidenced by his 18 goals and 4 assists in the matches played with the neroazzuri. But the one who has penalized him greatly his irregular campaign at Manchester United. His 5 goals in 15 games with the red devils from the first month of the year 2019 until the moment of his march to Italy have been a slab Too heavy to trace. His rivals had made enough merits to steal the golden award, although, in both cases, inversely to white crack. De Bruyne has started 2019-20 as a shot, threatening even an ancient record of assists that Thierry Henry has had since 2003. But his final last season was a carbon copy of what his compatriot suffered today. The injuries did not allow him to maintain continuity with those of Guardiola and only got one goal and 2 assists in the Premier since January until the end of the season. This is the final classification after the two votes:Eden Hazard (Chelsea / Real Madrid) 458Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) 348Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United / Inter Milan) 248Youri Tielemans (Leicester) 87Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund) 78Vincent Kompany (Manchester City) 58Dries Mertens (Napoli) 52Divock Origi (Liverpool) 51Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham) 50Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Mönchengladbach / Borussia Dortmund) 49
But if we focus only on the numbers to choose to the ‘true’ best player right now we have to travel to Nicaragua, to his First League. As surprising as it may seem, the young Mexican Fernando Villalpando He is the most unbalanced player right now on the soccer planet. Is Fernando Villalpando the best player in the world? Right now yes. He is the top gunner of the Nicaraguan competition, an honor that unfortunately takes away from the Spanish Pablo Gállego, offensive bulwark of the leader Managua. Villalpando has ten goals for the team Walter Ferretti. Meanwhile, the Spanish striker accumulates seven goals. At 23 years old, Villalpando’s football life has not been easy. Injuries have haunted him: two knee operations and one pubalgia operation. From bad moments you learn and Villalpando, at the Walter Ferretti Sports Club, has once again felt like a footballer. At the moment, it is a good showcase to return to your country, Mexico. And it will always remain, that for a time he was the best player on the planet. Villalpando celebrates a goal.@SomosFerretti There are several options. It could well be the Uzbek Jasur Jakhshibaev, 22-year-old forward, who is a member of the Energetik-BGU, one of the leading teams in the league of Belarus. But no. We could also grant such honor to Manuchehr Jalilov, middle of the almighty Istiqlol Dushanbé of the Tajikistan League, who leads, along with his partner Sheriddin Boboev, the scorers table of the tajik tournament. Even the Haitian Benchy Estama, two goals scored in the first game of the league in Taiwan. We have been saying it for days in the As newspaper, the pandemic of COVID-19 has not stopped official soccer in some countries of the world. He still rolls the ball on Burundi, in Nicaragua, in Belarus, in Tajikistan and from this weekend, also in Taiwan.The truth is that with so little football to look at, we have focused on who would be the best footballer in these moments of pandemic. Would not be Messi, neither Christian, neither Haaland, neither Mbappé not even the long-lived Kazuyoshi Miura, to which we will have to give the hypothetical Golden Ball when almost the entire planet is in confinement.
Pablo Gállego will play the Clausura final in the First League of Nicaragua. The Huesca forward, the only Spanish footballer who continues to work in times of a coronavirus pandemic, has not only entertained the situation with his goals; it has also stretched its hegemony as much as possible. Managua FC, club for which he signed in the summer of last year, prevailed (4-2) in the capital derby against Walter Ferretti and will face Real Estelí in the tie for the title.After the 0-0 obtained in the first leg, Managua arrived at the National stadium with the obligation to win. The first part was an authentic ode to football. A round-trip match that went to halftime with a draw to two after Walter Ferretti almost instantly matched every shot of the ‘blue lions’. The second act, however, showed who the true pride of the capital is at present: Peralta, in the 73rd minute, and Pablo Gállego, five from the end, put Managua FC ahead, who confirmed his presence in the final for the fourth consecutive tournament and won a ticket for the next Concacaf Champions League. Pablo Gállego once again demonstrated why he is a talisman player: when the Spanish striker scores, Managua FC never loses. So it was for the eighth time this season. The Spanish now faces a double confrontation against Real Estelí -the dates are still to be confirmed-, the club that led him to a country, Nicaragua, where he confesses to being “living a dream”. Against the ‘northern train’ he has already scored two goals this year. Will his legend continue to grow in the final?
THE qualifiers for this Thursday’s semi-finals in the JN Open League netball competition will be known today, following today’s quarter-finals at the Leila Robinson Courts, starting at 6:45 p.m.Defending champions Mico ‘B’, who topped Group Two with 24 points from eight wins, will be aiming to move forward in a bid to retain their title as they go up against the very dangerous Molynes ‘A’, which topped Group Seven with maximum 21 points from their seven wins.This game is expected to be very close, but Molynes ‘A’, the team with the second-highest number of goals in the competition, is given the edge to topple the defending champions.It could go either way in the UWI Pelicans vs Jamalco encounter, as both teams were red hot in the preliminary stage of the competition and topped their groups quite easily. The Conrad Parkes-coached UWI Pelicans topped Group One with maximum 21 points from seven games, and with the likes of former national senior players Nadine Bryan and Thristina Harwood, along with former national Under-21 player Shameera Sterling in their line-up, they could go all the way.After being beaten in last year’s final by Mico ‘B’, the Winston Nevers-coached Jamalco are determined to go all the way this time around, and after topping Group Seven with maximum 21 points from seven games, they will be hoping that ace shooter Marsha Murphy-Dawkins continues her impressive form and steers them to the semi-final.MICO ‘A’Last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Mico ‘A’, who were upstaged by sister team Mico ‘B’, have been the best attacking and defensive team so far this season, and after dominating Group Six with maximum 24 points from eight games, they will be hoping to get the better of Group Three winners Cablepro in the other quarter-final.Despite their impressive record, the Mico team will enter today’s encounter without ace goalshooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who played her final game on Saturday against UTech Knights.Fowler-Reid left the island on Sunday for the ANZ Championship in New Zealand, but the Annette Daley-coached team still has national senior defender Vangelee Williams in their line-up.The consolation quarter-finals will also take place today, starting at 5:54 p.m. The games are: Speg A vs Waulgrovians B, Tivoli Gardens vs Skibo, Ravens A vs UTech Knights, and Molynes United B vs Molynes United C.
LONDON (AP):Goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil helped Arsenal end a run of two consecutive defeats in the Champions League with a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich yesterday.Arsenal knew that victory in at least one of their next two matches against Bayern would be vital for advancing from Group F, and they managed to inflict a first defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola’s side.Arsenal now have three points in the group and are third after three matches, with Bayern staying top on six points. Olympiakos are second on goal difference with six points after beating Dinamo Zagreb 1-0.Substitute Giroud gave Arsenal the lead when he bundled the ball into the net in the 77th minute, after Manuel Neuer rushed off his line and failed to claim a free-kick into the penalty area from Santi Cazorla.Ozil sealed the win in stoppage time, converting a cross at the byline from Hector Bellerin. Neuer hooked the ball away, but only after it had crossed the line.Bayern controlled possession throughout the first half at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal relied on saves from Petr Cech to deny Thiago Alcantara and Douglas Costa.Yet for all the German side’s dominance, it was Arsenal who went closest to taking the lead before halftime.Nacho Monreal delivered a precise cross from the left in the 33rd minute, finding Theo Walcott unmarked on the six-yard line.The striker flicked a header at goal, only for Neuer to make an astounding one-handed save to claw the ball off the line.Cech came to Arsenal’s rescue again in the second half, making an opening one-handed save when Robert Lewandowski was through on goal in the 75th minute. It was a particularly vital block as Arsenal got the free-kick, which resulted in the first goal in their next foray forward.Other results: BATE 0 Barcelona 2; Bayer Leverkusen 4 Roma 4; Dinamo Zagreb 0 Olympiakos 1; Dynamo Kiev 0 Chelsea 0; Porto 2 Maccabi Tel Aviv 0; Valencia 2 Gent 1; Zenit Petersburg 3 Lyon 1.
Jamaica’s Michael Frater is now a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes’ Commission.Frater is one of six appointed to the commission by the IAAF Council.Frater, as well as Fabiana Murer (Brazil), Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain), Alina Talay (Belarus), Ashton Eaton (USA), and Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya), were appointed for the 2016-2019 period. A new chairperson will be decided by the commission when they hold their next meeting in January/February 2016.Frank Fredericks, the out-going chairperson, will continue in an honorary capacity to assist the commission during the transition and in their general contact with the IAAF Council.The IAAF Athletes’ Commission is made up of 18 members, 12 of whom are elected by their peers, and six appointed by the IAAF.Frater took silver in the 100m at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki. After finishing sixth in that event at the 2008 Olympics, he formed part of the victorious Jamaican 4x100m team, setting a world record of 37.10.Frater also won 4x100m gold medals at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics, setting two more world records in the process.
Janieve Russell remains confident of excelling again at the upcoming Penn Relays, which will be held at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from April 28-30.”They (fans) are expecting great times. They are expecting a show and I am just going out there to use Penn Relays as a training ground again,” said Russell.Russell, a University of Technology (UTech) student, competed at Penns for eight years – five for her alma mater Holmwood Technical and three years for UTech.”I have a lot of experience. Penn Relays is very cold and thing, and a lot of athletes are not used to the climate because they are always in the tropical area, and to know that I have been travelling to Penn Relays for eight years, I know the feeling, the crowd and the atmosphere that we are going into,” Russell observed.While clocking a personal best in the 2015 World Championships last year, Russell not only reached the final, but placed fifth with a lifetime best of 54.64 seconds.”Yes, I am ready. There is a lot of expectation from other athletes and your fans and people who are looking out there and saying she is a World Championship finalist and she is representing her school,” said Russell.”They are expecting great times. They are expecting a show and I am just going out there to use Penn Relays as a training ground again.”She added: “The 4×400 will help with my endurance and the 4x200m will help with my speed. I am just going out there confident and just ready to perform.”So it’s a good feeling to know that I am well prepared and just going out there to showcase,” she told The Gleaner in an interview after FLOW Foundation gave a 16 per cent increase of $4 million and 30 thousand to 28 high school and tertiary institutions to offset costs associated with competing at the event, at their head office on Half-Way Tree Road on Tuesday.OTHER ATHLETESThere were a number of other outstanding athletes present.Calabar High’s sensation, Christopher Taylor, who will compete at his first Penn Relays, said: “I feel very excited. I am gonna go out there and do the best for my school.”Also, the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) Zinedine Russell, who finished second overall in the girls Open heptathlon at Champs, said: “I am looking forward to getting the plaque for my school.”She will compete in the 400m.
Marsh, Faulkner miss SA tour; Starc hospitalised MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): Batsman Shaun Marsh and all-rounder James Faulkner will not play in Australia’s one-day international tour of South Africa – Marsh has a fractured finger and Faulkner a calf injury. Australia physiotherapist David Beakley said in a statement that Marsh’s fracture was in a finger joint and that Faulkner sustained a low-grade calf strain during a training session in Sydney yesterday. Cricket Australia said Usman Khawaja will replace Marsh, while no replacement has been named for Faulkner. Australia will play a one-off ODI against Ireland in Benoni, South Africa to open the tour on September 27, followed by five one-day matches against South Africa, ending October 12 in Cape Town. Meanwhile, fast bowler Mitchell Starc needed 30 stitches in his left leg after a bizarre training accident yesterday, but is expected to be fit for the first test in Australia against South Africa, beginning November 3 in Perth. Chinese investors complete takeover of West Brom WEST BROMWICH, England (AP): The takeover of English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion by Chinese investors has been finalised. West Brom said in a statement that the purchase of the club by Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Limited, announced in August, was completed yesterday. The takeover had been subject to approval by the league and English financial authorities. Lai Guochuan will head the new ownership group. He oversaw the development of the landscaping company Palm, which started out as a plant nursery business and now develops eco-towns in China and is worth 1.8 million pounds ($2.36 million). He has purchased an 88 percent stake in the club owned by chairman Jeremy Peace, who is stepping down. Ronaldo’s warning MADRID (AP): Cristiano Ronaldo hopes Real Madrid learned their lesson after almost losing at home to Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League opener. Madrid’s late comeback on Wednesday night gave the defending champions a winning start in the group stage, but the team’s disappointing performance at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium raised some concerns. Ronaldo grabbed an 89th-minute equaliser with a superb free kick, and substitute Alvaro Morata netted the winner with a powerful header four minutes into injury time for a 2-1 win over the Portuguese side with which Ronaldo started his career. “This game serves as a warning that we can’t be starting games so poorly,” Ronaldo said. “Because teams will sweep the floor with us and we don’t want that. We want to finish top of the group and win.”
The United States’s Under-17 head coach, John Hackworth, was not pleased with the playing surface after his team went down 1-0 to an Arnett Gardens FC Under-20 select team at Jamaica College yesterday. Arnett’s central defender Lemmar Stewart scored from a goal-mouth melee in the 89th minute. “I am not pleased with the surface, we had requested a hard one, but it was also bumpy and uneven and prevented us from playing our football,” Hackworth told The Gleaner at the end of the game. “The surface affected our style of play,” he added. Hackworth said he played against older players as he wanted to test his team as part of their preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Under-17 championship which serves as a FIFA World Cup qualification.. “It is really important for us as they are 16 year-olds playing against older players. We had two good looks in each half. They had a soft goal from a corner kick,” he said. “We are not looking at performance, but working on plays,” Hackworth concluded. Coach of Arnett Gardens Jerome Waite described the game as a spirited one. “It was a spirited performance from both teams. I had seen them in the game against Jamaica Under-17s and identified their strengths and weaknesses. We created numerous chances and could have won by a wider margin. It was a good game,” Waite assessed. Arnett got into action early but the pint-sized Damani Deacon missed a clear chance which he booted wide of the goal. The Arnett backline marshalled by former JC winning Manning Cup captain Alando Brown, goalscorer Stewart and Alton Lewis was organised and made few mistakes. Arnett’s goalkeeper Shamarley Clayton was also outstanding and made a point blank save from USA captain George Acosta during the first half. The USA team will close their series of games against the Jamaica Under-17 team tomorrow on Sunday at Winchester Park, St George’s College, starting at 3 p.m. The Jamaicans will seek to avenge the 3-0 loss to the Americans last Wednesday at Stadium East.
LONDON (AP): Without a doubt, Andy Murray will be the No. 1 player in the world for the rest of the year. The Wimbledon champion needed to win the final match of the season to ensure his place at the top. And he did it, rather easily. Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to earn his first title at the ATP finals, and make sure he remained No. 1 until next season. “I would like to try and stay there, obviously. It’s taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there,” said Murray, who took over the top ranking two weeks ago and has now won 24 straight matches. “I’m aware that’s going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match.” Murray replaced Djokovic as the top-ranked player in Paris, but the second-ranked Serb could have regained the No. 1 position by winning yesterday at the O2 Arena. And Murray seemed vulnerable heading into the final, especially after playing three sets against Milos Raonic in Saturday’s semi-finals. He started against Djokovic with a pair of double-faults in the opening game, but it was soon his opponent that was struggling with his serve as the unforced errors piled up. “There was no serious chance for me to win today’s match,” Djokovic said. “From the very beginning, we could see that. He was just a better player all in all.” Normally so steady with his groundstrokes, Djokovic found himself missing easy shots time after time, finishing the match with a whopping 30 unforced errors and only 13 winners. Murray had 15 unforced errors and 13 winners. In the first set, Djokovic had a routine smash that he whacked wide. And in the second, he netted a basic forehand volley. It never got much better for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, who was trying to win a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending tournament and finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fifth time. TOP SPOT Murray is the first man other than Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to finish the year as the No. 1-ranked player since Andy Roddick in 2003. He took over the top spot on November 7 after winning his eighth title of the season at the Paris Masters. He also reached the Australian Open and French Open finals, losing to Djokovic on both occasions, but won his second straight Olympic gold medal in singles at the Rio de Janeiro Games after claiming his second Wimbledon title. Yesterday, he capped a long stretch of playing some of the best tennis of his life, and the best tennis in the world.