Connect with us

Sports

GROUP D! Argentina name squad for 2018 World Cup, drop Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi

Published

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, the joint-leading scorer in Italy this season, was a notable omission from Argentina’s 23-man World Cup squad named by coach Jorge Sampaoli on Monday.

Icardi scored his 29th Serie A goal of the season on Sunday as Inter pipped Lazio to a Champions League place, but he was one of 12 players cut from a provisional 35-man squad revealed last week.

The 25-year-old made his Argentina debut in October 2013 but spent four years in international exile before he was recalled last September for the final four World Cup qualifiers.

Two-time champions Argentina reached the final in Brazil in 2014, losing to Germany 1-0 after extra time, and will again look to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for inspiration in what may well be his last World Cup.

MORE READING!  I don’t have a girlfriend because it's hard to find a balance- Anthony Joshua reveals

The five-time Ballon d’Or recipient heads a potent attacking line-up that includes Juventus pair Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, as well as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.

“The goal is to have a great World Cup. We’re going to be very competitive. We’re going to bank on an attacking game,” Sampaoli told a press conference at the national team’s training base in Ezeiza, near Buenos Aires.

Argentina needed a hat-trick from Messi in their final qualifier, a 3-1 victory away to Ecuador, to clinch their place at the finals, and results in subsequent friendlies have been concerning.

They were beaten 4-2 by Nigeria in Krasnodar in November and then suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat by Spain in March, although both losses came without Messi in the side.

“I see him in optimal form, very enthusiastic and doing well physically. He was able to pace himself at training after winning the league title,” Sampaoli said of Messi, who scored 45 goals in 54 games for Barcelona this season.

Former Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano was one of six players selected who started the 2014 final, joining Messi, Higuain, Lucas Biglia, Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo.

MORE READING!  Aston Villa manager Dean Smith’s father dies from COVID-19

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Giovani Lo Celso was called up after an impressive first full season with the French champions, while only three players — Franco Armani, Maximiliano Meza and Cristian Pavon — were selected from home-based clubs.

Argentina are in a challenging Group D, which includes Croatia, Nigeria and World Cup debutants Iceland.

MORE READING!  Kanu Nwankwo celebrates wife's 34th birthday with new photos

Argentina 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United/ENG), Willy Caballero (Chelsea/ENG), Franco Armani (River Plate)

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla/ESP), Federico Fazio (Roma/ITA), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City/ENG), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United/ENG), Nicolas Taglafico (Ajax/NED), Javier Mascherano (Hebei Fortune/CHN), Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino/ITA), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica/POR)

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla/ESP), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan/ITA), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham/ENG), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona/ESP), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus/ITA), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/ENG), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors)

Sports

I don’t have a girlfriend because it’s hard to find a balance- Anthony Joshua reveals

Published

on

I don’t have a girlfriend because it's hard to find a balance- Anthony Joshua reveals
Two-time unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, in the latest statement, revealed that he doesn’t have a girlfriend and it is hard getting someone to love him.

In an interview with The Sun, the Nigerian born British boxer opened up on life in lockdown with his family including becoming “super dad” to his four-year-old son, JJ, and how it has been hard for him to balance his profession together with his personal life.

Anthony Joshua said,

“I think you can date and still be a successful sportsman but it’s hard to find a balance and I would have to compromise — which I’ve not felt able to do.

“My dad never gave me advice about much. But in terms of relationships what I have learnt and what I tell my son is, it would be nice to find a high school sweetheart and to grow together because as you get older you get set in your ways.

“For me to have a relationship now means I would have to compromise and change my ways and I don’t know how easy that would be for me to do.

“So I do date but I don’t get to the stage where I actually put anyone into that position.

“I don’t have a girlfriend and I haven’t had one for a while. But as I get older I do think it would be nice to have someone, someone to grow with as well — but I honestly haven’t found anyone.”

READ ALSO: Tennis: Federer becomes world’s highest-paid Athlete, Forbes declares

The British Nigerian boxer also went on to say that he hopes to find a woman who would have to understand what it’s like to be famous,

MORE READING!  JUST IN: EPL to resume June 17

He said;

“Maybe I need to get off the estate and start going to celebrity parties — maybe do something different.

“I hope I will — and probably meeting someone else who understands fame would make sense. I would hope so. But it needs to be someone down to earth, family-orientated – someone who can call my mum their second mum.

“It takes time to grow that and, as I said, now I am older I am stuck in my ways. As I get older it would be nice to bring someone into my world but it’s dependent on who and I just haven’t found someone yet.

“Maybe we can go on a hunt. We have all the time now.”

Joshua also revealed how he has become super-dad while in lockdown with his four-year-old son, JJ.

MORE READING!  Transfer: Real Madrid offer Man Utd four players to seal Pogba deal
Continue Reading

Sports

Football: La Liga season to resume on June 11

Published

on

Football: La Liga season to resume on June 11

Spanish football’s top flight will resume after a three-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic on June 11.

According to the government’s department for sports (CSD) in a statement on Friday, the La Liga will return with the local derby between Sevilla and Real Betis.

Meanwhile, league president Javier Tebas has outlined La Liga’ plans to offer viewers the chance to hear virtual crowd noise during the matches.

The matches have been scheduled to be played without supporters to prevent further spread of the virus.

“At a meeting of the contact group they form alongside the CSD, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) and La Liga have agreed to the format of the final 11 rounds of fixtures of La Liga and the second division,” said the CSD statement.

The statement added that the season would finish by July 18, “depending on the evolution of the virus”.

La Liga will be the second of Europe’s top five leagues to resume action after the pandemic paralysed all major sporting competitions around the world last March.

MORE READING!  Apollo Crews: Nigerian-born wrestler wins first WWE US Champion title

La Liga is following in the footsteps of Germany’s Bundesliga which returned earlier this month.

German broadcasters have reproduced fan noise for television viewers in order to make the matches in empty stadiums more appealing.

READ ALSO: Tennis: Federer becomes world’s highest-paid Athlete, Forbes declares

Tebas said the Spanish league are looking to use the same technology.

“Tonight we are doing audio-visual tests so that spectators will be able to choose between two backgrounds, the real one or one with fans and virtual sound,” Tebas told a forum organised by Spanish newspaper Marca on Friday.

“In the Bundesliga, they have chosen to have virtual sound with a lot of success and we are working to try and have the same option.

“We want to give fans two options: silence or virtual sound. The tests that we have done are very interesting and surprising, but spectators will have both options.”

England’s Premier League will recommence on June 17 while Italy’s Serie A is set to continue on June 20.

MORE READING!  Transfer: Real Madrid offer Man Utd four players to seal Pogba deal

France’s Ligue 1 was cancelled last month, with Paris St-Germain (PSG) declared champions.

Continue Reading

Sports

Tennis: Federer becomes world’s highest-paid Athlete, Forbes declares

Published

on

Tennis: Federer becomes world’s highest-paid Athlete, Forbes declares

According to the annual Forbes list released on Friday, Roger Federer, is now the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2020 as Lionel Messi has been knocked off the top spot.

The Swiss tennis great, owner of a men’s record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, earned 106.3 million dollars in the last 12 months, including 100 million dollars via endorsements.

This helped him to move up four places and become the first player from his sport to top the list.

Roger Federer won the Swiss Indoors at Basel for the 10th time in his career last year, demolishing young Australian Alex De Minaur 6-2, 6-2 to secure victory at his home-town tournament.

MORE READING!  Teenage Saruni dreams of debut Olympics in Tokyo

At 38, Federer won his 103rd trophy and his fourth of the season after Dubai, Miami and Halle.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: I tested positive after the premier league suspension, Brendan Rogers, reveals

Football players Cristiano Ronaldo (105 million dollars), Messi (104 million dollars) and Neymar (95.5 million dollars) and American basketball player LeBron James (88.2 million dollars) rounded out the top five.

“The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for football stars Messi and Ronaldo. It cleared the way for a tennis player to rank as the world’s highest-paid athlete for the first time,” said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

“Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth 100 million dollars a year for the tennis great.”

Japan’s Naomi Osaka (37.4 million dollars), who was ranked 29th on the list, surpassed fellow tennis player Serena Williams (36 million dollars) as the world’s highest-earning female athlete.

MORE READING!  Transfer: Real Madrid offer Man Utd four players to seal Pogba deal

Osaka and Williams were the only women on the list.

Basketball players led all sports with 35 players among the top 100.

American football occupied 31 spots, none higher than six-times Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (45 million dollars) who was ranked 25th.

Football was the next most-represented sport with 14 players, followed by tennis (six), boxing and mixed martial arts (five), golf (four), motor racing (three), and baseball and cricket with one each.

MORE READING!  Kanu Nwankwo celebrates wife's 34th birthday with new photos
Continue Reading




Trending