Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur has written a letter to the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel, intimating them that he is ready to meet the members any day after November 9.As per the Supreme Court order both president and secretary were told to meet the committee and share board’s compliance plan.”Yes, the president has informed the Panel that he is ready to meet post Wednesday. In his affidavit also, he had already apologised that he could not appear before the committee as the Monsoon session of Parliament was on at that point of time,” a BCCI official told PTI on Sunday. (BCCI should implement 85 percent of Lodha recommendations: Ravi Shastri)During the meeting last August, secretary Ajay Shirke had appeared before the panel. (England tour put in jeopardy by BCCI president and secretary)It has been learnt that both Thakur and Shirke will meet the panel together to discuss the implementation of the recommendations. (Also read – India Today impact: Lodha Panel asks BCCI to furnish Deloitte report on state associations)THAKUR, SHIRKE FILE AFFIDAVITSIn fact, Thakur filed a 19-point Compliance Report as per Supreme Court’s directions, in which he stated about the practical difficulties in implementing the Lodha Committee reforms in totality.Thakur in his affidavit has stated since neither he nor the secretary (Shirke) have a vote, they cannot force the members units to accept the recommendations.The BCCI president also submitted a 50-page supporting documents which also contained the minutes of the various emergent meetings to discuss the reforms. Thakur also expressed his regret for not being able to appear in person before the Committee on August 9 because the Parliamentary session was on. (England tour not our mandate, need payment details: Lodha committee to BCCI)advertisementIn fact the freezing of annual grants has not been able to deter the state units, who still maintain that BCCI is being run by Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. (Related story: We cannot pay for your hotel and travelling bills, BCCI tells England team)Some of the major objections raised by the BCCI are One-State-One-Vote (Mumbai, Baroda, Railways etc lose voting rights), age cap of 70 years, One person-One Post, three-year cooling off period, three national selectors to name a few. (Lodha Panel sets December 15 deadline for BCCI to form Apex Council)TROUBLE FOR THAKURIndia Today has meanwhile learnt that International Cricket Council chairman Shashank Manohar has confirmed to the Lodha Panel in writing that Thakur had indeed asked for a letter on August 7 in the aftermath of the Supreme Court judgment on whether the appointment of CAG constitutes governmental interference. Thakur could now be in further trouble with the law.The issue had first come to light when David Richardson, the ICC CEO, had told India Today on September 12 and suggested Thakur, the president of the BCCI verbally requested the ICC chairman to write a letter to the BCCI asking them to explain whether the recommendations of the Lodha committee might constitute government interference.The ICC chairman had then said that the ICC should not write such a letter unless the BCCI first writes to the ICC requesting it to intervene or the ICC receives a letter from another of its Members requesting it to do so.India Today had reported that the Lodha Panel had asked Manohar to confirm if the letter was indeed asked for.Sources close to both the Lodha Panel and Manohar confirmed that the former BCCI president has responded to the query.
The age-old practice of shining the cricket ball has become a “grey area” and the game’s governing body must provide clarity to end the prevailing confusion, England captain Alastair Cook said on Friday.The method, ostensibly to generate more swing with the ball with one shiny side, has come under scrutiny after South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was declared guilty of ball-tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this week.Television footage appeared to show du Plessis applying saliva to the ball while sucking on a sweet during the Hobart Test against Australia but the Proteas captain has decided to appeal the ICC decision which cost him his entire match fees.England paceman Chris Woakes rued lack of clarity on the issue on Thursday and his views were echoed by Cook ahead of their third Test against India beginning on Saturday.”I think Woakesey summed up quite nicely yesterday, it is a bit of a grey area at the moment,” Cook told reporters at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium. (ICC ‘disappointed’ with Faf du Plessis appeal)”Players are slightly uncertain at the moment, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. I haven’t studied Faf’s case that closely to see if he was taking the sweet straight to the ball or did he just happen to have a lolly in his mouth.”I think the players are now, after the last 10 days, probably just looking to the ICC to clarify what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.”advertisementCook was not sure how much it actually helped but preferred clearer guidelines. (Anil Kumble rubbishes ball tampering allegations against Virat Kohli)”If they said you aren’t allowed to directly put your finger from the sweet onto the ball, it might clear it up,” he added.His India counterpart Virat Kohli was accused by a section of British media of shining the ball with sugary saliva in the first test at Rajkot even though no charges were levelled against him.”If I was doing something, ICC would have spoken to me,” Kohli told reporters, calling such allegations a ploy to distract his team.”I think it’s just to take the focus away from the series, to be honest,” said Kohli whose team have a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.”It happened in Australia when South Africa won the series. I’m surprised the issue, what I’ve been told, came up in Rajkot but there was no mention of it until we saw the result in Vizag. (Vehemently defend Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis: Nasser Hussain to India Today)”I don’t read newspapers. I was told five days after the thing came out and I just laughed it off. I don’t pay attention to all those things.”It’s just that some people are trying to take the focus away from the series, good luck to them. We are totally focused on what we have to do in this game.”
Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua has been nominated as the ‘2016 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year,” it was announced on Wednesday. (Latest Football stories)The 25-year-old from Mizoram will be presented a prize of Rs 2.5 lakh along with the glittering trophy, AIFF president Praful Patel declared at the AIFF Annual General Body Meeting here.”It’s the award which every Indian Footballer looks forward to. It feels great and I am thankful to all my coaches who put their faith on me,” Jeje said in an AIFF release.”I am also immensely grateful to AIFF because it was there the journey began from. The Academy in Goa under Colm Toal laid the platform for me and so many others to dream about bigger things,” he added.”Awards motivate you and it feels great when your hard work gets recognised. I am extremely thrilled about joining the elite list. If you look at the ones who have received the AIFF Player of the Year Award in all the previous years, I found out they all are my idols.”He also thanked his teammates for helping him go through a successful season. “I have been very fortunate to have an amazing bunch of players around me, right from Mohun Bagan to Chennaiyin FC to the national team.”It’s like a cohesive unit who gel well quintessentially. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all my team-mates. Unless they had been so supportive towards me, this award could not have seen the daylight.”advertisementSASMITA MALIK WOMAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEARMeanwhile, Sasmita Malik was conferred the 2016 AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year award. The Odisha-based footballer will get Rs. 2 lakh in cash besides a trophy.AIFF also awarded ‘2016 AIFF Award for Special Recognition’ to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Uvena Fernandes. They will be bestowed with Rs. 1 lakh and a trophy apiece.Gurpreet represented Stabaek FC in the Europa League, the first Indian to feature in an Europa League fixture, whereas Uvena Fernandes is the first Indian to officiate in a World Cup final match. She officiated the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2016 final in Jordan.Rowllin Borges was declared the ‘2016 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year’.Sanju, an integral part of the team who won the South Asian Games 2016, will be honoured with the ‘2016 AIFF Emerging Woman Footballer of the Year’ award.Meanwhile, the Punjab Football Association snapped up the ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Grassroots Programme’.Pranjal Banerjee from IFA won ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Referee’ while Joseph Tony was awarded the ‘2016 AIFF Award for Best Assistant Referee’.
Like father grandfather, like son, eh?Saif Ali Khan and his ex-wife Amrita Singh’s son Ibrahim Ali Khan Pataudi is not aiming to be an actor but a cricketer!ALSO READ: Kareena wants Taimur to be a cricketer like Tiger PataudiSEE PICS: Saif’s son Ibrahim and Sridevi’s daughter Khushi get clicked in a poolSEE PICS: Saif’s kids Ibrahim and Sara cannot get enough of li’l TaimurThe Pataudi kid who studies at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School (Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai) is very serious abut his cricket. Just in November, Ibrahim Ali Khan played for his school at the Giles Shield inter-school cricket tournament for boys (under-14).Now, his recent Instagram post, where he can be seen posing alongside a picture of his grandfather, ex-Indian cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi AKA Tiger Pataudi, is a sign of the boy’s seriousness towards the sport.Ibrahim is not the only Bollywood kid who is aiming to build a career in sports and not cinema. Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira is a regular football player and she is known for her defending skills. Meanwhile, Akshay Kumar’s son Aarav is into martial arts and has reportedly won several competitions.Recently, in an interview to Anandabazar Patrika, Randhir Kapoor said that his daughter Kareena Kapoor Khan wants her son Taimur to become a cricketer like Tiger Pataudi. Feels like the Pataudi-Kapoor family is all set to produce not one, but two cricketers!advertisementALSO WATCH: Saif and Kareena become parents to Taimur Ali Khan
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has showered praises on two of most sought-after batsmen in world cricket right now. Ganguly has been impressed with India captain Virat Kohli and England star Joe Root. (High-flying India aim to clinch series vs England in second ODI)This comes after Root lauded Kohli after the India captain led his team to a three-wicket win over England in the first ODI in Pune. Root was in complete awe of Kohli and said he “would love to sit and chat to him”.Ganguly, in an exclusive chat with India Today said Root and Kohli are champion players and know how to respect each other.”That’s the way the great players thrive. Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were the best of friends. Regard for each other and compliment for each other. Great players who have achieved greatness are very humble. Virat Kohli and Joe Root are very humble. They recognise each other’s greatness. They try and learn from each other and then try and replicate that in their game. That’s how they play. You look at Matthew Hayden when he played he spoke so much about Michael Slater. These guys are champions because of their special abilities and they know how to respect each other,” Ganguly told India Today.WATCH FULL VIDEOKohli has now equalled Sachin Tendulkar with 17 ODI hundreds in run chases. He has even set a new record with 15 of those hundreds having come in successful chases. He has been tagged a ‘Master Chaser’ now and during an interview to BCCI last week, Kohli spoke at length on how plans his run chases.advertisement”In general, we keep looking for goals in life. As human beings we look to achieve something. That is just an opportunity for me to see the scoreboard and do something special and do something that’s in my control mentally. Batting first obviously helps you go with the momentum of the game. But when chasing totals you know what needs to be done. I always believe that I can get 20-run overs in the end. I think you need to have the right balance between believing in your ability and understanding what your game is..I thrive on running hard between the wickets..keep the scoreboard ticking. That really helps in the middle overs. So that always keeps the opposition captain guessing when I will explode. I usually try to finish it 2-3 overs before and that’s the way I plan my innings.” (Won’t let Kohli settle into rhythm, says Jake Ball)Ganguly feels what sets Kohli apart from other batsmen is his batting prowess.”I am sure most batsmen in world cricket do that. If you watch Sachin Tendulkar or Joe Root or one of the best one day players of the world in different eras. They keep doing that. They react to the bowlers body language, fielders body language, the opposition captain’s body language. That’s why Australia were so hellbent. They kept targetting the captain at the start. These are very common processes but difference between Virat Kohli and the rest is his batting prowess. He stays calm under pressure. He has chased so well under pressure so many times.” (Kohli is great but he will get even better with time)”He quietly believes that come 300, I am at the crease, I back myself on winning the game. That has happened over the 17 hundreds that he has scored in terms of chasing runs”
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has predicted that India will completely dominate the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia, adding that the best the visitors can hope is for a draw in one of the games.Predicting a resounding victory for India, Harbhajan said, “If Australia play well, India will win 3-0. That is if Australia play well.””Otherwise, 4-0,” he was quoted as saying. (Virat Kohli not Australia’s only threat: 4 other concerns for Steve Smith’s men)Australia are touring India for a full Test series for the first time since they were whitewashed 0-4 by the hosts in the 2012-13 season. The Aussies later defeated India 2-0 in a four-Test rubber played Down Under in the 2014-15 season.Australia have never won a Test match in India since 2004 and their last series win in Asia came against Sri Lanka in 2011. They have since suffered nine straight Test losses in the subcontinent.Harbhajan, who is also a long-time antagonist of Australia, believes the lack of batting experience of the Steve Smith-led side in Asia will act as their biggest downfall. (Australia in gruelling training session, work to counter India’s spin onslaught)”I don’t think the wickets are going to be that easy for them,” said Harbhajan, who has 417 Test wickets to his name. If the ball starts spinning from the first ball, I don’t think they will survive for long,” he said.He said apart from David Warner and Smith, the other Australian batsmen won’t be able to play the game as they play in Australian conditions.advertisement”That Australian team in the past had so much will and belief. I don’t think this team has the belief to win in these conditions,” he said.The 36-year-old is also of the view that front-line spinning options for the visitors like Nathan Lyon, Steve O’Keefe, Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson will struggle to adjust to Indian conditions. (R Ashwin will be ready for me but I have my game plan: David Warner to India Today)”I don’t think they have the quality to do so. It is different bowling here and bowling there (in Australia),” he said.The first Test in Pune (February 23-27) would be followed by games in Bengaluru (March 4-8), Ranchi (March 16-20) and Dharamsala (March 25-29).
Wayne Rooney, by striking down a multi-million pound deal to China, may have rekindled hopes amongst his fans that the Manchester United all-time lead goal-scorer still has a point to prove. With the possibility of United letting him be a free agent emerging, it appears Rooney isn’t going the David Beckham way, at least for now.Premier League legend and EPL’s all time leading goal scorer, Alan Shearer believes the England captain still has a lot to offer and is happy Rooney hasn’t been lured away to China just yet. Shearer is in Mumbai for The football movement, discussing ‘football leagues and competition’. He speaks to India Today in this exclusive interview..Q. Alan, you must have been asked this question a few times over. At the risk of repeating, let me ask, do you think as of today can anyone come close to your goals record?A. Possibly Harry Kane can beat my record. If he can stay injury free. He has had a very good start to his career; if he can keep playing for the next 10 years. But I wanna enjoy it for a few more years.Q. What’s the impression of ISL, back home. It obviously isn’t of the same scale as the Chinese league or Major League Soccer in US. But is it looked at as yet another retirement jobs league for footballers past their prime?A. It’s not viewed as that. You look at EPL when it started in 92 and how it is now. We can try to help ISL become bigger and better. To attract more of big players and not just those who are at the end of their careers. That takes time and lot of hard work.advertisementQ. A number of top EPL clubs have had academies and promotional campaigns in India. Can this inspire kids or it comes down to clubs looking to extending their fan base?A. A bit of both. One has to get kids involved in football and we have to start somewhere and that’s where we can generate interest from. That’s when kids would feel I want to be where they are.Q. Wayne Rooney and his future has been in the news for some time in England. It appears he has waved away the lure from Chinese league for now. But if he were to take it up in future, would you support that move?A. It’s a difficult question. Wayne started his career at 16 and looks like he is coming to an end to his Manchester United career. He still has a lot to offer. He said that he would find it tough to play for another EPL team. I would be surprised if he would be lured over to China. He has his wife and kids to think about. I am pretty certain he will get plenty of offers from around the world as he still has a lot to offer as a footballer. He has been brilliant for Premiership, England and United. So I would like to see him involved in the game and see what he can offer. I am not sure where but looks like it will be away from United next seasonQ. It’s constantly a question top footballers face at certain stage of their career whether to choose legacy or chase money..A. He doesn’t need to worry about finance. He has probably made enough of it in his career. It wouldn’t be a money move if he went to China. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were to stay involved in the European league if not EPL which would be a shame because I think he has still got the ability to change games and score goals. Maybe not as direct no.9 but his determination, his desire is still there. He still has a few years left in him.Q. It must hurt him to be benched..A. When you have been as important player a player as he has been, you have always been an automatic selection for both England and United. Now to reach a stage when manager benches you is tough. That he is no longer no.1 centre forward, that’s difficult to adjust. Only he can answer where he wants to go from here.Q. Ibrahimovic isn’t a young man either. But he has delivered an inspired performance this season..A. Ibrahimovic has been brilliant. It’s surprised me, the no of games he has played. His ability hasn’t surprised me because I have watched that over the years. He is still changing games, scoring goals. He is a talisman at United. What I admire is his desire to keep on going; to get up in the morning. I retired just before my 36th birthday and I know how difficult it is to get up when young guys are trying to kick you and get you out of the game. To do it every single week and not get injuries is great for his age. One has to admire him.advertisementQ. Perhaps Rooney can look for inspiration in the change room itself?A. Everyone’s body is different. Rooney started when he was 16. He has been no.1 from the time he was 18 or 19. He has been in the spotlight for a number of years. Now he has to change his game. But it happens to everyone. One can’t continue going on forever.Q. Can’t let you go without knowing your premiership predictions. Do you see anyone going past Chelsea this year?A. No, it’s going to be Chelsea’s league. They have been the best team by far. Not being in Europe has helped them. Arsenal is playing in Champions league. United are playing in Europa league. City and Hotspur are. Chelsea has been able to train and stay fresh. That shows. I don’t see anyone beating them.
Captions released today. To view thumbnails of these Photographs, visit PTI website at..http.//www.ptinews.comNATIONAL Allahabad: A youth enjoys horse ride during Sunset (B) New Delhi: Amish Tripathi talks about his new book (B+A) New Delhii: MDMK chief Vaiko interacts with Tamilnadu farmers at Jantar Mantar (A+B) New Delhi: Ajay Maken release the Roadmap for sanitation and solid waste management (B) Kolkata: Actor Milind Soman at Pinkathon (B) Kolkata; Congress protest against Centre, WB governmentl (A) Mumbai: Alia Bhatt in Mumbai (B+A) Allahabad: People administered oath of cleaning the Ganga (B) Kurukshetra: Amit Shah with Khattar at BJP wor kers training programme (B) Jammu: Security men at search operation (B) Bengaluru: Inauguration of train between Chikkabanavara and Hassan (B) Nagpur: Sur Jyotsna National Musical Award 2017 (A) Chikmagalur: Folk artists perform (B) Ahmedabad: Hindu Hi First Mahasabha (B) Mumbai: Pawar, Shinde and Thackeray (B)INTERNATIONAL Lahore: The annual festival to commemorate Shah Hussain (1538-1599) started (B) Los Angeles : Katy Perry arrives at Elton Johns 70th Birthday (B) Los Angeles:34th annual PaleyFest: “Pretty Little Liars” event (B) Los Angeles: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Memorial Service (A) Hong Kong: Chief executive election of Hong Kong (A) Huntington Beach : Pro and anti-Trump protestors scuffle during a rally (A) Las Vegas : A suspect surrenders to SWAT officers after being barricaded for many hours on a bus after a fatal shooting (B) Off Jindo: Salvage operation in waters off Jindo, (B) Mexico City : A woman shouts slogans holding a photo of Mexican journalist Miroslava Breach (B) Valhalla: Parents Laurilin Celadilla and Abel Camacho hold daughters, Ballenie and Bellanie, (B)advertisementSPORTS Dubai: Dubai World Cup horse racing (B) Key Brisbane: Miami Open tennis tournament, (B) Harrison: MLS soccer match, (B) Lisbon: World Cup Group B qualifying soccer match (B) Melbourne: Australian Formula One Grand Prix (B) Dharamshala: India vs Australia, test match (B+A) Guwahati: FIFA officials inspect Indira Gandhi Atheletic Stadium (A) PTI PHOTO VNA RSM UP TO 69 RSM
Here’s some good news: According to the newly released Giving USA 2011, giving was up 2% (adjusted for inflation) in 2010 after two years of record decline, totaling $290B last year in the US. Individual giving (73% of total giving) and bequests were way up, while foundation giving was flat. Corporate giving was up a surprising 9 percent (adjusted for inflation), fueled in part by in-kind corporate pharmaceutical donations.You can check out a summary of the full report for free here.
Ernesto Valverde insists he is not worried about Luis Suarez’s goal drought after the striker once again struggled in Barcelona’s 0-0 Champions League draw at Lyon.Uruguay international Suarez was excellent in the first half of the season, but he has been rather less effective in front of goal since then, and that is reflected in Barca’s form, having now drawn four of their last five games in all competitions.Suarez was lively in France against Lyon in the opening leg of their last-16 clash, sniffing out a few opportunities, but his finishing left a lot to be desired and he looked visibly frustrated on numerous occasions on Tuesday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! It was the fifth game in a row Suarez has not scored in, while in the 22nd minute he passed 24 hours of playing time in the Champions League without an away goal.Barca head coach Valverde is not concerned, however.”I would worry if he did not generate scoring chances, which is what is asked of a striker,” Valverde told reporters.”He always has chances and if not, he generates them and is a headache for the rival. And, in any case, he is linked well with the occasions we’ve created.”Football is a matter of success. If the opposition wastes occasions I get nervous; if we waste them, it only bothers me.”Barcelona defender Gerard Pique also backed his team-mate to find himself among the goals against soon.”When you have a bad run like this one you can probably get a little obsessed,” Pique said.”If Luis Suarez has shown one thing it is that he has a lot of goals in him.”
Freelancers are changing the definition of success.It’s no longer about the corner office in a soulless glass tower. It’s about building and sharing real value together — investing in time, community, and well-being.For years, our members have told me about how they’re leading this new, more mindful approach to work — and it always reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In Maslow’s Hierarchy, people must take care of their most basic needs (food, shelter, etc.) before being able to move closer to “self-actualization” — the state where we each reach our own full potential.Successful freelancers know that journey all too well.You start out scrambling, searching for those first few gigs to get you started. Over time, you find a couple steady clients and a small but mighty network. Then, you’re able to start choosing what gigs you take and which you pass up (or pass on to friends). But just being financially stable isn’t the ultimate goal. When people are coming to you for advice on how to live that balanced, self-actualized freelance life, that’s when you know you’re living a “360 freelance” life.But that path isn’t always so clear from the start. That’s why we created this:“THE FREELANCERS PYRAMID OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION”The pyramid is a roadmap to a truly fulfilled freelance life. At each new level, you can achieve a greater sense of the connection and passion that makes freelancing so rewarding. This isn’t a path driven solely by money (though you do need enough money to get by). Instead, it’s a journey toward community and sharing.Here are the five levels of the Freelancers Pyramid of Self-Actualization:**The Unfree Freelancer **– You’re constantly stressed out about money — getting enough gigs to pay your rent and put food on the table is your only priority. See full description here.**The Hustling Freelancer **– You’ve finally got some gigs, but they’re sporadic. Of course, things like insurance or savings or a real plan for the future are still out of reach. See full description here.The Empowered Freelancer — You’ve got some steady clients and maybe can even find some time for a vacation (but still check your email from the beach). Your network is small but growing. See full description here.The Influential Freelancer — Clients are finding you. Your peers are asking your advice. You’re financially stable and healthy — you might even have life insurance! But you’re still missing that thriving community you need to be a truly successful freelancer. See full description here.The 360 Freelancer — Congratulations, you have achieved self-actualization! You are living a New Mutualist life! You’re looking to the future and seeing that you’re more successful when you work with your network. You’re happy and healthy and giving back — living a 360-degree freelance life. You might even start a cooperative business! See full description here.Over the coming weeks, we’ll have more about each level — and tips on how you can move up from one level to the next.Don’t miss the next dispatch! Join Freelancers Union today.
If anyone was still wondering why Liverpool spurned Barcelona’s bids for Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, his part in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Leicester City provided the answer.Almost everybody in the stadium, including Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, knew what was likely to happen next as Coutinho stepped up to place the ball carefully for a freekick 25 metres out midway through the first half.Then came a quick look up, a pinpoint shot and the familiar ripple inside the post before the keeper arrived a micro-second too late.It was Coutinho’s 16th Premier League goal from outside the area and demonstrated why he is priceless to Liverpool.Eight minutes earlier Coutinho had delivered an equally precise curling cross to Mo Salah at the far post for the visitors’ opener.In the absence of the suspended Sadio Mane, Coutinho was back as part of a front three, where he performed best last season, and Leicester never came to terms with his trickery or vision.The Brazilian was deservedly named man of the match.Manager Juergen Klopp was delighted with the way his side clung on, with Simon Mignolet saving a late penalty to secure Liverpool’s victory at a ground where they have struggled in recent years.”I loved how we fought for the result. It could have been more clear but after a few games without a win you have to fight back,” Klopp said.”I really think in a moment like this so many things are positive. The three points are the proof for the public that we are still here, everything is good. Let’s make the next step together.”advertisementThat seemed a belated acknowledgment that the pressure on him has been building up since the 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City a fortnight ago and the underwhelming 1-1 draw with Burnley last weekend.Among the pluses on Saturday was the second-half performance of Daniel Sturridge, who came on for Roberto Firmino and played a major part in Jordan Henderson’s goal.Despite conceding two goals, and Mignolet’s mistimed kick at Jamie Vardy for the penalty, Liverpool’s defence looked more effective than usual and the team now make the trek to Spartak Moscow for Tuesday’s Champions League Group E game hoping they have turned a corner.Whether they would have done so without Coutinho pushing them is another matter.
Female tennis players still do not receive the credit they deserve for putting on top-quality matches, according to British number one Johanna Konta.A lot of women’s matches this season “really kicked arse, they were outstanding”, Wimbledon semi-finalist Konta told Reuters at the Wuhan Open in central China this week.”More credit needs to be given. There is so much talk that the women’s draw is so open. But it’s open in the sense of there are so many amazing players. We have the depth.”Although women have been paid equal prize money at all four grand slams since 2007, they still lag behind the men on their own year-round tennis circuit.In 2017, the men’s ATP World Tour had a total prize money pot of $197.7 million, compared with $139 million for the women’s WTA Tour.While Novak Djokovic trails 23-times grand slam singles winner Serena Williams by 11 slam titles, the Serb is the sport’s all-time prize money leader with $109.8 million in earnings. Williams has amassed $84.5 million in her long career.Although tennis is one of the few professional sports where female athletes can earn a good living, women’s sports generate a minuscule 0.4 percent of all sports sponsorship and just 7 percent of all sports media coverage, according to London-based charity Women in Sport.Konta, the world number seven, was involved in one of the best matches of the year at Wimbledon, fighting back from a set down to beat the second-seeded Simona Halep of Romania to become the first British woman to reach the last four at the All England Club in 39 years.advertisementThere have been many other notable clashes this season.Eugenie Bouchard beat Maria Sharapova in Madrid in a highly-anticipated grudge match, eventual champion Garbine Muguruza overcame former top-ranked Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon and unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko thumped 54 winners to beat Halep in the French Open final.”It’s incredible what is happening this year, because it’s very different from the previous year where maybe one or two players are dominating,” newly-crowned world number one Muguruza told reporters in Wuhan.”We feel like every week there is the best players, that we’re very close, a lot of diversity.”Konta took part in a panel discussion with the British Consul General to Wuhan, Nick Whittingham, to talk about gender equality and the empowerment of young women in China.Growing up in Australia and England in what she described as a “female-dominated household”, Konta told the audience she had never really come across sexism until her tennis career took off.She used an example of gender bias in the way the British viewing figures of her match against Halep at Wimbledon were reported.Her quarter-final triumph had been watched by as many as 7.4 million television viewers, a record for a Wimbledon women’s match, according to the BBC. The men’s final, between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic, peaked at 6.4 million viewers.”When people commented on my match being the most-watched match of the Championships, they put it very much in a female context,” Konta said. “I thought ‘well, why does it need to be in a female context? It’s a tennis match. Part of an event'”It’s important to acknowledge the great qualities of both men and women in sport and not segregate them, because you will find very similar qualities in Serena Williams and Roger Federer,” Konta added.”I think that’s what makes sport very beautiful: it isn’t gender-biased technically, everyone is out there doing the work and trying to be the best they can be.”
Jasprit Bumrah has insisted that he is excited to play alongside ‘helpful’ Ashish Nehra in the upcoming three-match T20 series against Australia beginning Sunday.After playing in the three-match T20I series against England, where he tasted moderate success, 38-year-old Nehra could only feature in six games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) before being ruled out with a hamstring problem.Speaking on the eve of the first T20, Bumrah heaped praise on Nehra, saying the veteran pacer has loads of experience and always ready to help the youngsters.”He (Nehra) is a very experienced player. I’ve played some cricket with him. I’ve played in World T20 with him. It’s really good to have him in the side… It’s lot of fun. He has loads of experience to share. He’s very helpful for youngsters like me,” said Bumrah.India have a 9-3 head to head record against the reigning ODI champions, but the 23-year-old that it is the last thing on team’s mind.”We don’t think like that. We only focus on the game. Every format requires a little bit of skill level. We want to focus on that and if we do our basics right, everything else is taken care of.”Having comprehensively defeated Australia in the five-match ODI series, India would be riding high on confidence and would aim to rub salts on the wounds of the Steve Smith-led side.India defeated Australia by six wickets the last time both the teams met in World T20 in March 2016, and prior to that they completed a 3-0 clean sweep Down Under in January.advertisement”When you are playing for India, you don’t need any kind of (extra) drive because you are very happy. Any format, you love representing your country. Whenever you are playing for India, you have a responsibility, you have to live up to it,” said Bumrah, the second ranked bowler in T20s.Being a death bowler specialist, Bumrah said his role hardly changes in the ODI and T20 format.”One-day cricket and T20 cricket are slightly different, but in the situations where I bowl, it’s similar because of the death overs,” he added.
By Saumojyoti S ChoudhuryMonaco, Feb 28 (PTI) Tennis legend Roger Federer became the most decorated winner in the history of Laureus World Sports Awards after he won twin honours, his sixth, which includes the Sportsman and Comeback titles at the 18th edition of the prestigious awards ceremony, here. In the Sportsman of the Year category, Federer waved off tough competition from the likes of Rafael Nadal and Cristiano Ronaldo to bag the honours.The Swiss tennis star, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, also clinched the Comeback of the Year award following his achievements after making a comeback from a serious knee injury.While Federer bagged the title in the men?s category, American tennis great Serena Williams won the Sportswoman of the Year Award following her Australian Open success, her 23rd Grand Slam title.Serena, who gave birth to her first child last year, is now the most decorated female Laureus Award winner with five Laureus statuettes. Speaking after receiving the awards, an ecstatic Federer said, ?This is a very special moment for me. Everyone knows how highly I value my Laureus Awards, so to win another would have been wonderful, but to win two is a truly unique honour. It was so unexpected. I am delighted and I would like to thank the Laureus Academy for all their support.”It was an unforgettable year for me, to come back after a very difficult 2016, and these awards just make it even more memorable. When I won my first Laureus Award back in 2005, if you had said I would have ended up winning six I would not have believed you. It?s been an amazing ride.? Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia won his second Laureus Award, 18 years after winning the Laureus Newcomer accolade at the 2000 Awards when he bagged the Breakthrough of the Year Award for winning the 2017 Masters, his first ever Major Championship win on his 74th attempt. Among other winners, Mercedes AMG Petronas beat the likes of Real Madrid and the Golden State Warriors to win the Team of the Year Award, after securing their fourth successive Constructors World Championship title.advertisementFrench Vendï¿½e Globe winning sailor Armel Le Clï¿½ach won the Action Sportsperson of the Year Award, while Swiss triple world champion wheelchair racer Marcel Hug won the World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award, for his 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m titles in the T54 class at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London.Attended by sports stars, celebrities and business leaders from around the world, the awards recognised sporting achievement in the 2017 calendar year and were hosted by Hollywood superstar Benedict Cumberbatch, while world-renowned singer-songwriter Emeli Sandï¿½ performed for guests.Brazilian football team Chapecoense, which was torn apart by a devastating plane crash but made a remarkable comeback six months later which inspired the sporting world, were honoured with the Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award. Active Communities Network, an international sport for development organisation which works in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, received the Laureus Sport for Good Award for their life-changing work in using sport to help young people make positive lifestyle choices, by learning life skills and progressing into education, training and employment programmes.Among other awards, Italy and Roma football legend Francesco Totti received the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award, honoured for his inspirational 22-year one-man-club career with Roma and his 2006 World Cup success with Italy.Houston Texans defensive end J J Watt received the Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award for his incredible fundraising efforts after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, where he raised more than USD 37 million to support relief efforts.Besides, US Olympic legend and Laureus Academy member Edwin Moses received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition for his remarkable sporting career in which he won two Olympic gold medals and remained unbeaten for nine years, nine months and nine days in the 400 metres hurdles. PTI SSC AQS AQS AQS –
Hasin Jahan said her husband Mohammed Shami was spreading lies to save himself and added that he had crossed all limits.Addressing the media on Sunday, Hasin, who had accused Shami of adultery and domestic violence, said she has said what she had to and further investigations will prove her charges.”Whenever a person is accused of such grave happenings, he only lies to defend himself. Shami is also spreading lies to save himself.(Mohammed Shami’s wife Hasin Jahan provided security by Kolkata police)”Till the day I posted those conversations on social media, I tried to rectify things but Shami had crossed all limits,” Hasin said to the media in Kolkata.WATCHHasin further questioned the media why they were only asking questions to her and did not try to investigate the matter themselves.(IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils closely monitoring Mohammed Shami case)”I provided all the details, from the hotel (Dubai) number to the address to the media, why have you people not tried to investigate yourselves. You people only keep asking me questions but even though the media has the right and power to investigate, why has the media not done that,” Hasin questioned.Hasin said that she has said everything she had to in the public forum and further investigations will prove her right.”Investigation will prove my charges. I have said what I had to. Now waiting for the probe.” (Mohammed Shami on wife Hasin Jahan: I think she’s lost her mental balance)Hasin expressed her sorrow to the media saying “you all can see and feel my pain” and hinted that if Shami truly wanted to rectify the relationship, she will think about it.advertisement”Shami was running away earlier and only after I came out in social media with the screenshots, he took notice. If he truly wants to correct himself and make the relationship work, I will think about it. I have always tried to save my relationship and work for it and I am saying, I will still try to.”Hasin had posted screenshots of conversations of Whatsapp and Facebook on her social media account, alleging that they were Shami’s.After coming out in the media and accusing Shami of adultery and domestic violence, Hasin lodged an FIR with the police in Kolkata.Shami has been slapped with non-bailable charges of domestic abuse and attempt to murder by Kolkata police following the official complaint by Hasin.The FIR has been registered against Shami and his four other family members in Kolkata’s Jadavpur police station under several Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections, including section 498A, which amounts to cruelty to a woman by her husband or his relatives.However, Shami has denied charges right from the first day. On Saturday, he told Aaj Tak that he was ready for all legal proceedings and was trying to solve the entire issues inside the family.”I am trying to resolve the entire issue within the family. I am ready for all the legal proceedings and I will do whatever I can to save the future of my kid and family,” Shami told Aaj Tak.Shami said he is hopeful of resolving the issue soon and demanded a thorough probe into the matter.”I am a law-abiding citizen and will answer all questions and hope everything be fine soon. I also want the proofs submitted are thoroughly probed. Everything was fine till a week ago and I don’t know what happened so suddenly,” he said.ALSO WATCH:
Prithvi Shaw became the Indian Premier League’s youngest ever opener on Monday when he opened the innings for Delhi Dardevils against Kings XI Punjab at the Feroz Shah Kotla.Shaw trumped Rishabh Pant to become the youngest player to open the innings. The Mumbaikar was aged 18 years and 165 days when he walked in to bat for Delhi. Earlier, Pant (18 years and 212 days) held the record when he opened for the same side in 2017. Ishan Kishan is third with 18 years and 283 days. Kishan had opened for the Gujarat Lions last year.Shaw also became the third Indian U-19 World Cup player to make his debut in the IPL this year. Before him, Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi played their first matches for Kolkata Knight Riders.DD VS KXIP HIGHLIGHTS | MATCH PICTURESAnd Shaw started off brilliantly. He hit some crisp shots as DD chased 144 in their first match at home in IPL 2018. He hit four boundaries before falling to Ankit Rajpoot in the third over. But, the four boundaries he hit was enough to show the talent he possesses.The first one came when he lofted a Rajpoot ball over mid off in the first over while the second one was a lucky escape as he got an inside edge, that went past the stumps and through the left of the keeper for a boundary. The third was a touch of class from the former U-19 World Cup winning captain. Barinder Sran bowled a short ball outside off, Shaw cut it fiercely through point for a racy boundary. The next one was not a pretty one as he flashed hard at a ball outside off and it flew over the slip for a boundary.advertisementHowever, he failed to carry on as his stay was cut short when Rajpoot bowled a length ball and Shaw looked to whack it across the line, probably over mid-wicket. He missed the ball altogether and had his off stump taken for a ride. He fell for a 10-ball 22 but gave Delhi a blazing start in their chase.Gautam Gambhir slams Delhi Daredevils batsmen as they fail to chase down 143However, Delhi batsmen failed to capitalise on the start provided by Shaw and were handed their fifth defeat this season. Even a fighting fifty by Shreyas Iyer was not enough to take Delhi past the victory margin as they lost the game by 4 runs in a thrilling contest against Kings XI Punjab, who became the first team to accumulate 10 points this year.Captain Gautam Gambhir blasted his team’s batsmen but was high on praise for Shaw.”He [Shah] was brilliant and also Avesh did really well. Shaw is someone who is also for the future,” said the Delhi captain after the match.This is the game we needed to get past, says Ashwin after KXIP’s 4th straight winEarlier, he was bought by DD for Rs 1.20 crore in the IPL player auction after fighting off a stiff challenge from Mumbai Indians.Shaw led the Indian U-19 team to the World Cup win in New Zealand and was in tremendous touch, scoring 261 runs from five innings in the tournament, including his 94 in the first game against Australia.He burst onto the scene as a teenager back in 2013, when he scored 546 in a Harris Shield game. He already has five first-class hundreds even before turning an adult, since making his debut on the first day of last year for Mumbai in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy.He scored a ton in the second innings and even named as the ‘man’ of the match. He also scored a century on debut in the Duleep Trophy, equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record for scoring centuries in debuts of Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy.
Kings XI Punjab crushed Rajsathan Royal by 6 wickets riding on the back of strong performances by KL Rahul and Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Sunday.Rahul hit an unbeaten 84 from 54 balls, including 7 fours and 3 sixes, taking KXIP home after a man-of-the-man performance from Mujeeb, who had figures of 3/27 from his four overs.KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was a happy man and was glad with the win, saying that he was proud of the way his batsmen are slowly coming to the fore and winning games for the team.(MATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS)”We didn’t play for some time and we hadn’t got any points over the last two weeks. There was a bit of nervousness and it’s glad to get two points,” he said at the post match presentation.”This win is good because we were tested in our batting. One of our batsmen batted deep and that’s what we’ve been asking for. Most of our wins have been set up the bowlers, 12 points have been set up by the bowlers. Good to know that one department is firing on all cylinders,”he added.The win takes Punjab to third spot with 12 points in nine matches while Rajasthan, who suffered their third consecutive defeat, are tottering at the bottom of the table with six points in nine matches. With this loss, Rajasthan’s chances of qualifying for the play-offs are all but over.ALSO READ: First knock of IPL 2018 that I’m really satisfied with, says KL RahuladvertisementChasing 152/9, Rahul’s 54 ball knock, comprising seven boundaries and three sixes, helped Punjab reach the target in 18.4 overs.Right from the start, Rahul cleared his intentions, slamming bowlers all around the park. Chris Gayle (8) and Mayank Agarwal (2), however, couldn’t support Rahul at the other end but Karun Nair (31) contributed handsomely.Rahul and Nair forged 50-run partnership for the third wicket before Nair was dismissed by Anureet Singh in the 11th over.New batsman Axar Patel (4) also went back cheaply but Marcus Stoinis (23 not out) supported Rahul and rotated the strike. Soon, the duo managed to overhaul the target with more than one over remaining.”Many of the batters are inexperienced and as the tournament goes on, I expect them to do better. Didn’t come with any expectations to be honest, just came here to gauge the situation and do my best,” Ashwin at the post match presentation.Earlier, teenage Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb continued his impressive performance as his three wickets helped Kings XI Punjab restrict Rajasthan Royals to 152/9.After a 49-run third-wicket stand between Jos Buttler (51) and Sanju Samson (28), Mujeeb picked his English compatriot Ben Stokes (12) and Jofra Archer (0) in his second two-over spell to derail the Rajasthan innings.Mujeeb, 17, has now taken 12 wickets and is currently fifth in the list of most wicket-takers.The teenager not only took wickets but also proved to be economical right from his first two-over spell which put pressure on the Rajasthan top-order.After being asked to bat, Rajasthan rode on Buttler to get their runs, even if fellow opener D’Arcy Short (2) and Ajinkya Rahane (5) were dismissed with 35 on board for the western outfit in four overs.While Ashwin accounted for Short — who was caught by Andrew Tye at midwicket — Rahane’s cut off a delivery from left-arm spinner Axar Patel saw Chris Gayle dive forward to pull off a stunning catch.Then Buttler and Samson put together an important partnership to lay a foundation for the flourish in the final 10 overs. But when all seemed to be going good, Samson pulled medium pacer Tye straight into the hands of Karun Nair in the fifth ball of the 11th over.Following the wicket, Rajasthan lost track as Mujeeb removed Stokes (12) and Buttler (51) in the 13th and 15th overs respectively. Mujeeb struck for the second time in the 15th over to get rid of Jofra Archer (0) to reduce the visitors to 106/6.Stokes was dismissed by a relay catch between Mayank Aggarwal and Manoj Tiwary at the long off, while Rahul grabbed an outside edge of Buttler. Archer was foxed by a googly before the delivery rattled the stumps as Rajasthan innings was derailed.In the following over, paceman Ankit Rajpoot dismissed K. Gowtham (5), while Tye got rid of Rahul Tripathi (11) in the first delivery of the 18th over, with Rajasthan at 129/8.”The most important thing for a captain is to rotate the bowlers well and to get the batting order right. The guys who let me down will win me games tomorrow, that’s the perspective I came here with,” Ashwin concluded.advertisement(With inputs from IANS)
Indian wrestler Parveen Rana on Friday came down heavily on the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), slamming their idea of letting top grapplers skip the Asian Games trials and be part of the main squad.The WFI has received requests from the four wrestlers namely Sushil Kumar, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat to not conduct trials in their respective weight categories.Speaking to Mail Today, WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said the federation is planning to let them prepare on their own and skip the trials. However, he also made it clear that the final decision will be taken after consulting sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.”We will discuss with the coaches and other concerned authorities before deciding anything. Yes, there is a chance that no trials will take place in their respective categories,” Singh said. “These wrestlers have proved their credentials time and again and this decision will be taken considering the fact that they face no competition from others in their weight categories.”But it will be easier said than done for the WFI to let these wrestlers skip the trials because of a 2014 Delhi High Court directive, which ordered sporting federations to conduct trials before any major tournaments.Interestingly, it was two-time Olympic medallist Sushil, who took the WFI to court after the federation had decided not to hold a trials in the 74kg freestyle category in the run-up to the 2016 Olympics. In 2014, Amit Dhankar, who was a contender against London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt in the 65kg division, went to court after WFI chose not hold trials to select the team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.advertisementMeanwhile, Rana, Sushil’s competitor in 74kg category, told Mail Today that the federation can’t kill a junior wrestler’s chance. Rana had earlier lodged an FIR against double Olympics medallist Sushil and five others following a fracas during the CWG trials here in January.”I am shocked with the news of no trials before Asian Games. This is really disturbing. How can the federation allow such requests? Stardom is actually killing our chances. The federation seems to be under some pressure. These are the politics that ruined many talents. I was sent for the tough competition (Asian Championship) and for easy events (CWG) they picked Sushil. He said he was injured during that Championship but recovered well before the Gold Coast event. He also knew that winning in Asian Championship is not an easy thing. In foreign countries, before every event there are trials. But in our nation, stardom matters a lot.”I remember, it was Sushil who went to court after he didn’t get a chance for Rio Olympics. And now he is requesting that there should be no trials. They (WFI) should tell us that we should stop playing and start focusing on our jobs if they can’t give us a fair chance. I met WFI officials today and I hope they will consider my request for the trails,” Rana added.The WFI will hold the trials for the men’s categories freestyle and Greco-Roman on June 10 at the Sports Authority of India centre at Sonepat, where a training camp for both the categories is going on. Similarly, the training camp for women wrestlers is being held at SAI, Lucknow, and the trials are expected to be held there on June 17.
David Beckham showed his Manchester United roots when he begged Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane to beat Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday.Most of the Manchester United fans are backing Real Madrid in the final in Kiev on Saturday primarily because of the intense rivalry between the Red Devils and Liverpool.Their rivalry dates back to 1893, when Liverpool beat Manchester United, then known as Newton Heath LYR F.C., to take their place in the top division English football.For years, United and Liverpool have battled for top honours in England, well before the rise of the rest of the clubs.Also read – Champions League final: Liverpool manager Klopp praises fighter ZidaneAs Liverpool prepare for their first Champions League final since 2005, Manchester United fans and a couple of players are hoping for Real Madrid to claim their third straight crown and create history.”I want to say congratulations to Zizou (Zidane) because so far it’s been incredible for Real Madrid. To have been successful as a player and now to be successful as the boss, the big boss, is incredible.”So I just want to wish Zizou, the boss, the president, the club good luck in the Champions League final and please beat Liverpool, please!” Beckham said to Zidane in a video done by Real Madrid.Also read – Ouch! 1000 Liverpool fans stranded ahead of Champions League finalApart from Beckham, even former United defender Gary Neville took to Twitter on Friday to express similar emotions, asking Cristiano Ronaldo to sleep well.advertisementCome on @Cristiano sleep well.. pic.twitter.com/JtzljAfFmlGary Neville (@GNev2) May 25, 2018While two United greats have pleaded to Real Madrid to stop Liverpool from glory, legendary United defender Paul Scholes recently came down heavily on Jose Mourinho’s side saying how the desperation for Liverpool to not win the Champions League shows “how far Manchester United have fallen”.”It shows how far Manchester United have fallen when our whole season rests on Liverpool losing,” Scholes said.Also read – Champions League final: Real Madrid, Liverpool name blockbuster squadsReal Madrid are preparing to fight it out in their fourth Champions League final in the last five years. Barring 2015, when Barcelona scooped the European title, Real won the trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017.When they won the title last year, they became the only team since AC Milan in 1990 to have won the title for two consecutive years.Liverpool, on the other hand, have not even touched Premier League glory for three decades now and last won the Champions League in the historic final against AC Milan in 2005.Jurgen Klopp’s side will be high on confidence considering the season their three forwards have had, especially, Mohamed Salah. However, Real Madrid become a completely different team when it comes to European nights.Also read – Champions League final: Mane sends 300 Liverpool jerseys to his villageIn the same Real Madrid video, Zidane explained what it meant to be part of a European night in that pure white jersey.”It’s a very important competition for everyone, for all clubs but when you look at this club’s (Real Madrid) history and what it has achieved with the Champions League in particular, you realise it’s a very special competition for us.”The most difficult part is to continue to make it as far as we can every time. In recent years, Real Madrid succeeded in doing so every time.”The tournament in itself is so incredible, when you mix both the club and this competition, it’s pure magic,” Zidane said.Beckham continued on the same lines and said, “There are certain clubs throughout Europe, throughout the world, that have special relationships with big competitions and when you’re a Real Madrid player, there’s something about Champions League nights that’s special.”The atmosphere is different, the fans are different, there is an expectancy throughout the club to do well in this competition. Real Madrid have had that their whole history, they’ve had a special relationship with the Champions League.”