LIVING THE DREAM Capello expects Higuain to join Chelsea RANKED However, Higuain’s agent and brother, Nicolas, believes his sibling can rekindle the relationship he shared with Ronaldo during their time together at Madrid.He said: “It would be fantastic if Ronaldo signed for the club and formed an attacking partnership with Gonzalo. They have played a lot of matches together and know each other well.“It would be a really great move for Juventus if they do this, it would be fantastic and spectacular. Gonzalo played as a striker and Ronaldo as a winger.“The first year when Ronaldo arrived, Gonzalo scored more goals than him. Then Ronaldo had a fantastic career.“He would feel comfortable playing alongside Gonzalo because they know each other from their time in Madrid.” LATEST TRANSFER NEWS IN DEMAND 2 REVEALED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Fabio Capello is confident Gonzalo Higuain will join Chelsea this summer after Juventus signed superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.The Italian giants smashed their transfer record, previously set by Higuain’s £75.3m arrival, to bring the five-time Ballon D’Or winner to Turin for £99.2m. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Capello knows plenty about both Juventus and Madrid 2 Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star It could have a huge impact on the Argentine’s future, with a new primary source of goals at the club, and Chelsea are reportedly ready to swoop.Capello believes the potential arrival of Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge will boost the club’s hopes of signing Higuain.He told Sky Italia: “I think Higuain will leave and I think he’s heading towards Chelsea, where Sarri is waiting with open arms.“Ronaldo’s arrival is very important for Italian football, a work of genius for Juventus and for all of Italy.“It also represents an investment that will certainly improve the club on a financial level too. Ronaldo is a money-making machine and brings definite business to Juventus.” LATEST targets Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ targets moving on Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti
RAY PFEIFFER/Herald photoThis time last year, Brian Elliott and the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team were on top of the college hockey world. The No. 1-ranked Badgers had just completed a two-game sweep of the Golden Gophers in Mariucci Arena, while Elliott was well on his way to the greatest single season ever recorded by a Wisconsin goaltender. Elliott’s superlatives earned him a place in the Hobey “Hat Trick” as a top three finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the best overall player in the nation. But while Elliott may have fell short of achieving that goal, as Denver’s junior All-American Matt Carle took home the coveted trophy, it was Elliott who got the last laugh, as his Badgers went on to win the sixth National Championship in the program’s history. Along the way, Elliott set UW single-season goaltending records for goals against average (1.55), save percentage (.938) and shutouts (8), all tops in the nation in 2006. “Whenever you’re going to win a championship you’re going to have to have that level of play from your goaltender,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said prior to the season. “Now I am not going to tell you that his numbers will be the same because I can’t predict that, but I can predict because of the type of man he is both mentally and physically that he has the capability to play at the highest level once again.”Fast forward to this season where Wisconsin (5-9-2, 3-6-1 WCHA) has yet to win two consecutive games. The Badgers haven’t looked anything like defending national champions this season, as their struggles included a six-game losing streak that spanned nearly three weeks. The frustrating season to date has taken its toll on the man between the pipes. “I think [Elliot’s] pressing a little bit, probably trying to do to much,” said goalie specialist and UW volunteer coach Bill Howard. “But it’s tough to really blame him because our margin for error in all our games this year hasn’t been very much. If he gives up more than two goals, it’s hard for us to win. But he’s still just not playing as patient or relaxed as he did last year.” With UW’s season-long struggles on offense, fans have looked toward Elliott to recapture his glory from a season ago and lead the Badgers back to their winning ways.This year, Elliott still sits atop conference goaltenders with the top save percentage (.931) and the third best GAA (2.06) in the WCHA, while starting every conference game. However, Elliott has already given up three goals or more six times, while allowing two goals or less in 29 of his 35 appearances in the 2005-06 campaign. Also, Elliott has already seen opponents light the lamp 31 times this year, after giving up only 55 goals a season ago. According to the five-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, however, this season’s struggles have not affected his resounding confidence. “It’s a battle throughout the whole season in terms of your confidence level. That’s a goalie’s job to be confident in net and know that you can make any save,” Elliott said. “Every year that I have played hockey it has been an internal battle to stay on top of my game. But I feel good, and that’s how I always have to feel in order to be successful.”Elliott is well aware of the daunting pressure that goes along with being a goaltender, especially at a hockey powerhouse like Wisconsin. But for the Newmarket, Ontario native, it is a role he relishes.”If you want to be a top athlete, you have to produce at key times. In our league every game is like a playoff game, that’s a lot of pressure itself,” Elliott said. “Being a goalie, you know you need to always be on the top of your game and that makes it fun and that makes it much more challenging. But that’s what you live for as a goalie.”Goalie UAny goaltender standing in net for the University of Wisconsin has a lot to live up to.Eight All-American goaltenders have come through the program, in addition to NHL standouts Jim Carrey and Mike Richter, who went on to win the 1994 Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers. Other UW goaltending greats include Curtis Joseph, the only player in league history to be named WCHA most valuable player and WCHA rookie of the year in the same season. “It’s just unbelievable and that is one of the reasons I chose Wisconsin, just knowing that it was Goalie U,” Elliott said of UW’s vast goaltending tradition. “That is something I want to pass on to the younger guys, to just keep this tradition going with the great goaltenders we have had going through this program.”With Elliot’s record breaking national championship season, he has surely etched his name alongside the greatest UW goaltenders of all time. Howard, who has been coaching Badger goaltenders for 36 seasons, believes Elliott is one of the greatest crease-minders to play for the program. “Fundamentally, he’s probably got my system down better than anybody else that’s been here,” said Howard, who’s worked with all of Wisconsin’s All-American goalies. “When he plays controlled and within the system, he’s as good a goaltender as I have ever seen.”Elliott, who was chosen in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft (291st overall) by the Ottawa Senators, hopes he can someday succeed at the next level like the previous UW goalies before him. “It’s every kid’s dream who grows up playing hockey,” Elliott said of possibly playing in the NHL. “I talked about that with Coach Howard and you got to focus on this year, but I would love to be playing on the biggest stage some day.”Big Game BrianThroughout his collegiate career, Elliott has had a knack for coming through on the grandest of stages. In his junior year, Elliott was undefeated (11-0-1) against top-five teams, including three shutout victories. In the most crucial months of the season, March and April, Elliott set a WCHA record with a 259:52 shutout streak spanning five games. Elliott’s natural talent undoubtedly gives him an advantage over his goaltending counterparts, but according to players and coaches, it is a mental edge that sets him apart from the pack. “One of his strengths is that he has the ability to focus,” Eaves said. “He has the ability to be in the moment. For instance, if a goal goes in that he thinks he should have had, he can let it go and get back in the next moment.”This season, Elliott has also shown his instinctive ability to focus, in addition to demonstrating his lack of a short-term memory. After a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to North Dakota in Wisconsin’s home-opener — on the same night the Badgers saw their 2006 National Championship banner fall — Elliott turned in his school record 12th shutout the following night. In the ensuing series, Elliott again turned in a patented big-game performance with 34 saves in a 5-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth — just one night after the Badgers blew a third period lead to go home with a disappointing tie. “He’s got a ton of confidence in himself and confidence in such an important part of the goaltending position,” Howard said. “He trusts the system and trusts that if he plays his game, there are not many people out there who can beat him. If you work hard and have confidence you can succeed in the big ones.” Professor ElliottDespite being quiet by nature, Elliott has taken it upon himself to help other UW goaltenders elevate their level of play. Following a wrist injury that sidelined Elliott for a number of weeks last season, UW backup goaltender Shane Connelly was forced to make his career start against the defending national champs. “[Elliott] called me the night before the Denver game and said ‘just be yourself, have fun and enjoy the opportunity,'” Connelly said. “He said the team needs you to step up and that he believed in me, and he had a lot of confidence in me. And that really helped me relax.”According to Connelly, not a practice goes by that he doesn’t learn something new from the All-American goaltender. Elliott, who strives to lead by example, hopes his hard work and determination will rub off on his counterparts. “That’s my role on the team,” Elliott said. “A lot of guys can speak up in the dressing room, but I try to show what I can do and how hard I work. Hopefully guys see that, and see that they want to be where I am some day and work as hard as our senior class does.”
Screw Duke.I say that with love. Actually, I say it with a Yankee-hating-like contempt. I hope the plane ride back to North Carolina was long and miserable. Because does anybody without ties to Durham, N.C., like the Blue Devils?Duke is like the Detroit Red Wings, or the USC Trojans football team, or the bitchy hot chicks at the bar: Everybody loves to hate them. Those teams are always stacked with talent and have been more successful in the last 20 years or so than anyone wants to give them credit for. Except for the bitchy hot chicks — I’ll give them full points for their shallowness and lack of personality.But I digress.Since Mike Krzyzewski took over as Duke head coach in 1980, the Blue Devils have three national titles, 10 Final Four appearances and 25 NCAA Tournament berths. Duke has produced more NBA top 10 picks than any other school besides North Carolina under Coach K’s watch (11). The expectation every year is to contend for a title.It’s sickening.How much fun could it be to root for a team that sees anything except a championship as a disappointment? And feel free to tell me if you know.The more you expect from your team, the more you set yourself up for disappointment. Think the Yankees are ever just glad to make the playoffs? Of course not — coming in second means you’re just the first loser.The Cameron Crazies don’t know how good we have it here at Wisconsin. Bucky is good, occasionally great, almost never favored to win it all. So when the Badgers do succeed — like when they made it to the 2000 Final Four as a No. 8 seed — it feels a little more special.I don’t want to insinuate that Duke fans are unappreciative of their team’s success. But what do you get a spoiled kid for Christmas?So when the Badgers took down No. 6 Duke at the Kohl Center last night, it meant different things for each team. For UW, it was a signature win, revenge for a defeat in Durham two years ago, and hopefully, will remind the nation to never doubt Bo Ryan. For Duke, I imagine it was a head-scratcher, even if it was a game they expected to be a challenge — a challenge they were supposed to meet, though.But there’s no shame in losing to the Badgers, even when they’re unranked.Ryan isn’t coach K — but he’s no pushover either. Since taking over at UW, Ryan’s squad has made the NCAA Tournament every year he’s coached and pushed UW’s consecutive appearance streak to 11 years. That’s the fifth-longest active streak in the nation, behind Arizona, Kansas, Duke and Michigan State.Pretty good company, eh?And UW has tended to make the most out of those appearances. The Badgers made it to the Sweet 16 twice under Ryan, and past the first round every year but 2006. Wisconsin has averaged a respectable No. 6 seed in the tournament during the Ryan Era.Of course, Krzyzewski made five Sweet 16’s and a Final Four in that span. Duke’s average seed since coach K started? A No. 2 seed. Despite UW’s recent success, especially at home, this was still an upset.But when you’re Duke, you don’t get the chance for those upsets. You play almost every game trying to avoid the upset rather than hoping for one. You don’t get to rush the court like the Grateful Red so gleefully did last night. Where’s the fun in that?Wisconsin men’s sports are in the perfect position: good enough to contend, but not usually favored. The Badgers know they have a chance year in and year out, but if the football team were to get to the Rose Bowl, or the hockey team to the Frozen Four, well, that’s something to get excited about. Obviously every team’s goal is to win a title; the only difference between Northwestern and North Carolina is how realistic that goal is year in and year out.As nice as it would be to become a perennial national powerhouse, I like where the Badgers are right now — somewhere just behind the elite. There are still always expectations — but the dividing line between success and failure is just high enough that you can still be satisfied without shooting for the moon. I don’t want to get to the point as a fan where too much of a good thing is never enough — dashed hopes are always better than unmet expectations.So enjoy the Badgers’ well-deserved win over Duke. If you were lucky enough to be jumping around at mid-court after the upset, savor the feeling. And just remember, that was something fans in Durham, Chapel Hill and New York almost never get.Adam is a junior majoring in journalism. Would you rather be a dominant team, or be able to play for the upset? E-mail him at email@example.com.
Submit In The World Cup’s Finest we ask various individuals to delve into their own personal history of football’s quadrennial showpiece extravaganza, selecting a number of favourites as well as revealing what is their very first World Cup memory.Today’s entry from Endre Nesset, Director of Sports at Gaming Innovation Group, delves into the history of numerous World Cup’s of yesteryear, with notable inclusions being made by Mustapha Hadji, Jay Jay Okocha, Maxi Rodriguez and stylish Italians.First World Cup memory10 June 1998 (Morocco v Norway). After only having the memory of Gareth Southgate from Euro 96, I had been collecting Panini stickers and reading up in magazines for months to prepare for the 1998 World Cup in France. I will never forget the sexy step-overs from Mustapha Hadji, and poor Dan Eggen (Norwegian centre-back) must still be dizzy wherever he is today. Overall Norway was lucky to equalize twice, and got a good start to the tournament that later was gonna give us the most memorable moment in Norwegian sport history, when we turned the game from being 0-1 down to winning 2-1 in the last ten minutes against Brazil.Favourite World CupPlayerZinedine Zidane. There are so many. I already mentioned Mustapha Hadji from Morocco. Mexico’s Blanco and his signature move the Cuauhtemiña is another, and so is Erik Mykland. I grew up with Michael Laudrup and Gabriel Batistuta on the wall as a kid, so they also deserve to be mentioned. It is however impossible to not mention my favourite player of all time, Zinedine Zidane. He was simply the best player at his time, and his 2006 performance in the world cup knockout rounds speaks for itself. This list became quite long. Add Paraguay’s goalie Jose Luis Chilavert and we have a pretty cool five-a-side team for next years SBC tournament at Stamford Bridge.TeamNigeria, 1998. My first World Cup, and this was the first team that really “wowed” me. I didn’t know many of the players at the time, but looking back at it now it all makes sense. Celestine Babayaro, Taribo West, Finidi George, Sunday Oliseh and Victor Ikpeba all led by the man that was so good they had to name him twice – Jay Jay Okocha!GoalMaxi Rodriguez (Argentina v Mexico, 2006). I remember this game very well, as it was early days in my betting career and I had a position on unders. After two early goals and massive chances both ways we somehow miraculously got there for one of the most undeserved winners in history with 1-1 at final whistle. Looking at the Argentina lineup with Riquelme, Aimar, Saviola, Crespo, Tevez and Messi you should think they had some goals in them, but they needed a thunder strike volley from Maxi Rodriguez to secure the win, before they went on to lose against Germany as usual in the semis. That first touch with his chest is out of this world.GameSpain v Holland, 2014. Diego Costa had just been cleared to play for Spain and he was supposed to complete one of the greatest teams ever, but Holland wanted it differently. Daley Blind and Stefan de Vrij looked like world class wing backs, and magic moments from Van Persie and Robben made sure Holland won 5-1. Spain never recovered and was sent home in shame after going home in the group stage.KitItaly, 2002. You can’t go wrong with Italian fashion, and their plain 2002 World Cup shirts became a instant personal favourite. I actually still have a shirt at home, but it seems to have shrunken over the years, as it no longer fits. Unfortunately for both Italy and the kit, they faced a tougher challenge than expected against South Korea (and the refs) in the first knockout round and got knocked out after overtime. The World Cup’s Finest is to be a regular feature during the Russia World Cup, profiling a different individual each week day, if you would like to be involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vbet sponsors AS Monaco as Ligue 1 kicks off new season August 24, 2020 BtoBet refines African SMS payment options with Tola Mobile August 20, 2020 Related Articles FDJ’s ParionsSport launches sponsorship programme for French amateur football August 24, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Share
The 14th edition of the All Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) got underway on Wednesday after the official launch on Monday at the Achimota Golf Club in Accra.The all-female competition have 18 Africa countries vying for the coveted trophy.Hosts Ghana will battle against teams from Mali, Angola, Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt and Gabon.Others are from Kenya, South Africa, Togo, Nigeria Rwanda and Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.At the opening of the championship, Ghana Golf Association president, Michael Aggrey affirmed that everything was in place for a successful competition which took two years to prepare.He said Team Ghana was determined to host and win, and added that the three-day competition would witness a remarkable interest in golf among female players, as well as young female talents. Ghana captain, Esther Amedzro, noted that her team, comprising Felicity Gyeabas, Constance Awuni and Jessica Tei who were ready to leave an indelible imprint on the female golf in the country.She disclosed that having camped for over two months for the competition, her teammates would leave no stone unturned to win the tournament.AACT president, Monka Ntege expressed his satisfaction about the growth of golf among females in Africa, including Ghana’s efforts at developing women golf.