13-146016024fifteen%5131% Benzema is by no means a dilemma. His quality is beyond doubt and the step forward he has taken with his attitude since Cristiano left, too. But if you have to spend 100 million on a striker, you have to see what fit it has if, for the moment, the Frenchman is the undisputed holder. Benzema is 32 years old, But he has been very careful in recent seasons, he has an enviable percentage of fat in his body, he usually does little injury. With Cristiano the balance was perfect. The Portuguese liked to start from the left, the other band was Bale, and Benzema was a free soul that ended up serving as glue for the white game. 19-2039771924% These are difficult times for all the teams in the Spanish LaLiga, and Real Madrid is no exception. It works in probable scenarios, without any certainty of whether they can be fulfilled. Mark transfer route sheets, names that are in the portfolio to cover vital positions in the future, But it all depends on whether the competition resumes this season and whether, the next, there are restrictions on the public to enter the stadiums … There is talk of Haaland, the 19-year-old forward who has exploded at Borussia with 12 goals in 11 matches. But beyond economic or viability issues, in Madrid, speaking of forwards, the question is Benzema. 11-12581743218%603. 4% 16-17601731910%4224% 18-19551013030% 09-104811997%3327% 15-16521412819%5136% 14-15591622213%6137% Matches R. MadridGoals MadridBenzema’s goals% of goalsCR7 goals% of goals 10-11591482617%5335% 12-1361153twenty13%5535% 17-1862148128%4429% Since Cristiano Benzema left, his goalscoring ability has naturally increased. While the Portuguese was on the team Benzema never scored more than 19% of the goals of a season in Madrid. Since Cristiano left, he made 30% last season and has made 24% of this … Remarkably superior but … is it enough for a team like Madrid? The entity had the goals of Asensio, injured, and Hazard, in a very anomalous campaign due to adaptation and injuries. The reality is that the signing of Haaland, while Benzema is on the roster, would be a problem for Zidane. He would recover the goal, yes, but he would have to adapt the system to leave two men on point. Haaland only knows how to play in the demarcation of nine. Benzema is not used to starting the game overturned to one of the bands, which, also, being Hazard on the left, should be the right (when the Frenchman is dropped he always does it on the side of Marcelo). Benzema has a contract until 2022. Until that date … Benzema is the question.
“Marcelo is my heir in Madrid,” proclaimed Roberto Carlos in an interview at AS in November 2007. And he did not fail in his forecast. On the pitch, both have marked an era at the Bernabéu, which has been dancing samba with their left side for the past 23 years. Roberto signed in 1996 and left in 1997 with a brilliant service record: he played 527 games in white, scored 68 goals and won 13 titles (three European Cups, two Intercontinentals, one European Super Cup, four Leagues and three Spanish Super Cups Marcelo arrived in 2006 and so far has played 505 matches, has scored 40 goals and has 21 titles: four European Cups, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups, four Leagues, two King’s Cups and four Spanish Super Cups. But Marcelo has not only been Roberto’s successor on the field. Also in character. He has established himself as one of the leaders with the most hierarchy in the dressing room (he is the second captain), he has known how to deal with substitutions, he inoculates joy to the house and he is on top of the youngsters. That he did from the beginning with Vinicius. As soon as he signed for Real Madrid and before stepping on the locker room, the left back called him several times (like Casemiro) and gave him an express tutorial on what Madrid was. “Here one day you are Pelé and the next you don’t play,” Vinicius confessed that Marcelo told him. Later, he became a kind of ‘spiritual guide’ for the young Brazilian. Its connection on the grass (the side does not stop advising Vini) and outside it is permanent. Marcelo was his great support when the former Flamengo came to hear a whistle from the Bernabéu. When he scored against Osasuna and released that accumulated pressure crying on the pitch, the winger consoled him in the dressing room, but he dressed publicly as ‘boss’. “It is not going to be Vinicius’ last cry. He knows that in every game he has to prove things because if he doesn’t, they will demand him, “said Marcelo. Since coming to Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, or even before landing at the Bernabéu, Marcelo has played an almost paternal role with Vinicius. You have been advised. You have been warned. The same role that Roberto Carlos played with him when he signed for the white club in 2006. Marcelo settled in Madrid at the age of 18, the same age as Vini. And as soon as he got to the locker room he found the best godfather. Roberto Carlos welcomed him under his cloak. It helped him settle in the capital of Spain, with him the adaptation was at a higher speed and he even persuaded Madrid not to give him up in his first year, a plan they managed at the Bernabéu offices. Their relationship was so close that Roberto Carlos invited him to spend Christmas with his family because Marcelo, due to scheduling problems, was unable to travel to Brazil at that time and return in time to train. The appreciation and almost veneration with which Marcelo speaks of Roberto Carlos is the same that Vinicius exhibits to refer to the second captain of Real Madrid. “I am very grateful to you ”, he said Vini Marcelo this Thursday on his Instagram live. A few words that Marcelo already spoke to Roberto Carlos in 2007, when the winger left the club …
Champion jockey-designate Shane Ellis will have a merry Christmas, thanks to a fabulous four-timer on yesterday’s 12-race programme at Caymanas Park.Saving the best for last, the 42-year-old jockey, son of 1960s champion Winston ‘Nero’ Ellis, scored a runaway win aboard the 43-1 outsider ROMAN SPY for trainer Donovan Plummer in the closing race over 1400 metres to move to 83 wins – 12 clear of his closest rival Robert Halledeen, who did not ride yesterday and has seemingly thrown in the towel with only two race days remaining.Ellis also won the fifth race for Plummer aboard 4-1 chance HOLOGRAM SHADOW, the six-year-old getting up in the nick of time to beat the front-running favourite RAGING PROSPECT by a neck over a mile, followed up with 8-5 favourite PERFECT FLYER for trainer Dwight Chen in the eighth, as well as 4-5 favourite ROYAL ASSAULT who made all impressively for trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes in the War Zone Sprint (11th race) supporting feature. ROYAL ASSAULT won by four lengths from ACTION MAN in the smart time of 105.3.Ellis, who won his first championship in the year 2000, was elated with yesterday’s windfall and indicated it would be much of the same next year.”My ability is unquestionable, so I will only have to put my mind to it in 2016. Looking back at the season, I told myself in mid-year there was no way I would be beaten by Halledeen and only had to avoid injury or suspension to win my second championship. The wait was long, but it was worth it,” said the popular jockey.Meanwhile, PHINEAS (3-1), with Wesley Henry riding for trainer Andrew McDonald, outfinished 2-5 favourite CAMPESINO under outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson by a neck to win the Gladiator Trophy open allowance feature over 1400 metres in the smart time of 1:24.1.
Shayne Fairman Gleaner Writer Former Holy Trinity High School footballer, Jordan Foote, lost his battle with bone cancer this morning. Foote who had his leg amputated last December died at 10 o’clock in the University Hospital of the West Indies. His mother, Nadine Sutherland, said the 18 year-old died with members of his family by his side. “His last moment was peaceful as he saw everybody he wanted to see,” she explained. Foote passed away in the company of his mother, brothers, cousins and his former coach Devon Anderson.
CITY (4-2-3-1)CABALLERO,ZABALETA, OTAMENDI, MANGALA, CLICHY,FERNANDO, FERNANDINHO, NAVAS, DE BRUYNE, SILVA,AGUERORONDON,BERAHINO, FLETCHER, GARDNER, YACOB, SANDRO, CHESTER, EVANS, McAULEY,DAWSON, FOSTERWBA (4-2-3-1)On Wednesday, Manchester City recorded an impressive result in the Champions League, holding Paris St-Germain to a 2-2 draw in the French capital, their eyes now firmly fixed on a semi-final place.City now return to the Barclays Premier League where they sit in fourth place, a point behind third-placed Arsenal and 15 points behind leaders Leicester City.Though City have won only 10 of their 16 home games, they have scored a massive 39 goals, the most in the league.Interestingly they have drawn just once at home, again the lowest in the division. City won 4-0 at Bournemouth last Saturday, one of only two league wins in their last seven games. In that seven-game spell, they have also lost four and drawn one.West Bromwich Albion are 11th in the Premier League but goals are rare when the Baggies are on the road. Albion have scored just 11 away – only Newcastle have fewer, with nine – while the 16 conceded means their away games have produced just 17, the fewest in the Premier League.Albion drew 0-0 at Sunderland last weekend, their second stalemate in four league outings.On the opening day of the season City won 3-0 at Albion, their eighth straight Premier League win over the Baggies. Indeed, Albion last beat City in December 2008 at The Hawthorns; since then they have lost 11 and drawn one of 12 subsequent meetings.Albion last won at City in February 2003, at the old Maine Road. Since then, they have drawn two and lost on their last six visits.City are still without Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling while there are tests for Fabian Delph, Joe Hart and Yaya Toure. Albion, meanwhile, test James Morrison and miss Chris Brunt and Callum McManaman.
Melbourne are the 2016 champions of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Senior Cup.The Nikita Miller-captained outfit, whose last hold on the two-day crown was in 2012, won the tournament after defeating first-time finalists St Thomas CA by 75 runs at Sabina Park yesterday.Resuming on 38 for two in their second innings and with an overall lead of 108 runs – after scoring 181 in their first time at bat – Melbourne were dismissed for 159, despite 59 from former national youth representative Omar Allison.Batting at number seven, stroke-playing Allison was best supported by opening batsman, Guyanese Trevon Griffith, who, after being not out 15 overnight, went on to post 37, and Andre McCarthy, who added seven to his overnight 11.MULTIPLE WICKETSLeading the way for St Thomas was off-spin all-rounder Marvin Darlington, who snared five for 41, and Jamaica left-arm fast bowler Gavan Brown, who, after picking up two for 22 on day one, went on to end with four for 47.St Thomas, who scored 111 in their first innings, were then set an outright victory target of 231. However, courtesy of the ever-reliable and in-form Miller, they were bowled out for 156.Bowling his usual tight lines and mixing variations, Miller was seconded by his left-arm counterpart and seasonal sidekick Christopher Lamont, who gathered three for 61 and standout teenage fast bowler Oshane Thomas, who started the demise with two for 23.Carlton Baugh Jr, captain of St Thomas, was the pick of the batsmen for the losers with 48, while former Jamaica youth captain Jamie Trenchfield, with whom Baugh put on a threatening 67 for the fifth wicket, made 25.The victory was sweet delight for Melbourne, who, during the preliminaries, went down to St Thomas on first-innings points.Also as well, last season, Melbourne had their win against the men from the east in the national one-day championship overturned by the JCA, due to the use of inadequate sightscreens. The JCA ruling eliminated Melbourne from the tournament.”It’s a pleasing win,” said Miller, whose team, in addition to the trophy, took home $500,000. “It’s also good to know that after losing to St Thomas in the group stages, we turned up and won when it mattered most.”
“We even have seen some interest already with several persons calling about the use of the venue boxes, which is rather encouraging.” The president, who is nearing the end of his first two-year term, also expressed the hope that the final will be the first of many such local games with the national Twenty20 tournament and high-school cricket on the radar. “We have our yearly national T20 competition coming up, and that is a key candidate to be played under lights,” he said. “Additionally, we intend to discuss with ISSA the playing of schoolboy cricket under lights, which would add another dimension to the use of lights at Sabina Park,” Heaven added. Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Whilford ‘Billy’ Heaven says he is eagerly anticipating the staging of a first-ever competitive local cricket match under floodlights at Sabina Park tomorrow. Defending national one-day champions St Catherine CC will go up against surprise finalists University of The West Indies (UWI) in the final of the JCA 50-overs Tournament starting at 2 p.m. “As part of our manifesto two years ago, we told the people that we would have lights at Sabina, with local matches being played under lights, and this is a further fulfilment of that commitment,” said Heaven. “We have seen the Caribbean Premier League T20 played under lights, now we have the final of our one-day tournament. It is a proud moment for all of us.” The final, dubbed in some circles as a ‘David versus Goliath’ showdown, contest will see an experienced St Catherine, laden with several national players, going up against the UWI, who are second-time entrants. “The hope is that there will be a good turnout on Monday, given that it is a day-and-night match, which should give more people the convenience to attend,” commented Heaven. ENCOURAGING OUTLOOK
Coach Neil Harrison’s confidence was clear: “We are ready. We were born ready.”That’s the message he is sending as it relates to his Kingston College (KC) charges’ readiness for the fast-approaching ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.Harrison was speaking at an entertaining Journey to Champs stop in which telecommunications and cable company FLOW boosted KC’s coffers with $200,000 towards their sports development and sports programme at the institution’s Elleston Road Campus, which houses grades seven to nine, yesterday.Over the past three weeks, FLOW has stopped by three schools – Jamaica College, Hydel, and now, KC.The next stops for the FLOW Champs tour are Girls’ champions’, Edwin Allen High, next Tuesday, and Boys’ champions, Calabar, on March 11.The championships’ title sponsor, GraceKennedy, was also on hand to distribute gift bags, refreshment, prizes and nutritional advice to the students.The exciting day included entertainer Bugle releasing a number of hits from his catalogue. There were entertaining dancing battles and lyrical battles between students and FLOW dancers, while former KC students Elli the Viner and Prince Pine entertained and chanted the school’s motto to much jubilation.FLOW’s Whitney Fennell, who is in charge of retail sales, who himself is a Fortis old boy, rallied his former school ahead of Champs.”FLOW believes that the future of this country rests with young people, and we will all be supporting our youngsters, so we will always power our footballers and our athletes in whatever sport they choose,” Fennell outlined.Meanwhile, dean of discipline of the North Street campus Ainsworth Walker jolted the crowd with: “KC, KC, KC … Fortis forever!””I think we are prepared to win Champs, barring injuries. We only have one serious injury in the Class One with Chadwick Brown, and hopefully, he will recover,” Walker told The Gleaner in an interview.”We stand a great chance; they (athletes) just need to be consistent in their training and be advised about their physical and mental state, and once they find a twitch, they should take it serious,” he continued.Ironically, GraceKennedy’s digital media officer, Dwayne Extol, who helped to dethrone KC of the championships at Wolmer’s Boys in 2010, said: “Calabar by far looks impressive all season, JC are dark horses, as they are well-rounded and look a strong unit this year,” Extol pointed out.
BANGALORE, India (CMC): Andre Fletcher plundered a career-best unbeaten half-century as West Indies extended their imperious form by beating reigning champions Sri Lanka by seven wickets, in their Group One game of the Twenty20 World Cup here yesterday. For the second time in five days, the Caribbean side produced a successful run chase, this time overhauling a paltry 123 with 10 balls to spare at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Fletcher, included in the side at the expense of seamer Jerome Taylor and then promoted to the opening spot following a hamstring injury to superstar opener Chris Gayle, unfurled a superb unbeaten 84 off 64 deliveries to underpin the Windies run chase. The right-hander clobbered six fours and five sixes, dominating a 39-run first wicket stand with Johnson Charles (10), before adding a further 55 in an unbroken fourth wicket stand with Andre Russell, whose unbeaten 20 required just eight balls. “After Gayle went out I told (Dwayne) Bravo, there was something about me, I was just feeling very pumped up,” Fletcher told reporters. “When they told me I was going to open I told them I would be positive from ball one.” “I’m very, very happy,” Fletcher added. “I’ve been playing T20 and as soon I get to 50 I’ve been out. I told myself to try and bat as deep as possible and see if those guys can bat around me. I am so happy and proud of myself, people can see that I can bat through. “And I am happy that I can help my team to win. I hope I can continue the good form and also the team continue the good performance.” Left-arm spinner Milinda Siriwardana, who finished with two for 33 from his four overs, knocked over Marlon Samuels (3) and Denesh Ramdin (5) cheaply to create some nervousness for West Indies during the middle overs, but Man-of-the-Match Fletcher and Russell stayed calm to see their side to their second win. West Indies top Group One with four points as the only unbeaten team, while South Africa, Sri Lanka and England all have two points. Sent in, Sri Lanka struggled from the outset and it was left to Thisara Perera, batting at number seven, to rescue the innings with a cameo 40 from 29 deliveries. With his side tottering on 47 for five in the ninth over, he and captain Angelo Mathews, who made 20, propped up the innings in a 44-run, sixth wicket partnership. Mathews, who faced 32 balls and failed to find the boundary once, top-edged a high full toss from medium pacer Dwayne Bravo to wicketkeeper Ramdin in the 17th over and Sri Lanka could only gather 31 runs from the last four overs. The damage, however, was done up front by leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who claimed three for 12, while Bravo finished with two for 20. Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn went wicketless but conceded just 12 runs from his four overs, to create massive pressure throughout the innings.
NAGPUR, India (CMC):West Indies nearly made a mess of a simple run chase, but recovered in time to pull off a nervy three-wicket win over South Africa with two balls to spare, and romp into the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup here yesterday.In pursuit of an uncomplicated target of 123 on a slow pitch at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, West Indies were propelled by Man-of-the-Match Marlon Samuels who top-scored with a vital 43 from 44 deliveries while opener Johnson Charles stroked 32 from 35 balls.The Caribbean side were on top of the game at 66 for two in the 12th over, but lost five wickets for 47 runs in the space of 46 balls, to decline to 113 for seven in the penultimate over.Starting the final over with nine required for victory, West Indies were left sweating when Carlos Brathwaite (10 not out) was kept scoreless by 20-year-old seamer Kagiso Rabada off the first ball.However, Brathwaite cleared the ropes at wide long on with the second delivery before a wide and then a single ensured the scores were level with three balls remaining.Denesh Ramdin, batting at number nine, then steered the fourth delivery and his first to short third man where Hashim Amla dropped a sharp chance jumping high to his right, earning a single to take West Indies to their third straight win and keeping them unbeaten in the tournament.They sit top of Group One on six points, two clear of second-placed England, who face Sri Lanka – fourth on two points – on Saturday. Sri Lanka are third on two points and an England victory will eliminate them.INNINGS RESCUEDSent in earlier, South Africa were floundering at 47 for five in the ninth over before opener Quinton de Kock top-scored with 47 from 46 deliveries and David Wiese chipped in with 28 from 26 balls, to rescue the innings.Chris Gayle was the unlikeliest of bowling heroes with his off-spin, claiming two for 17 from his three overs, while seamers Dwayne Bravo (2-20) and Andre Russell (2-28) also chimed in with two wickets apiece.West Indies struck a key blow off the third ball of the game when Amla (1) gambled on an ill-advised single with de Kock, but failed to beat Russell’s throw from point to wicketkeeper Ramdin.In the next over, captain Faf du Plessis chipped Russell to Sulieman Benn at mid off to fall for nine at 13 for two and when Rilee Roussouw scooped Gayle to Russell at point in the third over to perish without scoring, the Proteas were stumbling badly at 20 for three.De Kock and de Villiers (10) offered temporary relief in a 26-run fourth wicket stand before Bravo got the breakthrough, bowling de Villiers with a slower ball in the eighth over at 46 for four.When the dangerous David Miller played back, completely misjudged a Gayle delivery that spun and was bowled, South Africa were tottering in the ninth.De Kock, who counted three fours and a six, rallied the innings by adding 50 for the sixth wicket with Wiese who benefited from a mis-stumping on three off left-arm spinner Benn in the 11th over, to strike two fours.The left-handed de Kock eventually perished when he made generous room for a heave through the leg-side and was bowled by Russell in the 16th over.