Santi Cazorla more talented than Steven Gerrard, reveals former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle Sinama-Pongolle never managed to measure up to the standards at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘In training or in games, when Santi got the ball magic happened.’Liverpool signed Sinama-Pongolle as a teenager amid much fanfare, but the Frenchman never managed to fulfil his potential at Anfield.Sinama-Pongolle would be sold in 2006, but was part of Liverpool’s now famous 2004/2005 Champions League squad.After coming off the bench to play a crucial role in Liverpool’s comeback against Olympiakos in their last group stage game, Sinama-Pongolle would miss out on a spot in the squad that took on AC Milan in the final.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CitySinama-Pongolle then explained how his return to Liverpool following their epic comeback in Istanbul was a huge let-down.‘It’s the only thing about my time at Liverpool that leaves a bad taste,’ he recalled. ‘The organisation after Istanbul was an absolute disgrace. ‘The day after, those of us who weren’t in the squad for the final were put on a separate flight so the wives and girlfriends could go back on the main plane with the team. Advertisement Coral BarryTuesday 5 May 2020 10:16 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link339Shares Advertisement Comment Cazorla and Gerrard faced each other in the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Florent Sinama-Pongolle branded Steven Gerrard the most ‘complete’ footballer he ever played with, but insists Santi Cazorla was more talented than the Liverpool legend.Cazorla, who is still playing at Villarreal, would become a household name at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and remains a massively popular figure in football.Gerrard has gone down as one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players and Sinama-Pongolle played alongside ‘Captain Fantastic’ during some of his best years.‘Certainly the most complete player,’ Sinama-Pongolle told the Athletic about Gerrard. ADVERTISEMENT‘As a man, as a footballer, in terms of mentality, as a leader, yes he had everything. AdvertisementAdvertisement‘But in terms of just talent, in my opinion I played with more talented players. Sergio Aguero at Atletico (Madrid) was amazing. ‘Genius — every time he got the ball. I played with Santi Cazorla at Huelva and he was just “wow”. One of the best. Sinama-Pongolle was on the podium for Liverpool’s Istanbul triumph (Picture: Getty)‘Our flight arrived a bit later but the bus around the city didn’t wait for us. ‘They claimed that there were so many people on the streets of Liverpool that the police needed it to start. It was unfair. ‘They should have waited for the squad players. When I got back to Liverpool, I just went home and cried like crazy.‘The night before everything was great. It was so exciting. I should have been on that bus. I was really sad about how the club handled that.’Who is the more talented player?Cazorla0%Gerrard0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Patrice Evra reveals death threats from jailed Liverpool fans after Luis Suarez racist abuseMORE: John Barnes suggests Kylian Mbappe’s ‘attitude’ makes him the wrong fit for LiverpoolFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.
MS Dhoni will play his fourth ICC Cricket World Cup. India will play its first game against South Africa on June 5. Before the start of the World Cup, India will play two warm-up games. highlights New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni – A name which hit the cricketing arena almost 16 years ago, when he made India A debut in Zimbabwe. His sensational run in first India A series helped him to make India debut in 2004 and since then, he hasn’t looked back. With all three ICC tournaments under his belt, and also winning all other important series, Dhoni probably has nothing on his side which is yet to be proved.Over the years, his stature has only risen. With the World Cup just 10 days away his experience will be vital for India and who knows it better than former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum who led his team to World Cup 2015 final. McCullum recently gave his thoughts on Team India’s World Cup squad. He feels the availability of MS Dhoni in the side is indispensable because of his ability to put the opposition under pressure. The Kiwi said, “He is invaluable to the Indian team, he has a blueprint in his mind along with an approach to the game. He always puts the opposition under pressure when he arrives at the crease and reads the game perfectly. His fitness has been great, and he has been striking the ball beautifully in the recent past.”Former England captain Kevin Pietersen considers the recently concluded IPL a rebirth of the 37-year-old Dhoni. “His calmness gives him the ability to judge what’s in front of him, it doesn’t matter what situation it is, he is just one of those guys who you know would hold onto the ball when thrown at him.””The best thing about IPL this year was the rebirth of MSD’s batting, he took out all the bowling attacks in front of him,” he added. For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
UPDATED: Feb. 27, 2018 at 5:50 p.m.Four innings into Andrea Bombace’s sophomore debut, on Feb. 10, 2017, she knocked a two-run home run to claim a 6-4 lead over East Carolina in Syracuse’s season opener.The Orange won 9-6 and Bombace, following a four RBI season debut, seemed poised to build on her nine home run, 27 RBI freshman campaign when SU finished 27-26.But four days later, on Valentine’s Day, in the midst of one of SU’s final fielding drills, Bombace tore her ACL.The injury forced her to slide backward to the first time she took the field, before throwing 63 miles-per-hour in an eighth grade combine, faster than any other competitor; before committing to Syracuse (7-5) in ninth grade; before falling in love with softball over basketball and soccer.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“The feeling, it was confusing,” Bombace said. “But tough, because you’re dealing with getting told you might not be able to play the game that you love for a long period of time.”Bombace’s nine-month recovery proved more mental than physical. Enduring the separation from her teammates on the field was harder than the rehab she had to undergo.She’s returned to the field in 2018, batting 1-for-13 over seven games, four as designated hitter, two as a pinch hitter and one at first base. She also received a redshirt, granting her sophomore status, her father, George Bombace, said.He remembers the call he received one year ago. His daughter said four words: “I got injured today.” On March 9, she’d undergo surgery facing the unknown. Not knowing if she’d get her year of eligibility, or more importantly her ability to play, back, the uncertainty overtook her pain.Bombace’s mother, Joy, moved in with her in Syracuse for a few weeks following the operation to bring her to doctor’s appointments and rehab. The recovery continued beyond that period, with Joy periodically visiting as the initial 10-12 month prediction for her healing decreased to nine.As the team moved on without Bombace, Faith Cain said the players knew without instruction they’d need to escalate their play. Cain and Sydney O’Hara, who’d embarked on a career year, batting .476 and earning national attention, were forced to fill Bombace’s first base role.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorO’Hara, who had played only one season at first base since turning 12, was stunned by the development. She soured at the thought of the infield, but relating to the impact her forearm injury had on her sophomore season, filled Bombace’s spot anyway.Unable to travel with the team over the next three months, Bombace spent more time with trainers than her squad.“I got so stir-crazy,” she said. “It was insane. I wanted to do this, this and this, and I knew I couldn’t do that. I had to keep myself busy because being away from softball was definitely the biggest downfall.”Head coach Mike Bosch reminded Bombace to live in the process, to slow down and appreciate the moment instead of the overall long road that faced her. That included countless days in the training room, 12 road trips she could not join and a period where she wasn’t allowed in the dugout at home games, her father said.That, Bombace said, made her appreciate the sport in a new way.“Being in the moment brought me back to the little girl who loved the game first,” she said.Dr. Jarrod Spencer, a sports psychologist with Mind of the Athlete, LLC, works with Olympic, professional, collegiate and high school athletes, according to his website. He said in general players usually enter the five stages of grief when they suffer a season-ending injury: shock, denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance.“The loneliest place in sports is the trainer’s room,” he said. “For many injured athletes, that’s where you spend a lot of time while your teammates are practicing and moving forward, and it’s just lonely. You miss out on a lot of the fun and the conversations that would naturally keep you a little bit more connected.”Courtesy of SU AthleticsSpencer lauded Dr. Bryan Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, for acknowledging mental health as the top issue affecting college athletes. But Spencer added there’s more work to be done in expressing that it’s OK for athletes to admit they aren’t fine mentally following injuries.“There’s still a stereotype out there toward mental health, a stigma out there toward mental health,” Spencer said. “All across the country, we’re doing a better job of beginning to tear that down. But it’s going to take time, it’s going to take more energy and effort.”He expressed the need for support groups, so athletes like Bombace can connect with fellow competitors attempting to return from injuries. Psychologists meeting with coaches, signs in the facilities and administration initiative are key, too, he said.“The sports medicine staff refers student-athletes to the athletic department’s sponsored counselor,” a Syracuse Athletics spokesperson said of SU’s policy via email. “There is not a formal support group.”Rejoining her team in the dugout became Bombace’s therapy.She coached O’Hara and Cain through first base fundamentals from the bench during home games while the Orange rolled to a 31-19 record. When O’Hara left her heel on the bag, Bombace urged against it, so she wouldn’t get injured by a runner crossing first. Bombace yelled to Cain, pointing out where she had to be for coverage on various plays. She assumed a role of coach more than player.But still, a sense of separation persisted.“It’s really tough to stay connected because you can’t play with them,” said O’Hara, now an assistant softball coach with Le Moyne College.Bosch spoke with trainers often, because they met with Bombace more than he did. O’Hara had to FaceTime and text her to make her feel involved on road trips. Bombace’s father urged her to do more than required in each step of her physical recovery. She heard everything except the announcement of her name in the at-bat circle she missed.“Losing the whole last year was very hard on (Bombace),” her father said. “It took a toll on her emotionally … but she accepted it … almost nine months of not swinging, not throwing, not seeing pitches come in. It’s a lot.”To help, O’Hara met Bombace at Syracuse coffee shops during home stands while Bombace attended home games and practices, but could not participate.Alexa Romero and Hailey Archuleta, who Bombace said entered this season coming off an injury, too, supported her. They addressed her concerns and helped her around her apartment, she said.“They were my support system,” Bombace said.Bombace is still reacquainting herself with the movements of softball, and doesn’t sense she’s fully back yet. But she’s taking the comeback slowly, getting used to seeing pitches come in again and trying to re-establish what she’s done her whole life.She hasn’t left the yard in a game in more than a year, but simply returning to the field has brought a smile back to her face.“It’s basically starting back from zero,” Bombace said. “When you first start playing softball, you have to start from zero, you can’t go to 100, so you have to go back through the movements, back through the practices, back through the drills that you know best and you hope it’ll help you in the end. It’s a grind, definitely a grind.”CLARIFICATION: In a previous version of this post, Alexa Romero’s injury status entering the current softball season was unclear. Comments Published on February 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm Contact Bobby: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Twitter Google+
“A number of cities have expressed interest but we have not pursued any because we have not received permission from MLB and our desire is, first and foremost, to stay in Arizona,” the club told the Review-Journal in a statement.MORE: Here’s how to watch ‘ChangeUp,’ an MLB whiparound show, free on DAZNHenderson officials told the Review-Journal the “proposal has not moved forward,” but they added they would be willing to speak with any professional franchise about moving to the city. The Review-Journal reported that the city and club were engaged in discussions in February.The Review-Journal obtained records of e-mails between Diamondbacks team president Derrick Hall and Henderson City Manager Richard Derrick. As part of Henderson’s pitch, the city sent a slideshow presentation to the D-backs in 2018 that included renderings for a proposed 32,000-seat stadium and development in the surrounding area. Hall had expressed interest in a development district similar to the one adjacent to SunTrust Park, home of the Braves, in suburban Atlanta, the Review-Journal reported.Derrick, the city manager, signed a nondisclosure agreement with the team dated July 31, 2018, the Review-Journal reported. It also reported the Diamondbacks sent nondisclosure agreements to multiple area real estate professionals.The proposed stadium would be near a planned mixed-use development named Henderson West, the Review-Journal reported. The park would potentially join the headquarters of the NFL Raiders and a community ice rink for the NHL’s Golden Knights in Henderson, which is about 15 miles southeast of downtown Las Vegas. The Diamondbacks can leave Phoenix at any time if MLB requires them to move because of the condition of their current home park, Chase Field, the Review-Journal noted. The team’s stadium lease with the county runs through the 2027 season.The stipulation is part of a May 2018 agreement that ended the club’s lawsuit against Maricopa County, Ariz., where Chase Field is located, over $187 million in stadium repairs. The Arizona Republic reported in 2018 that the club can leave Chase Field without penalty in 2022 if it moves to another location in Maricopa County. If the team were to leave the stadium after 2022, it would have to pay the county between $5 million and $25 million in penalties. The D-backs began playing in Chase Field in 1998, in their inaugural season. City officials in Henderson, Nev., last year proposed an estimated $1 billion retractable-roof stadium to the Arizona Diamondbacks to entice the MLB team to leave Phoenix, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.The D-backs would neither confirm nor deny that it has discussed plans to move to Nevada.