Croatia's 'Golden Generation' has delivered: coach Dalic

Croatia’s best previous World Cup run dates back 20 years to 1998, when they lost in the last four to eventual winners France. In 2002, 2006 and 2014 they were eliminated in the group stages, and th

Croatia’s run to the World Cup semi-finals may be a surprise to some, but coach Zlatko Dalic said his players had long been among the best in the world and are ready to go down in history as another golden generation when they face England on Wednesday.



Croatia’s best previous World Cup run dates back 20 years to 1998, when they lost in the last four to eventual winners France. In 2002, 2006 and 2014 they were eliminated in the group stages, and they failed to qualify for the 2010 tournament.



“Croatia has great players playing at the greatest clubs, but it is true we have not had good results at major tournament for decades,” the coach said on Tuesday.



Croatians play at Europe’s biggest clubs



His players’ club list reads like a who’s-who of European elite players, with Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic at Real Madrid, Ivan Rakitic at Spanish rivals Barcelona, forward Mario Mandzukic at Italian champions Juventus, and Dejan Lovren at Liverpool among others.



“The results were below the level and quality of our players. Something had to change to get the results,” Dalic said.



“So we should not be surprised that Croatia are in the semi-finals given the quality of the players.”



“This generation has been underrated for a long time because of their poor results, but they have shown their quality when it mattered at this World Cup, and it will go down as a golden generation like that of 1998.”



World Cup success



Dalic has managed to get the best out of his players so far as they cruised through the group stage with three wins out of three games, including a win over Argentina. They then edged out Denmark and hosts Russia on penalties in the knockout stages to set up a semi-final with England.



The coach, however, will have to wait and see if defender Sime Vrsaljko, who played in four of their five games, will be fit for the match after picking up a knee injury.



“He has this niggle. We want those who are 100 percent match fit. I cannot tell you (if he will play on Wednesday),” Dalic said.



“He has minor issues but we have a huge game tomorrow. Those players on the pitch must be perfectly fit. We have played five games, but being tired cannot be an alibi. We are in a World Cup semi-final.”



“I don’t know to what extent you see the level of celebrations in Croatia. That is a great source of pride for us. This is what drives, that is our petrol,” Dalic said.



AFCON U-20: Mali crowned champions

Mali beats Senegal at the finals of the U- 20 AFCON in Niger to back home her first continental title for the category.

Mali beats Senegal at the finals of the U- 20 AFCON in Niger
to back home her first continental title for the category.

Liverpool, Juventus, Barcelona and Fc Bayern all take center stage as the journey to unseat Real Madrid as Europe’s best continues with the 16th finals of the Uefa Champions League.

Ahead of the 2019 Afcon Yannick Bolasie of the DR Congo seeks play time in Belgian top flight, we shall be getting his reaction at the end of his first game with his new employers.

Kaepernick reaches deal with NFL - Lawyer

He was unsigned as a free agent through the fall of the season after he opted out of a contract with the San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick, one of the most visible players to protest against racial injustice during the U.S. national anthem, has resolved grievances with the National Football League.

His attorney, Mark Geragos said via Twitter on Friday that the resolution was subject to a confidentiality agreement and so the team said there would be no further comment by either party.

Kaepernick, 31, filed a collusion grievance against NFL owners in October 2017.

He was unsigned as a free agent through the fall of the season after he opted out of a contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Since then, the former NFL quarterback has been unable to find a team to play for.

Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl game in 2013.

Reuters

Saudi flags Crown Prince - Man United acquisition report 'offside'

Reports that Mohammed Bin Salman intends to buy the club are “completely false”, the minister, Turki al-Shabanah, wrote on social network Twitter.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is not seeking to buy Premier League football club Manchester United, the kingdom’s media minister said on Monday, denying reports and adding that there had only been a meeting with the Saudi wealth fund regarding sponsorship.

Reports that Mohammed Bin Salman intends to buy the club are “completely false”, the minister, Turki al-Shabanah, wrote on social network Twitter.

He was reacting to reports that the crown prince had sought to tempt the Glazer family to cede control of the club.

“Manchester United held a meeting with PIF Saudi to discuss (a) sponsorship opportunity,” Shabanah said, adding that no deal materialised.

On Sunday, the British newspaper, the Sun, said the crown prince was in a £3.8-billion ($4.9-billion) takeover bid for one of football’s most popular clubs.

The paper said a bid was first submitted in October but the fallout from the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s embassy in Istanbul put the “skids” on a potential offer.

REUTERS

Ethiopian teenager smashes 1,500m world indoor record

It came on the same Birmingham track where Tefera had won the world title last year.

Ethiopian teenager Samuel Tefera outduelled compatriot Yomif Kejelcha to break the world indoor 1,500 metres record in Birmingham on Saturday.

Tefera, 19, clocked three minutes, 31.04 seconds at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting to take down Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj’s 1997 record of 3:31.18.

It came on the same Birmingham track where Tefera had won the world title last year. Tefera kicked past Kejelcha after the bell for the final lap and charged to the finish line. Kejelcha finished second in a personal best of 3:31.58.

Kejelcha, the 21-year-old two-time world indoor 3,000m champion, had come within 0.01 of the world indoor mile record last week in New York. He had announced before Saturday’s race he would be going for the 1,500m record.

Scotland’s Laura Muir became the third-fastest indoor miler of all-time at the same meeting when she broke the British record. The European champion clocked 4:18.75.

The world record is 4:13.31 by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba in 2016.

REUTERS

Sala's family bids final farewell

28 year old Sala, had been flying from his previous club Nantes in western France to Wales on January 21 to make his debut for the Premier League team.

A coffin carrying the remains of footballer, Emiliano Sala carried from a vigil site to a hearse by the star’s friends and family on Saturday.

Sala’s coffin was at a vigil inside Sala’s childhood club, San Martin de Progreso, in Santa Fe, Argentina, during the day before being moved to a hearse.

Crowds applauded and some openly wept as the Cardiff player’s coffin was driven through the streets to a private ceremony in Santa Fe city, where Sala’s body is due to be cremated.

Sala,28, had been flying from his previous club Nantes in western France to Wales on January 21 to make his debut for the Premier League team.

His single-engined Piper Malibu aircraft he was travelling in disappeared over the English Channel.

Wreckage was found on February 3 following a privately-funded underwater search and a body recovered on February 6.

The body was taken to southern England where it was positively identified as Sala.

Reuters