From unknown to being the best in his position in the world

When Atletico Madrid paid Benfica 16m euros for the relatively unknown 21-year-old Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak in 2014, many people thought the Spanish side’s manager Diego Simeone had panicked following the loss of Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea Seven years on, Oblak can lay claim to being the best in his position in the world. His stats are remarkable and Simeone has had the last laugh Anyone wanting to sign the 28-year-old now would have to meet the club’s 120m euros release clause. “I think I was born to be a…

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European Super League is on “standby”

The European Super League is on “standby” despite nine of the 12 founding teams withdrawing, says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. After a furious backlash against the proposed tournament that was announced on Sunday, all six Premier League clubs involved withdrew. “We’re going to continue working,” said Perez. “The project is on standby.” Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Juventus have not withdrawn, although Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said the project could not now proceed. “You cannot get out of the contract like this – they are binding contracts,” he added. When asked…

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Barcelona blew away Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa del Rey

MADRID: Lionel Messi scored twice, including a stunning solo goal, as Barcelona blew away Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa del Rey on Saturday. The cup was won and lost in a whirlwind 12 minutes in Seville, which saw Barca score four times to clinch an emphatic 4-0 victory, with Messi at his devastating best. Koeman took over a team at rock bottom, humiliated by a historic loss to Bayern Munich and wounded by the attempts of Messi to leave the club for free. But this 31st Copa del Rey…

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Giving up is not in our DNA

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says giving up on the Premier League title is “not in our DNA” even though their pursuit of runaway leaders Manchester City appears hopeless. The Norwegian believes his side are on the right track but admits adding to their 20 league titles is unlikely. “Of course we’ll never give up,” Solskjaer said after his side wrapped up a 4-0 aggregate victory against Granada in the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, setting up a last-four clash with Roma. They are also desperate to claim their…

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Penang misses its opportunity to move up

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang failed to move up to second in the Super League after they were held 1-1 by Sabah at the City Stadium today. Sabah dominated the opening minutes but failed to capitalise on them through Saddil Ramdani in the fourth and sixth minutes. Saddil, however, made his third attempt count with a goal in the 52nd minute. Penang is fourth with 15 points while Sabah is 10th on six after eight matches.

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Malaysia Cup goes into its 100th year

Malaysia Cup goes into its 100th year very much alive and kicking, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) are getting ready to celebrate the centenary. And it’s coming back with a bang after surviving Covid. Last year, the Malaysia Cup had to be called off after just one round due to the virus. The stars are getting aligned, The tournament, which has a special place in the hearts of Malaysian fans, is returning in time for the full 100-year circle. The Malaysia Cup evokes memories of legends like the late Datuk…

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EL Clásico among the world's most anticipated matches

The excitement is building up. EL Clásico, one of the world’s most anticipated football matches, is just three days away. It’s always a real classic when Real Madrid meets Barcelona in La Liga. And sparks are already flying in the run-up to this Saturday’s showdown between Los Blancos and Lionel Messi’s Blaugrana at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium. Caught up in the intense rivalry between the two Spanish giants is Selangor’s Swiss player Oliver Buff. The best players worldwide, are on the pitch if you talk about Barcelona versus Real…

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Wong Choong Hann brought everyone down to earth

BA of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann was quick to bring everyone down to earth, despite the national players’ recent success in Europe. According to Choong Hann, everyone needs to continue working hard and not be satisfied with one or two achievements. Earlier this month, Lee Zii Jia became the talk of the town when the 23-year-old captured the All England men’s singles title. “Honestly, I would want to see them all beef up their fitness level after what I saw in Europe. This includes the Orleans Masters.…

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Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka ruled out World Cup qualifiers

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka have been ruled out of England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and Poland. Saka, 19, had not linked up with the group because of a hamstring injury. Rashford, 23, joined up with Gareth Southgate’s squad despite carrying a foot injury and will return to United. England travels to Tirana to face Albania in their next Group I qualifier on Sunday before hosting Poland at Wembley on Wednesday.  

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Three legends to skip ATP Miami Open

MIAMI: World number one Novak Djokovic said Friday he won’t be playing at the ATP Miami Open, joining fellow Grand Slam legends Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in skipping next week’s event. The current records put him third on the all-time men’s list behind the 20 Slam titles owned by Swiss star Federer and Spaniard Nadal, who will try to defend his French Open title in the next Slam showdown on the red clay of Roland Garros. “Dear fans, I’m very sorry to announce that this year I won’t travel…

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