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Koeman Blames VAR after Barcelona Lose to Madrid

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Koeman Blames VAR after Barcelona Lose to Madrid

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman says the video assistant referee system seems to be “only used to make decisions against Barca” after Sergio Ramos’ penalty helped Real Madrid win El Clasico. Federico Valverde smashed Real, who had lost their previous two games, into the lead from Karim Benzema’s pass.

Barcelona’s Ansu Fati, 17, levelled from Jordi Alba’s cross, becoming the youngest scorer in El Clasico history. Ramos scored from the spot and Luka Modric smashed in a late third.

The turning point was a lengthy VAR decision for the Ramos penalty. Referee Juan Martínez Munuera did not spot Clement Lenglet’s pull on Ramos’ shirt but eventually gave a penalty after viewing it on the screen.

Barca had two penalty appeals turned down – for a Raphael Varane challenge on Lionel Messi and a possible Varane handball.

“I don’t understand VAR, I think it is only used to make decisions against Barca,” said Koeman, whose side have only picked up seven points from five games. “You always get shirt tugs like that in the area and I think Ramos makes a foul on Lenglet first. There’s a tug of the shirt, but not enough to make him fall behind as he did. For me it’s not a penalty.

“We have had five matches and [VAR] has only been used to go against Barca. It’s never gone our way. The decision had a big influence on the final result, because we were playing well up to the penalty.”

Ramos said: “I think it was a very clear penalty. He tugged my shirt when I was jumping for the ball and it’s as clear as daylight. It’s unfair to criticise a referee for a decision as clear as that.”

The result takes Real top of the fledgling La Liga table with 13 points from six games, six points above Barcelona.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has not lost any of his six matches as a manager at the Nou Camp, with three wins and three draws. After the game he called it a “perfect display”.

Morale may have been low after defeats in their previous two games by Cadiz, in La Liga, and Shakhtar Donetsk, in the Champions League. But they started brightly when Benzema fed Valverde, who slammed the ball into the far corner, leaving Neto with no chance.

Fati’s almost immediate equaliser made it the first time both sides scored in the opening eight minutes of a Clasico in La Liga since 1940. After that, Barca threatened to take control but Real did well to turn the tide.

Ramos’ low penalty beat Neto and marks the first time he has scored 10 La Liga goals in a calendar year. There was time for a late third as Luka Modric stepped past Neto before a classy finish.

“I’m thrilled for the players,” said Zidane. “It’s a team victory.

“Given the criticism we’ve faced recently, we have to stay calm, stick together and play when we have to play, just as we did today.

“Ultimately, we’ve put in a great performance against a team that we know play wide open.”

It is perhaps too early to talk about real pressure but Barcelona’s tally of seven points from five games is as bad a start as boss Koeman could have feared.

They were OK for large parts of El Clasico and dominated for a period but Real deserved their win in the end.

Scorer Fati was one of three teenagers in Barca’s team, alongside Pedri and right-back Sergino Dest, who was the first American to play in El Clasico.

Fati – who became the first player under the age of 18 to score in El Clasico – and Dest, who joined from Ajax at the start of this month, were two of Barca’s better performers.

Koeman will surely be quizzed on how Philippe Coutinho, who did not have a good game, played the full 90 minutes – or why he did not make any changes until the 81st minute.

Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, two of the most expensive players of all time, came on too late for any real impact.

Lionel Messi was far from his best and has not scored in six Clasicos.

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‘Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic’, says former No. 2

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How can you identify the greatest tennis player in the world? What are the parameters to take into consideration? All questions to which there is no real answer. The debate on the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) will probably never end and indeed with the recent victory at Roland Garros of the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal will become even richer.

The Majorcan has now joined Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles while Novak Djokovic chases at 17. Recently, the strong Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic also spoke on the matter and he too declared that the debate on the GOAT will never end.

In conclusion it can be said that there are several additional factors to consider in the debate, beyond the Grand Slam count. Novak Djokovic was ‘literally thrashed’ by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final, says Alex Corretja.

Corretja on the French Open final

“Rafael Nadal literally thrashed Novak Djokovic,” Alex Corretja told sport.es. “And it should be remembered that the Serbian is the current number one in the world and that he has 17 Grand Slams to his credit.

“He defeated him at the most important moment and under the most adverse conditions”. Corretja also stressed just how big Nadal is in Spain, claiming no other Spanish athlete can match his popularity. “Without a doubt, he is the Spanish athlete with the largest number of followers in our country and the audiences support him.

The final had more than three and a half million viewers hooked on television to see Rafa’s new feat”. Rafael Nadal is respected and thought about a lot around the world. And for budding tennis players in Spain, Rafa is their inspiration.

Rafa’s academy in Mallorca, Spain is bringing up top talent into the tennis court. In his career or life, Rafa follows simple formulas to be who he is. The Rafa Nadal Museum Xperience is Rafa Nadal’s first and only trophy exhibition in which, in addition to collecting his 20 Grand Slam titles, highlights of his sporting career are collected from when he started playing tennis until today.

The tour is done through his trophies, but also through the shirts and shoes that Rafa won each of the Grand Slam finals in and played with throughout his career. In addition to knowing firsthand the results of one of the best tennis players in history, in the exhibition area visitors will be able to see the objects donated by some of the main figures in the history of world sport such as Michael Jordan, Fernando Alonso, Pau Gasol, Roger Federer, Mireia Belmonte, Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and many others.

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Rafael Nadal: “Better that a sportsman does not deal with politics”

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The controversy arising from the words of the Swedish AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic about LeBron James has caused a sensation in recent days. The experienced AC Milan player praised the qualities of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, but at the same time he stressed that as a basketball champion he only had to take care of that and not argue for political issues and that in any case they did not concern him.

LeBron James responded harshly in the conference, but during an interview with Veja the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, although in different contexts and not dealing with this, wanted to talk about this issue. Here are his words: “Why don’t I want to talk about politics? I am aware of the political situation and I talk about it a lot with my friends and with my team members, I am informed and have my own opinion like any other citizen.

However, I know that if I start talking about politics, everything I say will be taken from a certain context and would make me uncomfortable. For this reason I avoid talking about it, even if I think I have every right in the world to express my opinion.”

Rafael Nadal on his career and on Djokovic
The Spanish champion also stated: “COVID-19 struck me a lot, especially during the quarantine. I couldn’t and didn’t want to train, I didn’t want to do anything.
When we managed to get some situations I resumed training albeit with less intensity, always trying to avoid injuries.

It was a slow process that took place step by step. I changed my routine and the virus undoubtedly hit me. Training without knowing what the next tournament was going to be was tough, we didn’t have any goals. However, playing without an audience was really sad, but I think I adapted to the new situation at Roland Garros.”

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We live in a very strict quarantine with thousands of deaths, I remember that between April and June there were over 50 thousand deaths in Spain. I didn’t have the strength to do anything given the situation and I think that given the problems of so many countries it is impossible to relax.”

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Serena Williams looking hot and smart with her daughter Olympia for Stuart Weitzman. VIDEO

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Serena Williams loves spending time and posing with her lovely daughter Olympia. The world no.7 is partnering with Stuart Weitzman, helping to promote the Spring 2021 collection. Serena appeared in a photoshoot and really nice and cute video with Olympia or… the “mini-Serena.”

Serena and her daughter Olympia are inseparable. As per Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, they have never spent even 1 day apart and the former world no.1 travels around the world to play her tournaments only if Olympia can travel with her.

 

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