The man behind the abolition of race discrimination and apartheid in Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away on December 5 in 2013. The anti-apartheid revolutionary served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.Mandela is one of the most admired personalities ever to be born. He inspired generations and inculcated the sense of goodwill and peace among all.On his third death anniversary, we bring to you 15 interesting facts about Nelson Mandela:In 2009, United Nations declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day or Mandela DayNelson Mandela was born in a royal family. Mandela’s great-grandfather was a ruler of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province while his father was a counsellor and a local chief of the monarchsNelson Mandela was the first member of his family who attended school. He was named Nelson by his teacher in school as each student was required to have an English name.In college, Nelson Mandela was an all-rounder. He played sports, performed in drama society, took up ballroom dancing and gave Bible lessons in a local communityIn 1953, Mandela along with his friend Oliver Tambo, opened his own law firm, which happened to be the first and only African-law firm in the countryMandela was known as the master of disguise. He usually disguised himself as a chauffeur and he travelled incognito, holding meetings and attending strikesIn 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested. He was charged with instigating strikes of workers and for leaving the country without permissionMandela was sentenced to life in prison where he stayed for 27 years. He gave a three-hour speech, which is popularly referred to as the ‘I am prepared to Die’ speech, in a courtroom during his trial. It is considered one of the most inspirational speeches of all timeAfter his release, Nelson Mandela along with his supporters, increased pressure on the South African white minority government and even addressed the international communitiesIn 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa. He became the first President who was elected by a democratic system and served from 1994 to 1999Nelson Mandela was a philanthropist who focused on doing social charity work in battling poverty and HIV/AIDSNelson Mandela was a controversial figure. He was addressed as a terrorist and communist by many, and was even denounced due to his friendship with leaders like Muammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro etcNelson Mandela received over 260 awards and one of them was Nobel Peace Prize, in the year 1993Nelson Mandela has been given tribute in both films and music. Artists like Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, Youssou N’Dour paid tribute to him through their music. Actors like Morgan Freeman, Terrence Howard and Idris Elba have portrayed him in many filmsBoth India and Pakistan awarded Nelson Mandela with their prestigious awards in the year 1990 and 1992, respectively. In 1990, India gave Mandela the Bharat Ratna Award and in the year 1992, Pakistan gave him Nishan-e-Pakistan Award.Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs sectionadvertisement
Julen Lopetegui acknowledged Real Madrid were inferior to a rampant Sevilla, who he insisted were deserved 3-0 winners in LaLiga on Wednesday.Andre Silva scored twice as Sevilla comprehensively defeated Champions League holders Madrid at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan midweek.Madrid were no match for Sevilla away from home – the Spanish capital club suffering their first LaLiga defeat of Lopetegui’s reign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Reflecting on the result in Seville, head coach Lopetegui told reporters: “Our problem was that Sevilla were clearly better than us, particularly in the opening stages. “They netted twice and were very clinical early on. We were second best in the first half and in the second we were more evenly matched but we missed a couple of big chances that killed any hopes we had. It was a poor performance on our part and Sevilla are deserved winners.”FT: @SevillaFC_ENG 3-0 @RealMadrid (André Silva 17′, 21′, Ben Yedder 39′) #RMLiga pic.twitter.com/Sho01492hv— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 26, 2018Madrid thought they had pulled a goal back in their hopes of a comeback early in the second half, however, Luka Modric’s goal was disallowed by VAR.”The idea was to press high but it didn’t come off like we’d hoped and we paid for it, particularly at the beginning. It’d be opportunistic to say we didn’t prepare for the game adequately but it looks like that was the case,” continued Lopetegui, whose Madrid must pick themselves up for Saturday’s derby against Atletico Madrid.”Neither the players nor the coach were at their best in the first half. If the goal early in the second half had stood, we would have had a chance.”Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona’s shock loss to Leganes as the two Spanish giants tasted defeat on the same day in LaLiga for the first time since January 2015.LaLiga champions Barca are ahead of Madrid on goal difference after six rounds.”The league is a marathon and will pose real challenges,” Lopetegui said. “We need to prepare for the next game well. “This kind of thing happens in LaLiga and it will happen again, now we have to prepare for an important, challenging game at home in the next three days. Tomorrow we will get up and prepare for the next game as best we can.”
Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala ended their waits for first international goals to help Argentina to a 2-0 win over Mexico in a friendly on Tuesday.Icardi scored in the second minute in Mendoza and Dybala sealed the win as Argentina made it back-to-back victories against Mexico this month.Playing his eighth international game, Icardi broke his duck early, while Dybala came off the bench to net his first in 18 Argentina appearances. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Since the World Cup and with Scaloni at the helm on an interim basis, Argentina have won four of six matches, losing just once – to Brazil last month, and have done so without Lionel Messi.Despite a much-changed line-up, Argentina were ahead inside two minutes.Icardi did well to cushion down a long pass to Erik Lamela, who played in the Inter star before the forward cut inside and finished clinically for his first international goal.#SelecciónMayor Así convirtió Mauro Icardi su primer gol con la Mayor. pic.twitter.com/cjVNBwUUM3— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) November 21, 2018Henry Martin’s ambitious overhead kick was Mexico’s first effort, while Lamela curled a shot wide in the 19th minute.Victor Guzman put a 25-yard free-kick over the crossbar approaching half-time, although Argentina were looking the far more likely.Lamela stung the palms of Mexico goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona with a free-kick early in the second half as the hosts looked to double their lead.The visitors went close in the 69th minute, with debutant goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga making a good save to tip away a Jesus Gallardo header at the back post.Guzman tested Gazzaniga again in the 85th minute, but Argentina sealed their win on the counter-attack.Giovanni Simeone made a blistering run down the left before squaring for Dybala, who side-footed in his maiden international goal. What does it mean? Scaloni may have done enoughAlready backed by his players, including Dybala, this month, Scaloni is likely to have done enough to be given the permanent job as Argentina coach. The 40-year-old has enjoyed some success while rebuilding and his side’s recent performances suggest he deserves a chance. Icardi finally delivers on international stageThe 25-year-old has been prolific for Inter in recent seasons, but is yet to deliver regularly for Argentina. Icardi took a step towards changing that by finally scoring for his country, the goal showing what he can produce. But Scaloni will eventually have to work out how Icardi and maybe Messi and Dybala can fit together. Mexico wait for MartinoAlbeit with an understrength side, Mexico’s difficult period continued with a seventh loss in their past eight games, and fifth in six under interim boss Ricardo Ferretti. Gerardo Martino is widely expected to take charge and it seems Mexico cannot wait for the arrival of the former Barcelona coach. What’s next?Argentina have a Copa America, and perhaps the return of Messi, to look forward to in 2019. Mexico, meanwhile, will go into the CONCACAF Gold Cup as one of the favourites despite their poor form. read more
Five time world champion MC Mary Kom got the AIBA Legends award while former Asian Games champion Vikas Krishnan received the AIBA Pro Boxing Best Boxer trophy at the International Boxing Federation’s (AIBA) 70th anniversary here on Wednesday.Both Indian boxers were present at the ceremony along with Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President Ajay Singh.”Its an honour for the whole country that our boxers Mary Kom and Vikas Krishnan have been awarded at this global stage of AIBA,” Ajay Singh said in a statement. (Mary Kom to receive ‘Legends Award’ from International Boxing Association)Thank you for all champs ???????????????? #AIBALegends – @Klitschko @MangteC @brahiminside #FelixSavon pic.twitter.com/JHrf9G7Vso AIBA (@AIBA_Boxing) December 21, 2016″BFI congratulates AIBA on their 70th anniversary and look forward to hosting the AIBA family in February 2017 in India for the 71st AIBA commissions meeting,” he added.Besides, the best performances and events of 2016 were recognised, with reigning Olympic men’s and women’s Light Flyweight (49kg) champions Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan and Britain’s Nicola Adams both winning the title of Boxer of the Year in their respective categories. (Boxer Mary Kom to return to 48kg category) Vikas Krishnan (AIBA image)The Best Coach award went to Billy Walsh following a highly successful first full year in charge of the US team while Cuba Domadores were crowned the Best World Series of Boxing (WSB) Team.Cuba’s David Morrell’s starring role at the 2016 Youth World Championships, where he won Light Heavyweight (81kg) gold, earned him the Best Youth Boxer award and hosts Saint Petersburg of Russia won the Best Youth Event. Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, got the Best Elite Event for their hosting of the Women’s World Championships in May. (AIBA re-inducts Boxing Federation of India as permanent member)advertisementHelmut Ranze won Best Supervisor for his role at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Philip was the recipient of many honours from across the globe for his illustrious and multifarious contributions in various fields. He was awarded the Hancock Medal” by the Plastic and Rubber Institute of U.K. which is the highest recognition in the world for outstanding service to the Rubber industry, based on worldwide assessment. He also received Fellowships from The Royal Chartered institute of Materials U.K., Indian Rubber Institute, Plastic and Rubber Institute of London etc. Amul honoured him with a gold medal and a citation for voluntary help for 15 years as their advisor in its fledgling days. A keen sports enthusiast and one of the oldest golfers in India, he won several trophies of the Western India Golf Association. He started his career as the manager of Travancore National Bank in Chennai . He then moved on to the Bombay branch of the bank,as its Assistant Manager. Philips affable manners, simplicity and approachability brought prestige and credibility to the business enterprises he was involved in. Acknowledging his contributions to the Indian Industry the nation honoured him with Padma Shri in 2001. With his versatility and business acumen he started The India Coffee and Tea Distributing company , Bombay better known by its founders name Philips Coffee and Tea”, which has more than 100 outlets in Mumbai. Hard working and visionary by nature, K.M Philip ventured into the diversification of rubber and its products, which made him an advisor to many Rubber Board industries in India. He was instrumental in the establishment of Gujarat Reclaim & Rubber Products. He was also engaged in many joint ventures in Malaysia. He was the guiding spirit of the Indian rubber industry. One of the founders of All India Rubber Industries Association, he served the organisation as its President and Hon. General secretary for decades. He was also the Chairman of the Plastics and Rubber institute,Chairman of Govt. of Indias Development panel for non-tyre industry. Philip served on the Rubber Board of India for 17 years. He was on the board of Malayala Manorama till 1972. He served as the whole time Director of M.R.F till date. He has also authored more than hundred articles on Indian Rubber Industry. In recognition of his services to the industry , The All India Rubber Industries Association instituted the K.M Philip Award consisting of a gold medal ,a citation and Rupees One lakh for outstanding contribution to the Indian Rubber Industry. He had been living in Mumbai for the past 70 years. PTI VSCadvertisement
nod for holding the sport. A group of students tried to stage a rail roko at Salem Railway Station but were removed by police. In Erode, hundreds of young men participated in a two-wheeler rally demanding permission to hold jallikattu. In Dindigul and Arani near Tiruvannamalai, youth sported black shirts as a mark of protest and took out decorated bulls on main roads. They held placards which said jallikattu was “our cultural sport, our right.” Rallies were also taken out in Vellore, Madurai, Sivaganga, and Rameswaram demanding jallikattu be allowed. The Supreme court had outlawed jallikattu in 2014 and a review petition of Tamil Nadu was also dismissed last Deccember. Judgement on a matter related to the Centres notification of last year to exempt jallikattu from the ban has been reserved by the apex court. With jallikattu traditionally held along with Pongal festivities, there has been a growing chorus in support of lifting the ban on the sport in the state in the past four days with people from various walks of life staging protests. PTI VGN SA SSN NVM VS SK
As expected, Delhiites of all ages thronged the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi, hoping to get a glimpse of their favourite superstar. SRK was expected to reach Delhi at 11am and fans reached the station well in advance.Crowds in hundreds stationed themselves at the station as early as Monday evening to make sure they get to see the actor who was on the train to promote his upcoming film Raees.ALSO READ: Kaabil early reviews- Anil Kapoor to Twinkle Khanna, Bollywood praises Hrithik Roshan ALSO READ: Raees- Shah Rukh condoles death of fan, says his prayers are with the family Following the incident in Vadodara last evening where a man died after suffering a cardiac arrest at the station because of the commotion, heavy security was deployed in Delhi.Starting from a few meters away from the station till platform number 3, Delhi Police personnel were stationed and roads were barricaded to keep a check on the number of people entering the station. Additionally, railway authorities had also made sure extra measures were taken to ensure no unruly incident took place.Hearing about the Vadodara incident, Delhiites also ensured that the crowds stayed calm. Organisers of the event also put extra security in place at several coaches.But it was a disappointment for Shah Rukh’s fans. Khan’s appearance was a blink-and-miss one. While there were rumours that the actor would exit from a particular coach, the superstar quietly left from another.A 16-year-old boy sporting a Shah Rukh T-shirt and carrying his picture in his wallet said, “I understand why he had to leave quietly. I love SRK and I can do anything for him. We will make Raees a big hit.”advertisementALSO WATCH: Shah Rukh opens up on box-office clash with Kaabil
Physical education and fitness have rather significant impact on children’s performances in schools and education.According to the survey, students need more time to play and engage more with outdoor activities as most of the students in today’s time have low Body Mass Indexes (BMIs).One child in every three was found unable to sprint as they could have at their age and lack physical strength.Also read: 10 districts awarded on National Girl Child Day for contributing towards woman empowermentThe 7th Annual School Health and Fitness Study 2016, conducted by the EduSports across 326 schools in 86 cities, found out that of the 1.5 lakh students, 34-39 per cent students have low BMI condition. “The school-going child has a developing body and it requires proper diet and a good amount of time and space to play,” remarked Saumil Majmudar, CEO and Co-founder of EduSports, as reported in The Indian Express.Commenting on the findings, Majmudar observed that students don’t have the ideal time and space to play and opines that schools should have adequate resources and facilities for the students to play and engage more in activities related to physical fitness.More findings from the study:The study reveals that students who are provided with more than three physical education (PE) sessions in a week are more active and has better BMI.Where students in the urban and semi-urban areas did not find ideal space to play in their neighbourhood, schools can play a pivot role in providing time and space for such students, observed the study. As per the finding, schools that have established sports session, physical education, and safety infrastructure have more students with better BMIs.advertisement “When the education sector can have a proper system in place for teaching mathematics to students, why the same system can’t be implemented for physical education?” asked Majmudar.Read: Osmania university Centenary Celebrations should be held on a grand scale, says Telangana CMRead: Kerala: Education sector is the most corrupt, says AK Antony Click here for more education related news.For more details, follow India Today Education or you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Chandraboli MitraMonaco, Feb 15 (PTI) Worlds “greatest” sprinter Usain Bolt pipped the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James to win the Sportsman of the Year trophy for a record-equalling fourth time, while gymnast Simone Biles clinched the top honour in the womens category at the Laureus World Awards at a glittering ceremony here.They are the little and large of sport ? while Bolt stands 1.95 metres, Biles measures just 1.45 metres ? but they were both giants at the Rio Olympics, and enjoyed an ecstatic welcome as they received their statuettes here, the birthplace of the first ever Laureus awards 17 years ago.Bolt, who won this award in 2009, 10 and 13, walked away with the Oscar of Sports for the fourth time, thereby joining tennis legends Roger Federer and Serena Williams, and surfer Kelly Slater as four-time Laureus award winner.Bolt received his award from legendary Michael Johnson, who urged him not to break other peoples records. To which Bolt responded by saying “sorry”.”I am sorry to have broken your record,” Bolt told Johnson.”Thanks for the wonderful award. Laureus is one of the biggest awards for me. This is my 4th award and to be equalling it with someone like Roger Federer is great. I am kin great company. It is special,” he added.Olympic gymnastics champion Biles notched up the Sportswoman of the Year trophy, riding on her brilliant achievement at the Rio Games last year, where she finished with four yellow metals and a bronze.The most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps bagged the Comeback of the Year award after returning to the swimming pool and scooping five more gold medals.advertisementAfter the 2012 Olympics, Phelps retired from swimming but came out of the retirement and subsequently at the Rio Games last year, he bagged as many as five gold medals and a silver.”Looking back at my career today, I can say that Rio was my greatest race,” said Phelps after getting the award.Formula One champion Nico Roseberg claimed the Breakthrough of the Year award. He ended runner-up in 2014 and 2015 but finally won the title last year.Roseberg said that the last two laps in Abu Dhabi was the “most sensational moment in my racing career.””I am really happy to have won the Oscar of Sports. The last two laps in Abu Dhabi, I didnt know if my lifes dream was coming true. That stands second behind my wife giving birth to our girl,” said Roseberg after winning the award.In other categories, Italys Beatrice Vio, the only quadruple amputee in international wheelchair fencing, clinched the disability award, while the Olympic refugee team, led by Tegla Loroupe, won the Laureus Sport for Good award for sporting inspiration at the function, which was hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Grant. (MORE) PTI CM MRJ
Asked which city will host the final of the tournament, Asked which city will host the final of the tournament, Ceppi said it will be worked out later on but indicated it is likely to go to cities where football is more popular. “Schedule of the tournament will be announced by FIFA in consultation with the LOC. The quarterfinals, semifinals and final are the most important matches. We will take a lot of things into account. We told the state governments that the venue of marquee matches will be based on two factors — readiness of the facility and willingness. “We watched every single match at different venues in the country, be it I-League or Indian Super League and we know exactly the attendance at different places. Not only willingness, we know at certain places there are a lot of passion of the fans. Those places where football is popular and is growing, those places should be rewarded. “We are aware of situation in Delhi and we are also aware there is another complication, that is the pollution. Diwali this year is on October 19 (when the tournament will be towards its business end). So that is another thing we have to take into account while deciding schedule.” “There will be no opening ceremony. The first day will have four matches at two venues,” Ceppi said, adding that the city where the operational headquarters will be located will also be decided after the draw ceremony on July 7. PTI PDS AH AHadvertisement
Dehradun, Mar 24 (PTI) The budget session of the newly elected Uttarakhand Assembly began here today with Governor K K Paul rolling out a roadmap for the states development with emphasis on education, health, tourism, creation of basic infrastructure and employment generation.Laying out the priorities of the BJP government in his address to the House, Paul said it will review the education policy and prepare a curriculum which brings about qualitative improvement in educational standards.Economic resources will be made available to meritorious students from the weaker sections and there will be emphasis on the education of the girl child which holds the key to womens empowerment, he said. He added that boarding schools will be opened in each district for girl students.Paul also announced that research in astrology, architecture, ancient Sanskrit texts and the ritual aspect of the Hinduism will be encouraged. Efforts will be made to regularise guest and contract teachers, he said.A system which makes medical facilities accessible to all will be developed by strengthening the dial 108 service, increasing the number of mobile medical vans, and improving facilities at government hospitals, the governor said.Paul said trauma centres will be opened in accident-prone hill areas of the state where road mishaps are frequent.Basic infrastructure will be strengthened and employment opportunities will be created by giving a boost to investments and industries in the state, he added.Considering the states potential in tourism, a tourism, art, culture and pilgrimage policy will also be framed, Paul said, adding that adventure sports facilities will be created in places abounding in rivers, lakes and dams.advertisementTo give a boost to medical tourism, Yoga and Ayurvedic centres will be set up, he said.Paul said ancient temples will be restored and more facilities will be created around them for the convenience of pilgrims.The amount being given to ex-servicemen under various welfare schemes will be increased and the general emphasis will be on providing transparent and effective governance to all, he said. PTI ALM BSA
Intex announced yet another budget smartphone called the Aqua Prime 4G in India today. The smartphone is priced at an affordable cost of Rs 6,555. The key highlight of this Intex device is said to be its camera, which comes with a selfie flash. Intex Aqua Prime 4G is the first smartphone by the India smartphone maker which comes with a front-facing selfie flash feature. So, here the new Intex smartphone that comes as a treat for the all the selfie lovers out there.Taking a look at the optics, the Intex Aqua Prime 4G comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash and auto-focus. While on the front, fits a 2-megapixel selfie shooter with a selfie flash. The camera set up comes with several other special features like – HDR and Panorama mode, and also Auto Capture mode. The Android smartphone comes in three promising colour variants – white, grey and champagne.Also Read: Intex Aqua 4G Mini launched in India with G sensors and smart gestureTalking about the specifications, the Intex smartphone sports a 5.5-inch HD IPS display screen. Further, running on Android Marshmallow 6.0, the smartphone is powered by a 32-bit quad-core MediaTek M6735 SoC clocked at 1GHz. While the device also boasts a Mali 760 GPU on board.The Intex Aqua Prime 4G comes packed with 1GB of RAM coupled with 8GB internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 32GB memory via an external microSD card. Backed by a decent 2,800mAh Li-Polymer battery, the device comes with the ability to deliver 500 hours of standby and 11 hours of talk time, claims the company. On the connectivity front, Intex Aqua Prime 4G includes several options like – dual-SIM card slots, 4G with VoLTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, AGPS, USB and 3.5 mm audio output jack.advertisementJust a few days ago, Intext launched another Aqua series phone called the Intex Aqua 4G Mini with G-sensors and smart gestures. Priced at Rs 4,199, the smartphone is powered with 1.3GHz Quad-core (SC9832C) processor and sports a 4-inch FWVGA display. Further, the smartphone packs 512MB of RAM and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.Storage wise, the Intex Aqua 4G Mini comes with 4GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via an external micro SD card. While on the camera front, the Intex smartphone features a 5MP rear camera set up, paired with a LED flash, while on the front comes with a 0.3MP selfie shooter.
New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Indias premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will miss the 10th Indian Premier League due to recurrence of sports hernia. Ashwin plays for Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL. A host of Indian players would either miss or be rested from a few games after a gruelling international season. Test openers KL Rahul (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Murali Vijay (Kings XI Punjab), both suffering from dodgy shoulders, will miss the entire tournament while skipper Virat Kohli and speedster Umesh Yadav are set to skip a few matches for their respective franchises RCB and Kolkata Knight Riders. Ashwin, a key member of the Indian team across all formats, will be required 100 percent fit during the upcoming Champions Trophy starting June 1. The 30-year-old all-rounder has featured in all the 13 home Test matches this season, handling unbelievable workload of bowling close to 750 overs. He has taken an astounding 81 wickets this season, highest by any Indian bowler, and also contributed handsomely in bulk of Indias 10 Test victories. PTI KHS PM PM
Of all the many, many words that have been spoken about this most wonderful, absurd of sports down the years, it was perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson, memorably, who summed it up best.“Football…. bloody hell!”The Scot’s words rang as true as they ever have at around five past six on Sunday afternoon, as Anfield bounced to another famous victory. The drama of the 232nd Merseyside derby ensured it will be remembered for years, a day when Liverpool was red and Everton were blue – and all thanks to the hero nobody saw coming. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Forget the Jordan Pickford memes – and yes, social media really can be the most savage of places at times – the real story of Sunday was Divock Origi. From the shadows to the spotlight, and all in the space of a dozen minutes. Never underestimate football’s penchant for a redemption tale.This, don’t forget, was a player who hadn’t played a Premier League game since August 2017, who hadn’t appeared at Anfield in 19 months and whose first-team minutes this season, prior to the weekend, had totalled 11. His last Liverpool goal? May 2017. His last Anfield strike came a month before that.This was a player whose last goal of any kind came in September for the Reds’ Under-23 team. Origi lined up for Neil Critchley’s side against Swansea at Kirkby that day, while 200 miles away Jurgen Klopp’s first-teamers were beating Tottenham at Wembley.This is a player who left Liverpool on loan last season and could have done so permanently during the summer. A player who went to Germany to shine, but failed to do so. A return of six goals in 34 appearances at Wolfsburg was hardly likely to play him back into Liverpool’s team, was it?Had Origi wanted to, he could have been lining up against Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup next month. Wolverhampton Wanderers, newly-promoted and eager to spend, thought they had landed the Belgian back in July. An offer of £22 million ($28m) plus add-ons was deemed acceptable by Liverpool, but the player decided against the move.Interest from across Europe, most notably from Valencia and Borussia Dortmund, failed to develop into something more concrete, and Origi was still at Anfield when the European transfer window closed at the end of August. His season, it seemed, would be spent on the sidelines.A shame, considering this was a striker who had shown genuine signs of promise for Liverpool in the past. His first campaign on Merseyside, 2015-16, brought 10 goals and his next brought 11. Important goals too, some of them. Two against Everton, two against Dortmund. Memorable moments.Wolfsburg paid a substantial fee, around £6m ($7.7m), to loan him for a season. The idea was that, at 22, Origi would go to Germany, play games, score goals and rediscover his spark in a competitive team.It didn’t happen. Origi played under three different managers in a range of different positions and tactical systems. His form, and Wolfsburg’s, rarely lifted above mediocre. His side avoided relegation from the Bundesliga only after winning a two-legged play-off against Holstein Kiel.Origi scored in that play-off, though his struggles in Germany would come at a cost. When Belgium announced their squad for the World Cup in May, he was not even on the standby list.“It was a learning season for me,” Origi said after returning to Melwood in the summer. “I learned a lot mentally and grew a lot. I think I’ve come back more mature.” The aim, he said, was “getting fit, getting back into my rhythm as soon as I can and hopefully scoring as many goals as possible.”He’s a popular character around the training ground. Fluent in four languages, he reckons he’d have been a psychologist had it not been for football. “I get my friends to do personality tests and see what type they resemble,” he said once. “At Liverpool, I can say who is an introvert and who is an extrovert.”He was, of course, smiling on Sunday as he walked through the Anfield mixed zone. “I just try to shine my light and see wherever it goes,” he said, rather poetically.His manager and team-mates, meanwhile, were paying tribute to their match-winner. “He hasn’t been playing but he’s never moaned or complained,” said Gini Wijnaldum. “He deserved that chance to play, and the fact that he scored and gave us the three points makes it even more beautiful.”Trent Alexander-Arnold paid tribute to his “instinct” for following in when most would have given up, while Virgil van Dijk offered a jokey admonishment. “He should have scored one where I headed it to him,” the defender grinned. “And I told him!”The identity of his victims, of course, adds something to the story. It was against Everton, in April 2016, that Origi’s development was severely affected by a crude, ankle-damaging challenge from Ramiro Funes Mori. At the time, he was Liverpool’s first-choice centre forward.“I’ve never forgotten it since,” Jurgen Klopp said. “At that time he was outstanding. After that it took a long time before he felt absolutely anything.“Now, he can finish that book, and from now on everything will be fine again.”A nice idea, and certainly Origi’s Lazarus impression has come at a good time for Liverpool, with seven games to come in the next four weeks. Klopp’s squad will be put to the test, and he will be pleased to know that, if nothing else, there is one more legitimate option available to him, off the bench or otherwise.Beyond that, who knows? Liverpool, Goal understands, would still be open to selling should they receive an offer in excess of £20m (€$25.6m) but again it will depend on the player, whose contract runs until the summer of 2020.For now, though, Origi deserves the chance to bask in the glory. “It’s an example to everybody,” Klopp said on Tuesday. “Make yourself ready for the moment.”Origi did, and even if he does nothing else for Liverpool, Sunday will feel like enough. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
The festive season is upon us, and the Premier League is inching towards its halfway point. And while there is still a long way to go at both ends of the table, the English top flight has already thrown up some early winners and losers.While the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have been in imperious form so far, not every team will look back on the first half of the 2018-19 season with such joy. Indeed, Manchester United’s torrid league form has already produced one high-profile casualty.Jose Mourinho, however, is not alone in finding these first few months rather difficult to negotiate. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Joining ‘The Special One’ are a host of characters that have been well below-par. Unlike Jose, however, they may still yet have time to turn things around after Christmas…Jose Mourinho Third-season syndrome struck once again for the Portuguese, who was unceremoniously relieved of his duties as Manchester United boss on Monday. And this time Mourinho only has himself to blame.He came into 2018-19 with plenty of credit to his name thanks to a second-placed finish last year and a collection of cup victories. But the cracks began to show even before a ball was kicked as he made a series of public transfer gripes that were not well-received by those in the Old Trafford boardroom.On the pitch, meanwhile, things just kept getting worse. While United’s rivals continued to harvest points, the Reds stumbled from setback to setback, losing four of their opening 16 games to lag behind those early pace-setters.A 3-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool sealed his fate, amongst rumours of serious rifts in the dressing room with some of United’s senior players.It remains to be seen how the redoubtable Mourinho will bounce back from this embarrassing failure.Racist Fans There is no denying that English football has taken great strides in the battle against racism since the nadir of the 1980s, when offensive attacks on black players were commonplace. Nevertheless, a disturbing return to these incidents show that plenty of work still needs to be done on this front.Raheem Sterling led the charge with a poignant letter published on Instagram after he was barracked from the stands at Stamford Bridge.”Regarding what was said at the Chelsea game, as you can see by my reaction, I just had to laugh because I don’t expect no better,” he stated, turning the focus back on certain sectors of the UK media, who stand accused of “fuelling” racist behaviour.Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also suffered this season at the hands of moronic supporters, when a Tottenham fan hurled a banana skin at the forward during the north London derby.It is only fair to mention that in each of those cases the offenders have been identified and banned from the stands by their clubs. But the fact that such mindsets still exist and are allowed to raise their ugly head in 2018 is damning in itself, a call on all teams to remove such poisonous elements from their stands and warn others such behaviour will not be tolerated.Mesut Ozil Another supremely talented midfielder who has seen his stock drop spectacularly in the few short months of this current season. Ozil has even been linked with leaving Arsenal after losing the favour of Unai Emery, a fitting end to a difficult year for the player.Ozil began 2018-19 in the worst possible fashion, licking the wounds caused by Germany’s World Cup collapse and engaged in a bitter struggle with his nation’s FA over a visit made to Turkish president Erdogan that quickly escalated into accusations of widespread discrimination suffered by players of mixed heritage. That controversy has seemed to seep into his form on the field, while the former Real Madrid man is also reportedly uncomfortable with Emery’s heavy pressing style and seen as something of a liability in physically demanding matches. While he began the season as a starter, first-team opportunities have become fewer and further between as the term has progressed – with injuries also holding the player back.Ozil has been a great servant for the Gunners, but it seems that with Emery on the bench his future – at least in the medium to long-term – could be in question. A star showing against Burnley, however, might have just have bought him some time to impress in the coming weeks…The Underdogs For a division that extols like none other its unpredictability in those endless ‘which is the best?’ battles, the 2018-19 Premier League has been something far short of competitive so far.Liverpool and Manchester City have been almost too dominant in these opening fixtures, the former going unbeaten almost to the halfway stage while City have been beaten just twice, with mid-table and lower sides regularly getting rolled over.Indeed, of the entire Premier League top five, only two teams, City and Arsenal, have suffered defeat to a side from the lower reaches of the table.This compares unfavourably to La Liga, where both Barcelona and Real Madrid to name just two have dropped points against relegation contenders; and the Bundesliga, which has proved full of hazards for Bayern this season.If the Premier League is to maintain its reputation as Europe’s most competitive, the underdogs must do a lot better in the second half of the campaign.Paul Pogba While Mourinho has rightly been held up as the source of all evils at Old Trafford, he cannot be held entirely responsible for this early season debacle. After all, no matter who is in charge at the bench it is the players who are ultimately charged with scoring goals and winning games.Pogba, in particular, has done little of either, proving a huge disappointment as his fights with Mourinho grabbed more attention than anything he managed on the pitch.The Frenchman’s troughs are particularly galling considering his heroics over the summer in helping deliver a World Cup title for his nation, showing the form United fans must have hoped would transfer over to the club sphere.First indications were certainly positive, with two goals in the opening two games of 2018-19. But he has since gone off the boil, scoring just once since then, playing just 15 minutes off the bench against Arsenal earlier in December and not making the field at all in that Liverpool defeat.With Mourinho gone, will United finally see the best of their enigmatic midfielder? First impressions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were positive, with Pogba looking a new man and back to his usual assured self. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Maurizio Sarri insists he is “fully in control” of the Chelsea dressing room despite his extraordinary touchline row with Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Carabao Cup final.The Chelsea goalkeeper refused to be substituted in the closing moments of extra time at Wembley on Sunday, prompting a furious reaction from his head coach Sarri.Kepa, who appeared to be struggling with cramp, went on to save from Leroy Sane in the penalty shoot-out, but Manchester City eventually triumphed 4-3 after 120 goalless minutes of action. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Sarri later stressed the incident was simply a misunderstanding and that he would not be taking any severe action against the player for apparently refusing to obey his instructions.The 60-year-old then made it clear that Chelsea’s largely impressive performance showed that he has not lost authority over the squad, even if the Kepa incident might suggest otherwise.”I think that, if you saw the match, you can understand very well that, today, the players played exactly the match we prepared yesterday,” Sarri told a news conference. “So, I think I am in control, fully in control of the situation.”Now, I’d like to speak about something else, about our way of football today, because our way of football today was a little bit different from other matches.”When asked if he felt Kepa showed him a lack of respect, Sarri said: “No, Kepa only said: ‘No, no, I’m very well and able to continue.’ He understood I wanted to change for an injury. He was only telling me his word, saying he was really very well. So, I think that, in 120 minutes, a discussion can happen with the players.”I think we have to concentrate on football. Of course, I will speak to him. As I said before, he was right for his motivation. But not for the conduct.”Sarri also denied that the incident affected the Chelsea players ahead of the penalty shoot-out, saying: “No, I don’t think so, because the only nervous person was myself. I saw the players very quiet and calm.”We had prepared [for a shoot-out], but it’s useless because it’s very easy to kick a penalty in the training ground. Then, after 20 hours, you have to kick a penalty here with 80,000 people, and millions watching on television. So, it’s really different. It’s not a question of technical ability. But more the mind, I think.”There had been doubts over Sarri’s future as Chelsea boss in the build-up to the game following heavy Premier League defeats to City and Bournemouth and an FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United.The former Napoli boss says it will be up to the club to decide if his team’s efforts in the final will buy him any more time in charge.”I don’t know; you’ll have to use your phone and ask the club,” he said. “I can say my opinion, but I don’t know. But today I’m really very happy because my feeling is that we are improving. We are improving because we could become a very solid team, I think.”We conceded nothing to Manchester City, and that’s not really very easy. They’re very dangerous in the attacking phase, and usually score a lot. So, I’m happy with the performance, and I saw the match on the pitch that I prepared yesterday. So, for a coach, it’s a very important thing.”When asked what owner Roman Abramovich might think, Sarri replied: “I don’t know. If the television worked well, [he saw] a good performance. It depends on the television, I think. I don’t know where the president is, so the signal might be not good.”
Mugs not only hold important and delicious things, but can serve as useful reminders of the important things in life.Take this mug from freelance graphic designer Joseph Caserto. While so many things threaten to make our freelance lives unhappy, it’s helpful to remember that we just need to keep moving along!Name: Joseph CasertoOccupation: Graphic Designer, Educator, and Consultant (Also Freelancers Union Member Representative, 2011-13)Website: http:/www.josephcaserto.comYour mug story: I had some “life issues” going on this summer, and “Keep Calm and Carry On,” the phrase from WW II British motivational posters, became one of my regular mantras as I was dealing with them. Naturally, when I saw these mugs in the Morgan Library & Museum gift shop, they got my attention, so I took this photo and posted it on Facebook. A few days later, a package arrived from my friend, Jessica, who lives in the SF area. Inside was a Keep Calm mug of my very own—which I’m using as I write this—and instructions to, “just do what the mug says!”
Photo by Loren Kerns.The New York Times released a sobering report on Tuesday about the state of the American middle class.According to its analysis of income statistics gathered by LIS, the income for the American middle class has largely stagnated over the last 15 years and seen poor growth for the last 35, while middle class income in European countries has grown despite the economic downturn.“With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world,” the authors found.Median income in the US has increased 0.3% since 2000. In Britain, that number is 19.7% and in the Netherlands, 13.9%.The statistics confirm what the middle class has felt for decades. The same article points to opinion polls that reveal widespread dissatisfaction about the direction of the country. Middle class Americans have a bleaker outlook than our European counterparts.For freelancers, this is also old news.The majority of the 235,000 Freelancers Union members are middle class. And in many cases, they have their fingers on the pulse of the economy: gigs largely depend on the economic health of other small to medium-sized businesses and dramatic income fluctuations are common. They can see where we’re headed.This is why freelancers have chosen to live differently.As our founder Sara Horowitz says, freelancers don’t want more, they want better. Better communities, cleaner food, collaborative working environments. And because they’re used to stretching their economy in tough times, they already understand the support system we need to be prosperous: each other.Some may roll their eyes at the idea that community and connection is powerful enough to heal the economic woes of the American middle class. But you can see signs of this if you know where to look: like the coop of low-income house cleaners in New York City to give themselves better working conditions and higher wages. Or the partnership between farmers and CSAs and community members all across the country to bring lower-cost, healthier produce to the community and higher profits to independent farmers.Little changes that add up to big change. And our decision to participate in our CSA or support that house cleaner co-op or use a local print shop rather than an online megaprinter — all these small purchasing decisions make a difference.The middle class can’t afford to underestimate the power of connection. While it’s obvious that there are big changes needed on the national level, freelancers and entrepreneurs have never been the sorts of people to wait around. Let’s put our dollar bills where our values are.