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Zidane’s poker for 2020

first_imgSpain SupercupCurves begin soon for Zidane and his Real Madrid, because after measuring with Getafe this Saturday at the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum (4:00 pm, Movistar LaLiga) he will travel to Saudi Arabia to play the new Spanish Super Cup conceived by Luis Rubiales, president of the RFEF. Wednesday, January 8 (8:00 p.m., Movistar Champions League) Valencia is waiting for him in Jeddah, who was unable to beat Mestalla on December 15; in fact, Benzema started a draw on the last play. If he exceeds the semifinal, he will wait in the final on Sunday 12 (7:00 p.m.) to the winner of Barcelona-Atlético that will take place on Thursday 9.Nor has Madrid been able to win either of them this year, although the luck is that it has not lost either: it ended both duels with a goalless draw and on December 18 he left excellent sensations in his visit to Camp Nou. Zidane also knows what it is to win a Super Cup at Barcelona: he did it in the summer of 2017, winning both in Barcelona (1-3) and in Madrid (2-0).Copa del ReyIt is the only tournament that resists Zidane, it is not among the nine he has raised as a Real Madrid coach (three Champions, two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, a League and a Spanish Super Cup). And it is, in fact, the tournament that has caused the most dislikes to the Frenchman, the one that precipitated his march after raising the Champions League in Kiev, at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The white elimination in the quarterfinals against Leganés, who assaulted the Bernabéu (1-2), frustrated Zizou in such a way that he began to stiffen the decision. 2020 has started for everyone at Real Madrid, also for Zidane, that sees in the new year the opportunity to complete a poker of titles that returns to the white team the prestige lost after the disastrous 2018-19 season. A huge challenge, although the white coach already knows how to do it: in 2017 he raised up to five trophies (League, Champions, European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup). “For me it is a failure, I am very disappointed. It’s a very hard stick, I take responsibility, ”he said after the defeat; “There are moments that make you think and do not forget,” he recalled at the press conference of his farewell. A year earlier, Celta had also deprived him of raising the Cup winning at the Bernabéu (1-2); Balaids 2-2 was not enough. Madrid will meet its rival in the fight for this new Copa del Rey (a single game except the semifinals) on Tuesday, January 14 and will be measured with him the following week.LeagueAlthough he has raised up to five Champions League with Madrid (three as first coach, another as Ancelotti’s second and another as a player, La Novena), Zidane always reiterates that he has occasion that the tournament that fills him as a coach is LaLiga . “It’s the happiest day of my football life, when the season starts you only think about LaLiga’s day to day. I have no words, I would even like to dance. Inside I am very, very happy. LaLiga is the most complicated competition, it is demonstrated day by day, ”he said, exultant, after taking the 2016-17 title at La Rosaleda, on the last day.Madrid is now second in the table, two points behind Barcelona after 18 games; he even has the options to finish the first round as a winter champion, although he must win in Getafe and expect a defeat of Barcelona in Cornellà-El Prat against Espanyol (Saturday 4 at 9:00 p.m.). A situation very different from the last two leagues, in which Madrid reached at this point virtually eliminated from the fight for the title: Last year I was ten points behind Barça; and in 2017-18, the last of Zidane’s first stage, at 13. That carelessness in the regularity tournament was another reason that led him to leave at the end of the course.Champions LeagueAs paradoxical as it may seem, it is the least priority tournament for Madrid at the moment, as it has taken four of the last six editions. Also for Zidane, who nevertheless does not know what it is to lose a tie in the Champions League: he has won 12 consecutive, between crosses and finals. But in the club it is the most coveted tournament, by history (13 titles, more than anyone) and by the preference of President Florentino Pérez, who usually refers to the Champions League as the tournament that places you in the world of football. After an injured group stage, Madrid is waiting for the City in the round of 16: on February 26 at 9:00 p.m., the first leg at the Bernabéu; and on March 17, also at 9:00 p.m., the return at the Etihad Stadiumd in Manchester.last_img read more

AFC send Zapata on leave, cite security reason

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Zapata Rodolfo. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – AFC Leopards have sent their Argentine head coach Rodolfo Zapata on leave, citing concerns over his security following fan apathy since their SportPesa Shield semi-final loss to Sofapaka last Sunday.Ingwe Organizing Secretary Timothy Lilumbi told Capital Sport the club took the decision after growing concerns over his safety with a number of fans accosting him after the Sofapaka and Tusker matches last Wednesday. “We have not sacked the coach. What has happened is that we have sent him on leave because of the concern over his security. There was trouble in the Sofapaka match and Tusker as well on Wednesday and as a club we are concerned about him. If anything happens to him, we will be in so much trouble,” Lilumbi said.He added; “An employer can always grant an employee leave and that is what has happened. He will return to the club during pre-season for the 2019 campaign.”However, Secretary General Oscar Igaida gave a contrasting statement, saying the coach was headed to the United States on personal business, further putting into doubt whether or not the tactician will still be in charge of the team.AFC Leopards head coach Radolfo Zapata passes instructions to his players at half time during their Hull City Challenge match against Gor Mahia at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“Tom Juma will be in charge for the final two games of the season. The coach has been granted leave to travel to the US for some personal business and he will be back before the new season. We have not sacked him,” Igaida said in a response to Capital Sport.Efforts to reach the Argentine coach who joined Leopards in mid-season from Botswana side Gaborone United were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.Zapata took over from Dennis Kitambi who had been handed the role following the sacking of Robert Matano early in the season.On whether Zapata will still be in charge of the team in the new season, Lilumbi said; “I cannot say conclusively anything as at now. That will still pend on any recommendations the Executive Committee will have.”Zapata on Wednesday told Capital Sport that he was not ready to quit the club but added that he would only do so if the club’s top hierarchy would seem it fit for him to leave.AFC Leopards head coach Rudolf Zapata. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA“I will have a meeting with the Executive Committee to analyze the season and see what we need to do in the team and what’s better for us. If they think the coach is the problem then, it’s okay, I will go, but I think the problem is much deeper,” the tactician said.AFC’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Sofapaka in the Shield semis increased pressure on the tactician and Wednesday’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Tusker FC increased the calls for the tactician to call it quits or the club to fire him.A section of fans who had attended the Wednesday afternoon tie in Machakos publicly told the coach on his face to quit the club with a section of the club’s backroom staff coincidentally joining the call.AFC has been a notorious club known to hire and fore coaches at will and if Zapata’s term comes to an end, it will only be a chapter of the already best-selling book at AFC, anchored in firing of their tacticians.Though regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the country, the club has not won the Kenyan Premier League title in the last 20 years and continuously remain in the shadow of arch rivals Gor Mahia who just this season picked their 17th KPL diadem.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more