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N’Kono: Making of a legend and hero to Buffon

first_img There was also international fame; his 112 Cameroon caps included winning the 1984 African Nations Cup, and memorably helping the Indomitable Lions shock holders Argentina 1-0 in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup. In fact, his performances in reaching that tournament’s quarter-finals in Italy inspired a 12 year old Gigi Buffon to become a goalkeeper and to, years later, name his son Thomas after his idol. After leaving Espanyol, N’Kono stayed in Spain’s north-east, playing for Catalan clubs Sabadell and Hospitalet before spells in Bolivia [where he won two league medals with Bolivar de la Paz], Brunei and Indonesia before finally retiring as a player aged 45. His coaching career kicked off when helping Cameroon to win gold medals at the 2000 Olympics, when the goalkeeper was then 16-year-old Carlos Kameni, who would later follow N’Kono in starring in LaLiga with Espanyol. Another protege was Jacques Songo’o, who won the LaLiga trophy with RC Deportivo in 1999/2000. Since 2003, N’Kono has worked back at Espanyol, first training the club’s young goalkeepers, then using all his experience and knowledge when working with seniors including Gorka Iraizoz, Kameni, Kiko Casilla, Pau Lopez and current number one Diego Lopez. read also:Buffon confident he can still make difference as Juventus draw with AC Milan A role-model for a generation of African goalkeepers, and now a nurturer of emerging new LaLiga talents, N´Kono’s unique career makes him one of the most respected and loved figures in Spanish, African and world football. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyWe’re Getting More Game Of Thrones: Enter House Of The Dragon!10 Characters That Should Be Official Disney PrincessesThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The World8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth8 Things You Didn’t Know About CoffeeUnderappreciated Movies You Missed In 2019 Loading… Espanyol legend, Thomas N’Kono’s unique career made him a trailblazer for African goalkeepers in Europe and inspiration for LaLiga shot-stoppers of the past, present and future. A highly decorated international with Cameroon for nearly 20 years, he became much loved throughout LaLiga during almost a decade in Espanyol’s first team during the 1980s, and still contributes valuably as a coach at the RCDE Stadium. Born on 20 July 1956 in Dizangue, N’Kono came to prominence at Canon Yaounde, where he won five national titles and two African Champions Leagues. Outstanding performances for Cameroon at the 1982 World Cup in Spain, when as national captain he conceded just one goal in three games, led to a move to LaLiga with Espanyol. N’Kono kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 over Racing Santander at Espanyol’s then Sarria stadium on his LaLiga debut, and quickly established himself as first choice. During 241 LaLiga games over eight seasons he became a firm favourite among Periquitos fans due to his razor-sharp reflexes, superb athleticism and strong personality and leadership. These were often all displayed when denying neighbours Barcelona in Catalan capital derbies, such as the 1-0 home victory at Sarria in December 1983. There was also a famous clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Real Madrid in March 1985. Another highlight was Espanyol’s run to the 1987/88 UEFA Cup final, with future Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and blaugrana forward Angel ‘Pichi’ Alonso in the team, only to eventually lose out heartbreakingly to Bayer Leverkusen on penalties in the decider. By the time he left Sarria in 1990, N’Kono had played more times for Espanyol than any foreigner and featured in more LaLiga games than any other Cameroonian in history. While both those records have since fallen – to future colleague Mauricio Pochettino and fellow countryman Samuel Eto’o – N’Kono without doubt remains one of the most iconic figures in LaLiga history.last_img read more

Cowboys vs. Saints odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘Sunday Night Football’

first_imgStat that mattersWhen Prescott rates 100 or higher in passing efficiency, the Cowboys are 26-1 over the past three-plus seasons. If he has a clean game like the first three games against a defense he should pick apart, the Saints have little shot to win.Cowboys vs. Saints predictionThe Cowboys have too much firepower to finish drives with touchdowns, and then have Ezekiel Elliott play closer in the running game. The Saints won’t be able to stretch the field on the Cowboys, and the visitors will win comfortably on a relatively short road trip.Cowboys 27, Saints 20 Here’s everything to know about betting on Cowboys vs. Saints, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football” in Week 4.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds at Sportsbook ReviewBetting odds for ‘’Sunday Night Football’Spread: Cowboys by 2.5Point total: 48Odds: Cowboys -105, Saints -105The Cowboys have been slight road favorites since they covered for the third consecutive game against the Dolphins. The Saints closed the gap with a big upset win at the Seahawks. Cowboys vs. Saints all-time seriesThe Cowboys lead the series 17-12, but the Saints have rallied by winning three of the past five and nine of the past 12. That includes two overtime victories in ’12 and ’15.Three trends to know— 54 percent of bettors are going with the Cowboys to take care of their number and 53 percent have them on the moneyline.— The Saints are 9-4 against the spread and 9-4 straight up against the Cowboys since 1996.— 61 percent like the game to go over the point total. The teams, however, played 13-10 game last season with a healthy Drew Brees, with the Cowboys winning.MORE: Free parlay pick for Cowboys vs. SaintsThree things to watchDak, Amari and who else?The Saints’ secondary has one good cornerback in Marshon Lattimore, but Eli Apple and P.J. Williams have terrible in coverage. Lattimore figures to match up often with top Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper, but that can open things up for speedy deep threat Devin Smith (filling in for injured Michael Gallup) and veteran slot receiver Randall Cobb.Alvin, Michael and who else?Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are still doing their leading the Saints’ offense thing with Bridgewater in for Drew Brees. But the Cowboys’ bend-but-don’t break defense has linebackers and cornerbacks who can limit the damage. They need someone to step up to help, either wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. with a deep shot or two or tight end Jared Cook getting open often on intermediate routes for Bridgewater.Garrett vs. PaytonCowboys coach Jason Garrett and Saints coach Sean Payton know each other well from their previous Cowboys ties. Garrett got the better of Payton last year, but Payton, despite a shorthanded team, got the better of the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll last week. Look for Payton to get creative and aggressive at home to try to throw off the Cowboys’ best-laid game plans. The Cowboys (3-0) will try to finish the first quarter of the season with a perfect record when they travel to play the Saints (3-1) on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 4 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). Dallas beat New Orleans at home last season to help it surge to a NFC East title during the second half of 2018.The Cowboys’ passing offense has been unstoppable early with Dak Prescott, while the Saints continue with troubles against downfield passing games. The Saints will need more from backup QB Teddy Bridgewater dueling Prescott after making big plays on defense and special teams to win in Week 4.last_img read more

Bear dogs once lived in southern Texas

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Earlier analyses of these fossils only considered their external features, and the remains were so fragmentary that paleontologists could only say the creatures were carnivores of some sort. But Tomiya and Tseng’s new study used x-rays to generate detailed 3D scans of the fossils’ internal features. Those scans revealed a distinct pattern of blood vessel channels in the base of the skull that identified the creatures as amphicyonids, making them among the oldest known members of the lineage, the researchers report online today in Royal Society Open Science. Both creatures have been renamed to reflect their revamped spot on the mammalian family tree, Tomiya says. The researchers placed the smaller amphicyonid in a new genus, Gustafsonia, (honoring a paleontologist who studied fossils from this area). They put the cat-sized bear dog into the new genus Angelarctocyon, which, translated from the Greek, means “messenger bear dog.”The new research is “an elegant study” that uses tools not available to previous generations of paleontologists, says Zhe-Xi Luo, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Chicago. The Texas creatures “are now recognized as previously lost cousins” to the amphicyonids, he notes, adding immensely to the diversity of bear dogs known from southern North America at the time.Fossils of another early amphicyonid have been unearthed from slightly older rocks in Europe. But the new fossils make clear that southern North America was a hot spot of evolution for these creatures, with half a dozen species early in their history, says Xiaoming Wang, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California.It’s not clear why the amphicyonid lineage eventually died out a few million years ago, Luo says. But maybe it had to do with competition from the ancestors and close cousins of today’s cats and dogs, he suggests. Those creatures, like their modern-day kin, walked on their toes and were more well adapted to run and chase prey. But amphicyonids were, for the most part, flat-footed predators like most modern bears. During the last days of the bear dog reign on Earth, the planet’s climate was becoming cooler and drier and many ecosystems were becoming less forested and more open—not a good trend for relatively slow, relatively specialized meat eaters like the amphicyonids, Luo says.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Fragmentary fossils found in southwestern Texas 3 decades ago belong to a strange group of extinct animals known as “bear dogs,” according to a new study. Though only about the size of a Chihuahua when they first appeared, some creatures in this group of carnivorous mammals evolved to become top predators in their ecosystems tens of millions of years ago. The study also suggests that bear dogs could have originated in this part of North America, which may have been a hot spot of evolution for the group.Bear dogs, scientifically known as amphicyonids, get their common name from their general resemblance to modern-day bears and dogs, especially in their body shape and posture, but they are, in fact, only distantly related to these lineages. Neither dogs nor bears had evolved when amphicyonids first appeared about 40 million years ago, says Susumu Tomiya, a vertebrate paleontologist at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. The first known species in the group weighed just a few kilograms, but over millions of years the lineage expanded to include fox-sized, coyote-sized, and even bear-sized creatures, all of them meat eaters. It’s not clear where or when amphicyonids evolved, but they apparently lived in North America, Asia, and Europe, Tomiya says.While walking through The Field Museum’s collections one day, Tomiya spotted a fossil of a small carnivore that he thought might be an unrecognized amphicyonid. So he and vertebrate paleontologist Jack Tseng of the State University of New York at Buffalo took a closer look at the specimen, plus a similar one that had been unearthed in the same area of southwestern Texas, about 300 kilometers southeast of El Paso. Those fossils, first described in 1986, are about 37 million or 38 million years old. One of the creatures, known from only an 8-centimeter-long skull with a few teeth missing, probably weighed about 2.3 kilograms (5 pounds) and was about the size of a Chihuahua. The other animal, based on the size of its skull, was slightly larger and probably the size of an average house cat, Tomiya says.last_img read more