Mourinho, Ronaldo spat won’t affect morale: Albiol

Updated 19 January 2013
0

Mourinho, Ronaldo spat won’t affect morale: Albiol

MADRID: The row between star striker Cristiano Ronaldo and under-pressure Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho this week will not affect morale at the club, defender Raul Albiol said on Saturday.
Ronaldo became the latest Real player to be targeted by Mourinho when the coach reproached him following the side’s unimpressive 2-0 Spanish Cup quarter-final first leg win over Valencia on Tuesday.
According to an account published by the well-informed sports daily Marca, Mourinho accused Ronaldo in front of his team-mates of having gone into hiding in the final quarter-of-an-hour.
Ronaldo, who earlier in the season said he was unhappy but has since said he will see out his contract, retorted by telling his Portuguese compatriot he was being ungrateful and that ‘I killed myself out there, it is not fair that you criticize me’.
Albiol, a rarely-used member of Spain’s two Euro-winning squads as well as the 2010 World Cup, said that it would be quickly forgotten.
“The coach simply gave his opinion,” said the 27-year-old, who joined Real from Valencia in 2009.
“They are both highly competitive. Their disagreement will not affect their relationship, nor the atmosphere within the team.” Albiol, who will face his former team in the league on Sunday, also refuted suggestions that the Spanish champions were in danger of imploding as they trail arch-rivals Barcelona by 18 points in the league and Mourinho having also fallen out with Real icons Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.


Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

Updated 19 June 2018
0

Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

ST. PETERSBURG: Russia scored three goals in a 15-minute span early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday, moving the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days following a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — the fifth own-goal of the tournament — to put Russia ahead in the 47th minute. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring chart.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
The hopes of 100 million Egyptians were raised when Salah was selected in the starting lineup, the Liverpool forward making his comeback after 3 1/2 weeks out with damaged ligaments in his left shoulder after a tangle with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Salah trotted out for his pre-match warmup to roars from Egypt fans, who at times appeared to outnumber their Russian counterparts. They shouted every time Salah’s face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.
Yet from the start, it was clear that Salah was staying out of anything too physical and there was no concerted effort from his Egypt teammates to pick him out each time. He didn’t touch the ball until the seventh minute.
He did win the penalty — confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin. He converted it in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.
Russia is nearly assured of advancing from the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes’ cross in the 59th. Dzyuba’s goal was more direct, the striker chesting down a long ball from defender Ilya Kutepov, beating his marker and curling home a low finish.