Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

England's Eoin Morgan during the press conference ahead of his side's Cricket World Cup semifinal against Australia at Edgbaston. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2019

Eoin Morgan urges England to embrace World Cup ‘dream’

  • On eve of crunch Australia clash, Morgan issued passionate plea for players to take pride in their achievements
  • Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992

EDGBASTON, Birmingham: England captain Eoin Morgan has urged his side to embrace their World Cup dreams as they prepare for Thursday’s blockbuster semifinal against old rivals Australia.
Morgan can lead England to their first World Cup final since 1992 if they beat the holders at Edgbaston.
Advancing to Sunday’s title match at Lord’s would be the culmination of four years’ hard work for Morgan and his squad after their dismal performance at the 2015 edition.
On the eve of the crunch clash, Morgan issued a passionate plea for his players to take pride in their achievements so far and to relish their moment in the spotlight rather than be weighed down by pressure.
“Sometimes I’m guilty of it, you can lose sight of the position you’re in and the fact you’re living your dream,” Morgan told reporters on Wednesday.
“I think it’s possible to play with a smile on your face tomorrow.”
Asked if the World Cup hosts were feeling excited, nervous or simply focused on the task at hand, Morgan added: “All of those things. But I think excitement probably should be the dominant one.
“Everyone is excited to play this semifinal. The fact that through the group stages getting to this stage looked unlikely, or was called into question, makes it even more exciting for us.”
Morgan’s side have established a proud recent record against Australia, winning 10 of the last 11 one-day internationals between the old rivals prior to this tournament.
That counted for nothing in the group stages, when Australia claimed a 64-run win at Lord’s that left England’s hopes of top-four finish in doubt.
Morgan admits England were not themselves in that match, knocked off course by a tame defeat to Sri Lanka and the absence of injured opener Jason Roy.
Roy is back from his torn hamstring and England looked far more formidable in the wins over India and New Zealand that took them to the semifinals.
“We’re probably more confident than we were three games ago, we’re a different team,” Morgan said.
“The loss against Sri Lanka hurt us. I don’t think we were playing anywhere near our best cricket, there was a hangover from the Sri Lanka game. It feels like we’re back to the team we are.”


Messi wins third straight Golden Shoe as top league-goal scorer

Updated 16 October 2019

Messi wins third straight Golden Shoe as top league-goal scorer

  • Messi won the trophy for a third straight year

BARCELONA: Barcelona captain Leo Messi received his sixth Golden Shoe as the top scorer in the European leagues on Wednesday.

Messi won the trophy for a third straight year after scoring 36 goals, three more than his closest challenger, Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi’s sons Thiago and Mateo, presented their father with the trophy supervised by his wife, Antonella Rocuzzo and watched by teammates, including Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba.

Messi dedicated the award “to my family, to my colleagues who are here. There are Luis and Jordi, who are two of the men to blame for this award.”

“Without my team, I could not even have won the award once.”

Messi now has two more Golden Shoes than his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Luis Suarez is one of nine players on two. The award was created in 1967 when it was won by Eusebio.