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Paulinho ‘considered quitting’

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first_img “I suffered from racial abuse,” he told several national newspapers. “In two particular games when I went out to play the fans were making monkey noises and throwing coins at me and I just thought, ‘I don’t need to tolerate this’, so I made the decision to move on. “I don’t want to speak about the internal problems in Poland because this was still a team that helped me, but I went through a worse time there. There were problems at the club relating to certain individuals but never in an interview would I speak about this, I don’t want to speak ill. “I lost hope, I lost confidence, I was basically stuck – and when you are in that position that’s when sadness comes. “I did think about leaving football behind. I just thought I didn’t need to do something that put me in these situations, so I went three weeks without playing and the reasons I returned to the game were mainly family ones. “I felt a responsibility to my mum and my dad and I spoke an awful lot with my wife. She mentioned that my mum and dad had always backed me up and they always did everything for me and that I should return to football to fight for what they had given me. “And she had said, ‘if you leave football, what are you going to do?’ and she was right. If I had left football I would not have had anything.” Paulinho has made a positive impression in his first two games in English football following a summer move from Corinthians and opened his Tottenham goalscoring account in the Europa League play-off first leg win over Dinamo Tbilisi. He is happy to have arrived in north London and said: “When the offer came I reviewed it with my agent, who knows England well and looks after other players over here. “I came to the conclusion that Tottenham would be the right offer because of the environment and the league and the other players I would be playing alongside.” The Brazilian, now 25, was a teenager when he first came to Europe with Lithuanian side Vilnius before moving on to LKS Lodz in Poland. While he impressed on the pitch, the abuse from the stands almost proved too much for him to bear. Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has revealed how his wife Barbara had to persuade him not to quit football after he was the victim of racist abuse in eastern Europe.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

TKR trounce Zouks to claim record fourth CPL title

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first_img… complete historic unbeaten campaignTAROUBA, Trinidad (CMC) – Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) clinched a record fourth Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title in imperious fashion when they made light work of St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets in yesterday’s final, to complete a historic unbeaten campaign in the franchise tournament.Inspired by captain Kieron Pollard’s four-wicket haul, TKR withstood an early onslaught to restrict Zouks to 154 all out with five balls left in the innings, with Andre Fletcher top-scoring with a classy 39 off 27 deliveries.The target proved inadequate for star-studded TKR as opener Lendl Simmons blasted an unbeaten 84 from 49 deliveries with eight fours and four sixes and Darren Bravo, 58 not out off 47 balls with two fours and half-dozen sixes, to fire their side to victory with 11 balls remaining at the Brian Lara Stadium.Zouks had early momentum when they reduced TKR to 19 for two in the fourth over but hopes of a maiden CPL title were then dashed as Simmons and Bravo combined in a third-wicket record stand of 138.The triumph, before empty stands due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, added to previous conquests in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and Pollard said it had atoned for last year’s disappointment of bowing out at the semi-final stage.“It is a great, great feeling. We have worked really really hard for this,” said the 33-year-old who was voted Man-of-the-Series.“Last year when we sat in that dressing room after that semi-final against Barbados, you could have seen the disappointment in the guys. We retained the core of our team and decided to have a different plan and we had some rigorous conversations.“Right through the tournament, the guys just stuck to it – each and every time, each and every game wanting to improve as individuals and wanting to be the best that they can be and I think this one is really special because it was a total, total team effort.”A downcast Zouks skipper Darren Sammy, meanwhile, conceded TKR had been too experienced for his untested unit, especially after they found themselves short of a really competitive total.“We thought we were about 15 to 20 runs short from the start that we had, plus we didn’t completely (bat out our overs) and when you’re playing a side like TKR you have to at least make sure you make full use of your overs,” Sammy explained.“But we still felt we had enough when we put that amount of pressure (on) in the first six overs but these guys have been playing together for a while and their experience showed.“Bravo and Simmons have played so much cricket together, and they held their nerve, absorbed some pressure then they put it back on us.”Sent in, Zouks dominated the power-play when they raced to 60 for one at the end of that period, with Fletcher undertaking the bulk of the scoring in a knock decorated with four fours and two sixes.When Rahkeem Cornwall lost his middle stump to an Ali Khan (2-25) yorker in the second over for eight, Fletcher arrived to put on 67 for the second wicket with left-hander Mark Deyal who struck 29 from 27 balls with three fours and a six.Fletcher looked in fine touch, smashing off-spinner Sikandar Raza for back-to-back sixes on either side of the wicket in the fourth over before twice uncorking sizzling extra cover drives in the sixth over from Ali Khan.Leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed (2-22) broke the stand in the ninth over when Deyal edged a cut to Dwayne Bravo at slip off the keeper’s gloves, as Zouks reached the half-way stage at 79 for two.But thereafter, TKR controlled the game as Zouks managed only 75 runs from the last 10 overs, with Afgan left-hander Najibullah Zadran getting 24 and West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase chipping in with 22.With the scoring rate having slowed, Fletcher hit out in frustration and was taken at long off in the 12th over to give Pollard (4-22) his first wicket and the wily slow medium bowler also broke a promising 26-run, fourth-wicket stand between Chase and Najibullah when he got Chase to sky a simple catch to long-on at the end of the 14th over.Najibullah then carried the fight for Zouks as no one else reached double figures. He struck three fours and a six in an 18-ball knock but eventually holed out on the ropes at square leg off Pollard in the penultimate over to be one of the last five wickets to tumble for just 17 runs off 15 deliveries.A contest then seemed in the making when Tion Webster (5) skied off-spinner Chase to mid-wicket in the third over and New Zealander Tim Seifert (4) nicked seamer Scott Kuggeleijn behind in the next.But that was the Zouks’ last sighting of success. Simmons punched three fours in the sixth over from seamer Kesrick Williams that leaked 14 runs before reaching his half-century off 31 balls in the 12th over by taking 16 runs from another Williams over.Bravo’s first scoring shot was a six over long-on off Chase in the fifth over but was then content to support Simmons, and his next nine runs required 20 deliveries.However, he came to life with a couple of sixes off leg-spinner Javelle Glen’s first over which cost 15 runs and then launched left-arm spinner Zahir Khan for two of three sixes in the 17th over which gushed 23 runs, to reach his half-century off 45 balls.By then TKR needed only 18 runs from the last three overs and Simmons single-handedly took 16 from the 18th from Kuggeleijn, to put one hand on the title.last_img read more

Bolt ‘offered cut-price deal’ in Australia – media

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first_img0Shares0000Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt has been on trial with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners. © AFP / PETER PARKSSYDNEY, Australia, Oct 22 – Australia’s Central Coast Mariners have offered sprint superstar Usain Bolt a contract, reports said Monday, but the club’s coach said he knows nothing about it.The eight-time Olympic champion has been on trial with the A-League side since arriving in August to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer. He scored two goals in a pre-season friendly last week and on Thursday turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta.“I can confirm Usain has been offered a contract by Central Coast Mariners,” the Jamaican’s agent Ricky Simms told the BBC.The club had no immediate comment on Monday, but Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said he had been offered only a fraction of the Aus$3 million (Sh212mn) that his management had discussed months ago when the prospect of a trial was first mooted.The newspaper said the potential deal put together in May -– on the premise of Bolt passing a trial first -– was based on Football Federation Australia contributing Aus$750,000 and other sponsors also topping it up.Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth had initially pledged Aus$1.5 million, but the deal now offered to the sprinter was much less than this, it added.The 100m world-record holder, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway.The 32-year-old’s form so far has been criticised by several pundits, but his two goals captured the imagination of the sporting public.Club coach Mike Mulvey said he had heard nothing of an offer, and cast doubt on whether Bolt, who likes to play up front, would make the grade given the quality of players he already has at his disposal.“You have a look at our front line today and you wonder whether he could get into any of those positions. Wouldn’t you?” Mulvey said after the team drew their opening A-League game of the season 1-1 away to Brisbane Roar on Sunday.“I do appreciate how important this story is for the rest of the world. You’re just talking about speculation. I don’t know anything about what you’re talking about and that’s God’s honest truth.”The Mariners boast Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack on their payroll, after the Scottish international agreed a season-long loan deal.They also have Tommy Oar, who has played 28 times for the Socceroos, along with Connor Pain, who cleverly scored their goal on Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more