BREAKING NEWS: Laporta confirms Koeman to stay on as Barcelona coach

By Sports Desk June 03, 2021

Ronald Koeman will remain as Barcelona head coach for the 2021-22 season, president Joan Laporta confirmed on Thursday.

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  • 'It's about belief' - Patriots captain Bravo says empowering younger players was crucial to team's success 'It's about belief' - Patriots captain Bravo says empowering younger players was crucial to team's success

    Veteran Windies all-rounder and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots captain Dwayne Bravo has cited ‘belief’ and a willingness to give players an opportunity as crucial ingredients in hoisting the team’s maiden Caribbean Premier League title.

    The triumphant St Kitts and Nevis Patriots were crowned Caribbean champions for the first time in the franchise’s history on Tuesday, edging out the Barbados Kings in a last-ball thriller.

    However, in a team that includes the likes of Bravo, legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle, and fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, it was 23-year-old Dominic Drakes who stole the match-winning headlines.  In addition to that, throughout the season it was the likes of Evin Lewis, who scored the second-most runs for the competition, Sherfane Rutherford, who also featured prominently in that category, that spearheaded the team’s title charge.

    For Bravo, who left the Trinbago Knight Riders at the start of the season, with the aim of becoming a mentor for some of the league’s younger players, that was always the point.

    “It’s about belief and giving people opportunities.  For me, all I ask is for the guys to just back each other,” Bravo said following the match.

    “It doesn’t matter whether you perform or don’t perform, whether you play or don’t play, let’s support each other, let’s stay together, giving the young players the belief and the opportunity," he added.

    The title was Bravo’s fifth overall, having previously won four with the Trinbago Knight Riders.

     

  • 'Amazing feeling' - Patriots hero Drakes says total team effort was key to winning CPL title 'Amazing feeling' - Patriots hero Drakes says total team effort was key to winning CPL title

    St Kitts and Nevis Patriots hero Dominic Drakes has praised the team’s complete overall effort in a thrilling last-ball victory over the Barbados Kings, which saw the unit claim the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title on Tuesday.

    Drakes hit the winning runs to cap off a superb finals performance, which saw the all-rounder end with an unbeaten 48 from 24 balls; in the process, sparking wild celebrations as the Patriots captured their first-ever CPL title.

    In terms of momentum, the match had rocked back and forth in frantic fashion as the Kings set a target of 159 for 7.  Drakes' innings proved crucial in deciding the thrilling encounter, which saw the team needing 9 off the final over and, in the end, managing to just creep over the line.  He was, however, eager to spread the praise around.

    “It was the first chance I got to play a full competition and I think I did well, but it was Ruthers (Sherfane Rutherford) and Bravo, Soldj (Sheldon Cottrell), and everyone on the team.  It’s an amazing feeling,” the 23-year-old, who made his debut three years ago with the Barbados-based franchise, said.

    “I thought it was a great team effort and I was just happy to do my part for the win,” he added.

    Overall, Drakes ended with 102 runs and a team-high 16 wickets in 11 matches.

  • England jump to third in FIFA rankings as record-breaking Italy stay fifth England jump to third in FIFA rankings as record-breaking Italy stay fifth

    European champions Italy are on a world record 37-game unbeaten streak, but they remain lodged at number five in the FIFA rankings.

    The world governing body published its new list on Thursday and the only change in the top five saw England jump to third, nudging France down to fourth.

    England were runners-up to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, losing on penalties at Wembley after a 1-1 draw, and two wins and a draw from World Cup qualifiers in September have seen Gareth Southgate's team edge ahead of Les Bleus.

    It is the first time since 2012 that England have reached the top three, and third place remains the highest position they have achieved in the rankings.

    Didier Deschamps' France could only manage two draws and a win in this month's international break, while Italy were held by Bulgaria and Switzerland before landing a 5-0 victory over Lithuania.

    Italy have been a roaring success under the leadership of Roberto Mancini, who inherited a team that failed to qualify for the last World Cup and had plummeted to 21st in FIFA's rankings.

    They set the record for the most games unbeaten at international level during their run of September games, staying in control as leaders of World Cup European qualifying Group C.

    With FIFA's rankings offering significant weighting to World Cup tournament performance, Italy could make a significant leap should their strong form under coach Mancini continue into the Qatar 2022 finals.

    Belgium remain top of the FIFA list, with Brazil in second. Copa America winners Argentina stay sixth.

     

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