Minister Olivia Grange reminds Reggae Girlz to keep dreaming

By Sports Desk May 20, 2019

The Reggae Girlz are off to France by way of Scotland and the minister of sport, Olivia Grange could not let the historic team go without reminding them of the road they took to get there.

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  • Real Madrid signing Rodrygo 'one of the great prodigies' Real Madrid signing Rodrygo 'one of the great prodigies'

    Real Madrid have signed "one of the great prodigies" in Rodrygo Goes, according to club president Florentino Perez.

    Brazilian 18-year-old Rodrygo was presented as a new Madrid player at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, a year after the club shelled out a reported €45million to sign him from Santos.

    The teenager made 80 appearances in all competitions after making his Santos debut in November 2017 and Perez is excited to see him in action for Madrid.

    "Our strategy is always about finding emerging talent, incorporating young players who want to mark an era in Real Madrid. Today we have a prodigious talent joining us," said Perez.

    "This footballer already provokes admiration for his game in a country [Brazil] where admiration for football is a way of life. One of the great prodigies comes to our club, who already stands out for his quality and attitude.

    "He has dreamed of this moment, he has wanted to hear these words that are coming true today, and we welcome Rodrygo Goes as a new player of Real Madrid.

    "You come from Brazil, a country where football is a great passion and where the best players in history have come from.

    "You played for a legendary club like Santos, you managed to do some incredible things in such a demanding place.

    "You arrive at 18 but you've played many games with Santos already and you've become one of the big emerging stars of Brazilian football, standing out in all the youth categories for the national team.

    "You've grown since your debut and scored many goals, but now you've chosen a challenge here. The club is going to support you as much as we can for you to be a happy player here. You'll have to work hard, the fans will be beside you, but you must know about the maximum demands here."

    In a short initial speech, Rodrygo expressed a desire to repay the faith shown in him by Perez and Madrid as a whole.

    "I want to thank firstly God for everything he's done for me and my family. All my family have fought with me. Thanks to the president and all the fans. I hope to give a lot of happiness to you. Hala Madrid," said Rodrygo.

  • Dortmund hand Favre contract extension until 2021 Dortmund hand Favre contract extension until 2021

    Lucien Favre has signed a contract extension tying him to Borussia Dortmund until 2021.

    Swiss coach Favre agreed a two-year deal with Dortmund in May 2018 and led them to an unexpected Bundesliga title charge in his first season at the helm.

    Having finished just two points behind eventual champions Bayern Munich, the former Borussia Monchengladbach boss has renewed his terms at Signal Iduna Park.

    "I'm looking forward to continuing constructive and successful cooperation with the entire BVB team," said Favre in a statement after the new deal was announced on Tuesday.

    "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to shape the sporting future of this tradition-steeped club."

    Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added: "He has 100 per cent met the expectations. It is logical that we want to shape the club's future together."

    BVB look set to push Bayern all the way again in 2019-20, having already finalised the signings of Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz.

    "Lucien has created clear structures and developed our players," said sporting director Michael Zorc.

  • Colombia v Qatar: Queiroz building around solid defence, says Mina Colombia v Qatar: Queiroz building around solid defence, says Mina

    Yerry Mina explained Colombia's Copa America campaign is being built around a solid defence as he and his team-mates prepare to face Qatar on the back of a 2-0 win over Argentina.

    Head coach Carlos Queiroz paired Mina with Davinson Sanchez at the centre of a defence that kept Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero at bay as Colombia opened the competition with an impressive display against one of the tournament favourites.

    Colombia triumphed courtesy of goals from second-half substitutes Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata inside the last 20 minutes of Saturday's game, but Mina underlined the importance of their miserly rearguard performance.

    "The plan was clear," Mina told reporters. "We tried to play our own game and close the spaces. We were good and that gave us a platform from which to attack.

    "We have to think about what is coming. The defence is the most important for us, and keeping a clean sheet. That requires great focus at the back.

    "We are aware that we are not yet where we want to be, but we are working step by step."

    Queiroz was left with concerns over the fitness of midfielder Wilmar Barrios after he suffered a knee injury during the victory over Argentina.

    Jefferson Lerma is on standby to replace Zenit playmaker should he fail to recover in time to face Qatar on Wednesday, but Barrios gave a positive assessment of his own condition as he picked out fellow midfielders Mateus Uribe and Juan Cuadrado as being key to Colombia's success.

    "From back to front we were always safe," said Barrios.

    "Having players like Mateus and Cuadrado, who track back and contribute goals, makes us well placed not to be beaten out wide."

    Recalling his injury, he added: "It was a play in the second half. I recovered the ball almost in our area and my knee went. We did routine exams to be sure that everything is fine and thank God it's nothing, I'm fine."

    Qatar staged a late fightback to claim a point from their Copa America opener against Paraguay, scoring twice in nine second-half minutes to clinch a 2-2 draw.

    Head coach Felix Sanchez called for improvements from his defence against Colombia, saying: "The team has shown that we can turn games around.

    "We had our chances and we took them. For us it is very positive but we cannot forget that we conceded goals that we should have avoided."

    He added: "The level shown by Colombia on Saturday [against Argentina] was very high.

    "It is a team with many strengths and few weaknesses, we are going to try to compete as well as we can."

     

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Colombia – David Ospina

    Napoli goalkeeper Ospina had little to do for almost an hour against Argentina but when called upon he did not let Colombia down.

    The 30-year-old pulled off crucial saves to deny Leandro Paredes and Nicolas Otamendi that gave Colombia the confidence to go on and win.

    Qatar – Abdulaziz Hatem

    Almoez Ali took the plaudits after scoring in Qatar's 2-2 draw with Paraguay, but tucked in behind him was Al Gharafa forward Abdulaziz Hatem, who scored two goals in six appearances for Qatar at the AFC Asian Cup and will be out to cause Mina and Davinson Sanchez problems.

     

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - Colombia have kept seven clean sheets in their last 10 Copa America games (W5 D3 L2), however they have lost two of the three games in which they have conceded during this period (W1).
    - Colombia and Qatar will face each other for the first time ever.
    - Colombia have lost only three of their last 13 meetings with Asian nations (W8 D2), however those three losses have come in their last five such games (W2).
    - After winning none of their first five meetings with CONMEBOL nations (D2 L3), Qatar have won two of their last five games against South American national teams (D1 L2).
    - Colombia will be Qatar’s sixth different opponent from CONMEBOL, after Argentina (lost), Brazil (lost), Ecuador (W1 D1 L1), Peru (lost) and Paraguay (W1 D2 L1).
    - Queiroz's men scored two goals against Argentina in their first game of the 2019 Copa America, from just two shots on target (8 shots attempted in total).

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