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Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome: Ibrahimovic

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London :Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he is ready to win silverware with Los Angeles Galaxy after a full-page advert in Friday’s LA Times confirmed his move to the MLS club from Manchester United.
The advert, in which Ibrahimovic was pictured in the white Galaxy kit, carried a message from the 36-year-old saying “Dear Los Angeles, you’re welcome”.
He becomes the latest high-profile player to move to the MLS in the latter part of his career — following the likes of David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard.
Former England captain Beckham won the MLS Cup twice after joining Galaxy in 2007 and became an iconic figure for the growth of the game in a country hooked on more traditional American sports like NFL and baseball.
Ibrahimovic, while in the latter stages of a glittering career, could have a similar impact.
Zlatan IbrahimovicThe Swede left United on Thursday when the Premier League club agreed to terminate his contract and said the move is about writing another chapter in a storied career in which he won league titles in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France.
“After being in Europe, winning 33 trophies, playing in the best teams in the world, playing with the best players in the world, I wanted to come to the US and play my game there,” Ibrahimovic said in an interview in the LA Times.
“I wanted people to enjoy my game there and to win. And I chose the Galaxy to do that.”
Dan Beckerman, the president of entertainment giant AEG, the Galaxy’s parent organisation, said Ibrahimovic would become one of the biggest stars in the Hollywood city.
“He’s giving up a lot to come here,” Beckerman told the LA Times. He’s made it clear he’s coming here to win championships. It’s not about the money.”
“L.A. is a place for stars, and he’s going to be one of the brightest stars that’s ever played in this market. In any sport.”
Ibrahimovic, who scored 62 goals in 116 games for Sweden and played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona and Paris St Germain, is reported to have accepted $3 million over two season to play for Galaxy, a huge wage cut from his United salary.
Ibrahimovic justified United’s outlay when he scored 28 times in all competitions in his first season at Old Trafford.
But after a knee injury sustained nearly a year ago he has managed only seven appearances this season.
Despite that Ibrahimovic, who boasts nearly five million Twitter followers and owns a clothing brand, said he was ready for action.
“I am ready to go now,” Ibrahimovic said. “First of all, I’m there to play football. I’m not there for something else. My first objective is to play football and do what I’m good at.”
“I’m excited to come over and to get the experience with the Galaxy and to explore how the football is there. I want to be part of it and make it better.”
Ibrahimovic’s first action for Galaxy could even come against city rivals Los Angeles Football Club on March 31.


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UEFA probe Ronaldo for ‘improper conduct’ over goal celebration

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London : UEFA opened an investigation into Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal celebration after scoring a hat-trick in Juventus’ Champions League comeback win against Atletico Madrid last week.
European football’s governing body said Ronaldo was facing charges of “improper conduct” after he mimicked Diego Simeone’s crotch-grabbing gesture in last Tuesday’s 3-0 win that sent Juventus through 3-2 on aggregate.
After scoring the decisive penalty four minutes from time, Ronaldo turned towards the Atletico fans and replicated Simeone’s gesture after the Spaniards’ 2-0 first leg win by grasping his genitals and thrusting out his groin.
A decision will be taken by UEFA on March 21.
Juventus take on Dutch club Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals over two legs, on April 10 in Amsterdam and April 16 in Turin.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri has said he is confident Ronaldo will not be fined or suspended.
“I think everyone celebrated their own way on the field and in the stands.
I saw nothing strange, just a celebration. There won’t be a ban,” said Allegri.
Simeone was fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) by UEFA for his gesture.
“He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character,” said the Argentinian coach.
Five-time Champions League winner Ronaldo is the record goal scorer in the European competition with 124 goals in 160 matches.

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Sachin echoes Virat Kohli’s workload views

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New Delhi: There cannot be a uniform structure for workload management during the Indian Premier League as each and every player will have different set of requirements, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar said .
There have been a lot of discussions about how the World Cup-bound players need to effectively manage their workload during a demanding tournament like the IPL, and the maestro has his own take on it.
“Preparation before the World Cup is different for each player and so their workload management will also be different,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar agreed with skipper Virat Kohli who recently said that it is up to the players to realise the kind of load they are taking as well as the form they are in. “To me, momentum is important. Every individual should be smart enough to assess if he needs to take a break or he needs to play games to stay in the thick of things. So the responsibility is on the individual to take a call,” said the world’s highest run-getter in Tests and One-day Internationals.
He then gave an example of how workload management will be different for different players. “As a pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s workload will be very different from a pure batsman like Virat Kohli and a wicket-keeper batsman like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. All these players have a lot of experience and they will certainly make the right call,” said Tendulkar, who is a mentor with IPL’s most popular franchise Mumbai Indians.
Tendulkar echoed what Kohli had said a couple of days earlier during a media interaction in Bengaluru. “If I’m able to play 10, 12 or 15 games, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other guy can only play that many. My body might demand I play a certain number of games and I need to be smart about that and rest,” the Indian skipper had said.
“Someone else’s body might be more capable than mine or less, that is a very individual thing. And everyone wants to play the World Cup, so people will be smart about it because you don’t want to miss out on such a big event.”
Kohli had said that it is up to individual players to deal with the issue to keep their body fit and be in contention for a place in the World Cup-bound squad. “From a responsibility point of view, all the Indian players will have the responsibility during the IPL to keep a watch on their fitness and their workloads,” he said.
“And to continue the frame of mind we have created in the Indian team – strive towards excellence and improve every day. Each player will take this tournament as an opportunity to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind,” he said.

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Kerala Blasters sign Rahul KP

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Mumbai : Kerala Blasters have wrapped up a deal to bring Indian Arrows forward Rahul Kannoly Praveen on board for the 2019-20 season, Goal has learnt.
The 19-year-old forward has become the fifth former India U-17 player to be roped in by Blasters after Dheeraj Singh, Mohammad Rakip, Nongdamba Naorem and Jeakson Singh.
Thrissur-born Rahul featured for Luis Norton de Matos’ Indian team in the U-17 World Cup held in India. He continued his development with AIFF’s Indian Arrows in the I-League and impressed in patches last season, scoring two goals in 17 appearances.
He has stepped up his game at Arrows this season under Floyd Pinto and contributed greatly to the team’s eighth-placed finish under the Indian head coach. He has three goals to his name this season.
Blessed with pace and dazzling feet, Rahul is good at taking on his opponent from wide areas and also has an eye for a pass. He was impressive against Gokulam Kerala and scored a terrific volley in the I-League match at Kozhikode earlier this season. He also featured in the Super Cup qualifier against Kerala Blasters as Indian Arrows won 2-0.
In what seems like a much-needed move after a disapponting season in the ISL, Kerala Blasters, under the new leadership of CEO Viren D’Silva, are off to a good start off the field and have added a promising local talent to the squad.

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