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The goal-making potential of long throw-ins

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By Agencies
Moscow :The sight of players regularly hurling the ball into the box from the sideline in Russia is no coincidence as more and more teams are realising the potential of the long throw-in to create havoc, and ultimately goals, at this World Cup.
Sweden’s third goal in their Group F win over Mexico was a perfect example, as winger Viktor Claesson launched the ball into the Mexican penalty area, striker Isaac Kiese-Thelin flicked it on and Mexican defender Edson Alvarez turned it into his own net to make it 3-0.
Danish specialist coach Thomas Groennemark is in no way surprised that the throw-in is being embraced as an offensive weapon in this way — he has spent more than a decade teaching players from all over the world how to use it more effectively.
“It’s important for every team to have players who can throw long, especially for the left and right backs,” Groennemark told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that every team had a player who could learn to do so.
“It is only technical training – you don’t have to gain ten kilos in the weight room. There’s a lot of different players who can throw long, from the short, explosive type like Roberto Carlos to tall players, to normal players with flexible arms.”
The former athlete and bobsledder went to his local library in 2004 to read up on the mechanics of the long throw-in, and when he didn’t find anything on the shelves, he decided to make his own program over the next six months.
“It was adopted by Danish Superliga club Viborg, and they scored a lot of goals from throw-ins and had the best season in their history,” he says proudly.
This past season the 42-year-old has worked with FC Midtjylland, who scored 10 of their 80 goals from throw-ins en route to being crowned Danish champions, and he is also working with an unnamed English club.
The Dane, who wrote his name into the Guinness Book of Records in 2010 by hurling a throw-in a whopping 51.33 metres, or approximately half the length of a soccer field, laments what he calls the “imprecision” of many of the throw-ins in Russia.
“It’s like a corner or any other set piece, or passing — it has to be precise. If it’s five metres too long or three metres too short, it’s not good enough,” he says.
“Problem number two is that a lot of the throw-ins at the World Cup are too high, making it easy for them to defend against or for the goalkeeper to catch them. Working with players and clubs, I work on a long, hard, flat throw-in.”
For Groennemark, it’s not enough to just hoist the ball into the penalty area and hope for the best.


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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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