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We miss Cristiano, says Real Madrid’s Modric

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London: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer, left in July to join Juventus and Madrid signed young attackers Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz but no big-name forward to replace the Portuguese.

Real Madrid’s forwards have failed to fill the gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric said.

The Croatian, speaking ahead of Real’s Champions League last-16, second-leg clash with Ajax on Tuesday, said his team lacked consistency and goals this season.

 

Madrid failed to score in two Clasicos against Barcelona last week, being eliminated from the Copa del Rey and falling 12 points behind the Catalan league leaders, leaving retaining the Champions League as their only hope of glory.

Ronaldo, the European champions’ all-time top scorer, left in July to join Juventus and Madrid signed young attackers Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz but no big-name forward to replace the Portuguese.

“The absence of Cristiano is something every team would feel; to find a replacement for Cristiano is almost impossible,” Modric told reporters.

“Given what he did for us and this club, we miss Cristiano. The club wanted the other players to make up for what he did, divided between the strikers and that is not easy.

“Cristiano scored 50 goals and you can’t find someone today who scores that many. Some of us have to take a step forward and, while not scoring 50, what we need is two or three players who score 15, 20, or 10 goals and we don’t have that.

“That is our biggest problem this year. For example against Barca in the Cup we had many chances and when you don’t take advantage your opponent punishes you.

Vinicius Junior has been Madrid’s driving force over the past few weeks but the 18-year-old has scored only three goals this season.

“The club tried, and it seems good, putting faith in other players like Gareth (Bale), (Marco) Asensio, Karim (Benzema); they brought in Mariano, Vinicius is here.

“(Vinicius) is doing very well for the age he is but sometimes things don’t go how we wanted them to.”

Vinicius Junior has been Madrid’s driving force over the past few weeks but the 18-year-old has scored only three goals this season.

Club record signing Bale has 13 goals from 33 appearances in all competitions, while top scorer Benzema has netted 20 from 42.

Madrid hold a 2-1 lead over Ajax from the first leg and coach Santiago Solari hopes the team can be more accurate in front of goal as they bid to seal their progress to the quarter-finals.

“Cristiano is living history at the club and all he’s done for the club is shown in the trophy cabinets; we have maximum respect for him,” said the coach.

“Those of us who are here are working the best we can, to attack better, to score more goals, to do our job. It’s true we’ve had a lot of chances in recent games, and we have tofinish them.”

‘Gareth deserves the greatest of respect. The way the Real fans have treated Gareth is nothing short of a disgrace’


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Rasikh Salam banned for two years for submitting faulty birth certificate

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Mumbai Indians and Jammu and Kashmir pacer Rasikh Salam has been handed a two-year ban by the BCCI after he was found to have submitted a faulty birth certificate to the board.

Subsequently, he has been removed from the under-19 squad that will travel to England to play in a tri-series and has been replaced by Prabhat Maurya.

Salam, a pacer from J&K, made news when he debuted for Mumbai Indians in this Indian Premier League. He was the third player from Jammu & Kashmir to get an IPL contract – after Parvez Rasool and Manzoor Dar – and only the second after Rasool to get into the playing XI. He hails from Ashmuji village in southern part of Kashmir, which is often said to be affected by curfew and power cuts. Mumbai Indians picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh.

 

Earlier this week, IANS had reported that Salam could be in trouble for age fraud after the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education informed JKCA that the age Salam gave the board doesn’t match the records they posses.

JKCA and the BCCI soon got involved in the matter and a two year ban was deemed appropriate.

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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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