Sterling hat-trick powers Clarendon to big daCosta Cup win

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU: Edwin Allen entered their opening ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup Group H football match against defending champions Clarendon College feeling pretty good about their chances. Their got one consolation – a successful penalty kick that was scored by Khimani Orr in the 26th minute. Joel Sterling left them travelling home feeling blue as he netted a hat-trick to lead Clarendon College to a 6-1 win. It began as expected. The champions were in a no-nonsense mood and quickly began to make their presence felt. In the sixth minute, Sterling fired home his first goal to give Clarendon College the lead. His second came in minute 69, and his third on the 77th-minute mark. Before then, Orr was asked to take a penalty awarded by the referee after a defender was adjudged to have committed a foul inside the area. He converted to make things a little more interesting. Thereafter, it was a matter of how many more goals the Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis-coached Clarendon College would score. That question was answered in emphatic style when forward Seigle Knight fired into the back of the net to make it 2-1 in the 27th minute, then at minute 35, as Roger Russell added his name to the scoresheet when his shot beat Edwin Allen’s Kajay Johnson in goal. Clarendon came out in the second half looking for more and they got it in the 63rd minute when Knight blasted home his second, and his team’s fourth, against an Edwin Allen team that looked dazed, due to the ease at which Clarendon carved through their defence. Thereafter, it was Sterling’s show. The sure-footed forward was dangerous in every attack and managed to close out his hat-trick with a lot of time left on the clock. “There is more to come from me this season,” said Sterling. “I am working hard. The team is working hard and we need to defend the title. “Scoring three goals in any match is a great feeling, so right now, I am enjoying it. But we will refocus for our next game against Kellits on Wednesday,” Sterling added. Davis was full of praise for his young striker, calling the result an outstanding one on which to build the season. “We won with a big margin, but it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Every game in this group is like a derby, so it requires a special sort of attention from us. Today, the boys did well and now that we have bagged our first win, we are going to keep rolling,” said Davis. Sterling’s showlast_img read more

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Hiring of Eriksson proves Azkals have bold ambitions

first_imgMOST READ The Suzuki Cup will be Eriksson’s first assignment as the Azkals try to survive a tough group that includes Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Indonesia.It will be in the Asian Cup where Eriksson’s worth will be tested as the Azkals go up against continental giants.Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband welcomed Eriksson’s entry, saying it can only be good for the team.“This is a manager I grew up watching handling the likes of Beckham, Gerrard and Lampard and Paul Scholes,” Younghusband told the Inquirer. “I was exposed to him back in England. If someone had told me 12 years ago that he’d be my coach in the Philippines, I wouldn’t have believed it.”ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Sven-Goran Eriksson. (Photo by STR / AFP)The Philippine Azkals are making no secret of their ambitions to create an impact in their historic AFC Asian Cup appearance in January.Swedish mentor Sven Goran Eriksson, who coached the likes of English legends David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the 2006 World Cup, will headline the Azkals’ brain trust as they tackle their biggest challenges in the next two months.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc In the 70-year-old Eriksson, the Azkals have a coach with experience at the highest level, particularly in the World Cup and European Championships.“When we were looking at candidates, I’ve always been a dreamer so why not go for that (hiring Eriksson) and I was able to sell to Sven the dream of Philippine football,” Azkals manager Dan Palami said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe deal with Eriksson has been in the works for the past few weeks with the Swedish coach even showing up during the Azkals’ camp in Doha, Qatar, early this month.It wasn’t until last Friday when the agreement with Eriksson was finalized, paving the way for Palami’s announcement during the Manila leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup trophy tour last Saturday. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Filipino fighters suffer first round losses in ONE: Pursuit of Greatness Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA titlecenter_img View comments LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Read Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Rockets beat Warriors again despite James Harden’s absence

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? CP 9,000Of his milestone, Paul called it “an honor and a privilege.”“When you get assists, I’ve got the easy part. I just pass it,” he said. “The other guys are the ones who have to make the shots.”TIP-INSRockets: Harden, who missed three games in the opening month with a strained left hamstring, is averaging an NBA-best 36.5 points. Houston is 2-2 in games without him this season after going 6-4 with him out last season. … Houston held a 48-47 rebounding edge in the January win and 48-26 this time.Warriors: Cousins had six of his team’s 17 turnovers and picked up a technical. … Golden State shot 42 for 90, 14 of 36 on 3s. … The Warriors couldn’t match their six-game home winning streak from Oct. 16-Nov. 11. … Reserve G Shaun Livingston rejoined the team after welcoming another daughter, Jonah Jazmine, born Thursday. He received an ovation at practice Friday, Kerr said.UP NEXTRockets: Host Atlanta on Monday night.Warriors: Begin a four-game East Coast road trip at Charlotte on Monday night. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Stephen Curry’s 3 with 1:57 to play pulled the Warriors to 114-108 and his two free throws at 1:26 made it a four-point game before Houston came through at the line.Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Curry added 25 with five 3s, nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Warriors had their five-game home winning streak snapped in a matchup of West powers who met in the 2018 Western Conference finals won in seven games by Golden State.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebracenter_img Kylian Mbappe scores again as runaway leader PSG beats Nimes Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Houston Rockets’ Austin Rivers, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors’ Quinn Cook, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Even without NBA scoring leader James Harden, the Houston Rockets took it to Golden State from the very start.Eric Gordon scored 25 points with four 3-pointers, Chris Paul converted two free throws with 1:08 left on the way to 23, and the Rockets outplayed the Warriors without the ill Harden for a 118-112 victory Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT While Harden also has a strained neck, coach Mike D’Antoni said the reigning MVP probably could have played through that.Harden hurt the neck when he got hit during a practice leading up to Thursday’s road loss to the Lakers and woke up sore the next day.“He might’ve played even with a sore neck. He had a little touch of the flu. It was a combination of everything,” D’Antoni said.In the Rockets’ last visit to Oracle Arena, Harden hit a contested 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left in a 135-134 overtime win on Jan. 3 in which he finished with a triple-double and his fifth straight 40-point game. He was 13 for 32 with 10 3s.Kenneth Faried started in Harden’s place and delivered 20 points and 10 rebounds. Clint Capela grabbed 15 boards.The Warriors, who held off Sacramento 125-123 on Thursday night, began 9 for 32 — 3 of 12 on 3s — and didn’t lead for the first time until Curry’s layup at the 9:54 mark of the third. Curry was 5 for 11 from deep.“Right from the start they played harder and smarter than we did,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.Much like last time, Golden State’s biggest stars missed key shots when it mattered. The Warriors dug themselves an immediate hole, falling behind 15-0 before consecutive 3s by Thompson and Curry.They went 14 of 37 on 3s in last month’s matchup, with Curry 5 for 15 and Durant 1 of 5. After that loss, the Warriors won 11 straight.“As a whole our energy was just bad and our attention to detail in those first six minutes,” Curry said. “Yeah, we’ve got some stuff to work on. We know we’re not playing our best even through running off a lot of wins in that last little stretch. We know who we are. We’ve just got to get to that point.” Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history View comments There wasn’t an immediate update on Green, who Curry said “was in good spirits after the game so I’m assuming it’s not anything serious.”“He’ll be back for the playoffs. That’s the only thing we worry about here, right?” Durant said.Paul handed out 11 of his season-high 17 assists in the first half to reach 9,000 for his career, helping Houston avoid a third straight road loss.Cousins notched his third straight double-double with 13 points and a season-best 14 rebounds, while Klay Thompson had 20 points and six assists.Curry’s 3 in the final 30 seconds of the first half and a jumper to beat the buzzer by Andre Iguodala got Golden State to 61-54 at halftime after the two-time defending champions trailed by 20.ADVERTISEMENT “You can come in here and win on a Monday night in February or a Tuesday night in November or December,” Paul said. “But in the playoffs is when you have to beat a team four out of seven times. It’s great tonight that we won this but in two days y’all will forget this. We all will.”Early in the fourth, Golden State’s Draymond Green exited the game with a sprained left ankle after grabbing at his foot in clear pain from stepping on teammate DeMarcus Cousins’ foot. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlelast_img read more

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Hi-tech School for Girls in the Offing

first_imgThe Office of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Sr. says it has entered into collaboration with F-SHAM of Faith School for Girls.The F-SHAM of Faith School for Girls is a Foundation for Women and EDIFY, an education partner in Liberia that will provide funding to transform F-SHAM into a high technology school for girls in the country.The high technology school, according to a statement, will be the first kind of low-fee independent school for girls.A release quotes the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of the Foundation for Women, Madam Deborah Lindholm as saying that the transformation of F-SHAM will involve a refurbishment of the physical structure and interior courtyard with additions that will include two state-of-the art computer labs and the use of solar panels to harvest the energy of the sun and provide clean electricity for these labs and other needs for the school, eliminating the expensive use of generator.Accordingly, the high technology upgrade will include the latest technology computers with high speed internet, video connection possibilities worldwide, access to global software and teaching support, and the transformation of the school’s accounting system and practices.Moreover, Madam Lindholm said the school will benefit students of F-SHAM, the teaching and administrative staff, and the community as the computer labs will be accessible outside of school hours to the surrounding community.F-SHAM was chosen for this special project due to its history of academic excellence as well as committed founders and staff; their willingness to grow beyond the present reality of education in Liberia, particularly for girls.The FFW is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) that has been operating in Liberia since 2007 providing microfinance support to more than 10,000 women in more than 250 communities. FFW activities cover 14 of the counties where it has also provided microfinance support to 15 low –fee independent school operators to enhance education in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Arrested Nigerian ‘Kidnapper’ Appears in Court

first_imgEzenwa seen in court before he was taken back to jailDefendant Olisa Anthony, 44, a Nigerian national who was arrested by police when he held hostage one of his kinsmen, Ifechukwe Ibe and allegedly demanded US$1,800 as ransom from the victim’s family in Nigeria, was for the first time on Friday, July 20, brought before the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice for preliminary hearing on the commission of his multiple crimes that include kidnapping.Ezenwa was arrested on July 13 this year at his Doe Community residence on the outskirts of Monrovia where he had held hostage the victim for four days.  The victim, Ibo, was rescued and found to have been inflicted with severe bruises on his body.At Friday’s hearing, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody ordered the court’s bailiff to take defendant Ezenwa to the Monrovia Central Prison without any delay.Peabody’s reason was that Ezenwa could not hire a lawyer to secure his bond that would have prevented him from being sent to jail, because the crimes of recklessly endangering another person’s life, kidnapping, simple assault and menacing (frightening, alarming) for which police charged Ezenwa, qualifies him for bail.Court documents alleged that on July 9 Ezenwa and his collaborators, who are still at large, gave Ibe US$1,800 to bring narcotic drugs into the country.Unfortunately, the record claimed that after Ibe successfully shipped the drugs into the country, he delivered the consignment to Ezenwa. But later Ezenwa discovered that the drugs that Ibe brought him was believed to be fake.Ibe’s action caused serious frustration and embarrassment to Ezenwa’s narcotic business, and Ezenwa and his collaborators decided to take the law into their own hands by holding Ibe hostage for four days, during which they inflicted multiple bodily injuries on the victim.While being held hostage, the document alleged, Ezenwa photographed and videotaped Ibe and later sent those evidence to the victim’s family in Nigeria, demanding a ransom of US$1,800 or he would kill Ibe.The money was not paid when police received a tip-off about the ensuing hostage, which led to Ibe’s rescue and Ezenwa’s subsequent arrest.Police claimed that Ezenwa admitted to keeping Ibe  hostage and demanding a ransom of US$1,800, but the defendant said it was some of his kinsmen who set him up.Kidnappings for ransom is gradually becoming a common business in the country, and security authorities need to increase surveillance activities in order to ensure that the practice does not take root in Liberia as is the case with other African countries, especially Nigeria.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Public meeting tonight on controversial Castaic High

first_img(661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CASTAIC – Castaic residents will get together at 7tonight with county and school district officials for what is expected to be the first in a series of town meetings to discuss the future of the long-awaited Castaic High School. Paul Novak, planning deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; Mike Walline, president of the development company SunCal; John Kunak, president of the Castaic school board and a Castaic Town Council member; local schools Superintendent Jim Gibson; and officials with the Hart Union High School District will meet at Castaic Middle School for a panel discussion on plans for the high school. Castaic High, already delayed by three years, is being reviewed by the county Regional Planning Commission as part of SunCal’s NorthLake development. The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for June20. John Zaring, founder of Castaic United to Build a School, is sponsoring the round-table meeting that he says will help answer questions about the proposed high school. “I think this whole process has been bogged down by misinformation and rumors,” Zaring said. “The purpose is to give the community an opportunity to learn from the people involved with the school what the truth is.” Zaring said he has promoted the meeting via chain e-mails and hundreds of fliers and is expecting a large crowd. He has also asked the community to “behave” with panel members. Emotions have run high in the past, and Zaring is hoping to have some healthy discussion. “At this stage, it’s about putting ourselves in a position to build a school,” he said. last_img read more

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Pay review for LAUSD board gets under way

first_imgA panel reviewing whether to raise Los Angeles Unified School District board members’ pay began work Thursday by calling for reports on salaries and top administrators’ wages at other districts. Creation of the panel was approved by voters in March in a measure that changed the City Charter and also imposed a maximum of three four-year terms on school board members and requires them to report campaign fundraising activity to the city Ethics Commission. School board members are paid $25,000 a year for what is considered a part-time job governing a district with more than 700,000 students. Members of the panel were appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council President Eric Garcetti, the county Board of Supervisors and by the Southeast Cities Association. Panelists include: Victor Narro of West Los Angeles, a project director at the UCLA Labor Center; Gabriel Buelna, a Los Angeles parent; Tyrone Freeman of Los Angeles, head of the SEIU, Local 6434; and Debra Silbar, a Topanga parent. Also on the panel are Maria Davila, a South Gate councilwoman; Michael Okafur, San Fernando city personnel manager; Patricia Clarey of Studio City, chief operating officer of Health Net of California; and Bill DeWitte of General Veneer Manufacturing in South Gate. The group has delayed electing a permanent head as city and school staffers begin to gather the requested reports. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Done deal: Why Liverpool fans should be excited by this signing

first_img Alberto Moreno (left) playing for Spain U21s 1 Alberto Moreno is the newest recruit at Liverpool as the club continue to flash the cash.The left-back joined for £12m and has already revealed he is ‘super-motivated’ to begin his new life on Merseyside. Here, talkSPORT’s Expert Eye found out what those who watch Moreno on a regular basis think about him…Moreno had an irregular season. But you should know how hard Unai tried to keep him. Work in progress but can be a more solid LF than Alba– Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague on Twitter @GuillemBalagueHe is a really good attacking left-back, he’s very like Jordi Alba– Terry Gibson, talkSPORT’s La Liga correspondentAlberto Moreno is a dynamic player, can perform various different functions and has played some great games recently– Spain manager Vicente Del BosqueThe fact he has played left-back and left midfield, he is very progressive. He is a really inventive player, really mobile, intelligent– Andy Brassell, talkSPORT’s European football correspondentHe’s the prototype of the modern full-back. He has great technique, is direct, quick, and overloads the flanks– Sevilla sporting director Monchilast_img read more

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Olunga confident of Reysol promotion to J1

first_imgOlunga who joined the side towards the end of last season from Chinese outfit Guizhou Hengfen has been at the centre of Reysol’s rise this season, scoring 14 goals in 28 appearances and topping that cake with the cherry of four assists.His form over the last month has seen him awarded Reysol’s player of the month.“I am thankful for the award, it is such a great honor for me as a player,” Olunga told Capital Sport from his base in Kashiwa.Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga scored a hatrick against Yamaguchi in a Japanese J2 league match. PHOTO/Michael Olunga/Twitter“I believe we can earn promotion this season because we have been in some very good form. We have a solid team and everyone is working hard. I am hopeful we will be back in the J-League,” he stated.Compared to last season, Olunga has been in sizzling form this season, continuing with his ‘second season’ syndrome where he usually steps up after his first spell with a club.The forward has credited this to the fact that he joined the team during pre-season and has had more time to gel with the team and understand players more.“I am glad with my form this season and I think it is all down to hard work. I started pre-season with the team and everything has settled down since then. Hopefully I can maintain this till the end of the season and help the team,” stated the striker.Olunga received his award just days after returning to Japan, having skippered the national team in last Sunday’s friendly match against Uganda in Nairobi. The striker said he was pleased with the spirit of the team especially with several new players included.Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga chases down Uganda’s Revita John during an international friendly match at the Kasarani Stadium on September 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“I think it was a great match for us though we didn’t win. The fact that we had so many new and young players coming in is encouraging because one day, Olunga will not be there, Wanyama will not be there and we will need people to step up,” he stated.Next focus for him is to ensure Kenya makes a return to the Cup of Nations in 2021 with the qualifiers scheduled to kick off in November with a trip away to Egypt.“We have two more friendly games in October and hopefully they will give us a chance to strengthen the team further. We have a lot of depth now and I believe we will be good to go for 2021. We are in a fair qualification group and we will give our all to qualify,” the forward added.Meanwhile, Olunga says he is welcome for a move out of Reysol if a good deal comes on the table, but notes till then, his 100pc effort is on ensuring his team performs well.0Shares0000(Visited 54 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Michael Olunga was voted the Kashiwa Reysol player of the month for August 2019. PHOTO/Kashiwa Reysol/TwitterNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 12 – Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga is confident that his Japanese second tier side Kashiwa Reysol will earn a return back to the top flight after a blistering run in the J2 league.Reysol who were relegated at the close of last season are currently leading the J2 league with 62 points, seven ahead of second placed Yokohama FC with 11 rounds of matches left to play. The top two teams automatically earn promotion while position 3-6 head to a play-off.last_img read more

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Jose Mourinho meets Sport: ‘My favourite victory? It was a defeat that gives most pleasure’

first_imgMourinho has certainly never been shy of a challenge. He’s in relaxed form as he talks to Sport. But ask him a question that he isn’t fond of, and you tend to get a short reply – perhaps even accompanied by a basilisk glance as if you had just offered him one of Mrs Benitez’s homemade fairy cakes.Ask whether the behind-the-scenes politics of Real Madrid could be tough to handle and he shrugs airily: “No, no”. A subject he’d perhaps rather not touch. Are there any situations he looks back on in his managerial career and wished he’d handled better? “Always.” Anything specific? “No, always. But you cannot go back with your decisions, so I don’t even think about it.”He’s far more effusive when asked about his players. His tone picks up immediately when discussing English football’s 2014/15 player of the year, Eden Hazard: “Look, if I compare my first match with him with my last match [of last season] with him – he is amazing. Because my first match with him was a friendly match in Malaysia, two years ago, where I was so disappointed with his light attitude.“The last one was in Australia, after a crazy season, after a 24-hour flight – and he was man of the match, which should be a friendly game. So if I compare the levels of ambition, professionalism, respect, believing in himself, the status he wants to be, I see a huge difference – now, he’s at the top of his game. Fantastic. He’s 24, so a lot more to come from him. He’s getting better and better.” Is there one overarching quality that Mourinho looks out for in a player?“A footballer is a combination of qualities,” he replies. “A player without talent is not a top player, but a player without a great mentality, attitude, commitment, ambition is not a player too. A player without a tactical knowledge of the game is not a top player – but I would say that the tactical quality is something a good manager can give to a player. The talent? No. So I prefer a player with talent and after that, try to give him other qualities that maybe he doesn’t have.”Moulding talent, bonding with his players and getting the best out of them is – alongside his tactical acumen – the secret of Mourinho’s success. Yet he isn’t too fussed about keeping hold of the material evidence. He famously threw two 2006 Premier League medals into the crowd at Stamford Bridge. This year, he gave the league title medal to his daughter. Are there any mementos that he’s kept for himself?“All – I kept them all,” he says, grinning and tapping his finger to his tanned temple. “The moments, I kept them all; the feelings, I kept them all. This is the most important thing for me. Obviously I have some medals, some shirts players gave me and some pictures. But not in that way of… an office with everything organised with all the trophies laid out. No, no – I don’t have that.”Smart move. After all, even if he was of a mind to wallow like a hippopotamus in his successes, even a big office can get filled. There’s infinite space in Mourinho’s memory bank – and he’s of a mind to add plenty more achievements to his list of triumphs yet.Jose Mourinho is an ambassador for BT Sport. As well as 38 live Premier League games and 25 FA Cup matches, BT Sport Europe will show all Champions League and Europa League matches exclusively live. Visit Jose Mourinho This interview appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app from here, and follow on twitter @sportmaguk“My favourite victory? It was a defeat that gives me more pleasure,” says Jose Mourinho, coolly contrary as ever.Sport had made a mental bet that we could guess which single match win the 52-year-old would say was his career favourite ahead of our exclusive interview. Unsurprisingly, he’s outfoxed us.“The defeat in the semi finals of the Champions League against Barcelona with Inter in 2010,” he explains. “We beat Barcelona at home 3-1. We play in Barcelona, the second leg with 10 players for more than one hour. We lost 1-0 and qualified for the final. I think my biggest happiness in football was that one, because I felt the Champions League was ours – and I knew what that Champions League meant for Inter. They were chasing it for 50 years.”Sport’s internal predictor had the right tie, wrong leg. We thought that Mourinho might choose that 3-1 win at the San Siro, when he went against conventional thinking and went at Barca with three forwards (Diego Milito, Samuel Eto’o and Goran Pandev) plus Wesley Sneijder. It was a swashbuckling victory against the world’s best attacking team, pulling down Pep Guardiola’s tactical trousers in the process.Jose, however, prefers the backs-to-the-wall second leg. Of course he does. Critics might say it’s further proof that he cares nothing for the thrill of aesthetics; that success, whatever the method, is his sole aim. Typical Mourinho. His supporters might point out that it’s proof he’d rather shine attention on the grit and gumption of his players, than dwell on his own strategic brilliance in the first leg. No wonder he inspires such loyalty. Typical Mourinho. 4 His methods and actions have always divided opinion, but the first 10 years of Mourinho’s managerial career were an unstoppable, undeniable success. He came, saw and conquered in Portugal with Porto, in England with Chelsea and in Italy with Inter. Then, at Real Madrid, the machine stalled.He brought triumphs – a Copa del Rey in 2011, a La Liga title with a record 100 goals – but delivering Europe’s biggest prize for the 10th time, and toppling Barcelona for good, were not achieved. When he left in 2013, Real were still searching for La Decima and Barcelona were champions of Spain.In the midst of Mourinho’s eventful three-year spell in Madrid, Chelsea won their first Champions League. How did he feel watching a club that means so much to him, starring many players he had nurtured, triumph in 2012 without him?“You know… [it] was almost my team, so it was a great feeling,” he says. “I think Chelsea finally, in the moment where nobody was expecting, got what Chelsea deserved for so many years. Before that, Chelsea lost a semi final with a goal that was not a goal, lost a semi final on penalties, lost a semi final against Barcelona that was one of the biggest scandals of European football. Lost a final on penalties too. So it was a process where Chelsea [were] so many times so close – that for the club to win the trophy was a big emotion.”It’s a curious quirk of Mourinho that, despite his multiple triumphs, he’s quick to reel off old grievances – refereeing errors or so-called ghost goals – where he feels success has been unjustly snatched away from his teams. Perhaps being unwilling to let go of setbacks is part of what makes him such a relentless winner. At least until 2012/13 and 2013/14, that is. He finished both seasons – his last with Real and his first back with Chelsea – without a significant competition win.For most mortal managers, that’s nothing out of the ordinary. But for Mourinho, a coach-cum-silversmith whose reputation is built on the hard currency of delivering trophies, two seasons was a drought. Then, having expertly filled gaps in his Chelsea side with Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Mourinho’s second-season success syndrome kicked in. A League Cup victory, a Premier League win that he made look easy, and the old trophy factory was back up and running.“Better – much better,” says Mourinho of how he compares as a manager now to his first spell at Chelsea. “More experienced, more stability, better at reading the game, better in the training methodology. On the top of that, 10 years later, I don’t have that objective of going to other leagues, of trying new experiences or other clubs. I did what I wanted to do. I won in the three countries where it meant a lot for me to win – apart from my own country – and in this moment, I am more a club man than an individual manager.” Music to Chelsea fans’ ears. Having reclaimed the Premier League, however, a Champions League with Chelsea is the holy grail. A mighty challenge, especially with a certain nimble Argentine about.In May, Mourinho claimed that: “In 10 years’ time, without Lionel Messi, the map of European football is going to change.” Is that how important he sees Messi in the game?“Of course, of course. Because you see Barcelona before Messi – they were champions of Europe, I think once, twice? [Once, in 1992, although Messi wasn’t a regular in the team that won in 2005]. With him is very, very normal to win competitions, to win Champions Leagues, to win finals. They change the manager – it doesn’t matter who the manager is – the one who is always there is Messi.“He won with [Frank] Rijkaard, with Guardiola, with [Luis] Enrique. So I think, in this moment, nobody has any doubts that he makes a huge difference in football. In 10 years’ time, it is difficult to have another one immediately – so I think football will have to wait a few decades to have another one like him. So there will be always a Champions League with Messi, and a Champions League without Messi.”On top of this, and despite his oftstated love for the combative nature of the English game, Mourinho views the challenge of competing for the Premier League and Champions League together as unique.“It’s not just the number of matches, not just that you play four competitions – because some other countries, they also do this; it’s the intensity, the competitiveness of every match,” he says.“The fact that you don’t have a winter break is also very important, because every other country has a winter break. They are back to the second phase of the Champions League, after a winter preseason and in their best condition – and the English teams exactly in their worst moment, which is the hangover after the crazy December and January. So, yes, it is more difficult for an English team to do, for example, a treble.”Mourinho’s old sparring partner Sir Alex Ferguson is the only manager to do so with an English club. Ferguson also claimed that his biggest challenge each season was to take a group of players who had just won the league title and ensure they didn’t become complacent, that they were still hungry for more the following year.“Agree – yes,” says Mourinho, but he doesn’t see a concern on that score with his current Chelsea squad.“I know them. They are not an old group that reached something and after that has no more energy or ambition or drive to go for more. It’s a young group and it’s too early for them to be happy with what they achieved. So I believe that it’s going to be more difficult, obviously – because every club wants to beat the champions, so even the three clubs that are coming from the Championship are a threat – but I believe that the team will be ready for that.”“This is a special challenge for me as well, because this is a new team in Chelsea we are building. You have really a new generation. We are trying to make this second generation so successful – as successful as the one that just finished a few years ago. This is a very good motivation for me and for them.” 4 4 4last_img read more

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