Sprint king Usain Bolt made his much-anticipated football debut Friday, exciting fans but tiring quickly in a 20-minute cameo as his Central Coast Mariners hammered an amateur side 6-1 in a pre-season warm-up.
The Jamaican superstar, a huge Manchester United fan, has been handed a chance to train with the Australian side for an indefinite period in a bid to prove he has what it takes to earn a professional playing contract.
His arrival has generated a massive buzz at the club’s base in Gosford, 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney, and some 10,000 people packed the Central Coast Stadium — a virtually unprecedented turnout for a pre-season game.
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It wasn’t quite Old Trafford but there was a lively atmosphere with a brass band on hand to get the crowd going.
After only a handful of training sessions since arriving last week, the fastest man on earth watched avidly from the bench as the Mariners began dismantling a Central Coast select side.
He didn’t have long to wait to celebrate with the Mariners getting on the scoresheet barely 20 seconds after kick off thanks to a sweet strike by Jack Clisby from the edge of the box, with Bolt keenly applauding from the sidelines.
They were 5-0 up at a half-time and a massacre seemed imminent.
The eight-time Olympic champion wore gloves and appeared relaxed, despite admitting to nerves this week, as he followed the match intently.
On a chilly night, he stayed warm on the sidelines by stretching and jogging with the 32-year-old happily giving the thumbs up and high-fives to fans.
Wearing the number 95 shirt in a nod to his 100m world record time, he finally made his entrance after 71 minutes to huge cheers from the crowd and fireworks.
Starting on the left wing, he fluffed his first touch, making a run on the inside only for the through ball to hit him on the heel.
He got himself in the box soon after but a cross whipped in from the left went over his head.
Playing more centrally, he wasn’t getting much of a look in, jumping for another cross but it again sailed high.
His best touch came 10 minutes after coming on when he controlled a bobbling ball with his right foot, rode a challenge and laid it off with his left foot.
Before the game Bolt admitted he was not match fit and pouring with sweat he tired quickly before a late flurry, narrowly failing to get on the end of a low cross after a sprint into the box, and then having a shot blocked.
Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway to no avail, with the Mariners hoping to turn him into A-League material in time for the start of the 2018/19 season in late October.
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Inter Milan cancells pre match conference ahead of Fiorentina clash
Inter Milan cancelled a pre-match news conference on Saturday after what it called an “offensive letter” about manager Antonio Conte was printed in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
The Serie A club said the letter, submitted by a reader, was accompanied with a comment from one of the paper’s journalists “justifying its aggression”.
“In order to send out a message to all media outlets that they must ‘guarantee respect for people’, there won’t be a press conference today,” the club said.
Inter were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday, losing 2-1 to a young Barcelona team to finish third in their group behind the Spanish giants and Borussia Dortmund.
In the letter, a Bologna fan said that he “enjoyed seeing the great Inter outclassed by Barcelona B”, who had shown Inter’s “worn-out” coach how to play football.
The fan added that although Conte has won a lot of games in his career, he has “never shown a good game” and despite spending more than 150 million euros (£125m), Inter could not beat Slavia Prague and lost to Dortmund in the Champions League.
A journalist added a comment to the letter, saying that Inter have “thrown away the Champions League and maybe the rest too” by loaning striker Mauro Icardi to French side Paris St-Germain.
The journalist added: “No Icardi, No Party”.
Earlier this month, Roma, along with Inter’s rivals AC Milan, announced they would not work with Corriere dello Sport until January in response to the paper using the headline ‘Black Friday’ accompanied by images of Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.
Corriere dello Sport defended the “innocent” headline in a comment piece on its website, saying it was a way to celebrate diversity.
Klopp agrees to contract extension with Liverpool
Liverpool has been a revolutionary team ever since klopp was named the head coach in 2015.
Klopp’s masterclass has led liverpool to become a formidable team in all competitions.
Liverpool secured their sixth champions league trophy last season and bags lot of individual awards.
One can boldly say, liverpool is a complete team with the likes of Mohammed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Allison pening for liverpool.
The phenomenal Reds finished second place last season with a point below Pep Guardiola’s team.
When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.”
“When the call came in autumn 2015, I felt we were perfect for each other; if anything, now I feel I underestimated that.
“It is only with a total belief that the collaboration remains totally complimentary on both sides that I am able to make this commitment to 2024.
“If I didn’t I would not be re-signing.
“This club is in such a good place, I couldn’t contemplate leaving.” klopp says.
It’s a massive development for the “kops” as they look indisputable to win the premier league trophy with their current longest club unbeaten run.
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