10 months agoWalker-Peters, Eriksen admit Spurs ‘buzzing’ after Bournemouth rout

first_imgWalker-Peters, Eriksen admit Spurs ‘buzzing’ after Bournemouth routby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChristian Eriksen hailed the manner of Tottenham’s rout of Bournemouth yesterday.The Dane was among the goalscorers for the 5-0 win.He said, “It’s always nice to know that you will score at some point. “With the players we have, someone will score at any point, even in the first 10 minutes not playing as well as we could and still scoring and leading – that gives you the confidence and the trust in your team that you can sit back, be professional, be focused and that you will win the game.”Spurs fullback – and fellow goalscorer – Kyle Walker-Peters added: “There’s a buzz around the team at the moment, we’re winning games and everyone is confident. When I step on the pitch I have that confidence as well.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

AIFF eyes football renaissance with Baby Leagues

first_imgNew Delhi: From the Kashmir Valley to the north eastern corner of Lunglei, ‘Baby Leagues’ are mushrooming all across India with the national football federation’s backing to catch them as young as six and lay the foundation for a “better future” for the sport. Launched in September last year, Baby Leagues have been a hit in the Kashmir Valley, Mizoram, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. States like Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Punjab are also catching up with the trend. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhBaby Leagues are organised in seven age groups of Under-6, Under-7, Under-8, Under-9, Under-10, Under-11 and Under-12. The number of participating children reached 21,471 last year itself and it rose to 43,575 this year, according to the figures provided by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The number of registered teams was 5,335 last year while 21,130 matches were played in all. The AIFF decided to rechristen the initiative as ‘Golden Baby League’ from this year onwards and the first edition was held in Meghalaya recently. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterLast year, the AIFF gave a subsidy of Rs 85,000 each to Baby Leagues of 99 age groups run by 30 license holders, from the $250,000 fund sanctioned by world football governing body FIFA under its Forward Programme. “We need to create a competitive environment in which the players are developing their creativity, self-expression, passion of the game and discovering the value of friendship throughout the team. That was the idea of these Baby Leagues,” AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru told PTI. “The formative years of a child have always been the bedrock of a successful footballing culture. The AIFF is now stressing to popularise the sport among the kids. We aim to have every kid playing football especially from ages U-6 to U-12. The more they play, the more Indian football will benefit,” AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said. The Kashmir Valley conducted 15 Baby Leagues last year with kids of under-11 category taking their first steps towards ‘The Beautiful Game’. These 15 leagues were run by five operators — International School Baby League and Presentation Convent Baby League in Srinagar, ETIHAD Baby League at Pulwama, DFA Kulgam Baby League and Sanctorum Baby League at Sopore. Two leagues — one each in Srinagar and Kulgam — were exclusively for girls. “We have received great response not only from Srinagar but from everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir, may be because of Real Kashmir’s performance in the I-League,” J&K Development Officer Bilal Punjabi said. “A Baby League in Baramulla is in the pipeline,” he added. In Pulwama, where more than 40 CRPF personnel died in a terrorist attack in February, two Baby Leagues were run in quick succession last year with 192 kids across U-9, U-10 and U-11 age groups participating in 168 matches. “We had conducted a snow league also which was an instant hit among the kids. As per FIFA guidelines, we used red paint for line-marking and fluorescent yellow ball. Almost 200 kids poured in for the snow league as well as the regular one,” added Punjabi, who is one of the 11 development officers appointed by the AIFF across the country. “Kulgam is one of the troubled areas but when we needed (to run the Baby League) it delivered big time. 189 kids who were divided into eight teams across U-9, U-10 and U-11 age groups, played 168 matches,” he said. There is another Baby League in Ladakh in four age groups, which also got subsidy from the AIFF. For U-6 kids, it is three-a-side match divided into four quarters of six minutes each with a two-minute break in between. For U-7 and U-8 kids, It can be 4 vs 4 or 5 vs 5 in two halves of 12 minutes each with a four-minute break in between. The number of players each side can go up to 11 in U-11 and U-12 and they play in two halves of 25 minutes each with an eight-minute break in between. Till U-8 or 6 vs 6, there is no goalkeeper and the maximum goalposts dimension is 1.82×1.22m. The recommended matches per day is three till U-8 and maximum match days per week is two. The fields are smaller, starting from 10x15m to 12x20m size for 3 vs 3 matches for U-6 kids. The Baby Leagues are registered through an app run by the AIFF. The operators are given license by the AIFF after consultation with the concerned state association which inspects the ground and capacity of the organisers. The operators have to conduct at least three age-group leagues and have at least eight teams registered to get an AIFF license.last_img read more

BeyGood With Beyonce And The Princes Trust

first_imgBeyoncé’s global charity campaign #BeyGood is working with The Prince’s Trust to change the lives of disadvantaged young people.The campaign, which encourages people to be kind, be charitable and #BeyGood to each other and their communities, will raise vital funds for The Prince’s Trust on the UK tour dates of the Mrs Carter Show World Tour 2014.To join Beyoncé in support of The Prince’s Trust make a £3 online donation, or text BEYGOOD to 70660 (£3 will be added to your bill*).Mrs Carter Show ticket holdersConcert ticket holders who make a donation, wear a #BeyGood t-shirt (available from Tomorrow’s Store) or donate an item of clothing on the night will be given an official #BeyGood sticker at The Prince’s Trust donation site situated in the venue.Sticker wearers will be randomly selected for a seat upgrade to an exclusive VIP area near the front of the stage. The Beyoncé team will be working their way around the venue before the concert starts to select the lucky winners.Make sure you bring your donation confirmation email or text donation receipt to claim your sticker.“As a young child I was blessed to have the support of my family who encouraged me to reach for my goals,” said Beyonce. “So many young people don’t have this. I am honored to partner the #BeyGood campaign with The Prince’s Trust to help young people beat the odds and create better lives for themselves.”The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people into jobs. One in five young people in the UK are struggling to find work. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training. There is more information on the work of The Trust here.*Text costs £3.00 plus network charge. Prince’s Trust receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 0844 847 9800. Charity No 1079675.Source:Prince’s Trustlast_img read more

Which Teams Future Is Brightest The Astros Or Dodgers

It’s not just Seager that has Dodgers fans drooling. Twenty-two-year-old rookie sensation Cody Bellinger launched 39 home runs and knocked 97 RBIs in 2017 to lead the Dodgers in both categories, and is a frontrunner for the NL Rookie of the Year award. LA also has 21-year-old left-handed starting pitcher Julio Urias, who missed much of 2017 with a shoulder injury, but is still one of baseball’s most promising talents. And there’s more. LA has one of the top-ranked minor-league systems in the game, so there are even more talented Dodgers to come. Which is likely why they opened the offseason as 2018 World Series favorites.Houston Astros (88.6 wins per season)2017 Elo Rating: 1575.0 (15th)2017 batting WAR: 36.5 (5th)2017 pitching WAR: 17.0 (42nd)2017 average age, batters: 28.8 (21st-youngest)2017 average age, pitchers: 28.5 (17th-youngest)For Houston, it’s been a completely different journey to the top. The Astros were really bad for more than half a decade, when they averaged an MLB-worst 69 wins between 2006 and 2014. But while the organization floundered at the major-league level, the Astros’ front office steadily stockpiled the organization’s minor-league system with high-ceiling talent through the draft and international free agency.In 2006, Houston signed a 16-year-old named Jose Altuve for just $15,000 — Altuve is now a three-time reigning AL batting champion. In 2009, they drafted Dallas Keuchel in the 7th round of the draft, and he went onto win the AL Cy Young award in 2015. Two years after that they drafted George Springer out of Connecticut, who this week was crowned World Series MVP. Then in 2012, the Astros selected shortstop Carlos Correa with the No.1 pick in the draft — this year Correa had the team’s second-highest Wins Above Replacement in the regular season.Put that all together and Houston had the largest WAR of any team in MLB from their homegrown players in 2017. They’ve done their time at the bottom, and now with their star trio leading the way, it’s Houston’s time to shine. Baseball’s best young shortstopsIn a player’s first three MLB seasons, most wins above replacement (WAR) while playing at least half of games at shortstop 21Phillies1470.926.526.612.213.179.3 20Braves1466.528.629.615.09.079.3 10Cardinals1514.628.028.124.114.682.8 5Yankees1570.728.727.628.824.085.8 11Brewers1510.527.328.118.217.882.7 1Arky Vaughan1932-3442917.3 10Cal Ripken, Jr.1981-8326812.5 7Nomar Garciaparra1996-9831813.8 4Cubs1546.026.630.826.915.587.5 Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs 1Dodgers1581.627.729.729.921.390.0 TEAMELO RATINGBATTERSPITCHERSBATTERSPITCHERSPREDICTED WINS/SEASON WAR is an average of the metrics found at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs Which MLB teams have the brightest futures?Most predicted wins over the next five seasons, based on 2017 team characteristics 14Rangers1497.128.428.916.112.180.4 2Indians1596.728.129.127.632.589.2 9Charlie Hollocher1918-2032612.6 25Orioles1474.228.628.015.47.378.0 17Angels1512.829.929.217.412.679.9 15Royals1477.328.930.312.914.380.3 19Mariners1506.629.627.922.410.479.8 6Corey Seager2015-1731414.1 3Francisco Lindor2015-1741116.2 7Red Sox1549.927.328.419.222.884.8 12Rays1505.628.327.624.012.081.5 9Twins1509.827.129.726.58.484.1 29Giants1465.829.629.07.112.176.8 8Diamondbacks1534.428.328.319.425.884.1 5Rogers Hornsby1915-1720714.5 13Marlins1483.228.128.727.12.581.0 18White Sox1463.926.728.915.15.879.9 16Rockies1506.428.526.614.920.380.0 AVERAGE AGEWAR Of course, it’s also worth noting that although the Dodgers currently project for the most future wins of any current MLB team, the Astros rank third. Sandwiched in second place between the two World Series participants are the Cleveland Indians, who were upset in the ALDS by the New York Yankees but still had one of the most impressive seasons of any team in recent history. Across their entire roster, Cleveland was a little younger than either the Dodgers or Astros, so they should be a force to reckon with for the foreseeable future. Add in other up-and-coming teams (such as the Yankees) and old standbys (such as the Cubs), and 2017’s glut of good teams should continue into next season and beyond. 3Astros1575.028.828.536.517.088.6 26Padres1447.826.028.08.55.378.0 23Athletics1491.528.727.617.110.378.9 PLAYERYEARSGAMES AT SHORTSTOPWAR 22Reds1454.127.227.722.81.279.2 6Nationals1550.729.029.923.223.485.4 24Pirates1486.528.327.111.113.978.1 4Carlos Correa2015-1736015.0 8Glenn Wright1924-2642213.3 27Mets1460.329.127.318.67.777.6 2Johnny Pesky1942-4743316.8 30Tigers1442.929.728.413.69.876.8 28Blue Jays1496.631.128.99.317.577.5 Hope you didn’t get sick of the Astros and Dodgers, because you’re going to be stuck with them for a lot of Octobers to come. Based on our analysis of all MLB teams since 1988,1That’s when free agency truly began to reshape the way teams build following a period of collusion between owners. this year’s Astros and Dodgers each appear to have two of the brightest futures for any pair of World Series teams ever.Here’s how we figured that out. We gathered data on all MLB teams from 1988 to 2012 and tried to see which factors best predicted their win totals over the following five seasons. After testing different combinations,2Specifically, variable selection was performed using the Lasso. we found that five metrics emerged as significant predictors of a team’s future record: A team’s Elo rating through the end of the World Series (which contributed about 33 percent to a team’s future win projection); its batting wins above replacement (WAR)3Averaging together the versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. (29 percent); its pitching WAR (13 percent); and the average ages — weighted by playing time — of its batters (6 percent) and pitchers (12 percent) — plus a bonus for making the World Series (7 percent).4Winning the World Series, while all sorts of fun, didn’t predict much for the years to come, after accounting for all this other stuff.Unsurprisingly, having a talented young core (especially on the hitting side) is a good ticket for a return trip to the World Series. After running the numbers for the final two teams standing this year, here’s how the Dodgers and Astros stack up against the other 56 World Series teams in our data set:Los Angeles Dodgers (90.0 wins per season)2017 Elo Rating: 1581.6 (11th)2017 batting WAR: 29.9 (18th)2017 pitching WAR: 21.3 (21st)2017 average age, batters: 27.7 (5th-youngest)2017 average age, pitchers: 29.7 (33rd-youngest)Despite losing to the Astros in Game 7 on Wednesday, LA appears to have the brighter future of this year’s World Series teams, albeit only just. The Dodgers are projected to win about 90 games per season for the next five years, but that’s nothing new to them. Since 2013, the Dodgers have averaged an MLB-best 95 wins per season and were twice denied a shot at the World Series. The bulk of this year’s production for the Dodgers has come from a mix of young phenoms and veteran stars. Turner, Clayton Kershaw and 23-year-old Corey Seager were the top three WAR contributors to the Dodgers. Seager has emerged as one of the premier players in the league and, with just three years of MLB experience to date, he ranks sixth all-time for the most WAR among shortstops in their first three seasons. Although he was up and down during the playoffs — he missed the NLCS with a back injury and hit just .237 in the postseason — Seager is one of the biggest reasons LA’s future looks so bright. read more

Ohio State womens golf qualifies for NCAAs

After a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships in French Lick, Ind. April 27-29, the Ohio State women’s golf team will enter post-season play at the NCAA Central Regional Tournament. The NCAA Women’s Golf Committee announced the team’s bid on April 30, where the tournament’s sixth-seeded Buckeyes play host at the Scarlet Course Thursday through Saturday. The regional bid marks 18-consecutive under coach Therese Hession, and the team has appeared in the national tournament 12 times. Twenty-four teams will compete in the regional tournament along with six individuals. National Championship bids will be awarded to the top eight teams and top two individuals. The National Championship will be held at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. May 22-25. The Buckeyes finished sixth in the regional tournament at Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind. in 2011, qualifying for nationals, claiming the regions final spot. The squad went on to card a 905 and finish 21st. OSU is one of only three Big Ten schools competing in their region, along with Purdue and Michigan. read more

International recruiting an asset for Ohio State womens tennis

The OSU women’s tennis team currently has 4 international players occupying its roster in sophomore Ferny Angeles Paz (left), sophomore Miho Kowase, junior Grainne O’Neill and sophomore Gabriella De Santis.Credit: Whitney Wilson / Lantern reporterTraveling to America from a foreign country can be a big change, offering an unfamiliar culture with new languages and learning experiences for some international students.The Ohio State women’s tennis team (12-4, 5-0) has eight players on its roster. Only half of those players are from the United States. The other four have traveled thousands of miles from Peru, Japan, Ireland and Venezuela to become Buckeyes.Coach Melissa Schaub said she considers international players to be great assets for the team.“Tennis is a very international sport, so you see a lot of international players in college tennis,” Schaub said. “It is much more popular in other countries than it is here in the U.S. These girls have been traveling around the world since a young age playing tennis, which is something not every American gets to do.”She said it can be difficult selecting eight scholarship players who can easily adapt to the program.“Recruiting in general is probably one of the biggest aspects of our job,” Schaub said. “There are some really good international tournaments called the Orange Bowl and Eddie Herr where you get to see the international players but get to stay here in the U.S. Once you see what you’re looking for, then you will take a trip over there to meet their coach and their family before bringing them to the U.S. for a visit.”Schaub said the girls brought a lot of experience as far as tournaments and playing internationally. She said the four international players have been a great addition to the program as teammates who show support for one another.“We have a good mix of different players on our team, and the American kids get to have a little bit of culture,” Schaub said. “College athletics for any athlete is an amazing experience, but for the international players, it’s even more amazing in some ways because in most other countries it’s either you continue with school or you continue with tennis, and here they get to do both.”Sophomore Gabby De Santis from Venezuela said she would have been faced with that difficult decision in her home country. Santis added that one advantage of moving to America is learning about a new culture while continuing her tennis and academic careers.“It’s interesting to know different people that think in different ways,” Santis said. “It is much more competitive here than in Venezuela where I would not have had the opportunity to study and play at a collegiate level at the same time.”Sophomore Ferny Angeles Paz said her native country of Peru and the U.S. are different in many ways.“I’ve never played indoors in Peru. It is very different because we don’t have indoor courts,” Paz said. “It’s pretty tough here. Everyone is good, everyone practices hard, and every team is competitive, so it’s tough.”Japanese sophomore Miho Kowase said the opportunity to move to the U.S. has offered several difficulties and benefits beyond playing tennis.“It’s hard for me because my family is 13 hours time difference compared to America,” Kowase said. “My sister lives in Georgia, so that has really helped me adjust to living in America. Also, for me to learn English and being able to speak English is such a huge advantage in Japan.”Junior Grainne O’Neill from Ireland said Buckeye tradition is what has helped make her experience at OSU so gratifying.“It’s great, I feel like the whole Buckeye community really helped me out big time when I first moved here because I really did not know anything at all,” O’Neill said. “It’s just great to have people behind you. We have a whole team and our coaches and staff are great so they really have helped out big time. When we travel to different places you hear ‘O-H’ and ‘Go Bucks’ and that’s really nice.”With no seniors on the roster, all eight players are set to return next year for the 2015-16 season. In the meantime, the Buckeyes (12-4, 5-0) are set to take on Purdue on Friday in Columbus at 3 p.m. read more

Block O leader Mr Ohio State rallying the pack for one more

It’s an unusually breezy, cloudy Saturday morning in early September. Tents are lined up in the parking lot of the southwest entrance of Ohio Stadium.It’s the calm before the big storm: the Ohio State football team’s home opener vs. Hawaii.Within hours, the tents are filled with tailgaters covered in scarlet and gray or green and black resembling the team being cheered. Speakers are on, bumping hype music to prepare fans for intense cheering.Among the crowd, opposite the southwest entrance, is 23-year-old red-bowtie-wearing Isaac Oyer, also known as Mr. Ohio State. He acquired the nickname Mr. Ohio State after receiving screen time on national television during the OSU vs. Alabama Sugar Bowl game in January.“People I didn’t even know would message me. The amount of Twitter notifications, text messages and Facebook messages I got from people being like ‘dude you’re all over TV’ was unbelievable,” Oyer said. By 10 a.m on Saturday, Oyer was with his crew of friends joking around before leading his peers into the ‘Shoe for work. His job is more fun than tough. He’s the president of OSU’s Block “O” student section.“I’m in charge of basically the whole organization, making sure everyone is doing their job … and honestly just to make it the best experience we can for our student athletes,” Oyer said.Block “O” is the official student section of OSU athletics. The organization is made up of an executive board and committees for all sports teams.  Being from Springfield, Virginia, and in a brand new element in Columbus, Julia Schwabenbauer, a third-year in business, said Block “O” helped her get accustomed to life at OSU.“I didn’t know a lot of people coming from out of state, but standing in Block “O” I felt super-connected to the school,” Schwabenbauer said. “I became friends with everyone around me. It felt like home.”Becoming the president of Block “O” was unexpected for Oyer. With no family ties to OSU, he didn’t pay attention to Buckeye sports teams, nor did he ever see sports in his future, despite being a three-sport athlete in high school.“I actually wasn’t an Ohio State fan growing up in Columbus. Neither of my parents went to Ohio State. After coming here, I don’t know, Buckeye Nation takes over you,” Oyer said.He said his plan was always to attend OSU to get a degree in engineering so he could follow in his father’s footsteps, but his plan didn’t go accordingly.  “I wasn’t really doing well with my chemical engineering and chemistry classes. I was really struggling. (My) GPA was super low,” Oyer said.   After struggling with his then-major, he did some thinking as to where he’d want to end up later in life.“I never thought sports would be a thing, and even being in Block “O,” heavily involved in Block “O,” I never thought of sports. And then after struggling with engineering for so long and being into sports as I am, it clicked,” he said.Things clicked for Oyer when he realized he should get involved in the sports world. Step one, he said, was to change majors from engineering to classics as a way to have an easier courseload. The next step was to focus on Block “O” and gain experience with internships to get real-world experiences.“I knew a lot of people from the Blue Jackets, like in their front office, from playing hockey when I was like 5 or 6 years old … so I reached out to them and set up a meeting and kind of got me an internship with the Blue Jackets,” Oyer said.Michelle Bucklew, marketing director for Block “O,” said she sees excitement through her friend Oyer.“Obviously he gets a lot of TV time, but if you ever see him on TV, you know he’s excited about Ohio State, his job and what he’s doing,” said Bucklew, a fourth-year in marketing.Though Oyer is always in the frontlines leading the pack to cheer for OSU athletics, Bucklew said he has not yet joined the superfan ranks attained by fans such as “The Big Nut” and “Buck-I-Guy.”“I think he created an image for himself the last year or so, but I don’t know if it’s superfan material,” Bucklew said.All in all, Oyer said things have come full circle from his time as a high-school sophomore aspiring to be a general manager for a sports team to now.“It’s just nice doing something that I love,” he said. Block O president Isaac Oyer, also known by his nickname ‘Mr. Ohio State’, before OSU’s home opener against Hawaii on Sept. 12 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor read more

Bayerns secret to stop Cristiano Ronaldo

first_imgBayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng believes that Cristiano Ronaldo can be stopped on Wednesday night by closing down his spaceThe Portuguese star has produced another outstanding campaign in the Champions League this season for Real Madrid with Ronaldo having scored 15 goals.Real will travel to the Allianz Area in Munich for the first leg of their semi-final against Bayern, whom Ronaldo has scored against nine times in his six matches.Boateng acknowledges that stopping the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will play a key part in Bayern’s chances of making the final in Kiev and has called on his teammates to come together and give the “machine” as little space as possible.“We can only stop Cristiano Ronaldo as a team,” Boateng told German magazine Kicker (via Express).“In front of goal, he’s like a machine. You can’t shut him out completely, he always gets his chances in a game because of the lines he runs and his excellent timing.rb leipzig, bayern munichReport: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“Real base their game around him and it’s important we give him as little room as possible.“There is a no more complete striker than Ronaldo. Left foot, right foot, header – he is in perfect control of everything he does.“I went through only once against him with Bayern, but twice we have gone out.“He also has the best team-mates at Real. Shutting him out is only 50 per cent of it, the other players are simply too good for that at this level.”On the back of a disappointing domestic season, Real are now looking to save their campaign by winning the Champions League for an unprecedented third consecutive time. While Bayern last won the competition in 2013.last_img read more

Montella feels sorry for the fans

first_imgVincenzo Montella was sacked by Sevilla and he insisted that he feels sorry especially for the fans and he wants to apologize for the recent results – in his last game, Sevilla were beaten 2-1 by Levante…Montella managed to eliminate Manchester United from the Champions League and played very good two games against Bayern despite being beaten – but in the domestic competitions, it wasn’t that good and the club decided to sack the Italian coach.The former AC Milan manager spoke about his end at the club as he said, according to Sports Keeda:Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“Thank you to the fans, who have been magnificent.”“I want to salute the players, who have made a huge effort – so much of which has been for me. I also want to thank all the people who work for the club who I’ve not been able to say goodbye to.”“I’m very sorry for the last moments. I can say that I’ve worked with strength and enthusiasm until the end. I’m convinced the club can qualify for Europe and for that reason, I ask for the fans to be close to the players and to give them their upmost support.”last_img read more

Lopetegui will be a great coach for Real Madrid – Isco

first_imgSpain ace Isco is excited over Real Madrid’s appointment of former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as the new manager.Lopetegui was fired for accepting the appointment without adequate information to the Spain football governing body last week just a day before the World Cup began but while the situation has seen some criticism of Lopetegui, Isco says he’s happy to see the former national coach take charge of the European champions.“He’s a coach who I’ve known for many years; we worked together right the way up the Spain set-up. He’s given me confidence when I haven’t been enjoying a central role at my club, and he’s a great coach,” he told a press conference on Monday via Goal.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.He also stressed that even though Spain have not won their opening game at a World Cup since 2006, they will look for improvements in their upcoming matches in Group B against Iran and Morocco. He also believes last week’s incidents have brought the squad closer together.“This team has so much heart, pride and desire to do well,” he added. “When the tough gets going, we rise to the challenge. We were dealt a setback and the team got on with it.“Even when we conceded a goal in the third minute [against Portugal] we refused to go under. This team never gives up.”last_img read more