BARCELONA, Spain (AP): A Barcelona official has been dismissed from an institutional-relations role after he said Lionel Messi would not be as good if he didn’t have great teammates, the club announced yesterday. Barcelona said it relieved Pere Gratacos from his responsibilities because “he publicly expressed a personal opinion that did not coincide with the opinion of the entity”. Gratacos was responsible for the club’s institutional relations with the Spanish football federation. Barcelona said he will remain working on other projects within the club. The official told Spanish media after the Copa del Rey draw yesterday that “Leo is one of the most important players of the team, but he wouldn’t be as good without Neymar, (Luis) Suarez, (Gerard) Pique, (Andres) Iniesta and the rest of the players.” He added that “obviously Messi is the best player”. Gratacos was answering a question about Messi’s importance after the team advanced to the Copa quarter-finals with a win over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, when Messi scored a decisive free-kick goal. The official’s comments came as Messi, a five-time World Player of the Year, is reportedly negotiating a new contract with the Catalan club. The 29-year-old Argentine has 12 goals in the last 11 games. He’s scored decisive free-kick goals in all three of Barcelona’s matches this year.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche admitted he was left disappointed with his side’s performance level as the Clarets were thumped 4-0 by West Brom at the Hawthorns.England youngster Saido Berahino led the way for the Baggies with a brace, with Craig Dawson and Graham Dorrans also scoring as Burnley slumped to their third defeat of the season.The result leaves the Lancashire outfit rock-bottom of the Premier League, having failed to score in eight hours and 46 minutes of football since netting their sole goal of the campaign in the 3-1 opening day defeat to Chelsea.And after another poor performance from the promoted side, Dyche admitted his team deserved nothing from the game.“Disappointing pretty much covers it, but credit to West Brom and the way they played, they were excellent,” said the Clarets boss.“You can’t afford to have a bad game against a side like that in the Premier League.“I was really disappointed with the performance level. We pride ourselves in the way the players operate, their energy and their commitment to the cause and I thought the mixture wasn’t there.“We lacked energy and we gave the ball away endlessly and you can’t do that at any level, let alone in the Premier League.“We just didn’t deal with it. I won’t hide behind the fact we had players missing and it was very poor we gave two goals away from corners.“Everyone knows the script. If you pull a goal back at 2-0 you’re back in it.“The players need to have the mentality to cope with that. In the Championship you can get away with it if three or four players have a bad game, but not in the Premier League – it’s relentless.”
FRESNO A suspect has been arrested who authorities believe was involved in causing a crash involving more than 100 cars and trucks on Saturday that killed at least two people and injured dozens more, the California Highway Patrol said.<p Eighteen big rigs were involved in the massive pileup on Highway 99 just south of Fresno as patches of dense fog obscured visibility on the heavily traveled roadway, CHP officials said. <p CHP Officer Kirk Arnold said an arrest had been made as a result of the crash investigation, but could not confirm the charges on which the suspect is being held. The person, whom the CHP is not yet identifying, is being held in Fresno County Jail, Arnold said. Officials identified one of the victims as Travis Rogers, 26. A 5-year-old also died but has not been identified, Arnold said. The two victims were traveling in separate vehicles when the chain-reaction collisions occurred around 7:45 a.m. CHP Officer Paul Solorzano, Jr. described the scene as”something out of a movie, walking up and seeing all the cars mangled and crushed.” Rescuers had to extract several people trapped in the wreckage, and paramedics transported more than three dozen patients to the hospital with injuries, Fresno City Fire Department spokesman Ken Shockley said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. The freeway’s northbound lanes around Clovis Avenue were shut down indefinitely as investigators worked to determine the cause of the crash. Traffic backed up for miles south of the wreckage. Southbound lanes remained opened. Arnold said the freeway would not be reopened until midnight at the earliest because of the ongoing investigation. Two of the big rigs leaked 90 gallons of diesel fuel onto the freeway when their fuel tanks ruptured, but the diesel was contained. No hazardous materials were spilled, CHP officials said. Hours after the accident, the freeway was littered with smashed cars and trucks, broken glass, auto parts and blood. A big rig carrying stacked crates of live turkeys was stranded in the middle of the normally busy highway. Crash victims gathered on the freeway shoulder near the wreckage, waiting to be interviewed by investigators. Cindy Ramirez, 21, of Selma, said her purple Mazda pickup truck was rear-ended as she was driving to her job washing windows in Shaver Lake. “Everybody was trying to miss everybody, but it was impossible not to get hit,” Ramirez said. “I’m fine physically, but I keep thinking about all of the things that could have happened.” Omar Macias, 33, was hauling asphalt from Bakersfield to Elk Grove when his truck was caught in the pileup. “I got out to check on people at first, and then I heard more crashes around me, so I got right back in,” said Macias of Bakersfield. “I feel OK, but I don’t what OK means right now. People got hurt.” Even as investigators interviewed dazed drivers on the roadside, crews began sprinkling sand on the freeway and sweeping up shattered glass. Thick seasonal fog known as “Tule fog” typically occurs in Central California in the late fall and winter. Two people died along a nearby stretch of fog-blanketed Highway 99 in an 74-vehicle pileup in 2002, and another section of the roadway several miles south was the scene of a 74-vehicle crash that left two dead nearly a decade ago. “There was probably two-foot visibility in the fog when I got here. It was really bad,” said Mike Bowman, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “It looked like chaos. Cars were backed up on top of each other.” Micky Padilla of Porterville was driving with his family to a baptism when they heard the sound of metal screeching, struggled to brake and slammed into a Nissan Maxima. Padilla ran out and found a man bleeding in a white pickup. The man was still breathing minutes later when firefighters arrived, but later died on the highway, Padilla said. “It was just bang, bang all around us,” Padilla said, shaking his head as he stood next to a puddle of blood on the blacktop. “I can’t believe I still have my wife and my kids. Someone was looking out for us.” Associated Press writers Marcus Wohlsen and Jason Dearen contributed to this report from San Francisco.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsShe wasn’t originally sold on the idea, but accepted it after her son proved he was dedicated to his goal, she said. “For a 7-year-old to be that motivated and stick with a goal that long is amazing,” she said. “Any time a 7-year-old has that strong of a desire, as long as it’s a good desire, you should support it. He’s worked hard for it.” The second-grader got the idea when he saw a magazine story about a 9-year-old boy who became the youngest to make the swim. He asked his swim coach, Joe Zemaitis of Scottsdale, if he thought he could do it. Zemaitis said yes – partly, he said, because he thought Braxton was talking about some time before he turned 9, not while he was still 7. “If you were to ask me if a 7-year-old is old enough to do it, I’d say maybe one out of 10 million,” Zemaitis said. “But he’s that one.” Braxton has been training two hours a day four times a week. He also did training swims in several Arizona lakes and on a trip to the San Francisco Bay last month.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PHOENIX – A 7-year-old boy from Arizona will try to swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco’s Aquatic Park today. Braxton Bilbrey, a second-grader from Glendale, Ariz., who has completed several short-scale youth triathlons, will be accompanied on the estimated 1.4-mile swim by his coach and two other strong adult swimmers. “It kind of seems like a long way, but I’m not totally worried,” said Braxton, whose swim also will be monitored by a Coast Guard watercraft. “It’s not that far.” His mother, Stacey Bilbrey, said she is confident Braxton is well prepared and will be safe with the other swimmers, who have made the crossing numerous times.
talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham has slammed Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez for putting his own reputation before the team against Chelsea.The Magpies lost 2-1 at St James’ Park in an ultra-defensive display which saw them enjoy only 18% of the ball. impact highlights Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade “Rafa is protecting his own ego” ⚫️⚪️@talkSPORTDrive has his say on the #NUFC tactics v #CFCThoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/vlxqLtPutj— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 27, 2018“If that was a game for Newcastle to stay in the Premier League, would Jonjo Shelvey have played? Pretty certain he would’ve. Same with Jamaal Lascelles.“It wasn’t that he [Benitez] was giving up, it was that he was trying to stop Chelsea whatever way he could because he didn’t want to be embarrassed.“So, it became about Rafa protecting his own ego rather than Newcastle trying to win the game.”Sarri admitted he was surprised by the approach of Benitez who, according to the Blues manager, does not usually set up like that.After the game, he said: “I was surprised at the beginning because in Italy I have never seen Rafa [Benitez] play with five defenders. So I was really surprised.” Benitez set up to frustrate Chelsea Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri succeeded Benitez at Napoli in 2015 and Durham believes the Spaniard’s ego influenced his tactics on Sunday.He said: “I don’t think it’s to try and nab a point, although that might be a nice little by-product. I actually think it’s worse than that.“It’s that he doesn’t want to be embarrassed. He certainly doesn’t want to be embarrassed by Sarri, who basically got hold of his Napoli side and turned it into something really special.“So, he’s already been embarrassed by Sarri once. If Benitez is going to try and play expansive football, he knows that Sarri-ball could absolutely ruin him. How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures 1 smart causal LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS gameday Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack ALTERED MONEY silverware Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener Best clips, calls and talkSPORT moments of 2019, feat Hearn, McCoist and more possible standings England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade
THE mum and dad of missing Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in Portugal five years ago, say they still believe their daughter will be found alive.Kate and Gerry McCann say Scotland Yard’s ongoing review of the case has given them hope and they have ‘no doubt’ the Portugese police will re-open the case.Madeleine was just three years old when she disappeared on May 3, 2007 – five years ago tomorrow. Her dad Gerry has a large number of relatives throughout County Donegal – Maddie was with the rest of the family on a trip here just three weeks before she was snatched from a holiday flat.She is pictured above, second from left, during her Donegal holiday.Police in Portugal said last week that they had found “no new element” to justify re-launching their inquiry into how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to the Algarve.But the McCanns added their voices to calls from Scotland Yard for the case to be reopened. Gerry McCann, 43, said today: “I think the most important thing is that a lot of the investigation opportunities are in Portugal. I think it’s fairly clear that the case will have to be reopened for those to be pursued adequately.”He added: “We weren’t expecting a knee-jerk reaction by any means. This is an ongoing dialogue, and I am sure the investigation will get opened again in due course. I have no doubt about that. It will get reopened.”Kate said today: “It’s certainly the best way that we’re going to find Madeleine, and who took her. If people want to find Madeleine, and want to find the person who took her, then we need the case to be reopened.” ‘MADELEINE WILL BE FOUND ALIVE’ SAY MISSING GIRL’S PARENTS was last modified: May 2nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:’MADELEINE WILL BE FOUND ALIVE’ SAY MISSING GIRL’S PARENTSmadeleine mccann donegal
SAN JOSE — Sharks coach Pete DeBoer isn’t afraid to acknowledge that the bar is set a little higher for his team this year.In the wake of Erik Karlsson’s arrival in training camp, the Sharks are expected to contend for a Stanley Cup this season. Anything short of that goal will be a disappointment.“I’m not one of those guys that doesn’t want to talk about it,” said DeBoer, who will coach in his 800th game behind an NHL bench on Monday. “That’s the reality.”Get Sharks news in your inbox. Sign …
Colombia scored twice in six minutes in a lively second half to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 at the World Cup on Thursday and move to the brink of the knockout stage.Colombia’s James Rodriguez (10) celebrates with teammate Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado after scoring his side’s first goal during the group C World Cup soccer match between Colombia and Ivory Coast at the Estadio Nacional in Brazil on June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)James Rodriguez’s powerful header from a corner in the 64th minute was quickly followed by a low finish by substitute Juan Quintero, securing the South Americans’ second straight win in Group C in front of a partisan pro-Colombian crowd.Gervinho reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute with a superb run and shot inside the near post, but the Ivory Coast could not find an equalizer despite a strong finish.A point against Japan in its third game will definitely seal qualification for Colombia but it could be secured before that, depending on the result of Japan-Greece later Thursday.