Liverpool’s Salah is the idol of his Egyptian village

first_imgWhile the house of the player’s father, Salah Ghali, resembles others in the village, it was quieter: no-one was looking out of an open window, and no clothes hung from the house.The village has been the focus of huge media interest as Salah has risen to stardom, but family members at his house in Nagrig refused to talk to reporters “out of respect for his wishes”.– Gruelling daily journey –Salah’s journey, figuratively as well as literally, was anything but easy.“His talent clearly showed from the beginning,” said Ghamri Abdel-Hameed el-Saadani, who was the juniors coach at the Nagrig Youth Centre, where Salah started training at the age of eight.Still, Salah’s success is not just due to his talent, “it’s also a product of a will of steel, effort, and determination”, said Saadani.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 On Wednesday his talent will be on show in the Champions League as Liverpool tackle Porto.Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, 12, gazes in admiration at the three-storey house where Salah was born and raised, which overlooks a narrow dirt road like most of the houses in the village, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) northwest of Cairo.“I hope to be like Mohamed Salah when I grow up,” Abdel-Gawad told AFP.“Mohamed Salah has become a professional player because of his ethics and humbleness.”In Nagrig as well as in Basyoun, the closest town, the youth centres were renamed after the Egyptian star.Fully aware that his success has become an inspiration for children in Egypt and Africa more widely, Salah addressed them in his acceptance speech when he won the African player of the year accolade in January, telling them: “Never stop dreaming, never stop believing.” Mohamed SalahCairo, Egypt | AFP | Deep in Egypt’s Nile Delta region, the children of Nagrig village have a clear goal in life: they want to become football stars like Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s top scorer and Africa’s top player.Salah, who hails from their village, has been one of the sensations of the Premier League since joining Liverpool — his goal in the victory against Southampton on Sunday was his 29th of the season.Further enhancing his status as a national hero, Salah played a key role in leading Egypt to the World Cup finals in Russia later this year.last_img read more

The Bundesliga is back, so can Dortmund catch Bayern?

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Can Bayern Munich see off the chasing pack to claim an eighth straight title as the Bundesliga returns behind closed doors?Berlin, Germany | AFP |  Bayern Munich are in pole position to win an eighth straight title, but Borussia Dortmund lead the chasing pack and are spearheaded by Erling Braut Haaland as the Bundesliga comes out of its coronavirus-enforced hibernation this weekend.AFP Sport takes a look at what is at stake on the field when the German top flight ends a two-month shutdown to play out its final nine matchdays.– Some things stay the same… –Teams have undergone testing and been forced into quarantine training camps because of the virus, and all matches will be played behind closed doors in the league with the highest attendances in world football.So this will not be the Bundesliga as we know it, but something else may be just as before — Bayern, the country’s most successful club, are on track to win another title, which would be their eighth in a row.They had put a patchy start to the season under Niko Kovac behind them before the shutdown, with Hansi Flick coming in as coach and Bayern winning 10 and drawing one of their last 11 league games.The Bavarians are four points clear of Dortmund at the top and have been busy since their last game, with Flick signing a new contract until 2023.Key players Thomas Mueller and Alphonso Davies followed suit by penning extensions of their own, while former striker Miroslav Klose has joined as assistant coach.With Robert Lewandowski scoring 25 goals in 23 games, Bayern are formidable. They still have to visit Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, although it remains to be seen how much home advantage will matter without fans.– Watch out for Haaland –It could still just about be a four-horse title race, with Borussia Moenchengladbach six points off the pace in fourth, but Dortmund are best-placed to stop Bayern.Lucien Favre’s side were last seen going out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain, but before that were in thrilling form led by young stars Haaland and Jadon Sancho.They won seven out of eight league games after 19-year-old Norwegian powerhouse Haaland arrived from Red Bull Salzburg. He scored nine goals in that run.Dortmund, though, will not be able to rely on their fans who usually pack the 81,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park and their next two home games — against Ruhr rivals Schalke on Saturday and then Bayern — will lose much of their edge as a result.“Having to play behind closed doors is an enormous challenge, especially for a club like BVB, which draws a lot of strength from the passion of its supporters,” admitted Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke. Dortmund also must still visit Leipzig, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals before the suspension but whose patchy league form after the winter break saw them fall off the pace.In Timo Werner, they have their own fearsome striker. And in Julian Nagelsmann, 32, they have one of Europe’s most exciting young coaches, so anything is possible.Gladbach were the last team to beat Bayern in the league but would now settle for holding off fifth-placed Leverkusen to secure Champions League qualification.There are two points between those sides, who are due to meet next weekend.Beneath them, in the fight for one Europa League spot, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Freiburg and Hoffenheim are all within two points.– Bremen in danger –At the bottom Paderborn prop up the division but the plight of Werder Bremen is more striking.The four-time champions are four points adrift of Fortuna Dusseldorf in the relegation play-off place and eight points from outright safety.They have a game in hand, but are in danger of following the path of Hamburg and Stuttgart, two giants to have been relegated in recent seasons.“We all know how precarious our league position is. That’s motivation enough,” said sporting director Frank Baumann when asked about playing home games without fans.Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin seem far enough clear of relegation trouble but it has been a chaotic campaign in the capital.Bruno Labbadia has become the club’s fourth coach this season since the shutdown began, with Jurgen Klinsmann’s short-lived time in charge ending.last_img read more

Police will release evidence in FHP trooper’s death

first_imgThe Martin County Sheriff’s Office will reveal critical evidence on Friday in the case of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was shot and killed on Interstate 95 in Martin County earlier this month.UPDATED: Riviera Beach Officer Fatally Shoots Suspect Who Killed FHP Trooper in Martin Co. LIVE: Funeral Procession of Fallen FHP Trooper Joe Bullock Investigators said Trooper Joseph Bullock, 42, was shot and killed on Feb. 5 while trying to help a disabled vehicle in the northbound lanes of I-95. The shooter was identified as 28-year-old Franklin Reed III.On Friday, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder will release a timeline of the events leading up to Trooper Bullock’s tragic death, along with 911 calls and video evidence from the crime.Witness says shooter who killed FHP trooper was allegedly angry about car being towedlast_img read more

McDonald overcomes shaky 1st, Pirates beat Red Sox 4-3

first_imgROUGH START—James McDonald throws during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, March 18, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) BRADENTON, Fla. (AP)—James McDonald was not rattled by his rough start.McDonald labored in the first inning, then recovered as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 Monday.“I got locked back in, kept my composure and finished strong,” McDonald said. “I didn’t let the game get away from me. I felt confident—every pitch, every moment out there.”Ryan Lavarnway hit a two-run single in the first. McDonald then retired 11 of 14 batters. He gave up four hits and three walks in five innings and struck out six.This was the second game in a row that McDonald overcame a rocky first inning.“It’s definitely correctable,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s got some weapons. With James, it’s about rhythm, pace and timing. That improved as the game went on. We’ve got to keep him working and take the cerebral part out of it.”McDonald has a 4.19 ERA in five games with 4 strikeouts in 19 1-3 innings.Neil Walker homered to end Clay Buchholz’s 9 1-3 inning scoreless streak and Gaby Sanchez hit a two-run drive.Walker’s leadoff homer in the second was the only hit off Buchholz, who struck out four and walked two in five innings.Sanchez homered in the seventh against Chris Carpenter, and Michael McKenry hit a solo drive off Oscar Villarreal in the eighth.NOTES: Red Sox DH David Ortiz’s scheduled batting practice was canceled due to continued pain in both heels. “He’s not ready for that next phase,” Farrell said…The start of the game was delayed by 48 minutes, but it didn’t start raining until after the tarp was removed and play got under way…The Pirates reassigned RHPs Gerrit Cole, Brooks Brown, Kyle Waldrop, LHP Kris Johnson and C Ali Solis to their minor league camp. RHP Phil Irwin was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. Cole, the first overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, is the team’s top prospect.…Closer Jason Grilli pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning in his first appearance for the Pirates since pitching for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.last_img read more