Zinedine Zidane insists he did not disrespect Gareth Bale when he said it would be good if he left Real Madrid sooner rather than later.Zidane caused a stir when he stated last weekend that he hoped Wales star Bale would leave the La Liga club soon, adding: “It would be best for everyone.”Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Madrid head coach “a disgrace” for his remarks, as talk of an imminent move to the Chinese Super League gathered pace. Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Zidane has now hit back at such suggestions and claims Bale himself declined to play in the 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich on Sunday because the club was trying to arrange his transfer. “I’ll try to be very clear with this, with Gareth,” he told a news conference on Monday.”Firstly, I have not disrespected anyone, least of all a player because I always said the same thing, that players are the most important thing and every time there is a player here I am always with them.”Secondly, I said the club was trying to get him out. Period.”Thirdly, the other day Gareth didn’t play because he didn’t want to. He said the club was trying to negotiate his departure he and didn’t want to play because of that.”So far, Bale hasn’t asked not to play tomorrow.When the subject of Bale was brought up again, he said: “You keep asking about this situation. Nothing will change today – he’s going to go and train now. The club is doing what it has to do.”He will train normally, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”Bale has been linked with Chinese Super League clubs Jiangsu Suning and Beijing Guoan, who are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.Madrid face Arsenal in Maryland on Tuesday.
Josef Martinez scored in his 11th consecutive MLS match on Monday night as Atlanta United topped the Portland Timbers in an MLS Cup rematch.The Venezuelan striker scored in the 46th minute of Sunday night’s match at Mercedez-Benz Stadium, netting his 16th goal in that 11-game span.Martinez’s finish came on an assist from Julian Gressell, who found the striker at the top of the box, where he was able to fire up and over goalkeeper Steve Clarke to all but seal the 2-0 victory. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? He won’t stop! 😡That’s 11 straight MLS games with a goal for @JosefMartinez17. #PORvATL pic.twitter.com/P2oYF2ejlP— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 19, 2019The forward’s finish was preceded by a first-half goal from Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, who was able to fire home from close range following a set-piece scramble.With Monday’s goal, Martinez set the MLS record for most consecutive matches with a goal, a record previously held by Diego Valeri and matched by Martinez himself last season.After firing 19 goals in 20 games in his debut campaign, the forward ended up scoring 31 total goals last season, an MLS record, while earning Most Valuable Player honors en route to Atlanta’s MLS Cup triumph over the Timbers in just their second season.This season, Martinez has scored 21 goals in 23 games, good for second-best in the league behind Los Angeles Football Club star Carlos Vela.The Mexican forward is on a record-setting pace as well, having scored 24 goals while providing 15 assists to break Sebastian Giovinco’s record for most goal contributions in one season with nine games remaining in the MLS season.With Monday’s win, Atlanta United sits atop the Eastern Conference, level on points with the Philadelphia Union despite having played one fewer match.Atlanta also has the Union on goal differential, having scored 15 more goals than they’ve conceded compared to the Union’s eight.New York City FC also remains in the mix, sitting four points back of the two leaders with two games in hand on Atlanta.Next up for the defending MLS Cup champions is a match with Orlando City on Friday before the attention turns towards the U.S. Open Cup finale against Minnesota United.The Five Stripes have already won a trophy this season, having topped Club America 3-2 in the Campeones Cup last week.
CHAPEL HILL, NC – OCTOBER 07: Ian Book #12 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rolls out against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game at Kenan Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Notre Dame, with backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush at the helm, handled Florida State on Saturday night – prevailing 42-13 – to keep its undefeated campaign alive. But the Fighting Irish have a much tougher opponent this coming Saturday in Syracuse, and fans are wondering if they’ve have their starting signal-caller – Ian Book – back in the fold.In short, it’s looking good.Pete Sampson of The Athletic reports that “all signs” point to Book being ready for the game against the Orange. That’d be big news for a team looking to make the College Football Playoff for the first time.Book is dealing with an “upper body injury” – the school hasn’t offered much more on the exact nature of it.Asked Brian Kelly about Ian Book’s status for Syracuse. Offers a non-answer. So, we’ll see. Will be an ongoing question this week, obviously.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 11, 2018Follow up on Ian Book from @timprister and Brian Kelly clarifies.All signs point to Book being ready for Syracuse, per Kelly.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 11, 2018Notre Dame, with a 10-0 record, has just two games left on its schedule – against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium and on the road at rival USC. It’s a solid bet that if the Fighting Irish win those two games, they’ll be afforded a chance to play for it all in the College Football Playoff.Syracuse, meanwhile, is in the midst of a resurgent season under head coach Dino Babers. The Orange are 8-2 and will likely be ranked No. 12 in the country when the two squads meet.Book’s status will likely be a hot topic as the game gets closer. We’ll keep you updated.
COLLEGE STATION, TX – OCTOBER 03: General view as Mississippi State Bulldogs kicks off to the Texas A&M Aggies in the first quarter on October 3, 2015 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)A new video has surfaced appearing to show what started the post-game fight between Texas A&M and LSU’s football staffs following the Aggies’ crazy overtime victory.The video, acquired by Sports Illustrated, shows the lead up to the post-game fracas in which members of both staffs went at it.From SI.com:Sports Illustrated obtained an eight-second video clip of footage shot in the immediate aftermath of last Saturday’s thriller in College Station, showing the event that triggered the physical altercation involving Fisher, LSU analyst Steve Kragthorpe, LSU director of player development Kevin Faulk and LSU safety John Battle. In the video, Dameyune Craig, a former LSU assistant who now coaches receivers for the Aggies, runs across the field toward Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron, swinging a balled fist in celebration of his team’s win over his former school and the coach who fired him in February 2017. Craig is seen shouting at Orgeron and moving within three feet of the coach before being physically restrained by Fisher, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher’s nephew who is a student manager for the team.The video then shows Craig stalking the LSU sideline confronting other members of the LSU football team, including a close encounter with starting quarterback Joe Burrow, all the while with Fisher attempting to restrain the coach. Toward the end of the clip, Craig bumps into what appears to be a member of the team’s strength staff, prompting several staff members to surround the coach and Fisher seconds before the altercation transpires. Craig rushed across the field so quickly that he did not detach his headset device, and the headsets are clearly visible dangling near his feet, trampled over by Craig and Fisher in this mad dash.The video can be seen below:Here’s a look at the available clips from the #LSU and #Aggie postgame dust-up in a rough sequence of events, some of the video is slowed down, so all of this probably happens in 20-30 seconds or real time action. Video from @BrentZwerneman @RossDellenger reports pic.twitter.com/4S4Qz7AdmF— Michael Cauble (@Cauble) November 29, 2018The SEC is reviewing the incidents that took place following this game and punishment could be handed out to members of LSU and Texas A&M’s staffs.You can view Sports Illustrated’s full report here.
EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 23: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches the warm ups prior to the start of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 23, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)ESPN and the ACC are launching the ACC Network ahead of next football season, and the league is ready to leverage its Notre Dame affiliation to aid the new channel.Notre Dame is on ESPN right now, facing Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Cotton Bowl.Any Notre Dame game is certain to draw a strong rating. There’s a reason for the team’s lucrative deal with NBC for its home games.As part of its arrangement with the ACC, Notre Dame plays five league opponents per year, while maintaining its technical football independence.Next year, the Fighting Irish open at Louisville, and host Virginia, Virginia Tech, and rival Boston College.On November 9, Brian Kelly’s club travels down to Duke.Moments before the Notre Dame football game against Clemson, ESPN announced that the game at Duke will be on ACC Network.From the ACCN Twitter account:Mark your calendars! On November 9, @NDFootball vs. @DukeFOOTBALL will air exclusively on ACC Network. pic.twitter.com/vROGdf2OSJ— ACCN (@accnetwork) December 29, 2018Conference networks have been something of a mixed bag for college leagues. The Big Ten and SEC have done well, but the Pac-12 Network is a disaster, and ESPN’s Longhorn Network partnership with Texas is barely relevant.There are concerns about the ACC Network, as many of the fan bases aren’t as die hard as those in the Big Ten and SEC, but landing even one Notre Dame road game per year will be huge if the ACCN can do it consistently.