Tom Brady reveals biggest reason for leaving Patriots to join Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s surprising decision to leave the New England Patriots last month for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was rooted in a need to seek out new challenges, the 42-year-old quarterback wrote in an essay on Monday.

Brady spent 20 seasons with the Patriots, winning an NFL record six Super Bowls to become arguably the best to ever play the position.

But despite that success, he said he wanted to “do things that have never been done in my sport”.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“Changes and challenges are part of life,” Brady wrote in a heartfelt, 2,600-word piece in the Players’ Tribune.

“They’re part of athletes’ lives. They’re supposed to happen. They need to happen sometimes.

The Northern California native reflected on how he thought he may not even get drafted to the NFL in 2000 before being selected in the sixth round by the Patriots.

The change of coast was disorienting to then 22-year-old but he made his presence count and endeared himself to the passionate Patriots fan base that showered him with cheers of “Tomm-eeee! Tomm-eeee!” from the stands in Foxborough.

“Gillette Stadium holds around 70,000 people, and I’ve never not played in a sold-out stadium during my career as a Patriot. How fortunate am I?”

He also praised Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family, the coaches and the organization, putting to rest rumors that bad blood between the parties is what led to the split.

He said he was motivated to deliver for his new team packed with young talent.

“They’ve welcomed me as one of their own. They want to listen to what I have to say,” he said.

“I’m excited to be embraced fully for what I can bring to the Bucs. In turn I’m ready to embrace fully a team that is confident in what I do — and what I bring — and is willing to go on this ride with me.”

Brady said his body feels great and that he is already in mid-season form.

“Physically, I’m as capable of doing my job as I’ve ever been. Now I want to see what more I can do,” he said.

“I want to see how great I can be.”

Reuters

Source: Read Full Article

Radomir Antic death: Former Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona manager dies, aged 71

Former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid boss Radomir Antic has died at the age of 71.

It’s understood that the Serbian passed away after suffering from complications with pancreatitis.

He enjoyed most of his success at the latter, guiding Atleti to the LaLiga and Copa del Rey double during the 1995-96 season.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Antic had three separate spells in charge at Los Rojiblancos and became only one of two people to coach El Clasico rivals Real and Barca during their career – after Enrique Fernandez Viola.

A statement from Atletico’s official Twitter account read: “The Atletico de Madrid family is mourning the passing of Radomir Antic, one of our legendary coaches. You will forever live in our hearts. Rest in peace.”

Antic, who had one cap for Yugoslavia, spent the final four years of his playing career at Luton before moving into coaching, which was mainly in Spain.

Luton tweeted: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Town legend Radomir Antic, at the age of 71. A true Hatters hero, for promotion and preventing relegation. The thoughts of all at Kenilworth Road are with his family and friends at this terribly sad time. Rest in peace, Raddy”.

He started his managerial career at Real Zaragoza and also has two spells as Real Oviedo boss and a short stint at Celta Vigo.


Sporting deaths in 2020





1/8 David Stern, 77

2/8 Kobe Bryant, 41

3/8 Harry Gregg, 87

4/8 Mickey Wright, 85

5/8 Matthew Watkins, 41

6/8 Roger Mayweather, 58

7/8 Peter Whittingham, 35

8/8 Radomir Antic, 71

1/8 David Stern, 77

2/8 Kobe Bryant, 41

3/8 Harry Gregg, 87

4/8 Mickey Wright, 85

5/8 Matthew Watkins, 41

6/8 Roger Mayweather, 58

7/8 Peter Whittingham, 35

8/8 Radomir Antic, 71

Antic was in charge of the Serbia national team between 2008 and 2010 before finishing his career in China.

PA

Source: Read Full Article

Bayern Munich's Muller agrees two-year contract extension at club

Thomas Muller signs a new three-year contract at Bayern Munich… but crucially keeps his social distance for some VERY unusual announcement photos!

  • Thomas Muller has signed new deal at Bayern Munich to end talk of a move away
  • Muller has been at Bundesliga giants since 2008 and will remain there until 2023
  • The 30-year-old had considered future before Niko Kovac was sacked last year

Thomas Muller has signed a new three-year contract at Bayern Munich to end talk of a move away.

Muller has been at the Bundesliga giants since 2008 and has put pen to paper on a new deal until June 2023.

The 30-year-old crucially kept his social distance for some very unusual announcement photos on Tuesday.  

Thomas Muller has signed a three-year contract at Bayern Munich to end talk of a move away

Muller, seen alongside Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic (L) and executive board member Oliver Khan (R), signed a new deal on Tuesday 

The trio crucially kept their social distance for some very unusual announcement photos

Muller posed with a Bayern Munich shirt alongside the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and executive board member Oliver Khan. The trio kept their distance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The forward had considered his future before Niko Kovac was sacked in November.

Muller played a bit-part role under the former Bayern boss and was on the verge of entering the final year of his deal.

Muller has been at the Bundesliga giants since 2008 and has signed new deal until June 2023

However he has been a key figure under boss Hansi Flick and has now been rewarded with a two-year contract extension. 

‘Both sides signed with an absolutely good feeling. I am sure that if the ball rolls again, we will continue to be very successful,’ Muller told the club’s official website.

‘That spurs me on. For me it was number one priority to extend at Bayern – and the club saw it the same way. 

‘I’m already at FC Bayern for a good two thirds of my life, so you can’t say that I accompany the club or he accompanies me – we fight for each other. 

The 30-year-old forward has been a key figure under boss Hansi Flick during 2019-20 season

‘For me, this association is not just any employer. It is my passion. I am happy that I will be here two years longer and will give my all on the pitch and next to it.’ 

Muller has won the Bundesliga title on eight occasions, the German Cup five times as well as the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern.

Salihamidzic added: ‘I am happy that we were able to agree with Thomas. For us, Thomas is a special player, an identification figure for the club and our fans, a leader who leads the field and has achieved a lot with Bayern. 

‘We know what we have in him. However, Thomas also knows what he has at Bayern. It just fits, we didn’t have to have long talks and we’re all happy that things will continue like this until 2023.’




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Sagna defends Arsenal's Lacazette despite just nine goals

‘He is getting kicked for his team-mates… he is amazing’: Bacary Sagna defends Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette despite forward scoring just nine goals

  • Alexandre Lacazette has fallen down the pecking order under boss Mikel Arteta 
  • Arteta had opted for Eddie Nketiah in attack before the suspension of football
  • Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has praised the work of striker Lacazette

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has defended Alexandre Lacazette despite the forward scoring just nine goals this season.

Lacazette, who has been on the receiving end of some criticism, had been dropped from the starting XI by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta in the weeks prior to the suspension of football.

Arteta had opted for 20-year-old forward Eddie Nketiah in attack, but Sagna has hailed the work of Lacazette.

Alexandre Lacazette has fallen down the pecking order under Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna has defended striker Lacazette despite a lack of goals

‘Laca is vital. He is the type of player who gives everything for the team,’ he told Goal

‘The way he holds the ball, the way he fights for the ball, the way he presses the defence. This is invisible work that not everyone will see. But for Arsenal’s system and the way they want to play, he is amazing.

‘He is getting kicked for his team-mates and this is why, for me, he is vital to the Arsenal system.’ 

In Arsenal’s last match before the postponement of the season due to the coronavirus, Lacazette scored the winning goal against West Ham after coming on as a substitute.

In 26 appearances during the 2019-20 campaign the France international has netted nine goals and supplied three assists.

In Arsenal’s last match before the postponement of the season Lacazette scored the winner




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article

Dana White launches staunch defence of Khabib after UFC 249 fallout criticism

UFC president Dana White insists Khabib Nurmagomedov is not to blame for his showdown with Tony Ferguson falling through for a fifth time. The Russian was set to defend his lightweight title against ‘El Cucuy’ a week on Saturday in the main event of UFC 249, a card which was slated to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, he was forced to withdraw from his long-awaited clash with Ferguson – which has been nearly five years in the making – last week after the Russian government introduced a blanket travel ban.

Somewhat surprisingly, Nurmagomedov received a torrent of criticism for his withdrawal, in particular his decision to return to his homeland after being forced to leave his California training camp due to restrictions imposed by the state and being denied entry to the UAE – where he claims the UFC told him the card would take place.

Many accused the 31-year-old of deliberately returning to Russia to duck Ferguson, a notion his bitter rival Conor McGregor was quick to perpetuate on Twitter.

White, however, insists the fifth cancellation of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson is no fault of the promotion’s 155lb king.

JUST IN: UFC to host fights on a private island as White has coronavirus plan

Nobody is to blame for that one

Dana White on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from UFC 249

“He got caught up in Russia,” White told ESPN early on Tuesday morning. “It was a total mishap. We all made mistakes in that one.

“Nobody is to blame for that one, it is what it is. The fact that we can even pull off and event right now; this is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

White worked tirelessly for weeks to try and find a new venue for the promotion’s fourth pay-per-view card of the year and ensure Nurmagomedov’s eagerly-anticipated clash with Ferguson remained intact.

But the ever-changing global situation well and truly laid waste to those plans.

DON’T MISS

Khabib reveals preferred date for Ferguson clash amid UFC 249 drama

Conor McGregor vs Manny Pacquiao targeted for 2021 as UFC star eyes

Dana White confirms new location for UFC 249

“I could go on for ten minutes telling you how that whole thing fell apart,” White said of Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson. “The reality is that’s nobody’s fault.

“Every day that I got up, the rules changed. Every day. Things were shutting down, things were closing down.”

UFC 249, and indeed the rest of the promotion’s cards for the foreseeable future, will take place at a venue on a private island recently acquired by White.

White’s chances of keeping the card alive were written off by many, with several high-profile names in the sport calling for the 50-year-old to scrap the event.

But after seemingly finding a new home for the card, White feels his efforts have been vindicated.

He said: “Many people thought that this would be impossible for us to pull off.

“I’m always of the mindset that nothing is impossible. We’ll get this figured out.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Source: Read Full Article

Premier League fat cats slammed by Gillingham chief over £125m advance

‘The Premier League fat cats are just looking after themselves’: Gillingham’s chairman SLAMS top-flight plans to advance a £125m payment to the EFL and says football has its ‘head in the sand’ with a financial crisis imminent

  • At a recent Premier League summit, they agreed to advance the EFL £125m
  • But Paul Scally has pointed out that is just money they were due in the future
  • Gillingham chairman has said issue will not ‘blow over’ amid coronavirus crisis 

The Premier League ‘fat cats’ have been accused of abandoning EFL clubs by Gillingham chairman Paul Scally. 

At the recent summit of the 20 top flight clubs, it was agreed that they would pay an advance of £125million from future money owed to the EFL to bail them out amid the coronavirus crisis.

But Scally has told the Premier League that it is not a significant enough sum to save clubs at risk.

The Premier League ‘fat cats’ have been accused of abandoning EFL clubs by Paul Scally

The top flight will advance EFL clubs £125m but Scally has suggested that will not be enough

He told the Mirror: ‘All the Premier League has done is forward us our own money and, alright, that helps the cash flow for now. 

‘But I’m still not sure on what the conditions are yet because these things are never quite what they seem.

‘The proposals don’t mean anything because all the Premier League is doing is advancing the money. I think football should look after football. The fat cats are just looking after themselves.

‘Talk is cheap and let’s see what the detail. But all it is an advance – what happens next year when we don’t get it? I’m not being ungrateful but it doesn’t seem like we’re making much progress.

‘No-one is talking about pay cuts – they talk about deferrals but that’s no good for us in League One and League Two. Deferrals does nothing for us. It just moves the problem further down the road.

‘A lot of people in football are putting their heads in the sand. This isn’t going to just blow over. 

While it helps cash flow for now, Scally is worried about what the money means in the future

‘I’m on a WhatsApp group with League One and League Two and I watch what they all say and there’s a lot of clubs with a lot of problems. There’s some desperate people out there.’ 

Scally clarified that only around 12 per cent of the funds go to League One sides and eight per cent to League Two – with each team receiving around £500,00.

He suggested that figure might not be enough to keep teams going amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Gillingham have not played since a 2-2 draw with Sunderland in League One on March 7. They were 11th in the third tier ahead of the campaign being suspended. 




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

World Cup 2022 in Qatar: New bribe and corruption claims from US prosecutors

Prosecutors have tabled fresh allegations of bribes being paid to FIFA executive committee members to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

An indictment unsealed on Monday in a US District Court in Brooklyn alleges Nicolas Leoz, the then president of South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL, and former Brazil federation president Ricardo Teixeira accepted bribes to vote for the Gulf state at FIFA’s executive committee meeting in 2010.

The indictment also alleges Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, who was president of the North and Central American and Caribbean governing body CONCACAF, received $5m (£4.1m) in bribes to vote for Russia’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

  • Qatar 2022: Worker deaths ‘not in vain’
  • Qatar 2022: No FIFA security concerns
  • Rooney: I shouldn’t have gone to 2006 World Cup

Guatemala federation president Rafael Salguero was also promised a $1m (£815,000) bribe to vote for Russia, according to the indictment, an updated third draft of charges in the matter, which alleges 53 counts of illegal behaviour in total.

The document also alleges a range of bribery and corruption offences in connection to broadcasting rights in North and South America for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, including events that led to the Fox network gaining the rights to show those competitions in the US.

The case has been brought in the US after law enforcement bodies there, headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), undertook to look into allegations of bribery in world football, particularly relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Leoz died last August, having avoided extradition to the US. Warner and Teixeira have also avoided extradition.

Salguero pleaded guilty in 2018 to two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and to single counts of racketeering conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

Warner is alleged to have received bribe money for his Russia vote from 10 separate shell companies spread across countries including Anguilla, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.

“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,” William F Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement issued by the office of the US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York.

“Over a period of many years, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the governance and business of international soccer with bribes and kickbacks, and engaged in criminal fraudulent schemes that caused significant harm to the sport of soccer.

“Their schemes included the use of shell companies, sham consulting contracts and other concealment methods to disguise the bribes and kickback payments and make them appear legitimate.”

Qatar won the right to host the 2022 tournament over the US by a vote of 14-8.

The indictment includes charges that former 21st Century Fox executives Hernan Lopez and Carlos Martinez made payments to CONMEBOL officials to obtain US broadcast rights bidding information from a co-conspirator who was not identified in the indictment.

ESPN had US television rights to the World Cup from 1994-2014, but in 2011 Fox gained the rights for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

After the 2022 tournament in Qatar was rescheduled from summer to late autumn, a time when it is likely to receive less attention than normal in the US due to clashing with the NFL, FIFA awarded Fox the rights for the 2026 World Cup without competitive bidding.

Also charged in the indictment are former Imagina Media Audiovisual CEO Gerard Romy and the Uruguayan sports marketing company Full Play Group SA.

The indictment includes charges of wire fraud and money laundering. The charges against Romy and Full Play also allege racketeering conspiracy.

The indictment, detailed in the statement from the US Attorney’s office, says Lopez and Martinez joined Full Play and other co-conspirators in a scheme involving the annual payment of millions of dollars in bribes to officials of CONMEBOL in exchange for broadcasting rights to South America’s major club tournament, the Copa Libertadores.

“Lopez and Martinez also relied on loyalty secured through the payment of bribes to certain CONMEBOL officials to advance the business interests of Fox, including to obtain confidential bidding information for the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments in the United States, rights that Fox successfully obtained,” the statement said.

In July 2015, the head of Russia 2018 told Sky Sports News that computers used in the bidding process were not deliberately destroyed.

In December 2015, the head of Qatar 2022 said the nation had been unfairly ‘singled out’ for criticism.

In June 2017, FIFA published Michael Garcia and Dr Cornel Brobely’s 430-page report on the inquiry into the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process.

Source: Read Full Article

Former skipper calls out ‘scared’ Aussies

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has scrutinised Australian cricket stars who “sucked up” to India’s players in the hope of securing a lucrative Indian Premier League contract.

Earning an IPL contract is one of the most financially rewarding endeavours for professional cricketers – players can make millions for taking part in the annual six-week tournament.

For example, Australia’s Pat Cummins was offered a record-breaking AU$3.2 million contract to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2020 competition. If he played all 14 matches in the group stage, Cummins would make $9226 for every delivery he bowled.

IPL captains – including high-profile India players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma – are part of the bidding process, and Clarke believes some Australian cricketers were “scared” to sledge their Indian opponents, fearful of hindering their selection chances.

Big Sports Breakfast hosts Laurie Daley and Michael Clarke.Source:Supplied

“Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.

“I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India.

“They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April.

“The players were like, ‘I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $1 million US for my six weeks’.”

During the period between the IPL’s introduction and Michael Clarke’s retirement, Australia never won a Test match in India.

Captained by Ricky Ponting, Australia lost both away Test series against India in 2008 and 2010, failing to win any of the six encounters. When Michael Clarke took over the captaincy, that record did not improve, the Australians suffering an embarrassing 4-0 defeat in 2013.

“I feel like that’s where Australia went through that little phase where our cricket become a little bit softer or not as hard as we’re accustomed to seeing,” Clarke said.

Virat Kohli during the memorable 2017 Test series against AustraliaSource:AFP

However, that “soft” phase seemingly came to a close during the 2017 tour under Steve Smith’s leadership, when Australia won their first match on India soil in 13 years.

Ahead of the opening Test, Kohli said he was “really good friends” with the Australian players, some of which he had played alongside in the IPL. But Smith and the Indian captain were involved in a string of heated confrontations throughout the four-match series, Kohli at one point accusing the Australian skipper of cheating.

Following the tour’s conclusion, Kohli defiantly declared, “The thing I said before the first Test, that has certainly changed, and you won’t hear me say that ever again”.

Despite a cultural change following the ball-tampering saga, Tim Paine continued the rivalry last summer, openly mocking Kohli from behind the stumps.

“I know he’s your captain, but you can’t seriously like him as a bloke,” Paine queried during the Perth Test in December 2018.

Evidently, the Australian captain has no desire to attain an IPL contract.

Source: Read Full Article

The Masters Rewind: How Bubba Watson claimed 2014 Augusta win

Bubba Watson experienced the most recent of his major successes at the 2014 Masters, with the final round of his victory at Augusta being repeated – in full – on Tuesday on Sky Sports Golf.

Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland

Courses

Locations

No results found. Please try another search.

The 2012 champion went into the final round tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth, who was looking to become the youngest Masters champion in history, with 15 players within five shots of the lead.

Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar were among those in the chasing pack, while Miguel Angel Jimenez – then aged 50 – started two strokes back in his bid to become the oldest major champion in history.

Watson went into Sunday having only turned one of his previous seven 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour into a victory, as well as knowing that the previous four Masters champions had overturned a final-day deficit to win the Green Jacket, but ended both records to claim a second Augusta victory.

A three-under 69 on the final day saw Watson end the week on eight under and three strokes clear of Jonas Blixt and Spieth, who held a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play, with Jimenez a further shot back in fourth.

Final round performances (from 15th Club)

The American’s success saw him become only the ninth player to win the Masters twice in a three-year stretch, with Watson, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir combining to make it six Augusta victories for a left-hander in a 12-year period.

Source: Read Full Article

Mike Tyson once offered zookeeper $10,000 to fight a gorilla

Mike Tyson once offered a zookeeper $10,000 to fight a gorilla – because the silverback was bullying the other animals in his enclosure.

Boxing legend Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champion in history and went on to unify the division.

He famously won his first 19 fights by knockout – 12 of them in the first round – but it wasn't always only humans he wanted to get in the ring with.

Tyson, now 53, has told of how he visited a zoo when it was closed and paid an employee to re-open for him and his then wife Robin Givens.

He then offered further cash to be let into the gorilla enclosure so he could "smash that silverback's snot box" after watching him give the other gorillas a hard time.

Luckily for the gorilla, the zookeeper wasn't having any of it.

“I paid a worker at New York's zoo to re-open it just for me and Robin,” Tyson once told The Sun.

"When we got to the gorilla cage there was one big silverback gorilla there just bullying all the other gorillas.

"They were so powerful but their eyes were like an innocent infant.

"I offered the attendant $10,000 to open the cage and let smash that silverback's snot box! He declined.”

Tyson famously owned three tigers in the 1990s – and even let them sleep next to him in bed.

But following the release of the Netflix series 'Tiger King', documenting the underground world of owning and breeding the big cats, he said he regrets keeping the ferocious animals as pets.

“I was foolish,” Tyson said on an Instagram Live session.

Source: Read Full Article