David Beckham's first training session on Spanish soil since signing for Real Madrid was overshadowed by team mate Claude Makelele's refusal to train with the rest of the squad on Wednesday. \nWhile Beckham completed a light work out in the sweltering heat at the team's city-centre training ground, Makelele was in open rebellion over his contract. \nThe French international's agent Marc Roger said on Wednesday that the player felt undervalued in the wake of the arrival of the string of highly-paid recruits. \nRogers then met with Real sporting director Jorge Valdano to try and persuade the club to give his client a pay rise or to sell him on to premier league side Chelsea. \nBut Valdano said after training that the player's subsequent refusal to train would now result in disciplinary action by the club. \nEarlier, England captain Beckham had joined the remainder of his team mates for an open session in front of around 1,000 fans. \nIt was a relatively muted reception, though, for a team that had drawn crowds of up to 45,000 during their three-week tour of the Far East. \nBeckham acknowledged the cheers of fans as he jogged round the pitch at the soon-to-be demolished Ciudad Deportiva. \nIt was the sale of the training facility that provided Real with the windfall that allowed them to clear crippling debts of some US$250 million and still have sufficient funds left over to embark on a spending spree to buy the pick of world's best -- and most glamorous -- players. \nSpending close to 200 million euros in the last three years, Real have brought Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham to join existing players such as Roberto Carlos and Raul at the Bernabeu. \nThe club will continue using the ground for at least another month before moving out of the city to the Spanish Football Federation's headquarters while their new training ground is built close to the city's Barajas airport. \nMeanwhile, Real's latest new signing appears to be settling in well. \nBeckham produced assured performances on the Asian tour both in his usual berth on the right wing as well as in the more central role many would like to see him occupy for England. \nHe also appears to have struck up a good rapport both with his team mates and with fans, waiting behind to sign autographs for the hundreds of young supporters crowded round the fences in the club car park.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but