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Breaking: Neville dumps England job, becomes Inter Miami’s Coach

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Phil Neville has been confirmed as Inter Miami’s new manager.

The Manchester United legend’s exit from England Women paved the way for him to be installed by David Beckham at his MLS franchise.

Neville’s early departure after three years at the Lionesses’ helm was confirmed by the FA on Monday.

And that allowed the 43-year-old to become Inter Miami’s second-ever manager following Diego Alonso’s dismissal.

He told the club’s website: “I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with Chris and the entire ownership group.

“This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside, and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of.

“This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work.”

Neville took England to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, where they were narrowly edged out by the USA.

But the former Three Lions full-back came under sustained criticism after a series of disappointing performances and results.

The Lionesses have not played since last March, another contributory factor and while Neville had intended to see through his contract, the approach from Beckham proved too tempting for him to resist.

Becks added: “I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United Academy.

“We share a footballing DNA having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game, and it’s those values that I have always wanted running through our Club.

“Phil has deep experience in football, as a player and as a coach at both club and international level, and over his career he has worked with many of the finest managers and players in the game.

“I know his qualities as a person, his decency, loyalty and honesty – and his incredible energy and work ethic.

“Anyone who has played or worked with Phil knows he is a natural leader, and I believe now is the right time for him to join.”


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Djokovic sets new record consecutively, remains world No. 1

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Novak Djokovic set a new landmark of 311 weeks as world number one on Monday, one week longer than Roger Federer whose tally of a record 20 Grand Slam titles is now firmly in the Serb’s sights.

“Big day today,” the tennis superstar wrote on Twitter.

Djokovic, 33, won his 18th major at the Australian Open in February.

With Federer turning 40 in August, the Serb has time on his side. He is a year younger than Rafael Nadal who also has 20 majors.

“It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport,” said Djokovic, in a statement released by the ATP whose rankings have been running since August 23, 1973.

“To know that I earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible.”

Djokovic reclaimed the top ranking from Nadal in February 2020 and finished as year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the record set by Pete Sampras.

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “Novak’s many achievements in tennis are nothing short of extraordinary. Among them this record may stand as his single most impressive.

“Reaching No. 1 is something many players dream of and very few ever accomplish, and to have held the top spot for longer than anyone is testament to the levels of sustained excellence that Novak has redefined in our sport.”

Federer, who returns to action in Doha this week after more than a year out of action to recover from two knee operations, slipped out of the top five on Monday to sixth. His place was taken by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Djokovic made his top 100 debut in July 2005, just weeks after Nadal had won his first Roland Garros.

He was top 50 in June 2006, top 20 for the first time in October 2006 and top 10 by March 2007.

He first became world number one at the age of 24 on July 4, 2011, the day after winning Wimbledon for the first time, beating Nadal in the final.

Only a six-month injury absence in 2017 saw his ranking plunge, all the way to 22 the following summer.

It was just a blip — Djokovic was back at number one again by November and with the exception of November 2019 until January last year, when Nadal reclaimed pole position, he has been rock solid.

Few would bet against Djokovic, who in 2016 was the first man to break the $100 million prize money barrier, ending his career with more Slams than Federer and Nadal.

In head-to-heads, he leads Federer 27-23 and has won all six of their last meetings at the majors, including 2019’s epic Wimbledon final where he saved two match points.

Djokovic’s record was top news in his native Serbia on Monday, with headlines like “No one was ever like Nole” in daily newspaper Vecernje novosti.

Videos of the most important moments of his career will be projected onto Belgrade town hall on Monday evening, and the capital’s authorities called on fans to gather and honour Djokovic despite the pandemic measures.

ATP rankings as of March 8:

1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 12,030 points

2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 9,850

3. Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 9,735

4. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 9,125

5. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6,660 (+1)

6. Roger Federer (SUI) 6,630 (-1)

7. Alexander Zverev (GER) 5,615

8. Andrey Rublev (RUS) 5,019

9. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 3,640

10. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 3,480

11. Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 2,910

12. Gael Monfils (FRA) 2,860

13. Roberto Bautista (ESP) 2,770

14. David Goffin (BEL) 2,760

15. Milos Raonic (CAN) 2,630

16. Pablo Carreno (ESP) 2,585

17. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 2,575

18. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 2,535

19. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 2,516

20. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 2,365

(AFP)


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Breaking: Jorginho scores as Chelsea overcome Everton, tightens Premier League top 4 spot

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Chelsea consolidated fourth spot in the Premier League as Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start to life at Stamford Bridge continued with a 2-0 victory over Everton.

In a crucial contest in the race for Champions League qualification, Kai Havertz made decisive contributions in either half as Chelsea proved a cut above their resurgent top-four rivals.

Havertz had a hand in Chelsea’s opener when his 31st-minute strike deflected in off Everton defender Ben Godfrey, and the German won the second-half penalty off Jordan Pickford which handed Jorginho the opportunity to double the hosts’ lead from the spot.

Tuchel’s eighth victory as Chelsea manager extends his unbeaten start to 11 games and sees the Blues open up a four-point lead over fifth-placed Everton, who saw their three-game winning run end with a whimper in the capital.


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NDLEA drives harder, nabs drug dealer, recovers cocaine inside Monarch’s Palace

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has a notorious suspected drug trafficker, Hassan Taiwo, with three parcels of cocaine concealed in a false bottom created in his suitcase.

Mr Femi Babafemi, who is the Director of Media and Advocacy at the agency, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He noted that the suspect was arrested by operatives of the agency at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA).

According to the statement, preliminary investigations reveal that Hassan who was intercepted at the E-Arrival hall of the MMIA at the weekend, upon arrival onboard Ethiopian airlines at 1:30pm Friday, has been plying the illicit trade through the middle east routes for some time.

“The suspect came into Nigeria through Addis-Ababa but he actually travelled to Addis-Ababa from Abuja,” the Commander of MMIA NDLEA Command, Ahmadu Garba, was quoted as saying in a statement.

He added, “Upon a thorough search, we discovered another ticket on him while our findings also show that he has been plying his criminal trade through some Middle East countries.”

Elsewhere, operatives of the Anambra State Command of the agency recovered 58.5 grammes of cocaine and 13.9 grammes of heroine concealed in the palace of a prominent traditional ruler in the state.

The NDLEA commander in the state, Muhammadu Idris, noted that investigations were ongoing to unravel how the illicit drugs were hidden in the palace.

He added that the palace security guards were helping the agency to trace the dealer behind the consignment.


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