Zi­dane de­lighted with Bale, Asen­sio

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

ZINE­DINE Zi­dane praised his two goalscor­ers Gareth Bale and Marco Asen­sio after Real Madrid got their La Liga cam­paign off to a strong start with a 3-0 win at Real So­ciedad on Sun­day.

The Real coach was with­out first choice for­wards Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Karim Ben­zema through in­jury, but a trip to a ground that has caused them plenty of prob­lems in the past got off to a fly­ing start when Bale headed home in the sec­ond minute.

Asen­sio dou­bled the lead five min­utes be­fore half­time with a splen­did lob and Bale put an ex­tra shine on the win with a fur­ther goal in in­jury time.

Bale re­turned to pre-sea­son train­ing later than most of his Real team­mates due to reach­ing the semi-fi­nals of Euro 2016 with Wales, which Zi­dane said made his dom­i­nant per­for­mance even more im­pres­sive.

“I’m de­lighted for him be­cause he’s be­hind the rest of the play­ers in terms of fit­ness but you couldn’t tell,” Zi­dane told a news con­fer­ence.

“He started in the best way pos­si­ble, scor­ing an early goal, be­cause this is a dif­fi­cult ground if you don’t take your chances. He has al­ready said this is go­ing to be an im­por­tant year for him and he is al­ready prov­ing it.”

While Bale is into his fourth cam­paign since join­ing Real from Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in 2013, Asen­sio was mak­ing his league de­but for the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons after re­turn­ing from an im­pres­sive loan spell at Es­panyol.

The Spa­niard, who signed from Mal­lorca in 2015, was cho­sen ahead of Isco and James Ro­driguez and scored the best goal of the game, bring­ing down Raphael Varane’s long pass be­fore pro­duc­ing an ef­fort­less chip over goal­keeper Geron­imo Rulli.

“It hurts my head choos­ing who to play but I have to decide and he started and did very well,” said Zi­dane of Asen­sio.

“He is work­ing hard and he has tal­ent and qual­ity. He is great on the ball and mov­ing be­tween the lines. His goal was stun­ning.

“I want to make all the play­ers feel im­por­tant,” added Zi­dane, who faces his first full sea­son in charge of the club after lead­ing Real to the Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle in May, lit­tle more than four months after suc­ceed­ing Rafael Ben­itez. I have a lot of qual­ity play­ers but they are all do­ing well, not just in attack, but at the back too, where we con­ceded few chances and kept a clean sheet.” — Reuters RIO DE JANEIRO — Po­lice are block­ing Ire­land’s top four Olympic ex­ec­u­tives from leav­ing Brazil as their ticket scalp­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion ex­panded with a raid on the team on the fi­nal day of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The Rio po­lice force said it ex­e­cuted search war­rants on Sun­day to seize passports and ev­i­dence from Ire­land team leader Kevin Kilty, chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Martin and sec­re­tary gen­eral Der­mot Heni­han, who are ac­cused of il­le­gally sell­ing Olympic tick­ets.

The trio, whose phones and lap­tops were taken by po­lice, agreed to present them­selves for ques­tion­ing by po­lice to­day, the OCI said in an ear­lier state­ment.

The new de­vel­op­ment in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion came as Olympic Coun­cil of Ire­land pres­i­dent Pa­trick Hickey, who is also a top Olympic of­fi­cial, re­mained in jail fol­low­ing his ar­rest last Wed­nes­day.

Ir­ish of­fi­cials were pre­par­ing for the clos­ing cer­e­mony when the OCI said that early Sun­day po­lice ar­rived at its of­fices in the Olympic Village and ex­ter­nal ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Unused of­fi­cial tick­ets were taken from the Ir­ish of­fice in the Olympic Village, which the OCI said were for ath­letes’ fam­i­lies and friends.

“We are con­tin­u­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ter­na­tional scheme of ticket scalp­ing,” Rio po­lice said. “Agents are con­duct­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions since this morn­ing which will con­tinue un­til Tues­day (to­day).”

Investigators say a com­pany, Pro 10 Sports Management, was cre­ated to fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of tick­ets be­tween the Ir­ish Olympic com­mit­tee and THG, an unau­tho­rised ticket seller.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been un­fold­ing through the Olympics, with the first ar­rests made two weeks ago.

The high­est-pro­file fig­ure swept up by investigators is Hickey, the head of the um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion for Europe’s Olympic bod­ies. Hickey was due to be spend­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony of the Olympics on Sun­day in Rio’s Bangu prison com­plex after his lawyers failed to se­cure his re­lease on bail.

“Mr Hickey has been ar­rested due to sup­po­si­tions that are not sup­ported by any ma­te­rial ev­i­dence or proof of the al­leged facts pre­sented by the po­lice,” Hickey’s lawyer, Arthur Lav­i­gne, said in a state­ment.

“His ar­rest has no le­gal sup­port. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion did not bring one sin­gle slight in­di­ca­tion that Mr Hickey could be in­volved with the facts therein in­ves­ti­gated, and his de­ten­tion was re­quired by the po­lice au­thor­ity un­der mere as­sump­tions.” — glob­al­news

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.