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Despite two humiliating losses, RCB not willing to bite the bullet



Top-order batting woes are biting Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) big time but the star-studded franchise has indicated they are not yet willing to bite the bullet of benching a couple of their stalwarts, even as they lurch from one defeat to another.

The latest defeat against Rajasthan Royals at the MCA on Tuesday, where RCB couldn’t overhaul a modest 144-run total, losing by 29 runs, put the spotlight back on former skipper Virat Kohli, who after two successive ducks could manage just nine runs, while Suyash Prabhudessai once again failed with the bat, scoring just two.

And with the law of averages catching up with Dinesh Karthik, the solidity in the RCB middle order seems to have all but vanished. However, RCB head coach, Sanjay Bangar kept harping on the fact that the team is playing some “good cricket”.

The team had earlier lost by a massive nine wickets with 12 overs to spare against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Brabourne on April 23, scoring just 68 runs, which certainly wasn’t a great advertisement of “good cricket”.

“The thing is that how quickly we can put the game behind us. It is very critical. It is important that you want to continue having a sense of calmness and security. The team has been really playing some good cricket. That is a reinforcing message that we management have given to the players. We have total belief and confidence that we would bounce back stronger,” Bangar said on RCB Bold diaries.

Talking about the player-coach relationship, he said, “The relationship that the players and the coaches have built between them, is a critical component for the team. They are very receptive. They are always willing to put their best foot in the front, whenever that is being asked of them.”

Bangar also shed light on the intricacies of the format. “T20 is a hit-and-miss format. That is also why you want to have the roll of your dice going your way at times and once that happens and once you get a start, I think you tend to get your rhythm back. It’s just one innings away. It could be an experienced player or it can be a younger player,” he said.

Talking about the fringe players who are yet to see an opportunity come their way this season, he said, “What I would like to see amongst our players is that, whether that hunger is there, irrespective of the fact that they are playing or not. That is why players who are playing well do get the platform. It doesn’t mean that players who are not picked in the playing XI do not have the capability. It doesn’t mean that they are not good enough.

“The kind of work that they are putting behind the scenes, I am more impressed with that. Those are very encouraging signs because whichever team you play, if you have a motivated team or motivated bunch of players who are not getting a game, they are keeping that vibration going, it is critical to any team sport,” he concluded.


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier




Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram




In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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