More sports in brief

first_imgNeuer misses Bayern Munich’s Asian tour to speed recovery MUNICH (AP): Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will miss the club’s summer tour to China and Singapore as he continues his recovery from a broken metatarsal. Neuer says, “Everything’s going to plan. I’m aiming to be fit for the first game of the season against Bayer Leverkusen. I’m going to work hard every day to achieve that.” Neuer injured his foot in April and was on crutches until this week. Bayern starts the new Bundesliga season against Leverkusen on August 18. Bayern is playing four exhibition matches in Asia from July 16 to 28. Confederations Cup participants Joshua Kimmich, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Suele, Arturo Vidal and Under-21 European Championship winner Serge Gnabry will also miss the tour. Mertesacker to manage Arsenal’s academy team from 2018-19 LONDON (AP): Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker will play one last season at the Premier League club before retiring to become its academy manager. The 32-year-old center back joined Arsenal in 2011. He quit international football after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said yesterday that Mertesacker “is a great example for young players … a deep thinker about the game” and “will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.” Footballer rescued from Lake Tahoe likely suffered shock AP: Authorities say the professional footballer who went into a coma after nearly drowning in Lake Tahoe, in the United States, likely suffered from cold-water shock. Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Eric Guevin said that San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Matheus Silva was swimming with teammates about 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, about 20 yards from the shore of the public beach near the Zephyr Cove Resort, when he cried out for help and then went underwater. By the time emergency crews reached him, his teammates and another bystander on a paddle board had rescued him and started CPR efforts. The Earthquakes said that Silva emerged from the coma Thursday morning. The Brazilian defender was responsive and able to speak but will undergo additional testing. The 20-year-old was playing this season on loan for Reno 1868 FC, which is part of the United Soccer League in America.last_img read more

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NEC Conducts Dispute Resolution Workshop

first_imgThe National Elections Commission (NEC) has begun hosting a series of workshops aimed at conducting free, fair and transparent presidential and legislative elections a year from now.Liberians are expected to go to the polls next October to elect a new president, vice president and members of the House of Representatives.In order to successfully carry out those elections, NEC is now conducting a workshop on the processes leading to ‘Electoral Dispute Resolution’.The workshops are geared toward acquainting stakeholders with the electoral dispute hearing mechanism and processes common to the elections complaints hearing.The four-day workshop, which started Monday, October 3, is intended to drill stakeholders on the various phases of the electoral dispute resolution process, the NEC said.Joey Kennedy, NEC Public Relations Director, said issues being discussed at the workshop include electoral complaints types; how to file a complaint; initial reaction of NEC to complaints; who adjudicates complaints; the complaints hearing process, remedies and appealing.He said the workshops are held in phases with participants attending at different intervals.The first phase of the workshop was held on Monday and brought together senior NEC staff, while Tuesday’s session was attended by officials of the 22-registered political parties.More than 20 lawyers of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) attended the Wednesday, October 5, session, while the 4th and final session of the workshop will be held today, Thursday, with members of civil society in attendance.The workshops are sponsored by the European Union through UNDP, USAID and IFES.Meanwhile, massive renovation works have begun at NEC headquarters in Monrovia. Works are being carried out on the James M. Fromayan Conference Hall, where official results of elections are announced. The replacement of the steel fence using concrete bricks is also taking place at the Commission. The process will also include the replacement of damaged entry and exit gates and the installation of lights to illuminate the compound during night hours.Concrete slabs are also being constructed to replace corroding grid-irons over drainages at the headquarters.The Liberian government is funding the renovation project, which is implemented by the General Services Agency (GSA). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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SARA: Star Chamber for Guyana

first_imgWhen Parliament reconvenes on October 10, notwithstanding the strenuous objections of the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Opposition PPP, which has only a single seat less than the Government, the latter will pass the State Assets Recovery Agency Bill 2016.Most well-known for his aphorism “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, Lord Acton was called the “magistrate of history” because of his profound study and understanding of that subject. The flipside of his scepticism about power, not surprisingly, was his abiding devotion to individual liberty, and he further noted: “Liberty consists in the division of power; absolutism, in concentration of power.” The Government has ignored both Acton’s aphorisms and their historical justifications if reference is made to the powers of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) created by the Bill –- and also its director.The clear and present dangers posed by this Bill is illustrated by the “Star Chamber” created with all good intentions by the Tudor monarchy in England to supplement the activities of the courts in both civil and criminal matters against the upper class that ordinary courts balked at convicting. But by the time of the Stuarts, however, it had become an instrument for the King to persecute and punish those he dubbed his enemies. Its name became synonymous in judicial circles down the ages, with arbitrary prosecutions and punishment. The US Supreme Court in this millennium charges it operated within the following themes: “brutality, abuse of power, oppressive state might overpowering the helpless individual and persecution.”Upon evidence presented, it would not be hyperbolic to suggest if the legislation is enacted, Guyana would be taken backwards in history to create our own “Star Chamber”. We can begin with the objections of the GHRA to SARA, which it claimed were triggered by “the sweeping powers available to the Director of the Agency and the manner of his/her appointment….With respect to the powers, the following private and State institutions are only a selection of those which must comply with ANY request from the Director of SARA for information they hold: the Commissioner of Police, the DPP, Head of CANU, the Bank of Guyana, private banks, and the Chairperson of the Gold Board.”More insidiously, the GHRA continued, “Rather than the established procedure whereby other agencies provide the Guyana Revenue Authority with information on which it can act, the new Bill requires the opposite: the GRA must provide information on which the SARA will act. The Director of SARA is effectively a political commissar exercising enormous powers.”The PSC’s objections were guided by a legal opinion it solicited. In addition to echoing the objections of the GHRA, the PSC pointed out that the appointment of the Director failed the “fit and proper test”: “The Schedule to the Bill provides that the person appointed as Director or Deputy Director of SARA shall be a fit and proper person.” There are no specifications of what constitutes “fit and proper”, but one of the criteria must include independence and exclude “politically exposed persons”, senior politicians and important political party officials. The application of this test would exclude Professor Clive Thomas, a co-leader of the Working People’s Alliance, a party in the ruling coalition. “In addition to the Director being a member of a political party in the Government, one of the members of the Agency is also a member of the WPA, Desmond Trotman and another is Eric Philips, a member of the Reparations Commission who has taken a strong public position accusing the Opposition PPP of appropriating State assets. There is the danger of political persecution.The PSC contends the Bill has a “frightening array of overlapping laws, concentration of power, violation of the Constitution and constitutional principles, violation of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly, and a potential reduction of the civil liberties: due process and the presumption of innocence.”The rule of law is under threat.last_img read more

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AFC have become mere pawns to PNC-dominated Govt

first_imgDear Editor,In Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’, Cassius, a nobleman, in the interest of his country, advised his friend Brutus thus, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.’Paraphrasing this in the context of the AFC, the fault is not in the Cummingsburg Accord, but in the inability of the AFC leaders to act in the interest of the party’s members and supporters by promoting the policies and fundamental principles which they have so gloriously expounded in their Action Plan 2011. I was a member then.However, the AFC members and supporters — at least some of them — were willing to forgive and forget what was said about both the PPP and the PNC by co-founders of the Party, Messrs Ramjattan and Trotman. Ramjattan had said: “Over four decades of PNC and PPP Governments have left us bruised, weary and hopeless”, while his counterpart, Trotman, had said in his own inimitable style, “For 45 years, Guyana has had the same parties making turns in the wrong directions, disappointing and betraying its citizens…’.But alas! After just over two years, the AFC has made numerous ‘wrong turns’, with the GECOM unilateral appointment making it clear that the party has become a docile ‘bride’ in the PNC’s harem.The AFC leaders have deviated so far away from their manifesto that it is difficult to discern their original identity. They have been consumed, and have become mere pawns to the PNC-dominated Government. Their minimal input has been relegated to agreeing or disagreeing, as the need arises.The Cummingsburg Accord is only about ‘sharing the spoils’, and nothing else matters. Even the involvement of civil society was decisively excluded. The 60/40 partnership between APNU and AFC was the crème de la crème; but this was just mere writing.The AFC leadership, chaperoned by the experienced campaigner Moses Nagamootoo, who is adept at damage control, is quoted earlier this year as saying that, “After two years in office, things have changed, and the AFC is of the belief that the time has come for the Cummingsburg Accord to be renegotiated”.On the other hand, according to WPA’s Tacuma Ogunseye, the Cummingburg Accord is more in favour of the AFC than APNU. He rationalised this by concluding that the 10% AFC got 40% of the ‘spoils’, therefore renegotiation is out of the question. In other words, they got a lot more than they deserved.The AFC is cognizant that Ogunseye is correct, yet there is now haste to review the Accord before ‘Lovers Day’ 2018. This time, the call for review will, apart from its usual endorsement of APNU’s decisions, include some issues which will be mere attempts to placate the AFC’s rapidly dwindling support base. This is the guile of the AFC leadership.Now being faced with extinction, since their main financial supporters in the USA and Canada have exposed the AFC’s useless appendage roles to the PNC, they have now once again moved to ‘revise’ the Accord.However, the problem with the AFC is the fact that the leaders have lost sight of what they stood for: the fight against corruption, massive squandermania, cronyism, and the fight for transparency and accountability. All of these have become very endemic in this Government while the AFC leaders are rooted in enjoying the ‘good life’, with their silence becoming unbearable with each passing day.What immediately comes to mind is that the AFC leaders are deathly afraid that, should they speak out against these ‘wrongs’, they will be unceremoniously kicked out, not unlike the UF when they spoke about the corruption of the PNC. But I do have a strong prognostication that some AFC leaders will be baptized into the PNC (it seems some have already done so) to save their status quo, especially when President Granger’s Atlanta speech comes to mind about how power should be retained based on the PNC’s past strategies.Has this Atlanta plan been set in motion with the unilateral appointment of the GECOM Chairman? Are some AFC leaders privy to this plan, hence the need to save their material gains?Time will tell, as it always does.Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufFormer AFC memberlast_img read more

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No consensus on appointment – Teixeira

first_imgFIU’s Deputy DirectorOpposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira on Monday contended that there was no consensus on the appointment of Abiose Thomas as the Deputy Director for the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).Opposition Chief Whip Gail TeixeiraIn her presentation on the contents of the report from the Parliamentary Committee of Appointments, Teixeira stated that “we made a decision on the Director… on the Deputy Director we feel strongly that a grave injustice has been done. We haven’t reached a consensus.”Chairperson, Dr George Norton requested that the report be adopted by the Parliament before moving a motion for the report’s recommendations to be approved.The Parliamentary Committee of Appointments came to a unanimous decision to appoint Matthew Edward Hugh Langevine as the Director of the FIU within the Finance Ministry, and Legal Advisor Abiose Thomas as the Deputy Director.Both appointments follow a recommendation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act 2015, Act No 1 of 2015 to select and endorse persons for the appointment as the Director, Deputy Director, Attorney and Accountant to the FIU.The FIU functions in collaboration with the Special Organised Crime Unit, the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Finance Ministry, in identifying and trailing persons fingered in committing financial illegalities.The Parliamentary Committee consists of Government Ministers; Chairperson, Dr George Norton, David Patterson, Amna Ally, Annette Ferguson, Cathy Hughes and PPP Members of Parliament Gail Teixeira, Dr Clive Jagan, Ganga Persaud and Juan Edghill.According to the Committee report submitted to Parliament on Monday by Public Health Minister, Dr Norton, Thomas was shortlisted from a list of 17 candidates that applied for the position.It was decided that she was the most suitable person for the position of the FIU Deputy Director. Her selection is subsequent to several rounds of due diligence exercises and interviews.last_img read more

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Town Clerk should be fired! – Councillor

first_img…“He lies too much!”Georgetown Constituency Six Councillor Andrea Marks on Tuesday convened a silent protest in the midst of an ongoing statutory meeting, calling for Town Clerk Royston King to be booted.Councillor Andrea Marks protesting in the midst of the statutory meetingMarks held up placards which read “Royston King must go!” and “Has Royston taken up from where Sooba left off?” as the Mayor and other Councillors were discussing city matters. Her protest comes on the heels of the Town Clerk’s decision to have vendors on Robb Street near Bourda Market cease selling because of a clean-up exercise without any prior notice.“I’m upset that he didn’t give these vendors any notice, especially those from my constituency. If we were given notice, there wouldn’t be a need to kick up a storm, but is the manner in which he is doing things. He needs to remember he is not the boss,” Marks said in an interview with Guyana Times Tuesday evening.She stated if the vendors were given notice, they would have been able to prepare themselves for the exercise. “Those people had perishable goods, all spoil because King just did what he felt like doing,” she said, adding that he should be given the boot for his “stupid” attitude.“He has to go, because he is lying too much and he is making the same mistake over and over,” she said, noting that King acted of his own accord and did not even inform the Councillors of his decision.“I didn’t even know until the vendors call and tell me they are being put out,” she stressed. Marks stated that King was “not a person that should be trusted”, because he was becoming famous for actions such as this.Vendors had stated that the Town Clerk, along with City Constabulary Officers, turned up and ordered everyone to remove their stalls and goods and vehicles from the area.“They never tell we anything. Royston King just come and shut the place down and tell everybody move out,” said one distraught vendor.The vendors griped that they had suffered hundreds of thousands in losses, since most of their merchandise was perishable.“I now come here, I ain’t even sell a load yet. All me goods gon spoil. Watch the plantain them getting black’ black, cause everything ga deh in the sun. The cassava ga throw way, it get blue. All that is money down the drain!” one vendor had complained.last_img read more

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Euro misery piles pressure on Wenger

first_imgIt was an evening of abject misery for Wenger, who was subjected to calls for his resignation from Arsenal fans before and after one of the most chastening losses of his 21-year reign.Wenger angrily complained that refereeing decisions had denied his team the chance of an epic fightback after Theo Walcott’s opener was cancelled out by a Robert Lewandowski penalty that led to the dismissal of Gunners defender Laurent Koscielny.But the way his team surrendered so limply in the closing stages, conceding four more goals while fans rained boos and abuse down on Wenger, was a sign of the turmoil gripping the Emirates Stadium.With Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes in tatters and even a top four finish far from certain, Wenger had already faced stinging criticism following his decision to drop Alexis Sanchez for Saturday’s loss at Liverpool — a move that reportedly led to a blazing row between the striker, his manager and several team-mates.And, while the final score against Bayern may have been harsh on Arsenal, it was a defeat that did little to stem the feeling Wenger is destined for an acrimonious exit.Asked if he would be managing Arsenal in Europe next season, Wenger, who has yet to reveal if he will extend his contract when it expires at the end of the campaign, gave a response that invited renewed speculation about his future.“I don’t know, you always want headlines. I’m here to speak about football not my future,” he said.“I’m don’t feel there was any uncertainty from the players. We played very well.“At the moment we are going through a very difficult situation, but I think this club is in great shape.“What needs to change is a good result at the weekend. We play the quarter-final of the FA Cup against Lincoln and we want to focus on that and do our job properly.”– Frustrated –Questioned about the protests, Wenger wisely opted against criticising the supporters, saying: “I have nothing to add to that.”Instead, he focused on slamming referee Tasos Sidiropoulos for the decisions that condemned Arsenal to a seventh successive failure to advance from the Champions League last 16.“I have to take it on the chin and I will get a lot of criticism, but it doesn’t make it right,” he said.“The end result will not highlight the quality of our performance. The players haven’t let us down, the referee has.“The referee was very powerful for Bayern. Not only was it not a penalty, he was offside, and on top of that he gave a red card.“It leaves me very angry and very frustrated because we are in a difficult situation.“It’s irresponsible from the referee. It’s absolutely unexplainable and scandalous.”While Wenger faces up to a troubled end to the season, Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti remains on course for a triumphant season that could feature a Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup treble.Ancelotti conceded Arsenal had put Bayern under heavy pressure before the decisive penalty decision.But the former Chelsea boss wasn’t going to worry too much about the damage done to Wenger’s increasingly tarnished reputation.“Wenger has more experience than me, he knows he has to manage the pressure,” Ancelotti said.“Until the penalty it was difficult for 60 minutes. Arsenal played really well and we made mistakes we don’t normally do.“It was a strange game, honestly the result doesn’t reflect what happened on the pitch.“The penalty took out all the pressure out for us, but the important thing was to reach the quarter-finals.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal’s head coach Arsene Wenger arrives in the stadium prior the Champions League round of 16 match against FC Bayern Munich in Munich, southern Germany, on February 15, 2017LONDON, United Kingdom, March 8 – Arsene Wenger conceded he is in a “very difficult situation” after Arsenal’s wretched campaign hit a new low with a humiliating Champions League exit against Bayern Munich.Wenger’s side suffered their heaviest home defeat for 19 years as Bayern romped to a 5-1 victory on Tuesday that sealed a 10-2 aggregate success in the last 16 tie.last_img read more

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If you’re looking for a fight, or to get out of one, X marks the spot

first_imgHis efforts on behalf of Dragon Skin, however, are, as he says, a labor of love. His son left the service two years ago after eight years in special forces and multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, but as a proud blue-star parent, X gained a newfound respect for our nation’s military. Which is why he continues the fight for Dragon Skin. “I want to make sure our young men and women are protected,” he said. “I’ve come a long way in my life, helping the little guy, the underdogs, people who can’t help themselves.” It’s all part of the philosophy that has guided him since his days growing up in Rancho San Pedro, watching his divorced mom, a court interpreter, helping others. Early in his business, he would take his young children with him when he went to meet clients. When they would complain, he would tell them, “I’m gonna teach you how to be leaders, not followers. It’s what we did as Hermosillos.” He instilled those values in his ex-soldier son, now a firefighter, his oldest son, a professor in Utah, and a daughter in college. And, yes, that’s his sister, Carmen, who’s vice principal at San Pedro High. Sportswalk Be forewarned: Bring plenty of tissue to this year’s Sportswalk to the Waterfront induction ceremony on Oct. 8 in downtown San Pedro. The annual tribute to sports stars figures to be more poignant than usual with the honoring of Mario Danelo and Joseph J. Anzack Jr. Danelo is the San Pedro High standout who set NCAA records as a place kicker at USC before his tragic death in January in a fall from the cliffs at Point Fermin. He was 21. Anzack played nose guard for South High in Torrance and joined the Army after graduating in 2005. He was 20 when he was killed in Iraq in May. Anzack is receiving the Pat Tillman Award, named in honor of the former NFL star who quit playing to join the Army and was killed in Afghanistan. Danelo is being inducted as a team with his father, Joe, the former NFL kicker. Other honorees are baseball greats George Brett and Reggie Smith, UCLA and NBA star Walt Hazzard, USC All-America tight end and NFL veteran Jim Obradovich, former tennis pro Amanda Augustus and retired Harbor College football coach Floyd “Scrappy” Rhea. Rhea is receiving the Trani Award for his contributions to local sports. Joe Danelo earned a plaque on his own merit with a brilliant 10-year pro career. The Spokane, Wash., native moved to San Pedro during his NFL days and started longshoring. Today he is a foreman. Steve Marconi, a lifetime resident of San Pedro, is a freelance journalist. He can be reached at spmarconi@yahoo.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! So there I was channel surfing the other night, and as I came across “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer,” who should I see but San Pedro’s Xavier Hermosillo. The issue was the debate concerning the body armor used by our armed services. American soldiers are issued Interceptor body armor, but there are some who believe a new type of armor, called Dragon Skin, is far superior and would reduce casualties. Each side has test results that show its product is best, but Dragon Skin backers are dubious of the military’s claims because of a procurement system that often involves contracting with manufacturers that hire retired officers (as in the case of Interceptor). Congressional hearings have followed. Hermosillo got involved after he first heard about Dragon Skin and wanted to buy some for his youngest son, who was then in the Air Force somewhere in the Mideast. That’s when he found out that the military had banned its use. Hermosillo is no stranger to either the spotlight or being in the hot seat. The company he founded 23 years ago, now known as CrisisPros, is an uber- public relations firm that, as its name implies, deals in the hard cases. While most PR firms help companies in advance, X, as he’s known by almost everyone, comes to the rescue when companies run into trouble and need damage control. For instance, when Wilmington’s Juanita Foods was sued by two men who claimed they found a finger in a can of menudo, X used the investigative skills he developed as an award-winning crime reporter at the News-Pilot to prove it was a hoax. Throughout the ’90s, X was a familiar voice and face in Southern California. He was a radio talk show host from 1993 to 1998, was a commentator on Channel 13 from 1992 to 1997, specializing in Latino issues, and covered the Zapatista war in southern Mexico for ABC in 1994-95. X was used to making headlines at the News-Pilot, where he was sports editor right after graduating from San Pedro High in 1968. He had the good sense to get out of journalism, however, and went to work for Miller Brewing Co. He reached the national stage in 1986, when he tried to broker a deal that would have brought the then-Los Angeles Raiders to Irwindale. In 1992, he was in charge of all international media at the Republican National Convention. last_img read more

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Barcelona want Man United midfielder Daley Blind in £13m deal

first_imgBarcelona are working on a £13.2m deal for Manchester United defender Daley Blind.The Dutchman moved to Old Trafford in the summer of 2014 from Ajax for £13.8m and since then he has made over 80 appearances.However, according to Sport, Jose Mourinho is ready to sell the 26-year-old and Barcelona are lurking.The Spanish champions believe they can land Blind for £13.2m and officials from the club have now made contact with the Red Devils.Barca are in need of defensive reinforcements this summer as Javier Mascherano prepares to leave.Blind is viewed as the ideal signing by manager Luis Enrique as he can operate at left-back, centre-back or defensive midfield. Daley Blind’s future at Manchester United is uncertain under new boss Jose Mourinho 1last_img

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Euro 2016: Team of the tournament so far? Including Bonucci, Kroos and Payet

first_img CB – Gerard Pique (Spain) – The Barcelona defender put Vicente del Bosque’s men onto a winning start, heading home three minutes from time to give Spain a 1-0 win over Czech Republic. 11 11 GK – Hannes Halldorsson (Iceland) – The 32-year-old, currently on the books at Dutch side NEC Nijmegen, played a key role in helping Iceland to a 1-1 draw against Portugal on Tuesday. Fernando Santos’ side had 26 shots in total and Halldorsson made eight saves, conceding Nani’s goal shortly after the half hour. The director, who helped film the music video for Iceland’s Eurovision entry in 2012, had more touches than any other Strakarnir Okkar player in the first half (30) of the Group F tie. CM – Luka Modric (Croatia) – The Real Madrid midfielder netted a stunning volley to send Croatia on their way to a 1-0 victory over Turkey. The classy 30-year-old pulled the strings in the middle of the park to see out an ideal start to the tournament. 11 CM – Andres Iniesta (Spain) – The Barcelona legend was actively trying to find a way through for Spain in their opener against Czech Republic, and it was his cross which set up Gerard Pique to score the late strike. The 32-year-old World Cup winner and two-time European Champion was man of the match and he will be vital for Vicente del Bosque’s side if they want to win the tournament for the third time in a row. 11 We have seen some cracking games at Euro 2016 so far, with some excellent goals scored. None of the nations eased to victory in the first round of fixtures in France – we are yet to see a team score three goals in a match thus far. The only countries to win by a two-goal margin was Hungary, Italy and Germany, against Austria, Belgium and Ukraine respectively. But, ahead of the second round of games, who makes the team of the tournamennt so far? Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s select XI in a 4-3-3 formation and comment with your thoughts below.  11 11 CB – Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) – The Juventus centre-back put in a fine performance as the Azzurri saw out an impressive 2-0 victory over Belgium. The 29-year-old laid on a fine assist for Emanuele Giaccherini’s opener in Lyon, floating a fine ball over the top for the Sunderland midfielder to coolly control and finish past Thibaut Courtois. Bonucci’s leadership at the back then helped Italy to stay strong before they added a second through Graziano Pelle in added time. 11 11 CM – Toni Kroos (Germany) – Another Real Madrid star features in the middle of the park for our XI. Kroos is Germany’s chief string-puller and is at heart of all their moves. The 26-year-old set up Shkodran Mustafi for Germany’s opener and, according to UEFA, he created five chances and completed an impressive 38 passes in the final third. LB – Ben Davies (Wales) – Tottenham left-back Davies made a match-winning challenge early on as Wales started the European Championship with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia. The 23-year-old made a sliding goal-line clearance to deny Marek Hamsik (pictured) inside five minutes. The 21-cap man was a calming presence for the Dragons. RW – Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia) – The Dinamo Zagreb star – on loan at Inter Milan last season – starred alongside Modric in Croatia’s opening game win over Czech Republic. The 23-year-old displayed a tireless work-rate on the right but could not add another for Ante Cacic’s side, going close with a volley in the second half. 11 RB – Kyle Walker (England) – Although the Three Lions failed to get their Euro 2016 campaign underway with victory, the Tottenham full-back was excellent, combining well down the right-hand side with Adam Lallana. Nathaniel Clyne was probably more likely to get the nod before Walker, 26, impressed in the friendlies with Turkey and Portugal. 11 11 ST – Graziano Pelle (Italy) – The Southampton star topped Italy’s hard-working performance against Belgium with an injury-time strike to seal a 2-0 victory in Group E. It was a well-taken volley – the 30-year-old’s first at a major tournament – and he was an initial worry to play in Friday’s match with Sweden, but it appears he has been passed fit following a foot injury. LW – Dimitri Payet (France) – The West Ham star truly announced himself on the international stage when he netted a stunning long-range effort to seal France victory over Romania in the opening game. Despite all eyes being on the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, the 29-year-old produced a moment of magic with an early goal of the tournament contender from 20 yards.last_img read more

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