Casey said of the decision. Its the hardest thing to d

#1 by sakura698 , Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:26 pm

MADRID, Spain -- Madrid is celebrating the success of its two major football clubs after Atletico Madrid ensured a historic Champions League final derby against crosstown rival Real Madrid. Dikembe Mutombo Jersey . Atleticos 3-1 victory at Chelsea saw it progress to its first European Cup final in 40 years, where record champion Madrid awaits after crushing titleholder Bayern Munich 5-0 over two legs. Atletico is on the verge of an historic double as it closes in on its first Spanish league title in 18 years, while Madrid is chasing a treble after winning the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. The feat is all the more impressive for Atletico, which under coach Diego Simeone has completely turned from a club with a history for underachieving and late collapses into a European heavyweight. "Atletico is a real team," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said after Wednesdays defeat. "It knows how to be strong in defence and when to come out and attack. Its a great team." One year after an all-German Champions League final, the continents top competition has its first ever final between clubs from the same city. "Im happy that its an all-Spanish final," Atletico playmaker Koke said of the May 24 date in Lisbon. "Its going to be a special day, a very nice day because all of Madrid will be in Lisbon." The final will also highlight the teams different philosophies and history. Atleticos blue-collar base is far removed from Reals home in the northwest Chamartin area with its leafy avenues, luxury homes, and expensive cars. Madrid is the record 32-time Spanish champion with nine European Cups, and record revenues that are nearly five times that of Atletico allow it to pay for Ballon dOr recipient Cristiano Ronaldo and world-record 100 million euros signing Gareth Bale. Atleticos payroll is a fraction of Madrids or Barcelonas, and it is a club with a history of dubious finances. Yet Simeone, who was on the team that won the league-cup double in 1996, has nurtured a winning culture from a squad that has changed little since his arrival more than two years ago, and despite the sale of star striker Radamel Falcao in the off-season. "Its crazy to think were in the Champions League final," Atletico midfielder Tiago Mendes said. "But this team deserves it after everything it has accomplished." Madrid and Atletico have met just once before in the competition, in the 1959 semifinals, where Madrid won a replay 2-1 when their two-leg series finished 2-2. Atleticos only final appearance in 1974 saw it succumb to Bayern Munich 4-0 in a replay following a 1-1 draw. While Madrid beat Atletico en route to this seasons domestic cup trophy, Atletico still enjoyed a breakthrough year against its city neighbour, which is returning to the final for the first time since 2002. Atletico beat Madrid in the Copa del Rey final last season for its first win over its city rival in 25 games. It followed that up with a league victory at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium followed by a draw at home at the Vicente Calderon. Spanish leader Atletico is six points ahead of Madrid, which has one game in hand, with three left to play, while Barcelona trails the Spanish leader by four points. The league has been dominated by Madrid and Barcelona since Valencia was the last club besides the big two to win the championship in 2004. But Atletico could clinch its first title since 1996 with a victory against Levante on Sunday if both Madrid and Barcelona lose their games. The all-Spanish final also proves the domestic league is healthy despite continued economic problems. Either Sevilla or Valencia will also advance to the Europa League final. Even the citys cleanup crews should have an easy time co-ordinating their work following the victors celebrations. Madrid traditionally celebrates its triumphs at Plaza de Cibeles, while Atleticos fans gather just down the street at Plaza de Neptuno. "This is the final all Madridistas have been waiting for," Madrid fan Jose Luis Marron Rodriguez said. "Whatever the result, the European Cup stays at home. Now, let the best team win -- I just hope its Madrid." Kevin Huerter Jersey . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea. Mel Hutchins Jersey . The Senators will put the busy off-season and training camp behind them when they open their regular season on the road. They kick things off Friday against the Buffalo Sabres and then head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday. . -- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for his hit from behind on Kevan Miller of the Bruins.TORONTO - The Raptors final roster decision was always going to be based on need more than anything else, but it proved to be more difficult than anyone in the organization expected. After huddling up following their win in Fridays pre-season finale, Masai Ujiri and Dwane Casey opted to hang onto veteran centre Greg Stiemsma, making him the 15th and final player on their season-opening roster, and subsequently waive forward Jordan Hamilton and guard Will Cherry in the process. Their decision came down to the wire, announced just hours before Saturdays deadline to waive players on non-guaranteed deals. Ujiri and the coaching staff had raved about the performance of all three candidates throughout training camp and as of Friday evening they were still mulling over their options. Its coming down to the wire here, Ujiri had said before hosting the Knicks in Montreal. All of them bring us something, but we have to figure out which piece fits with our team now going forward to the start of the season. By the end of what turned out to be a gruelling camp for the 29-year-old, Stiemsma certainly looked the part of a Casey player. In just his second exhibition contest with the club, he took a hard fall, later failing a baseline concussion test that forced him to sit out the following game. Upon his return to the lineup, the hard working centre took a finger to his eye. Its a roller coaster, he said a few days later, sporting a bump on his head and a bloodshot right eye. It can be up and down, day-to-day but youve just got to try to stay consistent, control the things you can control, worry about those things and then just let the chips fall where they may. The 6-foot-11 Stiemsma was an early favourite in camp, given the teams lack of size off the bench. He spent last season in New Orleans, his third team in three NBA seasons, and now becomes Torontos second oldest player. His game isnt pretty - he committed 20 fouls and scored 15 points in 86 pre-season minutes - but his workmanlike approach and ability to defend the rim, a weakness of Torontos last year, seem to be a good fit in a situational role behind Jonas Valanciunas, Amir Johnson and Patrick Patterson, platooning with Tyler Hansbrough and Chuck Hayes. Bill Bridges Jersey. The Raptors hope 22-year-old rookie centre Lucas Nogueira can eventually make an impact as a defender in the low post - he showed some glimpses towards the end of camp - but he still has a ways to go and isnt expected to factor into Caseys rotation this season. Hence the need for Stiemsma. Its all about opportunities, Stiemsma said, hoping to take advantage of this one. This whole league, my whole career has been about opportunities. Ive just got to look at it like, whatever amount of minutes I have is an opportunity to succeed, to play well and to show what I can do. Of the three, Hamilton may have come in facing the steepest battle given the teams talent and depth on the wing, but he had an impressive pre-season, averaging 9.5 points on an efficient 59 per cent shooting. A Summer League standout in the off-season, Cherry was praised for the effort and energy he brought to practice but become expendable once Lou Williams - a combo guard - proved capable of playing the point in a pinch during a strong camp. The Raptors also have Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez, one of the leagues best duos at the position. Its very difficult, Casey said of the decision. Its the hardest thing to do in sport is to bring a guy in and say, hey youre not good enough to make our team, or right nows not a good time. I dont think its ever [that] a guys not good enough. The timing may be bad for whoever it is. All three guys are NBA players that we brought in this year. Over the years, thats the hardest thing to do is bring a guy in and have that talk. I hate it because I know how hard guys work. I know how dreams are made and I know how dreams are broken. Im always an optimist. I love that guy at the end of the bench, whos worked and scrapped trying to make his career. ' ' '

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Date registered 11.04.2019


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