Mauricio Pochettino hails Tottenham’s “deserved” opening day win

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Tottenham Hotspur left it late and had to battle through plenty of adversity on the opening day of the Premier League season, but they got the ‘W’ they desperately wanted.

Mauricio Pochettino, in charge of his first game as Spurs boss, hailed his sides togetherness and spirit in the 1-0 win over London rivals West Ham which came courtesy of Eric Dier’s 93rd minute strike.

[RELATED: West Ham 0-1 Spurs]

Spurs haven’t spent big over the summer and have instead brought in ex-Southampton boss Pochettino to get the best out of their talented yet previously under-performing squad.

He did just that in a fiery encounter at Upton Park on Saturday which saw Spurs play most of the match with 10-men following Kyle Naughton’s red card, but James Collins was also shown his marching orders for a second yellow card in the second half. As both teams played 10 vs. 10 The Hammers also missed a penalty kick in an eventful game, but Pochettino was pleased his side dug in and showed character to grab all three points.

“It is an important win. I will say congratulations to my players because it was a great performance,” Pochettino said. “After the penalty and the sending-off of Kyle Naughton it was difficult but we played like a team and deserved the win. The red card for Naughton was a surprise because the ball was not on target. It was a penalty but not a sending-off and it is possible the club will appeal. It was a great goal by Eric Dier. We showed that we play like a team and that is the most important thing. It was a very exciting moment for me. Our supporters were brilliant.”

Pochettino showed at Southampton last season that breeding a team first mentality is key to his philosophy as a manager. At Spurs he has players like Erik Lamela, who is trying to get the best out of and he has got off to the best possible start in charge at White Hart Lane.

This time last year Pochettino’s Saints side beat West Brom 1-0 away from home with a last-gasp goal on the opening day season. They went on to exceed everyone’s expectations and finish eighth in Pochettino’s frst full-season in charge of a PL club.

Can lightning strike twice? Can Spurs exceed their expectations under the Argentine coach this campaign?

Ronaldo: “I always believe I am the best”

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You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.

“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”

Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.

Miazga: “We’re all ready to make an impression” with USMNT

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Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.

Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.

[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]

The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.

Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.


Banker Gaetano Micciche elected Serie A president

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MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.

Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.

He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.

Malago recommended Micciche for the position.

The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Report: Liverpool to resist all offers for Salah

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Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.

The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.

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Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.

As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.