Sir Alex heaps praise on Mourinho; envious of Liverpool, Klopp

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When Sir Alex Ferguson talks, everyone sits up and listens.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to Chelsea loss ]

The legendary former Manchester United manager has been speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt London event where he has backed Chelsea’s underfire manager Jose Mourinho and also revealed the respect he has for newly appointed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Ferguson, 73, showed incredible support for Mourinho — many believed the Portuguese coach would replace Ferie as manager of United when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2012-13 season — in his latest comments, with the Scotsman pleading for Chelsea’s owner to give his manager more time to turn around their alarming slump.

“[Roman Abramovich] has sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I am sure he has learned by it. He has to trust and have confidence Jose can turn around,” Ferguson said. “There is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time, he’s won the European Cup twice, he’s won the league in each country he’s managed in, he’s won the big trophies.”

[ MORE: Timbers win first-ever MLS Cup ]

Fergie also revealed he’s been in touch with Mourinho recently and believes despite Chelsea’s defeat to Bournemouth at the weekend — that’s now eight defeats in 15 for the reigning PL champs this season as they languish in 14th place — he can turn things around.

“I have been watching Jose recently and spoken to him a couple of times, and this is the first time he has been confronted with non-success,” Ferguson said. “If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him, but there are signs he is getting back to a balanced level although they lost on Saturday.”

Mourinho only signed a new four-year contract in August to extend his stay at Chelsea until 2019, and despite him leading the Blues to the title last season he admitted that finishing in the top six could be a push this year after a dreadful start to the campaign. Well, at least he has Fergie on his side…

As for another charismatic and much-spoken about manager in the PL, Ferguson had plenty of kind words to say about Liverpool’s new boss Klopp and is worried that the arch rivals of the team he lead to 28 major trophies during his 26 years in charge could challenge for plenty of titles under the German coach.

“I’m worried about him because the one thing United don’t want is Liverpool to get above us,” Ferguson admitted. “He’s a fantastic personality, with those big white teeth always showing. Even at Newcastle when they lost the second goal he goes over to Steve McClaren to congratulate him. That’s class, that. And the work he did at Dortmund. I know him quite well from the coaching seminars. He’s going to make a difference at that club with his personality, drive and knowledge. Things are looking up there.”

So, Fergie seems to be mellowing a little as the years go by and this is now the third season since he retired after his incredible success as a coach which spanned nearly 40 years in total.

With these comments it is clear that one of the greatest managers in soccer history is backing arguably the two best managers (Arsene Wenger aside) in the PL. Or, is the United legend buttering both Klopp and/or Mourinho up to take over at United when Louis Van Gaal‘s contract runs out in the summer of 2017 or if the Dutchman leaves before that?

In the strange world of soccer, stranger things have happened, especially after LVG threatened to quit United if his players aren’t buying into his philosophy.

This is likely just support towards two top-class managers from Fergie, but given how the way in which he emphatically backed Mourinho and has always had good things to say about him, the respect between them is clear.

On This Day: Bornstein becomes national hero – in Honduras

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You know what today is? It’s Jonathan Bornstein day in Honduras.

Ten years ago today at RFK Stadium in our nations capital, a young, hot-shot kid with plenty of hair named Michael Bradley and Bornstein helped the U.S. Men’s National Team come back to draw Costa Rica, 2-2, in World Cup qualifying. In fact, it’s eerie watching Bornstein’s celebration, running to the corner flag and diving headfirst as he’s mobbed moments after by his teammates. It’s a bit similar to what Lanson Donovan did about nine months later.

[READ: USMNT looks to build in match v. Canada]

To add some context, it was the final day of qualifications matches in the Hex. Three days earlier, the U.S. had already secured a place in the World Cup with a wild 3-2 win at Honduras, meaning Los Catrachos needed to win over El Salvador on the final night and hope that the U.S. would keep Costa Rica from winning in the final match.

Who else, but Carlos Pavon gave Honduras a 1-0 win over El Salvador that night. Then, it was Bornsteins goal later that night that put Los Catrachos into the World Cup for the first time since 1982, and left Costa Rica to battle for the shared spot between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL.

In honor of the big day, hundreds of Honduras fans had been mentioning Bornstein on social media, and the veteran defender – currently of the Chicago Fire – retweeted quite a few of the thankful messages to him. Below, here’s video of the call from Honduras TV, as well as from Ian Darke and the ESPN crew.

Unfortunately for Bornstein, this may be the highlight of his national team career. He did make the 2010 World Cup squad and started twice, including the matches against Algeria and Ghana, but he never truly took the next step in his career to become a star left back.

After a calamitous performance against Mexico in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, which also Bob Bradley his USMNT job, Bornstein was dropped and hasn’t been seen from again on the national team stage.

However, even though he’s only a club player these days, he’ll never have to buy a drink in Honduras, that’s for sure.

Euro 2020 qualifying: France settles for draw with Turkey

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Euro 2020 qualifying continued on Monday and included a top-of-the-group clash in Group H.

[READ: England rout Bulgaria in game marred by racist chants]

France 1-1 Turkey

France spoiled a chance at home to put one foot in Euro 2020 after conceding late in the match and settling for a draw with Turkey.

Despite playing without a lot of starters – Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Hugo Lloris are all out injured – France still was strong in the first half and peppered Turkey with 12 shots. Goalkeeper Mert Gunok made an outstanding double-save in the first half and Leicester City’s Çağlar Söyüncü did his best to keep Antoine Griezmann in front of him.

In the 72nd minute, Olivier Giroud came on the field as a substitute and four minutes later, he put France in front to the delight of the home crowd at the Stade de France. What else, but a header off a corner. However, the lead didn’t last long. Off a free kick in the 82nd minute, Hakan Calhanoglu’s delivery was nodded home by Kaan Ayhan. The 1-1 draw leaves both France and Turkey tied with 19 points from eight qualifying matches. It also means that Turkey hasn’t lost to France over two games in this qualifying cycle.

Here’s a look at the rest of Monday’s scores:

Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifying scores

Group A

Bulgaria 0-6 England

Kosovo 2-0 Montenegro

Group B

Lithuania 1-2 Serbia

Ukraine 2-1 Portugal

Group H

Iceland 2-0 Andorra

Moldova 0-4 Albania

Ronaldo scores 700th goal for club and country

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Cristiano Ronaldo achieved yet another personal milestone in his star-studded career on Monday evening with a simple penalty kick goal.

With his 72nd minute strike, Ronaldo tallied his 700th goal for club and country in his career. It’s an incredible achievement, and one indicative of his incredible goal-scoring exploits and his long career.

Ronaldo was already leading all active players globally in terms of goals scored, so his 700th is only adding to the list. His former club nemesis, Lionel Messi, still sits a reported 28 goals behind him, according to Soccerway. After them, LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the closest, and he has “only” 542 goals.

The Portuguese icon becomes the sixth male player to score 700 goals in his career. The others include Pele, Romaro, Josef Bican, Ferenc Puskás, and Gerd Muller.

Ronaldo made his debut for Sporting Lisbon in the 2002-2003 season as a 17-year-old and quickly was snapped up by Man United and Sir Alex Ferguson, where he transitioned from a tricky winger to a clinical striker who couldn’t stop scoring.

The 34-year-old has scored 40-or-more goals on three occasions in his career and he scored 25-or-more goals in all nine years he was at Real Madrid. For Portugal, he’s now scored an incredible 95 goals in all competitions. He had 15 goals in World Cup qualifying alone for the 2018 campaign.

Watch the video of Ronaldo’s breaking goal below. Unfortunately for him, Portugal fell, 2-1 to Ukraine.

Southgate, England players sound off on racist abuse

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England took care of business in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria, but the Three Lions had to endure some horrendous racist abuse from the crowd during the game.

The match was paused on two occasions I’m the first half by the match officials after racist chanting could be heard from a section of supporters, and a large group of Bulgarian fans were ejected towards the end of the half. However, racist abuse continued during the match from small pockets of fans in the stadium.

[READ: England v. Bulgaria delayed after racist abuse from stands]

“I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly,” England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV after the match. “We reported everything immediately when we heard things, we had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players, all the way through the first half in particular, and then again at halftime.

”We know it’s an unacceptable situation, and I think we’ve managed to make two statements. By winning the game, but also we’re raised the awareness of everybody to the situation. The game was stopped twice, I know for some people that won’t be enough, but we as a group were on board with that process.”

Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace in the win, also sounded off on social media, as did former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright.

Ultimately, UEFA and the match officials followed the protocol, but the sad part about this is that England and the officials had a plan for racist abuse, and it was predictable that it would happen.

In a statement after the game, the FA confirmed they would be asking UEFA to investigate what happened. However, any punishment is too little, too late for the players who endured the abuse.