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Jose Mourinho named Roma boss from start of next season – KBC

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Mourinho, sacked by Tottenham on 19 April, has signed a three-year deal with the three-time Serie A champions

 

Jose Mourinho has been named as the new head coach of Italian Serie A side AS Roma.The 58-year-old will replace fellow Portuguese Paulo Fonseca, who Roma announced earlier on Tuesday would leave at the end of the current season.

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Mourinho, sacked by Tottenham on 19 April, has signed a three-year deal with the three-time Serie A champions.

“The incredible passion of the Roma fans convinced me to accept the job and I cannot wait to start next season,” said Mourinho.

“Thank you to the Friedkin family for choosing me to lead this great club. After meetings with the ownership and Tiago Pinto, I immediately understood the full extent of their ambitions.

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“It is the same ambition and drive that has always motivated me and together we want to build a winning project,” added Mourinho, who has also managed Inter Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid outside his homeland.

Mourinho was dismissed after 17 months in charge of Spurs following a poor second half of the season in which the north London club slipped from top of the table to outside the European places.

This season Mourinho suffered 10 league defeats in a single campaign for the first time in his managerial career.

Mourinho’s previous stint in Italian football was a successful one with Inter Milan that produced four major honours in two years.

He won the Italian title twice, the second victory forming part of the club’s historic treble in 2009-10 which also saw them claim the Champions League and Coppa Italia.

Roma have not won Serie A since 2000-01, when former England manager Fabio Capello was in charge. The club – who lost the 1984 European Cup final in their own stadium against Liverpool – also won the title in 1941-42 and 1982-83.

 

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Kenya’s Titus Ekiru wins Milano Marathon in new Course Record time

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Kenya’s Titus Ekiru ran the fastest ever marathon in Italy on Sunday, clocking 2:02:57 as he successfully defended his Milano Marathon title in a new course record time.

This is the fifth fastest marathon of all time.

Ekiru, the African Games Half Marathon champion reduced almost two minutes off his time when he won the race for the first time in 2019, clocking 2:04:46.

Compatriot Rueben Kiprop finished second in a time of 2:03:55 while Barnabas Kiptum finished off a Kenyan Podium sweep after coming in third with a time of 2:04:17.

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“From the 20km mark, I was feeling good and I said I would push a bit till the 30km mark. We tried to push with my friend Rueben and at the 35km mark, I decided to increase the pace a bit to see if I can get a good time,” Ekiru, also the reigning Honolulu Marathon champion stated.

He added; “I feel happy with the time and now I want to go and rest then make a strategy with my coach again. I believe I can even run 2:01.”

Ekiru cleared the first 10km in 29:29 and it was evident that the race was headed for a fast finish. He kept the push and with 2km left, he was on 1:56:39 and a new personal best was clearly on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan won the women’s race in a time of 2:19:35, also the fastest women’s race ever run in Italy and a new world lead while Kenyan Racheal Jemutai finished second in 2:22:50.

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Spotify boss says bid for Arsenal rejected, remains ‘interested’

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LOS ANGELES, United States, May 16 – Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek said Saturday a formal offer to buy Arsenal had been rejected by the Premier League club’s American owners.

In a statement on Twitter, the Swedish tycoon said the club’s owners, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), had rebuffed his bid.

“This week an offer was made to (KSE co-owner) Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at the board and a golden share for the supporters,” Ek said.

“They replied that they don’t need the money. I remain interested should that situation ever change.”

Lifelong Arsenal fan Ek first expressed an interest in mounting a bid for the club last month in the wake of the aborted European Super League plan.

Arsenal were one of six Premier League teams that signed up for the breakaway league, which collapsed barely 48 hours later after a massive backlash across the football world.

Arsenal fans staged an angry protest outside the Emirates Stadium demanding a change of ownership of the club.

US billionaire Stan Kroenke, through KSE, has been the Gunners’ majority shareholder for a decade and took full control of the club by buying out Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s stake in 2018.

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Arsenal’s performances on the pitch have declined markedly during the Kroenke reign.

The London club have not won a Premier League title since 2003/04 and this season the team missed out on a top-four finish in the English top flight for a fifth consecutive season.

KSE said in a statement last month the group was uninterested in a sale of the team after Ek went public with his planned bid.

“We remain 100 percent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club,” KSE said. “We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.”

Ek however had insisted that he was “very” serious about making a bid for the team, with Arsenal legends such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp all reportedly part of an advisory group for the takeover.

“I have secured the funds for it, and I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out,” Ek said.

“I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight years old. Arsenal is my team. I love the history. I love the players. And of course, I love the fans.

“So as I look at that, I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club to bring it back to its glory. And I want to establish trust with fans and I want to engage the fans again.”

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LeBron returns as Lakers stay in playoff hunt

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LOS ANGELES, United States, May 16 – LeBron James made a successful return from injury as the Los Angeles Lakers kept alive their hopes of an automatic NBA playoff spot with a 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

James finished with 24 points while Anthony Davis led the scoring with 28 as the Lakers served notice that they have no intention of surrendering their NBA crown without a fight as the postseason approaches.

Saturday’s victory means that the Lakers can still secure the sixth seed and avoid the play-in tournament if they win their final game of the regular season against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday and Portland lose to Denver in their final game.

On Saturday’s evidence, the Lakers appear to be hitting the sort of form that delivered last season’s championship at just the right time, with James linking brilliantly with Davis while other key members of the roster returned from injury.

As well as James’ return, Germany’s Dennis Schroder was back from a seven-game layoff due to Covid-19 protocols, scoring 14 points, while Lakers coach Frank Vogel confirmed Alex Caruso is now fit again despite not featuring on Saturday.

Any lingering doubts about James’ return to fitness were wiped away early on Saturday, with the Lakers star throwing down a monstrous one-handed dunk from a Schroder alley-oop as the Lakers imposed themselves early on.

Six Lakers players finished in double figures, with Schroder adding 14 points on his return.

James meanwhile was happy to see his return from injury pass off without a glitch, saying afterwards that while his ankle was sore it felt much improved.

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“A lot more mobility, a lot more movement, it was warm,” James said.

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“Tiny bit of soreness now that the game is over which is expected, but I didn’t have a setback today which is a damn good job for myself and the medical team.”

James added that he had been wrong-footed by the early afternoon scheduling of Saturday’s game, initially expecting a night-time fixture.

“It threw me for a loop,” James said. “I knew I had to get my engine revved up early and I wasn’t sure how my ankle was going to respond.

“But it responded very well and I’m excited about what tomorrow holds.”

– Jazz kept waiting –

In other early NBA games on Saturday, the Phoenix Suns delayed Utah’s coronation as top seeds from the Western Conference after demolishing the San Antonio Spurs 140-103.

A Phoenix defeat would have guaranteed top spot in the West to the Jazz, who must now wait for Sunday’s final round of regular season games to clinch the top seed.

Devin Booker led Phoenix’s blowout victory with 27 points while Mikal Bridges added 18.

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Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets warmed up for the playoffs with 105-91 defeat of the Chicago Bulls.

The game marked the first time Brooklyn’s big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving had taken to the court together since February.

Irving led the Brooklyn scorers with 22 points while Durant finished with 12 and Harden 5.

“The fact they’re on the court together is positive,” Nets coach Steve Nash said of Durant, Harden and Irving.

“Just the chance to feel it so it’s not so brand new when we start the playoffs next weekend.”

“It wasn’t a great game, we weren’t very sharp,” Nash added. “We weren’t firing on all cylinders but we got out of it with a win.

“We got the job done and we move on tomorrow. Hopefully we can have a good game and that sets us up for a good week of practice.”

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