Already the best goalkeeper ever? Sport this week.
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SHARING THE BEST IN SPORT

Global Edition

August 25-31, 2020

Already the best goalkeeper ever?

Some people already place Manuel Neuer (GER) as the greatest goalkeeper to have ever played. It is hard to argue against a player that has just won the UEFA Champions League with a clean sheet (receiving no goals in the 1-0 win against Paris Saint-Germain) after he has already won the FIFA World Cup with a clean sheet, in 2014 (1-0 against Argentina) and not losing a game in both tournaments. He also had spectacular saves in the final match, as well.

But Neuer is not the first goalkeeper to score clean sheets in both tournaments. This was previously achieved by Bodo Illgner (GER), Fabien Barthez (FRA), and Íker Casillas (ESP). Only Neuer and Casillas have maintained a clean sheet in those two tournaments in addition to the FIFA Club World Cup, which of course was not accessible to players in the 1990’s or earlier. Casillas also has the edge because he maintained a clean sheet in one and a half Champions League Finals.

Some have argued for his quality and versatility (Yahoo!) as an argument to name him the greatest ever but that is hard to assess, and if that is the case, it cannot be easy to place him above Lev Yashin (URS), who kept 270 clean sheets in his career (Wikipedia), won Olympic gold and is the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon D’Or, although Gianluigi Buffon (ITA) came close once. Indeed, Buffon and Casillas have won the IFFHS “Best Goalkeeper” awards five times, a record which Neuer should tie this year. Being at his peak, he might as well become the greatest goalkeeper once he retires but at the moment it is a bold claim to make, although he is clearly the best in the world. Givemesport has compiled a good list of the top 15 goalkeepers right now.

 

Five things to know from last week
  1. Magnus Carlsen wins his Tour.  Magnus Carlsen (NOR) won the most watched online chess tournament ever -the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Final- by beating Hikaru Nakamura (USA) in the closest way possible: in a seventh set that went to an Armageddon untie, which ended on a draw that gave Magnus the victory, since he had the black pieces. Ding Liren (CHN) was close in semis and Hikaru was close in the Final but Magnus sis still the best in online chess. Magnus has announced the Tour returns in November (Chess24.com).
  2. Exciting finishes. Motorsport offered epic finishes this weekend. In MotoGP, Miguel Oliveira (POR) made an exciting last-corner pass over Jack Miller (AUS) and Pol Espargaró (ESP) to take the maiden MotoGP win for his country. In FIA World Rallycross, Sweden dominated its home race with a 1-2 and a 1-2-3 in the first two rounds of the year. Johan Kristoffersson (SWE) beat Mattias Ekström (SWE) in race 1 but the results inverted on race 2, one of the best races to have been seen at  the World Championship, although a penalty demoted Kristoffersson to third, behind Kevin Hansen (SWE), brother of current World Champion Timmy Hansen (SWE), who only managed to finish 6th and 11th. Watch the highlights of the World RX of Sweden 2 (FIA World Rallycross)
  3. The biggest upset ever. Sophia Popov (GER) pulled the biggest upset remembered in female golf by winning the AIG Women’s Open (the British Open, a Major). Before this tournament she was 304th in the world, and had never won a tournament in either of the LPGA Tour, the European Tour or even the second-tier Symetra Tour. She won two strokes clear of Jasmine Suwannapura (THA). Watch the Final Round Highlights (LPGA)
  4. Knocked out cold. Alexander Povetkin (RUS) came back from two knockdowns to fulminate Dillian White (ENG) with an uppercut in the fifth round that ended the match, in order to claim the WBC Interim and Diamond World Heavyweight Titles. In the co-header, Katie Taylor (IRL) narrowly edged Delfine Persoon (BEL) out for the Undisputed Female Lightweight Title, in a rematch. The fight was close and for some the result was controversial, although Persoon recognized Taylor’s victory this time. White reacts to his loss (Sky Sports Boxing)
  5. Love winsLove (IRL), trained by Aidan O’Brien, won the Yorkshire Oaks (G1) ridden by Ryan Moore (ENG) and now leads the betting odds (The Guardian) for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October. Her main rival could be Ghaiyyath (ENG), who won the International Stake (G1) one day prior -at the same track- and who for many is the best horse in the world (Racing Post). He was ridden by William Buick (NOR), and they defeated O’Brien’s Magical (IRL), also ridden by Ryan Moore. In California, Maximum Security won the TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar ridden by Abel Cedillo (GUA) and now tops the NTRA Poll (Bloodhorse)
GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK
Bayern celebrating the Champions League title. Photo: CNN

Gold: Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V.

(Germany-based team, Association Football)

It is not only the fact that it is the UEFA Champions League that they won, but the way they won it. By beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the final, they became the first team ever to win all 11 of the matches in the tournament, with a total of 43 goals. En route, destroying Barcelona 8-2 in a historic quarterfinals last week, before taking out Lyon in a contundent 3-0. The squad led by Hans-Dieter Flick had also just won an eight consecutive Bundesliga title. Robert Lewandowski (POL) had 15 goals, one of the best marks in the competitions’ history, and Manuel Neuer (GER) has now maintained a clean sleet both in the FIFA World Cup (2014) and the UEFA Champions League Finals. The lone goal in the Final came by Kingsley Coman (FRA), who was a PSG juvenile player (CNN)

Squad:
Goalkeepers: Neuer, Nübel, Ulreich, Hoffmann (GER)
Defenders: Süle, Boateng, Kimmich, Arrey-Mbi (GER), Pavard, Hernandez, Kouassi (FRA), Alaba (AUT), Odriozola (ESP)
Midfielders: Alcántara, Martínez (ESP), Cuisance, Tolisso (FRA), Goretzka, Gnabry, Batista Meier, Zirkzee, Tillman, Musiala (GER), Davies (CAN), Coutinho (BRA)
Forwards: Müller (GER), Lewandowski (POL), Perišić (CRO), Coman (FRA)

Watch the final’s highlights (Fox Sports MX)

Dustin Johnson (USA) celebrating the Northern Trust PGA victory. Photo: Dustin Johnson (Facebook)

Silver: Dustin Johnson 
(United States of America, Golf)

Yet another change in the World Golf’s number one rankings (Official and PGA FedEx Cup) but this has been one of the most dominant tournaments with which a player has scaled to the number one spot. Dustin Johnson won the PGA Northern Trust by 11 strokes, the largest winning margin for a PGA tournament in the last 20 years. He finished 30 strokes under par, the second lowest score in a 72-hole PGA event (missed Ernie Els’ record by one), and he scored the lowest in three rounds ever, with 187 strokes.  DJ has 22 career victories now, and tied Rory McIlroy (NIR/IRL) as the winningest PGA Playoffs tournament winner with 5.

Watch his Round 4 Highlights (PGA)

Takuma Sato wins the Indy 500. Photo: HPD Facebook.

Bronze: Takuma Satō

(Japan, Auto Racing)

Takuma-san might as well be the greatest Asian driver ever, at least on track. Sato won his second Indy 500 victory by taking advantage of his ever-supporting Honda package, which delivered well this race and powered the top four positions. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver was tight on fuel and was benefited by a crash from teammate Spencer Pigot (USA) to ensure his win with a yellow flag ending. Scott Dixon (NZL) came second and was due to pit the next lap and had been fairly passed by Takuma on lap 172, never to lose the lead. Patricio O’Ward (MEX) impressed and took Rookie of the Year honors, in sixth.

Watch the race’s extended highlights (NBC Sports)

GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA
 

Week Preview

 

The Tour de France begins and defending champion Egan Bernal (COL) will be supported by Richard Carapaz (ECU), Giro d’Italia winner. Their Team Ineos teammates Chris Froome (ENG) and Geraint Thomas (WAL) have been left out to compete at the Vuelta and Giro, instead. Primož Roglič (SLO) and Tom Dumoulin (NET) lead Jumbo-Visma.

IndyCar goes straight to Gateway after the Indy 500 and Formula 1 reaches the fan-favorite Belgian Grand Prix. NASCAR will define the playoff spots at Daytona, after Denny Hamlin (USA) and Kevin Harvick (USA) won both races at Dover.

Rain has interrupted the Test match between England and Pakistan, where James Anderson (ENG) will attempt to become the first fast bowler to take 600 Test wickets.

In eSports, Call of Duty League will define its championship between Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and London. NBA 2K will have its Finals, as the real NBA continues ots playoff matches. So does real NHL.

José Carlos Ramírez (MEX/USA) will finally get to defend his Super Lightweight World Title vs Viktor Postol (UKR), a fight that was slated for January and then for May. The Mexican has a record of 25-0 and is favorite to win.


Aussie Rules Football:
AFL Season

Auto racing:
British Touring Car Championship (Knockhill x3)
European Le Mans Series (Catalunya)
FIA Formula 1 (Belgian Grand Prix)
FIA World Rallycross Championship (Finland x2)
GT World Challenge America (Elkhart Lake x2)
IndyCar Series (Gateway x2)
NASCAR Cup (Daytona)
NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (Gateway)
NHRA (Atlanta)
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup (Belgium)
Super Formula (Motegi)
Supercars Championship (Townsville x3)
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars (Osborne, Greenwood)

Baseball
Major League Baseball Regular Season
Nippon League
KBO

Basketball:
NBA Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals, Semifinals
WNBA regular season

Boxing:
World Boxing Council, World Boxing Organisation World Super Light Titles: José Carlos Ramírez (MEX/USA) vs Viktor Postol (UKR)

Chess:
FIDE Online Olympiad (Playoffs and Final)

Cricket:
2019–21 ICC World Test Championship England v Pakistan (Series 3)

eSports:
Arena of Valor (Garena Challenger Series Summer 2020, RoV Pro League 2020 Winter, Arena of Glory Winter 2020)
Call of Duty League Championship
League of Legends (LPL Summer Finals, LCK, LCD, LEC)
Hearthstone Gold Team Championship Start
NBA 2K Finals
Starcraft II Gold Series Team Championship 2020 Fall Start

Golf:
LPGA Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
PGA Tour BMW Championship

Horse Racing: 
Champions Cup, Mercury Sprint, Premier’s Champion Stakes, Thekwini Stakes (South Africa)
Forego Stakes Presented by America’s Best Racing, Sword Dancer Stakes  (USA)
Gazi Derby, Anafartalar (Turkey)
Gran Premio Polla de Potrancas, Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos (Uruguay)
Jamaica Oaks (Jamaica)
New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (Australia)

Ice Hockey:
NHL Playoffs

Motorcycling:
FIM Superbike, Supersport, Supersport 300 World Championship (Aragón)
Speedway Grand Prix (Poland x2)

Para Powerlifting:
IPC Online World Cup

Road Cycling:
Bretagne Classic Ouest–France (WT)
GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT (WWT)
La Course by Le Tour de France (WWT)
Tour de France (WT)

Simracing:
GPVWC

Tennis:
Western & Southern Open (USA)
US Open Qualifiers (USA)

   
 
SPORT’S BEST VALUES

Solidarity: Ice Hockey

Tens of thousands have been demonstrating on the streets of Belarus, after a controversial re-election of Alexander Lukashenko, President since 1994. Lukashenko has been accused of human rights abuses (Amnesty International), members of the opposition have been jailed (Intellinews) and barred from registering in the elections (TIME). As a result, several countries have shown solidarity and sport has not been different. Latvia has threatened to withdraw as co-hosts of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, which they would co-host with Belarus. Several Finnish players have also spoken against the Championship being held in Belarus (Pledge Times). Financial Times explains the unrests.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The unilateral decision made by the IPC to remove players from their teams who rightfully qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics is illegal and violates the athletes’ fundamental rights. A broad consensus exists among athletes and legal advisors internationally that the belated reassessment of certain players is unlawful and grossly violates the athletes’ rights. Thus, the IPC’s attempts need to be vigorously opposed, and the issue must be resolved expeditiously.”

Global Athlete
On the pressure by the IPC for the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation to comply with the new eligibility guidelines, which exclude athletes with complex regional pain syndrome and other conditions

BBC.com

 
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New York | México City, 2020.

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