Sancho be warned! – The curse of Man United’s number 7 shirt

first_imgThe Argentine was supposed to be Manchester United’s Messiah when the Red Devils paid a then club record £60 million to Real Madrid for his services. After a fine start, typified by a truly wonderful goal against Leicester, fans were rightfully excited. But it all went sour from there on as he failed to show up in the second half of the season, eventually being relegated to a place on the bench. He left after one season.Memphis DepayThe Dutch winger joined the Red Devils in 2015 in what looked like a very promising acquisition for Man United.But sadly the performances on the pitch were nothing close to the hype surrounding the youngster. After only 2 goals in 33 appearances over two seasons, Depay was sold to French side Olympique Lyon.Alexis SanchezAlexis Sanchez made a big move from Arsenal to Premier League rivals, Manchester United, in January 2018.The winger’s ime at United will probably go down as one of the biggest flops in modern day Premier league history. After only 3 goals in 32 league games, Sanchez was loaned to Inter Milan for the 2019/2020 season, and looks set to leave on a permanent deal this summer. Superstition and sports have a long lasting relationship. Stories of lucky numbers, lucky stadiums and forbidden jerseys are very common in football.One of such famous examples, was the sight of Laurent Blanc planting a kiss upon the shiny, bald head of the French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez before every game at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.It was for good luck, and France ended up winning the competition.In terms of lucky or unlucky jersey numbers, Manchester United’s number 7 shirt is slowly gaining the reputation for bringing ‘bad luck’ to the wearer.Dortmund winger, Jason Sancho, could yet become Manchester United’s next number 7, with United said to be close to the signing of the England international.But superstitious fans have begun urging the 20 year old, not to opt for the famous number 7 shirt if he signs, because of the recent history behind the performances of the players who wear that shirt.Cristiano Ronaldo is perhaps the last player to have been successful wearing the Man United number 7 jersey, even winning the Ballon d’Or with the Red Devils in 2008.The story, has however been the complete opposite for his predecessors.English forward, Michael Owen took over the jersey number when the Portuguese superstar left United in 2009. His time at Man United was plagued with injuries, with Owen playing a peripheral role as the club won one Premier League title and a league cup in his two seasons at Man United.Antonio ValenciaThe Ecuadorian winger enjoyed his first two seasons at Man United wearing the number 25 jersey.But he decided to switch to the famous number 7, after Owen left the club in 2012, and that was a decision he ended up regretting.Valencia scored just once in 30 Premier League appearances in what was perhaps his worst season at the club. Unsurprisingly, Valencia switched back to the number 25 shirt the following season, and held on to that jersey number till he left the club in 2019.Angel Di Marialast_img read more

Lealiifano inspired by the smile of his son

first_imgLealiifano today spoke publicly for the first time since returning to rugby and revealed the shining light that spurned him on while pushing through rigorous chemotherapy treatment in Melbourne.”It helped me massively to know that he had zero awareness of what was going on,” Lealiifano said of his son.”To have him come into hospital and see his dad with no hair one day, no hair, no eyebrows and he still smiles and knows who you are, it’s truly uplifting hey.”You look in the mirror and you’re actually sick but then you see your son and he makes you smile.”Keeping him close to me was something that motivated me and inspired me to get better.”To be a dad and make it to his first birthday meant a lot.”Lealiifano’s story has inspired a nation.Struck down with a leukaemia diagnosis in August 2016, his return to rugby was something that coach Stephen Larkham always believed was a matter of when, not if.That belief, along with the support of friends, family, fans and countless others, who Lealiifano went to great extent to thank today, was another motivating factor in his journey back to full health.”He (Larkham) was probably the one person that from day one, he was always believing that I would get back and play,” Lealiifano said.”Knowing that in the back of my mind, that someone was there that truly believed I would make it – he never wavered off that and it really inspired me and motivated me.”Knowing that someone truly, truly believed that I could get back and play footy again and then to run out in the quarter final against the Hurricanes was truly special,” Lealiifano said.The 29-year-old was also stoic in saying he would go through the treatment 10 times over, such is the impact this battle has had on his take on life.”Just my outlook on life – rugby is a small part of it but my perspective changed, obviously, when I had a child,” he said.”Then when you get leukaemia and go through that, everything changes even more.”I’m really, really, really grateful and I’ve said this before – I would go this through 10 times again to be the person I am today.”Reports in recent days indicate Lealiifano is considering a move to Ulster to get game time back in his legs before the 2018 season but no such deal has been locked in, according to the man himself.A stint with the Vikings come NRC time is an options, as is a move to other overseas clubs, but Lealiifano hasn’t thought about any potential Wallabies involvement down the track.He’s simply focused on staying fit and healthy, with the battle of a lifetime now firmly in the rearview mirror.”They always say that when you are in remission you have beaten it but they don’t actually say you have beaten it until roughly two years,” he said.”One thing that they said they can never guarantee is that the cancer won’t come back.”They can give you every chance but it’s just a matter of trying to live each day the best you can.”last_img read more


first_imgA JURY has failed to reach a verdict in a defamation action brought by a Donegal man over an article by Sunday Times columnist Brenda Power.The jury was discharged and the case will now be relisted for another hearing before a new High Court jury unless a settlement is reached in the meantime.John McCauley (46), a property consultant originally from Donegal but now based in Dubai and Lithuania, had sued over a article in which Ms Power criticised him for taking a midwife to court over the interruption of him filming the birth of his first child. After a second day of deliberations, the jury said it was unable to reach a unanimous or majority verdict in relation to one of two questions they were asked. It had reached a verdict on a question of whether the words used in the article were true or false insofar as they allege facts.However, it was unable to reach either a unanimous or majority verdict in relation to a second question over whether the words constituted honest comment on a matter of public interest.The foreman told Mr Justice Eamon deValera the jury felt that they would not reach a majority decision.Mr Justice deValera said in those circumstances he would discharge the jury which comprised seven women and four men as one juror was excused last Friday due to a prior holiday commitment. The judge, who said it was the longest time a jury had been out in his experience, thanked them and excused them from jury service for ten years.The case, which lasted five days, centred on a March 2009 article written following publicity surrounding another case brought by Mr McCauley against midwife Irish Halbach and Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin. Mr McCauley claimed Ms Halbach had acted unreasonably by stopping him filming just after his daughter Simone’s birth by C-section in 2006. That case was dismissed in the Circuit Court.He claimed Ms Power’s subsequent column about that case portrayed him as having no consideration or care for his partner or his baby.It showed him as “some kind of head case running around with a camera”, he told the court.JURY FAILS TO REACH VERDICT IN DONEGAL ‘HEADCASE’ LIBEL ACTION was last modified: July 17th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:JURY FAILS TO REACH VERDICT IN DONEGAL ‘HEADCASE’ LIBEL ACTIONlast_img read more