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Mohamed Salah
Salah threatens Messi, Ronaldo Ballon d’Or stranglehold
25 April 2018, 3:25 PM

Mohamed Salah could be the man to finally break the Ronaldo-Messi duopoly at the top of world football after the Liverpool forward burnished his soaring reputation with a mesmerising Champions League performance against Roma.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi have locked down the Ballon d’Or award for a decade, winning five gongs apiece — for the past seven years they have occupied the top two slots.

But Salah is now second favourite with many bookmakers behind Ronaldo for this year’s award after scoring his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season in a thrilling 5-2 victory for Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

After his first strike against his former club on Tuesday, the man dubbed by fans as the “Egyptian King” stood motionless, hands raised in apology, as bedlam broke out on a night for the ages at Anfield.

Salah’s curling effort arrowed into the top corner with such accuracy his manager Jurgen Klopp labelled it “a genius strike”.

Soon after came the forward’s signature finish, a cute dink over advancing Roma goalkeeper Alisson for his 43rd goal in 47 games for Liverpool.

When Salah, 25, made the move from the Italian capital back to the Premier League just 10 months ago for 42 million euros (£37 million, $51 million), there were plenty who felt Roma had got the better deal. Salah after all was a talented player, but who often lacked an end product.

It also came just a few weeks before Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record 222 million euros revolutionised the transfer market.

The Brazilian’s desire to leave the Catalan giants was tied to his ambition to beat Messi and Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or by stepping out of Messi’s shadow.

Now, though, it is Salah who has emerged as the pretender to end the Messi-Ronaldo domination by not only scoring the quantity of goals that have become the pair’s trademark but doing it when it really matters, in the latter stages of the Champions League.

“If you think he is the best in the world, write it or say it,” urged Klopp, who has been credited with bringing out Salah’s previously untapped potential.

“To be the best in the world you need to do that over a longer period I think, and there are a few others that are not so bad.”

Heavily left-footed, small, speedy and with a low centre of gravity, Salah’s characteristics are far more like those of Messi than the muscular goal-machine Ronaldo.

“In a certain light, at certain points, it is possible to glimpse in Salah a little of Messi’s afterglow,” wrote Rory Smith in the New York Times.

– Messi-like –

And he demonstrated another Messi-like quality in showing no mercy to Roma.

Chasing his first hat-trick in the Champions League, Salah would have been forgiven for going for goal as he bore down on Alisson once more after half-time.

But he showed why he is considered one of the game’s more unselfish superstars by instead creating another two goals for strike partners Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

When Salah left the field to a standing ovation 15 minutes from time, Liverpool led 5-0.

“Unstoppable (when Salah’s on the pitch),” said the back page of The Times.

Two late Roma away goals have at least given the Italians hope of recreating the incredible comeback they staged from a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Barca in the quarter-finals.

For once it is Salah’s turn to lead the way where Messi faltered on his return to the Eternal City next week.

Messi is almost certain to win a La Liga and Copa del Rey double and Ronaldo could lead Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League after another bucketload of goals this season.

But Salah is the coming man and after bagging the African and English players’ player of the year crowns, it is hard to back against him also conquering the world.

Patricia de Lille
De Lille slams DA councillors who aim to oust her
25 April 2018, 3:11 PM

Embattled Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille has lashed out at the Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors who will vote for her removal, saying they are only thinking of their interests and not their constituents.

The DA caucus in the city will consider yet another motion of no confidence in De Lille later on Wednesday afternoon. It says her relationship with caucus members has become untenable.

In February, De Lille survived a motion of no confidence in the city council by a single vote.

She says she is in close contact with residents of Cape Town.

“I have had 25 public meetings in this month alone, and not in one of those public meetings did anybody in those meetings say, mayor we’ve lost confidence in you. That begs the question, where did these councillors get a mandate from, to say that they as individuals representing their jackets, representing their stomachs, have lost confidence in me?” asks De Lille.

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Motorists warned of protesters stoning cars in Zandspruit
25 April 2018, 12:03 PM

Police have advised commuters travelling through Zandspruit, in the west of Johannesburg, to be cautious due to violent protests that have flared up since Tuesday.

A community leader says residents have joined the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu)’s national strike demanding an increase in wages and voice their grievances over land.

Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar says motorists should make use of alternative routes as tyres are being burnt and vehicles being stoned.

“Protesters have become violent in Zandspruit area. They are stoning passing cars at the intersection of Beyers Naude and Marina Street. It is believed that the protests are linked to on-going protest of the removal of illegal structures in the Zandspruit area by JMPD officers. Motorists are advised to avoid that section for now,” says Minnaar.

 

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Mediosa denies links to Gupta family
25 April 2018, 11:55 AM

The controversial Mediosa mobile clinic company that operates in the Free State and North-West has denied having any links with the Gupta family.

The North West government has instituted investigations over allegations that the company has links with the Guptas.

The company has also dismissed allegations that tender processes with the provincial Health were flawed.

Mediosa Health Director, Inish Merchan has however admitted that they received a R30 million advance from government to start their business.

“There is clause which says there would be R30 million in advance to be paid, and we received the 30 million in advance. And once that money was received, was used for other capital expenses like tax and to buy those equipment. We had already rendered services more that 30 million rand, in waste comparing to the amount of the department of health,” says Merchan.

 

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Businessman offers financial assistance to soccer violence victim
25 April 2018, 10:22 AM

A good Samaritan has offered to pay for the expenses of a security guard who was badly wounded when Kaizer Chiefs fans went on the rampage on Saturday evening, following their team’s 2-0 defeat to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

Eighteen other people were wounded, TV equipment damaged and a portion of the stadium torched.

The 32 year-old security guard Sabelo Mazibu has been discharged from hospital.

Businessman Blaine Joseph has offered to pay his yearly salary and all his medical expenses.

“We want to help him immediately, with whatever medical assistance he’s going to need. Furthermore we just want to offer him a salary for a year, what he went through was traumatic in itself – and I think to go back to that environment is traumatic,” says Joseph.

 

 

Chaos at Soccer Stadiums by SABC Digital News

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