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Hamann pinpoints ‘only worry’ Man City have about Haaland, ex-Liverpool man lauds ‘terrifying’ striker

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Hamann pinpoints ‘only worry’ Man City have about Haaland, ex-Liverpool man lauds ‘terrifying’ striker

Dietmar Hamann has pinpointed the “only worry” Manchester City will have about Erling Haaland ahead of next season.

Man City sign Erling Haaland

PA Images Man City sign Erling Haaland

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Man City had agreed a deal to sign Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

The player’s release clause becomes active this summer so he was always likely to leave. It is understood that the fee for Haaland will be £85.6m with agents’ fees and bonuses factored in.

Haaland to Man City is exciting, depressing and he could be the next Lukaku

The 22-year-old has been impacted by injury this term. But he has still netted 21 goals in 23 Bundesliga outings.

Hamann believes the “only worry” Man City will have about Haaland are his muscle injuries:

“It’s great news for the Premier League, it’s great news for City obviously. He’s a tremendous player,” Hamann told talkSPORT.

“He took the Bundesliga by storm and I think he averages a goal a game and did well for Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

“Obviously this is the next step. It was all planned to go to Austria to play there for a year and a half, play in the Bundesliga and now he has to cut it in the Premier League. I have no doubt he will.

“The only worry I would have about him is that he has had quite a few muscle injuries over the last 12 months and missed a lot of football.

“That’s one thing they have to be wary of. I’m not sure if he can get any faster because he’s lightning quick already.

“The thing with him is he will also give 100 per cent on the pitch. Sometimes he has to channel himself because he’s been out for a few weeks, plays the first game and was then chasing the goalkeeper from the halfway line and broke down again.

“He’s still learning with his body as to whether he can get fitter and stronger. He probably can get stronger, but I’m not sure he can get much quicker as he’s lightning quick.

“It is terrifying because he has so much power, when he opens his legs he’s hard to stop. He’s a great finisher for his height and physique.

“He’s got a great left foot on him, he finishes alright with his right as well. If there’s one weakness, I don’t really want to call it a weakness, but it is his heading.

“But he doesn’t need to head that often because he scores with his feet.” 

Reference: Football 365: Lewis Oldham 

Young Thug charged with gang-related crimes after arrest

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Young Thug charged with gang-related crimes after arrest

Young Thug has been arrested

Bang Showbiz Young Thug has been arrested

Reference: Bang Showbiz 

Madonna selling three NFTs for charity

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Madonna selling three NFTs for charity

Madonna is selling three Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) at auction on Wednesday.

Madonna

Provided by Cover Media Madonna

The Like A Virgin singer will release her NFT collection for charity, with the proceeds from their sale going directly to the Voices of Children and the City of Joy organisations and Black Mama's Bail Out initiative.

The collection, titled Mother Of Creation, was made with digital artist Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple.

The tokens are three videos, which "represent a different form of birth in our contemporary world", according to a press release.

In each video, Madonna plays the role of creator. The videos are titled Mother Of Nature, Mother Of Evolution, and Mother Of Technology.

Mother of Nature features the pop star giving birth to a tree, while Mother Of Evolution includes lyrics from Madonna's song Justify My Love and original music by Igor Bardykin, reports NME.

In a statement, Madonna said of the collection, "When Mike and I decided to collaborate on this project a year ago, I was excited to have the opportunity to share my vision of the world as a mother and an artist with Mike's own unique point of view. It's been an amazing journey building this together from an intellectual idea to an emotional story, giving birth to art.

"I wanted to investigate the concept of creation, not only the way a child enters the world through a woman's vagina, but also the way an artist gives birth to creativity. Most importantly we wanted to use this opportunity to benefit mothers and children who are most in need right now."

Reference: Cover news: 

LeBron James pockets $127 million as the year's 'highest-paid athlete'

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LeBron James pockets $127 million as the year's 'highest-paid athlete'

His Lakers failed to make the playoffs and could be headed for a roster overhaul, but LeBron James is still very much the king, financially speaking.

The 37-year-old NBA superstar ranked atop Sportico's list of the highest-paid athletes for the last 12 months after raking in a reported $127 million in salary and endorsements to edge out international soccer icons Lionel Messi ($122 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million). Tennis star Naomi Osaka ranked atop all female athletes, and 20th overall, with $53.2 million in earnings, most of which came from endorsement deals as she missed several tournaments while battling mental health issues. 

Sportico's top-100 list included athletes across 10 sports, who earned an estimated $4.5 billion in salary, winnings, and endorsement deals, which is a 6-percent increase from last year.

Although the Lakers failed to make the playoffs, LeBron James ranked atop Sportico's list of the highest-paid athletes for the last 12 months after raking in a reported $127 million

Although the Lakers failed to make the playoffs, LeBron James ranked atop Sportico's list of the highest-paid athletes for the last 12 months after raking in a reported $127 million 

James earned $41 million in salary from the Lakers while ranking second in the NBA in scoring with 28.5 points a game in 2021-22, but it's his side work that pushed him over the top.

The 18-time NBA All-Star's Nike contract remains one of the highest-profile deals in sports, but he's also added a litany of other sponsors, such as Walmart, GMC, AT&T, and PepsiCo, all of which he can endorse to his 200 million social media followers.

TOP-10 HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES  

Earnings include salary winnings and endorsements {source sportifico)

 

And then there's the brands he's personally invested in, like Calm, Ladder/Openfit and Lobos 1707 tequila.

Finally, there are the businesses that James owns with his partners, such as The SpringHill Company, a seven-year-old media and consulting firm that expects to earn more than $100 million in 2022, according to Sportico.

James also has stakes in Liverpool, of the the English Premier League, as well as the Boston Red Sox and their home network, NESN.

NBA players had the highest representation on the top-100 list, including Stephen Curry ($86.2 million) and Kevin ($85.9 million), who were sixth and seventh, respectively.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady ($58.4 million) actually dropped eight spots to No. 16 because he reworked his NFL contract to give his team more salary cap space. But don't feel too bad for Brady, who will earn a whopping $375 million over a 10-year deal to serve as Fox Sports' lead NFL analyst when he does, eventually, decide to retire.

The 44-year-old still had a profitable year off the field, thanks to endorsement deals with Subway and FTX, as well as his own TB12 brand and his new NFT platform, Autograph.

Osaka ranked first among women's athletes for the second straight year, nearly all of which came from 20 sponsors due to her absences on the WTA tour as she battled mental health issues. In fact, only James, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and Ronaldo earned more in endorsements than the $52 million Osaka earned over the last 12 months.

The Japanese tennis star is also signed to Autograph, and also has deals with Hyperice, Sweetgreen, and Modern Health.

Serena Williams, the only other female athlete in the top-100, ranked just 52 after earning a paltry $270,000 in tournament winnings compared to $35 million for sponsors.

Rebekah Vardy tells court she did not leak stories about Coleen Rooney

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Rebekah Vardy tells court she did not leak stories about Coleen Rooney

Rebekah Vardy denied leaking stories about Coleen Rooney to the press as she started her evidence in their High Court libel battle.

In a viral social media post in October 2019, Mrs Rooney, 36, said she had carried out a “sting operation” and accused Mrs Vardy, 40, of leaking “false stories” about her private life to the press.

The wife of former England star Wayne Rooney was dubbed “Wagatha Christie” when she publicly claimed an account behind three fake stories she had posted on her personal Instagram account with The Sun newspaper was Mrs Vardy’s.

Mrs Vardy, who is married to Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, denies leaking stories to the media and is suing her fellow footballer’s wife for libel, while Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis her post was “substantially true”.

In her written evidence, Mrs Vardy said she believed Mrs Rooney had made her a “scapegoat” for previous leaked stories about her marriage to Mr Rooney.

“I believe that they have, in part, done this as a way of trying to change the narrative in the press about Coleen being a doormat following her husband’s drink driving charge and the multiple allegations of cheating,” she wrote.

Going into the witness box shortly before 4pm on Tuesday, Mrs Vardy repeatedly denied leaking information to newspapers, telling the court: “I have been called a leaker and it’s not nice.”

Rebekah Vardy is due to give evidence for two days (Victoria Jones /PA) (PA Wire)© Provided by Evening Standard Rebekah Vardy is due to give evidence for two days (Victoria Jones /PA) (PA Wire)

Shortly after questioning whether Mrs Vardy respected people’s privacy, Mrs Rooney’s barrister David Sherborne then asked Mrs Vardy about an interview she gave her about a sexual encounter with singer Peter Andre.

Mr Sherborne showed what appeared to be a A3 printout of the article to Mrs Vardy in the witness box before reading the headline: “Peter’s hung like a small chipolata, shaved, slobbery, lasts five minutes.”

However, Mrs Vardy said that she was “forced into a situation by my ex-husband” to do the interview.

Mr Sherborne later asked: “Did you feel particularly strongly about the size of his manhood that it should be made public?”

Mrs Vardy replied: “It was something that I was forced to say.”

The Dancing On Ice star was also asked to explain what the acronym “FFS” meant from one of her text messages.

“I just wanted to be clear what you meant,” Mr Sherborne said.

During the hearing Mrs Vardy, wearing a smart navy dress, sat metres away from Mrs Rooney.

The pair sat in the front row of the seats in the wood-panelled courtroom with Mrs Rooney, accompanied by her husband, dressed in a black suit with a navy top with a moon boot on her left foot.

Wayne and Coleen Rooney will both give evidence later in the case (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)© Provided by Evening Standard Wayne and Coleen Rooney will both give evidence later in the case (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

Earlier on Tuesday, Mrs Vardy’s barrister Hugh Tomlinson QC said she had to bring the libel claim to “vindicate her reputation”.

He said in written submissions: “The allegation in the post was and remains false: Mrs Vardy had not leaked information about Mrs Rooney or her friends and family to The Sun newspaper from her private Instagram account.

“Mrs Rooney did not have the ‘irrefutable’ evidence that she claimed to have had: her so-called ‘careful investigation’ was nothing of the sort.

“If anyone had been leaking information from Mrs Rooney’s private Instagram this was not done with Mrs Vardy’s knowledge or approval.”

The barrister also said that Mrs Rooney’s alleged investigation into the leaks “was in fact a pre-determined blinkered operation with the aim of ‘outing’ Mrs Vardy”.

Mr Tomlinson said the affair and subsequent libel case had become the subject of intense press coverage and a source of “entertainment” in the media, being referred to as “Wag Wars” and “Wagatha Christie”.

He added: “This is far from being an entertaining case, it has been profoundly distressing and disturbing.”

Summing up Mrs Rooney’s case, Mr Sherborne said it was “a detective story”.

“Like any good detective story, you never find a person standing over the body with a smoking gun,” he said, arguing there was “inference”.

He told Mrs Justice Steyn: “You do not have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt, you just have to conclude that it is more likely than not that Mrs Vardy was responsible, either directly or through Ms (Caroline – Mrs Vardy’s friend and agent) Watt.”

Mr Sherborne described what he called a series of “most improbable events” that had affected the disclosure of evidence in the case from Mrs Vardy and those around her.

This included Ms Watt’s “poor unfortunate phone” falling into the North Sea “within days” of the court ordering that, even though she was not a party to proceedings, it should be searched for disclosure.

He concluded: “I do wonder whether it is not just Mrs Rooney but this whole court that may all think now ‘why on earth are we here?’”

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Coleen and Wayne Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy (right) sitting near to each other in the front row at court prior to Vardy giving evidence (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

© Provided by Evening Standard Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Coleen and Wayne Rooney (left) and Rebekah Vardy (right) sitting near to each other in the front row at court prior to Vardy giving evidence (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

However, Mr Tomlinson said the suggestion that Mrs Vardy and Ms Watt were involved in a “conspiracy” and “campaign of deletion” in relation to evidence in the case is “completely baseless”.

He also told the court that it had not been suggested “that Mrs Vardy was anywhere near the North Sea at the time” Ms Watt’s phone fell into the water, nor that she “knew anything about it”.

Mrs Rooney is defending the claim on the basis of truth and public interest.

It is expected that both Mr and Mrs Rooney will provide evidence, as well as Mr Rooney’s cousin and Mrs Rooney’s brother.

The court heard that both women have spent “hundreds of thousands of pounds” on the case so far, with the total costs of the case expected to be at least £2 million.

The fake stories Mrs Rooney planted on her Instagram during the sting operation featured her travelling to Mexico for a “gender selection” procedure, her planning to return to TV, and the basement flooding at her home.

In the post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, she wrote: “I have saved and screenshotted all the original stories which clearly show just one person has viewed them.

“It’s ………. Rebekah Vardy’s account.” 

Reference: Evening Standard: Pa High Court Staff

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