Evening Sports Update

SOCCER

ARGENTINIAN football legend Diego Maradona has died after suffering a heart attack.

 

The 60-year-old World Cup winner had recently battled health issues and underwent emergency surgery for a subdural haematoma several weeks ago.

 

However, he was rushed to hospital again today and was later pronounced dead.

 

The former Barcelona and Napoli forward Maradona was regarded among the greatest footballers of all time having captained the Argentine team to World Cup success in 1986.

 

In that tournament he scored what was later chosen as the Fifa Goal of the century against England where he dribbled the ball from the halfway line…

 

That goal arrived just 4 minutes after he scored the infamous “Hand of God”. His brace gave Argentina a 2-1 victory to go through to the semi-finals eventually winning the 1986 World Cup.

 

Brazil’s Pele paid tribute to his friend, saying: “Certainly one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.”

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Last year’s winner Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are on the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year.

 

In total, there are 11 players nominated for the Men’s prize. The others are Thiago, now of Liverpool, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Neymar, Sergio Ramos, and Liverpool trio Mo Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

 

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa of Leeds United are among five nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach. Joining them on the list are Bayern Munich’s Hansi Flick, Zinedine Zidane and Julen Lopetegui.

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Dundalk’s Jordan Flores has followed in the footsteps of Stephanie Roche in flying the Irish flag for the Puskas Award.

 

Flores’ wonder strike against Shamrock Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division back in February is among 11 entries on the shortlist for the goal of the year.

 

Roche made the final three back in 2015 for a goal she scored for Peamount United.

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Liverpool and Man City can both secure their last 16 places in the Champions League tonight.

 

City are in Greece to take on Olympiacos at 5.55, looking to maintain their 100 percent record in the competition.

 

Manager Pep Guardiola has hinted Sergio Aguero may not play, despite training with the group yesterday.

 

City are yet to get past the quarter-finals under Guardiola, but he insists winning the tournament is not becoming an obsession

 

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Liverpool will have Mo Salah available for their meeting with Atalanta tonight at 8pm.

 

Salah missed the 3-0 win versus Leicester on Sunday due to a positive Covid-19 test.

 

Jurgen Klopp’s side were 5-0 winners when the sides met earlier this month.

 

Roberto Firmino has only scored two goals this season.

 

But Klopp says he brings a lot more to the team…

 

Gordon Taylor will stand down as the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association at the end of the season.

 

It’s understood he’s announced his departure in a letter to members.

 

Taylor, who took up the role in 1981, announced last year he would stand down once an independent review of the organisation was complete.

 

The union has faced criticism over its record on supporting former players suffering from dementia.

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The Extra.ie FAI Cup semi-final line-up will be completed tonight.

 

Sligo Rovers play Derry City in the quarter finals of the FAI Cup at the Showgrounds tonight.

 

The in-form Bit O’ Red have won both league games between the sides this year.

 

It’s a 7.30 kick off at the Showgrounds and the winner will face the holders Shamrock Rovers in the semi-finals.

Gaelic Games

Cavan have strongly denied they’ve attempted to move their All Ireland football semi-final with Dublin.

 

Their Ulster final win secured a Croke Park date with the All Ireland champions of their last five years.

 

There had been claims Cavan would have preferred the game moved from what has effectively become Dublin’s home.

 

But the County Board say they’ve never considered or applied for the game to be played anywhere but Croke Park.

 

Cavan captain Raymond Galligan is relaxed about the venue for Cavan’s first semi final in 23 years.

 

 

SNOOKER

Limerick’s Leo Fernandez faces snooker royalty in the UK Championship first round later.

 

He goes up against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

 

Currently at the table, Antrim’s Jordan Brown is tied at 4-frames apiece with Martin Gould.

 

RACING

There’s racing this afternoon at Dundalk.

 

The first of a seven-race card goes off just after 2 o’clock.