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Dack on track for Rovers return

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With just 17 games remaining of their 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship campaign, Blackburn Rovers are well and truly in the race for promotion back to the Premier League, 10 years on from losing their place in the top-flight.

Tony Mowbray’s side sit second in the standings at the time of writing and, on the back of a successful January transfer window which has seen them keep hold of some key players, may well have another ace up their sleeve for the run-in.

Bradley Dack – the man described by Mowbray as “the best player in the Championship” prior to successive long-term injuries – is nearing his eagerly anticipated return, and at a crucial time of the season.

The attacker has been building up match fitness with the Club’s Under-23 side in recent weeks following a return to first-team training, and could provide a welcome boost as Rovers look to continue their promotion charge.

“It’s been tough,” he says, when asked about his recovery from the two ACL injuries. “But, the way I see it, the quicker you get over it, the quicker you can get back. That’s the mentality I’ve taken – just work hard every day, because every day is a step closer to getting back. There have been moments when I’ve been down but I’ve got the right people around me, I’m at the right club and I’m taking it all in my stride. There’s a long time left in my career.

“Last time, it took me six or seven weeks to really get going and I’d imagine it will be the same this time. The boys are doing well enough without me so hopefully I can find my feet and add to what’s already going on.

“I haven’t played in front of fans since December 2019. I’ll get goosebumps when I run back out onto that pitch. I can’t wait for that feeling, and I can’t wait to find the net again in front of the fans.”

Dack joined Blackburn from Gillingham in June 2017 and spearheaded the Club’s Sky Bet League One promotion-winning campaign, contributing 18 goals as Rovers finished second in the final standings.

With the Club in the same position five years on, this time in the division above, the 28-year-old says it’s easy to draw parallels.

“It’s got that League One vibe about it now, definitely,” he adds. “You can see the fans are believing and I think the whole club is believing. It definitely feels a bit like that season we had in League One. I’m not going to get back in the team at this rate!

“We didn’t expect it at the start of the season and so to have put ourselves in this position is incredible. I’m really proud to be part of this group and hope I can add something to it when I come back. It’s nice to see, and everyone just feels great. There’s a long way to go still but hopefully we can build on the platform we’ve made for ourselves – who knows what could happen.

“I’ll help as much as I can; I know what I can bring and hopefully that includes a bit of experience to help some of the younger players. It will take time for me to get back to where I want to be, but I’ll try to help the team as much as I can.”

And while the players deserve plenty of credit for Rovers’ current fortunes, Dack says it’s those behind the scenes – including his long-serving manager – who have brought everyone together in the hope of achieving a collective goal.

“This is a brilliant club,” he concludes. “I’ve been here almost five years now and you get to know a lot of people. It’s run in the right way and the people behind the scenes are brilliant; the staff have been amazing to me and everyone is together as a group. The whole club has been together since I arrived, and we’re now in the position I wanted us to be in when I joined.

“The gaffer has given me confidence from the day I walked through the door. He wanted me to play as if I was in the local park and that’s what I’ve based my game on. It’s nice to hear that praise from him, and my aim is to get back to that level. I fully expect myself to do that.”

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FOOTBALL

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name

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Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.

Watch the video here

Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.

Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.

“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.

Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United

A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.

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FOOTBALL

Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final

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Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.

The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.

Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.

Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments

Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.

The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.

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Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’

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Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.

The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.

In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.

Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli

The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.

Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.

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