Man City boss Guardiola dismisses Klopp title claimsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola has dismissed the claims of title rival Jurgen Klopp in their battle with Liverpool.Guardiola has rejected his suggestion that City are infallible and that the only threat to them comes from within.”Any team has strong points and weak points of course we have weaknesses, of course we have, but that’s normal,” Guardiola said. “These kind of comments have to be put into perspective.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Tallahassee.comTwo weeks ago, reports emerged that suspended Florida State freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson was accused of punching a woman at a Tallahassee bar. Tallahassee.com has obtained video of the incident, which took place at Yiannis on West Tennessee Street, and things look very bad for Johnson. Warning: the attack, which occurs just after the two minute mark, is quite violent. If Tallahassee.com’s version does not work, here is another version of the video:Johnson, a former four-star recruit in the 2015 class, was suspended for an unnamed “a violation of athletic department policy” on June 25. Tallahassee.com describes the incident in more detail.The incident occurred while the woman was waiting in line for a drink at Yianni’s nightclub and felt Johnson push past her aggressively, court records say.When she addressed him at the bar, she raised her arm to defend herself, and he grabbed her arm and began pushing her. She raised her knee into his midsection to push him away and attempted to punch him, court records say, before Johnson punched her on the left side of her face.The woman suffered bruising near her left eye, swelling of the left cheek and upper lip, and a small cut near the bridge of her nose, according to court records.We’ll keep you updated on this story as we learn more.[Tallahassee.com]
zoom Due to insufficient workload, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has been faced with over 5,000 of idle workers.As a result, the company has asked its union to convince the workers to take an unpaid leave starting September, the Korea Times reports citing a statement from the company. The unpaid leave option is voluntary, however, should it be turned down, the workers would be subject to training, as the union rejected a 20 percent pay cut.Specifically, the company’s backlog stands at 85 ships, considerably lower when compared to last year’s 110 ships.As indicated by a company official, there are currently only ten ships being constructed at the yard, rendering 5,000 workers idle, the Korean newspaper reported.It is believed that the work shortage is likely to be resumed until June next year. Should the ordering activity continue to dwindle the shipbuilder might be faced to close more of its yards.The latest workforce-related measure is said to be driven by HHI’s cost cutting efforts aimed at keeping the shipbuilder financially stable.HHI reported a 49.7 percent drop in its net income during the second quarter of 2017 totaling in KRW 69.2 billion (USD 61.6 million).The net income fell from KRW 137.5 billion (USD 122.5 million) seen in the same three-month period in 2016.World Maritime News Staff
Baseball’s Hall of Fame voting has been especially contentious this year, as the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (which elects Hall of Famers) lurches toward greater transparency. More and more voters have been disclosing their votes publicly, and in December the association announced that all members must reveal their ballots starting in the 2018 election. That’s all good news for two of the best baseball players of all time: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Bonds’s and Clemens’s on-field accomplishments have been overshadowed by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, but they’ve also tended to fare much better in the public voting results than the anonymous ones. With increasing voting transparency, Bonds and Clemens should be more likely to make the Hall of Fame — if not this year, then soon.For years, the writers group has been divided into two camps. Some writers have chosen to reveal their ballots — either in columns, on Twitter or via Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame tracker — while others have kept their votes to themselves. And these two groups differed in more than just the visibility of their ballots: The anonymous voters displayed significantly different voting preferences.Although we can’t directly observe the anonymous ballots, we know about the voting tendencies of the association as a whole. On top of that, an increasing fraction of the electorate releases their ballots, up from 53 percent in 2014 to 71 percent in 2016. So, using a statistical technique called latent class analysis on voting data from 2014 to 2016, we looked for patterns in the ballots that differentiated anonymous voters from public ones. Although we can’t say how any individual writer with an anonymous ballot voted, we can determine how the anonymous voters’ ballots leaned as a whole.By far the largest factor separating the anonymous and public ballots was support for three players: Bonds, Clemens and Mark McGwire. All three players are widely believed to have used PEDs, and although McGwire lacks the ironclad Hall of Fame case that Bonds and Clemens can boast, all three would have been leading contenders for the Hall if not for their alleged steroid use.1McGwire’s eligibility ran out last year. In 2016, for instance, an anonymous voter’s odds of voting for the Bonds/Clemens/McGwire trio2We looked at all three taken as a unit; differences in voting for those three as individuals were not statistically significant. were about 17 percentage points lower than those of a voter who disclosed his or her selection(s). The anonymous ballots made up a major source of their poor percentages in previous years — Bonds and Clemens lost 2 to 4 percentage points of support in private ballots, which adds up as both players try to make up the 11-point difference between their early public results and the 75 percent induction threshold.3All numbers are using ballot data as of Jan. 13.It’s impossible to know exactly how the coming loss of anonymity will affect voters’ attitudes toward Bonds and Clemens. But if the formerly anonymous ballots begin to look more like the public ones, Bonds and Clemens will be due for a bump in support. Social desirability bias may push voters toward a different conclusion than they’d make privately, for instance, even if some writers may react in the opposite way. It’s undeniable that voting support for Bonds and Clemens has already changed dramatically this year. Related: Hot Takedown We’re Still Talking About That Packers-Cowboys Game Given the storm of rule changes and public debate, we can’t offer a rigorously calculated probability that either player will ultimately make the Hall. It’s worth noting, however, that most eligible players who finish as high as this pair have in the voting eventually get enshrined. In 2016, Clemens and Bonds finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the balloting. More than 60 percent of all players who finish in those spots eventually get elected; those who didn’t tended to be near the end of their eligibility window; Bonds and Clemens have five years to go.6They would have had twice as much time left, but the Hall reduced the eligibility window from 15 years after a player leaves MLB to 10 in 2014. This year, extrapolating from the public ballots7We deducted 3 percentage points from Bonds’s and Clemens’s current totals to reflect the public/private split in voting tendencies and looked at what rank they would finish with. shows us that Bonds and Clemens ought to end up around fifth and sixth in the voting — rankings associated with a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of eventually making the Hall, based on the fortunes of previous players in those slots.It may not happen this year. Although both Bonds and Clemens have marshaled more than 60 percent of the vote in the public ballots so far, that number has decreased over the past few weeks, and it’s likely to drop even more as the anonymous ballots are counted (voting closed Dec. 31, and results will be announced Wednesday). But over the long run, the odds are in the duo’s favor.From a purely statistical perspective, Bonds and Clemens were always locks to make the Hall of Fame. Each ranks among the best players of all time by wins above replacement, so there is no performance-based reason to exclude them. Now, the baseball writers’ recent changes will only accelerate Bonds’s and Clemens’s ascents. Whether you view that as a triumph or a tragedy, Bonds, Clemens, and others who’ve been accused of using PEDs during the steroid era will probably join the Hall of Fame sooner or later. Since both first hit the ballot in 2013, Bonds and Clemens had seen their Hall of Fame fortunes largely stagnate — until this year. So far in 2017, both names have climbed above 60 percent support in the public voting, tantalizingly close to the mark necessary for induction. Part of that is likely due to another rule change that prevents association members from voting if they aren’t actively covering baseball.4With a 10-year grace period after a reporter stops covering the game. That alteration went into effect in 2016, and it also greatly diminished the pool of anonymous voters — by extension, reducing the number of voters who excluded Bonds and Clemens from their ballots, since anonymous voters were much less likely to vote for players implicated in baseball’s PED scandals and older writers were more likely to keep their votes anonymous.There are other factors working in Bonds and Clemens’s favor. Many public-ballot voters are adding the two to their ballots; so far this year, more than 20 voters have switched from “no” votes for the pair last year to “yes.” Some writers even point to the recent election of Bud Selig, the commissioner under whose watch the steroids era of the late 1980s-2000s unfolded, as a precedent to vote in the two most visible superstars of that period.5Selig was elected by a separate Hall of Fame committee and not the writers’ association.
Among players who increased their fly-ball rate, it was almost exactly a toss-up as to whether their wOBA would get better or worse.149.3 percent increased their wOBA, while 50.7 percent saw it decline. Similarly, players who decreased their fly-ball rate had about a 50/50 split of improving and worsening wOBAs. Overall, the correlation between a batter’s changing fly ball rate and his subsequent change in production is nonexistent. That same lack of correlation holds if you use the more advanced metrics (such as launch angle) tracked by MLB’s StatCast system.Although there are some fly-ball success stories, plenty of hitters have swung up only to see their wOBA dive down. For every Yonder Alonso there is a 2016 Kiké Hernandez, who spiked his fly-ball rate by 11.7 percentage points, only to watch his wOBA drop by 89 points. Or maybe you’d prefer Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, the owner of a dreadful wOBA 21 percent worse than the league average in 2016. The Cubs are at the vanguard of the fly-ball revolution, reportedly championing the phrase “there’s no slug on the ground.” Heyward seems to have listened, because he increased his fly-ball rate by almost 10 percentage points after joining the Cubs. But in contrast with the success stories of players such as Alonso and Martinez, the change has had a disastrous effect on Heyward.So adopting an uppercut swing won’t necessarily make a player great. But it will probably make them hit more home runs. (When players up their rate of fly balls, the consequence is usually more dingers.)2In my data, there was no inverse relationship between the change in rate of fly balls and the rate at which those fly balls went over the fence. The increasing rate of fly balls leaguewide seems to explain some of the explosion in home runs from 2015 to 2016 (although that still leaves the mid-year 2015 increase in home runs a mystery, even setting aside the speculation around — and puzzling evidence for and against — ball juicing).3In total, the league hit 701 more home runs in 2016 than in 2015. A simple regression of the number of home runs versus the fly-ball rate for each player would predict about 400 additional home runs in 2016.Home runs are great! But the problem is that fly balls also come with other, less desirable consequences. For example, players who hit more fly balls into the outfield also hit more pop-ups on the infield, which are about as valuable as striking out. Given his aforementioned criticism of fly balls, maybe it’s no coincidence that Joey Votto is also one of baseball’s best at avoiding infield pop-ups — he probably knows the two are related.Moreover, the conscious effort to adapt an unnatural swing plane could harm a player’s natural hitting motion. Heyward had been a productive hitter earlier in his career with similar fly-ball rates as last season, but his swing mechanics were notably confused a year ago, which resulted in an obvious weak spot against low pitches.In an interview with CSN Chicago, Cubs hitting coach John Mallee described the work he was doing to improve Heyward for the 2017 season. “He’s trying to mirror the swing that he had then…. It’s not actually making a change; it’s just getting him to who he was,” Mallee said. Bucking the revolution, Heyward has hit significantly fewer fly balls this season, and his production has improved, as well (although he’s still underperforming expectations).Stories such as Heyward’s show that the fly-ball revolution is not for every hitter. Notably, many of the players who have transformed the most by adopting uppercut swings were underperforming before. Alonso was a below-average hitter last season; Donaldson was a former high draft pick who struggled for years to come into his own. Tinkering with their swing planes might have been the secret to unlocking their full potential. But for players with established mechanics like Heyward, adopting a new philosophy is a riskier proposition. All told, it’s tough to predict whether more fly balls are the missing ingredient for a hitter, or just a harmful distraction. From J.D. Martinez to Josh Donaldson, hitters throughout the big leagues have been honing a new approach at the plate, hunting for big flies and eschewing worm burners. It’s a change rooted in the latest metrics, which say balls hit in the air tend to be more valuable than grounders — particularly since the home run surge of 2015 started turning a higher percentage of fly balls into home runs than ever. So, over the last two years, batters have adjusted their swings accordingly, sending ever more balls skyward.The resulting trend toward fly balls has significantly improved a handful of hitters, helping them achieve far better results than when they slapped more grounders. Some observers have even suggested it could be contributing to the surge in home runs. But a closer look at the data shows that, while there is a sweeping transformation underway, it seems to be hurting as many players as it is helping.A batter can hit more fly balls by changing the angle of his swing. Instead of the slight downward plane recommended by many instructors, more of today’s batters are adopting uppercut swings that drive the ball into the air. And across the league, the effect is palpable.Over the past three seasons, the ratio of ground balls to fly balls in MLB has dropped from 1.34 grounders per fly in 2015 to 1.25 this year. For individual players, the changes are even more significant. FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan documented a historic number of players who have dropped their ground-ball percentage by 5 percent or more since 2015.Some of those players have benefited greatly from these swing changes. Oakland Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso nearly halved the number of grounders he’s hitting so far this year, and he also boasts a personal-best 178 weighted Runs Created plus, one of the best marks in the league. There are similar anecdotes for Martinez, Donaldson, Nationals All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy and others.So there is definitely a fly-ball revolution underway in baseball. But that revolution is not without its discontents. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto recently disparaged the trend towards fly-ball hitting in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer. “I see it with a lot of guys. Everyone tells the good stories, but there’s a lot of s—ty stories of guys who are wasting their time trying things,” Votto said, as quoted in the Enquirer.Votto is right; being a more productive hitter really isn’t as simple as “elevate to celebrate.” Over the last three years, just as many hitters have suffered by increasing their fly-ball rate as have benefited. Here’s a chart showing each hitter’s change in fly-ball rate from the previous year, in comparison with his change in weighted On-Base Average (wOBA).
Senior running back Carlos Hyde breaks a tackle on his way to a touchdown during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorHis quarterback called it “God-given.” One of his offensive lineman said when he watched it unfold, he knew it would be all over TV Saturday night. His offensive coordinator called it a “wow” play.Even senior running back Carlos Hyde said he surprised himself when he was able to keep his balance on the way to the end zone during what was arguably the play of the game Saturday. No. 4 Ohio State’s running back’s 19-yard touchdown run gave OSU (7-0, 3-0) the lead for good in its 34-24 victory against Iowa.Hyde took a handoff from junior quarterback Braxton Miller, first running right then cutting upfield and knifing through tacklers until he met Hawkeye safety, Tanner Miller, who dove at the Buckeye back’s legs to no avail. Hyde kept his balance, turned himself back straight, got a block and then launched himself into the end zone from about four yards out.“I was shocked that I was able to gain my balance back and be able to turn around and go in for a touchdown,” Hyde said. “(I’ve) never had a run like that. That play, it was working all day. And I told (running backs) coach (Stan) Drayton we need to run a little more of it. On that play, I hit it up inside and bounced right back out and the safety came down. He hit me, and I came out of it and I was still up and I was trying to catch my balance, and once I did, I turned back around and I see (senior wide receiver Corey) ‘Philly’ Brown with an unbelievable block“I got so excited and I (hadn’t) even scored yet when I saw that block.”Miller said Hyde’s acrobatic touchdown allowed him to show off his natural talent.“That run by Carlos, it’s God-given,” Miller said. “To be tackled like that and keep moving forward, that’s sweet.”Putting the Buckeyes ahead with the athletic touchdown scamper shows that Hyde is much more than just a player who can only run the ball inside, redshirt-senior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort said.“While I was watching it, I was thinking that’s going to be on SportsCenter. I don’t know if I’m right about that, but that was unbelievable,” Mewhort said. “His balance to stay up like that and then power it in. Everybody thinks Carlos is a between-the-tackles guy but once he gets out in space like that, he can do some cool stuff, too, like you saw, breaking tackles and stuff.”It was Hyde’s second rushing touchdown of the game, following a one-yard push on OSU’s first drive of the second half that tied the game. That score was the first time Iowa’s defense had given up a rushing touchdown in 2013.“It’s something that (the coaches) made sure we were well aware of two weeks ago. It’s kind of been our mindset … through the bye week and through this week,” Mewhort said. “That’s a goal we wanted to achieve. We’re glad we did that.”One of the coaches Mewhort was referring to was co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Ed Warinner, who said the unit wanted to end Iowa’s streak “very badly,” so much so that each offensive player was given a sheet of paper with the statistic on it.“They were reminded of that multiple times per day,” Warinner said. “‘Course they heard that every day from me. That was on my tip sheets, but as a coaching staff we gave that to our offensive unit and coach (Urban) Meyer talked with them about it specifically. That’s a credit to Iowa’s defense. They hadn’t given up a rushing touchdown in six games so that’s a challenge that we needed to win this game, we needed to be able to get some rushing touchdowns. That’s who we are.”The offense had an extra incentive to put an end to the streak, Hyde said.“It was definitely some motivation. You’re playing against a team who tries to feed off that,” Hyde said. “Early in the week I talked to (the offensive line) and let them know that ‘We’re going to do what we do.’ And that’s run the ball.”The Buckeyes certainly did that, as Hyde rushed for 149 yards on 24 carries to go along with his two touchdowns, and Miller recorded 102 yards on the ground himself.“It was a great performance by those guys (the O-line),” Hyde said. “I love those guys to death and I’m happy to be able to run behind those guys and it’s exciting to see them … have success, it’s nice. When they go, I go.”Despite Hyde’s three-game suspension stemming from his involvement in an incident at a Columbus bar over the summer, Saturday’s performance made him the team leader in rushing yards. Gaining a total of 443 yards on 72 attempts in only four games is a result of the chemistry between Hyde and the O-line, something that’s been building since day one at OSU.“The reason we have such good chemistry is because, like I said, we all came in together,” Hyde said. “When you’ve been here four to five years, you kind of become like brothers. Like real brothers. That chemistry is great that we have.”The senior from Naples, Fla., said the line’s performance was “incredible” multiple times after the game. Meyer took it a step beyond that.“I feel good about the line and that’s where winning football, certainly offensive football, starts,” Meyer said. “And they’re my favorite players on the team. Those five guys, that’s where you start.”Even if OSU is on the wrong side of the scoreboard during the game, Hyde said the team continues to believe it will come out on top.“That just shows you that we refuse to lose. We are a group of brothers. There’s not one point in time that we think that we are going to lose the game,” Hyde said. “We could be down 20 points, and we’re still going to believe that we can come back and win this game. Have faith.”Hyde and the offensive line will be looking to keep the nation’s longest winning streak alive next Saturday when Big Ten rival Penn State (4-2, 1-1) comes to Columbus. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Being a football manager ain’t always easy, especially when your squad is full of world-class talented players – but at half-time in the World Cup, Didier Deschamps showed his class with a brilliant pep-talkHeading into the dressing room at half-time, France were 2-1 up on Croatia following Antoine Griezmann’s rather controversial penalty.Croatia were the stronger side heading into the break and were, perhaps, unlucky to be losing.While Deschamps might not have set the football world alight with some stylish and entertaining play at the World Cup that many of the French supporters craved for, there no doubt afterwards that he had earned his pay cheque with this speech.“Did you see? They’re using their elbows, their bodies… The guy facing away, he’s facing away. Facing away from goal, he’s not going to hurt us. Don’t bother getting in front, we’re controlling him,” he told the players, via Balls.“What are they doing? They’re mostly looking for, except for the diagonal from time to time, they’re looking for Mandzukic straight away. Mandzukic heads it, chests it, or deviates it with his foot. Be careful around him. He can still win the ball with his head, just be careful around him.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“Not to be static, to already be on the move. Close him down. Think about it. Do not make it harder for yourself. They come, they’re aggressive. You’v e all seen the energy they’re giving. Play as simple as possible. When you have the ball, if someone is on you, there’s another one coming.”He added: “Give it. As soon as you can. Give it to Kylian.“Antoine, come down a bit during counters. You’re staying up next to the attackers. We need you to be an option.“Play as simple as possible.”The manager’s instructions were undoubtedly effective with Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe later scoring in the second-half to put the game beyond Croatia and to seal France a second world title.
Former English and Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg insists Cristiano Ronaldo was unlucky to receive a red card during his UEFA Champions League debut for Juventus.The Portuguese superstar was sent off during Juventus’ 2-0 away win against Valencia on Wednesday night.With the ball on the left side of the pitch, Ronaldo tried to make a run into the penalty area and was blocked off by Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.“There was a small push from Ronaldo which resulted in the Valencia defender falling to the floor but that was not violent conduct.” Clattenburg wrote in his Daily Mail Column.Vidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“The referee had his back to the incident. It was spotted by the additional assistant, standing behind the goal, who may have thought Ronaldo threw an elbow but that was not the case.”“Ronaldo was then clearly annoyed by Murillo’s play-acting and placed a hand on the defender’s head.”“The contact looked very slight and I cannot see how the additional assistant, standing some 20 yards away, could deem it violent conduct.”“If I had been officiating this game, I would have given Valencia a free-kick and shown a yellow card to each player. Ronaldo will serve a one-match ban but anything more would be harsh.”
Pep Guardiola promised to keep close tabs on Liverpool’s Super Sunday clash with Manchester United after his side went back to the top of the Premier League.Gabriel Jesus double and Raheem Sterling’s header secured City’s 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.The result took City back to the summit after Guardiola’s 100th win in all competitions with the clubHowever, closest rivals Liverpool are currently two points behind and hosting Manchester United live on Super Sunday.A win would take them back above City and Guardiola revealed to Sky he’ll be tuning in.When asked if he’s going to watch the game, he replied: “Of course.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“It’s a nice game to watch. I will watch it.”Since Guardiola was appointed, Everton have scored more Premier League goals against City than any other side and caused problems for them once again.Richarlison missed a glorious early chance at 0-0 before Calvert-Lewin did get them back to 2-1 before Sterling restored the two-goal cushion.“It was a tricky game after the Champions League, less than three days’ recovery,” Guardiola said.“They were able to draw at Stamford Bridge and at Anfield – until the last second. They are a top side, not just the 11 that started.“Today it was in our minds we were going to suffer and so we did. The game was not over until the end.”
Goalkeeper Andre Onana claims that his Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt wants to join Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona.The Blaugrana fended off competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to secure a €75m deal for De Jong this summer with potential add-ons of €11m.Now attention turns to De Jong’s Ajax team-mate De Ligt, who has reportedly captured the interest of both Juventus and Barcelona.The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the most exciting young defenders in European football right now and is understood to be highly-valued by the Barca chiefs.Speaking after Ajax’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Wednesday, former Barca youth keeper Onana revealed he regularly speaks to De Jong and De Ligt about the club.“Matthijs would like to go with Frenkie, I’ve spoken several times about Barcelona to the both of them,” said Onana on Mundo Deportivo.The Netherlands international ruled out a January transfer away from Ajax in the middle of the season and his father, Frank de Ligt, recently revealed that Juventus could be a destination.Lukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“Juve could be a possibility, but they’re not the only team interested,” said Frank.“Now we’re focusing on this season with Ajax. Turin is a beautiful city, I came here for the Netherlands match in June too.”He added: “In the next few months, I, my son, and [Mino] Raiola will make the best decision for his future.”Since debuting for the Ajax first-team in September 2016, De Ligt has gone to manage nine goals and five assists in 97 appearances across all competitions.The teenager became the club’s second-youngest goalscorer at 17 years old and was named as Ajax captain in March 2018.De Ligt also beat the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior to win the 2018 Golden Boy award.AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – FEBRUARY 13: Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax acknowledges the fans after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Ajax and Real Madrid at Johan Cruyff Arena on February 13, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)