First season victory for Vettel! But trouble with Leclerc

HE CAN STILL DO IT AFTER ALL!

Sebastian Vettel (32) wins the Singapore Grand Prix with a flawless and sure performance. The four-time champion thus celebrates his first Formula 1 triumph in 392 days (Spa 2018). It is the liberation blow in a year so far so messed up.

Team mate Charles Leclerc (21) finishes second and already makes a big stink on the radio against this constellation during the race. The Monegasse had started from pole, but had lost its lead to Vettel at the first pit stop.

Third is Max Verstappen (21) in Red Bull. Mercedes only takes places four (Hamilton) and five (Bottas).

Everything quiet at the start, Vettel attacks Hamilton hard, but the champ maintains his second position. Leclerc, however, pulls away from the front with a commanding lead.

But already in the second lap the top cars in the front switch to the tyre-saving mode and sometimes drive 13 seconds (!) slower than in the qualification.

On lap 19 Verstappen and Vettel are the first of the top drivers to come into the pits. Changing from soft to hard tyres. Leader Leclerc follows in lap 20 (soft on hard), Hamilton stays outside. Because Vettel loses less time at his stop, he is suddenly ahead of his team rival.

Leclerc is pissed at his pit: “What the hell?”

Bottas stops on lap 22, only Hamilton stays outside. It’s not until lap 26 that the World Champion arrives, after team-mate Bottas has been called on to a slower lap by radio in order to give his boss pilot a better time window to change the rubbers. The Finn reacts indignantly, but follows the instructions.

In lap 31 Vettel takes the lead after the leading group has worked its way back through the midfield (Stroll, Ricciardo, Gasly, Giovinazzi).

After a crash by Grosjean and Russell on lap 35 the safety car has to move out. Vettel’s advantage of over five seconds over his team-mate breaks away.

Restart on lap 40. Vettel defends the lead. Then Perez rolls out and stands on the track. Lap 44, Safety Car again!

Leclerc uses this for renewed complaints on the radio: “I want everything (in performance, the editor). I won’t do anything stupid, but it’s unfair.”

But Vettel keeps his nerve and defends himself at the restart. But in the back of the peloton it goes to the point: Kwjat crashes into Räikkönen in corner one and again the safety car is pulled out. Lap 52 continues – again with Vettel very cleverly in the lead.

In the last ten laps Vettel drives the thing home.

Why Icardi is avoided by his teammates

At Paris St Germain, the world could be in good shape after a convincing 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League. If it weren’t for the constant quarrels within the team…

According to “L’Équipe”, the hottest fire at the moment: the relationship between newcomer Mauro Icardi (26) and his Argentinian colleagues Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes!

The disputes have a long history. Icardis controversial wife and player advisor Wanda Nara was once married to Maxi López and had three children with the Argentine footballer (including Barça and Milan). The marriage broke up and Wanda Nara got involved with Icardi – one of Lopez’s best friends.

A dirty separation followed. Icardi and Lopez faced each other in numerous duels on the football pitch, never reaching out to each other. At PSG, di Maria and Paredes are said to have clearly positioned themselves. According to the French sports newspaper, they reject Icardi and avoid any contact with him during training.

Edinson Cavani was also anything but enthusiastic when he learned the day before the deadline day that Icardi would be signed. The striker – who in recent years has always been a seed – should have no desire to compete. Especially because coach Thomas Tuchel is considered a great advocate of the new centre forward.

Euphoria gone? Why Dani Alves has problems with Sao Paulo

Dani Alves (36) played in Europe for 17 years. When he returned to Brazil in August, signed a contract with FC Sao Paulo, he was celebrated frenetically in the stadium by tens of thousands of fans. The Selecao captain is a hero in his home country.

A good month later, the veteran has at least partially sobered up. Sao Paulo is only 6th in the league, ten points behind Flamengo. Alves made a dream start, scoring the 1-0 winning goal in his first home game against Ceare Sporting Club. The traditional club, however, was left without a win four times in the end.

In an interview with TV Globo, Alves spoke about his new role and Brazilian football. He said: “It’s very difficult to play here, and often the condition of the pitch is a reason for it”. The long-time Barça star continues: “When I played in Europe, I once said that I can’t watch a game of the Brazilian league until the end because there is no rhythm and no quality. Now I’m getting to know the reasons myself.”

Dani Alves plays for Sao Paulo – unlike his clubs in Europe – not as a right-back, but in the central offensive midfield. A role he likes: “I made it very clear here at Sao Paulo: I have to influence the game in order to create opportunities for my teammates. He knows that he has to change. That’s exactly what he wanted: “I also have to adapt to my teammates. I’m willing to pay the price for not playing in the position I’ve played for the last 20 years. I’m here to build something.”

The experienced player wants to lead his team to success as a director: “I am a combination player, I can help my teammates if I have control over the game, over the ball. There I can give the game the dynamism I’m used to. I can participate more in the game, position my teammates, take care of the tactical organisation.”

Alves joined FC Sevilla in 2002 as a 19-year-old from Bahia. Six years later he moved to FC Barcelona. He celebrated his greatest successes with the Catalans, including winning the Champions League three times. In 2016 he went to Juventus Turin, a year later to Paris St-Germain.

Isak cancelled Real Madrid for BVB

In January 2017, Alexander Isak (20), then 17, came from AIK Solna to Borussia Dortmund for 8.6 million euros. The Swedish attacker was considered to be a great forward talent, but Isak could not assert himself in the BVB. He only played five times in the Bundesliga and scored his only Dortmund professional goal in the DFB Cup. The striker left Dortmund this summer and switched to Real Sociedad. Now Isak explains that he could have played in Spain much earlier.

Isak tells the “Marca” that in winter 2017 he not only had the offer from Borussia Dortmund. “When I played in Stockholm, I had several options, one of which was Real Madrid. He continues: “But I talked to some clubs to see what they had to offer and I chose Dortmund. That’s the bottom line.”

About his move to Real Sociedad, Isak says it was “without a doubt” the right choice. “It’s true that I’ve considered the LaLiga to be the best in the world since childhood and dreamed of playing here one day.” In San Sebastián, Isak has played in four league games so far and is still waiting for his first goal for the new club.

Borussia Dortmund collected 6.5 million euros for Isak. Already in the second half of last season, Isak was able to gain playing experience. He was lent to the Dutch first division team Willem II Tilburg and was able to convince with 14 goals in 18 compulsory games.

 

Five players on Barça black list

FC Barcelona is driving the upheaval in the squad. As the Spanish “Marca” reports, the Catalans want to part with five players. The Barça strike list includes Ivan Rakitic (31), Arturo Vidal (32), Samuel Umtiti (25) and the two talents Moussa Wague (20) and Carles Alena (21).

At the latest in summer, but at best already in the winter transfer period, the five are to be sold. Background: The Spanish champion not only wants to reduce his squad, but must also generate income in the event that he wants to make another attempt to get Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain.

The sales could generate a good sum. The former Bundesliga stars Rakitic and Vidal still have a market value of 35 and 15 million euros respectively (source Transfermarkt.de). The market value of the Frenchman Umtiti is even 45 million euros, the youngsters Alena and Wague bring it to 30 and 5 million euros respectively.

 

Ramos about Zidane and the critics

Four days after the harsh 3-0 defeat in the Champions League at Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid have returned with a victory in the Spanish league. Coach Zinédine Zidane (47)’s team won the top match of FC Sevilla 1-0 (0-0) on Sunday evening.

French striker Karim Benzema (31) scored the goal of the day in the 64th minute, after preparatory work by former Leverkusen player Dani Carvajal (27). A goal from Sevillas Chicharito (31) was denied due to an offside position (87). German former world champion Toni Kroos (29) played through, newcomer Luka Jovic (21) did not play.

With eleven points from five games, Real are now second behind Athletic Bilbao, who have the same number of points, and Sevilla are only fifth.

After the match, Zidane, who had been criticised a lot lately, was taken aback: “This was probably the best performance since my return. We also had difficult moments in the game, but we helped each other. Our opponents didn’t have many chances, that’s important for us.”

Captain Sergio Ramos (33), who was once again heavily insulted by Seville fans, confirmed that the Frenchman was the right coach: “We proved that we were behind ‘Zizou’. Talking about other coaches is disrespectful of the present. Commenting on the performance against Seville and the criticism after the PSG clap, he said: “We have to keep our feet on the ground because we know we have a long way to go. But the team is always very optimistic and improving. And to doubt Madrid would be crazy.”

The fact that Ramos is repeatedly booed and insulted in his hometown because he once left Sevilla FC for Real doesn’t leave the international cold. “I think there are people who don’t understand it, even if I try to change it. I don’t want to be on the news every time I’m down here either. At some point it will be different. If someone was offended (by switching to Real), I apologize, but I didn’t do anything to offend them.”