Real Madrid v Grêmio The new Ronaldinho? Luan can help Gremio deny Real Madrid another Club World Cup Daniel Edwards Last updated 1 year ago 17:15 12/16/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Real Madrid v Grêmio FIFA Club World Cup Serie A Grêmio Real Madrid CONMEBOL Libertadores Primera División Videos Opinion The 24-year-old attacking midfielder starred in November’s Copa Libertadores final and is now hoping to shine on the global stage against Ronaldo & Co Imagine, for a moment, that you are a young football star with the world at your feet. Your biggest test, however, is still to come: a Copa Libertadores final in front of thousands of baying rival fans, and no margin for error. What’s more, your team has gone no less than 22 years without winning South America’s premier club tournament. There’s also the fact that half of Europe’s elite clubs will be defying the time difference to watch you in action.Would you feel the pressure? Not if you are Gremio’s irrepressible talent Luan. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The 24-year-old phenomenon had been compared to his childhood hero Ronaldinho in the build-up to last month’s Copa Libertadores final and his goal in the second leg of his side’s 3-1 aggregate win over Lanus was eerily reminiscent of the former Barcelona and Brazil No.10. Picking up the ball in a seemingly innocuous position outside the Lanus box, the phenomenon waltzed past three Granate defenders with an insolent shake of the hips.Ronaldinho, one of Gremio’s most illustrious alumni, would have been proud of the mazy movement, and equally happy with how his successor lifted the ball over the head of goalkeeper Esteban Andrada and into the net.Gremio’s Luan has been compared to Ronaldinho – and this is why! pic.twitter.com/Tbo8GB7FPk — Goal (@goal) 30 de noviembre de 2017 It was the forward’s eighth goal of Gremio’s triumphant Libertadores campaign and he could have even netted a ninth, only to see a second, equally impudent chip drift just wide of Andrada’s far post in the final minutes.Luan’s status as one of the leading lights of South American football had nonetheless been cemented. Now, though, he has the opportunity to announce himself to the world.On Saturday, as reward for winning the Copa Libertadores, Gremio will face European champions Real Madrid in the Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi, which will be broadcast LIVE and exclusively on Goal’s Facebook page – and the Brazilian outfit will be relying on Luan to lead them to victory.Indeed, injury has robbed the Brazilian side of their other much-coveted starlet, Arthur Melo, the 21-year-old midfielder who only broke into the team at the start of the year yet is now on the verge of a move to Barcelona.Veteran Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios will, of course, be a familiar face to European football fans, in light of his time at Borussia Dortmund, while jet-heeled 21-year-old winger Everton could be rewarded with a start after coming off the bench to decide Tuesday’s semi-final clash with Pachuca in Gremio’s favour with a sublime strike.Gremio, though, are a side that champion teamwork over individualism. They lifted the Libertadores trophy with a display of intensity and precision that is rarely seen at the top level of South American football.Losers Lanus were relentlessly harried whenever they touched the ball, forced into mistakes which would immediately put them on the back foot in vulnerable areas. It was an exemplary demonstration of how to play a continental tie defending a slender 1-0 lead away from home, and testament to the fine work done by Renato Gaucho on the bench since the Gremio idol returned to his beloved Porto Alegre. Renato was a member of the Tricolor side that won the club’s first Libertadores in 1983, and the following year missed out in the final to Argentines Independiente. In 2007, Luiz Felipe Scolari was the beaten coach, as Gremio were destroyed 5-0 on aggregate by a Boca Juniors team inspired by the artistry of Juan Roman Riquelme. A year later Renato lost another Libertadores final, this time at the Fluminense helm to rank underdogs Liga de Quito. Finally with his hands on the coveted trophy again, he becomes just the eighth man – and first Brazilian – to taste Copa success as both player and coach. “I deserve a statue at the stadium,” Renato had jokingly stated in 2016 after delivering a Copa do Brasil to Porto Alegre just three months after coming back for his second spell as coach. In light of the Libertadores triumph, that wish may just come true.The 55-year-old has worked wonders with his charges, bringing in the likes of Melo to the first team and successfully moulding a host of young talents with experienced heads like Fernandinho and Barrios. The trainer himself, however, modestly gives the credit to those on the pitch.“This team has a lot going for it,” he said to FIFA.com prior to the second leg. “It’s disciplined, has a lot of skill and a real desire to win. But the biggest thing it’s got going for it is the friendship between all the players. They really love each other and that’s vital to the success of any team.”That inspirational team spirit will be key for Gremio they attempt to upset the odds against the mighty Madrid on Saturday.However, Luan, the reported Barcelona target playing of course for a place in Brazil’s World Cup team, will be their primary source of danger.”It’s the game of my life,” Luan told Goal on the eve of the showdown with Madrid in Abu Dhabi.”It’s going to be difficult but we have our chances to beat Real Madrid.”Particularly if he performs as he can. As one would expect from a player who grew up playing five-a-side football, Luan is a wonderfully skilful player with awesome close control.”I played futsal until I was 19,” he explained. “But I adapted quickly to 11-a-side football. T”The best thing about futsal was that I always scored. Now, it’s more difficult, but I love having more space to run into and dribble.”Luan is made of stern stuff too. Once, when he was a kid, he broke his arm ahead of an important game but rather than sit out the match, he ripped off the cast and hid his injury under a long-sleeved jersey in order to play.Essentially, he is driven by the desire to make his mother proud. “My dad died when I was five,” he revealed. “It was difficult. My mother was maid and she worked a lot. “So, my mother is everything for me. Of all of the messages I received ahead of the final, hers was the one I loved the most.”She always advised me to be myself and to follow my heart.”It could well lead him to Europe, although he insists that he is now rush to leave Gremio. However, a transfer would appear inevitable if he shines against Real.Indeed, readers may recall that 10 years ago Gremio’s foes, Boca Juniors, went on to face Madrid in the competition’s predecessor, the Intercontinental Cup, and that Riquelme dismantled the star-studded Merengue with an outrageous performance to hand his side the trophy. Luan is more than capable of emulating Riquelme, who ended up moving to Barcelona, and putting in an equally decisive display against los Blancos. The pressure on him to deliver will be huge. But then, it’s never bothered him before.
Topics Goodwood 1.50 Dream Shot 2.20 Wufud 2.55 Pennywhistle (nap) 3.30 Alfaatik 4.05 Areen Heart 4.40 Knight Crusader 5.10 Show Me The BubblyBath 2.00 Delagate This Lord 2.30 Applecros 3.05 Catch The Cuban 3.40 Universal Order 4.15 Spot Lite 4.50 Bungee Jump 5.20 JunoesqueHaydock 2.10 Tomorrow’s Angel 2.45 Visible Charm 3.20 Look Out Louis 3.55 Sacred Dance 4.30 Nonchalance 5.00 Jaleel 5.35 SwansdownWorcester 5.40 Sausalito Sunrise 6.10 Istimraar 6.40 Darcy Ward 7.10 Bold Record 7.40 Sunset Showdown 8.10 Cottonvale (nb) 8.40 Forget Me KnotPontefract 6.30 Straight Ash 7.00 Just Wait 7.30 Monoski 8.00 Musharrif 8.30 Never Be Enough 9.00 Qutob Read more Talking Horses Horse racing features Thank you for your feedback. Quick guide Chris Cook’s Friday racing tips Share on LinkedIn To Goodwood, which may provide another fine day in the career of John Gosden. But will it also be a good day for Frankie Dettori? Aye, there’s the rub, because the trainer has two in today’s Cocked Hat Stakes and I think Dettori may be on the wrong one.Private Secretary, the Italian’s mount, was briefly talked up as Derby material earlier this week, though connections have now said he’ll miss that and Royal Ascot is the target. He’s unbeaten this year, but the most recent of his two wins was in a handicap off 83, so 11-10 looks short to me.Among his rivals is Gosden’s Alfaatik (3.30), who has been getting in his own way and showing a lot of greenness in his two starts. But he was staying on well at the end of Sandown’s Classic Trial, should know more this time and has another quarter-mile to help. He’s bred to be better than he has so far shown and I’ll take a chance on him at 7-1.In the fillies’ handicap, I’m hoping Pennywhistle (2.55) can turn around juvenile form with Desirous, when there were a couple of reasons, including weight, that might explain why the other filly prevailed. Pennywhistle is 13-8 this time.At Worcester, I’m determined to get a win out of Cottonvale (8.10), whose effort was left until too late a stage last time. This horse travels well on fast ground and I hope Jack Tudor can get him home at 7-2. Since you’re here… Hide Tiger Roll O’Leary was referring to the now established practice of compressing the top end of the National weights, so that the differences in weight to be carried are reduced. This favours the very best horses and has in the past been an incentive for Gold Cup-quality horses to take part. The thinking is that, in a marathon like the National, every extra pound makes more of a difference than it would in a shorter race.But Greenwood said compression had been introduced to tempt “horses that don’t normally run in handicaps”. By contrast, horses like Tiger Roll with established Aintree form have not been compressed and have sometimes had their ratings raised.Greenwood added: “I don’t want to be put in the position where I would definitely agree to drop him because that would just be stupid. I’ll give him a weight that I think is satisfactory. If Mr O’Leary doesn’t want to run with that weight, he doesn’t run. It’s not about Tiger Roll, it’s not a Tiger Roll Fan Club. It’s a handicap to try and make it fair for everybody.“As a racing enthusiast, you’d love to see Tiger Roll in the race, we’d all agree on that. But you can’t blackmail a system to get him running. We’ve got to have him running on the weight that the handicapper thinks is just. I sincerely hope he runs.”Having won the last two Nationals from ratings of 150 and 159, Tiger Roll is now rated 172. It is such a high rating that many of his rivals in the next National may have to run from out of the handicap, which would also have the effect of favouring Tiger Roll. In any case, Greenwood is evidently a fan, saying: “I have never seen a horse in my memory travel so strongly on the Grand National. He was still on the bridle at the last fence. He is an unbelievable horse.”Friday’s best bets, by Chris Cook Talking Horses: Interconnected sold at record price for jumps horse Share on Messenger Show Share via Email Share on Pinterest Read more Support The Guardian Grand National Share on Facebook Reuse this content Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Was this helpful? Share on WhatsApp British racing’s top jumps handicapper has rebuffed a call from the owners of Tiger Roll, asking for the horse to be given lenient treatment when the weights are set for next year’s Grand National. “You can’t blackmail a system to get him running,” said Martin Greenwood, responding to a suggestion that the horse might not attempt to win the Aintree race for a third time unless his rating was reduced.Eddie O’Leary, who manages the racing interests of his brother, Michael, said last month: “They say they condense the weights to encourage the good horses to run. If the National isn’t well condensed, Tiger Roll won’t run. If they want him – it’s up to themselves. He will be 11st 10lb. He will obviously be top weight. But if it’s not condensed down enough, he won’t be running. We’ve seen horses condensed 7lb to 9lb before.” Horse racing tips
This would be the potential successor to the soon to be concluded Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP). Story Highlights This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, on March 19. The Government is to pursue opportunities for competitive sources of financing, to undertake a proposed third infrastructure development programme to significantly improve aspects of Jamaica’s transportation network. The Government is to pursue opportunities for competitive sources of financing, to undertake a proposed third infrastructure development programme to significantly improve aspects of Jamaica’s transportation network.This would be the potential successor to the soon to be concluded Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).This was disclosed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during his contribution to the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, on March 19.He informed that while the scope for the initiative – the Greater Infrastructure Development Programme (GIDP) – remains under discussion, it is anticipated that the final scope would likely follow the framework established with the MIDP.“The projects selected for this second phase of major infrastructure development are based on technical recommendations, our economic development plan, and climate smart considerations, such as our Master Drainage Plan,” Mr. Holness said.Some of the projects being considered and planned include, but are not limited to, a proposal for a Ring Road around the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA); extension of the Mandela Highway Improvement Works, from the East West Toll Road Ramp to the Old Harbour roundabout; and improvements to the Half-Way Tree area.The project will also see the construction of several bypasses to both improve travel time and create potential for expansion of several townships. These include Lucea bypass in Hanover; Hopewell bypass in Hanover; Annotto Bay bypass in St. Mary; Long Hill/Anchovy bypass in St. James; and Port Maria bypass in St. Mary.It will also involve drainage projects to include Marcus Garvey Drive and Maxfield Avenue in the Corporate Area; May Pen, Santa Cruz, Port Maria and Montego Bay and various other storm-water drainage projects across the island.The Prime Minister also informed that a component of this new programme is the incorporation of upgrade/restoration works to bring light railway solutions to passenger operations as an economical option for multi-modal transport within and between urban centres.“This will not be a roadworks programme, but a true infrastructure programme, integrating road development, water and waste water, drainage, bridges, transportation and ICT and smart city infrastructure,” he explained.