Lopetegui wants focus on soccer after Pique jeered by fans

first_imgMargot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene How to help the Taal evacuees FILE – In this Monday, Sept 4, 2017 file photo, Spain’s Gerard Pique takes part in a training session a day prior to the World Cup Group G qualifying soccer match between Liechtenstein and Spain at the Rheinpark stadium in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has defended Gerard Pique from critics who question his loyalty to the national team because of his support for a disputed referendum on Catalan independence. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP, FIle)MADRID — Spain coach Julen Lopetegui praised Gerard Pique’s commitment to the national team and called on the squad to be focused only on soccer despite the crisis involving Catalonia’s push for independence.Pique, the outspoken Barcelona defender highly supportive of Catalans, was harassed by fans Monday when he reported to the national team’s training camp in Madrid ahead of upcoming World Cup qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT The national team’s practice on Tuesday was closed to the fans.“We are soccer players and coaches, we have to be focused on our main goal, which is to qualify for the World Cup,” Lopetegui said. “We can’t get distracted by anything. I know that this is an unpleasant situation, but I ask for some reasoning and tranquility so we can all play a great match against Albania.”Spain is three points ahead of Italy in Group G. It has a much better goal difference than the Italians, so it can close in a World Cup spot with a victory against Albania or at Israel on Monday.Only the group winner automatically qualifies for next year’s tournament in Russia.On Tuesday, Barcelona and the two other Catalan clubs in the Spanish league — Girona and Espanyol — joined a strike to protest the Spanish government’s actions in Catalonia. Barcelona said none of its professional or youth teams practiced and its headquarters was closed. The club played in an empty Camp Nou on Sunday to show its discontentment with the government’s actions during the referendum.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lopetegui said in a radio interview with local radio station COPE on Monday night that the central defender remained “motivated” despite the abuse from fans. He said he talked to Pique and didn’t think he was affected by it.He said Pique’s “behavior with the national team has always been very good” and there was no reason not to have him on the team. He said the player was well liked by his teammates.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“We don’t analyze the player’s political opinion,” Lopetegui said. “Gerard is an extraordinary central defender and he has been playing with the national team since he was 16. His commitment is tremendous. I don’t see why I shouldn’t bring him to the team. He is available and he wants to play. I know it’s not an easy situation, but I am a soccer coach and I have to prioritize.”The coach said players have the right to express their opinions privately, but have to try to avoid adding to the “unpleasant situation” generated by Catalonia’s bid for independence. LATEST STORIES ‘Very happy’ Nadal survives Beijing scare “We all have the obligation to create the best atmosphere possible ahead of this game against Albania (on Friday),” Lopetegui said. “And I mean all of us. We are playing to make it to the World Cup. After a year and a half we have the chance to finish the job and we obviously need to focus on this game, which is the only important thing for us this week. We all have to contribute to create this good atmosphere, there is no doubt.”Pique was in tears on Sunday as he criticized the Spanish police after violent clashes erupted during the independence referendum that the Spanish government said was unconstitutional. Officials said more than 890 civilians and about 430 members of the police force were injured across the northeastern region.“I see Pique with the same enthusiasm as before,” Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara said. “He is as happyas he has always been inside our locker room.”Pique continued to criticize authorities on social media on Monday, including just before reporting to the national team.Fans in Madrid chanted and held cards against Pique, including some that said “Spain is your nation” and “Out Pique.”ADVERTISEMENT Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ DAY6 is for everybody OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

There are only four types of cities

first_imgAny globetrotting tourist will tell you that all cities are unique. The challenge is to figure out what they have in common. Fortunately, there’s at least one thing that is nakedly apparent for every single city: the contours of its streets as seen from outer space. A team of researchers has now taken those street maps and analyzed them as mathematical networks. It turns out that all cities can be boiled down to just four different types based on the “fingerprint” of their street networks, the team reports online today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface: a grid of medium-sized blocks that are mostly square or regular rectangles, a dominant fraction of small blocks with a diverse array of shapes, mostly medium-sized blocks with diverse shapes, or a mosaic of patches of mostly small squares or rectangles. For example, those who say that American and European cities tend to be “laid out differently” now have mathematical evidence. Boston’s famously confusing street map—which produces small and diversely shaped city blocks—is more like a European city’s than that of the typical gridlike U.S. city. And some of the largest cities are revealed to be a hodgepodge of different parts. The five boroughs of New York City (above) are closer matches to different cities around the world than they are to each other. Manhattan has the gridlike street layout of Brazilian cities like Campo Grande and Curitiba, while the Bronx’s streets look like those of Porto, Portugal. Brooklyn is strikingly similar to Detroit, Michigan, at least in layout. And Staten Island? It’s like walking the streets of As-Suwayda, Syria.last_img read more