Pep Guardiola Named Premier League Manager of the Year

Pep Guardiola is in a premier class all his own…

The 53-year-old Spanish professional football manager and former player has been named Premier League Manager of the Year after guiding Manchester City to an unprecedented fourth successive title.

Pep Guardiola,Guardiola has previously won the award four times since he joined the club in 2016.

With six league titles, he’s now the joint second-most successful coach in the history of English football.

Only former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, with 11, has won the award more times.

Guardiola saw off competition from Arsenal‘s Mikel ArtetaAston Villa’s Unai EmeryBournemouth‘s Andoni Iraola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

“I want to share it, yes, oh yes! Especially with Mikel for the incredible job he has done until the last game, bringing us to our limits,” Guardiola said.

“Of course, for Jurgen, for the unforgettable battles for many, many years. And Unai Emery, making something unbelievable again to bring Aston Villa to the Champions League.

“And Andoni Iraola, with Bournemouth, being his first season in the Premier League, doing what he has done, coming back from the tough start of the season.

“It is an honor to be alongside all of them and to win this trophy. We will defend this award as best as possible in the future.”

Added Guardiola: “Winning four titles in a row is one of the proudest achievements of my career. This is the toughest league in the world and our competitors have played some incredible football.”

Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Yohan Ramírez from New York Mets

Yohan Ramírez heading out west…

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired the 29-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher from the New York Mets for cash on Monday.

Yohan Ramírez, The right-hander was designated for assignment last week.

He started the season with the Mets, allowing seven runs in 5 1/3 innings and was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles on April 13.

Ramírez returned to the Mets on May 6 and threw three scoreless innings before being DFA’d. Overall, he is 0-1 with a 6.91 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.

Ramirez has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with Seattle, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the Chicago White Sox, New York and Baltimore.

He is a combined 6-5 with a 4.29 ERA and 145 strikeouts in 138 1/3 innings.

Ramírez arrived in Los Angeles before Monday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

To make room for Ramírez, the Dodgers optioned right-handed pitcher Landon Knack to Oklahoma City.

They also designated RHP Eduardo Salazar for assignment off the 40-man roster.

Anderson Silva to Fight Former MMA Rival Chael Sonnen in Boxing Match This June

Anderson Silva is preparing for a highly anticipated rematch… of sorts.

The 49-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and professional boxer, a former UFC middleweight champion who holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days, is set to renew one of the greatest rivalries in mixed martial arts history next month.

Anderson SilvaSilva will face Chael Sonnen in a boxing match on June 15 in Brazil, the Spaten Fight Night promotion announced on Sunday.

Silva had been teasing his career finale earlier this week, claiming his final fight would take place next month in his birthplace of Sao Paulo.

Sonnen confirmed his participation via social media.

“Oh Anderson, yoohoo,” Sonnen said. “It’s me again. See you June 15.”

Silva (34-11) and Sonnen (30-17-1) produced one of the most memorable two-fight rivalries in UFC history.

Silva was in the midst of a UFC-record 16 consecutive wins when he ran into Sonnen in 2010. The outspoken title challenger from West Linn, Oregon, was a massive underdog going into their first meeting at UFC 117.

Sonnen shocked the world for 23 minutes of that fight, dominating Silva with takedowns and ground-and-pound before Silva secured a late triangle choke off his back. The UFC is set to induct that fight into its Hall of Fame in late June.

They met again two years later at UFC 148 in a blockbuster rematch in Las Vegas. Silva knocked out Sonnen with a knee to the chest after Sonnen lost balance throwing a spinning backfist.

Silva retired from the UFC in 2020, but has since boxed professionally four times. He is 2-1-1 in the ring, with the only loss coming to Jake Paul via decision in 2022. Sonnen retired from MMA in 2019 after five appearances in Bellator MMA. The former collegiate wrestler has never boxed professionally.

Silva was widely considered the greatest fighter of all time by 2010, but Sonnen’s ability to promote their rivalry with his trash talk of the Brazilian legend helped propel him to stardom.

Marcel Granollers & Horacio Zeballos Win Barcelona Open for Sixth ATP Masters 1000 Title

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos have added to their hardware collection.

The 38-year-old Spanish professional tennis player and 39-year-old Argentine professional tennis player beat Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic 6-2, 6-2 for the men’s doubles title at the Barcelona Open.

Marcel Granollers & Horacio ZeballosIn the process, Granollers and Zeballos captured their sixth ATP Masters 1000 crown as a team on Sunday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

In a rain-disrupted final, the top seeds were dominant throughout. They won 81 percent (26/32) of their first-serve points and saved both break points they faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats, to triumph after 69 minutes.

Granollers and Zeballos lead Arevalo and Pavic 2-0 in the teams’ Lexus ATP Head2Head series.

“It is always special to win a Masters 1000 title, so we are very happy with the way we played all week,” Granollers said. “It was unbelievable how we played.”

Granollers and Zeballos, who are joint No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings, have now lifted the trophy in Rome twice, having also won in 2020.

“I think we are like wine,” Zeballos said. “We are getting older and we are getting better. We have a lot of confidence and have been playing well the last weeks and year.”

The Spanish-Argentine pair was dominant throughout their run in the Italian capital. They did not drop a set, defeating singles stars Alexander Bublik and Ben Shelton in the semifinals. Granollers has now won 26 tour-level doubles titles, while Zeballos has lifted 21.

Granollers and Zeballos are currently second in the ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

They reached the title match at the ATP Finals last season.

Luis Gil Breaks New York Yankees Rookie Pitching Record

Luis Gil has broken a New York Yankees record…

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher delivered the best start of his young career on Saturday with 14 strikeouts — a Yankees rookie record — on 98 pitches over six innings to help lead the as the team defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-1.

Luis Gil In the process, the Yankees earned their sixth straight win and improved to an American League-best 32-15.

Gill, a right-hander, recovered from a 29-pitch first inning to produce 27 swing-and-misses behind a fastball that touched 100 mph and a changeup he has developed into a devastating offering.

At one point, he struck out nine of 10 hitters. He held the White Sox to five hits and one walk. In the end, he lowered his team-best ERA to 2.39 across nine starts.

“Today felt like, maybe, his best one,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Gil was expected to begin the season in the minors, honing his craft, waiting for an opportunity. Instead, Gil has continued his unforeseen breakout campaign.

He’s only in the rotation only because Gerrit Cole isn’t. Cole began the season on the 60-day injured list after being shut down in mid-March with an elbow injury.

On Saturday, the team’s ace took a significant step forward in his rehab — logging a 40-pitch bullpen session, divided in two to better simulate a game experience. He remains encouraged in his return to the mound.

For now, Cole is playing the part of assistant pitching coach — and making an impact on his replacement. Gil credited an increased focus and Cole’s tutelage — during games and in between starts — for his success after his performance Saturday.

“I have a teacher, Gerrit Cole, who’s teaching me how to pitch, how to handle situations and how to execute,” Gil said in Spanish. “And that’s what we’re doing, what he teaches me, and we’re applying it in the game.”

Gil has been dominant in May after posting a 4.01 ERA in five April starts. Since then, he has allowed just two earned runs with 27 strikeouts in 24⅓ innings across five outings. He made history Saturday by breaking Orlando Hernández‘s Yankees rookie record for strikeouts in a game. Hernández, who set the mark in 1998 with 13 strikeouts, happened to be in attendance on Saturday to throw out the first pitch.

“It was a pleasure to meet him,” Gil said. “He was a great pitcher. I loved getting to meet him.”

Chicago’s only run off Gil came on Andrew Benintendi‘s two-out, check-swing RBI double to open the scoring in the first inning. The lead was fleeting. Juan Soto responded in the bottom of the frame, smashing a pitch from Brad Keller 112.5 mph for a solo home run. He did it again in the fifth inning, this time launching a pitch from Keller 437 feet to right field for his 11th home run of the season. He finished the day 4-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.

Soto’s explosion came after he went 4-for-31 (.129) without a home run over his previous eight games. The relative struggles were enough for him to take additional batting practice several hours before the Yankees and White Sox opened their series Friday. Soto took swings with hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler. He then went 1-for-4 with a double, hitting the ball hard in play three times, in a Yankees win.

“Last night,” Boone said, “was the prelude to today.”

Soto declined to share what he worked on specifically during Friday’s extra hitting session, but he noted he was searching for the “feeling” he had over the first five weeks of the season when he was dominating pitchers on a daily basis.

Did he get it back?

“I think so,” Soto said with a smile.

Jesús Navas Signs Lifetime Contract with Sevilla FC

Jesús Navas is Sevilla por vida

The 38-year-old Spanish professional footballer and Sevilla FC captain has signed a lifetime contract with the club, the LaLiga side said on Saturday, just days after announcing he’d be leaving at the end of the season.

Jesús NavasNavas is Sevilla’s record appearance holder, having played for the club for 17 seasons over two different spells, winning eight trophies.

The right-back published an open letter on Friday saying he’d taken the “painful” decision to leave his boyhood club, having received “not one phone call” offering him a new contract, with his deal set to expire this summer.

“I’ve always been told that I could stay here as long as I wanted, but nobody has dispelled my doubts as to whether that call confirming that I’m staying would come at the end of the season,” Navas said. “People have said that I’ve leaving for a better offer, but I don’t have a team [for next season] yet because I want to focus on my country [at the Euros].”

Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido Carrasco held a news conference on Saturday to contest that version of events, blaming a “misunderstanding.”

del Nido said he “loved, respected and admired” Navas, calling him “the club’s greatest legend.”

“I don’t want to start any conflict with him, either publicly or privately,” del Nido said. “But neither can I let the history books read that Jesus won’t stay because Sevilla don’t want him to. It has all been a misunderstanding, for which I take responsibility, because I know that Jesus is hurting.”

del Nido insisted that he’d discussed future plans with the player on more than one occasion, saying he was in a “state of shock” after being told of Navas’ decision on Thursday.

“If we are able to sit down with [Navas] and talk things through, hopefully we can amend the situation,” Del Nido said. “I would like to offer him a lifetime contract, so that he can continue to play here for as long as he wants.”

Later on Saturday, Sevilla said that Navas had “signed a lifetime contract.”

“The player and the president have come to an agreement for him to extend his playing contract until 31 December 2024, before taking on a role inside the club,” a statement said.

“I didn’t doubt for a second about saying yes to the president’s proposal,” Navas said, in a social media post. “I want to keep playing for Sevilla… My desire is to keep playing until December, in a transition to help the team.”

“One more thing, in these last months as a professional, I won’t receive pay. The salary agreed with the president will go to charity.”

Navas made his debut for Sevilla in 2003 and starred for a decade before joining Manchester City. He returned to his hometown club in 2017 after four years in the Premier League, going on to become club captain and having the training ground’s stadium named after him.

He was part of the Spain squad that won the 2010 World Cup, and the 2012 European Championships.

Chelsea FC Reach Agreement with Palmeiras for Estêvão Willian

Estêvão Willian is headed to England.

Chelsea FC has agreed to a deal with Palmeiras for the 17-year-old Brazilian soccer player, per ESPN sources.

Estêvão WillianThe west London club have beaten off competition from some of Europe’s biggest clubs to agree a deal that sources have told ESPN is worth an initial €34 million ($37m) with performance-related add-ons potentially taking the total to a figure in the region of €67m.

The teenager is regarded as one of the best young talents in his native Brazil but, should the transfer be completed, the teenager will not join the club until 2025

Chelsea have prioritized signing young talent ever since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover two years ago, with the club’s new owners investing more than £1bn in the time since.

They have executed a number of deals with clubs in South America over the past few transfer windows. Andrey Santos and Kendry Páez, signed for Chelsea last year, while Thiago Silva will leave the club to rejoin his former club Fluminense after the final match of their Premier League season on Sunday.

Nicolas Jarry Outlasts Tommy Paul to Reach Rome Open Final

Nicolas Jarry is one win away from becoming Chile’s first ATP Masters 1000 champion in 25 years.

On Friday, the No. 21 seed overcame 14th-seeded Tommy Paul, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3, for his third three-set victory in his run to the Rome Open final.

Nicolas Jarry With grandfather Jaime Fillol cheering him on, Jarry regrouped after dropping the second set from a set and a break up. He held his nerve in the final game, saving two break points in between needing five match points to shut the door on Paul and dampen his 27th birthday.

“I was not very happy at the end of the second set,” Jarry admitted to press in the mixed zone afterwards. “I tried to use that energy to push myself and to focus it on my tennis, on what I need to do, and try to play as best I can. That gave me the break and more confidence to continue and to close the match.

“Tommy doesn’t make you feel comfortable on the court, so I made it through and that’s the best thing about it.”

Jarry advanced to his second final of the year, following Buenos Aires (defeated No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz in semis)

The last Chilean player to win a 1000-level title was Marcelo Rios at 1999 Hamburg, the former world No. 1’s fifth triumph at that level.

Jarry will look to join him on the Internazionali BNL d’Italia honor roll, as Rios was crowned the 1998 winner when Albert Costa withdrew prior to their final with a wrist injury.

In the quarterfinals, Jarry picked up his third Top 10 victory of the season by ousting Monte Carlo title holder Stefanos Tsitsipas. The boisterous crowd at the Foro Italico was one of the factors in pushing him across the finish line then and against Paul.

“Yesterday and today were amazing. I was hoping it was going to be like yesterday. Yesterday was my first day in the stadium. It was quite a shock. But I enjoy this atmosphere, I like it,” said Jarry.

His nation nearly had two reasons to celebrate on the day, before Alexander Zverev crashed the party. After getting outplayed early, the 2017 champion stormed past Alejandro Tabilo, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

“He’s a tough, tough guy to beat. Amazing backhand, good serve. He’s playing very good tennis right now,” assessed Jarry about his upcoming opponent.

In turning the tide, Zverev has now won his past 18 matches against left-handers. The No. 3 seed is 21-11 lifetime in tour-level finals.

Nicolas Jarry Upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas at Italian Open to Reach First ATP Masters 1000 Semifinal

Nicolas Jarry has reached his first career ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.

The 28-year-old Chilean professional tennis player rallied past sixth seed and 2022 finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 on Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia to advance to his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.

Nicolas JarryJarry produced relentless power from the baseline, striking 23 forehand winners, including a 166 kilometres-per-hour bruiser, to spoil Tsitsipas’ quest for a third consecutive semi-final appearance in Rome.

“I think beating Stefanos on clay is a good achievement. Certainly happy with my fight today, for how I played and how I maintained myself,” Jarry said in his on-court interview. “I kept trying to find different ways to have chances on his serve. I knew I was playing good. I had to adjust some things in the backhand so he didn’t push me back, that’s why he played so good. I was able to do those things and I’m extremely happy for the win.”

A key turning point came at 3-3 in the second set, when Jarry tallied five consecutive points from 0/40 and let out a massive roar to bring alive the Foro Italico crowd.

The 21st seed was crisp from the back of the court and delivered some of his best tennis to win nine of the final 11 points in the second set, sending the match into a decider.

Jarry displayed mental fortitude throughout the two-hour, 38-minute thriller, during which he fought off 11 of 13 break points faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

Tsitsipas will rue letting slip two break points at 5-5, 15/40 in the second set that would have given him the chance to serve for the match had he converted.

But Jarry held his nerve under pressure and earned a dramatic break of his own at 5-4 in the third set, converting his fourth match point to improve to 4-2 in his ATP Head2Head series with Tsitsipas.

“I always practise, always trying to find ways to be better, be stronger, be happier, enjoying it more,” Jarry said. “The last two matches, I’ve enjoyed it a lot so that’s my greatest achievement so far. Happy for that and that it’s brought me into the semis. [I will] try to continue this path. I’m playing pretty well, I just want to maintain it. That’s the toughest thing of all.”

Jarry and countryman Alejandro Tabilo are the first Chilean duo to reach the semifinals of an ATP Tour event since 2006 in Vina del Mar, where Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu made the last four.

The 6’7” Jarry, who is 15-11 on the season, is tied at his career-high No. 18 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings. Thursday’s quarter-final victory marks the three-time tour-level titlist’s 10th victory against a Top 10 player and third this season, having defeated Carlos Alcaraz in Buenos Aires and Casper Ruud in Miami.

Jarry will face 14th seed Tommy Paul in Friday’s semifinals. The Santiago native won their lone meeting at Roland Garros last year.

Alejandro Tabilo Defeats Zhizhen Zhang at Italian Open to Reach His First Masters 1000 Semifinal

Alejandro Tabilo’s dream run continues in Rome, Italy…

The 26-year-old Chilean-Canadian tennis player advanced to the semifinals of the Italian Open on Wednesday after dismissing Zhizhen Zhang 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Alejandro TabiloTabilo previously defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 16 seed Karen Khachanov earlier in the tournament.

Tabilo’s run at this year’s Italian Open has been nothing short of historic…

In beating Djokovic, he became the first Chilean player in 17 years to beat a world No. 1 since Fernando Gonzalez defeated Roger Federer at the 2007 ATP Finals

He reached the quarterfinals of a Masters 1000 for the first time in his career defeating Khachanov.

He reached the first Masters 1000 semifinal in his career by defeating Zhang and became the first Chilean to reach that level since Gonzalez in 2009 at the same event.

Tabilo will next face No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev, who defeated No. 11 seed Taylor Fritz, for spot in Sunday’s final.

Tabilo will move up to a minimum of No. 25 in the world when Monday’s rankings are released.