Marcelo backs beleaguered Lopetegui ‘to the death’

first_imgMarcelo insists Real Madrid’s players are “with the coach to the death” after a shock home defeat to Levante increased the pressure on Julen Lopetegui.Los Blancos saw their winless run extended to five games as they lost at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, during which they almost set a new record for the longest goalless run in the club’s illustrious history.Defender Marcelo finally ended the barren stretch at 481 minutes when he found the net with a right-footed shot in the second half, though Levante held on to clinch a famous 2-1 triumph in the Spanish capital. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The result – coming after back-to-back defeats to CSKA Moscow and Deportivo Alaves prior to the international break – leaves Lopetegui facing an uncertain future in his job, though Marcelo feels media speculation over the manager’s future is unfair.”We’re with the coach to the death,” the Brazil international said after the game.”He tells us things very clearly. He has a really good relationship with us. It’s unfair, as you were with [former boss Rafael] Benitez. I don’t like it when the coach isn’t allowed to work.”It’s very unfair. The journalists, when they ask, form an opinion. We’re worried, the pressure of playing at Madrid is tremendous.”We have to show our faces on the pitch and in front of the cameras. We’re not afraid, but we’re worried.”The visitors led 2-0 inside 13 minutes, Jose Luis Morales opening the scoring before Roger Marti converted a penalty, while they had a third disallowed before the break for offside.Lopetegui sent on Gareth Bale at half-time, but, despite incessant late pressure from the hosts, Madrid were unable to get back on level terms.”We’ve done great things. The ball didn’t want to go in. The boss wants to regain confidence. We had 33 shots and not one ball went in,” Marcelo said of the game.”We have to hold our heads high to come back to winning games.”Levante didn’t do much. They took advantage of four mistakes and at the start we tried to draw the game, at least. We finished the game dead, because we left everything on the pitch.”last_img read more

Small shoulder procedure to delay Maria Sharapova return

first_imgMaria Sharapova has undergone a small surgical procedure on her right shoulder and will miss next month’s Miami Open in Florida, she said on Wednesday.Sharapova has not played since the St Petersburg Trophy four weeks ago when she withdrew before a second-round match.The 31-year-old former world number one has already said she would not play in the March 6-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California.The Miami Open starts on March 19.”I have struggled with shoulder pain since last summer,” Sharapova wrote on her Instagram page.”For 10 weeks post U.S. Open, I focused on getting my rotator cuff and scapula strong to support a surgically repaired fraying tendon and a small labrum tear. Although my shoulder got strong, it didn’t help the pain on impact.”After a few different opinions in a few different countries, last week I had a small procedure done which will take a few weeks to heal.”Sharapova, who beat defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki before losing in the fourth round at Melbourne Park in January, added that she was “incredibly committed” to returning to competition.Also Read | Knee injury forces Juan Martin del Potro to pull out of Indian Wells tournamentAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios saves three match points, beats Rafael Nadal in Acapulcolast_img read more