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Phuket Gazette World Sports: Real Madrid vs Man United

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Phuket Gazette World Sports: Real Madrid vs Man United | The Thaiger
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Ronaldo in showcase as United come to town
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo faces former club Manchester United for the first time in a mouth-watering Champions League last-16 first leg at the Bernabeu tonight dripping in history and intrigue.

The world’s most expensive player has won over the Bernabeu faithful with some breathtaking performances and will have the perfect opportunity to showcase his talents against the Premier League leaders.

The managerial battle between Real’s Jose Mourinho and United’s Alex Ferguson is another fascinating aspect of the tie but Ronaldo’s bid to destroy his old team mates should take centre stage as two of the world’s biggest clubs lock horns.

Seen as a more mature and less selfish player, Ronaldo has a chance to live up to comparisons with former Real great Alfredo Di Stefano as he faces United for the first time since the club paid 94 million euros (80.4 million pounds) to lure him to Spain in 2009.

Now 28, he made his name in England after joining from Sporting as an 18-year-old in 2003 and went on to win the World Player of the Year award five years later.

He has been in scintillating form since the turn of the year and warmed up for the United game with a hat-trick in a 4-1 destruction of Sevilla, earning a rousing ovation from the home faithful when he was substituted late on.

It is a significant turnaround from a difficult patch earlier in the season when he raised eyebrows and prompted talk of an exit from the club by telling reporters he was unhappy “for professional reasons”.

Ronaldo said it was not about money and he and the club now appear to have put it all behind them so he can focus on helping Real secure the 10th European crown that has eluded them since their last triumph in 2002.

“The Champions League is very special at Madrid because we want to win a 10th European title,” Ronaldo said in an interview with British daily The Sun. “For me it is the pinnacle.

“There are so many memorable matches that remain in the minds of the players and the fans. I want to make my contribution, I want to leave my mark.”

Ronaldo spent six seasons with United and scored 118 goals in 292 games.

At Real he has netted 182 in 179 matches, a far higher goals-per-game ratio than Di Stefano’s 308 in 396 appearances in the 1950s and 60s when he helped the club to five successive European titles.

Wednesday’s match also renews the intriguing rivalry between Mourinho and Ferguson who have struck up a friendship over the years and are known to enjoy a glass of wine together.

“I feel privileged to be his friend because he is one of the most important people in the football world and, much more importantly, because he is a good person,” Mourinho said after watching United beat Everton 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“Madrid-United is the match that everyone wants to see. The world won’t be watching any other Champions League games so I hope we can give the world what they expect.”

Mourinho has faced United twice at this stage of the Champions League, starting with Porto’s success on the way to winning the trophy in 2004.

As Inter Milan coach, the Portuguese lost to United in the last 16 five years later but during three years in London as Chelsea manager he suffered only one reverse to the Manchester club, winning five games and drawing four.

History favours Real. They have won three of their four previous European ties against United – in the semi-finals in 1956-57 and the quarter-finals in 1999-2000 and 2002-03.

United eliminated Real in the 1967-68 semi-finals.

Real have won eight of their last nine home Champions League games while United have been victorious only twice in 20 visits to Spain.

United defender Rio Ferdinand, who played in the last-eight game against Real 10 years ago, told UEFA.com any contact he had with Ronaldo had dried up as the European showdown approached.

“We’ve had a few texts but when you get into a situation like this when you’re coming up against a friend, all the texts and the conversations go to one side and you don’t really speak until you actually get the game over and done with,” he said.

Asked how United planned to thwart Ronaldo, he added: “You get as many people around the ball when he’s got it as possible!

“But no, Madrid are that good a side you have to make sure you’re set up right and that your team are in good positions all over the pitch to defend.”

The return leg is at United’s Old Trafford stadium on March 5.

Probable teams:

Real: 41-Diego Lopez; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 3-Pepe, 4-Sergio Ramos, 5-Fabio Coentrao; 14-Xabi Alonso, 6-Sami Khedira; 22-Angel Di Maria, 10-Mesut Ozil, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo; 9-Karim Benzema

Manchester United:

1-David de Gea, 2-Rafael, 3-Patrice Evra, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 15-Nemanja Vidic, 16-Michael Carrick, 23-Tom Cleverley, 8-Anderson, 7-Antonio Valencia, 10-Wayne Rooney, 20-Robin van Persie

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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