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WORLD CUP-BOUND PORTUGAL HUMILIATE EAGLES IN LISBON

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A first-half brace from Bruno Fernandes and two quick goals in the second half from Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario saw Nigeria fall 4-0 to World Cup-bound Portugal in an international friendly at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday, The PUNCH reports.

The Seleção das Quinas, as the Portuguese national team are called, were without Cristiano Ronaldo but still had enough firepower to humiliate the Super Eagles in front of the 50,000 crowds before heading off to Qatar for the World Cup which kicks off on Sunday.

Portugal got the game underway and immediately began to show their superiority as they dictated the tempo of the game.

Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix should have given the Europeans the lead in the opening five minutes following a fine pass from Manchester United Bruno Fernandes but the forward miscued and was unable to connect with the ball giving the Eagles’ defense the opportunity to clear the ball.

Two minutes after, Fernandes almost got the goal for Portugal but his shot missed the target by a few inches despite having Francis Uzoho rooted to a spot.

A minute later, Portugal’s pressure paid off as the Manchester United midfielder opened the scoreline to give the 2016 Euro champions the lead just nine minutes into the encounter.

Diogo Dalot made a fine run down the right flank and released a pass to his club teammate who coolly slots the ball into an empty net.

Nigeria began to get into the game having gone behind less than 10 minutes into the encounter. Ajax’s Calvin Bassey dribbled past three defenders but the chance went to waste with no teammate to give the final pass to.

Portugal continued to torment the Eagles’ defense and almost got the second goal of the night after just 14 minutes with Uzoho beaten by a curly shot from Otavio.

Felix thought he had gotten his first and Portugal’s second goal following a fine shot that narrowly missed the target.

Nigeria’s best chance of the game came in the 24th minute following a fine solo run by Joe Aribo, who sped down the midfield and released a pass to Alex Iwobi but the Everton player’s final pass was blocked by Ruben Dias for Nigeria’s first corner of the match.

The three-time African champions were almost punished from the resulting corner as Felix was released for a counter-attack but Bright Osayi-Samuel timely intervention forced the 23-year-old shot to corner.

Portugal continued to pile more pressure on Jose Peseiro’s side and were rewarded after Osayi-Samuel was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty with Cyprus referee, Chrysovalantis Theodorou, pointing to the penalty spot.

Fernandes converted from the spot sending Uzoho the wrong way to make it two goals for Portugal.

The midfielder almost got his hat trick but could not send the ball into an empty net having rounded the Nigerian goalkeeper.

Portugal took a healthy goal advantage into the break as Theodorou brought the first half to a close.

As the second half was about to commence, Peseiro brought on the duo Samuel Chukwueze and Frank Onyeka for Ademola Lookman and Wilfred Ndidi respectively.

Fernandes would not have the opportunity to score his hat trick as coach Fernando Santos replaced him for Vitinha while Dias and Bernardo Silva were also replaced with Raphael Guerreiro and Joao Mario.

The Eagles’ performance in the second half improved compared to their poor display in the first 45 minutes as they were able to string some passes together and control the game better.

After an improved performance in the second half, Nigeria had the opportunity to reduce the deficit after Osayi-Samuel was brought down in the box for a penalty but Emmanuel Dennis failed to score from the spot as his shot was saved by Rui Patricio.

The Eagles were made to pay for their missed opportunity and they conceded two goals in the space of two minutes as substitutes Ramos and Ramio scored to add to Nigeria’s friendly misery.

The result means Nigeria are yet to win in any of their last 14 friendlies.

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HIGHEST PARACHUTE JUMP AND LONGEST-EVER FREE-FALL

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Kittinger jumping out of the gondola of his balloon

Highest parachute jump and longest-ever free-fall happened on August 16, 1960, when 32-year-old U.S. Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger ascended in a helium-balloon-tethered gondola to 102,800 feet (roughly 19 miles) above the Earth … and jumped.

His free-fall lasted 4 minutes and 36 seconds. He experienced temperatures approaching minus-100 degrees Fahrenheit. These are what make it the highest parachute jump and longest-ever free-fall.

As he fell, Kittinger neared the speed of sound, his pressure-suit-encased body traveling at more than 600 mph before he opened his parachute at around 14,000 feet.

To this day, incredibly, he still holds records for the highest parachute jump and longest-ever free-fall.

PARACHUTING AND SKYDIVING

Throughout the years, parachuting and skydiving have been used interchangeably to describe the same idea — jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. But while these two words describe similar activities, they’re two distinct hobbies.

In this blog, we’ll define parachuting and skydiving before looking at four major differences between the two sports.

WHAT IS PARACHUTING?

Parachuting is the process of controlling a descent to the ground by means of using a parachute itself. The parachute can come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and parachuting can have a wide variety of purposes.

You may have seen parachuters at sporting events or special occasions, and you may have also heard of paratroopers in the military who use parachuting for combat purposes.

WHAT IS SKYDIVING?

Skydiving is the process of jumping into a controlled freefall for a long vertical distance (typically several thousand feet) before using a parachute to safely arrive at the ground. Skydiving is practiced as a hobby and an extreme sport, and it’s known for producing an adrenaline rush that few other activities can match.

Many people have skydiving on their “bucket lists” for the unique thrill of falling through the air and arriving safely on the ground, and others — like our skydiving instructors — have turned it into a career.

With both of these terms defined, let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between parachuting and skydiving.

4 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PARACHUTING & SKYDIVING

Definitions are nice, but sometimes it helps to have a side-by-side comparison.

1. FREEFALL

Freefall is the phenomenon of plummeting through the air without a parachute active.

Depending on their jumping altitude, skydivers typically enjoy 30 to 90 seconds of freefall while they’re unencumbered by any safety net. It’s not until they get closer to the ground that they deploy their parachute for a few minutes of breezy floating before touchdown. 

In contrast, most parachuters release their chute soon after they’re out of the aircraft. This means they’re in freefall for a much shorter amount of time, and they have a much more controlled descent than skydivers may. It also takes longer for a parachuter to reach the ground than a skydiver simply because the parachute is deployed so much earlier.

2. ALTITUDE

Because parachuters have their chute deployed for almost all of their fall, they’re moving at a significantly slower rate than skydivers. Their parachute immediately softens their acceleration, “lifting” them with the upward force of air collecting inside of the parachute.

A parachuting jump may start around 5,000 feet in altitude. This is about all the higher you want to go so that you could get favorable winds, oxygen levels, and temperature as you reach the ground.

Skydivers, on the other hand, rush toward the ground at a faster speed (up to 120 mph) and accelerate to that speed quickly when they are freefalling without a parachute deployed.

This is why skydivers need a higher altitude — to enjoy freefall to its fullest. At Chicagoland Skydiving Center, we offer jumps between 9,000 and 18,000 feet in the air, which take a little less than 10 minutes to complete from the moment a skydiver leaves the aircraft.

3. PURPOSE

The first parachute jump was engineered by balloonist André-Jacque Garnerin, who jumped from the basket of his hot air balloon in 1797. It wasn’t long after this revolutionary discovery that others began to see the utility behind the concept of a safe, controlled descent through the air. Parachutes soon became an integral part of military operations over the coming centuries.

Modern parachuting is often pursued by paratroopers and military personnel these days, as opposed to a recreational activity. Parachuters are often paratroopers who are using their chutes as a quick means to get from air to ground.

Skydiving, on the other hand, is much more of a hobby. In fact, it’s classified as a sport (and an “extreme sport”) by those who pursue it professionally. Sponsorships and teams exist throughout the world, most notably the Red Bull Skydiving, based around complicated acrobatic routines that take place during freefall.

There’s also some area of overlap between parachuting and skydiving in terms of practice. High altitude, low oxygen (HALO) jumps are practiced as stealthy means of deploying troops by the military and also as an adrenaline-pumping opportunity by skydiving athletes.

4. SOLO REQUIREMENTS

Skydiver falls through the air. All right! Thumbs up! Parachuting is fun!

Perhaps one of the most notable differences between parachuting and skydiving is the requirement to jump by yourself.

Parachuting has fairly lax requirements to commit to a solo jump since the parachute is constantly deployed, there are multiple pulls to deploy the parachute, and a litany of other safety measures. In fact, there are now self-deploying parachutes that kick into action once the parachuter hits a certain altitude.

However, skydiving is significantly stricter because of the element of freefall. Freefall, for all its fun and adrenaline rushes, is inherently dangerous since you can reach speeds near terminal velocity.

(That’s the speed at which you can no longer accelerate in freefall — it doesn’t mean you’re going to die once you reach that speed.)

Skydivers also have automatic parachute deployment, but again, freefall makes things different. The jumper needs to be able to read an altimeter and other instruments as they’re in freefall, which is phenomenally challenging without the proper training.

First-time free-fallers don’t know how to read altitude devices nor do they have the experience to judge when it’s necessary to release the chute with enough time to slow down before reaching the ground.

While all skydiving parachute backpacks are required to have an automatic activation device (AAD) that senses altitude and deploys the parachute, this backup “reserve” chute is intended for emergencies only.

Altogether, these are the reasons why you must be licensed to jump by yourself as a skydiver. It’s also why non-licensed individuals must jump with a certified, licensed instructor in a tandem skydive.

In order to freefall on your own, you’ll need to go to “skydiving school” and get a skydiving license.

Source: Facebook and The CSC Blog

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LIONEL MESSI’S PREFERRED MOVE WOULD BE BACK TO BARCELONA, FATHER AND AGENT SAYS

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Lionel Messi's father says his son's preferred move is back to Barcelona.

Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge Messi, says his son’s preferred move would be a return to Barcelona during the summer transfer window.

Messi played his last match for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, ending a two-year stay in the French capital which had become tumultuous of late.

The World Cup winner was booed on more than one occasion by PSG fans this season, including when he walked onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes stadium to celebrate the team’s Ligue 1 title on Sunday.

Among the clubs vying for his contract is Al-Hilal, with Reuters reporting last month that Messi had received a formal offer to join the Saudi club.

However, when asked by journalists if returning to Barcelona, where Messi spent 17 trophy-laden years, would be his son’s preferred move, Jorge answered: “Yes.”

Jorge was then asked if the Messi family was confident of a return to the Catalan club, to which he responded: “I would love it.”

Messi left Barcelona in tears in 2021 after financial mismanagement at the club, which was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, meant it was unable to offer its talisman a new contract.

The Argentine won two Ligue 1 titles in his two seasons at PSG, but was unable to help the club win the Champions League for the first time in its history.

Messi’s time at the club ended acrimoniously after PSG suspended him for taking an unauthorized trip abroad, with the Argentine later apologizing.

Barça legend

Now a move back to the club where Messi turned from schoolboy to sporting legend is on the cards.

At 17 years old, he made his first of 778 appearances for the Blaugrana, becoming the youngest player to represent the club in an official game at the time.

He went on to break the club’s goalscoring record and won 35 trophies during his time at the Camp Nou – including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

Under new coach and club legend Xavi, Barcelona this year won its first La Liga title in four years.

“For me, there’s no doubt that if Messi comes back, he will help us on a football level,” Xavi told Barcelona-based newspaper SPORT in a recent interview.

“I let the president [Joan Laporta] know this. I have no doubts, no doubt at all that he will help because he is still a decisive footballer, because he still has hunger, because he’s a winner, because he’s a leader and because, also, he’s a different, different player,” added Xavi, who told SPORT that he still talks to Messi.

“We don’t have a Barça on a talent level like 2010, for example. And what would Messi bring? He’d bring talent. Final pass, set pieces, goals … in the final third, he’s a player on a different level.

“As such, and because of the way I want to play, the way the staff wants to play too, for me there’s no doubt that he would help us a lot, but it all depends on him. In the end, the one who calls the shots at this time is Leo. There’s no doubt.”

CNN

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MOHAMED ALI ON SONY LISTON

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He said:

“He knows I’m great. He went to school, he’s no fool. I predict that he will go in eight to prove that I’m great, and if he wants to go to heaven, I’ll get him in seven. He’ll be in a worser fix if I cut it to six.

“And if he keeps talking jive, I’ll cut it to five. And if he makes me sore, he’ll go like Archie Moore, in four. And if that don’t do, I’ll cut it to two. And if he run, he’ll go in one. And if he don’t want to fight, he should keep himself home that night. Just before the fight, when the referee was giving us instructions, Liston was giving me that stare.

“And I won’t lie, I was scared. Sonny Liston was one of the greatest fighters of all time. He was one of the most scientific boxers who ever lived, he hit hard, and he was fixing to kill me. It frightened me, just knowing how hard he hit.

“But I was there, I didn’t have no choice but to go out and fight. The first round, I was dancing, moving back and side-to-side. I hit him with a couple of combinations, and he got me once with a right hand to the stomach.

“At the end of the round, I went back to my corner, and I felt good because I knew I could survive. Round two, I made a mistake and he caught me against the ropes. I got away from most of the punches, but he hit me good with a left hook that shook me up. Round three, I changed my strategy.

“I’d planned to fight hard the first two rounds, and then coast while Liston got tired. That way, by round five or six, I’d be rested and he’d be out of energy, and I’d start coming on strong. But at the start of round three, I could see he was frustrated and getting tired already, so I decided to test him then.”

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