Zlatan Ibrahimovic top scorer in Serie A: How is he still doing it in his 40th year? | Football News

first_imgWhy run when you can fly? That was the pithy message that Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent out after his overhead-kick winner at Udinese. There is always a soundbite when it comes to the Swede but the astonishing thing is that in his 40th year, he still has the answers.Against Verona on Sunday, with AC Milan set for defeat, his skied penalty looked set to prove costly. Still he had the last word. A last-minute equaliser maintaining Milan’s unbeaten start to the Serie A season. They remain top. He remains Italy’s top scorer.- Advertisement – Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC MIlan looks on during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 21, 2020 in Milan, Italy Zlatan Ibrahimovic's overhead kick for AC Milan against UdineseImage:Ibrahimovic’s overhead kick for AC Milan against Udinese secured the victory – Advertisement – Former chief executive Adriano Galliani points out that Ibrahimovic will demand more “if he notices that any member of the team does not give their best during training”. Asmir Begovic, who was on loan at Milan alongside Ibrahimovic last season, confirms it.“He just holds himself to the highest standards each and every day,” Begovic tells Sky Sports. “He holds his team-mates and everyone at the club accountable to those standards. I think it drives everyone to do better when you have someone of his presence in the locker room.”There is a softer side too.“Behind closed doors, he is a normal guy,” adds Begovic. “He likes to joke, have fun and banter with everyone. Of course, the public persona is a different kettle of fish.”Cole agrees.“The thing is that he is a quiet person. He might play to the cameras at times and want to be thought of as having that persona but he is a quiet guy. He comes in and he enjoys the dressing room with all the lads. He is a very good team player. Then he goes home. His kids are getting bigger now so he spends time with them. He is a family man.”Even so, Cole laughs at the thought of what it would be like to play under Ibrahimovic if he were ever to turn to management when his long playing career finally does come to an end.“He would definitely have got the best out of me but whether I would have lasted a full season under him, I don’t know,” he says. “I would not like to be a player under him.”Playing with him, however, tends to work out rather well. Thirteen times his team has topped the table at the end of the season. Fourteen would be truly sensational.But the signs are good. Milan have built a talented young team with Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers in the wide positions and Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer in midfield. All four are at least a decade-and-a-half younger than the man who is leading the line. 0:19 Ashley Cole and Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrate together for Los Angeles GalaxyImage:Ashley Cole and Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrate together for Los Angeles Galaxy AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is among the top shooters in EuropeImage:Ibrahimovic’s high shot volume should ensure the goals keep flowing for Milan Eight goals in five games. Despite missing two matches because of Covid-19, he is the master marksman aiming to be capocannoniere once again and this flurry is no fluke.The chances are still flowing, the ball still seemingly drawn to him inside the penalty box. Former Milan team-mate Antonio Cassano insists that Ibrahimovic is still the best player in Serie A and others are beginning to accept that he might just be right.There will be those who argue that it says much about the standard of Italian football right now. The truth, surely, is that it says far more about the extraordinary staying power of Ibrahimovic. Three-and-a-half years have passed since that cruciate knee ligament injury when playing for Manchester United against Anderlecht robbed him of his big moment in Stockholm.The 2017 Europa League final looked like the perfect send-off. He was already 35, after all, and a major injury surely confirmed that his days at the top were over. When he battled back to fitness only to be deemed surplus to requirements by United, that seemed to confirm it.What has followed, in the United States with Los Angeles Galaxy, and with his triumphant return to Milan defies some logic. But those who know Ibrahimovic and the mentality that has driven him throughout his career, can help to explain the seemingly inexplicable.- Advertisement – Cole is more balanced in his recollections. Although the first two words that he reaches for when asked to describe Ibrahimovic’s character are “crazy” and “wild”, he prefers to focus on the positive contributions of a player who scored 52 goals in 56 appearances for the club.“No, he was a good team-mate,” he says. “At times, some players maybe could not handle him with his strong words. To be his team-mate, you have got to be mentally tough. You have to take it with a pinch of salt at times because he is just trying to push you to be better.“It certainly did work at times with the younger players. They improved playing with him. Others maybe dipped a bit because they could not handle it. But it was a pleasure to play with him and he was somebody that we needed in the dressing room at the time.”That is the crux of it. Ibrahimovic is demanding but high standards matter.When Portuguese midfielder Joao Pedro revealed the words that were spoken after Galaxy surrendered a two-goal advantage to lose 3-2 to Houston Dynamo, Ibrahimovic’s comments were reported as an idle boast about owning an island. It fitted the stereotype.The reality is that he was letting his team-mates know how much this mattered to him, how much he craved success for himself and for others at LA Galaxy, despite all his wealth.“He gave us a talking to,” said Joao Pedro.“He said, ‘If you are going to come here to go to the beach or take a walk in Hollywood, just say so. I have 300 million in the bank and an island. I don’t need this’.”That is the mentality that he has brought back to Milan.This is a group that needed it, a club that has not won the title since his previous stint, one that has not finished in the top four of Serie A for seven seasons now.They need his goals, but they need his personality too. Paolo Maldini, the Milan legend turned sporting director, says that “it is not only his importance on the pitch but also the competitiveness that he has brought” back to the Milanello training ground. Together with 26-year-old Hakan Calhanoglu pulling the string in support, they are providing the service. Ibrahimovic has had more touches inside the opposition penalty box – 57 – than any other player in Serie A. The result is that he has had 32 shots too.Milan have movement. Their striker is doing the rest.“Seeing these players play around Ibrahimovic is so beautiful,” says former Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko. “I think Zlatan has found the right environment.”More than that, he has helped to create it.Cole knows Italian football from his time at Roma but he stops short of agreeing that a league with a reputation for a measured approached is suiting his ageing frame better. This is no resurgence. Instead, it is a continuation. Wherever he goes, Ibrahimovic does not stop.“If I am honest, anywhere suits him. He is getting older, of course he is. He is nearly 40 years of age. But with that mentality that he has, with that will power that he has to not lose and to still be the best or to think you are the best, that drives him and pushes him through.“I definitely think that if he came back to the Premier League now he would still be a handful for teams to play against. I’d expect him to score goals at any level, to be honest.” Neil Lennon says Ibrahimovic is among the greatest players to have ever lived Paolo Maldini during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on July 4, 2020 in Rome, Italy.Image:Paolo Maldini credits Ibrahimovic for his impact on and off the pitch at Milan – Advertisement – But how long can he continue?“If you ask him, he would probably tell you that lions don’t mix with humans or something like that,” adds Cole. “I think he will go on until his body feels like he cannot handle it and he is not feeling that love for the game. But I think he will still play for another year.”At this rate, that could be many more goals away yet. AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ranks among the best strikers in Europe this season for goals per 90 minutesImage:Ibrahimovic boasts one of the best strike rates of any player in Europe this season Ibrahimovic was back in action for Manchester United just seven months after suffering that ligament damage. His prompt return sparked the line about lions recovering differently to humans. But his subsequent struggle to make an impact was a worrying sign.What sets Ibrahimovic apart from so many others of his age, is that when he moved to Los Angeles in March 2018, he refused to relent. The work continued. He built himself back up.“Most of it was gym work,” reveals Cole “He’d had that serious injury, the injury that kept him out, of course, at Manchester United. I saw that hard work he did in the gym. The ability and the aggression that he has when he is pushing these weights around.“On the pitch and at the training ground, you would not have thought that he was nearly 37 years of age at the time. He was always ready to train, he was always willing to train. He gave 100 per cent in training. That work ethic, that mentality, never changed.”Ibrahimovic’s mentality continues to divide opinion.There are those who perceive his treatment of others as problematic and it is easy to see why. Kingsley Coman, a youngster at Paris Saint-Germain during Ibrahimovic’s time in France, complained that he provided no advice and only cared about himself.That behaviour manifested itself on the pitch in Los Angeles where any words spoken tended to be negative ones. A bemused Florian Jungwirth of San Jose Earthquakes recalls the memory of Ibrahimovic “really insulting” his colleagues throughout one particular game.There was the video of him pushing Galaxy team-mate Sebastian Lletget away as he prepared to face a free-kick. Lletget later said that he never felt free while playing alongside Ibrahimovic, even admitting that there were times when he wanted to walk off the field.“It is tough to play against him and tougher to play with him.”As Ibrahimovic’s former international team-mate Anders Svensson saw it, it was as if he was trying to test new players. “It is like he wants to break them down to see what they can do.” “I am not surprised,” Ashley Cole tells Sky Sports. “I had the pleasure of playing with him. I got to see the professional that he is. The hard work that he puts in behind the scenes.“The physique that he has shows the work that he puts in off the pitch after having a serious injury. To come back with everyone thinking he had gone to America for a holiday, to be top scorer in Serie A, I think it is a credit to his professionalism and to him as a man.”last_img read more

New study on homosexual parents tops all previous research

first_imgNEW STUDY ON HOMOSEXUAL PARENTS TOPS ALL PREVIOUS RESEARCHChildren of Homosexuals Fare Worse on Most OutcomesBy Peter Sprigg – Family Research Council June 2012In a historic study of children raised by homosexual parents, sociologist Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin has overturned the conventional academic wisdom that such children suffer no disadvantages when compared to children raised by their married mother and father. Just published in the journal Social Science Research,[1] the most careful, rigorous, and methodologically sound study ever conducted on this issue found numerous and significant differences between these groups–with the outcomes for children of homosexuals rated “suboptimal” (Regnerus’ word) in almost every category.The Debate Over Homosexual ParentsIn the larger cultural, political, and legal debates over homosexuality, one significant smaller debate has been over homosexual parents. Do children who are raised by homosexual parents or caregivers suffer disadvantages in comparison to children raised in other family structures–particularly children raised by a married mother and father? This question is essential to political and ethical debates over adoption, foster care, and artificial reproductive technology, and it is highly relevant to the raging debate over same-sex “marriage.” The argument that “children need a mom and a dad” is central to the defense of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.Here is how the debate over the optimal family structure for children and the impact of homosexual parents has usually gone:Pro-family organizations (like Family Research Council) assert, “Social science research shows that children do best when raised by their own biological mother and father who are committed to one another in a life-long marriage.” This statement is true, and rests on a large and robust collection of studies.Pro-homosexual activists respond, “Ah, but most of those studies compared children raised by a married couple with those raised by divorced or single parents–not with homosexual parents.” (This is also true–in large part because the homosexual population, and especially the population of homosexuals raising children, is so small that it is difficult to obtain a representative sample.)The advocates of homosexual parenting then continue, “Research done specifically on children raised by homosexual parents shows that there are no differences (or no differences that suggest any disadvantage) between them and children raised by heterosexual parents.”Pro-family groups respond with a number of critiques of such studies on homosexual parents. For example, such studies usually have relied on samples that are small and not representative of the population, and they frequently have been conducted by openly homosexual researchers who have an ideological bias on the question being studied. In addition, these studies also usually make comparisons with children raised by divorced or single parents–rather than with children raised by their married, biological mother and father.In fact, an important article published in tandem with the Regnerus study (by Loren Marks, Louisiana State University) analyzes the 59 previous studies cited in a 2005 policy brief on homosexual parents by the American Psychological Association (APA).[2] Marks debunks the APA’s claim that “[n]ot a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.” Marks also points out that only four of the 59 studies cited by the APA even met the APA’s own standards by “provid[ing] evidence of statistical power.” As Marks so carefully documents, “[N]ot one of the 59 studies referenced in the 2005 APA Brief compares a large, random, representative sample of lesbian or gay parents and their children with a large, random, representative sample of married parents and their children.”To summarize, we have been left with large, scientifically strong studies showing children do best with their married mother and father–but which do not make comparisons with homosexual parents or couples; and studies which purportedly show that children of homosexuals do just as well as other children–but which are methodologically weak and thus scientifically inconclusive.The New Family Structures Study–Restoring the “Gold Standard”This logjam of dueling studies has been broken by the work that Regnerus has undertaken. Unlike the many large studies previously undertaken on family structure, Regnerus has included specific comparisons with children raised by homosexual parents. Unlike the previous studies on children of homosexual parents, he has put together a representative, population-based sample that is large enough to draw scientifically and statistically valid conclusions. For these reasons, his “New Family Structures Study” (NFSS) deserves to be considered the “gold standard” in this field.Another improvement Regnerus has made is in his method of collecting data and measuring outcomes for children in various family structures. Some previous studies collected data while the subjects were still children living at home with their parent or parents–making it impossible to know what the effects of the home environment might be once they reach adulthood. Some such studies even relied, in some cases exclusively, on the self-report of the parent. This raised a serious question of “self-presentation bias”–the tendency of the parent to give answers that will make herself and her child look good.Regnerus, on the other hand, has surveyed young adults, ages 18 to 39, and asked them about their experiences growing up (and their life circumstances in the present). While these reports are not entirely objective, they are likely to be more reliable than parental self-reports, and allow evaluation of long-term impacts. The study collected information from its subjects on forty different outcomes. They fall into three groups:Some are essentially yes-or-no questions: are you currently married, are you currently unemployed, have you thought recently about suicide?Other questions asked respondents to place themselves on a scale–for example, of educational attainment, happiness or depression, and household income.Finally, “event-count” outcomes involve reporting the frequency of certain experiences–e.g., smoking marijuana or being arrested–and the number of sex partners.Nearly 15,000 people were “screened” for potential participation in the study; in the end almost 3,000, a representative sample, actually completed the survey questionnaire. Of these, 175 reported that their mother had a same-sex romantic relationship while they were growing up, and 73 said the same about their father. These are numbers just large enough to make some statistically robust conclusions in comparing different family structures.What the Study FoundThe study looked at 40 different outcomes, but reported data for children with “lesbian mothers” and those with “gay fathers” separately. Therefore, there actually were 80 outcome measures that could be said to compare children with “homosexual parents” to those from other family structures. When compared with outcomes for children raised by an “intact biological family” (with a married, biological mother and father), the children of homosexuals did worse (or, in the case of their own sexual orientation, were more likely to deviate from the societal norm) on 77 out of 80 outcome measures. (The only exceptions: children of “gay fathers” were more likely to vote; children of lesbians used alcohol less frequently; and children of “gay fathers” used alcohol at the same rate as those in intact biological families).Of course, anyone who has had a college course in statistics knows that when a survey shows there are differences between two groups, it is important to test whether that finding is “statistically significant.” This is because it is always possible, by chance, that a sample may not accurately reflect the overall population on a particular point. However, through statistical analysis researchers can calculate the likelihood of this, and when they have a high level of confidence that a difference identified in the survey represents an actual difference in the national population, we say that finding is “statistically significant.” (This does not mean the other findings are unimportant–just that we cannot have as high a level of confidence in them.)Regnerus has analyzed his findings, and their statistical significance, in two ways–first by a simple and direct comparison between what is reported by the children of homosexual parents and the children of “intact biological families” (“IBFs”), and second by “controlling” for a variety of other characteristics. “Controlling for income,” for example, would mean showing that “IBF” children do not do better just because their married parents have higher incomes, but that they do better even when the incomes of their households and the households of homosexual parents are the same. Again, Regnerus has done these comparisons for “LMs” (children of “lesbian mothers”) and “GFs” (children of gay fathers) separately.There are eight outcome variables where differences between the children of homosexual parents and married parents were not only present, and favorable to the married parents, but where these findings were statistically significant for both children of lesbian mothers and “gay” fathers and both with and without controls. While all the findings in the study are important, these are the strongest possible ones–virtually irrefutable. Compared with children raised by their married biological parents (IBF), children of homosexual parents (LM and GF):Are much more likely to have received welfare (IBF 17%; LM 69%; GF 57%)Have lower educational attainmentReport less safety and security in their family of originReport more ongoing “negative impact” from their family of originAre more likely to suffer from depressionHave been arrested more oftenIf they are female, have had more sexual partners–both male and femaleThe high mathematical standard of “statistical significance” was more difficult to reach for the children of “gay fathers” in this study because there were fewer of them. The following, however, are some additional areas in which the children of lesbian mothers (who represented 71% of all the children with homosexual parents in this study) differed from the IBF children, in ways that were statistically significant in both a direct comparison and with controls. Children of lesbian mothers:Are more likely to be currently cohabitingAre almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistanceAre less likely to be currently employed full-timeAre more than 3 times more likely to be unemployedAre nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexualAre 3 times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabitingAre an astonishing 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver.”Are nearly 4 times as likely to have been “physically forced” to have sex against their willAre more likely to have “attachment” problems related to the ability to depend on othersUse marijuana more frequentlySmoke more frequentlyWatch TV for long periods more frequentlyHave more often pled guilty to a non-minor offenseDifferences in SexualityWhen comparing children of homosexuals with children of married biological parents, the differences in sexuality–experiences of sexual abuse, number of sexual partners, and homosexual feelings and experiences among the children themselves–were among the most striking. While not all of the findings mentioned below have the same level of “statistical significance” as those mentioned above, they remain important.At one time, defenders of homosexual parents not only argued that their children do fine on psychological and developmental measures, but they also said that children of homosexuals “are no more likely to be gay” than children of heterosexuals. That claim will be impossible to maintain in light of this study. It found that children of homosexual fathers are nearly 3 times as likely, and children of lesbian mothers are nearly 4 times as likely, to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual. Children of lesbian mothers are 75% more likely, and children of homosexual fathers are 3 times more likely, to be currently in a same-sex romantic relationship.The same holds true with the number of sexual partners. Both males and females who were raised by both lesbian mothers and homosexual fathers have more opposite-sex (heterosexual) partners than children of married biological parents (daughters of homosexual fathers had twice as many). But the differences in homosexual conduct are even greater. The daughters of lesbians have 4 times as many female (that is, same-sex) sexual partners than the daughters of married biological parents, and the daughters of homosexual fathers have 6 times as many. Meanwhile, the sons of both lesbian mothers and homosexual fathers have 7 times as many male (same-sex) sexual partners as sons of married biological parents.The most shocking and troubling outcomes, however, are those related to sexual abuse. Children raised by a lesbian mother were 10 times more likely to have been “touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver” (23% reported this, vs. only 2% for children of married biological parents), while those raised by a homosexual father were 3 times more likely (reported by 6%). In his text, but not in his charts, Regnerus breaks out these figures for only female victims, and the ratios remain similar (3% IBF; 31% LM; 10% GF). As to the question of whether you have “ever been physically forced” to have sex against your will (not necessarily in childhood), affirmative answers came from 8% of children of married biological parents, 31% of children of lesbian mothers (nearly 4 times as many), and 25% of the children of homosexual fathers (3 times as many). Again, when Regnerus breaks these figures out for females (who are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse in general), such abuse was reported by 14% of IBFs, but 3 times as many of the LMs (46%) and GFs (52%).These data require more detailed exploration and explanation. A number of researchers have pointed out that self-identified homosexual adults (both men and women) are more likely to report having been victims of child sexual abuse. However, Family Research Council and other pro-family organizations have been criticized for also pointing to evidence suggesting that homosexual men are more likely to commit acts of child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men. And experts in child sexual abuse in general say that men are most often the perpetrators, regardless of the sex of the victim. Therefore, the finding that children of lesbian mothers are significantly more likely to have been victims of sexual touching by “a parent or adult caregiver” than even the children of homosexual fathers is counter-intuitive.However, it is important to note what we do not know about such experiences from the data that have been published. The fact that a child of a lesbian mother was touched by “a parent or adult caregiver” does not mean that the lesbian mother was herself the parent or caregiver who did the “touching.” An alternative scenario mentioned by Regnerus, for example–hypothetical, but plausible–is one in which a child is molested by her biological father; her mother divorces her father; and the mother later enters into a lesbian relationship.Limitations of the StudyWhile the Regnerus study is a vast improvement over virtually all the prior research in the field, it still leaves much to study and learn about homosexual parents and their effect on children. Author Mark Regnerus emphasizes the traditional caveat in social science, warning against leaping to conclusions regarding “causality.” In other words, just because there are statistical correlations between having a homosexual parent and experiencing negative outcomes does not automatically prove that having a homosexual parent is what caused the negative outcomes–other factors could be at work.This is true in a strict scientific sense–but because Regnerus carefully controlled for so many other factors in the social environment, the study gives a clear indication that it is this parental characteristic which best defines the household environment that produces these troubling outcomes. The large number of significant negative outcomes in this study gives legitimate reason for concern about the consequences of “homosexual parenting.”The definition of what it means to have a homosexual parent is also a loose one in this study–by necessity, in order to maximize the sample size of homosexual parents. Not all of those who reported that a parent was in a same-sex relationship even lived with that parent during the relationship; many who did, did not live with the partner as well. Only 23% of those with a lesbian mother, and only 2% of those with a homosexual father, had spent as long as three years living in a household with the homosexual parent and the parent’s partner at the same time. Details like this involving the actual timeline of these children’s lives can reportedly be found in Regnerus’ dataset, which is to be made available to other researchers later this year.Figures like these suggest a need for more research, to distinguish, for example, the effects of living with a homosexual parent from having a non-custodial one, or the effects of living with a homosexual single parent vs. a homosexual couple. But they also point out something of note for public policy debates on “gay families”–the stereotype put forward by pro-homosexual activists, of a same-sex couple jointly parenting a child from birth (following either adoption or the use of artificial reproductive technology), represents a scenario that is extraordinarily rare in real life. Most “homosexual parents” have their own biological children who were conceived in the context of a previous heterosexual relationship or marriage, which then ended before the person entered into homosexual relationships.ConclusionThe articles by Marks and Regnerus have completely changed the playing field for debates about homosexual parents, “gay families,” and same-sex “marriage.” The myths that children of homosexual parents are “no different” from other children and suffer “no harm” from being raised by homosexual parents have been shattered forever.http://www.frc.org/issuebrief/new-study-on-homosexual-parents-tops-all-previous-research——————————————————————————-[1] Mark Regnerus, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 752-770; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610[2] Loren Marks, “Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American Psychological Association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 735-751; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580last_img read more

MSC Buys Remaining Stake in Brazils Portonave

first_imgzoom Swiss container shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has taken full control at Brazil’s port operator Portonave as it purchased the remaining shares in the company.Namely, MSC has, through its subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), reached an agreement to buy the 50 percent share in the port operator from Triunfo Participações & Investimentos (TPI).The company already held a 50 percent stake of Portonave.Valued at around BRL 1.3 billion (USD 389.8 million), the deal is subject to necessary approvals by relevant authorities, according to TPI.Triunfo opted to sell its share in Portonave as part of its efforts to collect cash in order to satisfy debt payments, Reuters earlier said, citing Eleven Financial Research.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more