Hazard: Zidane has always been my idol

first_imgEden Hazard says he is thrilled to have the opportunity to play for his “idol” Zinedine Zidane as he begins life at Real Madrid.Hazard recently completed his long-awaited move to the Santiago Bernabeu as he finalized a €100 million (£88m/$112m) move from Chelsea last week after months of speculation that he was destined for a move to the La Liga club.The Belgium winger was formally presented to Real Madrid supporters on Thursday as he was unveiled at the stadium in front of 50,000 fans. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Now that the move is finally official, Hazard says he is excited about the prospect of playing under Zidane, who returned to the club to take the reigns once again this past season, just months after departing following three consecutive Champions League titles.”Everyone knows that Zidane was my idol since childhood and the fact that he is a Real Madrid coach has been an important factor,” Hazard said at his unveiling on Thursday. “But not only that, I already wanted to play in the club. “Hazard was already recognized as one of the world’s top players during his stint at Chelsea, where he finished with 21 goals in 57 appearances this season while leading the Premier League side to a Europa League title.In total, Hazard scored 110 goals in 352 matches in Chelsea blue, earning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and two Europa League crowns.Now at Real Madrid, Hazard has been pegged as a potential Ballon d’Or contender, as stepping into the Los Blancos lineup is a move that many believe will elevate his status.But the winger says he is not yet concerned with individual awards, but fitting in with the team, which includes reigning Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.”What I can say is that the Ballon D’Or is already in Madrid with Luka Modric,” Hazard said. “”I don’t know if it will be easier, it will depend on how well do we play.”It’s true that in the past years almost all of them have been for Real Madrid, but I don’t think about the Ballon D’Or, I think about the team, on winning titles.”It’s a good thing for me, it’s good for my family too. We are all excited, my mother a little more. It’s an incredible pleasure, I’m looking forward to the season and I think everything will go very well.”last_img read more

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US report notes limited progress rights abuses in Sri Lanka

The annual US human rights report noted that the Sri Lankan Government has made limited progress toward establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms.The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 made public by Acting US Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, noted that there were some reports that the Government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. According to the report, interviews by human rights organizations found that torture remained endemic throughout the country, including for those charged with offenses under the PTA. Suspects arrested under the PTA, including since the war ended in 2009, gave accounts of torture and mistreatment, forced confessions, and denial of basic rights such as access to lawyers or family members. Several released former combatants reported torture or mistreatment, including sexual abuse by government officials while in rehabilitation centers and after their release. Excessive use of force against civilians by police and security officials also remained a problem. The report also said that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka received 118 complaints of arbitrary arrest and detention during the year in 2017. According to human rights groups, the police and its Criminal Investigation and Terrorism Investigation Departments unlawfully detained individuals in police stations, army camps, and informal detention facilities on allegations of involvement in terrorism-related activities without bringing charges or arraigning detainees within the timeframe required by law.Police sometimes held detainees incommunicado, and lawyers had to apply for permission to meet clients, with police frequently present at such meetings. In some cases, unlawful detentions reportedly included interrogations involving mistreatment or torture. Authorities reportedly released detainees with a warning not to reveal information about their arrests or detentions under the threats of rearrest or death. (Colombo Gazette) The International Truth and Justice Project and the Associated Press reported allegations of abductions and torture carried out by the security sector during the year. They reported most victims were Tamil men accused by security forces of having links to the LTTE and that security forces tortured and sexually abused them after the initial abduction. There were also reports of sexual abuse committed by Government and security sector officials against wives who came forward seeking information about their missing husbands or against war widows who attempted to claim government benefits based on their deceased husbands’ military service.The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention and provides for the right of any person to challenge the lawfulness of his/her arrest or detention in court, but there were reports arbitrary arrest and detention occurred last year, the report found, although at a decreased rate compared with 2016. read more

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