ovic runs toward it like a missile. He deflects the ball with his chest, redirecting it low and past the goalkeeper. Ibrahimovic leaps
Manchester City have resembled the mythical Greek Lernaean Hydra in the early going on offence -- stop one option and two more appear. Malachi Richardson Jersey .Even without their best forward heading into Saturdays home contest against Bournemouth, Pep Guardiola and the Citizens should still have more than enough firepower to maintain their perfect start and stay atop the Premier League table.The Citizens have already grabbed early bragging rights in Manchester by virtue of their 2-1 win over United at Old Trafford last weekend. They have scored 21 goals in winning all seven of their matches under Guardiola and showed no signs of slowing down Wednesday, putting forth a clinical 4-0 demolition of German side Borussia Monchengladbach to open group play in the Champions League.Sergio Aguero notched his second hat trick in the European competition and his six Champions League goals match his haul for all of last season. However, the Uruguay international will miss this contest as he serves the second of his three-match ban for elbowing West Hams Winston Reid on Aug. 28.Sergio is good because he is good, Guardiola said. He was good with Manuel (Pellegrini) and he is good with the national team. He just has a talent to score goals that is natural. I cannot teach him that.What I can tell him is there is a team behind him that is going to help him. I want to convince him to help them and if it happens in that way hes going to score a lot of goals, just like Kele (Iheanacho) and all our strikers.Manchester City, though, may scarcely miss Aguero if last seasons double is a harbinger of this weekends contest. He missed the corresponding fixture due to a knee injury, but Raheem Sterling picked up the slack and fired in a first-half hat trick to power a 5-1 victory at the Etihad. Aguero did score at Dean Court as City bulldozed Bournemouth 4-0.All told, Manchester City put 18 of their 30 shots on target.Guardiola has a staggering embarrassment of riches to choose from to replace Aguero. Last week, he paired Iheanacho with Nolito up front, with Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne providing service along with incisive runs to help pull apart a United defense that had conceded only one goal heading into their derby.And if the prospects of slowing down City werent already daunting enough for the league, Guardiola unveiled summer signing Ilkay Gundogan. He made his debut in impressive fashion Wednesday as a late replacement in the starting XI for David Silva. The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder came to City for ￡21 million, and looked every bit the playmaker Guardiola sought for his system.Its always a surprise when a player goes so long without playing and plays the way he did, Guardiola told Citys official website after Wednesdays victory. It shows how good he is. He is so intelligent and he is really good when arriving in the box. His qualities will help us a lot.Guardiola was unsure if Silva would return for this match, but if the burgeoning partnership of De Bruyne and Gundogan shown Wednesday was any indication, the manager can afford to be patient with Silva.Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe knows his side are marked underdogs heading into this contest. While the Cherries (1-1-2) are riding high after beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 last weekend and will be the more rested team, Howe knows his club will have to be markedly better to make it two wins on the bounce.I see Manchester City as potential champions, Howe told the teams official website. They have a manager who, in my opinion, is right at the very top -- theyve obviously started very well. I dont usually say this about opponents but I enjoy watching them.It will be a difficult game though, were going to have to be at the very top of our game and they may have to have a day where they dont perform so well, if those two things happen then we have a chance.The sight of Callum Wilson scoring his first Premier League goal since suffering a gruesome torn ACL last season was a welcome site for Cherries supporters. He had eight goals in 18 matches across all competitions after bagging 20 in helping Bournemouth achieve promotion in the 2014-15 season.Its been a long road, the striker admitted. You just wait for moments like that, to get the winner. Obviously its taken four games into the season to get going, but hopefully thats the start now and they can begin flowing in.Its uncertain if Howe will give midfielder Jack Wilshire his first start for Bournemouth. The Arsenal loanee played the final 27 minutes against the Baggies, showing some versatility as he started in the midfield behind Wilson before moving to the wing.Ive been really pleased with Jack Wilshire, he was a contributing factor to us winning the game. He has outstanding quality, Howe said. Peja Stojakovic Jersey . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Vlade Divac Kings Jersey . Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought taking him out before the fifth inning was an unusual move. "Im looking up at the board and hes got two hits given up and one run, and Im taking him out after the fourth inning," Roenicke said. http://www.kingsbasketballpro.com/Mike-Bibby-Kings-Jersey/ . "I was fortunate to play many years at this level with a great organization and unbelievable teammates," said Hejduk in a statement. 11:25 a.m. Friday -- Its May in Paris, and Josh Norman and I are standing in the Louvre Museum. We are politely swimming through a sea of tourists, hoping to see some of the worlds greatest art. We are sleep-deprived from our trans-Atlantic flight. Neither one of us can speak a lick of French. For Norman, its his first time out of the United States. Culturally, were flying blind.?Its the perfect time to contemplate just how gauche it would be to take selfies with the Mona Lisa.?Man, Norman says, Ill do it if you will.?We decide, after a few laughs, that we dont care if it makes Ugly Americans. We want pictures. A hundred tourists surround us, all jostling for position, while we linger in the Mona Lisas gaze. Norman, one of the NFLs best players, goes unrecognized. It feels good to disappear in public.Its been a wild few months for the 28-year-old cornerback. In rapid succession, he was named a first-team All-Pro, played in Super Bowl 50 and was franchised by the Panthers. Then the team surprisingly rescinded the tag, releasing him and claiming the two sides couldnt work out a long-term deal. To Norman, it was a gut punch, one he didnt see coming. For a full day, he was so shaken, he didnt want to leave his house. He couldnt eat. He felt betrayed. The league was just as puzzled by the unceremonious dumping: Why get rid of a top cornerback just entering his prime?On April 22, Washington swooped in and made Norman the leagues highest-paid corner with a five-year, $75 million deal and $50 million guaranteed. Other teams were offering more, he says, but Washingtons dogged pursuit stirred something in him. They wouldnt even let me leave the building until I signed, Norman says. They held me hostage. After years of clawing his way to the top of the NFL food chain, after years of feeling like he had to restrain parts of his personality in a buttoned-up Carolina organization, he now feels both secure and free. This Paris trip is an extension of those feelings -- and a search for something else.?How do you think she got to be so famous? Norman asks. What was it about her that was so important and made her the greatest?At first, I think he is genuinely curious about the story behind the Mona Lisa. But in the days that follow, I realize Normans question is actually philosophical.How do you go down in history as one of the greatest??Norman has come to France at the invitation of one of the worlds greatest soccer stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Rumors swirl in the media that tomorrows Paris Saint-Germain game against FC Nantes might be his last there, that the Swedish striker might be headed for Manchester United.Norman has followed European soccer for years, originally getting hooked by playing hours of FIFA. He met Ibrahimovic, 34, when PSG played an exhibition last year against Chelsea in Charlotte, and they immediately bonded during a postgame locker room conversation.Theres a reason Ibrahimovic is the athlete Norman most admires. Both are brash and charismatic. Both are breathtaking playmakers and unapologetic trash-talkers. Ibrahimovic once told the French media, I cant help but laugh at how perfect I am.When he scores, the whole place does this thing where they yell out his name three times: Zla-tan Ibrahimovic! Zla-tan Ibrahimovic! Zla-tan Ibrahimovic! Norman says. I cant wait to be in that stadium yelling along with all those fans, man.We are walking in the direction of the Venus de Milo when we get an email from the clubs spokesman, calling our attention to a tweet from Ibrahimovic.?My last game tomorrow at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend.He really said that? Norman squeals. Oh s---! Man, I love that so much. Ill tell you what, he is something else.?Like Norman, Ibrahimovic is beginning a new chapter of his career. Unlike Norman, his club is celebrating him on his way out. The game promises to be a spectacle, with fireworks, music and a lengthy highlight reel of every goal Ibrahimovic has ever scored. Kind of funny how that works, huh? Norman says.?12:15 p.m. -- Spend any time around Norman and its easy to understand how he became one of the NFLs most interesting, and polarizing, players. Riding in an Uber past the Eiffel Tower and during hours of idle conversation over the next two days, he offers thoughts on everything and everyone, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (Horrible. Hes straight horrible.), the leagues crackdown on big hits (What happened to us? Society is so soft.) and Washingtons nickname (Redskins is not offensive to me. Im part Native American on both my moms and my dads side. Its kind of a funny thing, though. A redskin playing for the Redskins.).?Now that hes out of Carolina, he feels even less constrained. The Panthers wanted him to tone down the trash-talk, and he reluctantly complied. But in Washington, there are no such restrictions. Yet. In that sense, this season sets up to be either the next step in Normans ascendance or a huge mess. He knows that every comment might open him up to criticism, but hes not holding back. As he has said: Thats just not me, man. Im not fake.More than any other topic, Norman cant help himself when it comes to Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Their near brawl during Week 15 last season is the reason much of America is now familiar with Norman. It started innocently enough. Norman, who playfully refers to himself as Batman, felt like Beckham was trying to send him a message by wearing cleats and gloves featuring the Jokers face. You have the top cornerback and a top receiver facing off, and its like Batman and the Joker in a showdown in Gotham City, Norman says.The bad blood intensified when Norman swung a baseball bat on the field during pregame warm-ups. It totally unnerved him, Norman says. Harsh words morphed into scuffles, then worse. During the game, Beckham head-butted Norman and stuck a hand inside his face mask. Norman shoved, slapped and at one point body-slammed Beckham.?The two players combined for five personal fouls (Beckham three, Norman two), but it was Beckham who escalated their feud in the third quarter. On a running play, he sprinted downfield, then ran at Normans back. He left his feet and put the crown of his helmet in Normans ear. Norman, dazed, immediately felt like a line had been crossed. He went after Beckham and had to be restrained. Neither was ejected, but the NFL later suspended Beckham for one game and fined Norman $25,000. Norman says effects of the hit lingered more than a week.?The melee was ugly and embarrassing for the league. I dont think Im going to change the way that I play, but I think Ill change the actions that were on the field that Sunday, Beckham later told reporters. Its not something that I would want the kids looking up to and learning from me.?As for Normans role in what transpired, he has no regrets. He claims he did not bring the bat to the field to threaten or intimidate Beckham. He says the black Louisville Slugger became like a member of the team after Panthers coach Ron Rivera used it in a motivational speech about standing up for yourself. Norman says a practice squad player took it onto the field and handed it to him. I was just swinging it for fun, he says. When I raise a skeptical eyebrow, Norman just laughs.The two players have been trading barbs on Twitter and in the media ever since, with Beckham recently telling GQ: The reason hes become so relevant is because of me.With Norman now in Washington, it means theyll face off twice a season in the primes of their careers, and Norman has zero interest in letting bygones be bygones. Everybody saw what he was, he says. People from around the league were coming up to me afterward and saying, He does that crap all the time. He lost so much respect from people for that little tantrum. Ive already got a couple people telling me, OK, Ive got a hit out on him. Its going to be rough for him this year. And he brought it on himself.Hes skilled and talented, Norman says. I wont take that away from him. But hes never been through any adversity in his life. Its like, when are you ever going to grow up?2 p.m. -- When we arrive at Paris Saint-Germains training facility, were offered a tour. Norman is in awe. The grass on the practice field is so tightly manicured, it looks like a two-acre putting green. Hes brought a duffel bag full of Washington T-shirts, jerseys, hats and gloves, and he starts handing them out to PSG players. Many of them approach with gleeful enthusiasm, intrigued to see an American athlete so fascinated by soccer.An assistant working for RedOne, the world-famous music producer who won three Grammy Awards working with Lady Gaga, is at the facility, shooting footage for a music video. His new pop song, Dont You Need Somebody, would be released later that month. RedOne wants to know whether Norman would like to join a few PSG players for a cameo. The video will be packed with celebrities: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, Cristiano Ronaldo, Milla Jovovich. Man, Im going international! Norman says. Three sixty-five, worldwide, baby!Eventually, Ibrahimovic emerges, flanked by a multi-person entourage. He glides across the room and hugs Norman, as if they are old friends.Remember the last time I saw you? Ibrahimovic says. Remember what I told you?I sure do, Norman says.?I told you I was getting too old, Ibrahimovic says. It did not matter. I still destroy everybody this season.?Norman doubles over in laughter. Ibrahimovic congratulates him on his new contract, then abruptly announces that he needs to depart. He is not practicing today. I want to talk to you more, he says. I have to pick up my kids. I dont want to miss the train. We will talk more about training and working hard. Come to my celebration.After practice, several PSG players coax Norman onto the field, encouraging him to take a few shots on goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. Skal Labissiere Kings Jersey. Norman cant stop grinning. He dribbles awkwardly, then rips a low shot toward the net. Trapp easily deflects it, but Norman gathers the rebound, squares up again and blasts his second shot over Trapps fingertips and into the back of the net. Trapp smiles as his teammates erupt into laughter, and Norman sprints to the edge of the box, slides to his knees and roars in mock celebration. Half the team dogpiles on him, a genuine celebration for a fake goal. For Norman, this scene had been a fantasy for years.8 p.m. -- The Hotel Costes is one of the nicer restaurants in Paris, renowned for its wine list, gold-and-red Napoleonic ambiance and trendy cocktail bar. It is extremely difficult to get a reservation, but Nicolas Serres, who works as PSGs brand and communications manager, has secured one for us. Norman cuts right to the chase with our waiter. Do you have chicken alfredo? he asks, grimacing as the waiter shakes his head. How about a filet mignon? He settles on the steak but wrinkles his nose when it arrives with thin-cut European-style frites. Can I get some regular french fries? he asks.The mood is light. Norman is still beaming over his goal. He wants to post a video to his Instagram, and he has his phone out when he gets an email from a friend. He turns to show me the screen. Theres a video clip circulating of a Panthers fan burning his jersey over a barrel. F--- Josh Norman! the fan growls.How does that make you feel? I ask.Man, I dont think I even really care, he says. It is what it is. Those people werent even with me last year. It was only this year they loved me.It stings a little, though. After all, he wanted to sign with the Panthers. He was willing to play under the franchise tag. It was general manager Dave Gettleman who decided he wasnt going to sign Norman to a long-term deal, then released him, leaving Norman feeling blindsided. He says the Panthers never really gave him a reason; they simply moved on. Shouldnt fans be mad at them, not him? (The team responded to a request for comment by wishing Norman nothing but success in Washington.)Its hard for Norman to let past slights go, going back to when he was overlooked and underrated coming out of high school. He grew up in Greenwood, South Carolina, the fourth of five brothers. His father was a chaplain at a medical prison, his mother a nurse. He stayed out of trouble, but he didnt mesh with the rigid structure of high school, and he didnt have the grades or the SAT score to get a Division I scholarship. I felt like no one knew me, Norman says. Rivals was a big thing back then, but you had to go to these big camps to get noticed. I couldnt afford to go to any of them.He ended up sleeping on his brothers couch, going to junior college for a year and then walking on at Coastal Carolina, where he blossomed into a star. I always put my head down and worked, Norman says. Just me and my spikes, hitting the grass. ... I knew I had that killer instinct, though. If you dont have that killer instinct, that annihilation killer in you, youll never be great.His confidence hasnt always endeared him to authority figures. In college, he developed a reputation as both a playmaker (13 career INTs) and a gambler for his willingness to take risks outside the structure of certain coverages. It led to a tense relationship with the Coastal Carolina coaches. In the lead-up to the 2012 draft, teams grilled Norman about his freelancing, and he felt under attack. Several predraft scouting reports included ambiguous notes about character concerns and maturity level.The memory of one meeting -- with the Giants, interestingly enough -- still infuriates him. They were trying to get me to admit that I wouldnt listen to coaching, Norman says. That I was a dirtbag. They kept asking me the same question, wanting me to admit to something I didnt do. I ended up breaking down in the room. Norman stormed out and called his agent in tears, he says. I dont ever want to go there, Norman told him. Ever. Id rather play against them.When he ran a pedestrian 4.66 in the 40 at the NFL combine, it sealed his fate as a late-round pick. Fourteen corners were chosen ahead of him before he went in the fifth round. He still carries that slight with him today. Now he has a new one to fuel him: The scuttlebutt is that Gettleman let him walk this offseason because he was a system corner, unable to cover both sides of the field. Like a wronged superhero, Norman does not forget.Despite his bravado, Norman is often his harshest critic. He is still furious with himself for not reeling in two Peyton Manning passes he thinks could have been interceptions in the Super Bowl loss to the Broncos. But in the next breath, he points out how badly he shut down Demaryius Thomas, who had just one catch for 8 yards. I dont know what he was out there for, Norman says. He was supposed to be an all-world guy, and I shut him down.After dinner, Serres and two other members of PSGs communications team meet us for a drink. They seem fascinated by Norman and are eager to understand more about the NFL.It seems there is lots of controversy with your officiating, says Serres, a tall and wry Frenchman. Why do you think this is?I think its the mob, Norman says. I think the refs are in cahoots with the mob.The whole table laughs. Its difficult to discern whether hes joking. He delights in playing it straight, making us scan his face, looking for a tell.What will you do if ESPN uses that quote in your article? Serres asks, gesturing with his drink in my direction.I mean, if he thinks it should be in there, he should put it in there, Norman says.Would you say you are the best cornerback in the league? Serres asks.Nah, man, Norman says. Im the best cornerback on Earth.?10 a.m. Saturday -- We plan to do more sightseeing, but first Norman asks if we can return to the Louvre. He forgot to fill out the paperwork that allows U.S. citizens to apply for tax refunds on goods purchased in France. He wants to make sure he gets the roughly 20 percent refund on the $400 in items he purchased at the gift shop.People look at you like, Cmon, man, you got it. You got paid. Can you hook me up with $5,000? Well, thats what happens to people, he says. They stop paying attention. All of a sudden, they dont have it anymore. That wont be me.Over lunch across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral, I ask if theres anything hell miss about Carolina. Its complicated, he says. Unlike Ibrahimovic with PSG, he didnt arrive a legend. The Carolina coaching staff helped him mature, he concedes. He still has warm feelings toward Rivera. Owner Jerry Richardson was a genuine mentor. The organization taught him about accountability and integrity, he says.?But when he became a star, he also felt muzzled by the Panthers conservative front office, which made it clear his brashness wasnt welcome. Norman wonders whether that factored into their eventual divorce. They kind of shunned me, he says. They turned down a lot of stuff for me, interviews, sponsorship deals, stuff I didnt even know about. They wanted it to be about the two main guys, Cam [Newton] and Luke [Kuechly].Will things be different in Washington? I bring up the fact that the franchise doesnt exactly have a reputation for stability. In a competitive media market like DC, reporters will be eager to pounce on his words. He seems undeterred.I just feel like I can grow, Norman says. In Washington, it feels like everybody can say whatever they want. Its a free-flowing kind of place. Its like going from a dictatorship to freedom.8:30 p.m. -- Inside the Parc des Princes, on the field before the game, Norman is standing on the sideline, beaming. Ibrahimovic spots him from midfield and playfully points like hes recognizing an old friend.A member of the French TV media wants to know whether Norman would do a quick on-camera interview. Hes relaxed in front of the camera, such a natural that Fox has signed him to do segments for its NFL coverage. Norman jokes to the French crew that hell do it as long as he can wear one of the paper masks of Ibrahimovic that fans were handed as part of the goodbye celebration.I promise I wont ask you about Odell Beckham Jr., the reporter says. Unless you want me to.Nah, Im good there, Norman says.When the game begins, he is on the edge of his seat, agonizing over every corner kick, every sloppy pass, every missed chance for Ibrahimovic. The crowd hums and crackles. Nobody will burn Ibrahimovics jersey here. They want his last game to be a good show, for him to leave PSG with warm feelings toward the club he helped elevate.In the 17th minute, Ibrahimovic gathers a pass just outside the box, then taps it wide to teammate Angel Di Maria. Di Maria crosses over his defender and sends a beautiful left-foot service toward the goal. Ibrahimovic runs toward it like a missile. He deflects the ball with his chest, redirecting it low and past the goalkeeper. Ibrahimovic leaps in the air and throws a pretend uppercut, his ponytail bouncing. The entire stadium joins in a thunderous celebratory chorus. Our seats shake.Zlatan Ibrahimovic! Zlatan Ibrahimovic! Zlatan Ibrahimovic!Norman is on his feet, thumping his chest, roaring with pride. This, he sees, is what it feels like to go down as a legend, to be thought of as the king. This is what he will chase for the rest of his career. Winning and money are not enough. He wants to be remembered.?Afterward, he sits in silence for a minute, still processing what weve witnessed.?Man, Norman says, holding up his phone to take a selfie with the field. This is the best day ever. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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