Martin Skrtel could be lining up against Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge when Slovakia face England. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Martin Skrtel could be lining up against Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge when Slovakia face England. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Martin Skrtel will ‘kick’ Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge to help Slovakia beat England



Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel will have no second thoughts about kicking England striker Daniel Sturridge, his Liverpool teammate, to help his country win their final Euro 2016 Group B game on Monday.

England top the standings with four points from two games, one ahead of Slovakia and Wales with Russia at the bottom on one.

“We can be friends before and after the game but on the pitch there is no friendship and I am sure Daniel would tell you the same thing,” Skrtel said.

“So if I have to kick him to help my team, I will.”

Sturridge scored a stoppage-time winner in England’s 2-1 victory over Wales after coming on as a half-time substitute.

More from Euro 2016:

• Richard Jolly: Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy should be rewarded for their England rescue

• Poll: Kane, Sturridge, Vardy or Rashford — who should start for England against Slovakia?

Andy Mitten's Euro 2016 diary: St-Etienne is steeped in rich football history, just ask the English

“It’s not only about Sturridge, it’s about all their strikers so it doesn’t matter if it’s him, (Harry) Kane or (Jamie) Vardy in the starting lineup,” Skrtel said.

“We have to be ready for their entire team, who showed in the opening two games that they are one of the best in the world.

“We have to control them and be better than them. As for one-one-one duels with Sturridge, of course we know each other very well but it is difficult to predict specific situations.”

Skrtel played under England manager Roy Hodgson at Liverpool and he said his former coach had exceptional qualities which helped him get the national team job in 2012.

“The time Hodgson spent at Liverpool wasn’t very successful for the club but I rate him very highly because in my eyes he is a quality manager,” Skrtel said.

“He has done a great job with England in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and is doing very well here.”

Slovakia coach Jan Kozak acknowledged that his team had everything to play for at the highly atmospheric Geoffroy Guichard stadium in St Etienne.

“I think we need to get at least a draw to advance to the knockout stages so there really is a lot at stake,” he said.

“It’s been a long and difficult journey to reach the European Championship and of course we want to stay here.”

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Tottenham 2 (Moura 8', Vertonghen 90+1')

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Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
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Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

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The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

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Moment of the day Dinesh Chandimal has inherited a challenging job, after being made Sri Lanka’s Test captain. He responded in perfect fashion, with an easy-natured century against Pakistan. He brought up three figures with a majestic cover drive, which he just stood and admired.

Stat of the day – 33 It took 33 balls for Dilruwan Perera to get off the mark. His time on zero was eventful enough. The Sri Lankan No 7 was given out LBW twice, but managed to have both decisions overturned on review. The TV replays showed both times that he had inside edged the ball onto his pad.

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Hassan Khan Eisakhil
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The opening batter, who trains at Sharjah Cricket Academy, is another player who is a part of a famous family. His brother, Rahmanullah, was an IPL winner with Kolkata Knight Riders, and opens the batting with distinction for Afghanistan.

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The fast bowler became a pioneer earlier this year when he became the first Afghan to represent the UAE. He showed great promise in doing so, too, playing a key role in the senior team’s qualification for the Asia Cup in Muscat recently.

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This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

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