Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates victory against Inter Milan on Monday night in Serie A. Ciro Fusco / EPA / November 30, 2015
Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates victory against Inter Milan on Monday night in Serie A. Ciro Fusco / EPA / November 30, 2015

Napoli enjoying revival of the Maradona good times + Serie A UAE times



Fond memories of Diego Maradona's enduring spell in Italy's top flight have resurfaced as Napoli savour their place at the top of Serie A after 25 years ahead of Sunday's trip to Bologna.

The year was 1990 and Maradona, who had helped Napoli to their first league title three years earlier, was in his pomp as Napoli strode towards their second and last scudetto.

Unbeknown to fans, it would be the last time Napoli sat top of the Italian league table for 25 years – a wait that ended Monday when Gonzalo Higuain struck twice in a 2-1 win over 10-man title rivals Inter Milan.

Napoli sit top with a lead of one point on Inter, two on Fiorentina, four on AS Roma and seven on resurgent champions Juventus. As most of their rivals may have noticed already, Napoli's return has not been by chance.

After some early wobbles, Maurizio Sarri’s men arguably boast the most potent attacking game in the league and, along with Inter (nine goals) have Serie A’s stingiest defence.

The club sit firmly among the favourites to end Juventus’ four-year reign, but 25 years after Maradona’s Napoli reign was ended by a positive test for cocaine in the wake of the 1990 World Cup, Higuain remains modest.

“We deserve to be where we are but now we have to make the most of it,” said Higuain after Monday’s game, where he milked the applause of near hysterical fans at the San Paolo.

“But we have to get used to suffering: I don’t know any teams that are successful and don’t know how to suffer.”

Asked about Napoli’s title hopes, Higuain said: “Dreaming isn’t forbidden. But we will continue to take it game by game.”

Napoli’s return has added spice to an already intriguing battle for Serie A supremacy.

Inter will go top on Saturday with a home win against Genoa, although Roberto Mancini’s men will have taken note of the visitors’ renaissance following the recent appointment of former Parma handler Roberto Donadoni.

Yet Mancini, who won seven titles including three consecutive league crowns in his former spell in charge (2004-2008), gave a firm indication of Inter’s ambitions this season earlier this week.

Asked if his side, last crowned champions in 2010, would settle for second place, he told Corriere dello Sport: "No. It's difficult for any athlete to settle for second.

“We can target the title because believing in yourself costs nothing and dreaming is the most beautiful thing you can do. Inter has a great history and tradition that enables us to be competitive right until the end.”

Fiorentina’s title charge has slipped in the past fortnight with the team drawing their past two outings, at home to Empoli and away to Sassuolo, but Paulo Sousa’s men are only two points adrift ahead of the visit of Udinese.

Sousa blamed his side’s last draw on fatigue following Fiorentina’s Europa League commitments and he would be forgiven for hoping Udinese, 3-1 winners over Atalanta in the Coppa Italia (Italian Cup) fourth round on Wednesday, suffer the same fate on Sunday.

Elsewhere, AC Milan will look to follow their 4-1 drubbing of Sampdoria with an similarly impressive score away to Carpi in Sunday's late game.

On-form striker M’Baye Niang hit a double for Milan and was on target again for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side when they beat Serie B side Crotone 3-1 in extra-time in the Italian Cup.

Winless Verona, meanwhile, welcome Empoli a week after dropping to rock bottom and days after appointing Luigi Del Neri as the replacement to sacked Andrea Mandorlini.

Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Frosinone left Verona with a mere six points out of a possible total of 42.

Champions Juventus travel to Lazio on Friday looking for a fifth consecutive win that could cost under-fire home coach Stefano Pioli his job.

Fixtures (UAE times)

Friday

Lazio v Juventus (10.45pm)

Saturday

Torino v AS Roma (7pm), Inter Milan v Genoa (10.45pm)

Sunday

Bologna v Napoli (2.30pm), Atalanta v Palermo (5pm), Fiorentina v Udinese (5pm), Frosinone v Chievo (5pm), Verona v Empoli (5pm), Sampdoria v Sassuolo (8pm), Carpi v AC Milan (10.45pm)

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

World Cricket League Division 2

In Windhoek, Namibia - Top two teams qualify for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which starts on March 4.

UAE fixtures

Thursday February 8, v Kenya; Friday February 9, v Canada; Sunday February 11, v Nepal; Monday February 12, v Oman; Wednesday February 14, v Namibia; Thursday February 15, final

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Ziina users can donate to relief efforts in Beirut

Ziina users will be able to use the app to help relief efforts in Beirut, which has been left reeling after an August blast caused an estimated $15 billion in damage and left thousands homeless. Ziina has partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise money for the Lebanese capital, co-founder Faisal Toukan says. “As of October 1, the UNHCR has the first certified badge on Ziina and is automatically part of user's top friends' list during this campaign. Users can now donate any amount to the Beirut relief with two clicks. The money raised will go towards rebuilding houses for the families that were impacted by the explosion.”

The Beach Bum

Director: Harmony Korine

Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Snoop Dogg

Two stars

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

Best Foreign Language Film nominees

Capernaum (Lebanon)

Cold War (Poland)

Never Look Away (Germany)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

THE STRANGERS' CASE

Director: Brandt Andersen
Starring: Omar Sy, Jason Beghe, Angeliki Papoulia
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

How to come clean about financial infidelity
  • Be honest and transparent: It is always better to own up than be found out. Tell your partner everything they want to know. Show remorse. Inform them of the extent of the situation so they know what they are dealing with.
  • Work on yourself: Be honest with yourself and your partner and figure out why you did it. Don’t be ashamed to ask for professional help. 
  • Give it time: Like any breach of trust, it requires time to rebuild. So be consistent, communicate often and be patient with your partner and yourself.
  • Discuss your financial situation regularly: Ensure your spouse is involved in financial matters and decisions. Your ability to consistently follow through with what you say you are going to do when it comes to money can make all the difference in your partner’s willingness to trust you again.
  • Work on a plan to resolve the problem together: If there is a lot of debt, for example, create a budget and financial plan together and ensure your partner is fully informed, involved and supported. 

Carol Glynn, founder of Conscious Finance Coaching

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 720hp

Torque: 770Nm

Price: Dh1,100,000

On sale: now

Sri Lanka's T20I squad

Thisara Perera (captain), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya, Lahiru Gamage, Seekkuge Prasanna, Vishwa Fernando, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay and Chathuranga de Silva.

Dunki

Director: Rajkumar Hirani 

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vikram Kochhar and Anil Grover

Rating: 4/5

Sun jukebox

Rufus Thomas, Bear Cat (The Answer to Hound Dog) (1953)

This rip-off of Leiber/Stoller’s early rock stomper brought a lawsuit against Phillips and necessitated Presley’s premature sale to RCA.

Elvis Presley, Mystery Train (1955)

The B-side of Presley’s final single for Sun bops with a drummer-less groove.

Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, Folsom Prison Blues (1955)

Originally recorded for Sun, Cash’s signature tune was performed for inmates of the titular prison 13 years later.

Carl Perkins, Blue Suede Shoes (1956)

Within a month of Sun’s February release Elvis had his version out on RCA.

Roy Orbison, Ooby Dooby (1956)

An essential piece of irreverent juvenilia from Orbison.

Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire (1957)

Lee’s trademark anthem is one of the era’s best-remembered – and best-selling – songs.

Federer's 11 Wimbledon finals

2003 Beat Mark Philippoussis

2004 Beat Andy Roddick

2005 Beat Andy Roddick

2006 Beat Rafael Nadal

2007 Beat Rafael Nadal

2008 Lost to Rafael Nadal

2009 Beat Andy Roddick

2012 Beat Andy Murray

2014 Lost to Novak Djokovic

2015 Lost to Novak Djokovic

2017 Beat Marin Cilic

Gender pay parity on track in the UAE

The UAE has a good record on gender pay parity, according to Mercer's Total Remuneration Study.

"In some of the lower levels of jobs women tend to be paid more than men, primarily because men are employed in blue collar jobs and women tend to be employed in white collar jobs which pay better," said Ted Raffoul, career products leader, Mena at Mercer. "I am yet to see a company in the UAE – particularly when you are looking at a blue chip multinationals or some of the bigger local companies – that actively discriminates when it comes to gender on pay."

Mr Raffoul said most gender issues are actually due to the cultural class, as the population is dominated by Asian and Arab cultures where men are generally expected to work and earn whereas women are meant to start a family.

"For that reason, we see a different gender gap. There are less women in senior roles because women tend to focus less on this but that’s not due to any companies having a policy penalising women for any reasons – it’s a cultural thing," he said.

As a result, Mr Raffoul said many companies in the UAE are coming up with benefit package programmes to help working mothers and the career development of women in general. 

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