Real Madrid Wins Its 1st Spanish Title Since 2012

first_imgMADRID (AP) — Real Madrid won the Spanish league for the first time in five years on Sunday, and kept rival Barcelona from its third straight championship.Zinedine Zidane’s team secured its 33rd league title with a 2-0 win at Malaga with goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.“To win the title in the last round feels that much better,” Cristiano Ronaldo said. “We deserved it.”The last-round victory gave Madrid a three-point advantage over second-placed Barcelona, which rallied from two goals down to beat Eibar 4-2 at the Camp Nou.Madrid entered the final weekend needing a draw to guarantee its first title since 2012 and avoid its worst title drought since the 1980s.Ronaldo put Madrid in control early in Malaga, entering the area and rounding the goalkeeper before finding the open net, after a pass by Francisco “Isco” Alarcon two minutes into the match at the Rosaleda Stadium. It was Ronaldo’s 14th goal in his last nine matches in all competitions.While Barcelona struggled in its game against Eibar, Karim Benzema sealed the victory in the 55th minute off the rebound of a close-range shot by Sergio Ramos, securing Madrid its second league title in the last nine years.Madrid hadn’t gone five straight seasons without a league title since 1981-85. It will pursue its third Champions League title in four seasons in a final against Juventus in Cardiff on June 3. It would be Madrid’s first double in the European competition and in La Liga in nearly six decades.Real Madrid’s players pose for a photo as they celebrate at the end of a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Malaga and Real Madrid in Malaga, Spain, Sunday, May 21, 2017. Real Madrid wins the Spanish league for the first time in five years, avoiding its biggest title drought since the 1980s. (AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor)It was the first league title for Zidane, the former France great who took over Madrid for his first head-coaching job less than 1 ½ years ago.“It is very important to lift this trophy again after so many years without being able to win La Liga,” said Zidane, who was thrown up and down by his players after the final whistle. “I’ve won everything with this club, but this title is special. This is the happiest day in my professional career.”Players wore shirts with the No. 33 — in a reference to the 33rd title — as they celebrated on the pitch before heading back to Madrid to meet their fans in a major public plaza.Madrid has already won the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup this season.At the Camp Nou, Barcelona saw its chances of another league title take a hit after Japanese midfielder Takashi Inui scored in the seventh and 61st minutes.Barcelona started its comeback with an own-goal by Eibar defender David Junca in the 63rd, and Luis Suarez equalized in the 73rd after Lionel Messi had missed a penalty kick a few minutes earlier.Messi, the league’s scoring leader with 37 goals, converted another penalty in the 75th and closed the scoring in injury time.Eibar played a man down from the 74th as defender Ander Capa was sent off.It was Barcelona’s last game at the Camp Nou with its coach Luis Enrique, who is leaving the club after the season ends.“I can’t complain about our team,” Luis Enrique said. “We fought until the final minute and we never gave up. We have to congratulate the champions.”Barcelona will play the Copa del Rey final against Alaves next Saturday.___CALDERON’S GOODBYEAtletico Madrid earned a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in an emotional final game at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, which will be demolished to give way to a modern housing complex.Fernando Torres scored two goals early in the first half and Angel Correa added another in the second as the hosts said goodbye to the stadium where it has played for the last 50 years.Atletico next season will move into the Wanda Metropolitano, a modern 68,000-capacity stadium on the outskirts of the Spanish capital.“It’s hard to express our feelings after a day like today,” Torres said. “We have a lot of memories here, a lot of things went through your mind. It’s been 50 years of a lot of happiness in this venue. It was an honor to be part of it.”The nearly 55,000 fans who packed the Calderon stayed at the stadium long after the final whistle on Sunday as the team organized a series of tributes for the occasion.The stadium will still host the Copa del Rey final next Saturday, and a day later an exhibition match involving former players will officially close the venue.___EUROPA LEAGUE SPOTSAthletic Bilbao ended in seventh place after the loss at Atletico, without one of the two spots for the Europa League next season.Villarreal secured fifth place with a 3-1 win at Valencia, and Real Sociedad ended sixth after scoring late in a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.Villarreal finished with 67 points, three more than Real Sociedad and four more than Athletic, which can still qualify for Europe’s second-tier tournament if Barcelona beats Alaves in the Copa del Rey final.Third-placed Atletico had already qualified for the Champions League, along with fourth-placed Sevilla, which will have to go through a playoff to get into the competition’s group stage.TALES AZZONI, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Usher Features On UNCF An Evening Of Stars

first_imgActor-comedian Anthony Anderson, co-star of NBC’s Guys With Kids, hosts the 34th annual United Negro College Fund An Evening of Stars Educating our Future Presented by Target.The show premieres nationwide on Saturday, January 26 (check local listings for stations and times) and airs on BET Networks on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. EST. The nationally televised variety show focuses public attention on America’s need for more African American college graduates and UNCF’s work getting students to and through college.The show features Grammy-Award winner and founder of the Usher’s New Look Foundation, Usher, presenting a four-year college scholarship to Milwaukee, Wisconsin high school senior, Ammon Lyle. Additionally, superstars Steve Harvey, Kevin Hart and Chaka Khan will present scholarships to deserving college and college-bound students.The national audience will be electrified by performances and appearances by some of the hottest names in entertainment including Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, Trey Songz, Tyrese Gibson, Melanie Fiona, Eric Benet, Tracee Ellis Ross, Keenan, Ivory Wayans and many more.“I hope everybody tunes in and donates from the bottom of their hearts and the bottom of their pockets,” said Anderson. “Unfortunately, over 60,000 students apply for scholarships and financial aid every year and UNCF is able to award scholarships to just 15,000 who need help going to college. That’s why I’m a part of what UNCF is doing and I’m here for the long run.”“UNCF is delighted that stars like Usher, Anthony Anderson, Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, Kevin Hart and Chaka Khan have agreed to make our cause their cause,” said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax , Ph.D., “performing for the UNCF An Evening of Stars national audience and introducing UNCF’s “rising stars” — the high-achieving students who, thanks to UNCF, are getting the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy. The country is facing a crisis in African American education, and UNCF, BET and our galaxy of rising and established stars are determined to do something about it.”“We are very excited to be a part of this inspirational night,” says BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee . “Historically black colleges and universities hold a special and important role in the African American community and we are honored to help raise funds and awareness to support the education of the next generation of leading African American professionals.”UNCF, the country’s largest and most effective minority education organization, supports the education of more than 60,000 students each year. A recent study by UNCF’s Patterson Research Institute showed that UNCF’s 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) out-perform many non-HBCUs at enrolling and graduating low-income students. UNCF’s largest scholarship program, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, has a 90 percent graduation rate among its 13,000 low-income minority students, a rate significantly higher than the national college graduation rate.
UNCF An Evening of Stars, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest-running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 34-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars has featured a who’s who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder, its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson and its 2010 tribute to Lionel Richie. Learn more about UNCF An Evening of Stars at www.UNCF.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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