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Italy, Djokovic, Messi, Team USA… Our tops and flops of the weekend

Find the Tops and Flops of the sports weekend awarded by the sports editorial staff of Le Figaro.

By Christophe Remise, Guillaume Loisy, Alexis Relandeau-Descamps and Romain Schneider


Italy on the roof of Europe
Italy on the roof of Europe! 53 years after their first coronation, in Rome, in 1968, Roberto Mancini’s players got the better of England (1-1 a) this Sunday, at Wembley, in the final of Euro 2020. Leonardo Bonucci (67th) responded to Luke Shaw’s early scoring opener (2nd), sending both teams into overtime. Nothing was scored afterwards and it was on penalties that this title of European champion was played out. And in this game, “Gigio” Donnarumma was the best … It is the sixth major title of the Italian selection, four times world champion (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), while the “Three Lions ”, world champions in 1966, were aiming for the first European champion’s trophy in their history. Remember that the Blues took the door from the round of 16, eliminated on penalties by Switzerland (3-3 ap, 4-5 tab).

Djokovic in the club of 20
For his first Grand Slam final on Sunday, Matteo Berrettini failed to thwart the insatiable Novak Djokovic in his mad quest for records. The Serb won his sixth Wimbledon and, most importantly, tied the record 20 Grand Slam titles, which he now holds with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He also won the London Major for the third time in a row. Only Björn Borg (5 times from 1976 to 1980), Pete Sampras (3 times from 1993 to 1995 then 4 times from 1997 to 2000) and Federer (5 times from 2003 to 2007) had done it before him. Unsinkable and invincible. This year, Djokovic has already achieved the third Petit Slam of his career and can now aim in September at the US Open for the calendar Grand Slam that only Rod Laver (1969) has achieved in the Open era. “I like to imagine that I succeeded. I will do anything for“. We do want to believe it. Nothing seems to stop the Serbian machine in 2021.

Messi finally crowned with Argentina
16 years after his international debut, Lionel Messi finally lifts a trophy with Argentina! Thanks to a (superb) goal signed by Angel Di Maria, the Albiceleste disposed of their eternal Brazilian rival (1-0) on Saturday in the Copa America final. And at the Maracana please! Certainly the “Pulga»Won Olympic gold in 2008, but nothing in the World Cup or the Copa America, despite several appearances in the final. “You deserve more than anyone. You are the best in the world. You were already in the final, and now you are champion», Congratulates Di Maria on social networks. It was enough to see his joy, his tears, his emotion to understand what this title meant to him. Neymar Jr understood it well, he who we saw all smiles with his former Barcelona teammate, despite the disappointment of the defeat. Messi, 34, 150 caps, 76 goals, and a title. Hat.

Mark Cavendish, equal to Merckx
After Fougères, Châteauroux and Valence, Mark Cavendish won in Carcassonne on Friday, thus signing his fourth success on this Tour 2021 and his 34th victory on the Grande Boucle. “The Cav ‘”Then entered the legend by equaling Eddy Merckx in the number of bouquets on the Tour de France. The Briton could not stop there since he will have two new opportunities, in the last week, in Libourne and on the Champs-Élysées, to raise his arms to erase the Cannibal from the shelves.

Ashleigh Barty, new queen of Wimbledon
Stronger than Karolina Pliskova in a final, won in three sets, Ashleigh Barty became the first Australian since 1980 to win the most prestigious tournament on the planet. Crouching in tears in front of her clan, she climbed the platform to throw herself into the arms of her relatives. After Roland-Garros 2019, Barty becomes the new queen of Wimbledon. With humility and armed with first-class game science. It is only logical that it consolidates its rank of world number one in the process. The Australian has experienced an almost white 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She returned to the circuit this year and has already won four titles. Without hesitation. While Naomi Osaka is in full burn-out, that Serena Williams is in decline, Barty is well established as the patron of the circuit. And maybe it’s Barty to last.

Wembanyama continues to make an impression
So close, so far … The players of the France team and their phenomenon Victor Wembanyama (17) bowed to the wire against the United States (83-81) in the final of the U19 World Cup, Sunday, in Riga (Latvia). Finalists of the U19 World Cup for the first time in their history, the Bleuets marked the spirits, and in particular Wembanyama, author of 22 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks in 28 minutes. And this even if the giant (2.19m) of Asvel took his fifth fault in the last quarter in the final. “He is perhaps the most talented young player I have ever scouted. He’s outrageously gifted offensively, with the potential of a Defender of the Year. Favorite to be n ° 1 (at the Draft) in 2023», Analyzes Jonathan Givony, a reference in scouting for ESPN and founder of the site Draft Express. Can’t wait for the rest!


Team USA, a blemish defeat
Surprise in Las Vegas! Bad surprise for the US basketball team and its NBA stars. For its first preparation match for the Tokyo Olympics, Team USA lost to Nigeria (87-90) on Saturday. The players of Gregg Popovich, first opponents of the Blues in the Olympic tournament, on July 25, could not do anything to stop the rain of three Nigerian points (20/42). Note that Nigeria has five NBA players, including Gabe Vincent (Miami), author of 21 points 6/8 away in this meeting. 15 points to 2/11 on shots for Kevin Durant, blunt, like all American stars. But still… So far, Team USA had lost only two of its 56 friendlies since the pros played them in 1992. The last time the two teams had faced each other, in a prep match before the Olympics 2016, the Americans won 110-66. They had also beaten Nigeria 156-73 at the 2012 Olympics.

Lavillenie, the worry
Renaud Lavillenie, the hard blow? With less than two weeks to go before the start of the Olympics, the former world record holder in pole vault, gold in London and silver in Rio, was injured during the warm-up at the Sotteville meeting -Lès-Rouen. “Clearly not the ideal scenario for my last competition before the Olympics. I leave the clinic with an “encouraging” verdict: no fracture, a big sprain. The countdown begins.»The pole vault qualifications at the Games? It will be July 31st. Tick ​​tock …

Conor McGregor, stop or else?
We can’t have a fight that ends this way“. For Dana White, the boss of the UFC, things are clear: Conor McGregor, MMA superstar and goose that lays the golden eggs of his organization, will return well in the cage for a fourth confrontation against Dustin Poirier. But the scenario of the third match between the two fighters sows doubt. Because McGregor will have to undergo a long recovery after his left leg fracture occurred in the first round in Las Vegas, between six and nine months according to initial estimates. The 32-year-old Irishman, who has nothing more to prove and whose decline is clear, will he find the motivation to return to the fight and find his best level, he who remains on three defeats in his last four? exits ? We can doubt it. The time for retirement, and / or lucrative boxing exhibitions, may have come for the “Notorious”.

Overflows in London before the Euro final
Deplorable images. Not likely to regret the closed doors of recent months, Covid-19 obliges, but still. Some “supporters” saw fit to throw a whole bunch of objects (beer cans, road signs, stones…) at incredulous passers-by this Sunday, in London, before the final of Euro 2020. Others, without a ticket, forced the security perimeter around the stadium. “Security measures were quickly activated in the affected areas and no people without tickets entered the stadium.“, Specified the London police, while several Italian supporters were taken to task by English fans… Images that we obviously do not like to see. And the overflows continued into the stadium (see below).


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