Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 23rd 2015 Contents A45
RIO DE JANEIRO---Rio de Janeiro s
Olympic golf course---slowed by envi-
ronmental lawsuits, land ownership
disputes and doubts it even needed to
be built---was handed over yesterday
to organisers of next year s Games.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes spent 15
minutes defending the course, built in
the wealthy neighborhood of Barra da
Tijuca, where most Olympic venues
will be located.
"If you are in politics, you always
have to spend some time defending
your point of view," Paes said.
Paes spoke to several hundred guests
and repeatedly thanked billionaire
developer Pasquale Mauro, who stood
alongside him. The developer is spend-
ing about 60 million Brazilian reals
(US$16.2 million) to build the course.
He is also constructing luxury marble
and glass high-rise apartments around
the layout, which was created from a
nature reserve. (AP)
Olympic golf course handed over to organisers
has won it all with Barcelona,
even the applause of its fiercest
rival s fans.
When Iniesta was substituted
following his masterful perform-
ance on Saturday, many of Real
Madrid s stung fans set aside
team allegiance by standing up
and clapping as he strolled to the
Guiding Barcelona to a 4-0
win at Madrid s ground is a feat
in itself, but Iniesta entered the
annals of one of football s most
heated rivalries thanks to the
respectful ovation at the Santiago
It was the rarest of honors
reserved for very few, and Iniesta
stayed true to his reserved
demeanor when showing his
thanks for the gesture.
"I appreciate what the fans
did, nothing more," Iniesta said.
Iniesta remembers the last
time Madrid s supporters were
forced to give up hope of victory
and admit defeat by paying hom-
age to a superior rival.
Ten years ago, a young Iniesta
came on as a substitute before
Madrid s fans took to their feet
to applaud Barcelona s Ronald-
inho after the Brazilian star scored
the second of two stunning goals
in a 3-0 win.
"The spectators liked what
they saw despite the fact that
their team was suffering," Iniesta
said when asked bout Ronald-
inho s performance last week.
On Saturday, it was Iniesta s
turn to win over Madrid s smart-
ing supporters when he strolled
toward the bench in the 77th
Iniesta had long since secured
his place as one of Barcelona s
most popular players after help-
ing the Catalan club win four
Champions League titles and
seven Spanish league crowns
since his debut at age 18.
He is also one of the most
beloved players in the football-
crazed country for his leading
role with the national team. He
received applause from opposing
fans across Spain for his winning
goal in 2010 World Cup final
against the Netherlands.
Now he has left his mark on
the match that matters most to
Barcelona s most fervent fans:
"Iniesta forms part of human-
ity s heritage, not just for
Barcelona s fans," said Barcelona
coach Luis Enrique.
"I understand the applause.
He is a one-of-a-kind player. He
has magic, he has eyes in the
back of his head."
Iniesta started the match by
putting on the captain s armband
for the first time against Madrid,
and the 31-year-old midfielder
saved his best showing for his
Always in control, always at
ease, Iniesta orchestrated
Barcelona s win by setting up
Neymar to add to Luis Suarez s
opening goal for a 2-0 lead in
the 39th that left Madrid rattled.
He then ended a scoring
drought in the league that
stretched back to March 2014,
when Barcelona won 4-3 at
Madrid, by adding the third goal
by blasting a powerful strike
beyond goalkeeper Keylor Navas
after he was deftly assisted by
Neymar in the 53rd.
The applause that rained down
when he came off four minutes
after Suarez had completed the
demolition were a prelude for
the abuse the angry home fans
displayed for coach Rafa Benitez
and club president Florentino
Perez after the final whistle.
Perez surely also recalls when
Madrid praised Ronaldinho in
2005. Three months later he
resigned with his team in freefall.
He returned to the presidency in
With Iniesta as the team s vet-
eran leader in place of the depart-
ed Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona
has taken a big step to retaining
its Spanish league title by building
a six-point advantage over
"There is a long way to go, but
we are leaving Madrid very sat-
isfied," Iniesta said. (AP)
Iniesta earns respect of Madrid fans
Barcelona's Andres Iniesta hugs Lionel Messi during
the first Clasico of the season between Real Madrid
and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in
Madrid, Spain, Saturday. AP PHOTOS
• Twitter: @GuardianTT
• Web: guardian.co.tt
Links Archive November 22nd 2015 November 24th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page