Prolific for Inter but Romelu Lukaku fails another test of greatness in Europa League final

Romelu Lukaku was unsurprisingly a prominent figure in the Europa League final but was nowhere to be seen immediately after.

The Inter Milan striker didn’t attend the trophy ceremony to collect his runners-up medal following a 3-2 defeat to Sevilla who claimed the title for a record sixth time.

Some have called him out for poor sportsmanship while others have been more sympathetic given how things unfolded for the Belgian.

After winning an early penalty to open the scoring from the spot, Lukaku missed a glorious one-on-one chance in the second half with the scores level at 2-2.

To make matters worse, he had the misfortune of prodding Diego Carlos’ overhead kick into his own net to hand Sevilla victory. No wonder he was distraught in the pulsating encounter’s aftermath.

However, there’s more to Lukaku’s misery than the misfortunes that befell him in this final.

Having joined Inter from Manchester United for a huge transfer fee in the summer, the pressure was on him to deliver and he responded with a scintillating first campaign at the San Siro.

Lukaku has led the line for Antonio Conte’s side admirably, emulating Ronaldo’s debut season tally of 34 goals in all competitions back in the 1997/98 season.

But from the heights of an outstandingly prolific season which also saw him score in every Europa game this season, and from drawing comparisons to ‘Fenomeno’ who also happens to be his idol, his part in Sevilla’s winner plunged him into despair.

It’s particularly unfortunate that the moment gave Twitter trolls plenty of ammunition against a player whose often inconsistent first touch has always been used as a stick to beat him with.

But what must haunt Lukaku most is that the events of this final sees him remain on the cusp of the truly elite

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Ex-NBA star Jeremy Lin gets Taiwan passport

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 4, 2020 shows Beijing Ducks’ Jeremy Lin dribbling the ball during the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) match between the Beijing Ducks and Guangdong Southern Tigers in Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong province. *Photo by STR / AFP) /

Former NBA star Jeremy Lin has obtained a passport from Taiwan, his ancestral home, officials said, just weeks after completing a season with China’s Beijing Ducks.

Lin, at the center of the “Linsanity” craze of 2012, holds US citizenship but is eligible for Taiwan’s passport through his parents, who are Taiwanese citizens. The island recognizes dual nationalities.

“The interior ministry welcomes the return of the son of Taiwan,” interior minister Hsu Kuo-yung told Lin’s father Lin Gie-ming during a meeting this week. Taipei officials confirmed the passport had been issued.

Lin, 31, last year became the first Asian-American to win the NBA championship, with the Toronto Raptors, and later signed for Beijing as an unrestricted free agent.

Reports in Taiwan speculated that he wanted a Taiwanese passport to avoid the Chinese Basketball Association’s quotas on overseas players, as Taiwanese are not considered foreigners.

Beijing considers the democratic island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, even though they have been ruled separately for more than seven decades.

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Jane de Leon ‘deeply saddened’ over postponement of ‘Darna’ production

Image: Instagram/@iamjanedeleon

Jane de Leon laments the postponement of the upcoming Star Cinema “Darna” film, although she understands that safety should come first, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 21-year-old actress, the latest set to take on the titular role, said via Instagram yesterday, Aug. 21, that she is “deeply saddened,” but noted that she agrees with ABS-CBN’s decision.

I’m deeply saddened by the postponement of the Darna project. However, safety comes first as always,” De Leon said.

She then thanked fans for their support and understanding as her big-screen debut donning the iconic Filipina superhero costume has been delayed indefinitely.

De Leon’s post came with Filipino and English versions of the press statement ABS-CBN made also yesterday to announce the latest development to “Darna” fans.

ABS-CBN cited concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions it has brought upon filming and cinema as reasons for the production’s halt.

The statement came following reports that the film, helmed by Jerrold Tarog, had been scrapped due to its big budget along with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The network also assured the public that the right to Mars Ravelo’s iconic character remains with them despite the film’s postponement.

Prior to the pandemic, the film’s production has been delayed a couple of times for several reasons, such as when Liza Soberano was supposed to take on Darna but backed out after suffering from a finger injury last year.

Prior to Soberano, Angel Locsin was set to reprise her iconic role for the big screen but had to also back out from the project because of health reasons in 2017.

Before Tarrog was hired to helm the film, meanwhile, Erik Matti was initially supposed to direct “Darna,” but Matti and Star Cinema mutually decided to part in 2018 due to creative differences.  /

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