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Toe Poke Daily: USWNT keep the party going ahead of whirlwind schedule

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Jump to: Man Utd fly Down Under in the lap of luxury Barcelona’s new ‘sash’ a tribute to La Masia or Crystal Palace? | Ibrahimovic names all-time XI. You can guess where this is going… | Jesus wept

The United States women’s national team are back on home soil after their World Cup final victory in France — and looks like the party hasn’t stopped since their victory!

The team’s plane touched down in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday, where they continued to celebrate their fourth star with some merriment. Clearly the flight back from Lyon was a good one as the players came onto the tarmac singing “We Are the Champions.”

The squad will need to rest up a bit as they’ll appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” bright and early on Tuesday. The fun won’t stop there as they’ll take part in a ticker tape parade down New York City’s “Canyon of Heroes” on Wednesday. 

They’ll then jet across the country to walk the red carpet at the ESPYS alongside other sports greats on Thursday in Los Angeles.

No doubt it’ll be quite the whirlwind tour for the players, but with great play comes great responsibility. Enjoy the ride! 

Manchester United fly to Australia in the lap of luxury

Manchester United have started their preseason tour with a record-breaking flight on a plane dubbed “the world’s most luxurious jet.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad left Manchester for Perth, Australia on Sunday on a customised Boeing 777. The flight was the longest non-stop trip to depart Manchester airport.

The Crystal Skye aircraft has been reduced from 300 seats to accommodate just 88 first-class passengers and took two years to complete.

It comes equipped with a 300-bottle wine fridge, room for an executive chef, a full bar and a restaurant that can seat 24. To charter the plane for a non-stop flight from Paris to New York costs around $500,000.

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It’s the same plane that the Boston Red Sox used when they flew to the UK for last month’s MLB London match against the New York Yankees.

United new boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka certainly looked like he enjoyed his first long-haul trip with his new teammates.

United are scheduled to play two games in Perth before heading to Singapore, Shanghai, Oslo and Cardiff before the new Premier League season kicks off. They start against Perth Glory on Saturday before facing Leeds United, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Kristiansund and AC Milan.

Midfielder Paul Pogba is part of the travelling group despite his desire to leave Old Trafford this summer. The France international, who has three years left on his contract, has said he is looking for a “new challenge” amid interest from Real Madrid and Juventus.

Still, why should wanting out of the club exclude him from taking a seat on the luxury flight?

Peruvian pals cross continent for Copa America final
Pogba responds to Ibra’s #bottlecapchallenge in style
What did Neymar say to Messi in their brief reunion?

Barcelona’s new ‘sash’ a tribute to La Masia or Crystal Palace?

Barcelona have unveiled their new away kit for 2019-20, which they are using to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the opening of their famed youth academy.

La Masia began in 1979 when an old Catalan farmhouse near the Camp Nou was converted into on-site accommodation for Barca’s young stars of tomorrow.

The sash design harks back to the classic yellow alternate strip of 1979, the season that Barca won the European Cup Winner’s Cup.

It’s also looks more than a little bit like Crystal Palace’s 2016-17 away kit. That could just be a happy coincidence but, given that the area of Croydon where Palace are based produces so many young footballers that it is known as “the concrete Catalonia,” perhaps it is a nod from one breeding ground of talent to another. Probably not, though.

Ibrahimovic names all-time XI. You can guess where this is going…

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spent a little time hand-picking a fantasy XI of his favourite players. Given his impressive CV and the sheer amount of greats he’s had the privilege to play alongside over the course of his career, it stands to reason that Ibrahimovic’s team would be chock full of legendary names.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Zlatan FC (aka “The Hungry Lions”) boast a roster that consists of 11 Ibrahimovics with 11 different hairstyles — all coached by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

We honestly don’t know how we could have expected anything else.

Jesus wept

Gabriel Jesus enjoyed an eventful night as Brazil ended their 12-year wait to lift the Copa America by seeing off Peru in the final on Sunday.

The 22-year-old striker picked up an assist, a goal, a yellow card and then a contentious red in the space of 70 minutes, which led to him throwing a tantrum on his way off the Maracana pitch.

It all began with a fairly innocuous foul on Carlos Zambrano that the referee deemed reckless enough to warrant a caution that, unfortunately for Jesus, was his second of the game.

Jesus stomped off toward the tunnel, angrily kicking a water bottle as he passed before taking out more of his frustration on the VAR station.

Fury soon gave way to inconsolable tears, as Jesus was seen weeping while sat on the stairs in the corridor.

Thankfully for Jesus, the 10 remaining Selecao players were able to hold on for a 3-1 victory that was settled by a 90th-minute penalty from Richarlison.

Speaking after the game, Jesus was quick to make amends for his emotional outburst.

“I want to apologise,” he said. “I could have avoided it and I also need to grow up a lot.”

We’re certain that winner’s medal hanging around his neck will help take the edge off his embarrassment.

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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