Connect with us

Business

Virgil van Dijk must win UEFA Player of the Year. Here’s why

Published

on


The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year winner will be announced at a glitzy ceremony in Monaco on Thursday.

UEFA revealed its three man shortlist on August 15 and Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Virgil van Dijk were nominated as Europe’s triumvirate of top performers.

All three had excellent individual seasons. Van Dijk captained Liverpool to its sixth Champions League title; Messi tallied 51 goals in all competitions for Barcelona, scooping his tenth La Liga title in the process; while Ronaldo won his first Scudetto with Juventus and the inaugural UEFA Nations League finals with Portugal.

Read more: A former teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo has blasted the Juventus forward as an ‘egotist’ who would ‘spend all day in the mirror’

So who should take home UEFA’s most coveted individual prize?

Well, the answer is clear — van Dijk.

Van Dijk channeled Gandalf the Grey last season

Gandalf famously bellowed “you shall not pass” at the Balrog on The Bridge of Khazad-dum in “The Lord of the Rings.”

You know the scene. And if you replace Sir Ian McKellen with Van Dijk, and the fiery winged hell-dragon trying to pass him with opposition players, you have a pretty accurate metaphor depicting the Dutchman’s season.

Not one player managed to dribble past Van Dijk during the whole of the 2018-2019. That’s 56 games for club and country in which no-one made it past the him without losing the ball — including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he competed against on three occasions.

J.R.R Tolkein might describe van Dijk’s season as lacaraitë, which is Elvish for unreal. And when combined with the 26 clean sheets he helped Liverpool keep last season, you’ve got yourself a bonafide defensive wizard.

Van Dijk shepherds Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min.
Photo by Getty/Marc Atkins

Fabio Cannavaro is the only defender in history to have won the Ballon d’Or or be named FIFA World Player of the Year, and no defender has claimed the title of UEFA Men’s Player of the Year.

Attack-minded players tend to be viewed more favorably when the votes are cast for these awards. And though van Dijk’s work helped revolutionize the backline at Liverpool FC, his attacking prowess cannot be overlooked.

The Dutchman scored six goals for Liverpool last season, four of which came in the Premier League, and two in the Champions League, which included a decisive header against Bayern Munich in the Round of 16.

Read more: Liverpool FC is about to sign a Nike kit deal worth more than $91 million, the biggest in Premier League history

He also provided four assists for his teammates, including two in Europe, which is same amount as Cristiano Ronaldo managed, and only one less than Lionel Messi.

For his country, Van Dijk was equally as impressive in the attacking third, scoring three times in just eight games. That is the same return both Messi and Ronaldo managed for Argentina and Portugal respectively.

Reminder: van Dijk’s a centre back. It’s his job to prevent goals. He does that, while also creating and scoring them at the other end of the field.

van Dijk excelled in every competition

UEFA define that the winner of it’s Player of the Year award should be “judged in regard to their performances over the whole season in all competitions – both domestically and internationally – at either club, or national team level.”

Lionel Messi was brilliant in La Liga as always, and a good performer in the UEFA Champions League, too, with 12 goals. But the Argentine struggled internationally. He only scored once during the whole competition, and was sent off in Argentina’s third place play-off win over Chile.

Read more: Lionel Messi has been twice as good as Cristiano Ronaldo in the modern era, according to a computer algorithm

Ronaldo’s season acted as a counter to his rival. He excelled internationally for Portugal as the team won the inaugural UEFA Nations League, but he failed to take the Serie A by storm with Juventus, like he did in La Liga when he was at Real Madrid.

Cristiano and Ronaldo and Van Dijk met in the final of the UEFA Nations League.
Photo by Getty/Simon Stacpoole

The 34-year-old’s return of 21 goals and eight assists in Serie A is solid but inferior to what he accomplished in Spain. In the Champions League, he managed six goals, but his campaign was marred by a red card in the opening game against Valencia. His team was also banished by a young, and brilliant, Ajax team at the quarterfinal stage.

Van Dijk was consistently excellent. He was crucial throughout Liverpool’s sixth Champions League-winning campaign, he scooped the PFA Player of the Year award in the Premier League, and was a standout player for the Netherlands, who finished second behind Portugal.

  • Van Dijk prevented Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dribbling past him in each of his three encounters with the pair throughout the season.
  • Van Dijk scored as many times for his country last season as both Messi and Ronaldo, with all three managing three goals for their respective nations.
  • He also managed an equal amount of European assists for Liverpool as Ronaldo for Juventus, and only one less than Barcelona for Messi.
  • The Dutchman, a bonafide defensive wizard, excelled across every competition he played in for club and country, helping Netherlands to the UEFA Nations League final and Liverpool to the Champions League trophy.

The winner for Thursday’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year is clear. It has to be van Dijk.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

An hour shopping for car insurance saved me $110, and it was worth it

Published

on


  • I spent an hour shopping for car insurance, and that 60 minutes saved me $110. 
  • Getting quotes from five different car insurance companies helped me to compare costs and find the best coverage, though I still paid more than I hoped to. 
  • My quotes ranged from $1,267 for six months to over $2,000. Because every car insurance company prices their policies differently, there can be big differences in what even one person will pay between companies. 
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

I write about car insurance often, so for me, shopping around is essential. I spent about an hour shopping around for the best rate, and I’m glad I did. 

My current insurer, Progressive, had raised my quote by about $300, up to $1,377 for six months, though there have been no changes with my driving record. I had a policy with coverage limits of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage (often written as $25/$50/$10) for my 2015 Chevrolet Volt in Seattle, Washington.

For my previous six-month policy, I paid $1,080, including a renters insurance policy. With my new car insurance, I’ll be paying $110 less.

My car insurance is high because I have accidents on my record

I know my my insurance is incredibly high. Though I have a pretty good credit history, I’m still relatively young. And, I’ve got some history: A year ago I was in a not-at-fault-accident with a driver who lost control on a snowy highway in Kentucky (yes, not-at-fault accidents can raise your insurance premium). And, about four years ago, I was in an at-fault accident in Georgia.  

According to insurance comparison site The Zebra, accident surcharge periods can last between three and five years. Since I’m in that period with the at-fault accident, I tend to shop around every six months. 

Additionally, my insurance prices have increased significantly since I moved from Ohio to Seattle, and I try to cut that cost by shopping around. So, I sat down with a cup of coffee one morning and got five quotes. This hour ended up saving me $110, though I still paid more than I hoped. But, even so, I can’t recommend this process enough to anyone getting car insurance. There’s a lot that goes into pricing car insurance premiums — don’t let one company’s formula cost you more than you need to pay.

Here’s what my shopping process looked like, and how I came to find the best deal for me. For all of these policies, I chose a $25/$50/$10 policy, or $25/$50/$15 when available, with a $500 deductible. I also opted for comprehensive and collision coverage. 

I started with a number in mind to beat: the $1,080 that I paid for my last 6-month policy 

I didn’t want to pay more than I paid last time. Since Progressive had raised its rates for me, I went to get a quote from State Farm. Consumer Reports data shows that State Farm is one of the more affordable car insurance companies in Washington, so I figured I’d give it a shot. 

State Farm quoted me $1,267 for six months. That was the new number to beat, though it was still more than I actually wanted to pay. This quote from State Farm for a comparable $25/$50/$10 policy was over $100 cheaper than Progressive’s, but that still seemed high. 

A few minutes filling out information with GEICO, and I was quoted $1,338 for six months of a comparable policy. That’s just a few dollars less than Progressive’s quote, and higher than State Farm’s. I kept shopping. 

I tried Seattle-based insurance company Safeco next. I got a quote online with Safeco, which became the new winner. However, Safeco doesn’t allow customers to buy policies online. So, I called to get the policy on Monday morning. But, their online quoting didn’t ask much about driving history, which meant that they ended up quoting me quite a bit more, bringing the total to over $1,800. Needless to say, that wasn’t the quote I went with. 

The company that’s cheapest on average was the most expensive for me

I tried getting a quote from Farmers, and it showed me just how important shopping around can be. What was supposed to be one of the cheapest car insurance companies in my state was actually the most expensive for me. Car insurance pricing is incredibly individual. While Farmers is typically the third-most affordable company in Washington, it was actually the most expensive for me. Farmers quoted me over $2,000 for six months of coverage with a similar $25/$50/$15 policy. 

Every car insurance company takes a different look at factors like driving history and credit scores. They all weigh these factors differently, and that influences the premiums. Just because it’s typically cheaper in Washington doesn’t mean that it always will be, and in this case, that was true. 

Lastly, I wanted to try a pay-by-mile insurance company, so I tried Metromile. I live in Seattle, and I walk most places, so I don’t drive every day. I thought that would be an interesting option to try, given that I don’t commute. But, Metromile’s quote was still $1,148 for a $50/$100/$25 policy based on 800 miles per month, about $118 cheaper than State Farm’s unlimited mile coverage. 

As I started learning more about how it worked, though, I wasn’t sure that the billing structure would be right for me — with this system, the more you drive, the more you pay. Since I don’t commute in my car and mainly use it to go out of the city, I never know how many miles I’ll actually put on it. I’m planning on taking a few weekend road trips in the spring, and I don’t want those miles to end up costing me more. I decided this probably wasn’t the right route for me, given that the cost difference wasn’t all that huge. 

Ultimately, I ended up going with State Farm

I’m glad I decided to shop around, because that hour I spent actually did help me save about $110. 

Car insurance policies are truly individual, and every one costs each person a different amount. Your driving history, financial information, and more can all really impact what each company will quote you. And, you likely won’t know until you’ve gotten a few quotes and compared them. 

You’d shop around for anything else you’d buy, and I’m a firm believer that car insurance should be no different.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Warren Buffett said an 89-year-old carpet seller would ‘run rings around’ Fortune 500 CEOs. Here’s the remarkable story of Mrs B

Published

on


AP Images

  • Warren Buffett said an 89-year-old carpet saleswoman would “run rings around” the best corporate executives and business-school graduates in America.
  • Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire boss praised Rose “Mrs B” Blumkin after he bought her company, Nebraska Furniture Mart, for about $55 million in 1983.
  • ”Put her up against the top graduates of the top business schools or chief executives of the Fortune 500 and, assuming an even start with the same resources, she’d run rings around them,” Buffett said, according to the New York Times.
  • Mrs B founded Nebraska Furniture Mart with $500 in 1937. It now generates an estimated $1.6 billion in sales and more than $80 million in after-tax profits each year.
  • View Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett said an 89-year-old carpet saleswoman would “run rings around” the best corporate executives and business-school graduates in America.

Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire boss praised Rose “Mrs B” Blumkin after he bought 90% of her company, Nebraska Furniture Mart, for about $55 million in 1983.

”Put her up against the top graduates of the top business schools or chief executives of the Fortune 500 and, assuming an even start with the same resources, she’d run rings around them,” Buffett said in 1984, according to the New York Times.

If Buffett was starting a business and could draft any of the top 25 business-school graduates or Fortune 500 CEOs, or pick Mrs B, “I’d take Mrs B,” he said in a NBC interview after the takeover. “There aren’t any other Mrs Bs.”

Mrs B founded Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1937, and enlisted her children and grandchildren to grow it into the biggest home-furnishings store in the nation. Today, the business generates about $1.6 billion in sales and more than $80 million in after-tax profits, Glen Arnold estimates in “The Deals of Warren Buffett Volume 2: The Making of a Billionaire.”

Humble beginnings

Mrs B was born in 1893 in a village near Minsk, Belarus. She began working in her mother’s grocery store at age six, and was managing six people, all men, by the age of 16.

At 23, virtually penniless with no formal schooling and unable to speak English, Mrs B journeyed to the US to reunite with her husband, who had fled there to avoid being drafted into the Russian army.

She traveled across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railroad without a ticket or passport, convincing a guard on the Russia-China border to let her pass by promising him a big bottle of brandy upon her return, Arnold writes.

Soon after Mrs B made it to Iowa, she and her husband moved to Omaha, where she sold second-hand clothing and sent money home to help her parents and five siblings make the trip to America as well.

In 1937, aged 43, with four children, Mrs B started Nebraska Furniture Mart with $500 and stocked it with $2,000 of merchandise. Fearing she wouldn’t be able to repay her creditors, she sold all the furniture and appliances in her home, including her refrigerator.

Mrs B’s strategy was to undercut her rivals, prompting them to organize boycotts and haul her into court for violating fair-trade laws. During one trial, she explained that she turned a profit by selling everything at 10% above cost. The judge not only acquitted her, he bought $1,400 worth of carpet from her the next day. 

Buffett buys the company

Buffett was a longtime admirer of Nebraska Furniture Mart. At least 12 years before he bought it, he described it as a “really good business” to a writer he was showing around town, Arnold writes.

Mrs B resisted selling for years, but eventually warmed to the idea at the age of 89 in 1983. She felt bossed around by her children, and didn’t want them to squabble over the company and pay steep estate taxes when she passed away. She decided to cash out and distribute the windfall among her family members.

Buffett approached Mrs B’s son, Louie, about a buyout. The famed investor reassured him that the Blumkin family would continue to run the company, and Berkshire would take a long-term view as its owner.

When Buffett brought the deal to Mrs B, he didn’t check the store’s inventory or real-estate titles, audit the accounts, or conduct any due diligence. The agreement was done with a smile, a handshake, and a 1 1/4 page contract that Buffett drafted.

Part of Buffett’s appraisal was imagining being a rival retailer. “I’d rather wrestle grizzlies than compete with Mrs B and her progeny,” he said.

Mrs B retires, then decides to open a rival store

After Buffett’s takeover, Mrs B remained chairman and continued selling carpets.

“She runs rings around the competition,” Buffett wrote in his 1987 letter to shareholders. “It’s clear to me that she’s gathering speed and may well reach her full potential in another five or 10 years. Therefore, I’ve persuaded the board to scrap our mandatory retirement-at-100 policy. (And it’s about time: with every passing year, this policy has seemed sillier to me.)”

Mrs B eventually retired in 1989, aged 95, after a disagreement with her grandsons. However, she grew restless after three months and opened a rival store called Mrs B’s Clearance and Factory Outlet across the street from Nebraska Furniture Mart, the Times said.

She grew it into Omaha’s third-largest carpet store in three years, and Buffett bought it in 1992 and merged it with her family business. He joked that he wouldn’t let Mrs B retire again without signing a non-compete agreement.

The tireless Mrs B worked at the store until she was 103. She died a year later, in 1998. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren now run the business.

(function (d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
} (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Giuliani reportedly needed translation app for Russian documents: WSJ

Published

on


  • President Donald Trump’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, needed a translation app on his phone for Russian documents, according to a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • He was without Soviet-born associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, on a recent trip to Ukraine. The two were arrested in October on charges of campaign finance violations.
  • The former mayor of New York has played a key role in trying to collect dirt on Trump’s potential Democratic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the 2020 elections.
  • Giuliani was at the White House on Friday, the same day that a Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives panel approved impeachment charges against Trump.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s private lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, needed a translation app on his phone for Russian documents, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

He was without Soviet-born associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, on a recent trip to Ukraine. The two were arrested in October on charges of campaign finance violations. (Earlier this week, federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke bail for Parnas, arguing he lied about his finances and posed a flight risk.)

Giuliani, who has emerged as central figure in the Democratic-lead impeachment investigation, told The Journal, “despite whatever else you can say, I missed them.”

According to impeachment witnesses, the whistleblower complaint — and his own admission in a heated CNN interview — the former mayor of New York has played a key role in trying to collect dirt on Trump’s potential Democratic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the 2020 elections.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that when Giuliani returned to New York from Ukraine on Saturday, the president called him as his plane was still taxiing down the runway.

“‘What did you get?'” Giuliani said Trump asked, according to The Journal. “More than you can imagine,” the former New York mayor replied. He told the newspaper he is putting his findings into a 20-page report.

Giuliani was at the White House on Friday, the same day that a Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved impeachment charges against Trump. He was caught on television cameras entering the West Wing.

The White House did not immediately provide a reason for the visit, and a lawyer for Giuliani declined to comment on the reason.

Trump has asked Giuliani to brief Republican senators and the Justice Department about information he collected on a visit to Ukraine last week, The Journal reported.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters she was not sure why Giuliani was at the White House but noted he is one of Trump’s personal attorneys and had just returned from Ukraine.

Trump faces impeachment by the full House next week on charges that he abused his power to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was a board member of a Ukrainian gas company.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; editing by Ross Colvin, Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending