A report compiled by the Dutch government has estimated that combined assets in the country’s pension system would equate to approximately €50,500 per person.Drawing on figures compiled by the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Dutch Cabinet found that the Netherlands had by far the most pension savings in Europe per capita. Switzerland and Iceland – with pension assets of €45,811 and €41,433 per capita – came in second and third place, respectively.Other markets highlighted in the survey included the UK, with €27,366 in pension assets per citizen, Ireland (€16,155), Denmark (€16,056) and Finland (€13,855). Pension assets exceeded €4,000 per capita in none of the 16 remaining EU countries, the Dutch government said. It said pension assets in Germany and Belgium amounted to €1,980 and €1,409 per capita, respectively, while France and Greece fared worst of all, boasting just €91 and €9 per head, respectively.The Dutch Cabinet looked at the accrued pension assets in Europe at the request of Parliament.
-Montagliani wants region to take advantage of opportunity CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani has asserted the confederation is looking to fill eight spots at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by Canada, United States and Mexico.The ambitious plan could come to fruition as a part of a unique set of circumstances that surround the competition.As hosts of the tournament Canada, Mexico and the United States will automatically be granted spots. The situation will leave the region’s normal three and a half spots available to CONCACF’s other teams. In addition, however, because it won the bid to host the tournament, Concacaf will receive another half spot. Half spots are confederation playoffs between teams, which sees the winners advancing to the tournament.According to Montagliani, a major part of the confederation’s focus will be on ensuring the region is able to take full advantage of the situation.“What has been confirmed is that we have six direct spots and then we have a half a spot, which means we go to a playoff. Now, because we also won the bid and we won the right to host the World Cup, we gained another half a spot. So, that means we have six plus two halves,” Montagliani explained to the SportsMax Zone in an interview on Monday.“I’ve been very clear that one of the reasons we are investing in the League of Nations, expanded Gold Cup and all the things that we are doing is because we really want to set that bar that we have eight CONCACAF nations at the 2026 World Cup if we can win those play-off spots.”(Sportsmax)
Amy Bladow and Katie Lorenzen will not play their last match at the Field House Friday, but will also begin to go their separate ways after a strong friendship at Wisconsin.The only two Colorado natives on UW’s team — Bladow from Monument and Lorenzen from Pagosa Springs, nearly a five-hour drive apart — have created quite the bond in their four years of Badger volleyball.”We’ve gotten closer and closer over the years,” Lorenzen said. “But Colorado just has a little bit to do with it.”The two didn’t know each other in high school, and Lorenzen was on campus one year before Bladow, redshirting her first season, but the two instantly clicked when Bladow arrived to Madison in 2003.”Right when I came in my freshman year, we started peppering together,” Bladow said of the warm-up drill “pepper.” “I think that was the beginning of our friendship.””We were so terrible,” Lorenzen joked. “We would go through like 20 balls; now we’ve cut it down to about 10.”Four years later, Bladow and Lorenzen know their time is almost up.”Just to think about it, it’s like, ‘Wow, my career’s almost over,'” Bladow said. “I never thought I’d get here.”While the two, along with outside hitter Maria Carlini, will be honored Friday on Senior Night, they each took two separate paths to where they are today.After redshirting in 2002, Lorenzen has been a steady backup for the Badgers. Even though she’s only started nine matches over her career, Lorenzen has been a reliable option off the bench for Jackie Simpson, pushing Simpson to the national status she’s reached and subbing for her on off-nights.”Katie Lorenzen is in a position where she hasn’t been on the court as much as we’d like, and as much as she’s probably like, too,” UW head coach Pete Waite said. “But she’s been a great captain this year and just great as far as helping the younger players off the court more.”As for Bladow, it’s been an up-and-down ride.After starting for much of her freshman season, Bladow took a back seat her sophomore and junior campaigns. Now in her senior year, she’s starting once again and has made a big difference on the net alongside fellow middle-blocker Taylor Reineke, averaging 1.21 blocks per game.”Bladow has been an interesting player her whole career,” Waite said. “She came in and started, and then she sat for a couple years and really changed her whole work ethic and attitude coming into this year, and now she’s contributing and brings huge energy to the team.”But one thing Bladow and Lorenzen have both experienced as Badgers is success. Since 2003, the two seniors have made the NCAA tournament every year, reaching the Elite Eight the past two seasons.Along the way, Bladow and Lorenzen have experienced some big wins, such as coming back from a 25-29 deficit to beat No. 3 Hawaii in the 2004 tournament, as well as defeating top-ranked teams such as Minnesota and Penn State in front of the Field House crowd, one of the largest in the nation.However, all the success and victories won’t be what Bladow and Lorenzen remember the most.”I think more than anything that I’m going to take away from it is just the memories,” Bladow said. “Yeah, we’ve had some amazing wins, and it’s been a great four years here, but it’s all about the memories.”Experiences such as having the team stay over at her parent’s house in Monument, Colo., two years ago and watching them all try to ride horses.”I mean Maria (Carlini) on a horse? Come on, now that’s pretty funny,” Bladow said.Nevertheless, Bladow and Lorenzen say their best memory is yet to come, as they are both hoping to end this season on a high note by reaching the Final Four.”There’s no other way to end it,” Lorenzen said.
The B&H Basketball Association will officially present the new coach next week, although it was previously announced that the ceremony will be held before the lottery for the qualifications group for the next Eurobasket.Due to the obligations of leaders of the Association, as well as of the new coach Duško Ivanović, the press conference will be scheduled for next week.All the details of his contract have been agreed on, and he will lead the B&H national team in the upcoming qualifying cycle, with the possibility of extending cooperation.(Source: radiosarajevo.ba)
ST. LOUIS — As reporters, we ask a lot of questions about a lot of topics. Often, we’ll ask about other players, for notebook items or feature stories, and you can generally tell by the answer and body language whether the player/coach is genuinely impressed with the player we’re asking about, or whether they’re just saying nice things for the sake of nice things.Sometimes, though, the people we’re interviewing will bring up players out of the blue or because the question is just tangentially related. That’s how you know they’re really impressed. NLDS: Braves confident, not concerned with 18-year postseason droughtAnd that’s exactly what happened a couple of times before and after the penultimate game of the regular season in St. Louis. Before the contest, soon-to-be-ex-Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked how he, back in April, knew the NL Central race would come down to the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers. First, he gave a typical Maddon-ism answer. “You look at the other teams and you’ve just got to be honest. Everybody thinks their baby is the cutest, you know, but the other kids are cute, too. When you look at it with your eyes open, you can see they’re pretty good.”And then he brought up Tommy Edman, pretty much out of the blue. “The big difference on this team, for me, is Edman,” Maddon said. “That’s the difference-maker right now. That’s the kid, and I know it’s hard to say that about a first-year guy, but when we play them now compared to when we played them earlier this year, he makes a marked difference for this team.” Maddon’s Cubs won that game, chasing veteran Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in the fifth inning of what wound up as an 8-6 loss for the home team, ensuring that the season’s final contest would be very meaningful. After the game, Wainwright was asked about the disappointment of giving up a dozen hits and a half-dozen runs in his outing, and he spoke openly about the frustration. He was then asked about the young players on the team experiencing the postseason-type atmosphere for the first time — remember, the Cardinals had missed October three years in a row — and Wainwright immediately brought up Edman. “Seeing what Tommy Edman did today on the biggest stage, against the biggest rival we have, in the biggest spot of our whole season, and him cool as a cucumber out there, taking great at-bats, working counts and taking two-strike breaking balls to left-center,” Wainwright said. “I mean, you can’t say enough about what he and some of the other young fellas are doing.”The at-bat the veteran referenced happened in the fifth inning, with the Cardinals trailing 6-1. Edman came up with two on and one out. Maddon brought in reliever David Phelps to move Edman, a switch-hitter, to the left side of the plate. For the year, Edman’s OPS was 154 points lower from that side, though at .810 still wasn’t shabby.Edman smacked a triple to the wall in left-center on a 2-2 pitch, slicing the Cubs’ lead from five runs to a much more manageable three runs. It was his seventh triple on the season. MORE: NLDS preview, predictionsIf you’re looking for a turning point in the Cardinals’ season, it’s easy to point to Edman’s arrival. The sixth-round pick in 2016 out of Stanford started the 2019 season with Triple-A Memphis, rolling up a .305 average, .869 OPS, seven homers and nine stolen bases in 49 games before making his debut on June 8. He started only one of his first 11 big league games, hitting an even .400 in those contests, and moved into the starting lineup by the beginning of July. The Cardinals entered that month with a 41-41 record and in third place in the NL Central, barely ahead of the Pirates.You remember what happened starting in July, right? The Cardinals went 16-9 that month, then 18-9 in August and 16-12 in September, a three-month stretch of baseball played at a .625 winning percentage that led them to the NL Central title. The Cardinals, on the year, were 47-28 in games he started and 44-43 in games he didn’t start.Edman was right there in the middle of everything. In his 92 games, the 5-10, 180-pounder batted .304 with an .850 OPS, 17 doubles, 11 homers, seven triples, 15 stolen bases and a 3.8 bWAR. And he played all over the field, too: 41 starts at third base, 23 at second base and 11 in right field — even though he never played a single game in the outfield in the minor leagues. Here’s a bit of perspective: That 3.8 bWAR Edman produced in 92 games was higher than numbers posted by Kris Bryant (3.6 in 147 games), Justin Turner (3.7 in 135 games), Manny Machado (3.1 in 156 games), Lorenzo Cain (2.8 in 148 games) and even heralded teammate Paul Goldschmidt (2.8 in 161 games). And though Edman might not be known on a national scale like those other names, you can be sure the Cardinals appreciate him. “I think he’s a superstar,” Wainwright said. “I’m glad we have him on our team.” And you can also be sure the Braves — the Cardinals’ opponent in the NLDS, starting tonight — are well aware of him, too.