This time, it took the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history to do it, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at NRG Stadium in Houston in Super Bowl LI.Atlanta had a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter. But a costly Atlanta fumble by quarterback Matt Ryan with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter helped set up the Patriots to come all the way back.It was the first time the Falcons had turned the ball over in this postseason.The revenge tour is complete, and quarterback Tom Brady, named the game’s MVP, stands alone.All five of those titles have come with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, but this one had some slightly different circumstances. Brady missed the first four games of the regular season, serving his Deflategate suspension that was imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.Ultimately, Brady’s absence didn’t negatively impact the Patriots, who went on to a 14-2 record and the top spot in the AFC.New England had returned to the Super Bowl for the ninth time, an NFL record, with Belichick and Brady leading seven of those appearances.Sunday’s win gave Brady the most Super Bowl titles by a quarterback and matched Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl titles by a player. Belichick now has the most Super Bowl wins by a head coach, surpassing Chuck Noll. Belichick and Brady also now have the most Super Bowl appearances as a head coach and player duo.This was just Atlanta’s second appearance in its 51-season history. The team first came in the 1998 season, when the Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.
Africa should be given two more places at the World Cup finals if the tournament is expanded to 40 teams, FIFA chief Gianni Infantino told reporters on a brief trip to Nigeria on Monday. (Latest Football stories)Infantino repeated his presidential election manifesto pledge to push for the World Cup to grow by eight teams to 40 and wants Africa to get at least two extra slots from 2026.”I believe for the World Cup 2026 — because the 2018 and 2022 finals are already decided — there should be 40 teams… and out of the eight more there should be at least two slots for African teams,” he told reporters.”This is what I declared during my campaign and as you know I’m not a dictator but a democratically elected FIFA president, so I have to speak to everyone and listen to everyone as well,” he added in Abuja.An expanded World Cup was one of the key points in the election manifesto of Infantino, who was voted in as the president of world soccer’s governing body in February.The next two World Cup tournaments have a field of 32 teams with Africa having had five places since the last increase in 1998, except for 2010 when, with the tournament hosted in South Africa, there were six African nations at the finals.