Tag Archives: amazing

Manchester City and Chelsea on alert as Pep Guardiola reveals Premier League dream

Manchester City and Chelsea on alert as Guardiola reveals Premier League dream

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

22:00 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:35 GMT, 15 January 2013

Pep Guardiola has fuelled the intrigue surrounding his future by stressing his desire to work in England.

Guardiola sent a message of congratulations to the Football Association as they prepared to launch their 150th anniversary celebrations in London on Wednesday.

And just like Jose Mourinho, who sent a similar message 24 hours earlier, he outlined his ambitions to coach in England, comments sure to alert the biggest clubs in the country.

In demand: A host of Premier League clubs are interested in Guardiola's services

In demand: A host of Premier League clubs are interested in Guardiola's services

'As a player, I couldn't realise my dream to play there,' said Guardiola.

'But I hope in the future I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there.

'It is unique, to play in that league. I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players.

'I am still young, just 41, so I hope in the future I could train there and enjoy that. I have always found English football very fascinating. The support of the home team is amazing.

Star man: Guardiola built one of the world's best teams while at Barcelona

Star man: Guardiola built one of the world's best teams while at Barcelona

'In Italy, Latin people will support you when you are playing and when you lose, they kill you. In England, I'm always surprised people always support everything and that is nice. That's why I hope to have the challenge to train there.'

Guardiola has been coveted by the biggest clubs in the world since stepping down as Barcelona coach last year after creating one of the best teams of all time.

He has spent much of his time in New York, improving his English, and Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been linked with a move for his services.

Anniversary: The Football Association are celebrating 150 years

Anniversary: The Football Association are celebrating 150 years

His plan is to return to work this summer and speculation this week linked him with Bayern Munich, but the Catalan told the FA of his special bond with England and Wembley.

He added: 'I had the opportunity to play two finals at Wembley and that's why my relationship with England is pretty close.

'I played there twice, once as a player when I was 19 and it was my first Champions League as a player, as Barcelona finally won the Champions League. It was a huge honour to play at the old Wembley.

'When I was manager of Barcelona, for our second Champions League in three years, it was a real pleasure to play in the new Wembley.

'Congratulations on this huge anniversary, because 150 years is a lot of years. 'Also because they created the rules of football and have a responsibility for the game. They have been important in the development of our beautiful, beautiful game.'

Volvo Golf Champions 2013: Live leaderboard

Volvo Golf Champions 2013 leaderboard: Keep up to date with the scores

By
Sportsmail Reporter

UPDATED:

12:01 GMT, 10 January 2013

The European Tour is at Durban Country Club in South Africa this week for the Volvo Golf Champions.

Branden Grace took first prize in this event at Fancourt last year and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE LEADERBOARD

Amazing Grace: South African Branden won the Volvo Golf Champions last year

Amazing Grace: South African Branden won the Volvo Golf Champions last year

Didier Drogba buys tacky rings for Chelsea team-mates as he hosts Champions League party

Wealthy Drogba splashes the cash and reminds his old Chelsea team-mates of the time when they were European heroes (in the week they went out of the competition)

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UPDATED:

13:37 GMT, 7 December 2012

Didier Drogba has paid around 800,000 for a set of exclusive rings to commemorate Chelsea's Champions League victory – in the same week they were bundled out of this season's competition.

The cost is around three weeks' money for the Ivory Coast striker, who earns 250,000-a-week in China playing for Shanghai Shenhua, where he moved in the summer.

Chelsea's Champions League matchwinning hero hosted a dinner in honour of the night last May when he secured the title. Fernando Torres, who replaced Drogba as the leader of Chelsea's front line, was conspicuous by his absence.

Drogba organised the reunion at the Wyndham Hotel in Chelsea Harbour in recognition of last May’s amazing achievements, when they defeated Bayern Munich in their own stadium to lift the trophy.

Thanks Didier: Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz with their rings

Thanks Didier: Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz with their rings

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Incredible: Ashley Cole's ring showing the detail of his face, name and shirt number

Incredible: Ashley Cole's ring showing the detail of his face, name and shirt number

He presented his old colleagues and
backroom staff with special commemorative rings to mark their
achievement.

The Ivorian set up the special dinner to raise
spirits after they became the first Champions League winners to be
knocked out in the group stages the following season.

Spanish striker Torres, who is attempting to fill Drogba's boots at the club, was not in attendance.

However his son Leo turned two today and so he may have had an excuse for not showing up. Juan Mata and Petr Cech were also unable to make it to the event.

Drogba quit Chelsea at the end of last season to sign for Shanghai Shenhua but is back in London to train at Cobham before the African Cup of Nations early next year.

The Blues legend struck
the decisive penalty against Munich in the Allianz Arena in May – the kick his last in a Chelsea shirt – to send the fans into raptures and delight owner Roman Abramovich.

Earlier in the game he had hauled Chelsea level with a powerful header, just before the end, to send the match into extra time.

His fine performances helped them progress through the competition, and Drogba had a huge impact in particular during the home games against Valencia, Napoli and Barcelona.

This time around there was nobody who could drag the Blues out of the mire – they were eliminated on Wednesday night despite thumping Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1.

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Drogba with JT

Laughing matter

Inseparable: Drogba and Terry were close during their time at the club together and caught up again

Torres has been inconsistent at best in a Chelsea shirt and the club need to add a striker to their books in January.

They
had hoped to secure a deal for Drogba on a short-term loan, but FIFA
blocked the move as it was outside the transfer window.

Drogba and Luiz

A few words from Terry

Joking around: Drogba with David Luiz, while (right) Terry say a few words

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Lord of the rings: The American stars and their commemorative 'bling'

Super Bowl Rings belonging to Dan Koppen (left), Larry Izzo (centre) and Lonie Paxton of the New England Patriots

Handy: Dan Koppen (left), Larry Izzo (centre) and Lonie Paxton of the New England Patriots show off their rings, and (below) a Dallas Mavericks NBA championship ring

A Dallas Mavericks NBA championship ring

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat with his 2012 NBA Championship ring

Bling: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat shows off his 2012 NBA Championship ring

A New York Jets Super Bowl ring from 1969

Cost: A New York Jets Super Bowl ring from 1969, and (below) a member of the New Orleans Saints shows off his ring from the 2010 Super Bowl

Champion: A member of the New Orleans Saints shows off his ring from the 2010 Super Bowl

Didier Drogba hosts Champions League party for Chelsea players but Fernando Torres does not show

Drogba hosts party for Chelsea players to celebrate last season's Champions League triumph… but Torres is a no show

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 7 December 2012

Chelsea's hero Didier Drogba hosted a dinner tonight in honour of the Champions League title victory he secured with is former team-mates in May – although Fernando Torres was conspicuous by his absence.

Drogba organised the reunion at the Wyndham Hotel in Chelsea Harbour in recognition of last May’s amazing achievements, when they defeated Bayern Munich in their own stadium to lift the trophy.

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Thanks Didier: Chelsea players show off their rings, (left-right) Paulo Ferreira, Drogba, Branislav Ivanovic, Daniel Sturridge, David Luiz

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Duo: John Terry laughing with Ashley Cole at the event Drogba put on at the Wyndham Hotel

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Bling ring: The gifts featured a Champions League ball on the front and were believed to cost around 800k in total

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

Incredible: Great care and attention went into crafting the personalised rings which featured the players' faces, names and shirt numbers. This is Ashley Cole's

He presented his old colleagues and
backroom staff with special commemorative rings to mark their
achievement – early reports suggest their total cost is around 800,000.

The Ivorian set up the special dinner to raise
spirits after they became the first Champions League winners to be
knocked out in the group stages the following season.

Spanish striker Torres, who is attempting to fill Drogba's boots at the club, was not in attendance.

However his son Leo turned two today and so he may have had an excuse for not showing up. Juan Mata and Petr Cech were also unable to make it to the event.

Drogba quit Chelsea at the end of last season to sign for Shanghai Shenhua but is back in London to train at Cobham before the African Cup of Nations early next year.

The Blues legend struck
the decisive penalty against Munich in the Allianz Arena in May – the kick his last in a Chelsea shirt – to send the fans into raptures and delight owner Roman Abramovich.

Earlier in the game he had hauled Chelsea level with a powerful header, just before the end, to send the match into extra time.

His fine performances helped them progress through the competition, and Drogba had a huge impact in particular during the home games against Valencia, Napoli and Barcelona.

This time around there was nobody who could drag the Blues out of the mire – they were eliminated on Tuesday night despite thumping Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1.

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Round up: Ferreria, Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Drogba, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic

Drogba with JT

Laughing matter

Inseparable: Drogba and Chelsea 'captain, leader, legend' Terry were close during their time at the club and they had a good laugh on Thursday night

Torres has been inconsistent at best in a Chelsea shirt and the club need to add a striker to their books in January.

They
had hoped to secure a deal for Drogba on a short-term loan, but FIFA
blocked the move as it was outside the transfer window.

Drogba and Luiz

A few words from Terry

Joking around: Drogba with David Luiz, while (right) Terry say a few words

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

All for this: Drogba with the prestigious Champions League trophy

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Still loved: Drogba is adored at Stamford Bridge

Jamie Redknapp: Nothing could stop the Zlatan Ibrahimovic show

On the ball: The pitch wasn't great, but nothing could stop the mighty Zlatan

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 15 November 2012

There were some problems with the pitch cutting up but not for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He was skating over it at times. We've concentrated on what he can't do – why DO we do that – but I'd love for him to play in the Premier League.

The skill in his opener, shaping his foot, was wonderful.

Simply brilliant: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four exceptional goals against England, including a wonderful fourth

Simply brilliant: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four exceptional goals against England, including a wonderful fourth

Don't underestimate the quality in that as we all focus on his ridiculous fourth. No 1 was more than a toe poke.

The man can stroll through matches at times, but he turned it on here.

Don't try it at home

Kids will often head for the playground to emulate their heroes – I know I did.

When Lionel Messi conjures something amazing, kids rush to get a ball or turn on their computer games.

But how do you replicate that Ibrahimovic goal. Don't try it at home, unless you're on a bouncy castle.

I wish he was English, but we don't have a single player like him.

He's been called the Swedish Cantona for his swagger, but he's quicker than the former Manchester United striker and last night the world woke up to the mighty Zlatan.

Stealing the show: Ibrahimovic fittingly shone at the curtain-raiser of the Friends Arena

Stealing the show: Ibrahimovic fittingly shone at the curtain-raiser of the Friends Arena

Happy debuts

Raheem Sterling of Liverpool was impressive.

I can see him overtaking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott within a year.

He has quick feet, tiny steps and explosive pace. But he is intelligent and strong and demands the ball. He will only get better.

Leon Osman can be pleased with his night's work, too.

At this level, international football is about keeping the ball and he did that. He settled into the game and got better the longer the night went on. Well done to him.

I picked out Steven Caulker at the start of the season as one of my 10 to watch, but I didn't expect him to be making his England debut so quickly.

Happy debuts: Leon Osman (right) looked accomplished in the centre of England's midfield

Happy debuts: Leon Osman (right) looked accomplished in the centre of England's midfield

He didn't look out of place last night and scored the goal to give England a 2-1 lead.

He was unfortunate for Sweden's first goal and will learn from playing against quality like Ibrahimovic last night and Sergio Aguero last Sunday.

This is a fast-track development for him, but it shows the benefit of sending players out on loan to gain experience.

Caulker went to Swansea for a season and so when he returned to Tottenham, the boy became a man.

Well done, Young

Ashley Young hasn't been firing for a while and has become obsessed with cutting in from the left and sending over an inswinger with his right foot.

That's what Sweden expected last night as he approached the left flank, but he surprised the full back and the central defence by going on the outside and trusting his left foot.

The cross was terrific and his Manchester United team-mate Danny Welbeck did the easy bit.

It seems like such a long time ago but it was a good moment for England.

Well done: Ashley Young surprised the Sweden defenders with a new approach

Well done: Ashley Young surprised the Sweden defenders with a new approach

Keep an eye out

Keep your eye out for how many players who pulled out injured last night will be hopping around, playing for their clubs this weekend.

I can't believe playing for England means so little to some.

I liked it that the England manager, Roy Hodgson, didn't make wholesale changes at half-time.

It gave the three starting debutants a chance to spread their wings.

It was only when the changes were made that England were opened up.

My sympathies to Ryan Shawcross. He had to face the unstoppable Zlatan.

Paul Gascoigne wants coaching return

Gazza plans coaching comeback as troubled star eyes Bournemouth role

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UPDATED:

13:47 GMT, 5 November 2012

Paul Gascoigne is planning yet another football comeback as the former England midfielder considers a return to coaching.

Together with England physio Gary Lewin, Gascoigne, 45, is arranging a hip operation to help him get fit.

Gazza then hopes to coach children at League One side Bournemouth, according to the Daily Mirror.

Comeback: Paul Gascoigne wants to resume his coaching career

Comeback: Paul Gascoigne wants to resume his coaching career

He said: 'I might start doing my coaching badges again. When I’m coaching I need to twist and turn properly so I can show the lads some of the amazing things I used to do.'

The ex-Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder has battled an alcohol addiction since quitting the game and began his coaching career at Portuguese team Algarve United in 2005.

After a contract failed to materialise, Gascoigne took over at Kettering Town but lasted just 39 days in the hotseat.

Lance Armstrong deletes Tour de France titles from Twitter

Armstrong finally accepts defeat over Tour titles by deleting Twitter boast… and now faces paying back 2.4m winnings

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UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 23 October 2012

Disgraced Lance Armstrong could be forced to repay his Tour de France winnings after being stripped of his seven titles for doping offences.

Armstrong won an estimated 2.4million, some of which was shared with team-mates, for dominating the race between 1999 and 2005.

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

Armstrong was banned for life and all
his results from August 1, 1998 removed. So far, Armstrong's only
response has been to remove reference to being a seven-time Tour winner
from his Twitter biography.

Give it back: Lance Armstrong could be forced to return his earnings from the Tour de France

Give it back: Lance Armstrong could be forced to return his earnings from the Tour de France

Previously, the profile read: 'Father of 5 amazing kids, 7-time Tour de France winner, full time cancer fighter, part time triathlete.'

It has now been altered to: 'Raising my five kids. Fighting Cancer. Swim, bike, run and golf whenever I can.'

The UCI management committee will meet on Friday to discuss the 'exact sporting consequences' of the decision, including whether the titles and prize money will be re-distributed.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme believes the race must not have a victor in the Armstrong years.

Seven up: Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999-2005 but has now been stripped of the titles

Seven up: Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999-2005 but has now been stripped of the titles

Prudhomme said: 'The formal decision has to be taken by the UCI but for us, we must have a clean record. This period must be marked by the absence of winners.

'The UCI rules are clear. When a rider is disqualified, he must pay the prize money back.'

The International Olympic Committee will await Friday's UCI meeting and further information before a decision is made on the bronze medal Armstrong won in Sydney in 2000.

Staying put: International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid insists he will not be resigning

Staying put: International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid insists he will not be resigning

Armstrong, who battled back from cancer to return to professional cycling, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and refused to co-operate with the USADA investigation.

Armstrong, who cuts an increasingly isolated figure as Oakley became the latest sponsor to withdraw their backing, or the World Anti-Doping Agency could yet take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

UCI president Pat McQuaid rejected calls for his resignation over perceived failures by the world governing body over the Armstrong affair, instead insisting the sport has a positive future and 'Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling'.

McQuaid was forced to insist the UCI has 'nothing to hide' over a donation of more than $100,000 (62,000) made by Armstrong in 2002, denying it was connected to any cover-up of a positive test.

Backing: Disgraced Armstrong had plenty of support during his Tour de France years

Backing: Disgraced Armstrong had plenty of support during his Tour de France years

'UCI has nothing to hide in responding to the USADA report,' McQuaid added. 'Don't try to make the connection between the suspicious test and the donation. There were no positive tests from him.

'There is no connection between the donation given to the UCI and a test being covered up because there was no test covered up.

'It's certainly not a resignation issue. It would be better if we hadn't done it, and if we were to do it in the future, we would do it in a different way.'

British rider Mark Cavendish was also quick to defend his sport, saying on Twitter: 'With doping, I'm saddened that modern cycling's seen as a culprit, not a casualty of individuals. Don't paint everyone with the same brush.'

Meanwhile, Armstrong has been asked to repay a disputed bonus payment.

The 41-year-old received a bonus payment of $5million after a legal battle with SCA Promotions, who had declined to pay the sum in the belief the American had doped to win his seven Tour titles.

Jeff Tillotson, lawyer for SCA Promotions, said: 'It is inappropriate and improper for him to keep those bonus amounts and we will be demanding them back and pursuing appropriate legal action if he does not return them.'

Sir Chris Hoy awarded freedom of Edinburgh

Olympic legend Hoy awarded freedom of Edinburgh after taking gold tally to six at London 2012

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UPDATED:

18:42 GMT, 16 September 2012

Britain's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy was awarded the freedom of his home city on Sunday.

The six-time gold medal-winning cyclist joined other Olympians and Paralympians on an open-top bus parade through Edinburgh before attending a civic reception where he become part of an exclusive club that includes the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Sean Connery and Nelson Mandela who have received the freedom of the Scottish capital.

Sir Chris changed from his Olympic tracksuit that he wore on the bus parade into a traditional kilt for the private ceremony in the Assembly Rooms where he was presented with the honour by Edinburgh Lord Provost Donald Wilson.

Parade: Hoy joins other Olympians on an open-top bus in Edinburgh

Parade: Hoy joins other Olympians on an open-top bus in Edinburgh

Parade: Hoy joins other Olympians on an open-top bus in Edinburgh

He said: 'I'm immensely proud, but this award is for all the people who have helped me through the years, from the little seven-year-old racing BMXs to racing for Olympic medals in London, it's been an amazing journey.

'It's quite hard to take it all in, it's an emotional day and one that I will never forget.'

The parade is the third celebration Sir Chris has been part of in the last week but he said his home town parade was 'more personal and emotional'.

'It's very emotional to see just what it means to the public, in particular in your home town, to come back to Edinburgh, my home city, and get this kind of support on a day that's not been that kind to us weather-wise, it's just amazing.

'You can't really put it into words what it means but it's our chance to thank everybody for their support.'

Sir Chris was joined on stage by his wife Sara to receive the freedom of the city and former rugby player Gavin Hastings paid tribute to his achievements.

Freedom: Hoy leaves the City Chambers alongside Lord Provost after his civic reception

Freedom: Hoy leaves the City Chambers alongside Lord Provost after his civic reception

Freedom: Hoy leaves the City Chambers alongside Lord Provost after his civic reception

Edinburgh city councillors unanimously voted last month to give the honour to the cyclist. It is granted to people who have distinguished themselves through their work or efforts, or to recognise the respect and high esteem in which they are held by the people of the city.

Sir Chris led the official celebrations for all of Scotland's Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Glasgow on Friday. A parade led more than 50 athletes into George Square where they were introduced one by one to a crowd of around 17,000.

Thousands again turned out in Edinburgh despite heavy rain and Sir Chris took time to sign autographs and talk to the crowd outside the City Chambers before boarding an open top bus that had been painted gold for the occasion.

Sir Chris was born in the Scottish capital in 1976 and was inspired to take up cycling after watching classic movie ET.

Crowded: The rain could not keep fans away from the city centre on Sunday

Crowded: The rain could not keep fans away from the city centre on Sunday

He raced BMX until he was 14-years-old, becoming Scottish Champion and ranking second in Britain and ninth in the world, but he turned his attention to track sprint cycling in 1992 and has never looked back.

Despite the rain the parade started around 2.15pm and took the sportsmen and women from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Assembly Rooms via the Mound and Hanover Street where a post box was painted gold when the cyclist won his first medal of the London 2012 Games.

Meanwhile, a parade was also held in Aberdeen to celebrate Olympians and Paralympians from the north east of the country.

Famous son: Hoy is the most decorated British Olympian ever

Famous son: Hoy is the most decorated British Olympian ever

Famous son: Hoy is the most decorated British Olympian ever

Gold medallists Tim Baillie, Katherine Grainger and Neil Fachie took part in the event on Sunday morning which started at a gold post box at the Castlegate in Aberdeen painted in honour of rower Grainger.

The parade was led by the Portlethen and District Pipe Band, followed by a team of torchbearers, Games Makers and volunteers.

Lord Provost George Adam said: 'North east athletes have really done Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire proud this summer, regardless of whether or not they brought home medals, and the parade is a great way to publicly recognise their achievements and those of our army of torchbearers, volunteers and Games Makers.'

London 2012 Olympics: Video of Great Britain stars signing Queen song Don"t Stop Me Now

Don't Stop GB Now! Medal stars celebrate Olympics glory with hilarious rendition of Queen classic

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UPDATED:

15:27 GMT, 12 August 2012

After a stunning Olympics, Great Britain's medal winners were in the mood for a party.

And judging by this video, they have been having a ball!

Team GB sponsor Adidas has filmed a
string of stars singing along to Queen’s classic song ‘Don’t Stop Me
Now’ as they celebrate unprecedented success on home soil.

Singalong: Cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton rocks out with some air guitar

Singalong: Cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton rocks out with some air guitar

Gold icons Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton are among the leading names to let down their hair in the hilarious video in which David Beckham plays the role of director.

The Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonny – also feature along with Louis Smith and Laura Trott.

Adidas hope that the video, that celebrates the success of the GB stars, will add to the buoyant mood of the nation after the glory of the Games.

Marketing Director Nick Craggs said: 'Adidas is the Olympic brand and this video is a great demonstration of how we have supported Team GB and captured the mood of the nation.

'London 2012 will be remembered as the best Olympic Games ever and this is a celebration of adidas’ Take The Stage campaign and the amazing achievements Team GB athletes have accomplished.'

London 2012 Olympics: Swimming: Michael Phelps wants to build legacy

Phelps hoping to build on legacy by teaching the world to swim like champions

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UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 5 August 2012

Olympics 2012

Michael Phelps is not done with high-achieving even if his career as an Olympic athlete is over.

The American's indefatigability brought him 18 Olympic gold medals, two silver and two bronze, an unprecedented total, and after he scratches a travelling itch he will set himself new objectives.

Phelps is the man who wants to teach the world to swim, who wants to lop a heap of shots from his golf handicap, who wants nothing more than to see the sport he has dominated in the past decade continue to grow and grow.

Last one Michael Phelps says teaching children how to swim is very important to him

Last one Michael Phelps says teaching children how to swim is very important to him

Farewell: Michael Phelps retired on a high after winning the 4x100m medley relay

Farewell: Michael Phelps retired on a high after winning the 4x100m medley relay

He is also not a man who accepts
second best, as the rivals who have come and gone, lining their pockets
with silver and bronze, can attest.

Just now though, Baltimore-based
Phelps wants to enjoy life outside professional sport, the 27-year-old
having been cocooned since his mid-teens, visiting the world's greatest
cities but more likely to be taking in the sights from a coach window
than on foot. He could look but rarely touch. Now all that changes.

'I want to travel a bunch. That's
something I've always wanted to do,' Phelps said. 'I've been able to see
so many amazing places in the world but I've really never got to
experience them.

'I've seen the pool and hotels, every
year over the last 12 years of being in the national team. I'd like to
experience some things, whether it's travelling through Europe or going
back to Australia and being able to go around Australia, or South Africa
– something (South African swimmer) Chad (Le Clos) and I were talking
about.

'There's a lot of things I want to do
for myself just to be able to relax, and even though I am retiring and
the competitive side of my career is over, there's a lot of things I
want to do around the sport.

Dream team: Brendan Hansen, Matthew Grevers, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian

Dream team: Brendan Hansen, Matthew Grevers, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian

'I would like to take it to a higher level than it is right now, and continue to grow the sport more and more.'

He also has a charitable foundation, aimed at encouraging positive lifestyles for American youngsters.

'I'm going to be able to put more
time and effort into that,' Phelps said, 'and also my summer schools.
Being able to teach children how to swim and live healthily is something
that's very important to me.'

Phelps won four golds in London,
after eight in Beijing and six in Athens. It is also often forgotten he
raced in Sydney as a 15-year-old too, but that further underlines how
swimming has been his life since childhood.

As well as two relay successes in
London, including Saturday's 4x100metres medley, he claimed individual
gold in 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

Phelps could easily swim on and remain competitive on a world level between now and the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Hugs: Michael Phelps with his coach Bob Bowman after receiving a special award

Hugs: Michael Phelps with his coach Bob Bowman after receiving a special award

'Sure, if I wanted to I could still go,' he said. 'But I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to retire and move on to other things.

'Whatever route I go down I'm going
to have goals. I'm still a very competitive person, so if I go out and
practice more at golf I'm going to drop x amounts of strokes.

'I'm going to have things I'll be
able to go for and try to achieve. That's the mentality I have and the
competitiveness I have, and I think it'll always be with me.'

As a boy, Phelps was diagnosed with
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and had a school teacher who
thought he would amount to little in life. It was a prediction that was
wildly off target, with Phelps emerging as a national hero, sporting
nobility.

United States' swimmer Michael Phelps holds up a silver trophy after being honored as the most decorated Olympian

US swimmer Michael Phelps holds his trophy of the greatest olympic athlete of all time

The Greatest: Phelps was awarded a trophy for being the best Olympian of all time

As he prepared to mount the podium in
the Aquatics Centre last night, waiting for the Star-Spangled Banner to
strike up, Phelps turned to team-mate Brendan Hansen who is joining him
in retirement.

'And it was strange,' Phelps said.
'Brendan was like, 'I'm going to belt the words out', and I said, “It's
going to sound like gibberish if I do it”.

'As soon as I stuffed up on the podium I could feel the tears start coming.

'I said to Nathan (Adrian, who swam the anchor leg), “Oh no, there they come, it's going to be pretty brutal”.

'They just started coming. I tried to
fight it but I just decided to let it go, and whatever happened,
happened. I was just taking in these last moments of my swimming career.

'To be able to sit here and say I've done everything I wanted to do in my swimming career is something that's pretty special.

'That's the only thing I wanted to say when I retired. I wouldn't change anything. I didn't miss anything.

'I've had the opportunity to do something nobody else has ever done before, so I'm very happy with that.'