Tag Archives: ambitious

Arsenal guard of honour for Manchester United and Robin van Persie

Arsenal players OBJECT to giving old boy Van Persie and champions United guard of honour

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

11:35 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 April 2013

Reluctant Arsenal players are
privately unhappy about giving newly crowned champions Manchester United — and their
former captain, Robin van Persie — a guard of honour when they meet at
the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – but they are still expected to perform the honour.

A
guard of honour is a tradition in games involving teams who have just
won the title. Privately, a number of Arsenal players have expressed
objections towards the gesture, particularly in front of their own
supporters, but it is understood it will still go ahead.

Arsenal’s
pain will be offset by a 1.5million bonus they will receive due to a
clause inserted in Van Persie’s contract when he signed last summer. The
clause was activated when United won the title.

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

NOW READ ASH WEDNESDAY…

CLICK HERE: As much as it will hurt Wenger, Arsenal should give United a guard of honour… just as Ferguson did in 1991

Meanwhile, David
Gill has promised the champions will invest in new players this summer, though he expects Manchester City to be active, also.

He said: 'I’m sure they will come back. They’ve got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy. But that’s what the excitement of the Premier League is. I’m sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer – as we will be – with a view to come back all guns blazing next year.'

The out-going chief executive has also praised the work of the American owners. Gill claims United's success proves the determination of the Glazers to keep things progressing on and off the pitch, and that some of the criticism they get is unfair.

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

He
added: 'The Glazers have definitely demonstrated that since they have
taken over they have shown that what happens on the pitch is crucial to
the club’s ambitions off it.

'There
are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there
and they have had long held views which they are not going to change. We
respect those, but ultimately, someone has to own the club.

'They
[Glazers] get the personal enjoyment and the important thing is that
there is really no ego about them. They operate behind the scenes here,
they don’t walk around saying “we own the club”, and they are very
mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people.

'Clearly, if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 20th title, it’s unbelievable.'

Harry Redknapp handed 20million to sign Loic Remy, Yann M"Vila and Mohamed Diame

QPR hand Redknapp 20m in bid to lure Remy, M'Vila and Diame to Loftus Road in January

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 30 December 2012

QPR want to back manager Harry Redknapp with a 20million spree to fight relegation.

The Premier League's basement club have earmarked Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila, 22, Marseille striker Loic Remy, 25, and West Ham midfield star Mo Diame, 25, in an ambitious attempt to stop their slide into the Championship.

A bid of 9m is said to have been placed for Remy, a 7.5m offer is primed for M'Vila while Diame has a 3.5m release clause.

Top target: Mo Diame (left) would bolster QPR's central midfield area

Top target: Mo Diame (left) would bolster QPR's central midfield area

The club would face a hard sell to convince the players to come after yesterday's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool left them eight points off 17th-placed Aston Villa, but they know Redknapp is a persuasive boss capable of rescuing them.

Newcastle, who will lose Demba Ba to Chelsea, would seem favourites for Remy but a deal for M'Vila, 22, would represent a coup for QPR.

He has been tracked by Arsenal and Tottenham but is suspended from playing for France until June 2014.

Redknapp has also considered Paris St-Germain's Diego Lugano, 32, and Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne, 33, who is returning to fitness and mulling over an offer from New York Red Bulls.

Ambitious: Harry Redknapp has been a long-term admirer of Yann M'Vila

Ambitious: Harry Redknapp has been a long-term admirer of Loic Remy

Ambitious: Harry Redknapp has been a long-term admirer of France stars Loic Remy (right) and Yann M'Vila

Tough: Redknapp has a huge task to avoid the drop

Tough: Redknapp has a huge task to avoid the drop

David Beckham latest: West Ham manager wants LA Galaxy midfielder

If he's fit, I'd love to have Beckham at West Ham! Big Sam joins the queue

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UPDATED:

09:32 GMT, 22 November 2012

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has stated his desire to bring David Beckham to the club – as long as he can prove his fitness.

The 37-year-old midfielder, who was born in east London, this week stated his intention to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the year and the Hammers have been one of a number of clubs linked with him since.

In demand: David Beckham will soon be a free agent with his last game for LA Galaxy approaching

In demand: David Beckham will soon be a free agent with his last game for LA Galaxy approaching

'Yes, I would like to see a fit David Beckham at West Ham,' Allardyce told The Sun.

'But he would need to come and do a fitness test like any other player.'

Former England captain Beckham stated he will leave the Galaxy following the December 1 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo, saying he wanted 'one last challenge' before the end of his playing career.

Interested: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he would love to have Beckham at Upton Park

Interested: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits he would love to have Beckham at Upton Park

Allardyce's admission, however, comes just a day after a Hammers source told Sportsmail that it is doubtful the club would explore a move.

The source close to the club said: ‘David is an excellent footballer, but he is 38 in May and would not be right for the club.

'The owners have plenty of ambitious plans and, right now, Beckham isn’t included in that.

On the ball: Allardyce says Beckham would have to prove his fitness if the Hammers were to make a move

On the ball: Allardyce says Beckham would have to prove his fitness if the Hammers were to make a move

‘If the club were struggling, he would be an option, but that isn’t the case. They want to look to the future, but wish him well for his next move.

‘Lots of clubs will want to be linked with him, but West Ham will not be interested in signing him.

'They are very happy with the signing of Matt Jarvis.'

David Beckham transfer latest: West Ham rule out bid

No East End return for Beckham as West Ham rule out bid for former England captain

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UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 21 November 2012

West Ham have ruled themselves out of the pursuit of David Beckham. The former England captain, born in nearby Leytonstone, is up for grabs after deciding to leave LA Galaxy.

The Hammers may have been a natural fit, but with capacity crowds in the last four home games – and two more sell-outs coming against Chelsea and Liverpool – they have no need to add a crowd pleaser.

Up for grabs: David Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy after their MLS Cup Final on December 1

Up for grabs: David Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy after their MLS Cup Final on December 1

A source close to the club said: ‘David is an excellent footballer, but he is 38 in March and would not be right for the club.

'The owners have plenty of ambitious plans and, right now, Beckham isn’t included in that.

‘If the club were struggling, he would be an option, but that isn’t the case. They want to look to the future, but wish him well for his next move.

‘Lots of clubs will want to be linked with him, but West Ham will not be interested in signing him.

'They are very happy with the signing of Matt Jarvis.'

Out of the running: West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will not be making an offer to the former England captain, Beckham

Out of the running: West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will not be making an offer to the former England captain, Beckham

Gainline: Danny Care shines for Harlequins

Euro Gainline: Exceptional Care shines while Imhoff adds spark to gloomy Racing defeat

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 21 October 2012

Player of the weekend: Danny Care

Player of the weekend: Danny Care

PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND

Danny Care. The scrum-half's two tries for Harlequins averted the threat of another shock defeat by Connacht. Conor O'Shea, Quins' director of rugby, said: 'Danny's in an exceptional run of form and it will be hard for England not to pick him.'

RICHIE'S ROUGHED UP

Wallabies flanker Scott Higginbotham has been charged with foul play for allegedly head-butting and kneeing New Zealand captain Richie McCaw after the All Blacks' hopes of setting a new world record of 17 consecutive Test wins were ruined by an 18-18 draw with Australia in Brisbane.

POST MODERNISM

Around 2,000 Saracens fans travelled to Brussels to see their side beat Racing Metro 30-13 in front of a ‘home’ crowd of 18,212.

It emerged that the ambitious club offered to use a hologram of goalposts in a bid to relocate a Heineken Cup fixture against Munster on December 15 to New York’s MetLife Stadium — home of the Giants and Jets.

Their bid was blocked by the NFL teams, who did not want Saracens to make two holes on the goal-line to fix the posts. Chief executive Edward Griffiths suggested using a hologram, but the idea was knocked back.

FARCE OF THE WEEK

Biarritz's 38-17 win over Italians Zebre was played out in a monsoon. The surface resembled a swimming pool and Takudzwa Ngwenya’s try was laughable. The ball stopped in a puddle, wrong-footing a defender, allowing the wing to score unopposed.

Slippery when wet: Biarritz's match with Zebre was played in a monsoon

Slippery when wet: Biarritz's match with Zebre was played in a monsoon

EXETER OVERPOWERED

Exeter established a 12-10 half-time lead over mighty Clermont Auvergne but were overwhelmed after the break, eventually losing 46-12.

Clermont’s power was summed up by the sight of their wing, Napolioni Nalaga, driving through a cluster of home forwards to score from close range.

TRY OF THE WEEK

Saracens had long since taken control but Racing Metro’s Juan Imhoff scoring with an audacious counter-attack was the highlight.

After a neat exchange of passes, Juan Martin Hernandez sent an American football-style overhead pass in-field for Imhoff to surge away to the posts.

Mercedes put bid to sign Lewis Hamilton on ice as they enter talks with Michael Schumacher

Mercedes put bid to sign Hamilton on ice as they enter talks with Schumacher over future

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UPDATED:

13:45 GMT, 27 September 2012

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn insists discussions remain ongoing with Michael Schumacher over whether the seven-times champion will re-sign for 2013.

In light of a meeting of the board at Mercedes on Wednesday, speculation had surfaced that an announcement regarding the team's driver line-up for next season was imminent.

Mercedes are known to have courted Lewis Hamilton, offering a deal to lure the 27-year-old away from McLaren.

Retirment: Michael Schumacher retired from the race in Singapore after a crash

Retirment: Michael Schumacher retired from the race in Singapore after a crash

The Woking-based marque, where Hamilton has spent the last 14 years, initially handed him a derisory deal, slashing his current salary by a third.

It is believed that in a bid to keep Hamilton, McLaren have increased their contract offer by a further 2million to match Mercedes.

However, there has been no word from Mercedes, and unlikely to be for another few weeks at least, according to Brawn, as talks continue with 43-year-old Schumacher over his future.

'It's still under discussion, I'm afraid,' said Brawn on BBC Radio 5 Live.

'I can't comment very much on that, but Michael's been a huge asset to the team, he's really taken us forward.

Asset: Mercedes are considering letting the veteran German driver stay on

Asset: Mercedes are considering letting the veteran German driver stay on

Asset: Mercedes are considering letting the veteran German driver stay on

'I do think Michael contributes an awful lot, so I think the decision for Michael to stay or not continue is a difficult one.

'Obviously he's very involved in that decision, and discussions are ongoing at the moment.'

Asked whether Hamilton could be joining Mercedes, Brawn naturally ducked the issue, adding: “I think any ambitious team looks at the top drivers and we're an ambitious team.

'But I think there's an awful lot of speculation. We will have some things to say in the next few weeks, next few months, and then all will become clear.'

On ice: Mercedes will focus on Schumacher before they develop any further approach for Lewis Hamilton

On ice: Mercedes will focus on Schumacher before they develop any further approach for Lewis Hamilton

Ricky Hatton seeks redemption as he confirms boxing return for November 24

'Haunted' Hatton seeks redemption: Pacquiao KO drives comeback as Hitman confirms November return

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 14 September 2012

If he walks like he talks then the second instalment of Ricky Hatton’s career might just prove more dramatic than the first. Then again, that is some 'if'.

To listen to the former two-weight world champion, to hear how memories of one brutal night pushed him to consider suicide, was to appreciate just how ‘torturous’ moments of the past three years have been since Manny Pacquiao left him unconscious and needing treatment in a Las Vegas ring.

That bout, in May 2009, was the catalyst to his not-so-revelatory announcement in Manchester that he was coming back as a welterweight on November 24 to take on ‘an international level fighter’ who has not yet been determined. ‘There are several names,’ he said. ‘I’ll be able to tell you who in a week or two.’

Ultimately, the enormously ambitious objective for a man three weeks from his 34th birthday is another world title. Hatton admitted he has already visualised domestic blockbusters with Amir Khan and Kell Brook, not to mention rematches with Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound kings of his generation who remain, to date, the only men to have beaten him.

Scroll down for video…

Back in the game: Ricky Hatton confirmed his return to the ring on Friday

Back in the game: Ricky Hatton confirmed his return to the ring on Friday

Say cheese: Hatton announced his return in his hometown of Manchester

Say cheese: Hatton announced his return in his hometown of Manchester

For their part, Khan’s representatives have already stated a willingness to make the fight.

But Hatton’s greater motivation, he says of an extraordinary decision that has drawn reactions from scepticism to ridicule, is not the titles; it’s the need for ‘a happy ending’ in a story that has seen him battle depression and issues with drugs and alcohol since he ‘blew’ his shot at Pacquiao.

‘It’s about redemption,’ Hatton said. ‘I have so many regrets about how it ended last time. Even if I lose, it’s better than sitting around wondering if I should come out of retirement, thinking about my regrets.’ Those regrets, and issues in his personal life, drove him to ‘literally consider suicide’. At one point it was a regular deliberation.

He talks of being ‘haunted’, partially by a fair belief that his 10-round defeat against Mayweather was poorly refereed, but mostly by recollections of how his preparation and fight against Pacquiao went so horribly wrong, culminating in a second-round knockout.

Put one on me! The Hitman will fight on November 24

Put one on me! The Hitman will fight on November 24

Looking trim: Hatton has battled through drug and alcohol problems to be fit for the fight

Looking trim: Hatton has battled through drug and alcohol problems to be fit for the fight

‘Those are demons in your head, that
the two times I had the chance to be pound-for-pound No 1 in the world,
things got in the way,’ Hatton said. ‘That’ s haunted me for years.

‘With Pacquiao, it wasn’t just being
flattened in two, but it was knowing that I could have done something
about it. I was so overtrained (by Floyd Mayweather Snr, his trainer at
the time). Weeks earlier, before the fight, people were telling me to
take a week off. I had nothing left. I was even told I should pull out
of the fight. Super-featherweights were beating me up in sparring.’

He added: ‘I spent so long after the
fight on the couch at home crying about what went wrong. That stuff went
round my head non-stop, helped send me into that dark place. If you
could be in my head. Anyone who has had depression will know how hard it
is. I just couldn’t let go.’ Hatton attempted comebacks before but they
never stuck. This time, he explained, working as a promoter, then as a
trainer, helped rekindled his motivation. As it stands, he has lost
three stones and is now a muscular 11st 4lbs.

Fighting fit: Hatton says he is in the best shape he has ever been in 12 weeks before a fight

Fighting fit: Hatton says he is in the best shape he has ever been in 12 weeks before a fight

Fighting fit: Hatton says he is in the best shape he has ever been in 12 weeks before a fight

‘This is about redemption,’ Hatton
said. ‘I want people to say, “You know what, that Ricky Hatton, he boxed
in Vegas, he became two-weight world champion. His life turned to ****,
didn’t he blow it, but didn’t he come back well” That’s the story I
want. I want the world title but more than that I want to make people
proud again.’

Whether that is actually necessary seems to be beside the
point. What is in no doubt is the size of the task facing Hatton, who
claims he can be ‘better than ever’ despite all the anecdotal evidence
in boxing’s history that suggests otherwise.

A three-year break is long for any
fighter, not least one who would balloon three stone between fights and
who has always taken his share of punches. He was already showing signs
against Juan Lazcano in 2008 that his punch resistance was fading.

In that search for a title, it is
unlikely he could get anything out of Floyd Mayweather, the WBC
champion, and Timothy Bradley of the WBO is probably too good as well.

Paul Malignaggi, the WBA champion, is
better than he was in defeat against Hatton in 2008, but would pose
less of a threat to the Hitman’s health given how lightly he punches.
That would represent Hatton’s safest bet, though IBF holder Randall
Bailley would also tempt him.

It’s hard to see how Hatton would
beat any of those fighters at this point, but he is not lacking for
courage or confidence. As ever with Hatton, it will be fascinating to
see how it pans out.

Look back at the six fights that shaped Hatton's career with our picture and video special

Lights out: Hatton was hammered by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in 2009

Lights out: Hatton was hammered by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas in 2009

Knockout: Pacquiao knocked Hatton down with a devastating blow in Las Vegas

Knockout: Pacquiao knocked Hatton down with a devastating blow in Las Vegas

RICKY HATTON FACTFILE

Ricky Hatton

1978 – October 6: Born in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

1996 – Captures bronze medal at the World Amateur Championships.

1997 – September 11: Makes professional debut under the guidance of trainer Billy Graham and knocks out Colin McAuley in the first round at Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes.

1999 – Claims first pro title with a second-round TKO win against Tommy Peacock for the vacant Central Area light-welterweight title.

2000 – October 21: Beats Jon Thaxton on points to win the British light-welterweight title.

2001 – March 26: Wins vacant 'fringe' WBU light-welterweight title with fourth-round stoppage of Tony Pep.

2002 – June 1: Suffers first knockdown of his career in opening round against Eamonn Magee, but battles back to win on points.

2005 – June 4: Shocks the world by beating Kostya Tszyu, considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, in Manchester, winning the IBF light-welterweight title.

November 26: Overcomes nasty cuts to beat Carlos Maussa and add WBA crown to his IBF title.

December 21: Becomes first British fighter to receive the prestigious Ring Magazine 'Fighter of the Year' award.

2006 – Moves up to welterweight division and labours to victory against Luis Collazo, claiming the WBA title.

December: Awarded MBE in New Year's Honours list.

2007 – January 20: Knocks out Jose Luis Castillo, retaining IBO belt and winning WBC international light-welterweight title, which was later vacated.

June: Hatton's team agree terms with the camp of Floyd Mayweather for a December 8 fight in Las Vegas.

December 8: Knocked out in the 10th round by Mayweather in the first defeat of his professional career.

2008 – May 24: Retains IBO light-welterweight title by securing a unanimous points verdict against Juan Lazcano in front of 55,000 supporters at Manchester City's Eastlands stadium.

July 29: Announces split from long-time trainer Billy Graham.

September 3: Announces he will be trained by Floyd Mayweather Snr for his November fight with Paulie Malignaggi.

November 22: Wins light-heavyweight bout with Malignaggi in Las Vegas after the American's corner retire him in the 11th round.

2009 – May 2: Hatton's reign as light-welterweight world champion comes to a brutal end as Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao delivers a stunning second-round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

August 11: Hatton confirms an all-British fight against Amir Khan is “a possibility”.

2010 – January 13: Hatton announces he will return to the ring in 2010.

September 13: A spokesman for Hatton confirms the fighter has entered a rehabilitation facility due to 'severe depressio' and a drink problem'. The announcement follows News of the World allegations of cocaine use by Hatton.

September 23: The British Boxing Board of Control announce they have withdrawn Hatton's boxer's licence.

2011 – July 7: Announces his retirement from boxing, more than two years after his defeat to Pacquiao.

2012 – September 14: Confirms at a press conference that he is to return to the ring, with a November 24 bout at the Manchester Arena against an as yet unnamed opponent.

VIDEO: It's on! The Hitman is back…

DM.has('rcpv1839903934001','BCVideo');

Cristiano Ronaldo alerts Man City, Chelsea and PSG

Ronaldo alerts mega-rich trio of Man City, Chelsea and PSG with outburst

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 3 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo's unexpected declaration of sadness was widely interpreted as a cry for wealth.

Ronaldo refused to celebrate his goals for Real Madrid on Sunday and revealed after the game that he was feeling sad for professional reasons, rather than personal ones.

'The people here know why,' he added, taken to be a nod towards the Real hierarchy but seemingly designed to trigger a broader debate about whether it might be the opening move of an exit strategy.

Cheer up! Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured arriving at training on Monday) has said he is 'unhappy' with the current situation at Real Madrid

Cheer up! Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured arriving at training on Monday) has said he is 'unhappy' with the current situation at Real Madrid

Cheer up! Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured arriving at training on Monday) has said he is 'unhappy' with the current situation at Real Madrid

Those clubs rich enough to consider
paying the 100million buy-out clause to release him from a contract
with three years to run and then meet wage demands likely to start at
around 1m a month will certainly have had their interest pricked.

But this is a very exclusive group, consisting of those clubs bankrolled
by bottomless pits of petrodollars, such as Manchester City and Paris
St Germain, and possibly Chelsea, depending on which side of the bed
Roman Abramovich got out of.

Jose Mourinho is not expected to stay at Real indefinitely, possibly
moving on next summer, and will be keen to take Ronaldo should his next
step be to a wealthy and ambitious club like City or PSG.

The Portuguese forward, bought from Manchester United for 80m in 2009,
led Real to the title last season scoring 46 goals in 38 La Liga games
and 60 in all competitions, a performance the 27-year-old perhaps thinks
is worthy of a pay-rise.

He has raced to 150 goals for the club at the rate of more than a goal a
game but continues to be eclipsed in Spain by Messi's heroics at
Barcelona. Some say the Messi factor eats away at him, such is his
vanity.

Ouch! Ronaldo was substituted in Sunday's 3-0 win over Granada at the Bernabeu

Ouch! Ronaldo was substituted in Sunday's 3-0 win over Granada at the Bernabeu

Is that it Ronaldo failed to show much enthusiasm as he bagged two goals in the game

Is that it Ronaldo failed to show much enthusiasm as he bagged two goals in the game

When he performed poorly for Portugal against Denmark in Euro 2012, Danish fans taunted him by chanting Messi's name.

Ronaldo is not cherished by Real as Messi is by Barca and one radio
station reported that he has told club president Florentino Perez that
he does not have the support of the dressing room.

He was at pains to point out, however, that his 'professional sadness'
was not simply a fickle reaction to losing out to Andres Iniesta in
UEFA's Best Player in Europe award, last week.

'Money is the name of the game,' said one respected international
players' agent and there was a media backlash in Madrid, where the front
page of 'Marca', the pro-Real sports daily screamed: 'Enough is Enough'
and criticising Ronaldo for 'unsettling' the club.

If it is simply the first move in a bid for more money, it may work.
Real may feel the pressure to dig deep and deliver an eye-watering new
contract for Ronaldo to stay ahead of Barcelona but, the thing is, money
can't buy you happiness. Or love.

Unhappy chappy: Ronaldo said he was 'sad' but refused to elaborate on the reasons why

Unhappy chappy: Ronaldo said he was 'sad' but refused to elaborate on the reasons why

OLYMPICS: Sochi organisers plan to take torch to space before 2014 Games

Beyond the final frontier… Sochi organisers want to take torch to space before 2014 Games

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UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 26 July 2012

Sochi 2014 organising committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko has confirmed ambitious plans to take the Olympic torch into space for the first time.

Chernyshenko, who carried the torch on a leg through London on Thursday promised the torch route ahead of the next Winter Olympics would be the longest in history.

From Russia with love: Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and Sochi CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko answer questions on Thursday

From Russia with love: Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and Sochi CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko answer questions on Thursday

Speaking at the opening of Sochi Park in Kensington, which will promote the Sochi experience to London visitors, Chernyshenko said: 'We are planning to take the torch into space – and we will.'

Other highlights of the expected 50,000km route, which will visit all 83 Russian districts and span nine zones, will be the peak of Europe's highest mountain Mount Elbrus, and the bottom of the world's deepest lake, Lake Baikal.

Didier Drogba unveiled at Shanghai Shenhua

Really, Didier Drogba insists Shanghai move isn't about the money… as he's unveiled in 270k-a-week role

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UPDATED:

09:52 GMT, 14 July 2012

Didier Drogba insists it is not money but the big challenge in an unfamiliar land that lured him to China.

More than 300 fans gathered to welcome the former Chelsea man on his much-anticipated arrival to join Chinese Super League strugglers Shanghai Shenhua.

Drogba has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the big-spending club for a reported salary of 270,000.

Welcome to your new home: Didier Drogba has been unveiled at his new club, Shanghai Shenhua

Welcome to your new home: Didier Drogba has been unveiled at his new club, Shanghai Shenhua

Welcome to your new home: Didier Drogba has been unveiled at his new club, Shanghai Shenhua

Welcome to your new home: Didier Drogba has been unveiled at his new club, Shanghai Shenhua

He said: 'I decided to come here because when the club and the president approached me, I looked at the project and it came with ambitious ideas. He wants to help football develop in China.

'I know China is a great sports country so for me it was also a big challenge because it could have been easy for me to stay in Europe and go to another team, another big team.

'Really, I didn't come here with the idea of making a lot of money. I come here because it is a completely different challenge from what I have seen in Europe before.

'And that's the idea, there are many challenges but this one is a big one.'

Drogba's arrival is the latest in a long list of high-profile names who have made the move to China in recent months.

Meet and great: Drogba was mobbed as he arrived at Pudong international airport in Shanghai

Meet and great: Drogba was mobbed as he arrived at Pudong international airport in Shanghai

meet and great: Drogba was mobbed as he arrived at Pudong international airport in Shanghai

Meet and great: Drogba was mobbed as he arrived at Pudong international airport in Shanghai

Meet and great: Drogba was mobbed as he arrived at Pudong international airport in Shanghai

Italian World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi is in charge of a Guangzhou Evergrande side packed full of skilful South American talent.

Drogba, who scored 157 times in 341 appearances for Chelsea making him the club's fourth all-time leading scorer, is the biggest catch of them all.

The 34-year old striker will join former Chelsea team mate Nicolas Anelka at the club struggling at the 13th spot in the 16-club Chinese Super League. Shanghai Shenhua is coached by former Argentina boss Sergio Batista.

'The results of my new team, they are not so good, not so great. But you know, the second part of the season just started and I think we have time to make some better results and to bring the club to a better place,' Drogba said.

Super supporters: Fans were full of voice and celebration as they welcomed the Ivorian

Super supporters: Fans were full of voice and celebration as they welcomed the Ivorian

Super supporters: Fans were full of voice and celebration as they welcomed the Ivorian

Super supporters: Fans were full of voice and celebration as they welcomed the Ivorian

Super supporters: Fans were full of voice and celebration as they welcomed the Ivorian

'With my team mates, we are going to perform as much as we can. And I came here to win the league, I am not coming here as the beginning of the retirement or something like this.

'I want people to make sure and to understand that I am here to win. I am not here to sit and relax.'

The fans arrived in the early hours of the morning at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, many dressed in the club's blue jersey bearing 'Drogba 11', and their hopes were also pinned on the Drogba-Anelka strike force.

'I believe that with his arrival, our results will improve significantly, because he has a good rapport with Anelka,' 23-year-old Zhu Hongbo said.

'Also, we have brought in a midfield player in (Giovanni) Moreno. I think for the second half of the year, our results will improve and we can be in the top three.'