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Real Madrid greats past and present: Alfredo Di Stefano awards Cristiano Ronaldo with trophy for La Liga"s best player

Real Madrid greats past and present:
Di Stefano awards Ronaldo with trophy for La Liga's best player

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La Liga's best Ronaldo was awarded the trophy based on his efforts in the 2011/2012 season

Frail: But Di Stefano is still treated with the respect he deserves

Frail: But Di Stefano is still treated with the respect he deserves

'In our neighborhood we used to hold major football sessions that went on until it got dark, with everyone playing against each other,' he said. 'Maybe the pope was one of the guys I played football with in the street.

'At that time I was the famous one because from a very young age I belonged to River Plate’s youth team, everybody knew me,' added Di Stefano, widely regarded as the finest player of his generation for his significant influence in leading Real to five consecutive European Cups, before revealing he had missed the pope's introduction.

Childhood friends Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, grew up in the same area as Di Stefano

Childhood friends Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, grew up in the same area as Di Stefano

'I must confess that while everyone else watched the white smoke live, I saw it later. I was, as always, watching a football game.

'[Ronaldo] He is a great player and a team player. I am very happy.'

THE REAL GREATS: ALFREDO DI STEFANO V CRISTIANO RONALDO

Alfredo Di Stefano

Alfredo Di Stefano

Date of birth: 4 July 1926
Place of Birth: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Position: Forward

Clubs: River Plate (1945, 1947-49 ), Huracn (1946), Millonarios (1949-52), Real Madrid (1953-64), Espanyol (1964-66).
National Team: 31 matches (23 goals) with Spain; 6 matches (6 goals) with Argentina

Honours
5 European Cups (Real Madrid, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960)
1 Intercontinental Cup (Real Madrid, 1960)
1 America cup (River Plate, 1947)
8 Spanish leagues (Real Madrid, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
1 Spanish Cup (Real Madrid, 1962)
2 Argentinian leagues (River Plate, 1945, 1947)
4 Colombian leagues (Millonarios Bogot, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953)

La Liga's best Ronaldo was awarded the trophy based on his efforts in the 2011/2012 season

Cristiano Ronaldo

Date of birth: 4 July 1926
Place of Birth: Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Position: Forward

Clubs: Sporting Lisbon (2001-2003), Manchester United (2003-2009), Real Madrid (2009-present).
National Team: 101 matches (38 goals) with Portugal

Honours
1 European Cup (Manchester United, 2008)
3 Premier Leagues (Manchester United, 2007, 2008, 2009) 1 FA Cup (Manchester United, 2004) 1 League Cup (Manchester United, 2006) 1 Spanish league (Real Madrid, 2012) 1 Spanish Cup (Real Madrid, 2011)
1 Spanish Super Cup (Real Madrid, 2012) 1 Portuguese League (Sporting Lisbon, 2002 1 Portuguese Super Cup (Sporting Lisbon, 2002) 1 Portuguese Cup (Sporting Lisbon, 2002)

VIDEO: REAL MADRID GREAT ALFREDO DI STEFANO AT HIS PEAK

Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano graces the Bernabeu

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Picture: Why is Arsenal star Emmanuel Frimpong waving a Spurs scarf ahead of north London derby?

Who is this Arsenal star with a Spurs scarf ahead of Sunday's north London derby

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

23:56 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 1 March 2013

The build-up to this Sunday's eagerly-awaited north London derby is reaching fever pitch but it seems one Arsenal player may have lost all leave of his senses.

Bizarre images of Emmanuel Frimpong wearing a Captain America style mask and hat and waving a Tottenham scarf surfaced on the internet on Thursday night.

Star attraction: Frimpong entertains his fans with unusual outfit

Man overboard: Frimpong goads Spurs fans during live stream

frimpong

Centre stage: Frimpong took part in live stream with his cousin, rap star Lethal Bizzle

The midfielder, currently on loan at Fulham, donned the strange garb and goaded Spurs fans during a live stream with his cousin and rap star Lethal Bizzle.

Although it was a bit of light-hearted fun, Frimpong should really have thought twice about his internet show after being caught out using social media in the past.

He was fined 6,000 and warned over his future behaviour after admitting to a Football Association charge of improper conduct related to comments made on Twitter.

frimpong

Super hero Frimpong does his best Captain America impression

frimpong

Frimpong responded to a comment made by a Tottenham fan on July 15 and although he soon removed the tweet from the social networking site, it caught the attention of the FA.

The comment made by the Spurs supporter was retweeted by Frimpong, who also added the derogatory term that incurred the FA's wrath.

Adrian Peterson short of Eric Dickerson"s record as Minnesota Vikings beat Green Bay Packers

Peterson falls short of Dickerson's record after carrying Minnesota Vikings into NFL play-offs

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UPDATED:

02:25 GMT, 31 December 2012

Touchdown: Adrian Peterson made it 10-0 in the first quarter

Touchdown: Adrian Peterson made it 10-0 in the first quarter

Adrian Peterson fell nine-yards shy of breaking Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson's all-time rushing record as the Minnesota Vikings claimed a wild-card spot with a thrilling 37-34 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

365 days after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, Peterson finished with 199-yards and a touchdown, becoming the seventh running back in NFL history to break the 2,000 yard barrier in a single season.

'Ultimately we got the “W”,' Peterson said after a career-high 34 carries. 'We said during the week, if it happens, it happens. Don't focus on it.'

With the clock ticking down and some excellent time management from quarterback Christian Ponder, the MVP-contender's final run of 26 yards put the Vikings within field goal range.

Up stepped metronomic rookie Blair Walsh to convert the winning field goal from 29 yards to send Mall of America field into delirium.

Outnumbered: The Green Bay Packers attempt to get to grips with Peterson

Outnumbered: The Green Bay Packers attempt to get to grips with Peterson

Peterson's 2,097 yards this season spearheaded an unlikely charge to the post-season, with the Vikings looking finished at 6-6 after a promising start.

But four straight wins against the Chicago Bears, the St Louis Rams, the Houston Texans and the NFC North winners set up another meeting between the two storied rivals at Lambeau Field next week.

Roger Federer plays with Gabriel Batistuta and Boca Juniors

Federer's at it again: After swapping skills with Pele, tennis ace plays with lethal ex-Argentina striker Batistuta

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UPDATED:

01:18 GMT, 14 December 2012

Fresh from showing off his silky smooth skills with Brazilian legend Pele, Roger Federer was at it again, this time with lethal ex-Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta.

The world tennis number two swapped skills, and shirts, with 'Batigol' in a game of football-tennis at the home of Boca Juniors, the Bombonera stadium.

Argentinian World number seven Juan Martin Del Potro was also inside the stadium, just hours before the pair played their second exhibition match in the city of Tigre.

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer heads a ball next to Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro and Argentinian former footballer Gabriel Batistuta

And the Swiss superstar had kind words to say about his Argentinian rival, whom he holds a 13-4 record over, although Del Potro has won the last two.

'He is already among the best,' Federer told ESPN. 'Now he just has to train hard and stay on the same path.

'He was number four, he's now number seven, but he could be number one. Sometimes the difference is in the small details.'

Federer is on tour in South America, visiting Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

His next tournament will be the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on 2nd January before the Australian Open begins on 16th January.

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Manchester City want Rafael Cabral as Joe Hart understudy

Man City eye Brazil international goalkeeper Cabral as understudy to Hart

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 7 December 2012

Manchester City are interested in Santos goalkeeper Rafael Cabral.

The Barclays Premier League champions are looking to provide extra competition for Joe Hart and Brazil international Cabral, 22, is available for around 5million.

Target: Cabral

Target: Cabral

Tottenham have also made enquiries as they prepare to offload Brad Friedel, 41, to Blackburn in January and their own Brazilian Heurelho Gomes, 31, who would consider a move back to South America.

Cabral was due to play for Brazil in their ill-fated Olympics campaign but was injured just before the tournament started.

Chelsea on alert as Brazil want Pep Guardiola after Mano Menezes sacked

Look out Chelsea! Guardiola on Brazil hitlist after Selecao sack Menezes

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 23 November 2012

Pep Guardiola is on Brazil's list of targets as they look for a new manager after sacking Mano Menezes.

Chelsea are working on a deal which would see the former Barcelona boss take the reins at Stamford Bridge in the summer.

But the Brazilian Football Confederation are hoping to make Guardiola the man who leads them to World Cup glory in 2014, a tournament they are hosting.

Target: Pep Guardiola is a target for the Brazilian Football Confederation

Target: Pep Guardiola is a target for the Brazilian Football Confederation

Gone: Mano Menezes has been axed as Brazil boss

Gone: Mano Menezes has been axed as Brazil boss

The confederation's national squads director, Andres Sanchez, said a new coach would be installed in January.

Guardiola was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's first choice to replace Roberto Di Matteo, who was sacked on Tuesday night.

But he is enjoying time off after resigning from his Barcelona role in the summer, happily living in his swanky New York apartment.

Rafa Benitez was appointed as interim manager until next summer, when Guardiola's 'sabbatical' is set to end – although he has indicated he may return to management sooner.

Corinthians coach Tite, Santos boss Muricy Ramalho and Luiz Felipe Scolari are other contenders for the Brazil position.

Scolari won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, his side powered by the legendary Ronaldo overcame Brazil 2-0 in the final.

He resigned after the tournament and took over Portugal, before a short and ill-fated spell at Chelsea.

Brazil are desperate to win the World
Cup on their own turf and after Menezes failed to lead the team to Olympic and 2011 Copa
America glory, they took action.

If you can't beat them, join them: Chelsea eliminated Guardiola's Barcelona side on the way to their Champions League victory

If you can't beat them, join them: Chelsea eliminated Guardiola's Barcelona side on the way to their Champions League victory

Menezes became coach in 2010, replacing Dunga, and recorded 20 wins, six draws and five defeats while at the helm.

The Selecao were eliminated in the
quarter finals of last year's Copa America, losing to Paraguay on
penalties – amazingly they missed all four spot kicks.

In the 2012 London Games they reached the final but were upset by underdogs Mexico, despite having a side which included Blues star Oscar and wonderkid Neymar.

Glory hunt: Who will take control of the side which includes precious talents such as Neymar

Glory hunt: Who will take control of the side which includes precious talents such as Neymar

Menezes sacking wrong

Andres Sanchez, general manager of the national squads said:

'I think this was not the time to make this call, it's giving up on the work done.

'But I understand the criteria. It's the president's decision and he wants different methods for the next year.

'He's a brave man, he's watching the future, so we have to respect him.

'Mano did a good job, even though he had tough times. He did not leave because of bad results.

'If the results were the key, he would have left the national team at the start of the year, not now.

'The president wants to change the methods of the national team from January.'

Confederation president Jose Maria Marin
and vice-resident Marco Polo del Nero were present at the meeting,
where the decision to dispense with Menezes was made.

Sanchez appeared to question the move, saying: 'I respect and understand the arguments of the directors, but I think this isn't the correct moment.'

Menezes' dismissal comes just two days after Brazil won the Superclasico de las Americas against Argentina on penalties.

Brazil lost the second leg 2-1 in Buenos Aires, but triumphed on spot-kicks in the tie which featured only players who play in the two countries' domestic leagues.

Menezes said on Twitter: 'As it has been announced, I'm not the national coach anymore.

'My thanks to all the people who
worked with me on this project, specially the players that were called
up during this period and all those who believed in our work.'

Former Brazil striker Romario and
former Chelsea defender Juliano Belletti both backed Scolari, who led
the country to their last World Cup triumph, to take the reins.

Romario said: 'The best man is
Felipe, no doubt about that. And I also believe that Andres Sanchez
can't continue as general manager, Rai is the correct man for the job.'

Belletti added on Twitter: 'The World
Cup is only seven games, kill or be killed. Felipe is very good on that.
He motivates you, and demands things from you.'

David Beckham: Is it really the end now his time is up in America?

With his time in America drawing to a close, Sportsmail asks: 'Is it the end for Beckham'

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UPDATED:

00:43 GMT, 18 November 2012

David Beckham, set to quit LA Galaxy
next month at the end of the current Major League Soccer season, has
been swamped with offers from clubs around the world hoping to provide
him with the chance to extend his playing career.

The 37-year-old former England
captain will not seek to renew his contract in Los Angeles when his
current deal ends on December 31 but feels he still has plenty to offer
at the highest level.

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

He will decide within the next few weeks whether to take up one of the offers from France, Italy, Russia, the Far East and the Premier League — or bring his illustrious career to an end.

One career move that he has apparently ruled out is a short-term move to play in Australia’s A-League. Football Federation Australia claimed on Friday that the player’s management had approached them about a move Down Under, but Beckham himself said he had no knowledge of the talks until informed by Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.

‘No, definitely not true,’ he told reporters at Galaxy’s Home Depot Center on Friday. ‘Bruce told me that this morning — it’s the first I’d heard about it.’

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

Beckham is determined to leave a
lasting memory of his five years at Galaxy by helping the team to their
fourth MLS title. Galaxy travel to Seattle Sounders tonight for the
second leg of their Western Conference final with a three-goal advantage
from their first meeting at the Home Depot Centre last weekend, when
Robbie Keane continued his scoring form by notching two goals.

If Galaxy go through, they will face
the winners of the Eastern Conference, where DC United will today try to
overturn a 3-1 deficit at home to Houston Dynamo.

Although it was feared that Beckham’s
decision to quit mainstream football when he left Real Madrid to join
Galaxy in 2007 signalled the end of his career as a dominant figure, he
has remained one of the most famous figures in world football.

While playing with Galaxy, he has also
had two spells on loan with AC Milan. But a permanent multi-million
pound move to the Italian club, which Beckham favoured as a possible
stepping stone to selection for England’s 2010 World Cup squad, was
aborted when the two clubs failed to agree on a transfer fee.

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

A career-threatening achilles tendon injury, suffered while playing for
Milan, kept him out for five months, forcing him to miss the tournament
in South Africa as well as most of Galaxy’s next MLS season.

But his recovery was underlined by what was generally rated his best
ever season in the US last year, which ended when he joined a select
group of players to have won league titles in three different countries.

Landon Donovan’s winner against Houston, following a Beckham assist,
guaranteed Galaxy the MSL Cup and meant the former Manchester United
midfielder had collected championship medals in the US, England and
Spain.

He is determined to emulate that success by saying goodbye to Galaxy
with yet another title. The question then will be what will there be
left to achieve before he hangs up his boots.

As well as a return to Serie A, in recent years he has been linked with
moves to Tottenham — the club he supported as a boy growing up in
Leytonstone — and there would be a number of Premier League teams
falling over themselves to try to persuade him to join them.

But, having expressed a reluctance to tarnish the memory of his days at
Old Trafford by playing for any other English club, it is more likely
that he will consider offers from wealthy clubs abroad.

FIFA announce Puskas Award 2012 shortlist

VIDEO: Ben Arfa joins Messi, Neymar, Falcao and co on FIFA's shortlist for 2012s best goal

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UPDATED:

15:20 GMT, 14 November 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa's superb solo goal for Newcastle against Bolton last season has ensured a Premier League presence on the shortlist for FIFA's Puskas Award 2012.

The annual celebration of great goals contains the best strikes from around the world, and was won last year by Brazilian superstar Neymar.

The 20-year-old Santos ace is included once again this year, as is Lionel Messi for a sublime effort in Argentina's friendly with Brazil.

Scroll down to see all 10 goals on the FIFA Puskas Award shortlist

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Slalom: Hatem Ben Arfa's goal against Bolton last season set pulses racing

Former Chelsea youngster Miroslav Stoch also features, while Radamel Falcao, the in-demand Atletico Madrid striker, has a chance of glory thanks to his goal against America de Cali.

Strangely, Ben Arfa's goal wasn't even voted as Newcastle's best of the previous campaign, with that accolade going to the Premier League goal of the season, Papiss Cisse's wonder-strike against Chelsea.

The award is named after Real Madrid and Hungarian legend Ferenc Pusks, who tormented defenders the world over during the 1950s.

Fans are invited to vote for their favourite on the FIFA website, with the eventual winner being announced at the Ballon d’Or 2012 gala in January.

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David Beckham nearly joined Botafogo

Beckham wanted samba sabbatical at Botafogo, claims Alberto

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 9 November 2012

David Beckham came close to taking a year-long sabbatical from LA Galaxy to soak up the samba style with Brazilian club Botafogo.

Becks penned a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January, but it has now been revealed he was on the verge of jetting to Brazil for a season.

Botafogo landed their top transfer target Clarence Seedorf, but were also negotiating the signature of the former England international.

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Carlos Alberto was in Holland while the Seedorf deal was being finalised, and details of Beck's interest in the Brazilian club was revealed.

'When the negotiation was about to close, I spoke with the president – he and I have a pretty cool relationship,' Carlos Alberto told ESPN Brasil.

'I was in Amsterdam in May and an influential businessman, a famous player, came to me at the hotel, saying there was a player interested in playing for a year in Brazil: David Beckham.

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

'If it did not work with Seedorf, he had this player to come to Brazil.'

Botafogo president Mauricio Assumpcao later confirmed that Beckham was prepared to make the switch.

'That's exactly what happened, there really was this interest,' Assumpcao told Lancenet.

Roberto Mancini: Get me Brazilian superstar Neymar

Mancini's first request to City's new sporting director: Get me Brazilian superstar Neymar

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UPDATED:

22:35 GMT, 3 November 2012

Neymar will be on the agenda when Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini holds talks with the club's new sporting director Txiki Begiristain this week.

Mancini covets the Brazilian ace more than any player in the world and sent his most trusted aide Attilio Lombardo on several scouting trips to South America to watch him.

Wanted: Brazilian forward Neymar

Wanted: Brazilian forward Neymar

But there is confusion over the
20-year-old Santos striker's future, with big political pressure in
Brazil to keep him in the country until they host the 2014 World Cup.

There have also been claims in Spain that Barcelona have paid a large down-payment to secure his signing.

It has left Mancini confused over
whether City have a chance to sign a player regarded as the successor to
Lionel Messi and Cristiano as the world's best.

He hopes Begiristain, until recently
sporting director at Barca, will provide some answers when he starts
work at the Etihad this week.

'I have read that Barcelona have bought Neymar but I don't know if it is true,' said Mancini.

'But I am very happy to work now with
the new sporting director because he may know situations that I don't,
and we can move very quickly regarding some players.

'If we work well in the next three or four years, Manchester City can be very strong.'

Mancini will want to see action in the January transfer window regardless of whether Neymar is available.

City have one point from three Champions League games so far and face Ajax on Tuesday desperate for a win.