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Oscar Pistorius charged with murder: Reeva Steenkamp dead

Blade Runner Pistorius charged with murder after girlfriend is found shot dead at his home in South Africa

Pistorius in custodySprinter believed to have told police he thought girlfriend was an intruderDead woman is former FHM model Reeva SteenkampShe was shot several times in the head, chest and the armMedia reporting it could have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrongIncident happened on his Pretoria farm, north-east of Johannesburg at 3am

Olympic and Paralympic Games” class=”blkBorder” />

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
When Sportsmail met the Blade Runner:

This is an extract from an interview in August 2011 with Pistorius at his home, a year before Olympics.

Sportsmail's Jonathan McEvoy: 'This being South Africa, one baseball bat and one cricket bat lie behind Pistorius's bedroom door. A revolver is at his bedside. A machine gun by his window.'

It was reported that his girlfriend, former FHM model Miss Steenkamp, 30, was trying to surprise him for Valentine's Day and he thought she was an intruder.

He is expected to appear in Pretoria
Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.

Police revealed that a 9mm pistol was
recovered from the scene and that 26-year-old Pistorius had been taken into custody. The
woman was apparently shot four times.

Police spent the morning investigating the scene and taking statements are being taken from neighbours.

Paramedics were called to the house
after the shooting and attempted to resuscitate the woman before
declaring her dead at the scene.

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year
Pistorius' medal haul:

Paralympics

2004 Athens – Bronze 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44)
2008 Beijing – Gold 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44)
2012 London – Silver 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44) Gold 4 100 m relay (T42–T46)

World Championships

Daegu 2011 – Silver 4 400 m relay

Police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said: 'I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house.

'A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.

'The incident happened at
3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come
from the man in custody but from another person.

'Currently there is an inquiry into what happened.'

A police spokesman added: ‘We can't
comment on his emotional well-being, but he is traumatised after losing
someone close to him.’

Sarit Tomlinson, Steenkamp’s
publicist, told Sky News: ‘She was the sweetest human being and an
absolute angel on earth. She was the kindest, most unbelievable girl.

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

This tragedy has happened before:

A former South African rugby player was charged with murder in 2004 after he mistook his daughter for a car thief and shot her dead in the family’s driveway.

Rudi Visagie thought his 19-year-old daughter Marle was asleep when he heard her Volkswagen Golf being driven away in Maggiesdal, in the Mpumalanga province.

He got out of bed, took his 7.65mm pistol, and fired a shot through the bedroom window.

When he went outside he found his daughter slumped behind the wheel. She was declared dead upon arrival at hospital an hour later.

She had been on her way to surprise her boyfriend on his birthday.

‘They had been together for a couple
of months and it had been a healthy, fabulous relationship. At the
moment it’s shocking. No-one knows what’s happened.

‘She was a rising star. There was so much in the pipeline for her: she was just about to explode into the media.

‘She was a very talented, very bright young girl. It’s too shocking for words. We’ll miss her so much, too much. Our condolences go to her family.’

Steenkamp tweeted just hours before her death: 'What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow #getexcited #ValentinesDay'

Pistorius recently took a New York Times
reporter to a shooting range with a 9mm handgun. The article which
followed reads: 'Pistorius was a good coach. A couple of my shots got
close to the bull’s-eye, which delighted him. “Maybe you should do this
more,” he said. “If you practiced, I think you could be pretty deadly.” I
asked him how often he came to the range. “Just sometimes when I can’t
sleep,” he said.'

Peet van Zyl, Pistorius' manager who assisted at the scene on Thursday morning, said he would not comment.

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

'I can only confirm there was an incident and a woman was killed,' Van Zyl told Beeld. 'I do not want to speculate about what happened.'

Arnu
Fourie, Pistorius' room-mate during last year's Paralympics, said shortly
after he heard the news, 'my heart is broken for Oscar'.

Fourie said after he practised on
Thursday morning in Stellenbosch that he had dozens of messages on his
phone about the incident.

'I feel for Oscar and the girl's family, I pray for him and her family, I can not imagine how they feel,' Fourie added.

Investigation: A forensics van drives away from the estate where Pistorius lives

Investigation: A forensics van drives away from the estate where Pistorius lives

'Poor Oscar in his life had so many disappointments and tough times. Now. My heart is broken.'

The International Paralympic Committee expressed sorrow on hearing of the incident.

In a statement, it said: 'Following the
news of the alleged shooting incident involving South African athlete
Oscar Pistorius this morning, the International Paralympic Committee
(IPC) will not be passing any comment on the case at this time.

'This is a police matter, with a
formal investigation currently underway. Therefore it would be
inappropriate for the IPC to comment on this incident until the official
police process has concluded.

Poster boy: Pistorius was billed as one of the heroes of London 2012

Poster boy: Pistorius was billed as one of the heroes of London 2012

'The IPC would like to offer its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families involved in this case.'

Gideon Sam, president of the South
African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), said he did
not want to say anything until he did not have more details.

'SASCOC, like the rest of the public,
knows no more than what is in the public domain, which is there has
been an alleged fatal shooting on the basis of a mistaken identity and
an apparent assumption of a burglary,' a statement read.

Pistorius' tattoos:

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos - a bible passage

Oscar Pistorius has two tattoos – each with a deep personal significance.

On the inside of his right arm, he has his mother's date of birth and date of death tattooed.

His mother Sheila died 10 years ago, at the age of 42, from an allergic reaction to her medication and Pistorius credits her as being a major influence in his life.

When his mother made the decision to
amputate his legs at 11 months, she wrote him a letter which read: 'The
real loser is never the person who crosses the finishing line last. The
real loser is the person who sits on the side. The person who does not
even try to compete.'

On his left shoulder (right), he a version of
the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, which begins: 'I do not run like a
man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. I
execute each strike with intent. I beat my body and make it my
slave…'

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year
The reaction on Twitter:

Adam Gemili, British sprinter: 'Terrible news to wake up to about Oscar Pistorius! Thoughts are with him!'

Michael Rimmer, British Olympic 800m runner: '#PrayersForoscar'

Jessica Ennis, British Olympic gold medallist: 'Woken up to the horrendous news about Oscar Pistorius mistakenly shooting his girlfriend. What an awful tragedy.'

Phillips Idowu, British triple jumper: 'Waking up to extremely sad news about Oscar Pistorius mistakenly shooting his girlfriend. Terrible tragedy, thoughts & prayers with you.'

Sarah Storey, British Paralympian: 'Such sad news that Oscar mistook his girlfriend for an intruder :('

Michael Owen, ex-England footballer: ' My word, if these reports on @SkyNewsBreak are true, this story regarding Oscar Pistorius accidentally killing his girlfriend is horrific.'

Iwan Thomas, former British 400m runner: 'I am in total shock to hear the news about athlete and friend Oscar, my thoughts are with him and all involved. That's all I have to say'

Gurthro Steenkamp, South African rugby player: 'My condolences and prayer go out to the family and friends of #ReevaSteenkamp and #Oscar ! #shocked'

Marlon Devonish, former British sprinter: 'Terrible and tragic news about
@OscarPistorius my heart goes out to all involved.'

Danny Cipriani, England rugby player: 'It's shocking to read the Oscar Pistorius
story as an Englishman, shows the level of worry and crime in SA.'

'The
organisation is in no position to comment on the incident other than to
say our deepest sympathy and condolences have been expressed to the
families of all concerned.'

Pistorius,
nicknamed the Blade Runner, made history at the London Olympics last
year when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete on the
track at the Games and is one of South Africa's most famous sportsmen and a national hero.

Having had both his legs amputated
below the knee when he was less than a year old, he campaigned for years
to be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes and finally was
cleared by sport's highest court to be able to run at the top events.

He competed in the 400 metres and on
South Africa's 4×400 relay team at the London Games and also retained
his Paralympic title in the 400 metres in London.

South Africa has some of the world's
highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to
defend themselves against intruders.

Great Britain’s 400m runner Martyn Rooney had been living and training with Pistorius in Gauteng until only three days ago.

Pistorius was scheduled to run two races in Australia next month – the Sydney Track Classic on Saturday, March 9 and the Go for 2&5 Perth Track Classic on Saturday, March 16.

On January 19 he took part in the Africa Cup of Nations opening ceremony, carrying a South African flag onto the field in his capacity as ‘the ambassador of peace for the African Union’.

On February 7 he presented the Deloitte Outstanding Contribution to South Africa Sport trophy to AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Jacques Rudolph and Faf Du Plessis who collected the award on behalf of the South African cricket team. Pistorius won the award last year.

VIDEO: Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend shot dead in South Africa

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No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

OSCAR PISTORIUS FACT FILE

1986: Born November 22, in Pretoria, South Africa, without the fibula in both legs.
1987: October – aged 11 months, his
parents make the decision to have his legs amputated below the knee.
Despite this he played rugby, water polo and tennis as a schoolboy.
2004: January – After shattering his
right knee playing rugby he reverts to athletics at the age of 17. Runs
the 100 metres at an open competition at the Pilditch Stadium in
Pretoria. Despite only training for two months, he sets a new world
record of 11.51sec.
September: Wins gold in the 200m at
the Paralympic Games in Athens, setting a new world record of 21.97sec,
and bronze in the 100m.
2005: March – Competes in the open/able-bodied category at the South African Open Championships, finishing sixth in the 400m.
May 15 – Wins the 100m and 200m at the Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, both in world record times.
2006: September – Wins three golds in the 100m, 200m and 400m at the IPC World Championships in Holland.
2007: April – Breaks his own 100m and
200m world records at the Nedbank Championships for the Physically
Disabled, winning gold in both events.
December 9 – Awarded the BBC Sports
Personality of the Year Helen Rollason award, for outstanding courage
and achievement in the face of adversity.
2008: January – Athletics' world
governing body the IAAF rules that Pistorius' prosthetic legs are
ineligible for use in competitions conducted under its rules, including
the Olympic Games.
February – Appeals against the IAAF's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
May – Makes Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
May 16 – Court of Arbitration for Sport reverses the IAAF's ban, allowing Pistorius to try to qualify for the Olympics.
July 16 – Pistorius fails in his final
attempt to achieve the able-bodied Olympic qualifying time for the 400m,
despite running a personal best of 46.25sec.
September – Competes at the Paralympic
Games in Beijing, winning the 100m, 200m (in a Paralympic record time)
and the 400m (in a world record time).
2011: July 19 – Sets personal best in 400m of 45.07sec, meeting the World Championship and Olympic Games qualification mark.
August – Included in the South Africa
team for the World Championships in Daegu. Qualifies for the semi-finals
of the 400m.
Runs the opening leg of a semi-final
4x400m relay as South Africa set a national record, but not selected for
the final where his country win silver.
2012: July 4 – Named in the South African Olympic team for the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
August 4 – Becomes the first amputee
runner at the Olympics when he finishes second in a 400m heat. He was
eliminated at the semi-final stage.
August 9 – Part of the South Africa
team which finishes eighth in the 4x400m final. Pistorius is chosen to
carry his country's flag at the closing ceremony.
August 29 – Carries the flag at the Paralympics closing ceremony.
September 2 – Finishes second in the
final of the 200m T44 classification, squandering a lengthy lead to Alan
Oliveira. After the race, Pistorius raises issue with the length of his
Brazilian rival's blades, causing a huge media storm. Later apologises.
September 8 – Secures gold in the 400m at the Paralympic Games.
2013: February 14 – A 30-year-old woman
is shot and killed at Pistorius' home in Pretoria. Police question a
26-year-old man, reported locally to be Pistorius, over the shooting.

Oscar Pistorius girlfriend dead

Pistorius being questioned by police after girlfriend found shot dead at his home in South Africa

Olympic and Paralympic Games” class=”blkBorder” />

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Star attraction: Pistorius competed at both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
When Sportsmail met the Blade Runner:

This is from an interview in August 2011 with Pistorius at his home, a year before Olympics. Written by Sportsmail’s Jon McEvoy:

'This being South Africa, one baseball bat and one cricket bat lie behind Pistorius's bedroom door. A revolver is at his bedside. A machine gun by his window.'

Police spokesperson Katlego Mogale told eNCA that she could not confirm the man's identity until he appears in court.

She added that a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene and a case of murder is being investigated. The woman was apparently shot four times.

Police are still busy with preliminary investigations on the scene, and statements are being taken from neighbours.

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year

Access all areas: Sportsmail were allowed into Pretorius' Pretoria home last year
Pistorius' medal haul:

Paralympics

2004 Athens – Bronze 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44)
2008 Beijing – Gold 100 m (T44) Gold 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44)
2012 London – Silver 200 m (T44) Gold 400 m (T44) Gold 4 100 m relay (T42–T46)

World Championships

Daegu 2011 – Silver 4 400 m relay

Paramedics were called to the house after the shooting and declared the woman dead at the scene.

Police captain Sarah Mcira told local media that a woman – who died at the scene – was shot in the head and arm.

The police spokeswoman declined to confirm the identity of the man in custody.

'I can confirm that a woman has been fatally wounded in a shooting at Oscar Pistorius' house,' the spokeswoman said.

'A 26-year-old man has been taken into custody.'

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Flying the flag: Pistorius leads out his fellow South Africans at the Paralympics

Mogale said: 'The incident happened at 3am. We received a call and attended the scene. The call did not come from the man in custody but from another person.

'Currently there is an inquiry into what happened.'

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Tragedy: The woman found dead is believed to be Reeva Steenkamp (left)

Mogale says when police arrived they
found paramedics trying to revive a 30-year-old woman who had been shot
an unspecified number of times. Mogale says the woman died at the house.

Officers found a 9-mm pistol at the scene and took the 26-year-old Pistorius into custody.

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Behind the scenes: Pistorius plays with his dogs and his guitar at his home last year

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos - a bible passage

Body art: Pistorius shows off one of his tattoos – a bible passage

The incident occurred at Pistorius' home in the Silver Lakes area of Pretoria.

Pistorius, who races wearing carbon
fibre prosthetic blades after he was born without a fibula in both legs,
was the first double amputee to run in the Olympics and reached the 400
semi-finals in London 2012.

South Africa has some of the world's
highest rates of violent crime and some home-owners carry weapons to
defend themselves against intruders.

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

No fear: Pistorius poses for Sportsmail's Andy Hooper last year

Usain Bolt London Grand Prix Olympic Stadium

Back in the running: Path cleared for Bolt to compete in London on Games anniversary after Osborne gives athletes tax exemption

chairman and Olympics legacy ambassador Lord Coe, who had lobbied for the exemption.

Star attraction: Bolt was not expected to compete at this year's London Grand Prix

Star attraction: Bolt was not expected to compete at this year's London Grand Prix

Osborne said: 'The Government is
determined to do everything possible to secure the Olympic legacy and I
am delighted to grant this exemption.'

The
world's leading athletes have made a habit of withdrawing from the
London Grand Prix in recent years but after it was moved to the Olympic
Stadium from its usual home of Crystal Palace to mark the one-year
anniversary of the start of the Olympics, the need for Bolt and Co to
compete was made apparent to Osborne.

The
Grand Prix – predicted to be a sell-out – is expected to be held over
two days, starting with an evening session on Friday, July 26.

U-turn: The door is open for Bolt to return to the Olympic Stadium

U-turn: The door is open for Bolt to return to the Olympic Stadium

Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, has welcomed Osborne’s decision: 'It’s good news for the Diamond League meeting and British sport in general.

'The rules were discouraging a lot of the top stars from competing in the UK when they had options elsewhere.'

He added: 'I think it’s about two weeks before the World Championships, which is quite late, but it’s London and it’s the Olympic Stadium again so it obviously has an attraction.'

Usual setting: Crystal Palace will not be hosting the Grand Prix this year

Usual setting: Crystal Palace will not be hosting the Grand Prix this year

Osborne's exemption covers appearances fees, prize money and sponsorship income but it only covers non-resident athletes.

Both London 2012 and the 2011 Champions League final were granted similar exemptions and this year's Champions League final and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year will be, too.

Path cleared for Bolt to compete at Olympic Stadium after Osborne grants tax exemption to athletes

Path cleared for Bolt to compete in London on Games anniversary after Osborne grants tax exemption to athletes

chairman and Olympics legacy ambassador Lord Coe, who had lobbied for the exemption.

Star attraction: Bolt was not expected to compete at this year's London Grand Prix

Star attraction: Bolt was not expected to compete at this year's London Grand Prix

Osborne said: 'The Government is
determined to do everything possible to secure the Olympic legacy and I
am delighted to grant this exemption.'

The
world's leading athletes have made a habit of withdrawing from the
London Grand Prix in recent years but after it was moved to the Olympic
Stadium from its usual home of Crystal Palace to mark the one-year
anniversary of the start of the Olympics, the need for Bolt and Co to
compete was made apparent to Osborne.

The
Grand Prix – predicted to be a sell-out – is expected to be held over
two days, starting with an evening session on Friday, July 26.

U-turn: The door is open for Bolt to return to the Olympic Stadium

U-turn: The door is open for Bolt to return to the Olympic Stadium

Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, has welcomed Osborne’s decision: 'It’s good news for the Diamond League meeting and British sport in general.

'The rules were discouraging a lot of the top stars from competing in the UK when they had options elsewhere.'

He added: 'I think it’s about two weeks before the World Championships, which is quite late, but it’s London and it’s the Olympic Stadium again so it obviously has an attraction.'

Usual setting: Crystal Palace will not be hosting the Grand Prix this year

Usual setting: Crystal Palace will not be hosting the Grand Prix this year

Osborne's exemption covers appearances fees, prize money and sponsorship income but it only covers non-resident athletes.

Both London 2012 and the 2011 Champions League final were granted similar exemptions, and this year's Champions League final and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year will be too.

Edu, the former Arsenal player and director of football at Corinthians is ready to take on Chelsea

Arsenal old boy Edu-cated in the Corinthian spirit and ready to take on Chelsea

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 14 December 2012

Among the bustle of the Corinthians camp here is a familiar figure. Tall, lean and tanned with an easy smile and elegant style is a man who played more than a hundred times for Arsenal.

Edu Gaspar spent four years at Highbury, winning the Premier League title twice and the FA Cup three times. His final game for the Gunners came as they collected their last trophy in the 2005 FA Cup final.

Though still only 34, he is director of football at Corinthians, the South American champions who will contest the world title with Chelsea on Sunday. It is a powerful role at Brazil’s richest club with huge power and he is in charge of highly desirable footballers; his phone is alive with interest in Paulinho.

On the ball: Edu Gaspar is now director of football at Corinthians

On the ball: Edu Gaspar is now director of football at Corinthians

Arsenal old boy Edu

Arsenal old boy Edu

BIG MATCH ESSENTIAL
Corinthians ended their long wait for a first South American title in July this year, beating Boca Juniors of Argentina 3-1 in the two-legged Copa Libertadores final. They were the first team since Boca in 1978 to win it without losing a game.

Managed by Tite, they are an industrious team who reflect their working-class heritage and rely upon mental toughness and organisation. Paulinho is the star attraction, but even he is renowned for his work ethic.

The Sao Paulo team — formed in 1910 and named after the English club Corinthians who travelled to Brazil that year — did win the inaugural FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 when they qualified as Brazilian champions. They beat Vasco da Gama in the final.

Corinthians fans are known as the Fiel — the Faithful — and revel in a Crazy Gang reputation. Up to 20,000 have travelled and there are 200,000 Brazilians living in Japan. ‘They’re not here to put pressure on us, they’re here to rejoice,’ said Tite.

They may contest the title of most popular club in Brazil with Rio’s Flamengo, but Corinthians have overtaken Flamengo and Sao Paulo to boast football’s most valuable brand in Brazil, valued at 310million by Forbes this year.

Sunday’s referee is Turkey’s Cuneyt Cakir, who was in charge when Chelsea lost 3-0 at Juventus — Roberto Di Matteo’s final game. He is also the ref who sent off John Terry in Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg and booked Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles, getting all four banned from the final in Munich.

‘When a player says he wants to join another club or have another experience, I have to respect that,’ said Edu. ‘But if I see they are happy, it is easy to keep them.

‘Paulinho is happy, his family is happy, he is enjoying it and he is one of the most important footballers in Brazil, along with Neymar.

‘Brazilian football is strong and the economy is getting better. Our club is one of the richest in Brazil. We can keep good players like Paulinho. We can buy good players. That makes it an exciting time to be in Corinthians.’

Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are among those linked with the 24-year-old Brazil star.

‘He is a modern midfielder,’ said Edu. ‘He scores a lot of goals, plays box-to-box and is never injured. He has a Brazilian way of playing but is also strong and plays hard, like you need in the Premier League.’

Edu is proud of the Corinthians fans, famed in Brazil football for their devotion. Some 20,000 have travelled to Japan, selling cars and quitting jobs to pay their way.

‘I was born in Corinthians,’ said Edu. ‘I started playing for Corinthians at five, I went to the first team, won important titles, was sold and then I came back and finished my career here and now I’m a director.

‘Corinthians is a club like no other in the world. Now, it is a rich club but it came from the poor people. Corinthians fans sell cars to come here, borrow money from the bank and lose jobs to take money from the government to come here.’

Once Edu was robbed at gunpoint at home in Sao Paulo and the intruders asked him to sign autographs. These days, he can smile about it as he mimes scribbling his name with a quaking hand. Recently, he stopped his car outside the club’s Pacaembu ground to pose with a supporter, who asked him for five Brazilian reals, worth about 1.50.

‘He was borrowing money from everybody and writing down exactly what he owed,’ said Edu.

‘He would write, “From Edu, I borrowed 10 reals; from another guy, I borrow five reals”. When he put the money all together, it was like that, a pile more than three centimetres high. He said, “This is not money for other things. This is money to go to Japan.”

‘I gave him some money, of course. I said, “You go there”. I haven’t seen him. That’s a shame. It would be fantastic to see this guy.’

Talent: Paulinho is highly-rated and sought after by teams including Sunday's opponents Chelsea

Talent: Paulinho is highly-rated and sought after by teams including Sunday's opponents Chelsea

Another Corinthians fan suffered a motorbike accident and was confined to a wheelchair. None of his friends could afford to be his helper, so he went to the club president and help came his way.

Others were invited to lodge for free with Japan-based fans. ‘They have opened their houses and Corinthians fans are sleeping on the floors,’ said Edu. ‘They sleep like sardines, 10 to a room.

‘We have to give something to the fans. We like to have open training so they can be next to the stars. Our gift to them. And, most importantly, play a good match.’

Determined: Edu wants his team to play a good match against Chelsea's stars, for the sake of the fans

Determined: Edu wants his team to play a good match against Chelsea's stars, for the sake of the fans

QPR hitman Djibril Cisse dressed to kill as Morpheus from the Matrix

He's no Cisse… QPR hitman dressed to kill as Morpheus from the Matrix

Queens Park Rangers have no wins but still hope in the shape of dangerman Djibril Cisse as they fight for Premier League survival.

The France striker has scored twice this season for Mark Hughes' side – including Sunday's crucial equaliser against fellow strugglers Reading. And now the 31-year-old has posed up as Morpheus from the Matrix movie series to highlight his hitman credentials.

Enlarge

Djibril Cisse

Enlarge

Djibril Cisse

Star attraction: Cisse poses up in Trapstar x Hitman clothing to promote a video game

Are you Cisse in disguise Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus (centre) stars in The Matrix Reloaded, 2003

Are you Cisse in disguise Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus (centre) stars in The Matrix Reloaded, 2003

Cisse, who has played 41 times for France, has a keen eye for fashion – take a look at the Colin Young feature below.

He's pictured here (above) wearing clothing from the Trapstar x Hitman collaboration, a clothing range to promote video game Hitman: Absolution, which is released on November 20.

THE DAY I WAS TURNED INTO A CISSE, BY SPORTSMAIL'S COLIN YOUNG (original report: 2009)

The phone goes. It's the boss. 'Djibril Cisse owns a fashion shop. We
want you to go down there and get him to dress you, let him bling you up
a bit.'

Now, I have seen Djibril Cisse's wedding photos – red suit, matching
trilby, shiny white shoes – and I have seen him turn up for training in
his 'casual' attire. When you see him, you have to stand back and take
in the view.

Colin Young

Before: Colin Young, smart Sportsmail reporter.

Colin Young

After: Colin Young, king of bling.

No wonder, then, that the call from the sports desk left them
chuckling and me with a heavy heart. I knew friends and colleagues would
find the resulting photographs extremely amusing – although my
mortified children and wife might not. And it may have taken him some
time to fix up a meeting, but Cisse, then of Sunderland, was up for it, too.

So to
the unscrupulous member of the Sunderland press office who has
distributed these disturbing images, and to my colleagues who have
threatened me with blackmail and claim I'm committing professional
suicide, I say this: I care not. Cisse liked the cut of my Djib.

Cisse's
shop is called The Pr9ject – the '9' represents his shirt number at
Sunderland – and he has taken the brave decision to base it in a row of
modern units in Newcastle's Forth Street, behind Central Station,
opposite The Telegraph pub.

The France international is a
frequent visitor to the shop, which is run on a daily basis by manager
Emmy Offiong. 'His schedule at this time of the season means he is in
less,' she said. 'But he is very hands-on, he is always very relaxed and
calm, loves meeting and talking to the customers, making suggestions,
putting clothes back on the hangers and marking the prices.'

Djibril Cisse

Cap that: Djibril Cisse is sceptical about the headgear…

And as if to demonstrate the point, Cisse helped Emmy choose the
outfits to 'model'. The first ensemble is meant to be a casual look to
replace a working suit. So here we go . . .

The star of the
show is the Hype Means Nothing T-shirt, 55, with a picture of rapper
Kanye West on the front. This Paris-based label, which also features
similar shots of Barack Obama, Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe and
Charlie Chaplin, is currently flying off the racks in Pr9ject and the
boutique is one of the few in the country to stock it.

This
outfit was completed by white Front trainers (40), black Qhuit jeans
(70) and a black zip-up top by Amalguessous which comes in at 440.

When
myself and photographer Graham Chadwick spotted a Marvel Comics jacket,
with similar baseball cap, I just had to try it on. Cisse – who was
dressed in black adidas tracksuit and a Homer Simpson T-shirt he had
bought in America – looked distinctly unimpressed.

And no wonder. I looked like a cross between Timmy Mallett and Kevin The Teenager.

Cisse's
disapproving 'tut' echoed round the shop. 'Never to the side,' he says,
making me shift the large cap almost over my eyes. 'That was the
Eighties.' Which, in fairness, is probably the last time I wore a
baseball cap.

Colin Young

…while Young rules out a 3,000 pair of trainers…

Colin Young

…and provides comic relief in the Marvel jacket.

The brief for the second outfit was to find clothes which offered a
more colourful insight into the wares on sale in Pr9ject. Cisse – and
Emmy in particular – went to town, coming up with an outfit which would
have given me little change from 1,300.

Even then she spared
me the 3,000 trainers, a copy of a pair recently purchased by Obafemi
Martins' agent, and instead paraded me in the gold, yes gold, Supra
trainers (95) which are the most popular shoes in the shop.

The
outrageous Red Monkey jeans really caught the eye, but then that is
probably the intention at 699. These are handmade denim, can never be
washed, only steam-cleaned, and they eventually mould to the shape of
your legs. When I popped down to see Cisse, he was very impressed. It
was only a slight nod in my direction, but it was good enough for me.

Nothing
will ever convince me to buy the Christian Audigier T-shirt, and it was
not just the 420 price label which put me off. American rap stars,
actors or presidents yes, garish colours in Extra Large, I don't think
so.

Colin Young

Looking good, Mr Y…

After us, Cisse's next appointment was to meet 'a friend' from the
Hype Means Nothing range at the station. And, with true Cisse
extravagance, he climbed into his enormous blue Rolls-Royce and drove
the full half-mile round the one-way system to fetch his colleague.

So
why does a millionaire footballer spend his time and money on a venture
which could, if Sunderland fail to offer him a permanent deal, be
holding a closing-down sale at the end of May

'It is to show
the way I see clothes and fashion to the people,' said Cisse. 'It is a
different style but it is what I like and my advice to people would be
to just come and look, see if they see something. If they don't . . .'
Another shrug of the shoulders.

'The boutique is something
I've had planned for a while. I come in after training for a few hours
if I can, have a mooch around, help out a bit and go back home.

'We
have items here you will not find anywhere else. The idea is
exclusivity and something different. If there was one word for it, it is
different.'

Colin Young and Djibril Cisse

If the shirt fits: Cisse offers a helping hand to his less than willing model…

HITMAN: ABSOLUTION is scheduled for release across North America, Europe and PAL territories on November 20, 2012 for the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. Watch the video HERE

Chelsea v Manchester United – guide to the young stars on show

Who is going to shine The young stars to look out for at Chelsea and United

|

UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 31 October 2012

Both Manchester United and Chelsea are set to put their faith in youth as they go head-to-head in the Capital One Cup. Sportsmail takes a look at the players who could stand out for their sides.

CHELSEA

Chelsea’s blockbuster buys have been the main attraction at Stamford Bridge this season, but tonight some of Chelsea’s new young stars will hope to impress.

Victor Moses was already a Premier League regular when he joined from Wigan in the summer.

Looking to make his name: Victor Moses made a big money move to Chelsea from Wigan in the summer

Looking to make his name: Victor Moses made a big money move to Chelsea from Wigan in the summer

Powerful and direct, the 21-year-old winger has featured six times already this season and scored against Wolves in the last round of the Capital One Cup.

Lucas Piazon is another highly rated Chelsea talent. The 18-year-old Brazilian forward joined the club in January 2012 and made his debut in the last round against Wolves.

Shining star: Lucas Piazon is highly thought of at Stamford Bridge

Shining star: Lucas Piazon is highly thought of at Stamford Bridge

Watch out for right back Cesar Azpilicueta, 23, and fellow Spaniard Oriol Romeu, 21, who has already made a name for himself at Stamford Bridge.

Forgotten man Marko Marin, 23, will also feature. The German has been overshadowed by Eden Hazard and Oscar.

MANCHESTER UNITED

United have a fine record of producing talented youngsters and tonight’s game will give four more the chance to shine.

Scott Wootton, 21, is a centre back who joined from Liverpool in 2007 and has already featured for United in the Champions League this season. With loan spells at Tranmere, Peterborough and Nottingham Forest under his belt, the versatile defender finally looks ready to make the step up.

Capital gain: Scott Wootton is ready to step up

Capital gain: Scott Wootton is ready to step up

Also watch out for Belgian Marnick Vermijl, 20, an attack-minded right back, and defender Michael Keane, 19, who was voted Reserves Player of the Year.

New signing Nick Powell joined from Crewe in the summer and the talented 18-year-old midfielder is already training with United’s first team.

Ready to shine: Nick Powell has stepped up to Manchester United from Crewe

Ready to shine: Nick Powell has stepped up to Manchester United from Crewe

Emile Heskey loses on A-League debut

Heskey makes losing start in Australia as Newcastle Jets are brought down by Adelaide

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UPDATED:

14:43 GMT, 7 October 2012

Emile Heskey failed to make his mark on his A-League debut as Newcastle Jets lost at home to Adelaide united.

The former England striker, who has only been in Australia for 10 days, played 70 minutes and managed a couple of shots on goal.

But he could not prevent his new employers from slipping to a 2-0 defeat, Dario Vidosic and Iain Ramsay on target for the visitors.

Slow start: Emile Heskey and Newcastle lost to Adelaide United

Slow start: Emile Heskey and Newcastle lost to Adelaide United

Clatter: Keeper Eugene Galekovic feels the full force of a Heskey challenge

Clatter: Keeper Eugene Galekovic feels the full force of a Heskey challenge

Former Italy and Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero was also on the losing side as Sydney FC lost 2-0 to Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.

The 37-year-old showed some superb touches and quick feet but it was Stein Huysegems and Louis Fenton who grabbed the goals.

Still got it: Alessandro Del Piero showed some nice touches for Sydney FC

Still got it: Alessandro Del Piero showed some nice touches for Sydney FC

Del Piero said: 'I am not satisfied – we lost but it was the first match. 'We need to do hard training, day by day, and think of the next game.

'After 10 matches, we can talk in general, but not now.

'I'm Okay. I played 90 minutes but I need to do better. I need to improve. I'm enjoying it, but not the result.'

Star attraction: Del Piero was the one the fans all wanted a glimpse of

Star attraction: Del Piero was the one the fans all wanted a glimpse of

London 2012 Paralympics: Will these Games capture the nation"s imagination?

Revolution games: Will we fall in love with the Paralympics… who knows

|

UPDATED:

22:51 GMT, 29 August 2012

At 9am on Thursday, a brave new world unfolds in east London. The first competitive action of the 2012 Paralympic Games begins, with the Great Britain men’s goalball team among the first athletes to compete inside the Olympic Park.

Three members of the British team wearing eye masks will take on world champions Lithuania and try to roll a ball containing bells into their opponents’ net.

Who knows what will happen after that.

The stage is set: The Paralympic Games opened on Wednesday night in a glitzy ceremony

The stage is set: The Paralympic Games opened on Wednesday night in a glitzy ceremony

London calling: Following the success of the Olympic Games, the capital will play host to the Paralympic alternative

London calling: Following the success of the Olympic Games, the capital will play host to the Paralympic alternative

Star attraction: Professor Stephen Hawking played his part in the Opening Ceremony

Star attraction: Professor Stephen Hawking played his part in the Opening Ceremony

Races and matches will be held,
medals will be won and lost, records will be broken and injuries
suffered. But we don’t yet know how these events will be received.

Will we witness the first sold-out
day in Paralympics history because patriotic punters want to paint their
faces red, white and blue again and tour the venues where the Olympians
performed, like a lap of honour on a day out Or is there a genuine
desire to see this country’s Paralympians sustain — or even better — the
phenomenal achievements of their Olympic compatriots; to watch some of
the world’s finest athletes attain supreme success and then look back
with pride and think, ‘I was there.’

Nobody really knows. There is
potential excitement and exhilaration in this sense of the unknown, but
it’s nerve-racking, too. As the opening ceremony showed us in
borrowing heavily from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, this is a brave new
world after all.

The choice of theme was apt. When it
comes to the Paralympics, it is hard not to feel that same
disorientating sensation of suddenly being thrust on to a strange
island; a landscape littered with beings with which we are not familiar.

Even a multiple gold medallist such
as Great Britain’s equestrian star Lee Pearson, who will surpass Dame
Tanni Grey-Thompson if he wins his 12th gold in London, is not a
household name.

5 paralympians to watch

5 paralympians to watch

Boccia could as well be a type of
Italian bread as a game of tactics and skill, similar to boules. Is
sitting volleyball really a discipline that will have you shouting and
screaming when points are won and lost

There has been much talk about the
Paralympics ‘coming home’ to the country where the first organised
competitions for disabled people were held in 1948, yet the concept is
still very much uncharted territory.

As the Olympics showed, however, the
rules and regulations of this strange new world should not be a barrier
to revelling in it. Few could confidently explain the intricacies of
Charlotte Dujardin’s performance in winning dressage team and individual
gold, or exactly how Jade Jones fought her way to become Britain’s
first taekwondo gold medallist, but that did not stop us enjoying and,
crucially, sharing in the experience.

/08/29/article-2195458-14BDE64F000005DC-413_470x423.jpg

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Britain’s judokas noted the crowd’s
reactions in the ExCeL Arena were much more delayed than on the Grand
Prix circuit as they waited for scores to appear on the board rather
than celebrating a successful ippon as it happened. But none of that
seemed to matter. It was still sport — glorious and emotional, with
winners and losers, triumph and disaster.

But will this brave new world of the
Paralympics be a sporting one, too That’s the Utopia, but the potential
reality carries a nagging, underlying uncertainty about the next 11
days: we really don’t know what to expect.

Wednesday night’s opening ceremony
was about challenging perception, not celebrating the British platform
on which the best athletes on the globe had their opportunity to be the
very best they could be.

Interest: More than 2.4 million tickets for the Paralympic Games have already been sold, including half a million to overseas visitors

Interest: More than 2.4 million tickets for the Paralympic Games have already been sold, including half a million to overseas visitors

Interest: More than 2.4 million tickets for the Paralympic Games have already been sold, including half a million to overseas visitors

Interest: More than 2.4 million tickets for the Paralympic Games have already been sold, including half a million to overseas visitors

Is the Paralympic movement, then,
about increasing awareness around disability or is it actually about
‘hardcore sport’, to borrow a phrase from Oscar Pistorius Can it ever
be both

Sometimes it doesn’t seem as if it is
particularly sure; it’s just happy to be here and to enjoy its moment
in the spotlight. Yet, sport has to be at the heart of this Paralympics
if it is to be a genuine success — with a genuine legacy.

When Britain’s world record-holder
Jonnie Peacock takes on world champion Jerome Singleton and defending
Paralympic champion Pistorius in the final of the men’s T44 100metres on
Monday night, we must look past the prosthetic legs and see the
sporting spectacle: three men aiming to be the quickest in their field, a
Paralympic gold medallist.

Flying the flag: All eyes will be on London for the Paralympic Games which runs over the next fortnight

Flying the flag: All eyes will be on London for the Paralympic Games which runs over the next fortnight

Flying the flag: All eyes will be on London for the Paralympic Games which runs over the next fortnight

Flying the flag: All eyes will be on London for the Paralympic Games which runs over the next fortnight

We have to see the competitors as
athletes, not just inspirational role models or uplifting individuals
who have overcome extraordinary obstacles, but athletes; sportsmen and
women gunning for gold medals.

They want to be discussed not in
terms of the limbs they have lost or never had, but the hundredths of
seconds they shaved off their personal bests, the points they scored and
the metres they gained.

If we don’t talk about them in those
terms then it’s just one big show: very nice for a week and a half but
offering little to tell the grandchildren. We will start to become
hardened to the stories of bomb raids, car crashes and genetic
conditions, which would be the biggest disappointment of all. The
Paralympics will never have a better opportunity to break through the
glass ceiling in this country, just like actress Nicola Miles-Wildin,
playing Miranda, did physically inside the Olympic Stadium.

Pack your umbrella: Although the wet weather eased for the opening ceremony

Pack your umbrella: Although the wet weather eased for the opening ceremony

Stat's interesting: 18,000 LED lights were included in the performers' hat brims, while 23 sway poles featured in the opening ceremony

Stat's interesting: 18,000 LED lights were included in the performers' hat brims, while 23 sway poles featured in the opening ceremony

The British team is backed by almost
50million of funding and will perform in front of packed crowds and a
free-to-air TV audience, offering nearly 500 hours of action on Channel
4. This is the Paralympics’ opportunity to show its brave new world is
an exciting sporting place to be.

So will the apples we were all encouraged to bite into on Wednesday night
symbolise Sir Isaac Newton’s moment of inspiration or the poisoned fruit
eaten by Snow White

Nobody knows. But let’s hope the
closing ceremony on September 9 heralds not a fairytale ending, but a
new beginning for Paralympic sport.

GAME ZONE:

Holmes honoured
Nine -time Paralympic gold medallist Chris Holmes will be inducted into the Visa Paralympic Hall of Fame. Holmes, who lost his sight as a teenager, competed at four Games and was made an MBE for his services to sport. He is the director of Paralympic integration at LOCOG.

Class Distinction
British swimmer Ellie Simmonds will avoid her main rival for the S6 100m and 400m freestyle after American Victoria Arlen was reclassified. Arlen, 17, returned to swimming last year after a neurological virus left her in a vegetative stage for two years.

Playing hardball
Simon Munn wants the wheelchair basketball to be the fiercest test he has experienced in six Paralympics. 'If it's not worth winning then why go out there It's got to mean something, it's got to be tough,' he said.

Dancing Queen
British dressage rider Sophie Wells is taking inspiration from the GB Olympic gold medal team. 'We realised how captivating dancing horses could be this summer and our para-dressage riders should remind us all over again,' she said. 'The able-bodied team did really well, and that inspires us.'

Peacock: I'm loving it
Jonnie Peacock is enjoying his first Games. The 19-year-old British sprinter, who will race Oscar Pistorius in the T44 100m, tweeted a picture of the 'pretty big' food hall at the athletes' village and wrote: 'Look what will be waiting for me after the final! ;)' Needless to say, it's a McDonald's.

BY LAURIE WHITWELL

London 2012 Olympics: Oscar Pistorius on his bid for glory

I didn't think twice about defending my titles… I'm raring to go again

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 28 August 2012

Last week I did something I hadn’t done for 16 months — I ran in a 100 metres race.

My time in Warsaw was 11.17sec, which wasn’t bad on a slow track with a 1.7m per second headwind. Most importantly, I’m on target for what I want to achieve.

I’ve just been doing 100m sprint training since the Olympics finished. I’ve put on 3kg of muscle in a couple of weeks by just doing short-distance sprints every day. It’s important because I’ve lost 12kg since the last Paralympics four years ago. It’s been crazy. I had forgotten what short-distance training is like.

Quick off the blocks: Oscar Pistorius is aiming to add to his medal collection

Quick off the blocks: Oscar Pistorius is aiming to add to his medal collection

It’s actually quite nice: you don’t have any cardio to do, you just get in the gym and do big weights. I’m loving it. It’s what I was used to. When I was 21 I weighed 87kg. Now I’m at 72kg. I enjoy that kind of training.

I won gold in the T44 (the race for single below knee amputees, although Pistorius is actually a double below knee amputee) in 100m, 200m and 400m events in Beijing but since then I have focused on the 400m. I competed in the Olympics in that event — it is by far my strongest. My time in the 400m is very strong.

It would be nice to defend my title in the 100m and I’ll try in the 200m as well but the 400m is the more realistic aim. I know the other guys are getting stronger and it’s nice to see the sport evolve.

Star attraction: Pistorius is one of the biggest names at the event

Star attraction: Pistorius is one of the biggest names at the event

I didn’t even think about not coming here to defend my titles. As long as I can qualify I’m still one of the strongest double amputees in the world. But the 100m isn’t my event any more. It will be nice though to run with the other guys and maybe I’ll learn a lot from them.

I’ve been back in the athletes’ village since Friday. Everything there is set up for performance. We’ve had a long season already — I’ve had 22 races since May — and a lot of the Paralympic athletes have already had a full season. So you just want to train, rest and eat. Just do your thing. It’s perfect. The village is really accessible for every athlete. Every now and again I sneak off to the mall and watch a movie too.

Streets ahead: Pistorius has been focusing on his 400m running

Streets ahead: Pistorius has been focusing on his 400m running

I’m also very excited to be carrying the South African flag at the Opening Ceremony today. It is a privilege, something I’ve never done before. I’ll load up with lots of carbo-hydrates before as it’s going to be a long evening. Carrying the flag will be OK — it will be a nice training session for my arms.

Oscar Pistorius is a BT Ambassador. BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. www.bt.com/london2012