Tag Archives: boyhood

Gareth Bale to sign for Barcelona says Gerard Pique

We'd love to have Bale at Barcelona, says Catalan giants' defender Pique

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

11:26 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 10 March 2013

Gareth Bale has been told he would be a great fit for Barcelona by the Catalan giants’ defender Gerard Pique.

Pique, who has made 29 appearances for Barca this season, said the La Liga leaders’ dressing room is always awash with talk of English football, and Bale is a hot topic.

Bale has scored ten goals in his last eight games for Tottenham, and will face fellow Player of the Year contender Luis Suarez when Spurs travel to Liverpool in the Premier League today.

Perfect fit: Pique said Tottenham's Gareth Bale is an 'unbelievable player' good enough to play for any side

Perfect fit: Pique said Tottenham's Gareth Bale is an 'unbelievable player' good enough to play for any side

And his stellar performances have caught the eye of Barcelona, where Pique is a huge admirer.

‘He is an unbelievable player, a great player – he has with all the conditions to play in the team that he wants to,’ Pique told the BBC.

‘He's doing a great job at Tottenham, and we will see. We want to have all the best players in our team.

Sensation: Bale (centre), tearing through the Inter Milan on Thursday, has scored ten in eight for Spurs

Sensation: Bale (centre), tearing through the Inter Milan on Thursday, has scored ten in eight for Spurs

‘It’s true that maybe, because he’s really quick and with the power he’s got, he fits a bit better at Real Madrid, but he can play here too definitely.

‘The best players can fit in any team, no matter the style.’

Pique, who re-joined boyhood club Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008, said the Premier League is also a reason to poke fun at one of his team-mates.

Hot topic: Pique (left), challenging Cristiano Ronaldo, said English football is always discussed at Barcelona

Hot topic: Pique (left), challenging Cristiano Ronaldo, said English football is always discussed at Barcelona

‘Fabregas loves to talk about Arsenal – but we say they have no chance to win anything this year!’ he said.

Barcelona are currently 14 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in the Spanish La Liga, but face a difficult task on Tuesday at the Nou Camp to overcome a two-goal deficit against AC Milan in the Champions League.

Reading owner"s wife: Katsia Zingarevich royal beauty perks up club"s relegation scrap

Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013

Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.

Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.

Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.

The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.

He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.

'Going
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.

'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.

Katsia

katsia

Katsia

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”

Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.

But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.

'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.

'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.

'Every
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”

Brian
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.

'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.

'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.

'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'

Mario Balotelli on his way out of Manchester City after fee agreed with AC Milan

Goodbye and good riddance: City agree 17m deal with Milan to sell 'Super' Mario

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

15:32 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 29 January 2013

Mario Balotelli will become an AC Milan player after Manchester City agreed terms with the Italian club this afternoon.

Juventus were also in contention to take the controversial striker back to Italy, but City have accepted an offer from Milan understood to be in the region of 17million plus 2.5m in add-ons. He is scheduled to have a medical tomorrow and sign a four-and-a-half year deal.

Balotelli has also helped the deal to go through by agreeing a pay-cut of nearly 1m so he could join his boyhood club on a 3m-a-year deal. He is now set to pull out of the City squad for tonight’s game at QPR and fly to Milan to complete the move.

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

On Monday, Balotelli was seen carrying some belongings from the club's HQ before he joined his team-mates in London for Tuesday's game against QPR at Loftus Road.

Earlier, coach Brian Kidd asked the striker for an autograph after training, which some interpreted as a sign the Italian's time in Manchester was coming to an end.

Samir Nasri also stopped and talked to Balotelli through the window of his camouflaged Bentley as he left the Carrington complex.

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Sportsmail revealled the City striker’s personal lawyer Vittorio Rigo, who works closely with his agent Mino Raiola, flew into Manchester over the weekend in readiness to try and negotiate a deal.

In a bid to help force the move through, Balotelli has taken a drop in wages from 4.3m per year, to 3.4m.

Only yesterday, first-team coach David Platt played down speculation about the striker's future.

'I saw that speculation yesterday but I've not heard anything,' he said. 'As far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen.

Balotelli moved to the Etihad in 2010, following boss Roberto Mancini from Inter Milan.

Carlos Tevez intends to leave Manchester City for Boca Juniors

Tevez tells Man City he wants to leave for Boca… now champions could sell him before contract expires next summer

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

09:25 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:29 GMT, 20 January 2013

Carlos Tevez intends to leave Manchester City after his contract expires in 18 months’ time to return to Argentina.

The Argentina international wants to see out his current deal at the Etihad before moving back to his homeland to play for his boyhood club Boca Juniors.

The 28-year-old striker played his way back into Roberto Mancini’s plans after a self-imposed exile last season, but has said it would be a dream to return to Boca.

Homeward bound: Carlos Tevez would like to leave Manchester City for Boca Juniors

Homeward bound: Carlos Tevez would like to leave Manchester City for Boca Juniors

Tevez stated that he would have preferred to be playing for Boca against River Plate rather than turning out for City's clash with Fulham yesterday.

In an interview in Argentina, Tevez said: ‘I’ve got a year left on my contract at Manchester City and they want me to sign for two more seasons.

‘I would prefer to return home, but it is very difficult because City won’t let me leave for nothing.

‘I will stay in Europe for another two years and then go back.

‘Boca’s president always says the door is open for me to rejoin them and I am dying to pull on their shirt once more.

‘I want to end my career with them. It is my dream and the dream of my family as well. I would love to be playing for them against River Plate. I’d prefer that to City’s game against Fulham.

‘But I am under contract and have to be here in England.’

The diminutive striker joined City from bitter rivals United in 2009 and instantly became a fans’ favourite.

But he put his City career on ice after a dispute on the substitutes’ bench in a Champions League group match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Tevez left Manchester for Argentina, incurring the wrath of his manager and the City fans. But now he says he has patched things up with Mancini and City's fans since the spat which resulted in him missing six months of City's title-winning season.

He added: ‘I almost retired last year. I had lost the desire to play and spent time crying alone in my room.

Off you come: Tevez was replaced by compatriot Sergio Aguero (right) during City's 2-0 win over Fulham

Off you come: Tevez was replaced by compatriot Sergio Aguero (right) during City's 2-0 win over Fulham

Digging deep: Tevez has battled to win the Manchester City fans back

Digging deep: Tevez has battled to win the Manchester City fans back

'Bad things happened one after the other. I was knocked out of the Copa America with Argentina and I had my dispute with Roberto Mancini.

'I suffered psychologically. I did not want anything more to do with football.

'I am much better now. I am winning people over because I began the new season well.

'Although my form dipped, I am on my way back. I have lost weight and I can run faster.

'I still don’t like being substituted. I am a hot-blooded individual, but at least I now understand the manager’s reasons.

'In the past I used to call him [Mancini] every name under the sun, but now I understand he does it for the good of the team.'

Class: Tevez laid off David Silva to set up the Spaniard's second of the match

Class: Tevez laid off David Silva to set up the Spaniard's second of the match

Tevez, who showe a deft touch to lay off David Silva's second goal against Fulham, has twice stated that he would like to leave the club in the past.

City rejected a transfer request from the former West Ham striker in December 2010, and Tevez handed in another one in the summer of 2011.

But Tevez has always had a soft spot for Boca, the Buenos Aires club who signed him as a youngster in 2001, and has made no secret of his desire to retire at the club in the past.

QPR join race to sign Joleon Lescott

Redknapp enters race to sign defender Lescott from City with QPR ready to pay 90k wages

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

09:51 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 5 January 2013

QPR have joined the race to sign Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott as Harry Redknapp bids to beat the drop.

The west London side are looking to strengthen their defence and Redknapp is keen on England defender Lescott and QPR are understood to be prepared to meet his 90,000-a-week wages.

But he is not the only one as former club Everton and boyhood team Aston Villa are also keen.

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

One the move: Lescott has struggled to hold down a regular first team place at City this season

If QPR miss out on Lescott then they will turn their attentions to Everton’s Sylvain Distin.

Yesterday, Aston Villa were linked with the defender as owner Randy Lerner is set to back Lambert in the transfer window and an experienced central defender is the top target.

Lescott
was born in the Midlands and grew up supporting Villa before playing
for Wolves, Everton and now City and is available for a move.

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa bound Joleon Lescott could be set to leave Manchester City

Villa are just one point above the relegation zone and have conceded 17 goals in their last four games.

The 10million rated defender would
have to take a drop in his wages if he were to join his boyhood club as
Lerner is trying to reduce player salaries, and Villa would face
competition from both Everton and Sunderland who are also interested in
taking the 30-year-old.

Lescott
would also have to negotiate a pay-off from City to leave the club –
just as Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland did.

Jonathan Walters praises Stoke"s character as they comeback to beat Liverpool

Walters praises Stoke's character as they come from behind to beat Liverpool

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 26 December 2012

Two-goal hero Jonathan Walters hailed his side's character and work ethic after Stoke recovered from a nightmare start to claim a 3-1 Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool.

There were only 32 seconds on the clock when Luis Suarez won a penalty which Steven Gerrard converted to put Liverpool ahead at the Britannia Stadium.

However, Stoke stormed back and within 10 minutes had turned the game on its head through goals from Walters and Kenwyne Jones, and then a second from boyhood Everton fan Walters just after half-time sealed the victory for Tony Pulis' men.

Never give in: Jon Walters and Liverpool's Suso battle for the ball

Never give in: Jon Walters and Liverpool's Suso battle for the ball

Walters was full of praise for his side after they extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, telling Sky Sports 1: 'We all work for each other, right from the back to the front. It was a full team effort from us today and a great win for us.

'We haven't conceded many this year, and to concede so early…but we've always got fight in us, and there was never any chance we were just going to lie down and take it.

'So from 1-0 down we showed great character to get back into the game and some good play from all over the team, especially the second half.'

Jumping for joy: Kenwyne Jones celebrates his goal

Jumping for joy: Kenwyne Jones celebrates his goal

Double salvo: Walters (second left) netted twice for Stoke

Double salvo: Walters (second left) netted twice for Stoke

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers felt his side should have done much better with all three goals they conceded and, as a result of their defensive failings, said they did not deserve to get anything out of the game.

He said: 'It was a great start for us, when you come away from home it's great to go a goal up, but we just gave away poor goals tonight. I think all three goals were actually quite straightforward to defend.

'Obviously Martin Skrtel slips (for the first), which is unfortunate, but the other two goals we've got to do much better than that. So that was the disappointment really.

Where did it all go wrong Brendan Rodgers watched his side take the lead and then lose the game 3-1

Where did it all go wrong Brendan Rodgers watched his side take the lead and then lose the game 3-1

'We got into some good areas but ultimately when you come to places like here, which is a difficult place to come, you've got to defend better or else you get nothing, and we probably deserve nothing because of that.'

Rodgers also praised Stoke and the work being done by Pulis.

'I've always said they probably don't quite get the credit they deserve. Tony's done a brilliant job here, keeping them in this division and keeping them progressing,' he added.

David Luiz will tell Rafael Benitez about Corinthians players and tactics

Luiz will give Rafa the lowdown on Chelsea's Club World Cup final opponents Corinthians… and we'll do the same for you

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UPDATED:

15:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

David Luiz is planning to give his Rafa Benitez all the information he needs on Corinthians, his boyhood club and the team which stand between Chelsea and the world title.

He will tell them about the famously frenzied fans, about the selfless and workmanlike ethic which is their chief characteristic and about star player Paulinho.

'I know all about Corinthians,' said Luiz. 'I can talk about them to the rest of the team for half an hour or more.

Words of wisdom: David Luiz will tell Rafa Benitez how to cope with his boyhood side Corinthians

Words of wisdom: David Luiz will tell Rafa Benitez how to cope with his boyhood side Corinthians

CORINTHIANS: The lowdown

THEY'RE THE CHELSEA OF BRAZIL

Well, kind of. They're Brazil's richest club but, like Chelsea in the Champions League, they never managed to translate their spending power into success in the Copa Libertadores until this year. Both clubs have also won a similar number of league titles, five and four, respectively.

THEY HAVE ENGLISH HERITAGE

Indeed. Their name was inspired by Corinthian Football Club, a London-based team who toured Brazil in 1910. Thankfully, Corinthians' founders did not delve too much deeper into the principles of their namesakes, who refused to enter the Football League or FA Cup for years because their rules forbade them from competing for 'any challenge cup or prizes of any description'. Corinthian FC's white shirts also inspired those of Real Madrid.

THEY'VE WON THIS CUP ALREADY

Again, kind of. Remember the fuss that was made back in 1999 when Manchester United withdrew from the FA Cup That was after FIFA decided to organise their own club tournament, seemingly in a bid to extend their dominion over the game in an era when UEFA's Champions League was becoming as big as international football. Anyway, Corinthians won the bloated eight-team tournament despite only qualifying as 'hosts'.

THEIR NEW STADIUM LOOKS SENSATIONAL

And so it should, as it's due to host the opening game of the 2014 World Cup. Work on the 68,000 Arena Corinthians began last year and is due to be completed in 2013 at a cost of 350 million US dollars (217million). Corinthians have been tenants at the 40,000 Estadio do Pacaembu for 72 years and it certainly looks its age, having hosted games at the 1950 World Cup.

NOT NEIL WARNOCK'S FAVOURITE CLUB

UEFA last week announced rules to outlaw third-party ownership of players, which was banned in England after West Ham took advantage of the practice to bring Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to the Premier League six years ago from Corinthians. It caused an almighty storm after the club survived relegation at the expense of Warnock's Sheffield United. Co-incidentally, Chelsea's next game is against his Leeds side.

BEN RUMSBY, PA

'They have Paulinho, yes but more important are their tactics. They are a very tactically aware team, playing with two lines, always compact and solid.

'The key to Corinthians is their passion. They work hard as a team, they run hard, they are energetic and they are united. They are strong throughout, and they have a passionate support.

'Paulinho plays for the national team, and other experienced players like Douglas, who has a lot of quality with his left foot.

'I have lots of friends there, like Cassio the goalkeeper, who I played with in the Brazil U20s and the national team. Wallace played with me as a 14-year-old, Fabio Santos their left-back played with me when we were younger as well.

'They are my friends. I know them, they know me. It’s a great game for me to have.'

Luiz was born in Sao Paulo state, although he moved away to pursue his career as a teenager.

'I was a Corinthians fan,' he said. 'I started out playing for Sao Paulo, not Corinthians, and Kaka was always my idol, because he was not just a good player, but also a good person as well.

'I saw a lot of Corinthians game but now I am a professional, a Chelsea player, so I know what I have to do. I just hope Chelsea win. That’s my focus.

'I saw the Club World Cup final in 2000, when Corinthians beat Vasco Da Gama, two teams with real quality. It was good for me to watch the game and the big teams, because Real Madrid were there as well as Manchester United.

'I remember Ryan Giggs scoring against Palmeiras in 1999, a month before that Club World Cup. He's a special talent, a fantastic player. For him to play well for so many successive years is incredible.

'Scolari was manager of Palmeiras then and I remember that – because Palmeiras had taken out Corinthians in the semi-final of the Copa Libertadores! If we'd won, we'd have been playing United, not them.

'Corinthians won their first Copa Libertadores this year. Now they have their first opportunity to win the Club World Cup. It's different in South America. For us in Brazil this is the last game of the season, like the Champions League Final was for Chelsea.

'For the fans in Brazil all the build-up and preparation means it feels like an early Christmas present, because the calendar is different.

'People dream, a lot, about this competition. I did, too. When I was young I always talked about this competition, dreaming that one day I would get the chance to play in it, in the final. Now I have that opportunity.'

Advantage: Luiz hopes his information will help team-mates like Fernando Torres flourish

Advantage: Luiz hopes his information will help team-mates like Fernando Torres flourish

Meet Corinthians' Mr Perfect who is out to get Chelsea – by Ben Rumsby, PA

He paints, he writes, he plays chess, poker and tennis – and he is a male model.

And if that were not enough to make Chelsea fans sick of Corinthians' Mr Perfect, Paulo Andre was today also plotting the European champions' downfall in Sunday's Club World Cup final.

Andre is the ideal antidote to the stereotype of the modern footballer, the defender as much of an exception to the rule in Brazil as he would be in England.

Mr Perfect: Paulo Andre (centre) is plotting the downfall of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final

Mr Perfect: Paulo Andre (centre) is plotting the downfall of Chelsea in the Club World Cup final

Speaking in near-flawless English he learnt during pizza-eating sessions with two Americans while a youth-team player, Andre said: 'I'm unusual. It's very hard to find players like that.

'I'm not sure if it's because they are not capable or because they are shy about saying they do different things from football.

'We have a culture in Brazil where the football player can only play football. He can't think, he can't talk, he's there just to play.

'And I'm trying to show people that you can be different.'

The 29-year-old does not hide his light under a bushel.

Unusually in football these days he wrote his own autobiography, 'The Game of My life', and celebrated Corinthians' Brazilian title win last year by creating a giant painting using footballs dipped in black paint kicked at the canvas by his team-mates.

It can only be imagined what he would do if they are crowned world champions on Sunday.

'I could never dream that I would play a final game like this,' Andre said.

'So, this is the chance of my life, it's the moment I live for.'

It has become a cliche that the Club World Cup means more to South American teams than their European counterparts.

'I think it's cultural in our country,' said Andre, who nevertheless claimed the Copa Libertadores had become even more of an obsession for Corinthians before their maiden triumph this year.

They had already won the one-off Club World Championship in Brazil back in 2000, although if their fans care less about the current tournament, they have a funny way of showing it.

Around 30,000 of their estimated 30 million following are expected to attend Sunday's final and Andre said: 'We see from our fans – 30 million fans – that they ask us just to make them proud and show them who Corinthians are and that's what we're going to do.'

Tough: Santos knows Chelsea will be tricky to beat but says his side knows how to do it

Tough: Santos knows Chelsea will be tricky to beat but says his side knows how to do it

Andre is a lifelong supporter himself, finally realising his dream of playing for the club three years ago via a stint in France and a trial at Rangers.

The Glasgow giants failed to meet the asking price of his Brazilian club but Andre had no regrets about not moving to the UK.

The man who has yet to be capped by his country, but was crowned Brazil's Footballer of the Year last year, said: 'I think I went the right way. I'm playing a final in a World Cup.'

For that final to be a success, Andre must tame Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard and put an end to Fernando Torres' mini-revival.

'We know exactly what to do to try to stop them, so let's try to put into practice what we have in mind, what our coach said to do,' Andre said.

'Of course, it would've been much better if it was a month ago because of Torres…'

On song: Juan Mata will need to be shackled if Corinthians are to suceed

On song: Juan Mata will need to be shackled if Corinthians are to suceed

Andre was referring to the latest goal drought for the 50million man, ended emphatically after he netted five times in his last three games.

That included yesterday's semi-final win over Monterrey, in which Chelsea looked far more comfortable than Corinthians did in their own semi against Al Ahly.

Andre warned his side were capable of creating their own shock on Sunday, something that is sure to see him release an updated version of his autobiography.

There could be plenty more volumes to come as well, with the defender already planning for his retirement.

'I would really like to help my country to rediscover their brilliant football, with organisation and everything else,' he said.

'I don't know about coaching, but maybe with sports politics.

'I think I have the knowledge – practical and theoretical – to do that.'

Oscar Pistorius beats Arabian horse Maserati in race in Doha

Oscar 1 Horse 0: Pistorius races against Arabian stud Maserati in Doha… and WINS

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UPDATED:

23:04 GMT, 12 December 2012

Oscar Pistorius has never baulked at a challenge. The sprinter was a star of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, but his latest feat is little more on the obscure side.

The South African athlete raced against an Arabian horse named Maserati in Doha… and won!

Pistorius, who is nicknamed the “Blade
Runner” because of his carbon fibre running blades, outran the Arabian stud over 115metres in the
‘Run Like The Wind’ challenge at the Aspire Zone outdoor circuit.

Scroll down for video…

Miles ahead: The crowds cheered Oscar Pistorius as he bounds way ahead of the horse

Miles ahead: The crowds cheered Oscar Pistorius as he bounds way ahead of the horse

And the winner is...: Oscar Pistorius capitalised on a 15metre start over the horse in Doha

And the winner is…: Oscar Pistorius capitalised on a 15metre start over the horse in Doha

In the shadows: Maserati (right) was unable to catch up to the Olympian and Paralympian sprinter

In the shadows: Maserati (right) was unable to catch up to the Olympian and Paralympian sprinter

The athlete, who reached the 400m semi-finals in London and also ran in the 4x400m relay final to realise his boyhood dream of competing at the able-bodied Games, took full advantage of starting 15 metres in front of Maserati, who made a sluggish start to the race.

The sprinter, who was born without
the fibula bones in both legs, was taking part in the Definitely Able
campaign to highlight how Paralympians have contributed in sport.

After the race, Pistorius said: 'It wasnt about who won today, it was about just coming out here and showing people that those with disabilities are not to be stereotyped against.

'Thanks to everybody who came out here, we had a good night and hopefully that will do a lot to change perceptions of people with disabilities in this region.'

The Qatar Olympic committee tweeted:
‘Never mind run @OscarPistorius flew past #Arabian stud at
the#RunLikeTheWind #DefinitelyAble campaign.’

In his wake: Pistorius was grinning after the race

In his wake: Pistorius was grinning after the race

Earlier this week at Doha Goals, a
gathering of the leaders of sport in Abu Dhabi, said: ‘Arabian horses
[are] an iconic thing of the region. It is just a very special kind of
thing to do.

'I think it is going to be an amazing spectacle.’

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

Another victory: Oscar Pistorius beat the horse over 115m

The 26-year-old lit up the Olympic
Park stadium in this summer's Olympics, and won two gold medals and a
silver in the Paralympic Games.

The race was not the first time athletes have competed against horses with some of the most notable champions such as 1936 Olympics hero Jesse Owens and 1992 Olympic 100m gold medallist Linford Christie also going up against their four-legged friends, who generally out-paced their human rivals.

Pistorius is not even the first South African to run against an animal. Rugby player Bryan Habana ran against a cheetah in 2007.

Fair fight Pistorius' fellow South African Bryan Habana raced a cheetah in 2007

Fair fight Pistorius' fellow South African Bryan Habana raced a cheetah in 2007

Champion: Olympic legend Jesse Owens also raced against a horse

Champion: Olympic legend Jesse Owens also raced against a horse

VIDEO: Watch Oscar take on the horse Maserati in Doha

Chelsea transfer latest: Corinthians midfielder Paulinho wanted by Blues

Chelsea switch sights to Paulinho after Luiz lauds Corinthians midfielder

PUBLISHED:

06:42 GMT, 12 December 2012

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UPDATED:

06:42 GMT, 12 December 2012

David Luiz has encouraged Chelsea to reignite their pursuit for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho as the Blues bid to strengthen their midfield in January.

The loss of Oriel Romeu has left interim boss Rafa Benitez with only one recognised holding midfielder in John Obi Mikel, who is available for the Club World Cup in Japan this week but is in the midst of a three-match domestic ban and is expected to be on African Nations Cup duty for most of January.

Recalling Michael Essien or Josh McEachran from season-long loans at Real Madrid and Middlesbrough, respectively, could be an option.

Smiles better: David Luiz has highlighted Corinthians midfielder Paulinho to his Chelsea bosses

Smiles better: David Luiz has highlighted Corinthians midfielder Paulinho to his Chelsea bosses

Warming up: Paulinho (L) is part of the Corinthians team, including Douglas and Chicao, who will rival Chelsea for glory at the Club World Championship

Warming up: Paulinho (L) is part of the Corinthians team, including Douglas and Chicao, who will rival Chelsea for glory at the Club World Championship

But, more likely, Chelsea will try to sign a midfielder when the transfer window reopens, having already been linked with several big names.

Everton's Marouane Fellaini is one, while another is actually in Japan at present and could be watched by the Blues later today.

Corinthians star Paulinho was a target last summer and will play in the Club World Cup semi-finals against Al-Ahly in Toyota. He could then meet Chelsea in Sunday's final.

Getting ready: David Luiz and his Chelsea team-mates train in Japan ahead of their semi-final clash against Monterrey

Getting ready: David Luiz and his Chelsea team-mates train in Japan ahead of their semi-final clash against Monterrey

And Luiz, a boyhood Corinthians fan, identified his 24-year-old Brazil team-mate as a being among the South American champions' key threats.

'Paulinho plays for the national team, and [there are] other experienced players like Douglas, the number 10, who has a lot of quality with his left foot,' Luiz said.

'I have lots of friends there.

'I know them, they know me. If it's this game in the final, it's a great game to have.'

Oscar determined to win Club World Cup with Chelsea

Oscar determined to make Chelsea champions of the world after European failure

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 9 December 2012

Seven years ago, Oscar was captivated by the television footage beamed around the globe as his boyhood heroes at Sao Paulo conquered the world at the expense of Liverpool and Rafa Benitez.

Five years later he was there, learning that FIFA’s Club World Cup is not only Europe and South America as Internacional were beaten in the semi-finals by TP Mazembe from Congo.

Today, the Brazilian playmaker is in Japan with Chelsea as they attempt to become world champions, just days after crashing out of the Champions League.

History: Oscar (second left) watched Sao Paulo beat Rafael Benitez's Liverpool side in the Club World Cup

History: Oscar (second left) watched Sao Paulo beat Rafael Benitez's Liverpool side in the Club World Cup

English teams do not have a great
record in these intercontinental challenges but the Blues, with their
strong Brazilian influence, are here to win.

‘In Brazil, this has always been seen as the opportunity for our clubs to play one of the big European teams,’ said Oscar.

‘It’s the chance to test themselves
against a big team from Europe and to go and show their football to the
world. For years, it was the only way they could face a stronger team, a
different team from a different culture.

‘The South American teams have always
taken this competition seriously but I think all the big clubs will go
to Japan this year and give everything.

‘For Chelsea, we are representing
Europe and we are going there with a determination to do it well. We are
going to try to win this competition this year.’

Manchester United are the only English
team to hold the world title, even in the era when the South American
champions played the European Cup winners in the Intercontinental Cup.

Europe, however, has emerged
triumphant from the last five and Chelsea’s interim manager Benitez won
the tournament two years ago in his final act as manager of Inter Milan.
It was the same year as Oscar’s personal disappointment.

He was 19 and had recently completed a
disputed transfer to Internacional from Sao Paulo. He was excited to be
involved but the South American champions lost 2-0 to the Africans in
their opening game.

Back again: Oscar has played in this competition before and this time he is determined to win

Back again: Oscar has played in this competition before and this time he is determined to win

FIFA Club World Cup Finals

2005: Sao Paulo (Brz) 1 Liverpool 0
2006: Intern’cal (Brz) 1 Barcelona 0
2007: AC Milan 4 Boca Juniors (Arg) 2
2008: Man Utd 1 LDU Quito (Ecu) 0
2009: Barcelona 2 Estudiantes (Arg) 1
2010: Inter Milan 3 Mazembe (Cgo) 0
2011: Barcelona 4 Santos (Brz) 0

‘We were all expecting to get to the
final and it was such a big surprise when we lost,’ said Oscar, in an
interview with Japanese magazine World Soccer Digest.

‘I’m pleased to have this second opportunity. I’m not sure why but Brazil and Japan seem to have this special connection.’

Sao Paulo has one of the world’s largest Japanese communities outside Japan and Oscar’s wife Ludmila’s grandfather is Japanese.

Warm welcome: Rafael Benitez strides through the airport ahead of the Chelsea pack

Warm welcome: Rafael Benitez strides through the airport ahead of the Chelsea pack

Arrivals: Oscar holds his valuables at the airport

Arrivals: Oscar holds his valuables at the airport

Corinthians, unbeaten winners of the
Copa Libertadores, the South American version of the Champions League,
are also from the city of Sao Paulo and expected to bring great support
to Japan.

The Brazilians and Chelsea are
expected to contest Sunday’s final but the English side must first beat
Monterrey of Mexico in the semi-final and Corinthians must overcome
Al-Ahly of Egypt.

‘As a boy, I always supported Sao
Paulo and I still do,’ said Oscar. ‘My heroes were Rogerio Ceni, a
goalkeeper famous for scoring goals from free-kicks, and Kaka.

‘Corinthians and Sao Paulo are great
rivals and the two biggest clubs in Sao Paulo state. Corinthians have
been doing so well in the last few years. Last season they won the
Libertadores without losing a game.

‘They are a very strong team and their
biggest characteristic is that they play as a team. It is about the
group, not about individuals or big stars, although they have good
players like Paulinho, who I know well from the national team. I expect
him to be one of the stars of the competition.’

Chelsea halted their form-slide with
wins against Nordsjaelland and Sunderland and, although seen by many as
an unwanted distraction from the Barclays Premier League and the fight
to return to the Champions League, their first involvement in the FIFA
Club World Cup might reinvigorate the squad and help restore
confidence.

‘Every title is important for
Chelsea,’ said Oscar.

‘If we win it, it is going to give us so much more
confidence and strength for the rest of the season.’

Greetings: Chelsea players would have felt right at home with the warm welcome afforded to them in Japan

Greetings: Chelsea players would have felt right at home with the warm welcome afforded to them in Japan

WATCHING BRIEF

Champions of Europe Chelsea enter the the Club World Cup on Thursday (10.30am UK time) in the semi-finals. They face Mexican side CF Monterrey in Yokohama’s International Stadium, venue for the 2002 World Cup final.

TV: LIVE on the BBC HD channel, highlights on BBC2 from 1.30pm.

Sportsmail will also be showing a highlights package.