Tag Archives: career

Manchester City"s Edin Dzeko plays around in the club"s boot room

What is Dzeko doing fooling around in the Manchester City boot room

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

11:26 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

On the face of it, Edin Dzeko seems to have taken his eye off the ball.

Following on from the club's attempt at a Harlem Shake, Dzeko has embarked on a solo career in the world of wacky internet posts and is taking time out from City's attempt to gurn, sorry turn, around their season.

The Bosnia striker, who has just racked up his 100th appearance for City, put up a photo of himself messing around with back-room staff in front of rows a of extravagantly coloured designer boots.

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

It is not known if Dzeko is claiming every pair in the room as he looks to find a way to kick-start City's title charge.

With Sergio Aguero still out injured, Dzeko is likely to feature against Everton at Goodison Park in the Saturday lunchtime game.

Here's hoping he picks the right pair of shoes for the occasion.

Which football star wants to play club cricket when he retires?

From Blues to whites: Everton skipper Neville wants to play club cricket when he retires from football

By
Phil Gradwell

PUBLISHED:

13:11 GMT, 14 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 14 March 2013

Retirement will be a whole new ball game for Everton captain Phil Neville, who says he wants to spend his post-football days playing club cricket.

Neville, 36, may have won 59 England caps, have six Premier League titles to his name and be leading out an established top-flight side but he is relishing the thought of swapping his blue shirt for his whites.

That may not be for a few years yet but the defender – who played alongside Andrew Flintoff in Lancashire's youth set-up and was a good enough cricketer to play for the county's second XI aged 15 – said when his football career is up he will join Bury-based local-league club Greenmount, for whom he played as a junior.

Is that a wide Phil Neville looks as if he is getting into the cricket a bit early during Everton's FA Cup defeat by Wigan

Is that a wide Phil Neville looks as if he is getting into the cricket a bit early during Everton's FA Cup defeat by Wigan

Different kind of whites: Neville played 59 times for England

Different kind of whites: Neville played 59 times for England

WHO ARE GREENMOUNT CC

Greenmount Cricket Club, founded in 1867 (as far as records can establish) are based in Bury, Greater Manchester and play in the Bolton League.

In 2011 they won a treble of the Bolton League, the Lancashire Knock Out and the Hamer Cup.

They have had many famous overseas players including Australians Mark Taylor and Matthew Hayden and West Indian Franklyn Stephenson.

The much more English Neville Neville, father of Phil and Gary, also played for the club.

Neville told the Bolton News: 'One hundred per cent, I will play cricket again in a couple of years time if my career ends.

'That is the first thing I am going to do; I am going to get back doing something I love.

'People sometimes fear retirement but I am looking forward to it because I can go and do something I love.'

Neville was speaking as an ambassador
at the launch of ‘The Lancashire Way’ – an inclusive cricket initiative
launched by Lancashire CCC.

He
added: 'To get the chance at my stage in my life to get back involved
with Lancashire is great because I love going to Old
Trafford to watch.'

Team-mates: Neville played with a young Andrew Flintoff in Lancashire's youth set-up

Team-mates: Neville played with a young Andrew Flintoff in Lancashire's youth set-up

Advice: Everton captain Phil Neville chats to England women's cricketer Lydia Greenway at Lancashire's Old Trafford ground

Advice: Everton captain Phil Neville chats to England women's cricketer Lydia Greenway at Lancashire's Old Trafford ground

Welsh fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season

Sweeney to swap Cardiff for Exeter in bid to make his mark on Premiership

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:36 GMT, 10 March 2013

Former Wales fly-half Ceri Sweeney will join Exeter at the end of the season, his current club Cardiff Blues have announced.

Sweeney has made over 100 appearances since joining the Blues from Newport Gwent Dragons in the summer of 2008, guiding them to the EDF Energy Cup in 2009 and the Amlin Challenge Cup the following year.

'I've really enjoyed my time with the Blues, they are a fantastic club and the supporters have been outstanding,' he said.

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

Talent: Ceri Sweeney played in the 2003 World Cup for Wales

'For me, it's my home region and with the young players they have coming through the ranks, the future of the club certainly looks very bright.'

The 33-year-old will bring a wealth of experience with him to Sandy Park.

He made his debut for Wales in the 2003 Six Nations against England and also featured in two World Cups, winning a total of 35 caps for his club – the last of them in 2007.

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Key man: Sweeney won 35 caps for his country in his international career

Sweeney is now excited to make his mark in the Aviva Premiership.

'Exeter are a fantastic club and as soon as I heard they were interested in me, I was keen to talk to them and have a look around the place,' he added.

'Like a lot of people, I've watched how they have risen over the last few years and how they've made a real name for themselves, not just in the Premiership, but in Europe as well.

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

Longevity: Only the career of Stephen Jones prevented him from more caps

'It's an exciting move for me and my young family and it's a fresh challenge.

'I know it will be the first time I've played club rugby outside of Wales, but the thought of testing myself in the Premiership is something I'm really keen to do.'

Joey Barton says he"s not scared of David Beckham ahead of expected clash in PSG v Marseille in Le Classique

I'm not scared of Beckham… he's not the same player any more, says Barton ahead of expected clash in Le Classique

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

17:23 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:41 GMT, 19 February 2013

Joey Barton insists he will not be running scared of David Beckham when title hopefuls Marseille play Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

One-cap England midfielder Barton will come up against a player who made 115 appearances for his country, should Beckham make his debut for the Parisians in the league fixture at the Parc des Princes.

Former England captain Beckham has joined PSG on a short-term arrangement until the end of the season and the big-spending capital club hope he can help steer them to the league title.

David Beckham

Preparing for debut: David Beckham in training with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday

Preparing for his debut: David Beckham was pictured in training with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday

Preparing for debut: David Beckham in training with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday

But Barton is relishing the chance to face the 37-year-old, confident his threat can be contained.

Barton said at a press conference today, according to Marseille's website: 'Paris have a lot of big names and big players. Beckham is a big star off the pitch but on the pitch it's not a big worry.

'He causes a lot less fear compared to when he played in the Premier League. It would be naive to concentrate on David Beckham.'

Brooklyn joins dad David in training

Brooklyn

Click here to read the full story as Beckham Jnr trains alongside his dad in Paris, just a month after undergoing a trial at Premier League giants Chelsea.

Barton, 30, has settled into the French game after a turbulent career in England, and third-placed Marseille stand five points behind this weekend's opponents in the league table.

The significance of the fixture is not lost on Barton but less so because of its traditional status as the most fiercely contested match in France and more because of its implications in points terms.

Barton said: 'I've experienced Manchester City-Manchester United, Sunderland-Newcastle and QPR-Chelsea. The electric atmosphere doesn't worry me, it's even the norm for me. I am experienced, I know the score. There's nothing new for me in a derby.

'The season has already given a lot of surprises and twists. And we're not the types to give up. Nor are (second-placed) Lyon.

French exile: Joey Barton is on loan at Marseille from Queens Park Rangers

French exile: Joey Barton is on loan at Marseille from Queens Park Rangers

'We remain motivated and concentrated even if we haven't been very strong in recent matches.

'This week could change our season.'

PSG and Marseille meet again in the Coupe de France quarter-finals on Wednesday week,
February 27.

'If we win on Sunday and go through on Wednesday, everything changes,' Barton said. 'The pressure will be on Paris. Even without superstars like at PSG, we are solid and when we play like a team, we play well.'

David Beckham son Brooklyn joins training at Paris Saint-Germain

First Chelsea, now PSG! Brooklyn Beckham joins dad David in training as his fledgling football career receives another boost

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

17:06 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:52 GMT, 19 February 2013

With his famous father, Brooklyn Beckham was always going to get his foot in the door at Europe's top clubs.

But, just a month after Sportsmail revealed he had a trial at Chelsea, David Beckham's son got another chance to impress today by joining his dad in training at Paris Saint-Germain.

Brooklyn was on the Under 14 roster at the LA Galaxy academy while his dad played in California, and is approaching the age when top clubs will be able to make a call on his prospects of reaching the top.

That's my boy: David Beckham (centre) took son Brooklyn (below) into training with him on Tuesday

That's my boy: David Beckham (centre) took son Brooklyn (below) into training with him on Tuesday

That's my boy: David Beckham (centre) took son Brooklyn (below) into training with him on Tuesday

That's my boy: David Beckham (centre) took son Brooklyn (below) into training with him on Tuesday

That's my boy: David Beckham (centre) took son Brooklyn (below) into training with him on Tuesday

And Sportsmail revealed last month that Brooklyn had a trial at Chelsea's state-of-the-art training ground.

Beckham on trial at Chelsea! But it's not the superstar former England captain… it's his son Brooklyn

Read how Sportsmail broke the exclusive story of Brooklyn Beckham's trial at Cobham

Players and parents were stunned to
see Beckham on the touchline at Cobham, but he was there not for talks
with Chelsea and instead went to watch his
son in a low-key academy game aimed at giving him a taste of English
football at junior level.

If any of Beckham's sons – Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, who are on half-term holiday from their new school in London – do make the grade, it will not be the first father-and-son combination to
play top-class football. Other father-and-son professionals include Teddy and Charlie Sheringham; Mark Chamberlain and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Arnor and Eidur Gudjohnsen and Johan and
Jordi Cruyff.

David Beckham

David Beckham

Building fitness: Beckham is preparing for his PSG debut after joining the French giants in January

Seeing red: PSG crashed to defeat at lowly Sochaux on Sunday and saw their lead in Ligue 1 cut

Seeing red: PSG crashed to defeat at lowly Sochaux on Sunday and saw their lead in Ligue 1 cut

Beckham Snr, meanwhile, was looking to build up his match fitness, with his PSG debut still on hold following his move to the French big-spenders on January transfer deadline day.

The former England captain, who is looking to win the league championship in a fourth different country, started full training with PSG last week and has not played a competitive match since his last appearance for the Los Angeles Galaxy in December.

He is likely to make his bow for Carlo Ancelotti's side at home against title rival Marseille on February 24. PSG hosts Marseille again three days later in the French Cup.

PSG saw their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings slashed in half after they suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat at lowly Sochaux on Sunday while nearest challengers Lyon thrashed Bordeaux 4-0 away from home.

The Footballers" Football Column – Rohan Ricketts: Globetrotter how he moved from England to Ecuador via India

ROHAN RICKETTS: Cows in the road and Twitter row meant my Indian adventure ended early… but I went back in time to live the dream in South America

PUBLISHED:

08:20 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rohan Ricketts

Rohan Ricketts started his football career playing for Arsenal and was part of the hugely successful side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and 2001. But a year later he made the move that only four players before him had and crossed the north London divide to join Tottenham. After 30 appearances for the White Hart Lane club, Ricketts began his football journey playing for Wolves, Coventry, QPR, Barnsley before he opted to move abroad and to join MLS side Toronto FC. Since then he has played in Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Ireland and India. He is now playing in South America, in Ecuador. Before you read his first Footballers' Football Column, watch his video.

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I’ve often been called a ‘journeyman’ in my football career and in late 2012 I made my biggest journey to date when I signed for Dempo SC in Goa, India. It doesn’t sound like the most obvious move to make but, as they say, football is a funny old game.

Last summer I was really keen to return to the UK, after a stint at Shamrock Rovers in Ireland so I returned to London to see what I could find.

But it is such a tough market and there were so many players looking for a club. There’s a fine balance between holding your nerve and waiting to find a club or signing somewhere to ensure financial security for your family.

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

There were many players who were still looking for a club even after the season started. It’s easy to assume that players are being choosy about which club they sign for and ruling out lower league clubs but for me that wasn’t the case.

I love playing football, it’s what I was born to do. I may have been nearing 30 but I had no plans to give it up just yet.

After much deliberation with my family and friends, I made the decision to sign for Dempo SC. India isn’t really known for its football, I knew it would be different to Europe but the challenge of living in another country and helping them to build up the reputation of football really appealed to me.

I did it before when I signed for Toronto FC in MLS and I found it really rewarding to help educate a new generation about the sport.

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

I was told how serious Dempo SC were about growing football in India and I was excited to join them so I signed until May 2013.

It
certainly was a world away from London. It gets so hot there that we
were doing all our training sessions and practice matches early in the
morning before it got too unbearable.

It was fascinating to live in such a different culture, I was late for training on a couple of occasions due to cows in the road which was certainly something I had not experienced before and was I confronted with severe poverty in certain areas, which was difficult to see.

On the pitch, it was great to taste victory on the first day of the season after such a long break away, but it really was a different game to the one I am used to. It was the tactics that were lacking, rather than the players' skill level, so I was confident we would improve as the team gelled.

Rohan Ricketts

Mobbed: Ricketts helped Shamrock Rovers win the Irish League

Luck of the Irish: Ricketts enjoyed his spell with Shamrock Rovers and helped them win the Irish league

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see if that would be the case. I had joined the team under the impression that they wanted me to play as I do and that they wanted to develop a passing style.

However the coach soon made it clear that he was expecting me to adapt to the way they played. It didn’t help that he was trying to play me as a striker rather than an attacking central midfielder.

I had some discussions with him about this in the early days and he did start to play me in the
right position.

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Ricketts playing for Spurs

Rohan Ricketts

Crossing the divide: Ricketts moved to Spurs after starting his career in the Arsenal youth team

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I mentioned everything that was happening on my Twitter account, something the coach was not happy about. When the Indian press asked him about the things I was saying he denied it and said that I had misunderstood.

I knew that I hadn’t, although I do recognise that talking about it in 140 characters on Twitter was perhaps not the best forum. I was just frustrated because I wanted the team to do well.

As a result of my comments I was put on the bench for the next four games, in both the Goa and
I League.

The team did not do as well as we had been doing and it was really hard to sit and watch, but I remained professional and trained hard. It was a big plus to have moral support from a lot of the key members of the squad. This is something that can be rare being a player in a foreign country.

Eventually after keeping my focus and positive spirit, I was re-instated in the starting XI against Salgoacar FC. The game was tough but we ended up winning 2-1, and I scored my first I League goal and then set up the winnner.

After the game the coaches and players were in a good mood and we had gone two points clear at the top of the table. I had hoped that was the turning point for me but unfortunately things didn’t improve with the head coach.

It was a really uncomfortable situation with him and again I spoke out about the difficulties I was having on Twitter. After my first tweets I had spoken with the President of the club, who is a great guy, and he was supportive but obviously I understood that he needed to run the club successfully and for that he needs a united team.

I wasn’t trying to unsettle things with my later tweets but I couldn’t stay silent.

After further discussions with the President it became clear that my position at the club was untenable.

I can’t talk about everything that happened there but suffice to say that I have the utmost respect for the President and my team mates at Dempo SC along with the many fans who I met while I was there. I wish them every success this season.

Fortunately for me, when I knew that I was leaving Dempo, I was able to sign very quickly for a new club – 10 hours back in time at Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador.

Playing in South America has always been a dream of mine so when my agent told me about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance.

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

I have been here for a month now and am settling in well. My team-mates have been very welcoming and I have joined in pre-season, which is refreshing after my last couple of moves where I have joined mid-way through and struggled to get to the same fitness level.

We played our first game of the season at the end of January against the Champions and biggest club in Ecuador Barcelona SC. Before the game I could feel the hype surrounding the game and for me it felt like I was involved in a Premier League fixture back home against Manchester United.

Fans all over our city, Quevedo, were stopping me daily to let me know how big the game was for them.

Talk about pressure on your first game.

This pressure was not new to me but I could still feel the anticipation and excitement all around. I'm grateful to be part of such moments. This is no doubt the stuff of dreams for others but for me it is reality.

I knew I was starting in the game a week before, so I did not have the annoying waiting game surrounding team selection.

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

Once the game day arrived and we got to the stadium and the energy around the ground was almost tangible. Salsa music was playing and the people were chanting an hour ahead of
kick-off.

I just tried to remain cool as I did not want to lose energy. Good thing I did because the game turned out to be a real scrap due to the bad weather which turned the pitch into a mud bath.

I was hoping to get on the ball and play our passing game, but it was not to be for either side.

ROHAN RICKETTS

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @RohanRicketts

It was all about winning the second ball and playing on the counter attack. We adapted really well to the conditions and took the lead early on but the referee seemed to have his own agenda, in the second half when he gave Barcelona as penalty which was never a penalty and then didn't give us a penalty for a blatant handball in their box.

I won't go too much into the incident as I may get myself in trouble, but the game ended 1-1. A good point for us against the champions and a good team performance.

I was relatively pleased with my performance but I know the conditions limited my chances of being more active in dangerous areas.

I'm adapting quickly and learning the lingo, which will only speed up the settling in process and help me get the most out of my latest football adventure.

Gylfi Sigurdsson bid failed – Reading boss Brian McDermott

McDermott reveals failed deadline day move for Spurs midfielder Sigurdsson

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:38 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:00 GMT, 1 February 2013


Old boy: Gylfi Sigurdsson was a former Royals star

Old boy: Gylfi Sigurdsson was a former Royals star

Reading manager Brian McDermott failed in an attempt to sign Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson on transfer deadline day.

The Iceland international started his professional career with the Royals before moving to Hoffenheim in 2010 after impressing at the Madejski Stadium.

His stock continued to rise and after an impressive loan spell with Swansea last season, Tottenham signed him on a permanent deal in the summer but McDermott did his best to get him back in a blue and white shirt before the transfer deadline passed last night.

'We tried to bring him back. We had spoken to Spurs and we made three offers,' said McDermott, giving away that it was in fact Sigurdsson and not Blackpool's Tom Ince that his club were planning on paying a club-record fee for.

'I thought at one stage we had a real chance of doing a deal, but unfortunately, we couldn't manage to do it.

'Gylfi is a Tottenham player, but we've known him since he was 12-13 years old and it would have been great to bring him back.'

Tottenham boss Andrew Villas-Boas said Sigurdsson was happy to stay and fight for his place at White Hart Lane.

He said: 'Yeah obviously he’s a player that means a lot to Reading, from their academy. He’s a player that Brian appreciates and probably could have been a big boost for them. But he’s a player that we rate very highly, we brought him here after his amazing contribution for Swansea last year and he’s a player that we have high expectations for.

'Probably this season at the moment is not going to the level that he wants, but obviously the step is much more difficult than it was at Swansea last year. But he's a player that we believe a lot in, an d in his future here. We couldn’t allow him to leave.’

‘Players are happy when they play more but without disrespecting Reading, I think the ambitions for Tottenham are higher and I think the player appreciates that he has to overcome this tough environment where he lives – the competition that he faces to be in the team. And I think that’s what makes a player evolve in any circumstance.'

McDermott revealed on Tuesday that he
had lodged a bid for Ince, one of the most sought-after players in the
country, while he also signed Sheffield United striker Nick Blackman.

Nigel Adkins sacking by Southampton and replacement with Mauricio Pochettino is lunacy

Adkins sacking is lunacy but Saints must heed warning from Chelsea fans' abuse

By
James Coney, Money Mail Editor

PUBLISHED:

15:56 GMT, 18 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 18 January 2013

You’d find it hard to find one
football fan, let alone any who support Southampton, who does not
believe the sacking of Nigel Adkins is complete madness.

Saints
had a terrible first few games back in the top flight. But even though
they lost eight in 10 matches there were few fans who lost confidence Adkins would get the team out of trouble.

And
the faith was rewarded. Saints have lost two in just 12 games,
including draws at Chelsea and Stoke and at home to Arsenal.

Ruthless: Nigel Adkins was sacked by Southampton despite consecutive promotions and improved form

Ruthless: Nigel Adkins was sacked by Southampton despite consecutive promotions and improved form

Saint marching in: Former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino is the shock appointment at St Mary's

Saint marching in: Former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino is the shock appointment at St Mary's

Even though the side are just above the relegation places, there are few who don’t believe the only way is up.

The players clearly respect Adkins and the fans adore him.

Yet
club chairman Nicola Cortese has sacked the manager of a team, who just
two days drew, and almost beat, the champions of Europe.

He
has been replaced with a man few will have heard of, and by all
accounts speaks little English. His managerial career hardly sparkles –
getting Espanyol a couple of mid-table finishes before being sacked when
they were at the foot of La Liga.

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

FRANTIC FRIDAY

Read all the news of an unbelievable day on the south coast in MailOnline:

Southampton SACK Adkins and replace him with Pochettino just two days after drawing away at European champions Chelsea

Meet the man Southampton hope will keep them up… Pochettino unveiled but he can't speak English and admits he has been researching the Saints 'for several weeks'!

From sinner to Saint: Watch Southampton boss Pochettino foul Owen in the box

But
what is going through the head of every Saints fan will be this: Please
don’t let this be the start of another managerial merry-go-round.

Saints had 12 managers in eight years
before being relegated. Many of these were hopeless, some went on to
bigger clubs.

But sacking one who had gained two promotions in
consecutive seasons and had bought and built a talented team which
players bright attractive football seems like lunacy.

I
was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Three times the travelling
support sung Adkins’ name – even when the side were trailing 2-0 at half
time.

By contrast I
was struck by the horrible atmosphere among the Chelsea fans who despise
the sacking of their former manager. The abuse and animosity is having a
detrimental effect on the team’s home performances.

It’s a warning Saints supporters should heed.

I suspect there will now be the same level of anger towards the chairman by the Saints fans.
And
if that starts affecting performances then a side which was slowly
climbing the table could quickly fall back in to trouble.

First day: Pochettino gives his first press conference on Friday, ahead of Saints' game with Everton on Monday

First day: Pochettino gives his first press conference on Friday, ahead of Saints' game with Everton on Monday

Joey Barton and Dietmar Hamann in Twitter war

Don't try to call me out, maggot: Raging Barton's tirade at former City team-mate Hamann

, and his family life.

Hamann began gambling after his marriage broke down towards the end of his footballing career.

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

When it all kicked off: Hamann told Barton to keep out of club politics

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

Old team-mates: Hamann left and Barton (centre) playing for Man City

'There was a time when I was on my own
when I got into spread betting. A painful and expensive experience,'
Hamann told BBC Radio Manchester last year.

'You have to look in the mirror and say “Can you carry on like this or this is way you want to carry on”'

He added: 'There was one night which cost me over 200,000 and that was obviously a long and painful night.

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

To and fro: The argument got personal with Barton persisting on his tangent

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

Blue boy: Hamann with Stuart Pearce when he signed for Man City

'You've got face up to it and when you wake up the next morning you look in the mirror and don't like what you see.'

The Twitter row continued with Barton seemingly becoming increasingly angry as the jibes he sent to Hamann became more personal.

'What a player you where (sic)' typed Barton. 'Tragic. Now do one Tourette's face!'

Using the term 'England international', with reference to Barton's international career which has seen him win just one cap, Hamann antagonised his target.

In a bizarre conclusion to the conversation, Barton tweeted: 'Disappointed in myself for getting involved in that. But never let a dog try to tell u its not a dog an that u are! A dogs a f****** dog…'.

The pair had played alongside each other in City's central midfield in the 2006-07 season.

Barton then moved to Newcastle at the end of that year, a club Hamann had played at almost a decade earlier.

Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano then chipped in, telling Barton he was a 'good player but lack(ed a) yard of pace. Also lost temper too much.'

He also had kind words for Hamann, saying the man who had won the Champions League and played for Germany over 50 times deserved respect.

Maria Sharapova launches candy brand before Australian Open

Serving up a treat: Maria launches sweet brand as she gears up for Australian Open

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

16:47 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:22 GMT, 10 January 2013

Maria Sharapova’s premium sweet brand is set to fly off the shelves in 2013 if they taste as good as they look.

Sugarpova, the tennis ace’s own creation, will launch in the UK, Japan, Canada, Russia, India and China this year. It has already done well in the America, selling a quarter of a million bags in three months.

This week she’ll be promoting the product in Australia, as she makes her final preparations for the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Making a packet: The Russian launched her sweet brand, Sugarpova, last year and sold a quarter of a million bags within three months

Making a packet: The Russian launched her sweet brand, Sugarpova, last year and sold a quarter of a million bags within three months

You can choose from flavours that include Spooky Sour, Splashy, Silly, Cheeky and Flirty

You can choose from flavours that include Spooky Sour, Splashy, Silly, Cheeky and Flirty

Tasty: You can choose from flavours that include Spooky Sour, Splashy, Silly, Cheeky Flirty, Silly Sour and Chic

The Russian, who claims to have a sweet tooth, invested half a million dollars in the brand. Each bag retails at around 3.70 a bag, a steep price in comparison to a bag of Haribo which is less than half that.

It’s not the first time she has ventured into design, having previously teamed up with Nike and watch-makers Tag Heuer. But this solo project has been more of a challenge for the world No 2.

The brand offers 12 varieties, such as Sporty, which are in the shape of tennis balls, and Chic, which features mini gummy handbags and heels. There is also Splashy, in the shape of turtles and squid, and Sassy Sour.

One of Sugapova's variations features gumballs in the shape of tennis balls

Sporty: One of Sugapova's variations features gumballs in the shape of tennis balls

Sugarpova consultant Jeff Rubin said that Sharapova has been very committed to the business, and that only the day after winning the French Open she was at the factory conducting taste tests for the product.

The 25-year-old has not ruled out expanding the brand into other areas once her tennis career ends, such as fashion and cosmetics.