Tag Archives: clear

Mario Balotelli camouflages his Bentley Continental GT car

What are you trying to hide, Mario Balotelli camouflages his car… but high-vis Mancini stands out on his bike

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UPDATED:

14:23 GMT, 10 November 2012

There's no disguising it, Mario Balotelli is normally not one to blend in with the crowd. But Manchester City's enigmatic Italian seems to be bucking the trend with his new camouflaged car.

As City prepare for the visit of Tottenham to the Etihad, the 22 year-old striker arrived at the Carrington complex in an unmissable Bentley Continental GT.

Balotelli, who crashed his car in the Deansgate area of Manchester earlier this year, once again turned heads with City staff eyeing up the vinyl wrap addition on the 160,000 motor.

New look: Mario Balotelli's paint job will turn heads

New look: Mario Balotelli's paint job will turn heads

New look: Balotelli arrives at training

Causing a stir: City staff admire Mario's latest stunt

Causing a stir: Incredulous City staff admire Mario's latest stunt

Meanwhile, following road accidents involving Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton this week, City boss Roberto Mancini was doing his best to stand out on the road.

Wearing a helmet and a high-vis jacket, Mancini looked fully at ease on two wheels, with a clear signal to the right before making a textbook entry into Carrington.

In plain sight: Roberto Mancini prepares to enter Carrington

In plain sight: A well-dressed and well-drilled Roberto Mancini prepares to enter Carrington

Balotelli and his team mates get back to the bread-and-butter business of the Premier League tomorrow, determined to bounce back from their midweek European embarrassment.

Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Ajax leaves Mancini's side teetering on the edge of Champions League elimination from the group stages for the second year in succession, but assistant boss David Platt is backing City to continue their unbeaten domestic season.

Platt said: 'Players are resilient animals and people don't give them credit for that. They think that players get affected and things like that.

Tractor boy: Balotelli warms up in training

Tractor boy: Balotelli warms up in training

'Disappointment or any pleasure lasts a very short time because immediately there's another game coming your way and the boys have got to put their boots back on again.

'This is the first day we've had back when we're all together and my experience would tell me that that will happen after the next game too.'

Their defensive frailties were exposed again by Ajax on Tuesday but they have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games.

To build on that record they will need to quell the threat of Tottenham's in-form frontman Jermain Defoe, who scored a hat-trick in a Europa League win over Maribor on Thursday.

Dangerman: Jermain Defoe hit thre against Maribor in midwek

Dangerman: Jermain Defoe hit thre against Maribor in midwek

The 30-year-old is a player former England Under-21 coach Platt is well aware of.

Platt said: 'He is potent. Defoe will always score goals. He could go six or seven games without scoring but you know if he does there is a glut coming because his stats tell you he scores goals.

'He is 5ft 3in – he'll have pop at me for that – but a cross comes in and he gets a header in the six-yard box.

'When a ball comes into the box he knows how to finish, he knows what to do. He has very early pictures in his mind about how he is going to score, no matter what angle it is.

David Silva is back in training after a month out with a hamstring injury and has a chance of featuring. Defender Joleon Lescott is also back in contention after a back problem.

"I couldn"t pretend to be Welsh": Birmingham-born Turner rejects Coleman"s advances

'I couldn't pretend to be Welsh': Birmingham-born Turner rejects Coleman's advances

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UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 27 October 2012

Cardiff City's Ben Turner has turned his back on the chance to play international football for Wales, admitting he did not want to 'kid' anyone.

The 24-year-old defender qualifies to play for Chris Coleman's side through his Welsh grandmother – and the Wales boss had been scouting his progress.

Yet Turner, who has represented England at Under 19 level, was quick to reject the offer of changing allegiance, saying he did not want to 'pretend to be a Welshman'.

'Clear conscience': Ben Turner (right) will not be playing for Wales

'Clear conscience': Ben Turner (right) will not be playing for Wales

'I’m English and that’s how it is,' the Birmingham-born player told the BBC.

'I wouldn’t want to stop anyone for wanting to play international football if they felt it was right for them and they can justify it in their own head.

Familiar face: Chris Coleman worked with Turner at Coventry

Familiar face: Chris Coleman worked with Turner at Coventry

'But I couldn’t justify it for me and clear my own conscience.

'It would be like I was pretending to be a Welshman when I’m not.

'I wouldn’t want to kid anyone but at the same time I don’t want to annoy anyone either because that’s not my style.

'It was very flattering to be asked and I know Chris Coleman well from when we were both at Coventry.

'It went through my head that “who am I to turn down playing for Wales”

'But I’m not doing it because of that, I’m doing it for my own reasons which are the right reasons.

'Would a Welsh guy asked to play for England, would he do that

'I probably won’t have the chance to play for England but, in my head, that’s not the point.'

Manchester United join 24m race for Nelson Oliveira

Manchester United join 24m race for Benfica hot shot Oliveira

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UPDATED:

05:30 GMT, 18 September 2012

Manchester United are the latest club to declare an interest in Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira.

Chelsea and Manchester City have made
repeated checks on the 21-year-old, who has scored two goals in four La Liga games since joining Deportivo la
Coruna on a season-long loan.

Hot shot: Nelson Oliveira

Hot shot: Nelson Oliveira

And now Oliveira is on the radar of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, according to reports in Spain.

Chelsea have been tracking Oliveira since he impressed as a substitute for Oscar Cardozo at Stamford
Bridge in the Champions' League last April, while City have begun
monitoring his form after a clear signal Benfica may have to cash in on
him at the end of the season.

Barcelona are also keen admirers, while Real Madrid are aware of a likely scramble to sign him next summer, with Jose Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes representing him.

Eye-catching: Oliveira impressed against Chelsea

Eye-catching: Oliveira impressed against Chelsea

At 6ft 1in, Oliveira has been likened in
Portugal to a taller version of City striker Sergio Aguero, for his
mobility and link-up play as well as clinical finishing.

A surprise selection for this summer’s European Championships, after being voted second-best player at the under-20 World Cup 12 months earlier, he made four substitute appearances and followed up with his first senior international goal, in a 2-0 win over Panama.

Oliveira is currently on a season-long loan at Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna. His Benfica deal runs until 2017 and contains a 24million buy-out clause.

Prospect: Oliveira played for Portugal at Euro 2012

Prospect: Oliveira played for Portugal at Euro 2012

Chelsea and Manchester City tracking 24m Nelson Oliveira

EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea and Manchester City tracking 24m hot shot Oliveira

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 14 September 2012

Chelsea and Manchester City are
leading the chase for one of Europe's top prospects after making
repeated checks on Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira.

The 20-year-old has been on Chelsea's
radar since impressing as a substitute for Oscar Cardozo at Stamford
Bridge in the Champions' League last April, while City have begun
monitoring his form after a clear signal Benfica may have to cash in on
him at the end of the season.

Hit shot: Nelson Oliveira

Hit shot: Nelson Oliveira

Barcelona are also keen admirers, while Real Madrid are aware of a likely scramble to sign him next summer, with Jose Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes representing him.

At 6ft 1in, Oliveira has been likened in Portugal to a taller version of City striker Sergio Aguero, for his mobility and link-up play as well as clinical finishing.

Eye-catching: Oliveira impressed against Chelsea

Eye-catching: Oliveira impressed against Chelsea

A surprise selection for this summer’s European Championships, after being voted second-best player at the under-20 World Cup 12 months earlier, he made four substitute appearances and followed up with his first senior international goal, in a 2-0 win over Panama.

Oliveira is currently on a season-long loan at Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna. His Benfica deal runs until 2017 and contains a 24million buy-out clause.

Prospect: Oliveira played for Portugal at Euro 2012

Prospect: Oliveira played for Portugal at Euro 2012

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray has to step into Rafa Nadal role

Now Murray has to step into Rafa's role… he can't spurn many more major chances

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 4 July 2012

This time he is not lurking there, waiting to club Andy Murray as he has done so often before in Grand Slam semi-finals.

Not only is he out of the way at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal is out of commission altogether.

On the day the British No 1 nervelessly fought his way into Wimbledon’s last four past one Spaniard, the most famous of them all announced that he is pulling out of an exhibition match at Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium against Novak Djokovic this month to rest his wounded knees.

Heavens above: Andy Murray beat David Ferrer in four sets to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals once again

Heavens above: Andy Murray beat David Ferrer in four sets to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals once again

Heavens above: Andy Murray beat David Ferrer in four sets to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals once again

That should alarm Nadal’s legion of fans but Murray will not care. Now, for the first time since he faced Andy Roddick here three years ago, he has a distinctly winnable-looking match to make the final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom he has beaten five times out of six.

And so the WillAndyWinaSlamometer, the infernal measure of the question that is asked most about him, nudges slightly back towards positive territory.

Murray’s game matches up better against the gifted but more mercurial Frenchman than it does against ultra-stoic and consistent David Ferrer, making you believe that the biggest obstacle between the 25-year-old Scot and the final may have been vaulted.

Sober analysis, however, still suggests that the eventual winner of the title is favoured to come from the other side of the draw: Djokovic or Roger Federer, neither of whom are trying to scale the Eiger north face of history.

Clear path: Murray has his best chance of reaching the Wimbledon final due to the absence of Rafa Nadal

Clear path: Murray has his best chance of reaching the Wimbledon final due to the absence of Rafa Nadal

Both have been here before and whoever emerges from their semi-final — Djokovic must be the favourite — will have gleaned huge confidence.

While Federer has 16 more major titles than Murray, they do actually share something in that they are both fighting against facts and figures which show how difficult it is to achieve their goal in the second week of this gripping Wimbledon.

In Murray’s case, only six men who are older than he is now have won their first Grand Slam over the past 30 years: Andres Gomez, Thomas Muster, Petr Korda, Thomas Johansson, Albert Costa and, most famously, at SW19, Goran Ivanisevic.

If the names do not, in most cases, jump out at you there is good reason: all of their triumphs turned out to be a one-off career pinnacle. If Murray is going to join them or improve on them, he cannot spurn too many more chances.

Lieing in wait: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be Murray's opponent in the semi-final on Friday

Lieing in wait: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be Murray's opponent in the semi-final on Friday

As for Federer, now nearly 31, he is trying to become only the seventh man since 1982 to win one of the four biggest prizes past the age of 30.

Being a parent seems to lengthen the odds of it happening even more.
Yet to both players’ advantage is the undoubted fact that the age range for everything in tennis, from players breaking into the top 100 to the time when you are reaching your peak is — as in 30-year-old Ferrer’s case — shifting steadily upwards.

Murray should be massively fortified by the win over a player who has turned himself from journeyman to everyone’s worst nightmare.

Ferrer gets everything back, never gives up and his game has hidden depths. For instance, like that of watching guest of honour Andre Agassi up in the Royal Box, his serve is deceptively difficult, sneaking through where you least expect it.

Tough nut to crack: Ferrer played his part in a tight and tense match on Centre Court

Tough nut to crack: Ferrer played his part in a tight and tense match on Centre Court

But then the key to Murray emerging from a really knotty quarter of the draw to make the semis has been his own serve, which time and again dug him out of trouble on the big points in a manner not unreminiscent of Pete Sampras.

Coach Ivan Lendl will purr with pride at this.

He keeps his charge’s service percentages logged in his mobile phone, and will be delighted to see that, yet again this fortnight, what was the former vulnerability of the second serve held up superbly, delivering 59 per cent of winning points when called upon.

This match was actually very similar to last year’s Australian Open semi-final between the same players, which ended in Murray winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 7-6. Just like here, it was unbearably tense and saw the British player going within one point of a two-set deficit.

The only difference was that, unlike on that steamy night in Melbourne, Ferrer did not briefly go walkabout in the third.

In the wake of that Murray went on to crash, horribly, against Djokovic in the final. With Lendl by his side you doubt that will be the case this time.