Tag Archives: edition

Kell Brook hopes to avenge Diego Maradona"s Hand of God

Hand of Kell! Brook ready to punish Argentine Saldivia in final eliminator

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UPDATED:

10:57 GMT, 16 October 2012

Kell Brook has promised to avenge Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal against England in 1986 by punishing Argentina's Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on Saturday.

The 26-year-old hopes to take the final step towards a world title fight when he faces Saldivia in the IBF welterweight final eliminator.

And Brook has called on the Steel City to give him a helping hand during what he expects to be his toughest fight to date.

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Payback: Brook hopes to avenge Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal

Payback: Brook hopes to avenge Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' goal

Brook said: 'This is going to be the toughest fight of my career. Saldivia is a dangerous opponent and I really need my fans to get behind me. Their support can spur me on to that title shot.

'There’s a strong sporting rivalry between England and Argentina, and I’m going to do my bit to settle an old score. I hope the nation gets behind me this weekend.'

Brook will be looking to extend his unbeaten record to 29 fights against Saldivia who boasts a record of 41 wins from 43 bouts, including 32 knockouts.

Raring to go: Kell Brook (left) takes on Hector Saldivia on Saturday

Raring to go: Kell Brook (left) takes on Hector Saldivia on Saturday

And the Sheffield man is calling on his supporters to send messages of support via Twitter using the hashtag #HandOfKell.

The most inspirational ones will be printed onto a limited edition set of gloves which will be awarded to the person who tweets the most inspirational message.

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Juventus want Luis Suarez as Robin Van Persie deal falters

Juventus switch attention to Liverpool striker Suarez as Van Persie deal falters

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UPDATED:

06:05 GMT, 7 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Juventus will turn their attentions to Liverpool forward Luis Suarez as their chase for wantaway Arsenal striker Robin van Persie looks certain to fail.

The Italian giants have been frontrunners in the battle to land the Dutchman's signature after he signalled his intention to leave the Gunners earlier this summer.

But with negotiations stalling, Juve general manager Giuseppe Marotta will launch a surprise bid to lure Suarez from Anfield.

Italian job: Suarez is a target for Italian giants Juve

Italian job: Suarez is a target for Italian giants Juve

Suarez was dismayed at being booed while playing for Uruguay at the London Olympics and Juve could test Liverpool's resolve to keep hold of him, according to the Mirror.

Van Persie is yet to play for Arsenal since declaring he wanted to leave the club, but has joined the 24-man squad which travelled to Germany on Monday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's board have once again come under attack from shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

The billionaire, who is the club's second-biggest shareholder behind American Stan Kroenke, criticised the board in an open letter last month and has now told Forbes Magazine's Russian edition that he believes board 'politics' are hampering manager Arsene Wenger's efforts to improve a squad which has not won a trophy since lifting the 2005 FA Cup.

Weight-ing game: Van Persie is still at Arsenal, despite his best efforts to leave

Weight-ing game: Van Persie is still at Arsenal, despite his best efforts to leave

Usmanov said: 'We do not consider just qualifying for the Champions League to be the chief ambition of the club, and with all our hearts we support the team and wish them well for the new season.

'Victory is absolutely not ruled out, but the current politics of the club's management will leave Arsene Wenger and his team with fewer and fewer opportunities in the long run.'

Usmanov insists however that he has no plans to end his association with the club.

'I am a fan and I am not going to sell these shares at any time, since this is the club that I consider the best in the world,' he added.

Monaco Grand Prix: McLaren fan breaks back as grandstand gives way

McLaren fan breaks back in 35-feet fall at Monaco as grandstand gives way

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 26 May 2012

McLaren stars Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have written personal get-well letters to a team fan seriously injured in Monaco this week.

Minutes before first practice on Thursday a grandstand at Tabac gave way, resulting in 49-year-old Lawrence Relph from Margate plummeting 35 feet to the ground.

Personal letter: Hamilton and Button both wrote to the McLaren fan

Personal letter: Hamilton and Button both wrote to the McLaren fan

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Relph was taken to the local Princesse Grace hospital, where he is currently recovering after breaking his back and left leg.

A second man involved in the incident was fortunate to escape injury as he clung on to the wooden stand as it collapsed.

A McLaren spokesman yesterday visited Relph in hospital, taking the letters and a copy of a limited-edition book released two weeks ago by McLaren, signed by both Button and Hamilton.

Button said: 'It was pretty serious so we both wrote him a letter saying the obvious, “sorry to hear about your incident, get well soon”.

'We also thanked him for his support because he is a massive fan of the team.

Setting: Monaco plays host to round six of the Formula One world championship

Setting: Monaco plays host to round six of the Formula One world championship

'It's obviously a very difficult time for him. He came here to watch Formula One and he hasn't watched anything. He's been in hospital.

'We've done as much as we could. Hopefully he is watching us on television in the hospital.'

Hamilton added: 'We wouldn't be here without our fans. They mean a huge amount to us and the team, and we're grateful for all the support we get.

'When we heard about what happened we were quite saddened about it, so sending him a letter was the least we could do.

'Hopefully he has a speedy recovery because what's happened is tragic, but at least he will get better.'

As an incentive for his recovery, Relph has been invited into the McLaren motorhome as a weekend guest for next year's race.

Manuel Neuer not fazed by Didier Drogba

Neuer favours Drogba duel over nerve-wracking television appearance

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 18 May 2012

The thought of peering into the whites of Didier Drogba’s eyes may send a shudder through Manuel Neuer, but he’d take it any day over the question that loomed before him not long ago.

To Nurnberg’s Martin Behaim, we owe the oldest surviving what A compass, B slide rule, C globe, D magnetic compass. The Bayern keeper was on a roll, but this was the toughest so far. He could have guessed but thought better of it. There was one million euros riding on his answer.

Neuer may be competing for the most coveted prize in club football, in Saturday’s Champions’ League final, but playing for high stakes is nothing new to him after one of the performances of his life on a recent celebrity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Safe hands: Manuel Neuer will keep goal for Bayern Munich on Saturday

Safe hands: Manuel Neuer will keep goal for Bayern Munich on Saturday

The memory of sitting opposite Germany’s version of Chris Tarrant, who had the same deliberate style of staring intently before finally calling an answer correct or not, is burned on Neuer’s mind for all time.

He came up with 14 right answers, before admitting defeat over a final obscure question about 15th century philosopher and astronomer Behaim, but needed some assistance along the way. It took a nod from a fellow-contestant in the background, singer Maite Kelly, to convince him The Joker was a character from the Batman series, while he used up his 50-50 option for the 16,000 euro question, phone-a-friend for 125,000 and consult the audience for 500,000.

He outshone his two rivals – Kelly and comedian Michael Mittermeier each bailing out after winning 125,000 – but he still winced, at Bayern’s training ground, when Sportsmail asked him to relive his 40-minute appearance in German TV station RTL’s hot seat.

‘Honestly, it was an ordeal,’ he said. ‘Give me a penalty shoot-out in the Champions’ League final any day of the week. At least you have some idea of what is coming when you face someone from the penalty spot. I’d take that every time.

‘It was incredibly nerve-wracking. I was sitting there under the TV lights, in front of a studio audience, for well over half-an-hour, and the nearer I got to the million euros, the greater the pressure.

Main man: Didier Drobga (right) will be Chelsea's dangerman in Munich

Main man: Didier Drobga (right) will be Chelsea's dangerman in Munich

‘Of course, the questions got more difficult, and while you’re trying to decide which answer to go for, you are conscious of how much is at stake for the charity you’ve chosen.

‘Football is my day-to-day job, not answering questions on so many different topics. It was like stepping into a different world. I can’t remember all the questions, but I’ll always remember the last one. I can recite it to you now, if you want.

‘I thought about it for a few seconds, then decided, as I’d never even heard of Martin Behaim, and had used up all my lives, I’d better not risk it. I just said “Now is the end of the gamble” and sat back, relieved it was over.

‘When I was asked what I would have gone for, I said A, so it’s as well I didn’t try and guess. The correct answer was C, globe. The money went to a charity tackling child poverty, so I was really pleased about that. I thought it might have impressed my team-mates, but when I got back to the training ground, all I got was: “I could have answered that.” I’d like to see them try!’

One-time Manchester United target Neuer might have fared better with a question on amateur psychology, judging by the way he solved the one problem that confronted him after joining Bayern.

Preparation: Bayern Munich's side train ahead of Saturday's showdown

Preparation: Bayern Munich's side train ahead of Saturday's showdown

‘At Schalke, I always had a lot to do in games, but here, I found there were long spells where I just didn’t see the ball,’ he said. ‘That can make it difficult maintaining concentration levels. You have to be ready if you are suddenly called into action, but it is not easy if you have been a virtual spectator.

‘It needed a change of mindset, and I came up with the idea of making use of any break in play. Now, if there is a stoppage of any kind, I walk into the back of my net, have a drink from my water bottle and just switch off for a few moments. Once play resumes, the switch goes back on again.

‘I have found that helps me stay focused. When you are not seeing much of the ball for long periods, you have to guard against your concentration wavering. It works, and it could be particularly important in the final.

‘Chelsea are very strong defensively, and as the opposition, you can be lulled into thinking you have an advantage, because they appear to be on the back foot. But that can be dangerous, because suddenly they land a punch on you, and it can leave you hurt and dazed. We saw that against Barcelona, and we have to be wary of it. I have to be alive to that threat.’

Asked if he may finally say sorry to Frank Lampard for the goal-that-never-was in the last World Cup, Neuer replied: ‘No, it is the referee who owes him an apology. I have not had the chance to speak to Frank about it. Perhaps if we are together in the doping control after the game, it might be a topic of conversation to help pass the time!’

London 2012 Olympics: 50p coin explains offside rule

Worth every penny… New London 2012 Olympics inspired 50p coin explains offside rule

Trying to explain the offside rule to beginners of the game can be, at times, as difficult (and frustrating) as attempting to conquer a Rubik's cube.

Whether it's to a loved one or to a young child, sometimes it seems to be an impossible job.

Worth every penny: The London 2012 50p piece explains the offside rule

Worth every penny: The London 2012 50p piece explains the offside rule

But the eternally notorious task is no more thanks to the Royal Mint, who have produced a new 50p coin to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

laura Williamson 2012 blog

The genius design – inspired by production journalist Neil Wolfson – is available as part of the collection of 29 new coins this year which features each sport of the games.

'Neil Wolfson designed his coin in the hope that it would encapsulate football in a simple image,' the Royal Mint coinmakers website explains.

He's miles off, ref: Marcus Tudgay was denied a goal for Nottingham Forest earlier this season against Reading

He's miles off, ref: Marcus Tudgay was denied a goal for Nott'm Forest against Reading while assistant referee Sian Massey (below) signals an offside call

Making the call: Assistant referee Sian Massey raises her flag for offside

'As the offside rule is a perennial talking point, the image is designed to provoke discussion, which was what he was aiming for.'

The piece is in circulation but can be purchased separately in a limited edition package on the Royal Mint website for 2.99.

So if you do manage to get one of the rare keepsakes, hold onto it and save it for those potentially awkward moments when you have to explain the rule for the umpteenth consecutive time…