Tag Archives: enemies

New footage of Webber cutting up Vettel in dangerous move AFTER the race. Watson says ban Vettel

Fresh footage shows fuming Webber cutting up Red Bull team-mate Vettel in dangerous move after Malaysia mayhem

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

13:23 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 25 March 2013

Dramatic new footage has emerged revealing just how serious the feud is between Red Bull team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after the Australian pulled a shockingly dangerous maneouvre after the Malaysian Grand Prix had finished.

Red Bull are in turmoil today after Vettel ignored their clear instruction not to challenge Webber at the climax of the race, and the German was forced to issue an apology for undermining the order which has left his colleague considering his Formula One future.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch the astonishing footage

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

New footage reveals just how angry
Webber was in the aftermath of the race as he dangerously cuts across
Vettel at high speed to display his fury, only missing his team-mates
car by a matter of inches.

Former McLaren driver John Watson, a
winner of five grands prix, believes Red Bull must take immediate action
against their three-time world champion.

‘The question is, what are the team
going to do to sanction Sebastian Vettel And the only solution I would
find is suspending him for next grand prix,’ Watson told BBC Radio 4.

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Punishment: Sebastian Vettel deserves a one-race ban, claims John Watson

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

VIDEO: Watch Webber's dangerous move

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

‘You can’t take the points away from
him and give them to Mark Webber, a fine would be irrelevant, so the
only purposeful way to bring him to book is to say “you will stand out
one race”.’

‘I know that if other drivers in other teams disobeyed a team order they would be suspended or even fired.’

Red Bull cancelled their victory photo
in the aftermath of yesterday’s controversy while it has been reported
that Webber needed to be persuaded to participate in the podium
ceremony.

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Watson says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner must take action or risk his position being undermined by Vettel.

‘If Christian Horner doesn’t reassert his authority in the team – because he has been totally subjugated by Sebastian Vettel yesterday – then his position in the team is not exactly the role it is designed to be,’ added Watson.

‘The only conclusion I can reach is that Vettel should be suspended for the next grand prix.’

Arsene Wenger says he thinks the English anthem is his favourite

God Save the Queen, says Wenger as he reveals the English anthem is his favourite

PUBLISHED:

13:40 GMT, 16 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:05 GMT, 16 January 2013

Arsene Wenger has revealed his love for the English national anthem as he paid tribute to the country where he has managed for the last 16 years.

The 63-year-old Frenchman has helped mould the modern English game since he took over at Arsenal in 1996 and he admitted the country has had an effect on him too.

At the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations today, Wenger said: 'I feel grateful because football was love affair of my life. England created football. I’ll always have massive respect for that.

French export: Arsene Wenger has been taken in by English football culture

French export: Arsene Wenger has been taken in by English football culture

'Without this country, I would not have known football. So the anniversary is a good opportunity to thank England as sometimes the world forgets that.

Since arriving at Arsenal, Wenger has won three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups, including doubles in both the 1997-98 and 2001-02 seasons.

His 'Invicibles' team, which went unbeaten in the 2003-04 campaign, epitomised the football which has led to millions of fans around the globe following the Premier League.

Wenger built a team good enough to go a whole season unbeaten

Invincibles: Wenger built a team good enough to go a whole season unbeaten

'There’s a real passion here for the game but as well, I believe the whole world benefits from this sport,' he said.

'When I travel to World Cups and Euros, I say always, “Let’s be on time, I don’t want to miss the national anthem of England”.

'That’s where you feel the passion of the game. No matter where it is, there are more English people than anybody else. That’s fantastic.'

Wenger and Alex Ferguson have had a love-hate relationship

Best of enemies: Wenger and Alex Ferguson have had a love-hate relationship

Luis Suarez v Patrice Evra and the Premier League"s other biggest grudges

Best of enemies: Sportsmail looks at the Premier League's biggest player grudges

|

UPDATED:

16:32 GMT, 13 September 2012

We are barely a month into the new Premier League season and already we have our first player bust-up.

Just two months after Chelsea’s John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, the QPR defender is expected to snub Ashley Cole's handshake in the west London derby this weekend, after the full-back had stood as a character witness for his Blues team-mate during the trial.

With Cole also set to be given the same treatment later in the season by Ferdinand’s brother and Manchester United defender, Rio, Sportsmail looks at previous player grudges – with some amounting to more than just a refused handshake.

Luis Suarez v Patrice Evra

One of the major talking points from last season. It started in October during a league game at Anfield between Liverpool and Manchester United before seeming to go on throughout the campaign.

An on-pitch incident that saw Luis Suarez racially abuse Patrice Evra resulted in a two-month inquiry that eventually ended with the Liverpool striker banned for eight games.

But that wasn’t the end of it. The bad blood between the pair only increased when Liverpool and United clashed for the return fixture in February at Old Trafford.

The Uruguayan refused to shake the United full-back’s hand before the match, provoking an immediate reaction from Evra and even a post-match response from Liverpool condemning Suarez’s actions.

It’s a feud that is set to continue. Even once the season was over, Suarez called his ban ‘strange and unbelievable’. Watch this space.

Samir Nasri v William Gallas

North London derbies are well fought and fiery encounters at the best of times but the build-up to Arsenal and Tottenham’s clash at the Emirates Stadium in November 2010 had even more fuel to throw on the fire.

Just team-mates at Arsenal months before, Samir Nasri and William Gallas had a big fall-out and it wasn’t even over the latter’s summer switch across to White Hart Lane.

It all centered on Gallas accusing his international team-mate of being a bad influence on France’s awful Euro 2008 campaign where they finished bottom of their group.

The pair refused to shake hands before the game, but although Nasri drew first blood by scoring the opener, Gallas had the last laugh as his Spurs side came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

John Terry v Wayne Bridge

The original ‘handshake gate’. So much had been made of John Terry having an alleged affair with a previous girlfriend of former Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge in 2009, that it resulted in the Chelsea centre-back losing the England captaincy.

But in February 2010, just two months after the allegations, the two came head-to-head on the pitch when Manchester City paid a visit to Stamford Bridge.

Terry’s attempt at a handshake was rebuffed by Bridge, with the full-back then going on to play 78 minutes as City recorded a surprise 4-2 win.

The pair have faced each other just once since, when West Ham crashed 3-0 at Chelsea last year – again Bridge snubbed the handshake.

Roy Keane v Patrick Vieira

There is only room for one midfield general on the pitch and during a period between 1997 and 2005, when Arsenal and Manchester United were both fighting for the title, Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane often clashed over who was top dog.

On many occasions a late challenge or a few choice words on the pitch was a far as it went, but that was before United visited Arsenal in February 2005.

Unknown to the Highbury crowd, Keane and Vieira had an infamous angry exchange in the tunnel pre-match which led to the two having to be pulled apart.

Even as the teams were about to walk-out, the Irishman was still furiously getting his point across to the Arsenal skipper.

It’s a feud that’s gone down in Premier League history as one of the greats and today the two can at least exist on the same show as pundits, judging by ITV’s Champions League coverage last season when the pair were more than once side-by-side.

Roy Keane v Alf-Inge Haaland

But another grudge involving the former United skipper was his ugly personal battle with Manchester City defender, Alf-Inge Haaland.

During a league match between Leeds and the Red Devils in September 1997, Keane’s attempted foul on Haaland caused himself an injury that would rule him out for the rest of the season.

The Norwegian, furious at the attempted trip, accused Keane of faking the injury as he lay stricken on the ground.

It was a moment Keane wouldn’t forget, and when the Manchester derby came to Old Trafford in April 2001 he would extract revenge.

With the ball the furthest thing from Keane’s mind, he launched a knee-high studs-up challenge at the defender, picking up a red card in the process.

It was only a year later in his autobiography that Keane admitted the ‘challenge’ was premeditated, and it resulted in the midfielder picking up a five-match-ban and 150,000 fine in addition to the three-game-ban and 5,000 he had already been punished for originally. Haaland retired through a separate knee injury just two years after the incident.

Martin Samuel: Frank Lampard puts us all at ease

Cool-headed Lampard puts us all at ease

|

UPDATED:

01:09 GMT, 8 September 2012

England's greatest penalty taker. As accolades go, it is not saying much.

A bit like being the most famous Moldovan* or the brains of the latest generation of the Kardashian family. It's all relative.

Yet there is still something to be said for having Frank Lampard march towards goal when the referee has pointed to the spot.

At ease: Frank Lampard is England's most successful penalty taker

At ease: Frank Lampard is England's most successful penalty taker

More from Martin Samuel…

Martin Samuel: No mess, no fuss, Roy… be a master of the unfamiliar, just like Capello
06/09/12

Your organic goose is truly cooked, Hugh
06/09/12

Martin Samuel: In the era of the owner-manager, you'll never work alone
04/09/12

Martin Samuel: The real Team GB is all of us – let the Olympics be a game-changer
12/08/12

Martin Samuel: He's prickly, makes enemies and missed his own medal target, but UK Athletics must keep Charles van Commenee
12/08/12

Martin Samuel: Indeed, women do know their place… on the podium
10/08/12

Stop complaining and pitch in! People, not playing fields, have made the winners of Team GB
09/08/12

Payne misses the medals by 0.4seconds… and now GB swimmers face big dip in cash pool
09/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It is a very comforting watching him clasp the ball between his hands before laying it firmly on the turf. In Frank we trust.

Mostly, anyway. Penalty shoot-outs at major tournaments, it could go either way. Scored in 2004, missed in 2006, did not play in 2012.

A game like this, however, and a penalty for England almost certainly means a goal for Lampard, too.

So it was in Moldova and the weight on English shoulders eased. That is what Lampard does best of all, he releases tension.

England could have been edgy, first game of a World Cup qualifying campaign, away from home in unfamiliar surroundings.

Lampard prevented that angst from surfacing. Once Dutch referee Paulus van Boekel had judged defender Simeon Bulgaru to have handled, few pulses even raced as Lampard stood over the ball.

Unlike goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco, we knew what to expect: the outcome, if not the trajectory.

As it transpired, this one travelled low to the left, just out of Namasco's reach: 1-0 to England, eight successful penalties to Lampard, a cursory celebration and Roy Hodgson's team had taken a first step on a journey they hope will end in Brazil.

Some would rush Lampard into
retirement but we will miss him when he has gone; we will miss that
security blanket; we will miss that sense of certainty.

We will miss those goals. He has 25 for England now, which is one more than Sir Geoff Hurst and one fewer than Bryan Robson.

Lampard's reputation is only enhanced by proximity to a player whose contribution from midfield is considered prolific.

Comforting: Lampard is placed 13th in England's list of goalscorers after a brace against Moldova

Comforting: Lampard is placed 13th in England's list of goalscorers after a brace against Moldova

Robson, do not forget, was England's warrior midfielder, too – and he was injured a lot. Captain Marvel, indeed.

Lampard is a marvel, too, in his own way. His scoring efficiency here afforded his team-mates the freedom to attack Moldova and, three goals up after 31 minutes, what could have been a tricky encounter unfolded in the manner of a spirited training exercise.

The survivors of England's only other visit to Moldova, in 1996, the first match of Glenn Hoddle's tenure as national manager, would not have recognised the old place. That was because it had been knocked down.

The crumbling Republican Stadium made it through another 11 years before it was put out of its misery and fixtures moved to the home of Chisinau's biggest team, FC Zimbru 65.

A zimbru is a particularly large,
fighting bull that was once prevalent in Moldova. Like the Republican
Stadium, it is now extinct in these parts. Legend has it that zimbru
were used to repel the invading Ottomans.

They
could have done with some of them in defence on Friday. Or attack. Or
ambushing England's players as they left the team hotel. Team sports
aren't really Moldova's thing, a nice man called Vitali, from the
Department of Sport and High Achievement, explained.

Battered: England hammered Moldova 5-0 on Friday night

Battered: England hammered Moldova 5-0 on Friday night

Wrestling, more recently weightlifting, bit of judo, are the big sports around here. Individual events, said Vitali. Moldova had a women's basketball team that did a bit 20 years ago and a couple of water polo players who held their own during the nation's final fling as part of Russia.

The rest of it was something of a bust. Give a Moldovan a Lycra singlet and he was happy, seemed to be the message. A football, not so much. A betting slip, however, that's a different story.

Stadium Zimbru is decked out in the yellow and green colours of its club proprietors, not the blue of the national team.

'Like Bet365,' Vitali observed before revealing that many in the country had wagered on his match.

The
most popular bets Moldova not to score but not to lose by three goals
or more. It was hardly the most unexpected prediction: the hosts to be
defeated while keeping it tighter than last time. They were wrong about
that, too.

Applauded: England's players should be praised for making Moldova look as poor as they did

Applauded: England's players should be praised for making Moldova look as poor as they did

In the most impoverished country in Europe, let's hope they were cautious at the counter. So, an emphatic win this may have been, but it would be wrong to call it easy.

England played very well in order to make Moldova appear poor and this was not a game that anyone took lightly, from Hodgson to the Department of Sport and High Achievement or the local police.

There were hundreds of them, thousands maybe taking into account the other uniforms, soldiers and Carabinieri, plus guards at every level of the functional Soviet-style apartment building Dacia that towered over the stadium, its infrastructure worryingly exposed through the bleak concrete facade.

'Very nice flats,' said Vitali, the property market being relative, too. Much like concepts of success in a tie such as this.

Some argue England should go to Chisinau and destroy the makeweights of
Moldova; others that the days of proud supremacy are gone and a win of
any kind is acceptable.

Tougher tests ahead: ENgland will face off against Ukraine on Tuesday

Tougher tests ahead: ENgland will face off against Ukraine on Tuesday

The truth is probably in between. Of course, the result trumps all; but it was equally important for Hodgson's team to play as well as they did, to build confidence with sterner tests ahead, starting against Ukraine on Tuesday.

Like being English football's greatest penalty taker, or getting on the cover of Moldova's equivalent of House and Home, it's all relative here, too.

*Probably Anton Rubinstein, the Russian composer and one of the great piano virtuosos of the 19th century, who, as founder of the St Petersburg Conservatory was composition tutor to Tchaikovsky (although he was born in Transnistria, which wasn't actually Moldova at the time.

Robin van Persie transfer: It hurts selling to our enemies, says Arsene Wenger

Wenger: United are our enemies, it hurts selling Van Persie to them

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 16 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted that he would have rather seen Robin van Persie join big-spending Paris Saint-Germain than Premier League 'enemies' Manchester United.

An 24million deal was agreed on Wednesday that sees Arsenal break with precedent to sell one of their prize assets to bitter rivals United for the first time in Wenger's 16-year reign.

Arsenal's hand was forced last month when the 29-year-old revealed that he would not sign a new deal at the club, meaning that they had to offload their captain or lose him for free next summer.

'Enemies': Wenger would rather have sold Van Persie to Paris Saint-Germain

'Enemies': Wenger would rather have sold Van Persie to Paris Saint-Germain

But despite sanctioning the sale, Wenger has admitted that he is disappointed that the Dutchman will be wearing the shirt of the club that he has battled against for so many years.

'To strengthen an enemy is the other negative point of this loss,' Wenger told Eurosport’s parent station TF1. 'We wanted to avoid it but we couldn’t. Honestly, I’d rather sell him abroad, to Paris Saint-Germain for example.

'Manchester United know him and know his qualities. He’s really an exceptional player, believe me.'

Wenger, however, is optimistic that Arsenal can cope with the departure of Van Persie as they prepare for the new Premier League season.

Deadly duo: Van Persie will be paired with Wayne Rooney (right)

Deadly duo: Van Persie will be paired with Wayne Rooney (right)

'Van Persie is a great player so it’s always sad to lose such a player. But we must consider the economic reality and the will of the player,' he added.

'When you can’t succeed in extending the contract of a player that is in its last year, there is no other way but to let him go. It’s sad because he played for us for eight years. He’s 29 now. He was 21 when he came and it’s another bitter pill to swallow.

'A lot has happened before and we survived it all, but this is a real challenge because Van Persie scored 30 (Premier League) goals in a year, almost one per game. It’s a tough challenge for our new forwards to replace him.'

Stepping into the breach: Giroud (right) will get a chance now that Van Persie has gone

Stepping into the breach: Giroud (right) will get a chance now that Van Persie has gone

When Arsenal signed France striker Olivier Giroud earlier this summer Wenger insisted that he was not brought in as a direct replacement for Van Persie, but now the Frenchman has said that he feels Giroud is the man to step into his shoes.

'The economic part of it is the only satisfaction. But money doesn’t go out on the field and play, players do,' he said.

'It will give more chance to Giroud. When Van Persie is here, his name is the first on the team-sheet and the others follow. So there’s a void to fill.'

London 2012 Olympics: Daley Thompson and Jurgen Hingsen reunited

Decathlon icons! Daley and Hingsen recall an Olympic rivalry that shook the world…

|

UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 24 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Daley Thompson reaches across the decades to embrace Jurgen Hingsen on a terrace overlooking the Olympic Stadium.

Nearly 30 years have passed since these two heroes of athletics’ golden age famously posed together in Lanzarote, where they were training for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, little Daley dwarfed at 6ft dead by big Jurgen, a human cliff of 6ft 7in. And today, brought together by Sportsmail, they recreate that image of their rivalry by jesting in front of the camera, pretending to land a punch on each other’s chin.

The jousting was for real in the 1980s when they were the two finest decathletes on earth: the cheeky-chappy Brit against the West German from central casting.

Best of enemies: British Olympic great Daley Thompson (right) hugs his old foe, Jurgen Hingsen

Best of enemies: British Olympic great Daley Thompson (right) hugs his old foe, Jurgen Hingsen

The two moustachioed men exchanged world records endlessly but it was Thompson who claimed all the major prizes. It was his nerveless ability to summon super-human feats in the heat of competition and his extraordinary competitive instinct that won eight gold medals at Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth level.

He combined all that with an irreverent humour — a trait that remains intact at this reunion over a salmon platter at Foreman’s.

‘There is a certain brotherhood, an energy when we meet,’ says Hingsen. ‘I am always happy when I am in Daley’s company because there is something that connects us. It’s something I want to cherish for the rest of my life. We don’t see each other very often. It is sometimes two or three years. When I turned 50, four years ago, I wanted to invite Daley. There is nobody in the world that would give me more joy and fun than Daley.’

Talk turns to the golf they played on that previous meeting. ‘You tried to beat me, but I didn’t let you,’ smiles Hingsen, knowing it was the rarest of wins. Rivalry like this never sleeps. Friends now, but bitter adversaries to start with, we rewind the clock to 1976 when, as teenagers, they first met on a bus on the way to the long jump in Bremen, Germany.

Still bickering: Thompson and Hingson trade playful blows in front of the Olympic Stadium

Still bickering: Thompson and Hingson trade playful blows in front of the Olympic Stadium

Still bickering: Thompson and Hingson trade playful blows in front of the Olympic Stadium

Thompson, fast-tongued in contrast to Hingsen’s German hauteur, recalls: ‘I remember going back to my coach Bob Mortimer and telling him that I had met another decathlete and he was really big. That’s what I remember.

Tale of the tape: Thompson v Hingsen

‘He was 6ft 7in. Well, he still is. Oh yeah, I was worried by him. We had the European Junior Championships the next year, didn’t we big fella In Donetsk. We were there. That was 1977. There was a big storm. Thunder and lightning. We had to stop the javelin. You asked to go in and I was happy to stay out.’

Hingsen comes clean: ‘We hated each other. This guy called me “Hollywood Hingsen”.

‘He put my picture on the toilet, stuff like that. He thought he was God’s greatest gift.’

Thompson smiles: ‘And now, looking back, I was telling the truth.’

Their defining moment came in the decathlon at the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, with the two days of drama played out under scorching sun.

Hingsen had not competed at Moscow in 1980 when Thompson had won his first gold. But four years later he was the world-record holder and bragged that he would triumph in this mighty collision.

Thompson had retorted: ‘There are only two ways he is going to take a gold medal home: he’ll have to steal mine or win another event.’

It was a battle of differing styles, temperaments and techniques: the methodical Hingsen versus the force of nature that was Thompson, who wore his emotions on his sleeve.

Time flies: Nearly 30 years have passed since Thompson and Hingsen battled at the Los Angeles Games

Time flies: Nearly 30 years have passed since Thompson and Hingsen battled at the Los Angeles Games

Hingsen says: ‘I was not typical as decathletes don’t have to be standard-sized. It is even a disadvantage to be that tall. First of all you have to use a lot more energy. Secondly flexibility.

‘For tall guys pole vault is a pain in the a***, to get 220lb up there. That’s not very easy. Most of the Olympic heroes at that time were much smaller than me — the size of Daley, a little bit taller maybe. It is not ideal to be as tall as me.’

Only 32 points separated them as they competed in the pole vault, the eighth of 10 disciplines and not one of Thompson’s favourites. He needed to clear the bar at 16 feet and succeeded, moving into a virtually unassailable lead.

His joyous celebration — that famous back flip — was electrifying. He still gets asked about it regularly now. Prior to the pole vault Hingsen had fallen asleep under a canopy, suffering from nausea in the heat.

So comfortable was Thompson’s lead after the javelin that he strolled through the final event, the 1500 metres, rather than chase the world record.

‘It is so interesting,’ says Hingsen. ‘We had an official Olympic film from 1984 where hundreds of Americans won gold medals. It was a two-and-a-half hour film: 16 Days of Glory.

‘Half an hour is given over to the decathlon. Then two hours of hundreds of other events. That shows the respect people had for the event. People got to know what decathlon is. You can ask any kid on the street these days and they don’t know.

Power surge: Daley (right) edges out Hingsen (keft) during a 110m hurdles race in 1986

Power surge: Daley (right) edges out Hingsen (keft) during a 110m hurdles race in 1986

Friendly rivalry: The wise-cracking Thompson and the more haughty Hingsen were a great contrast

Friendly rivalry: The wise-cracking Thompson and the more haughty Hingsen were a great contrast

‘Maybe they know swimming, or running. But football is so big these days. Daley and I had one of the major rivalries.

‘There was Coe-Ovett — that was a classic. In boxing, Frazier-Ali was a classic. In motor racing, there was Senna-Prost. That was a classic. Ours was a classic. There were just five tv stations in Germany then. Now you have 250 different stations. It dilutes it all.

‘Sport is quick. You are a star and next day you are gone. These older guys, even in world soccer like 1964, they are more famous.’

Thompson steps in to make a significant correction: ‘Let’s not talk about ’64, let’s talk about ’66…’

Hingsen continues: ‘That’s right, yeah, ’66. Today, if you want to make it for a long period of time you must win every year. And then when that does happen — with Michael Schumacher for example — it gets boring.

Jousting session: The pair in Lanzarote in 1984

Jousting session: The pair in Lanzarote
in 1984

‘Nobody wants to see that. They want
to see ups and downs. They want to see you coming up and see you falling
down. That’s what happens in real life. What we presented was real
life.

‘I always said the two of us would have set the world record for the next thousand years.

‘I had the athletic ability, very strong with my size of 220lb. I could long jump over 8m, high jump 2.18m, shot put well.

‘My technique was not as good as Daley’s — his was excellent. I had a coach who did not let me train with specialists. As for Daley’s mental ability, well … he could also pull something out of his pocket…’

The enthusiasm for their event and high-level sport fizzes, especially from Thompson, a non-drinker who orders his umpteenth Sprite to wash down the salmon.

Aged 53, he often still lurches into the present tense when he talks of competing. He dresses as he always has: in training kit, this time shorts. Heavens, he turned up at his mate Seb Coe’s wedding in a tracksuit.

Thompson, the iconoclast, loves the Olympics perhaps more than anything, his family apart. He looks across at the Olympic Stadium, gleaming in the sun as it makes a rare appearance in this bleak summer. Hingsen, who now runs several successful businesses in Germany, says it looks impressive. Thompson retorts: ‘Mate, it’s the best.’

Thompson is also enthused by the exploits of the poster boy who would be decathlon king: 24-year-old Ashton Eaton, who broke the world record in the American trials in Oregon last month, scoring 9,039 points.

‘He’s the one to do it, I think,’ said Daley of the Olympic decathlon. ‘He is talented, strong. But don’t be silly, it’s not the same any more. As Jurgen was saying, it’s about personality.’

‘Yes,’ agrees Hingsen. ‘The Americans are coming up, but are good maybe for four years.

‘We were up there, all the time, for 13 years. That is the most difficult part.’

Stuck in the middle: Sportsmail's McEvoy with the two great decathletes in Stratford

Stuck in the middle: Sportsmail's McEvoy with the two great decathletes in Stratford

Thompson takes another drink and looks over to the stadium, wistful because he never competed in a decathlon in Britain. ‘I had this fantastic thought today,’ he says. ‘What I wish more than anything is that he and I are at our peak and we had the opportunity to compete in front of a full house.

‘I remember Stuttgart in 1986 at the European Championships and there were 65,000 people shouting for him.

‘I want him to know the fear that runs through you. If that happened I’d bring him a pair of incontinence pants.’

Over to Hingsen, unruffled by the latest banter.

‘What do you say in a marriage, Daley’ he asks. ‘She always has the last word.’

‘I love you too,’ replies Thompson. Two legends still bickering but forever bound together in mutual respect.

Rangers in crisis: Neil Lennon expects absence to hurt Celtic

Best of enemies: Lennon expects Rangers absence to hurt Celtic

|

UPDATED:

13:45 GMT, 6 July 2012

Celtic manager Neil Lennon expects the collapse of Rangers to hit his club financially but his budget for next season is unaffected by the absence of their Old Firm rivals in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Celtic were among 10 clubs who voted against the Ibrox newco's application to join the SPL, with their future now uncertain.

SPL clubs face a shortfall of revenue next term with huge uncertainty if the new Rangers have to start life in the Third Division.

Firm interest: Lennon thinks Rangers' struggles will impact Celtic financially

Firm interest: Lennon thinks Rangers' struggles will impact Celtic financially

Celtic have consistently insisted they do not need Rangers to flourish but Lennon expects some sort of impact.

'Financially and commercially it will bite us a bit but the club has its own financial structure and strategy in place and we'll move ahead regardless,' Lennon said.

'We always try and maintain a level ground on the spending going out and the money that we bring in.

'That hasn't changed and that was the plan going into the season anyway, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday.'

Fixed budget: Lennon doesn't expect his summer spending to be affected

Fixed budget: Lennon doesn't expect his summer spending to be affected

Lennon admits he will miss the Old Firm derbies and the challenge throughout the season.

'There's that competitiveness, that rivalry, you are obviously going to miss the games,' said Lennon as the club held a media conference to mark the permanent signing of goalkeeper Fraser Forster and the launch of their 2011-12 season review DVD.

'It's a great selling point for Scottish football but they are not here and there's nothing I can do about that.

'What I will say is we need our supporters to back the team now more than ever, to come and support us and invest in the club because we are going to be hit financially by the loss of Rangers in the SPL.'

Super League Magic Weekend could be staying in Manchester at the Etihad

Travelling roadshow may end as Magic Weekend could make Manchester its home

|

UPDATED:

15:17 GMT, 28 May 2012

Manchester could become the home for Super League's Magic Weekend for the foreseeable future, Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood has said.

The governing body will conduct a debrief into the 'on-the-road' event in June, which was moved to the north of England this year after previously being held in Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Roaring success: The Magic Weekend has been popular since 2007

Roaring success: The Magic Weekend has been popular since 2007

But Wood has revealed there is already a three-year deal on the table to stay in the North West.

'It is a distinct possibility,' said Wood. 'When we commenced negotiations with both Manchester City and the City of Manchester Council, there was an intention towards striking a three-year deal.

Home: The Etihad is the home ground of football team Manchester City

Home: The Etihad is the home ground of football team Manchester City

'But we both thought it was appropriate to do it once and review it and see if everybody was as confident about its prospects of succeeding here as we all were and that is the intention.

'The debrief will take place in the early part of next month when we'll be sitting down with relevant parties to see whether this can become a fixture in the calendar for the foreseeable future.

'We've not been actively touting the event around. We went to the Etihad in good faith to see if we can build a long-term relationship with Manchester.'

It was Wood who came up with the idea in 2007 of taking an entire round of Super League matches around the country and he says the concept is now firmly established as a blue riband event in the rugby league calendar.

'The debate about whether Magic has a place in the calendar has come and gone,' he said.

Old enemies: Wigan and St Helens squared off at the Etihad

Old enemies: Wigan and St Helens squared off at the Etihad

'It's been firmly established as a very popular event.

'We will always consult with the clubs about when and where but as an event it's been safely delivered.'

The matches at the Etihad Stadium drew a record aggregate crowd of 63,716, narrowly exceeding the previous best in Cardiff in 2008, and Wood believes Manchester presented a strong case for retention.

'I think it's been an undoubted success,' he said. 'The weather has made it an even better occasion.

'We had more fans than ever before, the fan zone was excellent and the feel-good factor among the supporters has been terrific.

'The contests on the field have been of the highest order so I think most people would say there are ticks across the board.

'We knew from our research when we came here with Great Britain in 2004 that supporters loved it.

Action packed: Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos also locked horns in Manchester

Action packed: Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos also locked horns in Manchester

'Our athletes deserve to play on the best grounds and our fans deserve an opportunity to watch their chosen team in the very best of facilities. This ticks the box on both counts.'

In addition to selecting a venue, organisers will debate the timing and format of the event.

The fixtures have been based on derbies in four of the six years and have been played in mid-season every year apart from 2011, when it kicked off the season under the roof at the Millennium Stadium.

Wood admits the fine weather over the weekend could help sway the final decision on the timing.

'There is a temptation to say that when the sun is cracking the flags,' he said.

'The standard of football has been terrific on the harder ground and it does give the sport a weekend in the early spring when it captures the nation's imagination so it could possibly be the right spot but that's to be discussed.'

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid: Bitter feelings add spice

Bitter feelings add spice to clash between European giants Bayern and Real

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 16 April 2012

Bad vibes continue to be felt between bitter enemies Bayern Munich and Real Madrid ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final, with each side accusing the other of arrogantly taking victory for granted.

Real manager Jose Mourinho raised the temperature on Monday, saying: ‘(Franz) Beckenbauer, (Oliver) Kahn, (Uli) Hoeness and (Ottmar) Hitzfeld all say Bayern are the favourites and we have a complex when it comes to playing them but we will see what happens on the pitch. We have lost only one Champions League game in 22 and that game (the defeat by Barcelona last season) has a history.’

Hitting out: Jose Mourinho slammed Beckenbauer and Co

Hitting out: Jose Mourinho slammed Beckenbauer and Co

Enlarge

bayern munich v real madrid.jpg

It is the latest in a list of barbs from both sides. Bayern striker Mario Gomez said after his side’s goalless draw against Mainz at the weekend: ‘They (Real Madrid) shouldn’t get too complacent – everything changes for this one: the stadium will burn on Tuesday.’ Mourinho’s response was: ‘I am sure UEFA will have extra firemen at the ready.’

Bayern’s spark on the pitch should come from Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery – one a former Real player and the other one the Spanish club tried to sign, much to the displeasure of the Germans. That incident was one of a number between the clubs who have won 13 European Cups between them.

As Beckenbauer famously said of Mourinho last season: ‘Just because you wear a cashmere sweater that does not make you a gentleman. He is a rude, loutish man.’

Adding spice to the occasion will be Howard Webb, whom Dutchman Robben and the Real Madrid trio of Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso will remember from the 2010 World Cup final. The English referee was criticised in some quarters for not clamping down harder on Holland for their brutal tactics against Spain.

Webb’s appointment has been interpreted by the Spanish press as UEFA’s way of making sure Real do not reach the final.

Laying down the gauntlet: Mario Gomez

Laying down the gauntlet: Mario Gomez

Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez in handshake clash

Suarez reignites Evra row as angry United skipper grabs striker after handshake snub

Patrice Evra was left fuming after race-row rival Luis Suarez dramatically snubbed him in a pre-match handshake as the pair went face-to-face for the first time since their controversial fallout at Old Trafford.

The pair became bitter enemies following their controversial clash at Anfield last October when Suarez was later found guilty of racially abusing the Frenchman and forced to serve an eight-ban ban.

CLICK HERE TO READ LIVE MINUTE-BY-MINUTE COMMENTARY FROM OLD TRAFFORD

Flash point: Suarez angers Evra by refusing to shake the Frenchman's hand

Flash point: Suarez angers Evra by refusing to shake the Frenchman's hand

Suarez – who was selected to start by manager Kenny Dalglish – has refused to directly apologise to the United defender since.

The striker appeared to be in no mood to accommodate the stand-in United captain in a tense pre-match showdown.

Showdown: Suarez inflamed his row with Evra after denying his hand in the pre-match routine

Showdown: Suarez inflamed his row with Evra after denying his hand in the pre-match routine

Ultimate snub: Evra grabs Suarez after the Liverpool striker attempted to avoid him

Ultimate snub: Evra grabs Suarez after the Liverpool striker attempted to avoid him

The Frenchman offered his hand to the Uruguay international, who was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the defender, but he bypassed the Frenchman and went straight to goalkeeper David de Gea.

Angered, Evra pulled his foe back, dragging him by the arm and exchanged angry words.

Cool down: Referee Phil Dowd intervenes in his attempt to calm a furious Evra

Cool down: Referee Phil Dowd intervenes in his attempt to calm a furious Evra

Rio Ferdinand then avoided Suarez before the match got underway.

Suarez attempted to drowned out the boo-boys when he arrived at Old Trafford wearing headphones.

The
Uruguayan was one of the last player's to step off the Liverpool
team-bus but kept his head down as he followed the rest of the quad
towards the away dressing room.

Cauldron of hate: Suarez was jeered by the Old Trafford faithful as he warmed-up

Cauldron of hate: Suarez was jeered by the Old Trafford faithful as he warmed-up

But there was no hiding place as he emerged from the tunnel and entered a cauldron of hate with the angry United supporters reminding him of his public enemy No 1 status in Stretford.

His first touches were met with vociferous jeers from the home faithful with Evra booed in response from the away fans.

Head-to-head: Evra stares down Suarez as the rivals collide in the early moments of the match

Head-to-head: Evra stares down Suarez as the rivals collide in the early moments of the match

It is understood that there were clashes in the tunnel between players from both sides at half-time with police and stewards involved.

Evra's Manchester United team-mate Darren Fletcher praised the Frenchman for being 'the bigger man' over the handshakes.

'I think what went on before the game has added that extra bit of spice to it, not that it needed it,' said Fletcher.

'Credit to Patrice Evra, I think he's come out, he's the bigger man. He's gone to shake his hand and obviously Suarez has rejected it.'

Head-to-head: Emotions were running high at Old Trafford as the rivals clashed

Head-to-head: Emotions were running high at Old Trafford as the rivals clashed

Former United full-back Gary Neville added: 'Obviously it's quite clear that Luis Suarez has completely blanked Patrice Evra.

'I'm not sure it's the wisest thing for him to do, I'm not sure he's helped his football club, I think that (Liverpool manager) Kenny Dalglish is now put in a position after the game where he's going to have to defend him again.'

Former Liverpool midfielder and Sportsmail columnist Jamie Redknapp said of the incident: 'I don't know why they had the handshakes, this was always going to happen today.

'They should have just taken it out of the equation.'