Tag Archives: felipe

England will begin their summer tour of South America with a tough test in Uruguay

Lancaster's England to begin summer tour of South America in Uruguay

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

14:15 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 22 April 2013

England have confirmed that their summer tour to South America will begin in Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 2.

The RBS 6 Nations runners-up will meet a CONSUR XV representing the South American nations, before playing two Tests against Argentina.

The first Test will be staged in Salta – the setting for the Pumas’ 24-22 victory in 2009 – on June 8 and at Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on June 15.

Pumas test: Stuart Lancaster will be desperate to erase England's Grand Slam heartache in Argentina

Pumas test: Stuart Lancaster will be desperate to erase England's Grand Slam heartache in Argentina

Lions hopefuls: Tom Croft, David Wilson and Courtney Lawes could be in South America if they are snubbed by the British Lions

Lions hopefuls: Tom Croft, David Wilson and Courtney Lawes could be in South America if they are snubbed by the British Lions

It will be the first two-match series between the teams in Argentina since the 1997 tour with England coach Stuart Lancaster set to name his squad in early May.

'Argentina is a formidable rugby nation and we’re looking forward to facing the Pumas in back-to-back Tests, which a young and developing side will need to be at its very best to win,' Lancaster said.

'Together with matches against the
Barbarians at Twickenham and the CONSUR team in Uruguay, the summer
programme gives this group a real opportunity to measure their progress
and continue to learn what they need to succeed at the highest level.'

On the way out: England will not have to face the likes of Felipe Contepomi (pictured centre) this summer after the fly-half announced plans to retire

On the way out: England will not have to face the likes of Felipe Contepomi (pictured centre) this summer after the fly-half announced plans to retire

England tour dates:

May 29 – Arrive
in Buenos Aires

June 2 – CONSUR XV v England XV (Montevideo, 7.30pm BST)

June 8 Argentina v England (Salta, 8.10pm BST)

June 15 Argentina v England (Velez Sarsfield, Buenos
Aires, 8.10pm BST)

Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Match Report: Didier Drogba gives Jose Mourinho a scare

Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Drogba and Sneijder give Jose a scare as Spaniards make the semis

PUBLISHED:

20:42 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 9 April 2013

Real Madrid progressed to the last four of the Champions League despite defeat on the night to a Galatasaray side whose second half comeback had Jose Mourinho's side in a panic.

Already three goals up from the first leg at the Bernabeu, the tie was seemingly put to bed by Cristiano Ronaldo's seventh-minute strike.

But an Emmanuel Eboue thunderbolt after 57 minutes brought Gala back level on the night, before Wesley Sneijder put the home side ahead after 70 minutes.

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

MATCH FACTS

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue (Elmander 80), Zan, Kaya, Riera, Altintop (Amrabat 46), Felipe Melo, Inan, Sneijder, Bulut (Sarioglu 63), Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Iscan, Aydin Yilmaz, Balta, Kurtulus.

Booked: Sneijder, Eboue, Amrabat.

Goals: Eboue 57, Sneijder 71, Drogba 72.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Essien (Arbeloa 31), Pepe, Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Modric, Di Maria, Ozil (Albiol 81), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 73).

Subs Not Used: Casillas, Marcelo, Callejon, Morata.

Sent Off: Arbeloa (90).

Booked: Arbeloa.

Goals: Ronaldo 8, 90.

Attendnace: 52,000

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

Seconds later Did Drogba reduced the aggregate deficit further and although Real substitute Alvaro Arbeloa saw red late on, Ronaldo notched his second in injury time, as Madrid's quest for a 10th European Cup continued.

The visitors started quickly and just three minutes were on the clock when Fernando Muslera rashly came out to clear, his effort falling to Angel Di Maria, who shot wide.

Four minutes later they were on the scoresheet. Sami Khedira was allowed to cross from the right and in came Ronaldo, who got to the ball before the home defender to shoot past a helpless Muslera from three yards out.

The tie looked finished as a contest and Ronaldo could have doubled his night's tally moments later when the home side backed off, but from 25 yards the Portuguese shot straight at Muslera.

Drogba went close to converting a Sneijder shot after 20 minutes in Gala's first meaningful attack, before Madrid almost went two-up.

A delicious back-heel pass from Ronaldo played in Di Maria, but his angled effort was well tipped over by the Gala stopper.

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

Mourinho was forced into his first change after 31 minutes when Michael Essien had to be replaced by Arbeloa due to a leg injury.

Sneijder forced Diego Lopez into his first save after 38 minutes in what was a lacklustre first-half display from the hosts.
Madrid missed another chance to go two up 11 minutes after the restart when Ronaldo somehow missed from eight yards out – scuffing his effort with the ball trapped under his feet.Moments later and the home side were level thanks to a tremendous goal, albeit from an unlikely source. Sneijder's hopeful cutback found a sprinting Eboue who from the edge of the box powered an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

And just three minutes later they should have gone ahead. Drogba's strength caused all sorts of problems for the Real defence with the ball falling to Sneijder.

However with just Lopez to beat and from 12 yards out he screwed his shot wide of the far post.
Eboue's goal had, however, galvanised the home side and with the Ataturk Stadium firmly behind their side Gala took a deserved lead.

Sneijder showed a turn of pace more associated with his best days at Inter, nutmegged Rafael Varane before side-footing into the corner.

And moments later it was 3-1 when Drogba got in front of his defender to flick a cross into the corner of the net.

Raul Albiol replaced Mesut Ozil as Mourinho looked to arrest his team's slide, but they had to play out the final moments with 10 men after Arbeloa saw red after receiving a second yellow card for dissent.

There was still time for a fifth goal on the night when Ronaldo scored in injury time.

Real Madrid 3 Galatasaray 0: match report – Cristiano Ronaldo scores

Real Madrid 3 Galatasaray 0: Classy Ronaldo and Co on course for semi-finals

PUBLISHED:

20:35 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 3 April 2013

Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the last four of the Champions League by strolling to a comfortable victory over Galatasaray at the Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring early in the first half before Karim Benzema doubled the hosts' lead.

Substitute Gonzalo Higuain's second-half header put the result beyond doubt, and made Madrid's task in the second leg at the Turk Telecom Arena next Tuesday look far easier.

Up and over: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first against Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu

Up and over: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first against Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu

Up and over: Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first against Galatasaray at the Santiago Bernabeu

MATCH FACTS

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao, Khedira, Ronaldo, Ozil (Modric – 80), Alonso, Essien, Di Maria (Pepe 86), Benzema (Higuain 65)

Subs not used: Adan, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Kaka

Booked: Essien, Modric, Ramos

Goals: Ronaldo 9, Benzema 29, Higuain 73

Galatasaray: Muslera, Dany Nounkeu, Kaya, Eboue, Altintop (Bulut 78), Inan, Felipe Melo, Riera (Amrabat 83), Sneijder (Zan 46), Yilmaz, Drogba

Subs not used: Iscan, Balta, Sarioglu, Kurtulus

Booked: Dany Nounkeu, Felipe Melo, Yilmaz, Drogba

Referee: Oddvar Moen

Attendance: 80,000

Galatasaray's coach and players had
insisted before the game that they would try to attack the Primera
Division champions and would not settle for holding out for a draw. They
were loyal to their promise in the first half, but it left them very
exposed at the back.

Madrid, who have the reputation for
being one of the best counter-attacking teams in Europe, were given a
generous amount of space by their opponents and made full use of it.

They had their first attempt on two
minutes, Benzema heading just over the bar after a cross from Angel Di
Maria, and they took the lead after just nine minutes.

Xabi Alonso supplied the ball up to
Mesut Ozil from his own half and the German played a one-two with
Benzema, which allowed him space to deliver an excellent low pass into
the path of Ronaldo, who calmly chipped the ball over goalkeeper
Fernando Muslera and into the net.

Gala played pretty football but
struggled to penetrate the Madrid backline and were limited to shots
from outside the area. Didier Drogba turned Raphael Varane on the
18-yard line and shot just over the bar, while Wesley Sneijder also
missed the target from 20 yards.

In the goals: Karim Benzema got the second for the hosts

In the goals: Karim Benzema got the second for the hosts

Sea of red: Galatasaray fans lit a flare to celebrate the occasion

Sea of red: Galatasaray fans lit a flare to celebrate the occasion

Ozil could have doubled the lead when
a long Sergio Ramos header out of defence led to Madrid attacking, but
the midfielder, receiving the ball from Ronaldo, could not put his shot
past Muslera.

Madrid's second goal arrived just
before the half-hour mark. Michael Essien, a surprise inclusion in the
starting line-up at the expense of Alvaro Arbeloa, delivered a high ball
into the box which fell at the feet of Benzema, who was in space, took
one touch to control the pass and slotted home from six yards.

Galatasaray's best chance of the half
fell to Emmanuel Eboue just before the interval. The former Arsenal
player burst through on goal but hit his shot straight at Diego Lopez's
legs.

Sneijder, unimpressive in the first
45 minutes against his former club, was removed at half-time and
replaced by defender Gokhan Zan – a move which saw Fatih Terim's side
switch to a back three, with Eboue pushing up to right midfield.

Struggle: Didier Drogba led the line for the visitors

Struggle: Didier Drogba led the line for the visitors

Three and easy: Gonzalo Higuain scored the third with a glancing header

Three and easy: Gonzalo Higuain scored the third with a glancing header

Three and easy: Gonzalo Higuain scored the third with a glancing header

The tactical change did not help the
visitors' attacking ambitions, and they went on to pose even less of a
threat after the break as they had before it.

Madrid also dropped their intensity
in the second period. Ronaldo and Di Maria both had chances to test
Muslera, the better of which fell to the Argentinian, but the goalkeeper
had little trouble with either effort.

Higuain came on for Benzema on 65
minutes and seven minutes later made the triumph secure when he headed
in a free-kick from Xabi Alonso.

Rough and tumble: Sergio Ramos (left) drags Didier Drogba to the floor in the second half

Rough and tumble: Sergio Ramos (left) drags Didier Drogba to the floor in the second half

Rough and tumble: Sergio Ramos (left) drags Didier Drogba to the floor in the second half

Jose Mourinho's side rode out the
final minutes of the game with little trouble. Alonso and Ramos both
picked up yellow cards which mean they will miss the second leg.

Achieving victory was much lighter
work for Madrid than their two hard-fought games with Manchester United
in the previous round but, barring a complete collapse in Istanbul, they
can be confident of reaching their third consecutive Champions League
semi-final under Mourinho.

Putting out fires: Sami Khedira (right) and Ramos tackle Burak Yilmaz

Putting out fires: Sami Khedira (right) and Ramos tackle Burak Yilmaz

Over you go: Ronaldo hits the deck after Semih Kaya (centre) backs into the Portugal forward

Over you go: Ronaldo hits the deck after Semih Kaya (centre) backs into the Portugal forward

Fabio Capello trains at Chelsea for Russia v Brazil while Luiz Felipe Scolari and Yuri Zhirkov also return

Capello arrives at Stamford Bridge with Blues looking for new boss… but he's here on official Russia duty

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

13:18 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 24 March 2013

So Fabio Capello has arrived at Stamford Bridge this season after all.

But don't worry Rafa, he's not here for a secret meeting with Roman Abramovich – instead to take charge of Russia in their glamour friendly against Brazil on Monday night.

Capello took a stroll through Kensington on Sunday morning and then led a training session for his squad on Chelsea's pitch – though Yuri Zhirkov was already well acquainted with his surroundings having played there for two seasons.

At the Bridge: Fabio Capello took a training session for his squad at Chelsea's ground

At the Bridge: Fabio Capello took a training session for his squad at Chelsea's ground

Capello (right) gets his point across

All together now: Capello talks to his Russia players ahead of the glamour friendly

All together now: Capello talks to his Russia players ahead of the glamour friendly

The 18million signing failed to make an impact – with Chelsea favouring a 4-3-3 system which did not accomodate his favoured left midfield position position.

Perhaps his best spell came when Ashley Cole was injured – he slotted in at left-back and performed well.

Zhirkov departed for Anzhi Makhachkala in August 2011 for close to 13m.

Old haunt: Yuri Zhirkov played at Chelsea for two seasons but struggled to make a lasting impact

Old haunt: Yuri Zhirkov played at Chelsea for two seasons but struggled to make a lasting impact

View from the Bridge: Russia's players prepare to face the likes of Neymar, Kaka and Oscar

View from the Bridge: Russia's players prepare to face the likes of Neymar, Kaka and Oscar

Capello was focused on the job at hand and had no time to discuss speculation over a move to Chelsea.

He said: 'I know nothing about this. I am really happy with Russia and focused to qualify for the World Cup.'

Capello's counterpart, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has history at Chelsea.

The World Cup winner had an ill-fated spell with the club in 2008, taking over from Avram Grant with Jose Mourinho's shadow still looming over the club.

Scolari brought in Deco and Jose Bosingwa and although he started well, things fell apart sooner rather than later.

Struggle: Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) was booted out by Roman Abramovich

Struggle: Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) was booted out by Roman Abramovich

He was out on his ear by February 9, with Abramovich wielding the axe as Chelsea's form dropped off.

Guus Hiddink came in and salvaged the season, taking them to the infamous Champions League semi-final tie with Barcelona and an FA Cup triumph.

Brazil's squad features three current Chelsea players – Oscar, David Luiz and Ramires.

David Luiz

Oscar

Home: David Luiz, who captained Brazil against Italy, and Oscar, right, play at Stamford Bridge every other week

The latter turned 26 on Sunday and although he missed the country's 2-2 draw with Italy, thanks to a strained right adductor, will be re-assessed before Monday's clash.

Defender Luiz posted this picture montage of him and Ramires on his Instagram account to celebrate his compatriot's birthday.

History: Luiz played with Ramires at Benfica and the pair are good friends now at Chelsea

History: Luiz played with Ramires at Benfica and the pair are good friends now at Chelsea

P.S.

At Chelsea, Luiz has little competition in the 'wild hairstyle' stakes (although youngster Nathan Ake makes a good fist of it).

But with Brazil, he is in good company. He posted this picture of himself with defenders Marcelo, of Real Madrid, and Dante, from Bayern Munich.

I want curly hair too: Luiz (centre) with Marcelo (left) and Dante (right)

I want curly hair too: Luiz (centre) with Marcelo (left) and Dante (right)

Schalke 2 Galatasaray 2 (agg 3-3) match report: Didier Drogba"s Champions League dream still on

Schalke 2 Galatasaray 3 (agg 3-4): Drogba's Champions League adventure goes on

PUBLISHED:

21:42 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 12 March 2013

Galatasaray held off a gallant Schalke comeback to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after battling to a 3-2 victory in Gelsenkirchen.

With the tie evenly poised after a 1-1 draw in Istanbul, Schalke took 17 minutes to take the lead on the night. Roman Neustadter kept his head in the area after a corner prompted a goalmouth scramble, sidefooting home through a raft of bodies.

Hamit Altintop then cracked home an unstoppable drive into the top corner from 30 yards against his former club to level the scores.

And the Turkish champions doubled their lead through Burak Yilmaz, who lead a breakaway for the visitors before lifting a shot over Timo Hildebrand, scoring his eighth goal in the competition in the process.

But Schalke were not done, and after Marco Hoger smashed the crossbar with a 20-yard effort, Galatasaray failed to clear their lines and Atsuto Uchida squared across the box for Michel Bastos to slot home.

And with Schalke pressing for a winner, Umut Bulut added the winner on the counter-attack.

More follows…

Follow me: Galatasaray players run to congratulate Altintop

Follow me: Galatasaray players run to congratulate Altintop

Match facts

Schalke: Hildebrand, Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac, Hoger (Meyer 86), Neustadter (Fuchs 46), Farfan, Draxler, Michel Bastos, Pukki (Obasi Ogbuke 85). Subs not used: Fahrmann, Metzelder, Barnetta, Moritz.

Booked: Hoger, Kolasinac.

Goals: Neustadter 17, Michel Bastos 63.

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Kaya (Zan 78), Nounkeu, Riera, Felipe Melo, Altintop, Sneijder (Amrabat 70), Inan, Drogba, Burak Yilmaz (Bulut 86). Subs not used: Iscan, Balta, Kurtulus, Sarioglu.

Booked: Drogba.

Goals: Altintop 37, Yilmaz 42, Bulut 90+4.

Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).

Attendance: 52,000.

No mistake: Roman Neustaedter keeps his head in a crowded Galatasaray penalty box to give Schalke the lead

No mistake: Roman Neustaedter keeps his head in a crowded Galatasaray penalty box to give Schalke the lead

On target: Roman Neustaedter

On target: Roman Neustaedter

Unstoppable: Hamit Altintop

Remember me Hamit Altintop lets fly from 30 yards to level matters on the night against his former club

Remember me Hamit Altintop lets fly from 30 yards to level matters on the night against his former club

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Nifty finish: Burak Yilmaz hits his eighth strike of this season's Champions League, tapping the ball past Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand

Going down: Didier Drogba turns his ankle while celebrating with Yilmaz, prompting Felipe Melo to check up on his team-mate (below)

Going down: Didier Drogba turns his ankle while celebrating with Yilmaz, prompting Felipe Melo to check up on his team-mate (below)

Cause for concern: Felipe Melo checks up on Didier Drogba

Back in the hunt: Michel Bastos sidefoots home to give Schalke hope of progression

Back in the hunt: Michel Bastos sidefoots home to give Schalke hope of progression

Late hope: Michel Bastos (left) made it 2-2

Galatasaray 1 Schalke 1: Match report

Galatasaray 1 Schalke 1: Drogba Euro debut ends all square after Jones levels for Germans

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 20 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 20 February 2013

Jermaine Jones' strike in the last minute of the first half gave Schalke a slight advantage as they drew 1-1 at Galatasaray in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 encounter.

Jones calmly slotted home after Jefferson Farfan had squared the ball to him to give the German side a vital draw at the Turk Telekom Arena, although Schalke's goalscorer will miss the second leg after picking up a booking.

Burak Yilmaz had earlier put Gala in front with a piece of individual brilliance but they could not extend their lead in a breathtaking first-half in which both teams failed to convert several glorious opportunities.

Going ahead: Burak Yilmaz puts Galatasaray head in the first half

Going ahead: Burak Yilmaz puts Galatasaray head in the first half

Match Facts

Galatasaray: Muslera, Sarioglu (Bulut 84), Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera, Altintop (Eboue 66), Felipe Melo, Inan, Sneijder (Amrabat 46),
Burak Yilmaz, Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Iscan, Balta, Kurtulus, Colak.

Booked: Muslera, Amrabat, Nounkeu, Inan.

Goals: Burak Yilmaz 12.

Schalke 04: Hildebrand, Hoger, Howedes, Matip, Kolasinac, Draxler (Barnetta 84), Jones, Neustadter, Michel Bastos, Farfan,
Huntelaar (Pukki 75).

Subs Not Used: Fahrmann, Obasi Ogbuke, Metzelder, Fuchs, Meyer.

Booked: Jones,Kolasinac,Hoger.

Goals: Jones 45.

Att: 45,000

The second half was decidedly less open, although Yilmaz nearly gave the hosts a slender lead heading into the second leg but could only fire wide of the target.

Gala duo Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder both made their returns to the Champions League after completing recent moves from Shanghai Shenhua and Inter Milan respectively.

But it was Yilmaz who produced a moment of magic worthy of either of the pair when he broke the deadlock in sparkling fashion.

The forward collected the ball from Selcuk Inan on the edge of the area before flicking over Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes with his heel and wonderfully firing into the roof of the net in the 12th minute.

It was a sickening blow for the visitors, who had seen Gala keeper Fernando Muslera make fine saves from both Jones and Klaas Jan Huntelaar in the opening minute.

Nevertheless they nearly levelled almost immediately after Yilmaz's brilliance, but Huntelaar just failed to connect with Howedes' flick-on from Farfan's corner.

Pick that one out: Yilmaz scores past by Schalke's goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to put Galatasaray ahead

Pick that one out: Yilmaz scores past by Schalke's goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand to put Galatasaray ahead

And in an increasingly open first half, they were nearly made to pay when Howedes fired against the bar with the goal gaping after Drogba had seen his left-footed strike fingertipped away by Schalke goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.

It was the German side who nearly scored next though, with Semih Kaya deflecting Farfan's cutback wide of his own post, while the influential Schalke striker struck over on the turn despite being given plenty of space in the area.

Back in action: Didier Drogba returned to the Champions League with Galatasaray

Back in action: Didier Drogba returned to the Champions League with Galatasaray

Both sides seemed to view attack as the best form of defence and Drogba, who was making a nuisance of himself in Schalke's backline, played in Yilmaz but he could not lift his effort over Hildebrand.

Yet Schalke drew level on the stroke of half-time courtesy of United States international Jones, who will miss the second leg after picking up a booking for dissent.

Falling down: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goes down under the challenge of Albert Riera

Falling down: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goes down under the challenge of Albert Riera

Farfan burst through on goal after Gala had given the ball away in midfield and squared for the free Jones and he calmly struck past Muslera.

It was a far more subdued affair after the interval although Schalke did have a decent penalty appeal turned down when Farfan's fierce strike looked to have cannoned off Sabri Sarioglu's hands, which were raised to his chest.

Back in the game: Jermaine Jones (not pictured) scores past Fernando Muslera to make it 1-1

Back in the game: Jermaine Jones (not pictured) scores past Fernando Muslera to make it 1-1

Take that: Jones celebrates after scoring the equalizer

Take that: Jones celebrates after scoring the equalizer

It was not until late on that the game sprang back into life, with Yilmaz shooting across the face of goal from Drogba's inch-perfect flick-on while Sarioglu's half-volley from the edge of the area was tipped over by Hildebrand.

And Gala's efforts to push for a winner nearly backfired completely when, at the other end, Julian Draxler dribbled to the edge of their box unchecked before shooting inches wide of Muslera's right-hand post.

Shielding the ball: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo is challenged by Schalke's Julian Draxler

Shielding the ball: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo is challenged by Schalke's Julian Draxler

Neymar isn"t joining Man City insist Santos as glum Brazil star pictured making low-key departure from London

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:43 GMT, 8 February 2013

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

Neymar at Heathrow as the Brazilian team leave the UK

On his way: Neymar at Heathrow on Thursday to catch a flight to Brazil

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20 per cent in the last two years.'

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the Fifties and Sixties, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as beaten Brazil make low-key departure from London

Santos dismiss Man City interest in Neymar as glum Brazilian makes low-key exit from London

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 7 February 2013

Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro has rejected the idea of selling his prize asset Neymar to Manchester City.

Following reports appearing in Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo on Thursday that City will offer a blank cheque for the Brazilian superstar, Ribeiro has rubbished suggestions he may seek to cash in.

Neymar at Heathrow as the Brazilian team leave the UK

On his way: Neymar at Heathrow on Thursday to catch a flight to Brazil

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

Anything to declare: Man City reportedly held talks with Neymar's agent in London

While he admitted it was 'not a lack of funds' that would prevent a sale to Manchester City, Ribeiro insists there is no amount of money he would accept from the Premier League champions.

'I anticipate my answer to any bids that might come: the answer is no,' he said. 'Neymar will stay at Santos until 2014, and I hope that he'll continue here for even longer.'

Despite his disappointing performance for Brazil in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England on Wednesday, Neymar is widely considered one of the world's most prestigious talents and has a long list of suitors.

And with Roberto Mancini's men trailing Manchester United in the title race, the Italian is keen to learn from the lessons of last summer – when his side were pipped to the signings of Robin Van Persie, Eden Hazard and Javi Martinez – by making an early move for the 21-year-old.

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Picture this: Ronaldinho with a female fan at Heathrow

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Setback: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari saw his World Cup preparations hit by England defeat

Ribeiro, however, is adamant Neymar is going nowhere.

He added: 'I have a very clear base to why Neymar stayed here, resisting offers from the Spanish clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid, in 2011], for one basic reason: he's happy.

'He costs us a relatively modest amount of money, given his talent. His presence translates into intangible gains, like our fan base growing 20% in the last two years.'

Ribeiro even admitted he has taken inspiration from a former Santos president, who dug in to ensure Pele did not leave the club during his pomp.

He added: 'It's the repetition of the phenomenon experienced in the the 50s and 60s, when Pel attracted a legion of new fans, that went beyond the limits of the city.

'Repeating history is not very creative, but what Athi [Jorge Coury, former Santos president] did with Pel has inspired me.'

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Wembley winner: Frank Lampard scores for England against Brazil

Felipe Melo saves penalty for Galatasaray

Beyond the call of duty! Brazil MIDFIELDER Melo steps up and saves penalty to secure victory for Galatasaray after keeper sees red

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UPDATED:

20:28 GMT, 24 November 2012

'Are you sure you know what you’re doing, mate' Could be the question posed to Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo as he proceeded to put on goalkeeping gloves in the 90th minute.

His side were 1-0 up when Fernando Muslera was given his marching orders after giving away a penalty to opponents Elazigspor, handing them the opportunity to snatch a draw at the death.

Fearful the Turkish side would give up the two points, Melo pulled on the departing keeper’s jersey and gloves.

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What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

What a stop: Felipe Melo saved a penalty to keep Galatasaray's noses in front

As Goksu Turkdogan took his run up, the 29-year-old Brazil midfielder shuffled tentatively to his left before changing his mind and diving to the right.

The outfield player parried the penalty – rather unconventionally – away from goal, sparing his goalkeeper’s blushes and sealing victory for his team in the process.

After Melo palmed Turkdogan’s shot to safety, rather than getting to his feet, he crawled along the floor, pulling a silly face to celebrate as his team-mates rushed to congratulate him.

Who could blame him for this strange display though After all, he had just gone beyond the call of duty and saved a penalty kick – despite being a defensive midfielder.

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

Unorthodox: Melo crawled along the floor after keeping the penalty out

After stepping up and pulling off an incredible act of heroics for his side, Melo might have replied: 'Did you just see that Of course I know what I’m doing!'

Melo's team's 1-0 win over Elazigspor was their second in succession. Galatasaray beat the visiting Manchester United in Istanbul in the Champions League in midweek.

VIDEO: WATCH FELIPE MELO'S PENALTY SAVE

Lewis Hamilton on pole in Brazil

Hamilton in line for big finish after securing pole for Brazilian Grand Prix

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 24 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton gave McLaren their first pole position in Brazil for 12 years ahead of his final grand prix for the Woking-based team.

With Jenson Button alongside him, the duo combined to give McLaren their 62nd front-row lock-out as they left championship contenders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso trailing in their wake.

Vettel, who has a 13-point cushion over Alonso, will line up fourth as even Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber managed to qualify ahead of him, whilst Alonso is a disastrous eighth in his Ferrari.

Pole position: Lewis Hamilton (centre) starts ahead of Jenson Button (right) and Mark Webber

Pole position: Lewis Hamilton (centre) starts ahead of Jenson Button (right) and Mark Webber

Hamilton is currently on a high at the end of his 14-year association with McLaren before joining Mercedes on a three-season contract from next year after winning in the United States last week.

Hamilton, yet to win in Brazil, was again brilliant as he posted a time of one minute 12.458secs for the undulating Interlagos circuit.

The 27-year-old edged team-mate Button by 0.055secs, with Webber then ahead of Vettel by almost two tenths of a second.

Felipe Massa lines up fifth in his Ferrari, followed by the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, and then Alonso.

Maldonado, however, missed a weighbridge session at the end of Q1, and could yet be penalised by the stewards, so potentially promoting Alonso at least one place.

Centre stage: Hamilton left Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the shadows

Centre stage: Hamilton left Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in the shadows

The fifth row of the grid sees Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen alongside Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

A heavy rain shower 35 minutes prior to the start which lasted for around five minutes caused some consternation, and threatened to turn the grid on its head.

But with air temperatures of 24 degrees, the track was relatively dry an hour later come the start of the second session, which made for a straightforward programme.

Come the end of the middle 15-minute period, hopes for Force India's Paul di Resta of making the top 10 were dashed as the Scot will line up 11th after missing the cut by 0.073secs.

Di Resta starts ahead of Williams' Bruno Senna and Sergio Perez on his last outing for Sauber before joining McLaren, with Michael Schumacher 14th at the end of his final qualifying run in F1 and for Mercedes ahead of retiring for a second time.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, without a seat for next season after the team announced Esteban Gutierrez is to step up, starts 15th ahead of Toro Rosso pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Nobody faster: Hamilton secured his first pole position at Interlagos with a fine performance

Nobody faster: Hamilton secured his first pole position at Interlagos with a fine performance

The worst of the conditions were at the start of Q1, throughout which a dry line eventually materialised and the lap times tumbled.

With his future on the line, as he has yet to be confirmed for 2013, Lotus' Romain Grosjean made a critical mistake by clipping the back of the HRT of Pedro de la Rosa, resulting in him losing his front wing, and a stewards' investigation.

Although the Frenchman was able to return to the pits for a new nose and post one final quick lap, it was not enough to lift him out of the bottom seven for the first time this season.

'He (De la Rosa) didn't see me and there was no space to squeeze between him and the wall,' said Grosjean.

'It's a disaster for tomorrow because we have a very good car.'

It means Grosjean will start 18th ahead of Caterham duo Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen, both fighting for the one remaining seat with the team after Charles Pic was confirmed yesterday.

Big finish: Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for the final race of the season and his last with McLaren

Big finish: Lewis Hamilton starts on pole for the final race of the season and his last with McLaren

On his final outing for Marussia, Pic was out-qualified by team-mate Timo Glock, the duo starting 21st and 22nd ahead of the HRTs on the back row, with Narain Karthikeyan in front of De la Rosa.

Hamilton is now looking to end his McLaren days on a high following the 26th pole position of his career, and his first in Brazil.

'It's been a good weekend so far, and I'm grateful to be able to put the car on the front row,' said Hamilton.

'To have a one, two with Jenson, that's a fantastic job by the team, I'm grateful for all the opportunities the team have given me, and hopefully we can turn it into a positive.

'The weather is going to be tricky tomorrow (with rain forecast), so it's going to make it more of a lottery.

Pushing hard: Jenson Button also starts on the front row alongside team-mate Hamilton

Pushing hard: Jenson Button also starts on the front row alongside team-mate Hamilton

'But we've put ourselves in a good position, we'll work together as a team, and we'll make sure we do absolutely everything to get the top result.'

Button hinted it to be a shame his partnership is ending with fellow Briton Hamilton as he said: 'I'm very happy to be on the front row because my last couple of qualifyings have been a bit tricky.

'To both be on the front row for Lewis' last grand prix with the team…the team is in great shape, and it's a pity things have to change, but things do change.'

Webber, with Vettel right behind him, refused to concede whether he will play any role in helping the 25-year-old German.

The Australian said: 'We focus on ourselves and do the cleanest race we can. I'll be focusing on my effort in the cockpit given there will be some tricky conditions.'