Tag Archives: knockout

Player of the Month Matthews hopes to carry form into Europe and topple Juventus

Player of the Month Matthews hopes to carry form into Europe and topple Juventus

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

17:24 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 8 February 2013

SPL Player of the Month Adam Matthews is hoping he can take his magnificent league form with Celtic and help them win the Champions League last-16 tie against Juventus.

The Welsh defender has been in exceptional form this season for the Bhoys, and was awarded with the monthly gong for January.

The 21-year-old now hopes to kick on and is focusing on 'one of the biggest games of my career' when the Italian giants visit Parkhead on Tuesday for the first leg of the knockout rounds.

Forward thinking: Adam Matthews hopes Celtic can get past Juventus in the Champions League

Forward thinking: Adam Matthews hopes Celtic can get past Juventus in the Champions League

Celtic progressed through the group stages in spectacular fashion, even managing to beat tournament favourites Barcelona at home in a thrilling 2-1 win.

Matthews said: 'I think it's a good achievement. We have a few young good players in the SPL and it's the first time I've won the award but hopefully I can win it some more.'

'It is the first time I have won the award but hopefully I can win it a few more times.

Superstar: Andrea Pirlo is hoping to spoil the party at Parkhead

Superstar: Andrea Pirlo is hoping to spoil the party at Parkhead

Leading the line: Gary Hooper has been in lethal form for Celtic

Leading the line: Gary Hooper has been in lethal form for Celtic

'You play against the best teams in the world like Barcelona and you can only improve.

'Juventus will be one of the biggest games of my career.

'The Barcelona game was one of them but this, for the club and the fans, is even bigger.'

Juventus are favourites to progress past the SPL champions and currently sit top of Serie A, three points clear of chasers Napoli.

Sir Alex Ferguson watches Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama at Parkhead

Fergie runs the rule over Celtic midfielder Wanyama as United boss returns to Glasgow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

08:43 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 23 January 2013

As his Manchester United side prepare for this weekend's FA Cup clash against Fulham 4,500 miles away in Qatar, Sir Alex Ferguson returned to his Glasgow roots to watch Celtic's 4-0 victory over Dundee United.

The Old Trafford boss was spotted in the Parkhead crowd as Neil Lennon's SPL leaders romped to an emphatic SPL win with Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama putting in a stand-out performance.

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

All smiles: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at Parkhead on Tuesday night to watch Celtic beat Dundee United

United are believed to be among a host of potential suitors for the 21-year-old, who struck the hosts' second goal of the evening in the 33rd minute.

Lennon is keen to keep hold of Wanyama, who arrived at the Scottish club from Belgian outfit Beerschot in 2011 and has played an instrumental role in guiding Celtic into the knockout stages of this season's Champions League.

Ferguson, meanwhile, will today pay his respects to Sean Fallon as the United manager attends the funeral of the Celtic legend, who was the assistant to Jock Stein when they won the European Cup in 1967.

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

Standing out: Victor Wanyama was impressive and scored Celtic's second in their 4-0 win

Chelsea to sign Taison from Metalist Kharkiv

Chelsea set to add midfielder Taison to growing Brazilian contingent

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

09:25 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 2 January 2013

Metalist Kharkiv attacking midfielder Taison has revealed he has spoken to Chelsea after being linked with a January move and would welcome a reunion with former team-mate Oscar.

The Brazilian is closing on a move to Stamford Bridge after impressing for Metalist, who will play Newcastle United in the Europa League last 32, since his move there two-and-a-half years ago.

*Scroll down to see Taison's knockout Champions League goal

London bound: Taison (right) looks set to join Chelsea

London bound: Taison (right) looks set to join Chelsea

He joined the Ukrainian club from Internacional, where he played alongside Chelsea’s Oscar.

Taison says he recently visited Stamford Bridge and has spoken to owner Roman Abramovich over a potential move.

'I went to England (some weeks ago) just to take a look. I talked to the president,' he told Diario Popular.

Join our club: Oscar, Lucas Piazon and Ramires are already strutting their stuff at Stamford Bridge, while David Luiz is another one bringing samba-style

Join our club: Oscar, Lucas Piazon and Ramires are already strutting their stuff at Stamford Bridge, while David Luiz is another one bringing samba-style

Join our club: Oscar, Lucas Piazon and Ramires are already strutting their stuff at Stamford Bridge, while David Luiz is another one bringing samba-style to west London

Taison added of Brazil international
Oscar: 'I see Oscar, who I played alongside at Internacional, and I want
to play with him again.'

The 24-year-old’s agent, Diego Dornelles, is not ruling out the midfielder leaving Metalist in January.

He said: 'The club want him to stay, but there are many things coming.'

Alex Ferguson: I"d love to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United

He's still the Ron! I'd love to bring Cristiano back to Man United, says Ferguson

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 21 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo becoming a Manchester United player again might not be out of the question, ahead of the star's eagerly anticipated return to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in February.

Only last month, Ferguson described the player he sold to Real Madrid for a world-record 80million in 2009 as 'unbuyable'.

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training today

Hard work: Ronaldo stretches in Real training

The United manager is not about to read too much into speculation in Spain that Ronaldo feels unappreciated over the lack of progress in contract negotiations. Even though his deal still has three years to run, the Portugal star is understood to be asking for a new one worth up to 25m a year.

But if Ronaldo were ever to leave the Bernabeu, Ferguson hopes that he would consider a move back to United. 'You never know,' he said. 'I don't know when his contract finishes. He may want to go to another club at some point in his career and I'd hope he would want to come here. But that's a long way off.

'I'd love to see that, but it's fanciful thinking really. First of all, how much it would take to get him from Real Madrid and, secondly, I don't think there's any chance they would want to sell him.'

Ronaldo, too, has fond memories: 'It is thanks to Manchester United that I play for Real Madrid,' he said. 'Without them, I wouldn't be the player I am today. I still speak with Sir Alex Ferguson. I miss him a lot and I miss Manchester United.

'I felt very good there, it was like a family. I had six great years there and am still friends with my team-mates.' He will play United for the first time since 2003 as two of the world's most glamorous clubs face each other in the first knockout round of the Champions League.

Respect: Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson

Respect: Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson is proud of transforming the magician from Madeira into one of the two best players on the planet; one who, in the Scot's opinion, bears comparison with the greatest players in history.

Ferguson said: 'There are different forms of courage, but the courage to take the ball all the time is the best one. He's always had that.

'Great players have got that. Denis Law, George Best, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Eusebio: all the great players can do that. They take the ball, no matter the challenges.

'I've been very fortunate in having Scholes, Giggs and Cantona. He's certainly in that bracket.' Which begs the question, how are United going to stop him It was after Ronaldo tormented United in a friendly nine years ago that Ferguson's players urged him to sign the Sporting Lisbon teenager.

'I'm putting Giggs against him – he knows more about him,' said Ferguson. 'Giggs would love to play against him. We'll have a way.'

While many United fans still sing Ronaldo's name, others have not forgotten he never hid his desire to swap Manchester for Madrid.

Ferguson persuaded him to stay for another 12 months and believes supporters should just be grateful that they saw one of the greats play at Old Trafford for six years.

Enlarge

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

Place in my heart: Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed not to celebrate if he scores for Real Madrid against Manchester United in the upcoming Champions League tie

'It wasn't disloyalty because I got another year out of him when he wanted to go the previous year,' said Ferguson. 'He honoured that and was fantastic for us. He went with our blessing.

'I was sorry when he left, don't get me wrong, but he always had a hankering to go to Madrid in his career and we helped him on that way.

'My way of looking at it is we were lucky to have him for six years and the United fans would share that.

'One thing is for sure, he'll get a great reception when he comes to Old Trafford and quite rightly so when he comes on the pitch – after that, they can boo all they like!

'It will be a fantastic tie. We've not had a really good European game for quite a while, having not qualified last year,' Ferguson added. 'This is a big opportunity for United to kick on and step forward in European football again.'

Ferguson must attend to more mundane matters away to Swansea tomorrow and maintain United's lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

'If we are top of the league on New Year's Day, you know fine well – and everyone else knows fine well – that we're going to be in the ballpark at the end of the season,' said Ferguson.

'We know there are going to be challenges. It could come from Chelsea, too, but City and ourselves will be battling it out.'

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he was inspired by meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson

Tea and pancakes with Sir Alex inspired us! Celtic boss Lennon reveals reason behind Euro run

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UPDATED:

15:21 GMT, 21 December 2012

Neil Lennon has revealed that drinking tea and eating pancakes with Sir
Alex Ferguson was the secret to Celtic’s magical run to the knockout
stages of the Champions League.

The Scottish champions beat Barcelona on a famous night at Celtic Park – and reduced Rod Stewart to tears – and have drawn Juventus in the first knockout stage of the tournament.

But it was a visit from Manchester United and former Rangers manager Sir Alex Ferguson that inspired Celtic’s success in the group stages.

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Lennon told the Guardian: ‘He gave us two hours of his time, which he didn’t have to do, and I thought it was a brilliant gesture. It was in the privacy of a room at the training ground, just myself and my backroom staff, some tea and pancakes.

‘He was in great form. He has given us little tit bits along the way for the Champions League games. I’m not saying that has got us over the line, but every little bit helps.

‘He was one of the only managers to write me a letter when we won the championship in May and I’ll be eternally grateful to him for that, as well.'

The away win over Spartak Moscow in Group G, along with the narrow defeat by Barcelona in Catalonia, were seen as proof of Celtic’s ability to hurt teams on the break.

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

With Juve going to Glasgow on February 12 before the return leg in Turin on March 6, Lennon feels his team have a chance to cause another shock.

Lennon also revealed that winning the league with Celtic has finally made him feel settled at the club, after having to endure all the criticism that comes with the role.

‘Old managers make mistakes; Wenger makes mistakes, Ferguson makes mistakes, Mourinho makes mistakes. So what do people call them

‘Before winning the league, I felt like I was on probation. It has been a massive year for me, personally.’

Alan Pardew blames Europa League for Newcastle form

Pardew blames Europa League for Newcastle's poor domestic form

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UPDATED:

01:13 GMT, 21 December 2012

Newcastle’s game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday has become a must-win game — so much so that the manager of the team who stormed the Barclays Premier League last season to qualify for the Europa League barely acknowledged the European draw.

Newcastle must travel 1,600 miles to face Metalist Kharkiv in February, when Alan Pardew will expect to see his side in a much healthier league position.

But where has it gone wrong for the club who finished fifth last season

Annoyed: Alan Pardew says the Europa League has hindered Newcastle

Annoyed: Alan Pardew says the Europa League has hindered Newcastle

The Europa League became a hindrance as soon as they were sent to Greece for the play-offs in August. Newcastle’s progress to a tough knockout match has come at a cost.

Pardew said: ‘It has had an impact with the injuries we’ve sustained. This competition is not great for a Premier League team. It’s too many games in addition to a tough, competitive league. It takes a toll.’

Newcastle didn’t buy enough players in the summer to cope with the extra games. Not since Andy Carroll was sold have Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias been under greater pressure to buy.

Pardew, who was last night linked with a 10m move for Marseille striker Loic Remy, said: ‘We’ve made mistakes. The squad was probably too small, we broke the team up in those Europa League games, which probably took momentum away.

‘In January we’re looking at bringing in a player. Maybe two or maybe even three.’

But the uncertainty surrounding top scorer Demba Ba will not help, particularly with January looming. Pardew said: ‘His (7million escape) clause is not a mystery and that’s always going to hang over us. It’s unfortunate but it leaves open a lot of questions every week. The decision will be his ultimately.’

Target: Newcastle will try to keep hold of Demba Ba (left)

Target: Newcastle will try to keep hold of Demba Ba (left)

Newcastle have been hit by injuries to key players like Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote and Steven Taylor. But Pardew said: ‘Steven, Cabaye and Hatem will come back to us in January.’

Another drawback of the Europa League is the lack of training time, where Pardew excels.

Pardew said: ‘We’ve done more work on the training ground in the last month and have improved, the physical stats have gone up because we can tailor training.

‘When you have that game on Thursday, it’s difficult to recover.’

Celtic reaching Champions League last 16 is on par with 2003 UEFA Cup final, says Johan Mjallby

The spirit of Seville: Mjallby proud of Celtic stars for matching the class of 2003

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 20 December 2012

Johan Mjallby placed the achievement of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League on a par with reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 2003.

Celtic will discover which one of the seven sides they will face in next year’s knockout stages when the draw is made in Nyon at 10.30.

The German trio of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Schalke are joined by Manchester United, Paris St Germain, Malaga and Juventus as the Scottish champions’ potential opponents.

Mjallby and Neil Lennon were pillars of Martin O’Neill’s side which tried, but failed, to make it out of the group stage, yet which managed to go all the way to Seville.

They're just champion: Johan Mjallby - pictured presenting a donation to Yorkhill Hospital - says it's as good as 2003

They're just champion: Johan Mjallby – pictured presenting a donation to Yorkhill Hospital – says it's as good as 2003

And the Swede feels that in successfully hurdling two qualifiers before eliminating Benfica and Spartak Moscow and beating Barcelona, the class of 2012-13 can take pride of place alongside the team of 10 years ago.

Asked if this year’s campaign was already as good as that of 2003, the Celtic assistant manager said: ‘Yes, it is for me personally. Seville, that was the biggest disappointment as well, because if you are in a final there’s only two teams left.

‘But it was maybe the biggest achievement in a way, as we beat a lot of good teams on the way.

‘When I came back here three years ago, obviously I wasn’t too sure that I would be sitting here with a chance to play the last 16 of the Champions League.

‘It’s been great having that chance and I think we have improved a lot of the players as well; that’s a part of management and what you want to do.

‘It’s something we are really happy with.

‘We are so proud of the players and it is one of the greatest achievements that I have been involved in to make it to the last 16.

‘You are usually only happy when you win things, win titles — but the Champions League is the Champions League.

‘Usually, money talks, and that is why we are really happy. The team I played in had better financial resources than this team.’

Magic moment: Kris Commons rifles home the penalty which sealed Celtic's progression

Magic moment: Kris Commons rifles home the penalty which sealed Celtic's progression

Celtic’s run this season has made players like Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama household names around the continent. And Mjallby feels that watching such players develop and thrive under the most intense scrutiny football has to offer has been every bit as satisfying as the results.

‘We didn’t know when we started this adventure if we were good enough to play without the ball,’ he added.

‘It’s always going to be different playing in Europe; a lot of teams are very good at keeping the ball and we have to give up a lot of possession to other teams. When you’re not used to it, you don’t know.

‘Yes, we played in the Europa League last season but the Champions League is a step up — and these teams are even better.

‘We didn’t really know if we had the capabilities to defend as a team without the ball for long spells, but I think we have taken a lot of confidence from it — and we have shown that we can do it.

‘You have to remember that we have scored quite a few goals as well and, apart from the Benfica game, we have looked quite dangerous on the counter-attack.

‘It’s great that we can maybe change the style of play now and again and, if you have that in your back pocket, it will stand you in good stead.’

Tough to take: Mjallby (right), Henrik Larssen and Ulrik Laursen reflect on a painful defeat in Seville

Tough to take: Mjallby (right), Henrik Larssen and Ulrik Laursen reflect on a painful defeat in Seville

Celtic will be at home first on either February 12, 13, 19 or 20 before playing the second leg away from home on March 5, 6, 12 or 13 and Mjallby admits there are some sides he would relish playing more than others.

‘The ones I would rather not get are Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United — you have to remember they’re top of the Barclays Premier League, one of the hardest leagues in the world,’ he added.

‘You can say maybe from the glamour point of view it would be a nice to get Manchester United, but you have to remember they are a great team who always play in the Champions League and do well. So that would be very hard.

‘PSG would be hard, too. They have spent so much money. And Juventus.

‘Probably Schalke and Malaga are the two, on paper, who might seem the best to get.

‘But the good thing for us is that, whoever we get, we are not going to be the favourites. The pressure will be more on the other team.

‘I think it is easy now and then to be the underdog. Usually when we play domestically in Scotland we won’t be underdogs, so it’s a bit different.

‘I think our support accepts that we might not have the ball all the time, but we have taken a lot of confidence.’

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova suffers tumour relapse

Barcelona boss Vilanova suffers tumour relapse… assistant team coach Roura steps in

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is to undergo surgery and a course of chemotherapy after suffering a relapse of a cancerous tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland (the largest of the human salivary glands) removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

During a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned and Vilanova will have more surgery on Thursday before six weeks of chemotherapy.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has been named interim boss during Vilanova's absence.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Vilanova factfile

1969: Born September 17 in Bellcaire d'Emporda Girona.

1988: Comes through the Barcelona youth set-up along with fellow midfielder Pep Guardiola, but cannot break into the first team, playing for two years at Barcelona B.

1990: Joins lower-league Figueres.

1992: Moves to Primera Division Celta Vigo, but fails to hold down a first-team place.

1995: Leaves Celta.

2002: Retires from playing after short spells in the lower leagues with Badajoz, Real Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and finally Gramenet.

Tito Vilanova

2007: After working as technical director at Tarrassa, becomes Guardiola's assistant at Barcelona B. The pair help the team to promotion to Segunda Division B.

2008: June – Guardiola takes over coach of Barcelona and Vilanova comes with him as his assistant. The pair win the league, cup and Champions League in the first season in charge. Two more league titles, another Champions League crown and two Club World Cups follow.

2011: November 22 – Undergoes surgery on his parotid gland in Barcelona and spends three weeks recovering after being discharged.

2012: April 27 – Appointed as Guardiola's successor as Barcelona coach for next season after Guardiola announces he will not renew his contract.

June 15 – Signs a two-year contract to remain as Barcelona coach.

December 19 – Barcelona announce he would have surgery on the parotid gland for a second time on December 20 and faced approximately six weeks of chemotherapy. A club statement also said he could remain as coach dependent on his recovery during the treatment.

Carl Froch wants Mikkel Kessler before Lucian Bute

Give me Kessler first! Froch wants revenge on Dane before Bute rematch

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 14 December 2012

Carl Froch will put his rematch with Lucian Bute on hold in order to avenge his defeat to Mikkel Kessler.

The IBF world super-middleweight champion was due to face Bute in Canada in March but hopes to put that on the backburner.

He will instead target Kessler, who won his fifth world title against Brian Magee last Saturday, and who beat Froch in the Super Six tournament two years ago.

Battle: Kessler's unanimous points win is one of two defeats for Carl Froch

Battle: Kessler's unanimous points win is one of two defeats for Carl Froch

Froch, 35, hopes to tempt the Dane to England in May, with Nottingham Forest’s City Ground a possible venue.

‘We have spoken to (promoter) Kalle Sauerland a dozen times in the last week and we’re very close to making the fight,’ Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC Five Live.

‘/12/14/article-2247843-1350747C000005DC-860_468x296.jpg” width=”468″ height=”296″ alt=”Dominant: Froch overwhelmed Bute with a fifth-round stoppage when the pair first met ” class=”blkBorder” />

Dominant: Froch overwhelmed Bute with a fifth-round stoppage when the pair first met

He added: ‘We’ve also been talking to Lucian Bute and they want the fight in March but I don’t think that fight will happen. We’ve got a burning desire to fight Mikkel Kessler and that’s a huge fight for Britain.

‘It’s a chance to avenge one of only two fights in his career. We’re doing everything we can to get that fight done, we’re looking at May.’

Froch, who won his third world title with a brutal knockout of Bute in May, also hopes to face American Andre Ward next year after losing to the WBA and WBC champion in the Super Six final last December.

Falcao scores five goals – here"s more five-goal heroes

What do Falcao, Ted Drake and Frankie Bunn have in common (Hint: it has nothing to do with haircuts or salaries)

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 10 December 2012

Radamel Falcao was the hero for Athletico Madrid in La Liga this weekend, as his team stormed to a 6-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna.

Five of the team’s six goals came from the Colombian himself, as he went on a striking rampage that threatened to overshadow Lionel Messi's record-breaking feats on the same night.

Both Chelsea and Manchester City are rumoured to be courting the 26-year-old for a January transfer, but they will have to shell out a sum in the region of 48 million to meet the release fee in his contract with Athletico.

Radamel Falcao celebrates one of his five goals against Deportivo La Corun

The Colombian scored five goals for Athletico Madrid in their clash with Deportivo La Coruna

Stunning though it is to score five goals in a single game, Falcao is far from the first star to have achieved it. He follows in the footsteps of a number of players who have put on dazzling display over the years.

Fernando Morientes

Fernando Morientes was the last Liga player to net five, as Real Madrid crushed Las Palmas 7-0 in 2002.

The Spaniard could have made it six had he been able to take advantage of a penalty in the closing minutes but he failed to convert.

Oleg Salenko

Oleg Salenko is still the record-holder for the most goals scored in a World Cup game, after he hammered five goals home in Russia’s clash with Cameroon in 1994.

Despite taking the victory 6-1 the team still did not manage to progress into the knockout stages, though Salenko did net once more against Sweden, making him the joint top-scorer in the competition.

Lionel Messi

The list wouldn’t be complete of course without a mention of Lionel Messi’s haul against Bayer Leverkusen.

The Argentinian superstar set a new Champions League record with his sweep of five goals earlier this year, and the 7-1 win took Barcelona through to the tournament quarter-finals.

Kris Boyd

Kris Boyd has impressively managed to score five not once, but twice, and against the same team!

The first opportunity came in 2004 when the Scot blasted five past Dundee United, taking Kilmarnock to a 5-2 victory.

In 2009, he repeated the performance, this time playing for Rangers, and in the process surpassed Henrik Larsson as the Scottish Premier League's all-time top scorer.

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer rose to the challenge in 1999. With two penalties and three strikes, he helped Newcastle to an 8-0 drumming of Sheffield Wednesday. No less than you would expect from the all-time leading scorer in the Premier League.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole also scored a quintuple in the Nineties, and was in fact the first Premier League player to do so. When facing off against Ipswich Town in 1995, Cole added five to the 9-0 scoreline for Manchester United.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe became the third player to score five goals in a Premier League (after Cole and Shearer).

Three of his five goals in Tottenham’s 9-1 defeat of Wigan in 2009 came in the space of seven minutes, making it the second fastest hat-trick in top-flight history.

The game was also only the second instance where a Premier League side had scored nine times in one game.

Malcolm Macdonald

Malcolm Macdonald, otherwise known as ‘SuperMac,’ made 14 appearances for England, but only one put him in the history books.

In a 1975 match against Cyprus, Macdonald used his head to great effect, scoring all five of England’s goals at Wembley.

The stunning feat occurred after England manager Don Revie allegedly told Macdonald that he would never pick him again unless he scored.


Dimitar Berbatov

Blackburn suffered from the brilliance of Dimitar Berbatov in 2010, when the Rovers went 7-1 down to a jubilant Manchester United. The Bulgarian was surprised by his own success, having scored his first goal in 11 games during the second minute of the match.

Frankie Bunn

Frankie Bunn astounded himself and his teammates by going one better than all the Premier League stars, scoring an amazing six goals in one game.

Oldham humiliated Scarborough in the third round of the League Cup with an emphatic 7-0 victory.

Bunn still holds the Football League Cup record for the most goals scored by a single player in a match.

Ted Drake

Ted Drake was the most prolific scorer of all, after netting seven against Aston Villa in 1935.

Drake still has an unrivalled strike record, having scored 139 goals in 184 starts.

Playing for Arsenal against Villa, Drake managed the incredible seven goals in his typical fearless style, despite playing with heavy strapping on his knee.