Tag Archives: messi

UEFA take 1 million pounds from English TV money pot for Champions League fixture clashes

UEFA take more than 1MILLION quid from the English TV money pot for scheduling fixtures on Champions League nights

PUBLISHED:

16:09 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 26 April 2013

DM.has('shareLink', 'shareLinks',
'id': '2315348',
'title': 'UEFA take more than 1MILLION quid from the English TV money pot for scheduling fixtures on Champions League nights',
'url': 'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2315348/UEFA-1-million-pounds-English-TV-money-pot-Champions-League-fixture-clashes.html',
'eTwitterStatus': 'UEFA%20take%20%C2%A31%20million%20pounds%20from%20English%20TV%20money%20pot%20for%20Champions%20League%20fixture%20clashes%20http:[email protected]'
);

UEFA have taken more than a million pounds from the English clubs' pot of Champions League television money for scheduling domestic matches against the competition.

The 1.3million euro fine was imposed after UEFA's disciplinary panel found 'clashes relating to the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons.'

The cash, which relates to 10 per cent of payments that were due to The Football Association in 2010-2011, was previously withheld.

Fine: UEFA have fined English clubs more than a million pounds for scheduling domestic matches against the Champions League. UEFA President Michel Platini stands with the trophy

Fine: UEFA have fined English clubs more than a million pounds for scheduling domestic matches against the Champions League. UEFA President Michel Platini stands with the trophy

Heartbreak: The fines relate to the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in the former, and Leo Messi (centre) broke Manchester United hearts at Wembley the following year

Heartbreak: The fines relate to the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in the former, and Leo Messi (centre) broke Manchester United hearts at Wembley the following year

UEFA says the money will be spread among clubs in other countries, with the majority of it to be spent on youth training.

The FA have also been fined 50,000 euros (42,000) for their involvement.

English officials are said to have been repeatedly warned about league and cup matches clashing with the Champions League.

A UEFA statement said it will 'establish a working group, which will involve representatives of the FA, in order to avoid calendar clashes in future.'

Return of the Special One: Jose Mourinho (centre) returned to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea in 2010 - his Inter side went on to win the competition

Return of the Special One: Jose Mourinho (centre) returned to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea in 2010 – his Inter side went on to win the competition

One fixture that invoked UEFA's anger was Liverpool's 3-0 derby win in March 2012, the game Steven Gerrard scored a hat-trick.

At the time the Premier League said that clashes are sometimes unavoidable and refused to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Speaking in April 2012, Dan Johnson, the Premier League's communications director, said: 'We have refused to sign the MOU because although we would never seek to go head-to-head with European games, sometimes it's inevitable.

'We don't believe Uefa have the right to say when domestic leagues can and can't schedule their fixtures, especially when Uefa have themselves increased the number of European nights by spreading out their match days and moving the Champions League final to a Saturday.'

Fixture clash: Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Everton in March 2012, a night when Champions League matches were taking place

Fixture clash: Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Everton in March 2012, a night when Champions League matches were taking place

Footballers"s Football Column – Ross Allen: Signing Matt Le Tissier is great but he won"t take penalties off me

ROSS ALLEN: Our fixture pile up is tough – up at 5am, fly to England at 7am, game at 3pm and back home for 9pm… and then ANOTHER match the next day!

PUBLISHED:

08:25 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 24 April 2013

Ross Allen

Ross Allen is a British centre forward with a better strike rate than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has scored 53 goals in 37 games for Guernsey FC this season, but more impressive is his contribution to an incredible fixture pile-up that has seen the club in the middle of 20 games in 36 days. In his debut Footballers' Football Column he writes about that sequence, which started on April 1 and ends on May 6, and came about through postponed home matches in winter and an unlikely run to the FA Vase semi-final… Oh and a certain team-mate called Le Tissier.

Footballers Football Column: Ross Allen

DM.has('rcpv2273577865001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Footballers Football Column: Ross Allen”,
'videoId' : 1004273,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2273577865001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2273577865001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2313831/Footballerss-Football-Column–Ross-Allen-Signing-Matt-Le-Tissier-great-wont-penalties-me.html”

});

GUERNSEY'S FIXTURE RUN-IN

DATE
TEAM
VENUE
SCORE
01/04/2013
Windsor
Away
W 6-1
05/04/2013
South Park
Away
W 2-0
06/04/2013
Cove
Home
L 1-2
07/04/2013
Camberley
Home
D 2-2
09/04/2013
Farnham
Away
W 2-1
12/04/2013
Horley
Home
W 4-1
14/04/2013
Raynes Park Vale
Home
W 4-3
16/04/2013
Hanworth Villa
Away
L 2-1
18/04/2013
Badshot Lea
Away
D 2-2
20/04/2013
Hanworth Villa
Home
W 5-1
21/04/2013
Chessington & Hook Utd
Home
L 2-0
24/04/2013
Colliers Wood Utd
Away

26/04/2013
Ash United
Home

27/04/2013
Molesey
Home

28/04/2013
Sandhurst Town
Home

30/04/2013
Bedfont Sports
Away

03/05/2013
Dorking
Home

04/05/2013
Hartley Wintney
Home

05/05/2013
Epsom & Ewell
Home

06/05/2013
Farnham Town
Home

The season started off well, we were around the top of the table. Then this FA Vase run kicked off. We knew that was a great opportunity to show what we could do on a national scale and get more publicity. We did really well but that was always a bit of a bonus and we were focusing more on the league.

Then November hit and everything just started to stall. Unfortunately our pitch just didn’t hold up against the weather. We share it with our local rugby team. It wasn’t their fault at all but the pitch just couldn’t handle it. It was underwater for the best part of two months.

Unfortunately it’s at the bottom of a low-lying part of the island and the rain just drains down there from the hills. It’s part of an athletics stadium so it’s not really been there for football in the past. We adopted it last season. It’s the best place for us and has an 800-seater stand. It’s great for the crowd. We had ten home games between November and the end of January and I think we might have had one or two of those games on with the winter being so bad.

It was a nightmare and really set us back. We didn’t get any rearranged away games. It got to the point where it didn’t look like we could make a serious bid for the title. We just didn’t know when we were going to get all these league games in. All we had was this FA Vase run, which was incredible because most of the games were drawn away.

That was fortunate because we wouldn’t have played them if they were at home. But when we started getting league games back on as the weather got better, the Vase games clashed. So we had to push more back. As we got further in the Vase we saw that as a great opportunity to do something, there was always a sniff of Wembley.

Dangerman: Ross Allen has scored 53 goals in 37 games for Guernsey

Dangerman: Ross Allen has scored 53 goals in 37 games for Guernsey

In a league of his own: Allen has a better strike rate than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

In a league of his own: Allen has a better strike rate than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

More from The Footballers' Column…

The Footballers' Football Column – Carolyn Radford: We aim to take Mansfield to the Premier League within five years, but we need to avoid the play-offs… because last time I was arrested!
23/04/13

KEVIN BETSY: It's the business end, players start falling out… You get on-loan players who just don’t care plus the ones too easily found on the treatment table
19/04/13

The Footballers' Football Column – Leon Osman: We will miss 'Fizzer' Neville but he'll miss us too… And why Leighton Baines is no Hank Marvin
18/04/13

ROB SEGAL: Footballers who come through the ranks at English clubs never get the contracts they deserve… players from overseas get more money and it makes no sense
15/04/13

MARTIN ALLEN: Winning titles is not all about money. City pay the big wages but it is United are at the top of the table… they have spirit, tenacity and drive and I hope my squad is similar to Fergie's in that way
12/04/13

KEVIN NOLAN: West Ham need big European nights at the Olympic Stadium and Big Sam is the man to deliver the dream
09/04/13

ROHAN RICKETTS: Footballers think they are untouchable… but the reality is life without a contract can be very tough
07/04/13

CRAIG ROCASTLE: There's a lot of expectation when you have my surname.. but now I'm trying to make a name for myself in the indoor league in America (as soon as I learn the rules)
03/04/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

We got through to the semi-finals last month, started getting a few more league games in, then the schedule came out. We were all shocked. We didn’t really know the rules but we thought they might extend the season into the middle or end of May and give us a bit more leeway. But that’s not how it turned out.

Guernsey is such an amazing place, everyone comes together as a community – you’ve got 60,000 people on your side and everything fighting for the same thing. Everyone saw it as a challenge and one we are thriving to take on.

We lost our two-legged semi-final against Spennymoor.

That was always a tough ask but we showed character, losing 4-1 on aggregate. They’ve got pedigree and we always knew we were the underdogs. For the home leg everyone rallied together to get friends, family, anyone who is interested in football down. We had a crowd of 4,290, which is huge for us. It was an amazing day, full of green all the way around the pitch. That definitely gets you buzzing.

To get to the semi-finals in only our second year of being formed is a great achievement, something we should be really proud of. It was disappointing to miss out on Wembley but we had a game two days later so we didn’t have much time to be too despondent. We bounced back with a 6-1 win.

This congested run is very hard, very tiring, but we know what we are doing. We play in the Island Games every year. The tournament is only a week so you play three games in a row, your three group games, then you have a day off, then the semi and the final. In the Isle of Wight in 2011 we played five games in six days with an 18 man squad. So we’ve done this before. We’re the best team in the country to be prepared and adapted to this kind of challenge.

We have to fly to all our away games using Aurigny Air Services. Our recent match at South Park, in Surrey, was a Friday night game, kick off at 7.45pm. We flew to Gatwick and stayed at the airport hotel. I scored two as we won 2-0. But we had a match the following evening so after staying over we woke up the next morning at 7am, for the 8.30am flight back to Guernsey.

We tried to get some rest, some food, then it was a 7.45pm kick off that evening. Then there was a 1.30pm kick off the day after that. That’s the mad one. You get home Saturday night after the game at about 11pm but have a game the next afternoon.

How do we get through it We have amazing staff who are all volunteers but committed to making sure we’re rested, getting massages, and things like that.

People have actually come to games and revealed they are qualified masseurs. They say: 'I read about your fixtures in the paper, can I offer my services' They come into the dressing room and do it for free. The boys really appreciate it. These little things are going to make all the difference, recovery is so important.

Beautiful setting: Allen enjoys living in Guernsey and says the community all comes together

Beautiful setting: Allen enjoys living in Guernsey and says the community all comes together

Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo

Simply the best: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the best players in the world – but Allen has a better strike rate than both players

We’ve probably got a good 25 players signed on now. A few extra have joined us, who did play last season but for various reasons haven’t been able to commit to as much this season. They can’t go to away games because of families but are itching and raring to go for the home games.

Before each game the coaching staff ask everyone: 'Are you alright to start tomorrow night if I choose you' There will be more of that than just the manager picking the team. They don’t want to pick someone who is struggling and will have to come off early because they are knackered.

People will put their hands up if they aren’t doing well – because they will probably play the next day. We’ve got enough mature lads in our squad to know it’s a team effort – no one man will do every game, the full 90 minutes.

If it’s a weekend game we’re up at 5am in the morning for the red-eye. That’s a 7am flight. We get to England, have a bit of food, hang about at the airport. Then head up to the game for a 1pm or 3pm kick off. Then we fly back that evening and get home around 9pm. It’s a full day commitment. For people with families that’s one of their weekend days.

Out of the cup: Guernsey were beaten in the FA Vase semi-final by Spennymoor Town

Out of the cup: Guernsey were beaten in the FA Vase semi-final by Spennymoor Town

Staying put: Allen says he has no desire to leave Guernsey and play elsewhere

Staying put: Allen says he has no desire to leave Guernsey and play elsewhere

Luckily I don’t have any wife or kids. I try not to get too tied down otherwise I’ll start missing games. Everyone’s got full time jobs because none of us get paid. We’ve got a few in teaching, a lot at banks in the town, really varied. I work for an online company. It’s a bit more flexible – not just a 9 to 5. We get all travel covered thankfully.

I’ve scored more than 50 goals this year – more than 100 since we formed – but that’s my job, we play such an attacking game. Our head coach Tony Vance was a striker and that’s how he wants to play the game. It suits us really well because we’ve got pace, we get good width and I’m always getting in the box, getting the goals. My team-mates do a lot of the work.

I’m not looking to move on. I had trials for years and it was something I wanted to do when I was a little bit younger. But I’m 26 now and some people would say that’s quite old in football terms. I’m lucky this has come around – I think all our players were just playing local football back in Guernsey and that gets a bit stale, you’re playing against the same people each week. We played Jersey every year. But it’s not really enough. So it was perfect timing in my career for this to happen.

Le God: Matthew Le Tissier is life president of Guernsey

Le God: Matthew Le Tissier is life president of Guernsey

Magnificent seven: Le Tissier could pull on his football boots again for Guernsey this season

Magnificent seven: Le Tissier could pull on his football boots again for Guernsey this season

It will be good to have a rest when the season is done. It’s been a long one. We’ve got a month to go. It will be nice to have a break, maybe go on holiday – but we’ll be straight back on it in July with the FA Cup qualifiers. It will be a nice month or so that we have off.

Matt Le Tissier is our president and he comes down for a few games – but we seem to lose any he watches! It’s great to have him involved – he gives us a shout out every now and again on Soccer Saturday. He’s put us on the map a little bit but I think our football is generally doing that itself.

Matt has been re-registered to play and he warmed up with us recently, which was great. It was good to see him as he’s been so supportive since the start. You could still see his touch was there. But if he does end up playing at some point this season, he won’t be taking over my penalty taking duties!

She"s in safe hands! Fabregas posts photo of newborn daughter after making another Champions League semi-final

She's in safe hands! Fabregas posts photo of newborn daughter after making yet another Champions League semi-final

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 11 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:09 GMT, 11 April 2013

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas admitted yesterday was the happiest day of his life.

No, it wasn't just the fact he had made it through to an incredible fourth Champions League semi-final, but more the fact his girlfriend Daniella Semaan had given birth to their first child.

Newborn: Fabregas posted this picture of his daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan grasping his finger

Newborn: Fabregas posted this picture of his daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan grasping his finger

Fabregas played 62 minutes last night as his side reached the last four of the Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain at the Nou Camp saw them go through on away goals.

And it was the former Arsenal midfielder who made way for Lionel Messi with PSG leading 1-0, with the Argentinian changing the game for the hosts.

Game changer: Fabregas made way for Messi in the 62nd minute, ultimately changing the game

Game changer: Fabregas made way for Messi in the 62nd minute, ultimately changing the game

But even better news was around the corner, and he tweeted: 'Yesterday it was the happiest day of my life, our daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan was born. Both her and Daniella are doing very well.'

The 25-year-old then posted a picture of his newborn daugther grasping his finger, and he'll want to get his hands on his own prize at the end of May, having won just one of the four semi-finals he has been involved in with Arsenal and Barcelona.

Fabregas and his Barcelona teammates will discover who stands in their way of another Champions League final tomorrow, with the draw for the semi-finals taking place in Nyon at 11am BST.

Champion: If Fabregas plays in the last four, it will be his fourth Champions League semi-final appearance

Champion: If Fabregas plays in the last four, it will be his fourth Champions League semi-final appearance

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas

Lionel Messi proves he is human after being foiled by a Japanese moving robot

Man v Machine: Messi proves he is human after all… as he is foiled by a Japanese moving robot

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

11:25 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:48 GMT, 9 April 2013

This might be the only way for managers to stop Lionel Messi in his tracks – by signing a Japanese goalkeeping robot.

Messi has been branded a killing machine after rattling in 57 goals this season.

His exploits have left managers in La Liga and throughout Europe tearing their hair out as just how to halt the Argentine striker.

Scroll down for video

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot goalkeeper

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Messi pen:

But the Barcelona frontman, considered by many as the game's greatest ever player, struggled when the man took on the machine in a game show broadcast on Japanese TV.

Messi took three penalties against the moving piece of cardboard – but missed his first two spot-kicks.

He is human after all then.

VIDEO Messi goes head-to-head with a robot in a penalty shoot-out

Messi takes on robot in penalty shoot-out

DM.has('rcpv2285357244001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Messi takes on robot in penalty shoot-out”,
'videoId' : 1004664,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2285357244001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2285357244001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk”

});

Gareth Bale says Tottenham team spirit will help Premier League and Europa League campaigns

Spurs' spirit will see us bid for glory on two fronts until the end of the season, says Bale

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 1 April 2013

Gareth Bale has said Tottenham can keep fighting on two fronts until the end of the season, claiming Champions League football for next season and challenging for the Europa League.

Spurs sit in third in the Premier League, five points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth, but have played a game more than the Gunners.

They also host Basel in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, but talisman Bale believes the togetherness in the squad will see them through.

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Bale

'We are a very close group as a team. At some places there's little groups here and little groups there but we have got a great team spirit and we want to take that into the rest of the season,' Bale told Eurosport.

'The main thing for us is that we don’t get carried away. We're comfortably able to finish fourth in the league and competing for third – we've got to take it game by game.

'We can push on in the Europa League as well against Basle. Our away form has been very good – we showed that against Lyon. We want to do as well as we can in both competitions.'

Bale's stunning strike against Swansea in Spurs' 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was his 22nd for Spurs in all competitions this season, prompting some to brand him as one of the best in the world.

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

But for the man himself, two giants of the Spanish League are still the ones to beat.

'Ronaldo and Messi have set the standard as the best players in the world, and everyone wants to play like them' said Bale.

'Year by year I'm improving and I can still improve.'

Ronnie Wood at Barcelona v AC Milan

Rolling Stone axeman Wood spotted in the Nou Camp getting plenty of satisfaction

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

20:45 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:41 GMT, 12 March 2013

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood knows plenty about hot tickets. But usually people are buying them for his shows.

On Tuesday it was Wood shelling out, as he treated his wife Sally to an evening of high quality football as Barcelona faced AC Milan in the Nou Camp.

Many claim the Stones are rock's greatest band and Wood found himself watching someone else at the top of his trade too, as Lionel Messi went on a rampage.

Excited: Ronnie Wood enjoying the action with his wife Sally... and with a cigarette (below)

Excited: Ronnie Wood enjoying the action with his wife Sally… and with a cigarette (below)

Smokin'

Ruby Tuesday: Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally were in the Nou Camp to see Barca take on Milan

The Barca star painted it black with two stunning first half strikes to rock Milan, who had come to Spain with a two-goal lead.

The first was some real hot stuff – the Argentina international finished exquisitely from outside the box.

Messi then shattered Milan's advantage with his second, sending Barcelona fans out of control.

Barcelona went on to win 4-0, thanks to additional strikes from David Villa and Jordi Alba, leaving Milan firmly under their thumb.

You got me rocking: Lionel Messi celebrates after turning the tie on its head

You got me rocking: Lionel Messi celebrates after turning the tie on its head

Nemanja Vidic wants Cristiano Ronaldo back at Manchester United

Vidic: Don't rule out Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford after he's done at the Bernabeu

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:09 GMT, 5 March 2013

Nemanja Vidic has refused to rule out the possibility that he could one day be reunited with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

The Red Devils centre back will face off against his former team-mate when Sir Alex Ferguson’s men take on Real Madrid at Old Trafford in the second leg of the last-16 Champions League tie.

But despite his manager claiming the prospect of Ronaldo return in the red of United is implausible, Vidic believes it is a possibility.

Facing off: Nemanja Vidic (right) and Cristiano Ronaldo (left) will play against one another on Tuesday

Facing off: Nemanja Vidic (right) and Cristiano Ronaldo (left) will play against one another on Tuesday

Not impossible: Ronaldo could return to Old Trafford, according to his former team-mate Vidic

Not impossible: Ronaldo could return to Old Trafford, according to his former team-mate Vidic

The 31-year-old Serbian told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I could see it [Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United]. He is a United supporter and he still follows United, he still misses the club and the environment here, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come back.

‘It would be a big ask for many reasons, but I would love to see him here.

‘I don’t know what atmosphere he has at Madrid, so I can’t really talk about that, but all I can say is that I enjoyed playing with him, he enjoyed it here and it will be great to see him.’

Vidic also believes that the Portugal captain is on par with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who has beaten Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or four years in a row.

On par: Vidic believes Ronaldo (right) is as good as Lionel Messi (left)

On par: Vidic believes Ronaldo (right) is as good as Lionel Messi (left)

He added: 'They are different players, totally different.

'But in recent years, Barcelona have won everything and I think that is why people have put Ronaldo to one side.

'I have played with him and trained with him and I know how many sacrifices he made to be where he is.'

Happy times: Ronaldo (right) celebrates alongside Vidic (left) during his Manchester United days

Happy times: Ronaldo (right) celebrates alongside Vidic (left) during his Manchester United days

Cristiano Ronaldo meets Diego Maradona after Real Madrid v Barcelona

Watch out United! Madrid star Ronaldo picks up some tips from Maradona ahead of Champions League clash

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

13:28 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:14 GMT, 3 March 2013


Big guns: Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona

Big guns: Cristiano Ronaldo and Diego Maradona

Two of the world's finest players met as Real Madrid beat Barcelona in Saturday's Clasico.

Cristiano Ronaldo was one, of course, but his rival Lionel Messi was not the other. No, it was a different Argentina legend – Diego Maradona.

Perhaps Maradona was giving Ronaldo some advice ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash against Manchester United on Tuesday.

He might need it, after Gary Pallister claimed Ronaldo could choke on his return to Old Trafford.

The Portuguese forward left Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, becoming the most expensive player in football history at 80million.

The teams go in to the second leg of their Champions League last 16 clash poised at 1-1.

Ronaldo, who posted the picture of
himself with Maradona on Twitter, scored a brilliant header for
Jose Mourinho's side in the first leg.

He came on as a second-half substitute for Kaka in the Clasico as Mourinho opted to give him a rest.

‘It will be interesting to see how
Cristiano handles it because it’s always a bit weird going back to an
old club,' Pallister told The Daily Star Sunday.

‘I remember when I went back to Middlesbrough for the first time in a United shirt, just how weird it all felt.

‘The occasion could get to Ronaldo. Let’s hope it does.’

Watching on: Maradona at the Bernabeu with girlfriend Rocio Geraldine Oliva

Watching on: Maradona at the Bernabeu with girlfriend Rocio Geraldine Oliva

Watching on: Maradona at the Bernabeu with girlfriend Rocio Geraldine Oliva

Hope: Gary Pallister (left) says Ronaldo could choke

Hope: Gary Pallister (left) says Ronaldo could choke

After beating Barcelona for the second
time in a week courtesy of their 2-1 on Saturday, Real will fly to England and prepare for the
game at the home of United's rivals, Manchester City.

Mourinho opted for the Etihad Stadium ahead of Old Trafford, perhaps out of fear of being spied on.

He also does not want to use the Old Trafford pitch because it is in bad shape and he does not want to make it worse for the game against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

Rio Ferdinand tweets that anyone comparing Gareth Bale to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo "doesn"t know football"

Think Bale is on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi You don't know football, says Rio

PUBLISHED:

09:36 GMT, 27 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 27 February 2013

Rio Ferdinand believes anyone who compares Tottenham’s Gareth Bale to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Barcelona magician Lionel Messi ‘doesn’t know football’.

The Manchester United defender tweeted to his four million followers that Bale needs to keep scoring at this rate for three or four years for there even to be a debate.

He wrote: ‘People mentioning Bale in the same breath as @Cristiano + Messi really don’t know football! Bale been 1 of best 2 in PL this year but….

'Don't know football!' Rio Ferdinand has slammed those comparing Gareth Bale (below) to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, saying the last two are on a different planet

'Don't know football!' Rio Ferdinand has slammed those comparing Gareth Bale (below) to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, saying the last two are on a different planet

Best in the world Gareth Bale's spectacular strike for Spurs against West Ham on Monday led to comparisons with the greatest players in the world

Best in the world Gareth Bale's spectacular strike for Spurs against West Ham on Monday led to comparisons with the greatest players in the world

‘He is not on CR7 + Messi’s level yet…he carries on doing what he is doing for 2/3yrs then there can be a debate.

‘Bale showed me a clean pair of heals once this year so I’m in good position to judge! CR7 + Messi have been on another planet for 4-5yrs #consistent #KeepItClean’

Bale has already scored 15 goals in the Premier League this season — earning Tottenham an astonishing 15 points on his own.

Number one: Cristiano Ronaldo reminded us of his quality by scoring two goals for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona last night

Number one: Cristiano Ronaldo reminded us of his quality by scoring two goals for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final with Barcelona last night

Hot property: Lionel Messi has scored 49 goals for Barcelona already this season

Hot property: Lionel Messi has scored 49 goals for Barcelona already this season

Without him Spurs would be way off their quest for fourth place, languishing down in ninth position in the table. Statistics show manager Andre Villas-Boas has been given Bale free rein to roam the park and be selfish — he is making fewer passes and creating fewer goals than last season but scoring far more.

When Cristiano Ronaldo was Bale’s age at 23, he won the Ballon d’Or after scoring scored 31 goals for Manchester United at a rate of one goal every 89 minutes, with a shooting accuracy of 59 per cent.

So far this season Bale has scored 15 goals at a rate of one goal every 135 minutes, with a shooting accuracy of 57 per cent.

Cristiano Ronaldo has massive birthday cake

Still a cut above: Ronaldo handed massive cake to celebrate his 28th birthday with Portugal pals

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

20:21 GMT, 6 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:53 GMT, 7 February 2013

If Cristiano Ronaldo wants to overtake Lionel Messi as the world's best player, he better not eat all of this cake.

Ronaldo turned 28 on Tuesday and was given a huge treat to enjoy ahead of Portugal's clash with Ecuador.

With everyone in the room looking at Ronaldo and the cake, he'd have needed to be a brave man to refuse to share it with his compatriots.

Birthday boy: Ronaldo with his cake, decked out in Portugal colours

Birthday boy: Ronaldo with his cake, decked out in Portugal colours

Om nom nom: Ronaldo

Om nom nom: Ronaldo

Cut the cake: Ronaldo starts slicing the magnificent creation before him

Pretty good, but not quite the finest…

Ronaldo may be a global megastar and nobody outside of England may have heard of Southampton midfielder Richard Chaplow,

But Chaplow, who also turned 28 last week, had an even more delicious looking birthday cake.
Best not tell Ronny!

Richard Chaplow's delicious looking cake