Tag Archives: portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo has massive birthday cake

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

John Drayton


20:21 GMT, 6 February 2013



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

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



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.


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.'

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay



11:15 GMT, 21 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has sent scouts to watch 15million-rated Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay play for Portuguese club Benfica.

Formerly of Real Madrid, Garay has to be sold by Benfica next summer since they are struggling to pay his wages.

Garay has 11 caps for his country and has also been tracked by Juventus.

Heads up: Sir Alex has sent scouts to watch Garay in recent matches

Heads up: Sir Alex has sent scouts to watch Garay in recent matches

Sir Alex has had to field a patched-up defence this season following Nemanja Vidic's lengthy absence and Rio Ferdinand has also been prone to injury in recent years.

He struggled to land a permanent place under Jose Mourinho, but has been impressive after moving to Portugal.

Real are also entitled to half of whatever fee he is sold for.

Case for the defence: Garay has been in action in the Champions League with Benfica

Case for the defence: Garay (left) has been in action in the Champions League with Benfica

Cristiano Ronaldo return to Manchester United with Real Madrid – best goals

As Ronaldo prepares to return to Old Trafford with Real Madrid, we recall his greatest hits for Manchester United



12:13 GMT, 20 December 2012

The forthcoming Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid pits together two of the world's biggest clubs.

Sir Alex Ferguson will renew his rivalry with Jose Mourinho but the biggest draw is the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to his old stomping ground.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look back at his greatest moments during his time at Old Trafford.

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United with Real Madrid

Main man: Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford to face Manchester United with Real Madrid

v Aston Villa, 2008

Ryan Giggs sends in a corner from the left which Ronaldo implausibly flicks into the net from 10 yards out.

v Portsmouth, 2008

Possibly the best goal he scored for United, Ronaldo's 30-yard free kick left David James completely bamboozled in the Pompey net.

v Porto, 2009

a disappointing draw in the first leg at Old Trafford, United needed to
beat Porto in Portugal to progress in the Champions League. Step
forward Ronaldo…


v Arsenal, 2008

Ronaldo proved he can be just as
effective in helping his side protect a lead as he produces one
step-over after another to lure Justin Hoyte into scything him down at
the corner flag.

And he hasn't exactly lost his touch in Madrid…

v Rayo Vallecano, 2012

The ball falls to the Portuguese right of the penalty spot and he nonchalantly backheels it into the net.

Juventus and AC Milan keen on Manchester United winger Nani

Italian giants Juventus enter race to sign United winger Nani



09:28 GMT, 18 October 2012

Juventus are set to go head-to-head with AC Milan for the signature of Manchester United winger Nani.

Milan are at the head of the queue to sign the out-of-favour Portugal wide man, and are keen to sign the player for a cut-price 12million.

On the move: Nani is wanted by both Juventus and AC Milan

On the move: Nani is wanted by both Juventus and AC Milan

The 25-year-old, who featured in
Portugal’s 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland on Tuesday, looks almost
certain to leave Old Trafford next year as talks over a new contract
continue to stall, with Juve ready to sound out the player via third
parties, according to Goal.com.

Despite having played over 200 times for the United since joining in July 2007, Nani has struggled to earn a regular spot in the starting side this season.

It is believed that Ferguson is prepared to part with the winger but is keen on receiving a figure in line with the 20m he originally shelled out for the then 20-year-old five years ago.

Juventus currently sit top of the pile in Serie A after six wins from the opening seven games, with the Nani camp seemingly viewing the Turin-based club as an ideal next destination for the player.

Michael O"Neill heralds Northern Ireland"s courage after holding Portugal in Porto

Purring O'Neill heralds Northern Ireland's courage after holding Portugal in Porto



23:05 GMT, 16 October 2012

Michael O'Neill hailed a 'huge result' for his Northern Ireland side after they held a star-studded Portugal side to a 1-1 draw on home turf.

O'Neill has had precious little to celebrate since taking over as Northern Ireland boss at the turn of the year, most recently seeing his men take just a point against lowly Luxembourg at Windsor Park.

But he could scarcely conceal his pride after seeing his side come within touching distance of a famous win at Porto's Dragao Stadium.

'I'm hugely proud of the effort and what the players gave us tonight. I think we saw a huge amount of character in this team.

Proud: Michael O'Neill saluted his team's character in Porto

Proud: Michael O'Neill saluted his team's character in Porto

'It's a huge result. I don't tend to get carried away and the main thing for me is that regardless of the result, I was proud to stand there tonight and be their manager.

'That's because of what they gave to the cause and to each other.'

The notion that O'Neill would leave Portugal frustrated at sharing the spoils seemed unthinkable before the match, but he admitted to a hint of regret having seen his side hold out for so long.

'We're very disappointed only to draw but we recognised that we would have to defend for our lives and that certainly proved to be the case, especially in the second half,' he said.

'Having gone that far it was a bit of a blow (to concede). But we got what we deserved, simple as that, and I'm immensely proud of the players. There was nothing more I could ask from first to last.'

Getting ahead: Niall McGinn put Northern Ireland on track for a famous victory

Getting ahead: Niall McGinn put Northern Ireland on track for a famous victory

O'Neill, whose side now have two points from their first three matches in Group F – including their two toughest away trips – declined to suggest how the result compared to other famous days in Northern Ireland's history.

Home wins over England and Spain in 2005 and 2006 remain the high watermark, but taming a side containing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Joao Moutinho on their own patch will surely draw comparison.

'I'm sure it does, but that's for other people to say,' O'Neill added.

'I've told the players what I felt about their performance in the dressing room and that's all matters to me.

'It's up to other people where they want to rank that in history or in terms of benchmarking that performance.'

Heartbreak: Helder Postiga wheels away after scoring the equaliser

Heartbreak: Helder Postiga wheels away after scoring the equaliser

Portugal had chances to win the game in the closing stages as Nani, Varela and Eder all went close, the latter in an implausibly generous five minutes of injury time.

O'Neill pointedly added: 'I thought the character of our team was shown in the way they defended for the last 10 minutes after conceding and in the 22 minutes the referee added on.'

Portugal v Northern Ireland live

LIVE: Portugal v Northern Ireland – follow the World Cup qualifier from Brussels as it happens



20:59 GMT, 16 October 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the World Cup qualifiers as the Home Nations and the Republic of Ireland continue their bid to reach Brazil 2014. Earlier in the night, England's match at Poland was postponed following heavy rain at the National Stadium in Warsaw. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or via Twitter @Ripinho.

World Cup 2014 qualifiers

Belgium 2-0 Scotland FT

Croatia 2-0 Wales FT

Faroe Islands 1-4 Republic of Ireland FT

Poland P-P England

Portugal 0-1 Northern Ireland

Click here for all the live scores from Europe's World Cup qualifiers

21.56: We are back underway in Portugal where the hosts have sent on Ruben Amorim for Miguel Lopes.

21.51: And if you really need cheering up get this, even the Germans are capable of caving in spectacularly.

Leading 4-0 at home to Sweden in Berlin, the hosts suffered a second-half collapse to draw 4-4 – even conceding an injury time equaliser.

21.46: To try and lift the spirits we will keep going here and focus on Northern Ireland's Group F match in Portugal.

They have taken a shock 1-0 lead in Porto, and if they hold on would it really reignite their qualifying hopes.

21.41: That result leaves Scotland bottom of Group A with two points after four games – eight adrift of leaders Belgium and Croatia.

Sadly it looks like the Scots' World Cup dream is over once again but at a desperately early stage.

21.38: Full-time: Belgium 2-0 Scotland

21.36: We are into three minutes injury time in Brussels, but the sting really has gone from this game since Kompany's strike.

21.33: It's the Chelsea midfielder that strikes it, but his effort comfortably clears the crossbar.

21.31: As Benteke goes off to a huge cheer from the hosts to be replaced by Ilombe Mboyo, Belgium win a free-kick 25 yards out. Hazard stands over.

21.28: Blimey, this is a painfully slow death for Scotland. The Belgium fans are chanting ole for every pass now and the Scots can hardly get possession. There ares five minutes left.

21.25: Final change for Scotland as Matthew Phillips replaces James Morrison. Nacer Chadli is booked following a foul on Shaun Maloney.

21.22: Well here is a potential shock on the cards for you. Niall McGinn has fired Northern Ireland 1-0 ahead at Portugal after 30 minutes of action at Porto's Estadio do Dragao – yes Cristiano Ronaldo is playing for the hosts.

21.19: Kenny Miller has been thrown on by Craig Levein for Steven Fletcher with just 15 minutes left in Brussels. Scotland look no closer to pulling a goal back.

21.16: GOAL! BELGIUM 2-0 Scotland

Scotland's hopes of reaching the World Cup are surely over now. Vincent Kompany shows tidy footwork on the edge of the box before blasting into the top corner – not bad from the Manchester City centre-back.

21.13: GOAL! BELGIUM 1-0 Scotland

Seventy minutes of spirited defending comes to an end as Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, heads home a cross at the back post.

21.09: That doesn't quite end our involvement here as we will turn our attention to Scotland's Group A match in Belgium where it's currently 0-0. Stay tuned folks.

21.05: Roy Hodgson spoke to ITV over whether the roof should have been used:

'That's something which I can't answer. You will have to speak to the Polish authorities.

'I am rather hoping they will get it closed now and start to get some work on the pitch the water is lying on the surface and will need a lot of attention if we are going to play.'

21.00: And it's already been rescheduled. The match is set to take place tomorrow at 4pm (BST).

20.57: Poland v England: Match officially postponed due to rain

Singing in the rain: A Poland fan invades the pitch in Warsaw

Singing in the rain: A Poland fan invades the pitch in Warsaw

20.55: Full time in Croatia where the hosts have recorded a 2-0 win over Wales to top Group A.

20.52: We are back underway in Belgium, where the hosts have sent Eden Hazard on for Mousa Dembele, while Scotland have replaced Kris Commons with Jamie Mackie. It's 0-0 in Brussles.

20.50: It's all over in the Faroe Islands and the Republic of Ireland have won 4-1 to get their campaign to reach Brazil 2014 back on course.

20.48: It's a fourth goal for the Republic of Ireland as Darren O'Dea has put the icing on the cake at the Faroe Islands with just two minutes left.

20.45: Sadly it is, and nothing has changed as the ball still fails to bounce. This game isn't going to go ahead but the big question is when will it

20.42: Another pitch inspection coming up – I do hope it's not a referee throwing a ball around again.

20.38: There is action on the pitch in Poland but it's only two home fans performing Jurgen Klinsmann slides on the pitch – much to the delight and ironic cheers of those still in the ground.

Across Europe, there is alarming news for Manchester City fans as David Silva has been taken off injured after just 13 minutes in Spain's clash against France. His side lead 1-0 in Madrid through a Sergio Ramos strike.

20.35: Republic of Ireland fans can breathe a sigh of relief again as a Pol Justinussen own goal has restored their two-goal lead at the Faroe Islands.

20.32: It's half-time in Brussels and credit must go to the Scots who have held out Belgium to go into the break at 0-0.

The visitors really need a win but not conceding is a good way to start.

Deadly duo: Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) and Eduardo put Croatia 2-0 ahead against Wales

Deadly duo: Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) and Eduardo put Croatia 2-0 ahead against Wales

20.29: Contrasting scenes between the England and Poland players. Roy's boys are all set to board the team coach out of the ground in their tracksuits, while the Polish team are still in their match kit.

Another twist has emerged in that the Poles do not fancy playing the match tomorrow.

20.26: Just when the Irish looked home and dry (excuse the pun). The Faroe Islands have pulled a goal back through Arnbjorn Hansen with 22 minutes left.

20.22: From Sportsmail's Matt Lawton:

Second pitch inspection due at 8.45pm UK time. If it's a no, and it has to be, plan is to play tomorrow.

20.19: Poor marking from a corner allows former Arsenal strike Eduardo to tap home and double Croatia's lead over Wales to 2-0. There is 30 minutes left in that game.

20.16: Ian is referring to the France v Ukraine match of course. The only problem is it is still raining in Warsaw and the pitch still looks absolutely drenched.

20.15: From Sportsmail's Ian Ladyman:

I was at Donetsk game in Euros. Pitch looked just like this. As soon as rain stopped it drained in minutes. #dontgiveuphope

20.13: Republic of Ireland have finally woken up now as Jonathan Walters has doubled their lead at the Faroe Islands.

No bounce: Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi throws the match ball as part of his pitch inspection in Warsaw

No bounce: Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi throws the match ball as part of his pitch inspection in Warsaw

20.11: The message from FIFA is that they still want this game to try and go ahead in the next hour.

I love their optimism but it's still raining and the pitch is just as wet now as it was 45 minutes ago. I don't know how they are going to make this playable.

20.08: Finally a breakthrough for the Republic of Ireland, as Marc Wilson has scored a minute after the break to put the visitors 1-0 up at the Faroe Islands.

20.05: Good to see the PA announcer inside the ground has a sense of humour. U2's 'Beautiful Day' is being played over the speakers.

We are back underway in Croatia where Wales trail 1-0.

20.03: From Sportsmail's Matt Barlow:

The ref's thrown the ball nine times into puddles. That was the 9pm inspection. Still raining.

20.01: And here is that pitch inspection. The crowd are cheering every time the referee chucks the ball and it fails to bounce. Roy Hodgson can only look on and laugh – it's that farcical.

19.58: ITV have spoken to a press officer at the ground and they have confirmed there will be a final pitch inspection at 8pm.

There is still an option for the game to be delayed an hour but I really cannot see that happening. Other alternatives could be the game being played tomorrow.

19.53: Your full line-ups from Scotland's fixture in Belgium:

Belgium v Scotland
Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Kompany, Vertonghen, De Bruyne, Witsel, Chadli, Mertens, Dembele, Benteke. Subs: Mignolet, Hazard, Ciman, M'Boyo, Van Buyten, Mirallas, Defour, Lombaerts, Vossen, Simons, Guillaume Gillet, Jean-Francois Gillet.

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Berra, Caldwell, Fox, Maloney, Morrison, Darren Fletcher, McArthur, Commons, Steven Fletcher. Subs: Gilks, Mulgrew, Cowie, Adam, Miller, Mackie, Martin, Phillips, Webster, Marshall.

Referee: Mauricio Morales (Mexico)

More than spitting: England keeper Joe Hart tests the conditions at Warsaw's National Stadium

More than spitting: England keeper Joe Hart tests the conditions at Warsaw's National Stadium

19.50: And it's half-time in Croatia too where Mario Mandzukic's strike is the difference between the hosts and Wales. A fluke goal but Croatia have been dominant.

19.47: We are underway in Belgium though, as they have just kicked off against Scotland.

Meanwhile it's more bad news for the Republic of Ireland as it's half-time in the Faroe Islands and they are still being held 0-0.

19.44: Roy Hodgson has told ITV he doesn't think the game will go ahead. There isn't exactly much rush to get this game ready by the hosts. There isn't a groundsman and a pitchfork in sight.

19.40: Dare Roy Hodgson pull a Steve McClaren and put up an umbrella – not a chance!

I still can't believe that a roof closed throughout Euro 2012 has stayed open all day. Apparently the roof now cannot be closed because the rain is too heavy. Unbelievable.

19.36: To put this into perspective, when the ball is thrown in the air it simply doesn't even bounce after hitting the turf.

There will be an announcement at 8pm over whether this game will go ahead. For now it looks like they will close the roof. Stable doors and bolting horses come to mind.

19.33: Back to Warsaw though and the reason the game is in doubt is because torrential rain has made the pitch more like a paddy field.

The referee has declared the pitch unplayable but there is no official confirmation yet over whether this game is going ahead.

19.30: Bad news for Wales. They have gone 1-0 down to Croatia following an opportunistic strike from Mario Mandzukic.

19.25: Sportsmail's Matt Barlow:

A new 400m stadium with a closing roof and the game in warsaw appears in doubt.

Water pass: England boss Roy Hodgson tests the very wet conditions in Warsaw

Water pass: England boss Roy Hodgson tests the very wet conditions in Warsaw

19.20: There has been an early blow for England in Warsaw.

For the second time in 20 years the band that follows the team has been…well…banned.

They were of course shut out recently at Donestk for a Euro 2012 match but they have now been snubbed in Warsaw too.

It is believed stadium authorities took tonight's decision because the Polish FA have refused to sanction a Polish band, and would be open to accusations of double standards if they allowed their English counterparts in.

Band leader John Hemmingham said: 'It is very frustrating. We have travelled tens of thousands of miles following England are were looking forward to banging the drum for the Three Lions once more. It is massively disappointing to get such a bum note.'

19.15: Scotland make one change from the side who lost to Wales for tonight's World Cup qualifier against Belgium.

Wigan midfielder James McArthur is drafted into the starting line-up in place of Scott Brown.

The Hoops skipper was forced to withdraw from the squad with an ongoing hip problem that forced him out of Friday's clash in Cardiff at half-time.

The Scots head into the game in Brussels second bottom of Group A and know they needed a first victory of the campaign to keep their slim hopes alive.

19.10: England head coach Roy Hodgson hands 99th caps to skipper Steven Gerrard and defender Ashley Cole for the World Cup qualifier with Poland in Warsaw.

Gerrard returns after missing the 5-0 home win over San Marino through suspension while Cole comes back into the side after resting his ongoing ankle problem.

Hodgson makes a total of six changes with Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Jermain Defoe also back in the starting line-up.

Defenders Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, striker Danny Welbeck plus the injured Theo Walcott make way.

19.05: Back to the World Cup 2014 qualifiers – two games are already underway.

Republic of Ireland are trying to bounce back from their 6-1 defeat to Germany as they travel to Faroe Islands, while Wales will be looking to build on their 2-1 win over Scotland with their tricky trip to Croatia.

Job done: England Under 21s celebrate Connor Wickham's injury time goal

Job done: England Under 21s celebrate Connor Wickham's injury time goal

19.00: Serbian fans of course are not on good terms with UEFA following their disgraceful antics to have a Euro 2012 qualifier in Italy abandoned – I'm not holding my breath for any serious punishments though.

18.59: From Sportsmail's Dominic King:

Let's see how serious UEFA take this. Never seen anything like that before. Actions of neanderthals. Riot police around ground did nothing.

18.56: Awful scenes in Serbia. The good news is the England Under 21s scored in injury time through Connor Wickham to seal a 2-0 aggregate victory and a place at Euro 2013.

But the scenes that followed saw England players and coaches attacked by Serbians, with Danny Rose sent off for retaliation.

The full-back seemed to gesture that he was racially abused – but either way you haven't heard the last of this game and sadly it won't be because of the football.

18.51: And a quick update on the England Under 21s before we get cracking. We are in second half injury time in Serbia where Stuart Pearce's side are drawing 0-0.

Should it stay that way, they will advance to the Euro 2013 finals after winning the first leg 1-0 at Carrow Road on Friday.

18.48: England starting XI:

Hart, Johnson, Cole, Gerrard, Jagielka, Lescott, Milner, Carrick, Defoe, Rooney, Cleverley.

18.45: Was I the only one left a little subdued after England's 5-0 win over San Marino on Friday It certainly felt strange to be left feeling shortchanged after seeing the Three Lions record a five-goal victory.

It's a much tougher test for Roy Hodgson's side tonight though as they travel to Poland for the second time this year. No sunshine and major tournaments this time though – just a tricky night in Warsaw and hopefully three valuable points to take back across the Channel. Team news coming up.

Looking for more: England's Wayne Rooney (right) will hope to add to his brace scored against San Marino on Friday when he lines up against Poland

Looking for more: England's Wayne Rooney (right) will hope to add to his brace scored against San Marino on Friday when he lines up against Poland

Nelson called into Portugal squad to replace injured Fabio Coentrao

Bento calls up Nelson to Portugal squad for Northern Ireland game as Coentrao is ruled out



17:31 GMT, 13 October 2012

Portugal coach Paulo Bento has called up Real Betis full-back Nelson for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland following an injury to Fabio Coentrao.

Real Madrid left-back Coentrao limped out of Friday night's match in Russia after 20 minutes and will miss the visit of Northern Ireland to the Estadio do Dragao, Portugal have confirmed in a statement on their website, www.fpf.pt.

Missing: Fabio Coentrao will be out of Portugal's game with Northern Ireland

Missing: Fabio Coentrao will be out of Portugal's game with Northern Ireland

Midfielder Raul Meireles also picked up an injury during training on Thursday but Bento has decided not to call up a replacement for him, instead making do with the remaining 22 players at his disposal.

Portugal lost their 100 per cent start to their World Cup qualifying campaign after going down 1-0 to Russia and are now second in Group F, three points behind the Russians after three games.

Northern Ireland are fourth with one point from two games.

Ross Fisher plays through pain barrier to claim halfway lead in Portugal

Fisher plays through pain barrier to claim halfway lead in Portugal



18:30 GMT, 12 October 2012

England's Ross Fisher overcame an injury scare to move a step closer to his fifth European Tour title.

The 31-year-old slipped walking off the first tee when he resumed the Portugal Masters and feared for a while he might have to withdraw.

Ross Fisher

Tough day: Ross Fisher overcame injury scare to claim lead at halfway

But after a physio was called for and strapping applied to his left foot, Fisher battled on and thanks in large part to a 22-foot eagle putt on the long 17th added a 67 to his opening 65.

'I didn't think anything of it at first and for two or three holes it was okay, but then it started to get really sore,' he said.

'The physio told me I was not doing any damage by playing on. It was uncomfortable for a while, I was feeling it again at the end and I'm just very relieved to get through.

'To be leading is very, very pleasing. It was really difficult to get through the ball and it made it quite challenging to pick the right club.

On a roll: Stephen Gallacher has enjoyed two solid rounds

On a roll: Stephen Gallacher has enjoyed two solid rounds

'My balance was not very good, but I tried to grind it out and fortunately I came through with a decent score.'

On 10 under par at halfway Fisher leads by three from Scot Stephen Gallacher and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

Gallacher, yet to have a bogey, is seeking only his second victory in nearly 400 Tour events, but Wiesberger has already had two this season.

Fisher last tasted success at the Irish Open two years ago, a victory which helped to secure him a Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor.

Since partnering Padraig Harrington to two wins against the Americans, however, he has managed only one top five finish and finds himself down at 140th in the world.

More to follow

Portugal Masters: Live leaderboard

Portugal Masters leaderboard: Keep up to date with the scores

The European Tour is in Vilamoura this week for the Portugal Masters.

Tom Lewis took the title last year and you can keep track of all the latest scores right here.


Sam again: Tom Lewis is back in Portugal to defend his title

Sam again: Tom Lewis is back in Portugal to defend his title