Tag Archives: portuguese

Rafa Benitez press conference: Chelsea manager defiant

Rafa responds! Defiant Benitez insists he wants the fans to back him and the team

: West Brom 1 Chelsea 0 (Gareth McAuley, 82)

The Portuguese was supposed to be given the freedom to overhaul an ageing squad, but with a place in the top four and Champions League football slipping from Chelsea's grasp, Villas-Boas was given his marching orders in early spring. Di Matteo was brought in and delivered the FA Cup and Champions League trophies.

ROBERTO DI MATTEO

November 17, 2012: West Brom 2 Chelsea 1 (Shane Long, 10, Peter Odemwingie 50; Eden Hazard 39)

After leading Chelsea to a first Champions League title while interim boss, the Italian's permanent appointment was short-lived. A 2-1 loss at the Hawthorns, the team's first away defeat of the league season, was followed by a European defeat at Juventus which sealed Di Matteo's fate and saw Benitez drafted in.

Bebe insists he still has Manchester United future

You've not seen the last of me! Man United flop Bebe insists Fergie still rates him

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

17:11 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 16 January 2013

Manchester United’s Portuguese flop Bebe has claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson still believes he has a future at Old Trafford.

The young winger – who has never started a game in the Barclays Premier League – is currently on loan at relatively unknown Portuguese club Rio Ave.

High hopes: Bebe was tipped for big things when he arrived at United

High hopes: Bebe was tipped for big things when he arrived at United

Keeping the faith: Bebe claims Ferguson has told him he still has a future at Old Trafford

Keeping the faith: Bebe claims Ferguson has told him he still has a future at Old Trafford

It is widely thought that the 22-year-old will never be seen again in England and that United will sell him if they can.

But the 7.4million signing from Guimaraes said this week: 'Sir Alex advised me to leave and find a club where I could play more often, so that I could make a great return in the future.

'Obviously something went wrong in the last phase of my career. I had a serious injury which thankfully I have fully recovered well from.

'I'm fine physically now. I was always training and playing. It's good to come here and I want to show what I can do.'

Bebe has already scored one goal for Rio Ave but it is unclear whether the club has the money to take him back to his home country on a permanent basis.

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay

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UPDATED:

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

Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand set for Manchester United exit

End of an era! Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand heading for Manchester United exit

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 20 December 2012

Paul Scholes plans to retire once and for all at the end of this season as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson prepares for another summer shake-up at Old Trafford.

United midfielder Scholes has told friends that he intends to bow out in May and that this time he will not be back.

Ferguson is also facing up to the probability that another veteran, Ryan Giggs, will leave his one and only club this summer, and the manager is aware that defender Rio Ferdinand has yet to indicate publicly whether he wishes to extend his contract.

Trio: Giggs, Scholes and Feridnand could leave Old Trafford at the end of the season

Trio: Giggs, Scholes and Feridnand could leave Old Trafford at the end of the season

With captain Nemanja Vidic also struggling of late with knee problems, Ferguson has already started to look at ways of freshening up his squad.

Recently, for example, Ferguson sent scouts to watch 15million-rated Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay play for Portuguese club Benfica in games against Sporting Lisbon and Olhanense.

He has also been looking closely at Molde's Norwegian international centre back Vegard Forren.

Head boy: Garay (left) has been watched by Old Trafford scouts

Head boy: Garay (left) has been watched by Old Trafford scouts

Formerly of Real Madrid, Garay has to be sold by Benfica next summer since they are struggling to pay his wages. His former club in Spain are entitled to half of whatever fee he is sold for.

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

As for Scholes, he quit the game at the end of the 2010-11 season but famously returned to United in January of this year.

He was later persuaded by Ferguson to stay on for this season as well and has played 13 times so far.

Moving on: Scholes is poised to retire for a second time

Moving on: Scholes is poised to retire for a second time

However, the 38-year-old believes that his influence on the field is waning and has said privately in recent weeks that he may have given as much as he can.

It remains to be seen if Ferguson attempts to persuade one of his most trusted players to soldier on for another season.

Welshman Giggs is a year older than Scholes and is also on a one-year contract. He has played only eight times in the Barclays Premier League this season and has also seen his influence on the field drop off significantly in recent months.

Rio Ferdinand

Ryan Giggs

Suit you, sir: Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs could call time on their United careers

Giggs has not made his own mind up yet but said recently: 'When I do finish playing, I'll try to find the next best thing. Management does interest me. The nearer I get to finishing, the more I think about it. All I can do is prepare myself as best I can for when I do finish.

'I've been doing my coaching courses with Nev (Gary Neville) – levels one, two, A-Licence. We're starting the Pro-Licence next year.'

Giggs hopes to compete in a couple of triathlons and Scholes may be handed a coaching role at Old Trafford.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas impressed by record of David Moyes

Spurs boss Villas-Boas impressed by record of rival Moyes

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UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 8 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has revealed his
deep respect for Everton boss David Moyes as he prepares to do battle
with the man many thought deserved to become the next Tottenham manager
in the summer.

Bookmakers installed Moyes as the
odds-on favourite to replace Harry Redknapp in June, but Daniel Levy
appointed Villas-Boas ahead of the Scot despite his excellent record at
the Merseyside club.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas

Everton had come dangerously close to relegation through the back end of the 1990s, but Moyes' appointment in March 2002 signalled a huge turnaround in the club's fortunes.

The Scot, whose only previous experience in management had come at Preston, led the Merseysiders to fourth in 2005 and has only finished outside the top eight twice during his nine full seasons in charge.

Villas-Boas, who takes his team to Goodison Park, thinks Everton would be in a much worse position had the 49-year-old not taken the helm 10 years ago. 'He has done tremendously well,' the Tottenham manager said.

'He has changed the mentality of the club. They went through incredibly difficult situations financially and has always built strong teams.

Everton manager David Moyes

Everton manager David Moyes

'His scouting is perfect, his training is perfect, the way he motivates his players also makes a difference as you see them on the pitch and they are extremely competitive.

'His teams always seem to improve year after year and that is not always the case. Going to Goodison Park is one of the toughest games.'

Villas-Boas has bad memories of visiting the Toffees. Last season his Chelsea team lost 2-0 at Goodison Park and little over three weeks later the Portuguese was sacked.

But after a shaky start, Villas-Boas has started to rebuild his reputation at Tottenham, who are now firmly in the hunt for a Champions League place following a run of three straight Barclays Premier League wins.

Confidence is high in the Spurs squad, but Villas-Boas knows it is vital his team maintain their good form going into the festive period.

'The Premier League is very, very tight between third and 10th,' the former Chelsea boss said.

'Obviously we want to do well at Everton but understand that it is going to be extremely difficult.

'It is one of the most difficult grounds to go to, they are fully rested, but we have played in midweek.

'But we want to do well and take something out of there and continue with the momentum we have going.'

Everton have only lost one of their last 10 games, although their last three results have been draws.

Marouane Fellaini's eight-goal scoring spree from midfield has played a big part in Everton's good form this season, and Spurs defender Kyle Walker knows shackling the Belgian will be key to the visitors' chances of success.

'Marouane Fellaini is a real handful,' the England right-back said.

'He's mobile for a big guy, gets the ball down and they go through him.

'They've good players, lots of internationals and it will be difficult. Ever since I've played in the Premier League, Everton is always one of the tough games.

'But our centre-backs Jan (Vertonghen) and Steven (Caulker) are fantastic and hopefully if we can keep a clean sheet then Jermain (Defoe), Emmanuel Adebayor or Clint (Dempsey) can go and get us a goal.

'If we continue playing how we've been playing and those three keep scoring, then we've got every chance.'

Villas-Boas looks set to recall Hugo Lloris in goal after giving Brad Friedel a run out in Tottenham's Europa League win over Panathinaikos on Thursday.

Gareth Bale is unavailable due to a hamstring injury and Michael Dawson also looks unlikely to play due to a similar concern.

Dempsey will probably start in Bale's place on the left, leaving Adebayor and Defoe free to resume their partnership up front.

Aston Villa, Newcastle Swansea, Bolton and Norwich watch Cluj"s Modou Sougou

Villa, Newcastle and Norwich chase Cluj's Senegal winger Sougou

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 4 December 2012

Aston Villa, Newcastle and Norwich will have FC Cluj winger Modou Sougou watched at Manchester United on Wedneday night.

Sougou, 27, impressed against United in October and caught the eye again, scoring against Galatasaray last month.

Swansea and Bolton are also among a clutch of clubs watching the Senegal international, who is available for around 2million and wants to leave Romania in January.

Catching the eye: Modou Sougou is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs

Catching the eye: Modou Sougou is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs

Sougou has a Portuguese passport which will enable him to pick up a work permit should a move to a Barclays Premier League club be forthcoming.

Newcastle have also made an enquiry for Atletico Mineiro right back Marcos Rocha, 23, in case they fail to prise Mathieu Debuchy from Lille.

Watford and Charlton are to give a trial to Togo forward Thomas Dossevi, 33. The former Swindon striker has been playing in Thailand.

Aston Villa have Abdoulaye Ba offer rejected

Porto scupper Villa's hopes of landing Ba by demanding permanent deal

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 November 2012

Aston Villa have been rebuffed in a bid to sign defender Abdoulaye Ba on loan from Porto.

The 21-year-old Senegal international has figured for the Portuguese in the Champions League this season but they were initially willing to loan him.

However, they have now changed their mind and will only consider a permanent deal.

Target: Abdoulaye Ba (left) is wanted by Aston Villa

Target: Abdoulaye Ba (left) is wanted by Aston Villa

Brazil World Cup 2014 posters for each host city – FIFA

Brazilian flair shines through in FIFA posters for each World Cup 2014 host city

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 26 November 2012

Posters have been released for each of the cities in Brazil which will host World Cup games in 2014.

They may not have finished building all of the stadiums, but a lot of care and attention has gone into designing these.

Each poster features something which ties in with the history or the nature of the city it is for.

Scroll down to see each of the posters for the 12 host cities and find out why each one was designed the way it is.

Meanwhile Brazilians have selected the
name 'Fuleco' for the three-banded armadillo mascot for the competition
after a three-month voting process that was branded undemocratic by
fans.

Controversial: The armadillo mascot was named Fuleco after a vote but many people were unimpressed with the selection of options on offer

Controversial: The armadillo mascot was named Fuleco after a vote but many people were unimpressed with the selection of options on offer

FIFA said more than 1.7 million people in Brazil took part in the controversial vote to select the name for the mascot.

Polls showed the vast majority of Brazilians were not pleased with the names picked for public voting and critics said organisers should let fans choose other names.

Fuleco comes from the Portuguese words 'futebol' (football) and 'ecologia' (ecology), and FIFA said it 'seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way.'

Football’s governing body said Fuleco received 48 percent of the vote, while 31 percent went for Zuzeco and 21 percent for Amijubi.

Organisers claimed fans could not send in suggestions because the names needed to fulfill several legal requirements involving trademarks and other rights.

THE NEW POSTERS FOR EACH HOST CITY OF THE 2014 WORLD CUP

Rio de Janeiro: A footballer balancing the ball on the back of his neck shows the city's deep love of the game.

Sao Paulo: The design portrays a bustling metropolis where thousands of people life, celebrate and breath football. The city has an infectious energy and football is in its blood, its buildings and in the air

Rio de Janeiro: A footballer balancing the ball on the back of his neck shows the city's deep love of the game. Each layer meanwhile stands for one aspect of Rio, the beach, the mountains, the Sugarloaf peak, the sea and the sky.

Sao Paulo: The design portrays a bustling metropolis where thousands of people life, celebrate and breath football. The city has an infectious energy and football is in its blood, its buildings and in the air.

Belo Horizonte: The city holds the Church of Sao Francisco de Assis, which is displayed in silhouette form on the poster, according to FIFA. The design's celebratory nature shows the welcome that footballers and fans will receive in the city

Brasilia: The background image represents the cathedral in the city, with an immense blue sky above it. Green at the bottom portrays the vast expanse of greenery the city has, while the various colours of the player show the city's multiculturality

Belo Horizonte: The city holds the Church of Sao Francisco de Assis, which is displayed in silhouette form on the poster, according to FIFA. The design's celebratory nature shows the welcome that footballers and fans will receive in the city.

Brasilia: The background image represents the cathedral in the city, with an immense blue sky above it. Green at the bottom portrays the vast expanse of greenery the city has in it, while the various colours of the player show the city's multiculturality.

Curitiba: A Brazilian pine tree is pictured because this type of tree covered much of the land in the area before the city was formed in the 17th century.

Manaus: This city is in the state of Amazonas, which is almost entirely covered by rainforest. The parrots sitting on top of the goal post are representative of that.

Curitiba: A Brazilian pine tree is pictured because this type of tree covered much of the land in the area before the city was formed in the 17th century. The pine rises high, stretching out its cones almost as if it is raising a toast to football.

Manaus: This city is in the state of Amazonas, which is almost entirely covered by rainforest. The parrots sitting on top of the goal post are representative of that, and signify the fact we cheer for great players, matches, goals, and for nature itself.

 Salvador: A city of wealth, culture and artchitectual heritage. It has stunning scenery and breathtaking views from up high in the towers of the city's other tourist attractions.

Fortaleza: The sunshine and beauty of the city's coastline, shown with a beach at the bottom on the poster, make it a special place. The city's major landmarks are shown in the football raised high above the Castelao Arena.

Salvador: A city of wealth, culture and architectural heritage. It has stunning scenery and breathtaking views from up high in the towers of the city's other tourist attractions. Perhaps views which might bring to the heart the same delight as the feeling when your team score.

Fortaleza: The sunshine and beauty of the city's coastline, shown with a beach at the bottom on the poster, make it a special place. The city's major landmarks are shown in the football raised high above the Castelao Arena. It is a city which is both modern but has not forgotten its roots.

Natal: The green comes from the forest, the blue from the crystal sea and the yellow from the hot sands. The silhouette of a man reaching out on a poster coloured like the Brazilian flag symbolises the country welcoming the world.

Cuiaba: The capital of the state of Mato Grosso is in the exact centre of South America and is considered the heart of the continent. The poster's bright colours shows the joy the World Cup will bring and the joyful nature of the locals.

Natal: The green comes from the forest, the blue from the crystal sea and the yellow from the hot sands. The silhouette of a man reaching out on a poster coloured like the Brazilian flag symbolises the country welcoming the world with open arms. The people of Natal are keen to give, to share, to host.

Cuiaba: The capital of the state of Mato Grosso is in the exact centre of South America and is considered the heart of the continent. The poster's bright colours shows the joy the World Cup will bring and the joyful nature of the locals. The silhouette of the whole state is displayed in the centre of the ball.

Porto Alegre: The capital city of Rio Grande do Sul has magnificent views over Lake Guaiba and on the right lies the Usina do Gasometro, the best place to see these from. The ball being kicked represents the cultural legacy being fired forward.

Recife: The poster shows the essence of a coastal city full of art, joy and movement. Frevo is the dance of the city and the man in the middle is a frevo dancer, whose moves also represent that of a skilled football player.

Porto Alegre: The capital city of Rio Grande do Sul has magnificent views over Lake Guaiba and on the right lies the Usina do Gasometro, the best place to see these from. The ball being kicked represents the cultural legacy being fired forward.

Recife: The poster shows the essence of a coastal city full of art, joy and movement. Frevo is the dance of the city and the man in the middle is a frevo dancer, whose moves also represent that of a skilled football player. There is a carnival feel to the design.

Andre Villas-Boas to be given 20million by Daniel Levy

Villas-Boas to be handed 20m to pursue Willian, Moutinho, Dzagoev or Eriksen in January

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 20 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas will be handed 20million to revive Tottenham's faltering Champions League ambitions.

Spurs have lost four of their last five Premier League games, a sequence that has cast serious doubt over their top four chances.

But chairman Daniel Levy will make significant funds available in the January transfer window, knowing the current squad needs strengthening.

Wanted man: Shakhtar's Willian is top of Andre Villas-Boas' hitlist

Wanted man: Shakhtar's Willian is top of Andre Villas-Boas' hitlist

Villas-Boas wants to sign a left-back, central attacking midfielder and a striker at the turn of the year, with Willian, Miralem Pjanic, Christian Eriksen, Alex Dzagoev and Joao Moutinho all on the hitlist.

Tottenham's chosen agents have already begun work on trying to lure the club's top targets to London.

Levy's decision to give Villas-Boas money to spend in January will come as a major boost to the Portuguese who is starting to come under pressure due to his side's sorry run.

Meanwhile, Tottenham will revive their attempts to sell defender Michael Dawson in January.

Villas-Boas tried to offload the defender during the summer transfer window, but moves to Stoke and Queens Park Rangers failed to materialise.

Not bad either: Porto's Joao Moutinho is also being mooted

Not bad either: Porto's Joao Moutinho is also being mooted

Gift: The Tottenham manager has been handed 20million to pursue his targets

Gift: The Tottenham manager has been handed 20million to pursue his targets

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho vow to finish Manchester City"s Champions League hopes

Portuguese men of AWE! Ronaldo and Mourinho are back in town to finish City's 'Euro failures'

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 20 November 2012

Jose Mourinho had only been in England for an hour and only in his seat in the press room at the Etihad Stadium for three minutes when he tossed his first grenade into Manchester City territory.

Asked if he was surprised at City's struggles in Group D of the Champions League, the brutality of Mourinho's answer was clear.

'It's normal if one of the big teams does not win the competition because there are other teams with the same power and desire,' said the Real Madrid coach.

No chance: Jose Mourinho believes that Manchester City have little chance of progression

No chance: Jose Mourinho believes that Manchester City have little chance of progression

'Only one team can win. However I don't think it's normal when you are out of the competition at the very first stage.

'From my point of view, if Real Madrid lose the final or a semi-final or a quarter-final, then that's just football. But if you are out at the group stage then it's more difficult to accept or understand.

'Last season they were out. This season I think they will be out. They could win this game of course. They could win in Dortmund as well. But eight points is not enough and I think they are out for the second successive season. That must be very difficult for them.'

City coach Roberto Mancini will perhaps care little for Mourinho's opinions.

The two men have not got on since Mourinho followed Mancini into the manager's chair at Inter Milan.

The former Chelsea coach, however, had made his point and maybe he indeed has a point.

Victory here against the man who followed him into the manager's chair at Inter Milan would give Mancini some satisfaction. It is, however, unlikely to save a European campaign that began to fall apart when City turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 defeat in the final three minutes of their opening game, against Real at the Bernabeu in September.

'That game was crucial for sure,' Mourinho added. 'If they had won that match their history would be different.

'But our reaction in that match was fantastic and now we need three points and are in good condition to qualify.

'City have a team to compete against Real Madrid – and why not – but eight points is not enough.

Portuguese man of awe: Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to sink City's hopes

Portuguese man of awe: Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to sink City's hopes

Welcome back: Ronaldo features in Sportsmail's mocked up poster

Welcome back: Ronaldo features in Sportsmail's mocked up poster

WATCHING BRIEF

Kick-off: 7.45pm Etihad Stadium.
TV & Radio: LIVE Sky Sports 2 from 7pm and BB C 5 Live from 7.45pm.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy).

'I say again, City will be out of the competition.'

Certainly that balmy – and barmy – night in Madrid two months ago seems a while ago.

Back then, City believed themselves to be set for a fight with Real for first place in the group.

Subsequent struggles against Dortmund and Ajax have left them thinking differently.

They are bottom of Group D with two points and will go out if they fail to beat Real. Tonight marks, among other things, the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester.

The good news for City is that the former United forward is in his worst run of scoring form since September 2011.

Confident: Mourinho travelled into Manchester with his team on Tuesday

Confident: Mourinho travelled into Manchester with his team on Tuesday

WHAT RONALDO'S BEEN UP TO SINCE LEAVING UNITED IN 2009

165 The number of goals Ronaldo has scored in all competitions since joining Real Madrid in 2009 – in just 162 games

46 La Liga goals scored for Real in one season (2011-12) – a club record

60 Goals scored in 2011-12 for Real in all competitions – another club record

7 The Real record for the most hat-tricks in a season. Ronaldo has achieved the feat twice

38 Ronaldo has contributed 38 assists since joining Real

19 Ronaldo is the first player to score a goal against all other 19 La Liga teams in the same season (2011-12)

The bad news is that all things are relative. Ronaldo has scored one goal in his last four games for Real.

In the context of his remarkable career in Spain, that represents something of a drought.

With Ronaldo, however, dams tend to burst in spectacular fashion. In September last year, he returned to life with a hat-trick in a 6-2 La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano.

Earlier this season the Portugal star declared himself unhappy with life at Real then scored a goal against City that sparked a run of 10 in five games, a sequence that included three hat-tricks.

It is little wonder that Ronaldo – a player who averages more than a goal a game for his club – views himself as the best player in the world, little wonder that Mancini said over the weekend that his team may need the help of the police to shackle him at the Etihad Stadium.

City forward Carlos Tevez, a former Old Trafford team-mate of Ronaldo, said: 'Cristiano is one of the best players in the world and he will play in this game the way he always has done.

'He does not seem to feel pressure. We will have to keep a special eye on him. I think it is only right if Cristiano believes he is the best in the world.

'Any guy who gets 37 to 40 goals a season has a right to believe that. Having said that, if you push me on who is best I am always going to go on the side of Lionel Messi.'

The Ronaldo/Messi debate is a familiar one. Ronaldo has already made clear his displeasure about Messi's official status as the world's best player.

Danger man: Ronaldo has been prolific since leaving Manchester United in 2009

Danger man: Ronaldo has been prolific since leaving Manchester United in 2009

Are you having a laugh Carlos Tevez believes Lionel Messi is better than Ronaldo

Are you having a laugh Carlos Tevez believes Lionel Messi is better than Ronaldo

Enlarge

How they stand

That, however, is probably a conversation best left for another time.

Wednesday may yet transpire to be another episode of the Ronaldo show. Last night, though, was about his coach.

Asked to discuss his future, Mourinho left more than enough hints hanging in the air.

Unfortunately for him, City's new chief executive Feran Sorriano had already left the room.

'The beauty of my experience is I had the chance to leave my country, Portugal, to be in England, Italy and Spain and get the best and worst of these experiences to make me a better manager,' he said.

'I have done the lap. When you have those experiences, you evaluate, decide where you are happier and then make the choice for the future.'

MARTIN KEOWN: HOW TO STOP CRISTIANO
Insight: Martin Keown

1 Get close to him and try to win the ball straight away. Sergio Ramos did that very well in the Euro 2012 semi-final. He outmuscled him. You need a no-nonsense approach.

2 Whoever plays wide right for City must block the service to Ronaldo. When Real are in possession, that player must be in front of Ronaldo, screening the ball into his feet.

3 When he gets within 35 yards of goal, do not stand off because he will shoot. You have to close him down. Equally, don't give away stupid free-kicks in that area. His free-kick routine is like a pantomime and is very dangerous.

Probable teams: Man City v Real Madrid