Tag Archives: quiet

Sergio Aguero plays pool in Manchester pub – pictures

Aguero sinks the reds (again): Right on cue, City's 38m star joins locals for game of pool in Manchester boozer

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:36 GMT, 11 April 2013

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UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 11 April 2013

We've all been there – sipping a pint in your local pub waiting for that bloke to finish playing pool so you can get a game.

But what would you do if the guy sending you potty was none other than Sergio Aguero

Manchester City's 38million striker isn't the kind of person you'd expect to bump into as you enjoy a post-work drink down your boozer.

Yet, at just before 6pm yesterday, that's exactly what happened in the Woodley Arms in Stockport.

Pool party: Sergio Aguero lines up a shot at the Woodley Arms in Stockport

Pool party: Sergio Aguero lines up a shot at the Woodley Arms in Stockport

Eye on the balls: Aguero focuses on the game against his opponent

Eye on the balls: Aguero focuses on the game against his opponent

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer as part of an advert being filmed for Puma

Rumours had been circulating that the Argentina ace was going to pop in and around 100 locals got to see him up close.

City boss Roberto Mancini doesn't need to worry about Aguero's post-training habits, however. His visit was part of an advert being filmed by his sponsors Puma.

The player has already spent time being filmed on an all-weather pitch at a nearby sports centre before heading for his game of pool.

VIDEO No chance of a quiet game of pool in this Stockport pub…

Fans descend on Stockport pub to see as Sergio Aguero play pool…

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Famous face: Aguero looked like he enjoyed his visit to the pub

Famous face: Aguero looked like he enjoyed his visit to the pub

Technique: Aguero at the table

Technique: Aguero at the table

Aguero – who scored the winner in Monday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford – was brilliant with the City fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures before driving away in his Aston Martin Vanquish.

Jamie Taylor, manager of the Woodley Arms (and a confesses United fan), was delighted with his pub being used for the event.

He told the Manchester Evening News: 'You couldn’t say No, could you He’s a great player and I was as giddy as anyone when he came through the door.

'A lot of our regulars are City fans
so it’s been a great afternoon for them and something I’m sure we’ll be
having a bit of banter about for a long time.

'He
was pretty handy pool player as well. We’ve got a pool league down here
and if he fancies a regular game he’s welcome any time.'

Local Bob Marston, 70, added: 'Word was spreading like wildfire and I got the call and came straight down.

'I'm
off down to Wembley on Sunday – I was impressed with his pool skills
and hopefully he’ll be in similar form against Chelsea.'

Winner: Aguero fires home against Manchester United - leaving Phil Jones shocked

Winner: Aguero fires home against Manchester United – leaving Phil Jones shocked

Flying high: Aguero celebrates his winner against United at Old Trafford

Flying high: Aguero celebrates his winner against United at Old Trafford

England 2 Brazil 1: Martin Keown verdict

Martin Keown: I'm convinced Hart and Cesar are the best keepers in England and Wilshere played like a Brazilian!

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 7 February 2013

There was plenty of talk ahead of the game about the outfield players but it was hard to ignore the goalkeepers once the action started. I saw Joe Hart and Julio Cesar go head to head when Manchester City visited QPR recently and was hugely impressed.

Now I am convinced that they are the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Hart did really well to save Ronaldinho’s penalty and then reach the rebound before the Brazilian. Cesar’s stops to defy Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill were stunning.

The first reminded me of Gordon Banks keeping out Pele. Cesar showed his flexibility and Hart showed fantastic determination. They will be vital for their teams for the remainder of the season.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar

Joe Hart

Safe hands: Joe Hart and Julio Cesar proved themselves to be the best keepers in the Premier League

Glen kept Neymar in his pocket

Glen Johnson has looked nervy at times for England at Wembley in the past. Last night he looked more confident. He was good with and without the ball and kept Neymar quiet when confronted with him. On the opposite side, Ashley Cole looked a bit nervous as he won his 100th cap.

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Blue is the colour

Six Chelsea players were involved last night — David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar for Brazil, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for England. They have enough quality to suggest Rafael Benitez’s side should be performing a lot better.

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Well done, Frank

To go with some exciting young players,
England have some world-class experienced stalwarts. Frank Lampard’s
goal put him level with David Platt on 27. He’s only three shy of Tom
Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer on 30.

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Game of two halves for Gary

Gary Cahill was exceptional in the first half, sniffing out danger and accomplished on the ball. He looked far better than he has in a Chelsea shirt this season. But the centre back undid that good work by overplaying for the Brazilian equaliser. He wanted to show that English defenders can play. That should be encouraged but there are moments when you can be too adventurous.

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Jack's like a Brazilian

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch. He looked so full of confidence and carried the game at times. Wilshere always wants to receive the ball, even if he’s under pressure and he is then technically gifted enough to use it in an intelligent way.

Since returning from injury, there was no doubting his ability but he is now fit enough to have the energy to match his technical prowess. The way he has come back from that lay-off to perform at such a level is impressive. We should cherish him.

Running the show: Jack Wilshere controlled the midfield on his first England start since 2011

Wilshere

Running the show: Jack Wilshere was the star of England's midfield as Brazil were overran

Jonas Gutierrez enjoys mate tea putting Newcastle United

Jonas is fuelled by special brew: How Gutierrez puts Newcastle and the world to rights over a cup of mate

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 13 December 2012

Video: When Colin met Jonas

Watch Jonas Gutierrez introduce Colin Young to the ritual of mate

There is a daily ritual with a difference at Newcastle United’s training ground.

It is two men putting the club, and the world to rights over a cup of tea. But there is something slightly different about this quiet early morning get-together in the first team dressing room.

Jonas Gutierrez and Fabricio Coloccini enjoy the tranquillity of their surroundings before the rest of their team-mates start to arrive and fill the four walls with noise, banter and naked bodies.

The two Argentina internationals bring their own backpacks from home to enjoy a cup of mate (pronounced 'matay'). They take out their own small wooden cup (calabash gourd), and fill it three-quarters full with some Argentine green tea leaves (yerba mate), which is purchased online or brought back from international duties.

They then tilt the gourd and create a small hole by the side in the leaves with a silver straw (bombilla) and pour in a large mouthful of water from the flask they have filled from the kettle before leaving their houses. The bombilla acts as a straw and a sieve.

Setting the world to rights: Jonas Gutierrez (left) introduces Colin Young to the world of mate

Setting the world to rights: Jonas Gutierrez (left) introduces Colin Young to the world of mate

Normally you then pass your mate to your mate. But Coloccini and Gutierrez sip their own brews and discuss their favourite topic: Newcastle United.

Gutierrez – who also likes a cup of English tea in the afternoon – said: 'It is a tradition from Argentina and Uruguay. Everyday, morning, or afternoon, you sit with your family, or a group of friends and have a drink.

'Colo and I like to sit down and talk before training. We talk about the team, what is right and what is wrong. We always try to see how we can improve things.

'A few of the lads have tried it. Ryan Taylor didn’t like it all, he thought it was too strong and he pulled a very funny face. James Perch liked it but he doesn’t like coffee and he needed to put some sugar in it.’

Fans' favourite: The energetic Gutierrez has endeared himself to the Toon Army

Fans' favourite: The energetic Gutierrez has endeared himself to the Toon Army – and the feeling is mutual

There have been good times and bad for the Argentina internationals to contemplate over their four years on Tyneside.

Both
have admitted their failings as they tried to find their feet in their
debut seasons. They eventually slipped to the Championship. The pair
could have left after relegation, but were integral members of the squad
which returned to the Premier League wiser and stronger.

'When you look at the past you realise maybe things happen for a reason,’ he says now.

'Nobody wants to be relegated but it was the right moment for this club. It might have been the right time to start form zero and have a fresh beginning. It was a hard time but look where we are now.

'For me, the biggest thing at that time was when I spoke with Diego Maradona, who was national manager, he told me it didn’t matter where I played as long as I was playing.’ Maradona once said, when asked about his team selections, that it was 'Mascherano, Messi, Jonas and eight others’.

Suited and booted: Gutierrez takes a bite out of the Warrior Skreamer Pro

Suited and booted: Gutierrez takes a bite out of the Warrior Skreamer Pro

'That
was big,’ says Gutierrez, who comes up against Manchester City’s
Argentine trio of Tevez, Aguero and Zabaleta on Saturday lunchtime.

'It
would have put me in a difficult situation to jeopardise playing for
the national team and in the World Cup. Once he said that I didn’t need
anything else and I wanted to stay to get Newcastle back in the Premier
League.’

That
Gutierrez is a footballer at all is not something his parents could
have envisaged at the age of three when he suffered a severe illness
which resulted in paralysis of the top left-hand side of his body.

He
was encouraged by specialists to take up sport immediately to develop
his limbs and bones. For a boy brought up in a small town near Buenos
Aires, football was the only choice. Within six years he had joined
Velez Sarsfeld where he was to win the Argentine championship in 2005.

Getting stuck in: Gutierrez, who will skipper Newcastle when they face Manchester City, models his new boot

Getting stuck in: Gutierrez, who will skipper Newcastle when they face Manchester City, models his new boot

Gutierrez
said: 'I had a high temperature and it developed into a problem with my
body. I couldn’t move the left side of my body so the doctors said I
had to take up sport to help and my mother asked what I wanted to do.
And of course I just wanted to play football.

At ease: Gutierrez has found his spiritual home on Tyneside

At ease: Gutierrez has found his spiritual home on Tyneside

'Obviously
I don’t remember it but it was hard for my parents at the time but they
saw straight away that I was OK and I didn’t have any more problems. I
was just out every single day playing football in the streets with my
friends. I have very happy memories of my childhood and I love my town,
Saenz Pena.’

The
whole Gutierrez clan moved to Spain after the title success when he was
offered a contract with Real Mallorca, who had been Newcastle United’s
UEFA Cup opponents two years earlier.

Although
he was a success on the island, Gutierrez had his eye on a move to the
Premier League and even bought out his contract to move. Like Coloccini,
he has eventually proved one of the successes of the brief and messy
Dennis Wise era, after his switch from Mallorca was resolved by FIFA.

He may have a taste of home every day with his mates but Newcastle is very much his home now.

Gutierrez,
who captains the side in Coloccini’s absence, said: 'Newcastle is a
unique city and a unique club. The fans make the city and the club. They
make all the difference for the players.

'In
Argentina they are really passionate but some of the things that go on
at the stadium are nothing to do with football. Maybe they go to relieve
the stress of their week but I can’t understand it.

'I really enjoyed Spain. The weather is maybe better weather, especially in Majorca where you have sun nearly every day but I prefer the English football.

Kicking off: Gutierrez hopes Newcastle can buck a trend which seen the club lose five of their past six games

Kicking off: Gutierrez hopes Newcastle can buck a trend which seen the club lose five of their past six games

'The
gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona is too big and it makes league a
bit boring. You know when you start a season you are not going to fight
for first position.

'I
always dreamed to be a footballer when I was young and when I started
watching football from England I thought I would get there one day.
Mallorca was the right step at that time and made it easier to come
here.

'And I love it at
Newcastle. We had stability in our first season back and finished 11th,
then we got fifth place which was fantastic and we qualified for Europe,
which the club has not done for a while.

'We
have done a great job in the Europa League to qualify for the next
round but it has been hard in the league. The team has deserved to win
the last three games and we have players back now, which is important.

'Maybe we had more luck last year and we have to refocus and work hard to get results now. The fans have to be patient and believe in the team.’

Revenge mission: Gutierrez tries in vain to stop Yaya Toure scoring during Manchester City's 2-0 win at St James' Park in May

Revenge mission: Gutierrez tries in vain to stop Yaya Toure scoring during Manchester City's 2-0 win at St James' Park in May

The colourful new Warrior boots Gutierrez will now wear are not in keeping with his usual style to let his football doing his talking.

Perhaps they make up for the fact we will never see his famous Spiderman mask again. He has donned it on the few occasions he scored goals – it was forever appearing in the Championship season – but he’s ditched it now.

He added: 'The last time I did it the ref gave me a yellow card, and I prefer not to get a booking.

'I think the fans enjoyed it and I did but a booking can be really important, if you have to make a dirty foul and you’ve already been booked for getting the Spiderman mask out. I don’t think the manager or my team-mates would be very pleased.

'It is a shame but the team is the first thing I have to think about.’

Jonas Gutierrez wears the new Warrior Skreamer Pro boot

Lee Mason and his men come through Chelsea 5 Manchester United 4 unscathed: Graham Poll

Mason and his men come through Stamford Bridge test unscathed

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UPDATED:

01:29 GMT, 1 November 2012

The game went as smoothly as Lee Mason could have wanted and that is largely down to the exemplary attitude of both sets of players.

Apart from one show of petulance late on from Ryan Bertrand and some handbags between Nani and Oscar, everyone was well behaved and clearly heeded the advice from their clubs.

Quiet evening: All things considered, the game went well for Lee Mason

Quiet evening: All things considered, the game went well for Lee Mason

It was eight minutes before Mason had to blow for a free kick. He was also helped by his assistants getting the big decisions right, in stark contrast to Mark Clattenburg on Sunday.

John Brooks correctly awarded Chelsea their first penalty for Alex Buttner’s foul on Victor Moses and Jake Collin got the night’s big decision correct, seeing that Gary Cahill’s header had crossed the line.

Tripped: Alexander Buttner clips Victor Moses for penalty No 1

Tripped: Alexander Buttner clips Victor Moses for penalty No 1

If you have good assistants, it makes a huge difference.

Mason’s movement and positioning were poor but fans and players just want the big decisions to be right — and they were.

Katherine Grainger: I"ve had lots of proposals after finally winning gold

Grainger: Mum was worried I'd been left on the shelf, but I've had lots of proposals after finally winning

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

23:33 GMT, 8 September 2012

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UPDATED:

23:33 GMT, 8 September 2012

At some point on Monday morning Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins will meet up for a ‘quiet coffee’ and a ‘moment of reflection’ before they board Float 14 and enjoy their euphoric parade around the streets of London in a mass post-Olympic and Paralympic celebration.

Although each won her first Olympic gold medal in the women’s double sculls at an emotional and partisan Eton Dorney Lake last month, the emphasis was very much on Grainger — at 36, seven years Watkins’s senior and bidding for an elusive gold after three successive Olympic silver medals.

There was one quiet moment amid the mayhem of immediate victory. ‘After a bout of collective screaming, I lay back in the boat and looked up at Anna,’ recalled Grainger. ‘Anna said, “Is it real Did we do it” And I replied: “Yeah, we did it”.’

Shore leave: Katherine Grainger is looking forward to the parade

Shore leave: Katherine Grainger is looking forward to the parade

After a crazy few weeks since they produced one of the memorable moments of the Games, the pair will share a longer, more measured moment together. Then they will join 700 fellow Olympians and Paralympians to be greeted in the centre of London by a crowd which, it is estimated, will be well over half-a-million strong.

‘Whatever happens in the future Anna and I will always have that bond of winning that gold medal at the London Olympics,’ said Grainger. ‘We’ll reflect tomorrow on how our lives have changed. I got most of the attention but Anna and I are equal partners in winning that Olympic title, and I thank her for helping me finally achieve my goal.’

Grainger’s career had not exactly been disastrous before all this. A six-time world champion to go with her three Olympic silvers, she was dubbed the Sir Steve Redgrave of women’s rowing. But winning gold has made all the difference to her.

‘I’ve never really been recognised before in the street,’ she said. ‘Now I’m stopped everywhere I go. I’ve been eating badly, sleeping badly, barely training at all and I’ve loved it because I’ve been so busy.

Elysium: Grainger and Anna Watkins hail victory at Eton Dorney

Elysium: Grainger and Anna Watkins salute a dominant victory at Eton Dorney

‘I’ve had a good number of marriage proposals from men who have somehow tracked down my email address,’ she added. ‘One sent a photo, too. No, it wasn’t that kind of photo! My Mum’s pleased because I’ve been on the shelf a bit too long and she wants me married off.’

Mrs Grainger may have to wait a little longer because her daughter is not convinced just yet that her rowing career has finished, even if winning gold at 36 would appear to provide the perfect ending.

‘It would be crazy to make a decision right now while still riding on an emotional wave. A part of me says I’ve achieved what I set out to and, let’s face it, I will be 40 by the time of the 2016 Games in Rio.

‘Then again, we’ve just won Olympic gold and broken the world record, so we can’t be too bad. We’re still a relatively new pairing that can improve and I love the training and competition that international rowing has brought to my life. It’s a happy dilemma. Life is good.’

Fourth time lucky: Grainger added Olympic gold to her three silver medals

Fourth time lucky: Grainger added Olympic gold to her three silver medals

There will be plenty of silver and bronze medallists on the floats in the parade, but Grainger would not have been one of them.

‘I’d have been out of the country, away from everything,’ she said. ‘Losing would have been totally unbearable for me. I would have been haunted by a huge sense of failure for the rest of my life.’

That feeling would have been fuelled by her bitter Beijing memories. ‘I kept telling myself that nobody had died but it felt like a family bereavement.

‘Of course I understand how good people feel about winning a silver medal. I was very happy in Sydney in 2000. But after Beijing, every request to show the silver medal felt like the twist of a knife.’

Happy and glorious: The duo kicked off Great Britain's gold rush at the Games

Happy and glorious: The duo kicked off Great Britain's gold rush at the Games

By the time London came around, she knew she had to put things right.

‘You see, Anna and I had never been beaten and in the heat we broke the world record,’ said Grainger. ‘We were in the form of our lives. The final was ours to lose. If we’d lost it, then clearly I hadn’t done everything I could. Something would have been wrong. I would have let Anna and the nation down. That’s the way it felt with the coverage all about me going for that gold. Mentally I would never have been able to let it go.’

After victory, the first person to greet Grainger was Redgrave and their heartfelt embrace was fitting.

‘It was special knowing we had Steve in our corner. He would talk to us, sharing his experiences. He was so calming. He was our rock.’

Grainger looks down at her gold medal and concludes: ‘No more sob stories. No more near misses. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.’

London Paralympics 2012: Day six five athletes to watch

Rachael Latham's five Paralympians to watch on day 8

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UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 5 September 2012

One of our original Magnificent 7, Rachael made two swimming finals in Beijing but injuries forced her to retire in 2010. Now she is part of Channel 4’s coverage of the Games and here she selects her daily viewing highlights for day eight…

Silver service: Louise Watkin

Silver service: Louise Watkin

LOUISE WATKIN (SWIMMING)

Louise, 20, has won two medals already but it will be tough to beat South African Natalie in the 200m individual medley. Du Toit took gold ahead of Louise at the world championships but Louise has a quiet determination.

TIME: Heats 9.40am. Final 5.38pm.

TOM HALL-BUTCHER (FENCING)

Wheelchair fencing may not sound like it works but it does. Tom, 22, is in the sabre class A and was 14th at last year’s world championships. He could do better with home support. He has four qualifying matches then it’s knockout.

TIME: 11am.

JONNIE PEACOCK (ATHLETICS)

The 19-year-old runs in the T44 100m final. It is the most anticipated event of the Games and world record holder Jonnie is a favourite. It’s a tough field, including Oscar Pistorius, but Jonnie has the talent and belief to win.

TIME: 9.24pm.

In front: Jonnie Peacock (centre) shone in the 100m heats

In front: Jonnie Peacock (centre) shone in the 100m heats

TERRY BYWATER (BASKETBALL)

Terry, 29, scored 19 points in wheelchair basketball against Japan and 23 v Turkey in the quarter-final — they call it having ‘hot hands’. He doesn’t care who scores the points as long as Britain beat Canada today and they have a medal.

TIME: 9.15pm.

HELENA LUCAS (SAILING)

Helena looks a near-certainty to secure Britain’s first Paralympic sailing gold, needing a top-nine finish to do so. She is the only woman in a fleet of 16 in the single-person keelboat 2.4mR class and she has racked up four wins in 10 races.

TIME: 11.10pm.

London 2012 Paralympics: Blind 5-a-side football begins at Riverbank

Quiet please for football in the library! Blind 5-a-side game kicks off at Paralympics

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UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 31 August 2012

Just as an expletive-ridden roar of angst rose up from the Velodrome, there was church-service silence only a few hundred yards away at the Riverbank Arena.

And it came with a twist. Football, like no other sport, is played amid a feverish and often vitriolic atmosphere.

There are derisory chants from away supporters directed at home fans if there is even the hint of quiet.

Quiet please: The blind football teams need silence so they can hear the ball

Quiet please: The blind football teams need silence so they can hear the ball

But if you had sung: 'Is this a library' as the blind 5-a-side football tournament kicked off on Friday it would have acted more like a compliment.

Players require silence in order to hear the roll of the ball, which has metal discs in it, and listen to calls of the sighted goalkeepers and coaches behind the opposition goal.

Sitting amid 5,000 spectators with lips sealed was a peculiar experience but a most enjoyable one.

Each of the four outfield men were to varying degrees blind, wearing white masks to ensure fairness.

True, flowing moves were not a common feature, but when the ball was at a player's feet the dribbling control was immaculate.

Here we go: Team GB Dave Clarke sustained a bloody nose in their game against Spain

Here we go: Team GB Dave Clarke sustained a bloody nose in their game against Spain

Great Britain started their campaign against Spain around the same time Jody Cundy was swearing at the top of his lungs.

Captained by Dave Clarke, who has 126 goals in 139 internationals, with Britain looking to improve on a fifth-place finish in Beijing.

Spain opened the scoring with a penalty but Clarke delivered a response.

The quiet audience let out gasps of awe as the 41-year-old dribbled then shot on the turn to ripple the net.

127 not out. The match finished 1-1, a solid start. I met Clarke at the team's pre-Paralympic camp at Bath University.

He said he can visualise every inch of the pitch and each goal he scores.

He then motioned to a point 500 yards away 'I even know there is a van driving past over there,' he said. It was unnerving. With talent like that, Britain could go far.

Fabio Borini ready to impress at Liverpool

Laid-back Borini ready to unleash his inner beast on the pitch for Liverpool

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 25 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Fabio Borini was lying on a beach in Italy this summer when the realisation dawned that the quiet life he craves would no longer be possible.

Recharging his batteries after a month with the Azzurri at Euro 2012, Borini was savouring the tranquillity when a group of excited children scampered over to him and started mimicking the ‘hand in the mouth’ celebration which has become his trademark.

‘I’m just a normal person who likes to go on my holidays, be with my friends and do what they do,’ said Liverpool’s new 11million striker. ‘I play football but I don’t like the celebrity side. I just like to be at home and chill with my friends, doing the normal things like going to the beach.

A man of simple pleasures: Liverpool's latest signing Fabio Borini enjoys the quiet life off the pitch

A man of simple pleasures: Liverpool's latest signing Fabio Borini enjoys the quiet life off the pitch

‘But it was on the beach when these kids started coming up to me and doing my celebration. It was nice, funny too but also different. A friend of mine said he was watching a Roma game on television one morning with his kids and they started doing it when they saw me.’

There is little doubt Borini is one of life’s more laid back souls but that should hide the fact he is ferociously driven and, in many ways, the way the 21-year-old marks scoring a goal is befitting his on-field character.

‘In Italy we say when one person wants something so much it is like he has a knife between his teeth,’ said Borini, who left home at 16 to join Chelsea, harbouring dreams of becoming a top- flight footballer.

Meeting the locals: Borini signs autographs for fans at Fenway Park

Meeting the locals: Borini signs autographs for fans at Fenway Park

‘As a warrior, as a person, you never give up. I am quiet off the pitch. But the pitch is like when you can bring out a side in yourself that’s maybe the opposite.

‘I just want everything the quickest way possible, I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But when I want something I want it straight away. That is the way I take it. It only took five seconds to decide I wanted to come to England. It wasn’t a hard decision.’

Nor was it difficult to decide he wanted to leave AS Roma for Anfield. The big lure was the prospect of working with Brendan Rodgers again, as the Northern Irishman has been a guiding light in his career, first at Chelsea, then more recently in Swansea.

Getting to know you: Borini watches Stewart Downing in action as he becomes acquainted with his new team-mates

Getting to know you: Borini watches Stewart Downing in action as he becomes acquainted with his new team-mates

Talk to Rodgers about the impact he anticipates Borini making alongside Luis Suarez and his eyes light up and Liverpool’s number 29 is similarly enthused about the prospect of furthering his career under such an innovative manager.

‘We have followed each other and we have a good relationship,’ said Borini. ‘We have trust for each other. He helped me at Chelsea when I was young. I had a few problems settling into the environment and the English system.

‘Then he helped me at Swansea when I’d been out of the Chelsea team. He gave me the chance to play. He has really helped me, both as a player and a person. He recognises when people have a problem inside. He’s a good person to talk with. He knows when others have problems.

‘He doesn’t play typical English football. He wants to play with the ball on the ground, lots of movement. ’

Getting to know you: Borini relaxes with Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll

Getting to know you: Borini relaxes with Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll

It had appeared that Borini would spend this season in Serie A, after Roma – who shared him with Parma – took full ownership of his contract in June but once the opportunity came to link up with Rodgers, he was happy to leave the beach behind.

‘When I had been bought by Roma, my thought was to stay there,’ he said. ‘I didn’t expect Liverpool would come and buy me. But then Liverpool came with an offer, Roma thought about it and they asked me what I wanted to do. We agreed I should go to Liverpool.

‘I ended my holiday early because I felt it was important to be with the team. I’m a new player here and I didn’t play at the European Championships. I don’t want to move every year. I want to be a focal point of the team at some stage of my career. Maybe it can be now.’

Dale Steyn exclusive: South Africa are coming for you, England

Dale Steyn exclusive: Watch out England, South Africa are coming for you

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 18 July 2012

The South Africa paceman is the world’s No 1 bowler and a series victory over England would propel his side to the top of the Test rankings. He introduces his team-mates…

Graeme Smith

It’s just amazing that our leader is about to play his 100th Test match. Wow! What an achievement that is. Graeme has captained every game that I’ve played for South Africa and has been a fantastic leader and a great player for the team.

He has always led from the front with the bat. He never has to force people to listen to him.

Be prepared: South Africa captain Graeme Smith at The Oval

Be prepared: South Africa captain Graeme Smith at The Oval

Alviro Petersen

I have known Alviro for many years, ever since I started playing for the Titans when I was about 20. One of his biggest assets is how mentally strong he is.

Everything is in order in his game and he’s a very organised person off the pitch too.
I remember going to his flat years ago and everything was so neat and tidy. He brings that to his game.

Hashim Amla

The silent warrior. He is a very quiet man but just a great batsman for us with a very good head on his shoulders and a real thinking cricketer who has a lot of experience now.

He’s played some county cricket so knows the scene and conditions here well and that should stand him in good stead for this series.

Nuggety: Hashim Amla hit 275 runs on tour in England in 2008

Nuggety: Hashim Amla hit 275 runs on tour in England in 2008

Jacques Kallis

He’s the ultimate professional with the the most incredible career behind him.

Does everything — bat, bowl, catch, and if he wanted to he could probably captain!

He’s got new hair, too! Jacques steps in when you really need him and has a golden arm with the ball, delivering it with more pace than you realise. But more than anything he’s just a great batter.

Jacques Rudolph

Jacques has played a lot of cricket here with Yorkshire but has now come back to play for South Africa again and has been welcomed back to the fold.

He proved that he deserved his recall and then got a hundred against New Zealand. He’s always been a very good player in the 10 years that I’ve known him.

All-rounder: AB de Villiers will keep wicket in the first Test after Mark Boucher's horrific eye injury

All-rounder: AB de Villiers will keep wicket in the first Test after Mark Boucher's horrific eye injury

AB de Villiers

Perhaps the best of the lot. He’s a great batsman, could bowl if you wanted him to and has ridiculously good wicketkeeping skills too.

Would probably be playing for South Africa at rugby or tennis if he wasn’t doing so at cricket, he’s just the complete all-round sportsman.

Another guy I’ve known since I was a teenager, we all grew up together.

JP Duminy

A very good left-handed batsman, which is nice to have, and also bowls some off-spin which is a bonus for us.

Whenever there are guys in the team who can bowl some overs and give me a break I’m pleased!

He has always had to fight for a place in the side but got some good runs in Australia and has his opportunity now after the injury to Mark Boucher.

A long hop: JP Duminy lengthens the Proteas' batting order

A long hop: JP Duminy lengthens the Proteas' batting order

Morne Morkel

An awkward customer. His pace and bounce mean it’s really ugly to face him.

All of these tall guys get this bounce from nowhere and no batsmen enjoy the ball coming at their ribs or under their armpits.

And when he drags you forward he still hits the splice, so he’s always bowling those nasty lengths. He really is such an important bowler for us.

Hitting the heights: Vernon Philander

Hitting the heights: Vernon Philander

Vernon Philander

Vernon is unbelievably skilful in the way he can bring the ball in to the batsman and then take it away.
He can swing the ball but he’s probably more of a seamer and batsmen never know when to leave him because he’s so adept at nipping it back and getting lbws.

His career has just taken off since he first played Test cricket last year. Vernon has been around a while but has only just got his chance and has grabbed it with both hands.

Imran Tahir

He has taken over from Paul Harris but is a completely different spin bowler, with a more attacking style.

He
has so many variations: leggies, googlies, flippers, top spinners or
whatever. Morne, Vernon and I are mature enough to hold up an end now
when necessary to allow Imran to attack from the other end.

And me….

I
feel good, fit and as strong as I can be. I started bowling a little
bit quicker in the nets on Tuesday than I have been doing so far on this
tour.

At Taunton and Canterbury I was just
trying to get some miles in my legs and sort out my lines and lengths
but now I feel ready to step it up a level.

It’s now time for me to concentrate on that little bit of extra pace…

Pace demon: Dale Steyn is chomping at the bit to get amongst England's batsmen

Pace demon: Dale Steyn is chomping at the bit to get amongst England's batsmen

And how about the opposition

I have watched Jimmy Anderson playing a lot for England over the years on TV and he’s a fantastic bowler with the Duke ball.

We’re pretty similar bowlers but I’m probably a little bit quicker and more aggressive in my body language.

At the end of the day we’re both trying to get away shape with the ball so in that regard we’re similar bowlers.

He would be the guy in the England team I would look at to say ‘what works for him might work for me’, whereas Stuart Broad is more like Morne in height and what they are trying to achieve.

Similar bowlers: James Anderson bowls during a net session at The Oval

Similar bowlers: James Anderson bowls during a net session at The Oval

Will my battle with Jimmy be the key to the series Not necessarily, because you can sometimes see someone bowling outstandingly well and ending up on the losing side. I don’t really care if I get one or 20 wickets in this series provided I do what the team needs from me to win Test matches.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to take a lot of wickets here but there is something that is more important than the individual and that is the team.

We don’t think we’re going out there to dominate, but we’re confident in our preparations and the batsmen look ready while the bowlers look hungry.

Let’s go.

Andy Murray hopes holiday will prepare him for Olympics

Shattered Murray hopes sunshine rest will freshen him up for Olympics

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UPDATED:

19:46 GMT, 9 July 2012


Heading home: Andy Murray had a quiet night reflecting on his Wimbledon heartbreak

Heading home: Andy Murray had a quiet night reflecting on his Wimbledon heartbreak

Andy Murray’s immediate priority in the wake of Wimbledon is to forget about tennis, go on holiday and try to find some warm weather to help get over the shattering disappointment of Sunday’s final.

‘The weather in this country is terrible,’ he said. ‘It has been so bad I could probably do with some sun and having a bit of time away from the court. I don’t know where I’ll go, I might go to Miami, I might go to Southern Europe. I could stay here and just enjoy being at home, but I’d like some good weather.’

What Murray is keen to guard against is the sustained letdown he has experienced after his last two Grand Slam final defeats, at the Australian Open in 2010 and last year, when he lost form and motivation for several months afterwards.

He added: ‘After Australia I didn’t do the right things and it would be easy not to do the right things now.

Dry your eyes mate: Murray was in tears on Centre Court after his defeat

Dry your eyes mate: Murray was in tears on Centre Court after his defeat

‘You need to be smart with your
scheduling and take the right amount of time off, it would be stupid to
go back on the court right now.

‘I know my body is not ready to keep
playing and my mind is not in the right place, so I need to make sure
that I’m good to go for the Olympics, which is a massive goal for me.’

Pain: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears

Upset: Murray's mum, Judy

Tears for our Andy: Murray's girlfriend, Kim (left) and mum, Judy (right)

The London 2012 tennis event starts
two weeks on Saturday. Purple backdrops with the London logo have
already been fitted to three outside courts and reseeding begun on eight
of them, including Centre, where a special tarpaulin covers the
pre-germinated seeds.

Murray will be without coach Ivan
Lendl for the Olympics, as was always their plan. They will reunite for
two Masters level events in Canada and Cincinatti before the US Open at
the end of August. They spoke little after the final, deciding that it
was not the time for a postmortem.

‘He just said be proud of yourself
and the way you fought. But now is not really the time for us to talk
about it,’ said Murray.

Champagne moment: Roger Federer celebrates his return to world No 1 with a bottle of bubbly back at Wimbledon on Monday morning

Champagne moment: Roger Federer celebrates his return to world No 1 with a bottle of bubbly back at SW19 on Monday morning (above) and shows off his Wimbledon trophy with ladies' singles champion Serena Williams (below)

Just champion: Federer with ladies' singles winner Serena Williams

The British No 1 said it was 'hard to
describe the disappointment' of losing to Federer for the third time in
a Grand Slam final, in front of 'incredible home support'.

But the Scot is already plotting his latest challenge on the sport's biggest prizes, starting on July 28 back at Wimbledon.

'Things are going in the right direction, but there's much more to come,' Murray said in his online column for the BBC.

Given his all: Murray will take a short break from tennis to recover

Given his all: Murray will take a short break from tennis to recover

'Hopefully we'll start to see that
when I come back to Wimbledon for the Olympics. Sunday was painful, but
the prospect of attempting to win a gold medal is already spurring me
on.'

The 25-year-old said: 'It's been a great, great couple of weeks. I think everyone has handled it very well.

'From what I've been told, the reaction of all of the press and all of the people that have been watching has been unbelievably supportive and positive.

'So it's been a great tournament, I think, for tennis, and I'm glad that I'm part of that.'

Monday's new rankings show Roger Federer
just ahead of Novak Djokovic at the top, with Murray having made some
ground on both the Serb and Rafael Nadal. Heather Watson, who reached
the third round at Wimbledon, is closing in on the British No 1 spot at
79th, four places behind Anne Keothavong.