Tag Archives: speech

Lionel Messi wins Ballon D"Or for fourth year in a row

In a league of his own! Barca star Messi wins fourth Ballon d'Or award after record-breaking year

By
Guy Aspin, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:58 GMT, 7 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:46 GMT, 7 January 2013

Lionel Messi won a record-breaking fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or at an awards ceremony in Zurich.

The 25-year-old Argentinian took the honour ahead of Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi enjoyed a remarkable 2012 even by his own high standards, most notably surpassing Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year, finishing with an incredible 91.

Taking the honours: Lionel Messi with his Ballon d'Or

Taking the honours: Lionel Messi with his Ballon d'Or

Messi said: 'To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.

'I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona; Andres it has been great to train and play alongside you.

'I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentinian national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you.

We've been here before! Messi receives the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the fourth year in a row

We've been here before! Messi receives the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the fourth year in a row

The moment of truth: Italy's Fabio Cannavaro shows the envelope with Messi's name as winner

The moment of truth: Italy's Fabio Cannavaro shows the envelope with Messi's name as winner

Talking a good game: Messi grabs hold of his award during his acceptance speech

Talking a good game: Messi grabs hold of his award during his acceptance speech

Messi said: 'To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable. The fourth award that I have had is just too great for words.

'I would like to recognise my other colleagues from Barcelona; Andres it has been great to train and play alongside you.

'I would also like to recognise all of my friends in the Argentinian national team, everyone that has worked with me, coaches and staff and my family and my friends. Also my wife and my son. Thank you.'

The final three: The Ballon d'Or finalists Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and winner Lionel Messi

The final three: The Ballon d'Or finalists Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and winner Lionel Messi

What a team: The Team of the Year was made up entirely of La Liga players

What a team: The Team of the Year was made up entirely of La Liga players

The top English player in the list was Manchester United's Wayne Rooney who came 15th with 0.39 per cent of the votes.

Speaking at the pre-gala press conference, Messi claimed he did not consider 2012 his best year yet.

He said: 'I'm more interested in team awards than I am about what I might win individually. There have been years where we won more titles that have been better.'

Up for it: Proceedings were hosted by Ruud Gullit (L) and Kay Murray

Up for it: Proceedings were hosted by Ruud Gullit (L) and Kay Murray

Messi's team-mates and rivals paid tribute to him.

Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas wrote on Twitter: 'Congratulations Leo, forth time as the best player of ballondor, you deserve it. And also to @andresiniesta8, huge to be there.'

Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero simply Tweeted: 'Messi, Messi, Messi, Messi.'

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand Tweeted: “Congrats to Messi! Wow,4 yrs in a row!! Messi has added something else to his list of 'the only person to….' #isMessiTheBestOfAllTime '

Doing it for club and country: Messi has been a star for Barcelona and Argentina (below)

Doing it for club and country: Messi has been a star for Barcelona and Argentina (below)

Lionel Messi for Argentina

Fenerbahce's Miroslav Stoch won the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year, Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque was named World Coach of the Year and United States international Abby Wambach won Women's World Player of the Year.

The FIFPro World XI was named up entirely of players based in Spain with Barcelona's Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Xavi, Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso and Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao joining the three Ballon d'Or nominees in the team.

Franz Beckenbauer received the FIFA Presidential Award.

MESSI IN 2012: BY NUMBERS

What a year it has been for Lionel Messi. He broke Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record for the most goals in calendar year netting an astonishing 91 times. Aged only 24 he became the first person to score five goals in a single Champions League match in Barcelona's 7-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen in March. And he even started scoring for his country on a regular basis with 12 goals in nine matches for Argentina. Rightfully so he was awarded the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or for a third year in a row. Here Sportsmail unveils our Messi stats bonanza…

CLUB AND COUNTRY MATCHES
Total Barcelona matches: 63
Total Argentina matches: 11
Total matches combined: 74
Total Messi played: 69
Matches missed: 5
Total minutes of football Barcelona and Argentina played: 6,660
Total minutes Messi played: 5,973
Minutes missed: 687

LEAGUE DOMINATION
Total Barcelona league matches: 39
Total Messi played in: 38
Total Barcelona league minutes played: 3,510
Total Messi minutes: 3,361
Minutes missed: 149
The striker only failed to score in 10 of 39 league matches in 2012 – so he scored in 75% of Barcelona's league games.

HOW
Goals scored: 91
Left foot: 81
Right foot: 7
Head: 3

AREA
Inside the box: 78
Outside: 13

DEAD BALL
Penalty: 14
Free kick: 7

MINUTES
0-15 minutes: 5
16-30: 18
31-45: 14
46-60: 13
61-75: 17
76-90: 24
Messi didn't score a single goal in the first 10 minutes of matches at all last year.

TEAM
Barcelona: 79
Argentina: 12

COMPETITION
La Liga: 59
Champions League: 13
Copa del Rey: 5
Spanish Supercup: 2
World Cup Qualifiers: 5
Friendlies: 7

MONTH
January: 7
February: 10
March: 13
April: 9
May: 8
June: 4
July: 0
August: 7
September: 5
October: 10
November: 9
December: 9

DISTANCE
Average distance he scored from: 14.8 yards (or 13.5 metres)

TIME OF DAY
Day: 16 goals scored, 571 minutes played, 36 minutes per goal
Night: 75 goals scored, 5,402 minutes played, 72 minutes per goal

MESSI BINGO
There were 37 minutes of the 90 in a match that Messi didn't score in this season. These are the minutes Messi DIDN'T score in during 2012:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 30, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40, 46, 50, 53, 54, 55, 62, 66, 68, 69, 75, 82, 83, 87.

STADIUMS
Camp Nou, Barcelona: 41 goals
Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Madrid: 4
Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Valencia: 4
Estadio Riazor, A Coruna: 3
Stade de Suisse, Bern: 3
MetLife Stadium, New York: 3
La Rosaleda, Malaga: 3
Iberostar Estado, Palma de Mallorca: 3
El Arcangel, Cordoba: 2
Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe: 2
Vicente Calderon, Madrid: 2
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza: 2
Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow: 2
Reyno de Navarra, Pamplona: 2
El Sardinero, Santander: 2
Benito Villamarin, Seville: 2
La Romareda, Zaragoza: 2
El Monumental, Buenos Aires: 1
Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, Cordoba: 1
Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt: 1
Celtic Park, Glasgow: 1
BayArena, Leverkusen: 1
Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid: 1
Nacional, Santiago de Chile: 1
Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville: 1
Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid: 1

By Sam Cunningham

Chuck Pagano speech: Leukaemia coach talks to Indianapolis Colts

NFL coach suffering with leukaemia gives team emotional speech after returning from hospital

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UPDATED:

18:35 GMT, 6 November 2012

American football coach Chuck Pagano gave the Indianapolis Colts an emotional and rousing post-match speech after attending his first game since being diagnosed with leukaemia.

The coach has been receiving chemotherapy treatment since September 26, when he discovered he had the cancer.

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Emotional: Chuck Pagano raises his fist at the end of the speech he gave his side after their victory at the weekend

Emotional: Chuck Pagano raises his fist at the end of the speech he gave his side after their victory at the weekend

Get well soon: Pagano was diagnosed with leukaemia (pictured before undergoing chemotherapy)

Get well soon: Pagano was diagnosed with leukaemia (pictured before undergoing chemotherapy)

Support: Fans and players alike are backing Pagano to come back and put up this #chuckstrong banner in support of him

Support: Fans and players alike are backing Pagano to come back and put up this #chuckstrong banner in support of him

But he turned up at the Lucas Oil Stadium
on November 4 and saw his side beat the Miami Dolphins 23-20 before
heading down to the locker room to deliver his moving team-talk.

Pagano spoke to his men about the
power of positive thinking and visualisation, how they visualised what
they wanted and achieved it in the game – the Colts came back from
behind.

He told them about how because he was visualising overcoming the cancer 'it was already beat'.

Pagano talked of seeing two more of
his daughters get married – he has three, Taylor, Tori and Tara who is
married with two children.

Backed to the hilt: The entire Indianapolis Colts team is behind their coach

Backed to the hilt: The entire Indianapolis Colts team is behind their coach

Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne

A fan holds up a banner in support

Come on Chuck! Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne takes off his helmet while a fan holds up a message of support (right)

Pagano was released from the Indiana University Health Simon Cancer Centre two weeks beforehand.

Colts owner, Jim Irsay, announced Pagano would be watching two days before the game took place.

The game was notable itself for a
record breaking performance from quarterback Andrew Luck, in which he
threw for 433 passing yards – beating the previous record of 432 yards
set by Cam Newton.

Pagano's side are now 5-3 and will travel to Jacksonville in Week 10.

PAGANO'S SPEECH IN FULL

'I mentioned before the game that you guys were living in a vision and you weren't living in circumstances. Because you know where they had us in the beginning. Every last one of them.

'But you refused to live in circumstances and you decided consciously, as a team, and as a family, to live in a vision. And that's why you bring things home like you brought home today. That's why you're already champions, and well on your way.

'I got circumstances. You guys understand it. I understand it. It's already beat. It's already beat. My vision that I'm living, see two more daughters getting married, dancing at their weddings, and then hoisting that Lombardi several times and watch that confetti fall on this f****** group right here.

'Several times, we're going to hoist that baby. I'm dancing at two more weddings. And we're hoisting that trophy together man. Congratulations.'

Good news came with doctors saying his leukaemia is in 'remission', but treatment must continue over two years.

His form of the cancer is acute promyelocytic leukaemia which in over 80 per cent of cases can be cured.

When the news broke at the end of September the team were distraught.

Ryan Grigson took over as general
manager but hopes Pagano will be able to return and coach from the press
box later in the season.

Offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians was nearly in tears when he heard the news.

Arians fought prostate cancer in 2007 and backed his colleague to emerge on top.

'I know him. He's a fighter. He's
survived tough times already in his life,' said Arians. 'As a cancer
survivor myself, I know that these first few days are really hard on you
but as he and I talked yesterday, it's just a matter of time.'

He spoke of a tribute to Pagano which is taking place.

Arians said: 'I asked Mr. Irsay if we
would leave the light on in his office permanently till he comes back
and we are going to do that.'

Watch the rousing speech here:

Mark Clattenburg racism latest: Roberto Di Matteo hits back at Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger

Di Matteo hits back at Ferguson and Wenger for commenting on Clattenburg race case

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UPDATED:

14:34 GMT, 2 November 2012

Named, shamed: Chelsea yob who allegedly made 'monkey' gesture at United ace Welbeck

Chelsea supporter Gavin Kirkham

The racist yob who abused Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck with a monkey gesture has been named as Gavin Kirkham.

Click here to read the full story

Roberto Di Matteo has said criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger over the Mark Clattenburg case will be taken on board to by his Chelsea players but only used as a 'motivational tool'.

The Blues boss refused to be drawn on the issue in any depth, citing the matter was in the hands of the police and FA.

But responding to the Manchester United manager's comments questioning the credibility of the claims he said: 'He likes to talk about other clubs. We tend not to. I'll leave it up to him.

'It's a free country where everybody has the freedom of speech. We'll take into consideration what other people say and use it as a motivational tool for ourselves.'

Not impressed: Roberto Di Matteo plans to use comments as a motivational tool

Not impressed: Roberto Di Matteo plans to use comments as a motivational tool

Di Matteo added of Ferguson's scepticism: 'The investigation will qualify this. We don't want to prejudice any trial.'

Asked if he feared referees might treat the club differently after making the accusations against Clattenburg, the Italian said: 'I really hope not. I believe that they won't. We have faith in the referees. They are people that are under a lot of pressure.

'They are human beings like everyone else. You have to try your best and sometimes mistakes can happen.'

Di Matteo maintained his stance of silence when asked about the Chelsea fan caught making a 'monkey' gesture during Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie but did suggest the manner in which racist incidents have been highlighted proved there was still work to be done.

Larking around: Darren Fletcher (left) and Robin van Persie appear in relaxed mood ahead of tomorrow's cruch clash at Old Trafford

Larking around: Darren Fletcher (left) and Robin van Persie appear in relaxed mood ahead of tomorrow's cruch clash at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground

Patrice Evra of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground

Best bib and tucker: Rio Ferdinand chucks a training vest away (left) as some United prankster throws a bit of turf and left-back Patrice Evra (right) ahead of tomorrow's match against Arsenal

'I always said that we are against
any form of discrimination,' he said. 'We will support anyone who is
fighting that. That's our position and my personal belief as well.

'The fact that these incidents are
happening give a lot of media exposure and makes people aware that we
have to fight maybe a little more strongly than perhaps we thought.
Everyone has to be involved in this process to eradicate it from the
sport and life in general.'

Earlier on Friday, Ferguson hit out at Chelsea for accusing Clattenburg of allegedly abusing Mikel.

The Metropolitan Police and the FA are
investigating an allegation that Clattenburg used 'inappropriate
language' towards Mikel during the game in which he sent off two Blues
players as they went down 3-2 to Ferguson's side.

Support: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, taking training at Carrington, has pledged his support to referee Mark Clattenburg

Support: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, taking training at Carrington, has pledged his support to referee Mark Clattenburg

'I don’t believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comment like that,' said Ferguson.

'I think it’s unthinkable. It’s unthinkable in the modern climate. I just don’t believe it.

'There’s no way a referee would stoop that low. I’m convinced of that.

'If
you look at the modern game compared to 25 years ago it’s completely
changed. I know the banter between players and referees 25 years ago is
completely different.

'I have never heard a player come to me in the last 15 years and say a referee has sworn at them during a game, ever.

'This is where I stand on this issue with Mark Clattenburg. I just don’t believe it.'

Ferguson joins Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in standing by Clattenburg.

On Thursday, Wenger said: 'I didn’t follow the whole (Chelsea) story completely (but) my opinion is just when I didn’t behave well I have an explanation with the referee at the end of the game or another day, rather than going public with little proof. I’m not in favour of making these things public.'

Pepe Reina "likes" Brendan Rodgers" mind games

Reina backs Rodgers' envelope mind games and says Reds boss just needs time to bring success

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UPDATED:

16:30 GMT, 12 October 2012

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has supported manager Brendan Rodgers’ motivational techniques at Anfield.

The documentary Being: Liverpool shows Rodgers in an eve of season team talk using a psychological ploy involving three envelopes.

In an attempt to motivate his players, he tells them the envelopes contain three names of players who will let the side down this season.

Backing: Pepe Reina, who was preparing with the Spain squad this week, says he liked Brendan Rodgers' mind games

Backing: Pepe Reina, who was preparing with the Spain squad this week, says he liked Brendan Rodgers' mind games

Reina, who has struggled to retain his own high standards of form, said: ‘I never feared being in the envelope. No one can ever put my name in an envelope because of a lack of attitude or commitment.

‘It was a motivational speech designed to make sure we were focused and tuned in all year,’ Reina told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

‘I never feared being in the envelope. No one can ever put my name in an envelope because of a lack of attitude or commitment.

‘It’s the first time I have seen a manager do that and, personally, I liked it. It stands out.

‘It was a speech designed to motivate.’

Reina added: ‘In terms of the way we have played, there have been moments that have been very good.

Not me: Rodgers told Liverpool players he had three names in separate envelopes of those he believed would let the club down this year

Not me: Rodgers told Liverpool players he had three names in separate envelopes of those he believed would let the club down this year

Many talents: Reina tried his hand at volleying towards goal in training with the Spanish national team

Many talents: Reina tried his hand at volleying towards goal in training with the Spanish national team

'We are trying to impose a new style with a new manager and that takes time.

‘There are mistakes at times because it’s not easy, but I prefer to make mistakes trying to do what the manager wants and trying to do the right thing.

‘We’re optimistic that sooner or later we’ll be fighting near the top again.’

Mind games: Rodgers (left) was filmed holding the envelopes in a behind-the-scenes documentary: Being: Liverpool

Mind games: Rodgers (left) was filmed holding the envelopes in a behind-the-scenes documentary: Being: Liverpool

Michael Schumacher warns Lewis Hamilton about Mercedes car

Over to Lew! Schumacher bows out with warning to Hamilton over car

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UPDATED:

00:11 GMT, 5 October 2012

Handing the baton on to Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher used the second retirement speech of his career to highlight the formidable task that awaits his replacement at Mercedes.

That Schumacher decided to call it a day is no surprise. Ever since Mercedes received positive vibes from Hamilton that a move from McLaren was possible, the German team had been working on a dignified exit plan.

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Putting the brakes on: Michael Schumacher will retire at the end of the season

Putting the brakes on: Michael Schumacher will retire at the end of the season

Putting the brakes on: Michael Schumacher will retire at the end of the season

Putting the brakes on: Michael Schumacher will retire at the end of the season

The agreed line was that Schumacher
cannot offer the long-term commitment that Hamilton can, which was
hardly a revelation since the seven-time world champion will be 44 by
the time next season comes around.

More plausible was that, without a
win and just one podium to his name during his second coming, Schumacher
had simply lost his mojo and Hamilton’s arrival had only served to
speed up the decision-making process.

‘The special moment is that the team
have found an option with Lewis that helped me find the decision,
because there was an option for me to retire at an earlier stage,’ said
Schumacher, coming as close as could be expected to saying he had been
pushed.

Glamour: The seven-time world champion will go down in F1 history

Glamour: The seven-time world champion will go down in F1 history

Tainted Schumacher, who crashed spectacularly in Singapore, has failed to match the achievements in his second spell of those in his first all-conquering time at the wheel

Tainted Schumacher, who crashed spectacularly in Singapore, has failed to match the achievements in his second spell of those in his first all-conquering time at the wheel

Admitting he had failed to live up to
his standards, Schumacher conceded: 'I said at the end of 2009 that I
want to be measured by my success, and this is why I had a lot of
criticism in the past three years which partly was justified.

'It is without doubt that we did not achieve our goal to develop a world championship-fighting car within those years.’

That challenge, from next season,
rests in Hamilton’s hands. But the 27-year-old admitted he will be
largely behind McLaren next year.

One of the men Hamilton will be chasing will be his replacement Sergio Perez. ‘I think he will surprise us all,’ he said.

Beware! Schumacher has fired a warning to his replacment Hamilton

Beware! Schumacher has fired a warning to his replacment Hamilton

VIDEO: Michael Schumacher retires…again…

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MICHAEL SCHUMACHER FACTFILE
Smooth: Michael Schumacher

Smooth: Michael Schumacher

1969: Born on January 3 in Huerth-Hermuelheim, Germany.

1973: Makes his racing debut in a karting event.

1987: Wins German and European kart championships.

1988: Finishes fourth in German Formula Ford championship and is second in the European series in his first year of car racing.

1990: Wins first major single-seater title, clinching the German Formula Three crown. Steps up to sportscars, driving for Mercedes.

1991: Makes Formula One debut for Jordan in Belgium, qualifying seventh before retiring. Poached by Benetton for the rest of the season.

1992: Takes first grand prix win in Belgium on his way to third in the championship.

1994: Wins title, with eight wins to his name, after controversial last-race clash with Damon Hill in Australia.

1995: Retains world crown, taking nine victories.

1996: Moves to struggling Ferrari and manages three wins on his way to third in the championship.

1997: Wins five races but is stripped of second in the championship for attempting to take out title rival Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez.

1999: Breaks his leg at Silverstone when easily leading the championship.

2000: Finally wins Ferrari's first drivers' title since 1979, amassing nine wins on the way.

Golden era: Schumacher enjoyed some ding-dong battles with British driver Damon Hill

2001: Another nine wins and another title, setting a new record for all-time victories.

2002: Wins championship in record time, setting a new mark of 11 victories.

2003: Wins title by a point after six victories, breaking Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five championships.

2004: Breaks his own record for wins in a season, 13, to take title number seven.

2006
September 10 – Announces his retirement at end of 2006 season after winning Italian Grand Prix.

2009
July 29 – Announces plans to make a shock return to F1 with Ferrari, deputising for Felipe Massa until the Brazilian recovers from injuries suffered in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Just champion: The German bought the glory days back to Ferrari

August 11 – Forced to abort comeback due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident in February.

December 23 – Signs a three-year contract to drive for Mercedes GP, ending three years in retirement.

2010: Makes his return to F1 in Bahrain and finishes the season in ninth, with a highest finish of fourth.

2011: Betters his previous season with an eighth-placed finish and 96 points, with a fourth in Canada his best result.

2012: Returns to the podium for the first time since his retirement, finishing third in the European grand prix.

October 4: Announces he will be retiring from the sport at the end of the season.

Lance Armstrong says he is seven-time Tour de France champion at cancer conference

I'm a seven-time Tour de France champion! Armstrong ignores title-stripping in cancer conference speech

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UPDATED:

08:08 GMT, 30 August 2012

Lance Armstrong introduced himself as a seven-time Tour de France champion while speaking at a cancer conference on Wednesday in Montreal.

The disgraced cycling star was stripped of his seven titles earlier in August after deciding to stop battling claims he was a systematic doping cheat.

Fans: Lance Armstrong still has plenty of supporters

Fans: Lance Armstrong still has plenty of supporters

'My name is Lance Armstrong. I am a cancer survivor,' he said at the start of his speech to the World Cancer Congress. 'I’m a father of five. And yes, I won the Tour de France seven times.'

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dismissed all of his competitive victories dating back to 1998 and banned him from cycling for life.

Speech: Armstrong called himself a seven-time Tour de France winner

Speech: Armstrong called himself a seven-time Tour de France winner

Armstrong, who maintains his innocence, spoke about how he survived cancer and what work his charity foundation undertakes.

He was diagnosed with cancer and given less than 40 percent chance of living in 1996 but three years later won his first Tour title at the age of 28.

Pen in hand: Armstrong signs an autograph for a fan

Pen in hand: Armstrong signs an autograph for a fan

'After I left the doctor’s office, I was grabbing every pamphlet and flyer I could off the wall,' he said. 'You know what we did after that We went to the bookstore – remember those things'

Armstrong said his foundation would not be affected by the doping scandal.

Not affected: Armstrong says his charitable work will not suffer as a result of the titles being taken

Not affected: Armstrong says his charitable work will not suffer as a result of the titles being taken

'I think the real issue here is one of distraction,' he said. 'I’m going to tell this to you all as if you’re friends and partners and allies. I’m not going to be distracted from this fight.'

He also announced that his foundation will be donating an extra $500,000 (316,000) to a joint initiative aimed at improving and increasing access to cancer care worldwide.

Euro 2012: Spain ban players from Twitter and Facebook

Spanish players banned from Twitter and Facebook during Euro 2012

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UPDATED:

12:21 GMT, 1 June 2012

Reigning European and World champions Spain have banned their players from using social networks during Euro 2012.

Manager Vincete del Bosque wants his players to be fully focused on the task at hand as they battle to retain their crown.

Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas tweeted in English on June 1: 'From today we are not allowed to use social networks, I wish that the next picture I post will be with the Euro Cup. See you soon!'

Shhhh: Spanish players will not be allowed to use social networks during the tournament

Shhhh: Spanish players will not be allowed to use social networks during the tournament

Euro 2012 email button

Chelsea's Juan Mata and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso are other frequent users of Twitter and will have to curtail their networking whilst at the tournament.

Facebook is another popular social networking website which will players will not be permitted to update.

But Spain are not the first; Denmark's football federation (DBU) has also blocked the national team from updating while competing.

Concentrate: Vincente del Bosque wants his men to focus on the task at hand

Concentrate: Vincente del Bosque wants his men to focus on the task at hand

A spokesman for the DBU said they wanted the '24-7 open microphone' which Twitter and its ilk present needed to be shut down.

Danish Sports minister Uffe Elbaek's initial reaction was that it might be 'a violation of the freedom of speech'.

English players will be allowed to continue Tweeting during the Euros but the FA will give them guidelines to follow to ensure they do not cause any trouble during the tournament.

The Sun headline on Roy Hodgson is "unacceptable", say FA

FA hit out at The Sun over 'unacceptable' Hodgson headline amid backlash at newspaper

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UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 2 May 2012

The Football Association has condemned The Sun's for poking fun at Roy Hodgson's manner of speech.

The Sun's headline 'Bwing on the Euwos!' has led to numerous complaints to the FA and the Press Complaints Commission.

FA chairman David Bernstein claims that the headline aimed at the new England manager is 'disrespectful'.

New man: Roy Hodgson poses at Wembley after his unveiling as boss

New man: Roy Hodgson poses at Wembley after his unveiling as boss

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Bernstein said: 'We are delighted at the
media response to Roy's appointment but are disappointed with the
headline in The Sun, which we consider is in poor taste and
disrespectful.'

An FA statement read: 'The FA and the Press Complaints Commission have today received a large number of objections relating to the front page headline in The Sun newspaper, regarding Roy Hodgson's manner of speech.

'On this occasion, we will not be making an official complaint to the PCC but we have raised it with the newspaper and made it clear that their front page is unacceptable to us.'

In its story the Sun said Hodgson was 'affectionately known as 'Woy' due to his speech impediment'.

But they appeared to backtrack as the backlash began by removing the headline from their website.

Offensive: The Sun has been condemned over Wednesday's page

Offensive: The Sun has been condemned over Wednesday's page

The newspaper has received huge criticism over the decision, with Gary Neville among the big names to hit out.

He wrote: 'Disgustung (sic) headlines,good journo's under pressure writing pieces for their mates and a certain paper needs putting out of circulation.'

His brother and Everton captain Phil Neville tweeted: 'Have u seen front page of the sun this morning disgraceful journalism-what chance have we got!'

BBC football commentator Jacqui Oatley wrote: 'Charming front page of the Sun. Hodgson has won 11 major titles/trophies, speaks 5 languages but let's mock his speech.'

Media commentator Roy Greenslade said: 'The Sun has form when it comes to England coaches. Gentle humour is kicked aside in favour of outright hostility. Affection turns into nasty character assassination.'

A spokesman for the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) said: 'I can confirm we have had over a hundred complaints.'

Pep Guardiola quits Barcelona with Tito Vilanova to take over

Over to you, Tito… No 2 Vilanova named new Barca boss as Guardiola confirms departure

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UPDATED:

12:36 GMT, 27 April 2012

Barcelona paid an emotional tribute to departing Pep Guardiola after the Spaniard confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Key stars of the first team, including club captain Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas watched Guardiola deliver his farewell speech at the Nou Camp, applauding him after announcing an end to his glorious trophy-laden four-year era

Barcelona also revealed that Guardiola's No 2 Tito Vilanova will take over the managerial reigns next season.

End of an era: Guardiola has confirmed he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season

End of an era: Guardiola has confirmed he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season

Feeling the strain: Guardiola confirmed his exit at an emotional press conference

Feeling the strain: Guardiola confirmed his exit at an emotional press conference

'I would like you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me. But I would like to explain my reasons for this decision,' said Guardiola.

'I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. In the month of October I announced to the president and to the sporting director that I thought my spell was coming to an end.

In the spotlight: Guardiola's departure is set to ignite interest from England, with City and Chelsea said to be interested

In the spotlight: Guardiola's departure is set to ignite interest from England, with City and Chelsea said to be interested

In charge: Vilanova will take over from Guardiola next season

In charge: Vilanova will take over from Guardiola next season

'The main reason why I have taken this decision is because four years is many years.

'I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries.

'The
demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much. I have
to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself.
Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other.

Right-hand man: Guardiola has tipped Vilanova to succeed at the Nou Camp

Right-hand man: Guardiola has tipped Vilanova to succeed at the Nou Camp

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

PEP'S TROPHIES

La Liga 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11

Champions League 2009, 2011

Copa del Rey 2009 (2012 still to play)

Spanish Super Cup 2009, 2010, 2011

UEFA Super Cup 2009, 2011

FIFA Club World Cup 2009, 2011

'I
know that I'm leaving the best place to work in. I am very satisfied
with the result we have achieved. I have had the great privilege of
coaching fantastic players. I want to thank them.'

At the same press conference, Barca president Sandro Rosell announced Vilanova would step up into the top job.

Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta felt promoting from within, as they did with Guardiola, was the best way forward.

He said: 'We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first (Barca B). Who do we have here at home Tito.'

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

The move to name a replacement so
swiftly was a surprise with speculation in Spain linking the likes of
Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc and Marcelo Bielsa with the position
once it became clear Guardiola was heading for the exit.

Guardiola endorsed the move. He said: 'I think the club has taken the best decision possible.

'He is more than capable. The players know him. He will make few changes. He will give the club and these players something that I thought I could no longer give.

That's handy: Puyol and Xavi were among a host of first-team players at today's press conference

That's handy: Puyol and Xavi were among a host of first-team players at today's press conference

'I could have continued but is not what Barca would have deserved.'

Rosell hailed Guardiola's contribution and backed Vilanova to continue Barca's success.

He said: 'Pep always takes the best decision for this club. It was his decision and it's a personal one and an understandable one.

'We hope to follow the inheritance that Pep leaves us with the best we can. He has made us proud.

Why the sad face, Gerard Pique looked appeared glum after arriving at today's press conference

Why the sad face, Gerard Pique looked appeared glum after arriving at today's press conference

'Now we can confirm that Tito Vilanova will be our new coach. This was a decision taken by Andoni Zubizarreta and it has been ratified today by our executive committee.

'Tito and Andoni will now work on next season's planning and I am sure they will do a good job.'

Guardiola's
decision comes after a bad week for the Catalan giants following their
midweek Champions League exit to Chelsea and their La Liga title
collapse after last Saturday's defeat to Real Madrid.

The
41-year-old said it would have been a 'bad idea' to continue, sparking a
scramble for his services this summer, placing the likes of Chelsea and
Manchester City on alert.

Guardiola's contract was due to
expire at the end of June and he informed the players at training today
that he would not be extending his stay at the Nou Camp.

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge

Long association: Guardiola with Bobby Robson in 1997

Long association: Guardiola with Bobby Robson in 1997

Guardiola stepped up from Barca B
manager to first-team boss in 2008 and has gone on to become the most
successful coach in the club's illustrious history.

He
has led the azulgrana to two Champions League crowns, three La Liga
trophies, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and
two FIFA Club World Cups.

Speaking
at the press conference, president Sandro Rosell said: 'We have called
you today to announce that Pep Guardiola will not continue in charge of
the team next season.

'Thank you Pep for all the happiness you have brought us and for bringing a model of football that can never be questioned.'

Guardiola has operated on short-term
deals throughout his tenure but has usually renewed before this stage of
the season, prompting speculation he was ready to walk away.

He is thought to have met with
Rosell, vice-president for sport Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting
director Andoni Zubizarreta on Wednesday – the day after they were
eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea – and indicated his
desire to leave.

At the club's request he promised to give it further thought but emerged with the same decision.

Adventure: Guardiola spent a brief period alongside Gabriel Batistuta (right) and Claudiou Caniggia (left) at Al-Ahli

Adventure: Guardiola spent a brief period alongside Gabriel Batistuta (right) and Claudiou Caniggia (left) at Al-Ahli

FIVE OF THE BEST

Here, Sportsmail looks back at five of Pep's best wins as Barca boss.

REAL MADRID 2 BARCELONA 6 (Primera Division – May 2, 2009)

Barcelona took a giant step towards winning the Primera Division title in Guardiola's first season at the helm by crushing arch rivals and nearest challengers Real Madrid in stunning fashion at the Bernabeu.

Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi both netted braces while Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique were also on the scoresheet as the treble-chasing visitors inflicted a first league defeat on in-form Madrid since beating the then champions at the Nou Camp in December. Madrid had picked up 52 points from a possible 54 since that match, but this defeat left them seven points adrift of Barca with only four games remaining.

BARCELONA 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0 (Champions League final – 27 May, 2009)

Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi combined to sweep Manchester United aside and lead Barcelona to victory in Rome, handing Guardiola an amazing treble of league, cup and Champions League in his first season.

The Catalans richly deserved their triumph after producing a mesmeric display United were simply unable to match after Eto'o had given his side a 10th-minute lead. Messi's looping header killed the Red Devils off after the interval.

BARCELONA 5 REAL MADRID 0 (Primera Division – November 29, 2010)

A second-half brace from David Villa led Barcelona to an incredible rout of Real Madrid and saw the Catalans leapfrog their fierce rivals – who lost for the first time under Jose Mourinho – at the top of the Primera Division.

Mourinho had gone unbeaten in his first 19 games in all competitions since joining Madrid in the summer, but the Portuguese was unable to avoid defeat in the biggest one of all as Guardiola maintained his perfect record as Barca coach in El Clasico with a fifth straight victory over Madrid.

Xavi and Pedro put Barca two up within 17 minutes, while Villa made it a night to remember at a packed Nou Camp with two goals early in the second half and substitute Jeffren Suarez added a fifth right at the end.

To add insult to injury for Madrid, they finished the match with 10 men after Sergio Ramos pushed Puyol in the face late on.

BARCELONA 3 MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Champions League final – May 28, 2011)

Barcelona cemented their status as the greatest team of the era by romping to victory over Manchester United at Wembley, denying Sir Alex Ferguson's side Champions League glory for the second time in three years.

Messi moved ever closer to the pantheon of all-time greats with a virtuoso performance in the biggest club game of all, scoring a stunning goal to make it 2-1 after Wayne Rooney had cancelled out Pedro Rodriguez's opener.

United fell into the same trap as in the final two years ago in Rome, Barca completely dominating after surviving an early onslaught as David Villa applied the killer third goal with more than 20 minutes remaining.

BARCELONA 7 BAYER LEVERKUSEN 1 (Champions League last 16 – March 7, 2012)

Lionel Messi scored five goals at the Nou Camp as the holders destroyed Bayer Leverkusen to confirm their place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 10-2 aggregate win in their last-16 tie.

Barca had been understated but superior in the first leg in Germany, winning 3-1, and were expected to ease through in the return match. However, they played with trademark hunger under Guardiola as Messi became the first player to score five in a single Champions League game while substitute Cristian Tello added two in a performance of startling brilliance. Karim Bellarabi managed a consolation in stoppage time.

London 2012 Olympics: British athletes should know anthem

Start learning God Save The Queen! Olympics chief fires warning to Plastic Brits

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UPDATED:

20:32 GMT, 9 March 2012

Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson has declared that every British Olympian should know the words to the National Anthem.

Sportsmail highlighted
that ‘Plastic Brit’ Tiffany Porter was handed the captaincy of the
British athletics team for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul
despite having been born in America, where she has spent her entire
life.

Porter, a 24-year-old
sprint hurdler from Michigan, declined an invitation to recite the
words of God Save the Queen when asked by the Daily Mail to do so here
on Thursday, but insisted she knew them.

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Robertson said: ‘If you are going to
represent Britain at the Olympics then I think it is sensible to know
the words of the National Anthem.

‘I
would say that would be even more necessary if you think you are going
to win a medal. I am pretty clear on this — anyone who wants to compete
for Great Britain must hold a British passport or go through the full
naturalisation process.

'What I am against is giving special treatment to people simply to allow them to compete for this country.’

Backing: Hugh Robertson wants imports to learn the National Anthem

Backing: Hugh Robertson wants imports to learn the National Anthem

Porter,
who qualified for Saturday’s 60m hurdles final with a time of exactly
eight seconds, said: ‘I am concentrating on the track.’

Porter has been accused of coming to Britain merely to improve her chances of gaining selection to compete in an Olympics.

However, she was defended by European
indoor 3,000m champion Helen Clitheroe, who captained the British
athletics team in Paris last year.

‘Tiffany’s an absolutely brilliant team captain,’ she said. ‘She gave a brilliant team speech last night and inspired us all.’