Tag Archives: triumph

Roberto Di Matteo airbushed from Chelsea history – club remove Champions League picture

Di Matteo airbrushed from Chelsea history as club remove Champions League picture featuring former boss

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

22:58 GMT, 26 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:13 GMT, 27 February 2013

Before: This picture featuring Roberto Di Matteo has been replaced

Before: This picture featuring Roberto Di Matteo has been replaced

Roberto di Matteo has been airbrushed out of Chelsea’s Champions League history after the club replaced his image on an iconic wall at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s history-making manager, sacked last November by owner Roman Abramovich, was pictured on the West Stand wall with the rest of the squad and their trophies at the start of the season.

Di Matteo has now been replaced by a huge image of Chelsea’s players and coaching staff — minus the manager — celebrating the club’s first European Cup triumph in the Allianz Arena.

And Chelsea supporters, who often take souvenir pictures next to the giant poster, have been left stunned by the decision.

The
new image is one of the few in existence with the team and coaching
staff celebrating their triumph without Di Matteo present.

The
popular Italian led Chelsea to their first European Cup last May, but
was brutally axed following a 3-0 defeat at Juventus in November.

The original picture of the squad was in
place at the start of the season, but Di Matteo has only just been
removed.

After: This is the picture which you can find at Stamford Bridge now, not featuring the former manager

After: This is the picture which you can find at Stamford Bridge now, not featuring the former manager

Gone and forgotten: Di Matteo led the Blues to double cup success before being ousted

Gone and forgotten: Di Matteo led the Blues to double cup success before being ousted

Gone and forgotten: Di Matteo led the Blues to double cup success before being ousted

He was still in place when Chelsea played Wigan at Stamford
Bridge on February 9, but had gone by the time they faced Brentford in
an FA Cup fourth-round replay on February 17.

Although the club insist the change was made because Di Matteo is no longer Chelsea manager, they are still using pictures of other departed stars in the new image outside Stamford Bridge.

Didier Drogba, who struck the winning penalty against Bayern Munich last May, is in the front row with Chelsea’s players.

Troubled times: Interim boss Benitez has failed to lift the gloom at Stamford Bridge

Troubled times: Interim boss Benitez has failed to lift the gloom at Stamford Bridge

Troubled times: Interim boss Benitez has failed to lift the gloom at Stamford Bridge

Florent Malouda, banished to training with the academy players in his final year and told he will never play for Chelsea again, is also in the frame.

Jose Bosingwa, who joined QPR in the summer on a free transfer, is another former player captured on the image, which has a prominent place just by the stadium’s entrance.

Chelsea last night pointed out that Di Matteo is pictured with the FA Cup in another area of the concourse.

Cycling: Mark Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar

Golden boy Cavendish sprints home to glory with Tour of Qatar triumph

PUBLISHED:

15:31 GMT, 8 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 8 February 2013

Mark Cavendish sealed overall victory at the Tour of Qatar with a fourth win in a row.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man triumphed on the sixth and final stage, the 116-kilometre route from Sealine Beach Resort to Doha Corniche to claim the race winner's golden jersey with a second stage race success of his career.

'I'm over the moon,' Cavendish said.

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

Six of the best: Former team Sky cyclist Mark Cavendish celebrates as he crosses the line in stage six of the Tour of Qatar

'We come here every year almost guaranteed an overall victory with Tom Boonen but he's recovering from an injury. So it put a little bit of pressure on me and I was a bit nervous.

'But I'm really happy to get the win. The guys worked incredible here. They really looked after me so, so well here and delivered every single day.

'I am so happy and proud I can bring it home again for the team.

Over the moon: Cavendish has enjoyed a new lease of life since joining Omega Pharma-QuickStep

Over the moon: Cavendish has enjoyed a new lease of life since joining Omega Pharma-QuickStep

'We've won the Tour of Qatar six times, and I don't know how many stages, so I am happy to be a part of that.'

It was a fifth win of the season for Cavendish to fully justify his close-season move from Team Sky to Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

The 10-second bonus for the stage win saw Cavendish triumph by 25 seconds from American Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing).

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Golden boy: Cavendish lights up the peloton in the golden jersey

Everton sign John Stones from Barnsley on transfer deadline day

Everton beat host of Premier League rivals to signature of Barnsley defender Stones

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

22:35 GMT, 31 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 1 February 2013

Everton have signed defender John Stones from Barnsley on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Sportsmail revealed last month that relegation-threatened Wigan had joined Chelsea, Aston Villa Sunderland, Manchester City and Everton in the race for the 3million-rated prospect.

Stones is one of the most coveted young defenders in the country and is a real coup for manager David Moyes.

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

On the move: John Stones (left) has left Barnsley for Goodison Park

He told Everton's official website: 'I am very excited to be joining Everton. I've been very impressed with everything I have seen at Finch Farm already. Now the hard work begins.'

The 6ft 2in England Under 19 international made his Tykes debut last March after progressing through the youth ranks at Oakwell.

He featured 28 times for the npower Championship club, netting his first goal in the 4-3 Capital One Cup triumph over Rochdale in August.

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

In demand: Stones had attracted the attention of several big clubs

Stones added: 'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody at Barnsley for helping me in my development.

'They include Ronnie Branson and all the academy staff; Keith Hill and David Flitcroft for giving me the chance to play first-team football. Also all the backroom staff such as Guy Proctor, John Lucas and Craig Sedgwick.

'They are just some of the people who I owe a debt of gratitude to and I wish Barnsley every success for the future.'

Xabi Alonso could return to Premier League

Alonso's Madrid future in doubt as ex-Liverpool star ponders Premier League return

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UPDATED:

06:41 GMT, 31 December 2012

Xabi Alonso has admitted he could make a stunning return to the Premier League.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 31, has 18 months remaining on his contract with the Spanish giants and talks over extending it are on hold.

Alonso spent five years at Liverpool before returning to his homeland in 2009.

England bound Xabi Alonso (right) could leave Real Madrid

England bound Xabi Alonso (right) could leave Real Madrid

'I've no idea what will happen,' Alonso told reporters in Spain.

'I have not decided on my future. I will only stay at Real Madrid if I can offer the same level on the pitch as I can now and we will see what happens in the next few months.

'There is always a chance I could go back to the Premier League as I always enjoyed good times there.'

Fan's favourite: Alonso enjoyed a successful five-year spell at Liverpool

Fan's favourite: Alonso enjoyed a successful five-year spell at Liverpool

Alonso helped Liverpool win the Champions League, FA Cup and Community Shield before adding to his trophy haul in Madrid.

Last season's La Liga title followed the club's Copa del Rey triumph a year earlier while Alonso was an integral part of the Spain sides which won Euro 2008 and 2012, along with the 2010 World Cup.

He was also named the best midfielder in the Spanish top flight last season.

Roberto Mancini toasts third anniversary

Mancini: Raise a glass to me, I always win! City boss toasts his third anniversary

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 21 December 2012

Roberto Mancini celebrated his third anniversary as Manchester City manager on Friday and admitted he has exceeded his own expectations by breaking Sir Alex Ferguson’s grip on English football so quickly.

It is three years since Mancini was unveiled amid what he described as a ‘war’ at City. One Premier League title and an FA Cup triumph later, and the Italian believes the balance of power in Manchester has already changed.

Christmas cheer: Roberto Mancini toast the press with a glass of Champagne during his press conference

Christmas cheer: Roberto Mancini toast the press with a glass of Champagne during his press conference

‘When I arrived here three years ago I
didn’t think that maybe in two years we would win the Premier League
and the FA Cup,’ he said. ‘I thought that it would take maybe four or
five years to win the Premier League because it isn’t easy.

‘We changed things in England, and
Manchester in particular, because for 20 or 30 years United won
everything. We changed this because we worked really well.

‘United’s mentality is stronger than
our mentality at the moment. But as a team our quality is the same level
as theirs, and we showed this in the derby.

Welcome return: Vincent Kompany is close to a comeback

Welcome return: Vincent Kompany is close to a comeback

Back in business: James Milner is in contention to play against Reading

Back in business: James Milner is in contention to play against Reading

‘We need to have respect for them and
for Ferguson. I don’t know if when I’m 70 like him, I can have the same
attitude that he has. But I think if we work well we will be better.’

Apart from one year at Lazio, Mancini
has won a trophy in each of his eight full seasons in management.
Crucially, it is a winning habit he has transmitted to his players, and
one that he is certain will see City retain the title or lift the FA Cup
again.

‘I always win,’ he added. ‘I can’t do
anything about this! We won and I think we can continue to win in the
future. I think that is very important for us, because we started to win
two years ago and every year we won a trophy.

‘We have two targets and I think we
will win (one of them). It will be better if we win the title. Now we
are in second position and we have six points less. It will not be easy
but we have a good chance. I’m confident.’

Centre of attention: Mario Balotelli reports for City training on Friday

Centre of attention: Mario Balotelli reports for City training on Friday

Mancini recalled his stormy opening
press conference in December 2009, overshadowed by a barrage of
questions aimed at former City chief Garry Cook over the sacking of Mark
Hughes.

‘I remember it was a very good press conference!’ said Mancini, laughing. ‘I thought I was in the war!’

These days most of Mancini’s battles
seem to be with Mario Balotelli. The controversial striker dropped his
protest against a 340,000 club fine for breaches of discipline earlier
this week, deciding not to take City to a Premier League tribunal ‘as a
sign of respect for Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club’,
according to a City statement. But Mancini insisted that, above all,
Balotelli needed to show respect for himself by accepting the
punishment.

‘It’s normal that when someone makes a mistake he should take his responsibilities and Mario did this,’ he said.

Balotelli has been ruled out of
Saturday's game with Reading through illness, but Mancini believes that
he can still have a future at the club.

‘Sure,’ he added. ‘But Mario now needs to deserve this.’

India v England in Nagpur: Hosts hold edge after day one – Lawrence Booth

Lawrence Booth: India claim the edge at stumps after England's old-fashioned progress

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UPDATED:

11:30 GMT, 13 December 2012

The opening day of the Nagpur Test was characterised by caginess and perhaps a little fear.

A combination of India's desperation to avoid a historic series defeat, England's determination not to squander a rare triumph at the toss, and a pitch of stultifying slowness meant the cricket rarely got out of second gear.

It was tempting to label as old-fashioned England's progress to 199 for 5 from 97 overs, especially given the sight of a Yorkshireman – the assured 21-year-old debutant Joe Root – getting his head down with something close to religious fervour.

Good day at the office: Pietersen steadied the England ship in Nagpur

Good day at the office: Pietersen steadied the England ship in Nagpur

In fact, the day was full of the angst that has marked both side's cricket in 2012 – and it finished, appropriately, in an uneasy kind of truce, with India just claiming the edge.

Their policy of selecting only one seamer, Ishant Sharma, would have looked slightly less curious had MS Dhoni won his fourth successive toss.

Forced to take the field for the first time in the series, the Indian captain instead opted for containment, quickly dispensing with all his slips and keeping Alastair Cook quiet with a 7-2 leg-side field for the bowling of Pragyan Ojha.

Sharma's first spell of 6-2-8-2 – which included a needless nibble by Nick Compton and a geometrically ignorant lbw decision against Cook by Kumar Dharmasena – suggested India had got their selection horribly wrong.

And while Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen were advancing to 102 for 2 against a four-pronged spin attack that seemed to rotate while Sharma rested, England appeared to be quietly taking advantage.

In the runs: Trott made 44 for England before he was dismissed

In the runs: Trott made 44 for England before he was dismissed

But India's slow bowlers were giving nothing away – and nor were the fields. If England wanted to make history, Dhoni seemed to be saying, they would have to make all the running too. It turned into an unexpectedly successful ploy.

Trott shouldered arms to the debutant Ravindra Jadeja, whose left-arm spin is a class above poor old Samit Patel's. Ian Bell contrived to pick out short extra cover with a little over 10 minutes to go before tea. And Pietersen, having controlled his urges for well over three hours, went down the track to whip Jadeja to short midwicket.

If there was culpability in all three shots, then they were at least understandable: Chinese water torture can do funny things to the mind. At 139 for 5, England's innings felt more like Ahmedabad than Mumbai or Kolkata.

But Root, who had stylishly collected 10 runs from the 11 balls he faced before tea, came with no baggage and played with a freshman's resolve, while Matt Prior helped him inch the run-rate above two.

Root ran hard between the wickets, stretched well forward to smother the very gentle turn, and even had the nerve to reverse-sweep Ravi Ashwin. Prior was the ideal partner: busy, wise, and with a deft touch against spin.

Together, they have given England hope of a first-innings total which, if the pitch really does break up, could ask serious questions of India's shaky batting line-up. But it was a day that only grudgingly yielded answers.

Picture Dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Rio Ferdinand coin fallout: Football in gutter after Manchester derby

It has been a superb sporting year… but football's only gold medal is for hatred

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 10 December 2012

Sport can be cruel, Arthur Hopcraft wrote 44 years ago in The Football Man, which remains the most compelling book written about the game in this country. He went on: 'Football can make a man more ridiculous even than drink.' With that arrow the archer split the tree.

Hopcraft's book, written in the afterglow of England's World Cup triumph, can still be read with pleasure for its unrivalled examination of the people who play and watch football, and the author's expertise in placing the English game in a social context. It is a masterpiece.

What would Hopcraft make of the cesspit that English football resembles these days A man from a humble background, who educated himself, he was one of those old-fashioned football romantics who saw the game as part of that education.

Cauldron of hate: Police separate City and United fans at the Etihad and (below) Joe Hart stops Matthew Stott getting to Rio Ferdinand

Cauldron of hate: Police separate City and United fans at the Etihad and
(below) Joe Hart stops Matthew Stott getting to Rio Ferdinand

Cauldron of hate: Police separate City and United fans at the Etihad and (below) Joe Hart stops Matthew Stott getting to Rio Ferdinand

Had he been born four decades later would he want to write such a book Or would he conclude that the game is so filthy that it wasn't worth five minutes of his time

At the end of a wonderful sporting year, maybe the greatest year of all, football lies in the doghouse. Our Olympians, led by the magnificent Jessica Ennis, wear their gold medals with modesty. Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray are champions, and our golfers stand supreme.

At rugby we have just beaten the All Blacks by 17 points. In cricket Alastair Cook is leading his men to a notable victory in India. Yet in football, wherever one looks, there is disgrace.

Bradley Wiggins

Andy Murray

Pride of Britain: Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray have enjoyed fantastic sporting years

When players are not diving, they are abusing referees or demanding salaries out of all proportion to their talents. Managers, when not heaping abuse on match officials, prefer to look the other way. The FA, supposedly the guardians of the game, retreat when they should advance.

Then there are the fans. You know the type, those lovely folk who spend every Saturday afternoon and many nights of the week spitting poison at anybody who comes within a coin's throw.

The Manchester derby on Sunday was a rousing affair, won eventually by Robin van Persie's stoppage-time free-kick, but the abiding image was of Rio Ferdinand ending the game in a daze, a bloody cut above his left eye, as a City supporter expressed his hatred in the way he thought best.

Bloody mess: Rio Ferdinand was targeted by City supporters after celebrating Van Persie's winner

Bloody mess: Rio Ferdinand was targeted by City supporters after celebrating Van Persie's winner

The other image that remains is a familiar one, but it supports the view that football is a great game that attracts pigs. Behind the goal into which Van Persie shot the winning goal a photograph revealed rows of police officers separating the opposing fans.

Without that not-so-thin yellow line there would have been a riot, just as there would be riots on other grounds the length and breadth of the kingdom if police officers and stewards were not present in their hundreds.

This season has begun with a cascade of fan-related incidents: pitch invasions, racist chants and the general nastiness that football fans have made their stock in trade since Hopcraft put his pen down in 1968.

Centre of attention: London staged an incredible Olympic Games with a 'human face' which hasn't been transferred over to football

Centre of attention: London staged an incredible Olympic Games with a 'human face' which hasn't been transferred over to football

Football has always aroused strong feelings, wherever it is played. But when it comes to hatred inspired by football – and hatred is surely the word – we take some budging from the gold medallist's rostrum.

Even in our spanking new stadiums, filled, we are often told, by a new breed of supporter, the hatred burns on an intense flame. And many of the people doing the hating are those brought up in the Seventies, when grounds really were dangerous places to visit.

They are men (almost always men) in their 50s and 60s for whom the Saturday afternoon ritual remains an imperishable part of human experience.

Some people wondered, after London staged an Olympic Games with a human face, whether that spirit could carry over into the football season. Well, they know now.

Arrest: A fan is escorted off the pitch by police after confronting United defender Ferdinand during Sunday's derby

Arrest: A fan is escorted off the pitch by police after confronting United defender Ferdinand during Sunday's derby

Don't be deceived by the talk of 'passion', that most over-rated of qualities. The behaviour at most football grounds would not be tolerated in any other sport. In rugby spectators who behaved as they do at football matches would be marched out of the ground, no questions asked.

We are talking here about significant numbers who rejoice in the tribalism that football encourages. In no other sport is hatred endorsed as a way of life.

Consider how often managers and players refer to 'the fans' as if fandom was a benign phenomenon. If they actually had to sit among the people they praise they might change their tune. Or perhaps they wouldn't.

Perhaps football is now so degraded as a public entertainment that the people who work in the game can no longer distinguish acceptable behaviour from the other sort. It's not as if the fans can take any kind of lead from the players they pay so much to watch.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

Under siege: Ferdinand was left with blood pouring from his head after he was struck by a 2p coin

It has been argued that football reflects society, and our society is increasingly dominated by self-obsession, instant gratification, and a corrosive celebrity culture. Many footballers are themselves celebrities, whether or not they can kick a ball.

Despite the commercial success of the Premier League we are not living through a golden age of English football. Should you doubt it, consider this barely believable fact: Stewart Downing, a journeyman midfielder, has played more times for England than Tony Currie, Alan Hudson, Charlie George and Peter Osgood put together. And those gentlemen could play.

Yet rugby, league and union, reflects our society as well, and nobody has to segregate fans on their grounds. There are boorish rugby players, and unpleasant supporters, but nobody feels the need to shout obscenities at opposing fans, or make hissing noises to denote the gassing of Jews. In football it is all in a day's work.

We are also told, sometimes by those who have rarely set foot in a football ground, that such 'boisterous' behaviour is part of 'working-class' culture and is something to be celebrated. That is not a view that would find favour with those working-class folk who used to attend matches, and who managed to behave with a fervour tempered by a respect for others. In any case football is hardly a working-class activity these days.

A fan who follows his team throughout the season is likely to spend up to 5,000 in tickets, travelling and booze. Not many people on modest incomes can manage that.

No, today's yobbos are decidedly affluent compared with their predecessors, who wore flat caps and lit up Woodbines over their cups of Bovril. Football could stop it in a trice if the will was there. The FA could close those grounds where people misbehaved, or dock points for persistent misconduct. Managers could use public statements and programme notes to denounce offenders with strong words, not platitudes.

Something else happened in 1968, when Hopcraft's book was published. John Arlott, another great journalist, stopped covering football, a game he loved, because it had become 'seedy'.

It sounds almost polite these days, seedy, like some Bayswater boarding house. Today we are obliged to use more powerful words, and every one holds the game to account: a reckoning that nobody, not the players, not the fans, not the wretched FA, feels obliged to honour.

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez prepare for fourth and final fight

This is it: Pacquiao vows knock out Marquez and end long running rivalry in fourth and final fight

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UPDATED:

15:13 GMT, 6 December 2012

Having shared the ring for 36 rounds over their careers there is not too much that Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez don't know about each other – yet they are prepared to go head to head for one final time.

Officially, the tally stands at two Pacquiao wins and one draw, though many fans and boxing writers believe Marquez could legitimately have won all three encounters.

Saturday’s fight is likely to be another close encounter and Filipino Pacquiao believes this will be the last time the two set foot in the ring together.

Fourth and final time: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Marquez prepare for their fight on Saturday

Fourth and final time: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Marquez prepare for their fight on Saturday

'I think this is the last fight with him,’ Pacquiao said.

'Last time,’ agreed trainer Freddie Roach. ‘We're going to knock him out. End of story.'
Pacquiao lost his last fight to Timothy Bradley – albeit in controversial fashion – and Roach says his fighter is hungrier than ever to succeed, especially if he is ever to get Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring.

'The fourth fight could be the same as the last three, but Manny's hungrier now,’ Roach said. 'I don't think Marquez has seen the best Manny yet.’

The final showdown: Pacquiao and Marquez both say this will be the last time they fight each other

The final showdown: Pacquiao and Marquez both say this will be the last time they fight each other

But in the opposite corner, Marquez says his sole motivation for Saturday's non-title welterweight clash is the prospect of finally being able to celebrate victory over the Filipino.

'I want them (his corner) to raise my hand (in triumph),’ Marquez said.
'People tell me, 'You really beat him', in the last three fights, a lot of people feel I beat him.

'But I want to have my hand raised. I want the judges to really look at what they're doing and get it right this time.’

We've met before: Pacquiao and Marquez go head-to-head before their fourth fight

We've met before: Pacquiao and Marquez go head-to-head before their fourth fight

For his part, Pacquiao appears to be growing increasingly frustrated by the Mexican's insistence that he was the deserved winner of their previous three contests, particularly because of the counter-punching style favoured by Marquez.

'He always claims he won the fights,’ said Pacquiao. ‘So he needs to prove something.

'You cannot say, 'Yes I won the fight' when you are always backing off. It's contradictory. If you're claiming you won the fight, then you have to press the action.’

Nice and relaxed: Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach laugh during the press conference

Nice and relaxed: Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach laugh during the press conference

The four-fight rivalry between the two boxers almost failed to last one round. Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the opening round of their first encounter in 2004, but the Mexican rallied to outbox his opponent and eke out a draw.

In their second meeting four years later, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez in the third round, which proved the difference after he won a close split decision.

Their third bout was adjudged a majority decision victory for the Filipino southpaw, despite Pacquiao's surprisingly unimpressive display.

Game face on: Marquez looks serious as he bids to finally get a win over his rival

Game face on: Marquez looks serious as he bids to finally get a win over his rival

'I thought Manny won that fight,’ Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said on Wednesday. “But the booing was very loud and very vocal.

'Someone said, 'Why aren't you smiling You won the fight'. And I said, 'It's very hard to smile when you're being booed that bad'.’

Pacquiao acknowledged that his series of fights with Marquez had been the defining rivalry of his career.

Capturing the imagination: A blackjack table at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas promotes the fight

Capturing the imagination: A blackjack table at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas promotes the fight

'When you say 'Muhammad Ali', you think 'Joe Frazier',’ the Filipino said. ‘And I think when you say 'Manny Pacquiao', you think 'Juan Manuel Marquez'. And when you say 'Marquez', you think 'Manny Pacquiao'.’

But neither man is expecting a fifth fight, whatever happens in the ring on Saturday. The fourth bout, they insist, will be the last.

'This is the last fight with Manny,’ said Marquez. ‘I don't know what will happen in the ring, but this is the last time.'

Pacquiao v Marquez is live on Primetime from 2am on Sunday morning

Bobby Moore beat testicular cancer before 1966 World Cup win

Revealed: Legend Moore beat cancer before leading England to 1966 World Cup

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UPDATED:

13:24 GMT, 23 November 2012

Sports writer Norman Giller has written a book that reveals Bobby Moore survived testicular cancer two years before he won the World Cup at Wembley in 1966.

The book, called Bobby Moore The Master, follows this golden era of English football and tracks every one of the 108 England matches in which Moore played – with exclusive comments on each by the man himself.

Author Giller told the Sports Journalists’ Association: 'Amazingly, Bobby survived testicular cancer two years before he collected the World Cup.

On top of the world: Bobby Moore led England to victory at Wembley in 1966

On top of the world: Bobby Moore led England to victory at Wembley in 1966

'I was among a small clique of Fleet Street sportswriters who hushed up the fact that he’d had a testicle surgically removed.

'In those uneducated days people kept secret the curse of cancer as if it was almost something of which to be ashamed.

‘Covering up a story of such weight today would, quite rightly, get the reporter the sack. But back in the 1960s cancer was a word to be whispered, and euphemistically dismissed with a Les Dawson-style mime as ‘the Big C.’

Bobby Moore The Master by Norman Giller

‘Can you imagine the hero he would have become had the nation realised the agony and torture he had been through before his World Cup triumph

'Knowing that, perhaps you agree with me that his statue at Wembley should be twice as high.’

All profits from the sales of the book will not go to the author but to the Bobby Moore Fund to help raise cancer research money.

The fund was launched in 1993 by Bobby’s widow, Stephanie, following his death from bowel cancer, and the book is being published to mark the 20-year anniversary of Bobby’s passing (and the fund’s birth) in February.

This is Giller’s 94th book — 20 of them were written in collaboration with Jimmy Greaves, who was one of Moore’s best friends.

To order a copy of the book, visit www.normangillerbooks.com

Manchester United set to bid for Wilfried Zaha in January

United set to blow rivals out of the water with mega bid for Palace star Zaha

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UPDATED:

10:33 GMT, 18 November 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to launch a bid to sign Crystal Palace sensation Wilfried Zaha with an offer that will blow away any other interested clubs.

Ferguson decided to enter the race to England’s newest star when he received the recommendation from his son Darren, after Zaha ripped his Peterborough side apart a few weeks ago.

And now United are set to offer ‘what it takes’ to see off Tottenham and Arsenal in the January window which includes handing the 20-year-old better terms to come to Old Trafford.

Star performer: Wilfried Zaha helped Crystal Palace stay top of The Championship with a 3-0 win over Derby

Star performer: Wilfried Zaha helped Crystal Palace stay top of The Championship with a 3-0 win over Derby

England calling: Zaha made his international debut against Sweden

England calling: Zaha made his international debut against Sweden

According to The Sunday People, Ferguson has kept an eye on Zaha since he dazzled against them in Palace’s shock League Cup triumph last season.

A United source told The People: ‘Sir Alex now thinks Zaha has the skill and bottle to play for United – and he wants him badly.’

Palace are hoping to get 20million for
Zaha but will realistically settle for half of that – a figure United
will gladly pay, having paid similar sums for emerging talents Phil
Jones from Blackburn and Chris Smalling from Fulham.

Keeping tabs: Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be a fan of Zaha

Keeping tabs: Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to be a fan of Zaha

Ferguson sees Zaha as a Cristiano Ronaldo-style attacker, capable of playing down either wing and scoring goals through pace and trickery.

Zaha is seen as the ideal replacement for Nani who is in a contract dispute and may be on his way out, creating a gap in the United squad. Spurs and Arsenal are also keen but will struggle against United.

The Ivory Coast-born kid has lived in London since he was four, but he would head north if the clubs can sort out a fee.

While Palace would like to keep him for their promotion push, the auction could reach a level where they cannot refuse.

Palace boss Ian Holloway, meanwhile, fears the youngster's progress could suffer as result of his elevation to the England senior squad.

'It’s a difficult time for him as everything has happened at once.

'This could damage a young man who is as pure a footballer as he is.

'He has to learn to handle it, put the emotion away and do his job.'