Off the Post Archives for January 2012

Five fun facts about Julio Cesar’s move to QPR

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1. In May 2010 he won the Champions League, the Coppa Italia and Serie A. QPR played one game that month, losing at home to cement their position in the bottom half of the Championship. 2. Cesar has won 26 major trophies in his career. QPR have won five. 3. He becomes the 19th player [...]


Blanked: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo pretend they can’t see each other (Real Madrid v Barcelona)

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Sometimes supposed rivalries between sporting icons are played out in the newspapers and nowhere else. But relations between the two best footballers on the planet looked decidedly frosty after the final whistle in last night's Spanish Super Cup second-leg. Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were keen to shake hands with various opponents and the [.

Celtic players play a Post-It prank on team mate Mohamed Bangura

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It must be pretty easy being a Celtic player right now. With the league title in the bag before a ball was even kicked (I'm not being presumptuous, look at the odds), it gives them time to play some elaborate pranks on their team mates. Joe Ledley and Kris Commons have both seemingly used their [...]


Video: Lionel Messi scores an incredible free-kick (Real Madrid v Barcelona)

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Lionel Messi lit up last night's Spanish Super Cup second-leg with this stunning free-kick but it wasn't enough to secure victory for Barcelona. The Argentine star's set-piece pulled the score back to 2-1 on the night, but it proved to be the final goal of the night. That left the score at 4-4 on [.

Video: David Silva pranks Manchester City backroom staff vs Liverpool

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David Silva hasn't spent a great deal of time on the bench since joining Manchester City. It turns out that when he is dropped, the Spanish maestro likes to pass the time by playing very basic practical jokes. The midfielder pranked a member of City's backroom staff as he came out of the tunnel to [.

Spoof: Liverpool demand Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson chairs Charlie Adam transfer tribunal before Stoke move

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Liverpool have insisted that Sir Alex Ferguson oversees the transfer tribunal ahead of Charlie Adam's prospective transfer to Stoke City. The clubs had already agreed a £5million fee, but the Reds have now asked the Manchester United manager to get involved to make sure the valuation is accurate. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: "Alex is, [.

Who Are Ya? Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Emmanuel Mayuka Age: 21 Position: Striker Signed from: Young Boys Berne Fee: Undisclosed. Did you know? Looking at the video above, it's hardly surprising that Mayuka has moved. The video appears to have been posted on YouTube by his agent, complete with contact details so [.

Top 5 Premier League players that should change position

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With the news that Brendan Rodgers is considering asking Stewart Downing to be converted into a left-back (left back in the changing room, tsk tsk), OTP looks at five other Premier League players who could do with a positional move. 1. Wayne Rooney Centre Midfielder With the arrival of Robin Van Persie at Old [.

GIF It: Pablo Armero shooting FAIL and Maicosuel panenka penalty FAIL (Udinese v Braga)

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Udinese crashed out of the Champions League in last night's play-off against Braga. And it's hardly surprising once you consider the content of this post. In normal time, Pablo Armero went through on goal and had a great chance to give the Italian side a 3-2 lead on aggregate. Instead he unleashed a wicked air-shot, [.

Video: German referee bursts a water sachet over his face

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German referee Dr Felix Brych gave himself an unexpected public shower as he attempted to have a drink of water. The tradtional bottle of water obviously doesn't have quite enough vorsprung durch technik for the Bundesliga, so the hapless official had to try his luck with a strange water sachet. The 37-year-old asked Hannover keeper [.

Swindon striker James Collins scores hat-trick against Stoke, gets kick up the backside from Paolo Di Canio

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League One side Swindon knocked Stoke out of the Capital One Cup last night, largely thanks to a hat-trick from James Collins. But that still wasn't enough to please Robins boss Paolo Di Canio. The feisty Italian celebrated Collins' second goal of the night by calling the striker over, prodding him in the chest and [.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #35 Gary Charles

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Name: Gary Charles In his 90′s prime for: Nottingham Forest, Derby, Aston Villa, West Ham Lowdown: Joining Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough in 1987, Charles made more than 50 appearances for the club, but often struggled to hold down a first team place. His most well-known appearance for the club was in the FA Cup [.

Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #35 Gary Charles

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Name: Gary Charles In his 90′s prime for: Nottingham Forest, Derby, Aston Villa, West Ham Lowdown: Joining Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough in 1987, Charles made more than 50 appearances for the club, but often struggled to hold down a first team place. His most well-known appearance for the club was in the FA Cup [.

Video: Robert Lewandowski trips Borussia Dortmund team-mate Marco Reus in training

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Marks for originality: 0/10. Marks for entertainment: 10/10. Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus fell for the oldest trick in the book in a recent training session. Striker Robert Lewandowski took the squad's backwards running routine as the perfect opportunity to crouch down behind his team-mate, sending Reus on a trip.

Video: Greek referee’s incredible flicked through ball

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Referees are traditional supposed to remain impartial, but when you've got the vision and invention of this Greek official there is only so long you can contain it. Presented with an opportunity that was too good to refuse during the match between OFI and Xanthi, ref Anastasios Kakos delivered a tasty trick to create a [.

Manchester United’s young stars banned from accepting free sports cars from sponsor Chevrolet

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has put his foot down over plans to give his young stars high-powered sports cars. The club's new sponsor Chevrolet has offered a free car to all players. Unsurprisingly, many of the squad's big names opted for iconic sporty Corvettes. But Fergie stepped in to stop any player aged [.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers disciplines Raheem Sterling in front of the TV cameras

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Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling was caught on the receiving end of a Brendan Rodgers ticking off during the filming of a new documentary. The young winger is singled out for some harsh words from Rodgers in a teaser clip from Fox Soccers's six-part Being Liverpool programme. The clip was recorder during the Reds' summer tour [.

Virtuoso three-minute sub display earns Everton’s Johnny Heitinga a spot in the Mirror’s team of the day

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To the uninitiated, Johnny Heitinga's 87th minute substitute appearance against Aston Villa appeared to serve the dual purpose of wasting a few seconds as the Toffees wound down time towards a 3-1 victory while also bolstering the defensive ranks. Despite David Moyes' side having done most of their good work prior to the last three [.

Liverpools’s Raheem Sterling is ‘like some bud which is just beginning to flower’ and may ‘feel the frost of a big Scottish defence upon him, which migh

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talkSPORT's Graham Beecroft was uncertain about Brendan Rodgers' decision to put his faith in young winger Raheem Sterling over the last week. So much so, that ahead of the Europa League clash with Hearts he threw out a couple of factual inaccuraces, referred to Sterling as Smalling and then launched into the most ridiculous, rambling, [.

Who Are Ya? Nuri Åžahin (Liverpool)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Nuri Åžahin Age: 23 Position: Central midfielder Signed from: Real Madrid Fee: Season-long loan deal Did you know? Despite being born in West Germany, growing up in the country, coming through the youth ranks at Borussia Dortmund and being a German citizen, Åžahin has opted [.

GIF It: David De Gea’s mad skills (Manchester United 3-2 Fulham)

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Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea staked his claim to move above Victor Valdes in the Spain pecking order with this daring piece of skill during Saturday's win over Fulham. Now, if only he could catch crosses...


Hard Tackle: Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov tries to win favour with ref Andre Marriner

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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has told his troops that they have to go the extra mile if they want to stay at the top, and left-back Aleksandar Kolarov has certainly taken heed of that. The Serbian defender was caught in a compromising position with referee Andre Marriner during yesterday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

Top 10 conclusions Premier League weekend 26-27 August

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1. If Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel was a golfer, he'd have finished yesterday on level par (and probably be barred from the clubhouse due to the tattoos and shaved head). 2. Any Manchester United fans hoping that David De Gea had spent at least some of his summer learning how to deal with crosses were [.

Ouch! Wayne Rooney’s nasty leg injury

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When you get past the inevitable jokes about Rooney and horrible gashes (of which I admit there are a few), it's important to note that the injury suffered by the England striker is actually pretty horrible. After coming on as a substitute with twenty minutes remaining of Manchester United's 3-2 home victory over Fulham, Rooney [.

Ouch! Wayne Rooney’s nasty leg injury

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When you get past the inevitable jokes about Rooney and horrible gashes (of which I admit there are a few), it's important to note that the injury suffered by the England striker is actually pretty horrible. After coming on as a substitute with twenty minutes remaining of Manchester United's 3-2 home victory over Fulham, Rooney [.

AIK fans set off fireworks to keep CSKA Moscow players awake

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When competing in knockout football, it is important to gain any advantage possible with such fine margins. Fans of AIK Stockholm took this to heart (and perhaps too far) before their clash with CSKA Moscow on Thursday. On the morning of the game, hooligans met at 4am outside the hotel of the CSKA players.

Lewis McGugan’s wonder strike against Bolton

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I'll accept that I am possibly biased as a Forest fan, but I think we can all agree that when Lewis McGugan hits a football, it stays hit. In fact, the most frustrating thing about the player is that when on song he has enough talent to more than hold his own in the Premier [...]


Who Are Ya? Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Cesar Azpilicueta Age: 22 Position: Right-back Signed from: Marseille Fee: £7 million Did you know? Former Marseille player Eric Di Meco responded to president Jean-Claude Dassier claims that Azpilicueta was the future of the Spain national side's right flank by saying that, if that proved [.

Liverpool fans try to imagine why Nuri Sahin seems to prefer them to Arsenal

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Liverpool fans are now awaiting final confirmation that they've pipped Arsenal to the loan signing of Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin. And some cheeky Reds are already pondering what could have made up the Turkey international's mind. OTP will pacify Gooners and bring the Scousers back down to earth by pointing out they've won one [.

Video: Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho isn’t talking about what you know he is talking about

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Jose Mourinho used a bit of Jedi mind trickery to complain about refereeing decisions during last night's Super Cup clash with Barcelona. The Only One has decided that it's a bit too early in the season to be picking up touchline bans, even for him. So, instead of talking about the decisions that had annoyed [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the 24-26 August

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Looking to continue a winning start last week (although Arsenal failing to beat Sunderland cost me £93), and firstly going to the Premier League for a treble. Despite both sides beginning the season with a win, Swansea were far more assured than West Ham last weekend, and are available at odds against to win their [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the 24-26 August

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Looking to continue a winning start last week (although Arsenal failing to beat Sunderland cost me £93), and firstly going to the Premier League for a treble. Despite both sides beginning the season with a win, Swansea were far more assured than West Ham last weekend, and are available at odds against to win their [.

A Huge Weekend For… Rodgers, Hughes, Green and Giroud

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Brendan Rodgers The Hawthorns was always going to be a difficult place to travel to for the first game of your reign, but no Liverpool fans would have thought that a 3-0 defeat was on the cards. Brendan Rodgers needs a league victory to settle the nerves, and settle one fast. This weekend he will [..

GIF It: Victor Valdes’ howler (Barcelona v Real Madrid)

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Sergio Busquets is often harshly credited with being the Barcelona player who's least comfortable on the ball. Goalkeeper Victor Valdes chose last night's El Clasico to prove that it's actually him. Valdes has seen Lionel Messi doing those neat turns and dummies so often that he thought it must be a piece of cake.

GIF It: Raheem Sterling fouls a cameraman (Hearts 0-1 Liverpool)

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Anglo-Scottish 'Battle of Britain' European nights can be full-blooded affairs, but it's not usually the cameraman who bear the brunt. That was the case in last night's clash between Hearts and Liverpool, where the Reds' young winger Raheem Sterling lunged in on a hapless pitchside broadcaster. The camerman was visibly shaken by the foul.

Video: Jose Callejon blasts the ball at Sergio Busquets’ head from close range (Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid)

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Perhaps we should clarify that Sergio Busquets was lying on the ground at the time but then if you were playing the percentages, you probably would have already guessed that. Flat on the floor after a foul by Xabi Alonso, Busquets was immediately given a reason to wish he'd managed to stay on his feet [.

Liverpool fan Omar rants at Robbie Savage on BBC 5Live 606

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This audio comes from BBC 5Live's 606 phone-in on Saturday evening. Liverpool fan Omar, from Nottingham, rang up to tell Robbie Savage that he "talks through his a*se". Omar starts off sounding quite pleasant, giving a nice hello and congratulating opponents West Brom on their win... but then he snaps.

Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny’s alleged drunk phone calls and texts to QPR chiefs

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Former QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has been accused of drunken late night communication with his ex-employers to gloat at their 5-0 opening day hammering against Swansea. QPR have made a formal complaint to Kenny's new club Leeds after technical director Mike Rigg and chairman Tony Fernandes reportedly received abusive text messages from Kenny.

Get a Barcelona shower head and play like Messi

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Football clubs will do all in their power to sell merchandise, and that includes peddling some absolutely woeful tat. I remember almost shedding a tear after reading the blurb below an Arsenal child's moneybox, the gist of which was to encourage your children to put their pocket money in an Arsenal-branded product so that they [.

Who is The Secret Footballer? Whoever’s in this video, that’s who

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Since his column began appearing in The Guardian, the identity of The Secret Footballer has been a source of much debate and conjecture among fans. Now to plug his new book, the mystery player has appeared in the viral video above. His identity remains hidden, but feel free to look for any clues you might [.

Top five players better than Steven Fletcher to spend £14million on

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With Sunderland finally agreeing a fee with Wolves for Steven Fletcher (and the fee being an eye-watering £14million), we take a look at five things you could have got for less in this transfer window: 1) 2.8 Emmanuel Adebayors A proven Premier League goalscorer, the chip on Adebayor's shoulder doesn't negate his evident talent.

GIF It: Tottenham boss Andre Villas Boas climbs his step ladder to pose with Emmanuel Adebayor

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Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas wanted to look new signing Emmanuel Adebayor in the eye and welcome him to the club. So, he did the only thing he could and fetched a step ladder to pose alongside the former Manchester City striker for a photo opportunity. Via 101GG


Video: Young Mexican pitch invader gives security the runaround (Lobos Buap v Pueblo)

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Football stewards are not usually renowned for their acceleration and yet it is they who are charged with getting pitch invaders off the field of play. So you can imagine the pitchside security at this match between Mexican sides Lobos Buap and Pueblo were not exactly thrilled with the prospect of chasing this teenager.

GIF It: Fernando Torres offside goal helps Chelsea to victory over Reading

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Chelsea retained their 100 per cent start to the season with a 4-2 victory over Reading last night. But it was the Blues' third goal, scored when the match was level at 2-2, that will be playing on Royals boss Brian McDermott's mind today. Fernando Torres was quite clearly offside as he tucked the ball [.

Dunfermline players appear to mock homeless woman

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Dunfermline duo Ryan Thomson and Paul Willis are facing the wrath of their own fans, never mind anybody else, after seemingly posing for a photograph mocking a homeless woman. The picture was reportedly taken in Edinburgh earlier this month and shows the players pointing and laughing and pulling silly faces in front of the woman.

Manchester City star Mario Balotelli fears for his life on a bungee catapult

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Mario Balotelli is used to striking fear into the hearts of defenders around Europe but he got a taste of his own medicine during his summer holidays. The Manchester City striker and his brother decided to try out a bungee catapult during a holiday in Ibiza earlier this summer. A petrified Balotelli was left [.

Real Madrid website create player profile for Tottenham’s Luka Modric aka ‘Null Null’

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It's always a good idea to get ahead of the game, but the chaps behind the official Real Madrid website took the concept too far yesterday. Despite Luke Modric's move to the Spanish giants being more up in the air than the ball in a Stoke City training session, a player profile briefly appeared on [.

Real Madrid website create player profile for Tottenham’s Luka Modric aka ‘Null Null’

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It's always a good idea to get ahead of the game, but the chaps behind the official Real Madrid website took the concept too far yesterday. Despite Luke Modric's move to the Spanish giants being more up in the air than the ball in a Stoke City training session, a player profile briefly appeared on [.

Former Norwich player’s wife found him with rope round his neck

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Ex-Norwich City player Darren Eadie is planning to open a seaside retreat for depressed footballers after a straw poll revealed at least six of his former team-mates are battling mental illness. Eadie too has suffered with depression and, after reaching out to other former Canaries, discovered that he was not alone and there would be [.

Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant announces signing of Tottenham’s Tom Huddlestone via his Twitter

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Stoke winger/press officer Jermaine Pennant has announced the signing of Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone on a season-long loan. Pennant's morning greeting contained an observation that Huddlestone was at Stoke's training ground. And for the sake of ease, he also confirmed the terms of the deal. He tweeted: "I walked in training and got a shock [.

Arsenal defender Andre Santos arrested after 130mph police chase

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Andre Santos could face jail after leading police on a 130mph car chase. The Arsenal left-back reportedly weaved his black Maserati GranTurismo in and out of rush-hour traffic as he attempted to lose cops involved in the high speed pursuit, before eventually being stopped just 500 yards from the Gunners' London Colney training ground.

Perhaps Nuri Sahin is negotiating a Lukas Podolski clause before moving to Arsenal

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Arsenal fans have been impatiently waiting for the news that Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin has joined them on a season-long loan. The move has been widely expected for the past few days, but there has still been no announcement. Rumours abound that Jose Mourinho is insisting Sahin helps out his old mucker Brendan Rodgers [.

Who Are Ya? Alexander Buttner (Manchester United)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Alexander Buttner Age: 23 Position: Left-back Signed from: Vitesse Arnhem Fee: £3.9 million Did you know? His dad, Christian, was also a footballer, who played for De Graafschap, FC Twente, Vitesse and NEC. But his party animal reputation sometimes got in the way of his [.

Meet Joe Barton, the artist formerly known as QPR midfielder Joey Barton

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How I wish the mass media had christened me Joe instead of Joey. I hate Joey, not going to lie. Nobody I respect calls me it... #justsaying Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) August 21, 2012 Joey Barton has ditched his name. Or, if you believe his version of events, he was never called Joey Barton in [..

Video: Gary and Phil Neville’s on-screen chemistry (Everton 1-0 Manchester United)

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Those Sunday lunches back at the Neville family home must really drag if this exchange is par for the course. Sky Sports pundit Gary and Everton skipper Phil negotiated the awkward we grew up together, were employed together for most of our careers and share the same parents... but now I'm interviewing you territory with [.

Video: Gary and Phil Neville’s on-screen chemistry (Everton 1-0 Manchester United)

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Those Sunday lunches back at the Neville family home must really drag if this exchange is par for the course. Sky Sports pundit Gary and Everton skipper Phil negotiated the awkward we grew up together, were employed together for most of our careers and share the same parents... but now I'm interviewing you territory with [.

Everton’s Marouane Fellaini tears Manchester United apart with the upper-third of his body

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A virtuoso performance from Marouane Fellaini and his velcro chest ensured Manchester United's season got underway to a losing start. The Everton midfielder was head and shoulders above everyone else on the park not literally, though it often seemed that way as David Moyes' side recorded a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

Kitman: Manchester United’s Anderson become Andesron after spelling FAIL

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Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa's debuts were the ones that Manchester United fans were most interested in as their side faced Everton last night. But there was also a first appearance for little known Peruvian mountain dweller Andes Ron. Ron came on as a late substitute after a mix-up in the middle of Anderson's [.

Swansea coach Alan Curtis admits Scott Sinclair is on his way to Manchester City

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Swansea appear to be resigned to losing pacy winger Scott Sinclair before the transfer deadline. First-team coach Alan Curtis has stopped just short of saying that a 'Sorry You're Leaving' card is currently being slyly passed around the Swans' training ground when Sinclair isn't looking. Curtis said: "He's not really interested in signing a new [.

Barcelona sign Arsenal’s Alex Song, praise his low fat percentage

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Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has completed his £15million switch to Barcelona and immediately been praised by the Catalan giants for his lack of fat. The Cameroon international was widely expected to move to Camp Nou subject to a medical. Not only did he pass that formality with flying colours, Barca's quacks were impressed by Song's [.

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao staying up at night to get used to late kick-off time

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Se buscan actividades de 11pm a 1am!! Ya fuí a cine, salí a comer, jugué realfootbal, No se me ocurre nada más! Recibo Sugerencias! Radamel Falcao (@FALCAO) August 18, 2012 Radamel Falcao has been forced to change his sleeping patterns after admitting he'd usually be in bed before the new 11pm Sunday night kick-off [.

Video: Mario Balotelli steals Manchester City photographer’s camera lens

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Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli got the new season underway with one of his trademark pranks. He snatched a camera lens from City photographer Sharon Latham much to the amusement of Howard Webb as he made his way down the tunnel at the Etihad Stadium. The bemused photographer at first makes an attempt [.

Top 10 conclusions Premier League weekend 18-19 August

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1. Members of the Manchester City Title Win Reenactment Society delivered a performance with the sort of coordination that made the London 2012 opening ceremony look amateurish. Samir Nasri just peaked a bit too soon. 2. With all the comparisons bring drawn between the Olympics and the Premier League, it's hard to know why everyone [.

GIF It: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew pushes assistant referee

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Alan Pardew is set for a three-match touchline ban after pushing assistant referee Peter Kirkup during Newcastle's opening day win over Tottenham. The Magpies boss was unhappy that a throw-in had not been awarded during a Spurs attack as he believed the ball had gone out of play. Referee Lee Mason immediately sent him to [.

Charlie Adam intoxicates the Liverpool bench with fart

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Liverpool's season started off fairly dreadfully, with the nice football they played in the first half undone by a West Brom side that eventually ran out 3-0 winners. Although you may think Daniel Agger stunk the place out more than anyone else with his red card allowing the Baggies to have it easy, benched Charlie [.

Lyon’s Michel Bastos scores wonderful overhead kick

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Always have to be careful when praising early season goals, but Michel Bastos of Lyon has surely laid down a marker for goal of the season in the French League, scoring an amazing overhead kick in his side's 4-1 home victory over Troyes. In a game that was 0-0 at half time, Troyes actually took [...]


Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand fined £45,000 over ‘choc ice’ tweet towards Chelsea’s Ashley Cole

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Rio Ferdinand has been handed a £45,000 fine and warned about his future comment over a 'racist' slur aimed at Ashley Cole. The England international was found guilty of improper conduct by the Independent Regulatory Commission over a tweet which referred to the Chelsea left-back as a 'choc ice'. Ferdinand retweeted a tweet from a [.

Manchester United complete signing of Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie

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Arsenal skipper Robin Van Persie has officially completed his transfer to Manchester United. The 29-year-old passed a medical and has now put pen to paper on a four-year contract. Van Persie told United's website: "It's an honour to sign for Manchester United. I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of so many great [.

Who Are Ya? Oussama Assaidi (Liverpool)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Oussama Assaidi Age: 24 Position: Winger Signed from: Heerenveen Fee: £3 million Did you know? He's nicknamed Roi Lion D'Atlas the Atlas Lion King. What's the deal? The goalscoring winger he bagged 20 goals in 68 appearances for Heerenveen has sealed his [.

Russian drug smuggler stars for Chilean second division side

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Former Dinamo St Petersburg player Maxim Molokoedov's football career appeared to be over when he was jailed for drug smuggling two years ago but he's back playing in the country where he's imprisoned. Chilean second division side Santiago Morning have welcomed Molokoedov to their squad. The Russian was caught at Santiago airport in 2010 [.

Watch the all-new FIFA 13 advert

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Sponsored video The latest installment of the always hotly anticipated EA Sports FIFA series is just over a month away. That means it's time for a commercial to whet your appetite ahead of the release date (which is 25 September in North America and 28 September in Europe). And you'll be able to get your [.

Huge weekend for… Arsenal fans, Brendan Rodgers, Steve Clarke and Jermain Defoe

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Arsenal Fans Of course they have every right to be worried. They have lost the Player of the Year and their captain. Without Van Persie last season they would have finished 12th. But there are reasons for optimism. Olivier Giroud was the top scorer in Ligue Un last season and Lukas Podolski has only four [.

Removal Van (Persie) arrives at Arsenal

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Arsenal fans knew that their captain really was on his way to Manchester United yesterday when his removal van arrived at the Emirates Stadium. The prank by bookmakers Coral saw a Removal Van Persie parked outside the stadium and a lifesize model of the departing Dutchman bundled into the back.


Video: Sao Paulo keeper Rogerio Ceni scores six-yard punched own goal

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Goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni is no stranger to finding the net, having scored more than 100 career goals. But he's more accustomed to blasting in free-kicks and penalties at the other end of the pitch than scoring embarrassing own goals. On this occasion the goal won't be added to his tally after he got a punch [.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Football betting tips for the 18-19 August

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Always slightly difficult to gamble on the first weekend of the season, as clubs are very often still finding their feet. However, I think I have found value by choosing a game from each league. Firstly, Arsenal should see off essentially strikerless Sunderland, whilst Leicester will be amongst the favourites for Premier League promotion and [.

Spoof: Arsenal set to replace Robin Van Persie with talcum powder and a tub of wet look gel

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he will not be spending anymore money this summer even if Robin Van Persie leaves for Manchester United, as expected. Instead the Frenchman is to raid the depths of his bathroom cabinet in order to replace his skipper. Wenger explained: "We always had in the back of our minds that [.

Top five conclusions: Italy 1-2 England

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1. A brainier person than OTP could devise a formula showing that the time Jermain Defoe spends sitting on a bench does not have any effect on his finishing ability. That was a sweet strike from the long-term Spurs sub. 2. Nobody told Daniele De Rossi the widely accepted format of meaningless international friendlies.

Top five conclusions: Italy 1-2 England

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1. A brainier person than OTP could devise a formula showing that the time Jermain Defoe spends sitting on a bench does not have any effect on his finishing ability. That was a sweet strike from the long-term Spurs sub. 2. Nobody told Daniele De Rossi the widely accepted format of meaningless international friendlies.

Bet’s be ‘avin you: Ante-post football betting tips for 2012/13

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Premier League winner Manchester United's move for Robin Van Persie has shortened their odds to 2/1, and that does look inviting . City have not improved their squad (I see Rodwell as more of a squad player initially), and the fact that Roberto Mancini will be pressured to fight on two fronts with the Champions [.

The inevitable Robin Van Persie Arsenal shirt burning begins

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The only thing more predictable than Robin Van Persie getting the move away from Arsenal he was so desperate for this summer was that, if he did leave, the ritual burning of replica shirts bearing his name would follow soon afterwards. And sure enough several people skived their therapy sessions last night to stay at [.

Ten-year-old Scottish girl signed by AC Milan scouts

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AC Milan are struggling for players this summer. After two months of the transfer window they have already lost Alessandro Nesta, Mark Van Bommel, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But more shocking even than the news they are chasing Nicklas Bendtner is that their scouts have signed a ten-year-old Scottish girl [.

VIdeo: Roy Hodgson bangs his head at the Wankdorf (Italy 1-2 England)

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Roy Hodgson experienced a painful start to an ultimately satisfying night as England defeated Italy. The Three Lions boss bumped his head on the dugout during the pre-match formalities, but had probably forgotten all about his headache by the time the final whistle blew on a 1-2 win for England. The new Wankdorf stadium in [.

Manchester United agree deal to sign Arsenal’s Robin Van Persie

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Arsenal have agreed a deal to sell captain Robin Van Persie to Manchester United. The Dutchman is set to go through a medical at United tomorrow ahead of the formality of agreeing personal terms. A statement on Arsenal's website read: "Arsenal Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for the transfer of Robin [.

PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti says Liverpool fans are the best

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Ex-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has praised Liverpool supporters for being the best fans he's encountered. In an interview with CNN World Sport, the PSG boss revealed he is moved by Anfield's rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone... even if he isn't quite sure what they're singing. He said: "In my opinion Liverpool fans, when they [.

Video: Cheeky fan chants ‘Kean Out’ while posing for a photo with the Blackburn boss

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Blackburn manager Steve Kean fell victim to a rather cruel prank during his side's pre-season trip to Cork. The Rovers boss had kindly taken the time to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. He was just posing for one final photo when the cheeky Irish chap who had requested the picture started chanting [.

Bolton miracle man Fabrice Muamba announces his retirement

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Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from professional football. Muamba hasn't played since he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup match against Tottenham in March. His heart stopped for 78 minutes, but the ex-Arsenal and Birmingham man somehow battled through to make a remarkable recovery after spending a [.

Video: Darren Fletcher makes Manchester United comeback against Aberdeen

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Long-term Manchester United absentee Darren Fletcher made his return to action last night. The Scotland international had been out of action for nine months since being diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition. The 28-year-old pulled on a United shirt again for a testimonial match for former Aberdeen player Neil Simpson.

Video: Chris Kamara gets naked for new advert

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It looks like Chris Kamara and Italian commentary legend Tiziano Crudeli are signed up to do a series of spoof adverts for Ladbrokes. And the next one off the production line sees Kammy getting his kit off. The Sky Sports presenter gives the best footballing shampoo advert since Jason McAteer was in his heyday before [.

10 reasons why Arsenal should sell Robin Van Persie

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1. Arsene Wenger tends to get lucky when he sells. Whenever his big-name stars decide to leave, it usually signals a decline in their form. Arsenal pocket the money and the player never reaches their Arsenal form again. We're discounting younger players, such as Cesc Fabregas, here. 2. A sulking striker is no good for [.

Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio demonstrates his unique man-management skills… again

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Paolo Di Canio has stripped Swindon captain Paul Caddis of the armband and will leave him out of his starting line-up for the new season. The fiery Italian only appointed Caddis three months into last season over deciding he'd gone off previous skipper Oliver Risser. And he's pulling no punches when it comes to explaining [.

Birmingham manager Lee Clark brings in Dr Evil as transfer consultant for Jack Butland deal

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Birmingham City manager Lee Clark appears to have called upon Austin Powers villain Dr Evil to help him value young goalkeeper Jack Butland. Clark stopped just short of $100billion, but he does reckon the Team GB Olympic keeper is worth a whopping £18million. The Blues have already turned down a £6million bid from Southampton and [.

Jose Mourinho ditches ‘the Special One’, declares himself ‘the Only One’

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Please be upstanding for the anthem of Jose Mourinho. For the Special One is no longer the Special One. Nope, he's given himself a promotion. The Real Madrid boss reckons his football management achievements have become so special that the word no longer does them justice. He would henceforth like to be addressed as 'the [.

Stereotype alert: Blonde Ajax fan celebrates a non-goal for far too long

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There aren't many more embarrassing situations at football matches than celebrating a goal that you think has gone in, only to realise a second later that the ball in fact went wide and rippled the side netting. The joy is snatched away from you, only to be replaced by the relieved catcalls from opposition fans, [.

Mario Balotelli’s Hulk celebration will feature in FIFA 13

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EA Sports are famous for wanting to make their FIFA games the most realistic football matchplay games, and it seems that this time they have gone to great lengths to ensure that fans are both impressed and amused by some of the extra touches added. In the video above you can see American international (and [.

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner confuses prospective transfer with kidnap situation

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Nicklas Bendtner is renowned for losing all sense of reality when it comes to discussing his career. And he's continuing that tradition as he plots a move away from Arsenal. The Denmark striker seems to have confused potential new employers with people he's holding to ransom. Confirming that he has already rejected some offers, Bendtner [.

Video: Jonathan Soriano puts his penalty in row Z (Red Bull Salzburg v Rapid Vienna)

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He's literally put it in the second tier, Jamie. Red Bull Salzburg star Jonathan Soriano is the Austrian league's in-form striker with five goals in four matches so far this season. He therefore seemed like the perfect man to put a dent in Rapid Vienna's 2-0 lead during yesterday's match. Instead he accomplished a trajectory [.

Wayne Rooney could play for Everton again, reckons Tony Hibbert

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Everton stalwart Tony Hibbert thinks that there is still a chance, however slight, that former Blue Wayne Rooney will bring his career to a fitting end at the club. Full-back Hibbert, who has made 309 first-team appearances and spent more than 11 years at Goodison Park, was recognised for his services through a testimonial last [.

Siena ‘match-fixer’ Emanuele Pesoli chains himself to Italian FA in protest

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An Italian footballer accused of match-fixing has chained himself to the headquarters of the Italian FA to protest against his three-year ban from the game. Former Siena defender Emanuele Pesoli, now with Hellas Verona, took the drastic measure after an FA disciplinary committee handed the ban to him on Friday.

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure gives Community Shield medal to fan

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Out-of-favour Manchester City defender Kolo Toure reportedly gave away his Community Shield medal in protest at being snubbed by manager Roberto Mancini. The 31-year-old was not picked for the victory over Chelsea and, as a consequence, was not overly appreciative of his silverware. The Ivorian centre-back exchanged angry words with Mancini after giving the medal [.

GIF It: Chelsea’s Eden Hazard shows off £32m worth of skill against Man City

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Chelsea's new £32 million signing Eden Hazard showed that even that sort of money doesn't buy you the perfect footballer. The Belgian attempted a spot of showboating in today's Community Shield clash with Manchester City. But it didn't quite go to plan...


Manchester City agree to sign Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell

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Manchester City have had a bid for Jack Rodwell accepted by Everton. The fee is undisclosed, but believed to be in the region of £15million. The 21-year-old England international will undergo a medical today as his prospective new team-mates take on Chelsea in the Community shield. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said: "We consider Jack [.

Venky’s finally threaten to sack Blackburn boss Steve Kean

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The Blackburn fans' 'Kean Out' campaign has been relentless over the last few months, including flying the message over Ewood Park and displaying banners at the London 2012 Olympics. And yet the under-fire manager has seemed untouchable as far as the club's owners were concerned... until now. After more than a season of poor football [.

Video: Luisao knocks out the referee in pre-season friendly (Benfica v Fortuna Dusseldorf)

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Benfica's pre-season friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf was abandoned this afternoon after the referee appeared to be knocked unconscious by Luisao. The Brazilian centre-back clashed with referee Christian Fischer as he and his team-mates protested with him. The ref was about to show a second yellow card to Javi Garcia.

Wembley FC begin their FA Cup journey

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You will have heard of the name, but many people may not realise that non-league club Wembley FC are actually backed by lager giants Budweiser. The American company has donated large funds and signed former players such as David Seaman, Graeme Le Saux, Martin Keown, Ray Parlour and Claudio Caniggia. The promotion is linked to [.

Rangers start season in the Third Division – manage to lose first game

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When Rangers were relegated to the Third Division after their financial armageddon, two things immediately became clear. Firstly Celtic were nailed on to win the Premier League, and Rangers the same to win the Third Division. Whilst both might still happen, Rangers began their season with a huge shock at Balmoor in Peterhead, a ground [.

Who Are Ya? Alou Diarra (West Ham)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Alou Diarra Age: 31 Position: Midfielder Signed from: Marseille Fee: Undisclosed (rumoured £2 million). Did you know? His brother Idrissa runs a French social networking site that aims to help amateur footballers to find clubs. What's the deal?

Real Madrid play American Football with the Philadelphia Eagles

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Real Madrid got some guidance from the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday as they tried their hands at American football. Sergio Ramos seemingly fancied himself as a bit of a quarterback, but most of the players stuck to a more familiar skill-set by kicking field goals. Ramos, Alonso, Gonzalo Higuain, Esteban Granero and Alvaro Arbeloa all then [.

Stoke City’s Michael Kightly says he was depressed at Wolves

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New Stoke signing Michael Kightly has gone public to talk about the depression he experienced while at former club Wolves. The 26-year-old winger says he became depressed while recovering from injuries that ruled him out for 15 months of the last two-and-a-half years. He told BBC Stoke: "I was low, to be honest.

‘Do Are Ya? Newcastle’s Nile Ranger sports the ‘crackhead chic’ leak

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Newcastle youngster Sammy Ameobi has taken to Twitter to share this photo of his team-mate Nile Ranger showing off his new look. Ameobi described Ranger as a "monstrosity". With his wild hair, crazy smile, gold tooth and assortment of tattoos he does look a bit like an extra from The Wire. Image: Twitter/Sammy_Ameobi


Tottenham’s Jake Livermore and Steven Caulker, Manchester United’s Michael Carrick and Chelsea’s Ryan Bertrand get surprise England call-ups

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It's official: playing for Stuart Pearce's Great Britain Olympics squad works wonders for your England career. Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland, Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand, Tottenham's Steven Caulker, Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge are the Olympians who now find themselves at the disposal of Roy Hodgson for England's friendly against Italy next [.

Irish gold medal boxer Katie Taylor linked with Arsenal Ladies move

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Katie Taylor did the nation of Ireland proud with her gold medallist performance in the London Olympics, and in truth no-one really came close to beating her. But she could be in for a change of career? Taylor used to be a football player and made 15 appearances for the Republic of Ireland women's football [.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte receives ten-month match-fixing ban

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Juventus manager Antonio Conte has been given a ten-month ban from football for failing to report match-fixing whilst in charge of former club Siena, in a move that will shock the Italian champions. Despite denying the allegations in May of this year, Conte entered a plea bargain that would have resulted in a three-month ban [.

Liverpool owner John W Henry considers selling Anfield naming rights

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How to lose friends and alienate people in football? Sell up stadium naming rights that's what. In a move worryingly reminiscent of Mike Ashley's bid to squeeze every possible profitable pound out of Newcastle United, Liverpool owner John W Henry has admitted to considering selling Anfield's naming rights.

Video: Liverpool striker Fabio Borini scores on Anfield debut

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Liverpool's new signing Fabio Borini scored in his first game at Anfield as the Reds eased past Belarusian minnows FC Gomel. Borini scored the opening goal in a 3-0 victory in their Europa League clash, giving them a 4-0 win on aggregate. He then delivered his trademark knife-in-mouth goal celebration.

Fiorentina keeper Emiliano Viviano wants goal disallowed after howler because he’s injured

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Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano went to some lengths to excuse his clanger in a pre-season friendly against Galatasaray. The hapless keeper let Umut Bulut's fairly harmless effort bounce off his hands and into the net after failing to get his body behind the shot. He immediately began waving his hands at the referee to suggest [.

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger gets ‘YNWA’ knuckle tattoo, immediately linked with transfer

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Daniel Agger is set to be faced with the footballing equivalent of being stuck with his ex's name tattooed on him if today's gossip columns are to be believed. The Danish defender has returned to Liverpool training sporting a 'YNWA' tattoo across his knuckles in honour of the Reds' You'll Never Walk Alone anthem.

Finnish band release musical tribute to Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia

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A Finnish band has released a song paying homage to Sami Hyypia. The Left Foot Company have honoured the defender in their track Big Sam (The Great Defender). The band includes songwriter Jari Haapala, who coached a 17-year-old Hyypia in his hometown of Kuusankoski. Haapala's lyrics trace the difficulty of making it from the frozen [.

Tony Hibbert scores, Everton fans riot

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Everton stalwart Tony Hibbert has played more than 300 games for the club, but has never scored a goal. The right-back's legendary goal-shyness led to chants and banners of "If Hibbert Scores, We Riot" around Goodison Park for the last few seasons. But Hibbert finally broke his duck as he prepared to start his 13th [.

Video: Ashley Young’s penalty taking hasn’t improved (Barcelona vs Manchester United)

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Any paranoid England fans who thought that Ashley Young was saving his best penalties for Manchester United duty can throw away their conspiracy theories. After missing a spot-kick in England's shootout defeat to Italy at Euro 2012, Young missed again last night as United's pre-season clash with Barcelona went to penalties.

BBC pundit Garth Crooks can’t count, gives Brazil an extra man

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Some football pundits make the occasional slip of the tongue, some make more mistakes a greasy-fingered goalkeeper, and then there's Garth Crooks. You can't fault the former Stoke and Spurs man for effort with his attempts at analysing the beautiful game, but he is prone to amaze with the odd broadcasting faux pas.

Alex Song vs Andre Santos Arsenal penalty shoot-out

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When your club hasn't won a trophy for seven seasons, as a squad you could be excused for feeling the pressure going into the new campaign. But that certainly isn't the case at Arsenal despite the barren run of silverware, as Gunners defender Andre Santos and midfielder Alex Song enjoyed a relaxed game of penalties [.

It’s getting silly now – England move up to third in FIFA rankings

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We are aware that it uses an intricate formula and is based on past performance as well as recent games and tournaments, but the FIFA ranking really is getting rather silly now. England have moved up to third in the world ranking this morning, above nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Holland and.... well every country [.

Playford FC – The naked Sunday League team

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When Suffolk Sunday League side Playford FC were struggling to afford a new kit for the forthcoming season without a sponsor, they mulled over the normal options of raffles, jumble sales or a car boot on the pitch, but have turned down all three in favour of releasing a video of them playing the game [.

Official: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s team-mates DO get sick of being beaten up by him

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Strength is one of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's biggest, well, strengths. It's not something he can turn off and on just because he's playing against his team-mates. Take one of his first training sessions at new club PSG, for example. On that occasion he injured a mere three of his colleagues. And now former AC Milan team-mate [.

Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta: ‘Manchester United will force us to be at our best’

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Barcelona star Andres Iniesta says Manchester United will bring out the very best in his side when the two teams meet in Gothenburg tonight. But the midfield maestro is only interested in how United can help Barca get back to their very high standards ahead of their return to competitive action. He said: "This club [.

Rapper Drake namechecks Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli on new track

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Drake, preferred rapper of most Premier League players, has given something back to one of his many multi-millionaire fans by name-checking Mario Balotelli on his new track. Enough Said by the late Aaliyah feat. Drake features a reference to the real-life encounter between the Canadian hip-hop star and the Manchester City striker after one of [.

Death to the “long-term contract”

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The two biggest stories of the day in the world of football have both involved the inking of a particularly irksome new footballing cliche: the "long-term contract". Over the last year or two, the "long-term contract" has become a favoured piece of paperwork among the Premier League elite. Today both Santi Cazorla, signing for Arsenal, [.

Liverpool’s official TV channel accidentally break news that Luis Suarez has signed a new deal

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Hard Tackle: US women’s national team grope each other to celebrate victory over Canada

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USA booked a place in the Olympic women's football final last night with a 4-3 extra-time win over Canada. With excitement running high among the US squad, TV viewers witnessed the most boob-groping and bum-squeezing seen on a pitch since a matchball was lost somewhere in Neville Southall's fat-rolls during a 1993 pre-season friendly and [.

Santi Cazorla wearing an Arsenal shirt

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New Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla has donned an Arsenal shirt for the first time. He wore the Gunners' away kit while holding the new home kit as he completed his transfer from Malaga. It's name only for now though, since the Spain international has not yet been given a squad number.


Top five clubs that Michael Owen should join

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1. Everton They need bodies up front and he seemingly enjoys pissing off Liverpool fans, so after moving to Manchester United what better way to seal the deal by moving to Everton. Plus, he'd be able to choose between Chester, Haydock and Aintree for his Saturday afternoon sports watching. 2. Stoke City It would be [.

Cockerel-killing Hajduk Split fan comes clean over Tottenham animal cruelty

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A Croatian football fan has solved one of football folklore's greatest mysteries by revealed that it was he who killed a live rooster on the pitch ahead of a Tottenham Hotspur match. The bizarre incident happened ahead of a UEFA Cup semi-final against Hajduk Split in 1984. The Croatian side were fined 3,000 Swiss francs [.

Who Are Ya? Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Santiago Cazorla González Age: 27 Position: Midfielder Signed from: Malaga Fee: Undisclosed (rumoured £15m) Did you know? Santi Cazorla was known to his team-mates at former club Villarreal as 'our Ronaldinho'. Apparently the Spaniard was compared to the Brazilian superstar of the time, because of [.

Video: USA 4-3 Canada – Alex Morgan scores late extra-time winner

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USA women star Alex Morgan gave her side a last-gasp winner against Canada after an end-to-end Olympic semi-final encounter. Morgan's 122nd minute header booked USA's place in the final where they will face Japan. Canada striker Christine Sinclair bagged a hat-trick, but her side ultimately fell short as goals from Megan Rapinoe (two), Abby Wambach [.

Video: USA 4-3 Canada – Alex Morgan scores late extra-time winner

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USA women star Alex Morgan gave her side a last-gasp winner against Canada after an end-to-end Olympic semi-final encounter. Morgan's 122nd minute header booked USA's place in the final where they will face Japan. Canada striker Christine Sinclair bagged a hat-trick, but her side ultimately fell short as goals from Megan Rapinoe (two), Abby Wambach [.

Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt wants Manchester United trial

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London 2012 sprint champion Usain Bolt has dropped some not-so-subtle hints that he'd like a trial at Manchester United. The Jamaican has been sidling up to United for a long time. As long ago as 2009 he visited their training ground. But he's now stepped it a gear by pretty much begging Sir Alex Ferguson [.

West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison has seven teeth removed

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Ravel Morrison has left West Ham for a season-long loan at Birmingham but not before a trip to the dentist that was nearly as long. The former Manchester United had to be flown home from the Hammers' pre-season training camp in Germany to have seven teeth removed. Morrison was set to be fined for [.

Chelsea captain John Terry’s words to opposing player caught on camera again – considerably less controversial than the last time

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Whatever the real meaning behind John Terry's abusive words to Anton Ferdinand last October, we can all agree that the Chelsea captain's verbal salvos towards opposition players are usually somewhat antagonistic to say the least. In a refreshing twist on that consistently fulfilled caricature, the England international was caught on camera (and indeed on mic) [.

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho angered at David Beckam’s absence from Olympics football

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It was all going so well for Team GB and Stuart Pearce in the football Olympics. With the seemingly inevitable shot at glory around the corner a chance to upset the Brazilians in the semi-final there was a real possibility that the David Beckham selection saga may have had a metaphorical pillow firmly [.

Video: Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira shows that scoring a goal isn’t always a great feeling

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Well, either that or he's showing off his new 'clutch your face' goal celebration. Khedira inadvertently found the net for Real Madrid in their match against Santos Laguna when the keeper palmed the ball straight into his face and it deflected into the net. Come the Champions League knockout stages, the Germany international would probably [.

Ashley Cole’s Chelsea contract negotiation maintains his popularity with Arsenal fans

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When rumours surfaced that Ashley Cole had stalled over negotiations for a new contract at Chelsea, many were quick to claim that the defender's demands for a huge pay increase were to blame. Arsenal fans in particular will have shook their heads knowingly, after Cole stated in his autobiography that he almost crashed his car [.

Kendal Town FC sign stupid sponsorship deal forcing players to wear fake beards

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Kendal Town FC have signed possibly the weirdest sponsorship deal, with American firm Rosetta. Rosetta make a product called the 'Beard Beardie', a woolly hat that includes a fake beard to keep the face warm. And they look ridiculous. The Beard Beanies seem like an April Fools joke product, but apparently they have had huge [.

Rapid Vienna goalkeeper concedes goal after hearing fake whistle

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The Europa League qualifiers provide an opportunity for some of Europe's lesser lights to qualify for the group stage to play against teams potentially including Spurs and Inter Milan. Serbian side Vojvodina certainly made the most of the opportunity with a 2-1 victory over Rapid Vienna, but their late winner owed a great deal to [.

Miracle Man: Fabrice Muamba plays football for the first time since his life-threatening collapse

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A57rFm8L04 With his heart stopping for more than an hour as paramedics fought for his life last March, it seemed an impossibility that Fabrice Muamba would rise again to walk, let alone kick a football. Fantastically, that very development has taken place the Bolton defender has played the game for the first time since [.

‘Kean Out’ banner appears at the London 2012 Olympics, Blackburn Rovers protests know no bounds

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After spending the whole of last season demanding the dismissal of their manager, you would think Blackburn fans would take a breather over the summer to recharge their batteries for the forthcoming onslaught come mid-August. But no, another protest has popped up, and at the London Olympics no less. Despite the Spain v Honduras match [.

Sergio Ramos thrashes Kaka in 50m swim-off

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Spain are used to having things there own way in footballing terms, so when the Olympic team got knocked out of the football tournament, Sergio Ramos decided to teach Brazilian Kaka a thing or two, presumably frustrated that Brazil are favourites to win the gold that would have completed the set for Spain.

Who Are Ya? Ivan Ramis (Wigan)

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Your whistle-stop guide to the latest Premier League arrivals Name: Ivan Ramis Age: 27 Position: Centre-back Signed from: Real Mallorca Fee: £4 million Did you know? It's reportedly Big Sam Allardyce's lack of linguistics that secured this deal. Ramis doesn't speak English and was persuaded to opt for the DW Stadium by fellow Spaniard Roberto [.

Wolves boss compares Steven Fletcher to Lionel Messi

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Wolves striker Steven Fletcher seems to be on his way to the Premier League, with a move to Sunderland looking increasingly likely. But whilst Fletcher has been important for Wolves since his move from Burnley, comparisons to the greatest player in the world seem a little steep. Wolves' new manager Stale Solbakken ploughed on with [.

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez rightly annoyed by anthem booing, shows shocking lack of self-awareness

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Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was quite rightly disappointed at booing during Uruguay's national anthem. But he's got completely the wrong end of the stick when it comes to guessing why he was booed. The Uruguayan anthem was interrupted ahead of last night's Olympic match against Great Britain when Suarez's image flashed up on the big [.

Chelsea’s John Terry picks up his second Olympic gold

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After rowing to victory for his first Olympic gold, Chelsea captain John Terry is celebrating again after his incredible cycling success alongside John Terry. No need for shin pads on this occasion, but you do have make some sort of effort... Top image via 101GG


Top five insane Roberto Carlos goals

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Brazil legend Roberto Carlos has announced he's hanging up his boots. OTP wishes him all the best for the future and celebrates five of his craziest goals. 1. That free-kick vs France The ultimate bendy free-kick and one of the most talked about goals ever to be scored in a meaningless friendly tournament.

Neymar misses an absolute sitter for Brazil. Cursed by British boy?

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Brazilian sensation Neymar is quite possibly the biggest football name at the London 2012 Olympics. Given his flamboyant flicks and eye-catching invention with the ball, it's easy to see why the world's biggest clubs are buzzing around him like a bee over spilt Tango. The stick-thin prodigy failed to add to his endless showreel of [.

Neymar misses an absolute sitter for Brazil. Cursed by British boy?

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Brazilian sensation Neymar is quite possibly the biggest football name at the London 2012 Olympics. Given his flamboyant flicks and eye-catching invention with the ball, it's easy to see why the world's biggest clubs are buzzing around him like a bee over spilt Tango. The stick-thin prodigy failed to add to his endless showreel of [.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli wants to be a UFC fighter

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We all have boyhood dreams that unfortunately never come into fruition. Mario Balotelli is no different. According to Super Mario, it was once his wish to take part in the Ultimate Fighting Championship sadly he had to settle for the humdrum life of a multi-millionaire Premier League footballer. The revelation came from the Manchester City forward [.

Liam Gallagher compares Manchester United star Wayne Rooney to a Weetabix sprinkled balloon

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Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has hit out at Wayne Rooney's hair transplant saying the Manchester United man looks like a balloon with Weetabix crushed on it. The Beady Eye singer and Manchester City fan reckons Rooney would have been better shaving the little hair he had left than going under the knife to [.

Portsmouth FC’s official website reveals a 2012/2013 squad of just five players

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It would be funny if it didn't make for such desperate viewing. The above image from Portsmouth FC's official website isn't a playful spin-off of the Guess Who board game, but in fact the entire contents of Pompey's first team. The League One outfit has haemorrhaged players this summer after accepting that the club can only [.

Football Lookalikes: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho chances his arm at Olympic handball coaching

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Speculation that Jose Mourinho is getting itchy feet in La Liga gained more substance last night when he seemingly popped on our television screens masquerading as a handball coach for the Croatia women's team. Sporting the familiar silver fox crew cut and an expression of pure disdain for life, we were almost duped in to [.

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll struck down by the world’s least convincing injury

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Andy Carroll has been left out of Liverpool's squad for tonight's Europa League clash FC Gomel with a slight groin strain. OTP would like to stick its neck out and suggest that the strain is so slight as to be non-existent. The England striker is being widely linked with a move away from Anfield this [.

Chelsea captain John Terry celebrates Olympic gold

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Great Britain secured their first gold medal at London 2012 today thanks to Helen Glover and Heather Stanning's triumph in the women's pair rowing event. The automatic response of the internet? John Terry celebration Photoshop work, of course.


Kitman: Recreativo Huelva’s new ‘novel’ kit angers fans

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Recreativo Huelva, Spain's oldest club, have angered their fans by choosing a new away kit that looks like something that Minnie Mouse would be happy to wear to a party. The shirt is described as red with 'white moons', and has been mocked by rival fans, and although fans did organise a protest, it is [.

Tottenham’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scores spectacular winner against New York Red Bulls

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Spurs' new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson showed that he hasn't left his shooting boots at the Liberty Stadium after finding the net against New York Red Bulls last night. The Iceland international scored a series of spectacular goals while on loan at Swansea last season... and that trend looks set to continue at White Hart Lane [.