International football


Friendly: Jamie Vardy Fires England To Victory v Turkey, But No Party For Unconvincing Three Lions (Photos & Highlights)

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A late strike from Jamie Vardy secured a 2-1 win for England against Turkey at the Etihad on Sunday evening. However, Roy Hodgson's side were somewhat lucky to win the game, with the Three Lions' backline looking shaky throughout.

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Harry Kane, starting up front alongside Vardy and Raheem Sterling in a 4-3-3 formation, opened the scoring after just three minutes following good link-up play with club team-mate Dele Alli.

On This Day In 1959: England Legend Billy Wright Becomes The First Player To Win 100 Caps For His Country

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The first player in world football to make 100 appearances for his country was England's Billy Wright, and he achieved the feat on 11th April 1959 when he appeared in a 1-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.

Shropshire-born Wright captained Wolverhampton Wanderers during the club's glory years, leading the old gold to three league titles in 1954, 1958 and 1959, and an FA Cup in 1949.

Shrewd: Harry Redknapp Backs Leicester Captain Wes Morgan (25 Caps For Jamaica) For An England Call-Up

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Proving that actual insight and knowledge stand forlittle in the flatulent world of the Proper Football Man™, noted sage Harry Redknapp went and dropped a rather embarrassingclanger in his latest Telegraph column.

Singing the praises of one of Leicester City's many unsung heroes, our 'Arry fawned over Wes Morgan's heroics in the middle of the Foxes' defence, even going so far as to question why he hadn't received a nod from the England top brass yet.

On This Day In 2001: England Field Seven Manchester United Players To Equal 70-Year-Old Record (Video)

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When England played Albania in a World Cup qualifier in the Albanian capital of Tirana on 28th March 2001, five of the starting line-up were provided byjust one club – Manchester United.

Gary Neville, Andy Cole, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Paul Scholes all began the game and, when they were joined by second half subs Wes Brown and Teddy Sheringham, the seven United players on the pitch meant the club equalled an international record that had stood for almost 70 years.

Harry Kane Pulls Off Timely Cruyff Turn As England Secure 3-2 Comeback Win Against Germany (Video)

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Unsurprisingly, a lot of the English press are getting a little bit carried away with England's 3-2 win in Berlin on Saturday night. However, the victory did showcase the talents of the Three Lions' new generation of stars, with Harry Kane netting a superb goal for the visitors, via a rather timely 'Cruyff turn'.

On This Day In 2007: England Under-21s Christen New Wembley Stadium With 3-3 Draw Against Italy – But Where Are They Now?

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On 24th March 2007, the new Wembley Stadium finally hosted its very first game after years of delays and set-backs.

The inaugural contest was an Under-21 friendly between England and Italy and a crowd of 55,700 sidled into the cavernous stadium to watch.

England's starting XI on that fateful day consisted of Lee Camp, Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Anton Ferdinand,Liam Rosenior,Kieran Richardson,Nigel Reo-Coker (c), Gabby Agbonlahor,David Bentley,Wayne Routledge and Leroy Litaup top.

Ryan Shawcross Reveals His Family Still Taunt Him About Being Torn Asunder By Zlatan Ibrahimovic On England Debut

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Photo: Press Association

Ryan Shawcross has revealed that his family still taunt him after the Stoke City defender saw his England debut in 2012 well and truly ruined by one man.

That man was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored four goals in a landslide 4-2 friendly victory for Sweden in Stockholm.

Latest Leaked Images Of England’s Euro 2016 Home & Away Kits Look Incredibly Naff (Photos)

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As can be seen above, the last time we checked it looked as though England's kit for Euro 2016 were shaping up to be a svelte affair with a leaked mock-up showing a clean, crisp white shirt witha delicate smattering of sky blue detailing on the sleeves.

It was something a little bit different and we kind of liked it.

Retro Football Puzzler: Name The Missing Men In England’s 1966 Pre-World Cup Friendly Against West Germany

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England's World Cup squad and staff pose together outside the National Recreation Centre at Lilleshall, June 1966

Five months before England won the World Cup against West Germany at Wembley, the two teams first played each other in a dry-run friendly at the same stadium on 23rd February 1966.

On This Day In 1987: ‘Relentless’ Gary Lineker Scores Four As England Trounce Spain In The Bernabeu (Photos & Video)

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One evening in Madrid, almost exactly 29 years ago, Gary Lineker inspired England to a stunning 4-2 win over Spain at the Bernabeu.

Lineker finished his evening's work with less than an hour on the clock. In fact, all four goals came in a frenzied 33-minute burst, two before half-time and two after the restart.

England Stars Certainly Look The Part As Dashing New M&S Suits For Euro 2016 Unveiled (Photos)

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Photo: England/M&S

Whereas the actual kit is still as the 'leaked photos in the back room of a Chinese factory' stage, England have at least been furnished with the team suits they will be gadding about in at Euro 2016 this coming summer.

Supplied by your nan's favourites, Marks & Spencer, the deep blue whistle is most certainly a dashing three-piece affair, which will be accompanied by a matching team tie and black leather shoes for good measure.

On This Day In 1998: Michael Owen Of England Joins Ranks Of Youngest International Debutants (Video)

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It's Wembley, it's the 11th February 1998, England are playing Chile in a friendly and, look, there's spotty little Michael Owen making history.

At 18 years and 59 days old, the nippy Liverpool striker became the youngest player to represent England in the 20th century.

He didn't score that night (Chile won 2-0 with Marcelo Salas scoring twice, starting with a belter of an opening goal) but Owen did go on to bag 40 goals in 89 international appearances for the Three Lions.

On This Day In 1920: England’s One And Only World Cup-Winning Manager Is Born

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On this very day in 1920, Alfred Earnest Ramsey was born in Dagenham, then a rural village 10 miles east of Central London.

Ramsey later reminisced that he "lived for the open air from the moment I could toddle", and so it's perhaps fitting that it was out in the open air that he not only made his name and living, but also left a peerless and indelible impression on the English sporting landscape.


Official: Jose Mourinho Offered Syria National Team Manager’s Job

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Sat twiddling his thumbs since December, Jose Mourinho recently took the time to assure us that he'll be back in management come July.

Many took this as a hint that the big bloody teasewas and is angling for the Manchester United job, though Louis van Gaal seems to be firmly entrenched for now.

Harry Redknapp Gives Bewildered Interview After Guiding Jordan To 8-0 Win In First Game In Charge (Video)

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With his fly-by-night advisory role at Derby County on the back burner for the duration of the international break, Harry Redknapp is filling his time by taking charge of the Jordan national side fortwo count 'em, two World Cup qualifiers.

'Arry's reign got off to a flyer today with an 8-0 barrelling of Bangladesh, strikerHamza Al-Dardour scoring a hat-trick in the process.

‘Basically, No Mourinho’ – Kazakhstan Football Federation Ask Fans To Vote Online For New National Team Coach

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Kazakhstan's long wait to qualify for their firstmajor international tournament is going to go onfor a least another year after they managed to win just one of their ten Euro 2016qualifiers by signing off their campaign with a 1-0 dead rubber win over Latvia.

Prior to saidLatvia victory, The Hawks had won just two of their previous 20 games both being friendlies against fellow central Asian footballing super powersTajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.


Gluteus Maximus: The Goal That Secured Denmark’s European Under-17 Championship Qualification Was A Real Treat (Video)

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Denmark's younglings secured themselves a place at the European Under-17 Championship in Azerbaijan thiscoming May with a 2-1 win over Switzerland yesterday, with the goal that clinched it or should that be 'clenched' it being an absolute joy to behold.

Claus Jakobsen was the man to apply the finishing touch, skilfully using his buttocks to guide aclearance deftly over the Swiss goalkeeper's head and into the back of the net.

FAIL: Syria Accidentally Kick-Start Japan Rout By Notching Fantastic Own-Goal To Open Scoring (Video)

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Japan well and truly trounced Syria on Tuesday evening, sticking five unanswered goals past their opponents on the nighttofinish top of their World Cup qualifying group.

Alate three-goal salvo saw Japan round out the scoring in the last six minutes, but it was their 17th-minute opener that grabbed Pies' eye.

West Ham’s Dimitri Payet Nets Another Cracking Free-Kick As France Beat Russia 4-2 (Video)

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One of this season's undoubted stars, Dimitri Payet has blossomed with West Ham after a summer move from Marseille, helping the Hammers climb all the way into the Premier League's top five. The playmaker has netted a number of fine free-kick goals already this season and onWednesday night, he bagged a cracker for the French national side against Russia.

Bump N’ Grind: Cristiano Ronaldo And His Pelvic Thrusts Make Everybody Uncomfortable During Portugal Training (Video)

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As proudly posted on Instagram by the man himself, here's Cristiano Ronaldowithhis piston-likepelvis and his satin-finish thighs making precisely everybody uncomfortable during Portugal's training session...


A video posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Mar 28, 2016 at 12:04pm PDT

Seduction, thine have a new name.

Forever In The Limelight: Lionel Messi Called Up On Stage In Buenos Aires Theatre, Lauded By Cast And Audience (Video)

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Whilst on international duty with Argentina at the weekend, Lionel Messi once again found himself in the spotlight, this time at the Apollo theatre. Thepint-sized genius was in the audience for the 'The Other Side of the Bed' play when the lead actor (and Messi's mate)Nicolas Vasquez hauled him up on stage at the end.

Netherlands v France Friendly Paused In Touching 14th Minute Tribute To Johan Cruyff (Video)

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The amount of words written over the past few days about the passing of Johan Cruyff highlights just what an important figure the Dutch master was in the history of the game.

On Friday night at the Amsterdam Arena, it was the turn of both players and fans to show their appreciation for the great man with a touching pause on 14 minutes for a round of applause.

Veteran Spanish Boss Vicente Del Bosque Knocked To Ground After Accidental Clash With Linesman (Video)

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Thursday night saw two of the games giants, Italy and Spain, go head to head in Udine as the busy schedule ofinternational friendlies kicks in. The game ended 1-1, courtesy of goals from Azzurri wingerLorenzo Insigne and Spain strikerAritz Aduriz.

However, the clash also saw veteran World Cup winning boss Vicente Del Bosque knocked to the ground after a hefty (accidental) knock from a linesman.

Retro Football: The Day Mick McCarthy Almost Scored A Freekick From The Halfway Line, 1990 (Video)

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Photos: Getty Images/Billy Stickland/Mark Leech

The year was 1990. Michael Boltonruled the pop charts, Texas Chainsaw Massacre IIIwas entertaining families at cinemas the world over and Maggie Thatcher endeared herself to a nation by introducing thePoll Tax. It truly was a fine old time to be alive.

Retro Football: First ‘Two-Man Penalty’ Routine Captured On Film, 25 Years Before Cruyff & Olsen (Video)

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Contrary to popular belief, the old 'tandem' penalty routine executed by Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez last night wasn't the creation of one Johan Cruyff and his partner in crime, Jesper Olsen.

Oh no, in fact it dates back way further than the Ajax pair. Indeed, it was spotted some 25 years before Cruyff & Olsen, and almost 60 years before Messi & Suarez came along.

EURO 2016

The BIG England Question: Would You Take John Terry To Euro 2016?

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He hasn't played for three-and-a-half years but the spectre of John Terry still looms over the England back-four, which has been in flux ever since the Chelsea stalwart bowed out of international football under a cloud in September of 2012.

Indeed, there has been call from some quarters today that hatchets should be buried and Terry be called back into the fold to bolster England's defensive ranks after the national side shipped rather too many goals against Germany and then the Netherlands over the most recent international fortnight.

UEFA: Whole Of Euro 2016 Could Be Played Behind Closed Doors If Terrorist Threat Exists

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UEFA have said that they will give very real consideration to playing the entirety of Euro 2016 behind closed doors if the terrorism threat in Europe continues to rise over the course of the next three months.

Giancarlo Abete, vice-president of the UEFA executive committee, told an Italian radio station that should security issues persist, UEFA are willing to take extreme precautions to minimise risk.

‘Together Stronger’ – Manic Street Preachers Confirm They Are Doing Wales’ Euro 2016 Song

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Photo: FA Wales/Instagram

Manic Street Preachers have confirmed that they are in the process of recording and releasing the official anthem to accompany Wales' Euro 2016 campaign.

The song is called 'Together Stronger (C'Mon Wales)', with the band confirming as much earlier this morning.

Reports: Gary Cahill At ‘Career Crossroads’, Mulling Chelsea Exit In Bid To Secure Euro 2016 Place

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The tittle-tattle emanating fromChelsea this afternoon is that Gary Cahill is seriously considering leaving the club in a bid to rescue his flagging chances of going to Euro 2016 with England.

Having made just 12 league appearances so far this season, the 30-year-old centre-back has found himself bumped down behind John Terry and Kurt Zouma in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and is reportedly mulling overthe possibility of moving on.


Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez Buys Two 3G Pitches For Children In Hometown Of Tocopilla

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Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has funded the building of two artificial football pitches in his hometown of Tocopilla. TheChilean forward left his home country a decade ago, moving initially to Italian side Udinese. However, the 27-year-old has never forgotten his roots, with these state of the art 3G pitches his latest philanthropic project.

Arsenal’s Mister Assister Mesut Özil Named Germany’s 2015 Player Of The Year

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Currently wowing the Premier League (and silencing the critics) with his silky skills, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Özil has been rewarded for his national team performances by picking up Germany's Player of the Year award for 2015.

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The award is voted for by fans of the national team, with Özil picking up 51,000 votes (45.


Romania Replace Squad Numbers With Maths Equations To Help Promote Childhood Numeracy (Photos)

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Photo: Romanian Football Federation (FRF)

Romania have replaced their usual squad numbers with various maths equations in a novel attempt to promote numeracy among Romanian kids.

The country has one of theworst rates of children dropping out of school in Europe, with 18% dropping out before completing their secondary education.

Hummel Produce New Afghanistan Kit That Comes Complete With Built-In Hijab (Photos)

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Photo: Hummel

Hummel have cooked up a batch of new kits for the Afghanistan international side, with the women's kit coming complete with its own built-in hijab.

The kits were launched on International Women's Day, with Hummel keen to point out that the female shirt comes with an intergrated base layer that allows Muslim players to be covered from head to toe while still playing in comfort.

World Cup

Daniele De Rossi Leaves 2006 World Cup-Winner’s Medal In Late Italy Kitman’s Coffin

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Sadly, Wednesday saw one of the Italian national team's most popular figures, Pietro Lombardi, laid to rest after the legendary Azzurri kitman passed away aged 92.

Lombardi, who wasknown as Spazzolino -'The Toothbrush' due to his rigorousboot-cleaning approach,served as kitman for many years and was an integral part of the back-room team at the 2006 World Cup, which Italy went on to win.

RIP Trifon Ivanov – Hairiest Member Of Bulgaria’s 94 World Cup Squad Dies Of Heart Attack, Aged 50

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Sad, sad news is reaching Pies this morning that Trifon Ivanov a man we simply presumed was immortal has passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 50.

As well as winning championships galore with CSKA Sofia, Ivanov was a member of the great Bulgarian 1994 World Cup squad, instantly recognisable by his wild mane of unkempt hair.

The Rest

Chaos: Nigeria Football Federation Upheaval See Dead Referee Appointed To Oversee League Match

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Thanks to sustained turmoil at boardlevel, Nigerian football is in a bit of a state at the moment.

Amaju Pinnick is still technically the FIFA-recognised president of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) even though a court recently ruled that he be replaced by Chris Giwa, the man who has been challenging his leadership since 2014.

Singapore ‘Keeper Hassan Sunny Assumed Surprise Inclusion On ‘World’s Top 20 Goalkeepers’ List Was An April Fool’s Joke

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Photo: Straits Times

The veteran Singaporean goalkeeper who found his way into the Daily Telegraph's rundown of the top 20 goalkeepers in world football has admitted that he assumed his inclusion on the list was an April Fool's Day joke.

The Telegraph named Hassan Sunny as the 18th best stopper currently active, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Manuel Neuer, Thibaut Courtois, Joe Hart, David De Gea, Petr Cech and Gigi Buffon.

Something Very Strange Happened At The Gibraltar vs Liechtenstein Game Last Night

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By Joseph Viney (@jjviney)

Gibraltar's national team, circa Oct 2015

For a lot of football fans international friendlies are more trouble than they're worth. They are cited as meaningless and present a disruption to the flow of a league season or, more importantly, people's Fantasy Football teams.

Ex-Man Utd ‘Keeper Edwin Van Der Sar To Come Out Of Retirement At The Grand Old Age Of 45

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Edwin van der Sar's last competitive appearance came for Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League Final.

His next will come in theHoofdklasse B the second tier of the Dutch amateur league.

At the grand old age of 45, Van der Sar has agreed to reverse his decision to retire on a special one-off basis in order to turn out for his boyhood club, VV Noordwijk.

Man City Youngster Bersant Celina, 19, Told To Lump It After ‘Demanding Place In Starting XI’ For Norway

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Manchester City's teenage winger Bersant Celina has committed his international future to Kosovo despite having represented Norway at at Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-21 level.

The youngster, who made hisPremier League debut against Leicester City last weekend,was born in Kosovo but moved to Norway with his family at the age of two, where he proceeded to make it through the national youth ranks.