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Messi wins Fifa Player of Year award

The 22-year-old forward, who also landed the European Footballer of the Year prize earlier this month, picked up the accolade after collecting four major titles with Barcelona - the Champions League, the Club World Cup, La Liga and the King's Cup.
"This finishes a magnificent year for Barcelona, my team mates and for me," said Messi after receiving the trophy from UEFA president and former France international Michel Platini.
The Argentine, who joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000, claimed 1,073 points in a poll of 147 national team coaches and captains.
Portugal and Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo, last year's winner, was a distant second with 352 points followed by Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi (196).
Messi was leading scorer in the 2008-09 Champions League, hitting nine goals including one in the 2-0 final win over Manchester United.
He also notched the extra-time winner in the 2-1 Club World Cup final victory over Estudiantes in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Messi's vote appeared to be entirely based on his club form as his performances for Argentina, under coach Diego Maradona, were largely disappointing.
Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup and their results this year included a 6-1 hammering in Bolivia and defeats by Paraguay and Ecuador.
Before the ceremony, Messi told reporters he could not explain why he failed to perform at the same level for his country.

"Slovenian Bozic Wins Sixth Stage "

Slovenian Borut Bozic landed the best stage victory of his career by winning the 176.8-km sixth leg of the Tour of Spain on Friday.The Vacansoleil rider crossed the finish line well clear of American Tyler Farrar and former race leader Daniele Bennati of Italy.The sprinters are dominating the overall standings with German Andre Greipel in first place, six seconds ahead of Belgian Tom Boonen and nine seconds in front of Bennati in third."This is a major breakthrough," Bozic told reporters. "The key to winning was being well positioned behind Farrar and Boonen and then accelerating away 250 metres from the line."Nobody expected me to start my move so far from the finish and I was able to take the biggest victory of my career."The 29-year-old Bozic said cycling in Slovenia was a minority sport, which made it tough to carve out his career path."I've only ever raced in smaller teams and that means you have to fight harder and win more in order to succeed," he said.

"Chelsea Ignored Warnings About Poaching Talent"

When Chelsea dangled its wealth and star players in front of him, Gael Kakuta did what any teenage footballing prodigy from a modest background might do: He lost his head. The contract he had signed with the French club that nurtured him from age 8 was cast aside. For that, Kakuta and Chelsea are now paying a very heavy price.''He cracked, as one would crack for a pretty woman,'' says Eric Assadourian, who coached the preciously talented and swift Kakuta before Chelsea snapped him up at age 16. ''He fell -- quote, unquote -- in love. It was a bolt of lightning.''''Meeting (Michael) Ballack, (Didier) Drogba and the others, it was his dream,'' adds Assadourian, referring to Chelsea's star-studded lineup. ''It was very tough to hold him back.''In punishing Chelsea for allegedly luring the youngster away from French side Lens, football's guardians at governing body FIFA are sending a powerful warning to the giants of the game in England and elsewhere that their wealth and clout doesn't give them license to do whatever they please.However harshly Chelsea feels it has been treated, the more important principle is that teams -- from the grass roots up -- must be adequately rewarded for the time and money they invest in rearing football's players of tomorrow. Lens, a modest first-division club in France's industrial north, spends richly on training young players and can't afford to see them simply walk out the door.

European Countries Focusing On World cup Finals

World champions Italy could lead a procession of as many as seven European countries into next year's World Cup in South Africa over the next few days.Netherlands are the only European side certain of a place in the finals and Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, Germany, Spain, England and Serbia are well placed to join them.All nine group winners qualify for the finals with the eight best runners-up entering the two-legged playoffs in November.But Italian coach Marcello Lippi, whose side visit bottom-placed Georgia Saturday and host Bulgaria in Turin next Wednesday in Group Eight, is taking nothing for granted

Barcelona Wins Champions League Final

With an incessant attack and a focus on possession, Barcelona defeated the defending champion, Manchester United, 2-0 to win the European Champions League title, Europe's most prestigious club soccer tournament. Samuel Eto'o drew first for Barcelona, scoring in the 10th minute off the left hand of Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, giving Barcelona the only goal it would need

Penguins Win the Stanley Cup


The Pittsburgh Penguins won their third Stanley Cup in franchise history, defeating the defending champion Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. The win avenged last year’s finals loss in six games to Detroit.

Knicks’ Long-Term Plans for 2010 Foil Free-Agent Signings


Donnie Walsh’s summer social calendar was scorched with ink. He feted Jason Kidd and Grant Hill. He chatted up Andre Miller and Ramon Sessions. Madison Square Garden was a virtual way station for wandering free agents.
But the Knicks’ checkbook never left his hip pocket, and Walsh, the team president, summed up his summer with three words: “Busy, but restricted.”It has been an awkward off-season for Walsh, whose short-term goals were repeatedly short-circuited by his long-term agenda. He is committed to clearing salary-cap space in 2010, making it difficult to sign players in 2009. He has yet to re-sign his own top free agents, David Lee and Nate Robinson (although that will probably happen soon).

Florida’s Star Yearns to Make a Difference


More than 9,000 miles and a world away from Florida’s campus, Uncle Dick’s, a home for 48 orphans, is the best place to gauge Tebow’s reach as a college star and what it is he wants to accomplish with the platform his athletic success has afforded him.Tebow has inspired the orphans personally — they easily break into Florida’s signature cheer, the Gator Chomp, despite not understanding football. One young boy is called Richard, after Tebow’s middle name.Tebow has also helped them financially. Some of the more than $300,000 Tebow has helped raise while at Florida has enabled the children to get their own beds, drink clean water and stock their shelves with groceries.“It’s such tangible things,” Tebow said. “Like getting a chain saw so they don’t have to cut down everything with an ax.”Tebow, 22, has a chance during his senior year at Florida to establish himself as one of the most accomplished and recognizable athletes in collegiate sports history. But when Tebow talks about the long-term future, his ultimate hope is that football will provide a way for him to run a charitable empire.

Dent Supplies Excitement on Day of Relative Order


Taylor Dent and Ivan Navarro, in a classic throwback of serve-and-volleyers that started in the late afternoon and ended in darkness, played one of the most dramatic and entertaining matches of this United States Open from the opening volley until the fifth-set tie breaker.After 4 hours 12 minutes, Dent’s comeback from back surgery continued apace as he ousted Navarro with a stirring 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (1), 7-5, 7-6 (9) victory.“I don’t know how it happened,” Dent said, “but it happened.”It happened, in part, with a barrage of volleys. There were 255 combined net approaches by the players, a staggering number in today’s world of baseline sluggers.As the drama mounted throughout the match, more and more fans converged on the Grandstand. Most of them cheered on Dent, who is returning to the Open for the first time since 2005 after three back surgeries shut him down for the last two years.Dent, who spent eight months in bed thinking about everything from religion to acquiring a real estate license, finally returned to the tour this year, albeit slowly.In the fifth-set tie breaker Navarro was serving for the match, but Dent hit a perfect backhand lob over Navarro that sat on the baseline. Then Dent appeared to have the match on his strings at 7-6, but he sent an easy forehand volley wide, causing him to scream a wicked invective at his misfortune as the crowd groaned.So the combatants battled on. Dent hit an ace up the middle to take a 10-9 lead and then hit an exquisite backhand return down the line as Navarro charged the net for the last time.Dent squatted down with his racket to his head and screamed a more joyous exclamation, before circling the court, slapping hands with fans and signing autographs for almost everyone who asked.For an encore, Dent will play Andy Murray in a third-round match that will generate a lot of attention.“I honestly don’t know how I’m going to fare against Andy,” Dent said. “But I will guarantee everybody this: If I lose, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, I’m going to die fighting for every point. My execution isn’t at the level I would like going into a match playing Andy Murray, so I’m going to make up for that with just pure grit and toughness.”In the last event of a long day Rafael Nadal avoided disaster by eliminating Nicolas Kiefer, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in a match that exposed some of Nadal’s rust after his three-month layoff because of tendinitis in his knees. Until he broke Kiefer’s serve at 4-3 in a 12-minute game in the third set, the outcome was in doubt. But as the match progressed, Nadal gathered strength and confidence and ultimately his talent and athleticism won out.For the first time in the Open era, the top 16 seeded men advanced to the third round in a major.Calm had returned to the proceedings after a day of upsets Thursday. Second-seeded Serena Williams all but stifled a yawn in treating her third-round match against María José Martínez Sánchez of Spain as a minor nuisance in a 6-3, 7-5 victory. No. 10 seed Flavia Pennetta needed 52 minutes to crush Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada, 6-1, 6-1, after Wozniak had routed No. 17 Amélie Mauresmo. And Daniela Hantuchova, No. 22, swatted away Vania King, 6-2, 6-2. King was trying to rekindle another day of undersize American magic a day after the 5-foot-6 Melanie Oudin rocked the Open by ousting the No. 4 seed, Elena Dementieva.When No. 2 men’s seed Andy Murray dropped a set to Paul Capdeville of Chile in their second-round match, it seemed like a big deal, but it turned into little more than a hiccup in his 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 7 men’s seed, kept his momentum going with a dominating 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, victory over Jarkko Nieminen in a triumph of power over a classic counter-puncher. And No. 6 Juan Martín del Potro suffered only a few wobbles in beating Jürgen Melzer of Austria, 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-3.Venus Williams, seeded third, defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-2, 7-5, to advance to the fourth round. The victory sets up an intriguing matchup: she will take on Kim Clijsters.“So exciting,” Williams said in a television interview. “She’s been playing so great.”Clijsters, who dismissed Kirsten Flipkens, 6-0, 6-2, on Friday, won the Open in 2005. Williams was the last women’s repeat champion, in 2000 and 2001.Williams, wearing bandages above and below her left knee to ease patellar tendinitis in the joint, committed 23 unforced errors in the first nine games of the second set before rallying.Clijsters had little problem defeating Flipkens, whom she has mentored in Belgium.In her previous match, Pennetta had been even more dominant, beating Sania Mirza without dropping a game. The only ripple on the women’s side was a minor upset, No. 8 Victoria Azarenka falling to No. 26 Francesca Schiavone, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. It wasn’t minor to Azarenka, who smashed her racket at the end of the match.The player no one wants to face is Pennetta, 27, who last month became the first Italian woman to crack the top 10. She won tournaments in Palermo, Italy, and Los Angeles, where she beat Maria Sharapova, to put herself on a roll.

Three Star eye glory in Sikkim

The Nabil Three Star Club will leave for Gangtok, Sikkim, next week to defend their Governor's Gold Cup title. Tipped as favourites to win it again, all eyes will be on the Nepali outfit whose lineup consists of several players from the national squad. “We have a challenging task ahead of us. But we have trained hard to live up to our expectations,” said coach Upendra Man Singh at Wednesday's practice session. Three Star won the title last year under Upendra’s coaching. Upendra is being accompanied by his former team-mate Bal Gopal, the assistant coach.“We have focused more on the fitness of the players in the first 10 days of our practice,” said Bal Gopal.Upendra and Bal Gopal share good on-field chemistry since their playing days with Three Star and in the national team. Now, the duo, who have established themselves as emerging youth coaches, face a challenging task to give Three Star their second title in the championship.“The players have got their forms back and are excited to compete in the championship. By next week, we hope to make them ready for the game,” the duo said.The championship, which enters its 31st edition, is the oldest and the most-reputed football event in Sikkim. Going by its history, Nepali clubs in recent years have been the highlight of the event, putting up quality performances against Indian clubs. “Most football lovers in Sikkim are fond of Nepali clubs and they often support Nepali outfits,” said Upendra recalling his experiences of the event held in Paljor Stadium.Three Star will play a friendly game against a club from Kakarbhitta before the tournament begins.

Kiwis record thrilling win

Jacob Oram took a hat-trick as New Zealand came from behind to shock Sri Lanka by three runs in a Twenty20 match on Wednesday.The tourists, restricted to 141-8, hit back to keep the World Twenty20 finalists down to 138-9 in a tense finish. Oram finished with 3-33 and skipper Daniel Vettori took 2-11 as Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 71 runs after Tillakaratne Dilshan’s brilliant 57 off 28 had lifted them to 67-2 in the seventh over.The tall all-rounder took a return catch off Angelo Mathews with the last ball of his third over, the 17th of the innings. He awas then called on to bowl the final over with Sri Lanka needing nine runs with three wickets in hand to surpass New Zealand’s 141-8. Oram dismissed Malinga Bandara and Nuwan Kulasekara off the first two deliveries, both to catches in the deep, and conceded just five runs in the over to clinch victory for the Kiwis. It was only the second hat-trick in Twenty20 internationals after Australian fast bowler Brett Lee’s three in three against Bangladesh in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. Ian Butler took 2-29 including the important wicket of Dilshan.New Zealand’s innings revolved around Ross Taylor’s 60 off 45 balls after Vettori won the toss and elected to bat on the slow wicket. Taylor hit five fours and a six in his third Twenty20 half-century, but the Kiwis lost five wickets for 19 runs after they had reached 117-3 in the 17th over. 2222

FIFA hit Chelsea with player transfer ban until 2011

Chelsea have been fined and hit with a ban on registering players until January 2011 by world football’s ruling body FIFA as punishment for their role in a contractual dispute.The sanction follows a decision by FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), which met on August 27 to rule on a contractual dispute opposing French club Lens to French player Gael Kakuta and Chelsea. The DRC found Kakuta guilty of breach of contract and also found Chelsea guilty of inducing the player to break his contract with the French club, which had lodged a claim with FIFA seeking compensation and demanding sporting sanctions both on the player and Chelsea.A statement from FIFA said the DRC “found that the player had indeed breached a contract signed with the French club”. “Equally, the DRC deemed it to be established that Chelsea induced the player to such a breach.” As well as paying 780,000 euros to Lens, for which Chelsea are jointly liable, Kakuta has been effectively banned from playing in official matches for four months.

Federer, Nadal march on

Venus Williams moved on, Rafael Nadal came back and Marat Safin said goodbye at the US Open on Wednesday.Her left knee heavily wrapped, the third-seeded Venus defeated fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-2, in a much easier match than she had two nights earlier against Russian Vera Dushevina.No 3 Nadal, whose sore knees kept him out of Wimbledon, returned to Grand Slam play with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win over Richard Gasquet, while Safin closed out his Grand Slam career, losing to Jurgen Melzer of Austria 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.Nadal conceded his top ranking to Roger Federer, whose bid for a sixth consecutive US Open championship — and third Grand Slam title in a row this year — progressed with a 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 victory over Simon Greul of Germany. Next for Federer is a matchup against two-time major winner Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, who defeated Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Federer has won 13 matches in a row against Hewitt, including in the 2004 US Open final.The defending women’s champion, Serena Williams, was spectacularly good in eliminating 51st-ranked Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-1, 6-1. While Williams and Nadal keep playing, Safin’s Grand Slam career is over.It ends with two Grand Slam titles, a smaller number than many experts thought possible when he broke through by beating Pete Sampras in the 2000 US Open final. He leaves behind a lot of good memories. He was a fiery, emotional player in a sport that doesn’t have many — a player who estimated has broken more than 300 rackets in his career and also got fined for pulling his pants down once during a French Open match.Also exiting was two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo, who fell 6-4, 6-0 to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada. Mauresmo recently turned 30 and is also thinking about retirement, though she won’t commit to a decision. “The thing I don’t want to do is make the decision to stop and then after two, six, eight months think, it was not quite the time yet,” Mauresmo said. “Because then it’s too hard, I would say, probably to make a comeback as Kim is making now, given the age.” Kim Clijsters, who came back to the US Open after a long break with an easy win on Monday, played her second round and defeated 14th-seeded Marion Bartoli of France 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. Other seeded winners were men’s No 6 Juan Martin del Potro, No13 Gael Monfils, No 18 David Ferrer, and No 24 Juan Carlos Ferrero and, and women’s No 7 Vera Zvonareva, No 8 Victoria Azarenka, No 18 Li Na, No 22 Daniela Hantuchova and No 26 Francesca Schiavone. N. 10 Flavia Pennetta also won 6-0, 6-0 over Sania Mirza of India — the first double-bagel of this year’s tournament

what a jump


BARCELONA:Club record signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late debut goal as Barcelona began their title defence with a 3-0 home win over Sporting Gijon on Monday.Birthday boy Bojan Krkic, who turned 19 three days ago, and Seydou Keita had put Barca 2-0 up at the interval before Ibrahimovic, a 69-million-euro capture from Inter Milan, netted his first goal for the club on 82 minutes. It was a largely disappointing debut from Ibrahimovic, who was upstaged by brilliant teenager Bojan, but the goal will certainly lift some of the immense pressure to prove he is the equal of departed hero Samuel Eto’o.Last season Barcelona lost 1-0 to Numancia on the opening day of the season but there was no slip-up this time around in a convincing win. After a marvellous pre-season in which they won the Spanish Super Cup and European Super Cup to make it five trophies in a year, Barcelona went into their first game on a high but missing some big names.Andres Iniesta failed to recover from injury and Lionel Messi was away on international duty with Argentina so several fringe players were given a chance to stake their claim. European Super Cup hero Pedro Rodriguez started the match in Messi’s right wing slot while Bojan played on the left of central striker Ibrahimovic.Sporting almost took a shock 10th minute lead with Brazilian debutant Maxwell, recruited from Inter Milan, preventing a certain goal with a last-ditch tackle. It is the type of quality defending Barca will expect from their new 25 million euro Ukrainian centre-half Dmytro Chygrynskiy who watched on from the stands.With 17 minutes gone the hosts opened the scoring from a corner with Keita’s header falling to Bojan to convert at the back post. Bojan showed quick feet to create a chance for himself on 40 minutes but his shot was deflected for a corner. But Gijon could not hold out and two minutes before the break Dani Alves curled in a brilliant cross for Mali international Keita to head home.In the opening stages of the second half Barca coach Pep Guardiola was forced to make a change with the injured Maxwell coming off for Eric Abidal. The reorganising defence were almost caught cold and Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes had to pull off a reflex save to deny Mate Bilic.Sporting were looking vulnerable at every corner and Keita hit the post with a 68th minute header. With eight minutes left Ibrahimovic got his debut goal smashing in after a cross from Alves to complete the scoring. The international break means the Spanish league resumes in a fortnight with Barcelona travelling to Getafe who won their first match 4-1 at Racing Santander. Posted by dinani at 3:17 AM 0 comments

HOW ! what a fly


Mat Rebeaud of Switzerland performed a one-man air show at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport. Rebeaud was at Freestyle Berlin, a three-day sports festival for motocross riders, skateboarders, skiers and snowboarders.

Depleted Delhi face Victorian challenge

Struggling with three pull-outs within one week, strong contenders Delhi Daredevils would seek to capitalise on the experience of legendary Australian paceman Glenn McGrath when they take on Victoria in their opening Champions League Twenty20 match here on Friday.Delhi have lost three overseas players - South African AB de Villers, England's Paul Collingwood and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand - in quick succession on the run-up to the cash-rich 12-team event.However, captain Gautam Gambhir was not a worried man before the campaign opener and exuded confidence about producing good results in the tournament."I can assure the supporters that the Delhi team would leave no stone unturned to put up a good performance in the tournament," Gambhir said.McGrath, who replaced Collingwood, and Australian paceman Dirk Nannes could forge a lethal pair, which has the ability to inflict early blows and break the backbone of opponent line-ups.In the absence of experienced Vettori, Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra would be a key member of Delhi's bowling armoury, while Rajat Bhatia's medium pace may help Delhi get some breakthroughs.

Dazzling Duminy stuns Royal Challengers

JP Duminy dazzled with the bat with a blistering unbeaten 99 to guide Cape Cobras to a five-wicket victory Royal Challengers Bangalore in the high-scoring opening Group C match of the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament here on Thursday.Not a single Bangalore bowler was saved from Duminy's pyrotechnics as the left-hander struck eight fours and five sixes in his scintillating 52-ball knock to power the South African side home with two balls to spare.Apart from Duminy, Henry Davids (27 off 21) and Ryan Canning (20 off 18) were the other notable scorers for Cobras.

David Beckham tops English football 'rich list'

David Beckham has been named as England's richest footballer, according to to FourFourTwo magazine's 'Rich List'.The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder enjoys a personal fortune of £125 million, dwarfing the wealth of his nearest rival, Michael Owen. Owen is reportedly worth £38 million.Owen's Manchester United colleague Wayne Rooney (£37m) comes next, with another two United stars, Rio Ferdinand (£30m) and Ryan Giggs (£24m), completing the top five.England boss Fabio Capello is the wealthiest manager, with a fortune of £30m. Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane (£27m) and Alex Ferguson (£22m) are second and third.As far as owners are concerned, Queens Park Rangers shareholder Lakshmi Mittal is the wealthiest man in English football. The steel magnate boasts a fortune reportedly worth £18.4 billion.

Luis Figo would love to see Lionel Messi at Inter

Luis Figo would like to see Lionel Messi desert Barcelona to sign for Inter.The Portuguese winger, who left Camp Nou for Real Madrid in 2000, thinks that the current Blaugrana hero is the best in the world and would thrive in Serie A.Messi has just penned a new long-term deal with Barca and has reiterated the debt he feels he owes the club, but Figo would like to see him leave and join Jose Mourinho's side."Lionel is the best of all, and this is unquestionable," he told Corriere dello Sport."His team play is now stronger than last year. My dream is to see Messi playing for Inter."

Hawaii Sport Fishing

If you're coming to experience Hawaii sport fishing, you have one heck of an adventure awaiting you! Anglers from all over the world journey to these deep blues waters teeming with trophy fish. This is where you come to get the big ones. In fact the biggest fish ever caught on rod and reel was a blue marlin caught just off Oahu, weighing in at a hefty 1805 lbs.! Hawaii is so legendary among sport fishing enthusiasts that several "big-game" tournaments are held here every year, including the granddaddy of them all, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, luring fishermen from all over the globe.Hawaii sport fishing is the home of big-game fish. Some of the species you'll encounter here are three types of marlin; blue, black and striped. It's entirely possible to hook yourself a "grander", meaning a monster fish weighing at least 1000 lbs.! Other top game fish include Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna), Ono (Wahoo), Mahimahi (Dolphin fish), and Skipjack Tuna. All of these babies can give you a reel-spinning run for your money, and an experience you'll not soon forget! In fact the tuna are among the fiercest, most tireless fighters of the bunch! Only the striped marlin is a sometimes resident, showing up only in winter. All of the others can be found year-round. Some of the best fishing spots you'll want to try would include Kona; long regarded as the best big-game fishing in the world. Oahu's North Shore is more famous for it's surfing, but it's just under the surface here where the real action begins! Actually, there's pretty much not a bad place for Hawaii sport fishing: some are just more excellent than others!Booking your Hawaii sport fishing adventure is easy. There are literally hundreds of charter fishing boats operating here, offering you a ton of choices. Some things to keep in mind would be to consider how long you'll want to be out. Most offer half or full day trips, but also know that of you want the best chance at hooking a big-game fish, a longer trip may be called for to give yourself time to get to the best fishing grounds and keep your line in the water awhile. No experience or fishing license is required, and should you hook a trophy fish, taxidermy can be arranged. Come and experience Hawaii sport fishing and come home with a little something for that bare wall!

Russia launches bid to host 2018 World Cup

Russia on Friday launched its bid for the right to host either the 2018 or the 2022 football World Cup.Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who also presides the Russian Football Union (RFU), said that the bid was based on developing the football infrastructure in 14 candidate cities."If and when FIFA approve our bid we will choose 12 host cities where the new stadiums will be built," Mutko said."I believe Russia is capable of hosting the football World Cup at the best possible level."The minister however refused to disclose the budget of the Russian plans of hosting the event saying that RFU should work out and present a convincing bid to the world's ruling football body FIFA ahead of calculating the expenses.He said that Russia and FIFA should sign the bid agreement on December 11, 2009 at the latest, adding that the successful bidders for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would be announced in December 2010."We are bidding to host both events but the 2018 World Cup is our top priority," Mutko said."And I believe that the country, which is bidding to host the World Cup for the first time, should have a certain advantage over their rivals."FIFA chief Sepp Blatter is expected to visit Russia next week to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ensure that the Russian bid will receive full givernmental support and inspect the country's existing football faciliites and infrastructure.Earlier this year FIFA invited countries to express interest in hosting the World Cup in either or both 2018 and 2022 and received 11 bids.Australia, China, England, Indonesia, Mexico, Qatar, Japan, the United States and Spain were also among the countries that expressed their interest in bidding for the World Cup before Mexico announced their decision to withdraw from the race.Belgium and the Netherlands were considering a joint bid.FIFA requires a World Cup host to have about 12 stadiums with more than 40,000 seats each, one of them with more than 80,000 seats.African countries are precluded from bidding for the 2018 tournament as the next World Cup, in 2010, will be staged in South Africa.Latin American countries are ruled out of competition for both 2018 and 2022 as Brazil is to host the 2014 event.The region that provides the host in 2018 will be excluded from consideration for 2022.

Rooney don't want Ronaldo in SA

Wayne Rooney is hoping that Portugal and his former team-mateCristiano Ronaldo do not qualify for next year's World Cup. The Englandforward was sent off when the two countries met in 2006 and the fallout from that incident has not been forgotten by Rooney.England were beaten in that quarter-final and Portugal also knocked them out at the same stage of Euro 2004. "It would be nice to see Portugal not there because [at our] last two tournaments they've knocked us out," Rooney said. Ronaldo's side are currently third in a group likely to be won by Denmark.After Rooney stamped on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho in the quarter-final in Germany, Ronaldo led the protests and was shoved by Rooney before the referee Hector Elizondo waved the red card in the 62nd minute. The Portugal forward then appeared to wink at his country's coaches and substitutes on the bench.There are still implied recriminations from Rooney. "I was happy I didn't get the stick Becks got [in the 1998 sending off against Argentina] and even Phil Neville did at Euro 2000," he said. "I didn't really get any stick. Ronaldo took a lot of it and I'm pleased with that."Prior to kick-off, Ronaldo had bumped his head into the back of Rooney's in a way that was not particularly playful. The Portugal star, who moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80m in the summer, must have understood the volatile character of his then team-mate at Manchester United.That trait appears to have diminished and Rooney has not even been cautioned in any of the eight qualifiers to date for the 2010 World Cup. "I'm just trying to play and enjoy it," he explained. His wife, Coleen, is due to give birth to their first child soon and he looks more settled nowadays.Rooney attempts to be philosophical about the dismissal three years ago. "Of course, it's a straight red card," he said. "I've got no argument about that but I just try to forget about it now and move on. I've got a chance to put it right in the next tournament."However, when Rooney acknowledged Ronaldo as the best footballer in the world, there was still a sarcastic barb about the virtuoso's selfishness. "It's clear for everyone," Rooney said. "He scores goals. I've watched his first few games for Madrid and he seems to have improved again. He's passing the ball a lot more as well."

Personal computer game

Online gamesOnline multiplayer games have achieved popularity largely as a result of increasing broadband adoption among consumers. Affordable high-bandwidth Internet connections allow large numbers of players to play together, and thus have found particular use in massively multiplayer online RPGs, Tanarus and persistent online games such as World War II Online.Although it is possible to participate in online computer games using dial-up modems, broadband internet connections are generally considered necessary in order to reduce the latency between players (commonly known as "lag"). Such connections require a broadband-compatible modem connected to the personal computer through a network interface card (generally integrated onto the computer's motherboard), optionally separated by a router. Online games require a virtual environment, generally called a "game server." These virtual servers inter-connect gamers, allowing real time, and often fast paced action. To meet this subsequent need, Game Server Providers (GSP) have become increasingly more popular over the last half decade. While not required for all gamers, these servers provide a unique "home," fully customizable (such as additional modifications, settings, etc) - giving the end gamers the experience they desire. Today there are over 500,000 game servers hosted in North America alone.

Sports game

A sports game is a computer or video game that simulates the playing of traditional sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sports, athletics and extreme sports. Some games emphasize actually playing the sport (such as the Madden NFL series), whilst others emphasize strategy and organization (such as Championship Manager). Some, such as Arch Rivals, satirize the sport for comic effect. This genre has been popular throughout the history of video games and is competitive, just like real-world sports. A number of games series feature the names and characteristics of real teams and players, and are updated annually to reflect real-world changes.The genre is not to be confused with electronic sports, which is used to describe computer and video games which are played as competitive sports

Frustrated Real Madrid draw a blank in La Liga clash with Sporting Gijon

Real Madrid, hamstrung by the absence of four key forwards, drew their first blank of the season as they were held to a goalless draw by Sporting Gijon at El Molinon.Already without Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy because of injury, Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini also had to do without Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain for the trip to Gijon due to niggles, and without that forward power the big-spending capital club could not find the breakthrough.To put into perspective tonight's result, Madrid had smashed 11 goals past Sporting in their two meetings last season and coming into the encounter Pellegrini's troops had averaged over three goals a game this term, netting 31 times in just 10 league and Champions League games.

Manchester United on red alert as Valencia hint at sale of Spanish stars Villa and Silva

Manchester United are closing in on top targets David Villa and David Silva - as Valencia say they are finally willing to cave in and sell.Sir Alex Ferguson has admired the Spanish duo for some time but put off making a move this summer as his valuation fell short of Valencia's asking price.Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1223401/Manchester-United-red-alert-Valencia-hint-sale-Spanish-stars-Villa-Silva.html#ixzz0VEKybfO5The United manager first took notice of Villa, 27, after his stellar showing in Euro 2008, when he finished with the golden boot. And Villa's team-mate Silva, 23, is seen as the man to add some flair to United's midfield.United representatives met Valencia over the summer but were told that despite the La Liga club's financial woes, Silva and Villa would not be sold. Ferguson also hoped Nani could live up to his potential but the Portuguese has failed to deliver so far this season.Valencia remain in dire need of funds and, with a large chunk of Cristiano Ronaldo's £80million transfer fee yet to be spent, United are confident of landing one - if not both - of Valencia's prized assets.'The club made a great effort to keep our players this summer but our economic situation remains very serious,' Valencia director Fernando Gomez said on Spanish TV.'It was a success to keep them, but there comes a point when you can't stand it anymore. We may have to sell Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1223401/Manchester-United-red-alert-Valencia-hint-sale-Spanish-stars-Villa-Silva.html#ixzz0VEKt7wJD

THE TOP SPIN: Lawrence Booth's pre-tour report on England's Ashes-winning personnel ahead of South Africa test

Andrew StraussCould this tour turn into his perfect storm? Strauss averages 55 in 17 Tests as captain, and scored 656 runs at nearly 73 when England last toured South Africa six years ago.There’s no way their bowlers will feed his cuts and pulls as they did in 2004-05, but Strauss is a less predictable batsmen these days. Heck, we might even see a straight-drive or two. He has admitted this series will be even tougher than the Ashes, but – with Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison no longer there – this is indisputably a team of Strauss acolytes now. The message to the captain is simple: as you were.Alastair CookOne hurdle has already been overcome: Joe Denly is not in the Test squad to breathe down Cook’s neck. But doubts remain. Against the probing seamers of Australia and New Zealand Cook averages 28 in 29 innings, testimony to a small but fatal flaw outside off-stump. Against everyone else, he averages 46. Yes, he batted well against South Africa in England last year, but that was on slower surfaces: Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on a Wanderers greentop could be a different proposition.And yet England have invested heavily in his success: Cook is set to captain them in Bangladesh next year.
Kneesy does it: Captain Andrew Strauss hits the deck during during England's Champions Trophy defeat to Australia at CenturionIan BellHe hasn’t even arrived yet but – with thanks to Andy Caddick – the sledging has already begun. 'Twas ever thus, but now Bell has his chance to show that the 199 he made against South Africa at Lord’s in 2008 really was a turning-point rather than the cul-de-sac it seemed to become.
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England’s selection policy could yet get in his way: if Strauss insists on five bowlers, one of Bell or Collingwood will surely miss out. If not, Bell simply must build on his 72 at The Brit Oval – a knock under-rated in much the same way as Strauss’s first-innings 129 was four years ago. Otherwise, the critics will have a field day. Caddick may enjoy himself too.Kevin PietersenFirst he has to get on the park. The last two one-day internationals before the Tests may be the earliest opportunity. Then, he has to strike the right balance between entertaining the crowd and scoring big hundreds.Graeme Smith gleefully points out that the 2008 series tilted South Africa’s way when Pietersen was caught at long-on at Edgbaston trying to hit Paul Harris for six to reach his hundred. But beneath the schadenfreude lurks truth. This is a bloke who can do pretty well as he pleases. He, and he alone, will be his own worst enemy this winter.Jonathan TrottAnd you thought that debut was tough. If he succeeds in the country of his birth, the rest of his career could feel like one long anti-climax.Pietersen will invariably deflect some of the bile, but there will be more to deal with in the coming weeks than bouncers and outswingers.A Sportsmail chat with Trott four days ago confirmed a rock-solid temperament. Now he just needs to allay fears he’s not an lbw candidate early on.Paul CollingwoodNo doubt we’ll be told at various stages of the tour that Collingwood is playing for his career. When isn’t he? But the return of Pietersen – leader of the orchestra to Colly’s percussionist – could spark him into life after he fell away during the Ashes. The worry is South Africa’s bouncy tracks could expose his minimal back-lift and bottom-handed shovels, but he is nothing if not resourceful, and there is always the memory of that 135 against the same bunch last year. Always assuming the selectors find room.
Middle order: South African-born Trott (left) and Durham-born Colly (right)Matt PriorIn Flintoff’s absence, Prior becomes the all-rounder with the power to balance or unbalance the side. At No 6, he allows the luxury of a five-man attack but is also the gateway to a long tail. At No 7, he is part of a powerful lower order that may have to score more heavily because the four-man attack has leaked more runs. There is no easy solution – unless Prior counter-attacks early in the series and turns his Ashes cameos into something more substantial. But, please, don’t drop AB de Villiers on nought.Stuart BroadThe beginning of the rest of his career? Possibly, although his Ashes-winning five-for at The Brit Oval has raised the bar to an unfair degree. The talent is there, but he needs direction too. Those close to him say Broad is not the enforcer England crave: his bouncers go for too many runs. He himself nominates Glenn McGrath – the human-form-made-metronome – as his role model. But will the management listen? As for his batting, No 8 seems perfect, especially in the land of Shaun Pollock, who averaged nearly 31 in that slot.The top spinner? Graeme Swann celebrates taking the wicket of Marcus NorthGraeme SwannIf conventional finger-spin is dead, long live Graeme Swann. He more than punched his weight in the Ashes, averaging 35 with the bat (with a game-changing strike-rate of 83), and taking 12 wickets in England’s wins at Lord’s and The Brit Oval. Now he may have to follow Paul Harris’s lead and show patience: spinners in South Africa occasionally do little more than give the quicks a breather. Two hopes: that he works on his technique against the bouncer; and, after over-sleeping twice in South Africa a decade ago, that he buys a second alarm clock after having one pinched in the Caribbean earlier this year.Jimmy AndersonSouth Africa are wary of him, and rightly so: his opening burst during the Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka kick-started England’s partial one-day revival. Yes, he needs the ball to swing, as it should do at times in the weeks ahead. But there is a Plan B these days that no longer makes a mockery of the theory Anderson is now the undisputed attack leader. Not convinced he’s grown up as a cricketer? Then look at the improvement in his batting – one of the reasons England now hold the Ashes.Graham OnionsThe Champions Trophy highlighted the good and the bad. Onions currently resembles a Sajid Mahmood-plus: he takes wickets but gives away too many easy runs, usually when he’s embodying England’s maddening tendency to overdo the bouncer.But Strauss seems to know how to use him: witness his first two balls on the second morning of the Edgbaston Test last summer.Read more:

Chris Jericho struggles to keep a hold on the fighting Irishman, Finlay, in the main event of "WWE Superstars."

With Survivor Series drawing near, “WWE Superstars” on WGN America featured four separate matches pitting Superstars from all three brands in hard-hitting battles for survival.
Don’t know where to catch “WWE Superstars”? Find WGN America in your area. Can't see “WWE Superstars” on WGN America in your area? Stay with WWE.com for full results, photos and video clips of all the action.
Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho def. Finlay (PHOTOS WATCH)Despite being the man that loves to fight, Finlay met his match this week in the form of the always cocky Chris Jericho. The Irishman didn’t back down from the tag team champion, but he just couldn’t get his hands on his slippery opponent. In the end, The Belfast Brawler was brought down hard with the Codebreaker and pinned by the abrasive SmackDown Superstar.
Paul Burchill def. Tyler Reks (PHOTOS WATCH)In unsurprisingly brutal fashion, Burchill won a quick and vicious battle against the West coast warrior on “WWE Superstars.” Once again, Reks displayed his impressive athleticism and in-ring prowess, but it was the vile Englishman who had the upper hand when it mattered. Burchill saw his opening and put the nail in the coffin finishing Reks off as the referee counted 1-2-3.
Jack Swagger def. Primo (PHOTOS WATCH)For the second Thursday in a row, Jack Swagger put Primo down in impressive fashion with his brutal gutwrench powerbomb. Tonight’s victory wasn’t an easy one for the “The All-American American,” though. In the opening moments of the match, the explosive Primo used his speed and agility to gain firm control of the action. Yet, one false move turned the tables back in Swagger’s favor and it ended up being a “gutwrenching” loss for the Puerto Rican Superstar.
Santino Marella def. Chavo Guerrero (PHOTOS WATCH)Days after Chavo and Santino paid their “tributes” to Ozzy Osbourne on Raw, the two performers faced off with Santino catching the self-proclaimed “Mexican Warrior” off-guard with a roll-up for the win. For the most part, the two Superstars were evenly matched throughout the bout, but in the end, it looked like Chavo had gained enough momentum to lead him to victory. But when a cocky Guerrero went for the cover, the Italian Superstar reversed the attempt into a pin of his own and picked up the victory.

Martial Arts Styles and Descriptions

No, these aren't popular dishes from a Japanese menu, neither are they names of women Jackie Chan has dated, nor are they player names of the Chinese basketball team. In case you're still wondering what, in the name of God, do these tongue twisters mean, well, then let me end your misery. These were a few out of many, many martial arts styles that exist in our big wide wonderful world. For those of you who didn't know a word beyond Karate and Kung Fu, this must have come as a real shocker, isn't it? Well, all I can say is, that was just a tiny tongue twisting trailer (alliteration accidental!) of what is in store for you in the remainder of this article! Read on to know more about various martial arts styles and descriptions.
Martial Arts Styles and DescriptionsHere are some of the most popular martial arts styles: Judo: Judo is not only a martial art, but also an Olympic sport. It is a grappling style martial art that involves a lot of pinning, joint locking, and throwing in order to hold down the opponent. One of the main principles of judo is to use the opponent's strength to your advantage and overpower him. Tae Kwon Do: This martial art of Korean origin is probably the best-known martial art and certainly one of the most popular ones. It also happens to be the national sport of South Korea. Powerful kicking techniques are a striking feature (pun unintended) of this widely practiced martial art. More on Tae Kwon Do techniques. Karate: The martial art that happens to be on most lips the world over, karate is a strike-based martial art which involves several types of kicks, punches and open hand strikes, in addition to the use of elbows and knees. Karate chops (made famous by Hollywood action movies) are one among the most popular martial arts moves known. Kung Fu: The term 'Kung Fu' refers to a family of Chinese martial art styles as well as techniques of strengthening and balancing one's mind and body. Kung Fu became a rage in the western world thanks to a certain Bruce Lee. Kung Fu fighting styles incorporate a variety of kicks, punches and hand strikes. At the same time, it also focuses on agility, reflexes, strategies and reading the opponent's mind. Different Styles of Martial ArtsWhat are the different styles of martial arts? Where did they all originate? How many types of martial arts are there in all? How are they different from one another? Well, I guess the information presented in the subsequent sections of this article will answer most of these questions.
For those of you who would be interested in a simple list of all martial arts, rather than detailed descriptions about the various styles of martial arts, here is a simple martial arts styles list (in random order, and excluding the ones which have been mentioned at the beginning of the article).

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