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Soccer Break – Thursday edition

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Good day to you all wherever you may be, and let’s start with some advice from Barcelona defender Dani Alves about his teammate and arguably the best footballer in the world, Lionel Messi.

The fast-passing Catalans snuck past Valencia last night, while over in Germany Raul was making the headlines for scoring the goal that sent Bayern Munich crashing out of the German Cup in the semi-finals.

Could the end be approaching for coach Louis van Gaal?

In other European action, Ligue 1 leaders Lille progressed to the semi-finals of the French Cup, and are being tipped for a domestic double.

News on the owl-kicking footballer is that he is being banned and fined.

And to finish, both sides of the story following Aston Villa’s 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.

Everton and Moyes running out of options

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPBy James Illingworth

Sympathy for the plight of their rivals may be kept to an absolute minimum by the red and blue halves of Liverpool but even the staunchest of Kopites should spare a thought for David Moyes.

Having seen his side claim partial revenge for their 2009 FA Cup final defeat by knocking Chelsea out on penalties last month, Moyes could not prevent first division Reading ending Everton’s cup run in the fifth round on Tuesday.

Soccer Break – Wednesday edition part two

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Simon Evans here in Miami with an update on the most interesting stories out there on the web today:

Here in the States – Real Salt Lake turned in a very impressive display last night in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final, beating MLS rivals Columbus Crew 4-1. RSL are usually attractive to watch and you can catch some free goal highlights here. RSL become the first team from MLS to reach the last four in the CCL and they will play the winner of Thursday’s game between Costa Rica’s Saprissa and Olimpia of Honduras.

Twenty years on and Giggs quest for glory far from over

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/

Mike Collett on 20 years of Ryan Giggs

The world, and English soccer, was a very different place 20 years ago, but one thing has remained unchanged — Ryan Giggs is still playing for Manchester United and still in the hunt for trophies.

Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the day the skinny 17-year-old came on after 35 minutes of a match in the old First Division to replace the injured Denis Irwin for the first of what is now 863 appearances for the club.

Soccer Break – Wednesday edition

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SOCCER-ENGLANDHalfway through the working week and what better way to start your day than a rundown of Chelsea’s win over Manchester United to breathe new life into the Premier League title chase and fight for a top four place.

Cesc Fabregas, captain of United’s title rivals Arsenal, was clearly impressed by new Chelsea defender David Luiz, who scored a clinical equaliser in the absorbing match.

Van Persie to miss Barca clash…Arsenal’s chances gone?

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/

Arsenal hitman Robin van Persie injured himself while scoring against Birmingham City in the League Cup final on Sunday and will now miss his team’s last 16 second leg clash against Barcelona on March 8. Not good news for the Gunners.

However, beat Leyton Orient in the FA Cup on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final with Manchester United, and keep the pressure up on their great rivals in the Premier League who have just lost to Chelsea, and there are still honours to be won.

Soccer Break – Tuesday edition

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SOCCER-ITALY/Hello again everyone, and I hope some of the media material we pointed out to you on Monday helped your coffee/afternoon tea/cocktails go down well.

On Tuesday, following AC Milan’s 3-0 win over Serie A title rivals Napoli, we bring you a thorough run down of a match which hinged on a controversial decision in favour of the Milan club. Read here for more…

Thierry Henry interview

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/


Former Arsenal, Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry is loving life in the United States and wants to see New York Red Bulls develop identity as an attractive passing football team but he also hankers after an eventual return to Arsenal in some role in the future.

The following is the full transcript of interview by Simon Evans with Henry after pre-season training with the Red Bulls in Fort Lauderdale this weekend. Shortly before the interview began at the team’s hotel Henry was approached by an American guest who recognised him from a documentary film about racism in sport but who then asked the Frenchman for his name.

“Big Ziggy” primed to keep Birmingham up

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUP

With Europe beckoning and their first trophy since 1963, Birmingham City fans have a lot to get excited about.

However they also face a nervy rest of the Premier League season with relegation looming. Cue towering striker Nikola Zigic to the rescue.

“Nothing here and nothing there”

Rex Gowar in Argentina on how Boca’s fans turned on their team.

Riquelme celebrates after scoring against Bolivia

Bewildered Boca Juniors, their promising wins in mid-season friendlies a distant memory, are grappling with tactics that led to fans turning against them during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to modest All Boys.

Chants of “Riquelme, Riquelme” rang down from the stands in the packed Bombonera during Saturday’s miserable performance from fans who had welcomed the appointment as coach last month of Julio Cesar Falcioni.

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