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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.


Q: It must be quite nice to be asked for your name like that. I can’t imagine too many people wouldn’t recognise you back home.

It’s nice…I really don’t mind, I mkind of like not being recognized. The other day I had a day off and had breakfast in the hotel and went later to see a movie just like any normal person and it was just great. It’s refreshing.

“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”

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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.

Real suffering Ronaldo-dependency in their pursuit of silverware

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Mark Elkington in Madrid on Real’s over-reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo

SOCCER-SPAIN/Jose Mourinho´s chances of repeating last season´s treble winning campaign with Inter Milan at Real Madrid depend, in part, on him breaking the side´s reliance on the world’s most expensive player, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 26-year-old Portugal forward has netted an impressive 34 goals in all competitions this season, 24 of those coming in La Liga, but it´s when he doesn´t score that the problems arise.

Arsenal fans must keep their faith in Wenger

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Mike Collett in London on why Arsenal fans should back their manager

SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPArsene Wenger is the most successful manager Arsenal have ever had, but unhappy fans have very short memories and incredible as it may seem, some Arsenal supporters were calling for his head on Monday.

Irate listeners to radio phone-ins and message boards posters vented their frustrations at Arsenal’s failure to end their six-year trophy drought after they lost 2-1 to underdogs Birmingham City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Soccer Break – Monday edition

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SOCCER-ENGLAND/CUPHello and welcome to Reuters Soccer Blog’s new daily digest where we’ll recommend some of the best stories on the internet for you to read over morning coffee/afternoon tea/cocktails (depending on your time zone).

Where better to start with a look at Birmingham City’s last-gasp win over Arsenal in the England’s League Cup final, the drama of which is depicted in our photo of the 89th minute goal that left the north Londoners still yearning to end that trophy drought.

Falcioni takes tough choice

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Rex Gowar in Buenos Aries on a tough decision taken by Boca Juniors’ new coach.

FALCIONI


Boca Juniors coach Julio Cesar Falcioni has taken a brave decision leaving Juan Roman Riquelme out of his team for this Saturday’s home match against modest All Boys.
Boca lost 4-1 at home to Godoy Cruz in their Clausura championship opener two weeks ago with Riquelme in the team and won 1-0 at Racing Club last weekend without him.
However, to focus solely on the results is to oversimplify a serious problem for any coach in charge of a squad that includes a gifted player like Riquelme and more so if he is at Boca and even more still if he is new.

Marvellous Marseille fans keep singing through the pain

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/I had been told the Stade Velodrome had a great atmosphere and after the constant noise the Marseille fans made in Wednesday’s 0-0 Champions league draw with Manchester United, I have one question – what would it be like if the stands had roofs?

Despite the dire match, the supporters at either side of the ground never stopped chanting and banging drums for a second. If the Velodrome wasn’t open to the elements I can only imagine that the noise would be even louder and give the home side an even bigger advantage.

Barcelona beset by injuries at crucial stage

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SOCCER-SPAIN/Like many of Europe’s biggest clubs, Barcelona find themselves at a crucial point of the season, with their hopes in two of the three competitions they are contesting in the balance.

Worryingly for fans, Pep Guardiola’s side have been hit by a rash of niggling injuries to key players at a highly inconvenient moment.

Not quite a feast of football in tasty Lyon

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SOCCER-CHAMPIONS/It was my first trip to Lyon to see Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid and though I knew what to expect on the field given the Spanish side’s troubles here in the past, I had no idea what the city or its famed cuisine would be like.

In the end, the food in one of France’s gastronomic centres probably outshone the fare on the pitch although it was a decent game with both sides fighting for every ball in the cold and the rain.

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