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Soccer Break Thursday – Mourinho wins. Again.

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SOCCER-SPAIN/CUPJose Mourinho and winning appear to go hand in hand after the colourful Portuguese coach delivered at the first time of asking in Wednesday’s King’s Cup final.

All the more significant was beating Barcelona for the first time as Real coach, which sets up a fascinating double header in the Champions League semi-finals on April 27 and May 3.

The pictures of Real’s celebrations are everywhere but what was not captured was defender Sergio Ramos dropping the trophy off the open-top bus during their victory parade. Or maybe not.

Real fans will be hoping their team do not let slip their slight pyschological advantage ahead of the Champions League having kept Barcelona dangerman Lionel Messi largely quiet during the final. The pacy Argentine stood still for five minutes after the final whistle, inconsolable.

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.

Houllier should be perfect match for Villa

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SOCCER-FRANCE/A tricky start to the season in which manager Martin O’Neill left before a ball was kicked, midfielder James Milner joined Manchester City and the club limped out of the Europa League, Aston Villa were in need of steady hands. Gerard Houllier should be just the man.

The 63-year-old Frenchman, who won five trophies with Liverpool and three French league titles, has swapped his job as technical director of the French Football Federation (FFF) for the Villa hot seat and brings a wealth of experience with him.

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