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Soccer Break Wednesday

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SOCCER-EURO/Happy middle of the week to you all, and if like me you are in London where the sun is out and there is very little football to write about, you are forgiven for thinking the season is over and the grasscourt tennis season is about to kick in.

Don’t look so worried, David (right). While the weather will probably change before I’ve finished writing this blog, the good news is it’s only March and there is plenty more football left. It’s just this week it’s the international break.

One of the most intriguing matches is Friday’s qualifier between Serbia and Northern Ireland. Why? There will be no supporters in the ground after Serbia’s clash with Italy in October was abandoned following crowd trouble and the 2006 World Cup winners were handed a 3-0 win.

Also in action on Friday are Italy, France and the 2010 World Cup finalists Spain and the Netherlands, while on Saturday Wales host England in a British Isles derby and Norway host Denmark in a Scandinavian battle. Germany and Russia are two other big names playing.

Benitez leaves Liverpool, next stop Inter?

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After months of speculation, Liverpool have confirmed that coach Rafael Benitez has left the club.

Disagreements with the owners and a poor season for the Reds have led to the decision to part company by mutual consent. Do you think it was inevitable?

Football’s heart still beating strong at FA Cup final time

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Football nostalgia is not what it used to be but there were times on Saturday when the Champions League, 120,000 pounds-a-week contracts and “the business of the game” were forgotten in a return to the days when the FA Cup was the only thing that mattered.

As I walked down Wembley Way towards the stadium, the massed Everton fans out to squeeze every last drop from the day brought back memories of countless other sunny Saturdays in May, when everything stopped for the Cup final.

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