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Soccer Break Monday


SOCCER-SPAIN/CLASICOReal Madrid 1 Barcelona 1. Pictures of the teams suggest they were both pleased with the result but you would imagine Barcelona came away the happier side. Though Real were down to ten men for almost the entire second half so must be relieved not to have lost.

Who gained the upper hand then from the first of four clasicos between last Saturday and May 3? Wednesday will be an interesting affair in the King’s Cup final, a one off match as opposed to the two-legged Champions League semi-final.

Another fierce rivalry that was played out over the weekend was the Manchester derby, where the blue half of the city emerged victorious to ease the pressure on Roberto Mancini who must surely fancy his chances of beating Stoke City in the FA Cup final to hand City their first piece of silverware since 1976.

Ugly scenes marred the end of the match in which Rio Ferdinand and Mario Balotelli clashed but the United captain was quick to play down the spat. Balotelli in the news again though, will he stay at City?

World Cup squad news: Capello calls on Carragher, Ronaldinho left out


SOCCER-ENGLAND/Fabio Capello has announced his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup and the big news is that Jamie Carragher is back, while there is no place for Bobby Zamora or Owen Hargreaves.

Meanwhile Brazil have omitted Ronaldinho as expected and Italy coach Marcello Lippi has decided to leave Francesco Totti at home. Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas are in Spain’s squad despite injuries.

Should Capello bring Carragher out of England retirement?


SOCCER-ENGLAND/Is Fabio Capello so short of defenders that he has to beg Jamie “I’d rather miss a penalty for England than Liverpool” Carragher to come out of retirement and represent his country at the World Cup?

Carragher walked out on England three years ago because he was unhappy at being in so many squads but so few teams, and when he was in he did not like being played at full-back when he wanted to play centre-back.

Losing for your country should hurt more, shouldn’t it?


Carragher has his penalty savedKev Fylan blogged about England’s fear factor being the root cause of their continual failures but Jamie Carragher’s autobiography reveals another¬†possible explanation when he admits that he just didn’t care enough about playing for the national team.

The Liverpool defender, who retired from international football principally because he got fed up with playing out of position, said: