Simon Baskett

Spain cast aside under achievers millstone in style

''Football was the winner'' is one of the most over-worn cliches in the game but it happened to be true about Spain's victory in Euro 2008.

Spain win shoot-out to reach semis at last

Spain beat Italy 4-2 on penalties after a goalless Euro 2008 quarterfinal on Sunday to end their shoot-out hoodoo and reach the last four.

Villa snatches late win over Swedes

David Villa scored a superb stoppage-time winner to give Spain a 2-1 victory over Sweden on Saturday and a place in the Euro 2008 quarterfinals.

Real storm to 5-1 win over sorry Valencia

Real Madrid hit four goals in a devastating first-half spell as they stormed to a 5-1 away win over Valencia at the Mestalla on Wednesday. A second-minute strike from Raul, a Ruud van Nistelrooy double and a superb shot from defender Sergio Ramos put Bernd Schuster's side 4-0 up after just 37 minutes while Robinho added a classy fifth midway through the second half.

All Blacks cut loose against Romania

New Zealand finished the World Cup pool stage in style with a spectacular demonstration of running and passing to demolish Romania 85-8 on Saturday. The All Blacks racked up 13 tries, three coming from flying winger Joe Rokocoko, as they blew away their opponents with some dazzling rugby to the delight of the packed crowd at the Stade Toulouse.

Portugal face baptism of fire against Scots

World Cup debutants Portugal are looking to emerge with more than their dignity intact when they take on Scotland in their opening Pool C match on Sunday. For ''Os Lobos'', the aim of both their first three pool matches against the Scots, New Zealand and Italy is to ensure they retain enough physical and mental resources to confront Romania in their only winnable game.

Mourinho salutes Chelsea’s second-half fightback

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho saluted his side's second-half fightback after they came from a goal down to beat Valencia 2-1 and claim a place in the semifinals of the Champions League on Tuesday. ''I think it was a great performance in the second half against a good team and in a difficult stadium and when we were losing 1-0,'' Mourinho told a news conference.

Chelsea boss pays tribute to ‘magnificent’ Drogba

Manager Jose Mourinho paid tribute to Côte d'Ivoire striker Didier Drogba on the eve of Chelsea's Champions League quarterfinal second leg in Valencia. ''He's more than a goalscorer, he's the kind of player who even if he doesn't score still makes an important contribution,'' Mourinho told a news conference on Monday.

Becks says goodbye to Real

Former England captain David Beckham will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and sign a five-year deal for Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy, he told the media on Thursday. ''This week Real Madrid asked me to make a decision regarding my future and the offer to extend my contract for a further two seasons,'' Beckham said.

Male models need to keep eye on the ball

Male models being used as ball boys at this week's end-of-season WTA Championships need to keep their minds on the job and not be distracted by the female players, world number eight Elena Dementieva said on Monday. ''I don't think they really know what they have to do on the court,'' the Russian tennis star told reporters.

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