Saturday, 15 December 2012

You love Rooney!


Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney was voted best current player in the English Premier League.

LONDON: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been voted the best player currently plying his trade in the English Premier League.

In a poll of over 30,000 fans from over 200 different territories, 20 per cent of supporters declared that Wayne Rooney would be the first name on their team sheet.
The Barclays Global fans survey saw Rooney come out on top, ahead of his Manchester United teammate Robin Van Persie, who secured 14 per cent of the public vote, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was voted into third place, with 10 per cent of the public support.
Fourth and fifth were Ryan Giggs and Luis Suarez respectively.
Manchester United and England star Rooney said: "It's great to be recognised by the fans in this survey. I get messages from fans all over the world so I know how popular the Barclays Premier League is outside of the UK."

'Derby delight the perfect tonic'


SKY-HIGH: Giggs confident United can snatch title away from noisy neighbours

LONDON: MANCHESTER United star Ryan Giggs has warned Manchester City that his side's derby triumph will provide the perfect  springboard to wrestle the title away from Eastlands.
United moved six points clear of second placed City after an explosive 3-2 win over their bitter rivals in the Manchester derby last Sunday and Alex Ferguson's team have a golden opportunity to extend their lead this weekend.
While spluttering champions City have a tricky assignment at Newcastle, United host lowly Sunderland on the back of four successive league victories and with confidence sky-high following Robin Van Persie's stoppage-time winner at Eastlands.
Giggs has seen 12 previous title-winning teams take shape during his career at United and the veteran Welsh midfielder is beginning to sense another dominant team forming at Old Trafford.
Asked if the win over City would provide a major boost, Giggs said: "It should do, purely because of the way we performed.
"We have got everything in place for the busy Christmas period and the confidence of such a great result.
"We accept that we are letting too many goals in and we've had to come from behind too often, but the signs are there that this could be a very good season for us.
"The wins against Chelsea, Newcastle and City away have been our three best performances and you probably can't get three bigger challenges."
While Giggs and his United teammates can contemplate a successful second half of the season, City are facing a fight to salvage their campaign.
Roberto Mancini's side have already crashed out of the Champions League and another setback at Newcastle this weekend would deal a hammer blow to their hopes of retaining the title.

Ferdinand raps UEFA's racism verdict

LAUSANNE: Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand accused UEFA of not taking racism seriously after Serbia were fined E80,000 (RM3.2 million) following an Under-21 match in which England players claimed they were racially abused.

Serbia were fined, two coaches, as well as four players, suspended and the team ordered to play their next game behind closed doors following a chaotic European Under-21 qualifier in Krusevac.
England defender Danny Rose was sent off for kicking the ball away in response to what he said was monkey chanting and physical provocation.
Scuffles also broke out between players, coaches and supporters at the end of the match.
"uefa are not serious at all on racism. Fines do not work at all. They have zero impact on federations/clubs/fans/players. #fact," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.
"Uefa need to talk to this generation.....they don't seem to be up to date on this issue?? Harsh punishments needed as a deterrent."
Ferdinand has made no secret of his desire to see tougher sanctions to combat racism in football.

Barca face Atletico test


Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez (right) has been impressed with Atletico Madrid’s consistency.

MOUTHWATERING: Primera Liga leaders gear up for top-of-the-table clash

MADRID: WITH Real Madrid trailing by 11 points, Barcelona's closest threat is from Atletico Madrid who they face tomorrow and midfielder Xavi Hernandez feels it is an opportunity to dent their title aspirations.
Barca have made a record start to the season with a remarkable 14 wins from 15 games and while the reigning champions and traditional rivals Real Madrid have not been able to live with the pace it has been their neighbours Atletico who have made an impressive start to the campaign and trail the Catalans by seven points.
"It is too early to really say who are going to be the biggest rival and at the moment it looks as though both will be strong rivals," said Xavi.
"Atletico are very strong. People said that they were going to slip-up but they haven't very much and now this weekend we have our chance to make them slip-up.
"They are on a good run, they play very well on the counter-attack and they have a striker (Radamel) Falcao who motivates them all.
"Their trainer (Diego) Simeone has worked very well with the team and they have a strong defensive system.

Inter brush off Sneijder controversy

MILAN: Inter Milan will not allow uncertainty over the future of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder to distract them from their challenge for the Serie A title.

Lying only four points behind leaders and titleholders Juventus, Inter visit Lazio at the weekend with the Sneijder row bubbling uncomfortably close to the surface and the media rife with speculation about a move in January.
Sneijder was left out of the squad for last week's match at home to Napoli, where a 2-1 win lifted Inter into second place. Inter said he was injured but the Dutchman's wife Yolanthe Cabau angered the club by using Twitter to claim that her husband was "just fine."
On Wednesday, Inter president Massimo Moratti brushed aside suggestions that the Sneijder situation could affect the team and their strategy during the January transfer window.
"The transfer market does not depend on Sneijder. Nothing depends on him," Moratti told reporters at an event organised by tyre manufacturers Pirelli.
"I think more than anything else what the market depends on will be the economy of the club, so we will evaluate that first."
The row began when Inter asked Sneijder to extend his contract from 2015 to 2016 for the same overall payment, a move criticised by the world players' union FIFPro.
"In other words, to work a year longer without receiving any salary for it. Sneijder refused and since then, coach Andrea Stramaccioni has kept the playmaker outside the match squad," FIFPro said in a statement.

Lampard: Goal-line technology needed

YOKOHAMA: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, whose "goal" against Germany at the 2010 World Cup was missed by officials, believes the introduction of goal-line technology into football is a "no-brainer".

Lampard came on as a substitute in Chelsea's semi-final win over Monterrey at the Club World Cup Thursday -- the first time the English Premier League side had ever played a match where a goal-line system was available to the referee.
"I have been in favour for a while now, particularly when it was clear it would be a quick and simple measure, and wouldn't take much time from the game," the 34-year-old said ahead of the match in Yokohama, Japan.
"Anything we can do to help referees, who have a very tough time trying to have their eye across everything... we have to try," he added.
"If it doesn't break the game up, and it could add the excitement factor as it has in cricket, then why not?"
It was the England international's long-range effort, which cannoned off the crossbar and dropped over the line before bouncing back out, in South Africa two years ago that sparked Fifa into investigating the use of goal-line technology.

Rafa seeks Club World Cup boost

UNRESOLVED: Spaniard desperate to win Chelsea fans over

YOKOHAMA: INTERIM Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez  goes into the Club World Cup final against Corinthians tomorrow hoping for a  win to placate fans who have continued to boo him at the Japan tournament.
A 3-1 semi-final win over Mexican side Monterrey on Thursday was Chelsea's third straight victory in all competitions. A total of 12 goals have been scored, with five of those coming from the much-maligned Fernando Torres.
The good run of form has so far failed to silence the Chelsea faithful, who still harbour a grudge from Benitez's time as Liverpool manager. Booing was noticeable when he was shown on the big screen during the match in Yokohama.
Torres believes the fans will warm to Benitez eventually, and that could come sooner rather than later if the Champions League holders become the sixth successive team from Europe to lift the intercontinental championship.
"Our fans will end up accepting, for sure," the STG50 million (RM250 million) striker said.
"The Liverpool-Chelsea rivalry... may have created an animosity which is understandable, but in time that will all change," the Spaniard added.
Despite Chelsea's comfortable win, which also included an opener from Juan Mata and an own goal, before conceding in injury time, Benitez says he wants more from his players, particularly in terms of concentration.
"When I talk about a winning mentality, always I talk about little details making the difference," the Spaniard said.
"The team have to think about winning, and winning in style and not conceding.

LIGUE 1: Wounded Lyon enter lion's den

PARIS: Ligue One leaders Lyon take a depleted squad to the capital for tomorrow's top of the table clash against Paris Saint-Germain having seen their lead slashed to three points following the 1-1 draw against rock bottom Nancy.

Coach Remi Garde was left fuming by a refereeing decision that denied them a clear penalty at the Stade Gerland in midweek.
To add insult to injury, Anthony Reveillere and Alexandre Lacazette have joined a growing list of walking wounded during a week that began so brightly with a 1-0 win at Saint Etienne.
PSG meanwhile were able to sit back in comfort and watch the Lyon juggernaut knocked off track and a return to domestic form for Carlo Ancelotti's men reached a new high last Tuesday when Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped himself to a hat-trick during the 4-0 rout at a Valenciennes side who were previously unbeaten at home.
The Sweden captain has been the player of the season so far in France and his league-leading goal tally now stands at 17 which is seven clear of Lyon's French international Bafetimbi Gomis.
"We have to recover from our efforts, but we also have to hope to get back some of our injured players so we can have the most competitive team possible for Sunday," Gomis said.
"We lost two more players (Reveillere and Lacazette), like we did against Saint-Etienne (Clement Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff)."

India's L&T sets RM950m target for Tamco

MUMBAI: India's leading engineering, construction and technology firm, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), plans to push the revenue of its Malaysian unit, Tamco Switchgear (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, to RM950 million by 2016, from RM450 million currently, by way of expansion, said adviser to the chairman R.N Mukhija.

"Since we acquired Tamco, we have doubled the revenue by continuously investing in research and development (R&D)," he said.

Upin, Ipin make Malaysia proud


Asyiela Putri Azhar, the voice of cartoon characters Upin and Ipin, standing between the mascots of the twins at a recent promotional event.

U.N. RECOGNISED: Unicef used characters to raise awareness on the role of children

ANIMATED characters Upin and Ipin, first appearing in television in 2007, have captivated the hearts of the children across Southeast Asia.
Stories of their cheerful and adventurous childhood in Kampung Durian Runtuh, along with the antics of their sister, grandmother and friends, recorded up to 1.5 million viewers at one time.
These animated characters had garnered a whopping 6.1 million "likes" in Facebook and a movie featuring the twins, Geng--The Adventure Begins, was released in 2009.
In April, Upin and Ipin also appeared in a musical at Istana Budaya. The animated series is now into its sixth season, and currently airs on the Disney Channel.
The "5-year-old twins" had made Malaysia proud, and their achievements did not stop at the national level. The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) was also impressed with the twins' popularity.
Unicef representative to Malaysia Wivina Belmonte said after looking at the characters' strong following, the organisation decided to include them in the 2012 Universal Children's Day celebration here.
"Unicef is impressed with the television series Upin and Ipin because it showcases the ideal behaviour of kids towards adults, their surroundings and their friends.
"The series also encourages kids to speak for themselves and to show how adults can connect positively with kids," she said during the Universal Children's Day celebrations last month.
According to Belmonte, the characters were in line with Unicef's theme of Children4Change, which aimed to celebrate and recognise the role of children in society.
A number of events were held to commemorate Children's Day.
The Upin and Ipin carnival was organised by Unicef from Nov 9 to 11, and the producer of the television series, Les' Copaque Production Sdn Bhd, received a positive response.
Held at Titiwangsa Stadium, the activities included group singing, dancing, photography sessions with Upin and Ipin mascots, merchandise sales and interactive games.
Get widget