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[7] THE book on 7 years ago... Just £4.99 inc p&p!
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:

Check http://www.rednews.co.uk to view the image which has been removed from 
plain text email version of news 

Red News' European Glory 68 and 99 by the fans

UK £4.99 inc p&p
ROW £7.99 inc p&p



[6] 7 years ago today
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:
from Paul Windridge writing for the 100th issue of Red News

Basic instinct - or how a few seconds can change lives forever

I was thinking about the longevity of Red News and how far Manchester United 
had come during the period that spans its 100 issues, and came to the 
conclusion that I should pick a single event to write about. let's face it - 
the 100th issue is so massive that there could only be one game that matches 
its massiveness, and that1s 26th May 1999.

It doesn't take a genius to know that a game can become legendary for a mere 
few seconds of action, and that night in the Nou Camp was legendary for just 
that -  a mere few seconds. But probably fewer seconds than you may imagine - 
58 of them to be exact. That1s how long the ball was in play. That was all the 
time it took to break the hearts of every Bayern supporter and every ABU - and, 
as we know, that1s a lot of hearts! It1s not that the rest of the game wasn't 
significant in any way, just that the really meaningful part happened right at 
the end - in fact when it was supposed to be all over.

>From where I was, stood behind the goal, the 90 agonising minutes went by
faster than for any other game I can remember. In fact we were into the
three minutes of added time, before everything changed. Bayern were lording
it. But not for long. We were desperate for something extraordinary to
happen, when it did. As Matthaus sat smugly on the touchline thinking about
how good he would look holding up the big jug, United snatched it from his

During the few minutes before the smash and grab I had begun to wonder.
Bayern hit the post and the bar. They came so close that their confidence
was way too high. They thought they had every right, but they should have
known better. Time was fast ticking away and they were a goal to the good -
yes - but they were playing Manchester United. And there had been one or two 
notable last minute come-backs that season.

I looked up to the night sky for a sign because I had a weird feeling that
it wasn1t over. We couldn1t have come so far and achieved so much and then
lose as ignominiously as that could we? And, to top it all it was Sir Matt's 
birthday. I knew it was totally illogical. We were 1-0 down, the 45 minutes 
were up, and the Germans always win. But those wearing Manchester United red 
were mindful of the fact that a few seconds can change lives and football 
matches - it had become basic instinct.

How do we react to a potentially life-changing moment when it happens in a
split second? Invariably by making an instinctive decision. The instinct is
usually based on knowledge and experience, but it is non the less, instinct. 
And i'1s just the same with football. It1s whether you recognise the 
possibilities and then how you deal with them that counts. And this often 
happens when there is no real time to think. You have no other choice than to 
act instinctively. I have denied my instinct on a few occasions and have always 
regretted doing so. I am sure footballers would say the same.

So, the stadium clock was stuck on 45 minutes - the game was up when the
ball went out for a throw in down by the corner. A large United supporting
Hungarian caught it, held it aloft and muttered something unintelligible
then kissed the ball before giving it back. Giggs rushed over and took it
off him mindful of the precious seconds ticking away. The ball eventually
went out for a corner which Beckham took. The Cup was already being carried
down draped in Bayern1s colours as Schmeichel forsook his goal-minding
duties and instinctively headed for their box. There could be no doubt that
he caused problems as he went for the ball which finally made it's way to
Giggs from a poor clearance. Giggs scuffed a shot goalwards. There was no
way it was ever going to beat Khan until Sheringham stuck out his leg and
swept it into the corner.

On the touchline, Steve McClaren immediately wanted to revert to 4-4-2 from
the 4-3-3 all-out attack. The Wizard argued. He understood. By this time
Manchester United was etched into his soul, and he knew what we all knew by
then - that we were going to win. There was no doubt in any of our minds.
'Hang on a second' he said, 'something's going on here.' McClaren didn't get 
his way, and in any case there just wasn't time! Almost from the kick-off 
United were right down Bayern's throats going straight for the jugular.

45 seconds of the 3 added minutes remained when Beckham stepped up to take
the second corner. Bayern were stunned. They just couldn't believe it. The
ball left the foot and we held our collective breaths. Sheringham helped it
on its way to Solskjaer who extended a leg and my head exploded with the
noise I was making. 58 seconds of play and basic instinct won us the
greatest prize in club football and gave us the most momentous time of our
football lives. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Paul Windridge

[5] 7 years ago today
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:
Of all the fabulous memories I have of following United, I don't think anything 
will ever rank with the 1998-1999 season and the city of Barcelona. Whilst the 
whole Champions League campaign that year was one great roller coaster ride for 
those of us who went to all of the games, my memories of Barcelona were not 
only of two fantastic games, but also of what went on before and after them.

The day after the thrilling 3-3 draw with Barcelona, four of our party were
still in the city and at a loose end after having overdosed on alcohol, that 
is, until a trip to the club museum at the Nou Camp was suggested. Whilst 
feeling tired and relatively bored walking around the museum, we reached the 
area where the public is allowed out onto the stadium viewing platform. As 
there seemed to be a lack of stadium staff around and with the tour lacking any 
real zest, three of us decided we would clamber over the barrier and take a 
casual walk down the stands to have a look at the dugout. After a couple of 
minutes sitting around, talking and taking photos and waving back to our other 
mate in the stands who kept telling us we were going to get nicked, the 
expected frantic club officials still hadn't appeared. Being ever more 
adventurous and probably never having the chance to do something most United 
players have never done we had a jog into the centre circle of the Nou Camp to 
imagine the sound of a full house and admire the awe inspiring view. I just sat 
down in the centre circle and soaked it all up whilst one of the others called 
his mate back home to tell him where he was stood. As I stood up, I knew I just 
had to have a run out as I took my imaginary ball down the wing of the Nou Camp 
pitch, cut inside, and then buried a shot in the top corner of the goal. Cue 
celebrations in front of the goal where 6 months later, the winner in the 
European Cup Final would be scored and the entire United team would be 
celebrating. We took a couple of penalties just for good measure before it got 
kind of boring arguing about whether it went in or not. As we made our way back 
to the bench I noticed one remaining unexplored area, the tunnel. Only two of 
us decided to walk up the tunnel after noises were heard emanating from inside. 
From what I can remember of it, it is divided into two sections, probably to 
stop the fisticuffs at half time, with one side housing some kind of chapel. As 
we got to the top though, we both nearly shat ourselves as somebody came 
walking up the corridor, walked past us and simply ignored us to our utter 
surprise. With a new found sense of bravado, we argued about who should step 
out first and open the door to the visitors changing room, half expecting 
players to be in there getting a rub down. As we slowly nudged the door open, 
we found ourselves in a dark dingy changing room, not too different from what 
you might find at a local sports centre. The lockers were small; the medical 
bench pretty poor (I couldn't even fit my legs on it) and the whole place dull. 
We still managed to pilfer a souvenir that a rather forgetful United player had 
left behind in his locker though. With a feeling of now overstaying our welcome 
and our pockets filled, we decided to leave the rest of the Nou Camp to future 
expeditions and made our way back out and back up through the stands to the 
It was only 6 months later that I would return to Barcelona for the Final,
ticketless, and with £180 in my pocket in the hope it would get me somewhere. 
First look at the stadium was that it was hopeless. Three levels
of security, a perimeter barrier, a large internal perimeter and a ticket
scan on the gate. I went back into town in a sour mood to have a few drinks
with the Red News lads. I returned to the stadium a few hours before the
match to get past the first barrier, but it was absolute bedlam. I
eventually got through by quickly opening and closing my hand and flashing a 
fiver. I couldn't for one minute though see how I would ever get by the huge 
perimeter fence on the other side and spent about half an hour on the grass 
contemplating my next move. As I did, I noticed a large crowd gathering in 
front of an entrance to the fence and knew something was about to happen. I 
quickly jumped up and made my way down to the entrance, just as the crowd 
seized the gate and began rocking it. As it burst open, I arrived just in time 
to follow a horde of reds through before a series of police vans blocked it off 
within seconds. As soon as I was inside the police were going for anyone still 
running so I immediately stopped to walking pace and took my mobile phone out 
and headed for a calmer area. Time was running out as the match was now due to 
kick off and I was outside the ground without a ticket desperately trying to 
get other reds to pass tickets back to me so I could join the queue to get in. 
Unfortunately most wanted them as mementos and didn't want to miss any of the 
game, however one guy had just had a ticket passed back to him and said I could 
have it as soon as he had used it. Thankfully, he was true to his word and as 
soon as I got in the ground, I felt as if we'd already scored. I joined a huge 
throng of reds on a stairwell and the rest is history. However, not everything 
in life is free; my £180 was stolen from my wallet by a young Spanish kid in 
McDonalds after the match.

Paul S

When you plan to have a bet - use Sporting Odds through us


[3] Les Olive's funeral cortege today
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:
At some stage around 3.30-3.45 Les Olive's funeral cortege will pause outside 
Old Trafford today (Friday) for those Reds who want to pay their respects.

[2] Out of 10,000s online free readers, only 4 people have ordered this. How do 
you think it makes us feel!
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:
There are 6 Red News' from this season still available... and you can get ALL 6 
for JUST £6 INCLUDING p&p in UK... £10 ROW... and when you order you get FREE 
entry into our VIP Forum for a month. What a bargain!

Never read the mag? Or just missed out this season? Then order the 6 available 
Red News' from this season (including the new issue, 125, other issues with 
comment, opinion and gossip on a remarkable season on and off the pitch - the 
Bestie tribute comes with the 6 as well) for JUST £6 in the UK INCLUDING p&p 
and £10 ROW (inc p&p). You also then qualify for a free months entry into our 
news breaking VIP Forum. 

Order here - product code 6OFFER 

To order a single copy click on

single copy order e.mail


[1] Van der Sar's Fulham transfer investigated
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 by ed:
from yesterdays Telegraph

''The £5 million sale of Edwin van der Sar to Fulham from Juventus in 2001 is 
one of 41 transfers being investigated by prosecutors as part of the growing 
scandal in Italian football.

Although there is no suggestion Fulham have done anything wrong, it is the 
first time a transfer involving an English club has been drawn into the 
corruption controversy engulfing Italy and centring on Juventus.

Public prosecutors in Turin yesterday ordered the seizure of documents 
concerning the 41 transfers, including Zinedine Zidane's £46 million world 
record move to Real Madrid from Juventus.

In addition 71 teams from Serie A down to amateur levels have also received 
requests for information from investigators probing the Turin club's transfer 
dealings to see if they entered lesser sums for the sale of players to avoid 
paying higher taxes.

Juventus' entire board resigned earlier this month along with general manager 
Luciano Moggi, who is being investigated for allegedly trying to influence 
referee appointments.

Meanwhile, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was forced to break off from 
training for the World Cup to be questioned by investigators in Parma.

Buffon has been accused of betting huge sums on matches he was involved in - a 
practice which is against Italian law as well as the Italian FA's rules.'

[43] The Best
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
The Best

Check http://www.rednews.co.uk to view the image which has been removed from 
plain text email version of news 

M, L (28 inches high, 22 inches wide), XL (29 inches high, 24 inches wide) and 
XXL sizes available

Just £15 inc p&p UK, £17 ROW - product code is, simply, BEST

You can order by sending a cheque to Red News, P.O.Box 176, Manchester, M16 8LG.

Alternatively you can order by credit card - Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Switch or 
Solo - for any one or any number of the shirts/hoods via the fast, safe and 
secure paypal. 

Just make sure you enter the correct product code for each shirt/hoodie (listed 
on the shop part of the site) when ordering, together with the size (if others 
than extra large are available, check on each specific item if that is the 
case) and the correct price - please fill in the price column online 
accordingly. Prices includes postage and packing.

Red News has a number of unique t-shirts and hoodies for sale from United's 
first fanzine. 

Check on the shop part of this site for the full range. 


You can order by sending a cheque to Red News, P.O.Box 176, Manchester, M16 8LG.

Alternatively you can order by credit card - Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Switch or 
Solo - for any one or any number of the shirts/hoods via the fast, safe and 
secure paypal. 

Just make sure you enter the correct product code for each shirt/hoodie (listed 
on the shop part of the site) when ordering, together with the size (if others 
than extra large are available, check on each specific item if that is the 
case) and the correct price - please fill in the price column online 
accordingly. Prices includes postage and packing.

Click on

e.mail html


[42] Phil Nev on World Cup chance
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
"I could not have turned down this chance because if somebody does get injured 
and I had stayed in Barbados, I would have regretted it for the rest of my 
life. This is an opportunity I thought had passed me by. I have nothing to 
lose, so I just have to give it everything and see what happens. I am not 
wishing injury on anybody but how many times have you seen somebody come into 
the frame late on and get a World Cup place? Four years ago, Trevor Sinclair 
was not even on the stand-by list but ended up joining the squad and playing 
against Argentina and Brazil."

[41] Official site keeps it short on scan
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
'Wayne Rooney will undergo a scan on his broken metatarsal today, with the 
results expected on Friday.
Rooney is having  an MRI scan on the injury and specialists will analyse the 
results with United's assistant team doctor Tony Gill.

The results are likely to give the clearest indication yet as to whether Rooney 
will be involved in the World Cup this summer.

England must confirm to FIFA, world football's governing body, by Tuesday 30 
May whether their players are physically and mentally fit to participate in the 
World Cup.'

[40] MEN on Les Olive
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
'SIR Matt Busby rebuilt United into European Cup winners after Munich. Jimmy 
Murphy patched the decimated Reds up in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

But it was unsung hero Les Olive who kept Old Trafford together following the 
club's darkest hour.

Olive died last weekend aged 78 after loyally serving United for 64 years as a 
teenage office boy straight from school, player, club secretary and director.

Advertisement your story continues below
While Busby and Murphy's on-field achievements following the 1958 air crash are 
part of United folklore, Olive's off-field efforts have largely been 

That's how the undemonstrative Salfordian would have wanted it and he'd 
probably squirm at the tributes written since his death from cancer.

It was Olive's sterling and traumatic secretarial and administrative work after 
the shock of Munich that effectively kept United going.

"Les Olive was the biggest single factor in steadying the ship at Old Trafford 
after Munich," said current club assistant secretary Ken Ramsden, who has been 
on United's admin staff since 1960.

Olive was thrust into a tumultuous experience as the new club secretary when 
Walter Crickmer was killed in the plane crash bringing United home from a 
European Cup match in 1958.

Amid all the turmoil and emotion, Olive was promoted to take on the role as a 
28-year-old the minute the tragic news came through from Germany.

"It is beyond comprehension what Les had to do immediately after the crash," 
Ramsden added.

"This wasn't an age of all the wonderful technology we have now. There were no 
faxes and emails that could instantly dispatch information.

"It was a phone call or a stamp on a letter. And there was no help. The 
directors in those days, though very loyal to United, weren't hands on like 
they are today.

"There was a tiny, tiny admin staff and the club were absolutely skint don't 
forget. Les had to draft in volunteers to come in after a day's work elsewhere 
and they helped out for a cup of tea and a pat on the back.

"Les's workload was astonishing at that time. There were funerals to help 
arrange, transport, the admin for transfers for new players that were brought 
in. So much that when I think back to what he had to do I cannot believe how he 
did it.

"And he was doing this under so much strain because the players who had died 
were friends, lads he'd played with at Old Trafford and he'd worked for Walter 

"He had to inform some of the families what had happened and that their loved 
ones had perished.

"It's unbelievable what he went through. But he showed remarkable strength and 

>From those harrowing beginnings as United's senior secretary, Olive progressed 
>to become one of the finest administrators in professional football and was 
>still involved in the amateur game as well as a very active member of the 
>Salford Central Congregational Church.

Olive joined the Old Trafford payroll in 1942 and played at every level of 
football for the club, including two senior appearances as a goalkeeper in 1955.

But it was his meticulous secretarial work that underpinned the on-field 

"Les was very quiet and liked to be in the background. The limelight was not 
his bag," added Ramsden.

"He was not a front man but his heart and soul was in United. He was very 
thorough and always had a notebook and pen by his bedside, I am reliably 
informed, in case he woke up with an idea or something that had to be done.

"He even had a pad and pen next to his hospital bed up to the day he died. That 
to me typified Les Olive."

Ex-Red and M.E.N. Sport columnist David Sadler also paid tribute to Olive.

"You do not hold the position of secretary for as long as Les did at a major 
football club without being very, very capable," he said.

"Les was a quiet and undemonstrative man and it would actually take a long time 
to get to know him. But once you did, you came to realise his qualities.

"As a player there were times when you needed advice and you knew he was the 
one to go to because he'd seen just about everything and anything at Old 
Trafford three or four times over.

"He was a very active member of the United Old Boy's Association and it was 
lovely to see him at our reunion dinner in April."

When Olive, in failing health, got up to leave the Old Boys Dinner, the 
association's chairman John Doherty hailed him as, "the most honest man I have 
ever met."

"It was a touching moment and John was absolutely right," said Ken Ramsden.'



[39] More Ronaldo
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
"I want to prove my value. But I don't think the pressure will affect me. I 
know that there is great expectation and that really gives me motivation to 
improve. I left Portugal when I was young and I think I have done a good job 
abroad. I know that I am an example to children and I hope I can continue to be 
so until the end of my career."

[38] Article on Malcolm Glazer
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:

Saint Petersburg Times 

Bucs have plan to keep ship on course 

Long before the owner's recent strokes, a succession plan was formulated to 
keep the team in good hands. 

TAMPA - Every business must plan for any eventuality, and the Tampa Bay 
Buccaneers are no exception. 

Case in point: the succession plan that has been in place long before 
77-year-old owner and president Malcolm Glazer's two recent strokes, an 
agreement that ensures the Bucs will continue to be in good hands now and in 
the future. 

Although the family maintains that doctors expect Glazer to recover over 
time despite his impaired speech and mobility, the succession plan calls for 
three of Glazer's five sons - Edward, Joel and Bryan - to continue their 
day-to-day operation of the franchise. Each holds the title of executive 
vice president. 

"Like any other organization, the organizational planning for present and 
the future is part of good management practice," chief operating officer 
Eric Land said. "That's in place in this organization. There's been a plan 
in existence for a long time. I certainly asked the question about 
succession planning when I (was hired) and got the same answer: "Of course 
we have succession planning.' You can't be successful without that." 

It is not clear who would assume principal ownership of the team should the 
plan have to be implemented, but it's possible the franchise and Glazer's 
varied business interests could be inherited by his wife, Linda, 66. Under 
that scenario, the family would avoid considerable federal estate taxes that 
are assessed when children inherit assets. Spouses are exempt from such 
taxes, the maximum rate of which is 46 percent for 2006. Glazer has many 
other business interests, ranging from real estate to fish oil products. 

If Linda Glazer were to inherit the team, she would become one of a rare 
breed: a female principal NFL owner. Only Georgia Frontiere (Rams) and 
Denise DeBartolo York (49ers) currently hold principal ownership. Frontiere 
inherited the team from her late husband, Carol Rosenbloom, and DeBartolo 
was given control by her brother Eddie in a settlement. 

The Glazers - extremely private people who rarely grant interviews - have 
released limited information about Malcolm Glazer's condition. When they 
have, it has come long after the fact. It is believed he remains 
hospitalized in Weston, in Broward County. 

Their private nature has been reflected in interviews with friends and 
associates. Even Palm Beach Rabbi Moshe Scheiner, whose congregation Glazer 
belongs to, said Tuesday he had no knowledge of Glazer's condition. But 
linebacker Derrick Brooks said Tuesday he received some positive news in a 
recent conversation with son Joel Glazer. 

"I was fortunate enough to talk to Joel and he says (Malcolm) is getting a 
little bit better each day," Brooks said. "That's all you can ask." 

Still, Glazer's pair of strokes in a two-week span (April 16 and April 30) 
are reason for concern. While there's a wide range of how much and what type 
of damage a stroke inflicts, having a second stroke increases the risk of 
damage to a person's ability for cognitive thought, said Dr. Ali Malek, 
director of the Tampa General Hospital/University of South Florida 
Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit. 

Having two strokes within a short time also increases the risk for greater 

"It's always bad when somebody hasn't healed from one insult and a second 
occurs," Malek said. "When you've had a stroke, brain cells die. The ones 
that die are never recovered." 

Instead, for a person to improve after a stroke, other brain cells must take 
over. Think of a company that fires 10 people, Malek said. Over time, the 
remaining workers learn to do their jobs. If, a year later, the company 
fires 10 more people, those who are left once again learn to compensate. 

But if the company instead fires the second group just a day later, chaos 

"The rest haven't learned how to take over. It's going to have a greater 
impact," Malek said. "It has to do with how much the brain has healed in 

After the first stroke, the team issued a statement saying Glazer's speech 
was impaired and he was experiencing some paralysis. He was expected to 
recover from both. After the second, Joel Glazer said in a statement Friday, 
"Doctors expect my father to return home in the next few weeks. As a result 
of this stroke his rehabilitation period will be longer and more 

Glazer made what looked like a risky move in 1995 by purchasing the 
Buccaneers from the estate of Hugh Culverhouse for $192-million. Today, 
Forbes estimates the franchise is worth $877-million, ninth in the NFL. 
Glazer also has a controlling interest in England's storied soccer 
franchise, Manchester United. Land said he did not know the details of any 
succession plan for the soccer club, which Glazer acquired for about 

Times staff writers Lisa Greene and Joanne Korth contributed to this report.

[37] Foot Doc on SKY
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
'Foot surgeon John Hollingdale believes there is no chance of Wayne Rooney 
playing in the group stages of the World Cup finals.

The ongoing soap opera involving the Manchester United striker's metatarsal 
injury has seen many twists and turns with a scan on Thursday set to finally 
reveal whether the bone has healed.

With United physio Mike Stone leaving the club in mysterious circumstances and 
tabloid claims ranging from the England star being out for three months to 
forcing his way back into contention for the opening game against Paraguay, the 
guessing game shows no sign of easing up.

Hollingdale feels there is little prospect of the 20-year-old making a 
miraculous comeback, which appears to be a view shared by Sir Alex Ferguson.

"Well, the scan will give us a lot of information regarding how much healing 
has taken place around the fracture," Hollingdale, who works at Central 
Middlesex Hospital, told Sky Sports News.

"The CT scan will give us more detail than a plain X-ray. If it looks good, I 
expect the medical advisers will tell the physios they can start putting more 
force through the foot, perhaps even start a bit of gentle jogging maybe.

"I certainly don't think he'll be able to do any ball-work for three weeks and 
no contact for another three or four weeks. I don't think there's any chance of 
him starting the World Cup.

"I wouldn't bet on it. He might surprise us all but I think it's unlikely."

Hollingdale agreed that there has been a lot of uninformed speculation about 
Rooney's recovery but feels the change in physio should not affect his comeback 

"I think, if England get into the second stages, there's a reasonable chance 
Rooney will be able to take part in those games," he added.

"I wouldn't bet on him starting the World Cup. There's a lot of difference 
between dancing at David Beckham's party and playing against Brazil in a 
football match.

"To make a reasonable assessment, you've got to see the patient, look at the 
X-ray, look at the scans and then you can give a full and informed opinion 
about how well he's doing. If he's actually able to walk unaided, cycle and 
dance then it's a good sign that's in his favour. It means he can put pressure 
on the foot without discomfort.

"It's always nice to have continuity of care in any patient but a metatarsal 
fracture is a fairly straightforward problem to deal with. I think the people 
taking over his care will be able to cope with it very well. I don't think it's 
going to affect his outcome.

"The fact he's young is a good thing but bones tend to heal at the same rate, 
no matter what age you are - providing you haven't got a metabolic disorder. I 
hope he's keeping himself fit because, once he gets back to training, he needs 
to get his aerobic fitness back to the same level.

"He'll be unable to do ball-work at the moment and have no contact in training 
for two or three weeks. I'd have thought there's no reason why he can't keep 
his physical fitness up to the optimum level whilst his foot is healing though."

[36] Heinze returns for Argentina
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
from BBC

'Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze made his comeback as Argentina 
defeated their Under-20 team 4-0.
Heinze, 28, has not played a first-team game since suffering a cruciate 
ligament injury against Villarreal in the Champions League last September.

But he played the entire first half, and Barcelona's Lionel Messi made a 
comeback after two months out injured.

Argentina boss Jose Pekerman gave all his squad a run-out, except Chelsea 
striker Hernan Crespo who was ill.

After a goalless first half, man-of-the-match Rodrigo Palacio came on to grab a 
hat-trick while Javier Saviola netted the other goal.'

[35] Mirror on 'Fergie vs England'
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
'SIR ALEX Ferguson has put himself on a major collision course with England 
over Wayne Rooney's World Cup fitness.

The Manchester United boss sacked club doctor Mike Stone who has been treating 
Rooney's broken right foot, and is now ready to try to stop the player from 
joining up with the England squad. Sven Goran Eriksson's players arrive in 
Manchester next week for their final preparations for Germany. And now the FA 
have been told they will not discover the result of Rooney's latest scan until 
tomorrow, although the club will know the outcome later today.

Stone was axed amid claims that Ferguson is furious it is England, and not his 
own club, that is dictating the pace of events over the player's injury. The 
Scot was also angered at the news Rooney attended David Beckham's pre- World 
Cup party and was spot ted dancing with fiancee Coleen McLoughlin.

Under FIFA regulations England can demand Rooney joins up with them 14 days 
before the tournament - Saturday.

But the Manchester United manager is said to be determined the striker will not 
be allowed to link with his international team-mates until the broken bones in 
his foot have fully healed.

While club officials moved swiftly to insist that the departure of the doctor 
had nothing to do with Rooney's injury, it is known that Ferguson was angry at 
the manner in which United were being bypassed in updates on the striker's 

Eriksson was hoping to have Rooney with him this weekend - with United's 
agreement - to undergo light exercise, after his own medical officer, doctor 
Leif Sward, in consultation with Stone, described the player's progress as 

Stone appeared to side with England and be happy with Sward's analysis, while 
Ferguson is understood to believe the national team's interests go directly 
against the best interests of the club.

He has made it clear in the past that anyone who goes against him will be 
swiftly dealt with, and it seems that fate has befallen Stone.

He said yesterday: "What can I say? Ask anyone would they want to leave United 
and the answer would be 'no'. I really can't say any more at the moment."

A club source, who asked not to be identified, said: "Mike's exit came as a 
bolt out of the blue. Clearly something major happened.

"He had been so close in Rooney's recovery treatment that people are 
questioning why he went when the healing process was getting to a crucial 
period. Nothing adds up - apart from a big bust-up with Fergie."

After the close relationship between Stone and Sward, United are now expected 
to keep England at arm's length. One prominently placed figure at the club 
warned last night that England will have a "terrific battle" on their hands to 
get Rooney released.

FIFA rules stipulate Fergie MUST release Rooney.'

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[34] Mirror on Mikel
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:
'CHELSEA will pay Manchester United £10million for Nigerian prodigy John Obi 
Mikel after thrashing out a deal for the youngster.

The international midfielder is set to sign a three-year deal at Stamford 
Bridge within the next few days.

Mikel, 18, has been at the centre of a protracted tug-of-war between United and 
the Premiership champions over his signature from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo, who 
will also receive £2m from Chelsea. Rival bosses Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose 
Mourinho have both been desperate to secure the teenager, who scored on his 
Nigeria debut at the African Nations Cup earlier this year.

But the two clubs have now reached an agreement to end the saga.

Chelsea have signed Germany captain Michael Ballack, and hope to land AC Milan 
striker Andriy Shevchenko and Brazil defender Roberto Carlos during the summer.

And Blues chief executive Peter Kenyon said earlier this week: "I guarantee 
that we will also have two very exciting younger players, that will be the 
future of Chelsea." One of those now appears to be Mikel and a relative of the 
teenager said: "Talk about Mikel getting freedom from the transfer problem is 
now over.

"Chelsea have offered him a three-year contract. And if all things go well, he 
will sign the contract this week.

"He and ourselves have been through a lot of stress while the transfer problem 
lasted. The money Chelsea will pay Manchester United as compensation is like a 
transfer fee."

United, meanwhile, are lining up Argentina star Esteban Cambiasso in a possible 
swap deal for Ruud van Nistelrooy. Ferguson has tracked the Inter Milan 
defensive midfielder for some months, as he looks for a player to replace Roy 

Inter have expressed an interest in van Nistelrooy but can't afford the £12m 
asking price, which may leave a player exchange as a good solution.'

[33] More on those dancing feet
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 by ed:

'WAYNE Rooney's decision to dance at David Beckham's pre-World Cup party may 
have led to the shock sacking of Manchester United's team doctor.

The revelation thrusts Beckham into the centre of an increasingly acrimonious 
row between Sir Alex Ferguson and the England team management.

Carrying the can, for the moment, appears to be Mike Stone, Manchester United's 
chief physician. The decision to dismiss the doctor was confirmed yesterday - 
24 hours before a crucial scan on Rooney's broken foot that will decide whether 
he goes to the World Cup in Germany.

Dr Stone's sacking was prompted by his decision to allow Rooney to go to the 
pre-World Cup party at Beckham's Hertfordshire home on Sunday night.

While England fans may have been encouraged by reports that Rooney, who broke 
the fourth metatarsal in his right foot on 29 April, was mobile enough to have 
a dance, the newspaper reports may also have been sufficient to send Sir Alex 
into a fury.

The Scots manager long ago fell out with Beckham, selling him to Real Madrid.

Now he fears his team's remaining prize asset - Rooney - is being put at 
unnecessary risk by the demands of the England team. For that return to fitness 
to have been further undermined by the 20-year-old's moves on the dancefloor 
was the final straw.

Manchester United last night insisted Dr Stone's dismissal was for 
"non-football" and "non-clinical" reasons.'

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