Zamora happy to shake Terry´s hand

14 September 2012 10:14

Queens Park Rangers striker Bobby Zamora says he will shake John Terry’s hand when his side meet Chelsea on Saturday.

The two teams clash at Loftus Road in the first meeting between the pair since Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last October, but Zamora is looking forward to facing his old friend.

“I’ve known John Terry for years and he’s a very good friend of mine. We grew up together and of course I’ll shake his hand if he’s playing on Saturday,” Zamora told The Sun.

“All this stuff happened a long time before I joined QPR. I came in as an outsider to it and I won’t be paying attention to any of it.

“John is a very good player and it’s going to be a real battle between us. I’m sure it’s not going to be an enjoyable game with him coming through the back and smashing the life out of me.

“But that’s what he’s been like ever since we played together in Barking for Senrab when we were 13 along with Ledley King, Paul Konchesky and Jlloyd Samuel.

“My abiding image of JT then was a box-to-box midfielder with a curtains haircut, smashing in headers from corners.

“We’ve stayed in touch ever since and for me this game will simply be a case of getting out there, doing my job and getting points on the board for QPR.”

The atmosphere at Loftus Road is expected to be in stark contrast to the recent Olympics but the former West Ham man says he is not interested in what people say about footballers.

He added: “I don’t watch any sport. I didn’t even know Andy Murray had won the tennis until someone told me the other day. Before the Olympics I said I wasn’t going to watch a single thing.

“As it turned out I did see a few bits — the 100 metres and a couple of the other main events.

“As far as I’m concerned, the guys who competed at the Olympics… brilliant. But the Olympics are over now and all the focus is back on football. And whatever people are saying about us doesn’t really bother me.”

Robben: I need to be more selfish

14 September 2012 10:04

Bayern Munich attacker Arjen Robben believes he needs to be more selfish on the pitch to find his best form again.

The Netherlands international has received his fair share of criticism in recent years for his individualistic style of play.

But the former Real Madrid winger believes his selfishness is what makes him such a dangerous attacker.

“I have to return to the basics. It might sound a bit strange, but I have to become more selfish again,” Robben told Voetbal International.

“I have to make individual actions and gain confidence. Just go for it. I had a few moments during pre-season where I thought ‘that’s the old Arjen’.

“I was never really fully at ease in the past few months. I was thinking too much about what I was doing rather than using my intuition.

“My unpredictability is normally my biggest strength. I obviously make a wrong decision every now and then, but that’s part of my game.

“I never reached top form last year because I had adapted my game subconsciously.”

Robben is doubtful for Bayern’s Bundesliga game against Mainz after he picked up a groin injury on international duty with the Netherlands.

Man City academy build set to begin

14 September 2012 09:54

Manchester City are to beginning to work on a state-of-the-art academy to be ready for the start of the 2014/15 English Premier League season.

The training facility will also be available to the first-team and will be built adjacent to Etihad Stadium on an 80-acre site, with BAM Construction, part of the Royal BAM Group, chosen as their construction partner for the project.

The City Football Academy as it shall be known, will provide a centre for up to 400 young players as well as housing the new training base for the first-team and operational functions.

Former Arsenal, Inter Milan and Juventus midfield Patrick Vieira, now a football executive at Manchester City, believes the project is not only a hugely exciting one but necessary in helping to shape the future of the club.

“What I find really exciting about the project is that before designing the facilities they have been to the football world, the basketball world and the NFL world, so a lot of hard work has been done around the project,” Vieira said.

“That is why I believe it is the best project around in all sports because people have spent a lot of time travelling around the world and trying to capture the best in every sport and bring it here.

“It is a long-term commitment from the football club and I am really excited about it because once you see the pictures, then you can’t wait for the work to start.

“I think the club are creating something fantastic because when you are a footballer you want to develop yourself and are looking for the best facilities to do so.

“I think those facilities will give all the young players from the youth to the first-team the chance to improve themselves and to challenge themselves.

“Especially for the youth, because when you bring a young talented player to your club, you want to give them the best chance to achieve their dream of playing for our first-team and I think those facilities will give them what they will need to improve themselves.

“Something really clear is that since Sheikh Mansour has taken over he always wanted the club to be sustainable, and I think that this proves that is really important to him.

“So this is a long-term project and the club is going up and the project makes it really exciting.”

The development will also include up to 200 classrooms, on-site accommodation for both senior and junior players, staff offices, a dedicated media centre and 16.5 football pitches, 12 of which have been dedicated to players aged from eight to 21.

Designs will feature a state-of-the-art first-team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre and a 7000-capacity stadium for youth-team matches, while there will be a bridge linking the new facility to Etihad Stadium close by.

Allegri backs banned Conte

14 September 2012 09:24

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri believes Antonio Conte’s absence is hurting Italian football.

Juventus coach Conte was handed a 10-month touchline-ban earlier this summer for his failure to report two instances of match-fixing during his spell in charge of Siena, and Allegri struggles to comprehend how his colleague must feel.

“Conte? There are rules and they must be respected. I have faith in the law and the Federation. I admit that I feel sorry for Conte, though, and I really mean that,” Allegri told La Stampa.

“Conte’s absence is a real loss for the league.

“In these days I’ve been asking myself how Conte must be feeling, but I can’t even imagine it to be honest.

“I want to wish Conte good luck. Sincerely. It’s really a shame not to see him on the touchline.”

Juventus won their opening two Serie A games without Conte.

Massimo Carrera is in charge of the Serie A champions while Conte is suspended.

Zambrano: ´Messi and Higuain are little girls´

14 September 2012 09:16

Peru defender Carlos Zambrano has hit out at Argentina stars Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain in the aftermath of Tuesday’s 1-1 draw.

Zambrano, who netted the opening goal in the World Cup qualifier, feels the Barcelona forward and his Real Madrid colleague did nothing but complain throughout the match, and looked frustrated all game long.

“Messi and Higuain are little girls. All they did was complain about everything all game long,” Zambrano told Depor.pe.

“Messi must have been scared because he didn’t do much.

“Higuain attempted to provoke me throughout the game, but I took the high road and didn’t take the bait. I never fell for his tricks.

“The Argentines acted frustrated and didn’t know how to take us on. They tried to work me up with insults. They think they’re untouchable, but that’s wrong. Football is a game for men.”

Argentina sit top of the table in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with 14 points from seven games, while Peru have collected seven points from as many matches.