Mendoza credits Honduran fans

30 July 2012 09:37

Honduras Under-23 goalkeeper Jose Mendoza has thanked their fans after a stunning win over Spain at the Olympic Games in London.

The central Americans eliminated the reigning world and European champions with a 1-0 win at St James’ Park, putting themselves in a strong position to qualify from the group stage of the competition.

Mendoza made a number of match-saving blocks to lead his team to victory, but feels that the supporters’ contribution was invaluable.

“We could hear the fans supporting us,” Mendoza said.

“It was really a surprise and it definitely gave us strength. I’m delighted that we got this win, this is also for (the fans).

“We know how important it is to beat Spain and get these three points, but the important thing will be not to lose concentration as the next game comes soon.”

Palacio: Inter lucky to have Sneijder back

30 July 2012 09:35

Rodrigo Palacio has underlined the importance of Wesley Sneijder to the Inter Milan cause following the Dutchman’s return to action.

Netherlands star Sneijder, who had been resting after representing his country at Euro 2012, made his first pre-season appearance for Inter in their 1-1 friendly draw against Celtic on Sunday, and Palacio is thankful for the attacking midfielder’s return.

“We are very pleased that Wes is back with the team. Things are so much easier with him around. He is the brain of the team, and makes other players play better. If he plays, the others step up their game as well,” Palacio was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

Palacio then went on to discuss his own prospects at San Siro, and is keen to flourish in his favoured role.

“With Sneijder’s return, I can play in my own position again. I’ve never made it a secret that I feel better when I play closer to the striker, where I have a certain freedom to move, and can give more to the team.”

The versatile attacker netted Inter’s only goal in the draw with Celtic.

Bale: Adam´s a coward

30 July 2012 00:39

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has called Liverpool’s Charlie Adam a “coward” following a nasty tackle in the teams’ friendly in Baltimore.

The pair have history, with Adam causing Bale ankle ligament damage in 2011 which kept him on the sidelines for three months, and the Spurs man said the latest tackle was “over the top” as he left the stadium on crutches.

“From what I’ve seen of him on pitch, I think he’s a bit of a coward,” Bale told reporters.

“I was surprised to see a challenge like that in a friendly. We’re all over here to build our fitness and get a good workout and what he did as over the top, to be honest.

“But some people are like that and it’s just wrong.

“My ankle is sore – very, very sore. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I’ll probably have to have a scan.

“There are pictures on the internet of what he did before when he snapped all my ankle ligaments.

“I was out for three months that time and one player told me he went out to do the same thing to me again.

“Seriously, I haven’t ever done anything to him. He’s obviously come for me twice now – and he’s got me twice.

“I would have understood it had it been a slightly mis-timed tackle, even though it was just a friendly. But the ball was 10 yards past him already and was nowhere near him when he came through my ankle.

“When someone makes a very bad tackle on you in a game you expect him to come up and apologise. But I’ve had no apology from him and I don’t really want one from him to be honest.

“That’s what kind of person he is like. He’s done it before, so I’m not going to accept his apology.

“All I want to do is play my game and play it the right way. It’s flattering when players try to take you out in a game but when it threatens your career, it becomes more serious than that.

“It’s unsportsmanlike and I don’t think any player should be like that.”

Kompany comes home from Malaysia

30 July 2012 00:28

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany has flown home from the Malaysian tour after sustaining an injury during a 2-0 friendly win over Arsenal.

The 26-year-old, who captained City to their first ever Premier League title last season, will receive treatment on a calf problem in Manchester in a bid to regain fitness ahead of the Community Shield clash with Chelsea on August 12.

“Vincent Kompany has flown to Europe for treatment on a calf injury and will play no further part in City’s tour of Malaysia.” read a statement on the club’s official website.

“The City skipper was substituted as a precautionary measure during the 2-0 win over Arsenal in China, but despite travelling with the squad to Kuala Lumpar, it was decided he would be better served with treatment and rest with the start of the season now just a few weeks away.”

It was announced last week that Kompany had signed a new six-year deal with City, the longest contract offer made in the club’s history.

Lewandowski agent denies Juve talk

30 July 2012 00:20

Robert Lewandowski’s agent has dismissed a report that he has spoken with Juventus about the Borussia Dortmund striker moving to Turin.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a fantastic campaign as Jurgen Klopp’s side retained their Bundesliga title last season, with his representative previously confirming to that Manchester United and Bayern Munich were interested in his client.

It had been claimed that the Bianconeri have already held talks with the Poland international’s representative, Cezary Kucharski, but he insists there has been no contact with the Serie A champions.

“I have absolutely not spoken with the club Juventus,” he told Ilsussidiario. “There’s really nothing there. I cannot say any more on Robert’s future.”

Juventus are hoping to sign a big-name striker before the start of the new season and have been heavily linked with Arsenal attacker Robin van Persie, Napoli hitman Edinson Cavani and Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic.