Deco fails drugs test

Former Barcelona, Chelsea and Porto star Deco has failed a doping test while playing for Fluminense.

The former Portugal international tested positive for banned substance Furosemide following Flu’s clash with Boavista on March 30.

The 35-year-old has not travelled with the squad for their Copa Libertadores clash with Emelec in Ecuador this Thursday.

Deco is believed to have ingested the substance through vitamin supplements, which he purchased at a pharmacy.

Reports in Brazil claim he has appointed solicitors to take action against the company that produce the product he bought.

The news comes just two weeks after another doping case hit Brazilian football, when Vasco da Gama midfielder Carlos Alberto tested positive for two banned substances following a 3-2 win over Deco’s Fluminense side in early March.

Tue 30 April, 2013
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Klopp thrilled to reach final

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was delighted to see his side reach the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Real Madrid.

The Bundesliga outfit went into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 4-1 lead, but two late goals from Jose Mourinho’s men set up a tense finale.

Klopp conceded his team were not at their best on Tuesday but believes they deserve to be in May’s final at Wembley, where they will face either Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

“Unbelievable,” Klopp told reporters.

“I have to admit, we played too little football today. During the second half we played
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our attacks better. If we converted one of those chances, the match would have been killed.

“The match had everything. Real Madrid can play great football and they showed that today. They had to deliver today and they did.

“We stood up to them. Those are the rules, we won 4-3 and we are deservedly in the final.”

Goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos gave Real – who missed several chances early on –hope with minutes remaining, but Dortmund held on.

Klopp said luck played a part for every side who reached the final and suggested he took inspiration and confidence from the 1997 Dortmund team which won the trophy.

“I talked to manager, Michael Zorc, and that team of 1997 and they were lucky getting to the final, too,” he said.

“You have to have luck to reach the final and we now had it twice.”

Klopp reserved special praise for striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored four times in the first leg, and said he handled himself well after coming in for some over-zealous attention from Real players.

“I wished for ‘Lewy’ (Lewandowski) to get more protection,” he said.

“The way he stayed calm after all those scenes – that is almost superhuman, but we are through, why would we complain?”

Klopp looked ahead to his side’s clash against rivals Bayern Munich on Saturday and said his team still deserved to celebrate reaching the Champions League final.

“We have one day more off than Bayern and we will use that day,” he said.”I myself will have a beer at the hotel but I won’t go out, but I can’t keep the boys in there, too.

“And if we get hammered by Bayern – that will be the happiest defeat in the history of the Bundesliga.”

Tue 30 April, 2013
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Klopp thrilled to reach final

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp was delighted to see his side reach the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Real Madrid.

The Bundesliga outfit went into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 4-1 lead, but two late goals from Jose Mourinho’s men set up a tense finale.

Klopp conceded his team were not at their best on Tuesday but believes they deserve to be in May’s final at Wembley, where they will face either Bayern Munich or Barcelona.

“Unbelievable,” Klopp told reporters.

“I have to admit, we played too little football today. During the second half we played our attacks better. If we converted one of those chances, the match would have been killed.

“The match had everything. Real Madrid can play great football and they showed that today. They had to deliver today and they did.

“We stood up to them. Those are the rules, we won 4-3 and we are deservedly in the final.”

Goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos gave Real – who missed several chances early on –hope with minutes remaining, but Dortmund held on.

Klopp said luck played a part for every side who reached the final and suggested he took inspiration and confidence from the 1997 Dortmund team which won the trophy.

“I talked to manager, Michael Zorc, and that team of 1997 and they were lucky getting to the final, too,” he said.

“You have to have luck to reach the final and we now had it twice.”

Klopp reserved special praise for striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored four times in the first leg, and said he handled himself well after coming in for some over-zealous attention from Real players.

“I wished for ‘Lewy’ (Lewandowski) to get more protection,” he said.

“The way he stayed calm after all those scenes – that is almost superhuman, but we are through, why would we complain?”

Klopp looked ahead to his side’s clash against rivals Bayern Munich on Saturday and said his team still deserved to celebrate reaching the Champions League final.

“We have one day more off than Bayern and we will use that day,” he said.”I myself will have a beer at the hotel but I won’t go out, but I can’t keep the boys in there, too.

“And if we get hammered by Bayern – that will be the happiest defeat in the history of the Bundesliga.”

Tue 30 April, 2013
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Championship: Millwall 0 Crystal Palace 0

Crystal Palace remain well-placed to claim a Championship playoff spot after a 0-0 draw at Millwall on Tuesday.

Ian Holloway’s side have stuttered late in the campaign and their point at The Den puts them two points clear of seventh-placed Nottingham Forest ahead of the final day of the regular season.

Palace are winless in nine outings and face relegation-threatened Peterborough United on Saturday, while Millwall are fighting for survival.

Millwall, sitting 19th and two points clear of Barnsley, travel to Derby County, with a point likely to be enough to keep them up.

Josh Wright went close for the hosts early on against Palace, but a Millwall side which has scored a league-worst 24 goals at home rarely looked likely to score.

With Manchester United-bound attacker Wilfried Zaha looking dangerous, Palace were the more threatening but lacked composure.

The visitors’ best chance fell to Yannick Bolasie on the hour-mark, but his powerful drive was tipped over by David Forde as the encounter ended in a dull draw.

Tue 30 April, 2013
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Mourinho coy on Real future

Jose Mourinho has added to speculation surrounding his Real Madrid future by refusing to guarantee he will remain with the club next season.

A 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final return fixture on Tuesday was not enough for Real to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg.

When asked if he would still be with Madrid next season, Mourinho, who has been consistently linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, told ITV: “Maybe not. I want to be where people love me to be.”

“I have a contract, respect for the club and the president. I want to play the (Copa del Rey) final, finish the season, finish second,” the Madrid coach later told Sky Sports, before strongly hinting a return to Chelsea could be a possibility.

“I know I’m loved in England. Loved by the fans, the media. I know I’m loved by some clubs – especially one. In Spain it’s different – some people hate me. It’s difficult to make a decision because I like the club. I like the president.”

The former Inter Milan coach also lamented his side’s first-leg performance but felt the team could still have progressed despite that result.

“In football, you win or you lose. I think we could (have won the tie). They had a couple of big chances but as a consequence of the way we were playing in the last part of the match, where we risked absolutely everything,” he said.

“But I think today (Tuesday) we were a team with character, desire and we could do it. I don’t forget the first match and in the first match we were very, very bad.

“And in this moment we are punished. Not because of this result but the result of the first leg.”

Mourinho will now turn his attention to this weekend’s meeting with Valladolid as his side look to secure second position in La Liga.

Tue 30 April, 2013
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Hummels: We dreamed of this as children

Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has described his side reaching the UEFA Champions League final as a “dream”.

The German outfit suffered a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday evening but progressed from their semi-final tie by virtue of a 4-3 victory on aggregate.

And Hummels has expressed excitement over having secured a place in the showpiece at Wembley Stadium on May 25.

“We knew the crowd would get euphoric if they scored,” he told ITV.

“The first half went well but then the game changed like against Malaga. It’s unbelievable. It’s something everybody on our team dreamed of as children and some of us are still children.

“Now we all look forward to Wembley.”

Hummels’ team-mate Kevin Grosskreutz echoed his colleague’s sentiments, telling Sky Sports: “In the end it was really, really thrilling.

“We have such an amazing team, such an amazing squad and such amazing fans. We simply deserve this. Now we may celebrate – you don’t experience this every day.”

Jurgen Klopp’s side will meet either Bayern Munich or Barcelona in the final, with the Bundesliga leaders 4-0 up in the sides’ semi-final tie ahead of the second.
Tue 30 April, 2013
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AFC Champions League Wrap: Quartet book last-16 places

Central Coast Mariners, Beijing Guoan, Bunyodkor and Al Hilal have all secured a safe passage into the last 16 of the AFC Champions League.

Last season’s semi-finalists, Bunyodkor, drew 1-1 against three-time champions Pohang Steelers to progress into the knock-out stages for the sixth season running.

Pohang needed a win to keep their chances of advancing alive, but in the end were fortunate to get a point as Park Sung-Ho’s stoppage-time effort cancelled out Oleksandr Pyshur’s opener.

The draw against Pohang proved enough for Bunyodkor to clinch top spot in Group G and they were joined in the next round by Beijing Guoan, who played out a goalless stalemate Sanfreccee Hiroshima. Beijing can now look forward to
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a last-16 showdown against FC Seoul.

In Group H, Central Coast Mariners celebrated becoming the third A-League club to progress into the last 16 despite being on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat against Kashiwa Reysol.

Masato Kudo broke the deadlock when he beat the offside trap to guide the ball past goalkeeper Matt Ryan just before the hour mark for Kashiwa, who topped Group H. Cleo added a second from close range and fellow Brazilian Leandro Domingues made it three with a free-kick.

Guizhou Renhe failed to reach the last 16 in their first appearance in the competition after being held 2-2 against Suwon Bluewings in the group’s other fixture. Guizhou twice battled back from behind through Zhang Cheng-Lin and Sun Jihai after Lee Jong-Min and Kwon Chang-Hoon had netted for Suwon.

Esteghlal clinched top spot in Group D with a 1-0 victory away at Al Ain thanks to a second-half penalty from Javad Nekonam after Mohamed Ahmad Gharib was penalised for a challenge on Siavash Akbarpour.

Victory for Esteghlal ensured Al Hilal had to settle for second place following their 2-0 win at Al Rayyan. Mohamed Al Aaeldin’s own goal and Saad Al Harthi’s diving header proved the difference, with both goals coming in the final 12 minutes.

Al Ahli and Al Gharafa finished first and second in Group C following a 2-2 draw against Al Nasr and 3-1 defeat at Sepahan respectively.

Converted penalties from Waleed Bakshwn and Leo Lima and goals from Taisir Al Jassim and Rashid Malallah saw Al Ahli and Al Nasr play out at eventful draw, while Amid Jahanalian, Mohammad Gholami and Mohammad Reza were all on target for Sepahan. Majdi Siddiq’s free-kick had initially Al Gharafa hauled level.

Tue 30 April, 2013
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AFC Champions League Wrap: Quartet book last-16 places

Central Coast Mariners, Beijing Guoan, Bunyodkor and Al Hilal have all secured a safe passage into the last 16 of the AFC Champions League.

Last season’s semi-finalists, Bunyodkor, drew 1-1 against three-time champions Pohang Steelers to progress into the knock-out stages for the sixth season running.

Pohang needed a win to keep their chances of advancing alive, but in the end were fortunate to get a point as Park Sung-Ho’s stoppage-time effort cancelled out Oleksandr Pyshur’s opener.

The draw against Pohang proved enough for Bunyodkor to clinch top spot in Group G and they were joined in the next round by Beijing Guoan, who played out a goalless stalemate Sanfreccee Hiroshima. Beijing can now look forward to a last-16 showdown against FC Seoul.

In Group H, Central Coast Mariners celebrated becoming the third A-League club to progress into the last 16 despite being on the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat against Kashiwa Reysol.

Masato Kudo broke the deadlock when he beat the offside trap to guide the ball past goalkeeper Matt Ryan just before the hour mark for Kashiwa, who topped Group H. Cleo added a second from close range and fellow Brazilian Leandro Domingues made it three with a free-kick.

Guizhou Renhe failed to reach the last 16 in their first appearance in the competition after being held 2-2 against Suwon Bluewings in the group’s other fixture. Guizhou twice battled back from behind through Zhang Cheng-Lin and Sun Jihai after Lee Jong-Min and Kwon Chang-Hoon had netted for Suwon.

Esteghlal clinched top spot in Group D with a 1-0 victory away at Al Ain thanks to a second-half penalty from Javad Nekonam after Mohamed Ahmad Gharib was penalised for a challenge on Siavash Akbarpour.

Victory for Esteghlal ensured Al Hilal had to settle for second place following their 2-0 win at Al Rayyan. Mohamed Al Aaeldin’s own goal and Saad Al Harthi’s diving header proved the difference, with both goals coming in the final 12 minutes.

Al Ahli and Al Gharafa finished first and second in Group C following a 2-2 draw against Al Nasr and 3-1 defeat at Sepahan respectively.

Converted penalties from Waleed Bakshwn and Leo Lima and goals from Taisir Al Jassim and Rashid Malallah saw Al Ahli and Al Nasr play out at eventful draw, while Amid Jahanalian, Mohammad Gholami and Mohammad Reza were all on target for Sepahan. Majdi Siddiq’s free-kick had initially Al Gharafa hauled level.

Tue 30 April, 2013
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PFA seek refund from comedian

The Professional Footballers’ Association has begun legal proceedings to recoup the fee paid to comedian Reginald D Hunter.

The PFA are seeking a refund of the five-figure sum the American received for his set at Sunday’s player of the year awards dinner after the content was described as “unacceptable” by chairman Clarke Carlisle.

Hunter used the word “n*****” on several occasions and referenced the racism row involving Luis Suarez, despite the PFA claiming he had guaranteed to avoid such controversial subjects beforehand.

Deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes confirmed the PFA’s intentions on Tuesday, telling The Daily Telegraph: “We are in discussions with our lawyer and our lawyer is in discussion with the London Speaker Bureau, who we booked him through.

“Whatever he was paid was too much. We are obviously very upset, because he was briefed.

“We are very aware that very have a very diverse audience there. I was sat there with Jewish friends on my table as well, and it was as if he set out to upset everyone in the room one way or another.

“There were anti-Jewish jokes, there were anti-women jokes, there were anti-Irish jokes, there was the repeat use of the ‘N’ word.

“If you were looking for a scenario of absolutely everything we wouldn’t want on the night, I think you had a montage there.”

The London Speaker Bureau, the agency through whom Hunter was booked, have since backed the PFA’s stance, insisting Hunter had agreed to monitor his language.

A statement read: “The London Speaker Bureau supports the PFA’s statement in that Reginald’s use of language was not what was discussed as acceptable on the briefing call with the PFA.

“We regret any offence caused by the performance at The PFA Awards Ceremony.”

Since the event, Hunter has posted pictures on his personal Facebook page seemingly mocking the PFA’s position.

A caption for one picture of the comedian performing read: “Reginald D Hunter probably telling the PFA audience his joke with Jews in it.”

Another image of Hunter with smiling Bolton striker Kevin Davies is titled: “Reginald D Hunter and this particularly hurt individual console each other.”
Tue 30 April, 2013
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UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0 (agg 3-4)

Borussia Dortmund are through to the UEFA Champions League final after securing a 4-3 aggregate win over Real Madrid.

Following their stunning 4-1 success in Germany a week ago, the visitors were stubborn throughout, with Madrid only able to breach their backline in the final 10 minutes through Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos.
Jose Mourinho made two changes from the first leg, bringing in Michael Essien and Angel di Maria for Pepe and Sami Khedira, while Dortmund went with the same XI that had won so convincingly at the Westfalenstadion.

The hosts exploded into the game and could have taken the lead as early as the fourth minute. Luka Modric robbed Marcel Schmelzer and touched the ball to Mesut Ozil, who found Gonzalo Higuain first time in the box, but Roman Weidenfeller rushed out to smother the Argentine.

Ronaldo then blasted an effort over and hit a swivelling volley at Weidenfeller, either side of an opening for Robert Lewandowski, before Dortmund were handed an early blow as Mario Gotze was forced off with a hamstring strain and replaced by Kevin Grosskreutz.

Madrid were swarming forward and wasted yet another gilt-edged chance as Higuain’s flick sent Ozil through on goal but, with Ronaldo waiting square for a tap-in, the German screwed his effort wide at the near post.

In the build-up to Tuesday’s game Mourinho had lamented Real’s soft approach to handling Lewandowski in the first leg, but his side went about roughing up the Pole where they could at the start of the second. Fabio Coentrao was the first to go into Howard Webb’s notepad for a crunching challenge on the striker, while he was also caught by a stray Sergio Ramos elbow in an aerial challenge.
The visitors smelt blood and went after an early goal in the second half. Lewandowski blazed over after good work from Jakub Blaszczykowski on the left and had an even better chance just a minute later as Reus slipped him through on goal, but the number nine rattled the crossbar from eight yards.
Dortmund kept the pressure on and Madrid had Diego Lopez to thank as he thwarted Ilkay Gundogan from point-blank range after Marco Reus and Grosskreutz’s one-two had left Raphael Varane for dead.
Madrid were struggling, with Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic proving nigh-on impossible to breach despite wave after wave of attack.
Indeed it was Dortmund who continued to make the better of the chances and they should have killed the tie off for good with 15 minutes to play. Reus danced into the box and, with a sight of goal, squared for Lewandowski, but Varane threw himself in front of the Pole’s effort to preserve the stalemate on the night.
But the home fans were given cause for hope in the 83rd minute as Khedira played Ozil in down the left flank and crossed for Benzema, who finished high into the net.
With two minutes left on the clock, Madrid had another. Benzema did magnificently to control a high ball on the bye-line and cut back to Ramos, who thumped the ball past Weidenfeller, but it was not enough for the hosts and Dortmund will go on to face Barcelona or Bayern Munich, who are 4-0 up from the first leg, at Wembley in May.
Tue 30 April, 2013
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