Beckham’s baby name has gone to the dogs

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ALTHOUGH today’s papers are reporting that David and Victoria Beckham’s baby daughter is to be called Luna, apparently the name is not the couple’s first choice…
Mum-to-be Victoria had always planned on naming her first daughter Coco – but after spawning three boys she abandoned the thought of having a girl.
Instead, the family’s pet bulldog was named Coco Beckham.
An insider told the papers: “David made clear he won’t name her after a big-bellied bulldog.”

Crouch is Real players’ footballing idol

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WHEN Real Madrid welcome Spurs to Spain next week in the Champions League, two Spanish internationals are relishing the opportunity to take on their footballing hero – Peter Crouch.
During last summer’s World Cup, Alvaro Arbeloa and Raul Albiol discovered that the lofty England striker was a sensation on their Playstation.
The teammates used to pair up as England to play Sergio Ramos and Jes̼s Navas as Spain Рand even bought their own replica shirts of Crouch and Gerrard.
Arbeloa said: “During the World Cup we were on the PlayStation constantly
“They were Spain, we were England and it got pretty intense.
“We always put Crouch up front – and he scored loads.
“We bought ourselves England shirts. You’d be there in the Spain hotel and there were two guys in white, ‘Gerrard’ and ‘Crouch’ on the back.”

Shakira unveiled as WAG

POP star and serial official World Cup anthem singer Shakira has been officially revealed as the other half of Barcelona and Spain defender Gerard Pique.
Shakira, whose breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains, has long been romatically linked with the player – and at one point speculating Spanish tabloids posted a reward for anyone who could supply a picture of the two together.
Shakira broke the news on her Twitter page, posting a picture of the couple sunning themselves on a beach, with the words “I present to you my sunshine”.

Saucy cheerleaders putting off own team

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A SEXED up cheerleading squad have been blamed for putting off their own team’s players.
After Crystal Palace FC switched to a “more provocative” style of cheerleading troupe, the squad has slumped to 21st in the Championship and are close to the relegation places.
This led to fans calling for The Crystals to hang up their pom poms and stop supporting the Eagles – as they put off the players.
But Sharon Lacey, marketing manager for Crystal Palace, said: “The girls are excellent and they’re passionate about what they do.
“They do it off their own bats and don’t earn a penny.”

Can we play Ghana again soon please?

AFTER flat track bullying a limp Wales side in a “competitive” qualifying match at the weekend, the much-derided Ghana friendly reared its head tonight for England – and it was a humdinger.
A 1-1 draw, a fair result on the night, both teams played to win and didn’t pull their punches when it came to tackling.
Plus both goals were sublime to boot – England’s much-impoved approach play rewarded with an Andy Carroll thunderbolt, and Asamoah Gyan’s superb solo effort which owed as much to his persistence as his close control.
However if England can take one thing away from this match, it’s not that a we now have a usable 4-3-3 formation or that Stewart Downing has a chocolate teapot for a right boot – it’s that to succeed at playing football you have to PLAY at football, not work at it.
Ghana’s World Cup campaign was a joy to watch last Summer, and their convivial-yet-combative attitude to the game has carried through even to these ‘meaningless’ friendlies – the Africans may not have any silverware from South Africa, but they were among the biggest winners.
If England can enjoy playing Switzerland as much as they enjoyed the match tonight and carry on enjoying our football, we may yet get the tournament monkey off our backs.

Neymar in Chelsea’s sights

LAST close season Brazilian wonderkid Neymar was heavily linked with a £25m move to Chelsea – and now it looks highly likely the Santos striker will head to Stamford Bridge this Summer.
Despite rival bidders around Europe, Neymar dropped hints he enjoyed visiting London after scoring a brace against Scotland.
Neymar said: “I also want this level of team and I want to play in Europe.
“It is a dream which will come true but I don’t yet know when. It is up to Santos to decide.
“But here in London I could even walk in peace in the streets.”
Pencil in a forward line of Torres and Neymar for Chelsea next season, then.

Death fails to stop fan attending match

BILL Shankley famously said: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death – I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
And one Colombian football fan proved this maxim by attending a match despite being dead.
The 17-year-old Cucuta Deportivo supporter had been shot the day before, and ahead of the wake friends and family paraded his coffin through the streets and into the General Santander Stadium.
Spokesman Julio Rivera said: “This is the only part of the world where this has happened.”
The club is launching an inquiry to find out who allowed the corpse entry into the ground.

Is teaching Balotelli to fight a good idea?

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In a bid to beat the boredom which lands Mario Balotelli in near-daily scrapes – such as throwing darts at youth teamers or offering to fight with hookers in restaurants – the Italian striker is taking up a hobby.
And after discussions with his club, Manchester City are reportedly planning to enrol the Italian in kick boxing lessons.
Is this really a great idea – training a man with two red cards and nine yellows from just 20 games at Man City to efficiently and brutally kick an opponent into submission?
What’s wrong with stamp collecting or watercolours?

Goalkeeper notches up 100 career goals

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A CENTURY of professional goals is a noteworthy achievement for an outfield player – but amazingly, a goalkeeper has just scored his 100th.
Brilliant Brazilian Rogerio Ceni, who plays for Sao Paulo, converted a free kick against Corinthians to make 100 career goals, more than any other keeper has managed.
The 38-year-old has taken 941 matches to reach the total.
After scoring the goal, Ceni was duly yellow carded for taking off his shirt in celebration.
He said: “When a goalkeeper goes on to the pitch he doesn’t think about scoring a goal but it turned out the way I wanted.”
Sensational Ceni, Goaltastic salutes you.

Ruud goings on at Blackburn and West Ham

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EQUINE Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy could be heading back to the Premier League.
The forward, who hit 150 goals in just 219 games for Manchester United, as well as being their all time European record goalscorer, is out of contract with Hamburg at the end of the season – and Blackburn and West Ham are hoping to bring in the 34-year-old goalscorer for one more season in England.
However any potential deals could fall through if either club is relegated at the end of the season.